The Hate Crime Test

I have maintained three main objectives over the last two decades as it relates to work. The first is to teach people functional martial arts. The second is to teach people why some things work and some don’t, giving them the tools for critical thinking – the answer seeking process as opposed to the dogmatically held conclusion – which transcends all aspects of our lives. And the third is to help people come into a healthy relationship with a topic that is intrinsic to our very evolution – violence.

In one form or another, whether it’s teaching a Jiu-Jitsu class at my academy, a seminar somewhere else in the world, a lecture at a school, or an essay I am writing, everything tends to revolve around those three goals. To that end I read a lot of what comes into the market (books or academic publications) that’s related; and I subscribe to a lot of newsfeeds which keep me updated on crime data, and events. This is one of the many stories I see daily. And this one, while not uncommon, is particularly gut wrenching. I considered not posting it and just carrying on with my other projects; but after some thought I realized that this story is something I can’t ignore. As gruesome as it is, it serves to illustrate a few really telling lessons.

What happened? Four black teenagers, two male and two female, kidnapped a young white male with special needs. They held him for upwards of 48 hours. They tied him up, tortured him, scalped him with a knife, put cigarettes out on his head, beat him, made him drink from the toilet – and filmed the whole thing, which, they also live streamed on Facebook for 30 minutes.

You can read the story, and if you’re up for it, watch part of the video, here.

I don’t find this story necessary to write about because it’s uncommon, it isn’t. I find it necessary to write about it because of the very simple test I’d like you to take at the end of this essay.

Arguably the biggest domestic story of 2014 was the assumed scourge of police violence against “unarmed” black males. It permeated the news outlets, it kicked off after the false narrative in Ferguson –  “hands up don’t shoot”, caught fire – and it hasn’t abated since.

But is it true?

I’ve written about this at length already (here), and if anything, I was being way too safe with the numbers. Here is the truth. The idea that white on black violence is a major problem in the United States, is a lie. The fact is, just the opposite is true. Black crime and violence against whites, gays, women, seniors, young people, and other black Americans, is astronomically out of proportion – and it’s been that way for a long time. You can see just how out of proportion it is, here.

What about “hate crimes”? In the United States, by percentage, blacks are more likely to commit hate crimes than any other race. You can read the FBI data on these crimes here.

You’ll note that in 2013, of the 5800+ hate crimes reported, 52.4% of known offenders were white, and 24.3% of known offenders were black. Two things to keep in mind. First, the FBI lumps Hispanics and whites into one category and the two combined make up about 63% of the American population. And second, according to the latest census, blacks make up less than 13% of the US population. Given that, by percentage, African Americans commit far more hate crimes than any other group.

All this makes you wonder why Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, stated:

Part of whether or we not we seek a hate crime (is to) determine whether or not this is sincere or stupid ranting and raving. I think part of it is just stupidity. At this point, we don’t have anything concrete to point toward a hate crime.”

Given the fact that his city has seen a 53% increase in homicides since 2015 – and managed to accumulate 4,331 shootings in 2016 alone, maybe he should take ‘stupid’ a bit more seriously. After all, stupid and fatal often go together.

The good news is, in the last 24 hours, Eddie Johnson changed his tune. These thugs will be charged with a hate crime. And while I’m not a fan of hate crime laws in general (when is the kidnapping and torturing of an individual based in anything but hate?), these predators are likely to be locked up longer. And that’s good for everyone. I support the death penalty for a number of reasons. Barring its use in this case, I’d hope for at least 50 year sentences. We know from the recidivism rates, if humans like those who attacked this handicapped man are released, they’ll do nothing but hurt others – over and over again.

This is a deeply depressing subject. I’ve been working on a book about violence for four years now. At this stage, I feel like I’ve read and thought about this enough for several lifetimes. Believe me when I tell you there are many things I’d enjoy writing about more. But there are inescapable lessons here that need to be realized.

To begin with, despite what superintendent Johnson stated, people who kidnap and torture a special needs individual for 48 hours, and go live on Facebook as they scalp him and make him drink from a toilet – are not “kids who made a stupid mistake“. And hey, Chicago, after a 53% increase in murder, will you protest so the guy who says they are loses his job? (Don’t hold your breath).

Second, if this isn’t a “hate” crime, then hate crimes don’t exist. But don’t expect the SPLC to be publicizing this atrocity. They’re currently busy going after heroines like, Aayan Hirsi Ali.  And if you support a group like the SPLC, would you consider withdrawing that support now?

And finally, and most importantly as it relates to the point of this essay, consider Piers Morgan’s hypothetical below:

Imagine for a moment that a young black man with special needs had been kidnapped, abused and tortured by a gang of smirking white youths?

Imagine watching a video of this black man’s horrific ordeal streamed live on Facebook?

Imagine seeing and hearing the white assailants systematically torment their black victim, physically and mentally?

Imagine watching them kicking him, punching him, scalping him and flicking burning cigarette ash on the wounds they inflicted with their vicious, sustained assault?

Imagine hearing one of them shouting ‘F**k Barack Obama! F**k black people!’ as they did so?

Then imagine the video of all this emerging and hitting TV screens and news websites across America.

All hell would rightly have broken loose.

There would have been instant huge protests, and probably riots.

The #BlackLivesMatter group would have lit up social media demanding ‘justice’.

Black celebrities, led by the likes of Beyoncé and John Legend, would have made statements expressing their fury at the incident and their solidarity with the victim.

Police, under the huge pressure of such concerted public outrage, would have undoubtedly confirmed this as a hate crime.”

Now please ask yourself, is Piers wrong?

If four white youth kidnapped and tortured a young, special needs, black male – scalped him, beat him, and made him say “Fuck Barrack Obama!” and “I love white people!” – would it become a national cause celeb? Would black lives matter protest? Would your well to do progressive white friends be sharing stories about it on their Facebook pages?  Would celebrities like Sarah Silverman take to the airwaves?

Do any of you, think any of them, would ignore this?

Take a look here, as Don Lemon from CNN questions Symone Sanders on this tragedy.

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Don Lemon seems shocked kids would do this. And since this sort of thing happens daily in places like Chicago, where most shootings revolve around shoes and being “disrespected” (petty disputes over status), the only thing shocking is that Don’s shocked.

Symone Sanders wants to blame Trump. Let that sit with you for a bit.

And – above all else, watch the expression on Miss Sanders face as Alice Stewart correctly nails the root cause of these sorts of attacks – the breakdown of the American family. Sanders acts as if this idea is bizarre or unheard of. After all “for all we know”, Miss Sanders says “these kids came from loving two parent homes.”

What Miss Sander’s probably knows but is too dishonest, or perhaps callous, to acknowledge, is that within the black community nationwide, the out of wedlock birthrates is around 72% , and within these neighborhoods – the no-go zones of Chicago, Detroit, and Baltimore, it moves into the 90% range. Yet, for some reason, people who hold the political views of Miss Sanders, many of whom are upper middle class and white, just don’t want to acknowledge that reality.

So here’s my test, and my point behind sharing this tragedy.

Please do the following three things, in order:

#1 – Watch the video of this crime. It’s horrible. It isn’t something any sane and normative human would want to see; but given the rates of violence within these areas – it needs to be seen to fully understand what is being discussed.

#2 – Watch the video posted here of CNN’s Don Lemon discussing the case. And pay particular attention to Miss Sanders.

#3 – I’d like you to keep an eye on the pages and articles shared by your more left leaning friends. I’d like you to see if they prove me wrong. Given that black on white violence occurs at a rate that’s more than double that of white on black crime – will your liberal democratic friends mention it? Will the talking point shift from hysteria over the word TRUMP being written in chalk, or a disfigured religious lawn ornament – to the far more prevalent crime of black on white violence?

Or will they ignore the racially motivated kidnapping and torturing of a mentally disabled young man, simply because of his skin color?

Keep your eyes open. Watch and see.

I know the result I’d bet on.

Statistically speaking the odds of a black American being killed by a white American, police officer or otherwise, are so small they barely register on a graph. Statistically speaking the odds of a black American being killed by another black American, are astronomically high. In fact, if you’re a black man under the age of 35, that’s your most likely cause of death. So if white liberals ignore this topic all together – what does that tell you about how they really feel about people of color?

In closing let me add two points.

First, once the young victim of this horror show receives the proper physical and mental health treatment – which he may now need for a lifetime; I hope he finds his way into a place like SBG. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be a great healer for this sort of trauma.

And second, if you live in Chicago, or anywhere like it, I suggest you consider arming yourself. I don’t say that lightly, and my close friends know I am not a “gun guy” – though I am a gun owner. But while Piers gets a lot right in his righteous anger over this atrocity, he is also notorius for anti-gun stances. Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the Nation. How’s that working out for them? So while I cannot, and would not advise anyone to break the law – I have to say, I’d never live there unarmed.

BTW, did you see that someone wrote Trump in chalk at Emory University!

No one’s coming to save you Chicago. Watch and see.