When a Hate Crime Against a Memphis Teenager Isn't a Hate Crime


A seventeen year old boy in Memphis faced a nightmare while he was working a shift at Kroger.  A mob was attacking people in the parking lot.  This thin teenager tried to run but was caught and pummeled into unconsciousness, then viciously kicked and beaten as he lay helpless.  As is the custom these dark days, bystanders caught it on video, which was posted to the Internet and picked up by local television.

Todd Starnes reported on this for Fox News:

The thug who attacked Mr. Sauser’s son is a teenager with a lengthy criminal history. So far 11 people have been arrested — all under the age of 19-years-old. Most are facing felony charges. Police have said the attack does not appear to be a hate crime because not all of the victims are white.

Oh, but it is a hate crime.

Mr. Sauser said he saw something else in that video — rage.

What kind of society have we created when a crime motivated purely by hate, anger, rage, by a group of thugs enjoying inflicting harm on others—no better than the worst barbarians and war criminals—can’t be called a “hate crime” because of the color of the victims?  Can thugs walk freely through our streets and as long as they beat a token black along with whatever other victims they hurt, they are immune from the stricter penalties of a “hate crime”?

“Hold on, they got a white dude,” the person filming said.

If it’s got to be solely about race to be a “hate crime” then we’ve rolled back 144 years of progress since the 15th Amendment, and we’re reliving Dred Scott.

A mob of thugs of any color randomly beating an honor student looking to make extra cash with a paying job, and mercilessly playing “knock out” with whoever was unfortunate enough to be in their sight, is the definition of a crime motivated by hate.  Hate for people.  Hate for decency.  A moral crime of evil that’s turned away by a technicality based on skin color is just as racist as Eliza Irene Emerson, the slave owner who refused to grant Dred Scott’s emancipation.  A justice system that supports this technicality is just as complicit as the Supreme Court under Justice Taney, which denied Scott’s standing to sue.

Despite the fact that one of the teens who attacked Saucer’s son has a long criminal history, and the others are likely facing felony charges, they are protected from any Federal laws dealing with hate crimes, or violations of the boy’s civil rights.  That’s because our government is tilted one way:  a hate crime must be white on black (or straight on gay), and civil rights can only be denied to minorities.

It is a cowardly outrage if this brazen display of savagery is not prosecuted as a hate crime.  Shelby County DA Amy Weirich should find a way to charge these men, as adults, with a hate crime.  If she can’t do it, she should be ashamed, as should we all.

No seventeen year old bag boy at Kroger should fear for his life in his employer’s parking lot.  If our society is no better than that, we should be listening carefully as the Visigoths march across the Rubicon, for we are surely doomed to suffer the fate of the Roman Empire.


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