Parlor Talk: Race Hate Crimes: Fact or Fiction?
In Mississippi, a local church was burnt down with the letters “KKK” and “Vote Trump” written on the side. Firefighters and communities could hardly believe that the historic church had become the target of a hate crime. The world reeled as it attempted to make sense of something that seemed to be so close to election day.
This same crime was found recently to have been a hoax, with the intent to harm the Donald Trump presidency. The culprit, officials believe is, Andrew McClinton. The defendant claims that it was not politically motivated and that he was a parishioner at the local church. With the claims that he did not write the graffiti and no motive yet, police have not been willing to say they will be prosecuting a hate crime.
The political message that is attempting to be sent here is mirrored in the attack on a young girl known as Yasmin Seweid. She claimed that one night on a subway, three drunk men attempted to grab her hijab off her head and were shouting Donald Trump and for her to go back to where she came from. After reporting this, police investigations and a confession by Ms. Seaweid found the story to be another lie.
It seems we have a trend here with the recent political victory of Mr. Donald Trump. Fake reports of racial hate are springing up all over the country to hurt the reputation of the Trump presidency. The reports remind me of the boy who cried wolf when these communities actually need their voice to cry for help many might simply ignore them. Real hate crimes, that devastate communities, continue to occur and the media and government should not be tied down by false reports.
In June 2015, a young man walked into a Bible study in a Charleston church and opened fire. He killed nine people before he was stopped, and devastated many more lives. The following court trials and investigations found that Mr. Dylann Roof was a white-supremacist that had attacked the church with the motive of retribution for the white race.
This was a classic hate crime, and no connection to Donald Trump has been found. The political motivations of this are absent, and instead, we see that this young man seemed to be deeply troubled and indoctrinated into the belief system of white supremacy. The media and government officials were necessary to both advocate for and protect the victims of this crime. The fake news stories hurt the ability of actual victims to be properly helped and given one of the most important things a victim needs: belief.
More Recently, a Latino family in Los Angeles were the victim of a hate crime. A red swastika with the word Trump graffitied onto their home. A letter was left telling them of the white race’s supremacy and that they should stop interbreeding with the pure race. Additionally, they should be careful to let their children play on the streets at night. Police have launched an investigation but it seems like there are no real culprits at the time.
While this story sounds familiar, police are going to continue to investigate and the media will continue to advocate for the family. It is the duty of these group to help those who are being attacked but some of us might be a bit more cynical. How do we know this isn’t some political ploy to attack Donald Trump? We don’t. All we know is that these people are claiming to have been attacked, and until more information comes out we should give them the benefit of the doubt.
I understand how easy it can be to lose faith in people, to let your default be mistrust. In these cases, it’s important to try to understand how others are feeling. If it’s true, how would you feel if no one believed you? How would you feel if people called you a liar and refused to help you? Imagine the fear, and the overwhelming sense of loneliness someone would feel from that. Whatever side of the political spectrum you fall under, we are all humans. Humans lie for attention, and they attack churches, and they blow up landmarks. Humans also care, protect and help one another. Whether we are staunch Republicans, avowed Democrats or firm Libertarians let us all agree to be humans when we hear the cries of people in danger and give them the benefit of the doubt.