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This was not merely a hate crime — it was much worse
Image source: YouTube

This was not merely a hate crime — it was much worse

This kind of thing isn't even unique. The white man kidnapped and savagely tortured by a group of racist thugs wasn't the first to fall victim to a hate crime of this sort in Chicago recently. It was only a few weeks ago that a white Trump supporter was dragged from his truck by a group of black teens and ruthlessly beaten in the middle of the street while a crowd of onlookers egged them on. A pattern is emerging. And it's getting worse.

Edited version from Fox32 in Chicago below. Some may consider this graphic.

The latest incident stands out because of its brazen cruelty. The victim -- a white, mentally disabled teenager --  was bound, gagged, and brutalized, all for the amusement of his captors. They hurled abuse at him, screaming "f*ck white people" and "f*ck Donald Trump." They forced him to drink water out of a toilet. They dragged him around by his neck. They cut off pieces of his scalp. And this is just what we saw in the 30 minute video, which one of the assailants broadcast live on Facebook. Police think the victim, who was found wandering the streets dazed and in shock on Tuesday evening, was held captive for at least 24 hours. One can only imagine what other indignities he suffered at the hands of these psychopaths.

A lot can and will be said about this incident (by conservatives, mainly), but I'd like to offer a couple of thoughts on the "hate crime" angle of this story. The Chicago police chief has already said that hate crime charges are not guaranteed:

"Although they are adults, they're 18. Kids make stupid decisions -- I shouldn't call them kids; they're legally adults, but they're young adults, and they make stupid decisions," Duffin said.

"That certainly will be part of whether or not ... we seek a hate crime, to determine whether or not this is sincere or just stupid ranting and raving."

For the record, "kids" make a "stupid decision" to "rant and rave" when they talk back to their parents or disrespect their teachers. When they graduate to scalping the mentally disabled, they have far exceeded the bounds of what may be described as a mere "stupid decision." Let's call it an evil decision. A demonic decision. A decision that ought to land them 50 years in prison. And the attempt by law enforcement and the media to downplay the severity of this crime is an evil all to its own.

As far as the "hate crime" designation goes, there is no question that, according to the law, this qualifies. No further investigation is needed on this front. A group of black people falsely imprisoned a white man and shouted racist slurs as they gleefully tortured him. The statute requires that any crime motivated by racism be tried as a federal hate crime. OK, well, the perps announced their racial prejudices explicitly, on video, and their actions clearly fell in line with their verbal pronouncements. Case closed.

But liberals are noticeably reluctant to apply the hate crime label in these kinds of cases. Indeed, they're more likely to call it a hate crime when you leave a bad tip for your Hispanic pizza delivery boy than when a group of black teens inflict unspeakable physical torment on a disabled white kid. The reason for that is simple. Hate crimes must be motivated by racism, and liberals believe and have been taught that it is not possible for white people to be victims of racism. Racism is all about power and institutions, they say, and because blacks have no institutional power, they cannot be racist.

This is highly concentrated idiocy, of course (and it's the kind of idiocy you're paying enormous sums for your kid to learn in college). It's not true that a racist person must automatically be a person in power, and it's even less true that blacks have no power in America. The most powerful person in the entire world is a black man (for the next couple of weeks, anyway), and most of our institutions have made discrimination against whites into a governing principle. So, much like their definition of marriage and gender and a hundred other things, the leftists definition of racism is incoherent and invalid on several levels.

That said, I would tend to agree -- though for vastly different reasons -- that this atrocity was not a hate crime. It was worse. As is often the case with atrocities committed by teenagers in the inner city, it appeared that the primary motivation was not a hatred for the victim but a total indifference to him. They were not shouting in anger. They didn't seem to be enraged at all. They were laughing. They were amused. They were having the time of their lives.

They didn't abduct their victim and torture him because they had something against him. They abducted and tortured him because they thought nothing of him. They found his pain and fear to be utterly hilarious. It was all just a bit of recreation. They weren't exacting revenge on an enemy -- they were toying with an insect. They were pulling the legs off a grasshopper. The grasshopper happened to be a human being, but that distinction was meaningless in their eyes.

What really struck me about the video, and what always strikes me when another wave of rioting and arson breaks out ostensibly in response to "police brutality," and what strikes me about the sky high murder rate in the inner city, etc., is that those responsible do not appear to have a conscience. Hatred, for them, would be a step up. Hatred is human. It's emotional and passionate, albeit dangerously misdirected. But there's something to work with. A hateful person feels something, at least. He feels the wrong things, but feeling the wrong thing is better than feeling nothing. And that's what I see in the video: people who feel nothing. That's what I see all over our cities, in fact.

There's a reason why over 760 people were murdered in Chicago last year. Yes, some of it was motivated by ordinary, old fashioned hate, some by greed, some by jealousy. But mostly, those victims died because the people responsible simply had no regard for them. It was nothing personal. It's just that being a murderous gangster is cool and trendy in the inner city, plus you get that sweet tear drop tattoo to go along with it. We always hear about the cases where black kids shoot each other over shoes and so forth, but they don't really shoot each other over shoes. They shoot each other because they feel like shooting each other. The shoes are just an added incentive.

It's no surprise that the lack of human conscience has reached such a crisis level in the city. William Golding already illustrated this for us in 1954 when he wrote Lord of the Flies. When kids are left alone on an island without any guidance from their parents, they turn into savages. As a fallen species, savagery is our default state. We need strong families, strict discipline, clear guidance, and a foundation of faith in order to grow beyond those impulses and develop into decent, civilized adults. Our consciences must be formed. They don't come ready made. They come as clay and must be molded. If they aren't, they will eventually dry up, turn to dust, and blow away in the wind.

These kids in Chicago and elsewhere have essentially been left alone on an island. Their fathers have abandoned them and their mothers have not done nearly enough to fill the gap -- not that the gap can ever be completely filled. They are left to their own devices without any parental influence or supervision to speak of. Next thing you know they're amusing themselves by filming hostage videos. It's not really that surprising. This is how people with unformed consciences behave.

If we're really going to rank crimes, then, I would put Indifferent Crimes over Hate Crimes. A violent sociopath is a thousand times more dangerous than an angry bigot. After all, anger can be calmed and bigotry can be overcome. An utter lack of a moral compass, however, is not an issue so easily resolved. Especially when the parent suffers from the same condition.

To see more from Matt Walsh, visit his channel on TheBlaze.

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