Media on a quest to downplay race in Chicago kidnapping and torture
The media's attempts to invent motives for the four black assailants who kidnapped and tortured a white special needs man for at least 48 hours this week in Chicago are sickening. The four perpetrators, all over the age of 18, have been rightfully charged with a hate crime, though the media still refuse to acknowledge that forcing someone to say "f--- white people" and "I love black people" constitutes a racial motivation.
For instance, CNN published an article on January 5 highlighting how the attack was a "reminder of violence faced by disabled Americans." In an almost comically misleading analysis, the author briefly acknowledges the "inflammatory" racist comments made against the young man by his captors and then moves into an exposition of why the hate crime charge brought against the four kidnappers might be more aptly identified as "ableism."
The author rightly notes that disabled individuals are a legally protected class but fails to acknowledge that at no point during the kidnapping video was any indication given that the young man was targeted because of a disability. Phrases such as "f--- Donald Trump" and "f--- white people" give no indication of "ableist" discrimination.
MSNBC similarly focused on the kidnapping as an assault against a man with "mental capability issues." The network's chief legal correspondent, Ari Melber, after listing all protected classes in the state of Illinois, suggested the possibility of a hate crime charge based on discrimination against physical or mental disability rather than race. Melber acknowledged "what appear" to be references to Donald Trump and race relations but added that he was not sure what the focus of the hate crime charges would be.
The media has been forced to confront the reality that racism is not simply "prejudice with power," an institutional structure whose effects flow in only one direction. As major networks desperately attempt to minimize the racial motivations behind this terrible crime, they continue to maximize the failure of their already deficient credibility.