Friday, November 17, 2017

The Rhetorical Conundrum: How Does Society Fight Hate Crimes When So Many Are Fake?

How do you fight hate crimes when so many turn out to be fake? Remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s great “I Have A Dream Speech”, especially “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”? Remember Nina Simone’s great song “To be Young, Gifted, and Black”? Remember the post-racial Presidency of President Barack Hussein Obama? Sadly, race relations today are highly divisive, one year after the post-racial Presidency of President Obama. Race relations are so divisive that a single spark can ignite demonstrations, protests, riots, and vandalism. The spark can range from a police shooting to the posting of graffiti. One racist message is one too many. Yet many of these racist messages now turn out to be fake. One fake racist message is not only one too many, but further fans the flames of racism. Some recent examples sadly show the power of fake racism. Five black cadet candidates last September at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School reported racist messages outside their dorm room. The message said “Go home” with the “N” word. Lt. General Jay Silveria, Superintendent of the Air Force Academy, mustered the entire cadet corps and delivered a strong anti-racism message to the cadets - that racist behavior is unacceptable at the school. One of the five cadets was arrested a week ago for writing the racist remarks. Three incidents rocked the Eastern Michigan University community last spring and this fall. “KKK” was sprayed last September in red, white, and blue on a dormitory wall, coupled with a racial threat that blacks should leave the campus. The “N” word was posted Halloween on a building next to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument. The message again ordered blacks to leave the campus. A racist message was left in a men’s restroom stall last spring. EMU erupted after these message. 1080 hours of campus police investigations coupled with local police and FBI led to the arrest of a 29 year old former student three weeks ago. The suspect is Eddie Curlin, an African American. St. Olaf College in Minnesota was wracked with a series of racist messages last spring. A message left on a car on April 29 said “I am so glad that you are leaving soon. One less [N ] that this school has to deal with. You will change nothing. Shut up or I will shut you up.” Demonstrators ensued. Classes were cancelled “so that we may have time for faculty, students, and staff to continue their discussions about racism and diversity on our campus.” The message was fake. Kansas has witnessed several “hate’ messages, two of which at least have been fake. An African American maintenance worker on crack splay painted KKK and a swastika on the wall of the Concord Fortress of Hope Church in Kansas City and set a fire in the building to hide his theft. A car at Kansas State was painted with a racist message. The “N” word was on the rear windshield. Words painted include “White’s only,” “Die”, and “date your own kind.” Dauntarius Williams, the African American owner of the car, later admitted to painting he car. He said it was meant as a Halloween prank. The Bart System in the San Francisco Bay Area has been repeatedly vandalized with racist messages with racist slurs and swastikas. Videos show the perpetrator to be African American. The problem is how do you respond and react to hate crimes when so many turn out to be a hoax?

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