Why America Refuses To Take Hate Crimes Seriously
We keep avoiding the truth
It’s hard to believe, but hashtags are actually the worst thing ever. The notion that brutalized souls are socially mourned with symbols that are supposed to symbolize why their deaths matter, when their lives didn’t, was appealing back when we believed sharing bloody images of death scenes would do the trick.
But as we sink deeper and deeper into societal disorder, under the iron fist of a nationalized renegade, who was perfectly groomed for this sickly climate of irreparable division, what was abundantly clear back when the White House was “Black,” is even more transparent now that the makeshift “House of Horrors” is blood-red.
We can spend a lifetime accumulating hashtags of our dearly departed Black children, who are being deprived of the air that gives lungs the right to breath without issue, or we can eliminate the restrictions of over-crowded online cells, and ponder the weightiness of our status.
Social media has created the methodical aspect of processing information that leaves very little time to cohesively assess the damage of our lifetime.
We greet Monday mornings with residue from a weekend of formulated violence with inclusions of fresh kill. They form a dreary possession on our timelines, as we scroll through, paying respects, and testing out which symbols of recognition will fittingly highlight yet another victim of the damned, while we robotically carve out those special viral moments that can elevate.
But what happens after lunch, when work loads increase, and we revert back to the numbers that have a higher chance of being recalculated into death signs, in comparison to our blissfully carefree White counterparts?
Another Black teen’s life was forced to end at the hands of domestic terrorism. Elijah Al-Amin was seventeen, and his throat was slit open by a twenty-seven-year-old White supremacist, Michael Adams, who had just been released from the Arizona State Prison Complex in Yuma — two days earlier.
The White man, who has been charged with first degree murder, apparently killed the Black teenager near a local convenient store to protest the loud rap music emanating from the parked vehicle.
We can examine the evidence and take in the desperate pleas from the lawyer representing the White supremacist and murderer, who describes her client as a troubled young man, who should’ve been given “access to resources,” that would’ve helped heal his deranged disposition.
But the fact remains that a young Black man was killed based on the ideology of hate that fuels President Trump’s fervent supporters.
Elijah Al-Amin is absolutely a victim of a hate crime, and it’s not being labeled as such because the media isn’t willing to take a stance against an epidemic that defines what we’ve always been to each other.
Plastering newly-minted hashtags in the headlines that depict the normalized announcement of what White males in America are being enabled to amass; with the full backing of a criminalized judicial system, and the badged officers who patrol the streets in search of Black bodies to add to their quota system — has become the valuable currency that transform profitable clicks into the winning numbers that can’t be halted.
It’s a fucked up operation. It’s so fucked up that even presidential candidates are notably stumbling in their ability to seize these dark moments as the chance to demonstrate why Black America owes them the votes that count.
We’re all complicit in this merry-go-round of retweets, re-shares, and quote tweets, offering seasoned opportunities to feel banded in common good, when it’s all so very bad.
This is why America vehemently refuses to take hate crimes seriously.
If we label the shit for what it really is, then that sends a shock to the system that rearranges the game by depleting the scorn of tyranny, while restoring dignity of the victimized, who will have to be rescued from the generic reception of their tragedies.
Imagine how bereaved Black mothers feel when those cowardly-strewn headlines are paraded in their view. The heat that is flushed with memories of their Black babies, who also suffered the same injustice, and how year after year, the tradition of abandoning the duty of replacing hashtags with the unfiltered presentation that doesn’t glaze over the crime scene is still a negligent item.
You probably don’t recall the name of the Black teen from Jacksonville, FL, who was also murdered by a White supremacist back in 2012, because of the loud rap music blasting through the parked car he was sitting in, while waiting for his friend who rushed into a nearby convenient store.
Jordan Davis was also seventeen at the time of his death, and what got him killed had everything to with the fact that he was a Black kid in a car with other Black teens, and that sight alone could make a middle-age White dude irritable. And when you add the blaring rap music to the equation, that’s recipe for a death sentence.
Michael David Dunn was preparing to commit a hate crime when he ordered the Black teens in the car next to his, to turn down the music, as he waited for his girlfriend to pick up items for the wedding they were attending.
White privilege gives White people the belief that they are superior enough to have their unreasonable demands met, without consideration for their invasiveness. I’ve experienced that plenty of times with White women who invade my space with that provocative stance that unapologetically takes ownership of what’s typically free to all.
Unfortunately for Jordan Davis, his unwillingness to be jerked around by a cranky older White dude, who would’ve been jovially conversing with a car full of White teens listening to a hip-hop station at the highest volume, ultimately sealed his fate.
The back and forth escalated to an argument that forced the White supremacist to locate his gun and return with bullets aimed at Davis’s car door. The Black teen was fatally struck in the legs and lung, and in the aftermath of his terrifying and senseless demise, his mother, Lucy McBath was inspired to become a staunch gun advocate and successfully run for Congress in Georgia’s 6th congressional district in 2018.
Dunn was eventually found guilty of first degree murder, but it was the argument of how he fired his gun in reaction to the threats to his life that remain the haunting theory of how and why hate crimes are permitted to flourish — unchallenged.
That’s the same excuse that Elijah Al-Amin’s killer is banking on for his defense. The stereotypes of how Black boys and Black men are inherently violent which explains their affinity for the genre of music that celebrates those traits has been solidly established as the dependable route for a racist America.
And when Black women like Nia Wilson, are inexplicably knifed to death in broad daylight at a BART station in Oakland, CA, by a White male, who illegally entered the premises by hopping over the turnstile — the explanation for such violence is systemically assigned to the fragile mental state of the perpetrator.
We are given an in depth tour of the torturous background of a sadistic killer, who was severely betrayed by the system, and how that failure to save him was inevitably going to lead to the unfathomable slaying of an innocent Black victim.
Humanizing the actions of White supremacists is a deadly habit that needs to be broken, but how can it happen when hate crimes aren’t presented in the truth that validates those occurrences, without the shield of strategic words and phrases, that are meant to heighten tensions with the motive to further entice the dangerous wiles of White terrorists-in-training?
It’s unconscionable that a horrific crime involving the bloody massacre of a Black teenager, at the prime of his life, due to the murderous actions of a White male, who was sane enough to compute rap music with violence, and lazily combine those elements as reasons for his brutality — can be callously curated into a “trending item” that was birthed from the themes of how “rap music” can kill if you’re listening while Black.
Black lives won’t matter until we take hate crimes seriously. Black lives won’t matter until the media makes the pledge to drop hashtags in favor of publishing the stark truth with applications that accurately describe these White assholes as “White supremacists,” who killed their victims in cold blood because of their Blackness. Black lives won’t matter until the narrative switches to humanize the real lives that were destroyed, in rejection to the killers who are falsely and unforgivably presented as mentally unwell.
As long as misguided “truth-tellers” are complacent with the adherence to feeding the beast with morsels that are coerced by demonic requirements of search engines — at the expense of the fallen who never stop being vandalized — the state-of-affairs as it pertains to crimes that go unpunished will remain active.
Sharing isn’t always caring, especially if the words “hate crime” are missing from the headlines that have become all-too familiar in ways that render us all complicit in this artful dance, that skillfully avoids the responsibility of honoring those who died because of the supremacy of Whiteness that has succeeded in destroying the truth even when it bleeds for attention.
How many more hashtags need to be feted before we take this shit seriously?