Earlier this week I read online that four Black teens kidnapped and tortured a white, mentally disabled man and broadcasted it on Facebook live. Initially, I was disgusted. All of the offenders were charged with hate crimes, four were charged with kidnapping, aggravated battery, and aggravated unlawful restraint, and three were also charged with burglary.
The Internet was enraged, and arguably, rightfully so. This is a heinous crime. However, you begin to recognize a trend with those that are more vocal with their outrage. You begin to notice the coded language used when discussing this crime, as opposed to others. You start noticing that the same people outraged about this crime have been silent during the course of Dylan Roof’s trial, failed to write a passionate Facebook status when Tanner Ward, John Howard, and another 16-year-old sodomized a disabled Black boy with a coat hanger while hurling racial slurs at him, fall silent when countless unarmed Black men and women are gunned down and are absolutely blind, deaf, and mute when Black, trans women are murdered at alarming rates.
This is what we call “selective outrage.” Picking and choosing what to be angry about based upon your bigoted beliefs. You’re not as concerned with the victim of this alleged hate crime that happened on Facebook live. You’re more focused on demonizing the (Black) offenders, and at the same time demonizing Black people as a whole.
Tanner Ward, John Howard, and the 16-year-old that raped their Black, disabled teammate will face zero consequences. Where’s your outrage?
At his sentencing trial, Dylan Roof stated, “I would like to make it crystal clear I do not regret what I did. I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed.” Where’s your angry Facebook status? Tomi Lahren, care to comment?
I am by no means excusing what these four individuals did. It was evil, unnecessary, and criminal. They deserve to be prosecuted. However, it is not lost on me what cases some of you decide to comment on and the language you use to do it.