The Christopher Lane Murder Wasn't a Tragedy, It Was a Hate Crime


Three Oklahoma teens are accused of shooting and killing 23-year-old Chris Lane, an Australian student visiting the United States on a baseball scholarship. Sixteen-year-old Chancey Luna, along with his friends James Edwards and Michael Jones, have been charged in connection to the slaying. Not only was the case possibly a hate crime, it should spark a national conversation about the way our media treats race.

The tweets and Facebook status updates from accounts linked to James Edwards paint a very clear picture of someone obsessed with violence and hatred for white people. Edwards had no problem putting violent and hate-filled messages like "90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM." or "knocked out 5 woods since Zimmerman court." out for public consumption. "Woods" is a slang term for white people.

Young men with an affinity for violence, boredom, and underlying racism made for a deadly cocktail. With all this information available the Department of Justice should look into adding a hate-crime charge to the alleged killers' cases. Especially now, following the Department of Justice opening an investigation into George Zimmerman, a case where Zimmerman's entire history of helping and working with African Americans was completely ignored, I would say there is much more evidence of racism here than there ever was in the Zimmerman case.

Unfortunately, President Obama has had a tendency to hop onto any tragedy he can comment on without fully understanding what happened. He managed to insult the Cambridge Police Department and state that if he had a son he would look like Trayvon Martin. So I find it oddly suspicious that the president's substitute Press Secretary Josh Earnest hadn't even heard of the case, and had no comment prepared. We've also heard nothing from Reverend Al Sharpton who is allegedly a civil-rights icon. The media, which ignored Zimmerman's past charity work, his opening of businesses with black business partners, and specifically misled the public time and time again with the details of the case, now has nothing to say when two black teenagers shoot a white college student for sport.

Our media treats black-on-white crime differently than it treats white-on-black crime. That doesn't exactly showcase equality, does it? While I disagree with the media characterizing Zimmerman as white in an effort to produce a racial aspect of the trial, it gave us a view into just how different the media treats interracial violence. If we want to be post-racial, shouldn't we be treating all interracial violence equally?

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Mike Mulraney

Media Coordinator in New York State. University of Scranton '12. Former campaign advisor. Social media veteran of federal campaigns. Two-time College Republican President, Founding Member Young Americans for Liberty - University of Scranton Chapter, Former Op-Ed writer for The Aquinas and Save Jersey, former host of The Spectrum on 99.5 WUSR FM.

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