Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Let’s Talk About Race Again… ‘Cause It’s Either That or Miley Cyrus

Considering what today is – the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech – it seems only right and proper for me to discuss race.

Yet again.

(I know. I know. It’s getting annoying. But when the alternative is to dredge up the whole Miley Cyrus ridiculousness, I think it’s the more pleasant of the two topics.)

On Sunday, three teenaged girls brutally assaulted a 32-year-old woman in Pittsburgh. They threw a bottle at her car and, when she confronted them about it, grabbed her by the hair, punched her so hard that she bashed her head into nearby concrete steps, and then further beat her up as she lay there helpless. According to police, she was also robbed and called a racial slur.

The girls were all black, the victim white. And so the heartless and downright stupid criminals, who were arrested quickly enough, now face a slew of charges, including ethnic intimidation.

Now I know I’ve railed against hate crimes on this blog before. But I don’t just take issue when it’s black people accusing whites of racial targeting. It’s just as harmful the other way around.

Why?

For the absurdly simple reason that human life is human life, regardless of skin color. It should be treated with consideration. Period. End of story. This should not be a tough one, people!

Personally, I’m not convinced the attack was racially motivated in the first place. My guess is that the teenaged hoodlums involved would have done the same exact thing to a black, Asian, Native American, Hispanic or Middle Eastern woman if the opportunity presented itself.

As for that racial slur they allegedly threw around? I’m sure they did “go there.” But judging by their despicable behavior, I’m sure they’ve also thrown around the N word a time or two as well.

None of that should factor in, however. Not when it comes to charges. Even if they only use derogatory language towards people of different races, that doesn’t change anything. Their crime of being revolting human beings isn’t altered one bit.

If the inalienable property of human life is too difficult a concept to fathom, try looking at it this way… Do you really think that the victim would be less traumatized if it had been three white teenagers who had beaten her up?

Crime is crime and should be treated as… well… crime. Extending harsher or additional sentencing based on skin color is racist, not to mention completely counterproductive.

It only helps us to focus on our differences instead of our similarities… like our mutual disgust with Miley Cyrus.

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