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Snapshot

A horrific tape and the American media’s reaction to it tells a lot about the discourse around racism in USA today

Chicago is a city where almost 800 people were murdered in 2016. If you look at this statistics page, you will see that four out of five victims were black, and as far as police know, four out of five of the murderers were black. For the sake of diversity, perhaps, four blacks took captive a white mentally disabled man the other day, held him for 24 hours, bound him, tortured him, and broadcast the whole thing on social media, on the Facebook account of one of the group, a Miss Brittany Herring.

On the video — which you can watch here (NSFW) — the thugs (two men, two women) cut the terrified man’s clothes off with a knife. You can hear one of the men off-camera barking, “F–k Donald Trump, boy! F**k white people, boy!” The young woman who seems to filming these sounds like she’s drunk or high.

“I [will] cut his motherf**king head off!” one of the men says, after he has already sliced into the bound man’s skull with a knife.

You can hear them just off camera yelling threats at the man, striking him, and hearing him scream.

“This sh*t is hilarious,” the woman says.

“Smack his ass!” You hear a slap against skin. “Slap him again!”

“You shoulda suck Donald Trump d**k and told him not to be president!”

That’s just in the first five minutes. I couldn’t take any more than that. The video goes on for half an hour. Watch the whole thing, if you can stand it. A Chicago TV station reports that later in the video, the captors force the man to drink toilet water.

Chicago police found the disabled man wandering the streets in the harsh Chicago winter, wearing nothing but shorts. They ended up arresting the four alleged torturers. In a press conference about the crime, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who is black, and Commander Kevin Duffin (the local authority in charge of the investigation), who is white, indicated a belief that this horrifying event, though disgusting, might not be such a big racial or political deal after all:

“Kids make stupid mistakes, I shouldn’t call them kids, they are legally adults, but they are young adults and the make stupid decisions,” Duffin said of the vulgar remarks about Trump and white people. “That certainly will be part of whether or not we seek a hate crime, determine whether or not this is sincere or stupid ranting and raving.”

The suspects are 18, Duffin said.

“It’s sickening,” Johnson said of the video. “It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that. I’ve been a cop for 28 years and I’ve seen things you shouldn’t see in a lifetime, but it still amazes me how you still things you just shouldn’t. I’m not going to say it shocked me, but it was sickening.”

Johnson said the incident doesn’t appear to be politically motivated

“I think part of it is just stupidity,” Johnson said. “People ranting about something they think might make a headline. At this point we don’t have anything concrete to point (toward a hate crime) but we’ll keep investigating and let the facts guide us on how this concludes.”

Wait … what?! In what sense can what we see on this video — the beating, the cutting, the anti-white racist abuse — be taken as insincere? Is it less racist torture and brutality if the black brutalizers didn’t really mean it? How, exactly, does that work?

Is there any doubt in the world that had this been whites doing this to a kidnapped, bound, mentally disabled black man, that the media would not be in crisis mode? Anderson Cooper would have had to have been pulled out of a fetal position and put on a plane to Chicago for days of live broadcasting. Would the Chicago police have had the cheek to speculate that the brutal crimes recorded on the video might not be “sincere,” and might not be a “hate crime,” even though the abusive language directed towards the victim is heavily racialized (and politicized)?

Of course not. There is a double standard at work here.

And liberals in the media and elsewhere wonder why Trump got elected.

Chicago, governed by Democrat Rahm Emanuel, is plainly a city out of control. This incident, and the police reaction to it, gives some insight into why.

This piece was first published in the American Conservative and has been republished here with permission.