Black thugs terrorize white students!
February 21, 2002 4:02 AM   Subscribe

Black thugs terrorize white students! So the hooligans specifically target people who they think are white. Soon however they are all caught and put in jail. But these hoodlums were not prosecuted under any hate crime laws. But it gets better: Somehow, David Duke gets involved... and the story still hasn't broke nationally!
posted by Keen (30 comments total)
And I apologize for the google cache link... only news I could find online, I heard about it on the radio. If anyone has updated links please post!

And I also promise not to use thugs, hooligans, and hoodlums all in one post again.
posted by Keen at 4:03 AM on February 21, 2002

Wrong link?
posted by talos at 4:12 AM on February 21, 2002

Dag it! You are right. I bookmarked the wrong google cache.... sorry let me find the right one.
posted by Keen at 4:14 AM on February 21, 2002

Ok, I figured out what happened. I bookmarked that last night, and google must have updated their cache, because it was correct last night I know... but the second link is right at least.

Anyway heres another one written yesterday:

Click Here!

and one from today:

Click here!
posted by Keen at 4:22 AM on February 21, 2002

It's no surprise that David Duke is involved. The only reason to make a few muggings a national story is to race bait.
posted by rcade at 5:16 AM on February 21, 2002

This is hard to judge. On one hand, yes, if these crimes were racially-motivated, then they fit the definition of a hate crime. On the other hand, white-on-black crime differs from black-on-white crime in that society generally resonates with prejudice against the black community. Therefore, the factors that influence these crimes have a different element to them, and I believe black-on-white crime should be judged less severely than white-on-black crime, but still with an extended sentence due to the nature of hatred.

Given this topic, I have thought of several scenarios that I challenge anyone to take up:

1. A black man tries to mug a white man on the street, to which the white man responds with self-defense, an extended beating, followed by spit and an utterance of the word nigger. Does this constitute a crime? A hate crime? What kind of things can people do that changes their actions from a non-crime to a crime simply by using a racial epithet?

2. Someone beats up a black woman and makes constant, hateful remarks about her ethnicity and gender during the beating. Can someone be charged with two forms of hate crime?

3. Let's say I beat someone up and make fun of his stature, calling him a little piece of shit, among other things. Where do hate crimes stop? Does age, height, or even disability get an edge in extending someone's sentence due to the nature of their motivation to abuse someone else?

4. Is it conceivable for someone to be charged with committing a hate crime on someone of their own race?

Just some thoughts.....I've been arguing these points with my roommate for the past two hours, so I'd appreciate if any enlightened individuals could offer us some historical cases involving such matters, or at least some influential opinions.

posted by Mach3avelli at 5:19 AM on February 21, 2002

Mach3avelli's post illustrates why the whole "hate-crime" concept is broken. Treating crime based on "hate" as somehow "different" leads to all sorts of logical inconsistencies and dead-ends that are difficult to resolve.

Having said that; Mach3avelli why should white on black crime be punished any differently than black on white? Because they historically were oppressed? If that's the rationale, can the same reasoning be used to say that crimes by jews against muslims should be punished less harshly than the reverse? Simply because they have gotten the shittier deal from history?

And before people jump all over me about my language, I know that slavery is horrible and a crime against human decency. I know it amounts to more than a shitty deal. I am not interested in those kinds of semantic arguments. I am interested to know why people think that one kind of crime is less egregious than an another, when only the race of the perp and victim are changed.
posted by Irontom at 5:31 AM on February 21, 2002

Hrm, well in some parts of the black community, there is 'hatred' twards white people. Certanly, more black people (as a persentage) hate white people then do white people hate black people. And black people have been convicted under hate crime laws for black-on-white crime.

Also, it apears as though this so-called 'black-on-white' crime is only labled as such david duke and this president of the "European-American Unity and Rights Organization" are bitching. These guys havn't even been caught yet, how could we possibly know their motivation?
posted by delmoi at 6:00 AM on February 21, 2002

----Irontron and Mach3avelli are quite right, but they they neglect to add that there is more to a "hate" crime than race. Racism is not what the stiffer "hate" crime punishes - the "hate" bit is more like a deterrent, or a message that says "we're not going to tolerate this sort of belief in this form or any other".
----The hate has everything to do with the motive of the criminal, so as it turns out, the "logical inconsistencies" that irontron notes are the same as the logical inconsistencies involved in all punishment, which are encountered often and discussed endlessly here and everywhere else.
----Puinishing hate is stupid because you never know when you're doing it right, and because it creates more hate. Thinking that hate crime laws should be applied only given the accepted historical context of the crime (and the hate) simply because it is this history that gave people the idea to invent the laws is misguided also. The only reason we should ever punish someone for "hatred" is if the crime was carried out with specific and premeditated racist intent, and if this hate somehow makes the perpetrator more dangerous.
----Just wondering: in your opinion, is racism wrong or stupid? I think it is stupid, and irrational - it isn't wrong because racist belief is something that one believes, quite sincerely. It is 'wrong' to the extent that opening an umbrella indoors is wrong, or believing that you are clever enough to counter anything I post.
----However objectionable I might find someone's beliefs, I would be uncomfortable punishing someone for sincere beliefs (have some sympathy for (some) judges). Isolation and rehabilitation maybe, but it isn't like you're going to convince these people they racism is wrong with 15 years in prison (most likely surrounded by other young black males) and then blam back in the world with a tie and a resume and a dream and those are tomatoes there is the truck. Perhaps an insanity plea would go down well here, since those involved were admittedly acting in what we define as an irrational manner.
----Whelp, my "Intro to Philosophy" class begins at 9:40. First day. I go to art school. I'm going to hate it, hate it, hate it. Ugh. Sorry about the length of my post.
posted by Settle at 6:10 AM on February 21, 2002

mach3avelli: "I believe black-on-white crime should be judged less severely than white-on-black crime..."

Treating two people differently simply because of the color of their skin. Hmmm ... where have I heard that before? Don't think that story ever has a happy ending.

(on preview) demoi: "Certanly, more black people (as a persentage) hate white people then do white people hate black people"

Either you're privy to some statistics I'm not aware of, or you're just spouting off. If we're just guessing, I'd guess that there's a bell curve of racial hatred that applies equally for whites and blacks, and that the percentages would be pretty damn close. But that's a guess -- I doubt "racial hatred" is measurable.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:15 AM on February 21, 2002


Well, I'm just basing this on my personal experiance. It seems to me that black people are a lot more 'racialy sensitive' in general then white people, more likely to talk about it, etc. Whereas for white people it's just a non-issue.

For example, when I was visiting my dad a while back I was driving around with his girlfriend's daughter and her friend. They saw a white girl walking around and the friend said something like "She's pretty cool for a white girl, one of the nicest ones I know."

I can't imagine an 'average' white person ever saying something like that. Of course, most of the white people I know are from iowa, and those chicks were from texas, which is a much more racist place in general.
posted by delmoi at 6:26 AM on February 21, 2002

delmoi, I don't disagree that for one reason or another it's more socially acceptable for blacks to specifically mention and distinguish on the basis of race (support: just play the old "change the race" game with things like the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, the UNCF -- I'm not suggesting anything derogatory, just stating facts that you can interpret in your own way). But I think it's a mistake to use that to conclude that there is more hatred of whites by blacks. Again, totally uninformed me guesses the percentage of hatred is the same, but with whites tends to stay below the surface (which is probably more dangerous).
posted by pardonyou? at 6:43 AM on February 21, 2002

I believe black-on-white crime should be judged less severely than white-on-black crime,

That's the most appalling thing I've read in a while. Crime is crime. Motive and context are relevant, but not nearly enough to overturn the basic concepts of justice and equal protection under the law.
posted by rushmc at 6:43 AM on February 21, 2002

Delmoi's got a good point. But I don't think race is so much a non-issue for whites as it is the fact that we are afraid, by and large, to speak on the issue. For one, we do realize that there is some measure of white priviledge in this world, and that embarasses us, since we'd all like to believe that the US is a meritocracy (which it is to a good extent, I'd add); for two, even the most innocent and discussions of race and race relations between whites and blacks is fraught with the obvious hazard - the legitimate grievances of blacks versus the temporal separation of whites from the roots of those grievances combined with the dichotomy of sincerely wanting equality for all while at the same time not wanting their own cultural precepts to change. For three, most whites just simply do not know what to do (or even say) when challenged by blacks on racism, other to say things like "some of my best friends are black," etc., and try to avoid being personally labelled as a racist. For four, since blacks are still a numerical minority, there is a sizable portion of the white population that has simply never had any extended contact with either blacks or black culture. Considering ignorance contributes to racism, this ensures that a core population of whites continues to rely on stereotypes to define blacks, because they simply don't have any other experience, and it is experience interacting with blacks that, imo, contributes the most to the breaking down of the cultural walls the contribute to inequality.

Am I nuts, or does that sound accurate?
posted by UncleFes at 6:54 AM on February 21, 2002

Arg... I searched that site but I couldn't find the first story I tried to link.

So basically:

No question about this being a hate crime. The victims where chosen simply because of their skin color. If some "champions of the white race" deicded to terrorize blacks like this, the CNN would be all over it. They'd get hate crime laws smacked on them... and if they didn't the media machine of Jesse Jackson and/or Al Sharpton would make a visit to the town.

But its black on white violence. So instead they get some sorry coverage by a website that doesn't even archive its news, and instead of Jackson-Sharpton they get David Duke! David Duke!!

So my prediction is that if it makes CNN and the other news channels, they story will focus on Duke being involved, and will make the white kids looks bad.

And I'm still not sure who exactly called in Dukes? Was it the kids? Or did he just decide to stop by? Either way he is way worse than Jackson-Sharpton I think, and his involvment won't lead to any sympathy for the white kids.
posted by Keen at 7:17 AM on February 21, 2002

Punishing "hate crimes" strictly is just another case of considering motive when sentencing. It is uncontroversial that someone who premeditatedly kills his father to gain his inheritance deserves a more severe punishment than someone who kills a man in a drunken brawl. No one complains that covetousness has become a thought

Someone who hurts or kills people because of race is probably a much greater danger to society than many other kinds of criminals. Someone who beats up whites or blacks or gays just because they are white/black/gay, whose purpose is to hurt someone, has the potential to hurt a lot more people than someone who beats his wife or beat someone to rob them.

Futhermore, that kind of crime hurts society in general, it poisons our efforts at reconcilliation between whites and blacks.

You can argue about how important each of these factors is compared with other sorts of crimes, but I think it's legitimate to pass laws (even if "hate crimes" is a clumsy title) that compel judges to take these motives into account as aggrivating factors in sentencing.
posted by straight at 7:24 AM on February 21, 2002

[Am I nuts, or does that sound accurate?]

You're most likely nuts, but that does sound accurate.
posted by revbrian at 7:53 AM on February 21, 2002

Okay, one more amusing scenario:

A black man beats up a white man, the whole time proclaiming how great black people are. He never calls the white guy cracker or any other racial slurs, sticking only to speech associated with black pride. Is this a hate crime?
posted by Mach3avelli at 8:06 AM on February 21, 2002

Mach3avelli: see. That is why we all should not leave home without being armed. Just don';t worry over the metaphysical speculation. Shoot. Get a good lawyer. Have you parents put up bail. Then, freed, write a book and sue somebody or other.
posted by Postroad at 8:23 AM on February 21, 2002

The Daily Progress doesn't archive their news. I run, a site about Charlottesville news (duh), and we've covered this extensively. A quick chronology:

Beginning in January, white (or light-skinned) UVa students started to be attacked randomly by groups of black teenagers. Early this month, six kids (eventually ten in total) were arrested and charged with the attacks. They confessed to choosing their vicims on the basis of their race. This caused much buzz around town, and there was some question as to whether or not they'd be charged with a hate crime, as this plainly fits the legal definion. A community meeting was called, and African-American leaders said that the town was jumping to conclusions. About the same time, a white supremecy organization demanded that the black high school students be charged with committing hate crimes under Virginia's ยง 18.2-57 B. Within a few days, the police started to backpedal, saying that we don't know that they were racially-motivated, just because there was a confession to that end and just because the attackers were black and the victims were white and the victims said that they were attacked on the basis of their race. Just yesterday, the FBI said that they're not going to investigate, despite the skinheads' (or whatever they are) request that they do so. Now it's up to Commonweath's Attorney Dave Chapman to decide what he's going to charge them with.

And that's the story.
posted by waldo at 8:37 AM on February 21, 2002

Keen wrote:
So my prediction is that if it makes CNN and the other news channels, they story will focus on Duke being involved, and will make the white kids looks bad.

No it won't. They're just regular kids that got attacked, totally randomly. It would take some serious spin to make them look bad.

And I'm still not sure who exactly called in Dukes? Was it the kids? Or did he just decide to stop by?

Nobody called in Duke. We take care of things our own way in Charlottesville, and don't take kindly to outsiders trying to make us do otherwise. Duke is no exception.
posted by waldo at 8:40 AM on February 21, 2002

Hate crimes are unbelievably stupid. Assault is assault, no matter the race of the people involved. To find out what people may be thinking and charge them based on that is nutso.

The backwards application of these things (how many blacks are charged with hate crimes?) just once again treats blacks as infants and unaccountable. Which is racist in and of itself.
posted by owillis at 9:29 AM on February 21, 2002

Punishing "hate crimes" strictly is just another case of considering motive when sentencing.

Sorry, I disagree.

Let's say John Doe plans to murder the first person wearing a baseball cap whom he meets when he leaves his house tomorrow morning. John Doe hates baseball caps and anyone who wears them. He doesn't know who his victim will be. Could be the mailman, could be the elderly next door neighbor, could be just about anyone.

Jane Doe, on the other hand, plans to murder the first racial minority she sees tomorrow morning.

Each has premeditated the commision of murder, and each has picked some arbitrary flag that will single out their victim. Now, tell me why Jane should be punished more harshly than John.

Here's another: John plans to murder his father. He doesn't hate his father, he just wants the life insurance.

Jane plans to murder her father. She has hated him since she was a child, and this will be her sole reason for killing him.

Should Jane be sentenced more harshly than John? Should she be charged with a hate crime?
posted by syzygy at 10:14 AM on February 21, 2002

Says a presumably anti-hate crime laws organization: According to data from a National Crime Victimization Survey, published by the U.S. Department of Justice, only 2,336 whites were charged with anti-black "hate" crimes in 1997, while 718 blacks were charged with anti-white crimes. Adjusting for the fact that blacks make up just 13% of the population, they were statistically twice as likely as whites to face prosecution for hate crimes.
posted by mlinksva at 10:20 AM on February 21, 2002

Adjusting for the fact that blacks make up just 13% of the population, they were statistically twice as likely as whites to face prosecution for hate crimes

But that's the wrong basis to use. Rather you should relate the numbers to the percents of white-on-black vs black-on-white crimes in total.
posted by HTuttle at 10:56 AM on February 21, 2002

Hey Waldo thanks for all this info. Wish I'd have found your site before! And I really wish there was an edit function...

So I guess Dukes sees himself and group as protectors of "European-Americans"... though I'm glad the white kids who were attacked didn't call him in.
posted by Keen at 12:23 PM on February 21, 2002

The 14th ammendment of the US Constitution: the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances. It's called equal protection. Either hate crimes apply across the board or not at all. I see them as a social statement and not a deterence.
posted by Mack Twain at 12:49 PM on February 21, 2002

HTuttle: I'm not sure what calculation you're proposing. Here's what I suspect quote I posted used:

black-on-white hate crimes/black population
------------------------------------------- =~ 2
white-on-black hate crimes/white population

Which seems about right:

718/(280*.13) = 19.7 blacks/million charged with anti-white hate crimes
2336/(280*.7) = 11.9 whites/million charged with anti-black hate crimes

Of course there are many potentially confounding factors, but the numbers should at least call into question one assumption many people seem to be making: that whites get prosecuted for anti-black hate crimes and not vice versa.
posted by mlinksva at 1:11 PM on February 21, 2002

I was told there would be no math today on MeFi.
posted by Ty Webb at 1:17 PM on February 21, 2002

Ah, now that I reread your post HTuttle I suspect you're proposing the following:

black-on-white hate crime prosecutions/black-on-white crimes
------------------------------------------------------------ =~ ?
white-on-black hate crime prosecutions/white-on-black crimes

That would be an interesting statistic, but it would also be highly problemmatic.
posted by mlinksva at 1:20 PM on February 21, 2002

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