That said, I would tend to agree — though for vastly different reasons — that this atrocity was not a hate crime. It was worse. As is often the case with atrocities committed by teenagers in the inner city, it appeared that the primary motivation was not a hatred for the victim but a total indifference to him. They were not shouting in anger. They didn’t seem to be enraged at all. They were laughing. They were amused. They were having the time of their lives.Share
They didn’t abduct their victim and torture him because they had something against him. They abducted and tortured him because they thought nothing of him. They found his pain and fear to be utterly hilarious. It was all just a bit of recreation. They weren’t exacting revenge on an enemy — they were toying with an insect. They were pulling the legs off a grasshopper. The grasshopper happened to be a human being, but that distinction was meaningless in their eyes.
What really struck me about the video, and what always strikes me when another wave of rioting and arson breaks out ostensibly in response to “police brutality,” and what strikes me about the sky high murder rate in the inner city, etc., is that those responsible do not appear to have a conscience. Hatred, for them, would be a step up. Hatred is human. It’s emotional and passionate, albeit dangerously misdirected. But there’s something to work with. A hateful person feels something, at least. He feels the wrong things, but feeling the wrong thing is better than feeling nothing. And that’s what I see in the video: people who feel nothing. That’s what I see all over our cities, in fact.
There’s a reason why over 760 people were murdered in Chicago last year. Yes, some of it was motivated by ordinary, old fashioned hate, some by greed, some by jealousy. But mostly, those victims died because the people responsible simply had no regard for them. It was nothing personal. It’s just that being a murderous gangster is cool and trendy in the inner city, plus you get that sweet tear drop tattoo to go along with it. We always hear about the cases where black kids shoot each other over shoes and so forth, but they don’t really shoot each other over shoes. They shoot each other because they feel like shooting each other. The shoes are just an added incentive.
It’s no surprise that the lack of human conscience has reached such a crisis level in the city. William Golding already illustrated this for us in 1954 when he wrote Lord of the Flies. When kids are left alone on an island without any guidance from their parents, they turn into savages. As a fallen species, savagery is our default state. We need strong families, strict discipline, clear guidance, and a foundation of faith in order to grow beyond those impulses and develop into decent, civilized adults. Our consciences must be formed. They don’t come ready made. They come as clay and must be molded. If they aren’t, they will eventually dry up, turn to dust, and blow away in the wind. (Read more.)