Chicago attack sparks outrage as hate crimes in US rise

DAILY SABAH
Istanbul
Published

A racially charged torture-attack in Chicago against a white man with mental disabilities by four African Americans is sparking outrage from coast to coast in the U.S. After nearly a decade under the leadership of the country's first black president, interracial tensions seem to have only worsened.

Austin Hillbourn was kidnapped and tortured this week in a shocking hate crime which was streamed live on the internet, bringing the racism debate in the U.S. to a extreme level of urgency. The four attackers streamed the assault on the man live in a 30-minute video on Facebook, which has since been censored for graphic content. In the video, the victim can be seen forced to drink out of a toilet, beaten and even partially scalped while his captors laughed as he bled, hurling hateful, racial slurs and ideology as shocking as the video itself: "*F*ck Donald Trump!" and "F*ck white people!" The perpetrators are seen in the video laughing and joking. Law enforcement has already charged all four of them with a hate crime, felony aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. The two male kidnappers had been recently released from prison and also face charges of residential burglary.

On social media, Twitter users including conservatives and alt-right activitists as well as Trump supporters have expressed outrage over the attack, linking it to Black Lives Matter under the hashtag #BLMKidnapping. The BLM figureheads have since condemned the act, claiming it had nothing to do with the group. BLM is not an official organization but a social movement with partial international outreach; it is not officially controlled by anyone.

Not much else is concretely known for the time being, however the event has already fired up a massive internet response, mainly from the Trump and alt-right camps. Discussion panels on mainstream media are still trying to figure out whether or not to even call the event a hate crime. This has only been the latest in a series of anti-Trump and even anti-white inspired crimes committed by African Americans. Online footage shows people being brutally beaten, showing one man was taken out of his car and beaten on the street while the surrounding crowd yelled, "He voted for Trump! Get his a**!" As time goes by, it seems that the amount of attacks being perpetrated is increasing but their severity is also intensifying.

The "Black Lives Matter" campaign didn't start to pick up steam until the controversial shooting of Michael Brown in 2014. Initially, the matter sparked massive outrage across the country and fueled rage against local law enforcement as well. Various narratives started to be thrown around. The U.S. Department of Justice eventually concluded that Wilson shot Brown in self-defense but that only fueled the outrage of BLM, who claimed that it was "institutional racism" that got Wilson exonerated.

BLM has gathered most of its support under the banner of anti-violence and struggle against "institutional" racism against African-Americans, however BLM supporters have been documented both committing and calling for violence themselves numerous times. An infamous YouTube video which has gathered over half a million views shows BLM protesters chanting, "What do we want, dead cops! When do we want it? Now!" The 2016 shooting of Dallas police officers, which resulted in the deaths of five people and 11 more injured by a radical BLM supporter also fueled the anti-BLM backlash.

Major "race riots" that transpired under the Obama administration have been mainly triggered by protests inspired by allegedly unjustified police-related violence. The infamous 2014 Ferguson Missouri riots which resulted in countless acts of looting and vandalism as well as injuries of both members of the public and police officers is only the biggest of half a dozen of them.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter