UPDATE AT 3:47 P.M. EASTERN — All four teens arrested have now been charged with hate crimes.
Chicago Police have arrested four black teenagers after they used Facebook Live to broadcast their brutal beating of a white special needs teen in what many have labeled as a hate crime. Now a CNN panelist is trying to say it’s all Trump’s fault.
In hopes to go viral, the abusers recorded themselves as they slashed the victim with a knife, yelled expletive-laden curses against Trump and all white people, and demanded that the victim curse Trump as well. They even forced him to drink out of a toilet.
The victim was found by police later that day disoriented and wearing shorts, despite the frigid Chicago weather. He was taken to the hospital.
On Thursday, CNN host Don Lemon and his host of panelist weighed in.
“I can’t say that it’s a hate crime because Chicago Police won’t say it,” Lemon began.
But “how can you say it’s not a hate crime against a white person?” he asked panelist Simone Sanders, former national press secretary for presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders.
After calling the beating “sickening” and “stupid,” she said, “We cannot callously go about classifying things as a hate crime. Motive here matters. Was this for hate of Donald Trump? Or was this for pure hate of white people? That matters.”
She continued, “Because if we start going around and, anytime anyone says something or does something really egregious, really bad, and sickening in this instance, in connection with the president-elect...or Obama, for that matter, because of their political leanings, that is slippery territory, that is not a hate crime.”
Sanders explained, “Hate crimes are because of a person’s racial ethnicity, their religion, their gender, a disability. It isn’t your political leanings. Because someone doesn’t like your political leanings, and they do something bad to you, that is not a hate crime.”
After another panelist described the attack as brutal and evil, Lemon countered, saying, “I don’t think it’s evil. I think these are young people, and I think they have bad home training. ...because no one I know on earth who is 17 years old or 70 years old would ever think of treating another person like that. It is inhumane.”
Apparently Lemon needs to pay more attention to what’s happening in the world and what has happened throughout history.
Then Sanders when on to say that the “worst parts of American have been brought from the fringe to the mainstream” during the Trump campaign, but what she said next was clear that she wasn’t talking about the anti-Trump rioters.
“We’ve talked about white nationalists, and white supremacists, and the KKK, but also when this inflammatory rhetoric is out there, when someone is repeatedly telling you that your community is the worst of the worst, it brings out the worst of the worst in people,” she said.
In other words, Sanders is blaming hateful crimes by anti-Trump people on Trump himself.
“This [brutal attack] didn’t just come out of thin air,” she insisted.
Surprisingly, even Lemon thought Sanders took it too far, telling her that these teen attackers probably aren’t plugged into the election cycle enough to be motivated to such extreme violence by it.
Sanders countered him, insisting that the teens were inspired by things they saw Trump say on Twitter.
“It’s coming to bare it’s ugly head,” she proclaimed.
She also said black teens have to be treated differently than white people because of a history of racism and segregation in America, even though she insisted she wasn’t “making excuses” for the attackers.
“It’s not the same thing” as if a white person was instigating the attack, she made clear, before claiming again that Trump’s treatment of America’s first black president helped lead to this.
What do you think of this?