“Reverse Racism” or Simply “Racism”?

Note: This article reflects only the opinions of the author, and does not reflect the opinions of Her Campus as a whole.

On Wednesday, January 4th, a video of a mentally-disabled black man being tortured by a group of white teenagers surfaced on the internet after it was lived-streamed on Facebook. The teens were seen shouting “F*ck black people!” in the video as they shaved the victim’s head until it bled, and forced him to drink from the toilet (among other torturous acts). This video, which clearly exhibited a hate crime, was denounced at first by the police as mere “stupid decisions” by teenagers and that, although clearly a hate crime as evidenced by the video, Chicago Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that the investigators “don’t have anything concrete to point [them] in that direction [of a hate crime].”

Are you outraged (and confused) yet as to why this was not immediately concluded to be a hate crime?

Well, you should be, although the story was a bit different from what I’ve explained. Chicago police were actually faced with a black-on-white hate crime, because the victim was actually a mentally-disabled white man, and the perpetrators were a group of four black eighteen-year-olds who ruthlessly tortured this man for hours. They live-streamed a half-hour of it and repeatedly shouted “F*ck white people! F*ck Donald Trump!”

If there was so much evidence towards this being a hate crime (the Google definition being “a crime motivated by racial, sexual, or other prejudice, typically one involving violence”), since they were torturing him for being white, then why was there such a delay in prosecuting the attackers as such, as well as even denouncing the crime as just a “stupid” decision on part of the teenagers? Perhaps the answer lies in our politically-correct society of demoralizing any racism towards whites as “reverse racism” or conveying to millennials that only whites can be racist, and that people from any other race are always the victims.

FBI data shows that — although this was not widely spread in the media — there were 500 white deaths attributed to blacks in 2015 in the US, while 229 blacks were killed by whites in the same year. Now, it's important to note that there are of course more white Americans than black Americans (nearly six times as many according to the most recent census) but I put forth this data not to demean any lives taken by any race, but rather to show that yes, there will be whites that are racist towards blacks, but the same is true for blacks against whites.

This quieting of racism towards whites seems to create an even larger divide between races. Perhaps rather than constantly saying that all whites are racist, and that blacks and Hispanics are always victims because of their minority status, we should recognize that the media unabatedly creating divides between races only perpetuates the problem of racism. Indeed, we should be aware of the problem of racism in this country, or in any country, but, rather than fixating on the problem, there should be a more widespread attempt at finding a solution.

*None of these images belong to the author or Her Campus.