What did race have to do with Kroger attack? Nothing.

I wonder if this will quiet the online bigots insistent that the black teens who attacked a shopper (and two employees, one black and one white) in the Kroger parking lot Sept. 6 were motivated by race.

The story from Linda A. Moore at  The Commercial Appeal:

Mark Sauser, whose 17-year-old son, a high school senior, is seen unconscious and under assault on the video, told commissioners he has forgiven his son’s attackers. Though there was speculation that the African-American teenagers involved in the assault targeted the worker because he was white, Sauser said he believes his son was not attacked because of his race, but because he was there.

Sauser goes on to say:

“These are our families. These are our children. And I think we cannot overcome this type of evil by finger pointing or saying we should have done this, we should have done that,” Sauser said. “I think we need to look forward to what we can do together as a community. We also need to find common ground for what we can do to help our families and children.”

Wise man. I explained why the attack wasn’t a hate crime here.

To some who watched a grainy cellphone video of Saturday’s brutal mob attack outside an East Memphis grocery store, the math is simple: Black assailants plus white victim equals hate crime.

As further proof, these critics point to the inelegant remark made by a black woman who watched and videotaped the crowd of black teens pouring across a Kroger parking lot.

As several teens kicked a white Kroger worker who curled into a fetal position to protect himself, the woman can be heard on the video laughing and saying, “They got a white dude.”

But the insistence that the federal government investigate the attack as a hate crime — as actor James Woods demanded on Twitter this week — illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what a hate crime is, say legal observers.


Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate crimes, said Woods’ logic was often employed by white nationalists who “call for crimes like this to be charged as hate crimes when there is no evidence to support this.”

“Many people feel that any kind of interracial violent crime is a hate crime and that’s not true,” Potok said.

Here’s the state law on civil rights intimidation, which is Tennessee’s version of federal hate crime legislation.

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