(Kansas City, MO) In early March, just a few days after Trayvon Martin was shot, there was another potential hate crime that has received very little attention from the media.
It was a young 13 year old white boy set on fire by two 16 year old black teenagers in Kansas City, Missouri. The victim attends Kansas City's East High School and believes the perpetrators do too.
According to KMBC, the boy's mother said:
"They rushed him on the porch as he tried to get the door open ... (One of them) poured the gasoline, then flicked the Bic, and said, 'This is what you deserve. You get what you deserve, white boy'."
According to WIBW, the cops are still trying to find who did this as of March 27.
Of course, I wasn't there and these are simply the allegations as reported by the media. But here are my obvious questions... where are Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama on this case? Where’s the outrage from the main stream media and the accusations of racism and hate crimes? Is this case less outrageous than the Martin Case? The boy survived the attack with burns on his face and head and scars (particularly emotional) that may never heal. (Can you imagine being chased down and set on fire by other people?)
The news article says they poured gasoline on him and lit it with a lighter which “produced a large fireball that burned his face and hair.” The kid was apparently extremely lucky. If he’d inhaled those flames as they swirled around his face he could easily have died from having his lungs burned. I understand that’s a particularly horrible way to die. If there had been more gasoline involved his face and head could be terribly disfigured. But he survived. And the article says he suffered “first degree burns”, which are pretty comparable to a sunburn. Talk about lucky.
Again I ask you – is this crime less serious than the Martin shooting simply because Martin died? Anyone who has read my blogs about the Martin case knows I’m very much saddened by the death of a 17 year old kid and want justice, whatever justice is deserved and rational, to be served. I’m not minimizing Trayvon Martin’s death in any way. I’m saying that deliberately pouring gasoline on someone, particularly a 13 year old, and setting them on fire is just as bad as shooting someone – maybe worse. What did this kid do to deserve being set on fire?
So where is the media? Where are the civil rights activists who are so against racism and hate crimes? Where is the President? After all - if the President had taken on more of his mother’s family traits this 13 year old boy could look like him, couldn’t he? Are Rosie O’Donnell and Spike Lee trying to find out and post the addresses of the two perpetrators? Or is it somehow "different" because the victim was white instead of black?
One has to wonder at all these things considering the media and political attention given the Trayvon Martin case. Will this boy’s parents be invited to Washington DC for a civil rights conference? Will All and Jesse go to their home to stand with them against racially motivated hate crimes? It could happen, I suppose, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for the news coverage of it. I happen to like breathing….