EVE condemns the brutality in Chicago where four young adults abducted, beat, humiliated, and cut on a mentally disabled young man. This was reported on January 5, 2017. EVE’s initial assessment of the actions, based on racialized comments, indicate this was a hate crime.
In October 2015, three Idaho football players sodomized a mentally disabled teenager. This was legally determined to be a racially motivated hate crime (sentencing pending in February). Race, religious, gender, and sexual orientation hate crimes are not rare, but is this trend growing? One specific fact to recognize is the vulnerability factor of both cases related to disability. Hate violence is simply easier if the victim is relatively defenseless.
EVE encourages our friends and community to consider the following:
1. Call out hate crimes when the suspects belong to your racial, sex, ethnic, etc. group.;
2. Recognize the greater need to protect persons with disabilities, they not only need better support services, they need society to recognize they are more vulnerable to crime; and,
3. Don’t buy into the identity politics of these tragedies! Some are using these to perpetuate stereotypes and/or to scapegoat groups that are not responsible.
Please continue to fight for justice and equity with an objective lens. We must be willing to face difficult facts and be brave enough to refute those who try to manipulate these tragedies for political gain. This is a joint statement representing the views of the EVE Coalition of Oklahoma.
Dr. Dwain Pellebon and Sara Bana, Co-Founders