As I usually do late at night, I was scouring the web last evening, reading newspapers from various locations and basically just trying to find any reason not to go to bed.  I happened upon an updated news story about the murder of Christopher Lane and thought I’d take a peek to see what was new.  The article expanded on the paper’s edition from earlier in the day to mention the disturbing tweets of one of Chris Lane’s executioners, James Edwards.  Odd, the article had referenced the tweets as being racially charged and pointing to gang related activities, but they did not post them.

We need background checks, a federal registry and a two battery limit. It's for the children...

We need background checks, a federal registry and a two battery limit. It’s for the children…

I read to the end of the article with my interest piqued, but wasn’t really in any mood to spend more time searching for the hateful expressions of a sociopath.  I scrolled down and noticed over 600 comments on the story and thought, what the heck this could be a good read.  Well, not quite.  There was a lot of back and forth, in-your-face commentary on both sides of the issue, if you could imagine there being any more than one side when the issue at hand is the cold-blooded murder of an innocent human being out for a jog.

I noticed there were a lot of “this isn’t racist, one of them was white” themed comments, completely absolving the other two young feral teenagers of their obvious, overt racism.  Wait, what?  But I guess it makes sense; if you can describe Zimmerman as a “white-Latino” to broaden your application of the “Racial hate crime” theme, then you’re obviously free to say that having another murderous cretin in the back seat while on your killing spree who happens to be white gets you get a pass.  I thought blacks couldn’t be racists just because they were, well, black.  Doesn’t that cover it?  Now they’re not racists if they have a “crazy-ass cracker” riding shotgun.  I better write this down; the rules seem a little more complicated than I had thought.

Probably the one series of comments that stuck out the most was a diatribe on guns being the cause and how we gun nuts are what’s really killing today’s youth, glamorizing gun culture to make up for the lack of girth and length in our private lives.  Of course, no one could quite engage the writer nor get him to explain how the gun got up, drove the car, lie in wait, and then magically discharged itself squarely into the back of Christopher Lane. Neat trick all the way around.  Oh and it was probably responsible for sending all those racist tweets about nasty whites, as other commenters were quite sure that there was no way anyone could prove Edwards had written those or any of the other offensive material on his Facebook page.

Just before I shut down for the night, I noticed a little blurb on the side margin, a link to a story about the beating death of an 88-year-old WWII vet in Washington.  I clicked the link and read the short, heartbreaking story but information was limited and the suspects were not identified.  Just that the vet had succumbed to a vicious beating and police were reviewing surveillance videos.  With morning comes clarity, as stark as it can often be and we find that poor Delbert “Shorty” Belton was beaten to death by two young black men with heavy flashlights, prompting doctors to comment that he was bleeding profusely from all parts of his face.  If Obama had a grandfather..well, you know.

Not quite sure if we can discuss this event rationally, race being involved and all.  I’m quite happy to call both of these racially motivated hate crimes, but I’m sure there will be some magical application of an extenuating circumstance that would dismiss this charge.  Can’t be a hate crime.  Belton was sitting outside an Eagles Lodge waiting for a friend, probably around other white people and as we now know from the application of the “General Racist Proximity Theory” shown in the Chris Lane murder, like kryptonite, localized whiteness destroys racism. Maybe he was following them, the intimidating 88-year-old that he probably was, as they skipped happily along with their flashlights full of skittles, oblivious to the danger right behind them. I expect we’ll shortly see the face of Delbert Belton’s killers plastered on the papers, looking some 10-15 years younger than they currently appear, quite possibly some angelic pictures from kindergarten or if the crime is particularly heinous, maybe the press can find some shots intra-utero.  For the real picture of who they are however, we may just have to read a paper from outside the U.S., one that maybe isn’t so tied into excusing the actions of our press’s preferred victim class. In any event, the flashlight made them do it, the fault of all those flashlight nuts and their civilization destroying flashlight culture.

Yesterday I was Christopher Lane.  Today, I’m Shorty.