After President Barack Obama said the murder of fives Dallas police officers was a “hate crime,” EBONY editor Jamilah Lemieux said she wasn’t “comfortable” with the use of the term to describe the murder of white police officers.
“I have to say, I would not describe ‘hate crime’ as the most comfortable word choice, considering these circumstances,” she said on CNN Wednesday.
So far the only account of Micah Xavier Johnson‘s motive has come from police, who say he said he wanted to kill white people. “There’s so much that we do not know about what took place, what motivated this person. We only have the one account of law enforcement,” Lemieux said.
Furthermore, she argued, “when we use a phrase like ‘hate crime,’ we’re typically referring to crimes against people of color, people of various religious groups, LGBT people, people who have been historically attacked, abused or disenfranchised on the basis of their identity. To now extend that to the majority group and a group of people that have a history with African-Americans that has been abusive– and we can apply that to either police officers or to Caucasians– I think gets into very tricky territory.”
CNN contributor and former FBI agent Steve Moore wasn’t buying that argument. “You can’t just say that only certain groups are allowed to be hated, only certain groups can have crimes designated as hate crimes against them,” he replied. “That’s racism.”
Watch the exchange above, via CNN.
[Image via screengrab]
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