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The Trump Era

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Democratic Strategist Not Sure Chicago Torture Video Constitutes a Hate Crime

January 5th 2017

Campus crime

Tonight, CNN’s Don Lemon gathered a panel to discuss the story of a disturbing Facebook Live video out of Chicago in which a group of young black adults broadcast their torture of a young white mentally disabled man. While holding their victim hostage, they cut his scalp, burned him with cigarettes and kicked him, all while shouting “f*ck Donald Trump! F*ck white people!”

At the beginning of the conversation, Lemon turned to CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Symone Sanders. Stating that he can’t say it’s a hate crime because police are still investigating, he asked the former Bernie Sanders campaign spox her thoughts.

After calling it “sickening,” Sanders gave the following observation: “But I’m gonna say something that’s probably not very popular — we cannot callously go about classifying things as a hate crime.”

After wondering if it were hate for Trump or white people, she expanded on he point. “If we start going around and anytime someone says or does something egregious or bad and sickening in sense,” she noted. “In connection with the president-elect Donald Trump or even President Obama for that matter because of their political leanings, that’s slippery territory. That is not a hate crime.”

Fellow panelist Alice Stewart was next to weigh in and while agreeing with Sanders the crime was “sickening,” she also said that she “hoped it was classified” as a hate crime.

Later on in the discussion, Sanders would argue that much of the rhetoric of the presidential election may have had an impact on the attackers and other troubled young people, which would draw some condemnation from Lemon himself who explained that they probably don’t even watch the news.

If Sanders seems familiar, it’s probably because you remember her mockingly exclaiming “Oh my goodness, poor white people” during an on-air conversation about a Trump supporter beaten by a mob. She’s also said the Democratic Party doesn’t “need white people leading” it right now and the election of Trump put “white supremacy into the White House.”


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