Yesterday, 23 year old Justin walked into a gas station in northwest Detroit to purchase a pack of cigarettes. While he was standing in line a man accused him of standing to close to him and began spouting hateful slurs at him. The man beat Justin and no one stepped in to break it up or call the police. They just stood by and watched. Justin is now suffering from a broken eye socket from the attack.
Justin reported the crime to the police. However, for now they are classifying the report as an assault instead of a hate crime. This crime has hate written all over it. That goes back to my other post State Rankings In Hate Crimes, what is actually reported as hate crimes may not actually be the true statistics. It all depends on the officer who is filing the report and how they classify the crime.
It is a shame that Justin had to go through this. No one should ever have to go through what Justin went through. The people standing by and watching the crime unfold in front of their eyes have more power than they think they do to stop the crime. They have the power to stop crimes like these. The more of a negative reaction the violator gets from the bi-standers, the less likely the man will commit the crime again. Now, that he feels he got away with the crime, he is more likely to commit the crime again against someone else. If the people were to band together with Justin, it may have never escalated to the point of Justin getting beat by his attacker. People can stop hate crimes if they choose to. But, we have become a society where we would prefer not to get involved giving strength to people like Justin's attacker. Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.