Opinion

Do Racial Slurs Justify Murder?

Scott Greer Contributor
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Referees are supposed to call out unnecessary roughness, not experience it themselves.

One football ref in Texas received the hit of his life last Friday when two defensive backs viciously blindsided him during a heated rivalry game between two San Antonio high schools. The coordinated attack was believed to be in response to “bad calls” the official made against the assailants’ team. (RELATED: High School Football Players Face Criminal Charges For Attacking Referee With Blindside Hits [VIDEO])

Police are now investigating the two teens, Victor Rojas and Mike Moreno, for assault. But they have found a novel justification for their attack: the official yelled racial slurs at them.

The ref has fervently denied the accusation, and the disputed calls provide a reasonable motive for the joint attack. But that hasn’t stopped every major news outlet from giving the accusation of racism significant coverage.

Whether true or not (and it’s probably not), the fact that the accusation is getting broadcasted so widely serves the purpose of trying to excuse the heinous actions of the young players.

It’s not the first time those caught committing violence have tried to justify their behavior with claims that their victims uttered racial slurs. Another athlete, former Florida State quarterback De’Andre Johnson, was caught on camera punching a woman out at a bar. To defend his action, Johnson said the woman called him the n-word. (RELATED: Former FSU Quarterback Says He Punched Woman Because She Called Him A ‘N****r’ [VIDEO])

That excuse was widely covered by the media and even earned Johnson a few sympathetic portrayals.

Vester Flanagan, the maniac behind the Roanoke shooting, said he murdered two former co-workers on live TV because they called him racial epithets. No evidence of racism was ever found. (RELATED: Gun Control Could Not Have Stopped The Roanoke Shooting)

In 2010, Omar Thornton, a disgruntled Connecticut beer distillery employee, shot up in his workplace and killed eight before turning the gun on himself. When the media came looking for explanations, Thornton’s family said he murdered his co-workers because of racial abuse he received for being black.

Media outlets offered the racism line as the explanation for the massacre, but later found the accusations to be false. In fact, Thornton went on the shooting spree because he was fired for stealing beer from the company.

NEXT PAGE: The Most Famous Example: O.J. Simpson

The most famous example comes from the O.J. Simpson murder trial. Even to this day, many Americans can’t understand how Simpson got off when the evidence against him seemed so foolproof. One of the tactics Simpson’s legal dream team used to achieved acquittal was playing an audio clip of the detective assigned to investigating the murder, Mark Fuhrman, saying the n-word.

Even though the slur had no real bearing on the murder evidence, it was effective in trying to prove Simpson was considered the primary suspect for racial reasons.

In a case from this year, a Kentucky judge let a black man convicted of home invasion off with probation after one of the victims was found to be “prejudiced.” That victim was the the three-year-old daughter of the family the forgiven criminal held at gunpoint. According to her parents, the toddler was now frightened of black men as a result of the violent home invasion she experienced at the hands of African-American males.

This statement infuriated Judge Olu Stevens. As he let off one of the home invaders with a slap on the wrist, he condemned the family for inculcating prejudice and later said in a Facebook post justifying his decision, “Perhaps the mother had attributed her own views to her child as a manner of sanitizing them.”

No wonder the two San Antonio football players facing assault charges are hoping the racial slur story helps their case. It’s already helping them in the public eye, and it has a chance of aiding them in court.

That’s outrageous, but sadly par the course for our society. It sometimes seems that we’re supposed to despise those who use the n-word more than murderers.

Vester Flanagan and Omar Thornton received far less moral condemnation for killing innocent people than the University of Oklahoma fraternity members who said the n-word on a party bus back in March. (RELATED: Oklahoma: Tough On Racism, Weak On Assault, Burglary)

Racial slurs should have no place in a proper society. But they do not justify violence.

The media’s sympathetic coverage of this kind of victim-blaming only encourages more individuals accused of vicious crimes to excuse their behavior.

Media outlets should stop blaming the victims and relegate the racism excuse of violent criminals to the back pages.

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