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'F--- Trump, F--- White People': 4 People Arrested for Assaulting Man with Special Needs

If it were fiction, you might not believe it. A live-streamed video showed an act so inhuman, so despicable, it proves difficult to comprehend. From CNN:

A young woman who broadcast the beating of a man on Facebook Live has been arrested with three others in connection with the gruesome attack, Chicago Police said Wednesday.

The disturbing 30-minute video shows a man tied up and his mouth covered, cowering in the corner of a room. His attackers laugh and shout "f*ck Donald Trump" and "f*ck white people" as they kick and punch him and and cut into his forehead with a knife.

Police described the victim as an 18-year-old with special needs who was taken from the suburbs. Patrol officers found the disoriented young man wandering the street "in crisis" Tuesday afternoon and brought him to a hospital.

He was so traumatized that it took most of the night for him to calm down to the point that he was able to talk to police, 11th District Captain Steven Sesso said. It's unclear how long he was missing, but it could have been between 24 to 48 hours.

If that's not enough to get your blood boiling, consider that authorities remain uncertain whether to treat the assault as a hate crime.

Because the victim was white and the people in the video are black, police are investigating whether hate crime charges are appropriate, Duffin said in response to reporters' questions about the possibility of a bias attack.

"Although they are adults, they're 18. Kids make stupid decisions -- I shouldn't call them kids, they're legally adults, but they're young adults and they make stupid decisions," Duffin said. "That certainly will be part of whether or not... we seek a hate crime, to determine whether or not this is sincere or just stupid ranting and raving."

It's possible the racially charged statements were little more than people "ranting about something they think might make a headline," Johnson added. He said he did not believe the attack was politically motivated.

If four white thugs kidnapped and assaulted a black man with special needs while shouting "f--- Obama, f--- blacks," there would be no hesitation to call it a hate crime.

This highlights the inherent flaw in the concept of a hate crime: its subjectivity. Did the perpetrators mean what they said, or were they just "ranting and raving"? Should it matter? Isn't the important point that they assaulted an innocent person? Isn't the action our primary concern?

While motive can stand as evidence of guilt, it should not be a crime in its own right. Motive is thought, and we're not supposed to have thought crimes. The point of concern is the action which motive prompts.