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Three 20-year-old men wearing Islamic clothing and speaking Arabic were shot Saturday night in Vermont. Immediately media and Arab organizations started calling it a hate crime.
It may have been. Then again, there is no indication it was other than that the victims were all of Arab descent. The police report that is being heralded as the reason many are calling it a hate crime doesn’t jibe with that narrative.
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Here’s the statement by police, emphasis added:
“The three were walking on Prospect Street when they were confronted by a white male with a handgun. The suspect was on foot in the area. Without speaking, he discharged at least four rounds from the pistol and is believed to have fled on foot. Two were wearing keffiyehs at the time of the assault. At this time, there is no additional information to suggest the suspect’s motive, such as statements or remarks by the suspect.”
Odd. Again, I’m not saying that this wasn’t racially motivated. I wasn’t there. But generally “hate crimes” are accompanied by some statement by the criminals involved. Moreover, victims of hate crimes are often murdered. Leaving all three alive doesn’t match.
If it turns out to be a “hate crime,” so be it. But I’m not ready to jump on that bandwagon given the circumstances.
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