Wednesday evening, CNN's Don Lemon hosted a panel discussion regarding the horrific kidnapping and torture of a white, mentally challenged teenager by four black assailants. Before dissecting the segment, some details are necessary.
Tuesday, a Facebook Live video was broadcast in which two black men and two black women beat and torture a white, teenage male with special needs. The teen, whose name has been withheld from the press, was reported missing Monday by his parents. Tuesday afternoon, police found the victim wandering the street, cold and disoriented. He may have been held captive for as long as 48 hours.
The suspects, who were allegedly arrested earlier that day on "unrelated battery charges," were only later linked to the torture.
Thursday, the four suspects were charged in court. CNN reports: "Jordan Hill, 18; Tesfaye Cooper; 18; Brittany Covington, 18; and Tanishia Covington, 24, have each been charged with hate crime, felony aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon."
The torture footage, which can be viewed in its entirety here, is truly heinous. The young man, bound and gagged in a corner, is yelled at, physically assaulted, and cut on the head by his assailants. At one point, cigarette ashes are dumped on the victim's head wound. Throughout the video, the accused are laughing and issuing threats:
"His ass ugly."
"F*** Donald Trump."
"F*** white people."
"My sister says this not funny, y'all."
"It's funny to me. Tell Donald Trump that's not funny."
"Back to this b*tch-ass, Donald Trump-ass, voting-ass n*****."
"We gonna put this n***** in a trunk, [and] put a brick on the gas, and let that b*tch *screeching noise*"
"I'm sad. Nobody on this live."
"I lost every f****** thing I got. You think it would hurt me to kill you, n*****? F*** you!"
"Let's put him out of his misery."
"His b*tch-ass crying...I hate cry babies."
In a subsequent video, the assailants shove the victim's head into a toilet bowl, and he is forced to drink the water:
"Drink that s*** right f***ing now…Drink the toilet water, b****! Say f*** Trump! Say f*** Trump!"
During the CNN panel segment, Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller said:
"It's brutality, is what it is. And I think the fact that this is a vulnerable person who was probably duped into sort of going along with them, it appears, somebody who is mentally disabled, I think makes it even more sickening.
Don, at the end of the day, you just try to wrap your head around evil. That's what this is. It's evil; it's brutality; it's man's inhumanity to man..."
"I don't think it's evil. I don't think it's evil. I think these are young people, and I think they have bad home training...I have no idea who is raising these young people because no one I know on earth who is 17-years-old, or is 70-years-old, would ever think of treating another person like that. It is inhumane, and you wonder, at 18 years old, where is your parent? Where is your guardian?"
Don Lemon, through malice or ignorance, is being intellectually dishonest by claiming he doesn't know of anyone who would commit such a disgusting act. Every day, atrocities are committed by "average" people. Read the news, or watch an episode of Law & Order: SVU for further details.
The worst part is Lemon's suggestion that what Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper, Brittany Covington, and Tanishia Covington did wasn't evil. They took a mentally challenged boy, bound him, gagged him, beat him, cut him, shoved his head into a toilet, and threatened his life--all the while, they laughed like they were at a party. If that isn't evil, what is? If that's simply "bad home training," what is evil?
For whatever reason, Lemon seems afraid to call this incident "evil." One has to wonder if he would use the word "evil" if the situation were reversed. A black, mentally challenged teen abducted by four white people, bound and gagged, beaten and threatened on Facebook Live. Would that also be "bad home training"? No. It would be called "evil," and rightfully so.
This was an act of evil. Period.