Jamilah Lemieux: ‘Tricky Territory’ To Describe Attacks on Whites or Cops As ‘Hate Crime’ When Both Have ‘Abusive’ History

On Wednesday’s broadcast of “CNN Newsroom,” Ebony Magazine Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux stated that she disagreed with characterizing the shooting of Dallas police officers as a hate crime and using that term for “a group of people that have a history with African-Americans that have been abusive, and we can apply that to either police officers or to Caucasians, I think, gets into very tricky territory.”

Lemieux said, “I would not describe hate crime as the most comfortable word choice, considering these circumstances. There’s so much that we do not know about what took place, what motivated this person. We only have the one account of law enforcement. We haven’t had the opportunity to really look into his history in a meaningful way. When we use a phrase like ‘hate crime,’ we’re typically referring to crimes against people of color, people of various religious groups, LGBT people, people who have been historically attacked, abused, or disenfranchised on the basis of their identity. To now extend that to the majority group, and a group of people that have a history with African-Americans that have been abusive, and we can apply that to either police officers or to Caucasians, I think, gets into very tricky territory. So I’d be curious to know if he was referring to this as a hate crime because he singled them out by race, or attempted to single them out by race, or because they were police officers.”

She added, “There is absolutely no excuse for gunning down police officers. That is disgusting. That is, just one of the most horrific things that someone can do, to take a life away from someone. However, when we start to imply that we’re all on equal footing here, that African-Americans and police officers have the same reason to be distrustful of one another, and that all we need to do is simply find a way to heal, or to just talk this out, then we’re not being honest about the situation that people who look like me have been placed in in this country since we arrived here.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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