An incident in a parking lot turned ugly, racial and violent this past Friday night in the Deptford Mall parking lot. Three teenage girls were beaten and berated for being "dumb white bitches who are too comfortable". The incident started while one of the girls sat in the driver's seat while her two friends stood outside the car. The three girls, one 18 and the other two both 19, claim it was an unprovoked attacked by two older women who were with two men.

All of the girls received concussions along with bruised ribs and a cervical sprain. It was a very violent attack, all while the perpetrators were using racial slurs and insults. It's the stuff of at hate crime, no? Well, no mention of a hate crime or the specific race of the attackers was made by police or the media report. The media is often reluctant to identify the perpetrators of a crime if they are of a "minority". The police are also careful when investigating a crime not to show any indication of bias in doing their work.

But we all know if the identities were reversed we would have headlines screaming "Hate Crime At Mall" and concerned people in all levels of government decrying the actions of these horrible offenders. Why isn't it the same when white people are the victims of such an obvious racial incident. The media reports it in a completely different way and officials handle it more discreetly, if at all. Violence of any kind should be denounced and reported equally no matter who the victim or the perpetrator is. But it's not and we all know it.

My fear is that we've become more accepting of violence toward the majority population for whatever reason and it's almost rationalized and justified in our media, educational establishments and popular culture. You don't think that the term "white privilege" which is preached in high schools and college campuses has a subliminal effect on society. For generations we've heard that hate is learned in the home and for at least the last two generations I know most "white" people have taught their kids that racial prejudice is wrong. Most people I know that would make any racial comment would be denounced and ostracized in the circles I run in. Is that the same in all communities? I certainly hope so.

I grew up in the inner city in the 1960's when racial division was at it's most violent. Since then we've seen great progress in integration among young people, an increase in interracial relationships and marriages and people of different backgrounds generally getting along better than most societies on the planet. But the media and our education system have sought to exploit our differences and sins of the past on all sides to gain more influence, readership or views. It seems to play well when it's reported in one direction, but no so much in all directions.

This is a big problem and taking sides and pointing fingers at the people that we live and work with won't help. But a fair and honest media and education system will. Racial division, hatred and violence has no place in our society and sweeping some of it under the rug doesn't either.

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