Four black persons kidnapped, held captive, and abused, a mentally challenged white youth over a period of three days in the city of Chicago. The story is no longer considered “news” but the facts are no less despicable and I’m still deeply troubled by it. I’m hurt, embarrassed, and outraged that four people could treat another human being so atrociously. It was a cowardly act of betrayal perpetrated on a very vulnerable individual who had placed his trust in one of the miscreants. The $300,000 ransom demand was a demented attempt to profit from the crime. Incredible.
My question is what motivated the captors to sink so deeply into the depths of human depravity? Are their moral deficits so great as to negate any sense of decency or respect for life? What in their life experience warped their minds to such a degree as to render them capable of carrying out such reprehensible mistreatment of their victim? The answers will probably never be fully ascertained.
The authorities have designated this as a hate crime and I would agree. It’s my opinion that the victim was singled out because he was white and also mentally challenged. The disabled are a group that suffers abuse that in most instances goes unnoticed and is under-reported. Sadly, this is just one of many hate filled acts that has stained the fabric of our society. There are those who have taken the results of the presidential election as license to attack ethnic minorities. Islamic heretics have committed mass murders, police officers have been targeted and shot down in cold blood. There is a cloud of violent intolerance that hangs over the nation that threatens to blot out the light of respect and reconciliation. The malevolent act committed by these four individuals is a tragic example.
As a Christian, I am compelled to love even these four. I recall a verse of scripture, Ephesians 4:32, my mother would quote to us children whenever we had a dispute: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” It is my task to apply this lesson in this case. It is a task, but I must achieve it. Please pray for me and for the four malefactors.
Eugene James, Regional Minister
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Michigan Region