Gun Violence, Death and Boredom in Oklahoma

Jonathan P. Hicks, at BET, addresses the brutal slaying of a white Australian baseball player in Oklahoma by three teens, two of whom apparently are black. He says the killing is more representative of escalating gun violence in America than a deadly case of racism.

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A sign at a makeshift memorial in Oklahoma for Christopher Lane (screenshot from MSNBC)

The horrible slaying of a white Australian baseball player in Oklahoma by three teens, two of whom apparently are black, is more representative of escalating gun violence in America than a deadly case of racism, Jonathan P. Hicks writes at BET, because the self-described "bored" teens were not focused on the victim's race.

The 22-year-old young man, Christopher Lane, was found dead in the small town of Duncan, Oklahoma, while visiting his girlfriend. The police chief said that Lane, a baseball player at an Oklahoma college, was shot while jogging past a home where three teenage boys were staying. They added that the shooting of the Australian student was a completely random act of violence.

Already, the event has been used by conservative pundits, who have complained that civil rights activists such as the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson operate under a double standard, since they have called for no protests in this episode where the victim is white and two of the three assailants are African-American. They complain that the civil rights community was quick to condemn George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin and not the three teenagers in the killing of Christopher Lane.

There are some stark differences. In the Oklahoma case, the suspects were apprehended quickly, unlike Zimmerman, who walked as a free man for weeks after the death of Trayvon Martin. In fact, James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, and Chancey Allen Luna, 16, were quickly charged with murder. The third teenager, Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, was charged with being an accessory to murder after the fact and with firing a weapon. All were charged as adults, according to the Stephens County District Attorney’s Office.

Read Jonathan P. Hick's entire piece at BET.

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