Florida School Bus Beating Not About Race

Despite claims by some right-wingers, the Florida school bus beating has nothing to do with race.

This week, people are up in arms over the school bus beating of a teenager by three others in Florida.  The particularly savage beating, which took place in Pinellas County in July, has gotten some news attention for different reasons, be it the inability of the bus driver to respond to this assault as it was happening, or the mere ferocity of it, as shown above.  However, the right wing news circuit, especially Fox News, is making hay of one part of the Florida school bus beating that most other news outlets are simply ignoring:  That the victim of the beating was white, and the attackers were black.  They are attempting to frame this school bus beating as being race-related, and that civil rights leaders are ignoring the problem because the races are reversed.

But the civil rights activists are right to ignore this situation, because it is not about race.  At no point did the attackers make a racial point of reference, nor did the victim say anything racist to enflame them.  If, say, one of the attackers yelled, at one point or another, "This is for Trayvon Martin," then the argument can be made that race had a motivation.  But there is no evidence of that. 

In fact, the reason the three attackers went after this kid is a far simpler reason: Snitching.  Earlier in the day, the three attempted to sell the victim marijuana.  The victim's response was to notify school authorities of their possession.  The three were caught and disciplined, likely severely.  That they were all in a school designed to keep them from dropping out of school all together is critical, since they are all in the lowest possible rung, and would likely be lost causes were they to be kicked out.  The three attackers got on the bus and simply attacked him in retaliation, based on the principle of "snitches get stitches."

A male teenager tends to have a lot of emotional control issues, especially when he is punished for doing something wrong.  All the more so when said punishment will likely lead to him being expelled from school.  So, multiply the anger that stems from that by three, and it is not surprising that the school bus assault went down the way it did.  But that would happen if those attackers were white, Hispanic, or Asian.  That the attackers were black makes no difference whatsoever, and for Fox News to play it up is simply to play into the stereotypical belief that black people are overly aggressive and prone to violence.  If anything, Fox News is playing the racist by making the claim that this is a race-related beating, when there is no evidence to actually suggest other than the skin color.  Skin color alone does not a race beating make.

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