News reporters with bags on their heads

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In what can only be described as a disgusting act of racist hate, a developmentally disabled Chicago man was kidnapped and tortured by four African American assailants on Facebook Live Tuesday, and the media just doesn’t know what to do with it.

The video shows the victim bound as the attackers burn him with cigarettes, cut his scalp, drag him on the floor, and kick him while shouting “F--k white people!” and “F--k Trump!”

However, in the immediate aftermath of the video — despite literally everything that was going on in the video — mainstream media outlets urged caution in attributing motive to the attack, demonstrating a level of discretion antithetical to their entire history and their approaches on pro-Trump hate crime hoaxes after the November election. (Speaking of which, here’s one handy list over at IJR.)

New York Daily News writer and Black Lives Matter mouthpiece Shaun King seemed especially baffled:

Additionally, per Mediaite, Democratic strategist and CNN commentator Symone Sanders actually had the gall to say “we cannot callously go about classifying things as a hate crime.”

Riiiiight. I mean, it’s not like the four assailants in Chicago were saying anything about race or a political figure while assaulting and terrorizing someone with special needs or anything like that.

Now, let’s play the reversal game — the roles, races, and political leanings reversed. One can only imagine the endless (and international) firestorm if a bunch of white people had done anything even remotely the same to a mentally disabled black person while shouting anti-Hillary, anti-black, and anti-Obama phrases.

There are, of course, some caveats to those who have taken issue with the media’s handling of the torture incident.

Firstly, the initial social media response to the incident was misleading. While #BLMKidnapping began trending on social media after the release of the video, it’s important to note that the assailants did not mention the Black Lives Matter movement in the Facebook Live atrocity.

However, the double standard is also a factor in this respect as well.

But for people already frustrated with mainstream media bias and bubbles, this is just more of the same. The only question is if and when those bubbles are ever going to pop.

Finally, while it’s understandable for conservatives to point out the hate crime hypocrisy surrounding it all, they might want to pump the brakes.

Make no mistake: It’s grotesque. It's pure evil. And it's infuriating that this happened to a helpless, innocent man and that these thugs had the audacity to broadcast it live.

But let's keep in mind that hate crime laws are an invention of the Left that assume it's OK to attach harsher penalties simply because of a perpetrator's beliefs (read: thought policing) or the victim’s skin color. Isn't it enough to denounce this as a racist torture incident without assuming the other side's Orwellian framework?

Any competent judge should throw the book at these — I say again — thugs, but one would hope that he/she would do it under just laws that punish crimes, not thoughts.

Editor's note: This piece has been updated with an additional tweet.

Nate Madden is a Staff Writer for Conservative Review, focusing on religious freedom, jihadism, and the judiciary. He previously served as the Director of Policy Relations for the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. A Publius Fellow, John Jay Fellow, Citadel Parliamentary Fellow and National Journalism Center alumnus, Nate’s writing has previously appeared in several religious and news publications. Follow him @NateMaddenCR and on Facebook