‘Hate crime’ hard to identify by officials

Emily Gordon and Emily Gordon

Three people were shot dead Sunday at two Jewish community centers in Kansas on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover.

The shooter smiled and, during his arrest, yelled, “Heil Hitler.”

While this information screams “hate crime” to me and to scores of online readers of media coverage, authorities were reluctant to call it a hate crime, even after the shooter was identified as Frazier Glenn Cross, a prominent white supremacist and former KKK leader known for being violent.

Authorities did not officially categorize what happened as a hate crime for days.

What more information could they possibly need to determine it a hate crime?

Must Cross have been wearing a sign around his neck clearly stating “I am an anti-Semite” for it to be clear?

The man went to two different Jewish centers the day before a major Jewish holiday, shot people who he thought were Jewish and yelled a Nazi salute.

There is no doubt in my mind that he set out to kill Jews that day, even though his victims were Christian.

The mainstream media’s coverage of the shootings is deplorable. The lack of interviewing Jews, repeated interviews with KKK members who say Cross “lost his mind,” and accidentally killed Christians is like a slap in the face to Jewish Americans.

Further, implying that anti-Semitism is no longer a “thing” in America is not only false, but it’s harmful.

It erases experiences of Jewish Americans and sweeps the issue under the rug.

Doing so allows Nazis and white supremacists to go on committing acts of violence.

​Anti-Semitism still exists.

We have a responsibility to acknowledge this and to challenge it.

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