The Elree Jones Attack: When Is A hate Crime Not A Hate Crime?

Generally when I read about hate crimes I get angry. But this time, after reading the story of what happened to Elree Jones, I was saddened. Jones who is Black, was attacked by a 50-year-old knife-wielding Mark Neal, who is white, at a Lafayette, Indiana convenience store. All appearances indicate the motive was race. This is what the victim is claiming; however, in spite of witness testimony that supports this, police investigators aren’t too sure whether it was.

In late August, Elree Jones of Chicago stopped at an Indiana convenience store to pick up some beer when — out of nowhere — a man approached him and slashed his face with a large knife.

Mark A. Neal, 50, was charged in the vicious and seemingly random attack, and investigators told Lafayette’s Journal & Courier that Neal’s motive was unknown. NBC Chicago, however, spoke with Jones and witnesses who say the attack was a clear hate crime.

“He just slashed my face. I still had my phone in my hand. He slashed my face and I dropped the phone,” Jones told NBC. “After he slashed my face, I was in shock. He kept going, so I was blocking [him]… he slashed me in my arm.”

Jones told NBC he ran from the store, but Neal followed him with “hatred in his eyes and venom spewing from his mouth.”

“He mumbled racial slurs… like he’ll kill me. ‘I’ll kill this n****r,'” Jones said.

A store clerk also classified the attack as a hate crime, but Jones said he was initially treated by police as if he did something to provoke Neal. (source)

Now, I know it’s hard to believe that someone can actually be the victim of a crime because the color of their skin. In this post-racial society of ours, yes, it’s hard to believe. And yes with the victim in this case being Black, it’s easy to conclude that maybe he provoked the attack. After all, being Black is synonymous with being a suspect. So yeah, the brotha in this case obviously did something wrong so as to be the recipient of a slash to the face and arm.

There’s no way this is a hate crime, right?

I don’t know, but I think the rules applied to what constitutes a hate crime needs to be reviewed. I only say this because in the event of my Black ass being dragged behind a truck, beaten down while in line at a Cracker Barrel, or maybe even ran over by a Ford F-150 pick-uo truck driven by some white kid screaming “white power”. I just want to be sure that it’s clear that it’s not mistaken that the justification isn’t that I made the mistake of being born Black, and living in America like Elree Jones.

Oh well, maybe it’s a case of mistaken identity…

You know all Black people look alike.