Black Hate Crimes on the Rise


Aundrea Gresham, reporter

The rise in hate crimes against black people and specifically black men has been astounding over the last few years. In December 2019 a hate crime happened in Eastern Oregon and was just prosecuted in September of 2021. A white Colorado trucker named Nolan Strauss attacked a black man, unprovoked, in a failed attempt to murder him. Strauss walked into an Arby’s near the Idaho border where Ronnel Hughes was working and stabbed him in the neck. According to prosecutors, when Strauss was being detained, he was asked why he would stab a stranger he said ”because he was black, and I don’t like black people.” He then tried to plead insanity as he was allegedly “off his meds.” On Thursday September 9th, 2021, almost two years later, Hughes finally saw the justice that he deserved as Strauss plead guilty to a federal hate crime in an attempt to kill and was served 16 years in a federal prison.  

This case has had little to no media coverage as have many other cases involving the hate crimes of black people. They have been and currently are happening throughout the country. Because racially profiling has become so normalized and accepted , they have been virtually ignored. It happens so often that there are too many cases to give each one the coverage that it deserves. In a lot of these cases the person committing the crime will try to plead insanity like Strauss did, and thankfully in his case they didn’t believe him as it was obviously a racially motivated attack but, in some cases they will either get off or get a reduced sentence. In other cases where the victim passed away, like George Floyd’s, they claim that their actions weren’t what killed them. Whether it be the victim’s previous underlying health issues or them being on drugs, murderers can sometimes plead innocent even when it was noticeably clear why the victim died. Sadly, the only reason why Derek Chauvin (George Floyd’s murderer) was prosecuted was because there was a video taken of his death. Does our justice system need a literal video of a crime being committed in order to serve justice? 

It has been apparent for many years that our justice system is in fact unjust, but it has been brought to light recently in the number of attacks and hate crimes on people of color, specifically black people that have not had their justice served. And especially with it being a sensitive topic, most people don’t want to seem controversial by talking about it so they simply ignore it. Silence is violence and if you choose not to talk about these things, you become a part of the problem.