Two teenagers were charged with first degree murder and a third was charged with accessory to murder in Oklahoma on Tuesday. The charges are in connection with the murder of 22-year old, Australian native Christopher Lane, whose was in the U.S. on a baseball scholarship. The teens claimed they killed Lane because they were “bored.”
As if the narrative couldn’t get anymore appalling, the “conservative media has pressure[d] President Obama and civil rights leaders who spoke out against the murder of Trayvon Martin to similarly address the death of Lane, implying that they are less interested in Lane’s murder because he was white, while his attackers are black.”
Conservatives have an obsession with turning cases like this into a race issue without looking at the context. In the Trayvon Martin case, there were inherent traces of racism in Martin’s death. George Zimmerman tailed Martin because a black kid in a hoodie looked suspicious to him. So, of course civil rights activists spoke out because race was indeed an issue. Race is not a factor in the Lane killing. It’s a freak, unprovoked killing because a few demented teenagers had “nothing better to do.” Lane’s death, though tragic, was not race related.
Keith Askow, a contributor for Fox News, took it a step further and attributed the Oklahoma teens’ vicious callousness to “America’s disrespect for life, third-term abortions, and Facebook.” In what realm or school of thought could this possibly be considered an intelligent or contributory thought? But it’s not only Facebook he blames, it’s the entire internet.
“If you can’t outlaw third trimester abortions in every state, then you have part of the answer to why people don’t take life that seriously,” said Askow. “These three became non-people with no feelings for others and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were big users of Facebook and other things Internet-related.”
There is nothing around the Oklahoma murder that could point to any of those unfounded claims. It was not race, abortion, Facebook, or anything of that nature. This is a murder conducted by two sick, heartless individuals. The conservatives will exploit any tragedy and use the opportunity to push their crazy values on the public even when it has nothing to do with what happened.
Joshua de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.