Have you heard the news report about a 21-year-old African-American male, Oghaleoghene Atuno, who targeted two white children with his vehicle? Unless you’re watching brief clips on local Denver news, you probably haven’t.
Atuno has been charged with attempted murder and child abuse while his alleged victims have been hospitalized after the brutal attack. Surveillance video shows him circling a cul-de-sac several times near Falcon Middle School in Aurora, Colorado, before driving his vehicle onto the sidewalk to strike the two children, age 11 and 12. One of the young boys, Josh Piazza, is still in the hospital with a fractured skull.
The circumstantial evidence seems to point to this being a textbook example of a hate crime. Atuno appeared to be circling the cul-de-sac near a school searching for a victim. When he spotted two Caucasian children, he drove his vehicle towards them onto the sidewalk. After hitting them, he drove off immediately. He claims he didn’t know the victims and his reason for fleeing the scene immediately was because he was scared, according to police.
Attempted murder against children he didn’t know after circling a cul-de-sac several times near a middle school – the math seems to add up to only a few possible conclusions and hate crime would be the most obvious. Yet this isn’t getting any attention from the media and prosecutors have thus far declined to use the “hate crime” tag for enhanced sentencing should he be found guilty.
Hate crimes of all types are hideous. When a person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation are used as determining factors prompting a crime against them, it’s a hate crime. Whether or not Atuno was motivated by racial hatred is currently unknown, but we may never know because it is not being treated as a potential hate crime by prosecutors or law enforcement. Imagine if a Caucasian man had circled around an African-American neighborhood searching for targets before running over two African-American children. The press would be clamoring all over itself about it being a hate crime.
As our nation becomes increasingly divided, it’s necessary that we put an end to bigotry from every side. Caucasians are not immune from being victims of hate crimes by law, but media narratives refuse to accept it as a possibility.