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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Mr. Answer Does a Little Translation Service for the Crowd

If the definition of mistake is “a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention” (and it is), then I suppose that this statement from Scott Christopher Cates is true.

“I just want to say I’m sorry to the family for everything that happened. I hope everybody forgives me. I made a mistake. I’m sorry.”

Undeniably, Cates showed bad judgment and an ignorance that is almost painful. Still, mistake doesn’t seem quite enough for what Cates and his four friends did to a young man named Isaiah Clyburn.

My interpretation of Mr. Cate’s statement?

Oops. Sorry. My fist slipped and I beat the crap out of an innocent black guy that was just walking down the road. My mistake. And when the kid ran away from me and my four similarly mistake-inclined friends, trying to escape to a nearby friend’s house, somehow my fist slipped some more.

My bad. Sorry about that.

When you target a guy for a beating simply because he’s black, you’re committing an intentional act of brutality because you’re a racist pig. Make no mistake about it; these five teens didn’t make any simple errors. They didn’t just forget their keys at the office or forget to make dinner reservations for that special night.

The good part is that these kids are going to jail. The bad thing is that this is the kind of ignorant idiocy that keeps us all from realizing Dr. King’s color-blind society.

For what it’s worth, Mr. Clyburn shows far more grace than I could muster in his place.

Their victim, Isaiah Clyburn, 17, said through his lawyer that he forgave them.

“He holds no hatred in his heart for what they did,” attorney Trey Gowdy said.

Read the story.

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