Why was the phrase “Learning Disability”

September 13, 2007 at 12:40 PM (Hate Crime) ()

used in this follow up story

It doesn’t change the crime from “horrific” to not.

It doesn’t change it from an assault on a black woman to an assault on something less valued, a black woman who has “learning disabilities.”

Did the AP, or local reporters use this information to generate additional sympathy for the victim, or to make the crime more evil? (It’s evil and horrible and terrifying…no additional labeling required)

Or, worse, was anyone thinking “Well, if she had “learning disabilities…that’s not so bad. She can’t think for herself anyway…”

In either case, the words pile another layer of “loaded” onto a situation where the language used and the charges brought are already a contextual mine field.

She was a black woman attacked by a group of white people. And those who enforce the law there are not considering it a hate crime, because of a possible past connection to one of the perpetrators. Did the fact that she has “learning disabilities,” also factor in to the decision not to go all the way to hate crime?

I wonder and I hope not

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1 Comment

  1. curiousgyrl said,

    she was attacked by a group of white men and white women. I agree that her learning disabilities dont seem particularly relevant and the phrase doesnt add much in the way of information about the crime.

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