Over the weekend, a dashing and successful 23-year-old was at a college campus, waiting for an Uber with a few friends.
This guy had everything going for him. He was an Army ROTC student about to graduate this week. He was airborne-certified and already commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army’s intelligence branch. A true patriot who posted Facebook photos of himself in uniform, selfies of himself goofing around with his diverse group of friends, as well as props to President Trump for his handling of domestic policy.
But his life ended Sunday morning after another student, one who publicly identified with a group that posts racist material, allegedly approached him and, unprovoked, stabbed him in the chest.
Now imagine that the dead student is white and the guy behind bars is black.
We’d hear how a “thug,” obviously no angel, took the life of an All-American hero.
But Richard W. Collins III, the promising young student from Bowie State University killed on the University of Maryland’s College Park campus, was black.
The 22-year-old U-Md. student arrested for his murder, Sean Christopher Urbanski, is white.
The FBI is investigating whether this was a hate crime.
Urbanski, of Severna Park, Md., belonged to an online Facebook group called Alt-Reich, which posts racist material, U-Md. Police Chief David B. Mitchell said.
“When I looked at the information that’s contained on that website . . . it’s despicable,” Mitchell said.
“It shows extreme bias against women, Latinos, members of the Jewish faith and especially African Americans, which brings up questions as to the motive of this case,” he said.
So is there a connection between that group and the murder?
Urbanski’s attorney has said alcohol or drugs may have played a role in the crime. But I don’t want to hear that Urbanski was drunk, high or mentally ill when he allegedly killed that lovely young man.
That’s what you hear when white guys shoot up offices and schools and theaters. Not terrorism, even though people were certainly terrorized. And seldom racism.
This double standard is the kind of cul-de-sac racism America struggles most with.
Diverse, happy U-Md. was one of the American campuses plastered three times in recent months with fliers from Vanguard America, a group associated with white supremacy.
Most of the fliers said that “America is a white nation.” One poster whined: “We have a right to exist.”
“We hear it every day: ‘Whiteness’ is evil, and must be destroyed,” the group said in a statement on its website. “Our religion, our traditions, and our identity are dragged through the mud by the globalist establishment while millions of nonwhites flood our nation every year.”
Nope. Sorry, white snowflakes. No one is telling you or me or anyone else that white is evil. That’s what you’re hearing, and that’s a little sad.
Diversity, unity, that American melting pot that is the foundation of our nation can only happen when the country does a better job confronting America’s original sin. And we’re failing miserably at that.
We see it all across the country.
Too many folks want to believe that the Confederate flag and monuments are about Southern heritage and history and not acknowledge them as symbols that glorify a time when human slavery was the norm.
Too many folks want to believe that housing inequity, generational poverty and unequal employment are about personal flaws, rather than the ugly residue of a systematic disenfranchisement of a particular group.
And too many folks will want to talk about all the other reasons that a young white man from a nice suburb with hard-working parents allegedly could have killed another young man in cold blood.
Racism. Say it with me — racism. The more we say it, the more we acknowledge it, the weaker it becomes.