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Darts and laurels: Despicable hate crime

Dart to the cruelty displayed for all the world to see when four young African-Americans in Chicago beat and tortured a mentally disabled white teen. A Facebook video showed the four  shouting obscenities about white people and President-elect Donald Trump as the young man crouched in a corner. The suspects beat him, slapped him, choked him, cut his scalp and generally terrorized the cowering youth over about five hours. Under any conditions, this act would be despicable, as President Obama called it. The fact that the four boasted about the attack as it streamed live on Facebook for about 30 minutes underscores the hate and stupidity of the attack. The suspects — three 18-year-olds and one 24-year-old — now face hate crime charges.

The fact that this happened as the white Dylann Roof is being sentenced for killing nine black people raises serious questions about attitudes on both sides of the race line in the United States. Roof has shown no remorse for killing the strangers who welcomed him in. It’s important to remember that for every aggressor there are thousands — even millions — who do the right thing. The majority of people are able to get along. But undeniable trouble lurks beneath the surface.

   

Laurels to public safety and utility company workers called to action this weekend as the region deals with the first winter storm of the year. While everyone else hunkers down at home, these workers go out into the elements to help us stay safe and warm. Salisbury Post carriers also will take to the roads to deliver newspapers where and when they can.

If you don’t have a job or obligation that requires driving in this weather, please stay home. Otherwise you might soon encounter another group of workers for whom snow cannot be an obstacle — doctors and nurses in hospital emergency departments.

   

Dart to the tensions between the nation’s intelligence community and President-elect Donald Trump. The CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies need the confidence and encouragement of the nation’s top political leader. Likewise, the president needs intelligence agencies that respect his authority. You’d like to think they are all on the same side. Trump may raise good questions about the agencies’ efficiency and effectiveness, but publicly trampling on their reputation — “These are the same people who said Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction” — is an atagonistic start.

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