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All four were accused of aggravated kidnapping, hate crimes, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon; they were scheduled to appear in bond court here on Friday. Hill was also charged with robbery, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and residential burglary. Cooper and Brittany Covington were also charged with residential burglary.

Kevin Duffin of the Chicago Police said of the four defendants.

It also seemed to tap into the very issues that have grown the rawest around the nation of late: a divisive political climate, a painful racial split and an increasingly fierce and polarized social media universe.“If this had been done to an African-American by four whites, every liberal in the country would be outraged, and there would be no question it is a hate crime,” Newt Gingrich, a Republican and former speaker of the House, said on “Fox and Friends.”A hashtag linking the assault to the Black Lives Matter movement exploded on social media, prompting a leader of the movement, De Ray Mckesson, to respond on Twitter, “It goes without saying that the actions being branded by the far-right as the ‘BLM Kidnapping’ have nothing to do w/ the movement.”Pat Brady, a former chairman of the Illinois Republican Party and a former prosecutor, said the attack should not be viewed as having some larger meaning.“To be fair, we can acknowledge that we’ve had some really bad political discourse in this election, but this is about four sick kids who probably can’t even spell Trump let alone know anything about the election,” Mr. Of the attack itself, he said, “This is an ethical collapse, not an ethnic affirmation.”In Washington, the White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, said the beating demonstrated “a level of depravity that is an outrage to a lot of Americans.”Police officials said they had sought the hate crime charges because of comments about the victim’s race and diminished mental capacity.

Commander Duffin said the police did not know whether the victim had voted in November, or whether that had influenced the attack. Trump’s name, and the simmering racial tensions after a contentious election season, convinced many on social media that it was an act of racial hatred with political overtones.

Although I am a black woman in an interracial relationship, I only gave Baker's piece a cursory glance at first. "A lot of people aren't bothered by interracial relationships, but, on the flip side, many people still are.

In the midst of a full news feed, it just seemed like more noise. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 96 percent of blacks and 84 percent of whites approve of black-white marriage.

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