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It’s a scary time for people who are not straight White men. Seems like a facetious statement until you consider that hate crimes against gay, transgender, and people of color has risen exponentially in recent years. Violence against women is at an all time high. The group perpetuating these acts of violence? In many instances, the attacker is a heterosexual, White male. The case of Christopher Bradford is no different, down to the alleged reason that the attack occurred in the first place.
Bradford had been walking home from the bar after a night out with his friends. The group of men followed him and then began to beat him with a belt buckle. In an interview with Houston’s ABC13, Bradford said he was confused as to why he was targeted. “You really don’t know the intention behind it. One of them was laughing. They were getting amusement out of this… I heard footsteps running behind me. Someone grabbed me from behind (and) threw me to the ground.” These men were getting enjoyment out of hurting another human being. They laughed about it. How can someone laugh at the pain of a fellow human being? There used to be a word for people like that: a sociopath.
The story doesn’t end there, though. Bradford continued to recall the events leading up to and during his attack. “I was getting punched, kicked, and then, belt buckles were flying at me. Got me across the side of my head and I got four metal staples. They hit me with a rock in the forehead. There was blood everywhere. It was in my eyes. I couldn’t see. I kept asking why. I was like, 'What did I do? Why are you hitting me?'” The group broke apart when Bradford’s friend, who he had been talking to him on the phone when this started, showed up on his car. It’s a good thing that the friend showed up or Bradford may have ended up as another statistic for experts to analyze and hate groups to smear, knowing that he wasn’t around to defend his reputation.
19-year-old Caleb Tout was taken in for questioning by the police. He allegedly told the police that the reason he and his cronies beat the hell out of an innocent man was because some guy exposed himself to Tout’s girlfriend. No joke. “He was drinking and beat Bradford because he was looking for someone else who allegedly exposed themselves to Tout’s girlfriend.” So an underage hoodlum was drinking and decided that someone might have exposed their penis to his girlfriend and that gave the group the right to go out and beat up a gay man?
Apparently, that’s the case because Houston Police have yet to make an arrest in the case. If the roles were reversed, not only would there be Hell raining down on the group but there would be calls for the men to be hung. Why isn’t that the case when it’s a gay man? Some might argue that it’s because Bradford survived and they don’t want him to have to go through the anguish of a trial. The truth is that Texas is a very conservative state and the powers that be would rather this story fall by the wayside and not ruin the violent gang members' lives over a mistake. How is it a mistake when they left a man for dead?
It is all very reminiscent of the Brock Turner case. He’s the one who the judge gave a slap on the wrist to because he didn’t want to ruin the rapist’s life. That’s the America we live in today—the attacker’s life is worth more than the victim's.