Bill Sparkman; a White 51 year old single father working part-time as a U.S. Census worker and teacher was found dead September 12th in a remote rural section of the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky. Mr. Sparkman’s death was a result to a hanging. What is disturbing about this is that the word “Fed” was written on his chest.
My reasons for listing his race, age, marital status and occupation are to put a face to the victim of this crime. For those who may have heard or read about this crime may have initially asked the question either publicly or privately “Was he Black?” Be openly honest.
This is why I’m writing this, because not all crimes of hate is racially driven, but the fact we instantly think of that is just additional reason why America has yet to effectively address its problems with race. But this is a case where not race, but affiliation is cause for the bias.
I know this is standard police protocol to say that the death is being investigated to determine whether it is a case of a homicide or suicide. In addition, was motivated by his affiliation to the government or not.
Now being from the south I have a good feeling of the motivation behind this, but I will reserve my opinion for another day. I have an interesting question to present those who are open-minded enough to respond logically to it.
Should this be considered a Hate Crime?
I want to offer you what a hate crime is first. The FBI defines a Hate Crime also known as a bias crime as a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.
I suggest an explicit definition of affiliation be amended to this Act as part of the definition and criteria of a hate or bias crime. There’s more to this story and the exploration of the killers’ motives will serve as confirmation to why I believe this should be considered a hate crime that resulted in an act of homicide.
Tell me your thoughts, ideas & suggestions. I will revisit this one soon.References & Inspirations Huffington Post – 09/23/09 “Census Worker Hanged: Bill Sparkman Found With ‘FED’ on Body” Federal Bureau of Investigation – “Definition of a Hate Crime”