Was Race a Factor in Oklahoma Youths’ Alleged Killing of Australian College Student?


Before Oklahoma authorities said James Edwards Jr., 15, and two other boys killed an Australian college student because they were “bored,” the boy known as “Bug” had changed, says the Los Angeles Times. His sister saw it; so did family friends: His American Eagle clothes and sweet demeanor were replaced about six months ago by drooping pants, the do-rags, and a vile stream of braggadocio, sexism, and racism he unleashed over his social media accounts.

In Duncan, an Oklahoma town of 23,000 that was 82 percent white, Bug, who is black, sometimes tweeted things like “90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM.” Authorities say one of the boys said they targeted Christopher Lane, who is white, because they were bored and had nothing to do. The Duncan case has Australians making threats about boycotting U.S. tourism while residents defend their gun rights and talk about race and the changing way of life in their state. Duncan is a town that has seen the ups and downs of oil booms, as well as the prolonged invasion of drug use that has crept through the rest of middle America. “This town is a town where it’s drugs or Jesus,” said Cole Hamer, 20. “You either got the drugs, or you got the churchgoers, and that’s what it is.”

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