During the virtual learning period due to the Covid-19 pandemic when students were home most of the time and spent less time hanging out, the number of racial incidents in teenagers and young folks understandably dropped. However, since schools reopened, an increasing trend of racial incidents is seen in almost every part of the country, something that is becoming more and more concerning especially in the last few months.
Even before the start of the pandemic, the number of racial incidents in young folks has been on the rise despite all the efforts in battling racism in America. During the pandemic, the now 18-year-old J. Chambers was a victim of racism nearly two years ago while he was at a party, and he now decided to share his story with the public and let everyone know how that particular incident impacted him and his life.
According to his story, it was Saturday night in September 2020 when he attended a party with his friends and other fellow teenagers. Chambers, who lives in Virginia in an area where 88% of the residents are white, became intoxicated and passed out at the party and other teenagers ‘assaulted’ him or as Chambers now calls that incident, what they did to him was a hate crime.
It was done while Chambers was unconscious. The N-word was written in all caps behind his right ear. “White Lives MATTER” lined his head in black marker next to “F- — BLM.” White partygoers snapped photos of a s*x toy pressed up against his face. Then when he woke up to use the bathroom, they draped the then 16-year-old Black teenager with a Confederate flag and captured that, too, before circulating the pictures on social media.
In addition to what had happened at the party, Chambers, his family relatives and the local Black community were nothing but devastated because the local authorities did almost nothing in solving the case. Per Chamber’s claims, those who attended the party informed the investigators that writing on people at parties and taking photos of them was common behavior deemed “a party joke.”
Earlier this month, more than 100 activists and community members gathered to call for “Justice for Jerry (Chambers).” Chamber’s family said he was assaulted and humiliated while unconscious at the party nearly two years ago. “Being a victim of a hate crime scars you for your life,” Chambers told the crowd. “For me, it felt like I lost my manhood.”
Some of those who were present at the party took photos of the unconscious Chambers and shared them over the social media app Snapchat. His parents say Chambers showed them some of the photographs that had been taken of him and posted online.
“This has just been horrifying,” Chamber’s mother said. “The trauma related to this hate crime has just been devastating to our entire family. We’ve been literally fighting to save our son’s life from September of 2020 to the present.”
“How would you feel if you were physically abused with a s*x toy? How would you feel if you were surrounded by guns all night while also being the only Black man in the room?” Chambers recalled. “How much more do I have to express for law enforcement to do anything about it?,” he continued.
Chambers, according to his parents, has been in therapy since the incident. The young boy even tried to take his own life and spent several days in the ICU for treatment, where he didn’t even have strength to get up and walk. The case is now investigated by the FBI and the family plans to file a lawsuit against those involved in the incident as soon as the FBI’s report is handed to them.