Joshuah Lamb, a black 14-year-old, sits in a juvenile detention center after beating up a 22-year-old white man for listening to music by rapper Gucci Mane. The attack was triggered because Lamb didn't think white people should listen to rap music. Now the local State Attorney's Office is deciding whether to charge Lamb with a hate crime.
The incident began when David McKnight, a white man, was listening to Gucci Mane's hit "Wasted," which features Fort Myers rapper Plies. McKnight was blaring the song on his boombox while Lamb was walking down the sidewalk.
"You shouldn't be listening to rap music because you're white," Lamb said, according to a police spokesperson.
McKnight replied that he could listen to whatever music he wanted. The argument escalated to a fight. That's when Lamb punched McKnight. About seven other boys eventually joined the fight.
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"I couldn't get away fast enough, let's just put it that way. Then one of them spit on me, punched me, knocked me down, got a couple of kicks in from a couple of them," McKnight told WFTV news. He suffered a broken toe, a concussion, a swollen eye, and strangulation marks.
The song -- which includes lyrics such as "I don't wear tight jeans like the white boys/But I do get wasted like the white boys" and "I need more cases and Gucci not a racist/All my diamonds Caucasians" -- was a minor hit on radio, and Mane has been championed by critics across the spectrum. Even indie rock-centric Pitchfork Media gave the album on which the song appears a relatively high 8.0 rating.
It's unclear from the article how seriously the State Attorney's Office is thinking about charging Lamb with a hate crime or if WFTV is just stoking racial flames. When interviewed, McKnight said at first he wasn't sure Lamb should be charged with a hate crime, but when pushed further by the journalist interviewing him, he decided maybe the teen should be.