Can someone explain to me why the beating of a white man outside Courthouse East by a group of black men is not a hate crime? ("Bealefeld: Downtown beating caught on tape not a hate crime," April 10.) If the victim was black and beaten at the hands of a gang of whites, Al Sharpton would be on Pratt Street within hours. The double standard is driving a permanent wedge into race relations, and the media only feeds on the story of the poor victimized African-American. We still don't know the facts in the Trayvon Martin case, but we should never let the facts get in the way of a good protest.

Carl