Consumed by Hate

Imagine being so consumed with racial hatred that you travel all the way from Maryland specifically on a mission to kill black people. This is what seems to have happened last Monday night when Timothy Caughman suffered a brutal sword attack from a complete stranger apparently intent on targeting black men in New York City.

Caughman, who was 66 and lived on West 36th Street, managed to stagger into a police station, was taken to hospital but died of his wounds.

Caughman had an active Twitter account – @timrock715 – where he followed celebrities, admired Barack Obama, mourned Chuck Berry, celebrated Bob Dylan, commented favorably on Hillary Clinton’s debate performance and often retweeted posts about autism.

In his profile he described himself as:

can and bottle recycler in new york city and i would love to visit california. Im a good businessman.

Imagine too that you write for the New York Post and feel the need to describe the victim as a “career criminal”.

Caughman was in fact the college educated son of a preacher who had been a concert promoter with a lifelong love for Motown music. He was sorting through refuse in search of returnable cans and bottles when he was murdered.

On election day he tweeted: “Standing on line waiting to vote I love America.”

Imagined also being a journalist so consumed by … something … that throughout 2016 you are obsessed with a non-story of emails when the big scandal of Trump and Russia is right under your nose hiding in plain sight.

Trump, his minions and propaganda arm Fox News frothed with self-righteous indignation at the false notion that Clinton was under FBI investigation. The allegations went effectively unchallenged.  (As Paul Krugman would say, “Thanks, Comey”.)

Now we know that it was the Trump campaign that was under investigation. Imagine being so consumed with Trumpophilia that you were willing to go along with and promote those false narratives.

To what extent they influenced the outcome can never be known for certain. But influence they surely did. Imagine having that on your conscience.

Here is how Timothy Caughman commented on the election result:


  1. Sue mentioned this post, said it was heartbreaking. It is. So many outrages coming from Washington that we forget the most immediate results of the election: the hate crimes. Thanks for giving this “statistic” a very human face and profile, which makes the crime almost more than one can bear. The Post and Fox News, milking the xenophobia for big bucks for years, might as well have wielded the sword themselves.

  2. Thanks Curt. I was very affected by this story of how hate strikes (almost) at random. Caughman was a random victim but of course the murderer was seeking out black men to kill. I was taken with the harmless warmth and humanity of his Twitter feed – where he shared news of celebrities, connected with his favorites and essentially shared news and good will about the people and causes he cared about. Autism seemed to feature frequently.

    Without a doubt this Trumpian regime has opened the floodgates of white supremacy, nazism and racial hatred. Trump didn’t create it. But he has unleashed it with renewed fervor.

    I was further outraged by the way the NYPost portrayed this guy. A “career criminal”. They made the decision to include that in their first report on the crime. Why?

    • “Career criminal”–I caught that too. Not only a lie but a gratuitous, irrelevant one. Making the hate crime what, more justifiable? Vile, any way you look at it.

  3. Dennis:

    This was a tragedy. So many hate crimes happening now and when will our so-called president ever condemn ANY of them.

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