On the morning of Dec. 21, 2019, a white man from Colorado walked into an Arby’s restaurant in Ontario, Oregon. He spotted a Black man who he’d never so much as laid eyes on before the moment he decided to walk up behind him and stab him twice in the neck with a knife. The white man told the Arby’s worker who took him down, and later the authorities who arrested him, that he attacked his victim, who survived his wounds, for one reason and one reason alone—because he is Black.
According to a press release published Thursday by the Department of Justice, 27-year-old Nolan Levi Strauss pleaded guilty in June after a federal grand jury charged him with a hate crime involving an attempt to kill. He was sentenced to 16 years in federal prison and five years of supervised release.
No one who understands the power and pervasiveness of white supremacy could possibly think that’s enough time. No compassionate person could possibly think a man who intended to kill a man he never met over the color of his skin should be let out of prison by the time he’s 43 with the assumption that he won’t still be a danger to any Black person who happens to cross his path.
After Strauss stabbed the Black man—who wasn’t identified by name in the press release, which noted that he was waiting to meet with the restaurant’s manager “to provide documentation for a pending job application”—a worker helped bring him down as his victim “struggled to wrest the knife from Strauss.”
After Strauss was disarmed and pinned down, the worker asked him why he did what he did, to which the apparent white supremacist reportedly responded, “Because he was Black, and I don’t like Black people.”
Later, Strauss doubled down on that sentiment explaining to the authorities that he believes Black people are manipulative, lacking morality and “not good people.”
Please, let’s not gloss over the sheer degree of caucasity on display here. The admitted racist who stabbed a complete stranger twice in the neck nearly killing him came out of the side of his face to say Black people are lacking in morality and are not good people.
“This defendant is being held accountable for his brutal and racially-motivated attack against a Black man carried out because of the color of his skin,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said after Strauss’ sentencing. “Racially motivated attacks have no place in our society, and the Civil Rights Division will continue to vigorously enforce federal laws that prohibit bias-motivated violence.”
Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug said in his statement, “We hope the lengthy sentence imposed today will bring some measure of peace and closure for the man viciously attacked by Nolan Strauss,” and that “The sentence should also send a clear message to anyone contemplating similar acts of violence: hatred and bigotry will not be tolerated.”
OK, but is the sentence “lengthy” enough to send that message?
One can only wonder what a federal sentence for attempted murder looks like without a hate crime enhancement if just over a decade and a half is all Strauss gets with one included.
To quote my favorite Rick Ross song featuring Andre 3000—16 ain’t enough.
Violent White Folks Who Were Taken Into Custody With Loving Care By Police
1. Miami airport violence
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Last night at Miami Int’l Airport. Another FL anti-masker covidiot. (Strong language). pic.twitter.com/kO18bBFPTb— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) August 28, 2021
2. Floyd Ray Roseberry
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NEW: “The revolution is on. It’s here… I’m ready to die for the cause.”— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 19, 2021
Here’s video from the man who said he’s got a bomb outside the Capitol.
Follow @huffpost and @sara_bee for more as the situation develops. pic.twitter.com/aRx1hES7Vl
3. Jeffrey Nicholas
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Jeffrey Nicholas, a white man shot and killed two police officers and injured a city worker in Texas before he was able to be safely apprehended without law enforcement resorting to using lethal force.https://t.co/sLhFwxZHgg pic.twitter.com/yWd0XUg7Og— NewsOne (@newsone) May 13, 2021
4. Robert Aaron Long, suspect in Asian massage parlor killing spree in GASource:Crisp County Sheriff's Office 4 of 32
5. Duke Webb, bowling alley gunman in Rockford, IllinoisSource:Winnebago County Sheriff's Office 5 of 32
6. Car Drives Into Group Of Protesters In New YorkSource:Getty 6 of 32
7. Brad Parscale, demoted former Trump campaign managerSource:Getty 7 of 32
8. Brett HankisonSource:Shelby County Sheriff's Department 8 of 32
9. Thomas Kinworthy accused of killing Black cop, shooting another9 of 32
10. Dalton Potter allegedly shot a cop and another man
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BLUE ALERT issued for Dalton Potter, age 29. Potter is suspected of shooting a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office deputy overnight. Last known to be on foot on Interstate 75 at the Whitfield/Gordon County line. Potter is considered armed and dangerous. Call 911. #BlueAlert pic.twitter.com/Vdyl8ReGaW— GA Bureau of Investigation (@GBI_GA) September 7, 2020
11. White suspect physically attacking officer
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Interesting.— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) August 30, 2020
Thinking about Jacob Blake right now. Sure seems like white people get the benefit of the doubt when engaged with the police... pic.twitter.com/kLh9iCJepp
12. Kyle Rittenhouse, Kenosha Jacob Blake shooterSource:Twitter 12 of 32
13. White supremacist who beat a woman on video
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Nicholas Arnold Schock, 36, of Wauchula was arrested and charged with battery and disturbing the peace and bail was set at $620. He remains at the Sarasota County Jail. pic.twitter.com/ggDBjAxCN1— Carlos R. Munoz 📰 (@ReadCarlos) August 2, 2020
14. West Hollywood shooter14 of 32
15. Gregory and Travis McMichaelsSource:Glynn County Sheriff's Office 15 of 32
16. Anthony J. Trifiletti, shot an unarmed Black manSource:Saint Paul Police Department 16 of 32
17. Matthew Bernard, Killed Three People17 of 32
18.18 of 32
19. Mark Boisey19 of 32
20. Lorne BrownSource:NBC Miami 20 of 32
21. Patrick Crusius, El Paso Mall Mass Shooting Suspect
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Patrick Crusius allegedly wrote a racist manifesto before killing at least 18 people in Saturday's shooting at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso. The suspect, a white male, was safely taken into custody.— NewsOne (@newsone) August 3, 2019
This is America. #Walmartshooting #ElPasoShootinghttps://t.co/cjYzJZsCXn
22. Aaron DeanSource:Tarrant County Jail 22 of 32
23. Amber Guyger23 of 32
24. James Holmes
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Today on #CrimeStories: Prosecutors have released video of #Aurora shooter #JamesHolmes’ interviews w/ a psychiatrist. Tune in now on @SiriusXM ch. 111 for insight on the evaluation of his sanity in the #Colorado theater massacre. #NancyGrace #CrimeAlert #CrimeOnline #MassKiller pic.twitter.com/DKRD2s0ay8— Crime Online (@crimeonlinenews) February 26, 2019
25. Michael Mattioli25 of 32
26. Dylann RoofSource:Getty 26 of 32
27. Matthew Sloan Punched And Spit On Police...
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Again, if Matthew Sloan was a Black man this would be a much different story. https://t.co/K4cwb6SQ38— NewsOne (@newsone) July 12, 2019
28. Assaulted Police And Even Chased Them...
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This man never complied— Gambling Refund 💵™ (@OffshoreRefund) May 14, 2019
This man actually hit police multiple times
This man chased police and made them fear for safety
This man was not killed!
Pamela Turner was murdered and pregnant, she was never given the same opportunity. WHY? @KingJamespic.twitter.com/DfzdICbOy8
29. Shot At Police At Trump Tower...29 of 32
30. Shot At Police At Walmart -- And Was Let Go...30 of 32
31. Man Holds Black Man At Gunpoint And He Is Calmly Arrested...
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Downtown CHARLOTTESVILLE right now. F*ing white trash has a black man submitted first with a knife around his neck, then makes him kneel still threatening to stab him.— ℕ𝕠𝕥 𝕓𝕚𝕡𝕠𝕝𝕒𝕣 𝕥𝕠𝕕𝕒𝕪 (@tomorrowtambien) December 28, 2018
Please, Twitter do your thing in the name of justice #resist @washingtonpost @MSNBC pic.twitter.com/klg7g5ac22