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Sunday, January 8, 2017
When It’s Black on White Crime the Left Goes Color Blind
When It’s Black on White Crime the Left Goes Color Blind
The Stream - Sunday January 8, 2017
by Michael Brown
Why is it that when whites engage in violent acts against blacks, many on the left assume that those criminal acts must be hate-based, but when the tables are turned and the violence is black on white, many on the left no longer see color, looking for any explanation other than racial hate? Why the double standard?
According to CNN's Don Lemon, the horrific kidnapping and torture of a mentally disabled white man by a group of four black teenagers -- who had the audacity and stupidity to air it on Facebook live -- wasn't really evil.
Responding to Matt Lewis, who had commented on the extreme "evil" nature of the crime, Lemon replied, "I don't think it's evil. I don't think it's evil. I think these are young people, and I think they have bad home training."
Not evil? Seriously? Just young people with bad home training?
I'm glad that white on black violence has been exposed in recent years … but why shouldn't we be just as concerned with targeted black on white violence?
Lemon's comment drew immediate scorn, including tweets like this: "Hey @donlemon was Dylan Roof evil? Or just the victim of bad home training?" (Dylan Roof was the young white man who slaughtered 9 black parishioners during a church service in South Carolina.)
Does anyone for a moment think that Lemon, who himself is black, would have reacted the same way had this been a horrific, white on black crime?
To be clear, I'm glad that white on black violence has been exposed in recent years thanks to cell phone cameras, and to the extent that whites specifically targeted blacks -- as in the case of Dylan Roof -- our outrage should be even more acute.
But why shouldn't we be just as concerned with targeted black on white violence, as in the many examples of the infamous "knockout games"?
I understand that, in the eyes of many blacks, to reply immediately to the phrase "black lives matter" with the phrase "all lives matter" is to minimize the point they were making. But at what point can we say, "White lives matter too"? Why is that forbidden?
A recent anti-white, MTV video even mocked the idea that "blue lives matter," since people aren't blue. Tell that to the widows and orphans of the cops who were killed in cold blood while serving our country this year.
My intent here is not to minimize anti-black sentiment in America; my intent is to expose the hypocritical double standards.
Being on talk radio, I've heard from many God-fearing, church-going, authority-honoring black callers who shared with me their stories of being racially profiled, of experiencing discrimination, of even fearing for their lives at times simply because they were black, and I don't doubt their stories for a moment.
While flying home recently, I was upgraded to first class and sat next to a black gentleman who could have passed for a former (or even current) football player. As we talked, he told me he was the president of a university, holding a J.D. and a Ph.D. When we discussed the issue of discrimination, he shared with me the obstacles he had to overcome and how, to this day, when he sits in first class, people look at him like he's sitting in the wrong place or else assume he must be an athlete. After all, why else would a large black man be flying in first class?
So, to repeat, my intent here is not to minimize anti-black sentiment in America; my intent is to expose the hypocritical double standards, and this recent, ugly incident, has brought all this to the surface.
Remember that the torturers were yelling "f**k white people" and "f**k Trump" as they abused this young man, yet Democratic strategist Symone Sanders (also black), appearing on the same discussion panel with Don Lemon, wasn't sure it was a hate crime. She said,
If we start going around and anytime someone says or does something egregious or bad and sickening in sense. In connection with the president-elect Donald Trump or even President Obama for that matter because of their political leanings, that's slippery territory. That is not a hate crime.
I actually believe she has a point here, albeit a minor one, but again, it's the double-standard and the hypocrisy that concern me, since this is the very thing we've been subjected to for the last 8 years, namely, assuming that white criticism of President Obama must be race-based. Yet when it's black on white hatred in conjunction with black-on-Trump hatred, we have to tread carefully lest we head into "slippery territory."
To ask the obvious question, what would Sanders have said if, two weeks before Obama's first inauguration, four young white people kidnapped and tortured a mentally disabled black person, shouting, "f**k black people" and "f**k Obama"?
Wouldn't hatred of Obama equal hatred of blacks in the eyes of Sanders, and wouldn't she quickly brand this a glaring example of a dangerous hate crime that could be a portent of worse things to come? (For the record, within 24 hours of her statement quoted here, when pressed by Anderson Cooper, Sanders did acknowledge the kidnapping and torture as a hate crime, following the lead of the prosecutors.)
For a glaring example of hypocrisy, right from the White House, what about the statement of Press Secretary Josh Earnest, when pressed by the media about whether this was a hate crime?
He would not answer directly, since he claimed he had not yet discussed it with the president and was waiting for official word from law enforcement, stressing how important it was for them to do come to their conclusions first. But this is the very thing that the Obama administration has not done when controversial, white on black cases came to national attention.
To give one case in point, think back to the 2009 arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, a black man, by police Sgt. James Crowley, a white man.
When asked about the incident at a news conference that week, President Obama said, "I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played."
"But," he added, "I think it’s fair to say, No. 1, any of us would be pretty angry; No. 2, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, No. 3 … that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately."
Plenty of people who commit evil acts were not raised well, and we don't minimize their deeds because of their unfortunate upbringing.
Indeed, he stated, that the arrest shows "how race remains a factor in this society" -- and to repeat, he said this without knowing the facts.
The charges against Gates were, in fact, dropped (he was trying to "break in" to his own house when a neighbor called to report the suspicious activity), but Sgt. Crowley had not acted stupidly, nor did the arrest have anything to do with race, which is one reason why President Obama subsequently invited Gates and Crowley to have a beer with him and Vice President Biden at the White House.
Yet when it comes to a heinous, black on white hate crime today, the White House doesn't want to speak prematurely, wanting to let local law enforcement do its work.
After Earnest's statement, President Obama did refer to the kidnapping and torture as a "despicable" hate crime, and other black voices, like Montel Williams, denounced the crime in the strongest terms. But the reaction of others, like Lemon and Sanders and Earnest, points to a larger issue, and it is one we can't ignore.
As for the black young people who committed this crime, while they deserve justice, I pray for their redemption as well.
As for Lemon's contention that the kids were raised poorly, that may be true -- although the grandmother who raised one of the accused kidnappers would strongly differ with that assessment -- but plenty of people who commit evil acts were not raised well, and we don't minimize their deeds because of their unfortunate upbringing. And, again, I doubt that Lemon would have made such an excuse had the racial tables been turned.
Of course, the whole category of "hate crimes" carries its own set of controversies, but that's not the focus here. The focus is to expose left-wing, anti-white hypocrisy, and if we really care about justice, that means justice for all.
As for the black young people who committed this crime, while they deserve justice, I pray for their redemption as well, along with the physical and emotional recovery of the white young person who was abused.