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Imagine how the national press corps would handle the following
Two black men in their mid-30s ride their bicycles down a city street
about a block and a half from one of their homes. Seemingly without
provocation, a group of white men and teen-age boys surrounds the pair,
knocks them from their bikes and begins stomping them. The angry crowd
pummels the two men with their fists, feet, a pipe and a yellow trash
can. The attack leaves one man in critical condition and in a coma. The
other is treated at the hospital and released. Eight people, including
four juveniles, are each charged with two counts of “second-degree
lynching” in the mob beating. Three other suspects are still being
sought and another 14-year-old boy is expected to be arraigned in family
court. Just prior to the attack, according to a relative of one victim,
shots were fired outside a school dance. When police arrested a white
suspect, one of his friends was heard saying: “Yeah, we are going to get
us a black boy.” The attack on the two black bicyclists occurred a few
blocks from the school.
You know how that story would be played. Two innocent black men
lynched by white mob! It doesn’t matter where it happened — Anytown,
USA. It would be national news, right? And news reporters and editors
would pat each other on the back after writing their stories because
it’s important to let people know about the ugly specter of racism that
still exists in this country.
Well, would you be surprised if I told you that precisely this
happened just last Monday in Charleston, S.C., and not one national news
outlet has picked up on it until now?
Do you wonder why? “Well, you see,” the editors and reporters would
tell you, “there are some complicating factors. For one thing, the local
law enforcement officials say there was no racial motivation for the
And that is true. They do say that. And they probably say it in hopes
of defusing any further tensions that could escalate into wholesale
racial riots and further violence. But that doesn’t mitigate
responsibility for not reporting the attack. After all, similar attacks
of this kind have received massive attention by the national press
corps. So what gives?
I’ll tell you what gives. Every detail of this story is exactly as I
related it to you in the beginning of this column with one exception —
the victims were white and the perpetrators were black.
Oh, now you get it. You see, we’re not dealing with a so-called “hate
crime” any longer because blacks aren’t capable of being racist,
according to the paternalistic mentality of political correctness. Only
whites can be held accountable for racism, according to the hate-crime
Charleston police are insisting that the motivation for the attack was
not racial but rather material — in that the attackers stole the bikes.
However, no one has been charged with theft. They are charged with
lynching. And no one has come forward to explain why, if theft was the
motivation for the attack, a crowd of at least 12 would beat two victims
to a pulp AFTER they had been pulled from their bikes.
No folks, this was another case of “wilding,” as it became known in
New York after a stockbroker was beaten and raped by a mob in Central
Park a few years ago. It was fun. It was the thing to do. It was a way
of letting off steam. And, after all, the victims were a different
color. They had it coming to them.
It’s disingenuous not to call it racism. In fact, there’s something
condescendingly racist about the whole notion that racism is just a
one-way street. It is not. And it is important for people to recognize
that — all people. Playing “pretend” serves the interests of no one.
Putting our heads in the sand and not recognizing that black people are
just as capable of evil deeds as whites is a disservice to everyone.
It’s bad enough that people are still getting lynched in 1999. Let’s
not allow the truth to be lynched as well.