On March 15, 2012, just a few days before the story of Trayvon Martin’s killing in Florida became a national sensation, Jose Carranza, 32, found his way back into the news.
Like George Zimmerman, Martin’s killer, Carranza is of Peruvian descent. Like Zimmerman, Carranza killed a black youth. Only he did not stop at one. He killed three. And on March 15, he was sentenced to 155 years in prison for his crime.
Why Zimmerman is a household name and Carranza is not tells us everything we need to know about the way the Democratic-media complex works. And rest assured, it has nothing to do with the relative horror of the killings.
Here is what happened in a New Jersey schoolyard on the night of Aug. 4, 2007 – and be warned; this account is not for the faint of heart.
Carranza and five of his buddies were drinking and smoking marijuana when they spied four young black students playing music, two male and two female, and judged them easy prey.
Unlike with Martin, there were no complicating factors in the victims’ biographies. Dashon Harvey, 20, was entering his junior year at Delaware State University. Terrence Aeriel, 18, was to begin at Delaware State the following month. Natasha Aeriel, then 19, also attended Delaware State. Iofemi Hightower, 20, was holding down two jobs while she saved to attend college.
Carranza and his pals pulled guns on the four and robbed them. Then they forced them to lay face down while they sexually assaulted the girls.
“All I could keep doing was saying, ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,’” testified Natasha Aeriel who survived the attack. “It probably was a little too loud because somebody told me to shut the f— up.”
One of the gang members put his knee in Aeriel’s back and slashed her throat with a machete. Upon seeing her own blood, Aeriel summoned the will to push off her attacker and started to run.
It was then that Carranza’s crew opened fire, killing Aeriel’s three friends with gunshots to the back of the head and wounding Aeriel. She survived to finger the attackers and has since graduated from Delaware State.
I know of this story only because it happened in Newark, N.J., my hometown. At the time, it received a fair amount of attention locally but relatively little nationally.
After the attack, the late Terry Anderson, an iconoclastic black talk-show host I met in Los Angeles while researching my book “What’s the Matter With California,” challenged black leaders to speak out.
“If you make one simple change, and change Jose Carranza to a white man, I will guarantee you that [Sharpton and Jackson] would be screaming and marching in the streets.” They did not, and as a result the story quickly faded, save on the pages of New Jersey newspapers.
In his valuable memoir, “Radical Son,” David Horowitz tells a story that answers the question why the Carranza killings attracted so little attention.
While still a leftist, Horowitz had recommended his friend, an unassuming 42-year-old mom named Betty Van Patter, help the Black Panthers manage their business affairs. When she proved too honest, these much fawned-over Marxists fired her, then murdered her.
“In my entire life, I had never experienced a blacker night,” says Horowitz. Worse was yet to come. When Horowitz sought justice for Van Patter, he found, much to his dismay, that no one cared.
“There was only silence,” writes Horowitz of his allies on the left. “The incident had no usable political meaning and was therefore best forgotten.”
In a similar vein, the schoolyard killings, however grotesque, had no usable political meaning for the Democratic-media complex. Just the opposite. Carranza was an illegal alien, a member of the violent Central American gang, MS-13. He had been previously arrested on charges of aggravated assault and rape, and at the time of the murders was still in the country, free on bail.
Carranza was to the Democratic position on illegal immigration what Willie Horton had been to Michael Dukakis’ position on prison furloughs – a living, breathing embarrassment.
Were the media to give the Carranza case the attention it deserved, they would not only highlight the self-defeating nature of the Democratic position, but they would also stir dissension between blacks and Hispanics.
As I saw in researching affairs in California, blacks and Hispanics are often pitted against each other in violent turf conflicts, particularly in high schools and in prisons. This is due in no small part to illegal immigration, which hurts blacks and legal Hispanics more than anyone else. The media know this.
As in the Newark schoolyard killings, the media do their best to keep the coverage of these conflicts localized lest they upset the Democrats’ fragile “rainbow” coalition. The media want both minority groups to think that only the Democrats protect them from the racist Republicans.
It is possible that the movers and shakers in the Democratic-media complex gave the green light to the Trayvon Martin story without knowing George Zimmerman’s Hispanic heritage.
I am confident, though, that if Zimmerman’s last name had been “Carranza” or he had been in the country illegally, we never would have heard of him.