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According to a statement in the Chicago Tribune, reporting on the race of individuals involved in news events, such as mobs attacking, robbing and vandalizing, is irrelevant.
A news anchor at the ABC affiliate in Chicago goes even further: Anyone who reads or writes about the epidemic of racial violence in Chicago is an “idiot” who engages in “meaningless … race baiting,” says Ravi Baichwal.
City officials and the media might be the only two places left where people still deny Chicago is under assault from more than 50 episodes of black mobs attacking, beating, robbing and vandalizing over the last three years in and around downtown. Many of them are on display at YouTube.
Some call it the “Chicago Intifada.”
Over just the last two weeks, black mobs are under investigation in at least five new violent incidents in downtown Chicago.
And according to the award-winning police blog Second City Cop, there may be 25 more incidents of mob violence and lawlessness in that weekend alone that were never reported.
“As someone who worked in downtown Chicago for many years, I am horrified that residents are not only not being protected by the police, but that the city and media are actively denying the public the facts they need to fulfill the most basic of human rights; protecting themselves,” said Michelle Jacobsen. “The police and media have three basic purposes; serve, protect, inform. Their purposely miserable failure is putting lives in danger.”
The latest epidemic of violence was centered around the Blues Festival on June 9. Shortly after a concert ended at 9:30 p.m., a mob attacked an out-of-town visitor and left him with a broken jaw. Six juveniles and one adult – all black – have been charged in connection with the assault.
Thirty minutes later, another mob in a nearby subway attacked a man trying to protect his wife from theft and assault. The Chicago Tribune said he suffered a “concussion, a fractured orbital bone under his left eye, two cracked teeth and a cut over his left eye that required six stitches.”
The paper published pictures of the assailants, none of whom has been arrested or identified.
The next night, a doctor at Chicago’s Northwestern hospital was beaten by a mob, the second attack on a doctor in that area in 10 days, says the CBS affiliate in Chicago. All the suspects are black.
Meanwhile, the Second City Cop web site says mob violence in the downtown precincts is massively under-reported:
“And for the record, the ‘three’ ‘muggings’ that are being ‘investigated?’ Add a zero to that for incidents occurring last night in 018 (the downtown precinct.) Crime is down and if no one reports it or the media doesn’t get a hold of it? It never happened.”
The Chicago New Report provides details of similar assaults for the following weekend: “Saturday, Chicago police officers were kept busy trying to control huge crowds of unruly, young African Americans in the city’s increasingly violent downtown area. Separate groups, of nearly two hundred people, were responsible for several disturbances and at least one robbery in the area.”
Over the last three years, Chicago has been Ground Zero for an epidemic of racial violence and denial – with dozens of attacks against women, “gays,” seniors, Asians and others from black mobs. Few, if any, were reported as racial violence.
The beat reporters may not be connecting the dots, but three Chicago columnists are. If only to deny the dots are connected – or even exist.
Last July, Tribune columnist Mary Schmich recounted the latest example of black mob violence, and said “there’s another fact that you also know, but it’s one you haven’t read in the Tribune or seen explicitly stated by most of the official media: The young men were black.”
Which has nothing to do with anything, she says. And besides, she and her friends worry how reporting the race of the criminals “will reflect on all the good black kids.”
Schmich’s comments echo a policy statement from Tribune editorial page member Steve Chapman.
“There are good reasons not to identify the attackers by race. It’s the newspaper’s sound general policy not to mention race in a story, whether about crime or anything else, unless it has some clear relevance to the topic. My question to readers accusing us of political correctness is: Why do you care so much about the attackers’ race? If you fear or dislike blacks, I suppose it would confirm your prejudice. But otherwise, it tells you nothing useful.”
But posters to Tribune news sites and callers to talk radio wonder why the media has so much invested in refusing to report a unifying factor in many of these violent crimes.
City officials sometimes even deny the violence exists – let alone has a racial component. Last year, the city closed North Avenue Beach for Memorial Day after a crowd of 1,000 black people attacked beachgoers, knocked some off bikes and created other mayhem.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the beach was closed because it was too hot. No one told him about wide-spread racial violence at the beach, he said. Other city beaches remained open. Callers to talk radio and leaks from the police department revealed the true extent of the violence – and who was responsible for it.
Also during the summer on at least five occasions, mobs of black people swept through the “gay” district of Boys Town, beating, assaulting, destroying, even knifing. Some of it is on YouTube.
According the local ABC affiliate: “It was an obvious mob mentality. You saw people cheering it on. People running in to give one quick jab or kick and the then back out and cheering them on. It’s scary,’ said Rob Sall.
“Residents say the problems are due to large groups of people from outside the neighborhood loitering in the area. Alderman Tom Tunney, 44th Ward, said Monday night that this is a subject that has been coming up for the last couple of years. There tends to be large groups of minority youths on Halsted.”
There’s been a stream of headlines:
The list go on and on. So does the list of universities, sports teams, retail associations, hospitals and others that have warned their employees and customers that downtown Chicago is now a dangerous place.
Tribune columnist Mary Mitchell grudgingly acknowledges all the mob attackers are black. Mitchell doesn’t much like that, but she insists race has nothing to do with it. She says the attackers are from the suburbs, so don’t blame Chicago. She does however, worry that her grandchild goes to school with too many white children.
Back in the city, Congressman (and former Black Panther leader) Bobby Rush said black mob violence has been around for a long time: “You know as well as I – shootings, killings, and flash mobs. This is a new one now. Flash mobs, pepper spray assaults by young men have dominated this weekend’s news. I’m disturbed because it happens on the South Side on a regular basis. It seems as though when it happens on the North Side, then it’s newsworthy.”
Over the Memorial Day weekend, 10 people were killed and 40 shot, largely in Chicago’s black neighborhoods. The next weekend, the numbers were 8 dead and 40 wounded. And the weekend after that, five dead and 28 wounded.
The Superintendent of Police Gary McCarthy said crime is down and he is frustrated that people do not know it.
Last year, just a few days after denying there was any problem with violence from the 1,000 black people who were rioting at North Avenue Beach, McCarthy said he knew who was responsible for all the violence: Sarah Palin. Because she supports the right to bear arms.
While city officials and the Chicago media stumble over each other to deny the racial violence, at least one black Chicago alderman figures if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em: Earlier this month, Alderman Anthony Beale said if Metra, the city transit agency, does not hire more minorities, “people are going to get hurt.”
Even the Sun-Times could not ignore that: Its headline said: “Beale predicts violence if Metra doesn’t hire more minorities for rail project.”
Colin Flaherty is the author of “White Girl Bleed a Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How The Media Ignore It,” @ColinFlaherty.