(Editor’s note: Colin Flaherty has done more reporting than any other journalist on what appears to be a nationwide trend of skyrocketing black-on-white crime, violence and abuse. WND features these reports to counterbalance the virtual blackout by the rest of the media due to their concerns that reporting such incidents would be inflammatory or even racist. WND considers it racist not to report racial abuse solely because of the skin color of the perpetrators or victims.) Videos linked or embedded may contain foul language and violence.
Black-mob violence and black-on-white crime has not destroyed the entire American Tobacco Trail, only the small chunk that goes through Durham, N.C.
The “high crime” part. The gang-infested part. The poor part. The urban part. The sketchy part. The part that local media calls every name imaginable except one: The black part.
Otherwise, most of the 22.5 miles of this trail is a safe, sometimes bucolic experience for runners, bikers, strollers and even equestrians. As long as they stay away from the trail near Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway.
The latest assault happened earlier this month. An unknown number of black people sent a 53-year-old man to the hospital after robbing him and beating him with a big stick. Other than saying the crime took place on the part of the trail about a mile north of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, police are not giving out much more information.
But there is not much to say that police haven’t said more than 40 times since 2011:
In July a roller blader and a jogger were robbed by a man holding a gun.
“The simple assaults don’t appear to be motivated by robbery,” the Durham Chief of Police told WRAL-TV. “It appears to be motivated more by mischievousness and the locations where they find individuals who are clearly running by themselves.”
Police suggest carrying a cell phone and using the trail with others. Yet the “fight the mischievous thugs with a cell phone” strategy does not really work for many residents of Durham.
Said one user of the WRAL website: “Again, police advocate carrying a cell phone but not a pistol or even a stout club? What is wrong with them? Are they giving up their firearms? What is the cell phone for? Is that so you have something extra to bargain with the criminal for your life? Unreal.”
Sometimes the local media will describe the attackers. Most times not.
“Yeah, great job describing the perp! Could race be involved?” asked one reader at the WRAL site, echoing lots of comments that wonder why the media does not publish a full description, even when the description is available in police reports.
Scoffed another reader: “You forgot to mention that it was ninja who robbed them because apparently no one got a description of him. No one sees a ninja!”
Not all of the crimes are even reported to police, but this biker posted his account at IndyWeek.com: “This was my first ride on the ATT. Having had my a– kicked by a group of teens in NYC, I saw familiar signs of trouble to come as I headed back towards downtown. 5-6 young teens huddled around on a bridge and watched me as I approached, right before Riddle Rd, I believe. As I passed them, one kid threw a fistful of rocks at me, hitting the side of my face. Right past them was a large branch on the path, neatly placed to block the entire paved area. I rode over it slowly, just in time for 3 older teens, maybe 18 or so, to approach me, one of whom said something, which I lost in the wind I generated hauling a– towards town.”
She reported her own brush with mayhem: “And in late September, I had to call the police from Mile Marker .25, at the bridge downtown. This was at 5:30 in the afternoon when a guy on a trick bike yells, “G–damn b—-!” I didn’t answer. So he biked in front of me and continued to accost me, “Hey, G–damn b—-, why didn’t you answer? Why are you getting all white on me?”
If anyone expected outrage or anger from this urban warrior, they would be disappointed. All they got was resignation: “Now I know it’s impossible for police to surveil the entire trail; from downtown to Southpoint Mall it’s essentially a 6.5-mile linear park. And if you choose to travel the trail at night, then don’t complain when you are relieved of your wallet.”
In downtown Durham last summer, a group of black people robbed and assaulted a 53-year old-man, putting him in the hospital in critical condition. This was the second such crime in that area within a month.
“The suspects are also four black male teenagers,” reported the News Observer.
Even so, it’s the persistent violence at the American Tobacco Trail that gets the attention. Too much of the wrong kind of attention, said one local resident: “This is a pride and joy of the whole city. Our American Tobacco Trail is a wonderful place for families, for diversity, for bikers, walkers of all ages,” she said
Lots of readers were not sure what she meant by saying the trail promotes diversity.
But several did offer advice about how to be safe on it. Said Scot34 at the WRAL website, “If you want to be a target and statistic, walk or run the trail. When will you people learn to defend yourself and solve this problem? These unarmed and unprepared citizens are making this a target-rich environment for criminals; that’s why it continues to happen.”