Over the weekend, “civil rights leader” Jesse Jackson finally broke his silence (sort of) on the beating of a 13-year-old white Floridian by three older black teens aboard a school bus. A reporter for Breitbart.com buttonholed Jackson at a black parade in Chicago and asked this question: “Does black leadership have a responsibility to say something about that kind of violence?”
Initially the reverend offered excuses rather than answers — he’d been out of town, he’d tried reaching out to the boy’s family (which presupposes that he somehow gained access to the identity of the victim, which has not been made public). However, when the name of Trayvon Martin was evoked, Jackson did speak to the question, saying, “It’s hard to make a comparison.” In other words, meh: The white kid lived, the black kid died … and Florida is still an apartheid state.
The victim of a beating in St. Paul over the weekend has also survived, at least so far, and will recover, God willing, though he is in a coma with potentially fatal brain swelling. One has to wonder whether the act of wanton savagery that put this man at death’s door will be sufficient to set off alarms in Jackson’s head — to prompt him and Al Sharpton to lead marches down the streets of St. Paul, to hold rallies nationwide demanding justice.
The victim, 26-year-old Ray Widstrand, had just moved into the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood, which apparently has had its share of crime, much of it perpetrated by gangs. The 30 to 40 men who descended on Widstrand were members of either the East Side Boys or their younger off-shoot, the Ham Crazy gang (the Ham part of which is an acronym for “Hoes And Money”).
[One witness] described seeing a white male assaulted who had walked into the area. She thought the first person who struck him had hit him with a can in a sock. The man went down and a ‘whole bunch of little eastside boys’ began to kick the man. She saw them strip him of his pants and go through the pockets. This witness described trying to protect the man from the numerous people kicking and stomping him.
KMSP quotes Widstrand’s father as saying, “He’s a very compassionate and caring person and those who are lucky enough to know him know just how smart and caring and witty he can be.” Barack Obama echoed that sentiment, adding, “If I had a brother, he would be Ray Widstrand.” Check that. Obama has said zip about the attack.
Will Jackson, Sharpton, and the NAACP follow his lead? Will Stevie Wonder and Jay Z threaten to boycott Minnesota until it enacts stiffer penalties for gang-bangers. Or, as usual, is mum the word?
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