Whatever: New reports of racial violence from New Haven, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Salisbury, Milwaukee, Oakland, Minneapolis, Brooklyn, Antioch, and other places are coming in faster than reporters can wish them away.
No matter how much the Society of Professional Journalists tries otherwise. No matter how many members of the National Association of Black Journalists want to convince us differently.
Even Al Sharpton admits the attacks are real and “racist.” Which is more than the New York Times, CNN, USA Today and others can say for themselves.
“There’s definitely something going on,” said Taleeb Starkes, author of the Uncivil War: Confronting The Subculture within the African American Community.
And it’s not new. I find it funny that those who dismiss the trend as hearsay, will also passionately debate whether the predators are Black 98 percent of the time versus 99 percent of the time. Other times, they note that Blacks are also victimized by Black mob violence. Wait, I thought that Black mob violence didn’t exist? As a result, society is at a tipping point. More and more people are refusing to accept the high levels of pathology in the black community as normal.
That sentiment has yet to effectively reach the news rooms or class rooms. Even so, there are simply too many witnesses, too many victims, too many police reports, too much video, and too many people demanding the truth. This large-scale denial will not continue for much longer. And it is starting in newsrooms, ever so slowly.
The Yale Daily News, America’s oldest college newspaper, reluctantly reported seven recent episodes of the Knockout game in and around the New Haven campus in November. Not once did the article mention that all the assailants were black and the victims were not. Nor was there a single mention two racially motivated assaults last summer against a pair of doctors, one of whom lost part of his ear.
New Haven was also the locus of the “All Black Affair” party in October, where 500 black people fought with police, destroyed property, and rampaged through three establishments. No one was arrested.
Whatever is — or is not — happening, the paper did find time to report that
- it has been “this way” for a long time and everyone knows it because they live, according to one Yalie, in an “urban environment.”
- the Knockout game is a myth cooked up by national hysteria seasoned by conservative sensationalism. From the paper:
Sergeant Al Vazquez of the NHPD Detective Bureau shared residents’ concerns about media sensationalism. The best way to prevent further ‘knockout’ attacks is to educate New Haven residents as well as the media, Vazquez said. He explained that the media helps perpetuate the trend by continually covering it.
That’s a new one for Taleeb Starkes, who posits, “Just the opposite is true: The media enables black mob violence by ignoring and denying it. All documented in White Girl Bleed a Lot. But there is no doubt the student paper is a perfect reflection of standard media denial.”
The students at the Yale college paper should not be condemned too harshly for omitting the context and history of the latest racial violence in New Haven. It’s part of their trade: The Society of Professional Journalists holds regular seminars around the country and recently published an article in its national magazine about how to report black mob violence. The group’s one-word recommendation is don’t.
Meanwhile, in Oakland Wednesday night, a black person attacked a white man riding on a bus. The local Fox affiliate dutifully reported the “Knockout game may be a hoax.” Anthony Lindsey says he knows it is real: “You think it’s fake: It’s not. It happened to me.”
In Baltimore, several victims of assault are coming forward to say they, too, were targets of Knockout attacks. According to the local ABC affiliate:
ABC2 talked to victims months ago, before the ‘knockout game’ was a national buzz phrase. Back then, leaders wouldn’t talk to us because they weren’t aware of the problem. Now they won’t talk because they don’t want it to become one here in Baltimore.
Jonathan Lomaskin spent the summer battered, beaten up and broken. ‘I had a complete fracture. Basically my lower mandible was fractured in half and all these teeth rolled inward,’ Lomaskin said.
The Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, is one of the political leaders who is not talking about the Knockout game. This is in stark contrast to her eagerness to talk about the killing of Trayvon Martin and subsequent acquittal of George Zimmerman.
Many of the stories about the “Knockout game hoax” are written by members of the National Association of Black Journalists. The NABJ recently hosted the parents of Trayvon Martin at its annual convention. They were received like rock stars.
At the event, panels and meetings were held that provided discussion on the direction black journalists should take with their coverage.
The Grio.com — the black online arm of NBC News – reported how NABJ is encouraging its members to report more “black issues.”
‘As far the news goes and covering black issues, it’s not always been something that news organizations have been guilty of doing,’ said Corey Dade, a contributor to The Root. ‘This is the story, race in America is the news story. You can apply it to everything. There is a viable, lucrative market there when you start reporting about people of color.’
Reporters like Melanie Eversley at USA Today are paying attention: She recently wrote a story called “Alleged trend of knockout game a myth.” Eversley describes herself as an “involved NABJ member.”
Cross-posted at White Girl Bleed a Lot