It wouldn’t be Saturday night in Jacksonville without a good old-fashioned brawl. On Apr. 23, the city witnessed a 60-person royal rumble at the Orange Park shopping mall that ended with five “youths” being arrested. And of course when I say “youths,” I’m using the common journalistic euphemism for black kids.
This reluctance to use racial labels is really quite odd because reporters don’t usually beat around the bush when it comes to race. The Fourth Estate loves a story with a racial angle, so much so that they will invent such an angle if one doesn’t already exist. (George Zimmerman, anyone?)
Journalists are quick to affix racial labels when the story is an officer-involved shooting — “White cop kills unarmed black man!” Sometimes the reporters don’t even bother to confirm that the cop really is white, as happened last September when a Charlotte police officer, Brentley Vinson, shot and killed a black ex-con who was armed with a gun. According to Associated Press reporters Tom Foreman, Jr. and Seanna Adcox, “[A] white police officer shot and killed a black man, Keith Scott…” — which must have been news to Officer Vinson, who is black and reportedly has been his entire life. (The story was later corrected.)
The express purpose of using racial labels in stories about officer-involved shootings is to racialize them. Whenever the dead guy is black, racial animus is simply assumed. No other motive — self defense, for example — is considered. But when 60 black kids rampage through a mall, whaling on each other, the media are suddenly rendered colorblind.
Geez, were those kids black? I hadn’t noticed. I don’t see color.
But of course they see color. That’s why they take such great pains to conceal it.
After reading about this latest act of mob violence in a shopping mall I was reminded of one of comedian Chris Rock’s greatest jokes: “Every town has the same two malls: the one white people go to and the one white people used to go to.”
If Orange Park wasn’t already the mall “white people used to go to” it soon will be. This kind of mayhem scares away customers. It’s like a cancer that invades the local economy and gnaws away at it until there’s nothing left but blight and deep-seated resentment.
The recent brawl at Orange Park wasn’t even the first at that mall. On Christmas Day 2015 a massive fight broke out in or near the mall cinema. Nor is Orange Park the only mall that suffers from this kind of uproarious anarchy. In what appears to be a coordinated nation-wide campaign, enormous melees broke out at malls in eleven states on the day after Christmas 2016. The New York Times actually covered the story with the headline “After 15 Big Mall Fights, Police See a Culprit: Teenage Boredom.” Cell phone videos showed all black faces so I can only conclude that boredom is a problem unique to the black community. I’m sure there’s a lesson about #whiteprivilege in here somewhere but I’ll leave that for someone else to find.
On the same day the previous year, a fight broke out at Mall St. Matthews in suburban Louisville involving between 1,000 and 2,000 participants. No one was arrested. “Our officers, they showed great restraint,” said a police spokesman. And by “restraint” he means that more than 1,000 hooligans went on a rampage and they all got away scot-free.
Though the media and the cops tap-danced around the racial issue, it didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce the skin color of the rioters. The fact that no one was arrested sounds weird, though it would make more sense if the cops’ first concern was to avoid accusations of police brutality and/or racism. Call it the Ferguson Effect — fearful of the media, the “civil rights” establishment, and the Obama administration’s blindered DOJ, the cops just stood down. They avoided making arrests because it meant no paper trail (with all of the accompanying racial classifications), no mug shots, and — most importantly — no accusations that they came down hard on the kids because they were black.
Another clue that the perps were almost entirely black is that the local news station, WLKY, dispatched one of their few black reporters to cover the story. During her report, the journalist mentioned “At one point, dozens of [rioters] were running toward our camera.” All of the teens streaming past appeared to be black.
A follow-up story cast light on the fracas’s supposed root cause: Apparently there are “very few options for entertainment west of I-65.” That’s Louisville’s black ghetto, by the way. The report then segued into a story about a youth basketball league in that part of the city that aims to keep kids out of trouble. (Wait a second, isn’t that entertainment?) Every kid in the story was black. One of the kids claimed to have been at the mall on the night of the riot, strongly hinting that he was among the rioters without saying so explicitly. All the thugs got away so we’ll never know.
Not that I doubt for a moment that there are very few recreational activities in the blackest parts of Louisville or any other American city; I would simply dispute the precise cause-and effect-relationship.
It’s not just malls either. In Memphis, a mob of about one hundred black teens attacked a Kroger supermarket where they proceeded to beat the tar out of an employee who may have been chosen at random. One cell phone video recorded by a black female caught her giggling “Hold on, they got a white dude!” The video shows a young man on the ground shielding himself from brutal kicks to the face before being pummeled with pumpkins.
This is how civilization dies. It begins with the mob mentality which, if tolerated, can only spread. This mob is a self-selecting bunch so if a single demographic group happens to be robustly represented then shame on that group. It’s up to that community’s responsible members to police their own. The rest of us don’t have anything to apologize for.
But the rise of the mob is only the beginning of civilizational demise. As long as there is a will to resist this kind of lawlessness, civilization still has a fighting chance. Unfortunately, the mob has learned that the quickest way to make civilization drop its guard is to hurl accusations of bigotry. First they stigmatize any discussion of “law and order” as a racist dog-whistle. The media are glad to help with that, even the taxpayer-funded media. People who don’t like black mob violence must not be allowed to get away with portraying themselves as anti-mob violence — they must be accused of being anti-black. Civilization has no defense against this kind of attack other than to retreat — first from the mall, then from the neighborhood, then from the entire city.