If I had to guess, my hunch would be that the black blood coursing through the veins of our first half-black, half-white president runs hotter than the Caucasian blood. He finds it much easier to become passionate about race and the problems attendant on it when the victim of a crime is dark-skinned, as he himself is.
When the complexion of the victim is more like that of his mother, the president becomes tongue-tied. It is hard to know whether this is a matter of choice or necessity, but either way Barack Obama would just as soon “not go there.”
In a way, the president has history on his side just as assuredly as he has the mainstream media in his pocket. The narrative of injustice toward blacks is far more compelling. It evokes distasteful images of Africans crammed into ships bound for the New World to be sold into enslavement. It summons images of Jim Crow and victims like Emmett Till (to pick one name that gets bandied about a lot these days).
But history is only effective as long as its lessons are still valid, and the argument that we haven’t advanced as a nation in the 50 years since the March on Washington is becoming increasingly difficult to make. Obama may have history to back up his comments on race, but he doesn’t have the facts.
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John McWhorter, also a black man, does and presents them in an article in TIME that is receiving a lot of attention. “The numbers don’t lie,” McWhorter argues:
[Y]oung black men do commit about 50% of the murders in the U.S. We don’t yet know whether the attack on [Christopher] Lane, [a white man shot in the back by three teens, two of them black] was racially motivated, nor can we know whether the three black boys who attacked a white boy on a Florida school bus recently would not have done the same to a black kid. (Critics took Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to task for not condemning the violence.) But hardly uncommon are cases such as [that of] the two black guys who doused a white 13-year-old with gasoline and lit him on fire, saying ‘You get what you deserve, white boy’ (Kansas City, Mo.) or 20 black kids who beat up white Matthew Owens on his porch ’for Trayvon’ (Mobile, Ala.).
So, it’s just fake to pretend that the association of young black men with violence comes out of thin air.
Which is pretty the case that Obama’s enablers on the left continue to make. The crime against Trayvon Martin — his “victimization” if you accept the currency of liberal writers — is somehow different from these other crimes. It’s because he was young or defenseless or minding his own business. But Chris Lane was young, just 5 years older than Martin at the time he was senselessly gunned down. And Fannie Gumbinger, who was 99 at the time of her slaying by a 20-year-black who broke into her home, was certainly defenseless and “minding his own business.”
No, what makes the killing of Trayvon Martin different is that the left wants it to be different. They want it to emblematic of something that once existed but has since been widely eradicated. If there are vestiges of racism toward blacks in American society, they are hardly more prevalent these days than black racism toward whites, which is borne largely out of resentment manufactured for them by white guilty liberals.
That this reality is dawning increasingly on the left is evident in an article today at CNN.com by contributor Ruben Navarrette, who writes candidly:
Americans are told we need to have a national conversation in which we talk about race.
And yet, when we have horrific crimes with white victims where the alleged perpetrators are African-American or Latino, we’re told that we can’t talk about race.
This isn’t true when the roles are reversed. If the victims are African-American or Latino, and the alleged perpetrator is white, we talk about race until our throats go dry.
Confused? Join the club.
If Obama refuses membership to the club, as I strongly suspect he will, he can always fall back on commentary by people like Steve Benen, who writes for The Maddow Blog on MSNBC. He also has an article out today that is more the sort of thing the White House would prefer. He focuses undue attention on the fact that one of the suspects in the shooting of Chris Lane was white. The claim is accurate but in no way diminishes from the fact that two of the three suspects were black. Maybe Benen would like to try his hand next at explaining away the murder of Fannie Gumbinger.
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