Black mob violence and denial have a new poster boy: Ray Widstrand of St. Paul. If the name sounds familiar, it may be because you read about it in connection with mob violence in August, when Widstrand became a victim of it.
Soon after moving into a black neighborhood, he took an evening stroll during which he met some of his “new neighbors.”
The beating they inflicted on him was so savage that at first doctors were not optimistic about his chances for survival. Ultimately, Widstrand emerged from his coma and pulled through, though he had suffered broken bones, a fractured skull, and permanent brain injuries.
Widstrand says his attackers were just some kids lashing out. And he was a kid once and he did the same thing, so let’s all just get along. He forgives his assailants, even though not a single one of them is contrite or seeks forgiveness.
This same drama played out last year in a Chicago court room. A California college girl was arrested at the airport, then released into the deepest part of the most dangerous ghetto in Chicago.
Soon after, she was attacked and thrown out a seven-story window. Her family sued. During the trial, a Harvard professor testified that if a white person walks through a black neighborhood, people can reasonably expect some very unreasonable violence to be visited on that person. The professor called it Routine Activities Theory: R.A.T.
The judge, Frank Easterbrook, explained R.A.T. by saying the victim “was a white female in a predominantly black, poor neighborhood [and] she had a much higher risk of predatory victimization,” adding:
She was lost, unable to appreciate her danger and dressed in a manner to attract attention. She is white and well-off while the local population is predominantly black and not affluent, causing her to stand out as a person unfamiliar with the environment and, thus, a potential target for crime.
The city said R.A.T. was thinly disguised racial profiling and had no business at trial. But at the trial, R.A.T and race were everywhere — no matter how hard the city worked to keep it out. No matter how dedicated local media were to ignoring it.
Easterbrook said the situation was so transparently dangerous that Chicago police “might as well have released her into the lions’ den at the Brookfield Zoo.”
The City of Chicago settled for $22.5 million.
Prabhjot Singh had a similar experience in September in Harlem. Singh is a doctor who lives and works there. He too was out for a stroll. He too was beaten and left with a broken jaw and missing teeth when he ran into some of his neighbors. He too told local reporters he forgave his assailants.
Marlin Newburn says their forgiveness is really just a mask for denial. Newburn was a prison and law enforcement psychologist for more than 30 years. He says this fake forgiveness may be placing more people in danger because it allows the media to ignore racial violence. Says Newburn:
When talking about crime victims who have been naïve or otherwise ignorant of dangerous environments, forgiveness also appears to be a knee-jerk response to not just the physical assault, but the traumatic destruction of an ideal the victim may have harbored regarding their assailants.
In the case of black mob assaults, victims often believed the supposed put-upon black race need only to be understood and seen as social victims, and a blanket acceptance of all blacks do in life is part of being a good person.
Prior to being assaulted, many of the victims who I’ve talked with over the years had harbored a sense of nobility and even adolescent invincibility since they had convinced themselves that that their ‘higher value system’ exempted them from social dangers to include physical harm.
After the assault, that belief is destroyed, and something has to replace it quickly for emotional stability. Hence, instant forgiveness.
Newburn says some people are too eager to be nice. There is a name for that:
I just read this victim’s comments to reporters and saw straightaway he is a classic ‘masochist altruist, non-psychotic’. These people have a need to suffer or ‘be the victim’ in order to assuage feelings of low self-worth, jealousy, envy, anger and/or overall feelings of inadequacy. They have a terrible time experiencing pleasure or joy of any kind.’
Some say that attitude reflects a “blame the victim” mentality. Others say telling the truth may save the next victim.
Widstrand requires assistance with every phase of his life now. He wears a helmet to protect his fractured skull. Singh is back at work as a doctor in Harlem, his jaw wired shut.
The day after Widstrand told reporters he was forgiving his assailants, a car of at least four black people pulled up to a woman talking on her iPhone on a St. Paul street. KTSP picks up the story:
Three other men got out of the vehicle and one of them pulled her by the hair to the sidewalk, pushed her to the ground, pulled her pants down and then urinated on her, the criminal complaint states. The woman reported she thought she was going to get raped. She heard one man say, ‘Mitch you took that white b****’s phone.’
Continuing a long tradition, neither major local paper identified the alleged assailants as black. The only local TV or radio station to do so was KTSP.
No word yet if the woman forgives her wig-wearing attackers for this public humiliation. Widstrand and Singh, however, said they plan to continue living in the neighborhoods where they were attacked, R.A.T., or no R.A.T.
Cross-posted at White Girl Bleed a Lot