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Regarding the right-wing obsession with finding a racial counterweight to the Trayvon Martin case

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Brian Beutler EXAMINES a recent socio-political phenomenon:

There are a few black people up to no good in this country and Fox News is on it! So is Drudge Report. Vigilantly on the lookout, 24 hours a day, for stories about black youths behaving badly.

This isn’t a particularly new phenomenon, but it’s intensified noticeably in the past year for at least two reasons. Conservatives, particularly white conservatives, feel a burning urgency to find a racial counterweight to the aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s shooting (including President Obama’s public comments about the incident), a logical response to the argument that things like background checks and an assault weapons ban are appropriate ways to reduce the likelihood of another Sandy Hook-style massacre, and anecdotal justifications for indiscriminate policing of dangerous neighborhoods.

But these are hopeless pursuits. The incidents they draw attention to fail by definition to underscore the things they believe. They all require projecting motives or details or both into tragic events, to create false dichotomies between shootings perpetrated by whites and blacks. They have the unhealthy effect of creating dueling tallies of white-on-black and black-on-white crime. And ironically they all tend to underscore the argument that more “stand your ground” laws and more racial profiling are off-point responses to these incidents.

The latest conservative cri de coeur is over the tragic shooting death of Chris Lane, a 22-year-old Australian attending East Central University in Oklahoma on a baseball scholarship. Two teen boys spotted Lane on a jog last week, trailed him in a car, and allegedly shot him fatally in the back (a third teen reportedly served as their driver). One of the suspects said the boys committed the murder out of boredom.

Word of the shooting spread quickly. And that’s when the right clumsily revealed that its obsession with gun violence reflects an obsession with racial score settling rather than with averting further tragedies. The conservative media, including Fox News, repeated the claim that the Oklahoma suspects were all black. But this turned out to be a toxic mix of racial bias and wishful thinking. You almost wonder whether the people whose ulterior motives led them into error like this actually lamented the fact that one of the suspects happened to be white [above]. It would be so much more convenient if that weren’t the case.

 

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6 Comments

  1. I find it ironic that the author accuses the right wing media of looking for racial angles to murders like this when the “left wing” media certainly did the same thing with the Trayvon Martin case.

    Here is another take.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2013/0823/Chris-Lane-murder-Is-a-racist-dimension-of-the-crime-being-discounted

    The killing of Mr. Lane in Duncan, Okla., has drawn international attention, sparked an attempted tourist boycott, and reignited debates about easy access to guns in the US. It also comes about a month after the verdict in the racially charged Trayvon Martin murder case, which caused a stir in the black community when George Zimmerman was found not guilty.

    Now, news of racist tweets allegedly by one of two black suspects in the Lane killing is causing some white Americans to murmur about how officials are classifying the crime. The offensive tweets are playing on white perceptions of a double standard when it comes to hate and violence – that the news media and prosecutors are quick to pursue evidence of white racism, but tend to ignore or discount evidence of black racism in crimes such as the Lane murder.

    Black mob attacks on whites in recent years in Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and other cities have helped to sow suspicion among some whites that police are unwilling to file hate-crime charges against black defendants, even in the face of indications that racism is involved.

    The tweets in question, found on the social media accounts of suspect James Edwards by the Daily Caller website, included several race-related references. One tweet read, “90 percent of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM.” Another, referencing the Zimmerman trial, stated: “Ayeee I knocced out 5 woods since Zimmerman court! :)” The Urban Dictionary defines “wood,” or pecker-wood, as a derogatory term for white people.

    Chancey Luna, who is black, is also charged in the murder. A third teen, Michael Jones, who is white, is charged with being an accessory to first-degree murder.

    So far, neither local police nor the US Department of Justice has suggested that the murder was motivated by racial animosity. Indeed, the young ages of the alleged perpetrators speak more loudly about the senseless act than do Twitter epithets, the Duncan police chief said. Police say the teenagers said they shot Lane because they were “bored.”

    “I don’t think there’d be any further charge,” Duncan Police Chief Dan Ford told The Daily Caller, when asked about possible hate-crime charges. “I’m not discounting the stuff that’s on there, but they do that for shock and effect.”

  2. “The tweets in question, found on the social media accounts of suspect James Edwards by the Daily Caller website, included several race-related references. One tweet read, “90 percent of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM.” Another, referencing the Zimmerman trial, stated: “Ayeee I knocced out 5 woods since Zimmerman court! :) ” The Urban Dictionary defines “wood,” or pecker-wood, as a derogatory term for white people.”

    How can that not be enough for an investigation into this crime being hate motivated? You know damn well, if this case was reversed, the NAACP and the two Reverends would be on a medial blitz till charges were filed and rightfully so.

    Why is the burden of proof so much more difficult to pursue in cases of reverse prejudice like this one appears to have elements of? And am I going to be accused of seeing a conspiracy because I agree with what doc posted?

  3. I should probably clarify my statement, “How can that not be enough for an investigation into this crime being hate motivated? You know damn well, if this case was reversed and the elevation to hate crime not pursued, the NAACP and the two Reverends would be on a medial blitz till ” hate crime” charges were filed and rightfully so.”

  4. It’s not prejudice, it is pure and simple hate and disregard for innocent human life. I wonder where they learned that?

  5. They learn it from the same type of environment that children of white supremacists learn their hatred, from their parents, relatives and social circles they travel in.

  6. kevinb1986

    Weird twist on the truth going on here (surprise, surprise). It’s the right wing that are saying the Martin issue wasn’t racial. It’s the right wing that are saying it is the race baiters trying to make it a race issue. And here’s ole PC jumping right one.

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