Minimizing Black Violence and Racism Does Not Help the Black Community

As Andrew Johnson pointed out earlier today, evidence has now emerged that at least one of the suspects in the “thrill kill” of Chris Lane, the Australian baseball player shot in the back in Oklahoma, composed racist tweets and even hinted that he’d beaten up several white kids after the Zimmerman verdict. Yet even if race played no role in the murder, the facts are horrifying enough.

What to make of this?

I found John McWhorter’s brief essay on the murder compelling.  It begins:

The numbers don’t lie: young black men do commit about 50% of the murders in the U.S.; We don’t yet know whether the attack on Lane 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 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.”

So, it’s just fake to pretend that the association of young black men with violence comes out of thin air. Young black men murder 14 times more than young white men. If the kinds of things I just mentioned were regularly done by whites, it’d be trumpeted as justification for being scared to death of them.

He continues:

But who’s to say what would happen if black America exerted even half of the emotional fervor and brainpower it does over cases like Martin’s to thinking about how to keep black boys from going wrong? . . . What kind of self-image do we have to assume we can only change others, but not ourselves?

For the time being, though, it’s time for the media to stop proudly emblazoning the race of white cops who kill black boys while cagily describing black teens as, say, “from the grittier part of town,” as has been the case regarding Lane’s killers. The media needs to be as honest with black people as we need to be with ourselves. No group gets ahead by turning away from its real problems.

McWhorter’s last sentence is key. Has our elite cultural practice of minimizing black violence and denying black racism helped the black community? Is the present generation of young black males better off in any measurable way because of our current reluctance to deal with the facts as they are rather than the facts as we wish them to be?

Our elite’s collective heart bleeds over systemic oppression, and they’re eager to call out anyone (for example, the esteemed Victor Davis Hanson) who discuss the wrong kinds of experiences with race. (Hint: you can universalize from personal experience when that experience is with racial profiling, but you must not do so when that experience is with crime.) Their attitude, however, is really more about them than about the population they allegedly care so much about and yet do so little for. After all, life in the SuperZips, or “conferenceville” (to borrow Glenn Reynolds’ excellent term), is pretty tranquil regardless, but it’s a heckuva lot better if you can go along with the groupthink.

In the meantime, evil and racism lurks in the heart of all too many young people, entire communities bleed, and an Australian jogger gets shot for fun.

This article first appeared here on National Review.



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  • Esther O’Reilly


  • elHombre

    Young black males murder people. Dog bites man.

    Carry on.

  • wbonesteel

    The murderers in Duncan, OK left several racist, anti-white Facebook, Twitter posts and YouTube vids.
    The stupid part of the tragedy is that here in Duncan, they were trying to start a violent black gang in a small city where white gun owners outnumber blacks almost a hundred to one.

  • Melissa

    Why does every article about black on white crime focus on what’s best for blacks? Where is the outrage over the targeting of whites by the media, the academe, think tanks, etc.? We are ALWAYS told that demonizing a group makes it easier to dehumanize and kill them, so when will the a-before mentioned groups be put on trial for painting a target on our backs? The Leftist tools who have spent decades destroying this country need to be toppled, for our own survival. The “attitude” of this article is part of the problem!

  • Esther O’Reilly

    Calm down. David IS outraged about the targeting of whites in all these areas. If you carry a hammer, everything’s going to look like a nail. Learn to recognize who your friends are a little better.

  • Brett_McS

    “they’re eager to call out anyone (for example, the esteemed Victor Davis Hanson) ” or the esteemed John Derbyshire, who said the same thing. Ooops!

  • ahermit

    Tim Wise is more persuasive here:

    It’s too long to quote directly but the tldr version is “lies, damned lies and statistics…” The white supremacist types are having a field day with this idea of whites being disproportionately victimized by blacks, but when you actually drill down into the data it’s not that simple; and most importantly the actual numbers of inter-racial murders are actually quite low. Most whites who are murdered are murdered by other whites, in almost the same proportions as blacks killed by blacks.