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August 26, 2013

Debate on "Tit For Tat" Racial Grievance Reporting at The Conversation

An interesting debate at Breitbart.

Joel Pollack wrote an interesting post in which he expressed his distaste for what he calls "tit for tat" reporting on racially-charged crimes.

Back when the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin story first exploded onto the national scene, with false accounts of a "white" shooter and edited 911 calls, we at Breitbart News made an editorial decision not to become involved in the racial tit-for-tat reporting that tempted many other sites. There was no reason to draw attention to the hypocrisy of the media and the so-called civil rights establishment regarding crimes where the racial labels were reversed, because the labels in the Martin case were wrong in the first place.

I dislike the tit-for-tat stories anyway. The fact that the media and the left are obsessed with race does not mean the rest of us must be. And there is the very real danger that in trying to demonstrate the hypocrisy of race-mongers like Al Sharpton and the journalists who follow eagerly in their wake, focusing on the race of perpetrators and victims ends up emphasizing stereotypes and inflaming passions--quite independently of the argument at hand. We risk becoming no better than those hypocrites whom we would criticize.

Although I think there's truth in his caution against kneejerk "you did it first" reactions -- which, being human, we all share, and when I say "we" I most definitely include myself -- I don't agree with him that such stories serve only this base purpose (although, of course, humans being base in many ways -- myself again included -- the base purpose will often be the main driving purpose.)

And so, while I agree with Pollack to the extent I'd say there should be a big Caution Flag waved on such stories, I think I agree more with Nice Deb:

[W]hen an incident like the Trayvon Martin killing happens, what we see is a whirlwind of political activity - the race hustlers move in with their bull-horns, the media runs with their racialist narrative, and white liberals, steeped in white guilt, try to outdo each other proving how morally outraged they are about the incident. And the rest of us left in the dust, saying whaaaa?

A sort of mass hysteria ensues. It takes a sort of hysterical blindness not to see the evidence that race wasn't a factor in the killing and that Zimmerman killed in self defense. What people hear is the racial grievance narrative - the white (Hispanic) guy, motivated by racial animus, hunting down the defenseless black child like a dog and executing him when he tried to fight back.

That's how an unfortunate, but relatively rare event - a (white) Hispanic shooting a black teenager - becomes a huge cause celebre.

Suddenly, what (most) everyone knows is a real problem - black on white crime - is flipped in peoples' minds and presto-chango- the real problem becomes white on black crime.

I would diagnose the phenomena as temporary insanity - except in the case of most libs - it's not so temporary.

As in most things, hiding the truth may serve some function of politeness (as well as creating a pretext to demand political payoffs in other areas) but ultimately all lies cause more problems than the truth.

White people -- and black people, for that matter -- do not fear underclass (a group which includes all races, but in which blacks are overrepresented) criminality due to racism. They fear underclass criminality because of a lethal level of underclass criminality.

I suppose we could all agree to lie about this until the stars burn out of the heavens but I'm not really sure what that accomplishes.

You can read the whole discussion (including Doc Zero's thoughts) here.

I'd weigh in but it would be a very long post and I'm not sure I have that in me today.

I guess I'd once again ask this very rhetorical question:

The media does not report black-on-white crimes -- which are, as a statistical matter, far more likely to occur -- due to fears that ignorant, angry, nothing-to-lose whites will be incensed and attempt some racial score settling on their own.

Okay fair enough.

So... I guess I would have to ask what effect the constant drumbeat of white (Hispanic)-on-black crime reporting would have on ignorant, angry, nothing-to-lose blacks.

Are they somehow immune from this sort of thinking?

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posted by Ace at 02:33 PM

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