A federal hate-crimes indictment highlights differences in response between Barack Obama and previous presidents when racists target blacks with violence.
The Feb. 8 Department of Justice press release says that members of the Compton 155 gang, whose members call themselves “nigger killers” (the release spells it out N***** Killers) or “NKs,” use “violence and threats of violence in an effort to drive African-Americans out of their ‘territory’ on the west side of Compton.” Further, “[t]o instill fear in African-Americans, members of the gang tag their gang moniker and ‘NK’ throughout their ‘territory.’”
In the Los Angeles Times story, over the Christmas holidays a mother, three teenagers and a 10-year-old, all black, moved into a home in Compton. Soon four men in a black SUV pulled up, called a 19-year-old family friend a “nigger,” then drew a gun and beat him with metal pipes.
The DOJ explains that more than 15 gang members “went to the victims’ home and threatened them by yelling racial slurs and warning the juveniles that they did not belong in the neighborhood. During this time, a member of the gang smashed one of the windows of the house.” In the Times account, the attackers came back almost daily “yelling racial insults and telling them to leave.” According to the police, none of the family members has anything to do with any gang.
Compton councilwoman Yvonne Arceneaux told the Times “That’s blatant to tell a family you can’t live in this area because you are black. That’s just shocking.” But the violent campaign of racial hatred is not limited to one incident or to historically black areas.
San Bernardino, Highland Park, Pacoima, Canoga Park and other areas have seen similar attacks going back over a decade. As the Times noted, in Azusa, gang leaders were sentenced to prison terms for “leading a policy of attacking African American residents and expelling them from the town.” Federal authorities charge that “the Mexican Mafia prison gang has ordered street gangs under its control to attack African Americans.”
A violent racist campaign of that magnitude failed to draw a specific response from California Governor Jerry Brown, a former candidate for president. Brown preached his tax increase in black churches but he holds a politically correct attitude toward violent criminals from accredited victim groups. In his previous stint as governor, Brown refused to extradite Dennis Banks of the American Indian Movement, a fugitive from a courthouse gun battle in South Dakota.
Brown’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris, has supported injunctions against gangs but did not devote special attention to the violent racists targeting black people. Aside from the hate-crime indictment, neither did U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. President Obama did not rise to the defense of embattled blacks nor issue warnings to those attempting to drive African American residents from their own neighborhoods. That marks a sharp contrast to past presidents in times of racial violence.
In 1957, before the Civil Rights Act, Arkansas segregationists, including governor Orval Faubus, barred nine black students from attending Central High School in Little Rock. The New York Times story described a “shrieking mob” forcing the students to withdraw. President Dwight Eisenhower, a white Republican, responded by sending federal troops – 1,000 members of the 101stAirborne – to protect the students and guarantee their access to education.
The anti-black racists in southern California, by contrast, are not blocking access to schools. Rather they are using violence and threats to terrorize blacks and drive them from their very homes and neighborhoods. This campaign has gone on for a decade yet, even under the nation’s first black president, the victims have not received federal help anywhere near the extent of Eisenhower’s action. The explanation doubtless lies with the perpetrators.
One may be sure that if a shrieking mob from the Newport Beach Yacht Club told a family of newly arrived blacks that “niggers” were not welcome in Newport Beach, state and federal action would be quite different. Those actually evicting blacks are “Latinos,” an accredited victim group currently demanding amnesty and other special favors, which President Obama wants to give them.
Meanwhile, gangs controlled by the Mexican Mafia have been conducting what amounts to an ethnic cleansing campaign against African Americans in southern California. The police say they won’t tolerate it but after a decade it’s pretty clear they are. So is the governor of California and President Obama. Federal troops might not be the right response but it will take more than a hate-crime indictment to protect blacks from terror at the hands of violent racists.
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