While Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were continuing to stir up racial animosity in Sanford Florida, one of the worst mass shootings in Florida history was taking place in Miami. Last Friday, 14 people were shot and two men were killed during a funeral for 21-year-old Morvin Andre. A 5-year-old girl was wounded in the exchange as well. Why no outrage or calls for massive demonstrations? Because the shooters were allegedly black gang members attending the funeral. In other words, there's nothing that can be politically exploited here by those willing to ignore the harsh reality that, in the overwhelming majority of cases, black Americans are being victimized by other black Americans.
Thus, it was more than a little ironic that one day after former Black Panther Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) was demonstrating "solidarity" with Trayvon Martin by donning a hoodie during a speech in the U.S. House of Representatives last Wednesday, 13 people were shot and two were killed in a single night of violence. The worst shooting of the night left one man dead and five others wounded. They ranged in age from 16-24, and they were victims of two men wearing hoodies, who opened fire inside a convenience store.
That shooting took place in Bobby Rush's district. As of this writing, he has had nothing to say about that incident, of any of the others that took place in his own city. He did however do an ABC interview--wearing a hoodie and sunglasses--where he explained the reason for his mini-protest at the House. "It seems like the lives of black men in this nation are not given the same value as the life of others, and there's something wrong with that," said Rush.
Rush is absolutely right, but like so many others with an agenda, he manages to remain willfully oblivious to reality. Those who place less value on the lives of black men are overwhelmingly other black men: the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics found that between the years 2001 and 2005, nine-out-of-ten black murder victims were killed by other blacks. Seventy-five percent of those victims were killed with a gun. The DOJ also determined that homicide is the leading cause of death for black males between the ages of 15 and 34.
Unfortunately, Delric Miller IV will never even reach the low-end age of that disturbing age demographic. Delric was killed in February when a gunman brandishing an AK-47 pumped 37 bullets into his home on the west side of Detroit Michigan. "Again, adult behavior has brought another child in Detroit to an end," said Police Chief Ralph Godbee at a press conference. "It's actually amazing that more people in that house were not killed. There's no question about it. This is gang-related," he added.
Delric was nine months old.
Both this shooting and the one in Miami reveal another unpleasant and rarely-talked about reality behind much of the violence that afflicts black America. Much of the killing is senseless. According to police, the Miami funeral turned into a shooting gallery because someone at the wake touched Morvin Andre's body in a way deemed disrespectful by other gang members in attendance. This "disrespect" triggered an argument that triggered the shooting. Delric Miller's death was purportedly the result of his mother, Diamond Salter, getting into an argument with another women over limited seating at a baby shower. "The shower was overbooked, and there was an argument because there weren't enough seats," Cynthia Wilkins, Delric's grandmother told the Detroit News. Ms. Salter was followed home by a group of men and women, one of whom is believed to have perpetrated the shooting at 4:30 a.m. the next day.
Two other killings make even less sense. Twelve-year-old Kade'jah Davis was killed in Detroit when a gunman fired shots into her home -- allegedly as a result of a dispute over a cell phone. In the same city, 17-year-old Je'Rean Blake was killed when a man on a moped allegedly didn't like the look on Blake's face. The man returned with a gun and sprayed bullets into a crowd, killing Blake in the process.
Such is the "value of life" as it is measured far too many times within black American communities. In Philadelphia, according to statistics from the Philadelphia PD, 75 percent of 324 victims killed last year were black men, 80 percent of whom were killed by black males. In the first three months of this year, Chicago, the city with the highest murder rate in the nation, has been victimized by 114 homicides, a 35 percent increase compared to the same period last year. In New York City, 83 percent of all gun assailants were black during the first six months of 2008. Overall, the homicide rate for black men between the ages of 18 and 24 is well over ten times that of whites. And lest anyone think that such killing is equally divided among the races, completed law-enforcement investigations in 2009 reveal that 352 blacks were killed by known whites--a category that includes Latinos--while 4,094 blacks were killed by other blacks, according to FBI data.
None of them have elicited the kind of protests that have attended the death of Trayvon Martin.
Why not? Because black-on-black killings don't fit the "template" that animates the likes of the racial arsonists and their media enablers, both of whom are so desperate to fit a racialist square peg into a round hole that the term "white Hispanic" was used by the New York Times to describe alleged shooter George Zimmerman. How often has the paper used the term? A Nexis search of the Times for “white Hispanic” over the past five years turns up 112 results, many of which were references to "black, white and Hispanic." Yet NY Times standards editor Phil Corbett condones the paper's rationale in this case: "Our guidelines say we mention race or ethnicity if and only if it’s pertinent to the story. Given that this is being investigated as a possible civil-rights case and has stirred protests in part because of concerns about racial elements, it seems clear that race and ethnicity are pertinent, for both people involved."
Corbett is disingenuous at best. This case is being investigated as a civil-rights issue precisely because the media has presented it that way, long before all of the facts have been made known. Fox News analyst Bernard Goldberg illuminates the Times's agenda. "The national media doesn’t do stories about black-on-black crime. It doesn’t interest them," said Goldberg. "They don’t do stories about black-on-white crime, which happens in far, far greater numbers than white-on-black crimes. They don’t do those stories either. But this is like a movie script handed to them from Hollywood. ‘Oh my goodness! A white guy--or, in this case, a white Hispanic guy--shoots an unarmed black kid. Perfect story.” He goes further. “[Zimmerman is] only a white Hispanic, because they need the word ‘white’ to further the storyline, which is ‘white, probably racist vigilante, shoots unarmed black kid,’” he adds.
NBC News made its own duplicitous effort to "further the byline." They selectively edited the conversation between George Zimmerman and a police dispatcher on the night of the killing to make it seem that Zimmerman was racist. The unabridged version of the conversation:
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy--is he black, white or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.
What NBC actually presented on the “Today Show?" “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”
And then there's ABC. In an "exclusive" video purporting to show that Zimmerman was uninjured in the exchange with Martin, they planted a graphic over his head blocking the view, even as ABC News reporter Matt Gutman wrote that the "police surveillance video taken the night that Trayvon Martin was shot dead shows no blood or bruises on George Zimmerman.” Yet here is a picture of Zimmerman's head that indicates a mark that might have been made during the alleged altercation. In the video, a police officer clearly inspects something on the back of Zimmerman's head.
NBC is promising an investigation of their incident. ABC is backtracking as well. Matt Gutman is now saying the "re-digitized" video shows "what appear to be a pair of gashes or welts on George Zimmerman's head."
The death of any 17-year-old boy is a tragedy. Yet the sad truth is Trayvon Martin is one victim in an ocean of black victims who remain virtually anonymous--and largely ignored--by the demagogues and their media enablers whose agenda isn't served by such a sobering reality. How sobering? In 2005 alone 8000 black Americans were homicide victims. If one assumes that measurement has remained relatively constant on an annual basis, it means that 56,000 blacks have been killed over the last seven years. For perspective's sake, 5,000 American troops were killed during combat in Iraq over the same period of time.
One would think it's fairly difficult to ignore that which amounts to de facto warfare in many black American communities around the nation. Warfare in which the victims and the perpetrators are overwhelmingly black. Nonetheless, the media and racial demagogues are ably convincing black Americans to believe that their real problem is racist America; that the white-controlled "System" is what really threatens their lives, when this is the furthest thing from the truth. This is the lesson from the Trayvon Martin tragedy. A woeful state of affairs in and of itself.
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