Before he bashed the 62-year-old Jeffrey Babbitt in the face this week in a New York park, leaving him with permanent brain damage, LaShawn Marten proclaimed: “I hate white people.”
He saved us the trouble of wondering if the attack was “racially motivated.”
Same for Nkosi Thandiwe. Last year in Atlanta, Thandiwe testified he learned to hate white people in college and that is why he killed one white person and hurt a few others.
And if anyone had any doubts about why a car full of five black people drove through the French Quarter just a few days ago assaulting white and gay people, they cleared that up by announcing their intentions with racial and sexual slurs.
But that is not how most racial violence happens.
Most does not come gift wrapped with racial expletives or press releases or Tweets that say “90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM.” As was the case in the recent Oklahoma killing of Chris Lane.
Neither do most perpetrators leave behind clues like a senior thesis at Princeton, where they accuse their white classmates of racism.
That’s why a crowd of 50 black people in Norfolk could beat up two reporters last year. And why their editor refused to even report the crime for two weeks. He said he had no evidence it was “racially motivated.”
Let’s give the trolls their due. A single episode of black mob violence in New York, or Atlanta, or New Orleans or Norfolk or Burlington, North Carolina is hardly enough to merit national attention.
But when these episodes of black mob violence continue over and over again; and when they happen exponentially out of proportion; and when many are on videos featuring the bad actors bragging about their exploits; even the brightest star in the MSNBC line-up is hard pressed to answer two questions:
What is going on with this epidemic of black mob violence all over the country? And how can so many editors ignore it?
Not just the racial violence in the Baltimores, Chicagos, Detroits, Phillies, and New Yorks. But also the Peorias, Springfields, Dovers and even Burlingtons of the world.
More and more people in these tiny corners of the world want to know too.
The Greensboro - Burlington area of North Carolina used to be Andy of Mayberry country. Today this area is a center of racial violence -- and official denial. As was documented in White Girl Bleed a Lot: The return of racial violence and how the media ignore it.
In the upcoming new edition, readers can use their smart phones to scan QR codes so they can see the riots on video as they read about them in the book.
Over the last two years, Greensboro has been the site of more than a dozen episodes of large-scale black mob violence. Some of it on video. It got so bad prior to the Fourth of July this year that the Greensboro city council met in an emergency session to slap a curfew on the downtown area.
In addition to violence earlier this summer, they were afraid of a repeat of last year’s Fourth of July mayhem: 1000 black people rampaged through the streets of Greensboro, beating people up, destroying property, attacking police. Tear gas and tasers took care of that. Some of it, anyway.
This was hardly the first episode of black mob violence, as the local TV news breathlessly reported in July 2012:
“We’ve uncovered a series -- a series! -- of mob attacks in the heart downtown Greensboro,” said the anchor for the WFMY news. “All of them planned through the social media. And I know it sounds unlikely but it has happened in Chicago and Philadelphia and Milwaukee and now right here in the Triad. Every single weekend this month.
Some might think it strange that hundreds of black people were storming through the busiest part of a usually quiet city, creating epic levels of violence and mayhem, and it took the local news more than a month to notice.
Even then, never once reporting the race of the culprits: There were no printed signs. No epithets. No racist tweets. So it never happened.
At least one city council member acknowledged it in a back hand way: She said she hated to play the race card, but she had to point out the curfew would disproportionately affect black people.
Despite the curfew, the black mob violence in Greensboro continued with at least two major episodes after the curfew was imposed. Including one episode just a few blocks outside of the Maginot Line-like curfew zone.
Now quiet Burlington is trying to catch up.
In July, a mob of at least eight black people beat and robbed a man on a Saturday afternoon. Police soon arrested one person and are looking for the others.
The injuries may not have been “life threatening” as local police say, but to the victims, violent crime is life changing.
“If you look at the news accounts of this case of black on white violence, the police and press tell us this was not a major crime,” said Taleeb Starkes, author of The Uncivil War. “There was not much money involved. The victim lived. But one of the reasons these crimes happen so much is that we take them so lightly. This kind of violent crime is life changing and traumatic to the victim. If they lose a little money and no one gets hurt, its no harm, no foul. These predators are domestic terrorists and should be treated as such.”
Just two days before this robbery and beat down, a group of at least five black people broke into a Burlington home and assaulted several people.
“The victims described the intruders as five black males wearing black clothing; each had his face covered and was armed with a handgun.
According to police, several victims were physically assaulted with blunt force, and one was transported by Alamance County EMS to Alamance Regional Medical Center with injuries that weren’t considered life threatening.”
“Just another day,” said Starkes. “If you believe the city officials and the press.”
More and more do not.
“It’s not going to stop,” said reader David Troutman to the Times News in Burlington. “Are we another Detroit in the making?”
“Once again the culture of violence continues,” added Chuck Spring.
But for every commentator like Chuck Spring looking for answers, someone like Becky Thompson is willing to provide them: Conservatives are to blame for the racial injustice that has created the tsunami of black mob violence around the country.
“Chuck Spring and once again, you could help by paying living wages and start voting for jobs instead of voting against the people that need jobs by voting tea party. Obama has had a jobs bill since I believe it was 2011 but the republicans and the tea party are not interested.”
This home invasion was not too different from a robbery and break-in last July. A gang of black men robbed and assaulted a 79-year Burlington woman. Several of the men were eventually arrested and the victim said she would pray for them. She said she was thankful the men did not kill her.
Her Burlington neighbors were not quite as forgiving: “It took 7 of them to rob a 79-year-old woman,” said one reader to the local Fox affiliate. “Shame, they'll probably get a slap on the wrist…’My boy a good boy. He ain't do nothin'.”
And where media outlets permit comments on racially charged crimes like this -- some do, some do not -- self-defense is a popular them. “Break-in on me?” asked a reader. “As soon as the pistol is in my hands you had better be out of my range.”
But no matter how bad the crime, no matter how often leniency and clemency and more programs are tried and found wanting, some insist we have to continue. Danielle Smith posted her reply to the “get tough” crowd at the Fox News outlet:
You seem to have little faith not only in our justice system but in humanity as a whole. Perhaps these criminals aren't the only ones to blame (though they ARE very much in the wrong and SHOULD be punished), but who is there to help them stop? Who will take the time to help rehabilitate?
Some version of this question has been asked over and over for 50 years. With still no answer.
More and more people are turning for answers to LaShawn and Nkosi, whom we may condemn for racial violence, but applaud for their illuminating and unflinching honesty.
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