Minority Feelings and Violent Facts

What is the most important take-away from a story about mobs of black teens attacking and seriously injuring innocent pedestrians and businesses?  The feelings of teenagers who share the race of the attackers, according to Chicago's local CBS affiliate.

That's right: Mobs of teenagers have unleashed violence in the streets of Chicago and other cities in "flash mobs," and the best thing CBS in Chicago has to say about that is that black teenagers are worried about racial profiling.

George Orwell would shudder after reading this headline: "Some Worry Mob Attacks Are Encouraging Racial Profiling."  In the story, a journalist interviews young black teens hanging out at North Avenue Beach, the scene of one of the mob attacks.  We learn that some in this group "feel targeted as potential troublemakers because of recent attack mobs in the city."  No one is alleging that profiling has occurred as a result of the flash mobs, just that it might, and that possibility bothers some teenagers.  That's the subject matter of an entire news story in our post-racial America.

The subjective opinions of black teens matter as much as those of all other teens.  But do those feelings matter enough to warrant a news story?  Compare the triviality of that story with the full scope of flash mob attacks in Chicago:

In early June, witnesses reported that "gangbangers" were pushing people off their bikes at a Chicago beach.  One witness told NBC local that "[t]hey were being rude and abusive and throwing trash around and defecating" and beating people.  Also, in just one weekend in early June, twelve attacks involving large groups of "young men" were reported.  These attacks in the normally placid North Side gained attention.  The chosen victims: a 68-year-old white doctor, a 34-year-old white insurance salesman, a Thai man, a Filipino nursing student, and a 42-year-old Japanese doctor.  All were either beaten, robbed, or both.  Those arrested: three young black men, a fact we only know because of mugshots since it is the official policy of the Chicago Tribune to censor the race of criminal mobs in its journalism, if not its commentary section.  

These attacks might just seem like fun and games, but now some of the attackers are armed.  In two incidents the first weekend in June, 8 to 15 teens boarded a bus without paying and "began hitting people," according to the Chicago Tribune.  Three of those teens are charged with armed robbery, one with unlawful use of a weapon.  A week later, a boy with no race was attacked by "a group of seven male teens," all "black," according to news reports, and one with a handgun.

There were also flash mob robberies in January 2011 when mobs of teens raided and robbed at least three stores.  In February, Loyola University Chicago warned students and staff about "flash mob offenders" stealing from retail stores near campus.  In April 2011, a group of 70 "youths" invaded a McDonald's and "created a disturbance" according to a news report.  So there is a troubling trend towards mob violence perpetrated by black teens.  Despite all of this, of all the topics CBS Chicago could have chosen, they chose to ruminate about the feelings of young black teens.

The problem with the CBS story is that there will be no corresponding story about victims' feelings.  There certainly will be no similar story about the subjective opinions of non-blacks regarding predominantly black mobs.  It's not just that there is a double standard; it's that there is a suffocating level of deception involved in these news stories.

How did we reach the point where the only group whose feelings need to be consulted are minorities?  Liberalism.  Part of liberalism is the notion that minorities need special help, attention, and heightened sensitivity.  Along with that, liberalism promotes white guilt and the peculiar desire to "help people" at any cost.  The result is that the media gives credence and coverage to mere feelings when real people are being attacked.  Of course, the worse the violence gets, the more sensitive we'll have to be.  The flash mobs and mob attacks will require the utmost sensitivity from us, as they are only going to increase.  They've already occurred in Atlanta, Kansas City, Boston, Nashville, Charlotte, St. Paul, Minnesota, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Columbia, South Carolina, and even in Iowa on what was called "beat whitey night."

We’re facing the reality of sporadic ethnic violence. If these violent mob attacks worsen, they will be a precursor to severe racial tension.  These flash mobs already constitute some of the worst acts of racist violence in recent American history.  Now, how do we go from that reality to a story about black teens' feelings?  The answer is that society has twisted priorities about race and social responsibility.  Given the white guilt saturation that young people receive in our educational system, it's easy to see why the media would give such frivolous treatment to flash mobs.  One of the great successes of modern liberalism is that it has constrained our public debate about racial issues.  A sheep-like media, craven politicians, and thoughtless academics have all failed in their duty to grapple with this social problem.  With enough layers of guilt piled upon us, we can't even see the problem staring us in the face.  The media is creating an atmosphere of passive ignorance towards racial violence, and that ignorance places all of us at risk.

If there was this level of racial tension and violence in a situation where the races were reversed, there would be a nationwide clamor for healing, compensation, and awareness. Instead, we're treated to sappy stories about teenagers' feelings. "Some Worry Mob Attacks Are Encouraging Racial Profiling," says the news. One waits for the article entitled "Some Worry Mob Attacks Are Encouraging Anti-white Violence."

John Bennett (MA, University of Chicago, MAPSS '07) is a veteran, writer, and law student at Emory University living in Atlanta, GA.