The Racial Violence that Dare Not Speak Its Name
Recent flash mob violence has alerted Americans to a pattern of racially tinged violence.. A notable outbreak occurred in Denver in 2009, setting a pattern of delay, denial, and silence. Now that same scourge has returned to Denver, among many other places.
In 2009, a four month wave of mayhem broke out in Denver. There were at least 26 violent robberies committed by two black gangs. The victims were -- without exception -- whites and Hispanics. When the dust settled from that initial spate of violence, victims were left with injuries ranging from a skull fracture to broken noses and shattered eye sockets. The local Denver ABC news affiliate summarized the crime spree:
Black gangs roaming downtown Denver often vented their hatred for white victims before assaulting and robbing them during a four-month crime wave, according to interviews and court records obtained by 7NEWS.
That is not the language of a conservative commentator; it's simply a mainstream local news report from an American city that has witnessed widespread racial violence.
Of course, only a fraction of blacks in Denver were responsible for these attacks, and the vast majority of blacks do not condone violence of any kind. That doesn’t change the fact that racist violence is hidden by PC silence.
The first-hand accounts and surveillance videos of the 2009 attacks are shocking. These weren't sucker punches or fair fights -- the attackers swing madly and rapidly with a viciousness that can only come from blind cruelty. The victims, who can be seen in interviews, were kind-looking, ordinary people. The victims were mostly either gay or straight couples. They didn't provoke the attacks in any conceivable way. The attackers sometimes fractured skulls, or broke eye sockets, and left one victim in a coma. There were a total of 26 attacks from July 17 to Nov. 17.
An incredible 38 people were arrested in connection with this campaign of racist violence. Thirty were ultimately charged, all black. Has this number of arrests been made against any violent white supremacist or right wing organization in the last 50 years?
The story first came to light in 2009 when a source inside the Denver police department said that the department was "keeping the public in the dark" about the attacks. Court documents show that the police did indeed have knowledge of a pattern of racial attacks, but remained silent for 27 days. One victim complained that, had the police informed the public sooner, he could have protected himself. The same group responsible for that violence is suspected in the murder of Andrew Graham, a young graduate student who was senselessly shot in 2010.
Late last month, Denver saw a possible return to violence, as couples leaving restaurants were being attacked by a group of black men with baseball bats. The Denver Police have renewed warnings of those attacks.
The brutality in Denver is disturbingly similar to violence occurring elsewhere, nationwide. In the last few months alone, a young white lady named Shaina Perry was taunted and beaten in Milwaukee. A young white man named Carter Strange had his skull fractured by a mob in South Carolina. Dawid Strucinski was beaten into a coma by a mob in Bayonne. Anna Taylor, Emily Guendelsberger, and Thomas Fitzgerald were beaten and kicked to the ground in separate Philadelphia flash mobs. Every weekend in July, mobs have attacked in Greensboro, NC. In a mostly-white suburb of Cleveland, witnesses reported large groups of "teens" walking through the streets, "shouting profanities and racial epithets," and one man was viciously beaten while leaving a restaurant with his wife and friends. In all of those cases, the victims were white and the attackers were black.
Then there are the ominous stories that no one has ever heard about. For instance, a mob of 150 "young people" descended on a small, predominantly white NJ town named Winfield Township during a firefighters' carnival, starting fights and cursing at people. Perhaps the townspeople are merely lucky that there wasn't violence. Isn't the racial mob mentality scary enough that we shouldn't have to wait for violence before we take it seriously?
It cannot be emphasized enough that these attacks often occur in suburban areas where the black groups have to leave their own neighborhoods and purposefully travel to areas that are predominantly non-black, to attack non-black victims. For instance, in one of the many flash mob attacks in Chicago, Trovulus Pickett, 17, was part of a group that attacked and robbed several victims, including a 68-year-old doctor. The attacks occurred in the North Side, which is 15 miles away from Pickett's home. This indicates a serious level of planning and potential racial targeting. If these were just run-of-the mill robberies, it wouldn't be too surprising. But the social problem we're looking at is large groups, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, sometimes armed, engaging in racially-focused violent crimes.
There is quite simply no way for a politically correct society to grasp these events, much less effectively deal with them. Liberals have reached the depths of self-deception and self-censorship in response. The Washington Post, New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune, have all openly stated that they will refuse to report on the racial facts of these violent crimes. The Los Angeles Times explains that they don't want to "unfairly stigmatize racial groups." They prefer the soft bigotry of low expectations instead.
These flash mobs have turned the comfortable narrative of racism on its head. Politicians, the media, academics, and the legal community do not have the capacity to face the issue. The reigning dogma of white racism is too deeply entrenched. There is a small grievance industry built around condemning white racism and intolerance, real or imagined. Indeed, the welfare state itself is in large part based on the assumption that whites need to give more to achieve racial equality, as reflected in President Obama's lament that the civil rights movement didn't focus on economic redistribution.
Legal treatises complain that the racist white power structure grows into the bitter fruit of anti-minority racist violence. For instance, the work of Mari Matsuda and Richard Delgado is featured in countless undergraduate courses, and is ubiquitous in graduate and law school courses. They argue that hate speech is a severe social problem and that such speech, along with other tools of racism, keeps minorities in an inferior position (1). While academics dwell on hateful speech, the actual violence continues. We all pay the price, as racial guilt is used to extort tax money for the welfare state, which fosters the mobs. The PC status quo will not acknowledge the fact that the complexion of racism is changing.
John Bennett (MA, University of Chicago, MAPSS '07) is a veteran, writer, and law student at Emory University living in Atlanta, GA.
1. Matsuda, Mari J., Public Response to Racist Speech: Considering the Victim's Story, 87 Michigan Law Review. 2320, 2362, note 10 (1989); Richard Delgado, Words That Wound: A Tort Action For Racial Insults, Epithets, and Name-Calling, 17 Harv. Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. 133 (1982).