The Knockout Game: What Took the Conservative Media so Long to Notice?

Evil flourishes when good men do nothing, and too many conservatives have been wobbly about recent racial violence trends.

Back in June of 2011, the American Thinker published an article entitled "Racial Violence Has Not Made It Into the Conversation About Race." A few months later, the same author wrote, "Between the flash mobs and the knock-out game, we have very good reasons to change the way we think about racism in America."

In June of 2011, at least two people had been killed as a result of the sadistic, racially charged knockout game. Since then, there have regularly been unprovoked attacks by black teens against non-black victims. Now, finally, after a series of attacks against Jewish pedestrians in New York City, mainstream conservatives are discussing the knock-out game. Fox News reports that the death toll from the "game" is now seven.

With only a few exceptions, including the American Thinker, until very recently few conservative news outlets would touch these stories, or the racial realities highlighted by the attacks.

Some will chalk this conservative timidity up to political correctness. But something far worse is going on. Whether the issue is amnesty, or affirmative action, flash mobs, or the knock-out game, too many mainstream conservatives seem intent on turning their backs on vulnerable non-minorities.

If you're a worker stuck with low wages and few hours, a white student applying for college admissions, or a victim of racist pastimes, then Conservatism, Inc. will not stand up for you. At least not when minorities are involved.

It's one thing for politicians to play it safe. We expect the worst from them. But journalists and commenters are supposed to "speak truth to power."

There were all sorts of indications that this was a trend, and a significant story. In 2011, the National Association of Black Journalists gave a St. Louis reporter a major award for his article, "Knockout King: Kids Call It a Game. Academics Call It a Bogus Trend. Cops Call it Murder."

There are all sorts of ways for scared conservatives to ignore racial issues. One is to ride the high horse.  

One interpretation simply ignores the facts. Ed Morrissey at HotAir writes, "Four people have been killed in similar assaults, which have nothing in common except the modus operandi." Morrissey probably knows that the assaults have something in common because he actually quotes Al Sharpton saying, "We would not be silent if it was the other way around. We cannot be silent or in any way reluctant to confront it when it is coming from our own community."

By "our community," Morrissey should have known, if he didn't, that Sharpton meant the black community, and the "if it was the other way around" referred to reversing the races.

The common thread is that the attackers are black and the victims are not.  Sean Hannity had on his show a Slate leftist named Matthew Yglesias who says that the trend is "fake." Yglesias, who was himself a victim of an unprovoked attack by "two dudes," helpfully explains that he was not knocked out, therefore the teens were not playing the knock-out game.

As he describes it, "...two dudes randomly assaulted me before running away without stealing anything... I was knocked down, but definitely not out, and then after that I got kicked a bunch of times." This is actually the exact fact pattern of knockout game attacks.

Even Reuters news service notes that in these sadistic games, "if a victim doesn't fall to the first punch, other attackers try to finish the job." So Yglesias was just lucky.

Like Yglesias, a white 61-year-old named Jerry Newingham probably wasn't knocked out by the first punch thrown by his black attacker. That's why a group of black assailants then jumped up and down on Newingham's head until he was unconscious. He later died from the mauling he received as a result of the racial "game."

A guilt-ridden white leftist Slate writer is afraid to honestly discuss black racial violence? Good indoctrination and moral stupor can explain that. What's HotAir's excuse? An earlier piece written by Morrissey refers to the "race tu quoque" argument, which he wants to avoid. "We [conservatives] resist categorizing people by identity," he proclaims.

This piety may sound good to some, and it certainly has the benefit of avoiding a confrontation with reality. But it is not admirable to downplay the racial animus and clear racial patterns involved in these killings. The fact is that racial identity does play a role in the knockout game, also called "polar bear" hunting because the victims are generally white. This is a fact that a New York City CBS station was brave enough to publish, even if some conservatives are not.

Morrissey praises Brietbart's Joel Pollack because he "intentionally steered clear of the race discussion relating to recent crimes in Oklahoma and Spokane." How many problems are dealt with effectively because educated, involved people "intentionally steered clear" of them? More to the point, how would it work if whites said society should "intentionally steer clear" of racial facts when white bias crimes were occurring?

For Pollack and Morrissey, whites are evidently the only group that isn't allowed to recognize certain facts. Pollack and Morrissey seemingly don't want whites to express concerns about being targeted and harmed because of racial identity. If nothing else, "polar bear hunting" should convince them to revisit the issue of race and violence.

Charles Martel is the pseudonym of a conservative warrior.