German Muslim Crime Denial Looks a lot like American Black Crime Denial
German officials want the world to know the 1000 African and Arab men who assaulted, robbed, rampaged and raped 100 or more German women had nothing to do with refugees.
And the Germans will not be talking about it any more, thank you, said German Justice Minister Heiko Maas.
“What happened at the main station in Cologne and other areas on New Year’s Eve is not acceptable,” Maas pronounced. “It must not happen again and these perpetrators must be held to account.”
Which is what they said last time -- and the time before that.
“Making this an issue by oversimplifications, and connecting it to the refugee issue is nothing but a misuse of the discussion.”
So as far as the Germans are concerned, they will not be talking about whether large groups of Arabs and Africans are targeting German women for assaults and beatings, sexual and otherwise, before, during, and after holidays. The Mayor of Cologne issued a “code of conduct” for German women, suggesting they be more careful lest more refugees sexually abuse them.
There was no code of conduct issued for the abusers.
The BBC was happy to go along, saying that the attacks were just “boisterous” holiday frivolity.
That also goes for the 800 cars set on fire in France by the same kind of groups, whose race, ethnicity and religion shall not be named. Unless of course you want to provoke the ire of German and French reporters and public officials -- and Moslem clerics.
The German and French denial of racial and ethnic violence in the face of loads of video evidence to the contrary has a familiar American ring to it, said Colin Flaherty, author of Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry.
“Wishing away racial and religious violence is an old American tradition,” said Flaherty, who has documented black mob violence and media denial in several books. “And the Europeans are picking up that tradition nicely, with the same kind of effect: Denial only encourages more of the violence that these reporters and public officials try to ignore.”
Melissa Harris-Perry connected the two kinds of denial very nicely on her weekend chat fest on MSNBC. She was talking with author Mona Eltahaway, who had written about being raped and beaten during the Arab Spring.
Harris-Perry and a Harvard professor also on the show in 2013 wondered if the author should have just kept her mouth shut because her story made Moslems look bad.
Which is also why black people in America do not report violent crime, especially rape, Harris-Perry said.
“I start with a little bit of trepidation in this conversation,” the host said, “in part because I know some of the critiques of this. The very idea that Western press, those that are not from these nations, who are not Muslim ourselves, who are not part of these traditions can look at your article and say ‘ahhh, look at how horrible those men, or those societies, or that religion is.’
“And that is part of the reason why, for example, we have an under-reporting of rape and domestic violence in African American communities,” Harris-Perry continued. “Because we know the violence enacted on black men by police, so we often don’t call. Right?”
A recent story at mic.com reported that 60 percent of black women are raped before the age of 18 -- with 95 percent not reported.
The show continued as the MSNBC host brought in Harvard professor Leila Ahmed, who questioned whether Eltahawy should have written the article at all. Not because it was false, but because it was true and made Moslems look bad.
“You began, Melissa, by noting that some things in the African-American community are not publicized precisely because of the racism,” said Ahmed as Harris-Perry nodded in agreement on a split screen.
“Mona, I appreciate what you do,” continued Ahmed. “But if possible [you should not] give fuel, fodder to people who simply hate Arabs and Muslims in this climate of our day.”
Speaking of climate, has anyone suggested to the racially- and religiously-neutral rioters that regularly burning 800 cars contributes to global warming?
Back to the present: On the same day Arabs and Africans were rampaging and sexually assaulting their way through several German and French cities while reporters and public officials looked the other way, the New York Times published an article about a 1990 murder of the writer’s cousins -- two white teenagers -- at the hands of a group of black people in St. Louis.
The writer’s brother was also a victim of the assault, but survived. Twenty five years later, Jeanine Cummins came forth to proclaim that “Murder Isn’t Black or White.”
“For almost 25 years, I asserted that race had no place in the discussion of what happened to my family,” Cummins said. “I still don’t want to write about race. What I mean is I really don’t want to write about race. I’m terrified of striking the wrong chord, of being vulnerable, of uncovering shameful ignorance in my psyche. I’m afraid of being misinterpreted.”
“There was no reason to believe there were any racial elements to the crime,” Cummins said -- dismissing the fact that black on white crime, violence and murder is wildly out of proportion in St. Louis.
And so, everyone should just drop this whole black on white violence thing, demanded Cummins.
“She should be afraid of what her cowardice is doing to encourage more black on white murder,” Flaherty said. “Because that is what this coward is doing by siding with the killers of her cousins.”
Curiously enough, the killers did not drop the racial angle: They claimed their arrest, conviction and sentencing were all about white racism. And despite an enormous amount of DNA and forensic and physical and eyewitness evidence pointing to their guilt, they did not do a thing.
A jury found otherwise -- although 25 years later, the lawyers are still filing appeals. The writer’s cousins are still dead. Though that does not seem to matter that much anymore.
“I saw the video of the German Justice Minister telling people they were not going to misuse the conversation and talk about who was responsible for the violence on New Year’s Eve,” Flaherty said. “I could not tell whether I was really watching Sergeant Schultz of Hogan’s Heroes or Baghdad Bob, or John Lovitz the Liar, or Jeanine Cummins of the New York Times. Regardless, ignoring racial violence almost seems comical until we remember how many people are hurt by it. Both in Europe and America. And that is going to keep happening despite -- or even because of -- the delicate sensibilities of the German Justice Minister or the New York Times.”
Willie Shields is a Delaware talk show host and the author of Exit 13A: A Control Tower Diary.