If you’re like I am, you’ve heard scores of media reports about the 2006 Duke University rape case, in which three white lacrosse players were falsely accused of raping a black stripper at a wild party at the home of one of the team members. These guys, convicted by the news media and Duke faculty, were later found innocent. It turned out that Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong was running for re-election. In seeking the black vote, he concealed DNA evidence that would have exonerated the lacrosse players.
You might remember hearing scores of stories about the 1998 murder of James Byrd, a black man who was stripped, chained to a pickup truck and dragged through the streets until he was decapitated in Jasper, Texas. The incident provided fodder for the NAACP and others to attack then-Texas Gov. George Bush, during his 2000 election campaign, for not supporting hate crime legislation. It turned out that two of Byrd’s murderers were sentenced to death, and the other, life in prison.
I don’t know about you, but it was just recently that I heard about a gruesome murder in Knoxville, Tenn., that is far worse than the false charges in the Duke rape case and is at least as horrible, if not more so, than the dragging death of James Byrd. Unlike the Duke rape case and the Jasper lynching, the national news media’s coverage of the interracial Knoxville murders paled in comparison. On Jan. 6, 2007, University of Tennessee student Channon Christian and her boyfriend, Christopher Newsom, were carjacked and kidnapped in Knoxville. Both of them were later murdered.
According to a 46-count indictment, suspects Darnell Cobbins, Lemaricus Davidson, George Thomas and Vanessa Coleman, all blacks, are charged with committing rape, including sodomy against Christian and Newsom, both of whom are white. After being raped, Newsom was shot several times and his body was found burned along nearby railroad tracks.
Christian was forced to witness her boyfriend’s rape, torture and subsequent murder before she was ultimately raped, tortured and murdered. The police discovered her body inside a large trash can in the kitchen of the home where the murders took place. Before disposing of her body, the murderers poured bleach or some other cleaning agent down her throat in an effort to destroy DNA evidence. Trial dates have been set for next May.
What have we heard from the NAACP, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and others who rushed to judgment and outrage as they condemned whites in the cases of the “Jena 6” and Don Imus when he referred to the Rutgers ladies basketball team as “nappy-headed ho’s”? Where were the national news media and public officials? You can bet the rent money that were the victims black and the perpetrators white, Knoxville would have been inundated with TV crews, with Jackson, Sharpton and other civil rights spokesmen and politicians from both parties condemning racism, possibly blaming it all on George Bush.
According to the 2004 FBI National Crime Victimization Survey, in most instances of interracial crimes, the victim is white and the perpetrator is black. In the case of interracial murder for 2004, where the race of victim and perpetrator is known, more than twice as many whites were murdered by a black than cases of a white murdering a black. The failure of civil rights leaders, people like Jackson and Sharpton, as well as politicians to vocally condemn black-on-white crime — and the relative silence of the news media in reporting it — is not simply a matter of double standards. It’s dangerous, for it contributes to a pile of racial kindling awaiting a racial arsonist to set it ablaze. I can’t think of better recruitment gifts for America’s racists, either white or black.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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