Thursday, 01 March 2012

Teen Set on Fire in Racial Attack; Media Silent

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“This is what you deserve. You get what you deserve, white boy.” So spewed the attackers of Melissa Coon’s 13-year-old son, as they doused him with gasoline and set him alight.

Police, they say, are “investigating” whether this is a hate crime.

Yes, and I’m investigating whether the media is biased and if hate-crime law is applied equally. I’ll get back to you on that — in about two paragraphs.

The attack on the boy took place on the east side of Kansas City, Missouri. Fox 4 Kansas City provides some (sanitized) details, writing, “The victim is a student at East High School and regularly walks home after class. When he reached his porch, two older teens grabbed him, pinned his arms behind his back and then poured gas from a gas can on the boy. They then set the boy on fire.”

Thankfully, the teen victim had the presence of mind to pull his shirt up over his head and snuff out the flames. He was treated at Children’s Mercy hospital, having suffered first-degree burns to his face and head. And police said they were concerned about possible damage to his eyes and lungs.

The concern, however, isn’t translating into national media coverage — or honest coverage anywhere.

Of course, if you scrutinize the few local outlets reporting the story and cut and paste, you can piece the picture together. The Fox article I excerpted above provides only the vaguest hint of the attack’s racial nature by quoting Mrs. Coon as saying that her family was told “it’s a hate crime.” KCTV 5 did a bit better, reporting that the victim was white and the assailants black; however, while they quoted the attackers as stating “This is what you get,” for some reason they omitted the “white boy” part. Then there was, which presented the latter but neglected to explicitly identify the race of the criminals, leaving the reader to wonder if the attackers were self-hating Norwegian immigrants. But I’ve played the game and figured out that Colonel Mustard did it in the library with the candlestick.  

But we’ve seen this bias before. It’s much as when Muslims rioted in France a couple of years ago and burned thousands of cars, and the media reported the rioters as “youths.” Yes, just teen angst, I suppose.

Some may say that the media are reluctant to stir up racial unrest, but this never seems to stop them when the races of the victim and attackers are reversed. Could you imagine the hue and cry if two older white teenagers had set an innocent black child alight while saying, “You get what you deserve, black boy”? The headlines coast to coast would be cast in neon, and the media would love it — it would give them another chance to agitate for more hate-crime legislation.

This is exactly what happened after the horrible dragging death of black victim James Byrd by three white men in 1998; it was headline news for months and led to the creation of a Texas hate-crime law. Meanwhile, when three “youths” beat a cab driver and his passenger while shouting racial epithets in Philadelphia recently, D.A. spokeswoman Tasha Jamerson said that hate-crime charges wouldn’t be forthcoming “because there was no evidence that the assault had been motivated by the race of the victims” (no, just the racial hatred of the assailants). Also in 1998, there was the murder of homosexual Matthew Shepard, which became an even bigger story and likewise was used to justify hate-crime law. Yet what about the brutal death of 13-year-old Jesse Derkhising, who was sexually tortured by two homosexual predators in Arkansas a year later? Oh, you don’t know what I’m talking about?

Exactly. reports that a Nexis search shows a disparity in the story counts between the Shepard and Derkhising cases of 18 to 1.

Of course, any time you report on a crime motivated by group hatred it can foment unrest, as hate begets hate. But if some think this a justification for suppressing truth, they should note that peddling only half of it can be far more dangerous. As Jack Cashill observed when commenting on the refusal to report politically incorrect “hate crimes,” “The cumulative effect of such routine suppression leads minorities, especially blacks, to think themselves uniquely victimized.” And when you thus believe, you’re more likely to lash out.

Obviously, the job of the media is to report what’s newsworthy. This means not just picking the relevant stories, but also the relevant facts within them. If “people” are attacked for going to school in Afghanistan, it is absolutely relevant that all the victims happen to be female and all the assailants male fundamentalists; this lends the story perspective. Likewise, if virtually every one of thousands of rioters is of a specific group or a victim’s attackers are of a different race and shouted racial epithets, these facts are relevant, too.

The refusal to reveal such facts makes a mockery of journalism. And if we won’t report that rioters are Muslims, why state that they’re youths? If reporting the race of an assailant is out of bounds, why disclose that he's male? Why expose any groups to possible ridicule? Maybe a rape should be reported thus: “Sentient biped accuses other sentient biped of undocumented-lover status.”

Perhaps the worst violence here is the kind that hate-crime laws do to the principle of equality before the law. Because besides being an effort at thought control, they’re never applied equally. They’re not about eliminating hate, but are just vehicles through which the Left can express its hate through law. With hate-crime legislation, leftists now have the latitude to discriminate legally as they cherry-pick sentient bipeds for harsher punishment based on sexual inclination, race, creed, or color.   

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