The Racism of Racism

Last week, three young Caucasian men at San Jose State University were suspended by the school following reports that they had engaged in racially-motivated hazing against an African-American student in their dorm.  According to the news reports, the students had hung a Confederate flag in the dorm room, had drawn swastikas and written racial slurs on a marker board, and had referred to the African-American student as “three-fifths” or “fraction,” referring to the Three Fifths Clause, which was originally written into the U.S. Constitution to count slaves as three-fifths of a person for states’ congressional representation, as a measure to prevent slave states from gaining complete control over Congress.  At one point, they allegedly locked a bike lock around the black student’s neck.

The Caucasian students are now facing hate crimes charges, and could face up to a year in prison.

When I read the news stories, I was flabbergasted – you see, I used to know one of the young men who is now facing charges.  I went to church with his family.  I worked with the youth group while his sister was going through high school.  They are a good, loving family, absolutely nothing like the redneck racists they are being portrayed as in the media.

After seeing the initial reports in the local news (“Local Man Faces Hate Crimes Charges”), I did a little research to see what the San Jose media was saying.  It was much the same – one report in the San Jose Mercury News included a line about “statues of Olympic athletes giving a black power salute” that seemed quite odd…I mean, I can understand the campus having statues of Olympians on campus, especially if they graduated from the college, but why giving a black power salute?  That seems a bit racist in itself.  UPDATE: The statue is of Tommie Smith, Olympic gold medalist and San Jose State graduate who gave the black power salute while on the winner’s podium at the 1968 Olympic Games.  Thanks to my buddy Joel for pointing that out.

Another report from the local NBC station was pretty much the same, though the reporter added in a bit at the end about hearing some reports that the African-American student hadn’t wanted to report anything – you see, none of this came to light until his parents visited the dorm, and it was they that reported it to campus authorities – and that other students in the dorm had said that this was not one-sided, but rather was more a case of young men ribbing each other back and forth.  Inappropriate? Yes.  A hate crime? Maybe, maybe not.

As I thought about this more and more, it brought to mind another incident that has been in the news recently.

A few years ago, several (white) members of the Duke University lacrosse team were facing charges that they had raped a black woman. The woman, a stripper, had told police that she had been hired by the young men for a party they were having, and that during the course of the party, they raped her. During the course of the investigation, the Duke students were crucified in the media, which tried and convicted them, rather than reporting and investigating the story. Duke faculty turned on the students. Rallies were held. The young mens’ reputations were ruined.

But over the course of the investigation, police found that the stripper’s story didn’t add up. In the end, the boys were exonerated, as it turned out that their accuser had spun a web of lies, and that none of her allegations were true. But no matter how innocent they were, nothing could undo the damage done by the media’s crusade against those members of the Duke lacrosse team. The story made it back into the news just a few days ago when the young mens’ accuser was convicted of murder.

At this point, I don’t quite know what to think about the case in San Jose. I don’t know what the truth is, but I know there is more to it than the media’s feverish reports about a university’s seedy racist underbelly. But in the meantime, while the investigation continues, once again young men are being tried and convicted by a hostile media. The university’s “black student union” has held rallies and marches. When I chatted with the young man’s sister the other day, she said that their family fears for her brother’s safety.

This makes me wonder: whether it is what is going on now at San Jose State, or the Duke case, or even the case of George Zimmerman, who was tried and acquitted by the legal system, but whose conviction by the media still stands, how much of the racial hysteria in our nation today is driven by the media’s obvious willingness to push the narrative of white people as stereotypical redneck racists? Just look at George Zimmerman – a half-white, half-Hispanic, he was referred to as “Hispanic” for the first few seconds that the story was reported, but soon a new racial classification, “white Hispanic” was born, which then was shortened to “white,” to fit the narrative of white-versus-black racial hate. And since his acquittal, there have been numerous incidents of violence perpetrated by African-Americans on whites, ostensibly in revenge for Trayvon Martin’s death. Predictably, these incidents garner little attention in the mainstream media.

Then there are the bands of young people roaming the streets playing their new “knockout” game. In reading the media reports, it can be a bit difficult to determine the race of the perpetrators, but if you dig deeper, you will find that these are mostly groups of black kids, roaming around the streets of America’s cities, randomly picking people of other races to assault. And yet, according to the media narrative, any possible racial motive for these attacks just isn’t brought up.

This begs the question: how much of the racial tensions in our nation today are fueled simply by the assumption that white people are racists, but black people can never be racist? The new line of thinking by the radical Left is that, since American slaveholders were white, and since Jim Crow laws and the KKK and segregation were perpetrated by whites, that white Americans are the only Americans capable of racism. So it doesn’t matter when the head of the New Black Panthers advocates for killing white babies by burning down nurseries – he’s black, and therefore is incapable of racism. It doesn’t matter when a group of black teenagers beat a white person to death while shouting “kill the cracker.” They aren’t white, therefore they aren’t racists.

Through as simple a thing as media reporting, our nation is being indoctrinated into stereotyping all people of a certain race as racists, or all people of certain political beliefs as racist. Beliefs don’t matter. Evidence doesn’t matter. The truth doesn’t matter. All that truly seems to matter in this day and age is perpetuating the stereotype.

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