May 25, 2000

Selective Blindness

Racial bigotry in the United States is an insidious thing. Once the exclusive territory of vigilante white Southerners who got their jollies lynching blacks and protecting their Aryan purity, it is now practiced regularly by those who should be most offended by it and least tolerant. Decades of slow painful progress towards social equality by the black community have achieved remarkable results when compared historically to other injustices wrought by man, but along with this laudable achievement have come disturbing parallels in prejudice.

It's interesting to see how selective the black community can be when it comes to what they get outraged about. A couple of recent examples:

- A four-year-old white boy was dragged 4 miles to his death by a black man when the automobile his mother was driving got car-jacked. The child was attached to a seatbelt, hanging out the side of the car, clearly visible to the perpetrator. The mother frantically pleaded for the life of her son to no avail. Some other motorists watching this horror unveil eventually subdued the driver. According to bystanders and police, the man was completely remorseless. Tell me something... How is this man any less of an animal than the 3 rednecks that dragged a black man to his death behind a pickup truck last year? So, where is all the public outrage and cries of racism here?

- Days later, a black man went on a firing rampage, shooting 5 white people - killing 2 and leaving one in critical condition with a bullet lodged in his brain. When asked why he did it, he told a neighbor and police that he just wanted to kill as many white people as he could.

Yet again, complete silence from the black community. The double standard that seems to apply suggests that it's OK for black criminals to victimize whites but not the other way around, and has led to a lack of credibility for black's when it comes to criminal justice and social responsibility.

The Diallo case in the Bronx demonstrates that Americans (law-abiding blacks and whites alike) can get together and decide not to allow this double standard and racial bias to infect the judicial system. This was at the heart of the judge's decision to move the trial to another venue. For the record, I didn't agree with the final verdict. At a minimum, I think these cops should have been charged with extreme reckless indifference to human life and they should have been punished appropriately. This was not murder, however, it was incompetence. If these cops had set out to with the specific intent to murder this guy, it would have been done quietly in a back alley, and they would have probably gotten away with it.

Call it backlash if you will; no longer required to remain silent, the black community shouts it's anger whenever inequality is perceived. That's the point - it's all a matter of perception. I neither condone nor condemn past inhumanities with these musings. I propose no solutions, and would dare not presume what needs to be done to solve these injustices, real or imagined. Since the prehistoric headbangers first discovered social dominance as a force to be reckoned with, there has been a cultural, religious, or racial underclass. American blacks are one of the more recent victims of this dubious distinction, but have the opportunity to break the cycle of generational imprinting that now seems to force them to view their own actions differently from those of other social groups. A little soul searching might be in order. Prejudice is, after all is said and done, in the eye of the beholder. Learning to see injustice as a "people" thing, rather than a "racial" thing, would be a substantial step in our evolution from animal towards "human".

Posted by NIFAIRIOUS at May 25, 2000 04:35 PM