There are lots of examples of the color/race/ethnic identity problem in the press when it comes to stating facts about the criminal class. It’s expected by now: if they don’t name a color, the perp is probably a minority. Thus, you can read between the coy lines of the report to figure out the real story.
These p.c. rules about reporting crimes committed by persons of color can be violated in certain cases – e.g., if the criminal is white. Saying that out loud is merely a venial sin and will pass unnoticed by the race hawks. But if the serial rapist currently rampaging through various neighborhoods is black, you’ll have to look out for yourself, because the MSM won’t give you enough information to go on.
There are ways of getting around this. For example, if you have the name of the malefactor, and it’s something obvious, like Martinez, you can guess his ethnicity at least. Or, in the case of the latest baby-snatching in New Mexico, the first name of the woman being held is Rayshaun. Three guesses.
But what happens when there is no name and the police limit the suspect’s description to his size and clothing? Good luck identifying him. Of course, if his clothing list mentions “do rag” you have a good clue there, too.
John Leo fisked this problem recently in City Journal, in his essay, Sins of Omission:
A current example is the so-called “second rape case in Durham,” an eerie mirror image of the Duke lacrosse case: here the suspect is black and the alleged victim is white. North Carolina’s News & Observer described the suspect as “in his late teens or early 20s, about 6 feet 1 and wearing a do-rag, a gray sweatshirt and blue jeans.” That’s word-for-word from the police description, except that the police said that the suspect was black. The newspaper deleted the reference. It also couldn’t bring itself to mention that the attack allegedly took place at an African-American fraternity at Duke.
Notice he says the police did say the suspect as black, even though that bit disappeared from the media description.
But such bluntness by the police can raise the roof, too.
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A few years back, in Li’l Kumquat the university community and the professionally hypersensitive African American community got together to holler about their deep outrage at the police department’s handling of a serial rapist’s story. Those insensitive officers had dared to say that the man had been identified by his victims as being…well, dark-complected. By the time the Hypersensitive were finished with the police department, everyone there was eating humble pie, at least publicly. I think they also got in hot water for suggesting that given the rapidly increasing number of victims, perhaps known sexual offenders in Li’l Kumquat who were of the African American persuasion ought to have DNA screenings for possible matches.
The only match that came out of that common sense suggestion was the one the pee cee community used to light a media conflagration about the insensitive pigs.
John Leo has another cute example:
Sometimes news stories omit important religious and political identifications, too. In Nashville last week, readers of the Tennessean were probably able to deduce the religious affiliation of a cabbie who tried to run over two Christian students after a heated discussion of religion. His name: Ibrahim Sheikh Ahmed. The paper reported: “Metro police spokeswoman Kris Mumford said one of the students is Catholic and the other is Lutheran. Mumford said that Ahmed’s religion was not known.” Maybe so, but many readers probably wondered: if the driver had been a conservative Christian trying to run down a Muslim, wouldn’t the newsroom have summoned the energy to find out, and to confront Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the evils of Islamophobia?
You’re darn right they would have found the “necessary energy.” And after they produced their factoids, they’d have been patting one another on the back for their edgy, head-of-the-class reporting.
The MSM: definitely your grandfather’s news source. At least if said ancestor is still stuck on Edward R. Murrow and is in day care for his Alzheimer’s. Let us stand for a moment of silence for the cracked crock that Walter Cronkite and Co. eventually became.
These people are in a time warp, an endless loop of 1974. They have become embarrassing to read or to hear, like watching someone make a fool of himself in front of God and everybody while the onlookers know the performers haven’t a clue about how asinine they look.