Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"

"I have been unable to find any report in the mainstream media that identifies the race of either the murder victim, or the perpetrators." says David Warren of this killing. He thinks the local media were right to downplay the racial angle.

"Even though the decision to selectively report the event in Austin was "politically correct," I agree with it. No public good would be served by stirring up racial animosity between America’s black and Hispanic communities."


I understand what he means, but I have to disagree. I think the one-way ratchet needs a little equalisation. Because otherwise we're stuck with what Larry Elder calls the "let's-emphasize-racism-while-minimizing-minority-crime" bias, in which there's only one approved villain - the poor old straight white male. To tweak a quote of MLK, I cannot hold a position which is more devoted to "order" than to justice; or prefer a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive tension which is the presence of justice.

You can imagine how the BBC would have reported it had the "US crowd" or "angry Texas crowd" been white and the victim black or Hispanic.

Locals in Austin think the police and politicians are downplaying links between the the killing and Juneteenth celebrations, which commemorate the ending of slavery in Texas. No arrests have been made despite the large number of witnesses.

Up in Milwaukee, it's an Indian immigrant, Pat Kasthurirangaian, getting the Juneteenth celebratory treatment. Not nice, but at least he's still alive.

Some thoughtful comments among the thoughtless ones at the NYT.

3 comments:

JuliaM said...

""I have been unable to find any report in the mainstream media that identifies the race of either the murder victim, or the perpetrators." says David Warren..."

Hmm, well, just looking at the BBC article gives a few clues:

"...crowd.... gathered for the annual Juneteenth festival, which commemorates the freeing of American slaves."

Nope, no clues there!

"No public good would be served by stirring up racial animosity between America’s black and Hispanic communities."

How is reporting the perpetrators accurately 'stirring up' anything?

This is like the reports Tim Blair hightlights: 'young males of indeterminate origin'. The blanket refusal to describe them immediately tells the audience exactly what group they belong to!

JuliaM said...

Of course, it's not hard to see how Warren's reading comprehension let him down so badly:"A little boy was accidentally struck.."

All the reports indicate it was a two year old girl...

verity said...

I always enjoy the lucid and informative articles in British papers that read: "Man arrested for having explosives."

Hmmmmm ... now who would that be, I wonder? The inference, as there's no qualifier, would be that the "man" was unexceptional and belonged to the 97% indigenous stock of these islands. Just "a man". It's not just the Beeb - although they have made a religion - oops! - out of it, and the lefty press, but Telegraph does it now, too.