Another fatal shooting made headlines this month when two men allegedly drove their pickup truck through the predominantly black neighborhoods of Tulsa, Oklahoma and randomly shot pedestrians last Friday.
The alleged shooters, Jake England and Alvin Watts, are suspected of killing three black people and wounding two others during the attack. This attack is predicted to have been an act of retaliation for the death of England’s father at the hands of a black man, according to The New York Times.
This crime has gained a noticeable amount of media attention nationwide because it is speculated to have been racially motivated and targeted at black people. In addition to the Trayvon Martin case, which has received momentous attention from the public, this is another popular news story that touches on a possible hate crime.
Media coverage of the Tulsa shooting has already provoked further outcries from the public concerning racism in America and discrimination against African Americans. With what seems like an abundance of alleged hate crimes in recent news, it appears as though violent acts of racism are becoming more prevalent in society, especially toward those of African American descent. However, neither of these assumptions are true.
I am not denying that there are racist groups and individuals in the U.S. targeting specific races, and I am sure there always will be. Yet, we elected an African American to be the 44th president of the U.S., and that is the only supporting evidence I need to prove our country is not becoming increasingly racist toward the black population.
The only reason the public has suddenly begun to protest and rally against violent acts targeting African Americans is because the media has over-sensationalized these possible hate crime murders. As horrible and upsetting as these crimes are, the media has hyped up these cases to such a degree that a significant percentage of the population has started to believe that our nation is racially divided into a white versus black society, with whites leading in the number of violent acts against blacks.
Conversely, in a review of murder statistics between the two races nationally compiled by the FBI, in 2010 there were 218 white-on-black murders and 447 black-on-white murders. Reports from the U.S. Department of Justice consistently prove that the number of violent acts of blacks on whites exceeds that of whites on blacks.
These facts contradict what mass media discloses to the public.
There is a level of discomfort in the national media with stories that include black offenders and white victims. As a nation, we have some sort of predetermined storyline of how to assess taboo subjects such as crime and race. If a story does not fit this fixed description, there is a reluctance to cover it.
If you are still doubtful, let me tell you a story. A 13-year-old boy was walking home from school one day when two older, teenage boys began to follow him. The boy started to run to his house and while he stood on his porch trying to open the front door, one of them allegedly poured gasoline and the second one flicked the Bic and set fire to the boy’s face and hair. As the two teenagers allegedly set the innocent boy on fire, they yelled at him “This is what you deserve. You get what you deserve, white boy.” The boy was able to put out the fire himself, but not without suffering severe damage to his eyes and lungs. The alleged assailants are black. The victim is white.
This is the description of a crime that happened last month in Kansas City. I am sure many of you have not heard about this case because it hardly received any attention from the national media at all. This is just one of the many cases that offers clear evidence of liberal bias in the major media, as well as the general unwillingness of mainstream media to report black-on-white crimes.
I am also interested to know what President Barack Obama had to say about this crime, because he has so openly talked about his anguish concerning Martin’s death, and the distress he feels toward the violent discrimination against his own race.
There is a clear disinclination of black leaders to denounce crimes committed by blacks against whites. Their reluctance to take on crimes of this nature is likely to avoid casting a negative light on African Americans, who continue to carry the ancient stereotype that they are more prone to acts of violence and crime.
As educated college students, recognize the powers of manipulation the media holds over news stories and the public, and realize that hate crimes are problematic. England and Watts of the alleged Tulsa shooting committed an atrocious and unjust crime, and they should pay the penalty.
Remember, it is not always a black-and-white issue, usually it is a right-and-wrong issue. Do not make it something it is not.