Saturday, June 7, 2008

Double Standard of Hate Crimes

As everyone knows, ten years ago three white men dragged James Byrd to his death in Jasper, TX.
All of them were prosecuted, and convicted of capital murder. Two of them are awaiting execution, and one not eligible for parole until he is 63 years old.

That is not the point of this post. The point of this post is to highlight a problem with this article. First and foremost, this is what Jasper is known for. The news media keeps printing this story with titles like "10 Years Later...Still Haunts Jasper." The impression the news media conveys is that Jasper is a backwoods, racist, yokel-filled East Texas town. The truth is the opposite. The people of Jasper were horrified by this act. Those three hoodlums were prosecuted for capital murder, the highest criminal offense in the state of Texas and were convicted. So, if Jasper were the racist little town that the Chronicle would have you believe it is, then why was this act condemned over and over? Why do the people of Jasper have to defend themselves to the media as not being racist?

This article brings two contradictions in mind. When John William King and Lawrence Russell Brewer meet their execution dates. Will the Chronicle do one of their infamous "Chron Eye for the Death Row Killer Guy" segments that detail the 'horrible' upbringing these guys had? Will the usual peanut gallery stand outside the Walls Unit in Huntsville with candles and "kumbaya chants?" This brings an interesting clash of double standards for the media who are generally anti-death penalty. Will they be consistent and editorialize against the execution of these two clowns? Or will they "make an exception" in this case? The pro-death penalty crowd (like me) remain consistent. We don't have a problem with these guys facing the needle. Hell, let's throw in the third too.

I have another challenge for the Chronicle. Will they write a heartwarming piece about the murder of Ken Tillery? Many of you are scratching your heads wondering "who was that?" That's exactly my point. Here is the tale of Ken Tillery. Ken was white man who was picked up by three black men outside a suspected crack house. The three men demanded more money for gas and Ken refused. He jumped out and tried to run. The three ran over him and dragged him 20 to 30 feet before his body was dislodged from the vehicle. This act wasn't ruled a hate crime because of the drug angle to the story. My point here is, when it comes to hate crimes, there is a gaping double standard. The media would have you believe that only whites can commit hate crimes. When the shoe is on the other foot, the media will barely pay it any mind. Take a look at these articles;
July 16, 2002, by David Horowitz
October 26, 2000, by Larry Elder (one of my personal heroes)

In fact, the whole point in this paragraphs is summed up by a quote from Larry Elder;
"Are the majority of blacks racist? Of course not, no more so than are the majority of whites. The point here is perspective. When blacks condemn white bigotry, we must be equally vigilant about black bigotry."

Of course I would add bigotry from other races too. By the way, for government race data, did you all know that Hispanics (which is an ethnicity, not a race) are labeled 'white?' So, when a hate crime is committed by a Hispanic, guess how the government labels it. When the victim is Hispanic, guess how it's not labeled. So much for equality and fairness for all, right?

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