The thesis of my book, “Mugged: Racial Demagoguery From the Seventies to Obama” — out in paperback this week! — is that after decades of liberals play-acting Racist America, wherein they cast themselves as civil rights champions, and other, random white people as Bull Connor (a Democrat), it all ended with the O.J. verdict.
That’s when white America said, That’s it. The white guilt bank is shut down. It was one of the best things that ever happened to America — especially for black people.
But then in 2007, Barack Obama brought it all back. In order to immunize the most left-wing presidential candidate the nation has ever seen, the Non-Fox Media went into overdrive reporting their fantasies of America as a nation full of racists, constantly terrorizing innocent blacks.
Of course, once Republicans got the Democrats to stop terrorizing black people, there was no one else doing it. Nonetheless, for decades, the media would highlight every apparent white-on-black crime, treating each such incident as the Crime of the Century.
White-on-black crimes were, and are, freakishly rare. But the media weren’t showcasing these one-off events as man-bites-dog stories, but rather as dog-bites-man stories in a universe brimming with packs of rabid dogs. According to liberals, whites attacking blacks was an epidemic — a nationwide “cancer,” in the words of erstwhile NYC Mayor Ed Koch.
In December 1986, a gang of white toughs were roaming around Howard Beach, Queens, brawling with anyone they met. They beat up an off-duty white fireman. They attacked a couple of Hispanics. But it was only when the young delinquents fought with three black men — Cedric Sandiford, Timothy Grimes and Michael Griffith — that they secured their place in history and became the literary event of the season!
After the initial encounter between the black and white punks — there were epithets exchanged and criminal records on both sides — the white gang returned with a baseball bat, spoiling for a fight. Grimes ran off unharmed, Sandiford got beaten and Griffith tried to flee by climbing through a hole in a fence — and ran directly into a busy six-lane highway, where he was hit by a car and killed.
The police summarily concluded that the white gang’s other fights that night had “no racial overtones.” Only the fight with the blacks constituted a hate crime. The FBI opened an investigation and 50 police officers were assigned to investigate. Hollywood made a movie about Howard Beach. The New York Times still celebrates anniversaries of the Howard Beach attack.
News stories were brimming with references to Birmingham and Selma. Columnist Jimmy Breslin wrote, “Howard Beach suddenly has become what Birmingham once meant.” (A few years later, the ethnically sensitive Breslin was suspended for denouncing a young Korean-American colleague in the newsroom as a “slant-eyed bitch.”)
In an op-ed for The New York Times, Atlantic editor Jack Beatty blamed Howard Beach on the Republican Party: “From Richard M. Nixon’s ‘Southern strategy’ to Ronald Reagan’s boilerplate about ‘welfare queens,’ the legatees of the party of Lincoln have wrung political profit from the white backlash. Howard Beach shows that the politics of prejudice may have some vile life left in it yet.”
In 1986, only 2.6 percent of all homicides in the entire country were white-on-black killings. Black criminals killed nearly three times as many white people (949) as whites killed blacks (378) and they killed 16 times as many black people (6,235) as whites did.
Mayor Koch called the Howard Beach attack “the most horrendous incident of violence in the nine years I have been mayor.”
Earlier that year, a 20-year-old white design student, Dawn Livecchi, answered the doorbell at her Fort Greene, Brooklyn, townhouse and was shot dead by a black man, Anthony Neal Jenkins, who had followed her home from the grocery store.
One Queens woman interviewed by the Times about the Howard Beach attack mentioned that her husband had been beaten so badly by a group of blacks that he remained in a coma two years later.
In one of dozens of “retaliatory” attacks that invariably follow these media-created racial incidents, the day after the attack, a black gang beat and robbed a white, 17-year-old boy sitting at a Queens bus stop, shouting, “Howard Beach! Howard Beach!” “He’s a white boy, and they killed a black boy at Howard Beach.”
Just a week before the Howard Beach attack there was another interracial crime in a neighborhood only slightly farther away from The New York Times’ building than Howard Beach is. A 63-year-old white woman, Ann Viner, was attacked at her home in New Canaan, Conn., savagely beaten, dragged to her swimming pool and drowned by two 20-year-old black men. It was the first murder in the affluent town in 17 years. That seems like a newsworthy event to me.
But the Times mentioned Viner’s murder only in three short news items, totaling less than a thousand words. The longest piece, 500 words, was an initial report on the murder — when there was still hope that the killers were white! No other major news outlets in the country mentioned Viner’s murder.
So if you’re confused by the blanket coverage of the Trayvon Martin case — attracting even the attention of the president of the United States! — while far more common and more vicious black-on-white murders are ignored, try to understand that liberals are frightened by change. They are desperately clinging to a world that never existed.
Their fantasy of an America bristling with racists allows them to portray any criticism of our massively incompetent and dangerous president as just another sad episode of oh-so-typical white racism. They have to protect Obama, so the rest of us have to get “Mugged.”
Ann Coulter is legal affairs
correspondent for Human Events.