Friday, November 30, 2007

The Black KKK

"There's a reason I call them the Black KKK. The pain, the fear and the destruction are all the same.

"Someone who loved Sean Taylor is crying right now. The life they knew has been destroyed, an 18 month-old baby lost her father, and, if you're a black man living in America, you've been reminded once again that your life is in constant jeopardy of violent death.

"The Black KKK claimed another victim, a high-profile professional football player with a checkered past this time.

"No, we don't know for certain the circumstances surrounding Taylor's death. I could very well be proven wrong for engaging in this sort of aggressive speculation. But it's no different than if you saw a fat man fall to the ground clutching his chest. You'd assume a heart attack, and you'd know, no matter the cause, the man needed to lose weight.

"Well, when shots are fired and a black man hits the pavement, there's every statistical reason to believe another black man pulled the trigger. That's not some negative, unfair stereotype. It's a reality we've been living with, tolerating and rationalizing for far too long."

I did not write those words, but only because I was beaten to the punch by Jason Whitlock in his Fox Sports on MSN column earlier this week (H/T: Tim at Whitlock, an African American sportswriter, laments how disposable Sean Taylor's life was to the person who took that life away. Whitlock posits - with good cause, as discussed elsewhere - that Taylor's assassin was likely another black male. Sadly, Taylor's status as a well-paid NFL athlete was no defense against the destructive force that consumed him as chaff in a fire.

Whitlock also comments on those in the black press who carped about the media mentioning Taylor's own checkered past. I myself would not include Taylor's scrapes with the law in his obituary, but to deny that he was at one time a troubled young man would be to engage in the same sort of imaginary thinking that allows this epidemic of black-on-black violence to persist. (There always seem to be those in the black community who end up on the wrong side of these sorts of things, the side that seeks to avoid an honest conversation about responsibility.)

At present, my sympathies however are split between the families of three men who were taken from this life all within a fortnight. Besides Taylor, I grieve with those who mourn the passing of Harold Dean Long, who as mentioned previously was gunned down during a robbery on Chicago's South Side the day after Thanksgiving. But my thoughts and prayers reside mostly with the family of Amadou Cisse, a native of Senegal who overcame both circumstance and stereotype to earn a chemistry degree from the University of Chicago. (He will be awarded his Ph.D. posthumously in December.)

Two teens are being held in the attack on Cisse. In an uncomfortable irony, the life circumstances of Cisse and his assailants may be more similar than we would think. Cisse grew up in presumably less than comfortable circumstances and was fatherless, as likely were Demetrius Warren and Eric Walker (statistics being what they are.)

The other irony that comes to mind is that while Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton bray without ceasing about nooses and other insults to African American sensibilities, FBI Hate Crime statistics for 2006 indicate a grand total of three murders could be classified as racially motivated. It would not be putting too fine a point on things to mention that in some inner city areas three murders can occur before a gang banger's breakfast tea and scones get cold.

The Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page provides some useful perspective in a recent column discussing the relative danger of threats posed by white racists versus those from black criminals.
Today's young black males kill more young black males in a year than the Ku Klux Klan killed in its entire history. Historians have documented more than 4,700 lynchings of African-Americans, mostly in the South, between 1882 and 1968. In 2005, the latest full year of FBI statistics, almost 8,000 black Americans were murdered, mostly by other black Americans.
As a matter of principle, I am favorably disposed towards the death penalty (especially since there is evidence of its deterrent effect.) I freely confess that I am not at all concerned about deterrence vis-a-vis the murders of Taylor, Long and Cisse; indeed, how do we deter those whose culture of perversion and ruination causes them to covet possessions more than life itself? The blood of the dead cries out neither for restitution nor revenge - neither of which can be attained on this side of eternity - but for an unvarnished justice. The sublime injustice is that the lives of these murderers are hardly worth the cost of the kilowatts of electricity that will hopefully course through their bodies in due time.


Anonymous said...

you are a fucking cunt

Readwriteblue said...

Another excellent post, even if it is not universally seen as such. Jason Whitlock’s article has drawn considerable condemnation, while those that he speaks of continue to murder. Stories similar to that of the 13 year old preacher’s son who was gun down not long ago in Boston, are so common that they don’t even make front page news on the day they happen. God acknowledges only a single race of man but even today there are those that wish to parse it finer and stack one on the other, as if their judgment is more discerning than His. How sad it is that we work so hard to build differences into ourselves, “…prick us do we not bleed?” How many generations before we realize that it is not where we are from but where we are going that is the most important.

Russet Shadows said...

Beautifully said, and nearly poetic. It is more than a shame. It is an utter disservice to us all to NOT enforce the law swiftly, but the effects of so not doing fall disproportionately upon black Americans. Is this the bitter harvest of our PC culture, that some lives are simply not worth saving, from the inner city youth to the child in utero?