Over the weekend, two white men were charged in the shooting deaths of three black people and the wounding of two others in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The killers were both charged with murder and “hate crime charges”. They have both confessed to the killings but have pled not guilty to murder. The killings appear to be random in that there is no known connection between the victims and the killers. Given this and the fact that the only common denominator between the victims is that they are all black, it is reasonable to assume that racial hatred was the motive (in spite of protestations to the contrary by one of the accused).
So, if the media is so concerned about anti-black racism, where is the collective outrage over this slam-dunk case of racial hate-crime? Where is the sustained moral indignation?
Considering the fact that the circumstances of the Trayvon Martin - George Zimmerman case are much more ambiguous, why is that case garnering so much more media oxygen? Why didn’t the New Black Panther Party issue a bounty on the heads of the two white killers? Why hasn’t Mike Tyson called for them to be shot? And why hasn’t Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson organized demonstrations and threatened riots?
Could it be that the problem with the Tulsa case is that it is too uncontroversial? Not uncontroversial in that people aren’t morally outraged by it, but uncontroversial in that a vast majority of the people are outraged over it in the same way. In other words, if everybody – black and white - finds these killings utterly deplorable, there is no opportunity to sow racial discord. At best, you have a Dead Man Walking – style debate about capital punishment. These days, ho hum.
In contrast, recent polls show the opinions of whites and blacks divergent on the Martin – Zimmerman case, with whites lining up behind the neighbourhood watch volunteer and blacks lining up behind the innocent victim. Lots of potential for controversy – and getting your name in the paper. Just like the O J Simpson trial!
Something to consider when pondering the motives of those sensationalizing the events in Sanford, Florida.