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 b***h.")
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 .
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