Why did the Trayvon Martin case become such a huge national story?
Is it because an innocent black teenager lost his life at the hands of a man, George Zimmerman, who "racially profiled" him? Is it that the victim is black and the shooter was not? Is it because the major media push the narrative that white anti-black racism remains an "unresolved" national issue? Is it because "civil rights activist" and MSNBC host Al Sharpton demands the shooter's arrest, threatening peaceful civil disobedience and "economic sanctions"?
If violent black-white crime generates headlines, where were the media after the sickening racially motivated assault that occurred in Long Beach, Calif., on Halloween night, 2006?
Three young white women were brutally kicked, punched and beaten by a mostly black mob of 30 to 40 teens and adults. According to witnesses, during the rampage the mob yelled: "We hate white people. F--- whites!" Yet only two local papers reported the story, and one -- the Los Angeles Times -- published its article a full week after the attack! National Public Radio got around to mentioning Long Beach a month later, but only to raise the question of whether blacks, given America's history of racism, can even commit a "hate crime."
The way The New York Times covered the 1991 Crown Heights, N.Y., riots shows how the major media downplay black violence. A Columbia University professor called the three days of anti-Semitic rioting "a modern-day pogrom."
The Crown Heights riots started after a 7-year-old black child was killed in a traffic accident when a car driven by a Hasidic Jew went out of control. The Rev. Sharpton led 400 protesters through the Jewish section of Crown Heights, with one protester holding a sign that read, "The White Man Is the Devil." During the ensuing nights of rock- and bottle-throwing, nearly 200 people suffered injuries. Surrounded by a mob yelling, "Kill the Jew!" a young Talmudic scholar, Yankel Rosenbaum, was stabbed to death.
Last year, on the 20th anniversary of the Crown Heights riots, Rosenbaum's brother wrote: "It was Sharpton who repeatedly bellowed to the rioters, 'No justice, no peace!' And Sharpton claims his remarks at Gavin Cato's funeral were misinterpreted. Here is what he said ... : 'Talk about how Oppenheimer in South Africa sends diamonds straight to Tel Aviv and deals with the diamond merchants right here in Crown Heights. The issue is not anti-Semitism; the issue is apartheid. ... All we want to say is what Jesus said: If you offend one of these little ones, you got to pay for it. No compromise, no meetings, no coffee klatch, no skinnin' and grinnin'.'"