The execution-style murder of three African-American college students in Newark, N.J., forced to kneel and shot in the head -- allegedly by an illegal alien from Peru who was out on bail for the serial rape of a 5-year-old -- has the makings of a Willie Horton issue in 2008.
Newark, like New York, is a "sanctuary city," where cops are not to ask criminal suspects if they are in the country legally. Mitt Romney has been hammering Rudy Giuliani on the issue, trashing his tough-cop resume by painting the mayor as den mother of the Big Apple's playpen for illegal aliens.
The arrest of Jose Carranza in that Newark massacre, amid reports he had Hispanic accomplices and the murders may have been part of a gang initiation, has also elevated the issue of the black-brown war raging in U.S. big cities.
In the Aug. 10 Washington Post story that covered the Carranza arrest, the same page had two related articles. One was headlined, "Study: Almost Half of Murder Victims Black," the other, "Slaying of Popular Editor Stuns Blacks in Oakland."
The second headline reveals an ideological slant. One would assume that everyone in Oakland was stunned by the daylight execution of African-American editor Chauncey Bailey, allegedly by a teenage foot soldier at Your Black Muslim Bakery, which Bailey was investigating.
At Bailey's funeral, a mourner held up a sign reading, "Stop Black on Black Violence." That was the subject of the second Post story.
"Nearly half the people murdered in the United States are black," declared the opening paragraph, "part of a persistent pattern in which African Americans are disproportionately victimized by violent crime, according to a new Justice Department study."
Among other conclusions reported by the Post:
-- Blacks are more likely than whites or Hispanics to be victims of crime.
-- Blacks are more likely than any other group to be victims of "serious violent crime," such as rape, assault and robbery.
-- Blacks were more than twice as likely as whites to be confronted with a firearm during a crime.
"Overall, the new Justice findings jibe with previous studies," said the Post. "For example, a review of FBI data from 2004 by the Violence Policy Center, a liberal-leaning group that campaigns for stricter gun control laws, found that blacks accounted for about half of the nation's murder victims that year."
"Black victimization is a real problem, and it's often black on black," said David Harris, a law professor at the University of Toledo who studies crime statistics.
"Often"? Correction, Harris. As the Post reports and Justice concedes, in more than nine out of 10 cases, black victims are murdered by fellow blacks.