Yawning at Black-on-White Violence

Posted: Apr 16, 2001 12:00 AM
Cincinnati is burning. Does anyone care? This mid-Western city has been under siege since Monday, its downtown and surrounding suburbs overrun by black demonstrators targeting innocent white bystanders and businesses. Roving thugs have looted dozens of white-owned shops, burned down several buildings, and vandalized police precincts and firestations. City Hall, which had 28 windows smashed to bits on Monday night, is under lockdown. So is the Cincinnati police headquarters, where an American flag was pulled down from its flagpole and hung upside down. CNN, which downplayed the violent rampage as a "disturbance," failed to mention the rampant outbreak of black-on-white hate crimes. Members of the radical New Black Panther Party swarmed the streets; rioters donned masks or gangster-type bandanas. Sympathizers laughed and cheered, waving signs with racial pride slogans like "Honk if you're black" while white citizens feared for their lives. On Wednesday night, the violence escalated. A black rioter shot a cop, who escaped harm when his belt buckle blocked the bullet. A white female motorist in one of the city's neighborhoods was not so fortunate. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, a mob of black youths stopped the woman's car and dragged her into the street, beating her until other neighborhood residents rescued her. She was "busted up," a witness said. She was not the only one. In multiple scenes reminiscent of the brutal attack on white truck driver Reginald Denny during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, black Cincinnati rioters beat and bloodied white motorists. The assailants hurled cement bricks at their victims as they drove by, and used baseball bats and bottles to damage their cars. WCPO-TV reports that "Protesters pulled several drivers out of their cars and hit them and their vehicles with bricks, rocks and glass." The ongoing violence originally stemmed from anger over a recent police shooting of an unarmed black man. Every needless death is a tragedy. But instead of waiting for an investigation to establish the facts, hundreds of residents used the incident as an excuse to wage a full-scale race riot. The mother of the police shooting victim pleaded for peace. Nobody listened. "It was a night of white terror," said Leah Sweeney-Spurrier, who lives and works in downtown Cincinnati. "It turned from a police issue to a black-white issue." As is typical of cowering politicians more worried about public relations than public safety, Cincinnati's public officials failed to quell the race-based violence immediately. Instead, a city spokeswoman went on national TV to tout the fact that they were "showing restraint" and "allowing citizens to vent their frustration." Does this politically correct rationalization for black-on-white violence sound familiar? Jewish residents of the Crown Heights neighborhood of New York City remember it well. Mobs of white-hating rioters, "venting their frustration" over a car accident that killed a young black child, terrorized that neighborhood 10 years ago while city leaders sat on their hands. A pogrom ensued for three days, with rioters screaming "Heil Hitler" as they smashed cars, stoned homes, and looted Jewish-owned stores that police were ordered not to protect. Yankel Rosenbaum, a Hasidic Jewish student and innocent bystander, was stabbed to death by a gang of black youths. More recently, the Mardi Gras celebration in Seattle turned into a "frustration-venting" insurrection against whites. Police said black attackers yelled racist calls-to-arms, such as "Hey, there's another whitey; let's kick his a--." One black assailant ran around with brass knuckles beating up white victims; another declared "racial war" as if this were Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe. City leaders ordered cops to stand down. Kristopher Kimes, a young Good Samaritan, was beaten to death by a gang of black youths while trying to rescue a woman from the violence. Mr. Rosenbaum and Mr. Kimes were sacrificed for the sake of "tolerance" by the pliant milksops of political correctness. The racial chaos in Cincinnati shows that public officials have learned nothing from their deaths. I cannot decide which is worse: the government's cowardice in dealing with black-on-white race riots, or the rest of the country's apathy toward these vengeful, racist mobs.