Have you heard of Trayvon Martin? Of course you have. He’s the young man who was killed by a neighborhood watch member. Martin was reportedly unarmed and the neighborhood watch person, George Zimmerman, claims he was acting in self-defense. There is some evidence to support Zimmerman’s claim. However, the media (aided by President Obama) is reporting this story not as a confusing and disturbing crime, but as a self-evidently racist incident, indicative of how America is inherently unjust and no doubt should start spending trillions more on worthless social programs — and pronto!
The biased nature of our cultural, media and intellectual establishment, from the White House on down, is revealed by what’s NOT being reported or talked about. Consider, for example, the news story
I discovered on the Internet recently, prompted by a reader:
Tyrone Woodfork, 20, was charged in Tulsa County [Oklahoma] District Court with felony first-degree murder, two counts of robbery with a firearm and first-degree burglary. Bob and Nancy Strait were assaulted March 14 in their home in the 3300 block of East Virgin Street. Nancy Strait died March 15 from injuries related to the assault. She was also raped. Bob Strait is still recovering from multiple injuries and has been re-admitted to a hospital. Woodfork was arrested March 15 after witnesses reported seeing the couple’s stolen 2001 Dodge Neon in the 3500 block of East Fourth Street. He remains in the Tulsa Jail without bond.
Yes, we have all heard of Trayvon Martin. But almost none of us have heard of Tyrone Woodfork, or his victims. Doesn’t this tell you something? Isn’t it worth at least asking the question, and exploring it?
Not according to some people. In a recent column, I suggested that Trayvon Martin’s killing would not have been anything more than a local crime story, in Sanford Florida, if he had been white and his killer had been black. The hate mail I received for saying this was vitriolic. One critic claimed that I cheapened the life of a little boy (Trayvon was 17) by even suggesting such a thing. Notice that the reader did not attempt to answer my question, as to what would happen if the killer were black and the victim were white. He condemned me for asking the question. This is the essence of anti-intellectualism, including racism.
Remember that racism is not defined as white hatred of blacks. White hatred of blacks is one example of racism, but it’s not the definition of racism. The definition of racism is the elevation of race to the most important factor of an individual’s identity. By this definition of racism, a black, a white, an Asian — literally anybody — could be a racist.
But that’s not the conventional wisdom of today’s world. In today’s world, if a black man is killed by a man who isn’t black, you immediately condemn the action as racist. You call in the civil rights leaders, you get Oprah on the screen, and you dare anybody to so much as question the facts of the case. You treat it as a ‘hate crime,’ a ridiculous concept suggesting that some murders are based on love, and you bypass normal legal procedures in order to ensure a swift and stern conviction.
If a white, elderly couple (such as the Straits in Oklahoma) is assaulted by a black man, and one of them dies from the assault — well, you just don’t talk about it. Why? Because this doesn’t fit into the accepted narrative, that black people are victims and white people are victimizers. This isn’t necessarily the narrative of most black or white people, but it most definitely is the narrative of people like our President and our other political/intellectual ‘leaders’ who have a very personal stake in the perpetuation of victimhood.
I’m not suggesting that the killing of Nancy Strait by Tyrone Woodfork should be considered a racial incident any more than Trayvon Martin’s murder. They’re both terrible tragedies, primarily of interest, I would think, to the local communities in which they happened, and to the people who knew the victims. They should be judged and prosecuted according to the facts of the cases, not according to the prevailing racial narrative that pits race against race and holds one race up as superior to another.
The sad fact is, we live in a racist society. But the racism isn’t what most people think it is. Ayn Rand nailed the subject of racism quite well. She wrote: ‘Just as there is no such thing as a collective or racial mind, so there is no such thing as a collective or racial achievement. There are only individual minds and individual achievements — and a culture is not the anonymous product of undifferentiated masses, but the sum of the intellectual achievements of individual men.’ She went on, ‘Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage — the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.’
Just as there is no collective achievement, there is no such thing as a collective crime, either. No crime committed by a white or Hispanic man against a black man says anything about the race of either the criminal or the victim. The same applies when a white woman is the victim of a black man. This is just common sense, and everybody knows it. But when ‘civil rights’ leaders and leftist Presidents imply otherwise, we’re not even supposed to question it. We’re supposed to bow our heads and feel guilty, to accept the ideological narrative of those who dare not be questioned. Obama says, ‘Trayvon Martin could have been my son,’ and that’s somehow supposed to end all discussion of the subject. Talk about manipulative!
I am getting sick of the intolerance for dissension that comprises the leftist establishment. I am sick of their racism and I am sick of their filtering everything through their pre-determined theories of personal convenience. Liberal Obama supporters can howl ‘racist’ all they want.. The truth is very different. Liberals, heal thyselves.
See Tulsa (OK) World online, 3/27/12, for more details on this story.