Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Where's the Racial Outrage?

It's good, I suppose, that a cop involved in an interracial shooting of an unarmed, innocent victim is receiving support from the press. It's important that in such situations our law enforcement be given the benefit of the doubt until we learn all the details. Our media, however, has not been particularly eager to grant the police that benefit in the past so the current reticence to pillory law enforcement, and the reluctance of organizations like Black Lives Matter to take to the streets calling for more cops to die, may seem a little surprising in the recent case of the shooting of an unarmed woman by police in Minneapolis.

It's surprising, that is, until one learns the details of the case. In Minneapolis the shooter is a black, Muslim police officer, and his victim was an innocent white woman. Given that set of facts the absence of the usual media hysteria and black outrage is totally understandable.

Scott Greer at the Daily Caller wonders why race and religion make a difference when white cops shoot black victims but not when black cops, who also happen to Muslims, shoot white victims:
Last weekend, an Australian woman, Justine Damond, called police to report an alleged assault that was occurring near her home in Minneapolis. But when police arrived on the scene, Damond ended up becoming the victim of an officer’s bullet.

While there are many questions still lingering about the shooting, the initial details of the case have all the ingredients for the media to paint it as another sign of lawless police brutality.

Except, the press has been remarkably reserved in its coverage of the case, there are no activists marching and chanting on the streets of Minneapolis, and Black Lives Matter is seemingly sitting out on this matter.

This is likely due to this shooting having a reversal of roles when it comes to race. Ms. Damond was a white woman, while her shooter, Mohamed Noor, is of Somali Muslim descent.

That probably explains why the emerging narrative from the press and Minneapolis’s leaders is concern that the shooting may prompt a backlash against the Somali community in the city. It’s quite odd to see since there is never a concern from the media that the white community may receive grief any time a Caucasian officer shoots someone over contended circumstances.
So, why is it that the media is eager to crucify white cops who shoot black victims, especially unarmed black victims, but they suddenly take seriously their responsibility as journalists not to be inflammatory when the shooter happens to be a minority?
But here we are seeing multiple outlets run with this narrative of blowback fears. The Washington Post published an article on Tuesday with the headline, “After Minneapolis officer in police shooting is named, Somali community braces for backlash.” The article begins with statements that America is experiencing unprecedented levels of Islamophobia, as well as “racial tension stoked in part by shootings of black people by white police officers.”

Although apparently, we don’t need to worry about tension stoked by shootings of Aussies by Somali police officers.

The Post implies that it was wrong for media outlets to identify the officer due to his background. Reminder: there was never this quibble when it came to other controversial police shootings.

"They fear this will be just another event used to create animosity toward the Somali community,” one Somali Minneapolis leader said of how his community is reacting to the news. Another said that other Somali police officers are now feeling “nervous.”

The WaPo article also expresses a fawning attitude towards Officer Noor and makes sure to highlight how celebrated he was in his community. Additionally, the Post buried the important detail of how the Somali cop has racked up three complaints against him since joining the force in 2015.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune and Reuters ran similar stories to the Post’s that attempted to portray Noor in a positive light.
Did these news organizations write fawning stories about officer Darren Wilson after he shot a threatening thug named Michael Brown? I don't recall any.
In response to the Somali community’s so-far unfounded worries, the mayor of Minneapolis has promised to make its interests are a top priority in the investigation of the shooting of an unarmed white woman. “I stand with our Somali community. We can’t compound the tragedy of Justine Damond’s death by turning to racism,” Mayor Betsy Hodges tweeted out Wednesday.
How much do our politicians worry about racial backlash against the white community when the victim is black and the cop is white? Not so as anyone could tell.
For instance, one of the worst cases of police misconduct in recent memory comes from Louisiana where two black cops shot a white six-year-old several times as his father pleaded for them to stop.

One of the officers involved in the 2015 shooting was sentenced to 40 years behind bars in March. The other cop faces second-degree murder charges.

While an outrageous case, it netted nowhere near the amount of coverage as that of the shooting of Michael Brown and other incidents where the officer was later exonerated.
In fact, I never heard of this case until I read about it in Greer's column, and I'll bet most of you didn't either. It's hard to escape the conclusion that our media newsrooms are populated by people laden with so much "white guilt" that they simply can't bring themselves to treat these tragic episodes fairly and objectively. They're so eager to prove to minorities that they themselves are not racists, they themselves are not evil, that they debase both their profession and themselves by their tendentious and sometimes dishonest reporting.

It's one reason, perhaps, why confidence in the integrity of people in the media, at least on the part of people who pay a modicum of attention, is so abysmal.