Race Baiting From The Right

HoodyIf there’s one thing conservatives hate it’s when they are called out for being racist. But rather than accepting that everyone exhibits prejudice and trying to correct this irrational intolerance conservatives have created a world where whites are unfairly targeted. The recent trial of George Zimmerman offers a prime example of this phenomenon.

Across the board conservative media outlets have seized on the acquittal of Zimmerman to proclaim that the whole thing was a liberal media manufactured race bating witch hunt. Of course this clever misdirection really misses the point. The outrage that led to the media attention revolved around the fact that a young man was shot dead by another man and the shooter was never arrested. From the outside it seemed like the police had acted as judge and jury and acquitted George Zimmerman. Guilty or not, Trayvon Martin deserved his day in court.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ignorance surrounding this and other racially charged cases. In isolation the racial claims may seem overblown when considering the information available but the US has a history of racial discrimination in the justice system. The audible cheers from the OJ Simpson verdict were a direct result of the perceived injustice of the acquittal of officers in the Rodney King trial. The actions of black leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are public displays meant to force fair treatment of African Americans in the face of a system fraught with blatant discrimination.

The job of these activists is to draw attention to unfair practices affecting their community. Ironically, condemning these leaders for doing their job while simultaneously holding up leaders from the NRA, the coal industry or the tea party as “fighting the good fight”, smacks of the very racism that forces Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to speak out in the first place.

This line of thinking also completely ignores how cases like this benefit the conservative media outlets as well. Fox News was not forced to report on the Trayvon Martin murder. The reality is that once this became a racial story it allowed them to push the new white conservative meme that the deck is stacked against whites.

And while they are quick to point out cases where whites were tried and convicted in the court of public opinion this obsession with playing the victim ignores instances such as Shirley Sherrod and ACORN where the conservative media fell all over themselves to prove their “black racism” talking point correct before all the facts were known.

The reality is that outside of a few anecdotal stories, African Americans face a stiff head wind in their fight for equal justice.

- According to FBI data burglaries, like the one George Zimmerman assumed Trayvon Martin was about to commit, are twice as likely to be perpetrated by whites as blacks.
- Whites were also found to be three times as likely to commit a “hate crime”.
- 62% of those falsely convicted and exonerated by DNA evidence are African American.
- Nationwide, a white person shooting a black person was 10 times more likely to be deemed “justifiable” than when the roles were reversed.
- In LA when stopped on the street or ordered out of their car blacks were arrested 166% more than whites, 127% more likely to be frisked and subject to nonconsensual search 81% more often.
- White youth are more likely to use drugs yet black youth are twice as likely to be arrested for drug use.
- Black youth were also twice as likely to be arrested on weapons charges and three times as likely to be arrested for assault despite reporting similar rates of fights and weapon possession as their white counterparts.
- Additionally studies show that blacks were overrepresented in media reports as suspects while being underrepresented as victims – perpetuating a stereotype that leads to whites falsely accusing blacks of committing crimes such as in the cases of Susan Smith, Bonnie Sweeten, Amanda Knox, Bethany Storro, and Ashley Todd.

And while these statistics represent a portion of the inherent bias of the justice system, racial inequality is certainly not limited to law enforcement. There is also great disparity on things like education, wages, job opportunities, and home ownership.

In the end if whites want to eliminate the “epidemic” of race baiting, getting into a pissing match over which race is more racist and whining that system favors blacks when the data clearly suggests the opposite, is the exact wrong way to go about fixing the problem. In actuality the problem is not Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson or the mainstream media. They are the symptoms. The real problem is we have a system that forces minorities to examine every instance for inequality and a majority that is blissfully unaware of how oppressive the system can really be. Once you eliminate the disparity in the system, the activists will happily disappear.

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