Last week, as if reenacting scenes from The Birth of a Nation, four black kids in Chicago kidnapped, bound, beat up, tortured, and repeatedly humiliated a mentally handicapped white kid for hours. These tech savvy super-bullies had the mind-blowing audacity to stream it online, including a jarring clip in which they forced the bewildered white kid to drink from the toilet. The video went viral alongside the spurious hashtag #BLMKidnapping, and within seconds every non-liberal white person in America was predictably screeching:
“Where are the hate crime charges? Where is the outrage?! The kid had special needs, for God’s sake! Huge double standard! Mainstream media bias! WHAT IF THE RACES WERE REVERSED?!”
Those were certainly my first thoughts. Then, to my surprise, a quick Google search revealed that the comically SJW-oriented BuzzFeed had covered the story within hours, as had CNN, The Guardian, and eventually, the New York Times. That was almost as shocking as all the anti-PC conservatives suddenly using the term “special needs” to describe the hapless victim.
We all know that human animals are nasty creatures, but we rarely take notice unless they’ve attacked one of our own.
As you’d expect, plenty of the BuzzFeed comments shrugged off the race of the perpetrators—because, like, high school history lessons or something—but the very first comment, apparently typed by a black Canadian woman, immediately caught my eye:
“Meanwhile, the other white teens who were convicted of sodomizing a mentally disabled black teen not so long ago got probation.”
As it turns out, on October 23, 2015 in Dietrich, Idaho the races were reversed. If you weren’t plugged into the left-wing outrage machine, you probably missed the lurid news story. Three white football players sodomized a disabled black kid with a coat hanger in their highschool locker room. First, they tore the black kid’s underwear with a wedgie. Then, one of the white jocks held the poor boy while another inserted the hanger into his anus. They laughed and hooted and gleefully kicked the hanger.
None of the attackers will go to jail.
By now, the story should be familiar. A pack of able-bodied assholes, amped up on hormones and blinded by youth, set upon a helpless body for no apparent reason than the thrill of cruelty. Where was the outrage? Exactly where you’d expect to find it: among liberals and Black Lives Matter activists.
Why the double standard? Because we’re ethnocentric pack animals. We gravitate toward those we perceive to be our own kind and selectively forgive their infractions. But when we encounter those of another tribe, we tend to note every perceived fault as if it were contagious.
It’s this parochial instinct, overlaid by conservative skepticism, that allows whites to dismiss the on-camera shooting deaths of black people like Tamir Rice or Walter Scott, both gunned down by trigger-happy cops for no good reason.
It’s this parochial instinct, and the media’s selective reporting, that allows BLM activists to omit the names of white guys like Dylan Noble from their martyrologies. The cellphone footage of officers firing shots into Noble’s prone body, posted days before the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile shootings last summer, was ignored by nearly every media pundit except, oddly enough, The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah. But he was the exception to the rule.
The dubious Shaun King is not so magnanimous. After watching last week’s amateur torture porn, he immediately pecked out an article originally entitled “Don’t use Chicago’s white assault case against BLM movement,” whereupon he absolved himself of any influence on the hate crime, and refused to speak out for justice because he “saw that four people had already been arrested for it.” Then two days later, apparently immune to irony, King published a piece that links the warped ideas found in the journal of soon-to-be-convicted killer Dylann Roof to “other leading Alt-Right thinkers who publicly backed Donald Trump.”
It’s weird, because King actually does tell the truth, just only half of the time.
On the other side of this feeble mirage are millions of whites who prefer the steady diet of vicious black-on-white attacks offered up by the race-obsessed fringe media. The emotional valence of this subversive information allows whites to ignore the fact that the vast majority of white homicides are at the hands of other whites. Despite the lopsided impact of interracial crime—with roughly twice as many blacks killing whites every year than the reverse—an average white person’s chances of being attacked by a black person are miniscule. Whether by accident or design, total absorption in this noxious stream distracts the mind from the historical and psychological reverberations of slavery, lynching, and various spasms of brutal suppression, allowing some whites to somehow convince themselves that blacks are innately more malevolent than their own pallid tribe.
Having grown up with the twisted holler crawlers in the Appalachian foothills, I don’t buy that essentialist distinction.
On the other side, the evil white archetype is upheld by slanted coverage of police shootings, which overshadows the statistical reality. Because the human mind prioritizes visceral experience over abstract information, few mainstream media consumers registered the landmark study by a black Harvard economist which found that, accounting for all relevant factors, blacks are no more likely than whites to be killed in police encounters. A number of other analyses have similar findings. In 2015 only 4% of police killings involved a white officer and an unarmed black suspect, but no one in the mainstream media seemed to notice.
To black folks on the ground, that seemingly paltry percentage translates into about three dozen dead bodies. They see endless video footage of these killings, like the pathetic scene of Delaware cops emptying their clips into the wheelchair-bound Jeremy McDole, or the shootings of Tamir Rice and Walter Scott linked above. These incidents are then followed by headlines that read “No Charges Against the Officers,” and so of course, the black community’s fury grows.
If more whites considered these statistics with greater vigilance—roughly half of those killed by police annually are white—they might be as furious as blacks about America’s increasingly militarized police.
As it stands, these self-selecting cycles are creating separate psychological universes. In an era of “fake news,” racial tensions don’t stem from difference of opinion so much as contested matters of fact. The public debates, to the extent they happen at all, have become quasi-religous in their disconnection from a common physical reality.
For instance, in the aftermath of the 2016 election, the Southern Poverty Law Center conducted a large survey of American school teachers. The organization issued a sensational report that 40% “heard derogatory language directed at students of color, Muslims, immigrants and people based on gender or sexual orientation,” which was dutifully parroted by major media outlets.
What the SPLC did not see fit to report—at least, not until the conservative New York Post accused them of suppressing information—is that 20% of teachers reported derogatory language directed at white students. These kinds of strategic omissions make good sense when you consider the SPLC’s target audience, but when the full story is inevitably discovered, it just fuels the cynical firestorm burning in the right-wing echo chamber and serves to solidify white identity.
Coming back to the Chicago incident, the mediascape quickly tipped toward the surreal. By Thursday afternoon following the attack, CNN’s front page showed the four perpetrators’ mean brown mugs below a headline reading “Hate crime charges.” Unlike similar atrocities over the last decade—such as in 2007, when two doe-eyed white kids were savagely raped, mutilated, and murdered by black psychopaths during the Knoxville Horror—every major news outlet was discussing the “Hateful Four.”
Yes, Chicago police commander Kevin Duffin said of the assailants’ vicious behavior, “Kids make stupid decisions.” And yes, some liberal pundits have bent over backwards to spin an ordeal in which the attackers shouted “Fuck Donald Trump, boy!” and “Fuck white people, boy!” as actually speaking to the wider social issue of the disabled being abused. But for once in a blue moon, our supposedly nonpartisan media outlets were forced to cover the two-way reality of interracial violence.
If we can just recognize the common humanity—or rather, the common animality—shared by wanton sadists of all colors and creeds, there may be a chance that needless racial hostilities can be averted.
Ingroup preferences appear to be part of our nature, perhaps written in our DNA and hardwired into our neural architecture. Such instincts are useful in the mammalian wilds, but they grind against the whirring gears of civilization. The sooner we come to grips with the inevitability of our perceptual biases, the sooner we can see through our own self-righteous outrage and subvert the tribal mind. This transcendence, however ephemeral, is the gateway to abstract moral principles, blind justice, and the rule of law.
Or, at the very least, it’s a giant leap toward adult conversations about race and responsibility. This “YOUR FAULT” “NO, YOUR FAULT” bullshit is getting pretty old.