It’s probably considered “incendiary” to state the basic facts of the outrageous murder of Delbert Belton in the headline. No one should expect the same media that worked night and day to add racial dimensions to the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin incident to suddenly develop a conscience, and hold themselves to consistent standards. But there’s not much question about the identity of either the killers or their victim, as related by Fox News:
Police in Spokane, Washington are searching for two young suspects after a World War II veteran was severely beaten in a parking lot Wednesday and later died from his injuries.
The Spokane Police Department says in a press release officers responded to reports of an assault Wednesday and found the victim in his car with serious head injuries. He later died Thursday in the hospital.
Authorities on Thursday released surveillance photos of the two suspects, who they describe as African-American males between the ages of 16 and 19.
Friends identified the victim as 88-year-old Delbert Belton, and say he was sitting outside a lodge for the Fraternal Order of the Eagles when he was attacked.
Belton took a bullet in the leg during the Battle of Okinawa. He was hailed for his warmth, compassion, and spirit by all who knew him. The police are treating his murder as a random thrill killing; there’s no evidence that he and the assailants knew each other, and it doesn’t appear to have been a robbery.
The Fox News article is entitled “Police seek 2 young suspects after World War II veteran dies following parking lot beating.” CNN‘s report is headlined, “WWII vet Delbert Belton, 88, beaten to death by teens in Spokane, Washington.” Local NBC station KHQ drops bit more information about the suspects in the body of an article headlined, “WWII vet assaulted in N. Spokane Dies; suspect photos released.”
Police say two teens assaulted 88-year-old Delbert Belton outside the Eagles Lodge in North Spokane Wednesday night around 8pm. Belton was rushed to the hospital where he was placed in the intensive care unit but later died. Police are actively searching for two suspects. They are described to be 16-19 in age, black males & both wearing black clothing, one was wearing a black “Do-Rag” police say.
We all know what the headlines would say if a couple of white teenagers beat a black World War II veteran to death. I guess we’re supposed to be queasy about even discussing this obvious truth. That’s no way to conduct an honest “national conversation on race,” but of course, the conversation isn’t really supposed to be honest.
Since no guns were involved, the left-wing media has no idea how to spin this story. We must await the hopefully swift capture of the thugs who killed Delbert Belton to learn more about their motives, and why they chose him for a target. His heartless murder comes hard on the heels of another horrifying thrill killing, the murder of Australian college student Christopher Lane. We all know what coverage would be like if several outrageous crimes that fit into a preferred liberal narrative occurred in rapid succession.
In the case of Lane’s murder, the mainstream press is laboring mightily not to report on evidence of a hate crime. The New York Post reports on the lively Twitter feed of 15-year-old James Edwards:
Edwards, who is black, tweeted in April, ???90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM.???
Three days before Lane, who was white, was fatally shot last Friday while jogging, Edwards tweeted, ???With my n—as when it???s time to start taken life???s.???
And one day before the murder, he wrote on Facebook, ???I???ve never been this made in my life.???
In another post that day, he wrote cryptically, ???Bang 2 drops in one day.???
The man who put authorities on the trail of Lane’s killers is firmly convinced the attack was not the result of boredom, as the teens have claimed, but instead was part of a gang initiation ritual:
Another Duncan resident, James Johnson, who is black, said he alerted police when the teens threatened to kill his son because the youth had refused to join their gang, an offshoot of the Crips.
Johnson called police, who quickly arrested the three teens in their black Ford Focus in the parking lot of a church near his home.
Johnson suggested one other explanation for the murder, claiming Lane???s death was an ???initiation??? rite for the gang. ???I don???t think it was an initiation; I know it was an initiation,??? he told Australian media. ???My son told me that it was an initiation.???
Another Twitter message from Edwards, reported by the Daily Caller, implied that he randomly attacked several white people after the George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict was handed down: “Ayee I knocced out 5 woods since Zimmerman court! 🙂 lol s**t ima keep sleepin s**t.”
I gather the implication is that he tuckered himself out by beating up all these “woods,” which the Caller helpfully informs us is “a derogatory term for white people.” Of course, he might have been making an empty boast, perhaps inspired by tales of the “knockout game,” in which teenage gangs sucker-punch random people and try to knock them unconscious with a single surprise blow. This little “game” has resulted in fatalities, including the death of a 51-year-old Syracuse man in June. You’d think there would be intense media interest in discovering if he really was running around and knocking out white people, before he escalated to bullets. That seems relevant, doesn’t it?
The point of an honest “national conversation” about race, guns, crime, or any other topic would be a clear examination of the facts, an effort to identify real problems and devise effective solutions. The phantasmal non-issues draped over the George Zimmerman murder trial, including efforts by media organizations like NBC News to fabricate racism where none existed (in case you’ve forgotten, they doctored audio of Zimmerman’s 911 call to make him sound race-obsessed) is not only unfair to the targets of the slander. It’s dangerous because it distracts attention from real issues, which community leaders should be addressing with clarity and unified purpose.
We just spent months listening to activists insist that young black men from coast to coast are in peril of execution by trigger-happy white and “white Hispanic” people who view Stand Your Ground laws as a license to express their racism with a hail of bullets. None of that was ever true, but it was a profitable story for the activists to sell. Now we’re supposed to ignore a rash of crimes those activists don’t feel comfortable discussing – a rash that did not by any stretch of the imagination begin with Chris Lane’s heartbreaking murder, and which has claimed the lives of countless young black men.
“Gun culture” is an imaginary media construct, designed to link law-abiding homeowners and hunters with big-city gang-bangers and random lunatics. Gang culture, on the other hand, is very real, extremely dangerous, and tends to be flavored with hard-core racism. The fact that it’s often racism emanating from minority groups, directed at whites (and other minority groups), makes it impossible for liberal culture and professional race-baiters to discuss. This also keeps the general public from understanding how widespread it is, particularly if they don’t live in areas where gang violence is a fact of daily life. The people of Oklahoma have been surprised to find the Crips gang is active and recruiting in their neighborhoods.
How can society deal with a problem it refuses to look at clearly – a problem it won’t even discuss? Especially when the dominant liberal culture deserves so much of the blame for indulging feral youth gangs – not only through the antics of high-profile activists, and the degrading of our criminal justice system, but by legitimizing the language of racism. The left-wing obsession with “inequities of power” and historic Original Sins leads them to conclude that only white people can be racist. It doesn’t matter if Trayvon Martin refers to George Zimmerman as a “creepy-ass cracker,” or James Edwards talks about knocking out “woods.” Some people can use the dreaded N-word all they want; they can drop it a hundred times during popular songs. They get a pass because of left-wing power theories and the conviction that some groups are perpetually guilty of racism, while others are incapable of it. The same justice system that set up a national tip line to learn if George Zimmerman ever said anything derogatory about black people has, thus far, chosen to politely ignore James Edwards’ racist Tweets.
That’s not doing anyone any real favors. Habits of speech frame habits of mind. It’s not just about insulting someone by throwing a racially or sexually derogatory term at them; it’s about building more tolerance and compassion in the mind of the speaker. It’s about raising the bar in our daily lives, and refusing to wallow in casual contempt for people we don’t even know, based solely on what they look like. That’s bad for everyone, regardless of what their ancestors – or people who simply looked like their ancestors – were doing 150 years ago. No subset of America’s great patchwork of cultures and sub-cultures ever should have indulged racism, not for a minute; and no one should be reluctant to look clearly at the real world, because they’re afraid they will be accused of thoughtcrimes.
How much toxic, hateful garbage are our young people marinating in right now, thanks to decades of refusing to be honest with each other, and hold everyone to the same high standards? How many thrill killings and gang initiation slayings have been piling up without headline news coverage? Instead of asking those questions, the masters of popular culture invite you to enjoy a very special episode of Law and Order: SVU, in which Paula Deen will gun down Trayvon Martin.
Update: It must be noted that not everyone at the big media organizations is soft-pedaling these stories. John McWhorter at Time offers some sobering statistics about youth violence, recalls another crime Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson didn’t want to talk about, and concludes “it’s just fake to pretend that the association of young black men with violence comes out of thin air.”
Update: KHQ news is reporting that one of Delbert Belton’s killers has been arrested, and will be charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery. That’s the first mention of robbery as a possible motive that I’ve seen.
Update: The Washington Times reports that the family of a 27-year-old white man gunned down in Memphis by three black males wants the killing investigated as a hate crime, while the authorities insist it was just a robbery gone wrong… so wrong that the killers apparently did not steal anything from the victim. The victim’s family did something the police apparently did not bother to do, and looked at the Facebook page maintained by one of the accused killers, who seems to have been obsessed with the George Zimmerman trial. According to the Times, this Facebook page has since been deleted.
Update: The individual arrested for Belton’s murder is a 16-year-old named Demetrius Glenn, whose criminal history includes “malicious mischief, 3rd and 4th degree assault, driving without a license,” and “an issue involving riot with a deadly weapon,” according to KHQ News. The second suspect has been identified as Kenan Adams-Kinard. At the time of this writing, Kinard is still at large.