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Chicago Tribune prints important editorial.


John KassThe Chicago Tribune printed an editorial follow-up to the Tribune’s major article on hate crimes, which reported that nearly 600,000 white people are victims of violent crimes committed by blacks each year in the US.

Chicago Tribune Columnists John Kass…

I’ve been in this business long enough to know that we tap dance around such stories, hesitant, uncomfortable, insecure, vulnerable to an in-house charge of racism for reinforcing ugly stereotypes.

By contrast, hateful white-on-black crime is easy to report as a cultural event. We’re secure in it, eager, because we all know our parts as acolytes in the rigidly defined ritual, the victims, reporters, commentators, even the consumers of the news.

Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton appear to carry the story forward. They know their roles and play them well. The cameras click. Editors dispatch think pieces on race in America. TV talking heads offer commentary and what are called “town meetings” and “national conversations on race.” Special-interest advocates use the media time to argue for racial preferences in academic admissions and hiring. Politicians mouth their platitudes. Editorials chant conventional wisdom.

The rest of us know our part, too, as readers and viewers. We shake our heads, cluck our tongues, turn the page, assured that the catechism of race has been observed.

But when the hateful crime involves white victims and accused minorities, there’s a problem. Jackson and Sharpton aren’t there to round out the second act. Instead, they are replaced by white supremacists or Nazis, drooling out hate, and who wants to carry their water?

Kass tries to explain why journalists revel in rare white on black crimes, but downplay black on white crimes.

But mostly we’re of a certain class and tone: white and college-educated, politically liberal, holding an abiding (and terribly mistaken) faith in government regulation to engineer social outcomes. Journalists generally mock evangelicals for “believing” in creationism, yet many journalists are fundamentalists when it comes to other beliefs, like using skin color — not the content of someone’s character or the quality of their mind — to discriminate against those of other hues while defining such discrimination as fair and affirmative.

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