Many white racists claim that hate crime legalization works in a similar fashion to affirmative action; only to safeguard the rights of non-whites. In turn many people of color and anti-racists feel that a perceived umbrella effect of white privilege makes abject discrimination of whites next to impossible or at least nothing that could rival their shared expereinces. Great discomfort immediately floods the proceeding should one want to raise this topic. The inexcusable history of white supremacy, police brutality, lynching, Jim Crow and unfair employment practices aganist African Americans and other POC casts a shadow that clearly makes it off limits to some. This sadly puts many of us committed to a fair dialogue on race, humanity and crime in a no-win situation that needs little introduction.
On a few of the mainstream comments threads that follow the often unreported victims of minority on white crime, opinions read like this:
"...cross burning, racist slurs against blacks by white terrorists, slavery and the Jim Crow effects. This assault will not change my negative views on most whites regarding to cowardice expressed by their distorted views."
"Well gee, if you guys and gals are so angry over hate crime incidents, now you know how black people feel and have felt for decades - or centuries."
Attorney General Holder when appointed proclaimed: "we are a nation of cowards on race."
This is one specific example of cowardice. The above two statements by the bloggers are very racist and pointless yet many anti-racist whites would be risking an argument (or worse) if they were to disagree-in fact they are expected to agree without equivocation in most anti-racism and liberal circles. This creates regression in societal thinking. It says one has to negate and belittle the pain (even death) caused by violent crime because someone else's historical pain "matters more."
Two violent black criminals who brutally murdered eight police officers this past year are clear examples of heinous crimes committed against whites that fall within the parameters of what constitutes a hate crime.
Recently, there was a deadly shooting near Seattle, in the town of Lakevile, Washington. Four white police officers, Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39, and Officers Ronald Owens, 37, Tina Griswold, 40, and Greg Richards, 42 were all murdered in cold blood by an African American parolee with a horrendous criminal record named Maurice Clemmons. It is clear to anyone who follows the media that had this been a white parolee shooting four African American police officers in cold blood it would have been reported as a hate crime immediately.
The fact that Clemmons does not, as of yet, have any obvious ties to black extremist groups makes the issue less cut and dried than say the shooter who murdered Stephen Tyrone Johns, a six-year veteran of the National Holocaust museum's security staff. Johns' killer, James W. von Brunn, an 88-year-old white supremacist from Maryland had a Neo-Nazi website that clearly showed a motive. Clemmons had a clear motive though too, he hated society and he was very conniving. When one looks closely at who Clemmons was, the only matter of conjecture regarding white police officers is that his murders were not planned sooner.
Born, raised and incarcerated in Arkansas as a teenager only to emerge as a Frankenstein monster of the American penal system eleven years later, Clemmons lied his way out of prison twice, once with the now infamous assistance and culpability of Mike Huckabee. He went on to commit child rape and in May of 2009, assaulted two police deputies. Clemmons was placed under arrest where he told jail workers, "I'll kill all you bitches." Clemmons was charged with two felony assault charges and two felony malicious mischief charges, and released from jail the next day after posting a $40,000 bail bond without seeing a judge. Out on bail he committed the mass murders of the police officers and was subsequently seen and shot dead later that same week. Among those arrested in collusion were Darcus Allen, his alleged getaway driver, and Clemmons' sister, who bandaged his wounds and provided transportation. The murders were clearly planned.
26 year old Lovelle Mixon was a serial rapist who had an extensive criminal history. On March 20, 2009, the day prior to the police shootings that killed Sgt. Mike Dunakin, Officer John Hege, Sgt. Ervan Romans and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, Oakland police learned that Mixon was linked by DNA to the February 5, 2009 rape of a 12-year-old girl who was dragged off the street at gunpoint in the East Oakland neighborhood where Mixon's sister lived. On May 4, 2009 a state laboratory confirmed this link and also said Mixon had robbed and raped two young women on the morning of March 21, 2009, the same day he murdered four police officers who had pursued him on a parole violation. If Mixon had been arrested for his parole violation, he would have faced at most six months in prison; if convicted of rape, he faced life sentences. Mixon waited in ambush.
Sadly, the inane and grotesquely exploitative racist Oakland based organization Uhuru House distributed flyers in the neighborhood where Mixon was shot dead, inviting people to a rally where they might "uphold the resistance" of "Brother Lovelle Mixon" while others intent on making Oakland look hopeless called his death "genocide." Thankfully, the many sensible community activists of Oakland spoke out aganist their lack of humanity but they were of course ignored by the media and many white journalists who, once again, used the Afrocentric ramblings of a few outdated idiots to unfairly define mainstream Black America.
The answer to both situations never repeating themselves is to study how killers like these are born and raised and to wipe out all poverty. Our President needs to bring the troops home NOW and start focusing on the United States. In the mean time, there can be no excuses for not calling the murders of these eight police officers Hate Crimes. The blatant unfairness of not doing so actually creates more fear by giving many whites the clear impression that if their children are murdered or attacked because of their race, then its guarantee that assailant will face less jail time and fewer charges simply because they, the victim were/are white. Crime is not Affirmative Action (a concept I fully support despite the obvious drawbacks) a murder destroys the sanity of every family it crushes and in the same way as it mocks the safety of our society that many of us value greatly.
By calling a hate crime what it is, you validate communities and individuals who feel they are at lost as to how to protect themselves for simply being. This important racial distinction in criminal justice was set up to protect victims not racists on sidelines competing in persecution Olympics. It is an unpopular concept to many in anti-racism circles but yes, white people can be victims of violent racism too. To negate it and not include it in the wider anti-racist debate is to practice the ultimate in hypocrisy and blame based assumptions while opening the door to yet more racial extremism. The operative stereotype being that "whites have always been on top so they do not need as much protection as people of color."
I doubt that even Al Sharpton would have the guts to tell that to the families of the eight slain officers this holiday season.