Wednesday, April 25 , 2018, 11:13 pm | Fair 54º


Diane Dimond: Lopsided Outrage over Racially Motivated Crime Black and White

It keeps happening. Nearly every week there are more brutal crimes that bear all the earmarks of being racially motivated, but because the victims are white you will probably never hear about them.

We've all seen the rallies around black victims of white-perpetrated violent crime — and that's cool. It's the right of every American citizen to peacefully protest. But when did it become acceptable to ignore the same types of crime when the roles are reversed and the victim is white? Why is it that we hear so little hue-and-cry on behalf of Caucasians who are victimized by blacks?

I know this is a provocative topic, but it is high time America talks about it and embraces the idea that no matter what the color of skin involved, praying on others is not allowed — ever. Period.

On Sept. 4, in a densely populated park in New York City, a black man named Martin Redrick allegedly went on a rampage. Eyewitnesses say that in broad daylight he suddenly began to shout, "The next white person who walks by I'm going to (expletive)!" The next unlucky white person happened to be a retired train conductor, Jeffrey Babbitt, 62, who was simply taking a stroll near his favorite comic book store.

"His fist went in and the man's head bobbed and he hit the ground and you could hear his skull hitting the ground," one witness said of the attack.

Redrick, 40, then turned on the two other white people who stepped forward to help. Babbitt, who was the sole caretaker for his 94-year-old Alzheimer's-afflicted mother, was declared brain dead, and five days later he died.

There were no public demonstrations for the "quiet and gentle" Babbitt. No one shouted, "No justice, no peace!" and called for immediate police action on his behalf.

Ten days earlier, in Pittsburg, four black teenage girls set upon Ginger Slepski, who is white. The girls had allegedly thrown a bottle at Slepski's car and when she stopped to ask, "What is your problem?" she said the girls repeatedly urged each other to "Get that white (expletive)" and "Shut up, white (expletive)." What followed was a savage beating. Slepski, 32, told a reporter, "I thought it was so animalistic, so violent. I thought they were going to kill me."

The mother of two suffered bruises to her head, scrapes on her arms, legs and feet, and torn ligaments in her shoulder, which left her unable to return to her work as an electrician. The teens were charged with robbery and racial intimidation.

Again, no marches or protests on Slepski's behalf; no "community activists" appeared to chant, "What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now!" No black leaders spoke out to urge tolerance, unity and good behavior by their flock.

You've most likely heard about the random shooting of a white Australian man who moved to Oklahoma to pursue his dream of playing American baseball. As Christopher Lane, 23, jogged in a quiet Oklahoma neighborhood, he was shot in the back and left to die there. One of the two black teens charged with first-degree murder in the case had posted pictures of himself online posing with guns and piles of cash. In April, the 15-year-old tweeted, "90 percent of white ppl (people) are nasty. #HATETHEM." No racial bias charges have been filed, however, as the white teenage driver of the getaway car maintains they killed out of summertime boredom not racism.

Lane's loved ones in Australia were aghast and offered the only public outcry about the murder. America was mostly silent.

When was it exactly that we lost permission to openly and honestly talk about those who commit such heinous crimes? We hesitate, of course, because we fear being branded as racist if we turn the hate-crimes mirror the other way. I think it's high time we did.

In Spokane, Wash., Police Chief Frank Staub has already declared, "Race was not a factor" in the murder of 88-year-old World War II veteran Delbert "Shorty" Belton. This hero from the battle in Okinawa, who came home with a Purple Heart, was beaten to death as he sat outside the Eagles Lodge waiting for a friend. In court, the two black teenage suspects tried to claim they beat the elderly Belton over a crack cocaine deal gone bad.

Except for a quick quote from a Belton relative about how preposterous the drug-deal claim was, there was little more. The nation displayed no prolonged outrage for the senseless death of an unsteady old white man — a war hero — at the hands of two black thugs. The police chief apparently decided what experience tells me a jury should decide. This might very well have been a racially motivated killing but the suspects won't be tried for that.

Very different from the case of George Zimmerman charged with killing black teen Trayvon Martin. In that case — where both CNN and The New York Times described Zimmerman as a "white Hispanic" (whatever that is) — black activists Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson revved up public outcry until the stiffest possible murder charges were filed.

The truth is Zimmerman, acquitted of the murder charge, is actually of Peruvian heritage and one of his grandfathers was black. See the slippery slope we tread when we try to label each other by race?

I'm telling you, the lesson we should be preaching isn't just racial tolerance. It is that life is precious — to be cherished — and no human has the right to lay hands on another. We should all unify around the idea of peaceful co-existence and a no-excuse defense for predators. Period.

Diane Dimond is the author of Be Careful Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case. Contact her at [email protected], follow her on Twitter: @DiDimond, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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