“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” — Abraham Lincoln, June 16, 1858.
Abraham Lincoln delivered this speech, from which the above quote was taken, upon his nomination as the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, where he would square off against incumbent Senator Stephen Douglas. Drawing the leading metaphor from a passage in the Gospel of Matthew, Lincoln held that pro-slavery forces—Douglas, Franklin Pierce (president when the Kansas-Nebraska Act was adopted), Roger Taney, and James Buchanan (president when Dred Scott was decided)—were working in concert to effect a national policy legalizing slavery in all states and territories. Papers throughout the North reprinted the text of the speech, propelling Lincoln to new prominence. Two years after this speech Lincoln was elected president of the United States and the American Civil War began, a war that led to the abolition of slavery and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
Today this nation is divided over issues of race and class. Even though we have a black president class and race relations in the United States have deteriorated to a point that is reminiscent of the days of the civil rights marches. After spending trillions of dollars to fight poverty in the past 50 years the poverty rates in the inner cities has not improved and race relations have worsened. There numerous reasons for this malady but four of the most obvious are; Lack of adequate education in the inner cities, single parent families, a left-wing media and race baiting politicians who use race to garner the votes to keep them in power. This latter is called by many the “New Planation.”
Mark Alexander writes in the Patriot Post:
“According to the Chicago Sun-Times, in just 48 hours, 10 people were murdered and at least 40 others were seriously injured. Most of the victims were 15-30 years of age and the assailants were black or Latino. One victim was six-year-old Aliyah Shell, who was shot to death while playing on the front porch of her home in the Little Village neighborhood.
"The violence this weekend underscores that Chicago has a unique gang problem," claimed Obama's former chief of staff and current Windy City Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
You may recall that a year ago, the Chicago Sun-Times won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting on violence in Chicago, most notably for a similar story about a weekend of mayhem in 2008 when seven people were killed and 33 wounded. (There were 60 percent more murders in Chicago that year -- 509 -- than combat deaths in Iraq, but neither Cindy Sheehan nor Code Pink were anywhere to be found.)
Of that award, Sun-Times Publisher John Barron proudly exclaimed, "It's not every day that I hear multiple squeals of joy. That's what happened when we found out. What a great sound. There are so many smiling faces around here now." The Pulitzer citation was for "documentation of violence in Chicago neighborhoods ... as a widespread code of silence impedes solutions." (Nothing like reporting on deadly violence to evoke "multiple squeals of joy.")
Of course, Obama and black leaders across the nation haven't said a single word about all of the violence in Chicago, opting instead to maintain the "code of silence which impedes solutions."
However, Barack and his cadres of race-hustling "useful idiots" are luring black voters with fresh Florida race bait, specifically using the death of Trayvon Martin, age 17, as political fodder to keep their most loyal constituency confined to the Democrat Party Plantation. Indeed, the "black vote" is key to the Left's divide-and-conquer strategy given that more than 90 percent of black voters support Democrats. Indeed, were it not for this monolithic support, the Democrat Party would be hard-pressed to win a single statewide election -- much less a presidential election.”
“To that end, my colleague Walter E. Williams, in an essay entitled "Profiling," notes, "The former Charleston, S.C., black chief of police, Reuben Greenberg, said the problem facing black America is not racial profiling. He said, 'The greatest problem in the black community is the tolerance for high levels of criminality.' Former Los Angeles black police Chief Bernard Parks, defending racial profiling, said: 'It's not the fault of the police when they stop minority males or put them in jail. It's the fault of the minority males for committing the crime. In my mind, it is not a great revelation that if officers are looking for criminal activity, they're going to look at the kind of people who are listed on crime reports.' Are former police Chiefs Greenberg and Parks racist?"
On the institutionalization of crime, Williams notes further, "Crime is one of the results of the liberal agenda. Blacks are 13 percent of the population but are more than 50 percent of murder victims. About 95 percent of black homicide victims had a black person as their murderer."
Regarding the Democrat Party plantation, Williams writes, "During the 1960s, academic liberals and hustling politicians told us that to deal with crime, we had to deal with its 'root causes,' poverty and discrimination. Thomas Sowell has pointed out that in 1960, the total number of murders in the United States was lower than in 1950, 1940 and 1930, even though our population had grown and two new states had been added. The liberal agenda, coupled with courts granting criminals new rights, later caused the murder rate to double, and the rates of other violent crimes also began to skyrocket. Crime imposes a hefty tax on law-abiding residents of black neighborhoods. Residents bear costs of having to shop outside of their neighborhoods; criminals have driven many businesses out. Children can't play safely in front of their homes. Fearing robberies, taxi drivers, including black drivers, often refuse to accept telephone calls for home pickups and frequently pass black customers by on the street. Neighborhood property values are lower as a result of crime. Plus, there's the insult associated with not being able to receive pizza or other deliveries on the same terms as people in other neighborhoods."
Indeed, in "Race and Rhetoric," Sowell also notes, "The poverty rate among blacks was nearly cut in half in the 20 years prior to the 1960s, a record unmatched since then, despite the expansion of welfare state policies in the 1960s. Not only was unemployment among blacks in general lower before the liberal welfare state policies expanded in the 1960s, rates of imprisonment of blacks were also lower then, and most black children were raised in two-parent families. At one time, a higher percentage of blacks than whites were married and working. None of these facts fits liberal social dogmas.
Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute sheds more light on the statistical color of crime: "Black males between the ages of 14 and 24 were seven times more likely to die of homicide in 2007 than white and Hispanic males of the same age group combined. But the danger they face comes overwhelmingly from other black males, whose homicide offending rate in the 14 to 24 age category was nearly ten times higher than that of young white and Hispanic males combined. Most homicides are intraracial, but the chance of a black being killed by a white or Hispanic is much lower than the chance that a white or Hispanic will be killed by a black."
Moreover, because the FBI categorizes Hispanics as "white," MacDonald notes, "If Hispanics were removed from the category of 'white' killers of blacks, the percentage of blacks killed by Anglo whites would plummet, since a significant percentage of what the FBI calls 'white'-on-black killings represent gang warfare between Hispanic and black gangs."
The real crime, according to former Garland, Texas, NAACP leader C.L. Bryant, is "exploiting" the Trayvon Martin tragedy to "racially divide this country. His family should be outraged at the fact that they're using this child as the bait to inflame racial passions."
(For a more candid treatise on "black America," read Bill Cosby's remarks on the NAACP's Gala Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.)
What black men and women -- in fact men and women of any race and ethnic background -- should be protesting is the race-bait rhetoric of Obama and his poverty pimps, who promote the Democratic doctrines that perpetuate institutionalization of poverty and its resulting violent subcultures. As a friend said to me recently, "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Give a man a welfare check, free food, transportation and housing, and he will vote Democrat for a lifetime."
I think Alexander explains the issue of the Democrat plantation very well.
Just as Rahm Emmanuel didn't want to let a good crisis go to waste, the national press doesn't want to let a good victim go to waste.
The death of Trayvon Martin is a terrible thing, but the usual suspects are hijacking his death to create a morality play. Whenever this happens, and it happens with some frequency in American life, truth is corrupted.
About 153 young black men are killed every week in America — 94 percent of them at the hands of other young black males. Only one of those who were murdered on Feb. 26 has dominated national news coverage — because his killer was not black.
There is an etiquette to discussing ethnicity that goes straight out the window if the press decides to create a racial villain. Normally, if a person is of mixed ancestry, as George Zimmerman is, he gets the benefit of the doubt on being a minority. A person with mixed ancestry, such as Cameron Diaz or Bill Richardson, would never be called "half white." But Zimmerman became, in the phrase adopted by The New York Times, a "white Hispanic."
Among the disgusting features of this national drama is the furious search for Zimmerman's exact racial/ethnic pedigree. He's a full Hispanic, claims one website. He's half white but considers himself a Hispanic, says his father. Do they hear themselves? Could apartheid South Africa or the racial policies of the Third Reich have been more exacting in searching for the drops of racial blood?
The left has ginned up the outrage machine, as if America were experiencing an epidemic of white on black killings and this was the last straw. This is fiction. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, only 3.2 percent of black victims were murdered by whites in 2005, the last year for which data are available. The black on white rate was higher — 8.8 percent — but still, the data show that murder remains very much an intraracial phenomenon.
It isn't at all clear what happened on Feb. 26. It certainly appears that Zimmerman used excessive violence. Zimmerman's story of being in a fight (apparently corroborated by an eyewitness) is not supported by the videotape that shows him unharmed at the police station.
The facts remain far from clear.
The dead youth, who is now universally imagined as his 13- or 14-year-old self because of the old picture that has circulated, may or may not have been up to something more than buying Skittles that night (not that that would justify the shooting). We don't know.
But we do know the way narratives are created and manipulated to make political points. The 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a tragedy by any reckoning, was perverted into a "hate crime" by a media keen to create a gay victimization story and by a defense attorney looking for an argument about why his client "snapped." (He claimed that Shepard made a pass and his client became violent in response.) The fictional version of the tale — that Shepard was singled out, tortured and murdered because he was gay — lives on in books, television dramas, and one of the most frequently performed plays in the repertoire, "The Laramie Project." It was also the partial inspiration for the federal hate crimes act, signed into law by President Obama in 2009.
The truth is more complicated. As the ABC show "20/20" reported, the two men who killed Shepard were coming off a weeklong methamphetamine binge. One was raised by an unmarried teenaged alcoholic. The other was the product of divorce and then lost his mother at a young age. Both were heavy drug and alcohol abusers. There is evidence that Shepard himself may have accepted a ride with them because he was into drugs as well. After leaving Shepard bludgeoned and tied to a fence, the killers intended to rob his apartment but got into another brawl with two other criminals that night, one of whom suffered a fractured skull.
It was all ugly — but not quite in the way the we've been told.
So it was with the Duke Lacrosse case. Before anyone really knew what the facts were, the left, including a large segment of the Duke faculty to their eternal shame, peddled a version about spoiled, racist, white college kids abusing and raping a black dancer. We now know how that turned out.
In one recent Chicago weekend, 49 people were shot, 10 fatally, including a 6-year-old black girl. Did President Obama issue a statement? Black-on-black crime, like black-on-white crime, does not fit the liberal media's narrative of white racism they want to promote.
How selective is the outrage about interracial crime — when the bad guy is black?
Ken Tillery, in 2002 walked down a Jasper, Texas road. Three men offered him a ride. But the men kidnapped Tillery, driving him to a remote location. John Perazzo of FrontPageMagazine.com describes what happened: "When the terrified Tillery jumped out of the vehicle and tried to flee, the kidnappers caught up with him, beat him and finally ran over him — dragging him to his death beneath their car's undercarriage."
Same town, a few years after the James Byrd murder, a black-white murder in the same fashion — by dragging a man to his death — but no story! Why? Well, Tillery was white, and the three suspects were all black. The irony alone would, one would think, guarantee lots of coverage. But how much coverage did the case get? An online search of 557 newspapers found that 22 covered the story.
On April 16, 2011 two young British tourists were shot dead when the mistakenly wandered into a notorious black ghetto in near Sarasota Florida. According to The Telegraph the British tourists were shot dead after begging for their lives before being gunned down:
“James Cooper and James Kouzaris pleaded with their alleged killer after getting lost late at night in a crime plagued housing estate.
They were allegedly robbed at gunpoint in April by 16 year old Shawn Tyson.
But according to an eye witness Tyson was unhappy the pair did not have much money and told them: "Since you ain't got no money then I got something for your ass" before opening fire.
Cooper, 25, and Kouzaris, 24, died in a hail of bullets and were later found in the notorious Newtown area of Sarasota in Florida.
The pair were shot dead after wandering drunk into the housing estate where Tyson and a friends were roaming around looking for someone to rob.”
This story drew little attention and the media ignored the race of the killer. When President Obama made his infamous “if I had a son he would look like Trayvon” statement the parents of Cooper and Kouzaris criticized President Barack Obama for his lack of compassion over their sons' deaths. According to a report in The Telegraph:
“His failure to respond to three letters sent to the White House was because there was no "political value" and not worthy of a few minutes of his time.
They spoke out as teenager Shawn Tyson began a life sentence after being found guilty of the murder of James Cooper and James Kouzaris last April.
The 17 year old, who shot the men as they begged for their lives, will die in prison.
His conviction of first degree murder carries an mandatory life sentence without the chance of parole.
The powerfully built teen even looked bored as emotional DVD presentations about the dead men prepared by their grieving parents were shown in court.
Tyson, who has the word 'Savage' tattooed across his chest didn't show a flicker of emotion, slumping in his seat as he was forced to watch a montage of photos showing the victims from early childhood to young men.
Two close friends of the dead men who had attended the eight day trial in Sarasota, Florida. had also delivered highly emotional impact statements to the court prior to the sentencing.
Paul Davies and Joe Hallett spoke of the "living hell" they and others who knew the men had suffered since the murders.
During the eight day trial they had been shown graphic crime scene and autopsy photos shown in court.
Later speaking after Tyson was jailed Davies and Hallett lashed out at Mr. Obama saying the deaths of their friends was "not worthy of ten minutes of his time."
Davies said:" We would like to publicly express our dissatisfaction at the lack of any public or private message of support or condolence from any American governing body or indeed, President Obama himself.
"Mr. Kouzaris has written to President Obama on three separate occasions and is yet to even receive the courtesy of a reply.
"It would perhaps appear that Mr. Obama sees no political value in facilitating such a request or that the lives of two British tourists are not worthy of ten minutes of his time."
Where preferred victim narratives are concerned, truth is the first casualty of American journalism.