Patterico's Pontifications

12/18/2006

David Mills on the LAT (Non-)Coverage of the Long Beach Black-on-White Hate Crime

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Race — Patterico @ 6:46 am



David Mills, a former reporter and a black lifelong Democrat, recently wrote Romenesko to criticize the L.A. Times for its lack of coverage of a black-on-white hate crime in Long Beach:

We have in Los Angeles an ongoing case study of what happens when a major American newspaper is confronted with an event outside of its politically correct comfort zone. The LAT isn’t doing itself proud.

On Halloween night, in an upscale neighborhood of Long Beach called Bixby Knolls, three young white women were surrounded and severely beaten by about 30 black youths, who allegedly punctuated their assault with comments like “We hate white people, f— whites.” One of the victims suffered multiple facial fractures; reportedly she was struck with a skateboard. Ten black kids, ages 12 to 17, are currently on trial for felony assault. Eight of them are charged with a hate-crime enhancement. Nine of them are girls.

. . . .

The Halloween mob assault appears to be the worst instance of black-on-white violence in Southern California since Reginald Denny took a cinder block to the head. Why is the LA Times covering it so grudgingly? The only reference to the beatings on the op-ed page came last Sunday, when Michael McGough, a senior editorial writer, wrote of this case: “I wouldn’t dare to prejudge [it] even if the facts weren’t so murky.” He then fretted that an “unintended consequence” of hate-crime laws is that “such laws could end up punishing blacks who commit violence against whites — which is a far cry from the historical experience that inspired hate-crime statutes.”

Say what? I didn’t realize that hate-crime laws were supposed to punish only white people. Presented with a shocking instance of black-on-white violence, the Times thinks the only larger issue worth discussing is whether hate-crime legislation is wrongheaded?

There is much more at the link.

Fishbowl LA followed up with Mills, who said some very interesting things. An excerpt:

I don’t live anywhere near Long Beach, nor do I have any particular knowledge of these beatings. This case just happened to push my buttons. I’m black, I’m a former newspaper reporter (Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times), and I’m a lifelong Democrat, but as I get older (now 45), I’ve become disenchanted with the liberal orthodoxy on race. We need to talk more frankly about things like crime.

The L.A. Times coverage of the Long Beach attack is so obviously underplayed, and its reporting so passive, I have to wonder whether political inhibitions have overcome the editors’ news judgement. Do they think they’ll be accused of racist rabble-rousing if they play the daily trial coverage on the cover of the California section? In other words, are they cowardly? Or is it deeper than that? Do they truly believe, in their hearts, that a black-on-white mob assault is less newsworthy than a white-on-black mob assault would be?

Read it all.

UPDATE: I should note that Mills’s letter and the Fishbowl LA post are both more than a week old. The paper has done stories about the trial since then.

11 Responses to “David Mills on the LAT (Non-)Coverage of the Long Beach Black-on-White Hate Crime”

  1. The trial gets almost daily coverage in the “B” section. The facts are “murky” only from the perspective of prosecuting the crime. There should be no doubt that these women were assaulted, and that racial epithets were directed at them. Whether or not those on trial will be convicted of hate crimes is a separate question. But perhaps standards for “hate crimes” are inherently murky, even more so when the “wrong” class of people are the victims.

    David (871a52)

  2. you framed a question with two apparently mutually exclusive alternatives which are not actually mutually exclusive. the times can be at once 1) cowardly, and 2) actually believe that white on black violence is worse than black on white violence.
    this is why i oppose “hate crime” legislation. i had a feeling that it would put me in a lesser position relative to minorities in some quarters. all brutal assaults are hate crimes, and should be punished irrespective of the race of the participants.
    i’ve seen a couple of articles about this case in the times. i read where an intimidation effort was made against one of the key witnesses, who almost didn’t testify. she looked out her window one morning and there were six thugs on top of her car. this is why i support the 2nd amendment. i will salute any citizen who blows away six homeboys in less than a minute. that’s called chlorinating the gene pool.
    i wish michael mcgough would experience something like what the victims experienced in this case, to broaden his editorial perspective.

    assistant devil's advocate (136b85)

  3. I remember there was a similar situation in DC a few years back. Two black female teenagers were preying on elderly folks (white and black), by knocking on doors, claiming they needed help because of car trouble, gaining entry into the house, and then beating and robbing the old folks. While they were still at large stories on local TV news and in the Washington Post wouldn’t give descriptions of the two. (The Washington Times did though.) Evidently the safety of our elderly must be sacrificied at the altar of PC.

    iconicmidwesterner (8018ee)

  4. “such laws could end up punishing blacks who commit violence against whites — which is a far cry from the historical experience that inspired hate-crime statutes.”

    I am having trouble with this statement. I don’t have time to research this right now, but I know I’ve seen figures that show black-on-white crime is far more common than white-on-black.

    Steverino (d27168)

  5. Mr. Mills deserves an award for pushing this to the forefront, and yes, Mr. Mills, they are cowards. People whose first action in the morning is to genuflect to PC, and pledge allegiance to it, are very weak.

    rightisright (16ece0)

  6. ADA: I’ve read many of your posts here, but I give you props for this one. Spot on.

    A ‘Hate’ crime is one of the most useless laws made. If someone does something illegal, and you don’t think the punishment is enough, up the punishment. Don’t waste taxdollars and time trying to determine whether they committed a hate crime on top of the original crime. It’s ludicrous and wasteful and puts minorities in a position they don’t want to be in (singled out yet again).

    Lord Nazh (285c90)

  7. iconicmidwesterner,
    You should check out Tim Blair’s website. Every so often, he links to an article in the Australian news where “men of no appearance” go a-rampaging. It’s sickening.

    Darkmage (4de99c)

  8. Hey JESSIE JACKASSOMN look at what has happened and you too AL SUARPTON how about if all those black thugs involved in these crimes should all be sent to federal prison for the rest of their lives with out you sticking your big fat noses in frankly they shoulds lock them up and throw away the key

    krazy kagu (aef0eb)

  9. article in today’s times: “questions still shroud long beach assault”
    one of the questions staff writer joe mozingo raised “whether the beating was truly racially motivated”
    several paragraphs down, a witness quotes a male voice “i…hate white people.”
    note the ellipsis. the times won’t even allude to what that ellipsis covers, but with the benefit of my clairvoyacam (patent pending) i can tell you that it was a seven letter grammatically misplaced gerund starting with the letter “f” and pronounced as if the last letter were silent.
    the last sentence of the article raised a legal question, and i don’t know the answer. blood matching the victim was found on one of the defendant’s pants, the juvenile court judge admitted the blood but rejected the dna evidence on the ground that it was “too late”. anybody know why?

    assistant devil's advocate (143e3f)

  10. I have no special knowledge, but the judge’s ruling to admit the fact of the blood found on the suspect but not the DNA analysis could be justified by:

    The limited probity of the DNA evidence. It adds very little to the mere fact that fresh blood was detected there.

    Time constraints. The judge was probably trying to get the adjudication finished before Christmas, and DNA testimony is time-consuming. Plus, if the prosecution presents an expert, each of the defendants would be entitled to present their own expert.

    Add these to the apparent lateness of the disclosure of the DNA analysis, precluding the defendants from doing their own.

    There are much more troubling incidents of police and prosecutorial misconduct here: Improperly suggestive line-ups, last-minute photo identifications by a crucial witness being done by a D.A. while prepping that witness, failing to disclose the existence of a taped interview of said witness done much closer in time to the incident, and taping over that interview tape.

    So we are left with a brutal beating of a white girl and her friends by a group of black juveniles, but circumstances and shoddy police work and prosecutorial ineptness making it unlikely that the correct perpetrators will be “brought to justice.”

    nosh (ee9fe2)


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