Saturday, April 10, 2010

What If They Had a Hate Crime Surge an No One Reported It?

There’s been an unfortunate surge in violent robberies of Arab American store owners in Detroit, as reported Friday in the Detroit News. (“Crime surge worries Detroit Arab-American storeowners”).

According to the report, there have been at least three recent incidents of fatal shootings and pistol-whippings of Arab storeowners in the last couple weeks. Imad Hamad, regional director of the ADC, who I presume was in a meeting between storeowners and Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans, “said it doesn't appear the incidents were racially motivated.”

People mentioning race only to rule it out is usually an indication that the violence was racially motivated.

Anyone who has lived in this area for a while is aware that the black community and the Arab community don’t share great bonds of affection. Arab storeowners in Detroit tend to be disliked because their businesses are successful in parts of the city where there tend to be few businesses at all. Arabs generally don’t like blacks, whom they see as disproportionately involved in criminal activity.

The occurrences of pistol-whipping strikes me as the kind of gratuitous savagery that points to the criminals harboring genuine hatred for their victims, instead of just a greedy desire to steal their money and get away quick. Without having all the details about what happened in each case, I can only observe that, around here, that kind of thing usually comes down to racial hatred.

In my memory, crimes aggravated by racial hatred are only of interest to local media and politicians when the victims are minorities. Black-on-white crimes that contain an element of racism are treated as straightforward crimes, in automatic conformity with the narrative that minorities can never be guilty of racism, only victims of it.

A couple of years back a 90-something year old man was beaten almost to death in front of his wife by a black assailant at a gas station who had just robbed him. The victim hadn’t tried to resist, so the assault was purely gratuitous. The victim and his wife were also black, though the husband had light skin and freckles. During one of the defendant’s court appearances a witness heard the assailant tell his lawyer that the reason he beat the old man up that way was because he thought he was white. Hey, like you’ve never made a mistake.

Hamad and the ADC also have a heavy investment in the fable that the area has been undergoing an epidemic of hate crimes since 9/11, all of which supposedly are being directed against Muslims by white people. Black-on-Arab crime, even if it has an added element of racial hate, doesn’t gain for the Muslim community what the “Islamophobia” gambit was meant to get. There was a Dearborn gas-station held up not far from my house, caught on security camera, in which the armed robber, who already had the money from the till, reached over the counter where the cashier--a young Arab man -- was lying face down and harmless, and shot him to death for no apparent reason -- or at least none that was discussed in the media.

Blacks are one of the victim groups (the other is homosexuals) who’s more recent civil rights strategies Muslim leaders have appropriated for their own use. I’m talking about the recent strategies that could care less about achieving better conditions for their people than about silencing critics through intimidation and constant threats of being called a bigot.

Right now neither Hamad’s Muslim consituency, nor the black community -- which is currently twitching through a marionette revue supporting the Democratic Party’s race-baiting defense of Obama’s health-care law -- has any desire to confront any racial-hatred issues where the attackers aren’t Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck.

Then there’s DPD Chief Warren Evans. Evans is a political creature of Detroit’s Black Slate (“the political arm of Shrine of the Black Madonna”), which means he’s about as likely to beef up police patrols to help Detroit’s Arab business owners as Coleman Young was to beef them up to help Detroit’s white business owners.

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