Friday, April 20, 2007
ABC News: S.C. Teachers Accused of Sex With Boys
In the aftermath of the VT tragedy there has been much talk about the relevance of race and its place in the discussion of the event. I contend that the Pandora’s Box of race is relevant except when it is clear that it is not relevant. The VT killing spree is exceptional, by definition, thereby making the killer’s race important in considering all the facts that may unearth his motive(s).
Alternately, the race of a common mugger, in a city with thousands of muggings is not relevant, except if the perpetrator is either still at-large and the description would aid capture, or the alleged crime was carried out in manner that connoted special racial motivation. Simply being a different color than the victim is not proof of racial animus.
It is the mere difference of race that many whites leap upon, when they challenge the hypocrisy of media systems that do not automatically include the race of non-white perpetrators. Inasmuch as those whites feel that race dominates our thoughts and behaviors, they may be correct. However, history reveals a myriad of non-racial motivators behinds human action, and our understanding of race has simply not yet advanced to the point of discerning itself so clearly.
Having said this, this day I borrow from my white brethren in their media outrage. Today, I found out that in late March of this year two white female teachers in Clinton, South Carolina stand accused of sexuality abusing six black boys, students in their school. The story was written by an AP correspondent but not, to my knowledge, picked up by either the Washington Post or the New York Times. This alleged crime is appalling and the race of both the teachers and the students is important, as it goes directly to the question of what was motivating them. But why did I have to take a plane, a train, a bus, and a taxi, to find out this happened?
When people commit heinous acts we deserve to know about it. Their race, if it is relevant, should be included in the reporting, including being spoken of as a potential motivator. This communication needs to happen without the political correctness filter that short-circuits discussions of race and its influence. Every issue is not about race, but knee-jerk white-washing of events will keep us stupid and fighting each other forever.
James C. Collier
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