Victims aren’t equal in America’s race politics

US leaders take a knee for George Floyd yet the media can’t find a motive for attacks on Jews, writes Dominic Green


MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 8: A portrait of George Floyd sits in a ring of flowers at the memorial site known as George Floyd Square on April 8, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Derek Chauvin murder trial continues today. The former Minneapolis Police officer is accused of multiple counts of murder in the death of George Floyd in May, 2020. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

April 08, 2021 16:52

Americans are gripped by the reality-television trial of Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd last May. If you watch the full bodycam footage, you’re left in no doubt that Chauvin committed a crime. The questions are whether it was murder or manslaughter – and whether, as Chauvin is white and Floyd was black, it was racially motivated.

The American media immediately decided that it was racially motivated. So did America’s police forces, whose leaders took a knee with the protesters. And so did the public. Last June, a few weeks after Floyd’s death, an ABC News poll found that 74 per cent of Americans believed “racial injustice” had led to Floyd’s death.

Not all racially-motivated crimes are equal in the eyes of America’s institutions. The belief that there’s a racial hierarchy produces the conviction that there’s a hierarchy of victimhood. The killing of blacks by whites, especially uniformed whites, is therefore more troubling than, say, the recent rash of street assaults on Asians, or the ever-rising catalogue of attacks on Jews.

In the crackpot lingo of the woke left, Asians and Jews are “white-adjacent”. In America’s system of “racial capitalism” – you have to go to a good university to learn this stuff – model minorities are as Ivanka Trump was to Donald: “complicit”. They’re asking for it. When they get it, the evidence can be embarrassing. Two weeks ago in Manhattan, an elderly Asian woman was beaten unconscious in broad daylight. Her assailant, Brandon Elliott, was black, and had recently been paroled after serving time for murdering his mother. The doormen of a nearby office block heard him shout, “you don’t belong here”, as he kicked and punched her. The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating.

A few days later, a man stabbed an ultra-Orthodox couple and their baby in a park in Manhattan. The police arrested Darryl Jones, a 30-year-old black man who had been released on parole in February after serving nine years for murder and assault. Footage shows Jones walking past the family, then turning around. To me, and I hope to most people, this suggests racially motivated intent. But Jones forgot to shout something clearly antisemitic while he was flailing away at his obviously Jewish targets. The Hate Crimes Task Force is looking into it, but the NYPD hasn’t yet declared it a “bias crime”.

And then there’s the mass shooting at King Sooper’s, a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, in which 10 people were murdered. “It’s always an angry white man. Always,” tweeted Hemal Jhaveri, the “race and inclusion” editor of USA Today. The media ran with the story – until they learnt that the shooter was Ahmad al Aliwi Alisa, who was born in Syria and whose Facebook page suggested Islamist sympathies. “Motive in Boulder shooting still a mystery, police say,” the New York Times reports. One of the mysteries in the case is: why did Alisa drive 15 miles from his home to a supermarket that, police believe, he’d never been to before? Is it possibly significant that King Sooper’s advertises itself as “your one-stop shop for kosher groceries”? The Boulder police don’t think so. Neither does the New York Times. Last week a man rammed his car into the concrete barrier which now protects the Capitol in Washington, DC, killing himself and a policeman. A last-stand Trumpist? No: a black supporter of Louis Farrakhan, committing “suicide by cop”.

Aliwi’s family say he had mental problems. The family of the Capitol car-rammer said he’d injured his brain playing American football. Brandon Elliott is insane and Darryl Jones, who was clad in a white blanket when he stabbed a baby, is obviously mad too. America has a mental-health problem: the closing of hospitals has turned the streets of its cities into open-air lunatic asylums. America has a justice-system problem: it locks people up too easily, then lets them out too quickly. And America has a racism problem, because racism occurs everywhere, including in the damaged minds of people who shouldn’t be on the streets in the first place.

But all that distracts from the fact that the ostensible defenders of sanity, the police and the press, aren’t doing their jobs. They’re surrendering common sense to radical dogma. They’re policing and reporting through the prism of “racial justice”. One of the many injustices that ensues is the unwillingness of America’s police and media to see attacks on Jews and Asians for what they are: racist violence.

Dominic Green is deputy editor of The Spectator’s US edition.

April 08, 2021 16:52

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