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"Civil Rights" leaders often call crime fighters "racist." This prevents America from dealing with criminals justly, looking instead at racial factors. Moreover, it has caused increased racial tension.

by Jim McCloskey

On the 5:33 Long Island Railroad this past December 7th, Colin Ferguson murdered Amy Federici, James Gorycki, Mi Kyung Kim, Marita Theresa Magtoto, Dennis McCarthy, and Richard Nettleton. Ferguson also shot and wounded twenty-one others. After meeting with the victims' families, Nassau County Executive Thomas Gulotta said, "The person who committed these crimes is an animal. No penalty is too severe." Given the magnitude of the crime, one could hardly expect less.
But Colin Ferguson was black, and that was where the trouble started. Louise Simpson, President of the Long Island NAACP said "I resent the Nassau County Executive fanning the flames of racism by calling the man an animal."
Assemblywoman Earlene Hill (D-New York) called Gulotta's remarks "inflammatory." The most famous condemnation came from the Reverend Jesse Jackson. He said, "We are urging the County Executive to stop referring to people as 'animals.' Its connotation is racial and demeaning." Gulotta refused to retract his statement. Within a few days, Jackson made the outrageous assertion that Gulotta "stop playing that Governor George Wallace role, and stop playing that Governor Orval Faubus role." These reactions by these so-called "black leaders" completely miss the point. First, Gulotta was not referring to race; rather, he was expressing the outrage that he and many others felt. One Long Island resident expressed this succinctly when Jesse Jackson addressed an Episcopal congregation the Sunday after the massacre, "Black, white, red, brown, or yellow. It doesn't matter! He's an animal, Reverend Jackson! Period!" If there is any racial animosity aroused by this massacre, it will be caused by Reverend Jackson making a racial issue out of it. Criticizing Gulotta for his comments created antagonism against the Reverend Jackson and his supporters. If anyone is inflammatory, it is the Reverend Jackson for comparing County Executive Gulotta to two segregationist governors. According to the Reverend Jackson, Gulotta's condemnation of murder is morally equivalent to endorsing racism.

Race issues were also made out of the trial of the officers who beat black drunk driver Rodney King, as well as the trial of those who beat truck driver Reginald Denny. While many black "leaders" saw the beating of Rodney King as unjustifiable and "racist," these same leaders saw the beating of Reginald Denny as a "justifiable expression of rage," to quote black author Cornel West. While Rodney King was speeding while drunk, resisting arrest, and refusing to let the officers search him for a weapon, Reginald Denny was guilty only of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. While the "leaders" called for convictions on charges equivalent to attempted murder in the King beating, they called for acquittals for the four "heroes" who tried to kill Denny. The Denny defendants were, in fact, acquitted of most of the serious charges, to which Jesse Jackson said, "We beat the white man at his own game." Fortunately, the judge sentenced one of the defendants to ten years in prison. John Cager, Minister of Youth at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Central Los Angeles, called this sentence "a gross miscarriage of justice," showing America that barbaric behavior will be tolerated by black "leaders" if the barbarism is performed by black criminals.

Yet another example of black "leaders" rationalizing for black criminals was the trial of several black youths who gang raped, severely beat, and left for dead a New York Central Park jogger. These "leaders" did not show concern for that woman's rights. Rather they made excuses for these savages, calling for their acquittal, and referring to those who wanted justice for this brutalized woman as "racist." These "leaders" used literary symbolism rather than reason. These leaders compared this trial to the pre-Civil Rights South's lynching of black men who were falsely accused of raping white women. The problem with this analogy is that there was extensive evidence as well as confessions that these predators had raped the woman. These criminals should be punished, not compared to Bigger Thomas in Richard Wright's Native Son. Just because trials were unfair in the Old South does not mean that black criminals should be allowed to get away with violent felonies. The savages were convicted, but unfortunately the worst any of the defendants received was ten years in prison.

One of the most outstanding examples of this wrong-headedness is the continued complaining about the Willie Horton ad from 1988 Presidential campaign. The liberal critics of George Bush did not become outraged when Horton dismembered his victim and left him to bleed to death horribly in a dumpster. They did not become outraged when then-Governor Dukakis released this convicted murderer on a furlough. They did not become outraged when Horton beat and raped a Maryland woman while her husband was tied up and forced to watch. They only became outraged when this ad brought Dukakis' bad judgment to light. Dukakis' campaign manager Susan Estrich complained that the Willie Horton ad "was a powerful metaphor for racial hatred." It isn't important that the ad demonstrated clearly that murderers should not be paroled or furloughed. Nor is it important that the Maryland woman would never have been raped had Dukakis denied Horton the furlough! Where are these people's priorities? They are more offended at a television ad than at Horton's actions! The Horton ad was not a transparent appeal to racial hatred; rather, it showed the havoc a real-life murderer could wreak on people if furloughed, no matter what race the criminal is. Could anyone imagine these condescending liberals and "civil rights" leaders saying this racial rhetoric to the family of the convenience store worker, or to the Maryland woman who was raped, or to the husband who watched helplessly ?

In conclusion, for the black "leadership" to rationalize for criminals, label crime-fighters as "racist," and tolerate crime is heinous. It leads to increased crime, evidenced by the L.A. riots and the results of the Reginald Denny trial. This also leads to the false belief that black criminals are not responsible for their crimes becoming more widely accepted by the public. Such lack of responsibility leads to increased crime, which endangers us all. Instead, a colorblind attitude towards crime is required. Instead of causing racial antagonism by making excuses for crime, this country should show zero tolerance for crime regardless of who commits it. For black leaders to urge leniency for black criminals only hurts blacks. Until today, only children and the mentally were not held responsible for their crimes. We should not add black Amercians to this category. Showing increased respect for life, basic morality and decency, personal responsibility, and stiff punishment for those who break the law will improve this. Tough prison sentences, mandatory minimums, the abolition of parole, use of the death penalty, and accountability for criminals will help stop crime. Race based excuses will not.

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