Diary

Mr. President, If I Had a Son....

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“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said Friday.
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Oops. Silly me – that isn’t a picture of Trayvon Martin, that’s a picture of Matthew Bent.

I daresay, Mr. President, that if you did have a son he might just as easily look like young Mr. Bent. According to his mother, Mr. Bent was a good kid – he mowed neighbors’ lawns, volunteered with yard sales at church, did his homework and was an avid basketball player.

In October, 2009, Matthew Bent was one of three young men who were arrested for the horrific crime of pouring rubbing alcohol on one of their friends and setting him on fire.

Perhaps I missed you addressing the nation about this incident. Coming just 3 months after the Cambridge police “acted stupidly“, I can only assume that you were too busy still nursing your racial grievance wounds to be bothered by another racial crime.

The funny thing is, Mr. President, if I had a son, he might look a lot like Michael Brewer – the victim of Mr. Bent’s crime.
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And while the usual posse of race-baiting hustlers is eagerly stoking up the fires of outrage against the person who allegedly shot Mr. Martin, I would like to remind those same people that young Mr. Bent STILL hasn’t been tried for this crime, over 2 1/2 years later. (The other co-defendants were finally sentenced last month)

Mr. Obama also said that he hoped that the nation would do some “soul searching” in the aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s tragic death, and that “all of us as Americans take this with the seriousness that it deserves”.
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To hear Mr. Obama (and his merry band of “the usual suspects”) tell it, it is a national tragedy when a white-on-black crime occurs (note that the accused in the Trayvon Martin case is being referred to as a “White Hispanic“), but apparently when a black-on-white crime occurs, he can’t be bothered to comment on it.

Frankly, Mr. President, you are the president of the ENTIRE United States, not just a 12% minority of the population. How about you start being outraged on behalf of ALL crime victims, not just the ones who happen to look like you?

And while you’re at it, how about you take a gander at the latest statistics put out by your own Bureau of Justice – you know, the one headed by the man who proclaimed that we are a “Nation of Cowards” when it comes to race?
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Because when you get down into the weeds of that report, it becomes GLARINGLY obvious that white-on-black crime is NOT the problem; as a matter of fact, in several categories (see Table 42 on p. 55), it is PRACTICALLY NON-EXISTENT.

Now, if one were to look solely at the numbers in that Table, it would appear that the number of violent white-on-black crimes (90,717) pales in comparison to black-on-white crimes (429,444).

However, that wouldn’t be a “fair” way to interpret the data.

In fact, what the Bureau of Justice’s numbers show is that the percentage of violent white-on-black crimes (15.9%) is VIRTUALLY THE SAME as the percentage of black-on-white crimes (15.4%); the real disparities show up when you start looking at crimes such as rape and robbery (with or without injury).

So, how about you talk about THAT, Mr. President?

You say that you want to be a “uniter” – it seems to me that this is the perfect place to start. I recognize that this is an “Inconvenient Truth”, but if you really want to start a national conversation about race, perhaps you should be letting ALL of the people in this country know that when it comes to violent crime and race, we are already equal.

You might be surprised at how well that message resonates with a majority of the country.

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[Cross-posted at Koch’s Tour]

[Update 03/26/12]: Revised links to Bureau of Justice website and Statistical Tables; some people weren’t able to access original links