We reported the story of the Wichita Massacre in these pages two years ago at the time it happened. Outside the local Wichita press, however, virtually the only media to report this hate crime were Frontpagemagazine.com and the American Renaissance newsletter. While the federal government rushes to Los Angeles to investigate an incident in which a handcuffed youth was slammed into the hood of a car and punched by an officer, a pall of silence still blankets the horrendous racial murder of four young people whose murderers are now on trial. The difference in the responses to these two stories can hardly be attributed to anything other than the skin color of the perpetrators and the victims involved. Apparently the sexual torture and brutal executions of four promising youngsters is of no interest to the nation's moral guardians, because the victims happen to be white.
Stephen Webster's account of these events provides a revealing window on the disturbing - not to say disgusting -- state of the civil rights delusion in America. The U.S. Justice Department has reported that 85% of all inter-racial violence in America is committed by blacks against whites. But there are apparently no black hate crimes; and there is certainly no white civil rights movement to create sympathy for the victims.
Nor can there be one in the present atmosphere of racial hypocrisy, where the mere expression of concern over attacks on white people would itself make an individual a ripe target for racial witch-hunters.
Because they are black, the Wichita killers have been protected from national scrutiny and have not even been charged with a hate crime. The entire apparatus of local government in Wichita - abetted by the national press -- has worked overtime to keep the public ignorant of what happened. If the truth came out, it would threaten a national melodrama in which only blacks are victims, only blacks are persecuted and only whites are racists. Within the framework of this melodrama, the only acceptable meaning of civil rights is retribution for blacks -- retribution for any and every crime, real or imagined, ever suffered by black people however remote in the past. "Reparations" is just the nom de jour of the new civil rights package.
What would happen if, instead, we returned to the idea of individual accountability, and gave up the totalitarian fantasies of reparations and "social justice," in which oppressed classes exact retribution from their age-old oppressors? What if we returned to the real world in which individuals commit indefensible misdemeanors (Los Angeles) and monstrous crimes (Wichita)? What if we revived the idea of making the punishment fit the actual deed? Think of all the people who wouldn't know what to do with themselves if that were to happen.
The fact is that the Wichita horror is but one of many spectacular lynchings of white people by black racists, which the nation's moral watchdogs choose to ignore.
Everybody in America, for example, knows who James Byrd is, and that he was brutally murdered by three whites in Jasper Texas four years ago. Byrd's lynchers offered him a lift in their pickup truck, beat him and chained him and dragged him to his death. An entire nation was outraged and guilty. The President issued a statement, legislators wrung their hands and the media keened over the inhumanity of the act and what it portended for the country's future.
Four years later - this year in fact - a white man named Ken Tillery, hitched a ride in Jasper, Texas. He was given a lift by four black men who then murdered him to a deafening national silence. Like Byrd, Tillery was held hostage and beaten. Then he was run over and crushed to death. The copycat nature of the crime made it a natural news story. But there was none, save a modest account in the Houston Chronicle, to which nobody paid any attention. This savagery was apparently nothing. The pigments were politically incorrect. It was only some white guy, whose ancestors probably owned slaves.
We make no apologies for expressing outrage over these facts or printing the story of the Wichita slayings. We would like to see the trial of these killers reported on Peter Jennings' World News Tonight. We would like to see the story of the murders retold on 60 Minutes or 48 Hours. We would like to see Spike Lee direct a Hollywood feature or Jesse Jackson conduct a pilgrimage to Kansas to plea for racial peace.
But we know these things won't happen. To begin with, Jesse Jackson and Spike Lee don't have the moral intelligence to take these steps. Nor does Peter Jennings. We're regret that this is the case. But we are certain there will not be any bright future for race relations in this country until silences like these are broken.