Media blackout, victim fear and cultural condemnation
by COLIN FLAHERTY
Black mob violence against “gay” people is a perfect storm of three secret worlds: Newspapers do not report the predators, victims do not report the crimes and being “gay” is “about the worst thing you can be in black culture,” CNN anchor Don Lemon told the New York Times.
That is why a growing number of people – black and white, “gay” and straight – say this violence is more widespread and less reported than most people think.
So let’s start the reporting, beginning with the benign and working toward the violent.
Sometimes the homophobia is just talk. Black people voted overwhelmingly against “gay” rights initiatives in California and North Carolina. “Gay” writer Dan Savage belled the cat: “I’m done pretending that the handful of racist gay white men out there … are a bigger problem for African Americans, gay and straight, than the huge numbers of homophobic African Americans are for gay Americans, whatever their color.”
Convoluted? Yes. But in the hyper-sensitive environs of the politically correct, this was a shot heard round the world.
Black antipathy toward “gay” people is featured in the work of the most popular black hip hop performers. Comments from superstar 50 Cent represent hundreds of articles and videos old and new easily found on the Internet: “I ain’t into f——. I don’t like gay people around me, because I’m not comfortable with what their thoughts are.”
Talking is one thing. Violence another. And more people are finding it harder to ignore the “anti-gay violence that plagues the black community,” says a headline for an article by Kenyon Farrow in The Grio, a black news website produced by NBC News.
“Incidents in the black community usually receive little or no attention, we have our own problems with homophobic violence here in the U.S.”
The most visible recent case of black mob violence against a “gay” person happened in Atlanta.
He did not report the crime until the video of his beating went viral.
Newspapers in Atlanta – and the rest of the country – are getting more and more perplexed about what to do with citizen reporters not trained to ignore racial violence.
Such was the case when hundreds of black people raged through a crowd at an outdoor summer movie festival in an Atlanta “gay” neighborhood. One witness was so unhappy at the newspaper’s lack of coverage, he reported it himself on YouTube.
“What happened last night (June 3) at Screen on the Green was not simply ‘fights’ between unruly teens as the local TV stations would like their audiences to believe. These savages went ape—- and hunted down ‘gays’ and lesbians to attack!” the report said.
“They specifically began targeting members of the LGBT community around Blake’s and along 10th St. The local news media is acting as if this were a simple scuffle and that’s totally unacceptable.
“It was like a riot in a third world country,” the report said.
Rhodes added, according to the article, that when he was walking out of the park he was called ‘f—–’ and other obscenities and said women at the event were also called lesbians.
The next day, Atlanta police said they had no reports of any anti-”gay” violence and very little information about violence of any kind at the festival.
Let’s move over to Chicago: Ground Zero for racial violence and denial.
Boys Town in Chicago is a “gay” neighborhood. Also called Streeterville, this usually tranquil and “eclectic” (that’s the journalistic code word for “gay”) area saw more than its share of black racial violence in the summer of 2011.
In July 2011, a man spilled a drink on another man, accidentally. The man who got wet was part of a large gang of black people. The soon-to-be-victim was a beautician walking with his boyfriend. He got stabbed and beat up. It’s on video. Let’s go to the local ABC affiliate:
“It was an obvious mob mentality. You saw people cheering it on. People running in to give one quick jab or kick and then back out and cheering them on. It’s scary,” Sall said.
Though unrelated, residents say this is the third stabbing in the area in recent weeks. The last one happened five days ago, just one block north, when a man was robbed in a 7-Eleven parking lot at Halsted and Roscoe.
Residents say the problems are due to large groups of people from outside the neighborhood loitering in the area. Alderman Tom Tunney, 44th Ward, said Monday night that this is a subject that has been coming up for the last couple of years.
“There tends to be large groups of minority youths on Halsted.”
In June 2011, Chicago police arrested several black men for a series of four attacks and robberies in the same neighborhood. Any distinguishing features of the victims or assailants? You could not tell if you only listened to this account.
But the people arrested were black. At least one of the victims was “gay.” And everyone was a lot happier not talking about it. Except for this dude, a local “gay” resident who says the problem of violence and lawlessness is reaching epidemic levels.
“A rash of violent crime by black youth in Chicago’s predominately gay and white Lakeview neighborhood (aka, Boystown) has residents on edge, and sparking age old tensions between Blacks and the White GBLT community,” said one video blogger. “It’s been going on for a couple of years. People are getting very, very frightened.”
The blogger says white people are afraid to mention the race or their attackers, for fear of being labeled a racist.
“But if it’s true it’s true,” he said.
In July, 100 black people pelted cars outside of a “gay” club with bottles and rocks. When police were slow to respond, one man accused them of being racist because they would not arrest the black law breakers.
Even the Chicago Sun-Times is getting religion. Kind of. After a series of violent episodes in Streeterville, some on video, the outcry against black-mob-on-”gay” violence is rising even above the fear of being called a racist.
The police and politicians don’t talk about it, but drug dealing, gang activity, prostitution and muggings are not uncommon. They also don’t want to talk about the fact that many of the perpetrators are people of color.
People of color? Indians? Native Americans? Asians? Even the bravest in this crowd just cannot make themselves think the unthinkable: This is racial violence from groups of black people on “gay” people.
Some in Boystown have even set up their own Facebook page to fight the violence. Robberies here are up 23 percent over last year and 118 percent over 2010. This page carries an exhaustive list of criminal activity. And page members do not try to cover up who is responsible for the epidemic of criminal activity.
The page owners spend a lot of time fending off accusations they are racist. Few on either side waste any time denying the racial reality of the crimes. Some say noticing it or talking about it is racist. These same people say police are harassing these young men.
Down the road in Normal, Ill., Eric Unger was recently walking the bucolic campus of Illinois State University when six to 10 black people unleashed a torrent of “gay” slurs and attacked him. He woke up with a broken jaw and a police department curiously unwilling to call this a hate crime on racial or sexual grounds.
In Brooklyn, a group of black men did not like the way Barrie Shortell looked. So they called him some anti-”gay” names, chased him, beat him badly, breaking his jaw and other bones. The story didn’t say who did it. But the commenters did. They were not happy.
In June, a few blocks away, a 7th grade student was taunted for being “gay” and beaten over a period of time until finally, one of the beatings resulted in blindness in one eye, reported The Grio. Despite the fact that those who assaulted him were black, one of the posters to the website was adamant that race had nothing to do with it: “These are the types of trumped up unprovoked attacks that racist trolls on this site are attempting to instigate.”
They were referring to a series of stories in WND on racial violence that someone had posted on TheGrio.com – which were later removed.
Here’s a two-fer: Two crimes on one video. The title of this New York state video says it all: Homophobic African-Americans charged with hate crimes. One of the attacks featured a gang of black people targeting a “gay” man at an upscale mall. Like many attacks of this nature, the two people who were charged were just a fraction of the total number present.
The nation’s capital has seen several examples of black mob on “gay” violence this year.
In July, a yoga instructor and his boyfriend were ambushed returning home. One jaw broken. The attack on these two men came four months after an almost identical episode where “another 29-year-old gay man suffered a broken jaw and other serious injuries from an attack by at least four assailants who shouted anti-gay names at him.”
The Washington Post and other local media do not identify the attackers by race. The local “gay” paper did.
A few miles away, in June, three black people were accused of hurling anti-”gay” slurs at a “gay” teenager, then holding him down while they stabbed him. Then it got really strange in the reader comments section: “I can’t understand why they are angry – did the guy ask them for sex?,” said black commenter Debra Winfield. “Stupid people do stupid things.”
Other readers excoriated her for blaming the victim. Winfield doubled down, saying they were stupid. Over at the Washington Post in a report on the same story, one “gay” commenter summed it up and said what the paper would not:
The level of homophobia within the black community is overwhelming, and in a most calculated way, they spin it to blame gays, when they themselves are voting against LGBT rights at best, and ATTACKING gays at worse. Time to confront the elephant in the room and stop being so politically correct. Black homophobia is celebrated in the black community and no longer does the LGBT community have to stand for it.
In January of this year, Nihan Thai was walking through his “eclectic” Seattle neighborhood when several black people assaulted him. The openly “gay” man visited his neighbors to talk about an epidemic of violent crime in their neighborhood. According to KING-TV in Seattle:
The robberies continued and Thai found himself becoming someone he’d never expected – a community activist.
He kept hearing crime was down in Seattle – robberies had fallen three percent in 2011 –but it sure didn’t feel that way.
Thai started visiting his neighbors, they had a lot to say, and soon he realized he was doing his own crime survey.
Thai knocked on 49 doors. 32 people were home. How many of them had been victims of a crime since moving to the neighborhood? All but three.
Many victims told Thai they’d never reported the crimes to police.
“It happens to them so often that after 2 or 3 times they stopped reporting because they didn’t see any progress,” said Thai
One of the people he talked to was Danny Vega, also “gay.” Soon after, three black men killed Vega. The 10th such attack in that area in two months, all near the corner of Martin Luther King Way and Othello Street.
All of the suspects in all of the crimes are black.
Let’s finish up in Dallas. Starting with the police report:
On March 13, 2012, at about 2:00 a.m. two citizens were walking near the corner of Audelia Road and Forest Lane. A dark colored 4 door vehicle (possibly a Buick) with tinted windows and 24 inch rims approached the two individuals and suspects from within the vehicle began to shout slurs that were disparaging and derogatory toward sexual orientation.
There were believed to be 5 black male suspects in their 20s inside the vehicle. Some of the suspects exited the vehicle, and two of them were brandishing baseball bats. The suspects attacked the two victims causing multiple injuries requiring medical treatment.
They called them sissies. While trying to defend themselves, one of the victims got caught in the car door. The car dragged him until he found a way to free himself.
No one died.
Reporters note: As part of the research for this story, I sent an email to 350 reporters who were self-identified as “gay” or as covering “gay” issues. I told them about the story of black-mob-on-”gay” violence and sent them a link as an example. I asked them if they knew of any black-on-”gay” violence.
Not one “gay” reporter said he knew of even one example.