As Election Day draws closer, conservative media has suggested that there is a fierce “Race War” in our midst. Several conservative politicians, political commentators, and journalists believe that the media is trying to cover up the presence of black-on-white crimes. They have accused the media of remaining focused on stories such as the Trayvon Martin case while black-on-white crime stories go unreported.
On April 14th a couple in Norfolk, Virginia, was attacked by a small crowd of teenagers that threw a rock at their car. The story remained unreported and nobody thought twice about the incident until Bill O’Reilly took to the air on Fox to announce the race of the attackers. The white couple had been attacked by black teenagers. O’Reilly seemed to push the race issue on air, conveniently ignoring the fact that the couple was in a relatively crime-ridden city in Virginia where attacks seem to happen frequently. Through the use of various data and unrelated anecdotes, conservative media has turned the fiasco into another marker of a “race war.” According to Tucker Carlson, editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller, “To the press, the only hate crimes are straight white men somehow committing acts of violence against people who are not straight white men.”
Conservatives have even gone far enough to claim that there is a “spike” in black-on-white crime.
FBI statistics reveal, however, that over the past decade there has been a dramatic downward trend in white-biased crimes. According to a report by the FBI, hate crimes against blacks still out number white-biased crimes four to one. There were over 2,000 hate crimes against blacks in 2010 alone.
According to Dan Reihl, a conservative blogger, “There are special interest groups on the left that exploit reports of white-on-black crime for political gain.” Cheryl Contee, on the other hand, seems to disagree. The founder of the blog Jack and Jill Politics said, “Pushing the notion of a ‘race war’ or raising the specter of black and white crime serves to frighten those who might be considering voting for Obama in November.” The FBI report revealed that white biased crimes were at a decade high in 2008, but conservatives didn’t address the issue until four years later. Today, less than six months from election time, conservatives are suggesting that electing a black president will result in a world of “reverse racism.”
“In Obama’s America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering,” Rush Limbaugh said.
According to Contee, Limbaugh is just making another “naked attempt to use the fear of The Other to bring back those who may be increasingly alienated from conservative politics.”