The Edgefield Journal 
                      Conservative Voice of the South

September, 2000
The color of murder

What the double standards tell us

by Jared Taylor

Double standards on race are so commonplace it is almost tedious to
point them out, but some are impossible to ignore. Violent death takes
on a different coloring, shall we say, depending on the races of the
actors, as two recent incidents demonstrate.

On June 16, a black 17-year-old named Raynard Johnson hanged himself
from a tree in front of his house in Kokomo, in southern Mississippi.
His father came home while the body was still warm and rushed him to
the hospital but doctors could not revive him. Just half an hour
earlier, he had been watching television inside the house with a
cousin. His body showed no signs of a struggle, and two separate
autopsies concluded the death was entirely consistent with suicide.

His father insisted the boy had been lynched by whites angry about his
reported friendship with two white girls. He claims to believe that
during the half hour Raynard was outside, a lynch mob strung up the
boy so skillfully and so noiselessly they left no mark, and the cousin
never heard a sound. There was, in short, no evidence of murder; only

This was enough for Janet Reno, who has met with the parents, and set
the FBI on the trail of the racists. It was enough for Jesse Jackson,
who charged around town leading demonstrations, accusing whites of
murder, and claiming local authorities could not possibly investigate
the death fairly. It was enough for black congressmen like John
Conyers of Michigan and Maxine Waters of California who also met the
family and have considered calling for a congressional investigation.
And it was enough for the Washington Post, which printed a worried
cover story about the possible lynching as well as a long, page-three
followup. It was almost enough for Al Sharpton, who was supposed to
come to Kokomo but changed his plans.

It required no less a personage than Mississippi Governor Ronnie
Musgrove finally to hold a press conference on July 26 and announce
that the official conclusion was suicide. Col. L. M. Claiborne,
commander of the Mississippi Highway Patrol and himself black, said
the state had , "exhausted all rumors and exhausted all leads," and
pronounced the case closed. Along the way, it turned out that two
hours before the boy killed himself, his black girlfriend told him she
was in love with someone else. Jesse Jackson still thinks it was
murder, and says the investigation must continue, but there is
probably not much mileage for him left in this story.

It is impossible not to notice the contrast with the murder of a
10-year-old white boy, Kevin Shifflett, which we mentioned in the
previous issue's "O Tempora" section. On April 19, a black man walked
up to Kevin as he played at his great-grandparents' home in a quiet
residential area of Alexandria, Virginia, and slit his throat.
Witnesses told police he said something about hating whites as he
killed the third-grader, but investigators did not release this
information to the public and actually told the press they thought
race had nothing to do with the killing.

After an extensive manhunt police now think 29-year-old Gregory Devon
Murphy is the killer. Among his possessions when he was arrested on a
different charge, was a note including the words "kill them raccess
whiate kidd's anyway." Until just 12 days before the attack on Kevin,
Mr. Murphy had been in jail, where he spent several years for calling
a stranger "whitey" and attacking him with a hammer.

The Kevin Shifflett case has all the makings of the purest form of
racial hate crime. Mr. Murphy did not know Kevin; he appears only to
have wanted to "kill them raccess whiate kidd's." The murder of a
child is particularly loathsome, and the entire neighborhood was
horrified. But for some reason Janet Reno has not met Kevin's parents.
There is no FBI hate-crime investigation, and the Washington Post
covered the story only because it is local news. Needless to say,
there have been no demonstrations by angry whites demanding death for
the killer or denouncing his motive.

Why are the cases so different? The press reaction reflects a media
routine that is now so old even "conservatives" take it for granted:
Play up white mischief but play down black mischief. This is supposed
to be good for America because our country is full of bigoted whites
looking for an excuse to vent their prejudices and mistreat blacks.
Therefore, if at all possible whites must never hear or see anything
that could justify a low opinion of blacks. To publicize black crime,
especially anti-white black crime, might provoke whites to all manner
of mayhem and is like letting children play with dynamite.

At the same time, whites must be reminded over and over just how
racist they are, so they will feel guilty and stop being racist. This
is why it is a public service to turn a black teen-ager's suicide into
one more reason to hector whites about their wickedness. As Samuel
Francis pointed out in a July 18 column about these two cases, "if the
right hate crimes don't exist, the newspapers will have to invent

Let us be charitable and assume that editors and bureaucrats who
distort the news are merely stupid. They sincerely believe that blacks
are so noble and long-suffering they could not possibly be provoked to
anti-white violence no matter how often they are told how bad whites
are. Whites, on the other hand, are more volatile, which is why the
dynamite must be kept from the baby. There is no telling what whites
might get up to if they hear bad news about blacks, but blacks can
hear endless dirt about whites and still love and forgive.

Of course, public reaction shows how wrong this is. It is blacks who
are hair-triggered, bellowing about "racism" on the flimsiest grounds
and demanding investigations, punishment, reparations, and apologies.
Jesse Jackson had no trouble rounding up 1,000 demonstrators-in
Mississippi in the blazing heat-demanding "justice" for the imaginary
killers of Raynard Johnson. Whites never do this. Not even the most
gruesome, obviously hate-driven outrage against a white elicits the
slightest quiver of public indignation. On the contrary, reporters
invariably find plenty of whites warning about the dangers of
overreaction and making excuses for black criminals. There could be no
greater contrast to the accusations, demonstrations, threats, and even
riots blacks serve up whenever they see a threat to their racial

And that, of course, is the crucial difference. Blacks know they have
racial interests but whites do not. Blacks act instantly and noisily
to redress "injustice" to their fellows but whites do not.  They show
no solidarity for other whites because they feel no solidarity-or are
ashamed of themselves if they do. No white preachers or congressmen
have made an issue of the Shifflett murder, or tried to keep it in
the spotlight and ensure the racial angle never disappears from view.
It is easy to blame the media for its invariably slanted coverage of
race, but the deeper fault lies with whites as a group. It is true
that their mentality has been molded by consistently hostile media
but it is their catastrophic loss of any understanding of their own
interests that gives rise to these double standards, and to the
innumerable tragedies that follow.

This article appeared originally in the September, 2000, issue of
American Renaissance. A subscription of 12 monthly issues costs $24.00.
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