Skip to comments.The Beltway Sniper Case: What's Race Got to Do with It?
Posted on 10/30/2002 1:16:17 PM PST by mrustow
Toogood Reports [Wednesday, October 30, 2002; 12:01 a.m. EST]
Well, I guess I had it all wrong. It seems that race was a non-factor in the Beltway Sniper case. I know that, because New York Daily News columnist Pete Hamill told me so. In a race-obsessed column, Hamill informed the reader again and again, that this was not about race.
"During the three frenzied weeks after the first sniper killing, almost none of the media profilers and experts suggested that the sniper might be black. The American imagination was filled by images of crazy white people, snarling and enraged, new versions of Timothy McVeigh. They did not expect the image that now floods the TV screens: John Allen Muhammad and John Malvo, seated on a couch together, smiling in an oddly intimate way.
"'I woke up and turned on the TV, and I was shocked,' an anguished black friend of mine said yesterday. 'I felt a little stab in the heart, too. This is definitely not a black thing. I mean, this is all black folks need right now.'"
(I guess this is something white folks need right now.)
"And yet this seems almost certainly not about race..."
"And we should remember one man whose face became familiar as the melodrama played out: Charles Moose.
"He did not choose to be forced into an international spotlight. But he did what a responsible cop must do. He was cautious, tight-lipped, occasionally irritable. And we saw him change. He dropped little hints of what he knew, using "them" instead of "he" or referring to the shooters in other ways in the plural. And his anguish seemed to intensify as communications were opened with the killers.
"Almost certainly this was because he knew they were black. He is clearly a decent, tough, disciplined black man, an American before he is anything else. But he also must have known what my friend knew yesterday: Black people didn't need this. He almost certainly knew one other large truth: Race had nothing to do with it."
Maybe I'm out of line here, but I thought responsible cops enlisted the public's help in catching bad guys. That's certainly what they do when the bad guys are white, and they usually do so, when the really bad guys are black. But Chief Moose and his fellow D.C.-area chiefs did the opposite. Early on in the case, though Moose & Co. had not a scintilla of evidence pointing to a white man, they told officers to look for a white or a Hispanic man. At the time, Chief Moose told the public that he was not closing out any possibility, including a white woman. But he was fibbing: He had foreclosed on the possibility the killers were black men.
Indeed, Muhammad/Williams and Malvo were pulled over no less than five times by police, and the license on their Chevrolet Caprice taken down no less than ten times, yet were able to continue on their way unhindered. Are we supposed to believe that "anti-profiling" (or rather: anti-common sense) ideology had nothing to do with the ability of Muhammad/Williams and Malvo a middle-aged American man and an unrelated boy with a Jamaican accent to drive around unmolested in the D.C. area with out-of-state plates? Imagine a middle-aged white man driving around with an unrelated, foreign boy. I think police would have demanded some hard proof that the two were stepfather and stepson.
Chief Moose's later knowledge that the fugitives were black caused him anguish, but "race had nothing to do with it."
I'm not sure when it became clear that the killers were black, but one of the suspects called the police tipline five times. Muhammad/Williams is a northern black; an experienced listener will almost never mistake the voice of a northern black for that of a white. (As a Yankee, I find the differences between the voices of black and white Southerners to be less distinctive.)
And one of the suspects left at least two notes, one of them four pages long. During six-and-a-half years of teaching all levels of college English, I learned that the mistakes of black and white and Hispanic writers have different signatures. (Some members of each group cannot be identified from their writing, but I did not teach students with that level of education, and the police were not facing Andover-schooled killers, either.) One phrase quoted from the letter read, "Word is bond" a distinctively black phrase.
Once Chief Moose knew the killers were black, he refused to divulge this information. Had he been more forthcoming, would black bus driver Conrad Johnson still be alive today? We will never know.
Note that it was not the police, but a white Christian man, 61-year-old trucker Ron Lantz, of Ludlow, Kentucky from the group that is the source of all of the world's ills who caught suspects John Allen Muhammad/John Allan Williams and Lee Boyd Malvo aka John Lee Malvo. (And the evil, white Christian southern male Lantz said he would not accept any reward due him; instead, he wanted the money to go to the dead victims' survivors.)
Pete Hamill is a working-class, Irish, Rooseveltian Brooklynite. He often idealizes the Brooklyn of his 1940s and '50s youth, which drives many younger lefties nuts, since that was the Brooklyn of Italians, Jews, Irishmen and Swedes. It is impossible to praise working-class, white Brooklynites for the world they made, without at least implicitly damning the blacks who unmade it. The "integration" of Brooklyn destroyed it, and racial socialists cannot abide to hear anything positive about working-class whites, anyway. And so if Hamill is not to betray the white, working-class heroes of his childhood, he has to go silent about race ... or become shamelessly patronizing, as in his praise of the Montgomery County (Md.) Police Department's Chief Charles Moose. (Hamill also took the opportunity to make a frivolous statement on behalf of gun control, insisting that Muhammad/Williams would never have killed anyone, had rifles not been available.)
After the arrests were made, Al Sharpton said, "we are proud, profoundly proud, of Chief Moose." "We" apparently means all black folks. But why would all black folks be proud of Chief Moose? How would Sharpton have reacted, if the chief had been white, and white folks had expressed their "pride" in him? The second question was rhetorical.
Note that this praise comes from a man who since the 1980s, has done everything in his power to handcuff white policemen and empower black criminals, murderers included.
What's race got to do with it? As far as Pete Hamill and Al Sharpton are concerned, EVERYTHING.
To comment on this article or express your opinion directly to the author, you are invited to e-mail Nicholas at email@example.com .
It's time to force honesty into the violent-crime debate in America. It's not "about guns"; it's about blacks - and liberal social policies like the immigration policies that let "sniper" John Malvo roam the U.S. even though he had already been arrested as an illegal alien.
Shhh! Keep talking like that, and "nice" people won't invite you to their cocktail parties.
What journalistic accuracy! I never knew that Baton Rouge, Louisiana was a northern city. Muhammad/Williams was born and raised there, and served in the National Guard there, before joining the Army and being stationed in Fort Lewis, Washington.
And I suspect that "being black" has very little to do with Mr. "Muhammad's" actions, while being Muslim has a great deal to do with it.
If this is true...if Moose truly knew that he was dealing with a black serial killer and he (or a higher authority in the alphabet soups) chose to keep that info from the public...then it's official : American lives count for less than being PC, in the eyes of the people running the government , the media, and law enforcement.
However, it's telling that you refuse to differentiate between violent/non-violent, criminal/non-criminal black people.
These are your views. No skin off my nose, but I will say this: I have my eyes on types like you as well. Don't go getting any stupid ideas.
Ain't no sunshine when it's on.
No love here, just slugs here.
American lives haven't counted for years. PC kills.
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