A young white man from Katy, Texas has been charged with a federal hate-crime by the US Department of Justice for a vicious “knockout” attack against an 79 year old Black man. The victim was hospitalized for several days after sustaining serious injuries, and if convicted Conrad Alvin Barrett, 27, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Conrad had allegedly worked up the nerve to commit the crime over the course of a week, video recorded himself and was later caught after showing the clip to an off duty cop.
The “Knockout Game” has been a bit of urban legend in the rightwing blogosphere where complaints of reverse racism are cultivated by peddling instances of black on white assaults. A recent victim, a teacher in Pittsburgh who's incident became a source of “proof” of a “trend” says he feels like his case is being exploited. He told Huff Post Live, “People need a label. If they're selling toothpaste or CDs, or news stories, they need a label … To me it's an assault, plain and simple.”
Click below the jump to see why everyone is blaming the media… The PIttsburgh teacher isn't the only one who is blaming media. The New York Times says that, “police officials cautioned that they had yet to see evidence of an organized game spreading among teenagers online,” but are more concerned that increased news reports could actually cause an increase in the activity. Right-wing commenters also blame the media for not raising the issue of race enough. Even in instances where the media fails to report the racial identity of both the perp and victim the media is blamed for covering up what one Fox News contributor described as, “gangs of black youths attacking whites,” adding, “the liberal news media doesn't want to say exactly what it is.” According to the Christian Monitor, “The fact that the Justice Department has elected to step in now, when a black man was the victim, has led to criticism among conservative pundits that the Obama administration is applying the hate-crime statute unevenly.”
Donald Green, a political scientist at Columbia University in New York said in the Christina Monitor that, “The reason why you have black perpetrators and white victims being prosecuted asymmetrically hinges on what evidence there is about why they're doing what they're doing.” Fox's own report they acknowledge that the perpetrator used the “N” word and asked, “If I were to hit a Black person, would this be nationally televised?” Now we know the answer is, “Yes.” But, is it a deadly “trend?” As tragic as each case sounds, FBI statistics would suggest “No” as there were over 177,000 reported assaults using hands, fists and feet in 2012 alone, and overall violent crime continues to fall in the United States. The stats for reported hate crimes shows that of the 3,300 racially motivated attacks that there are 3 times as many that were against blacks as against whites.
Offenses by bias motivation within incidents:
Of the 6,705 single-bias hate crime offenses reported in the above incidents:
49.2 percent stemmed from racial bias.
19.7 percent were motivated by sexual-orientation bias.
17.4 percent resulted from religious bias.
12.3 percent were prompted by ethnicity/national origin bias.
1.5 percent resulted from biases against disabilities. (Based on Table 1.)
In 2012, law enforcement agencies reported that 3,297 single-bias hate crime offenses were racially motivated. Of these offenses:
66.1 percent were motivated by anti-black bias.
22.4 percent stemmed from anti-white bias.
4.1 percent resulted from anti-Asian/Pacific Islander bias.
4.1 percent were a result of bias against groups of individuals consisting of more than one race (anti-multiple races, group).
3.3 percent were motivated by anti-American Indian/Alaskan Native bias. (Based on Table 1.)
Click here for the official criminal complaint filed in federal court.
You can follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.