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Facing Facts about Race
Young black males are at greater risk from their peers than from the police or white civilians.

President Obama reacts to the Zimmerman-trial verdict, July 19, 2013

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Victor Davis Hanson

Barack Obama will never suggest that the suspected killer physically resembles himself some three decades ago — and there would be no point in doing so. Nor will he admit that if Barack Obama owned an urban jewelry store and needed its profits to send his daughters to Sidwell Friends, he too might have become apprehensive when a young black male entered his store.

In the other paper, there was a strangely similar tale. Not far away, in Santa Rosa, at about the same time, two African-American youths in hoodies attacked another jewelry store, also had a shoot-out with the owner, and also failed to evade the police — though in this case none of the employees or customers was injured.

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In such cases, too many Americans find there is a sort of tired sameness. The victims were white or Asian. The murder and robbery suspects were young African-American males. The violence was aimed not at acquiring food or clothing, but at stealing luxury goods. The armed small-business owners tried to defend themselves by firing back at their attackers. Had they been unarmed, both would have probably perished. In one case, the police were fired upon. The suspects had prior arrests.

And on and on and on across America each day, this same tragedy is played out of a small percentage of Americans committing violent crimes at rates far exceeding their proportion of the general population.

The world will long remember Trayvon Martin, but few people — and certainly not Barack Obama or Eric Holder, who have a bad habit, in an increasingly multiracial country, of claiming solidarity on the basis of race — will care that Khin Min and Lina Lim were torn to pieces by bullets and a knife. Few will care that they died in a vicious assault that had nothing to do with stereotyping, Stand Your Ground self-defense, weak gun laws, insufficient federal civil-rights legislation, or any of the other causes of interracial violence falsely advanced by the attorney general — but quite a lot to do with an urban culture that for unspoken reasons has spawned an epidemic of disproportionate violent crime on the part of young African-American males.

I offer one final surreal footnote to this strange juxtaposition of reading the real news while listening to the mytho-history that a Eric Holder constructed from the death of Trayvon Martin to indict both the police and the public.

What were the names of two of the men suspected of being the ones who last week shot it out with the Santa Rosa jeweler as Eric Holder demagogued the Trayvon Martin shooting?

Traveon Banks-Austin and Alexander Tyvon Brandon.

And so the tragedy continues.

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. His latest book is The Savior Generals, published this spring by Bloomsbury Books.



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