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Hanson, Cohen and me on race and crime

A. Peter Bailey

A. Peter Bailey

By A. Peter Bailey
Trice Edney Newswire

Apparently columnists Victor Davis Hanson, writing in the conservative magazine, National Review and Richard Cohen, writing in the supposedly progressive newspaper, The Washington Post, share similar reactions to the racial issues inflamed by the brutal killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by white vigilante George Zimmerman.

Cohen said he “doesn’t know whether Zimmerman is a racist.” Hanson warns his progeny to avoid any contact with young Black males at any time. Their position is that young Black males are the most dangerous domestic force to be found in this country. This being the case, whites have every right to be fearful upon seeing any young Black male or males in the public streets of American cities and neighborhoods.

I have three basic responses to their commentary.

The first is that young Black male criminals are quintessential Americans with their me, myself and I and you are what amount of money you have in your pockets attitudes. They are products of American culture, not Black culture. And like most white Americans, they are well aware that messing with a Black person in this country will result in much less concern and punishment by the legal system than messing with a white person.

That’s why I am much more likely to be a victim of a young Black male criminal than Hanson or Cohen. It’s also the main reason that the overwhelming majority of killings by low-income young Black males are of other low-income Black males with whom, more often than not, they have some acquaintance. They are basically allowed to kill each other with impunity.

A second point ignored by the Hansons and Cohens of the world and their Black-white supremacist allies is that they aren’t the only ones who are fearful when walking down the public streets in certain neighborhoods.

And, yes, there is such a thing as a Black-white supremacist. Check out anything written by Shelby Steele, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover institute, and anything said by Allan West, a former congressman from Florida.

As for me, there isn’t a mostly white neighborhood in the nation in which I would walk down a public street alone. Even if wearing a $1,000 suit. And if by some chance I had to do so with someone else, I would immediately go on the alert if a group of young white males were walking toward us.

There are public bars throughout the country, even in urban areas, in which white male patrons react with hostility if a Black man enters, even if that Black man is dressed like a Wall Street banker.

Finally, since Hanson and Cohen and many of their white brethren insist on judging all young Black males in particular and all Black males in general by the actions of young Black male criminals, I am compelled to judge them by the reality that nearly all of the most violent sexual psychopathic killers and mass murderers are white males. Men from a group of people who produce such vicious killers so frequently are in no position to give self-serving moral lectures to others.

A. Peter Bailey is the author of “Witnessing Brother Malcolm X, The Master Teacher.” He can be reached at

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