Last night before going to bed, I decided to flip on the late television news just in case a toxic radioactive cloud from Japan was headed our way.
When I turned it on, however, the lead story was not the earthquake. Instead, the newscasters were giving us updates about a Downtown robbery.
A man had been robbed in a parking garage near Pioneer Square, and during the robbery, the victim was shot by the suspect and was in critical condition at Harborview Hospital.
One newscaster looked into the camera with her typical insincere concern, informed us that a manhunt was underway, and asked anyone with information to contact police.
Uh, oh. A deadly gunman on the loose ten blocks from my own home. This was not good. Not only that, but I know someone who lives in Pioneer Square itself, one block from the shooting.
I decided to call this individual and give her a heads-up, just in case she was not also watching the news.
(ring ring ring)
“Hey”, I said, “you may want to stay upstairs and make sure your door is locked, someone just got shot around the corner from you and the cops haven’t caught the shooter yet.”
(a few seconds pass)
“Hmmm, I’m looking out the window and I don’t see any cops but there are a bunch of homeless guys at the corner, did the news give you a description of the bad guy?”, she said.
“No, I think they just said ‘a man’”, I replied.
“Oh, that means it’s a black guy”, she said, “if it was a white guy they would have described him down to his eye color and face shape”.
“I guess”, I said, “anyway, blah blah blah watch your back blah blah blah goodbye”. I’m paraphrasing, but you get the gist.
This morning, I woke up to find the following news story. It said what many people already knew:
“Police are searching for a gunman who shot a man in a downtown Seattle garage Sunday night. Police were called to an attempted robbery and shooting in a garage in the 700 block of 1st Avenue just after 9 p.m. When officers arrived they found a 28-year-old male victim with a gunshot wound to the chest.
The victim was rushed to Harboview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.
A male suspect apparently approached the victim near his car on the garage’s second level and demanded money. The victim attempted to walk away but the suspect pulled a gun and shot the victim, according to the police. The victim jumped from the second level of the garage in order to get away from the gunman. The gunman then fled the scene.
The suspect is described as a thin black male, approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall. He was wearing a black hoody and was armed with a black handgun.”
Now, look, the fact that the perp was black would not be even remotely relevant to this story if the news media treated him the same as they would have treated a white guy.
The fact that they initially suppressed his description, however, should be of serious concern to us all.
Think about it. Suppose I had gone outside later in the night (which I often do), and suppose I saw a thin black male, approximately 5’9” tall with a hoody walking toward me.
Suppose I had thought nothing of this man (which I probably wouldn’t have), thus taking no evasive action when I still had the opportunity.
Suppose I had gotten robbed and shot.
Would the news media have blood on its hands?
In my opinion, they absolutely would.
Replace me with your wife, son, daughter, or anyone you love. If someone was out there, hell-bent on doing other people harm, would you want your family member to have a fighting chance, or would you be okay with their violent death so long as nobody accused you of being a racist?
More and more, this is a decision that real urban-dwellers are faced with on a daily basis.
Do we want to be right, or do we want to be popular?
When I am out there with my family, and my kids, I don’t mince words. I teach them what I know. I give them real, practical knowledge. It’s knowledge I have accumulated through 42 years of real, immersed, street-level, first-hand experience.
It’s not fool-proof. You can never take anything for granted. We could all be shot, stabbed, or mugged tomorrow. That’s the way it goes down sometimes, and that’s the risk you take when the Galleria and two hour commutes on the freeway are not for you.
I do teach them to play the odds, though. I teach them how to reduce their chances of becoming a victim. I teach them the truth, and I teach them what’s real. There is absolutely no room in our existence for phony, insincere, faux-tolerance proffered by people who just don’t know the realities of life outside of the cul-de-sac.
While a bunch of sideways-hat-wearing Fifty Cent listening wiggers from Bothell are getting the ever-living crap beat out of them by a bunch of dudes with bandanas on their heads, I teach my kids to cross the damn street, and run if necessary. I’d much rather they be alive than tolerant.
It’s easy for suburban newscasters and their gated-community-dwelling corporate handlers to spike descriptions of dangerous people on the basis of political correctness. It’s easy for them to be progressive and therefore popular at the PTA meeting. After all, they don’t have any skin in the game. They don’t walk the streets of anywhere on a daily basis. They sit around tables at Bellevue dinner parties regaling their peers with stories of how they voted for Obama. They talk about their love for Martin Luther King and schedule group field trips to the African-American Museum.
It’s easy for most supposedly “tolerant” people to be politically correct. It’s a risk-free proposition. The vast majority of them live in the burbs, love their cars, and would revolt if anyone even thought about extending the subway to their neighborhood. After all, mass transit and brown people lower home values, and it’s all fun and games until someone loses money.
Talk is cheap, though, and boy do they love to talk. They love to talk about diversity. They love to talk about their gay black friend as though he/she is an exotic lamp. They love, more than anything, to use the word “racist”.
The rest of us, though …
Those of us who live within walking distance to Martin Luther King Boulevard.
Those of us who live in the city without trust funds or Dadillacs … we don’t talk nearly as much. This is real life for us. It’s serious business. It’s life or death. A curious news story to the people in Redmond is something that is a real, tangible threat to us on a daily basis.
If I want to listen to useless crap spouted by PC know-nothings, I’ll watch Good Morning America or The View. If there is a Half Black/Half Hispanic Muslim Transvestite running around killing people in the neighborhood, however, I need to know about it, which is why I issue this plea:
Dear News Media,
Your political correctness could get us killed, and frankly, you should all be ashamed of yourselves for putting the incoherent babbling of suburban soccermoms and special interests above the health and welfare of the residents your kids try so hard to emulate when they take the family credit card to Urban Outfitters.
Please report the news, accurately and completely.
Political Correctness has no place in a fact-based medium such as the news media.
I’m not sure that it has a place anywhere.