On Sunday, two men were arrested in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in connection with a shooting rampage that left two people dead on Friday. Jake England and Alvin Watts stand accused of driving around Tulsa’s north side, a predominantly Black area, and randomly shooting African-Americans they came across. Two of the shooting victims died, while two others sustained injuries requiring hospitalization.
Any hate crime, regardless of victim or perpetrator, is always a serious offense, and police believe what happened in Tulsa may indeed be a hate crime. But what makes the Tulsa killings especially noteworthy is an article that preceded them on Friday.
Writing for the right-leaning Taki magazine, conservative commentator John Derbyshire on Friday expounded on a talk he gave his children about race. He couched it as the “non-Black version” of the talk African-American parents frequently give their children in order to prepare them for a world in which Black kids are castigated or, as in the case of Trayvon Martin, killed.
But Derbyshire’s talk was a bit more racist than one most Black parents give. A sampling:
(10d) Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of Blacks.
(10e) If you are at some public event at which the number of Blacks suddenly swells, leave as quickly as possible.
(10f) Do not settle in a district or municipality run by Black politicians.
(10g) Before voting for a Black politician, scrutinize his/her character much more carefully than you would a white.
(10h) Do not act the Good Samaritan to Blacks in apparent distress, e.g., on the highway.
As you might imagine, Derbyshire’s article drew ire almost immediately. People around the web fought fiercely against him, and the National Review, the conservative magazine for which Derbyshire occasionally wrote, said it would not be publishing him again.
It’s probably the reaction Derbyshire expected when he wrote the inflammatory piece, but perhaps he didn’t expect two white men to go on a rampage to murder innocent Blacks on the day it was published, thereby making his article look even more foolish than it already was.
There he was, a white man warning whites everywhere of the dangers of African-Americans, while in Tulsa two white men were tracking and slaughtering African-Americans who were just trying to go about their days.
The real lesson to take away from all of this is simple: Beware of maniacs, regardless of their color. And beware of racists who get off on stoking the flames of discontent that sometimes guide murderous maniacs.
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