Wednesday, July 10, 2013
More multiculturalism at work
Footballer Nile Ranger has been charged with rape, it was revealed today.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: ‘A rape was reported to police on January 24, 2013, and relates to an incident which happened in the early hours of January 23, at a hotel in Jesmond.’
Former Newcastle United striker Nile Ranger, 22, of Harringay, north London, is due to appear before Newcastle Magistrates' Court just over six weeks from now on August 21.
Ranger was released by Newcastle in March and is yet to be signed by a new club.
He played a part in the Magpies winning the Championship in 2009-10 but struggled to win a permanent place in the first team once the club was established back in the Premier League.
Another drug dealer bites the dust - good!
By Richard Littlejohn
Azelle Rodney was a violent drug-dealer on his way to rob a rival gang at gunpoint when he was shot dead by police. Oh dear, how sad, never mind.
The car in which he was travelling with two associates was intercepted by armed officers. There were three firearms in the vehicle.
A marksman feared he was reaching for one of the weapons and fired six shots from point-blank range. Four of the bullets hit Rodney in the head and he died instantly.
He was wanted in connection with a double stabbing in Ealing, West London, where he plied his evil trade. He had no fixed abode and had never held down a proper job.
Rodney, aged 24, was estranged from his immediate family and lived on and off with a girlfriend, who gave birth to his child on the day of his funeral. He had three convictions for what are described as ‘low level’ offences and embarked on a life of crime aged just 15.
He was notorious on his manor for carrying guns and selling hard drugs. It is fair to say that he was ‘known to police’, which is why they were following him on the day he died.
Sane people might conclude that he lived by the gun and died by the gun. No great loss. The world is a better and safer place without Azelle Rodney.
The two other men in the car, who escaped unscathed, were subsequently convicted and jailed for firearms offences.
In a well-ordered universe the cops involved would have returned their weapons to the armourer, typed up their reports and then repaired to The Feathers for a bit of post-match analysis and to congratulate themselves over a few large ones on a job well done.
But since when did sanity have anything to do with what passes laughably for British justice these days? After a three-month long public inquiry, at a cost of goodness-knows-how-much to the taxpayer, a retired judge has ruled that Rodney was killed unlawfully.
The policeman who fired the fatal shots, a decorated officer who had been putting himself in the line of fire for two decades, may now face prosecution, even though a previous independent investigation decided that he had no case to answer.
Entirely predictably, Rodney’s estranged family has come crawling out of the woodwork with a multi-million-pound claim for com-pen-say-shun. His mother, Susan Alexander, is alleging that her son was ‘executed’ by the Met.
Oh, for heaven’s sake. If you were the mother of a lowlife scumbag like Azelle Rodney you would be ashamed to show your face in public, never mind staging a tearful press conference, complete with begging bowl.
As the late, great Sir John Junor, formerly of this parish, used to remark: Pass the sick bag, Alice.
Naturally, the usual suspects are lining up to turn this vile little gangster into the latest cause celebre to bash the Old Bill. BBC London, Channel 4 and the Guardianistas are filling their boots.
By now you may have gathered that Azelle Rodney was black, so the race card is being played cynically at a time when the Stephen Lawrence case has yet again come back to haunt Scotland Yard.
Let’s be quite clear what we are dealing with here. Azelle Rodney is no Stephen Lawrence.
Stephen was an innocent young man with a bright future, who was murdered by racist thugs because of the colour of his skin and was failed by the initial police investigation.
Azelle Rodney was a two-bob ‘gangsta’ who was killed on his way to rip off a rival drugs gang.
In his line of work, getting shot is an occupational hazard. If it hadn’t been the Old Bill, it may well have been a Colombian hitman. Or one of his closest associates, off his face on heroin.
No one would ever accuse this column of being an apologist for the police. But in this case, my sympathies are entirely with the officer who shot Rodney.
I’ve been on a police firearms course and know how little time officers have to assess the situation. It is often, quite literally, kill or be killed — a split-second decision.
That’s not to say I want the streets of London turned into the Wild West and cowboy cops gunning down every suspected bad guy as a basis for negotiation.
But I’m thankful we’ve got brave policemen and women prepared to carry guns and put their lives on the line so that we don’t have to.
Of course, the Yard didn’t do themselves any favours by trying to have the inquiry held in secret on the grounds that it could compromise intelligence sources.
There was no need for them to default to secrecy. They had nothing to be ashamed of. Candour is the best disinfectant, especially in a potentially toxic case like this.
Let’s hope Met Commissioner Bernard Hyphen-Howe holds his nerve and backs the officer concerned, instead of throwing him to the wolves for the sake of political expediency.
I have no more sympathy for Azelle Rodney than I had for the IRA terrorists shot dead by the SAS in Gibraltar in the Eighties. They all knew what they were getting into. We don’t need grand-standing ex-judges or grasping relatives exploiting Rodney’s demise to our collective detriment.
His death was unfortunate but probably inevitable, given his chosen profession. And at least he got shot before he had the chance to shoot anyone else.
Oh dear, how sad, never mind.
Who Is Racist?
I am so old that I can remember when most of the people promoting race hate were white.
Apparently other Americans also recognize that the sources of racism are different today from what they were in the past. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 31 percent of blacks think that most blacks are racists, while 24 percent of blacks think that most whites are racist.
The difference between these percentages is not great, but it is remarkable nevertheless. After all, generations of blacks fought the white racism from which they suffered for so long. If many blacks themselves now think that most other blacks are racist, that is startling.
The moral claims advanced by generations of black leaders -- claims that eventually touched the conscience of the nation and turned the tide toward civil rights for all -- have now been cheapened by today's generation of black "leaders," who act as if it is all just a matter of whose ox is gored.
Even in legal cases involving terrible crimes -- the O.J. Simpson murder trial or the charges of gang rape against Duke University students -- many black "leaders" and their followers have not waited for facts about who was guilty and who was not, but have immediately taken sides, based on who was black and who was white.
Among whites, according to the same Rasmussen poll, 38 percent consider most blacks racist and 10 percent consider most whites racist.
Broken down by politics, the same poll showed that 49 percent of Republicans consider most blacks racist, as do 36 percent of independents and 29 percent of Democrats.
Perhaps most disturbing of all, just 29 percent of Americans as a whole think race relations are getting better, while 32 percent think race relations are getting worse. The difference is too close to call, but the fact that it is so close is itself painful -- and perhaps a warning sign for where we are heading.
Is this what so many Americans, both black and white, struggled for, over the decades and generations, to try to put the curse of racism behind us -- only to reach a point where retrogression in race relations now seems at least equally likely as progress?
What went wrong? Perhaps no single factor can be blamed for all the things that went wrong. Insurgent movements of all sorts, in countries around the world, have for centuries soured in the aftermath of their own success. "The revolution betrayed" is a theme that goes back at least as far as 18th century France.
The civil rights movement in 20th century America attracted many people who put everything on the line for the sake of fighting against racial oppression. But the eventual success of that movement attracted opportunists, and even turned some idealists into opportunists.
Over the generations, black leaders have ranged from noble souls to shameless charlatans. After the success of the civil rights insurgency, the latter have come into their own, gaining money, power and fame by promoting racial attitudes and actions that are counterproductive to the interests of those they lead.
None of this is unique to blacks or to the United States. In various countries and times, leaders of groups that lagged behind, economically and educationally, have taught their followers to blame all their problems on other people -- and to hate those other people.
This was the history of anti-Semitic movements in Eastern Europe between the two World Wars, anti-Ibo movements in Nigeria in the 1960s, and anti-Tamil movements that turned Sri Lanka from a peaceful nation into a scene of lethal mob violence and then decades-long civil war, both marked by unspeakable atrocities.
Groups that rose from poverty to prosperity seldom did so by having racial or ethnic leaders. While most Americans can easily name a number of black leaders, current or past, how many can name Asian American ethnic leaders or Jewish ethnic leaders?
The time is long overdue to stop looking for progress through racial or ethnic leaders. Such leaders have too many incentives to promote polarizing attitudes and actions that are counterproductive for minorities and disastrous for the country.
Racial Morality Play
There is nothing the cable channels love more than a good murder trial, especially if the violence is spiced with the irresistible seasoning of race. But you don't understand much about America if you don't know that only some racial recipes are newsworthy. If the victim is white and the killer is black, it's not interesting (unless the killer is a celebrity). If the victims are both white, it's only interesting if the victim or the murderer is a comely blond female (preferably a nymphomaniac). If the victim and killer are both black, it's a yawn. If the victim is black and the killer is white -- make way for sweeps week!
While several channels were providing real time coverage of the George Zimmerman trial in Florida, a Howard University student was murdered in Washington, D.C. The story of Omar Sykes didn't make it to television news except in Washington, D.C. The story of his murder was noted only in the Washington Post's Metro section, provoking this question: If a white student at any college in Washington, D.C. had been murdered on the street on the night of July 4, would it have been only a local story?
Doubtful. A liberal columnist, noting this disparity, would very likely attribute it to vestigial racism. I think it's probably something else. There is a daily death toll of young African-Americans in America's cities. In Chicago alone, more than 200 people (mostly black) have been killed in just the past six months. These deaths are not treated as major news events, I suspect, because the press is squeamish about drawing attention to the fact that the overwhelming majority of the perpetrators of this violence are black. If these victims had been killed by white people, it's a certainty that it would have been a major national obsession. (Recall the frenzy during the '90s when it seemed that white arsonists were firebombing black churches. They weren't, but that's another story.)
Young black males account for 1 percent of the population, yet they comprise 16 percent of murder victims. They also represent 27 percent of homicide offenders.
Omar Sykes's murder deserved more attention, more outrage, than it received. I don't think he and I would agree on much. The Post account suggested that he had a strong interest in "social justice." I tend to agree with Frederick von Hayek who said that putting word "social" before anything else wholly destroys the meaning of the word it modifies. But never mind.
A friend of Sykes described him as someone who "always had a hug and a smile, every single time he saw me." Another said, "He was probably the most well-liked guy in my life. ... The world just lost someone pretty amazing." He was business marketing major and would have started his senior year in the fall. He was also someone's child, brother and grandson.
The world did lose something amazing. Honesty requires us to admit that the relative indifference to the violence among black inner city residents arises at least in part from the perception that most of the young blacks who die in the gunfire are criminals themselves. Most are. But so what? They don't deserve a death sentence because they snatched a purse or two. Some are children. Between 1980 and 2008, 41 percent of infant homicide victims were black. Some are elderly. Some, like Sykes, are college students. For every victim, there are thousands who live in fear in neighborhoods blighted by crime. The crime rate makes poverty more intractable; businesses are reluctant to locate in such neighborhoods, insurance is more expensive, and civil society institutions, like churches and clubs, must divert time, energy, and expense for security.
The murder rate has declined over the course of the past 20 years. But it remains a scandal that African-Americans continue to live disproportionately under the shadow of violent death. There are many reasons for the slaughter -- with family disintegration topping the list. But misplaced delicacy about discussing the toll -- for fear of "blaming the victim" -- may be helping to perpetuate the wrong.
Blacks should be up in arms about this, as we all should be. The killer on July 4 was not a victim. Omar Sykes was the victim. It was a front-page outrage relegated with a shrug to the local pages -- just another unsettling black-on-black crime that doesn't fit the script of our preferred racial morality plays.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.