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Christopher Lane murder: Time for a different kind of debate

Christopher Lane murder: Time for a different kind of debate

Yesterday the WSJ published an editorial on the Christopher Lane case:

Some are focusing on the ease of obtaining a gun in the U.S., as (inevitably) is the reflexive CNN, and it would almost be a relief if we could blame such a murder on guns.

Then we wouldn’t have to focus on a culture that produces teenagers for whom the prospect of shooting an innocent man in the back on a Friday evening apparently raised not a scintilla of conscience. That is the deeper tragedy, and the real scandal, of too much of American life.

That is also an issue of far greater consequence to the future of young black men than the acquittal of George Zimmerman in his awful showdown with Trayvon. If only Mr. Sharpton and his fellow black leaders paid attention to what was missing in the lives of those three teenagers. Maybe President Obama would even care to use it as one of his teachable moments.

Fat chance.

One person who is using it as exactly that sort of teachable moment is James Johnson, the father of another boy who was threatened by the trio. It was Johnson who made the call to police that led to the arrest of the three.

Yesterday I called Johnson a hero for several reasons.

Today we have a videotape in which Johnson states he has reason to believe that the Chris Lane killing (and several further killings that he says were planned by the group) was a gang initiation. Johnson, who knows the three suspects well, also cites lack of fathering as a factor:

Wish we could clone this guy.

Again, I want to caution that these facts do not mean that at least one of the motives for Lane’s killing wasn’t racial. It may very well have been; we just don’t know yet.

What we do know is that Obama not only has declined to use the Lane murder as that sort of “teachable moment,” but that the president’s only comments on the matter so far have been the following:

This sounds like a pretty tragic case,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest replied when told about the murder of Christopher Lane. Earnest said that he hadn’t heard about the murder previously…

Earnest said that Obama’s comments after the Trayvon Martin case apply here. “[T]he president I think himself has spoken pretty eloquently about violence,” Earnest said when asked why Obama commented on the killing of Martin but not of Lane. “He expressed his concern about the impact of violence in communities across the country,” he added, referring to Obama’s comments after the Martin case.

Obama’s comments after the Martin case? First there were some remarks about how Obama identified with Trayvon Martin. Then he gave a speech after the not guilty verdict was rendered, the text of which is here. In it, the president focused mainly on airing African-American grievances about profiling (including reminiscences about his own experience in that regard), empathizing with the grief of the African-American community without mentioning anything about Zimmerman or his family, asserting the need to have still another “conversation” about race, fighting against stand your ground laws (which had nothing to do with the case), ascribing African-American violence and poverty to “a very difficult history” (i.e. slavery and discrimination), and calling for a federal program to give young African American men “the sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them.”

Extrapolating from those previous remarks, it’s difficult not to conclude that in the Lane case Obama identifies more with the accused killers and their families than the victim of their attack (whom he has not mentioned), that he would like to work in some further gun restrictions if he could (which probably would have little or no relevance to the facts of the case), that he thinks the killers were angry about profiling, that their violence was motivated by that same “difficult history,” and that they need to know we care. Not a word about the actual influences that seem to have come into play here: gangs, father absence and the breakdown of the family in general, and a popular culture that glorifies and extols senseless and nihilistic violence as a way to prove that one has the requisite toughness to enter manhood.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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“Fat chance.”


Clone him? I just hope we protect him. This man has just painted a big, fat target on his back, and from the sound of it, he knows. Not many people are willing to speak out in such circumstances.

And yet, it is necessary for people to speak up, protect their children, and insist on providing properly for their families. Each generation’s prosperity and peace depends on loving parents who insist that they will have a decent place to live.

Henry Hawkins | August 23, 2013 at 10:25 am

I had pegged this as a possible gang initiation yesterday, and sometimes gang wannabes will do something like this without being part of a gang or told by gang in order to draw the gang’s attention and join (assuming, as they always do, that they’ll get away with it).

Police – or perhaps just police dept spokesmen – too often equate ‘we don’t know the motive’ with ‘there is no motive’, but I have to believe the actual investigators are ardently pursuing a gang connection behind the media scene.

I’m not smart enough to understand exactly why, but it sure seems to me that having BO as the cool big daddy in the White House has emboldened these brainless thugs to throw their lives away. Do they really believe they can get away with these murders (I’m not talking about Chicago). Somebody needs to point out that they won’t get to play video games in prison. That might make them think twice.(Assuming prisons don’t provide video games—-could be wrong)

    Radegunda in reply to rekorb. | August 23, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I think you’re right about Obama being an emboldening influence. Of course, gang violence has a much longer history, but as soon as Obama was elected there were many signs of a racially based “now we’re in charge — what are you gonna do about it?” attitude popping up. A friend of mine saw a sudden haughty coldness among coworkers who had previously been friendly. And then there’s Holder, running the Justice Department as a racial payback program.

    By his words and by his silences, Obama encourages the view that all black people are in all circumstances the victims of white injustice. From that viewpoint, black crime against whites cannot be as blameworthy as white crime against blacks; it can even be seen as a kind of cosmic justice. The real roots of gang violence cannot be honestly addressed.

    I don’t expect Obama to make any serious comment on any case where a white person is attacked or murdered by black people — not even in support of a black father who speaks forthrightly about the curse of the gang culture.

We are not hearing any righteous condemnation from the White House and the Pravda complex for the inconvenient fact that two of these savages happen to be black and are relatively privileged with the kind of welfare entitlements that not even the ruling class in Jamaica, Liberia or Haiti have access to.

Bookmark under criminal double standards and use amply in your next cocktail convo with a limo-lib.

Midwest Rhino | August 23, 2013 at 10:38 am

President Empty Chair loved his black power church, and stated reparations would not go far enough. He can blame the gang mentality on a difficult black history, but at the same time, the leftist blacks attack any successful black conservative for “leaving the plantation”. So we can expect more Detroits till Cosby and Sowell are listened to more than Sharpton or Rev. Wright. But black racists are a protected, even exalted class for now.

Obama thought if he was nice to the Muslim Brotherhood, they’d be nice back, and seems to feel the same about internal gangsters. Obama chose the criminal gangster wannabe Trayvon as his sympathetic icon of black youth. What about the diligent Chicago student that gets shot by the gangs for not joining? Why choose the gangster Barack?

Maybe building a strong economy would offer a better way out for troubled youth, than putting everyone on welfare so they have all day to roam the streets and “knock out woods”.

The middle class and the small business sector has no gang, yet Obama’s public union thugs like Lois Lerner choose to assault them first. New Black Panther guys that intimidated voters are released by Holder, so they can go to Florida and put a bounty on Zimmerman’s head, while states that try to keep Mexican drug cartels out are prosecuted. Protecting racist gangs is policy.

Of all the new billions going to welfare, how much finds its way to the gangs? Yet Obama is constantly adding burdens to the job creating working class, while making unlimited dreamy promises to just about everyone. Free citizenship, free health care, everything’s free in America, as they sang in West Side Story … a play about gangs. But in today’s version … they’d shoot Officer Krumke if he didn’t show up with a swat team.

Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” addressed the problem, while Obama/Holder/Sharpton work at inciting a race war. It’s almost like Obama is at war with U.S., as the fundamental transformation requires manufactured crises as several levels.

To paraphrase Obama,

“These black teens could be my sons, if I had any. They, too, grew up without a father.”

assemblerhead | August 23, 2013 at 10:50 am

The “Elephant in the Room” that the political opportunist types do not want to talk about. Does not serve their purpose.

Having no role models other than gangs & race baiters, this is what happens.

I have done mentoring “Big Brother” type, in the past. It does make a huge difference in how the kids behave. Children, at all stages of development, need good role models.

(Personal Opinion)
Being that good role model is part of being a good parent.
No Parent == No Role Model

NC Mountain Girl | August 23, 2013 at 10:55 am

When I was putting together a film library for my church I saw that Boyz in the Hood was on many lists as a movie about the importance of fathers. Liberal film critics loved how it raised awareness of the problems of fatherless homes in the inner city. That was 1991 and the problem has spread like wildfire into the lower middle and middle class of all races.

So much for the efficacy of raising awareness.

Obama and almost all of the liberal elite class gets married, stays married and keeps their children away from the trash culture. Yet they won’t even suggest this is crucial to getting ahead in life.

My heart is broken. Yesterday morning, in Spokane, WA, an 88 year old WWII vet died from a beating delivered the night before by two young black thugs. They beat him with large flashlights as he sat in his car waiting for a friend that he played pool with. They beat him so severely that he was bleeding from every part of his face and head.

This man was in the battle of Okinawa at the age of 18. He sustained a bullet wound to his leg there, only to succumb to a beating at the hands of 18 year old gangsters.

What are we going to do with these feral animals that are being loosed on the street today?

    donb in reply to JoAnne. | August 23, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    From the quoted WSJ editorial above: “Some are focusing on the ease of obtaining a gun….”

    In the Spokane case, are they going to focus on the ease of obtaining a flashlight? Maybe we need to outlaw flashlights, cars, sidewalks, tools, and all other potentially lethal weapons. [/sarc]

Henry Hawkins | August 23, 2013 at 11:20 am

The politically driven (as opposed to actually caring) constant media/cultural drumbeat of racism, racism, racism, racism, racism, all of it painting the generic White People as oppressor, is taking it’s toll.

Why, just yesterday I was saddened by a cable TV documentary on white supremacist groups and nearly shot myself for it.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Henry Hawkins. | August 23, 2013 at 11:54 am

    and since they can’t find real institutional white racists, they fabricate them at Oberlin. The Oberlin gang should be arrested for “hate crimes”, since they are perpetrating a fraud that helps generate acts of violence nationwide. All these white victims have standing, or any that are being put in harms way due to the generated hate towards whites.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Midwest Rhino. | August 23, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      You’re correct, of course, and I’m betting that Oberlin folks with standing are discussing civil suits with attorneys as we speak.

And what makes BOs lack of comment even worse, Lane was a VISITOR in our country from a FRIENDLY and ALLIED country — just for the international relations aspect of it, BO should have acted presidential and spoken up. But NO! He cant speak up because I believe HE DOES NOT WANT TO CRITICIZE BLACKS IN ANY WAY unless they are Allen West or Clarence Thomas.

    Radegunda in reply to sdharms. | August 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Indeed. Obama can’t even take off his racially tinged eyeglasses long enough to treat the crime as an injury to a guest and an ally. Any decent president would immediately have expressed sorrow and sent apologies on behalf of the nation. Obama is not a decent president.

    Aussie (that’s me) is on a mission, but not in the way that you might think. I am not anti on the legal possession of firearms. I am on a mission to make sure that the truth gets out.

    Chris Lane’s murder does not equate to Traydemark Martin for a good reason. Chris was shot in the back.

    …. BUT WAIT….

    That vile mural in the Florida Capitol had Traydemark shot in the back.

    At least one of the original narratives, especially the one that came from Oprah had Traydemark Martin shot in the back.


    It sounds like the Edwards kid was involved in a payback killing.


    The bigger story and probably the real reason I am on a mission is the fact that the Lane murder involved the use of illegal guns. Mr. Johnson also provides new fodder that should be explored. More importantly he stated the obvious truth about parenting.

    The mother of James Edwards is in jail. His father was trying to keep an eye on him (was he the one who apologised to the Lane family?) Chancey Luna’s mother refused to believe that her son was involved in such things.

Henry Hawkins | August 23, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I’ll bet Holder has a dry erase board on which he keeps score.

BannedbytheGuardian | August 23, 2013 at 10:42 pm

I think also Christopher was chosen because he was white & obviously very athletic .

I read an article on the shrinking numbers of blacks in baseball . The author put it that ,unlike basketball , baseball takes family organisation & that only Dads introduced boys to the game . That only Dads took the time to teach a son how to pitch , catch & run the bases. Black boys have no Dads.

Basketbalcan be a community thing at the casual level or even a solitary pursuit eg in dribbling , shooting hoops all afternoon.

It is more than ironic is that Christopher was on a baseball scholarship – that ought to have been taken up by a black kid – if they had had Dads.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | August 24, 2013 at 3:11 am

    Why should the scholarship have been taken up by a black kid?

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | August 24, 2013 at 4:50 am

      Because colleges were encouraged to & previously it was something black kids aspired to. They also need the free tutoring that goes with a sports scol whereof forts go intom minimum grades being met.

      Chris did not need one . It was a life style move for him to do baseball because it would give him a US college experience .

      If these 3 kid shad something like a baseball school to aspire Ito then they might not be executing people in cold blood.