Is forgiveness only for whites?

The front page of the “Metro” section of Wednesday’s Oregonian featured the family of a man who was shot to death recently at a bar.  Large photos of the survivors feature prominently in the paper.  There is also a photo of the victim himself, Leonard Irving.  All are black, and The Oregonian tells us that…

It’s easy for those of us whose blocks don’t regularly ring out with gunfire to ignore the rising tide of violence –much of it gang-related, most impacting historically African American neighborhoods — that Portland is experiencing this year. It’s tempting to write off an event like Sunday’s shooting as the kind of bad thing that happens to bad people, or at least people foolish enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This particular article says hardly a thing about the perpetrator but, from the context (and the fact that his photo is not included in the story) it is obvious that he is also black.  But the problem, we are told, is not black criminals.  Not at all.  The problem, called a “tide of violence” is something that just seems to happen all by itself – like some sort of virus or weather phenomenon – and it “impacts historically black neighborhoods”.  So, if a neighborhood has only been black for  five years, it is not likely to be impacted by this “tide of violence” – because it is not historically black?  Somehow I doubt that.  Obviously, the word “historically” is used in order to give the impression that it is – you guessed it – the legacy of slavery that is to blame.  But of course!  Young black men murder other black men because of slavery.  Incidentally, a photo of the murderer can be found here.
The story the Oregonian tells us is one of a struggling family trying to overcome drugs and crime and, to a certain degree, prevailing.  Far be it from me to judge this family; I don’t know them and there is nothing to be gained from rubbing salt in their wounds.  But, reading through the article, I couldn’t help but notice something missing.  There is a certain element that we find over and over again, when the media deals with victims of violent crime.  When Carter Strange, for example, had recuperated enough, from the savage beating he got from vicious black thugs, one of the first things asked of him (and his father) was if he could forgive his attackers.  Forgiveness is typically one of the first things reporters ask about, when interviewing crime victims or their survivors.  Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong, but is it only whites who are expected to forgive?

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18 Responses to Is forgiveness only for whites?

  1. (un)concerned says:

    I’ve never noticed this. I’m sure it happens, though. Race is always a factor in what we think of others and what we say to them.
    Also, liberal ideology maintains that black people aren’t in control of what they do or feel, being subject to larger forces as they all are. Forgiveness would require control of a victim’s anger and resentment. Perhaps for this reason, reporters (most of whom are probably white liberals who tend to hold this view) feel that posing such a question to a black person would be pointless. Maybe they just feel that blacks, having been through so much, have a right to feel whatever they damn well please.

  2. eugenicist says:

    I thought Portland was a vanilla village?

  3. The rock singer Little Richard tells in his autobiography how his father (black) was killed in a bar fight by another man (also black). Many years later the killer showed up at Little Richard’s family home begging them to forgive him. They did.

  4. essbro says:

    Something I’ve noticed quite often is that blacks will voluntarily say, without being asked, that they forgive a perpetrator for killing one of their loved ones. Kinda interesting that.

  5. Eunice says:

    Why do so many Jewish men date asian and sometimes black women? I know Jewish moms can’t be so thrilled about this.
    The reason that I ask this is because I just recently when to New York and I saw several of the AW/WM and a couple BW/WM. My brother told me that it is pretty normal.

    • jewamongyou says:

      This is the second time you’ve posted this question. It would be more appropriate as a comment to my “Racist Father” post. In answer to your question, I was not aware of this trend. I don’t think that Jewish white men are any more likely to marry Asians than other white men. As for Jewish men marrying black women, I think this is rare. If you want to know why this sometimes happens, you should ask them. I don’t know.

  6. Californian says:

    It’s easy enough to dismiss this sort of article as another journalistic puff piece, or perhaps as an example of liberal ideology. Yet it does reveal a trend I see too often: not holding individuals responsible for their actions.
    The reason you have a “tide of violence” is because there are people who commit violent crimes. But the question is, do the people of this neighborhood understand the concept of cause-effect? Are there genetic differences such that cause-effect perception is unique to certain human populations?
    A point which has been made to me by a number of White South Africans, and which I have had confirmed by my own (admittedly limited) experience with black Africans, is that there is a different mindset. Among black Africans, there is more of a collectivist, short term outlook. Concepts such as individualism and long term planning do not seem to register.
    Perhaps there are other, cultural, factors at work here. Yet it would be fascinating to get inside the heads of the people of this neighborhood and see the world from their outlook.

  7. Sagat says:

    I was just thinking about this the other day when I saw the Today Show interview with Carter Strange. I couldn’t believe that such a question could even be asked of him. Forgiveness in the way that many frame it doesn’t make sense to me. If someone wrongs me or my family, I don’t forgive. That’s not even a thought in my head. I can’t understand how so many Whites can entertain such an idea. What does it even mean to forgive a person under such circumstances? If my son was brutally attacked, the only thing on my mind would be vengeance. After time, I could let go of the anger, but that’s not forgiveness. That’s just moving on.
    I wonder if some Whites really understand what it means when they use the phrase, “I forgive you.” To me, it means, “I absolve you of your guilt.” Maybe it’s just a cultural difference on my part, but I don’t think that’s something to lightly throw around. Offering someone forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts that you can give another person, so why would anyone offer that up to a bunch of worthless thugs?

    • jewamongyou says:

      Well said, Sagat. Hey, what’s up with your blog?

      • Sagat says:

        I’ve been taking a break from the HBD blogosphere to give myself a chance to refresh my perspective. I made my blog private for the time being, because I’m trying to see if I can redevelop my interest in these topics before I post anything else. Right now I’m spending time checking out all the stuff that I’ve missed over the past few months.

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