The story is shocking enough, even without bringing race into it: on the way to school in Ocala, FA, a thirteen-year-old girl was beaten unconscious and reportedly went into a seizure after being attacked on the school bus by a group of fellow students.
The girl reportedly was riding the bus for the first time. Someone threw a shoe at her, and she threw it back, hitting a student. That’s when the beating began. At least seven students surrounded the girl, punched her, held her head to the floor by her hair, and kicked her. The bus driver pulled the bus over, stopped the beating, and then continued driving. But the beating started again, so the driver diverted to a nearby school and called officials, and the girl was taken to the hospital.
Aside from the brutality, there was another troubling fact about this crime—a fact that predictably did not make it into the news: the attackers were black, and the victim was white. Yet, for the first few days after the attack, not a single news outlet reported on the race of the victim. Since the attack occurred, only one news item has even indirectly mentioned the victim’s race. This can’t be because the information was hard to come by. The Ocala Sheriff’s Office responded to my inquiry about the victim’s race within hours.
Many well-meaning people will ask why race matters. Violence is violence, and people are people, so why bring race into it? I sympathize with that sentiment. The trouble is that, if the races were reversed, this would be a larger story. It would be a larger story because we have a system of racial double standards—some written, some unwritten—that serve to conceal the reality of crimes like this.
Race matters in stories like this because liberals have made race matter everywhere, in every facet of life. Every institution, from schools to fire departments, is fixated on “achievement gaps,” or “disparities,” or “underrepresentation,” not to mention every form of racially driven categorization imaginable. Yet, when white people are on the wrong side of a disparity, like a seven-on-one beating, we’re supposed to ignore the racial element of that. Or we’re racist for making a point of it.
If the girl beaten on that bus were black, and her attackers were white, there would have been a discussion of “hate crimes.” Civil rights leaders would begin the chorus of national soul-searching. If the races were reversed, this would not be treated as an isolated incident. Criminal prosecution of those responsible would be only the beginning. “Society” would be made to answer for its lingering racist sinfulness if the victim were black. Well, which part of “society” will be made to answer for the beating of the thirteen-year-old Ocala girl?
The news reports don’t begin to capture the horror of what must have occurred on that school bus. If you wonder what such an attack might look like, it probably resembled the recent vicious beating of a fourteen-year-old white girl by at least three black females on a public train in Oregon. The video of that attack has sound, and the shrieking, cheering, and frenzy of onlookers must be heard to be believed. The behavior captured in that video is astonishing in its subhuman indifference. No one on the train helped the girl. Instead of using their cell phones to call the police, young people used their cell phones to record the beating as they jeered. The thirteen-year-old victim in Ocala was probably caught in a similar nightmare.
Attorney General Eric Holder famously said that we are “essentially a nation of cowards” in failing to discuss racial issues. If failing to discuss racial issues makes you a coward, I wonder what the attorney general would have to say about the local press in Ocala, FA, just for starters.