I understand the reluctance of many Detroiters to admit that racism in the black community exists at levels that could explain the monstrous attempted murder of Steve Utash last week. Even as sensible a commentator as Frank Beckmann hit the guard rail pretty hard on Friday when he wrote this about the mob attack on Utash:
All the evidence — including the eyewitness account of the story’s heroine, retired nurse Deborah Hughes — indicates that the brutal assault on Utash was not based on his race. Though one juvenile has been charged by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy with a hate crime. (“Detroit must learn to respect itself”).
Oh, sure, except for that. But to reach that hate-crime charge required evidence, such as this kid telling police he attacked Utash based on his race – why isn’t Beckmann counting that in his tally of “all the evidence”?
As for Deborah Hughes’s “eyewitness account” of what she saw while occupied trying to save Utash’s life, she says she didn’t hear anything, but everyone was yelling at once. But what does evidence of racial animus look like? Pointy hoods?
My interest in all this is not to see hate-crime prosecutions. I don’t even support hate-crime laws. If there’s any good to be found in the horror the Utash family is going through, it’s that there’s now a bright light shining on the hidden and deadly pathology of racism in the black community – too bright a light even for the media’s bushel baskets to cover.
Not that they won’t keep trying.