Bone-Deep, Age-Old: Demonizing Males of One Particular Age and Race

Abby Zimet

The flood of responses to the George Zimmerman verdict has ranged from incisive and thoughtful - “one of the effects of racism is its tendency to justify stupidity” - to disheartening but unsurprising - polls show a growing gulf between white and black views on thes state of racism in this country - to the grotesquely racist rantings of Fox News on the danger posed by black men, as parsed by Chris Hayes. National Review has now gone a step further with a Victor Davis Hanson column, echoing the now-infamous John Derbyshire piece, that warns white children to stay away from black men because they are all criminals or at least preparing to be. He justifies this by telling a bizarre story about his father, "a lifelong Democrat," who was once robbed by some black guys and thereafter advised him to "be careful if a group of black youths approaches you." He explains, "The advice was not about race per se, but instead about the tendency of males of one particular age and race to commit an inordinate amount of violent crime." He adds, wide-eyed,  straight-faced, without irony, the sad reality that there are "two narratives about race in America, and increasingly they have nothing to do with each other." Damn straight. Colbert brilliantly backs him up, sort of, on this notion that "black people are scary." So far to go.


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