Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

September 9, 2013

LYONS: Examining conversations about race

(Continued)

Would it shock you to learn that this lurid episode never happened? Watch O’Mara’s closing argument on YouTube if you doubt me.

Anyway, here’s my point: If we’re going to have a healing conversation about race and crime, it’d help if people would quit making wild exaggerations and accusations of bad faith. The differences between Fox News and MSNBC-style racial demagoguery are largely a matter of style.

Ultimately, too, the exact motives of the Oklahoma and Spokane murderers strike me as far less significant than their extreme brutality and near-suicidal indifference to human life. It comes in all colors, God knows.

However, the statistics Timothy Egan (and President Obama) alluded to are stark: According to the Centers for Disease Control, the youth homicide rate (per 100,000) is 28.8 for blacks, 7.9 for Hispanics, 2.1 for whites.

Overall, the African-American homicide rate is EIGHT TIMES greater than the national average —an ongoing tragedy this bickering does nothing to heal.

Gene Lyons is a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He can be reached at eugenelyons2@yahoo.com.

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