Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Pubdate: 21 June 1998
Author: Gregory Kane


MR. Hard-working White American, please read Peter Hermann's story
in today's Sun.

Mr. Hard-working White American wrote me in response to my column on
the rash of school shootings in various parts of the country, in which
I noted that the perpetrators -- except for the most recent one in
Richmond, Va., in which no one was killed -- were white.

"You take these incidents that were perpetrated by sick and twisted
very young men and try to use this distinct handful of incidents to
debate rational discrimination? These young boys chose their victims
and had very directed anger. If I were running a mostly white rural
high school or the parent of an attending student, yes my world would
be rocked and I would be practicing rational discrimination against
any young male exhibiting any of those characteristics of dangerous,
out-of-control anger that could escalate to events like those.

"Rational discrimination is mostly spontaneous fear. If I see one or
more black people (men or head-bobbing sisters) approaching me with an
attitude, a cocky gait and in the current costume of the day (for the
latest batch of black, white or yellow criminals), then you're damn
right I'll be alert and scared, because if it walks like a duck, and
quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it's probably a duck. The
same description above applies to white trash and the same reaction
will result. The problem is that in most cities these days, where we
all have to or want to visit or work in, the ducks are mostly black and
mostly bad.

"This is proven on a daily basis on the pages of your very own paper.
Oh yes, there's some white crime but it pales in volume next to black
crime, again, read your own paper. Look at today's issue -- the black
event `Night Out,' there's a great example and maybe a larger version
of what goes on at Howard Street and surrounding area on a routine

OK, Mr. Hard-working White American, take your own advice: Read my own
paper. Read Hermann's article about how affluent, white suburbanites
who sit on their duffs and figure they contribute nothing to America's
social ills routinely ride into neighborhoods like mine to cop their
latest hit of cocaine or heroin fix. Read how our own city Police
Department says these suburbanites contribute to that black crime you
seem to feel defines nearly every black person in Baltimore. (Those
are your words: "The ducks are mostly black and mostly bad.")

Well, Mr. Hard-working White American, what about the white ducks who
contribute to the drug traffic, which, according to many a white judge
who works just as hard as you do, is what fuels over 80 percent of all
crime? Should we apply "rational discrimination" to them and assume
that because some white suburbanites use drugs that "most of these
white ducks" probably do?

Wanna talk crime stats, Mr. Hard-working White American? What would
the crime stats look like if those white suburbanites were actually
prosecuted for drug possession? As Hermann's article points out, most
cases are simply thrown out of court. It's true that blacks lead in
arrests for homicide and robbery. But again, note that judges say most
of the crime is linked to drugs. Thus, these white suburbanites
contribute, even if only indirectly, to any crime that is

The color of America's drug problem isn't black or white. The color of
America's drug problem is American. Since drugs and crime are linked,
crime isn't a black problem, but an American one.

You missed the point, by several light-years, Mr. Hard-working White

American, of my column on those boys who gunned down their classmates
and teachers. The point was that white Americans cannot afford to
smugly assume that they do not contribute to the social ills of this
country. The problem of violence is a male, not a black, phenomenon.
The other point was to show you what it feels like to be lumped
together with a few bad apples from your racial group. Doesn't feel
too good, does it, Mr. Hard-working White American?

I trust reading Hermann's article was eye-opening for you, Mr.
Hard-working White American. Before I leave you to contemplate it, a
correction is in order. Subsequent investigation into that black
event, Night Out, revealed nothing close to a disturbance took place
at the Brokerage. It seems some folks just panicked at a large number
of black folks in one place at one time. But I assume that's OK with
you. You're already on record as saying that a large number of black
folks in one place is by definition a cause for alarm.

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Checked-by: (trikydik)