News “Where is the outrage?”
posted by October 17 at 12:19 PMon
Yesterday I posted about Bob Herbert’s column in the New York Times, which asked, rhetorically, why the murder of five Amish girls was not being covered as a hate crime.
As it turns out, Mike Hendricks of the Kansas City Star (who refers to himself in an e-mail as “Mike Hendricks of the Kansas City Star) wrote a similar piece ten days before Bob Herbert did:
The story that touched our hearts this week was about 10 little girls shot point-blank in Pennsylvania’s Amish country.
Not 10 children, as some news reports put it. But 10 girls. The shooter wanted to harm only the girls.
Does it strike you as curious — the way it did me — that more wasn’t made of that?
Had he singled out and shot 10 black men or 10 Jews or 10 gays or 10 of almost any other group, we’d be calling it a hate crime — whether it fit the legal definition or not.
And on the talk shows and in the newspapers, wouldn’t the question have been asked over and over, “What causes such intolerance, bigotry and bitter resentment against one type of people?â€ť
But the shooter at Nickel Mines, Pa., singled out his victims based on gender. And I found only one article that used the term “hate crime,â€ť and it said that the killings merely “followed the patternâ€ť of a hate crime.
Gee, you mean like the crime committed a week earlier in Bailey, Colo., when a sex offender burst into another school, singled out the girls, then molested them and killed one before turning the gun on himself — that kind of hate crime?
Or any number of other killings, rapes and beatings committed by males against females purely because they were female?
We didn’t hear the Nickel Mines story framed that way. Instead, the first question was, “Did he have a grudge against the Amish?â€ť
And when the answer turned out to be “no, the Amish were simply convenient victims,â€ť public discussion turned to the peculiarities of the case. To the spread of school violence. To the need for gun control.
Hard saying why the broader theme of violence against women didn’t come up more.
So there. Two columnists have asked the question. Which actually further illustrates Herbert’s, and Hendricks’s, point.