Hate Crimes By People of Color is Uncomfortable for the A.P.

The A.P. prefers to falsely implicate the Jews and the Italians.
Amren reports on a horrible hate crime endured by an Asian-American student.
The Associated Press reported,

“NEW YORK Nov 13, 2005 — Eighteen-year-old Chen Tsu was waiting on a Brooklyn subway platform after school when four high school classmates approached him and demanded cash. He showed them his empty pockets, but they attacked him anyway, taking turns pummeling his face.
He was scared and injured bruised and swollen for several days but hardly surprised.
At his school, Lafayette High in Brooklyn, Chinese immigrant students like him are harassed and bullied so routinely that school officials in June agreed to a Department of Justice consent decree to curb alleged “severe and pervasive harassment directed at Asian-American students by their classmates.” Since then, the Justice Department credits Lafayette officials with addressing the problem but the case is far from isolated.”

Why Bensonhurst, you ask? Well, the A.P. dutifully notes,

“In the last five years, Census data show, Asians mostly Chinese have grown from 5 percent to nearly 10 percent of Brooklyn residents. In the Bensonhurst neighborhood, historically home to Italian and Jewish families, more than 20 percent of residents now are Asian. Those changes have escalated ethnic tension on campuses such as Lafayette High, according to Khin Mai Aung, staff attorney at the Asian-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which is advocating for Lafayette students.”

The problem, as Mike Berman noted, is that,
“If you consult Lafayette High School’s 2003-4 Annual School Report, you will find that Lafayette High School’s current ethnic composition is 11.8% white, 45.8% black, 25.1% Hispanic and 17.3% Asian.” And hence, “those changes” to the neighborhood “historically home to Italian and Jewish families” most likely had nothing to do with it. That is to say, Italians and Jews most likely had nothing to do with it, and it is never said which group the assailants belonged to.
If a writer (say, Erin Texeira) wants to selectively gloss over the assailants race in a hate crimes case out of a double standard (when say, they aren’t white), that is duplicitous enough. But to intentionally insinuate hatred in specific communities who had nothing to do with the case is outright forgery.
And it came from “the world’s oldest and largest newsgathering organization.”

24 thoughts on “Hate Crimes By People of Color is Uncomfortable for the A.P.

  1. I so totally agree. It is yet another form of racism to represent crimes by African Americans against other races, not as hate crimes but as “regular” crimes, as though these acts are some how justified.

  2. We don’t know that it is the Afican Americans or the Hispanics or all of the above- it didn’t specify, and it seems pretty racist to assume.. if that was an assumption.
    Anyways good article… I can’t stand those media big-wig ppl.

  3. i think the point about the neighborhood being “historically home to italians and jewish families” was made to note that the area has historically been home to immigrant communities.

  4. Someone should really get their prioritities in order. A seven word sub-section of one sentence in one article? Is this your main worry in life?

  5. formermuslim,
    “One article?” This “one article” was printed all over the U.S. and beyond, in numerous periodicals on a local and national level.
    I think this writer may be biased to the point of dishonesty and defamation, and I am concerned that this writer, who is so frequently trusted with race relationsstories, is being distributed to outlets throughout the world regardless of intended inaccuracies.
    I predict we will hear a lot more about Erin Texeira. We will see.

  6. Although it’s a small point in the article. It proves how politically correct the media is. Because surely only a white person can be racist.

  7. You should have bolded the full sentence:
    In the Bensonhurst neighborhood, historically home to Italian and Jewish families, more than 20 percent of residents now are Asian.
    The point is that more and more Asians have been moving to Bensonhurst, and that its ethnic makeup has changed over the years. History is obviously relevant when someone is making a historical argument, and it seems one would have to be pretty adept at reading bigotry into things to come up with your interpretation.
    But more importantly – why is someone on Jewschool linking to American Renaissance as a source of authority? With the affectionate “Amren”, no less? I like there being a range of opinion and strong debate here, I really do. But why are there people blogging here who are either racist enough to support American Renaissance or dumb enough not to know what these people are all about?

  8. Ben,
    I did not quote Amren as an authority. I did credit them with catching this particular A.P. false suggestion And I do not agree with you that the neighborhood racial “history is relevant” but the actual race of the assailant is not.
    I also have read and credited and will continue to credit Al Jazeera. That does not make me an Arabist. I read a lot of sites and periodicals that I don’t agree with. It is not about supporting any of them, but if I pick something up there that I decide to use, I have two choices. Not use it, or credit it.
    I chose the latter.

  9. But when a source that catches something does so for what is most likely a racist reason, this is something you note. American Renaissance does not just “catch” a story out of an innocent desire to correct the record, it does so out of racism and, arguably in this case, bizarre (considering the founders’ past engagement in overt anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry) attempts to pander to Jews.

  10. I never claimed innocence anywhere. I don’t demand innocence. I thought he had a point, and I pointed out why. If I were to apologize every time I quote a racist source, I would never finish my History papers because of the preamble of apologetics for quoting most people throughout history.
    Including Jewish history. Including Jewish present. I would have to apologize for quoting any secular Zionist leader. Every time.
    That’s so weak. The humongous AP, whose story was obviously steering people away from the identity of the actual assailants actual racial identity, preferring a red herring, and you can’t find a reason why it wasn’t like I;m saying it was. Rather, you have to resort to discrediting the AP screw up because the original whistle blower was racist.
    You are so right. We shouln’t reach fringe sites, Left, Right or Other even if they catch this kind of BS, and sometimes the only ones to do so. Because other media aren’t biased in other ways. And the fact that the AP story was everywhere – CNN, the WAshington Post, ABC Newsm many others nationally and a whole host of local ones, is nothing compared to the fact that this small fringe site was the one who fingered them, so let’s either ignore it, not credit them, or beat our breasts condeming them as we do credit them.
    I will credit whoever I quote. I was taught to do so. Even if I don’t like them. Even if they don’t like me.

  11. What I was saying was not a red herring, but it did represent a distraction from the more important argument, and I am sorry for this. My point was that it is baffling how one could see the story “obviously steering people away”, and the American Renaissance is always a great help in coming up with this kind of interpretation.
    It is a standard construction to imply change over time by noting an initial condition, in this case, Bensonhurst being historically Italian and Jewish, and following this up with a factor disrupting this condition. It is also standard to note a neighborhood’s identifying feature, commonly, in many cities, its ethnic makeup, when referring to that neighborhood. What is most relevant here is the race of the assailed, and with this sentence, the writer is clearly establishing context for this.
    This becomes all the more clear when you see the unabridged AP wire piece which is 1334 words and was run by CNN, as you noted but did not link to. In the full story, the specific incident is just a human interest lede used to bring up the issue of a wider problem of attacks and prejudice against Asian youth; you also see that the writer’s reference to the neighborhood’s history appears much more tangential when in the context of the full story. The assailants are not described in great detail in any of the examples cited by Texeira, perhaps because their identifying features are irrelevant to the nature of the piece, which is an examination of violance and taunting directed at Asian students by other students, not a crime report.
    And yes, I am challenging your use of American Renaissance, and not just as a “red herring”. The quotes from racists that you would use in a history paper, unless your topic is racism, are most often not at all defined by racism or to do with the subject. Some secular Zionist leaders might be racist but racism is clearly not the reason they are Zionists. The point is that AR’s sole motivation for any of the stories it posts is to bemoan the loss of white pride, to heighten xenophobia, or to promote racism. This is their defining characteristic, and I am not speaking hyperbolically; I would challenge anyone who reads this thread to surf over to AR, give it a good look, and offer up a summary any different. I cite my sources, too, but I do not source hate sites: if one happened to come up with one interesting thing, I would sit on it until a legitimate source echoed their criticism or identified a trend in the AP (i.e. more than one story).

  12. My apologies: the story, as posted on ABC, is not abridged. I did not see the next link because it appeared in the lower righthand corner of my browser (Opera), after a bunch of white space.

  13. Ben,
    I am not defending Amren in general. They were dead on about this piece. I still insist it was weird NOT to talk about WHO the assailants were, but to suggest the changing neighborhood has something to do with its Italian and Jewish history. This whole long article…but not that?
    You wrote,
    “Some secular Zionist leaders might be racist but racism is clearly not the reason they are Zionists. ”
    There we disagree. I think nationalism based on ethnicity, which is secular Zionism, is a race based movement. Hence, it is racist. I understand that, and I understand the pursecution of Jews behind it. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t what it is.
    If you read Little Green Footbals, you will find the same sort of xenophobia against Islam and Arabs, and other cultures seen as a threat to Israel, as well as excoriations against Jewish self-hatred. There mission is Jewish nationalism, and it is frequently portrayed as a superior culture.
    What’s the difference?
    Amren is more specifically racially focused in subject matter than LGF, that is true, but its limited STATED goals parallel those of any hawkish secular Zionist for Israel. They want to preserve a European hegemony within the U.S. by closing immigration to non-white Europeans (instead of Arabs); they want to end affirmitive action (which they see as reverse discrimination, which will not happen for Israeli arabs, nor am I saying it should), and they want to have more secure borders from illegal immigation of non-European whites (see Israel’s refusal of the Arab right of return).
    How are right-wing Secular Zionists significantly different in their goals if we exclude the victomology defense we so frequently employ to silence these questions?

  14. My disagreement with you on Zionism, then, is mostly on a matter of terms. One could believe in the need for a Jewish homeland without the need for discrimination against those of other ethnicities, both in terms of immigration and forced emigration, although you’d be right in pointing out that this is likely very naive. Would we call an optimistic and not all that rational Zionism, which believes in a Jewish state that can maintain such a character as a full democracy, through wholly voluntary immigration of Jews, without any inducement beyond verbal or an implied “doing the right thing”, racist? I’d fear using a loaded term. But, in actuality, where a lineage-based right of return has been necessary to establish and maintain a Jewish majority (along with much more ominous measures), I suppose the term could be necessary to adequately describe Israel or its actions at times. (Clearly, I’m confused about this; sorry for the rambling).
    Re: LGF, Well, I completely agree with you there. LGF is one of those sites that I would avoid citing for the same reason as American Renaissance. When such a site finds something of interest to me, as it occasionally does, I usually find it at another source first or look for one I’d deem more trustworthy or less suspicious in its motives, simply to avoid an implied endorsement of a hate site. But if you do only find a story there, really think that it’s valid and are the first to attempt to legitimate it, then that’s another case entirely and I am now questioning the wisdom of my earlier response to your post (although it is a great oversight, I would argue, to fail to note any background on Amren when you’re citing it).
    I still do not see the equivalency between quoting a source that is making a case for clearly racist reasons and quoting a historical source that happens to be racist, on a non-race-related issue.
    And I still fail to see the obviousness of the AP article’s bias. The race of the assailants would be relevant if the author was at all preoccupied on pinning the blame, but, again, the context in which Jews and Italians are mentioned would appear to be purely historical. She established background on where the neighborhood she was reporting from had been and where it was headed to, and any failure to mention the race of the assailants, while debatable in its significance as an ommision, does not seem to be relevant to this factoid she throws in.

  15. On your last point, I would again turn to my own community. If I read that Jews are being attacked in Europe on an increasing basis in Europe, I would find it strange if the assailants were Muslim, but this was somehow not mentioned. Particularly if the only mention of ethnicity was that the current attack were in a neighborhood that was say, historically German, but it turned out they had nothing to do with it.
    And again, if LGF pointed out the flaw in the story that was distributed throughtout the nation without anyone else noticing or questioning this, I would merely credit them for finding it. without preamble. I guess I am more worried about bias and defamation in much, much larger mainstream media that claims to be fair than I am interested in fringe media that is open about who they are and still occassionally provides a function that no one else does, which would explain why both are more widely read beyond the respective white nationalist/Kahainst readerships of more radical sites willing to use foul language and employ conspiracy theories, as well as advocate violence. That Amren is racist towards blacks and LGF racist towards Arabs is not news to me, and even if it is to others, it pales in comparison in significance of importance to the intentional omissions and red herrings of the largest newswire in the world because of its massive influence and reasonable but inaccurate perception of expectations of fairplay from a source of their stature. Focusing on lttle Amren’s or LGF’s open bias would detract from the much more interesting and important issue of A.P.’s stealth one in such a situation.

  16. But then my question is what the average reader gets out of the AP story. That the assailants were either Jewish or Italian? I think it takes a pretty large logical leap to come to this conclusion, but would concede that it was a major flaw of the story if it did leave this impression, and, then, that my reading of it could be overly cautious. I did not read the story with the race of the assailants in mind because I was not aware prior to reading it that there was, in some communities, far greater animosity between the black and Asian communities than between Asians and whites; I did not, therefore, see the neighborhood’s history to be immediately relevant beyond its use as a contrast against its present makeup, after immigration. I do not know whether this is how most others saw it, but the context makes me doubtful.
    I do not think it takes a very cautious reading of the story, however, to doubt that the author’s “pinning of blame” was intentional. This is a serious charge and the burden of proof for it is much greater than “well, a reader could conceivably, noting the absence of the race of the assailants in the story, assume they represented the neighborhood’s historical makeup”. It takes a preexisting prejudice against the AP to assume intentionality here, and your argument would be much aided by other examples of AP stories making similar omissions; in conjunction, these “omissions” would indeed look scarcely unintentional.
    Attacks on Jews by Muslims, also, are not a fair parallel here- in that case, we would be dealing with a clear trend. We know that in France, for instance, anti-Semitism among non-Muslims seems to have lowered over the years, while youth from Muslim communities do seem to be responsible for most anti-Semitic crimes. But in the case of this article, we are dealing with multiple incidents, presumably the result of prejudices held both within and without the black community. The author of the story is presenting a number of incidents as part of a pattern of prejudice; unless I’m missing something and all of the attacks and harassment are perpetrated by African-Americans, the omission of race is not at all striking for this reason.
    As a matter of general principle, I’d also disagree with you on your point of the relative insignificance of Amren and LGF. They are insignificant, sure, but they become legitimated through partial acceptance of their story line. LGF has been cited in the mainstream media an unsettling number of times, suggesting that its fringe character isn’t always all that certain. You are very right to be chiefly concerned about bias within a major information provider, which is a legitimate debate, but dragging the Amren crowd into such a legitimate debate serves to confer some level of authority on them, suggesting that they should have some part in debate in the public sphere, rather than be ostracized. I guess my point is that, if there was a clear pattern of AP foul play, it would be something we could identify ourselves, without the aid of the fringe. Dragging them into it makes it look as if there is not a reasonable fight to be had here, when I am not convinced that this is the case, I just have yet to see substantial evidence of it.
    By the way, thank you for continuing this discussion (on an old thread, no less), and I again apologize for starting it off in a snide tone.

  17. I think that ethnic breakdown was a little bias or not correct. No one is going to argue that the most popular ethnic group in Brooklyn and all of the city period is black. When you guys say ”Hispanic” you have to understand that isn’t a clear-cut dry term and some people take it disrespectfully or politically incorrect. Just because you come from Latin background doesn’t mean you aren’t white. You can have blonde hair and blue eyes which many people in Puerto Rico, Cuba and other countries have. They’re descendants of Spaniards which a lot of you tend to be ignorant about to look at. If the person is speaking English you can’t just know if someone is ”Hispanic”. Or if the person didn’t even say a word and you didn’t know who they were by looking at them. Italian and Spanish/Latin communities are very well unified since they’re both Roman Catholics. There are a lot of Jews in Brooklyn so if they are harmed it’s not like there isn’t a lot of people to defend with. When people speak of ”white crimes” though, take my word for it if you think blacks are just not like them because they are white they aren’t that simple. If Italian people, Spanish people, Greek, Irish who ever would think the same thing if there was tension like that or visa versa coming from someone who may be prejudice of any group. If there is racial tension in Bensonhurst, or any area in Brooklyn it could be for any reason. Jews like blacks have been in Brooklyn for maybe longer than anyone else and combined are more than half the boro. When you say it’s ”historically” by italian and jewish families understand that a neighboorhood does have blocks. There are certain blocks that are all Jewish, and certain ones that are all Italian. That was years ago. 30 years ago there were more Jews than Italians in Brooklyn. Now there are at least 3 times the amount. New York City is 8.7 percent Italian according to the census. Although many Jews are reluctant to clarifying that as there ethnic hypocritically even though controlling a lot of the ”census bereau” in the city have come out to about 25 percent of New Yok City is Jewish. You can’t just know if someone is Jewish, Spanish, Arabic, Italian or anything in Brooklyn. It’s not that clearcut unless they make it obvious. Not that many people do. With blacks and asian it’s a little more obvious. What I get upset with is when a lot of Jewish people in New York try to make it as if being Jewish is something they should keep hidden, yet try to overinfluence the public with good ideas about. Some will use impolite terms like ”Hispanic” for political power, but I’m sure if Fernando Ferrer was walking around the city saying Jews, Jews, Hasidics he might not be well liked either. You guys also talk as if ”Hispanics” and blacks are united in anyway. They have absolutley nothing to do with eachother. Latin American descendants haven’t been in Brooklyn near as look as Blacks or Jews which is well over a century. ”Hispanics” are Roman Catholics. Very few blacks are. Italian-Americans are Catholics. Spanish people may be the only group more Catholic than Italians. With Jews and Blacks though either because of cultural or religious purposes or just because there are so many of each have managed to stay full most of the time. Talk to Italians around Brooklyn. See how many are actually full. The only groups they’ll ussually mix with are Catholics. Same with ”Hispanics”. Who do you think goes to church with who on Sunday’s? A lot of Jewish people have split views among certain issues but the point is if you guys are willing to bring up the ethnic card in this forum so oftently you might as well accept that heat right back at you. People do not just call Jews the ”white man” in New York. They sure don’t do it in Europe. No one is that stupid. Jews might be the only group to have gone through as much if not more oppression than blacks. But yet some peole in this forum speak as if ”Hispanics” are lower and have less than everyone else because people are either not giving them an equal chance or because of other reasons. That’s a bunch of garbage. A quarter of Brooklyn has Latin American background in them as well and the ones who don’t do well for themselves economically just like Italians at one time are the ones not econocially well set. Not for nothing, but when I hear of a lawyer in Brooklyn not to be stereotypical but you have to assume that there is at least a 50/50 shot there Jewish. Italians are not lawyers yet you guys are trying to write it as if they grew up ”together”. Please. Any kind of racism or prejudisim that has come out of the Italian community is equally as harsh against Jews as it is Blacks. If anything it’s more at Jews since they’ve lived in areas where they have before. Jews aren’t the ones committing racial crimes and oftently aren’t even the ones recieving it either although you guys try to make it as if it’s just ”white” and jewish is just an every day religion in this country like Catholicism. The only thing Jews and Italians have in common is that if you go to Kentucky or Montana you won’t find either. You will find some kind of Catholics there though, oftently Spanish people who especially in rural areas don’t use the term ”Hispanic”. New York City, in which I’ve lived most of my life might be the most prejudice corrupted city I ever lived in. There is not a job application you can fill out in that city that doesn’t involve what race are you? In Florida, Ohio and other states they don’t ask it. EEQ laws aren’t taken there. Latin people do well for themselves in all parts of the country but it’s those few in New York you look to belittle and claim there economic status for. Not all ”Hispanics” mark that ignorant box that wasn’t even used in America before the 70’s and the word is never even used in any Latin American country period. You’re white, black or Native American, or mixed there. Cameron Diaz is not the same race as Sammy Sosa if you imbeciles haven’t realized that. The people who are using that term are either asking for a pathetic handout which isn’t the majority or it’s because they are an immigrant and need money or help which could equally apply to Russian immigrants. No person of Latin American background should check that box if they speak English first and were born in America. Mexicans are over half Native Aztec, therefore Native American can apply to them. Oftently many Dominicans have much African ancestry in them and Puerto Ricans are mostly Spaniard(the 2000 Census in San Juan stated 80.5 percent of Puerto Rico considers themselves white). Yet, you guys turn around and just use what you got in your little box and try to throw all ”whites” in your words in the same category and let them all claim that ”economic glory”. It’s garbage. Yet, some people turn around and say oh well Arabics aren’t white, meanwhile what else can they be classified as. People make up the garbage excuse that ”Europeans” or ”Caucasians”. There also not regarded as Europeans since many of them aren’t.
    And that can include similar features to Arabics, last names, ”Semitic noses” which I’ve heard a couple people say, ect. It’s like some of you guys think it’s okay to identify people as ”Hispanic” if you saw a crime and didn’t know anything about the guy yet you had to identify them, and you would openly assume someone might be Arabics, but it’s so sensitive to Jewish. They aren’t as apart of American mainstream life as you think. They do well for themselves when they’re together, but as tokens they run into as many problems as blacks. You guys speak as if there are so many problems involving ethnic in schools in New York, well there are many Jews in the Board of Ed. Do you think kids don’t give that back to them or put two and two together? Well, just because Jews are white don’t mean there caucasian and the world would agree. There are 14 million Jews in the world and about half are in America and the other half in Israel. If America didn’t give so much money or military support to Israel than they’d be gone. Go anywhere else in the world and see how they’re looked upon of. There are good and bad people for any ethnic. With Jewish people and this isn’t good or bad and don’t take it insensitive but have a hard time accepting it as an ethnic identifier like say Arabic. Unfortuently with much of the city being Jewish, as well as Long Island just like any other group it’s kind of grown into being regarded as one and most are comfortable with that. This message wasn’t meant to be insensitive, mean or anything except honest. Although some of my points are opinionated, just about all are true and have good points. Not everything is clear and dry cut. As far as this ethnic concern is at that high school… kids have problems. It doesn’t always involve ethnic which a lot of you think has to. You guys assume because there is a problem in this school it has to involve ethnic. That’s garbage. In the case of this Asian-American kid, I don’t know but you can’t assume that for every Asian kid. People run into problems everywhere. The more you throw the card around the more hostile the environment becomes. A lot of parents, teachers or anyone expect this. Not everyone in Brooklyn is like this. People might be hostile and judgemental but everyone is in the same position. The person should be disiplined properly but as to how to prevent situations like this takes restructuring in the system because lifestyle in Brooklyn goes down every year and doesn’t get any less populated. At least 3/4 of people in Brooklyn probably wish they were living somewhere else. This kind of stuff doesn’t make it any better for anyone else and harms it. It’s people that judge it and drag it on that makes it worse though. This is all cause and effect and eventually will come back and bite everyone in the ass. Everyone should just learn how to respect eachother in Brooklyn because there are 2 million and it’s a pretty damn big melting pot so who’s to say who’s right over another or to expect all racism to be as clearcut as ”white on black” or something similar. Some of you guys made intelligent posts, but some just plain ignorant. Thanks, bye.

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