For the fun of it?


Listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, August 23, 2013.

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Have you heard of Christopher Lane? Have you heard his name in the news?

If the name doesn’t ring a bell, maybe you have heard the following.

Three teenagers have been charged with the murder of a young Australian man attending college in Ada, Oklahoma where he was pursuing his dream of playing baseball. He was shot in the back with a .22 caliber pistol while out jogging.

His name was Christopher Lane.

This story has particular import in no small measure because of the fact that Christopher Lane was white, and his alleged assailants are black. According to police, one of the suspects said that they did it “for the fun of it” and because they were “bored.” The callous disregard for human life revealed by these statements is beyond comprehension.

It goes almost without saying that if three white adolescents killed a young black man and cited “boredom” and “the fun of it” as justification, the outcry from the media, left-leaning pundits and the professional race industry as embodied by the likes of Al Sharpton would be deafening. Given his history, it is highly doubtful that President Obama would choose to remain silent in such a case. You will recall that with respect to the case of the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, the president weighed in rather early, saying among other things that if he, President Obama, had a son, the boy would, ”look like Trayvon Martin.”

Yet in the case of Christopher Lane, we have heard essentially nothing from the very quarters that opined so frequently and so ardently in the Trayvon Martin case. There has been no statement at all from the White House. Indeed, when questioned at the press briefing on Wednesday (Aug 22), deputy White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he was “not familiar” with the story.

(I would argue that it would be inappropriate for the White House to comment so early in the case. But if that is so, it was equally so at the time that the president inserted himself into the Trayvon Martin story.)

There is a place in the story for the likes of Al Sharpton, if only he and his ilk had the character to occupy it.

It is worth examining and discussing what could have gone wrong in the upbringing of the three alleged perpetrators that they could come to commit such an unconscionable act, and, though he never will, a figure such as Al Sharpton would be an ideal candidate to conduct such an inquiry.

Do the boys have engaged fathers, or are they among the millions of young black men who grow up largely unsupervised in single-parent or no-parent households?

Do these young men listen to rap and hip-hop music that is filled with violent, racist and misogynistic lyrics?

Are they still in school and on track to graduate or are they trapped by the very limited opportunities afforded those without a high school diploma?

Are they gang members?

Are they on track to gain any employable skills?

Can we at last agree that these questions are neither trivial nor rhetorical? It is a fact that boys who live in two-parent households with engaged fathers are dramatically less likely to join a gang or commit a crime. Boys whose parents are involved in their education are very unlikely to drop out of high school. It is a sad but undeniable fact that murders and other violent crimes are committed by young black men in hugely disproportionate numbers.

Al Sharpton and the president and the talking heads on the left have every bit as much reason to examine the personal lives of the kids involved in the killing of Christopher Lane as they do to examine the motivations of George Zimmerman.

For whatever else can be said with respect to this story it is clear that something went terribly wrong in the growing up of these young men. That something is worth exploring — particularly by those who purport to speak for black Americans.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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9 Responses

  1. Bob says:

    I could not agree with you more. Where is the call for HATE crime charges?

  2. pk lewis says:

    Let’ see. No riots, no marches, no signs, no posters, no million man parades, no TV Specials, no tearful relatives, no gf so sad at his passing, no candles, no car burnings, no interviews on Good Morning Today, no late night Leno appearances, ,no teacher interviews, no G’mom interviews, no views all around the neighborhood.
    BUT I betcha there will be stories on how deprived the killers are, what a terrible childhood they had, how they were harassed in school, how their parents feel,how their neighbors feel, how they never did anything wrong,how their gf feels, ETC.

    Here we have a country with a black president,black ag., black sec of State under Bush,black UN representative, blacks occupy much more than the 7% they represent in this USA in ads/news stories/ etc.

    Must be that the USA us really racist.

    When is somebody going to see that the Emperor has NO clothes on????

  3. Crata Johnson says:

    Let me begin by saying that everyone is entitled to their opinions and feelings and I respect that fact. But in listening to the ” you tell me Texas” segment, I feel that the focus should’ve been placed on the fact that two young lives were lost and the the fact that the lives of their family members will never be the same. Instead, it sounded like another opportunity to discuss race and bash the President. It’s awful to know that in this day that we as a nation are no better off in how we relate to different races than we were when civil rights were being fought for. In fact, we may be worse because at least in those days it was to be expected. Instead of focusing on publicity, let’s cone together to find a solution to the tragic acts that are occurring. Regardless of whether black or white, innocent people are losing their lives everyday. And, although we will never hear about every incident it does not lessen the severity of the crime, diminish the anguish for he families, or eliminate the disgust that is felt for the accused. Anytime a life is lost at the hands of another, it is a horrible and cruel thing… no matter the color of the hands! Let’s pray for our nation and unity of all people and stop being concerned with whether the people who performed these acts listen to rap… which, by the way not all black people do.

  4. P K Lewis says:

    Crata has great & good ideas.
    But Crata is NOT taking into account that there are a segment of people who make their living from stirring up race relations in this country….Sharpton & Jesse Jackson & unnamed others come to mind.
    BUT the most amazing thing t of late is the story that the Fed. AG office sent a group of USA funded instigators to Fla. to stir up riots & trouble BEFORE the Tray VonMartin trial….before!!!!!!

    To me this is much more serious than even the trial.
    This was reported on the radio , yet not much more was made of it yet it cost us taxpayers money to fund.HOW can this happen????I
    don’t believe for a minute that all offices are inhabited by race baiters….just those who refuse to stand up for what’s right & wrong.

    This kind of thing precludes ‘prayer'< good feelings, etc..
    Today race relations are worse than they were in the 50's & 60's.( We all loved "the Penguins' Nat King Cole, etc. .)
    This is the fault of these 'race baiters' at work in our country & those who see it but do NOT stop it or say anything.

    Everyone's responsible. Have some strength of character here.

    Like Nancy Reagan said,'JUST SAY NO".

  5. C M Solomon says:

    As long as the so-called “black leadership” race-baiters and the black President and black Attorney General and the mainstream media continue their unholy alliance to foster the myth that this is a “racist country” and that “profiling of criminal elements” is unlawful, we will never solve the “murder for fun, revenge, fairness, etc.” that plagues this country.

    Statistics prove that the gun control and welfare state fanatics are primarily responsible for the demise of the black family over the last 60 years as the Socialists enforce unconstitutional laws on the populations (black or white) that are mostly self victimized by their eradication of moral values. Where is the outrage of ANY politician or national spokesman to tell the TRUTH about the decline of moral values sponsored by the Socialist Fairness Utopians?

    They don’t exist because the FEAR of the RACIST charge by the political-correct elite has them cowering in the corner. This moral decline will continue as these elite Socialists snuff out every ounce of opposition from the remaining Constitutional Conservatives in this country.

    You haven’t seen anything yet until a government bureaucrat controls every aspect of your life as he determines your access to health care depending on your adherence to their politically-correct lifestyle and evidence of support for government policies (devoid of moral judgment) as maintained by government tracking of your activities and opinions. If the government is responsible for your health (continuation of life), then you MUST follow their recipe to get the government benefit. What’s not fair about that? Never mind the fact that you and your offspring are the debtors for many generations to pay for the government control over your lives today as we plunge further into their Utopian abyss.

  6. James K. Castleberry says:

    Thank you Paul Gleiser for the opportunity to respond.

    Several of the on-line forums I visited lately were flooded with opinions on the shooting death of Chris Lane while he jogged down the street.

    No doubt some streets are deadly in this country, that has been proven time and again. But have these on-line forums now become part of the new battle ground? I was recently threatened after commenting in some of these forums.

    After reading several comments that stated the death of Chris Lane was not a hate crime and that race had nothing to do with it, I replied. “Many of you keep insisting that race is not involved, insinuating that race isn’t involved in any black on white crime in America. This is a misleading and racist assumption which is driven by the far left. Chris Lane was killed by viciousness becoming the all too prevalent subculture of that portion of young black youth in America which has no direction and no supervision.”

    My inbox received three new messages: All basically calling for my white head on a platter. Maybe the DOJ should save some gasoline and park in an online forum – there’s plenty of hate crime being committed there.

    James K. Castleberry
    Henderson, Texas

  7. R. Eagleman says:

    We should not forget to congratulate the “Revs” Sharpton, Jackson, and all the other race merchants who are so fond of using such a respected title to foment such uncivilized behavior. These thugs probably feel that their subhuman actions are completely justified, in that they have been constantly fed the lies about how they do not have an opportunity in the U.S., due to the White race. After all, their ancestors were kidnapped by “crackers” in the dead of night and brought to this country as slaves. The fact that it was their own ancestors who sold their brothers to slave traders for rum or other shiny objects never comes into the historical background of how they actually were able to get out of that cesspool that is Africa. These brilliant historians should get on their knees every day and thank God that they are here, instead of constantly using this very stale argument as to why Black youths should be excused for such bad behavior. The truth is that Blacks are given every advantage, including quota hiring, affirmative action, lower test scores to be admitted to college, wealth transfer through all kinds of government programs, not to mention the financial crisis that resulted to a great degree from forcing loans to be given to those who had no chance of repayment. At some point, there has to be a recognition that equal opportunity does not always translate into equal outcome. I wish someone would have the courage to publish the revenue from taxes received from each segment of our population, and then show the amount of benefits disbursed to each segment; and then have one of the esteemed “Reverends” comment on that inequality. Civilized Americans have a lot of patience, but if this type of uncivilized behavior continues, I think that we will see a backlash that will make marches and race riots look like a Sunday School picnic.

  8. steve says:

    I like how you try to make this into a racial issue when a white kid was one of the 3 involved.

  9. R. Eagleman says:

    My thoughts regarding the role that the race merchants played in this tragedy were not intended to excuse the white “kid”, (as you describe the other thug who was involved). I guess that the comments of one of the Blacks that he “hates White people” should be discounted as just something that is a logical reaction to how he has been treated in this wonderful country. My point is that there are people in this country who profit from the poisoning of the minds of Blacks about their lack of opportunity, when just the reverse is true. If a person, who is Black, White, or any other color does not achieve to the level of others, it is very convenient to lay the blame on someone or something else. It is also very convenient to explain these inconvenient issues as just being racial.

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