By now you have probably heard the news of the ridiculous game Knockout. The rules of the game are quite simple. You go up to a perfect stranger and punch them in the face in an attempt to knock them out in one punch.
The more the media reports these attacks a few things become clear. First, the perpetrators are young black men. Second, the victims are white and most often Jewish. Because the victims are white, the game is also referred to as polar bear hunting. Third, there has been radio silence from black national leaders condemning the acts. Al Sharpton finally condemned the game at one of his weekly National Action Network meetings. But the outrage pales in comparison to the outrage that Sharpton and his fellow Race Warriors are able to muster when it benefits them financially and politically.
Sharpton is so skilled at ginning up crowds to protest injustice that his ability to pull together a rally of thousands in a matter of hours is called “rent a demonstration.” It is no secret that he uses his power as a tool of intimidation to encourage corporations to bend to his will.
Like Sharpton, Cornel West, Jesse Jackson and Eric Michael Dyson are men who have platforms and audiences who will listen and follow. Even though the NAACP is shrinking in members, it too has a voice in the black community that should be more vocal on this knockout game.
You can be sure if the victims were black, the Race Warriors would demand 24-hour news coverage.
You can be sure if those doing the knocking out were white and the victims were black, Sharpton and the Race Warriors would be demanding 24-hour news coverage. The truth is that while the knockout game is a rather new phenomenon, the problem of black-on-white crime is not. Statistics from all credible sources reveal that whites are the victims of crimes committed by blacks far more frequently than the reverse.
As much as I would love to hear strong reproaches from these black leaders, the most deafening silence comes from President Barack Obama. Some people have argued that Obama should not weigh in on these issues of race because a white president would not. But Barack Obama is not a white president and we all would be wise to stop pretending that his race does not matter.
While President Obama’s approval ratings suffer among most Americans, he continues to maintain high poll numbers in the black community. Whether rational or not, nothing (Benghazi, NSA scandals, IRS scandals, Obamacare fiasco, a black employment rate twice as high as that of whites) will remove the halo above President Obama’s head in the black community.
The young black men committing these crimes have an inextinguishable respect and pride for President Obama. He should speak to them and say in no uncertain terms that their behavior only reinforces stereotypes of black men as violent under-educated criminals. Their behavior moves Black Americans further away from achieving Dr. King’s dream. Continuing down the path that the knockout game leads also destroys any dream they have for themselves of a bright future.
The President has weighed in on issues of race that had far less global consequences in the past. Remember the beer summit with Black Professor Henry Louis Gates and James Crowley, the white police sergeant who arrested him as he entered his own home? Remember the recent response to a reporter’s question where President Obama said if he were the owner, he would change the name from Redskins? Remember after the Trayvon Martin verdict, President Obama reminded us that if he had a son, he would probably look like Trayvon?
I can think of no better reason for him to talk about a race issue than in an attempt to speak directly to the young men who would look like his son, if he had a son.
When he speaks out, other black leaders will join the chorus and speak out. For that reason alone, President Obama must use his influence to create a ground swell against the immoral foolishness that comes with sucker punching a perfect stranger for sport. If he doesn’t speak out, Black America will be the ones that are sucker punched in the end.
Feature Photo Credit: White House
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