Day of the Yoot
June 15, 2000
Rocker, take a bow. The other day New York City once more
surpassed your unflattering portrait of it.
Rocker has been called a racist for his
description of New Yorks social pathologies and plain bad manners,
in which he actually said nothing about race. But though the media reports
on New Yorks latest racial incident said nothing about race either,
everyone knows what it was about.
During and after the Puerto Rican National Day Parade near
Central Park, dozens of youths, as tactful journalists
prefer to call them (Joe Pesci would call them yoots), all of
them apparently minorities (often pronounced
minawties by their spokesmen), attacked women of the
Caucasian persuasion, tearing off their blouses and grabbing their breasts
(and other parts), in some cases robbing them for good measure. Some
were tourists; one Frenchman was held back by some yoots while other
yoots molested his wife.
Meanwhile, New Yorks Finest,
even when the women pleaded for help, allowed the molesters to proceed
unmolested, thereby avoiding charges of racism, brutality, civil rights
violations, and general insensitivity. The crowd seemed indisposed to stop
the criminals or help the victims, in at least one case joining the fun by
taunting a fleeing woman.
The fact that nonwhites were singling
out white women these werent random
attacks, racially speaking was lost on nobody who paid attention,
but the prevailing ethnic prudery made this angle unmentionable in the
respectable media. Still, pictures of the assailants and their victims,
along with other emergent data, made it clear enough. Even a properly
stern editorial in the New York Times managed to sidestep
the clear racial animus of the criminals.
Which is amusing, in a grim sort of
way. If the Times cant bear to mention the race of
the parties involved, why does it mention their sex? After all, it could
have edited its reporters accounts to say: Several persons
at the parade tore the upper garments off other persons, exposing and
touching their chests. Some of the attackers held back the spouse of one
of the victims as they stripped and fondled the pectoral protuberances of
the other spouse.
That would avoid the danger of
stereotyping males as sexual assaulters. But the fact that the criminals
and the victims were of different races is as pertinent as the fact that
they were of opposite sexes. There was a clear pattern of
discrimination, as they say, in the attacks.
The double standard is amazing. White
atrocities against nonwhites, committed decades or centuries ago, are
endlessly memorialized, with explicit attention to the race of both
aggressors and victims. But we must omit race from accounts of nonwhite
crimes against whites, which are being committed in the present, every
In a way, all this points up the
Procrustean absurdity of treating race, gender, and
sexual orientation as parallel categories, equally in need of
civil rights legislation and remedies. These
are radically different categories, as I was recently reminded when I
wandered absent-mindedly into a womens rest room in Maryland.
(The startled ladies were very nice about it, and I escaped before I could
be apprehended. Please do not allow this column to fall into the hands of
For all our prattle about
multiculturalism, we we whites, that is are
strangely reluctant to observe real differences among cultures and
subcultures, including radically different attitudes toward sex and
violence. We persist in pretending that people of all races aspire to be like
white suburbanite professional folks, if only they get the opportunity.
They dont. A lot of them are quite content with the deep-seated
attitudes they have inherited. There is no use trying to cure
them, because they dont think theyre sick. They feel quite
normal. They think its white people who are saddled with needless
inhibitions that take all the fun out of life.
And many whites are moral
relativists who agree that one way of life is really no better than another.
Such people often manage to be quite nonjudgmental, until
they need a cop.
Our racial problems will never be
solved unless the mainstream press covers interracial crime frankly
and not just when whites are the perpetrators.
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