Watchdog Blog

Herb Strentz: On ‘Beat Whitey Night’ in Des Moines

Posted at 10:19 am, August 25th, 2010
Herb Strentz Mug

(Editor’s note: The incidents described here have become part of a developing story, as this Google link shows.)

The Des Moines Register’s reluctance to identify criminal suspects or victims by race has turned into an outright refusal to do so.

The closing night of the Iowa State Fair was marked by an observance not exactly on the Fair calendar: Police, fairgoers and the news media agree that bands of roving “individuals,” as the Register calls them, proclaimed “It’s Beat Whitey Night.”

A police report notes that “white citizens” were targeted, as were a couple of policemen when they tried to prevent or break up assaults just outside the fairgrounds.

The Register news story on “Beat Whitey Night” doesn’t publish the race of anyone — not of suspects, not of victims, not of the cops. One infers from published mug shots that three youths arrested are black and, from context, that the victims are white. (No mug shots were included in the online version of the Register story, shown here.)

Granted, it is easy to over-react to any conflict involving blacks and whites these days — Shirley Sherrod, anyone? — but it is also easy to be so cautious as to lose credibility. WHO-TV in Des Moines may have gone the Register one better, or one worse, with the website headline: “Police trying to figure out if race played role in attacks.”

Here are some conclusions from such timidity on the part of the press:

1. Most readers and viewers can connect the dots if the news media report that some youths were chanting “It’s beat whitey night” and assaults followed. The audience gets the gist of the story and only press credibility suffers.

2. The bigger picture on more troubling racial problems confronting the nation was well dealt with in a New York Times column by Bob Herbert about the self-destructive nature of life among some young black men today.

3. Failure of the news media to provide consistent, informed coverage about what is happening in our communities — in black and white terms —exacerbates the woes that Herbert writes about.

19 Responses to “On ‘Beat Whitey Night’ in Des Moines”

  1. Rob Roy says:

    The MSM should be fair and balanced. Period. Mr.Strentz presents a good argument. People automatically think that if Whites were to gain any power, then it would automatically result in lynchings, “gassings”, enslavement and whatever else. Far from it. We simply wish to enjoy a happy, peaceful and prosperous existence, without living with worry and concern, and we wish others could see it this way and want theese same things for themselves, too. There was nothing to stop the suspects from going into that fair and enjoying themselves as well. They could have gone there, and left out of there happy, if they wanted. Nobody would have had any reason to discourage this. Now, their own actions may make people think otherwise. The people who attended this fair need to remember those that are guilty, and be on guard the next time to keep this from happening again. The police (collectively) need to do their job, and so does the MSM.

  2. Tom says:

    What if it had been white thugs chanting “Beat Blacky Night”, would the report have been different? Would that get the attention of national news outlets, the NAACP, and the White House? I think it most certainly would. Even though I didn’t vote for him, when our president was elected, I hoped it would mark the beginning of an era of racial harmony. It appears, sadly, that is not the case.

  3. Hirofume T. says:

    First, don’t paint an entire race by the actions of a few youths in one location.

    Second, with all the media race baiting going on is anyone surprised that young people are lashing out? Whites murdering a migrant in Pennslyvania. White guy yesterday attacking a Muslim taxi driver in NY. The media makes it ‘acceptable’ to attack others.

    Third, greater enforcement of existing laws would curb this kind of crime. Former NY mayor Bllomberg proved that when he turned around NYC.

  4. Darlene says:

    Oh my good Aunt Hattie. The previous comment tells me how far we have to go. Whites never win? Give me a break. I am an 85 year old white women and am well aware of the KKK and bigoted whites keeping the black man ‘in his place’ with fear and unjust laws. Whites have attacked in packs more times than I can remember and when they do it is horrific. Lynchings were common by white packs. Where was Glenn Miller (too bad you have the name of one of my icons, Glenn) when this was happening?

  5. outranged iowan says:

    here we go with the white guilt again, hey darlene i didnt realize two wrongs make a right. im pretty sure the 35000 white women that were raped last year by black men would appreciate your comment, your just making excuses for these men. you know how many black women were raped last year by white men 0. and for the racist hate crimes from the past 2 weekends! these hate crimes were black perps against innocent white people. why isnt that all over the news? and at a state fair to make matters even better. Beat whitey night is what they were calling out.

  6. some dude says:

    Wow. It’s things like this that make me realize that racism is still alive and well. We can’t keep looking at each other by the color of our skin. Yes this was a horrible thing that happened. yes it deserves more media coverage. And yes it was a racist event perpetrated by these individuals. But we can’t let these things divide us as a nation.

    Look bad things happen. Racist crimes have been committed countless times by all races in this country. We can’t let the actions of others divide us.

    My girlfriend is black, and I am white. She is the most wonderful person I have ever been with, but every time we go out we get people staring at us. We get it from both races, but we don’t let it get to us. because we both know it’s just the color of our skin, it does not really mean anything.

    I guess what I am trying to say is don’t let events like this separate you from your neighbor. We all have to work together if we want to keep this country the best in the world. It’s our ability to unite under trying times that has made this country the greatest, and that is what will keep us great.

  7. outranged iowan says:

    to some dude, im glad you found one of the good ones. i honestly wouldnt look at you two any different then the couple coming in behind you. everyone has the right to be with who they want. but when it comes down to it the crime rate of the black man is unreal. the majority does give the good ones a bad name. here in iowa there is more racism against white people than any other race. these recent events is just one example of sweeping it under the rug while some one fights for there life in a hospital room. i have black friends too i know personally there not all bad. and the fact that you think this is still a great country, i must live in a different world than you. look around you it, used to be a great country. everyday that goes by this country gets worse and worse. eventually this will be completely ruined. thanks to the liberals and idiots.

  8. James H says:

    I guess it appears that racism is still very strong in America. Scott, Vincent, you two need help. Four and a half decades ago, blacks and whites couldn’t even drink at the same water fountain or eat beside each other in restaurants. This country has been through a lot since it began and it is struggling to move forward. The only way you can be truly prejudiced against another human being is to be ignorant of the facts. Fact that we are of the same species regardless of our skin color. Fact that over generations, melanin makes skin darker for protection against the sun. Genetically, we are all compatible. That is why any man can mate with any woman and produce offspring.

    Truth is, we are all related somewhere along the way. From and archeological perspective, we all come from a common ancestor.

    So, whether black, white, asian, chinese, hispanic, or whatever, these are only labels given to humans based on society’s need to differentiate between the cultures.

    Some have made these differentiators into an excuse, a illogical reason to vent their own frustrations, their problems, their ignorance on unsuspecting victims.

    The young people in Des Moines, IA that brought harm to the victims should be punished. You commit a crime against another human being, you suffer the consequences. It is that simple. In addition, they and all of us need to educate ourselves about the racial challenges America has come through over the last century and still faces.

    We are all brothers and sisters in the end, living on a planet, revolving around a sun, hurtling through space, going who knows where. We are all in this together.

    No good can come from hating and harming another human being.

  9. chopper713 says:

    also, im sure if thirty or forty wannabe latin king punks were to do the same thing against a fair full of black people there would have been a thousand cops there along with the FBI and INS. this country allows blacks to discriminate against whites and anyone they want to, and if anyone retaliates its considered a discriminatory action toward them…. and i think its a crock. lock and load people, because of your liberal policies we are are in for a dangerous bumpy ride with this new president. morons

  10. anon says:

    The failure to report on race and crime in an honest manner is typical of MSM that is concerned with supporting the liberal myths of equality that our democracy demands. Good people of all ethnicities know that in the United States, one speaks honestly about race only in the most guarded manner.

  11. lufrigus says:

    There was a riot of about 70 black youths in the Washington D.C. subway two weeks ago, and the Washington Post’s ombudsman chastised the paper for its scant coverage and failure to note racial composition. Just before the media reported on the “serial stabber,” and all said he was “white.” In short, media are full of politically correct propaganda.

  12. chopper713 says:

    thats a crock too anon and you know it. blacks are allowed to say anything racial they want about any race, mostly whites. watch HBO comedy hour sometime. i dont mind a good laugh but idiots like chris rock and others get off on the fact that they can batently bash white people to the point it isnt funny. or try watching any tv commercial today, 99% of them make white people look like morons very few if any make blacks look like inferior to whites. the friggin movies they put out today disgust me, you can tell the librals have their nasty lil hands in the making of these wonderful pieces of art. a large % of them again make whites look inferior or evil and blacks are always the good guy. it used to make me mad, now i just expect it and laugh. and dont even get me going on the CSI shows almost every show where a black is a suspect he turns out to be innocent i stopped watching that show 6 years ago because of that crap. no wonder why so many kids and some adults try and want to be black…who wants to be associated with spineless moron fool white people that they grew up seeing on tv? Peace

  13. chopper713 says:

    and dont even compare the reporting of a serial killer to race crimes lufrigus. apples and oranges. plus everybody ejoys a good serial killer story, black or white. why do u think their is so much money spent in hollywood on that stuff. its unfortunate that most serial killers are white, thats probably because white people cant blatently go out and murder people like black and mexican gangmembers can. lol

  14. chopper713 says:

    on a lighter note…i went into the Quad City Times website, an iowa based newspaper and typed in KEYWORD; beat whitey night. to see if i could find a follow up story on this. to my amazement nothing came up except for sports stories. lmfao. ok, ok, we get it…u guys are better than us at sports too. geesh. just something to think and laugh about.

  15. B ob says:

    This is what you get when black liberation churches brainwash black folks into seeing all white people as white devils. This is what you get when the news media do not report black on white crimes. This is what you get when the media provides a forum for haters like sharpton and jackson. This is what you get.

  16. chopper713 says:

    i guess people just dont think this as much a problem as i do. i am from italian descent, full blooded. all my life i have known myself to be white, its been on my drivers licence for 35 years. it never really bothered me until a few years ago and now watching all of this embarasses the hell out of me. i get pissed when someone calls me white. people look at me strangly when i tell them im not white, i dont care.

  17. Human Race says:

    It was wrong. END OF STORY! Black, White, Green, Yellow, Blue, Purple, Orange…..we are all human and this was wrong! All other comments to the contrary are baloney! We as society (HUMAN RACE) need to make the decision to stop pampering our fugitives and stop locking them up into 4 square meals daily, plus snacks, TV, Movies, Education, etc, we will might see a declination of these kind of acts. When we go back to making the punishment fit the crime and treat these kinds of acts what they are; Terrorism, then we will see less of these acts! WAKE UP AMERICA!

  18. Jane says:

    If there is no picture of the attackers, they are ALWAYS black. If there is a white attacker, the photo will be front page for a week.

  19. diogenes says:

    The residual racism in America is “torched upwards” by all kinds of political actors who try to use it for their own power and benefit. Keeping Americans dumb, divided, docile and fighting over distractions is the strategy to allow a corrupt oligarchy to keep fleecing us.

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