In various blog posts about the Connecticut Massacre (here, here, here, and here), I've quoted at length from a half dozen news articles giving the "he said / she said" two sides of the story about whether the nine middle-aged white men murdered by Omar Thornton, the Connecticut truckdriver who went on a racial rampage after being fired for stealing and selling his deliveries, were white racists.
The press has industriously reported both sides of the story. For example, the AP made sure to include quotes from friends of the murder victims defending the murder victims. For example
"Craig, who was active as a coach in town with all kids — all races of kids — for years, he didn't care. He just worked with the kids," Ted Jenny said. "There was no way Craig Pepin was racist."Of course, in 21st Century America, who would believe the friend of an accused white racist?
Granted, in this particular allegation, the accuser was a thieving mass murderer. But, as we can see from all the column inches devoted to Thornton’s allegations, the point is that he was black thieving mass murderer. So, attention must be paid.
And that’s one major lesson of the bizarre news coverage of the Connecticut Massacre: today, attention must be paid to charges that somebody is a white racist, no matter even if the accuser is Omar Thornton.
You'll notice that none of the white people quoted or referenced in the articles — the friends, the relatives, the co-workers, the union officials, the business executives, the academics, the police spokespersons, and so forth — disagree with the press's assumption. Even though disagreeing with it, they take Thornton's accusation of white racism very earnestly.
As far as I can tell, the white survivors haven’t publicly questioned the unspoken assumption that attention must be paid to a black person's accusation of white racism even when the accuser is the worst black person in the United States, Omar Thornton. I haven't seen anybody quoted saying anything like, "Why are you slandering my dead friend based on what that mass-murdering thief Omar Thornton and his despicable relations claim? Haven't the victims and their loved ones been hurt enough by Thornton for your satisfaction? Get off my porch!"
Instead, you read things like
One driver who was killed, Kennison, had mentioned Thornton before but never in a derogatory way, said Mark McCorrison, a close friend. Kennison was not the type to make bigoted remarks, he said. "I can tell you right now: Eddie is not that person," McCorrison said.God forbid that anybody ever said anything derogatory about a future mass-murderer.
Or they try to rebut Thornton's charges by pointing out all the nice things they've done for blacks, like this headline in the Hartford Courant
Hartford Distributors President Remembers Those Who Died; Rejects Killer's Claims of Racism Hollander Fought To Improve Bloomfield Schools for Black StudentsWhite people have been very well trained over the decades that any black's accusations, no matter how vile or absurd, can be highly expensive for the organization and ruinous for one's career. They've internalized these lessons so well that few even notice anymore how absurd the whole situation is.