This week’s broadcast revisits the August 21st killing of 88-year-old Delbert Belton in Spokane, Washington. Mr. Belton was a combat veteran of the Battle of Okinawa, back in WW2. He was beaten to death by two black teenagers in the parking lot of his pool club.
And who was at fault in this dreadful incident? Well, first of all, we were: you, me, and everybody else, though I guess mostly the inhabitants of Spokane. That is according to Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, August 26th. They quote Chief Straub as follows:
“One of these individuals was pretty much a standout basketball player—and because nobody wrapped their arms around him, nobody cared enough about him, he's now going to face murder and robbery charges. And, probably, he's looking at the rest of his life being significantly affected—if not destroyed—by this.”
End quote. Poor little chap! Doesn’t your heart go out? And it’s our fault for not having wrapped our arms around him! As the great Dr. Heinz Kiosk used to say: “We are all guilty!”
Some of us are more guilty than others, though. Chief Straub singles out one person for particular blame: Delbert Belton. Quote from the Chief:
“Our information is that the individual fought back—and that may have made this a worse situation.”
I wonder if Mr. Belton having fought back against the Imperial Japanese forces on Okinawa made that a worse situation? Whaddya think, Chief Straub, over there on the West Coast? Or would you prefer the question in Japanese?
Just reading over that again, my eye stopped on the phrase “significantly affected.” I can’t quite pin down why, but somehow the entire current state of Western Civilization is encapsulated in that weasel phrase “significantly affected.”
I only wish the lives of these two perps could be as significantly affected by the criminal justice system as Mr. Belton’s life was by his encounter with them.
And shame, shame, shame on the people of Spokane for having themselves a sniveling invertebrate like Frank Straub in charge of their city’s law enforcement.