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Friday, September 17, 2010

If you're Gonna Make up a crime story, make the perpetrator black!

OK, so it turns out that Bethany Storro of Vancouver, Washington was not viciously attacked by a stranger throwing acid in her face. No, police have now determined that it was self-inflicted. Just a sad case of a very trouble young soul. So what does this have to do with race?

Well, it turns out that the description of the phantom perpetrator that Storro gave was of a black woman (with a ponytail, no less). Why? Because police, and the public, are more readily prepared to believe the story. We've seen it time and time again. The mother who drowned her kids in South Carolina quite a few years back. The young woman who falsely claimed to be attacked at an ATM machine in 2008 for displaying pro-McCain messages. and many, many more.

we've been fed the image so many times--blacks as criminals--that it's the first thing that comes to mind to those sick minds making up a crime (yeah, this applies to TV and movie screenwriters, too), and we eat it up like pigs at the trough. One more piece of evidence of the destructive, distortive power of stereotypes.

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