STIMULUS: School bus beating of a white student by a black student
THESIS: There is a fear of "black male violence" all white people secretly harbor, and it is tearing society apart.
DENS OF BLACK MALE VIOLENCE: The rural Deep South, Washington, DC, the Korean-owned shop on 3rd and Capitol
HOW RACISM MAKES DREHER FEEL: "Scared and humiliated, and full of spite"
WHAT DREHER RECALLS FROM HIGH SCHOOL: "How savage the fights were between black girls"
GREATEST MORTAL THREAT TO DREHER: "A group of 10 year old black boys"
WHITE REACTION TO RACISM: "White people don't fight back. White people move away."
THE LAST WORD:
Not to get all meta on you, but isn't it kind of amazing that something as depressingly ordinary as bullies on a school bus would become a matter of national conversation? Of course, you could have said the same thing about the racist Howard Beach white mob that chased the black kids. Or the Jena Six. People are always looking for particular events to encapsulate and illustrate whatever their worried about. This happens in the news media all the time, not because we're bad people, but because we are people, period. The difference now is that the news media don't have the same power to restrict and shape the national conversation as they once did, because of the Internet and the proliferation of media outlets. I think on balance this is a good thing -- I am always and everywhere in favor of talking about bullies, which is one of my hobbyhorses, as longtime readers know -- but I am certain that this story will play into the anxieties of some whites about the black president, and what that means. On the other hand, over the course of my careers I have seen decisions made in newsrooms to suppress news because in the judgment of the editors, it would have been bad for this or that minority group. I am generally in favor of reporting the news as straightforwardly as you can, and letting the chips fall where they may.