Maybe it is a near-perfect illustration of how political correctness has made mainstream reporters pusillanimous keyboard strokers when they are forced to mention that a person, who happens to be black, commits a crime. Or perhaps leaving out a suspect’s race is just an oversight in many cases — but probably not.
Either way, it’s pretty obvious that the overbearing importance of race in reporting doesn’t always exist in less Zimmermanesque circumstances.
To present a case in point: Local media in Portland, Ore., took notice of a Reddit poster’s chronicle of being attacked during an unfortunate bike trip down a Northeast Portland street. But they had a little trouble providing a description of the attackers.
Via report from Oregon Live:
Andy Sweeney posted the selfie on Reddit, hoping to find the positive side to the violence that left him with a broken smile on a Northeast Portland street last weekend.
In the photo, the 20-year-old bicycle commuter and recent transplant from the Midwest flashed two shattered front teeth.
… Portland police … are taking Saturday night’s unprovoked attack of Sweeney near Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Fargo Street more seriously.
Shortly before midnight, Sweeney was on his way home from the grocery store, riding south on MLK. He also didn’t see the violence coming.
“I was coming up on these three kids,” he said, “and they just threw a traffic cone at me. It hit me square in the teeth.”
Sweeney described the encounter as “a blur” that prevented him from getting a good look at his attackers. The boys laughed and ran off, leaving him with a bloody mouth. “The pieces of my teeth were gone immediately,” Sweeney said.
A police officer told Sweeney that it looked like he had a concussion. The bespectacled bike deliveryman for Jimmy John’s sandwich shop said he didn’t have the money to go to the hospital.
And Portland’s KGW reported that this isn’t the first time this has happened:
… Last week, a 64-year-old man reported that he was also attacked by teens while riding his bike on Northeast Going Street near Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, according to Sgt. Pete Simpson of the Portland Police Bureau.
“One of [the teens] punched him in the shoulder, which knocked him off his bike and he hit the ground,” Simpson said.
Simpson said he didn’t know if the attacks were connected.
“It may just be a group of teens who are acting like punks,” Simpson said.
… On the last Thursday of July, Amy Wilson walked out of her home near Going Street and King Boulevard after hearing a car prowl. She was attacked by a group of teens, the newspaper reported. Neighbors told her the same teens were menacing cyclists nearby.
Chris Freeman wrote to the Oregonian’s website that he was attacked by about five teens near 7th and Stanton about 11 p.m. on Aug. 17.
Both reports failed to make any mention of race in the initial articles beyond The Oregonian’s assertion that “Sweeney described the encounter as ‘a blur’ that prevented him from getting a good look at his attackers.”
Oddly enough, in the Reddit post mentioned by The Oregonian, Sweeney (screenname SpanishMoles) clearly identifies the suspects as three black kids in hoodies.
Hilarity ensued, though it must’ve been missed by the intrepid reporters at the aforementioned news outlets: