The case of the four white men in Linden, Texas, who beat up a retarded black man and dumped him on a fire-ant hill, but received only minor punishment as a result, generated an exchange between Orin Kerr and Arvin Tseng about the role of race in the handling of the case. I thought Arvin, aguing for the significance of class, had a good point, though not one that really undermined Orin’s well-expressed outrage.
Now comes Howard Witt of the Chicago Tribune with a detailed account of the case, including a quotation from the recently retired mayor of Linden:
I don’t think there was anything racial about it. These guys were drinking, and this guy [Johnson] liked to dance. I’m not surprised when they get to drinking and use the n-word. The black boy was somewhere he shouldn’t have been, although they brought him out there.
(Emphasis added.) Note that the “boy” is 42 years old.
Witt also reports on what seem to be two relatively fresh lynchings, neither leading to prosecution:
There was the case in 1994 when a black man who had been dating a white woman was found dead from a gunshot to the groin. And another in 2001, when a black man who had been dating a white woman was found hanging from a tree. Local officials ruled the first case a hunting accident and
the second a suicide, despite the persistent doubts of family members and civil rights officials.
Case closed, I’d say.
(Any bets on which Presidential candidate carried the white vote in Linden last year?)
Aside from Witt’s truly excellent account, the MSM still isn’t paying much attention to what Orin correclty called a “sickening” story. Neither is the Blogosphere.