The most recent NYPD CompStat crime report shows 1,421 complaints of felonious assault in the City over 28 days. By the tabloid press’ generous estimate, as many as 10 recent assaults may be attributed to something called “the knockout game,” in which a black kid goes up to some random white person and punches him or her in the head.
These assaults — and several similar ones in other cities — would be deplorable whatever their cause or number but, to be real about it, they represent a small fraction of U.S. crime. Nonetheless the knockout game has become huge for rightbloggers, who have used the phenomenon to revive the old Ooga Booga — that longstanding conservative campaign to convince their fellow white people that blacks are ganging up to commit race war against them.
We first heard about the “knockout game” many years ago — here’s a good rundown of its history — but it had been little noticed in recent years before the recent uptick, with news organizations giving it sensational play.
E.g.: CNN, “Possible ‘knockout’ game victim: ‘The whole group of kids laughed'” (“She was not seriously injured. Though Connolly had never heard of the ‘knockout game’ before the November 15 attack, she may be a victim of it. And she’s not the only one”); Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Teacher’s random assault being linked by some to youths’ ‘knockout game'”; Huffington Post, “My Son Was a Victim of the Knockout Game” (“I was told that I couldn’t file because my son wasn’t injured”); CBS New York, “Report: ‘Knockout Game’ Suspected In Bronx Attack” (“The ‘knockout game’ has been blamed for numerous other assaults, many of them in Brooklyn”); ABC San Diego, “San Diego woman may be victim of ‘knockout’ game” (“Although the incidents occurred about three weeks ago, Kim and her fiancé are coming forward now after seeing reports of similar assaults happening around the country…”); New York Daily News, “Woman struck in another possible ‘knockout game’ attack in Brooklyn” (“Police said they arrested a 27-year-old, who is possibly mentally disturbed, in connection with the attack”); etc.
The New York Post has devoted several stories to the knockout game — for example, this front pager, headlined “SHE’S A KNOCKOUT” — whoops, that’s about a male Jets fan punching out some woman who supports the Patriots. Maybe that’ll be the next big thing!
Nonetheless, despite the fact that a Google News search on “knockout game” at present gets you over 50,000 results, some rightbloggers thought the newspapers were actually covering it up.
“NBC News and the Associated Press want you to know there is no such thing as black mob violence,” says Colin Flaherty at American Thinker — who, as the author of a book about black people beating up white people, is deeply invested in the race-war scenario.
But “many episodes of black mob violence and mayhem — including the Knockout Game — are recorded on video and posted on YouTube,” continued Flaherty. “Or Facebook. Or even bragged about on Twitter.” He claims to have “thousands” of such incidents on tape — he calls them “Bigfoot on Video” — in which case we advise him to get rich splicing this footage together and marketing the result as a sort of Andy Warhol film for Klansmen. (Flaherty also says he’s got “dozens of recent examples of black mob violence over the last two years.” Only dozens, after thousands? Maybe the rate of “black mob violence” is actually going down!)
The Daily Caller had even more compelling proof of media malfeasance: A college professor who “told The Daily Caller in an exclusive interview” that “the media are reluctant to cover the epidemic of ‘knockout’ attacks because the subject matter makes them uncomfortable.” And them pointy-heads are all liberals, so you know the Prof must be telling the truth.
“The ‘knockout game’ — and the media underreporting of it — combines the breakdown of the family with the media’s condescending determination to serve as a public relations bureau for blacks,” announced black conservative Larry Elder. “…Consider the media reaction to the assault of three white girls on Halloween night, 2006, in Long Beach, Calif…” Coverage of this 2006 crime comprised most of Elder’s column, along with coverage a similar incident in Milwaukee in 2011, and excoriations of fatherlessness. This is known in show business as “vamping.”
Colin Flaherty, writing this time at WorldNetDaily and in a more positive mood, headlined, “Surprise! Media finally wake up to Knockout Game.” But “they called it ‘new,'” to which Flaherty objected: “WND, however, has documented hundreds of examples of the Knockout Game around the country over the last two years.” Given that the U.S. Department of Justice reported 5,011,080 assault victimizations in 2011 and 5,754,010 in 2012, this doesn’t seem significant, but Flaherty had a contemporary angle: He found a guy who “said he did that five times since the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin.” There you go — proof of black retaliation! (Flaherty’s story was copied by the overtly racist American Renaissance site, which knows a recruiting opportunity when it sees one.)
“The Knockout Game: What Took the Conservative Media so Long to Notice?” asked American Thinker’s Charles Martel (“the pseudonym of a conservative warrior,” his byline tells us). He attacked some fellow rightbloggers as believing “whites are evidently the only group that isn’t allowed to recognize certain facts.” They may be conservative, but not conservative warriors, apparently.
Martel also denounced Matthew Yglesias, a Slate columnist who’d been beaten up by black guys in 2011 but didn’t see any connection with a national get-whitey movement (“people shouldn’t minimize these concerns about urban violence, but it accomplishes nothing in terms of tackling them to concoct weird trends and games out of thin air”). Martel called Yglesias a product of “good indoctrination and moral stupor.” He wasn’t the only one blaming the victim, as rightbloggers piled on to punish Yglesias for his race treason.
Yglesias “considers the unprovoked assault to be a ‘random act of criminality,’ one of those things that just happens, like pimples or the NSA reading your emails,” wrote (it says here) Fabrizio del Wrongo of Uncouth Reflections, suggesting there’s no such thing as random violence, at least where black people are concerned. He added, “I’m unclear if Yglesias believes he was not a victim of the ‘knockout game’ or if he simply thinks it’s wrong to see the game as something to be concerned about.” Maybe actually reading Yglesias’ essay would help. (Speaking of literacy issues, Twitchy headlined, “Matt Yglesias says being assaulted by thugs proves ‘knockout game’ doesn’t exist.”)
“I’m struck by how our society wants victims of black-on-white violence to play the macho tough guy in public, as Yglesias tries to do here,” said Steve Sailer of VDare. Sailer believed what happened was like this: “For youngish white male victims of black violence, the media’s message is: Don’t be a wimp. Walk it off, dude. Don’t go crying about how it makes you feel…” Yeah, that comports with our experience of online journalists — they’re all tough guys!
Or maybe, suggested Sailer in an odd digression, Yglesias is like-a de woman, one who’d been raped: “Our culture has made much progress in better psychological treatment of women who are raped — e.g., providing female cops to do the interviewing of the victim, counseling, support groups, and so forth. It helps crime victims to have your culture acknowledge the terrible thing done to you, and that it wasn’t your fault. But this balm is selectively dispensed upon our culture’s usual Who? Whom? lines.” Sailer left that hanging, but clearly he hoped Yglesias would show him on the doll where the black guys touched him. (Before you write in, yes, we know about Sailer.)
Newsbusters’ Tom Blumer responded to Yglesias with the non-sequitur, “if it is a trend, Matt, it helps to let people know it’s one,” and asserted that Yglesias and other white liberals have “chosen to hide behind ‘police officials’ who are seriously constrained by their political environments to resist statements which might be construed as encouraging ‘profiling’ or ‘poisoning the atmosphere.'” Because cops are always bending over backwards to protect black people.
This is the sort of treatment you may expect if you don’t agree with the brethren that any black-on-white crime is proof of an ongoing race war. Take the D.C. woman who said after her own recent attack, “I just see it as another reason why we need to better support our youth with activities and youth programs, which is actually what I do for work”; for this attitude she was portrayed by The Daily Caller’s Patrick Howley thus: “Girl who got punched in head gives lame liberal speech humanizing her attackers.” Howley was spitting mad that “she still cannot say something along the lines of, ‘Put these kids in jail and throw away the key,'” as he surely would have done. Howley also thought the woman should be as surly as he is because “she also lives in a crappy apartment like many of us in this economy, according to the background of her Skype shot,” and referred to her as “ridiculous, naive and distinctly Gen-Y” and a “Master’s degree moron.” For members of a movement that relies so heavily on fundamentalist support, they sure get pissed off by Christian principles such as forgiveness.
Some of the A-list rightbloggers tried to play it cagey — showing some skepticism but turning it around at the last second. Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey, for example, hemmed, “moral panics have been with us for as long,” and hawed about “urban legends,” but other-handed, “that doesn’t make the attacks any less real, though… The attacks themselves are real enough, and so are the deaths and injuries.” He finally got on board because Al Sharpton said on TV that beating up people for their race is a bad thing. “If Sharpton finds it necessary to speak out, I’d say there’s more to it than just media boredom,” concluded Morrissey. (Morrissey, by the way, was one of the rightbloggers whom Charles Martel castigated for downplaying the story.)
Naturally some of the brethren went for their guns. Reacting to a maybe-related case, Samuel Gonzalez of The Last Tradition cried, “This crap is getting out of hand! Stop knockout with shootout!” “Let’s see how much ‘fun’ the ‘game’ is when teenagers start getting shot dead,” said The Daily Sheeple. Some like The Lonely Conservative spread a story about a 93-year-old who shot and killed her knockout attacker, notwithstanding that it’s been proved bullshit.
Others just held a flashlight under their chins and made doleful predictions. At American Thinker (which is quite a clearinghouse for this stuff, should you want to go spelunking), retired NYPD lieutenant William F. Dement intoned, “In New York City, the Perfect Storm is Building… There are signals that crime is slowly on the uptick. The recent wanton assaults of the ‘Knockout Game’ come to mind.” He also claimed cops “are tired of years of escalating ticket, arrest, and Stop and Frisk quotas… They see Detroit when they think about New York… Detroit fell. Chicago is next. The city that Rudy Giuliani called the ‘Capitol of the World,’ is being primed to fall.” Then he shook his Halloween decorations and made scary noises.
Longtime readers will have already guessed what it inevitably came down to:
“Black Leaders Blame Obama for Racist Knockout Game.” This was from Daniel Greenfield, the guy who recently predicted that the reign of New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio would occasion mass violence and terrorist attacks, at FrontPageMag.
What “Black Leaders” blamed Obama? The answer required reading between the lines — which Greenfield was willing to do! “They don’t actually say Obama,” he wrote. “It’s the lack of jobs.” Oooh-kay, so how does that — “Unemployment is always the excuse,” continued Greenfield. “But it’s not much of an excuse. The same people complaining about the lack of jobs vote for politicians who kill jobs in the black community. Politicians like Obama and Bill de Blasio.” Greenfield also blamed “generations of hateful rhetoric” — by blacks. “Black leaders have a tendency to say racist things and then play innocent,” he said. Yet in coded language they also blame Obama. It’s a mixed bag!
“OBAMA’S KNOCKOUT GAME AGAINST AMERICA,” reported Rick Badman of the Impeach Obama Campaign. “…President Obama has been doing his version of the Knockout Game for years. An unsuspecting America elects him and is made to think he will save it. Then he begins lowering the boom on the citizens, and America is still reeling.” Amazing he got reelected. It’s a nation of Matthew Yglesiases!
“Obamacare may be Obama’s own version of the Knockout Game,” cried Sleepless in Midland. “Now “the knockout game” is being played out nationwide… even in the nation’s capital, home to the man ultimately responsible for the hate crime mayhem, President Barack Hussein Obama,” gurgled Gene Lalor. “Racist Obama Still Silent ~> Elderly woman is New York City’s 10th knockout victim,” tweeted Joe’s Law, etc.
You’d never know from any of this that perpetrators of these crimes are getting arrested, sometimes on hate-crime charges, which should have a salutary effect on the phenomenon. But to admit this would foul up the intended impression of America besieged by unchecked Negro ferocity under the leadership of the Kenyan Pretender. Ooga Booga is sort of a hit-and-run thing itself; its practitioners come out to strike when the news cycle is right, and as soon as it loses its currency they retreat and go back to scribbling about Benghazi and whatnot until the next opportunity presents itself.