Thursday, April 13, 2006

RACIAL ATTACK IN SPRINGFIELD?

Springfield police answer: We don't know. Yet.

A Thursday morning assault at Cowboys 2000 -- a nightclub on Kearney Street, near U.S. 65 -- sent one man to the hospital, and left police scrambling to find the men who handed out the smackdown. (Note: Graf amended to correct time of assault.)

Police spokesman Matt Brown sent this e-mail to media on Thursday:
Reference the assault at Cowboys 2000 last night, detectives are continuing the investigation today. Currently, no arrests have been made but we are following up on several leads provided to us during the course of the investigation. According to witnesses, a group of black males (possibly 8-10) attacked a white male on the parking lot. Officers were told by the witnesses that a vehicle intentionally ran over the victim and then drove away.

I have been asked several times if we believe this to be a racially motivated crime. At this point, we have not ruled out that possibility, but have not been able to confirm the reason for the assault, and will not know until we have 1 or more of the suspects in custody.

The victim is in a local area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Because of HIPPA regulations, I do not have a current status update on him.
Besides the obvious question -- several black men at Cowboys 2000? -- there is no info on whether any racial epithets were flung before, during or after the attack. Armed with that, police would seem to have a hate crime.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ron, it wasn't "a Thursday night assault." It was either a Wednesday night assault or an early morning Thursday assault, depending on how technical you want to be. But Thursday night would be incorrect.

Ron Davis said...

Anon: Of course you are right. My error. The assault happened after 1 a.m. Thursday.

Anonymous said...

I know it sounds strange, but Cowboys 2000 isn't exactly a "cowboy" bar. It plays hip hop, etc. some nights. Looks to me like the Traffic crowd has moved on ...

But did ya see that crazy story out of Pennsylvania? The one where the guy killed his girlfriend 'cause she wouldn't warm up his sandwiches? I love that kind of crap! (I would have forwarded it, but you know how those AP stories are!)

AK

Ron Davis said...

A link, AK. We needs a link! And some warm sandwiches.

John Stone said...

While I was out I happened to see a copy of the paper... pretty disgusting to put those two articles side by side on the front page ... makes one think that now it's the blacks lynchin' those white cowboys, even handed reporting, fair and balanced and all that crap ... whoever laid that one out deserves a week in the toilet at a nekkid dancing bar ...

Anonymous said...

If history repeats, I guess we'll soon see hoardes of frightened non-Baptists fleeing Springfield, never to return.

Duane Keys said...

100 years later everyone will be wondering why Missouri overall has an average amount of baptists, but Springfield only has less than 1%

LOL

John, I'm not following your line of logic on the front page... sounds like front page news to me.

John Stone said...

Duane ... I can't argue because I can't pretend to know the motives or the journalism judgements that went into making this decision. I do find it interesting that I was sitting with 4 other peeps.. (ass science nerds - so thak it for what it's worth) who agreed that it really left a wrong impression. I suppose that the proper ones to discuss this are folks like Ron and Andy, who know the in's and out's ...

I don't see that either story was front page stuff ... to my mind the friont page should be reserved for legit news of a non-local nature. The feature should be on a features page, and the Cowboys 2000 story should have been on the local page.

Of course there are some local stories that are front page stuff ... a tornado through downtown would do it for me ... but not these two ... and to juxtapose them seems very contrived to all of us ... nefarious ... I wish I could get into the minds of Gannett editors....

John Stone said...

As a follow up ... I am listening to Chuckles Wooten on KWTO right now .. already he has had a guy call that said it was the coons, nigra's and other low life getting even ... I will have a clip up when I get around to editing it today ... but I think this might represent why the paper did it the way they did ...

Ron Davis said...

John:

Different schools of thought lead to different front pages. There are those journalism "purists" who think Page One should only contain serious news. In that case, the Cowboys 2000 assault was a definite above-the-fold story.

Others -- and I'm one of them -- believe Page One should be the five or six most-talked-about stories. In this case, the 100-year anniversary of the lynchings made for a valid P1 presence.

John Stone said...

Ronbo ... are you suggesting that the juxtaposition of the two stories was done without thought? Just two good stories that happened to wind up being presented the way they were ... ??? Note that I don't have any problem with the stories themselves, but only in how they were presented.

I can't believe that the editors did not see what 5 of us saw ... that they were placing the stories on an equal basis ...

That's the problem with a newspaper with only 6 pages of news/information ... all of it winds up in a mish-mash of confusion... to them and to us ...

Ron Davis said...

John: I'm suggesting that the 100-year centerpiece was planned for weeks with a Page One slot. The Cowboys 2000 assault was spot news and also deserved Page One play.

You've only got so much space above the fold. Would you rather the paper have slotted the Cowboys 2000 story below the fold? That would have opened the paper up to complaints that it was downplaying the assault. People like the three-named hack on local talk radio would have taken it as proof that the liberal paper was trying to hide black-on-white crime in Springfield.

Would you rather the 100-year anniversary have been relegated to a feature-section front? That would have created complaints that the mighty-white bosses at the paper were downplaying an important anniversary of an important piece of history.

I don't buy the argument that the front page should only rarely display local news. What good is a local newspaper is big local news isn't on Page One?

Your charge that the editors purposely juxtaposed the assault and lynching stories to somehow show "now it's the blacks lynchin' those white cowboys" is without foundation and insults the personal integrity of the reporters, line editors, copy editors and page designers who worked on the Friday front. You don't really believe they're racists, do you, John? You're a better thinker than that.

I'm with Duane on this one. The Cowboys 2000 story deserved to be on the front page. So did the anniversary of the lynchings.

The Libertarian Guy said...

The C'boys 2000 attack: Fresh news.

The 1906 lynching: Sad event, but do we really need to bring it up every year? The freaks who did the deed, are long dead.

If you continously pick the scab, the wound will never heal. I am reminded of this everytime I see Louis Farrakhan on C-SPAN, blaming "Jews" and "blue-eyed devils" (that's "white people", remember) for all the problems blacks have. Hogwash. Yes, there are still racist scumbags (as our new buddy in Aurora reminds us), but there are racists and bigots in EVERY skin-tone section. It's all stupid. Deal with INDIVIDUAL racists, not groups of people.

Look at how the pro-illegal-immigration crowd is spinning this: "If you're against 'undocumented workers', you hate Mexicans!". Crap. Utter crap. And it's even worse when people are going around these protests, trying to get people who are not American citizens, to register to vote.

Only an idiot is against LEGAL immigration. This is about IL-legals.

Back to the lynching reminder: We here in the 'Zarks have a reputation as a haven for inbred hillbilly Klan types... do we need to reinforce this misconception? Yes, they exist, but no, they are not the majority.

The Libertarian Guy said...

God help us if Jesse Jackson or Sharpton wind up using this as fuel for their continuous "down with white people" blame game... that kind of national coverage, we don't need.

Ron Davis said...

Libertarian Guy:

Please refresh me on the 99th, 98th, 97th and 96th anniversary stories about the lynchings that blanketed the Ozarks in April 2005, 2004, 2003 and 2002.

The argument that the lynchings are history and thus not deserving of front-page play doesn't hold up to even cursory scrutiny. It's usually raised by the same people who insist we need to remember history, lest we forget its lessons. You know -- the people who complained when the 64rd anniversary of Pearl Harbor wasn't on the front page of the Dec. 7, 2005 newspaper.

I agree that the lynchings story is old news. Precisely 100 years old this weekend, and that's what makes it worth of front-page play. The 101st anniversary won't make the front page, unless the City of Springfield decides to erect a monument on Park Central Square to recognize the significance of the lynchings.

You say we should deal "with INDIVIDUAL racists, not groups of people." So the feds shouldn't go after organizations like the Church of Israel, the Council of Conservative Citizens, the KKK?

You then note that the Ozarks has "a reputation as a haven for inbred hillbilly Klan types." Shining a light on the Klan types, and their activities, is the best way to fix the problem and destroy the Ozarks' dubious distinction as the only "sundown region" in the United States.

John Stone said...

Since I am way ... way ... out of my area of expertise ... I think I will fall on my sword at that ...

:-)

The Libertarian Guy said...

It gets brought up every year, Ron. It may not be "100th anniversary" newsworthy, but it does get rehashed.

Two: I meant "groups of people" as in "all whites are racists", "all blacks are lazy", et cetera.

3: Look at how the other side plays it, with the recent Cynthia McKinney nonsense; every negative interaction between whites and blacks is "racially motivated". I really get tired of hearing that, just as much as I get tired of hearing from the Glenn Miller types.

If you think I'm not hip to the local racist presence, you know that's wrong. I'm just saying, it's equally tiring to hear "white devil hates us blacks" AND "Jews secretly run America" rhetoric.

In retrospect, maybe this time, picking at the old wound of a crime whose perpetrators are long dead, might be a good thing, as long as the racism-hustlers don't use it for their own self-puffery.

The Libertarian Guy said...

Oh, and a monument is a bad idea. Just imagine how many times the Glenn Miller types would desecrate it.

Ron Davis said...

John: No sword falling allowed. No need. I appreciate your opinions.

Libertarian Guy: Using desecration as a reason not to do something is giving the three-named bigot the credit he doesn't deserve.

We concur on the fact of black racism. Just as FGM doesn't speak for all whites, Louis Farrakhan doesn't speak for all blacks. And everytime someone like Cynthia McKinney blames "racism" for her foolishness, it diminishes real racism, the stuff we both know exists in too much quantity in the Ozarks.

Anonymous said...

(Not the anonymous who started this thread; call me anony2)

Unfortunately, the press doesn't owe us the same care we owe one another. Editors have to call page one they way they see it, applying journalistic standards of story selection. Anything else would be editorializing (or would appear to be). We may believe the two stories to be unforunately coincidental, but others will believe they are significantly related (ick). If the editors start worrying about bad impressions in placing stories, then they inevitably comment on the debate. As someone who often takes glee at coincidental story placement that makes the repubs look like the hypocrites that they are, I wouldn't want that :).

I left SW Mo. years ago. I have to say I am amazed to see racism still so much in the fore. I will remember this the next time I criticize the film Crash on the ground that our racism is not so obvious as that movie suggests.

Anonymous said...

Ron, do you really believe the Ozarks is the "only sundown region in the United States."? Assuming that remark is intended to convey that the Ozarks leads the nation in intolerant, on what basis other than bias do you make that statement? I have lived in many cities--large and small, segregated and diverse--and my experience is contrary to your statement. No doubt the Ozarks has its racial and other intolerances, practiced by members of all races, sexes, and religions. The 1906 lynching and the 2006 beating are examples of these intolerances. But I hardly think it fair to label the Ozarks the national leader in this regard. Sometimes those who strive to show their tolerance demonstrate their own intolerance by unfairly labeling or denigrating. Isn't it better to be objective and balanced, and to let the chips fall where they may?