Disclose the race of flash mob victims and attackers.

Disclose the race of flash mob victims and attackers.



A group of young men who say they were attacked Tuesday evening stand with police at Chicago and Wabash avenues. (Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune)


Chicago media must identify the race of the aggressors and victims in “flash mob” attacks. 

There, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

You’d think it was from all the handwringing within and without the media about whether the public should be told whether these are cases of black youth randomly attacking whites. Or of whites attacking blacks. Or of racially mixed gangs attacking racially mixed victims.

If the attacks are not racially motived, then  describing the race of the attackers and victim will clear up the matter. The factual reporting will put to rest any suspicion that random, racially motivated crimes are breaking out. Or feed false stereotypes.

But if these are hate crimes, then the public has an equal right to know. Because an outbreak of racial hatred by any group is a serious problem that must be addressed.

The other side of this argument–the side that thinks the public doesn’t have a right to know–argues that disclosure of a possible white-on-black nature of the attacks will inflame racial animosity. They would have us believe that race, as a motivating factor, must be ignored.

Problem is, the same people often vehemently argue that the racial nature of violent attacks must be disclosed when the victims are black and the attackers are white. Such hypocrisy doesn’t help their case.

Police reports routinely describe the race of the victims and attackers; the media shouldn’t ignore these data when there is a strong suspicion of racial motivation in a series of attacks such as Chicago has been experiencing. 


Arrested as suspects in downtown mob action. From left: Dvonte Sykes, Trovolus Pickett, Derodte Wright

This is hardly a new issue for the media. In the early 1960s, as a journalism student at Marquette University, we debated whether the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Sentinel should run mug shots of men who have been arrested. One side argued that running the picture would unfairly strengthen racial stereotypes. The other side argued that if you run pictures of African American arrestees, you should run everyon’e mug shots. As I recall, the latter position won, in a way; no one’s picture was run, unless race was an integral part of the crime. In other words, a hate crime.

So, let’s call it what it is. And trust that reasonable people will see it for what it is. It is not an effort to stereotype young black men as violent, or that “they” all harbor racist sentiments toward whites. It is not an effort to downplay black-on-black violence. It is information that we all need to help understand and solve the problem. It’s a symptom of a hurt crying for a cure.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Tags: crime, politics, race


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  • And make sure to expose their shoe size, household income, GPA, body mass index and everything else that has nothing to do with their thuggishness.

    And if they're conservatives, make sure to expose their closets full of goofy hangups.

  • In reply to MySportsComplex:

    Great idea. The whole idea of relating who, what, where how and why in a story should be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness and racial sensitivity. I can't wait until they let you loose on the history books...

  • In reply to MySportsComplex:

    Andy, for a guy who wears collared-shirts, you really appear ignorant. All I can say, is google and read: Color of Crime I mean, it's ridiculous for you to sit here and deny human biodiversity like we're living in a former century. In the 21st century, multi-cultural pseudo-scientific propaganda and liberal claptrap are just comical in an age when we're decoding the human genome and advancement in DNA sequencing exist. You can live in the past like a troglodyte liberal, a denier, but for you to say "nothing to do with their thugishness" is just flat-out false and ignorant. Read Color and Crime and enlighten your mind already. Thanks.

  • In reply to MySportsComplex:

    I am not familiar with any groups or "flash mobs" of white or hispanic or asian young people attacking anyone. I would appreciate knowing the full description of criminals, so I can be on the alert for them. I do not consider this a hangup. I do consider flippant comments that stereotype entire groups of people, such as that expressed here by Mr. Frye against "conservatives", to be an expression of bias and hate. I might classify this type of bias and hate as "liberal hangups", but I have many liberal friends, and they deplore stereotyping such as this as much as I do.

  • If race isn't relevant Andy, then let's do away with hate crimes based on race. Sound good? Not sure why a white on black crime is more severe than a black on white crime. Oh wait, when you factor in liberal guilt I guess it all makes sense. Hope you don't get your face bashed in by these folks, wouldn't want you to change your tune (Peter Paul & Mary, isn't it?)

  • In reply to borg:

    Chace criminals as criminals. Not sure what race has to do with it specifically (outside the padded walls of Fox News land). If you wanna chse race then move to South Africa circa 1989.

    I don't listen to Peter, Paul and Mary but apparently you do.
    Typical answer from a suburbanite paranoid nutter.

  • In reply to MySportsComplex:

    Read Color of Crime. It's sad you are so wrong, and so utterly brainwashed that you lack common sense.

  • In reply to MySportsComplex:

    I'm not sure what the majority of your reply is trying to say, but thanks for playing.

    Since you are so into diversity, might I suggest doing some volunteer work on the west side. Or maybe helping to pick up trash on the south side. Or doing Big Brother out in Harvey. Be sure to take the El though, so you can truly experience the neighborhood. Wear your iPod as well, just for something to listen to.

    Or would that disrupt the lily-white world that hypocritical Lincoln Park yuppie liberals like yourself live in? My guess is you probably haven't done a single thing to help another person in your life, particularly a black person.

  • In reply to MySportsComplex:

    Andy Frye, I chase criminals for a living. Please explain just how I should narrow it down when that call comes out over the radio. "Um, units in the area, the offenders are people wearing white tee shirts and a variety of types of pants?" Or, be as precise as possible and say, "We're looking for ten male blacks wearing long white tees. Four have long blue jeans and six in cutoffs. 5'05 to 5'07", ages 16-20, all are thin build with dreds and no facial hair." The idea, Andy, is to give as THOROUGH and SPECIFIC a physical description as is possible. We do this for the sake of clarity and the sake of safety. I'm not looking for a specific racial makeup; I'm looking for specific people who happen to be offenders in a crime. I don't care if they're PURPLE, but if they are, I need to KNOW it when I'm out there trying to find them and arrest them.--By the way, I am occasionally out, on foot, with my family in my off-duty hours. I sure as heck want to know what to be wary of when I'm in a situation where I can become a victim. Should I be wary of roving bands of redheaded Asian women? Or are the known offenders a group of white men in their fifties, all wearing tuxedo jackets? --Vague doesn't cut it in prosecutions. I don't chase race, as you so coyly phrase it, but I do chase criminals, and it sure helps to know what they LOOK LIKE when I'm doing so. And THAT is what race has to do with it.

  • In reply to MySportsComplex:

    they are MALE and BLACK. simply as that.
    Andy and others like you before you post uneducated ignorant words , attempt to use your brain and think. Giving out simple descriptions of people who are causing these mob attacks is called using your brain to help other people out there. These "groups" are all young black kids, plain and simple. However of course we get poeple like you who then drag it out and make it a ten times bigger deal than it is by throwing in stupid comments like why not shoe size, GPA , income. you not only sound like an ignorant moron, your broadcasting it to the world.
    Oh and asking what race has to do with it? ITS A DESCRIPTION USED TO IDENTIFY SOMEONE. if you ask me to look for your lost child and i make a citywide annoucement to police..... what would you include? oh hey officers look for a kid walking around, andy lost him. NO , you would give me a DESCRIPTION of your son you damn neanderthal. which would include thing such as his name, age, height ohhhh and wait for it. RACE! ohhh i said it ohhhh nooo. The DESCRIPTION in these attacks are mainly MALE , BLACK. Now seeing as there are many of them and they are mostly all MALE you say M-A-L-E , now since they were all black you say.... M-A-L-E comma B-L-A-C-K. Now if you have further information you then say it. like age range 15-20. and when its a certain group you may include clothes certain markings etc. Now this helps the already slow people who havnt figured out yet the race of the attackers. It teaches them to be more self aware. yes it may make them fear black people but thats irrelavent simply because the people causing the crime are BLACK. if they were white then it would be white people, if they were organge it would be orange, and pink and purple and so on.
    Come on downtown next time its warm out on a weekend (no rain)with your ipad and blackberry and pull them both out while walking through a group of them, see what happens besides the laughter from all of us reading about it in the paper.

    Now i had to explain this like a 1st grader so you could comprehend. If you need help try the huntington learning center.


  • In reply to MySportsComplex:

    Thanks for the insight. It's a sad when your the lone voice of reason in the third largest media market in the US. It truly exposes the extreme liberal bias of the local media and the manipulative effect the politician can have on reporting.

  • In reply to MySportsComplex:

    Let's stop the stupidity shall we? Chicago Media and Law Enforcement have moral obligations to honestly share pertinent information that might be useful in helping the public protect itself in a legal manner. I wanna know race, clothing, birthmarks, brands, gold teeth and anything else that will help me protect myself and my loved ones. In my book, withholding any such information when it is readily available comes close to making the withholder an accessory to the crime.

  • In reply to MySportsComplex:

    There's a such thing as motive, Andy. Deleting or changing the motive of a perpetrator enables them to do things that they know are going to be rewritten for them. You may as well wear a T shirt around town, Andy, that says, "Hey, attack me please, I won't take it racially (especially if that's your motive ;)"

  • In reply to borg:

    All the ipods that were stolen were white.

    All the iphones that were stolen were black.

  • In reply to borg:

    I think the cats out of the bag. we pretty much know that the perpetrators are black and the victims are white. If you are still willing to go down to the Mag Mile , look out for groups of young black males. However probably best to avoid the area completely unless and until the problem is corrected.

  • The main reason for non-disclosure is because racial bias is inevitable, white on black or black on white. doesnt matter, its the way of the world. stereotypes will continue to exist as long as race is a discription.

  • In reply to ChiPride:

    Race is not a description, it's real. Thanks to DNA and human genome research at top universities, we won't have pseudo-scientific liberal liars telling us "we're all the same", because it's patently false. Sorry.

  • In reply to ChiPride:

    In your mind, a reality is the same thing as a stereotype? What are the consequences of deleting a racial motive for a perpetrator?

  • And you should probably "disclose" whether or not the mugshots are suspects related to the aforementioned "flash mob incident". For disclosures sake of course.

  • In reply to ChiPride:

    It says they are in the caption. Reading is fundamental. But it's easier to just rob someone and then go to jail...rinse, repeat.

  • In reply to ChiPride:

    You can tell that Curtis knows no whites are going to attack him, ever. He just doesn't want to see certain pictures on the news.

  • In reply to ChiPride:


  • OR, you could always hire a group of young black males and get all this stuff for free. Shizzle my nizzle.

  • Dennis may have forgotten that professional journalists are beholden not only to their employers' policies about what to disclose in news reports but also a code of ethics put forth by the Society of Professional Journalists: http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

    In being fair and objective in reporting the news, it's important to check one's own biases and proclivity to stereotyping. What some call "liberal media bias" is actually a code that journalists have agreed to adhere to when reporting the news.

    Besides, in this digital day and age there are plenty of nonprofessionals who are more than eager to make assumptions and fill in the missing data. Just take a look at the comments on the CBS report of this crime: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/08/07/teen-arrested-after-mob-attack-on-michigan-avenue/

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