I wrote a while back about why I was dumping my subscription to the paper, after decades of being a faithful newspaper subscriber.
If I hadn’t before, this might’ve done it: apparently, a couple was surrounded by a mob of about a hundred at the intersection of Church and Brambleton (edge of downtown Norfolk) on their way home from a concert, someone threw a rock at the car, the driver got out to confront the rock thrower, and then the driver and passenger were beaten by about thirty young men. The Pilot said precisely nothing for two weeks.
(No, this is not an area you’d go through at night without good reason. It’s a little “iffy” during the day. And I certainly wouldn’t get out of the car to argue with anybody, even in daylight. Heck, if someone from a mob of a hundred threw a rock at my car over on my very boring, middle-class end of town, I wouldn’t get out of the car to argue!)
The couple who were attacked work for the paper. They were both out of work for a week with injuries and trauma.
But the mob was mostly black, and the victims were white. Heaven forbid the Pilot say anything so right-wing as to suggest that there’s some sort of problem in the projects by reporting a black-on-white mob crime.
Finally, the news hit the conservative websites today after an opinion piece was published on the incident. (It’s only mentioned on the Pilot’s website because the piece made the “Most Read” list, a ways down the web page.) What the author didn’t mention is that the theater the victims were leaving, the Attucks, features a lot of black artists and does programs in the local community for troubled youth (I saw Ladysmith Black Mombazo there; lovely restored theater, but the area around it, once flourishing, is now a total wreck). The area is bordered by blocks and blocks of the projects. The comments section at the paper’s website is full of frustrated people from Norfolk saying the police have given up on doing anything about the criminals in the projects, the violence, and the crime. The location of the attack is only blocks from a number of concert venues and night spots.
And the intersection of Church and Brambleton is the site of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial, a large obelisk with fountains around the base in the center of the intersection.
The irony of MLK’s dream vs. the reality is just sad.