Marine from Virginia wages war on U.S.

Howard Sutherland writes:

Those violent Virginians are at it again! The Washington Times headline fairly shouts: “Virginia man charged in five D.C.-area military shootings.” The first line of the story itself starts with, “A Marine Corps reservist who … ” So the casual reader is almost encouraged to assume that some redneck cracker Virginia hillbilly who joined the Marines (typical for those guys) is indulging in some good ol’ boy American violence, just as racist Bible-banging Southerners are so prone to do.

As usual with the mainstream media, even nominally conservative outlets like the Washington Times, the reader has to dig for the truth to learn that—yet again—here we are being culturally enriched by diversity’s gorgeous mosaic. For the “Virginia Man” is actually Yonathan Melaku, whom the Times coyly describes as “of Alexandria.” They mean Alexandria, Virginia, but if the reader thought Alexandria, Egypt he would be closer to the truth. The story says nothing about where this fine addition to our nation is actually from, but some Internet digging reveals that the Virginia Man of Alexandria is actually from Ethiopia and—amazingly—a Moslem! It goes on to report how this fine young man, seized by a passion to serve his new country, joined the Marine Corps Reserve, and decided the best way to reconcile his duties to America and his duty to Allah was to shoot up U.S. military installations. One could ask why this fellow was allowed into the Marine Corps in the first place, but in the America of Bush and Obama we already know the answer.

I know this media obfuscation about the national origins and race of perps is everywhere, but this one struck me as so egregious I had to note it. Especially as this isn’t leftist concealment from the New York Times, it’s “rightist” thoughtlessness from the Washington Times.

LA replies:

I agree with you that the headline and the lead sentence are egregiously misleading. A responsible and honest headline would have said, “Ethiopian immigrant charged in five D.C.-area military shootings.” Or, better, “Ethiopian immigrant with jihadist sympathies charged in five D.C.-area military shootings.” But in the second paragraph the article identifies the suspect as “Yonathan Melaku,” and has a photo of him:

This undated file photo released by the Leesburg, (Va.)
Police Department shows Yonathan Melaku, 22, of
Alexandria, Va., after his May 2011 arrest in Loudoun
County, Va., charged with four counts of grand larceny.

Also, while the article makes no mention of where Melaku comes from (Ethiopia), or of his religion (Islam), it does mention, in the fifth paragraph, that Melaku had a notebook

with Arabic statements referencing the Taliban, al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, “The Path to Jihad” and a list of individuals associated with foreign terrorist organizations.

And it reports that Melaku had a videotape in which he made numerous statements, including “That’s my target. That’s the military building. It’s going to be attacked,” and after the videotype shows him firing multiple shots he says, “Allahu Akbar.” The Times does not translate “Allahu Akbar” as “Allah is Great.”

So the Times’ technique is to provide information pointing to the fact that the perpetrator is a Muslim, without explicitly stating that he’s a Muslim, just as news articles about black violent crime have photos of the perpetrators, but never describe them as “black.” The truth is there, but silently. It is not to be articulated or discussed.

LA continues:

Here’s the problem. If Muslims were not committing any more of certain types of crimes than anyone else, if there were not this phenomenon of Muslims almost weekly committing or attempting to commit mayhem and mass murder in this country in the name of Allah, then there would be no particular reason for the Muslim identity and the Ethiopian origin of this suspect to be named upfront. But in reality such a wave of jihadist violence is going on in the U.S., and therefore it is deeply wrong, deeply dishonest, for the Washington Times to ignore this reality, for it to treat this crime as an isolated event by itself, not as part of a larger pattern, and thus not even to mention that the suspect is a Muslim, but instead to publish the headline, “Virginia man charged in five D.C.-area military shootings,” as though the fact that he resides in Virginia, rather than the fact that he’s a Muslim from Ethiopia, were the most salient thing about him.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 24, 2011 11:31 AM | Send

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