Colin Flaherty: “Racial Inflamer” Or Bold Truth Teller?

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My colleague, a white man of the left, sympathizes with Black Lives Matter and could typically be counted upon to presume the guilt of police officers in those highly publicized instances of alleged “police brutality” like, say, those involving Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray, cases that BLM has exploited.

In the vast majority of these alleged instances of “systemic racism” and/or “police brutality,” and in all of the aforementioned cases, the besmirched officers were ultimately cleared of all wrongdoing—yet only after much damage had been done.

My colleague—a good guy with whom I can ordinarily engage in congenial conversation over race and the plethora of other issues on which we disagree—has frequently sent me links to articles about unpleasant instances of interracial encounters involving white aggressors and black victims. They almost always have involved white antagonists are said to have subjected their black targets to hurtful words.

Though he never overtly says it, my colleague clearly expects to prove through these stories that white “racism” is alive and well.

Now, irrespectively of color or race and whether the offense is verbal or physical, cruelty is something that any decent person must renounce. Yet I have always found the ease with which self-avowed “anti-racists” wax indignant over the use by a white person of a racial epithet while remaining utterly silent when confronted by brutal racial violence visited by blacks upon non-blacks as a sight to behold, something at once incredible and maddening. They are like the Pharisees who Jesus accused of “straining out the gnat while letting in the camel.”

Why go ballistic over a white person’s insults of a person of color while uttering not a syllable of condemnation of a black person’s violent, not infrequently brutally violent, assault upon non-blacks? Especially considering that blacks are overwhelmingly more likely to engage in interracial attacks (against whites, Hispanics, and Asians) than any other group and least likely to be victimized because of their race, the question bears repeating: Why the silence?

So, in order to highlight what would strike an alien from another planet as a profound rational and moral inconsistency, I now occasionally send my colleague links to, not just articles, but video showcasing black racial violence. And since the one and only person in all of media who inexhaustibly supplies links to video of this phenomenon from around the country is the investigative journalist Colin Flaherty, it is from the latter’s Youtube channel that I draw.

If “racism” or racial cruelty is an evil to be decried from the rooftops—and it is—then decent people need to be aware of the epidemic of black violence. When I sent my colleague a link to a video from Flaherty’s site of a white American family that had been attacked by a mob of black teens in Ireland, he unsurprisingly condemned it (like I said, he’s a decent sort).

However, he also likened Flaherty to any other “race inflamer” for reporting on black violence while failing to engage in “outreach to the black community, to see first-hand how they’re struggling and dealing with the pain and violence.” My colleague added: “If he [Flaherty] wants to study black criminality, he can’t do it apart from black communities or black people. A whole host of people won’t take his work seriously until he does.”
My colleague’s remarks are misplaced for the following reasons.

First, Flaherty is not an analyst or theoretician. He himself expressly eschews all theorizing about black criminality and racial hostility, refusing to trade in explanations of and solutions to the phenomenon on which he focuses. There is no point in theorizing about the problem, he repeatedly insists, until and unless people are willing to acknowledge that there is a problem.

This seems an eminently sensible approach to me.

His channel is designed to supply irrefutable proof—video—of the problem.

Second, Flaherty, while doing journalistic work, succeeded in having the wrongly convicted Kelvin Wiley released from jail. Wiley was a black man convicted of having beaten his white girlfriend and sentenced to four years in prison for battery. Wiley was innocent and Flaherty proved it.

There is no more reason for anyone to assume that Flaherty is in any sense unaware of or otherwise insensitive to the suffering that decent black folks endure because of the dysfunction—“the pain and violence,” as my colleague put it—that pervades too many black communities than exists to assume that those black critics who have been sounding the alarm against it are insensitive to this dysfunction. Yet ultimately, this is not relevant, for the suffering of law-abiding blacks is largely due to the members of the black underclass among them.

Flaherty’s channel can be of service to them as well.

At any rate, because his focus is not black violence generally, but black-on-nonblack criminality and violence, as far as this purpose is concerned, there is no need for him to see how or even whether other blacks react to it.
Thirdly, unlike, say, Tim Wise, whose name was brought up in my conversation with my colleague, Flaherty is not a racial “inflamer.” No one has been harmed, let alone killed, because of any of the videos that he has shared.
Flaherty is trying to kill two birds with one stone. He wants to expose the evil of black-on-nonblack violence while simultaneously exposing the noxious fiction that it is blacks that are “relentless victims of relentless white racism.”

It seems to me that all of us who despise cruelty and racial cruelty benefit enormously from the service that Colin Flaherty provides, for there can be no progress in race relations unless decent people of all racial backgrounds acknowledge the problem to which he draws our attention.

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Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.