Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Colin Flaherty, an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in more than 1000 new sites around the world, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and others. His story about a black man unjustly convicted of trying to kill his white girlfriend was featured in the Los Angeles Times and on Court TV and resulted in the release of Kelvin Wiley from state prison. He is a former ghost writer for a Chairman of the US Commission on Civil Rights and author of White Girl Bleed a Lot: The Return of Racial Violence and How the Media Ignore It.
FP: Colin Flaherty, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Let’s begin with what inspired you to write this book.
Flaherty: Thanks Jamie.
My brother and I were doing a talk radio show in WDEL Wilmington, Delaware when I read a story about something called a flash mob on the streets of Philadelphia. This was two years ago. Then it happened again and again. Finally I looked at it on YouTube, and the violence and mayhem I saw on video was totally different than the antiseptic account I read in the newspapers in Philadelphia. Everyone involved was black. So I asked a few reporters: “What’s up with this race riot in Philadelphia?” They said it was not a race riot and I was imagining things. “Did you see the videos?” I asked. “Well, everyone is black but race has nothing to do with it.”
The riots kept happening, in Philadelphia and elsewhere. I kept asking people what was going on. They kept denying anything was going on.
So I decided I would write a book for the people who denied the reality of this horrific racial violence and mayhem. And that was it: No explanations. No solutions. No apologies. Just that these things are happening all over the country and it cannot be good that so many people are so aggressively denying it.
FP: So what did you discover while writing the book?
Flaherty: I found out almost right away that there are two problems: One, racial violence; and two, liberal reporters and public officials who condone, explain, and even lie about it. I realized the problem was much worse than I, or anyone else thought.
FP: Give us an example of the lies.
Flaherty: Sure, Chicago. Memorial Day 2011. Chicago had been the site of a series of black mob attacks in all different parts of the city. In the downtown, the gay area, the public transportation, and the beaches, to name a few. So during the Memorial Day holiday in 2011, hundreds and hundreds of black people descended on North Avenue Beach and starting beating up people, knocking them off their bikes, wreaking havoc. The next day, the city closed the beach. They said they did it, not because of the mob violence — they denied mob violence even took place there. They said they closed it because it was too hot. A local radio station got the 911 calls, and people who were there called the station, and that showed that the beach was the site of a big civil disturbance, and the police administrators were not telling the truth about it.
FP: Chicago is in the news a lot this year for violence. What kind of job are they doing?
Flaherty: I tell people the following story but I do not expect them to believe it. That is why I put a link to it in the book. So the newly appointed Superintendent of Police is at a meeting and is talking about violence in Chicago and what is responsible. He said Sarah Palin. Just a few weeks ago, he found someone else to blame: The pilgrims. All I can tell you is that I would not have believed it had I not seen it on video. I get a lot of email from police in Chicago. They tell me the same thing others on the front lines all over the country tell me: The situation is very dangerous. And no one knows about it.
FP: How widespread is this problem?
Flaherty: I documented hundreds of examples in more than 70 cities. And here is what happens. I hear about a riot or a mob and I check it out and learn that it was a large group of black people creating havoc. So I write the details. In the course of reporting it, or after the story comes out, I almost always hear: “That’s been happening here a long time.” But reporters are afraid to write about it. City officials are afraid to combat it, or call it by its name. So it goes on. And it is not just the places where you might expect it: Chicago, Philly, Boston, Baltimore. It’s in smaller places in the Midwest as well.
FP: Like where?
Flaherty: Ames, Iowa. They had a “Beat Whitey Night” at the State Fair. Peoria, Illinois. They had almost a dozen episodes of racial violence and lawlessness by black mobs over the last year. Milwaukee. Minneapolis. Seattle. Portland. And on and on.
FP: So what is causing this?
Flaherty: A lot of people in this country are still in a state of denial that these riots and mob lawlessness even exist. So I do not see the point of speculating about cause on something that lots of reporters and political leaders refuse to believe even happen.
Ten years, if we had this conversation, they would have said the same thing: “It’s not happening. You are imagining it.” But today, many of these episodes are on YouTube. And that tells the real story. And part of that story is the reality of the music and video that are a part of their lives. For every horrific example of mob violence and mayhem, there is a popular video by a popular artist glorifying it. Looting, making crack cocaine, killing delivery drivers, beating up white people, rioting and stealing to name a few. These are highly produced, very professional songs and videos by the biggest names in hip hop that sell millions of copies and get millions of views.
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