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Nov 26 2013

Knockout knocked out

You know that horrible paranoid racist Robbie Cooper I mentioned yesterday? He’s got another post up about the “knockout game”, this claim that degenerate evil black youth are forming gangs to beat up random white people. He’s obsessed with this subject, despite never having experienced such an attack, claiming that his lovely state of Texas is completely free of such behavior, and despite bragging that he’d murder any black teenagers who tried it.

Well, the “knockout game” is a myth. It’s your typical phony panic.

Indeed, when asked about the “knockout game,” law enforcement has been skeptical. According to a recent New York Times piece, “[P]olice officials in several cities where such attacks have been reported said that the ‘game’ amounted to little more than an urban myth, and that the attacks in question might be nothing more than the sort of random assaults that have always occurred.”

But…but…what will the racists do if they don’t have a justification for killing black kids?

40 comments

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  1. 1
    richardelguru

    I suppose they do need justification??

  2. 2
    moelarryandjesus

    But…but…what will the racists do if they don’t have a justification for killing black kids?

    Make one up, as usual.

  3. 3
    Gregory in Seattle

    We all know how Faux Noize swilling nut-jobs treat facts: they are irrelevant. The legend of the “knockout game” justifies their bigotry. On the unlikely chance that facts do manage to dislodge it, the bigots will just grab another justification. They need it, just as a drowning person needs a life preserver.

  4. 4
    Zeno

    Don’t worry, PZ, the “knockout game” will be real soon enough. Just this morning a local news program in Sacramento declared an assault in Modesto to be an example of the game and interviewed the boy who got slugged (and concussed). Who knows? Maybe the bully who slugged him saw an earlier program and decided he wanted to try this new “game.” Responsible reporting will make it real!

  5. 5
    holytape

    He should have to worry about black teenagers roaming the streets looking for white, middle aged men to beat up. No, the gangs of lesbians will sure have killed him for be a heterosexual male long before the ‘urban’ youth can get to him. The lesbians are better organized, after all they have an agenda.

  6. 6
    holytape

    should = *shouldn’t* damn dyslexia and quick typing.

  7. 7
    Raging Bee

    I suppose they do need justification??

    The white guy who shot an unarmed black woman in her face on his front porch didn’t seem to need one.

  8. 8
    Lynna, OM

    What we have here is projection. White guy Robbie Cooper and his ilk are thinking that if they were treated like black people they would rise up, form gangs, and start bopping random folks on the head.

    I heard the Knockout Game discussed as if it were real on Faux News. They are creating something that does not exist, and then expecting it to grow in the echo chamber of their world.

  9. 9
    sc_94fcac0d7c66800c216855e86b6758f9

    Honestly I’m pretty disappointed. The RFT article documents in great detail the exact opposite of your conclusion. It may well be in many places it’s apocryphal, but it’s happened several times in my neighborhood (including the incidents mentioned in the article, I was about a block away when one of them happened and saw the police response).

    As for considering the Daily Beast a credible source? Really?

    Note this isn’t a defense of the moronic views of Fox and their ilk, the solution starts with better infrastructure and opportunities for disadvantaged youth, and more investment in the quality of our schools particularly in poor neighborhoods. But pretending something isn’t a problem plays into the hands of the racists.

  10. 10
    PZ Myers

    Yes, random violence happens. Yes, people assault other people, sometimes for no reason, just to get their jollies. Yes, we need to address poverty and lack of opportunity.

    That’s very different from postulating a wave of violence due to “black teenagers” deciding to play a vicious game en masse.

    The RFT article does point this out:

    Mike Males, a research fellow at the nonprofit Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice and who runs the website YouthFacts.org, says the media have made habit of cherry-picking isolated instances of “knockout games” in order to gin up sensational stories that demonize youth. “This knockout-game legend is a fake trend,” Males contends.

    Given that 4.3 million violent attacks were reported by U.S. citizens in 2009, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey, Males says reporters should know better than to highlight a handful of random attacks by kids and call it journalism. It’s the same thing as plucking a few instances of attackers with Jewish surnames who beat up non-Jews and declaring it a “troubling new trend,” he argues.

    That’s the problem. A small number of kids have played this game, and it’s now sensationalized into an epidemic, when it’s an insignificant part of a bigger problem.

  11. 11
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    This sounds more like something the redneck boys from my hometown used to claim to play. They called it “Brick’n” and it involved going to a poor black neighborhood and throwing a large rock or brick at a black man, then running away. The point was to be an evil, racist piece of shit.
    Have I mentioned lately that I cannot get far enough from that place? I swear, it is built over a hellmouth.

  12. 12
    samihawkins

    This ‘knockout game’ crap is confirmation bias at it’s finest. America is a nation of 300 million people. On any given day a sizeable number of those people will be engaging in acts of random violence against other people. Some of those attackers will be black and some of the victims white. Statistically it’s probably impossible to go 24 hours without there being some incident, somewhere, were a black person punches a white person.

    Similarly if you were to scour the news reports for a 24 hour period specifically looking for incidents where a white person attacked a black person you’d also be able to compile a rather long list. The difference is that we don’t have over half of this country harboring various levels of racism toward white people so there’s no incentive for news outlets to dig up every report they can find of white-on-black violent incidents and claim it’s some massive organized conspiracy among white people, while not-so-subtly implying it proves white people are vicious animals.

  13. 13
    rq

    I saw a video on the knockout game. And even I was struck by the fact that every single one of the young people they spoke to regarding this game was black. Definitely suspicious.

  14. 14
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Oh, wow, it’s the fucking 80s all over again. Anyone else remember the media losing their shit about ‘wilding’? Same shit, different decade.

  15. 15
    zenlike

    Had to look up ‘wilding’. Found it on Urban Dictionary of course. Took until the second definition for the vile racism to rear its inevitable head.

  16. 16
    congaboy

    This happened in Denver about 4 years ago. There was a rash of assaults involving young black men and teenagers who were targeting white males walking alone or with a woman as they left the bars in the lower downtown (LoDo) area. The DA’s office called the series of events the “LoDo wilding” cases and had flirted with the idea of charging the accused with hate crimes. They backed down from that idea because they feared serious backlash from the community (the defense bar was appalled and put pressure on them). They also wanted to down-played the assaults to try to avoid causing a panic, because the LoDo area generates a lot of revenue. I represented a young man who had been scooped up by police and falsely accused. My client was rounded up, because he was with a large group of black men and women from which three young men decided to attack the victim in that case. My client’s case was dismissed when we discovered that the lead detective convinced the victim to claim that his tooth had been broken by the assault. It turned out that the victim’s tooth had been broken years earlier, when he had been in a fight in Philadelphia (the lead detective lied about numerous other things and tried to coerce my client into a confession). Fortunately the alleged victim came clean. The reason the DA’s office claimed that the incidents were interrelated was because a large number of assaults took place within about three months of each other. The victims were all white males, they were either alone or walking with a woman, and the assailants were young black males. Witnesses and victims said that the assailants would taunt the victims in the hope to get them to say something racial, but they would assault the victims regardless of what was said. None of the accused claimed that they were playing the knock out game, but some of the witnesses (friends and associates of the accused) did claim that the assailants were intentionally singling out white men with the intent to beat them up and although some items were stolen off of some of the victims, the discovery and witness statements indicated that the assaults were the main objective. Some of the assaults were caught on surveillance video. One victim was in a coma for several weeks. Another victim (as seen on the video) was being attacked by five men who were taking turns punching and kicking him. They then picked him up and kicked him through a glass door. I think that general panic is unwarranted, but there is some truth underlying the myth.

  17. 17
    kayden

    As I’ve read on other blogs, if there is some type of knockout game going on, it’s nothing new.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_slapping

  18. 18
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Great. Another paranoid, racist email topic I can be expecting my mother to forward to me soon.

  19. 19
    John Horstman

    @samihawkins #12: But there *is* a massive organized conspiracy of White people – institutionalized racism (not being a conscious participant doesn’t mean one isn’t a participant; intent matters less than effect). And White people, by virtue of being people, *are* vicious animals.

  20. 20
    anuran

    Sadly, it exists even though a Black guy is eager to say “It’s all fake. It’s White racism targeting Black men.” There has absolutely been a significant spike in non-robbery assaults on Chassidic Jews in NYC, especially Brooklyn. The method is consistent – a surprise attack from behind without robbery. The victims all, I repeat ALL, seem to have been chosen on the basis of their perceived ethnicity. The perpetrators all seem to have been young men, mostly Black but not all.

    Yes, a knuckle-dragging degenerate has latched onto this. So what? That doesn’t make the crimes any less real. And it doesn’t make the ugly, ethnic character of them any less awful.

  21. 21
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Yes, a knuckle-dragging degenerate has latched onto this. So what? That doesn’t make the crimes any less real.

    No, but their emphasis that it is solely by blacks does make it not real. You should know that…

  22. 22
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Anuran, compare the Chassidic Jews being attacked by young males, versus being attacked only by young black males. Which statement is patently false and obviously bigoted based your own words?

  23. 23
    yazikus

    This came up at my office lunch today. I mentioned that it seemed to be an urban legend, to which my horrified coworkers replied that it was certainly not! they had seen youtube videos! And apparently it is racially motivated against white people! I couldn’t convince them otherwise. Bah. These are otherwise fairly reasonable people, so it frustrates me to no end when they come in spouting their fox news nonsense.

  24. 24
    laurentweppe

    I suppose they do need justification??

    Of course they need justifications; but you’re misreading ther justifications’s role. Racists’ justifications are not meant to convince people that they are right, racists justifcations are meant to make ordinary people believe that racists are delusionnal village idiots instead of psychopaths who dream to become noblemen treating their peasantry little cattle and fucktoys. Because you’ll always be less prone to take arms against the village idiot than against the sociopath who wants to turn you and everyone you care about into his playthings.

  25. 25
    Joe Magarac

    Reverend Sharpton has denounced the attacks in no uncertain terms. Is he part of a right wing media conspiracy?

    Leave it to liberal academics to stick their fingers in their ears and say la-la-la.

  26. 26
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Leave it to liberal academics to stick their fingers in their ears and say la-la-la.

    Leave it to the bigots to ignore the totality of the evidence….

  27. 27
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    kayden @#17, it turns out the media-reported epidemic of violence on the South Bank turned out to be one gang.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2005/dec/15/ukcrime.sandralaville

    It’s not at all clear that the media-reported epidemic of violence elsewhere was real.

  28. 28
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    See, also: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4539913.stm

    It was stupid enough reading the Evening Standard coverage then. I really don’t need to revisit it now. *grump*

  29. 29
    Ingdigo Jump

    This happened in Denver about 4 years ago. There was a rash of assaults involving young black men and teenagers who were targeting white males walking alone or with a woman as they left the bars in the lower downtown (LoDo) area. The DA’s office called the series of events the “LoDo wilding” cases and had flirted with the idea of charging the accused with hate crimes. They backed down from that idea because they feared serious backlash from the community (the defense bar was appalled and put pressure on them). They also wanted to down-played the assaults to try to avoid causing a panic, because the LoDo area generates a lot of revenue. I represented a young man who had been scooped up by police and falsely accused. My client was rounded up, because he was with a large group of black men and women from which three young men decided to attack the victim in that case. My client’s case was dismissed when we discovered that the lead detective convinced the victim to claim that his tooth had been broken by the assault. It turned out that the victim’s tooth had been broken years earlier, when he had been in a fight in Philadelphia (the lead detective lied about numerous other things and tried to coerce my client into a confession). Fortunately the alleged victim came clean. The reason the DA’s office claimed that the incidents were interrelated was because a large number of assaults took place within about three months of each other. The victims were all white males, they were either alone or walking with a woman, and the assailants were young black males. Witnesses and victims said that the assailants would taunt the victims in the hope to get them to say something racial, but they would assault the victims regardless of what was said. None of the accused claimed that they were playing the knock out game, but some of the witnesses (friends and associates of the accused) did claim that the assailants were intentionally singling out white men with the intent to beat them up and although some items were stolen off of some of the victims, the discovery and witness statements indicated that the assaults were the main objective. Some of the assaults were caught on surveillance video. One victim was in a coma for several weeks. Another victim (as seen on the video) was being attacked by five men who were taking turns punching and kicking him. They then picked him up and kicked him through a glass door. I think that general panic is unwarranted, but there is some truth underlying the myth.

    Are you fucking shitting me?

    So you have personal experience in a case where a kid is steamrolled in the panic, where the cops LIE to fit the narrative? Where there’s no fucking evidence to the narrative (including derp a doo some of the attacks being robberys) and you still fucking believe it?

    For fuck sake white people really do think black people are just murder apes masquerading around in clothes don’t they?

  30. 30
    laurentweppe

    For fuck sake white people really do think black people are just murder apes masquerading around in clothes don’t they?

    Technically, both white and black people are murder apes masquerading around in clothes.

  31. 31
    congaboy

    #29

    I believe you may have misread my post. I was an attorney representing one of nearly 20 men accused in these cases. My client was innocent, but many of the accused were not and many of them confessed. I watched the videos of their interviews (and I know what forced and false confessions look like). I read all of the police reports. I investigated and interviewed witnesses. I saw the fucking evidence. So, no, I’m not shitting you, these crimes happened. These guys were young men doing stupid violent things. Quite frankly, I understand why they would act the way they did, considering white people had been doing the same thing to them for far longer. My point was, the myths are based on actual events; the panic is overblown. Young men of every culture and ethnicity have the capacity to do very bad and destructive things. These young men just happened to be black and were targeting white people. The fact is, these crimes happened; these were disenfranchised young black men who used violence as a way to fight back against the oppression they have felt all of their lives. Unfortunately, the crimes were violent and motivated, in part, on ethnic, cultural, and racial differences. Humans do violent things, the color of the skin has no effect on how violent humans may be. Of course, there were many wrongly and falsely accused (most of whom were detained and released without the filing of actual charges)–arrested for being in groups or loosely associated with the actual perpetrators. Some were arrested for merely being black and in the LoDo area after the bars closed. There were a few isolated instances after this series of cases, but nothing as big as this series of crimes and nothing since–that’s why I said that the panic is overblown.

  32. 32
    Holms

    But…but…what will the racists do if they don’t have a justification for killing black kids?

    Kill them anyway, justify it later.

  33. 33
    left0ver1under

    This story reeks of history. It used to be easy for whites in the southern US to falsely claim that a black man committed some crime or other (e.g. rape, murder, theft, or whatever) to justify a lynching or a murder. Some of it was straight up racism, some personal vendettas, some socipathic behaviour, and some no doubt to cover up crimes committed by others.

    http://www.thestate.com/2013/11/03/3075158/new-trial-sought-in-69-year-old.html

    It’s easy to create fear and incite violence among ignorant people already willing to believe in lies.

  34. 34
    Joe Magarac

    @25

    More blood feud mentality.

    You really want to kill us all.

  35. 35
    jefrir

    Joe Magarac, WTF are you on about? 25 is your own post; who did you mean to reply to?
    And who the hell do you think is trying to kill whom?

  36. 36
    Bronze Dog

    It’s been a long time since I perused Snopes, but I remember a lot of urban legends from there about horrible games, initiation rites, and so on, and this certainly falls into the same genre. Of course, I’d expect some gangs might start up these things because they heard the urban legend. There’s no shortage of reasons to facepalm at the media antics over the years. Naturally, racists (both conscious and unconscious) spread the hate with these.

    My general complaint: Racial gangs assaulting people of the race they hate isn’t new. It’s horrible, but it’s a “dog bites man” kind of story. The bigotry is in which ones get emphasized and exaggerated.

  37. 37
    zenlike

    Not-so shorter Joe:

    African-American ‘community leader’ says nothing => “See, they don’t even have the decency to denounce the horrible crimes committed by their brethren”.

    African-American ‘community leader’ denounces it as a pre-emptive strike, even though it is unclear if anything is actually going on => “See, even African-American ‘community leader’ denounces it so it must be real”.

    Heads you lose, tails I win, dirty libruls.

  38. 38
    Anri

    Joe Magarac @ 34:

    More blood feud mentality.

    You really want to kill us all.

    I’m sorry, I found your post to be a bit cryptic.
    Could you specify: who’s “You”, who’s “us” in your post?
    Thanks.

  39. 39
    vaiyt

    Ah, drive-by turd throwing.

  40. 40
    unclefrogy

    I think it was on Front line that I saw a program about the case that started the big scare headlines about “wilding” in which a group of teenagers were convicted of rape and murder in New York Central Park case that were years later proved innocent and released turns out it was one guy and they just got railroaded by the police.
    uncle frogy

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