not politically correct
Media covers up grisly black torture killing of young white couple
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It was the kind of crime that strikes terror into the hearts of parents everywhere. A bright young couple were carjacked after a Saturday night date and murdered in the most brutal way imaginable.
Christopher Newsom, 23, was tied up and raped, shot in the back of the head and then dragged to a railway track and set on fire.
HOURS OF HORRIFIC TORTURE
His girlfriend, 21-year-old University of Tennessee student Channon Christian’s fate was even more horrific. Her death came only after hours of torture, during which time she was raped and savaged with a broken chair leg.
She was beaten in the head and a household bleach was poured down her throat and over her bleeding and battered genital area in an attempt by her attackers to cover any evidence of rape — all while she was still alive.
BODY DUMPED INTO RUBBISH BIN
Then she was "hog-tied" with curtains and a strip of bedding and a plastic bag was wrapped over her face.
Her body was stashed inside five bigger rubbish liners and dumped in a bin, where, according to the autopsy report, she slowly suffocated to death.
On Monday, the alleged ringleader of the gang accused of the killings goes on trial in Knoxville, Tennessee.
But, even though the killings happened in January, 2007, they have attracted very little national and international coverage.
VICTIMS WERE WHITE, NOT BLACK
That’s because they do not fit into the conventional contours of an attack in America’s Deep South, where a shameful history of racial intolerance has meant assaults by whites on blacks have historically been regarded in the context of race.
In this case, the races were reversed: the victims were white and the four men and one woman charged in connection with the murders are black.
Ironically, the case has now generated more publicity surrounding the furore over whether or not Political Correctness was behind the US media’s decision to largely ignore the story than it did for the murders themselves.
'NOT A HATE CRIME'
Defense lawyers were quick to say that some of the accused dated white women and even prosecutors denied any racial overtones.
"There is absolutely no proof of a hate crime," said John Gill, special counsel to Knox County District Attorney Randy Nichols.
"It was a terrible crime, a horrendous crime, but race was not a motive. We know from our investigation that the people charged in this case were friends with white people, socialized with white people, dated white people. [sic]
'NOT A USEFUL CRIME'
But that hasn’t stopped conservative critics from blaming liberal bias in the US mainstream media for failing to cover the attacks.
Columnist and right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin weighed in, saying: "This case — an attractive white couple murdered by five black thugs — doesn’t fit any political agenda.
"It’s not a useful crime. Reverse the races and just imagine how the national media would cover the story of a young black couple murdered by five white assailants.’
COUNTRY MUSIC SINGER WEIGHS IN AGAINST DOUBLE STANDARD
Country music singer Charlie Daniels pointed out the media frenzy that came after a black woman accused three white members of the Duke University lacrosse team of raping her.
The players were later cleared after their accuser changed her story.
But Daniels said on his website: "If this had been white-on-black crime, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and their ilk would have descended on Knoxville like a swarm of angry bees."
MEDIA BIAS AGAINST WHITES
Much of the criticism over the scant coverage of the murders has been on the internet through blogs and websites.
University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds said the American media has a "template" for covering white-on-black crime, but not the reverse.
"I think it would have gotten a lot of national play faster if it had been a black couple kidnapped and killed by five white people," he told the local paper in Knoxville.
YOUNG COUPLE OUT ON A DATE
According to court testimony, Chris, a talented carpenter and former high school baseball player, and college senior Channon had gone to a friend’s home after a date at a local restaurant when they were held up at gunpoint and carjacked on January 6, 2007.
They were forced to drive to an old clapboard house in one of Knoxville’s toughest neighborhoods, where their captors, some of them ex-convicts, subjected them to the nightmare ordeal.
Wearing glasses and dressed smartly in trousers, a collared shirt and jumper, Lemaricus Davidson, 28, looked more like a college student than an accused killer during pre-trial hearings.
CRIMES OF THE ACCUSED
The seven women and five man jury includes just one black juror.
If convicted, Davidson could face the death penalty. In a separate
trial last month, Davidson’s brother, Letalvis Cobbins, 27,
sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of multiple counts of first-degree murder. He was also convicted of rape, kidnapping and robbery.
George Thomas, 27, and Cobbins’ former girlfriend, Vannessa Coleman, 21, will be tried after Davidson.
A fifth defendant, Eric Boyd, 37, is serving an 18-year prison
sentence after being convicted of being an accessory to a fatal