James Edwards, 15, Chancey Luna, 16, and Michael Jones, 17, have all been charged as adults in Lane's death
The Thug Culture That Killed Chris Lane
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In a testament to the depravity of thug culture, an Australian collegiate baseball player attending school in America was killed by three teenagers looking for fun, police reported. Christopher Lane, who was out for a jog in the town of Duncan, Oklahoma where his girlfriend and her family live, was targeted at random after he passed a home where the boys were staying. “They saw Christopher go by, and one of them said: ‘There’s our target,’” said Police Chief Danny Ford. “The boy who has talked to us said, ‘We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.’”
James Edwards, 15, Chancey Luna, 16, and Michael Jones, 17, have all been charged as adults in Lane’s death. Edwards and Luna, both black Americans, have been charged with first degree murder, and will be tried as adults per Oklahoma law. Jones, who is white, was charged with using a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and with accessory to first-degree murder after the fact. He will also be tried in adult court, but is still considered a youthful offender. If convicted, Edwards and Luna face life in prison without parole. Jones, who wept in court as he tried to talk about the crime before being cut off by the judge, faces anywhere from two years to life in prison. Edwards and Luna are being held without bond. Jones’s bond is set at $1 million.
Police noted that Lane was jogging through an affluent section of Duncan around 3 p.m. local time when a car carrying the three teenagers pulled up behind him. In court, prosecutor Jason Hicks alleged that Luna was in the back seat, Edwards was in the passenger seat and Jones was driving the vehicle. Luna allegedly shot Lane in the back with a .22 caliber revolver that has yet to be recovered. “We were bored,” Luna reportedly admitted to authorities.
Hicks, who called the boys “thugs,” noted that Edwards found the slaying amusing. “I believe this man is a threat to the community and should not be let out,” Hicks said during the bail hearing. “He thinks it’s all a joke.” Edwards, who has had earlier run-ins with the law, had also been in court on Friday, apparently after the crime had been committed, to sign papers related to his juvenile probation.
James Johnson, who called police to tell them the trio was hiding in the carpark of the Immanuel Baptist Church about 5pm on Friday, described them in all-too-familiar terms. He called them “troublemakers” and “bullies” with no parental supervision, and said that Edwards had threatened to kill his own son using Facebook. “They threatened to kill my son because they are in a gang, the Crips, and were trying to get my son in it and I wouldn’t let him do it.,” Johnson explained. “I told him he couldn’t run with those boys. He’s a little terrified.” Police Chief Ford believes that the teens’ wanted “to make a name for themselves” on the streets.
Indeed, a dark picture emerges as one peruses the social media sites teens like these invariably use to brag about themselves and their exploits. Before it was removed, Chauncy Luna’s Facebook page revealed he goes by the alias Baby Drake. It showed photos of him posing with friends, including Edwards, and flashing gang signs. Two pictures on James “Lilbuggy” Edwards’ Facebook page are also quite revealing. One shows a handgun, and several others show staggeringly large sums of cash. Both may be explained by another photo containing hashtags suggesting he was a member of the Crips. There is also a photo of him posing with a shotgun. “# we up them poles,” Edwards says in the clip, “F—‘em.” (A dismantled shotgun with the serial numbers ground off was found in the car, but it is not currently known if it is the same weapon).
Tweets on Edwards’ Twitter account suggest he is racist. On April 29, he tweeted “90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM.” On July 15, shortly after George Zimmerman was acquitted, Edwards tweeted “Ayeee I knocced out 5 woods since Zimmerman court!:) lol # ima keep sleepin #! #ayeeee.” “Woods” is a term used to denigrate white people. Yet Chief Ford, who has yet to see Edwards’ social media, told the Daily Caller a hate crime charge is not likely. “I’m not discounting the stuff that’s on there, but they do that for shock and effect,” he contended.
The real shock and effect evidenced by this case so far is the deafening silence of the racial grievance industry along with their media and celebrity enablers who apparently see no way to exploit this tragedy. Jesse Jackson is the lone exception, if one considers a single tweet much of an effort. “Praying for the family of Chris Lane,” Jackson said Wednesday on Twitter. “This senseless violence is frowned upon and the justice system must prevail.” Not a word, however from people like Al Sharpton, Attorney General Eric Holder, or President Obama, all of whom were willing to weigh in on the Trayvon Martin case on numerous occasions.
Former Congressman Allen West directly addressed the reticence of what he characterized as the “race industry crew.” West’s Facebook posting was caustic. “[S]hall we hear anything from the race industry crew, Hollywood elites, or maybe Oprah Winfrey? The issue is not about proliferation of guns in America. This is about a failing black community and the fact that its young men are desensitized to violence because a gangsta culture promotes it,” West wrote.
The apologists for the status quo invariably point to America’s long and tattered track record of racism, going all the way back to the days of slavery, to explain the cultural dysfunction behind such heinous crimes. Yet as black conservatives such as Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams have pointed out on numerous occasions, black Americans were making steady progress in times that were far more racist (and poorer) than today. Yet today, in a time of vastly more racial equality and wealth redistribution, black men between the ages of 14 and 24 commit homicides at a rate 10 times that of young white and Hispanic males combined, according to a study by Northeastern University.
The key factors observers like Sowell and Williams frequently point to are the destruction of the nuclear family and the widespread glorification of social dysfunction. Though they affect all racial groups to varying degrees (after all, one conspirator in the Lane killing was white) no one can dispute their devastating effects on the black community. Rather than address this, many politicians, businessmen and entertainers hypocritically glamorize, enrich themselves and further their careers by promoting this culture of destruction. Thus, as Barack Obama wonders aloud how America “can bolster and reinforce our African-American boys,” he pals around with rapper Jay-Z, who has become a multi-millionaire rapping about guns, dope, misogyny and gratuitous violence. Amazon.com is selling a line of Trayvon Martin hoodies, while Ebony magazine has published several covers with celebrities dressed in the same thug-symbolizing attire. A director at the Smithsonian Institute expressed an interest in displaying Martin’s hoodie there, before the idea was ultimately rejected.
Yet when violence occurs, “civil rights” leaders like Jesse Jackson call it “senseless” and carefully avoid drawing attention to the real problem. The same goes for all the celebrities who have lined up to turn Trayvon Martin into a cause célébre, but are currently nowhere to be found or heard on the Lane case. And despite wall-to-wall media coverage of this atrocity, principal deputy White House press secretary Josh Earnest professed ignorance about the case, before claiming he “wouldn’t want to get ahead of the legal process here.” When Fox News chief White House correspondent Ed Henry noted President Obama was more than willing to get ahead of the legal process with regard to Trayvon Martin, Earnest offered up a generic response about the president’s “concerns” regarding the “impact of violence and whether there is more we can do to try to protect our children.”
We can’t protect our children from a thug culture when those who know better can’t be bothered to acknowledge its existence because it doesn’t accrue to their political advantage. And while the social dysfunction proliferates, blessed by the liberal and cultural elite, the racial divide widens. That is the real reason why the usual suspects have nothing to say about the killing of Christopher Lane. They know they, too, are part of the problem.