April 09, 2006

Double Standards?

I actually wandered by Michelle Malkin's site today looking for updates on the NASCAR/NBC story, and instead started to read this story, about a young college student, John Hehman, in New York who was apparently chased into traffic (he later died) by a group of young black men. I shouldn't even say men....they were really children, as young as my son, who I cannot imagine doing such a thing.

This, from The New York Post:

The NYPD hate-crimes unit is probing a report that a white NYU student killed by a car in Harlem was fleeing a gang of black teenagers screaming "Get whitey!" sources said yesterday. If the report proves true, the violence could turn out to be an eerie replay in reverse of the infamous 1986 Howard Beach murder, where a black man was chased into traffic and killed by a group of white bigots. The 20-year-old student, John Broderick Hehman, died yesterday, six days after the attack. The sources said Hehman might have been targeted as a soft mark for robbers after the teenage gang spotted the caring urban-studies major handing pocket change to a wheelchair- bound man near the corner of 125th Street and Park Avenue Saturday night. The gang of youths, some of them as young as 11, had been smoking pot inside a nearby Popeye's fast-food eatery at 8:30 p.m. when they spotted Hehman walking by and then stopping to help the handicapped man. An anonymous caller later tipped the CrimeStoppers hot line that a group of youths screamed, "Get Whitey!" and ran toward him. Witnesses said Hehman fled into traffic against the light and was hit by a Mercedes-Benz traveling east on 125th Street.

I do a pretty decent job of keeping up on the news, I think. Yet, I don't recall reading anything about this story. Why not? If it were a black man being chased by white teenagers, it would be all over the news. Somehow this just doesn't seem right to me.

They did manage to make several arrests, at least. This, from NY1:

Four teenagers are facing charges in the death of an NYU student who was hit by a car earlier this month in Harlem in what some are calling a hate crime.

Hassan Mayfield and Andre Johnson, both 15, face second degree murder and robbery charges. Charges are pending against two 13 year olds.

Investigators believe the four chased 20-year-old Broderick Hehman into the street on April 1st. Hehman was hit by a silver Mercedes on East 125th Street near Park Avenue. He died three days later.

Eric Adams of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement says Hehman died for two reasons.

"One, because he made a decision to do a kind act for someone. Second because of his ethnicity; that's unacceptable," he said.

"Very simply, if the reports are accurate that one of the people in the group said, 'get the white boy,' that's a hate crime," said civil rights attorney Norman Siegel.

13 and 15 year olds?! OMG...what is wrong with this picture?

Read more about John Hehman...who was called JB by his friends...here.

What say you?

Crossposted at A Mom and Her Blog

Posted by Tammy at April 9, 2006 08:28 PM

Tammy well this story hit the front page in the Daily News (The cities largest newspaper) It's the kind of shit that happens almost every day in NYC. The only thing which made it front page news was the fact that the 20 year old who got killed was white up in Harlem. Funny thing is it's not the ghetto,ghetto where it happen it's a pretty busy street with 2 big train stations right there. Any big city in the U.S.A. is going to have crime. Sadly life just goes on and folks won't make a big deal out of this latest crime.

Posted by: tommy in nyc at April 10, 2006 08:57 AM

truth is this story would have made the papers with any scenario you give it. white or black wouldnt matter the fact that it happened on 125th street in broad daylight and these kids are being tried as adults with a possibility of serving 9yrs to life in jail is the reason for it making the papers. my issue with the story is how they are painting these particular kids as career felons beacuse of this. what they did was wrong but the media has once again failed to look at who these kids are before judging them. its a sad thing that happened, and should open the eyes of the politicians who are cutting funding to programs that may have provented this incident.

Posted by: fortheyouth at April 13, 2006 11:27 AM

On April 4th, J.B. Hehman, 20, a prolific and articulate member of our Wired New York Community (posting as “TLOZ Link5”) and a Junior at NYU, died from injuries he received three days earlier when he was assaulted while walking on East 125th Street in Harlem. Read more at http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8889

The forum community has reacted to this tragedy by partnering with Bette Midler’s non-profit New York Restoration Project (NYRP) to execute a two-pronged plan of action:

1) On May 13th, volunteers will converge at Maggie’s Garden (located at 149th Street and Broadway in Harlem), an NYRP community garden in Manhattan for a community service project to be performed in J.B. Hehman’s memory. Volunteers are needed. Read more at http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8967

2) Our members have also embarked on a fund drive to raise $10,000 to create the J.B. Hehman Endowment for Environmental Education. This endowment will fund earth science programs in community parks and gardens for under-served and minority children in Upper Manhattan.

No contribution is too small and all are greatly appreciated. For further information on these efforts and how you can help or donate please visit:
http://www.wirednewyork.com/jb/memorial/ or

As JB Hehman posted in our forum: "If you love the place you live, love it with the same passion that so many New Yorkers do, then you'll learn to tolerate its imperfections if it hasn't been ingrained in you already. Be to its virtues very kind, but be to its faults a little blind."

Help us remember and celebrate J.B. Hehman’s contributions to our community!

Posted by: Robert Cammiso at May 5, 2006 09:57 PM