Is political correctness to blame for lack of coverage over horrific black-on-white killings in America’s Deep South?
"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." University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds told the local paper in Knoxville.
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.
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.
Torture: Channon Christian was forced to watch the attackers rape and kill her boyfriend Christopher Newsom before she was murdered
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.
One of the gang has already been convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
But, even though the killings happened in January, 2007, they have attracted very little national and international coverage.
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.
Lemaricus Davidson, centre, goes on trial in Tennessee over the murders this week. Letalvis Cobbins, top right, has been jailed for life. Eric Boyd, Vanessa Coleman and George Thomas will be tried after Davidson
Life: Letalvis ‘Rome’ Cobbins was found guilty of multiple counts of first degree murder. He was also convicted of rape, kidnapping and robbery
Is political correctness to blame for lack of coverage over horrific black-on-white killings in America’s Deep South? | National Policy Institute