»  National Review Online

November 21st, 2000

   The Red and the Blue


The county-by-county map of the November 7th presidential vote has caused a stir. With the counties that went for Governor Bush shown in red, those that voted for Al Gore in blue, the map demonstrates what my colleague Jonah Goldberg called "a topographical landslide" for the Republican candidate.

Once that map was flying around the Internet, the Gore people got to work with the spin machines. Out came Paul Begala, a reliable Clinton-Gore hack. Writing in his web column for MSNBC, Begala saw ..".a more complex picture. You see the state where James Byrd was lynch-dragged behind a pickup truck until his body came apart — it's red. You see the state where Mathew Shepard was crucified on a split-rail fence for the crime of being gay — it's red. You see the state where right-wing extremists blew up a federal office building and murdered scores of federal employees — it's red."

Well, Begala has missed a few. Apparently he did not see Hawaii, for example, the only state in the Union to have brought racial restrictions on voting into the 21st century. That state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs — a department of the State government, disbursing state funds — has a board of trustees, elected by statewide franchise. Until February 23rd this year, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down, there was a provision that only Hawaiian-race citizens could vote in those elections. Hawaii is solid blue.

Massachusetts? Bluer than blue: only 2 of the state's 15 counties went to Bush. This is where the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Educational Network, a well-funded (Kodak, American Airlines) national organization for promoting buggery in schools — including, according to its website, elementary schools — was outraged early this year to discover that the content of its "youth-only workshops" had been made known to parents. When two concerned fathers covertly taped one of these sessions and sent the tapes to radio talk shows, they brought down on their heads the full fury of the Blue State's liberal establishment. The fathers, Brian Camenker and Scott Whiteman, are now being sued by another (different, but just as lavishly-funded) homosexual group and may also face criminal charges.

Never mind states, though; I'm still fixated on the nation's counties. Peer closely at the county map, check the listing in U.S.A. Today, and you see, amongst other things, the following, all of which Mr. Begala seems to have missed.

New York City, bluest of the blue, the only place in the nation Blue enough to vote not only for Gore but even for "Hillary!." Where does one start? Perhaps with a street mob hacking to death Yankel Rosenbaum, a young Hasidic scholar, shouting out as they did so: "Kill the Jew! Kill the Jew!" (Or with the jury who acquitted the only one of the mob to be arrested, then went out and held a party in celebration. Or with the elderly Italian man that mob later murdered because he "looked Jewish.") We could then move on to the pawing, stripping and degrading of women at the Puerto Rican Day festival in Central Park this summer by jeering crowds of young black and Hispanic men. Then there were the five black teenagers in the St. Albans area of Queens who decided to telephone for Chinese food one evening earlier this year. When deliveryman Sheng Jin Liu arrived, they beat him to death with bricks, then ate the food and went home.

Out on the other coast, Los Angeles county went 2 to 1 for Gore. That is where, during the L.A. riots of 1992, Damian Williams beat Reginald Denny with a breeze block, spat on him and did a little victory dance — all caught on video tape. It is also the place where, during those same riots, Korean store-owners had to defend their property with guns against howling mobs of looters. It is further, of course, the home of O.J. Simpson, who decapitated his wife and murdered a visiting acquaintance, and got away with it by dint of some clever lawyering, criminally incompetent judging, and a racist jury.

Still on the left coast, Pierce County, Washington is blue — 6 to 5 for Gore. There, in August this year, a mixed gang of blacks and Hispanics beat Eric Toews to death as he walked home from work in a normally safe neighborhood. The gang had been on the rampage for several days and had beaten up several people, all but one of them white.

Howard County, Maryland? Blue — another 6 to 5 for Gore. This is where, last year, 20-year-old Ardale Tickles, a black man, was paid $3,000 dollars to kill Sara Raras. In a taped prison conversation, Mr. Tickles told another inmate about the murder. He could not remember Ms. Raras's name ("It was a white girl's name"), but remembered calling her a "devil" as he slit her throat, wrists and neck with an army knife, then stomped on her with his Timberland boots. Mr. Tickles considered raping Ms. Raras while she begged for mercy, but chivalrously decided against it and let her bleed to death unraped.

Cook County, Illinois? Are you kidding? 2.4 to 1 for Gore. Home of this year's youngest murderer, a three-year-old left by his mother in a friend's welfare apartment with the friend's two daughters, a three-week-old and a two-year-old. The boy smashed the two-year-old's head in and left bite marks on the baby.

Now, I do not say that all is tickety-boo in Red-land. We Red folk have our problems, to be sure. Benton County, Arkansas, for example, went 2 to 1 for Governor Bush; yet it was there, in September last year, that two homosexuals kidnaped, drugged, raped and murdered 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising …

Excuse me, someone's interrupting. Sorry, what's that? You've never heard about these things? Your newspapers have been full of James Byrd and Mathew Shepard, but you never heard of Yankel Rosenbaum, Sheng Jin Liu, Eric Toews or Jesse Dirkhising? Now how could that be, I wonder? What's that you say? They sound like "hate crimes" to you? Don't be ridiculous.