Why Cannon Hinnant’s Death Is Shrugged Off

Cannon Hinnant’s murder shocked America last week. A 5-year-old boy murdered in front of his home is a horror few can comprehend. Why would a man execute a child riding a bike, especially one with whom he had broken bread just the night before? Yet, only conservative media seems interested in the story.

The racial dynamics of the murder explain why it’s largely ignored: the alleged killer is black and the victim is white. No one doubts this would be the number one story in America, if not the world, if the races were reversed. 

The relative lack of attention implies this horror is just an ordinary part of life in modern America. It’s a sad tragedy, but there’s nothing you can do about it. The media and political elites tell you to move on and hope the justice system delivers the right punishment. It’s a very different attitude than their typical response to a police-involved killing or a minority’s claim of discrimination. Unlike Hinnant’s death, those are treated as grave injustices our society cannot abide. 

“This is the most horrific tragedy I’ve ever personally observed,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, said of George Floyd’s death. “George Floyd is going to change the arc of the future of the United States. George Floyd has not died in vain.”

No politician has said anything like that about Cannon Hinnant. 

A few commentators tried to explain why Hinnant’s death should be ignored, but gave away the game in the process.

Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams, a popular Trump supporter, claimed over the weekend that Cannon’s death is just a local crime story. “Individual crimes, no matter how shocking, are not national news. This one is no different,” he tweeted in reply to a Tucker Carlson monologue about the murder. 

That’s an odd stance to take. National news is regularly filled with individual crimes. We’ve experienced three months of social unrest over one individual crime in Minneapolis. Right before the riots, the media fixated on a white woman calling the cops on a black bird watcher during a dispute in Central Park. Apparently, that dispute is real news but a child’s senseless death is not.

Adams said in another tweet that the reason these incidents are national news is that they were filmed and fit a narrative. 

The second part is true but the first part isn’t. Trayvon Martin’s death was one of the most important news stories of the last decade and his justifiable homicide was not caught on camera. It did, however, fit a narrative the media and liberal elites wish to promote, so it became a national news story. Video captured a white man’s fatal beating by black youths at a Maryland fair last year, and that did not become national news. It did not uphold progressive biases, so it was relegated to local news and conservative media.

Cannon Hinnant’s death also doesn’t fit any narrative liberal elites wish to promote. It’s just an ordinary crime. There are other, more important stories to care about—like a NASCAR driver mistaking a garage rope pull for a noose. 

Adams, to his credit, at least offered reasons why Hinnant’s death doesn’t receive the wall-to-wall coverage of a police-involved killing or the latest hate hoax. The rest of the media doesn’t even bother to explain themselves. 

Hinnant’s senseless murder is not an ordinary crime and we shouldn’t shrug it off as a sad, but typical tragedy in modern America. That’s the mindset that smothers us into apathy and acceptance of things we should never tolerate.

His death is certainly more relevant to crime trends than George Floyd’s death or the “noose” discovered by NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace. Both of those widely covered events were treated as representative of the discrimination all blacks suffer in America. Unarmed blacks, we were expected to believe, are at an incredible risk of being murdered by cops, as Floyd’s death allegedly proves. And blacks can suffer horrible discrimination and harassment regardless of their income, as Wallace’s phony hate hoax allegedly showed.

Both of those narratives are more important to the Left than the death of an innocent child. The first narrative is based on false assumptions. Only 10 unarmed blacks died at the hands of police in 2019; most of the cases were ruled justifiable homicides. The cases included a black man who attacked and stole a police officer’s taser before being shot and another man who drove his car into police. 

But those 10 cases, we are assured, amount to a “genocide” and justify rioting, anarchy, looting, the destruction of American heritage, and defunding the police. 

In contrast, and in fact, crimes like the Hinnant murder are far more common. There were 514 black-on-white murders committed in 2018. That’s more than two times higher than the number of white-on-black murders. That same year saw more than 500,000 black-on-white violent incidents; just under 60,000 white-on-black violent incidents occurred in 2018. Blacks are only 13 percent of the population, yet commit the majority of interracial violence. 

Blacks themselves live under much greater threat from black-on-black violence than they do from murder-by-cop. There were 2,600 black-on-black murders in 2018, a much higher figure than the number of unarmed blacks killed by police.

None of these stats will appear in a nightly network newscast or generate angry demands from left-wing activists. They’re simply facts of life we have to accept and not worry too much about. The Left now says crime is the responsibility of police, systemic racism, and/or guns. You can’t demand tougher laws unless it restricts the gun rights of law-abiding citizens. 

Some accuse Tucker Carlson and others who highlight Hinnant’s murder of gross exploitation. That’s not true at all. Conservatives who talk about it are just discussing a horror that too many people wish to ignore. 

The real exploiters are those who weaponize George Floyd’s death and others to change our society for the worse. They demand we think his death and those like it are the greatest injustices in our society—while ignoring more horrific crimes that happen on an all-too-regular basis.

To successfully commit moral blackmail against America, the media and liberal elites have to pretend that Hinnant’s death is no big deal. The real horrors are what they share on the nightly news and publish columns about. They’re declaring that not all lives matter—only the ones that serve their agenda do.

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About Paul Bradford

Paul Bradford is a Capitol Hill refugee now earning an honest living.

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