"Who Shot Rudy?"
That question fuels an inflammatory new song by a rap band called Screwball. It graphically depicts the assassination of New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.
The song begins, "A yo who shot Rudy in broad daylight for cash." Its barely-punctuated lyrics continue: "I woke up this morning and heard the news flash. They said it happened down at city hall he had his wife with him five shots from the crowd made him fall it was chaos and pandemonium blood covered up the podium... when they announced his death wifey was stressed..."
The song then mentions "blacks smiling ear to ear." It adds: "the devil died and nobody cried it was real like some Jews celebrating when the pharaoh got killed..." The song ends with "niggas" celebrating by filling their glasses with booze and "smokin blunts on the corner."
This outrage's most annoying aspect is how little outrage it has generated. Had someone recorded "Who Shot Jesse?" Jackson or "Who Shot Hillary?" would anyone have missed it? Such a noxious tune would have been discussed on the evening news, debated on "Nightline" and dissected in column-miles of editorials.
This double standard could not be clearer. Rappers chuckle about the murder of New York's white, male Republican mayor. Rather than a media frenzy, a mild murmur ensues. "Who Shot Rudy" spawned a New York Daily News article and a brief AP dispatch. MSNBC's web site also covered the song. That aside, the press has been as quiet as rap is loud.
"It's a media wipeout," says Brent Baker of the Media Research Center which monitors network and cable news programs. "There have been no stories on it on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN or any of the news shows, morning or evening," Baker adds, "Nobody here has seen it anywhere."
Meanwhile, the same White House that complains about hate speech and violent entertainment sleeps through a song aimed at the First Lady's chief rival for the Senate seat she covets.
"Who Shot Rudy?" is the latest effort to disparage Giuliani and his phenomenally effective anti-crime strategy. Since 1993, New York's overall crime rate has dropped 51% while homicide is off 68%. Ranked by crimes-per-capita, Gotham is America's 166th most dangerous city, even safer than 165th-ranked West Covina, California.
The secret? The NYPD has arrested and jailed more criminals, many of them black. Not surprisingly, the precinct-house torture of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima and the shooting of unarmed West African Amadou Diallo - struck by 19 police bullets last February 4 - heightened tensions between City Hall and "black leaders." The inescapable Rev. Al Sharpton staged three weeks of anti-Giuliani demonstrations and celebrity arrests at One Police Plaza. Jesse Jackson dropped by to get handcuffed and compare Diallo with Emmitt Till who was lynched in Money, Mississippi at age 14 for talking to a white woman in 1955.
Four undercover cops now face second-degree murder charges. They say that on a poorly-lit street, they confused Diallo's beeper for a gun. Despite the cops' apparent absence of malice, Sharpton and other radicals have caricatured Giuliani as a latter-day Bull Connor who has unleashed the NYPD to hunt young black men like deer in the woods.
In fact, the officers sought an accused rapist who Diallo, unfortunately, resembled. Issaac Jones was arrested April 7 for four rapes. Police suspect him in 47 others. Neither protests nor hip-hop songs have dogged Jones for allegedly raping over four dozen women in minority communities since 1993.
Ignored in all this is the fact that Rudy Giuliani has saved more black lives than Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Screwball combined.
As Mayor Giuliani explained at a June 21 Manhattan Institute luncheon, "A disproportionate benefit in crime reduction tends to go towards people... who lived in neighborhoods that were overwhelmed by crime."
Take Brooklyn's largely black 75th Precinct, New York's toughest. In 1993, 110 of its residents were murdered. In 1998, homicides dropped to 37. Through June 20, 12 people were killed, compared to 19 a year ago.
Between 1993 and 1998, homicides in Bedford-Stuyvesant's 81st Precinct tumbled 62%, from 26 to 10. In Harlem's 28th Precinct, murders plummeted from 35 to eight, a 77% plunge.
The New York Post estimated what would have happened had crime galloped
at its dismal pre-Giuliani pace. Sixty-four more Asians, 308 more whites,
1,842 more Hispanics and 2,299 more blacks would have been murdered. Rather
than hound him with placards and sing about his murder, folks like Sharpton,
Jackson and Screwball should thank Rudy Giuliani for sparing thousands of
their brethren from early graves.
(Deroy Murdock is a member of Project 21's National Advisory Board and
a New York-based commentator.)
Note: New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21.
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