America's standing in the world as a so-called civil society was damaged by two vicious incidents in the last 10 days and citizens have a right to be concerned and upset.
First came news of the thrill killing of Australian Christopher Lane in Oklahoma by three "bored" black teens. Lane, 22, was in this country attending East Central University on a baseball scholarship. The teen suspects shot and killed him "for fun" while he was out for a jog.
"We were bored and didn't have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody," one suspect told police.
After George Zimmerman, a mixed race Hispanic, was tried and acquitted last month in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American high school student, it set off a firestorm of controversy about what role race played in the shooting. Black leaders Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were quick to appear in front of the cameras for their reactions. Even President Obama weighed in with a personal remark, stating that he could have been Trayvon Martin 35 years ago and that if he had a son he might look like Martin.
The disgusting murder of Lane in Oklahoma brought no such reaction from this White House or from black leaders like Sharpton and Jackson. In fact, Josh Earnest, principal deputy White House press secretary, said at last Wednesday's White House briefing that he was not familiar with the murder of the Australian jogger.
The only mild mention from black leaders came in a tweat by Rev. Jackson who called the murder "senseless violence" that should be "frowned upon." That meek reaction isn't what many Americans were looking for.
"A young black person gets shot while assaulting a Hispanic person, and we're back to the days of Emmett Till," the Daily Caller wrote. "A young white person gets shot because he jogged past a black person's house, and it's 'frowned upon.'"
Country and southern rock musician Charlie Daniels was more blunt in his reaction, criticizing national leaders who focus on incidents and "solutions" that help forward political agendas rather than prevent tragedies by acknowledging and addressing the real problems. He had strong words for Attorney General Eric Holder.
"Eric Holder, you sniveling, race bating, sorry excuse for an Attorney General, how about going after the real criminals for a change, disgusting," he tweated.
Another equally shocking and sickening murder occurred in Spokana, Wash. last week when two black teens beat an 88-year-old veteran of World War II. Delbert Belton, a Purple Heart recipient who survived the Battle of Okinawa, was attacked in his car outside an Eagles Lodge as he was waiting for a friend. He was found by police with serious head injuries and died in the hospital the next day.
Belton's sister, Alberta Tosh, said her brother "went through hell" during his years in the Army and was reluctant he was to talk about the bloody Okinawa battle in 1945. Still, he lived a full and busy life. He loved to dance, repair old cars and was always surrounded by close friends and loved ones.
"He put his life on the line for our country to come home and 60 years later? Get beat to death? That's not right," said Ted Denison, a friend.
Last month, President Obama personally interjected himself into the Treyvon Martin case, saying how this could have been him 35 years ago. Many feel he did it for political reasons.
Well, many Americans can also identify with Delbert Belton, the victim of the vicious attack in Spokane. A member of The Greatest Generation, he could have been our brother, husband, father, grandfather or great grandfather.
By Jim Zbick