Opinion: Columnists

There's no denying that the 'Knockout Game' is deadly serious

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Gregory Kane,Columnists,New York City,Analysis,Al Sharpton,Race and Diversity

Arm yourself or harm yourself, the saying goes.

If any readers are wondering how to protect themselves from perpetrators of the “Knockout Game,” then that saying is sound advice.

Arm yourself and start blasting when you see that some young punk is about to knock you into the middle of next week.

I suspect that once a couple of “Knockout Game” participants have been shot, then those that practice the “game” will cease and desist. Believe me, we probably won’t have to shoot more than two or three.

The “Knockout Game” is a “sport” that’s all the rage among some misguided youth. Traveling in packs — as cowards are wont to do — one of them decides to cold-cock some unsuspecting passerby, knocking him or her unconscious.

Some of these incidents have been recorded on cell phone cameras and posted on the Internet. The majority — if not all — of the videos posted depict a young black man knocking out a white victim.

This has led to an interesting controversy, race still being the hot topic it is in this country. Several liberal media outlets, unable to discard their “all black folks must be victims and only victims” mentality, have attempted to dismiss the “Knockout Game.”

It is not a trend, the liberal media outlets howl, as those dreadful conservative media outlets claim. There is no evidence, these liberal outlets allege, of the “Knockout Game” spreading across the land.

These liberal outlets seem to be asking, “Who are you going to believe? Us, or your lying eyes when you watch those videos?”

Not buying the claim of these liberal media outlets is one Michael Cottmann, a black journalist that writes regular commentary for the website Black America Web.

Cottmann recently wrote a piece entitled, “In Youth’s Violent Game of ‘Knockout,’ There Are No Winners.”

In his commentary, Cottmann wrote that “as a black man, I am horrified, saddened and angry. … We’re losing too many young black men to an insane subculture that glorifies violence; we’re watching their self-destruction play out on the streets of America every day and, sadly, some of us could become victims of this dangerous activity that our young children call a ‘game.’ ”

The piece de resistance of Cottmann’s column is this paragraph: “We can’t blame the ‘Knockout Game’ on racism. This has nothing to do with racial profiling. It has nothing to do with Republicans or the Tea Party. It has nothing to do with white supremacists. It has nothing to do with ‘stand your ground’ laws. This is about an evil that has taken hold of some of our young black men, our sons, our children, and we are fighting for their souls.”

I do believe I’ll buy that man a drink.

Also not buying the line of certain liberal media outlets that the “Knockout Game” is nothing to worry about is one … Al Sharpton?

Yes, you read that right. Like Cottmann, Sharpton isn’t living in denial about the nature and details of the “Knockout Game.”

“The ‘Knockout Game’ is not a game,” Sharpton said in a news story that appeared on CBS New York's website. “It is vicious. It is ugly. It must be stopped.”

OK, who is this guy, and what has he done with the Al Sharpton we have all come to know and detest? You know, the demagogic, race-baiting Sharpton?

The Al Sharpton excoriating the “Knockout Game” isn’t a race-baiting demagogue. This is a guy showing genuine — dare I say it — leadership.

“This behavior is racist, period,” Sharpton said in the news story. “And we will not tolerate it.”

Sharpton also said that blacks wouldn’t be silent if the “Knockout Game” videos showed white attackers knocking out black victims.

Maybe Sharpton wouldn’t be silent, but I can think of a couple of liberal media outlets that would be.

GREGORY KANE, a Washington Examiner columnist, is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.

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