Another Murder Defies Race Stereotypes
Annie Le case latest to stir ugly racial fears, which proved false
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2009 8:37 AM CDT
Police officers arrest Raymond Clark III, left, at the Super 8 motel in Cromwell, Conn., on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009, for the killing of Yale graduate student Annie Le.    (AP Photo/George Ruhe)
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(Newser) – When news of Annie Le's murder first emerged, scaremongering commentators seized on the dangers of studying on an "urban" campus, blogs author and sportswriter Jeff Pearlman—by which they didn't mean "an endless stream of Starbucks storefronts." Lo and behold, her alleged murderer is a "khaki-wearing white guy" named Raymond Clark III. The "hidden message" was clear to Pearlman—"Beware of the blacks!"—but "once again, they didn't come."

Susan Smith drowned her two sons in a car and then blamed a fictional black man for the crime. Charles Stuart murdered his pregnant wife and concocted his own fake black assailant. Now we have another mythical black killer, displaced by "a white guy—short and nerdy looking and nattily dressed." What a pity, Pearlman writes, that "these sort of conclusions rarely change social takes."