The national media have yet to weigh in on the shooting death of Sharath Kopuu, a 25-year-old graduate student at UMKC, who was shot and killed while working at J’s Fish and Chicken Market at 54th and Prospect in Kansas City, Missouri.
Under normal circumstances, one would not expect the national media to take an interest in a shooting death in Kansas City–they are much too commonplace–but the media set something of a precedent last year when another fellow from India, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, was shot to death in an Olathe, Kansas, bar.
The shooter, drunk and disoriented Navy vet Adam Purinton, reportedly yelled, “Get out of my country!” before shooting Kuchibhotla and a friend. Purinton believed the men to be from Iran.
The Kansas City Star alone ran 119 articles on Kuchibhotla, and the national media contributed thousands more. In an article on the shooting, New York Times reporter Audra Burch revealed what it was about the crime that she and her colleagues found so compelling. As Burch saw it, Kuchibhotla’s murder was “part of a spasm of hatred that seems to be uncoiling in small towns and big cities across the nation — and in rising numbers.”
Rising numbers? Burch was writing five months after the Olathe shooting, and she could not cite a similar attack anywhere in America. The only two cases she cited were of a mosque fire in Texas reportedly started by an Hispanic man who had previously burglarized the place and of the murder of a black homeless man in New York by a white, sword-wielding Army vet.
As much as she and the Times newsroom may wish otherwise, as much as its angry editorialists wish to implicate President Trump in this “spasm of hatred,” there is no trend here.
If Burch were really looking for a trend, she might have focused on the murder of immigrant convenience store clerks, pizza delivery men, ice cream truck drivers, cabbies and fish and chicken market employees in America’s inner cities.
Naive about the risks they run, foreign nationals often take jobs in neighborhoods that native born Americans know to avoid. Other than police officers, convenience store clerks are the workers most likely to be murdered on the job. Cab drivers aren’t far behind. In the last two years before Rudy Giuliani turned New York City around, 85 cab drivers were killed in New York City alone, the vast majority immigrants and/or people of color.
There is a major story here that the national media do not want to tell, and by not telling it, they lure many a foreign national like Sharath Kopuu to an untimely death.