The topic of racism in America has been mutilated into a panic device by self-interested media and politicians. The danger from this is that bona fide racially motivated crimes come to be viewed as part of a broad conspiracy, while incidents that are not criminal are roped in by extrapolating on that conspiracy. There are people in America who have violent intent connected to racist beliefs, but it has become harder than ever for them to remain undetected before perpetrating a violent act.
Nevertheless, the specter of this threat is constantly exaggerated in order to stoke fears of the next lynching, and if possible, ensnare law enforcement into the scandal.
When a person perpetrates a crime motivated by white supremacist ideology, that is national news.
The perpetrator of the 2015 Charleston Shooting at Emanuel AME Church that left nine black parishioners dead, had his name immortalized by headlines from CNN, NBC, ABC, and virtually every other major media outlet. Thanks to citizen bystanders and his own sister, the shooter was arrested in less than 24 hours of his crime in North Carolina.
Persistent myths surrounding the crime have cropped up that refuse to die, despite the fact that the man was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in his home state, and was sentenced to death in his federal trial. After the recent killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, enraged Twitter users objected by tweeting that the Charleston shooter had been treated to a dinner at a Burger King after being arrested. Nobody mentioned that he had been arrested without resisting, whereas Brooks had scuffled with three officers, firing a taser at one.
Fact is, the police were legally obligated to feed the Charleston shooter pending his return to South Carolina. As the Legal Aid Society noted, Burger King was simply convenient. Finally, the shooter did not dine at a Burger King; one of the police officers had brought the food to the room where he was being held at the police station, as even the leftist Snopes confirmed.
This one example encapsulates the activist approach to violence involving police and black suspects: zeroing in on one detail in order to contend that a white supremacist received favored treatment. This small obsession is patterned in virtually every incident used during the BlackLivesMatter activist campaigns since the beginning:
- Trayvon Martin was marked for death and assaulted by George Zimmerman for buying some Skittles in the wrong neighborhood. In reality, Martin had detected Zimmerman prior to their confrontation, and, according to physical evidence, was the real assailant until Zimmerman shot and killed him. Zimmerman was referred to as a “white Hispanic,” a label that caused a sociologist interviewed on NPR to claim his race is a “social reality,” and not a biological one.
- The “hands up, don’t shoot” falsehood surrounding the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri at the hands of Officer Darren Wilson. In March 2015, the Washington Post admitted the scenario was not true—that Brown, in fact, had been advancing aggressively on Wilson when he was shot. Just days earlier, Attorney General Eric Holder, whose Justice Department compiled the report debunking “hands up, don’t shoot,” said he was prepared to dismantle Ferguson’s police department if necessary.
- The notion that the University of Missouri student protests in 2015 led the Mizzou’s president to resign was fueled by any real racist episodes. Not so. The only incidents in question were an alleged racial slur yelled at the student association president from a passing pickup truck, a poop swastika in a dorm restroom, and a false rumor (spread by the same student president) of KKK members being present on campus.
This is just a select sampling of hearsay, rumors, and canards propagated by BLM and like-minded groups. Some of the most high profile cases, like the celebrity hate crime hoaxes by Jussie Smollett, Michael Bennett, and Bubba Wallace, elicited nationwide sympathy until they were discovered to be complete fabrications. In none of these cases did the so-called victim do the right thing and admit that he had lied and made buffoons out of all who believed them.
APB on Cleetus and Colonel Klink
In the current crisis ignited by the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, some new myths are developing.
The first is that the rioting in Minneapolis was partially fomented by white supremacists. This was examined by New York Times columnist Neil MacFarquhar on May 31, with a heavy emphasis on the “Boogaloo” accelerationists and men wearing Hawaiian shirts. In his own article, however, he cited a professor who admitted that such suspicions were unproven. CBS News reported May 30 that “authorities suspect white supremacists and far-left extremists are behind violence at protests.”
The white supremacists were placed first in order, but lost in the report was the fact that, in featured footage, none of the rioters had any visible ties to white supremacist groups or activities, and so far not a single such person has been arrested or identified by authorities in any of the metro areas affected by rioting. Plenty of left-wing extremists have been arrested, however, including:
- Samantha Shader and sister Darian Shader of Catskill, New York were arrested in Brooklyn for throwing Molotov cocktails. Shader had 11 prior arrests in just as many states. When questioned by police, she attempted to cover for a white friend by implicating a fictitious black accomplice.
- Dylan Robinson was arrested on June 19 in a Colorado ski resort on suspicion of being involved in the destruction of a Minneapolis police station weeks earlier. There is no evidence of Robinson’s membership in a white supremacist group, nor any report of him receiving a Burger King meal and crown as part of the terms of his apprehension.
- Chiara de Blasio, daughter of New York City Mayor Warren Wilhelm and wife Chirlane McCray, was arrested on May 31 for throwing projectiles at NYPD officers. De Blasio will be able to await her trial (if it ever happens) at Gracie Mansion, unlike the homeless woman who was dismissed while confronting Wilhelm over his betrayals for interrupting his gym workout.
- On May 30, lawyers Urooj Rahman and Colinford Mattis were arrested when Rahman hurled a Molotov cocktail into a police cruiser and was recorded by a CCTV camera.
- On July 25, Antifa militant Blake Hampe stabbed the Trump-supporting videographer Drew Duncomb in Portland. Hampe was convicted in 2007 for possession of child pornography while crossing the U.S.-Canada border by ferry to Maine, and released in 2010.
As they were respectively Pakistani and black, it is unlikely that Rahman and Mattis will be pumping iron with the Aryan Brotherhood in federal prison à la “American History X.” NPR’s coverage of this story included this notable phrase: “Federal prosecutors haven’t accused Urooj Rahman, 31, or Colinford Mattis, 32, of harming anyone that night. But they have indirectly cast the two defendants as characters in the favored Trump administration narrative that suggests that last month’s violent protests weren’t just an eruption of anger from peaceful protesters, but rather the work of dedicated extremists.” (Emphasis added.) NPR neglected to mention the fact that Salmah Rizvi, an ex-Defense and State Department official under Barack Obama, posted a $250,000 bail for the two detained suspects.
Then in late June, two black teens were killed in separate incidents in Seattle’s CHOP district by members of its militia.
Weeks later, The Intercept continues to harp on the “boogaloo boys” chimera using the example of Steven Carrillo, a California Air Force airman who murdered a federal law enforcement officer in California on May 29. The same article insists that there is no Antifa violence of note because, according to them, there is no Antifa.
I have previously likened this wilful deception to the “noble lie” of J. Edgar Hoover, who said the American Mafia did not exist until 1957 because it was inconvenient for Hoover’s agenda of how to run the FBI. Despite Hoover’s denials and the secret members who never openly identified as members of the crime syndicate, no journalist today would claim that the Mafia doesn’t exist. Antifa is not a hierarchical criminal enterprise, but a rigid structure is not required in order for such a group to exist.
A key difference, of course, is that unlike Hoover, the media has no problem contradicting its previous reporting in order to suit its agenda. And unlike Antifa, the Mafia’s crimes at least sometimes create prosperity for someone rather than destroy it for everyone.
NPR this month undercut its own coverage and The Intercept’s Antifa denial article by writing a retrospective one year after the death of Willem van Spronsen, a Dutch immigrant who attacked a Tacoma ICE facility last July. They quoted him yelling “I am Antifa” in the article title and acknowledged that his far-Left cohorts continue to idolize him.
In August 2017, ABC’s 20/20 went even further and defined two people that it interviewed as Antifa group leader Lacy Macaulay and “intelligence expert” Daryle Lamont Jenkins. That same month Michelle Goldberg, one of the most partisan opinion writers at the New York Times who would later characterize the #MeToo movement as a “trap” for Democrats after previously being a full-fledged #MeToo megaphone, profiled Jenkins and his One People Project in Slate as the “CIA of Antifa.”
If Antifa isn’t a real organization, what happened between 2017 and now that has gone unexplained? These major details are smothered due to the no-accountability, high-prestige environment in which these reporters exist.
Meanwhile, NPR and other media outlets have gone wild because a Minneapolis investigator has alleged in a sworn affidavit that the main suspect in the May 29 incident where an umbrella-wielding man broke the windows of an Autozone is an unnamed, unidentified Hell’s Angel biker and white supremacist.
What else is there to deny? NPR has also for years deliberated over whether the Juggalos, a subculture of hardcore fans of the Insane Clown Posse, are a violent gang or not. But the taxpayer-supported news radio network is almost allergic to acknowledging the role of Antifa in present-day political violence. Joining them in taking the Hoover approach is Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) who this week told vlogger Austin Fletcher that Antifa violence in Portland, Oregon is a “myth.”
Evidence? Who Needs Evidence?
Media organizations feel no obligation to admit the truth when an allegation they deny (e.g., Antifa’s involvement in rioting and looting) is validated, or when a story they peddle as likely true (e.g., white power thugs) fizzles out.
One report that got wide circulation highlighted an internal Department of Homeland Security memo stating a racist Telegram channel had suggested that extremists fire into crowds in order to turn protests into violent riots, and used the example of the fake @ANTIFA_US account as proof. Nowhere is it mentioned on which Telegram account this allegedly occurred or who might be behind it, let alone whether anyone acted on its instructions. Supposedly these white supremacists, even though they are portrayed by the media as ignorant slobs living in the backwoods of coal country, are smart enough to avoid notice in the field by law enforcement, media cameras, and the fury of the “real” protesters.
Similarly, accusations have cropped up that some of the violence was caused by police infiltrators. A person with an umbrella smashing windows at a Minneapolis Autozone on May 28 was alleged on Reddit to have been a police officer working for the departments of neighboring cities. The allegation was based on the belief that the man was wearing a “police-issue” gas mask, meaning that the man was identified solely based on his eyes, cheekbones, and brows. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison even alleged that “this man doesn’t look like any civil rights protester I have ever seen. Looks like a provocateur. Can anyone ID him?” The St. Paul Police Department released surveillance footage of the officer in question present at a department building at the same time, thereby giving him an alibi.
Racist police officers exist, of course, and there have been findings that some departments are permeated by police gangs like the “Lynwood Vikings.” But having such officers on the police force actually works counter to the narrative of anti-racist activists, because any person suspected of having been detained or arrested by them could have a pending fine or conviction dismissed as part of Brady material.
This is already happening in the case of a group of Wilmington, North Carolina officers who were recorded saying off-color racial remarks last month and have since been fired. In many of the cities questioned, the police departments are disproportionately black. Atlanta, with a black population of 52.2 percent has a police department that is 57.9 percent black. The LAPD has an 11.6 percent share of black officers compared to an 8.8 percent black population in Los Angeles. A plurality of LAPD officers is Hispanic. Does this really sound like a system where bigoted policing can thrive?
Another theory that has been published by the New York Times holds that black people found hanging in various parts of the United States may have been targeted for lynchings by secret crews of white supremacists. When a 17-year-old black youth was found hanging in Spring, Texas outside of Houston, Rep. Sheila Jackon-Lee (D-Texas) called for a federal investigation despite a history of suicide attempts. A Hispanic man from the same area was found hanged and his family confirmed he had been suicidal.
Malcolm Harsch, a homeless man found dead from hanging near an encampment in Victorville, California, was also characterized as suicidal by his family. A similar case in Palmdale, California concerning Robert Fuller also resulted in calls for a lynching investigation despite no signs of struggle or defensive wounds. The eventual conclusion was that Fuller committed suicide. In fact, Fuller had been treated in 2017 after threatening to kill himself.
Lumped in with these is the case of the homeless transgender Portland resident Titi Gulley, who was found hanged in June 2019. Somehow Jackson-Lee and others think a conspiracy is afoot, even though the Harvard Public Health Review found that suicide rates among the homeless are estimated at nine times those of other Americans. In 2017, a total of 13,075 deaths were classified as suicide by suffocation (hanging) per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, so would it not be reasonable that at least some of these would be black males? All that is necessary in order to propose a conspiracy is the race of the victim and the method of suicide, at least according to the Boston Globe’s Jeneé Osterheldt who titled a recent column “Black men dying by hanging—whether by suicide or murder—are a visceral reminder of America’s roots.”
These exploitative interpretations of tragedies are an abhorrent but all-too-common hallmark of modern progressive activists and the media. It is almost futile to analyze and rebut these deceptions because by the time the work is done they have already moved on to a new lie. The contrived scarecrow of white supremacy needn’t have any actual substance behind it; the media will simply stuff it with myth and hyperbole to make it seem real enough to be useful.