In Portland last weekend, a white man was dragged out of his car and beaten within an inch of his life by a Black Lives Matter mob. The man had crashed his vehicle after being chased by the mob from a 7-Eleven, where he had gotten between them and another person they were terrorizing. As the man tried to flee, they surrounded his car and attacked him and his girlfriend, who was tackled to the ground.
Finally, the man was knocked unconscious when one “protester” kicked him in the head. The video is gruesome. As the man lies bleeding in the street, another “protester” idly circles in a scooter. It’s clear: this is a game to them.
“Get your bitch ass up, n—a!” they taunt. “Black Lives Matter, n—a!” Of course, he can’t hear them. That’s the point.
Barbaric acts of violence like this are happening in our cities, in our neighborhoods, on our streets. But as far as the Left and their friends in the media are concerned, it might as well be happening in Kabul.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama summarized the blissful ignorance of the Left when she said that Joe Biden “wants all of our kids, no matter what they look like to be able to walk out the door without worrying about being harassed or arrested or killed.”
But it turns out that Obama’s concern has very clear and circumscribed boundaries. All across America, people are being harassed, assaulted, intimidated, and sometimes killed, but Michelle Obama isn’t talking about them.
In Minnesota, a black man seeking elected office, John Thompson, stood outside the home of Minneapolis police union chief Bob Kroll and terrorized his family. Thompson was seen beating effigies of Kroll, who is white, and his wife. “I’m being terrorized by this f—king Klansman right here,” he shouted through a megaphone. “Don’t run now, racist white people.” He also threatened to “[burn] Hugo down.”
In addition to self-control, self-awareness does not seem to be among Thompson’s virtues. But he has no need of them, it turns out, because he will not be facing charges.
In Seattle, protesters demanded that white “gentrifiers” give up their homes to black people. “Do you know that before your white ass came here, this was all black people?” one protester said. “Give us our shit back.”
Two Americas, Double Standards
All Americans hear about these days is how racist and awful the country is. America, our betters never stop reminding us, is an oppressive society in which only whites are represented. But for such a “racist” country, America has been awfully forbearing towards violence and intimidation carried out in the name of “anti-racism,” especially when white people are the target.
The Left’s outrage over the phrase “all lives matter” stems from the idea that it’s a cynical way to dismiss “black lives matter,” which supposedly already assumes that “all lives matter.” But for the Left, the idea that America suffers from “systemic racism” seems to justify the view that white people can never be victims, only perpetrators, of crimes.
Citizens are divided into two groups: whites, the oppressors, and everyone else, who suffer on account of whites. This is why when black children are gunned down in Chicago, the Left has nothing in particular to say. Any crime that can’t be blamed on white people doesn’t matter. Needless to say, it’s difficult to argue or have a civil chat with people who think in such uncompromising, categorical terms. Call it what you want, but this isn’t an egalitarian worldview.
Just how dehumanizing this philosophy is was made clear in the ghoulish response of the media to the cold-blooded execution of a five-year-old white boy. Cannon Hinnant was playing with his sisters in his front yard when their neighbor, a black man named Darius Sessoms, ran up to the boy and shot him dead at point-blank range. Anyone with a soul and a conscience was shocked by this case, as countless Americans were.
The reaction from the Left, on the other hand, reeked of desperation and fear. The media provided the most perfunctory coverage possible. The BLM crowd was more troubled by the small amout of publicity the case had received than the depravity of the crime itself. Despite a media blackout, the story spread through social media like wildfire. This caused BLM to panic. It would simply be too damaging to acknowledge what had taken place, so they set about trivializing the boy’s murder, as the national media had already done with a campaign of organized silence. They came up with all kinds of elaborate deflections for why his death was unremarkable, claiming that it had in fact received its due measure of attention and that justice had already been served. They were clearly eager to make the story go away as quickly as possible.
The killer was arrested, they insisted; he wasn’t in a position of authority; so there was no reason to be angry or protest. But we know that BLM wouldn’t be mollified by these arguments if Sessoms were white and Hinnant were black. It wouldn’t make any difference if the killer were a cop or a civilian or if he were promptly arrested. They would be outraged by the crime, as would all civilized human beings, doubly so if the media had turned a blind eye to evil, as they had done.
This is becoming a pattern. When something happens that doesn’t fit the BLM narrative, the media will give the story minimal coverage, if any. For months, they’ve pretended that riots are “peaceful protests.” If they feel compelled to cover some politically inconvenient story, they’ll bury the lede and obscure the identities of perpetrator and victim.
Consider this headline: “Portland police identify suspect connected to assault on erratic driver.” Get it? The driver was “erratic”! No need to identify the race of the victim. And the man who kicked him in the face was just “connected” to the case. Adam Haner, the poor man beaten in Portland, says he thinks he was targeted because he is white. But the media doesn’t find that angle interesting in the least.
Pay No Mind to the Chaos
Most Americans don’t spend their days worrying about what’s happening in Syria, but they know that bombings and other terrible things happen there all the time. While they might be tragedies, they aren’t terribly relevant to what’s happening in America, so the average person doesn’t dwell on them.
That’s how the media wants Americans to think of certain acts of violence that are happening in their own country, it seems: like prosaic evils happening in some faraway sandpit, peripheral to the nation’s concerns.
Everyone intuitively understands that if the races were reversed in any of these incidents, there would have been national, wall-to-wall coverage for a month at least, with riots to boot. The double standard is so obvious that only disingenuous activists have reason to deny it, and for the most part, even they aren’t bothering to do that anymore.
Beneath all the desperate grasping at straws, BLM is simply begging the question: a double standard exists for a good reason, they’re saying, because of “systemic racism.” Any crime that cannot be explained through this lens isn’t a crime at all. Since Cannon Hinnant was white, he could never be a victim of racism as the Left understands it, so his killing was unremarkable, which is to say, his life didn’t matter.
Despite all this, we continue to watch powerful politicians conjure the specter of an America where klansmen are hiding in the bushes and George Wallace is alive and well. In a nation that has adjusted as rapidly as America has in three months to the sensibilities of a once-niche political organization, no one could argue in good faith that “black lives matter” is still a controversial or provocative claim. That all lives still matter suddenly is.