The New York Times’ “Lessons From A Year Talking Race”: Not Fake News, Just Divisive And Misleading Propaganda

“Over the past year, we have hosted weekly live conversations about race and ethnicity on Facebook, tackling topics that ranged from black royalty to Latino baseball players to Asian-American slurs. RaceNYT, as we call the segment, is an extension of the crucial coverage on race — in America and beyond — that appears in The New York Times. We see it as a chance not only to explore important stories of race and what they mean to society, but also to give you, our readers and viewers, a chance to join the conversation.

These subjects are not always easy to talk about. Why, for instance, is affordable housing built mostly in poor, heavily minority areas? What are the terms about race that make us uncomfortable? And what do the United States and major institutions like universities owe the descendants of the enslaved people they profited from?

We explored these issues and more with a wide range of guests, including political strategists, filmmakers, academics and Times viewers. Here are five takeaways from the show…”

Thus spake the New York Times, online a couple of days ago, and in today’s print edition. What are stated as “takeaways” are, however, the product of confirmation bias, dubious assumptions, and efforts at political manipulation. For example…

Like racial minorities in the United States, Indigenous Australians are often relegated to the fringe of society, Craig Quartermaine, an Aboriginal television reporter and comedian, told us. “We’re window dressing,” he said.

Why this is unethical: Comparing the problems of Indigenous Australians to “racial minorities in the United States” is unsupportable. A comparison with indigenous North American populations would arguably be valid.

Madeline Vann reached out to us, wondering how she should handle the racially offensive remarks she was hearing in her community. She is a white freelance writer in Virginia.

Why this is unethical: Uh-uh. Ethics foul. You can’t tar a community like that without giving concrete examples. I live in Virginia: I almost never hear any “racially offensive remarks.” The New York Times core audience is the same group that believes it is “racially offensive” to object to NFL players using stadium time to issue half-baked protests they can’t articulate during the national anthem. The Times’ supposedly open inquiry on race begins with the assumption that the nation is racist. That’s called a bias. What kind of remarks are you talking about Madeline? How many, how often and from how many people?

“The first year of the Trump presidency has been marked by a vast racial chasm where perspectives often exist in different worlds.”

Why this is unethical: Wow, all that division in such a short time! This statement is deceitful. The reason there is a vast racial chasm is because the previous administration had eight years to put it there, and the because the news media fully committed to the project. The Congressional Black Caucus boycotted the Trump Inauguration, because part of the campaign strategy against him was to declare he was a racist, and that anyone who voted for him was a racist. That was a strategy developed into an art form to protect Barack Obama from legitimate criticism, and keep his loyal African American base angry and afraid.

Trayvon Martin’s death at the hands of a “white Hispanic” was politicized by Obama and the CDC to widen that “chasm,” and it occurred midway through the Obama years. In 2012, Joe Biden said that the Republicans wanted to put blacks “back in chains.” Black Lives Matter wasn’t a creature of the Trump administration. Black college students didn’t start demanding “safe spaces” without whites and special privileges after Trump’s election: they did it before. The historical airbrushing madness to use slavery to justify erasing any references to the confederacy was an Obama era phenomenon that has extended into Trump’s administration. The Oscars were bullied into making race a criteria for artistic honors during Obama’s administration.

The more I read that quote, the more misleading and intentionally dishonest it seems.

The Muslim-American activists Aber Kawas and Dalia Mogahed told us how they felt last month when the authorities quickly described an attack by a Muslim man in Manhattan as terrorism, while that term was never officially applied to a white man who fatally shot more than 50 people in Las Vegas weeks earlier.

“Pretty much we define terror attacks as something that’s done by a Muslim,” Ms. Kawas said.

Why this is unethical: Definitions have nothing to do with it, and this is distortion. We pretty much know that when there are attacks by Muslims, they are terror attacks, since every violent mass killing committed by a Muslim in the U.S. since 2001 HAS been a terror attack, including the recent one in Manhattan. We also know that the major terrorism organizations in the world are Muslim, and that one of them, ISIS, keeps vowing to wreak terror on the U.S., and has shown the ability to do it. And we know that of the major world religions, Islam is the only one with a holy book that tells its adherents that they have a moral obligation to kill infidels, as in, us.

On the other side of the ledger, we know that the last time a white non-immigrant American man, Charles Whitman, went into a high place with multiple rifles and started randomly shooting a lot of people for no particular reason, he was insane, and no political motive has ever been found. Thus it wasn’t racism, or racial bias, that led authorities to quickly describe an attack by a Muslim man as terrorism—which it in fact was—but to hesitated to make such an assumption with the non-Muslim Las Vegas shooter. It was profiling, experience, common sense and history. Did anyone point this out to Aber Kawas and Dalia Mogahed in the course of this  project to “explore important stories of race”?  Apparently not, or if so, the Times didn’t feel it was worth mentioning, so it’s obviously “not fit to print.”

“Our colleague, Nathalie Nieves, who is Hispanic, shared her feelings about the day when a white co-worker asked whether she was undocumented. (She isn’t.)”

 Why this is unethical: When publications like the Times openly and repeatedly push the narrative that illegal immigrants are no less deserving of permanent legal residence in the U.S. than legal immigrants, and when Hispanics accept that deliberately false and confounding use of language to undermine legitimate debate, and when New York boasts of its status as a sanctuary city, the white-co-worker’s question is reasonable. It may be rude, but it is certainly not racist.

Like so many progressives, the New York Times journalists don’t really seek the “open dialogue about race’ they keep calling for.  They want to prove and justify their pre-determined conclusions, using any opinions and arguments that don’t t comfortably fit those conclusions to stand as damning evidence of how racist others are.

There will never be honest discussions about race as long as the framework for them is intrinsically biased.

_________________________

Graphic: decollins1969

 

15 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Race, U.S. Society

15 responses to “The New York Times’ “Lessons From A Year Talking Race”: Not Fake News, Just Divisive And Misleading Propaganda

  1. Here is a question they should have asked.

    If America is so racist, why do not racial minorities just leave?

    • Jeff

      It’s not so easy to leave – most other countries have far stricter immigration policies than America does (but somehow you never hear about that).

      Perhaps a better question is, if America is so racist and hostile to immigrants, why do so many minorities want to immigrate here?

      • Michael Ejercito wrote, “If America is so racist, why do not racial minorities just leave?”

        Jeff wrote, “…if America is so racist and hostile to immigrants, why do so many minorities want to immigrate here?”

        You two do know that neither of your questions really address the fact that racism does in fact exists in the United States, just not at the hyped up extreme levels that some would like the public to believe.

        • It isx this hyping that deters people from even considering proven acts of racial discrimination.

          for example, some people exaggerate racial bias in law enforcement. and yet, then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris said this.

          http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-guns-harris-20140227-story.html

          Local law enforcement must be able to use their discretion to determine who can carry a concealed weapon

          Who are we to disagree with an attorney general on matters related to law enforcement? Harris was right on this issue by virtue of her office, and as such, anyone who contradicts this statement must be wrong. If racial bias in law enforcement existed, then Harris would be wrong- a contradiction. Therefore, logic leads to the inescapable conclusion that there is no racial bias in law enforcement.

  2. Other Bill

    I’d like to see the word “conversation” put on ice. It does not any more mean as discussion by two people or an exchange of points of view. It means a berating lecture by the left or anyone who doesn’t agree with them. It’s become as condescending as the really horrible “teachable moment.”

    • Other Bill

      “of” not “or” in penultimate sentence

    • Other Bill wrote, “I’d like to see the word “conversation” put on ice. It does not any more mean as discussion by two people or an exchange of points of view. It means a berating lecture by the left or anyone who doesn’t agree with them.”

      The word “conversation” is being bastardized by the political left and the anti-Trump resistance.

      Bastardize: to corrupt or debase (something such as a language or art form), typically by adding new elements.

  3. Jack Houghton

    The leadership of the Russian Federation must be doing their happy dance and raising their glasses high in celebration for their unbelievably successful plan of sowing seeds of division in the intellectually weak American culture. They have succeeded in advancing: 1) a non-stop U.S. media narrative that President Trump and most of his family and colleagues are in collusion with the Russians, 2) the idea that President Trump and everybody who voted for him is a racist, 3) a newly discovered actual case of Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton and FBI collusion with the the Russians, 3) a growing belief amongst minorities that America is built on racism and that most white Americans are presumed to be racist, 4) a growing paranoia amongst young minorities who are in trouble with the law are in such trouble, not because of their own behavior, but because of institutional racism by the police, the prosecutors, and the judges.

    The American population is now thoroughly divided in just about every way imaginable: Democrats vs. Republicans… young vs. old… poor vs. rich… poor vs. everybody else who is not poor… people who have no jobs vs. people who have jobs… people who live in cities vs. people who don’t live in cities… people who don’t have skills or education vs. people with skills and education… people of color vs. white people… black people vs. Asian people… various groups of people vs. Jews… west and east coast liberals vs. everybody else in America… people who believe that the government should take care all the needs of its people vs. people who still value individual civil liberties and personal responsibility… on and on and on.

    Most alarmingly, we now have a major fissure between Americans who still believe that America, while not perfect, is a nation to be proud of and a land of freedom and opportunity for most of its citizens most of the time vs. a growing segment of the American population that is not proud of America, and is increasingly strident in its attacks on the most fundamental of American traditions, institutions and principles.

    Yes, the Russian Federation leadership has a lot to be celebrating during the holiday season: Confusion and Discontent in America!!! Maybe they did this to us on their own or maybe we did it to ourselves. I wonder…

    • Other Bill

      It’s been caused by Commies being active in labor and academics during the 1930s and then a wave of post WWII commie/socialists infecting the American academy beginning in the 1950s and now dominating thought.

    • Jack Houghton wrote, “The American population is now thoroughly divided in just about every way imaginable: Democrats vs. Republicans… young vs. old… poor vs. rich… poor vs. everybody else who is not poor… people who have no jobs vs. people who have jobs… people who live in cities vs. people who don’t live in cities… people who don’t have skills or education vs. people with skills and education… people of color vs. white people… black people vs. Asian people… various groups of people vs. Jews… west and east coast liberals vs. everybody else in America… people who believe that the government should take care all the needs of its people vs. people who still value individual civil liberties and personal responsibility… on and on and on.

      Most alarmingly, we now have a major fissure between Americans who still believe that America, while not perfect, is a nation to be proud of and a land of freedom and opportunity for most of its citizens most of the time vs. a growing segment of the American population that is not proud of America, and is increasingly strident in its attacks on the most fundamental of American traditions, institutions and principles.”

      Jack Houghton, you are missing something! Division has been a primary tactic of the Democratic Party’s for many, many years, this is not some new thing recently drummed up by the Russian propaganda machine. I’m sure Russian leadership is smiling at the chaos that the Democratic Party tactics have been sparking but the Russians are NOT the source of the division. Without the tactics of the Democratic Party Trump would not be President of the United States; Trump is a reaction to the bull shit tactics from the political left and that reaction is overcoming the pendulums’ “natural” momentum and shoving the pendulum the other way.

      Get you head out of this Russian conspiracy, they are not the source of the problems.

      • Jack Houghton

        Zoltar, I take your point. However, I do not believe that I am overly preoccupied by the “Russian conspiracy” factor. There is no reason why this can not be a case of BOTH factors contributing to the end result. I agree that he Democratic Party is indeed fond of driving wedges between factions of American people to provoke voters to become paranoid, resentful and/or angry, But also, the Russians have a long history of taking advantage of relatively small fissures within their “Main Enemy” and helping to make those small fissures more problematic. Chaos in American politics is a good thing for Russian interests. If I recall correctly, in the 1960s there was some evidence that the Russians, operating out of Cuba and Canada, were helping to fuel more aggressive and violent confrontations in the American Civil Rights Movement. This is not to say that the Civil Rights Movement was led or inspired by Russian communists, only that they may have tried to exploit that movement to their own advantage. That may be happening now.

        • Jack Houghton wrote, “I do not believe that I am overly preoccupied by the “Russian conspiracy” factor.”

          I not sure how I misunderstood the statement in your first sentence “…their unbelievably successful plan of sowing seeds of division…”; I think I correctly read that “sowing the seeds” as being the source of the division.

          Jack Houghton wrote, “…the Russians have a long history of taking advantage of relatively small fissures within their “Main Enemy” and helping to make those small fissures more problematic.”

          Yes Jack that’s true; but these were not “relatively small fissures” in the American people, they were and still are ideological, ethical, and moral chasms.

          I honestly don’t think the minuscule propaganda that the Russians created and distributed via social media did a thing to change a single vote or to increase the division, although it might have reinforced the divisional attitudes of those mindless lefty hive-minded drones that had already blindly waded waste deep into the divisional muck. Honesty, when the extremists are actively looking for something to support their extremist views they’ll latch onto anything, facts be damned.

          I don’t think Russian meddling changed a damn thing about the attitudes of the American people, it was already in the shitter; although, the lefty hive-minds’ constant focus on Russian meddling sure hasn’t helped matters any. I guess when one of your main tactics is to divide, as the Democrats have shown, then physiologically obsessing with something, like Russian meddling, that will maintain that division is typical Democrat opportunism.

  4. Isaac

    “…the authorities quickly described an attack by a Muslim man in Manhattan as terrorism, while that term was never officially applied to a white man who fatally shot more than 50 people in Las Vegas weeks earlier.

    “Pretty much we define terror attacks as something that’s done by a Muslim,” Ms. Kawas said.”

    Okay, I expect this toxic stupidity from, say, a high-school freshman in debate class, but you’re the NEW YORK TIMES. How do you not know the definition of “terrorism”?

    Did the Las Vegas shooter have any known political or socio-political motive? No? Then he wasn’t a terrorist.

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