Who is Dusty Smith? That’s him above. He’s a pundit, activist and atheist who runs the “Humanist Society of Mississippi, ” is a self-proclaimed progressive, and detests Donald Trump. Unlike so many progressives and Trump-Haters however, truth and integrity still mean something to him. Thus it is that after initially reacting in knee-jerk, Pavlovian fashion to a false news story that seemed to bolster all sorts of mainstream news media, 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck, “resistance” narratives—Catholics are bad, white males are toxic, whites are racists, Trump supporters are racists, pro-life advocates are fools, “The Age of Trump” has energized racism, just to name a few—-he actually reviewed the evidence, and realized that the story was, in his words, “bullshit.” He was disgusted, and made this video…
Nice job, Dusty.
His is one of many examinations of this fiasco emerging on the web now, not that it has discouraged many on social media from still citing the original story so they can signal to their “Orange Man Bad” friends that the posteris right-thinking and virtuous and deserves a tsunami of “likes” and “loves.” I bear an ugly truth: there is no excuse for this. It is irresponsible, incompetent, and destructive. You don’t denigrate a kid and paint a target on his back…
Honest question. Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?
…without being damn certain of your facts. (Actually, you never paint a target on a kid’s back, but let’s start with baby steps, since Trump-Hate has eaten so many consciences and ethics alarms.) Oh, but these kids were wearing MAGA hats, so they deserve it, right? That was the instant approach of the biased journalists and their inexcusably credulous readers, who then joined the social media mobs. It is not just because I was suspicious of the story from the beginning that I state now that everyone should have smelled a rat. After all, just the day before, the mainstream media whipped itself into an impeachment orgy based on a fake “bombshell” from the internet equivalent of the National Enquirer, BuzzFeed. Nor was that the first clue (or the hundredth) that the media can’t be trusted, particularly when it comes to conservatives and MAGA hats. Journalists have disgraced themselves progressively (in both definitions of the word) since at least the 2008 Presidential campaign; they cannot be trusted, and their abdication of ethical journalism now poses a direct threat to democracy. The members of the public who eagerly accepted the attack on the Covington school kids as fact aided and abetted divisive propaganda that they want to be true.
Writes Marta Hernandez about this incident in part at Victory Girls (which I am adding today to the Ethics Alarms links):
This is what happens when people toss their logic aside and turn to their outrage as a source of “action.”
This is what we have become as a society – hordes of Internet mobs, seeking revenge at the expense of real justice, believing that their lackadaisical unwillingness to look past their biases and do actual research before embarking on campaigns to destroy people’s lives is somehow equivalent to real efforts to stand up to racism and prejudice.
These people sit on the shoulders of giants – Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil – who staged a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, NC, refused to leave after being denied service, and were subsequently arrested for trespassing, disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace – and claim their unhinged, hate-filled effort to destroy “the enemy” without facts, without reason, without objectivity, and without so much as an attempt to find an unbiased truth are equivalent to the struggle for civil rights.
And [god] forbid [if] you disagree with them for any reason! You must be a racist. You must be a less than human, piece of shit that needs to be immediately destroyed – your reputation ruined, your life threatened, your family frightened, and your livelihood destroyed. All because social justice zealots must show how woke they are by turning their outrage into action – no matter how unwarranted the outrage, and no matter how harmful the action….
Outrage gives the indolent and cowardly a weapon with which to target their political enemies from the relative safety of their computer keyboards, and manufactured outrage, such as the Covington story, gives them convenient targets.
Outrage gives the media a weapon with which to foment yet more discontent and indignation to help denigrate the enemy (in this case, Trump, because ORANGEMANBAD and everything bad that happens – real or not – is his fault).
Outrage gives social media warriors an outlet to show just how badass, woke, and “courageous” they are as they target demean, and debase a bunch of kids without context.
Outrage forces us to focus on the “enemy” within – at our friends, our neighbors, our coworkers, and our family members – who may hold opposing political viewpoints or support political candidates whom we find less than palatable.
Outrage tears our nation apart from within.