Who? Well, probably your friends on social media who think you’re a racist because you point out that Black Lives Matter is spreading lies and hate.
I read with interest this feature yesterday in my New York Times: “Few Charges, Fewer Convictions: The Chauvin Trial and the History of Police Violence.”
It covered two full pages—you know, it was important—and was pure propaganda: deliberately misleading, contoured to make a political argument under the guise of news analysis. I classify the reporters, Aidan Gardiner and Rebecca Halleck, as ethics villains, along with whatever editor gave a green light to publish this deliberate deceit.
For many observers, the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death, has felt like the culmination of years of outrage and grief over police killings of Black people in America. Video of the arrest that led to Mr. Floyd’s death inspired demonstrations that touched every corner of the country last summer, with protesters demanding justice for Mr. Floyd.
The Times reviewed dozens of similar cases in which encounters between Black people and police ended fatally. Though many cases prompted public outrage, that did not always translate to criminal indictments. In some cases, police officers were shown to have responded lawfully. In others, charges were dropped or plea agreements were reached. Some have resulted in civil settlements. But very few have resulted in convictions at trial.
These cases offer valuable points of comparison about what issues — video evidence, drug use, whether the person who died was armed — proved decisive in each outcome and what consequences, if any, officers faced. Even as the trial has unfolded, several events, including the killing of Daunte Wright just a few miles from Minneapolis, have provided a grim reminder that Mr. Floyd’s death is one in a decades-long history of fatal encounters.
Then we get a list of cases where blacks died as a result of police action. The facts of the cases are summarized briefly, often leaving out important facts. We are told, for example, the Eric Garner was “confronted” by police but not that he resisted arrest, nor that he weighed over 300 pounds. The Times reporters don’t deem it significant that Mike Brown tried to take away the officer’s gun, or that he was shot while charging the cop. In the case of Tamir Rice, the Cleveland 12-year-old shot while playing with a realistic toy gun that had its red tip removed, the article says that “a 911 caller reported seeing a person with a gun but said that it was ‘probably fake’ and that the person was ‘probably a juvenile,'” but does not add the crucial detail that these statements were not relayed to the officer.
I know most of the cases mentioned in the piece; for those I do not, I assume that I am being similarly misled. The Times isn’t reporting or doing legitimate analysis; this is advocacy, and unethical advocacy. Facts that would undermine the political agenda of the reporters, and by extension, the Times, are omitted. That is lying by omission.
The greatest omission is that only black victims are included in the article, which purports to be about “police violence.” Thus the article is designed to leave the impression that police only shoot or kill blacks, or, if a reader is smart enough to know that can’t possibly be true, that cops who kill white suspects are more frequently convicted by judges and juries. This is just false, and many sources prove that it’s false, including the Washington Post’s police shootings database. Why, for example, wouldn’t the Times article include the Fairfax , Virginia shooting of John Geer in 2013, which I know about because it was a local story here? They didn’t include it because Geer was white. There is no other reason. So even though the Times will not state for the record that the deaths of the blacks it features were because of “systemic racism”, the framing of its story leads to no other conclusion.
Coincidentally, Legal Insurrection alerted me yesterday that researcher Eric Kaufmann had recently published a study at the Manhattan Institute called “The Social Construction of Racism in the United States.” Its findings are remarkably obvious to anyone who has been paying attention and has the slightest understanding of human nature. “Exposing black survey respondents to a concentrated dose of critical race-inspired writing reduces their belief that they have control of their lives. This affects their trust, health, economic achievement and other aspects of well-being,” Kaufman writes. He adds that
“Progressives are deeply invested in the critical race theory narrative that America is a racist society that seeks to victimize people of color, especially black Americans. They believe this consciousness will lead us toward racial justice. But while the concrete benefits of this radical narrative are difficult to prove, the costs — in the form of lost black lives and prosperity — are painfully measurable.”
For example, although young black men are around 10 times more likely to die in a car accident than being shot by police, 81% of black Biden voters surveyed (and 70% of whites who agreed that “white Republicans are racist”) believed that police shootings was the more common reason for black deaths.
Articles like the Times piece contribute to this mindset, and deliberately so.
The blog’s author, “Fuzzy Slippers” (you know, Fuzzy, you do no favors to those who would cite your analysis by using such a silly screen name), concludes,
“Can America be saved from the lying race-baiters and -haters who seek only to divide, who seek to actively breed and nurture race hate and resentment for their financial and political gain? Call me optimistic, but I think we can get out of this horrible historical moment in tact, but not until enough moral and ethical leaders shine light on and reject the damage the regressive, neo-racist Marxists are intentionally sowing across and into the fabric of America. Sadly, my hopes for that fade with each passing day of silence from the people who know better but refuse to respond properly.”