It is not exactly an upset that this column, as dishonest and irresponsible as any I have seen in the New York Times, which is saying a lot, came from the poisoned, bitter and unscrupulous mind of Charles M. Blow. Blow, the most consistently unethical of the Times huge reserve of unethical pundits, never lets fairness and facts get in the way of an anti-white, anti-cop, anti-Republican diatribe when he isn’t writing weekly Trump-hate pieces as he did for four years, nearly without pause. But this week’s column, outrageously coupling a photo of Trayvon Martin with Emmet Till, is special.
Let’s start with the headline: “Trayvon Martin Is Still Making
America Confront Its Original Sin.” That’s a lot of misinformation for a headline. The “original sin,” of course, is slavery, this being the New York Times, where Nicole Hannah-Jones contrived the fake history-based “1619 Project” that claimed the United States was created to protect slavery. Slavery was neither original with the American colonies nor did American history begin with the practice, and Blow’s analogy (which was also endorsed by Barack Obama) with “original sin” is a core part of the anti-American theme of Critical Race Theory. That anti-white, anti-American tool holds that nothing the nation has done or can do will erase or compensate for slavery and its long-lasting side-effects, though perpetual white guilt and a special set of standards making African-Americans permanent beneficiaries of legal and society favoritism is absolutely required.
Trayvon Martin, meanwhile, doesn’t, or shouldn’t, make America do anything. His was a tragedy unrelated to racial prejudice, except the prejudice of race hucksters like Blow against whites. It has been cynically used to divide the nation while making fraudulent profit for Black activists, and giving habitual hacks like Blow material to make his readers angry and ignorant. And, of course, it launched Black Lives Matter, based on the lie that Martin was “murdered” by a racist white man for the crime of “walking while black.”
Naturally, Blow starts his column by quoting Barack Obama, whose unforgivable framing of the Martin-Zimmerman confrontation made national news out of what should have remained a local story of no special significance. “One of the most important things that came out of this tragedy was the activation of an entire new generation of civil rights leaders,” Blow says Obama told the Times. Again, whatever civil rights activism that came out of Martin’s demise was based on multiple lies, concocted by activists who saw an opportunity, and driven by the news media’s false narratives.
Amusingly, if one appreciates mordant humor, Obama is hitting the road to give speeches about the dangers of “misinformation.” You know—like getting a health care law passed by promising the public, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” The President who uttered the most consequential lie at least since Nixon is lecturing us about the perils of lies.
Then Blow gives a deceitful description of Martin’s death. He neatly skips over the fact that George Zimmerman was not (and is not) “white” under current demographic categories, so this was an episode involving two individuals “of color.” (The fantasy narrative doesn’t do its job if Zimmerman isn’t regarded as “white,” though. “Zimmerman” doesn’t sound Hispanic; this allowed the news media in 2012 to invent the new racial category, “White Hispanic.”) He also wasn’t a police officer, or anything close to one. He was a “neighborhood watch captain,” an untrained part-time position, and his conduct bears no weight in evaluating police brutality or racism.
“There was an encounter between the two before Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest at close range,” writes Blow. The “encounter,” according to the investigation, involved Martin physically attacking Zimmerman, a smaller man, and beating his head against the pavement. Zimmerman said, and there is no way to prove this one way or the other, that he thought Martin was trying to grab Zimmerman’s gun. Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest “at close range” because Zimmerman was on his back with Martin on top of him, and used his gun, the jury concluded in his trial, because Zimmerman thought he was about to have his head bashed in.
Details, details. Blow also keeps referring to Martin as a “boy,” because he was 17. He was a six foot tall “boy,” and Zimmerman didn’t ask for his birth certificate when the “child” was overpowering him and beating his skull into the ground. Blow also cleverly (as in “deceitfully”) keeps referring to Martin’s death as “a killing.” That it certainly was, as Zimmerman did kille Martin, but Blow intends for his confirmation-biased readers to think “murder.” Zimmerman was acquitted of murder by a racially balanced jury because even the prosecution’s investigator admitted on the stand that the facts pointed to self-defense. The murder charge never should have been brought. (I would have voted to convict Zimmerman of manslaughter.)
Yet Blow analogizes Martin’s death, in a fight between a Hispanic man and a almost grown teen, to the lynching of 14-year-old Emmet Till by a white mob in 1955. The sole point of similarity is that both incidents ended with a black, male teen dead.
It seems that Blow wrote his column to claim credit for inspiring Black Lives Matter, which is like wanting credit for launching antifa, or the Plague. “Zimmerman had been questioned by the police but was released without any charges,” writes Blow, blowing hard. “Nearly three weeks later, with Zimmerman still free, I wrote a column to help elevate the case, articulate the pain of this family and illuminate the oddities of how the case had been handled. It was published on a Friday. The following Wednesday, activists organized the Million Hoodie March in New York City. Two days later, President Obama famously said, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
That’s infamously said, Charles, as Ethics Alarms noted immediately.
In his 2012 column, Blow, being Blow, assumed that Zimmerman found the teen wearing a hoodie suspicious because it meant Martin was black (I wear a hoodie sometimes), but there is no evidence of that belief on Zimmerman’s part at all. In a gated community, he saw an individual whom he did not recognize as living there, and decided to check him out after calling 911. Blow, who sees racism everywhere, jumped to the conclusion that Zimmerman “hunted” Martin (as some news reports said) and is still spreading that narrative now. “The Million Hoodie March” was similarly based on an unsubstantiated presumption that Zimmerman had stereotyped a black man…okay, “boy.“
Next on his agenda of unethical arguments, Blow appeals to emotion, describing how distraught Trayvon’s mother was at her son’s demise. This is 100% irrelevant—to law, to ethics, to civil rights, to Black Lives Matter. She would presumably be just as crushed by her son’s death if he were 45, Brazilian and a cannibal. From that Blow cheat, we get to this: “[Trayvon] would now also belong to the world, as archetype and icon of Black victimization in a society hostile to blackness. His killing would epitomize a collective trauma.”
He can only be an icon and an archetype if one approves of black men referring to someone they perceive as white as a “creepy-ass cracker” and “nigger,” which is what Rachel Jeantel, the “star” prosecution witness, testified that Martin said to her on the phone. Then Martin got in a fight with Zimmerman that ended with the teen being shot in self defense. For his part, Zimmerman never injected race into the incident, based on the 911 call.
Oh, about that 911 call: in a tweet promoting Blow’s op-ed, the Times Opinion editors linked to the deceptively edited version of Zimmerman’s 911 call. NBC News used an edited version of George Zimmerman’s call to the police to make it sound as if Zimmerman told police, “He looks black” unsolicited. The unedited call, however, showed that Zimmerman only brought up race when asked by the 911 operator. NBC fired the producer responsible in 2012, yet ten years later, the New York Times, bolstering its primary race-baiter Charles Blow (though Jamelle Bouie is in hot pursuit), used the fake version again.
Did I mention that Facts Don’t Matter?
Blow isn’t finished. He compares criticism of Black Lives Matter, which has broken laws, circulated lies, seeded riots, gotten people killed, inspired police assassinations, caused millions in property destruction, intimidated innocent members of the public and scammed donors, to criticism of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement in the Sixties, writing in part,
Resentments always bubble to the surface when a movement experiences some success, and racists rise up to repel its advances….The backlash that always feels like betrayal is the shifting of allegiances among supposed allies, the people who are with you only up to a point, the point at which your liberation threatens their privilege.
Blow wants us to believe that falsely representing the death of Trayvon Martin as an incident of white racism equivalent to a lynching represents “liberation.” Funny, I always thought the saying was “The truth shall make you free.”
Today, Democrats are once again shrinking from — or, in some cases, running from — police reform in the face of rising violent crime data, worried about being labeled “soft on crime,” or worse, a defund-the-police pusher.
Police “reform” is Blow’s euphemism for “make police targets,” “punish police for every poor decision under stress,” “make the job impossible,” and “have less law enforcement so fewer blacks get arrested.” But what do Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman have to do with police policies? Not only is Blow’s characterization of the episode rife with falsity, his conclusions don’t follow logically at all. Then comes another leap…
And that’s only part of the backlash. Elsewhere, conservatives have made inroads in swing districts by stoking the Critical Race Theory panic, which is an attack on history and the teaching of it.
The objections to CRT and its related agenda-focused narratives (like the “1619 Project”) is that they are not history but opinion, and that the teaching of it as “history” is ideological indoctrination, which, in fact, it is.
Finally, Blow concludes by writing,
It is too early to know precisely It is too early to know precisely where we are in the life of Black Lives Matter as a national movement, whether it’s waning or still vibrant and viable; no movement lasts forever. But there is no denying that the movement changed this country, and it all started with the tragic killing of a Florida teenager.as a national movement, whether it’s waning or still vibrant and viable; no movement lasts forever. But there is no denying that the movement changed this country, and it all started with the tragic killing of a Florida teenager.
To the contrary, we know exactly where we are in the life of Black Lives Matter, the end stage of movements good and bad as described by Eric Hoffer: it is now unquestionably a racket. I find it amazing, in light of the complete collapse of whatever organization BLM had, that Blow has the gall to write that sentence now. However, he is correct that the movement changed this country, though greatly for the worse. And it did start with the death of Trayvon Martin, thanks to the lies and manipulation by ethics villains like Barack Obama, The New York Times, and Charles M. Blow.
5 thoughts on “Ethics Observations On An Unethical NYT Column That Should Never Have Been Published About A Destructive Movement That Never Should Have Begun”
If John C. Eastman can be blamed for the Capitol riot, then Charles M. Blow can be blamed for the riots in Minneapolis, Portland, and Kenosha.
It’s signature significance for anyone who claims that the United States was founded to protect slavery. You don’t need any deep understanding of any part of any nation’s history to see that slavery has been part of human society since we first began organizing ourselves into societies. It’s only recently that the world has begun to shift away from slavery, and slavery still does exist in some parts of the world.
Because of the amount of either deep dishonestly or full ignorance of history, anyone who claims this automatically tells me their political opinions are going to be bad, and likely really bad.
Some of Hannah-Jones old tweets are outright racist. At this point, I think she probably is racist towards whites.
As for Zimmerman, that whole episode shows how subtle racial hysteria can influence people’s thinking. I know people who are conservative, who think Biden is a feckless moron, and who still maintain that Zimmerman murdered Martin.
“It’s signature significance for anyone who claims that the United States was founded to protect slavery.”
I disagree. It is a legitimate interpretation, but I think the wrong one. (By the way, there is an ambiguity in the phrase “founded to protect slavery.” That phrase could suggest it was the sole purpose, a purpose, or simply something that was done in the founding. Some of these senses are dumber than others.)
Two pieces of evidence can be informative here. First, the Declaration of Independence deleted from its list of complaints some references to slavery. Second, the Constitution explicitly kicked the can down the road by saying that the importation of slaves could not be outlawed for 20 years. That second item is what I think many people (the thinking ones, at least) mean when they refer to slavery as America’s Original Sin; after the Declaration touted Liberty, the Constitution explicitly protected the slave trade. (You could also throw in the 3/5ths compromise as another explicit endorsement of slavery, but I won’t.)
From these two pieces of evidence, which I believe are undisputed facts, one could infer that its omission from the Declaration was an endorsement of slavery (because no objection was made to it) and the Constitution explicitly protected it That is a defensible position, but I think it is the wrong interpretation.
If you consider the Declaration’s purpose, it was to notify Great Britain (and the World) of the reasons for declaring independence. The reasons would have to be unanimous. You could not say, “these colonies are upset about slavery, but South Carolina likes it, so they are not joining the Declaration on that point.” That would be unworkable. Thus, any colony could veto any item. So, of course slavery was not included.
Then, with respect to the “endorsement” of the slave trade in the Constitution, one could equally interpret the 20-year bar on prohibiting the slave trade as the establishment of a plan to do it. And, 20 years later, it was done. The “protection” of the slave trade was also a provision for the “elimination” of it. That’s not very good protection if you ask me; it would be like if a hitman told you he would kill you next Friday and you are happy that he is protecting your life for a few days.
So, I would not classify such an opinion as signature significance. I would have to understand what they really meant in uttering such an opinion.
Arguably, it’s worse than original sin. Original sin was a deliberate disobedience of a command that came from God himself. However, there was also a way out of original sin, although it involved the intervention of Someone much greater than any human could be and that Someone sacrificing Himself in atonement for that first sin, since a human apology wasn’t enough to counter an error that went against the dictates of God. Supposedly, or at least that’s what most Christians are taught, the stain of that sin is wiped away by baptism, although we Catholics are also taught that good works during life are a requirement to finally make it to Heaven (most Protestants do not believe that).
Slavery, however, is worse than original sin, because there is no redeemer who can pay the debt on anyone’s behalf, and it doesn’t matter what good deeds you do in life. If you are white, or in some cases, “white ancillary” like East Asians, that sin is stamped forever on you like the Mark of Cain, and nothing will wipe it away. However, you are still required to act like it will, by doing whatever the black community, or its leaders, tell you to do. In effect you are already in permanent punishment, like Sisyphus having to push the boulder up the hill again and again, only to have it roll down because he had tricked death twice, or the daughters of Danaus who had to carry water forever in leaking jars, trying in vain to fill a bath, as punishment for murdering their husbands on their wedding night. Futility is the worst punishment of all, arguably.
However, there’s always the danger that too many of us will see sense and start calling this nonsense out for what it is. So every so often we need to be reminded of just how bad we are, so that our guilt will blind us again, as surely as the never-named Lady of the Green Kirtle kept Prince Rilian bemused by glamour while she plotted how best to use him to conquer others. The killing of a black person by a white usually provides the opportunity to renew that spell of guilt. Folks like Blow are just the acolytes who act as the conduits for the spell by passing it along, and the amplifiers who make it stronger by selective editing, something the left has been very good at since before Howard Zinn, who is the original master of swapping detail for detail to tell a totally different story.
Blow apparently wants to be ordained a high priest of this cult of guilt, selective truths, and manipulation. He is of the opinion that Black Lives Matter is a great and heroic thing, better than the civil rights movement, better than the victory in World War II, better than the Great Awakenings, better than the Renaissance, better than the Age of Discovery, better even than when God made the covenant with Abraham that started the world’s three great religions. When someone believes that, it should come as no surprise that he views anyone who disagrees with this great new thing as a villain and obstruction.
He sees that the movement is fading, and is likely to continue to fade the farther 2020 recedes into the rearview mirror and the more his chosen party shows itself to be completely inept. He is also no doubt shaken by Biden’s statement that defunding the police is not the answer and the clearer and clearer signs of a Republican wave election coming this November. So he is trying to restart the revolution in the hopes of staving this off. Can he do it? Will the streets run black again? Can he make the red wave evaporate? Can he stop the pendulum from swinging back the other way? He’s going to try his damnedest.