Integrity Test: What Does It Tell Us When Black Lives Matter Emulates The Westboro Baptist Church?

BLM protest

The Westboro Baptist Church, aka “the Phelpsians,” infuriated the Left and Right by disrupting services for fallen soldiers with anti-gay chants, epithets and signs. Now Black Lives Matter is adopting that despicable groups’ tactics and ethics. If you are surprised, you haven’t been paying attention.

On May 7, fallen police officers were finally honored on Capitol Square in Madison, Wisconsin at the Law Enforcement Memorial. For most of 2020 and 2021, law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty couldn’t be properly remembered because of pandemic restrictions

As reported by Madison’s WEAU-TV, six names were added to the honor roll last week as law enforcement officers and their families gathered in the square to see those heroes added to the 285 names already on the memorial. The governor and attorney general joined a police procession as the ceremony began. But minutes into the event, Black Lives Matter protesters began disrupting it and talking over the speakers . A protester with a bullhorn began shouting, “Do you support Black Lives Matter?” “How come the African-American national anthem wasn’t played?” a heckler added, in one of the more civil exclamations. “I’m begging you motherfuckerers to stop killing people that look like me!” was more typical. Rap music with lyrics like “fuck the police” was playing during a moment of silence. A pastor began to deliver a prayer, and she was booed. A protester yelled, “Murderers!”as she finished.

The courts have determined that such harassment is constitutionally protected as expressive speech: Black Lives Matter can thank the Phelpsians for that, as well as for perfecting their tactics. But both the Westboro Baptist Church and BLM exemplify the abuse of free speech, and demonstrate by their hateful and cruel behavior their deep, deep ethics rot. One group was dedicated to anti-gay bigotry; the other is advancing an anti-white, anti-police, anti-rule of law and anti-America agenda. The Phelpsians were marginal and more of an irritation than anything else. Black Lives Matter, in contrast, has a street with block letters honoring it in the middle of the nation’s capitol. Its name was emblazoned across the Fenway Park bleachers last baseball season, and featured on every NBA court. The Democratic National Committee and the current Vice-President of the United States cheered on their riots, which cost billions.

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Who Is Surprised To Hear That “Propaganda Causes People To Grossly Overstate Police Killings of Blacks”?

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.

It begins,

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.

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Ethics Observations On The Shooting Death Of Peyton Ham [UPDATED]

There were no mostly peaceful protests in Leonardtown, Maryland this week, despite the similarities between the 16-year-old high school student’s shooting death at the hands of a Maryland state trooper and the sensational death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland six years ago. Why is that?

Ham was fatally shot by a state trooper who had responded to two 911 calls about someone “acting suspiciously” and armed with a pistol. A witness to the event told police that troopers encounter Ham in a driveway “in a shooting stance” using an Airsoft gun. A trooper opened fire on the teen and wounded him. A second witness said the wounded boy then took out a knife and tried to get up, whereupon he was shot dead.

Airsoft guns are realistic replicas of real weapons. They shoot plastic BBs. My son collected them; once we had our parked car surrounded by police because he left some of them in the back seat. Pointing an Airsoft at a police officer is an excellent way to get shot, and justifiably so. But the reason there were no protests, demonstrations or riots after his death is that Peyton Ham was white. There is no other reason. (Well, it also wasn’t Portland. More about that later…)

Because the victim was white, there was no immediate presumption of racism and police brutality. Nobody argued that police should have tried to “wing” him. Nobody argued that a social worker rather than police officers should have responded to the 911 call. Ben Crump didn’t immediately make a statement that this was yet another “execution” of an innocent, promising young black man due to cop brutality and racism, and a racist system. The story wasn’t even national news.

Yet the family played by the script that has become so familiar. It quickly put out a statement that made Ham sound like the perfect son. It described him as “an incredibly smart, gifted sweet young man” with a “Alex P. Keaton” type personality, referring Michael J. Fox’s character on the 1980s sitcom “Family Ties.”

“Our family is absolutely heart broken and shattered over this sudden, unexpected loss of life of a talented young man, filled with promise,” the statement says. “Words cannot express the gratitude our family is feeling with the overwhelming love and support being extended by our friends and family in our amazing community.”

Speaking to the AP, Ham’s mother described her son as “an awesome young man.” You know, like Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin. This kind of statement, which made no sense whatsoever in the context of the facts of Ham’s death, was calculated to spark anger and suspicion against the police, and to shift responsibility from the shooting victim to those trying to protect the community. If Ham had been white, there would have been the assumption of a cover-up, and the presumption of a deliberate racist killing of an innocent boy.

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Unethical Quote Of The Month (But Funny!): BLM Co-Founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors

“I see my money as not my own. I see it as my family’s money as well.”

—-Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrice Kahn-Cullors, explaining why amassing millions of dollars and spending them on luxery homes isn’t inconsistent with her professed belief in Marxism

I know, I know: using that movie clip was too obvious. Still, it could not be more appropriate. When I started to type this, Black Lives Matter was having a “mostly peaceful protest” a few miles away in D.C. This was entirely predictable, as every death of a black man in an altercation with police is automatically scored as racist and police brutality by BLM, and the cue for riots, chants of “No justice, no peace,” virtue-signalling by elected officials, and fund-raising. Facts don’t matter. Due process is irrelevant.

Black Lives Matter was launched on a lie (that Trayvon Martin was murdered by a racist “white Hispanic), gained steam based on another lie (“Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!”) and really became profitable (about 90 million dollars raised) when George Floyd died under knee of a career bully cop who would have treated a white man just as brutally. Ethics Alarms pronounced BLM a Marxist, racist racket from the beginning: BLM skipped the initial stages of Eric Hoffer’s famous observation that every cause becomes a business, and eventually deteriorates into a racket, and went straight to racket. To give the group credit, it saves time.

Khan-Cullors is proof of how brazen the group has become; apparently it is convinced that the public will never have the guts to reject these cynical and divisive race-baiters for fear of their terrifying “Racist!” accusations. Senator Joe McCarthy made a similar miscalculation. though in his case the go-to cry was “Communist!”

Thus BLM co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors, an avowed Marxist, spent the BLM riots-filled summer months buying expensive real estate:

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Rainy Day Ethics Puddles, 3/24/2021:

1 Shut up or be funny. For some reason, the fact that Monday’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers’ included a gratuitous and facile lecture by the host about gun control legislation was plastered all over the progressive news media as if he had begun speaking in tongues or channeling the ghost of Emily Dickinson. I hate to be a spoil sport, but who cares what Seth Myers thinks about gun control? He’s a comedian and a comedy writer, and has been nothing but since college. Again, he has no brief to lecture anyone on that topic: he has his job to be funny, and the show he hosts is, theoretically at least, a comedy show. Did Julia Child ever lecture her PBS audience about U.S. nuclear policy while explaining how to cook an omelette? No. Did Walter Cronkite ever break into knock-knock jokes during The CBS Evening News? Never. Did Andy Williams ever pause in the middle of “Moon River” to deliver his analysis of a Presidential campaign? Absolutely not.

Myers has a right to his opinion, as sophomoric and echo chamber-nourished as it may be (he was pimping for “common sense gun laws,” which is what people say when they have no idea what laws will stop the criminal use of guns, but want us to “do something”), but it is arrogant and presumptuous to perform a bait and switch on his audience, which doesn’t come to his show for public policy wisdom. If they do, he has an ethical obligation to make it clear that they shouldn’t. As far as I can tell, Myers knows zilch about law, guns, government, or the Constitution, yet he presumes to use a vehicle awarded to him only because of an alleged gift for topical humor (personally, I don’t see it) for political advocacy.

Be funny, get educated, run for office, or shut up, Seth. And incidentally, there are not mass shootings “three or four times a week” and never have been. In a single atypical week, there were two mass shootings, and no Constitutional gun laws are likely to have stopped either of them.

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The Tragically Warped Legacy Of Martin Luther King, Jr.

King

Ethics Alarms has posted several paeans to the iconic civil rights leader on his “day” is the past, but it is time—past time, really—for a more rueful and honest assessment of his legacy. No one can (or should, anyway) deny King’s crucial role in eliminating segregation in the United States, killing Jim Crow, and prompting long-overdue legal and cultural reforms, epitomized by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. King’s words have continued to inspire while serving as guideposts for the nation’s journey, still infuriatingly incomplete, to a society where citizens are judged “by the content of their character” rather than the color of their skin. But in 2021, a celebration of King and his legacy seem particularly hypocritical. His alleged followers have transitioned to a cynical strategy of encouraging a national mentality that accepts that the color of an American’s skin defines the content of their character, or to put it another way, that race is the most important feature, factor and consideration in American life.

This is a perversion of what Dr. King stood for, but that is the status of his legacy today. Most of what I mention in this post is old news that we have discussed before, but there are, as there now are virtually every day, additional examples of this corrosive use of race to divide and corrupt society. In this morning’s New York Times Arts section, for example, an article headlined “Bringing on New Leaders For Diversity In The Arts” told us that “cultural institutions around the country are hiring their own diversity officers to increase the number of people of color on the staff and board, broaden their programming and address a widely acknowledged pattern of systemic racism.” Translated, all this statement means is that, cowed by routine accusations of racism, arts groups are substituting one undeniable system of racism for an unproven one. People are being hired and appointed because of their skin color alone, or certainly over all other reasons. This is not, of course, restricted to the arts. The idea that skin-shade equals talent and virtue has been embodied at the very top of our government. The soon-to-be official Vice-President of the United States is in that position solely because she is “of color” as well as female. Her character, ability, experience and accomplishments have nothing to do with the responsibility and high office handed to her: she was roundly rejected by the members of the public who belong to her party when running on the basis of those factors. “Diversity” is a cover-word for discrimination. Dr. King was not asking for quotas in his protests, speeches and marches: he was demanding that blacks like him be given the opportunity to succeed on the same basis as whites, judged, rewarded and advanced without regard to their race.

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Good! No Charges For The Officers Involved In The Kenosha, Wis. Shooting Of Jacob Blake

riots

Now come the mostly peaceful riots.

I wish I were kidding. The Wisconsin National Guard was activated on Monday ahead of the charging decision announced today. 500 soldiers were sent to Kenosha, businesses have been boarded up and fencing has been erected around a local courthouse. When Blake was shot seven times and left paralyzed after the August 23 incident in which he disobeying officers’ lawful commands, struggled with police while resisting arrest, and attempted to enter the driver’s side door of his car, all after violating a court order and returning to harass a women he had been accused of raping, Kenosha was subjected to extensive Black Lives Matter-led riots. There was citywide unrest, looting and violence toward law enforcement; approximately a hundred cars burned, businesses were ransacked and there were violent attacks on police, with one uniformed officer knocked unconscious after he was struck by a brick.

Though Blake had an extensive criminal record and was threatening a woman at the time of his arrest, the shooting prompted the NBA, WNBA and Major League Baseball players to boycott their own games. These players knew nothing about Blake other than the fact that he was black and was shot by police officers.

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From The “Fact Don’t Matter” File: The Presumptuous And Ignorant Naomi Osaka

Osaka

Or, “How to get from one absurd news story to another…”

The New York Times story began this way: “Last year, the tennis champion was shown with light skin in an instant noodle ad. Now, she’ll be portrayed as a manga character, and illustrators insisted on getting details right.” Yes, this is what passes for news in the paper that refused to cover the Hunter Biden laptop story before the election, except to mock it. They would never mock white-washing accusations about a Japanese tennis star about to become a cartoon character. Now that’s news that’s fit to print!

Why I finished reading such a story, I do not know; I have no life, I guess. So I soon came upon this:

Naomi Osaka, 23, the highest-earning female athlete on the planet, has emerged as one of the most vocal antiracism activists in the sports world. In the July issue of Esquire, she wrote about tackling racism while inhabiting multiple identities. Before matches this year, she wore masks bearing the names of Black victims of police violence.

Ah! So the opinions of this non-American athlete about U.S. racial issues matters—why? Because she is rich? Because she is bi-racial (Osaka is the daughter of a Japanese mother and a Haitian-American father)? Because she knows anything at all about America and its race problems? Or because the half-baked, ill-informed positions she spouts happen to be the “right” ones?

If you picked the last, you get…well, nothing, but you’re right. According to an earlier article (in Forbes), Osaka presumed to protest police brutality and racism by wearing face masks bearing these names: Breonna Taylor, Elijiah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castile and Tamir Rice. You know: black victims of police violence. Except:

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The Plague Of Corporate Weenies: Crackerbarrel Strikes Again!

cracker-barrel-noose

When last we left Cracker Barrel restaurants, the chain’s management was flip-flopping like mad as it tried to figure out which “principles” would alienate the fewest customers.

In 2013, reacting to A&E’s craven PC punishment of Phil Robertson of cable’s Duck Dynasty clan for expressing the basic religious convictions of millions of Americans regarding homosexuality in response to an GQ interviewer’s question, Cracker Barrel pulled its products with Phil’s likeness, saying in a statement,

Cracker Barrel’s mission is Pleasing People. We operate within the ideals of fairness, mutual respect and equal treatment of all people. These ideals are the core of our corporate culture…. We removed selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests while we evaluate the situation.”

My translation of this weaselly screed: :

‘We at Cracker Barrel have no principles whatsoever. We are a blank slate; we go with the flow. There is no right or wrong for us: whatever position we feel we have to hold to get the most people to buy our products, you can count on us. If 51% of America begins worshiping Baal, hey, sacrifice a goat for in our name, because we’re all in. If the majority want to ban, hey, anything or anyone, we’re in full agreement. We aim to please, in any way that helps our bottom line.’

Sure enough, as soon as it looked like the tide of public opinion was turning against GLAAD and other LBGTQ activists in their effort to “cancel” a member of a large religious community for expressing his beliefs, Cracker Barrel turned on a dime, and bleated,

When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done. You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong. We listened. Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores. And, we apologize for offending you.”

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As The George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck Sends U.S. Race Relations, Principles, Students And The Nation Backwards Into The Abyss…

The Young America’s Foundation came into possession of the following email:

Copy-of-Copy-of-UK

You will note that the university separated Resident Assistants into two training groups, “one for RAs who identify as Black, Indigenous, Person of Color and one for RAs who identify as White.” This is known, I believe, as racial segregation, and the presumption that members of different races require different training and content is the essence of racism. So is the presumption that it is harmful for one race to be in the same space as another. That mindset favors apartheid.

At the “White Accountability Space,” the RA’s were given a document listing 41 “common racist behaviors and attitudes of white people.” Here is a section of the document; you can peruse the entire thing here.

Screen-Shot-racial behaviors

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