When The Bill Comes Due For Our Race Ideology
You have to read this amazing Jesse Singal piece about how the media fell for a racism hoax. It is a stunning indictment of how ideological capture has gutted the professionalism of America's top journalists. Excerpts:
Last month, Rachel Richardson—the only black starter on the women’s volleyball team at Duke University—leveled a shocking accusation. She said that during her team’s August 26 match against Brigham Young University, fans inside the BYU arena in Provo, Utah inundated her with racist abuse and threats.
After the match, 19-year-old Richardson told her godmother, Lesa Pamplin, about the incident. Pamplin is a criminal defense attorney running for a county judgeship in Texas, and was not at the game—but the next day, she published a tweet that rocketed the story to national attention: “My Goddaughter is the only black starter for Dukes [sic] volleyball team. While playing yesterday, she was called a [n-word] every time she served. She was threatened by a white male that told her to watch her back going to the team bus. A police officer had to be put by their bench.”
The tweet is no longer available, but it racked up 185,000 likes before it was archived. LeBron James himself responded: “you tell your Goddaughter to stand tall, be proud and continue to be BLACK!!! We are a brotherhood and sisterhood! We have her back. This is not sports.”
The story spread widely, and made it into the major national media outlets. Singal:
For millions of people watching this story unfold, this was yet another example of the ineradicable stain of American racism, of just how little progress we’ve really made.
Except it didn’t happen.
How do we know it didn't happen? Because conservative BYU student journalists investigated the claims. As Singal points out, they did basic journalism, and revealed that there is no evidence whatsoever that these events occurred. None, aside from the groundless assertions of Rachel Richardson. BYU subsequently released a report saying it had investigated the racism claims, and found them empty. Once more, Singal:
The BYU non-brouhaha brouhaha is part of a growing problem. From the outright criminal fraud of Jussie Smollett—in which some of the most prominent journalists in the world accepted a storyline that never really made much sense—to the unwarranted piling on of the Covington Catholic High School kids, there’s an established pattern of journalists being far too credulous when these incidents first burst onto the scene.
There are real-world consequences to this sort of shoddy reporting, not just for newspapers’ reputations and their pocketbooks (Nicholas Sandmann, the face of the Covington controversy, sued and settled with CNN, the Washington Post, and NBC), but for those caught in the crossfire. In this case, a vulnerable, innocent young man was wrongly accused of horrendous acts, and an entire student body was slandered. Millions of people will continue to believe this incident occurred, because debunkings never travel a tenth as far and wide as misinformation does.
Read it all. Seriously, Singal has lots of details. This kind of thing is par for the course in America today. It seems that any claim of anti-black racism is automatically believed by the media and many authorities. I know white people who tense up in interactions with black people, and avoid them when they can, because they fear that anything they say or do might be interpreted as racism, and used against them (the Little Anthony Fremont syndrome). Paranoid? Maybe. But you only have to make that mistake once to risk losing everything in a false accusation.
We live in a society constructed by progressives, who -- in the name of "social justice" -- systematically privileges black Americans. Did you hear about this?
The only white people who will accept without protest that it was just to fire them because of the color of their skin are those whose minds have been castrated by progressivism. I say "progressivism," because this is beyond liberalism. Liberalism, in its classic guise, is about color-blindness. It's about judging people on character and ability, not skin color. That's not what our Left today stands for. That's not what our Democratic Party stands for.
Tucker Carlson had a powerful monologue about the current crime wave. We know the crime problem is caused mostly by young black males. And we also know that the victims are usually black people (that image above from Carlson's monologue is of Chicago protesters -- all people of color (watch the clip) -- demanding that the local DA (a black woman supported by George Soros) arrest the people who murdered their family members.
Look at these two videos of black males bullying non-black students in Beaumont, Texas, schools, while black males stand around watching the brutality:
I live in a majority black city in which many whites have abandoned the public school system. (My kids were educated in Christian school, because we wanted our kids to have a religiously-informed classical education.) In the seven years I've been here, when I have talked to white people about why they wouldn't send their kids to public schools, the main reason is black violence -- not just black violence in general, but racially motivated anti-white violence. White middle-class people get visibly anxious when they talk about this stuff, because they know that they are not supposed to notice, but in the end, most people will not put their kids at risk for the sake of ideology. In my old neighborhood here -- mixed-race but predominantly white -- I used to follow Next Door. Whenever residents would post security camera video of thieves robbing parked cars, they were always -- always -- black male teenagers. And they weren't the black folks who lived in the neighborhood either. Those neighbors were equally at risk from robbery by these predatory thugs, who came into our neighborhood to exploit decent people.
And yet, we are all instructed by our media, by corporate America, and all our institutions to think that white supremacy is the ONLY MEANINGFUL problem. That racist police are the ONLY MEANINGFUL problem (as opposed to weak police presence). This is the Narrative. We are meant to think that white supremacy is the greatest obstacle to black achievement, rather than the collapse of the black family, and of social order, in poor and working-class black communities. My city, Baton Rouge, has one of the country's highest murder rates. It's almost all black people killing black people. Liberal white people can turn a blind eye to it, and have their "anti-racist" bona fides unstained by contact with reality, because it's happening in the black part of town. Conservative white people can avoid having to confront the problem because they know they can't say what they really think, and can't say what they really see, but don't have to because the problem is not (yet) on their doorstep. Black activists can blame white people for all the problems of their neighborhoods. Nothing changes, because the problem has been mostly confined and defined away.
The summer we moved to Baton Rouge, we had a young black man, maybe 19, come by to install our cable TV. We had to wait for his colleague to deliver a part, and he and I got to talking. He was a good guy, and he was scared of gang violence. He told me that white people in south Baton Rouge, where we lived, have no idea what it's like up north. By the end of our talk, I offered to help him out -- specifically, to give him and his grandmother, with whom he lived, refuge if rioting started (that's what prompted our discussion: the recent Alton Sterling shooting in north Baton Rouge, and his fear of rioting). After he left, I thought about what a white Baton Rouge cop or firefighter told me once about life in that part of the city, which he patrolled. He explained to me that middle-class people have no idea how radically disordered life is in that part of town. All the things we think of as normal do not apply there, he said. Though he was white, he was not being racist. He was trying to get me to understand how difficult it is to grow up under those circumstances, and to be oriented towards any kind of stable life path.
In his view, it all had to do with the multigenerational dissolution of the family. This, he said, is the thing that nobody talks about openly when it comes to race in America. There is no political solution for it. It's too dangerous to talk about honestly -- you could get denounced as a racist, fired from your job, and so forth -- so we don't. White people don't confront these problems. White people just move to get away from black dysfunction. They don't withdraw because they don't want to be around black people. Middle-class black people are fine by these white people. They move to get away from black violence. And you know what? So do middle-class black people. One of the ambiguous victories of the civil rights movement was to remove segregationist laws that kept hard-working, middle-class black people stuck sharing neighborhoods with predatory black people. They move, just like middle-class white people. And why shouldn't they? What kind of sick idea of racial solidarity expects them to sacrifice their own right to a decent life for themselves and their kids?
We all live these ideological lies about race in America, because that's what you have to do to participate in most institutional and professional life. But they are lies. Once more, those paying the greatest price for these lies are black people who are victims of these predators, and also black people who are not given as children what they need to build good lives for themselves. They are black people who are trained to think that any deficit within their own character or way of living that keeps them from getting ahead is really not their fault -- and therefore something they could control, and overcome -- but the fault of racism. But the other people paying the price are people like those non-black kids beaten up in the bathroom. They're people like the victims of crime in cities where progressive, BLM-driven policies, have caused the police to pull back, or quit their jobs -- including white people like the Chicago guy in the Tucker monologue who lives in what used to be a "nice" area, but is now menaced by at least two black gangs. And it's non-black people who get fired from their jobs because they aren't black.
None of this is new, of course. It all comes to mind now, though, because as I posted yesterday, there's a lot of talk among serious people about coming global hyperinflation and economic collapse, headed to all of us within the next six to twelve months, starting with the energy crisis in Europe. If, God forbid, this happens, the cost of the Left's anti-liberal identity politics will be catastrophic. At a time when Americans will need social solidarity, we will all fall back on tribalism, because the Left, and institutions captured by the Left (including Woke Capitalism), has spent so much time and effort dwelling on racial divisions, widening them and exploiting them for the sake of political power. I fear that they have all but destroyed social trust in this country. One reason Tucker Carlson is such a valuable media figure is that he says things that a lot of people really think, but either are too afraid to say, or lack a platform for saying. Many of us know that the Summer of Floyd unleashed a crime wave in this country, one that our institutions, and ourselves as a collective entity, cannot grapple with effectively, because we have been paralyzed by the weaponization of race in the hands of black activists and institutional leaders who propagate the lies. In his monologue, Carlson points out that the Obama Department of Justice imposed "consent decrees" on cities where statistics showed that the police interacted with blacks more than whites -- this, on the absurd theory that any racial disparity is a sign of racism. This is an ideological lie, but it's an ideological lie with real-world consequences for decent citizens of all races who just want to live in peace.
The only way for a racially diverse society like America's to live in peace and relative harmony is by returning to old-fashioned liberal principles of color-blindness. That is morally just, and politically effective. If we don't find a way to do that before we are plunged into intense economic crisis, we are going to see Americans at each other's throats, in part along racial lines. If it comes, this will be a crisis entirely engineered by Leftist ideologues -- including the mainstream media, who ran with a racially inflammatory lie about BYU, because it confirmed their prior beliefs about bigoted red-state Mormons.
Get weekly emails in your inbox
Solzhenitsyn and Havel both said that a system built on lies will collapse when enough people stop affirming them, or living as if they affirm them. I hope that this system of identity-politics lies collapses peacefully, before it comes crashing down in a conflagration. One way or another, it will fail, because it doesn't correspond to reality.