Last weekend, a group known for decades to promote racism advanced on a group of school boys while hurling racial slurs, including against a black student in the boys’ midst. These slurs included, as multiple videos of the altercation and its lead-up show, “child-molesting f-ggots,” “n-gger,” “dirty -ss crackers,” “d-mn cracker whites,” “racists,” “blue-eyed demon,” “incest kids,” and calling Native Americans “savage.”
They charged that the white students were going to “harvest” a black Covington Catholic student’s bodily organs, and threatened violence. Their preachers publicly promise “There’s about to be 144,000 Nat Turners risen up, killing so-called white people, babies included.” Nat Turner was the leader of a pre-Civil War slave revolt that led to 180 murders of people on both sides. They shout on street corners that “One of the top three fantasies of women is to get raped.”
These easily demonstrable facts have been reported by even such compromised hard-left institutions as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and are available within a 30-second scan of Google search results. Yet, The New York Times decided to do a profile on the Black Hebrew Israelites this week that opens: “They are sidewalk ministers who use confrontation as their gospel.” It continues:
Hebrew Israelites practice a theology that says God’s chosen ones — black, Hispanic and Native American people — have strayed and need to be led back to righteousness.
So they post up on street corners in big cities, usually in predominantly black communities, wearing flashy garb — purple shirts or black robes, for instance. They shout, use blunt and sometimes offensive language, and gamely engage in arguments aimed at drawing listeners near.
This is, at best, remarkable restraint in reportage that the paper rarely applies to groups progressives don’t like such as Christians and conservatives. This is, at worst, the Times covering for racism because of the identity of the racists. The entire article is written in a “some people say they’re hateful, but others say they have a right to be hateful” tone. Read it yourself.
This from the people forever on their high horses about calling out bigotry, even bigotry that nobody can find and nobody intended. It’s as if they don’t actually care about racism itself, but whether the highly emotionally charged concept of racism can be used to manipulate the people of their choosing, regardless of its accuracy in any particular case. If someone considered a leftist ally does it, it’s not racist. If anyone else does it, it is racist. See? Simple.
The New York Times is establishing a track record of this sort of thing, too. Recall that just a few months ago the paper’s editorial board hired Sarah Jeong, an Asian-American, and stood behind her despite public comments like these I quoted in August: “White people have stopped breeding. You’ll all go extinct soon. This was my plan all along.” “Oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men.” “Dumb-ss f-cking white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs p-ssing on fire hydrants” (vulgarities altered).
At the time, both Jeong and the Times excused her by saying that it was mean people on the internet’s fault that she had uttered racist remarks. The same gaslighting has been going on with the Black Hebrew Israelites, who claim it’s okay to be racist against white people and Indians and Jews because white people have been racist towards black people. The Black Israelites profile ends with this equivocation between kids wearing red hats and people who promise literal race wars.
To many black people, Hebrew Israelites are a harmless part of their communities, said Todd Boyd, a professor of race and pop culture at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, one of many cities where the group can be seen working the streets. More alarming to many African Americans, he said, is ‘seeing a white guy in a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat.’
The Times also quotes an SPLC employee making similar excuses for the Black Hebrew Israelites’ obvious and virulent racism: “‘These are really fringe movements, and they’re also very different than white nationalist groups that have access to power,’ Ms. Beirich said. ‘This kind of thinking arose in reaction to white supremacy and the abuse and exploitation of black people.'”
It is deeply insulting for anybody to assert that they are so lacking in perspective and self-control that they can’t help but scream obscenities at children who wear a hat celebrating a president some people dislike. Hats don’t scream at people, they don’t threaten people. They couldn’t possibly hurt anyone. Excuses like this are patronizing and infantilizing to the point of themselves being racist slurs. This is a bigotry of low expectations.
That is a pattern for the left in general, far beyond The New York Times. Consider affirmative action in college admissions, which tells black and Hispanic students that they are incapable of achieving on par with white and Asian students simply because of the color of their skin. Shelby Steele lacerates progressives’ almost compulsive racist fakery in his book, “Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country.”
This is the dynamic of the new liberalism. Superficially, it is very ‘caring’ toward blacks, minorities, and the poor. It befriends them, promises them all manner of programs and policies. It makes a show of being deferential toward their woundedness, of bowing before their past victimization as before an irrefutable moral authority. But, of course, all this deference is a seduction. The new liberalism does not pursue the actual uplift of minorities and the poor. It purchases dispensation from America’s past sins for whites — and the imprimatur of innocence. Minorities and the poor, seduced by all the promises scattered like rose petals in their path, are thus manipulated into bestowing that imprimatur.
This is all a game. It is not about actually repenting of the sin of racism, and achieving true justice. All people should favor that, because it is morally right. Instead, this game is really about making people feel either guilty or vindictive, so other people can manipulate them more easily. And weaponizing racism to win at politics is sickening.
Some Americans still don’t know they’re being played. But others have begun to notice the obvious double standard in The New York Times and other cultural leaders’ treatment of racist remarks depending on the skin color or political affiliation of the people making them. It is having the effect racism always does: Destabilizing the social trust we badly need to maintain a free society that respects every single citizen’s inherent natural rights and God-given human dignity.