Individuals participate in a Black Lives Matter protest. (Photo credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
The accusation that America is deeply, irredeemably stained by systemic racism is not up for debate. No white person can be innocent. Your individual conscience is irrelevant. Each one of us is a white supremacist benefitting from a white supremacist structure. We must confess our “white privilege.”
So, if we’re so overwhelmingly dominant, why can’t we disagree?
The news media, which imagines itself as the essence of flowering democracy, is in reality a force for suppressing all dissent from the “racial justice” or “Black Lives Matter” narrative. Debating the left is a sign of “white fragility,” that one cannot accept how deeply racist each white person is by default.
Even on vacation with my family in Wisconsin, I found it in the Sunday edition of the La Crosse Tribune. There were two splashy stories on the front page by reporters Emily Pyrek and Olivia Herken about the allegedly horrid racism of western Wisconsin in 2021. The first article was headlined with the quote “They Aren’t Listening” and the subhead “Black students turn to ACLU to seek change in La Crosse schools.”
The lede was front-loaded with opinion: “La Crosse County only recently declared racism a public health crisis, but area youth have been feeling the mental, emotional, and physical toll of racial prejudice — both blatant and subtle — for years.”
The city of La Crosse is 89% white and 2.4% black. The Tribune obviously sees itself as the aggressive guardian of the 2.4% in shaming the 89%. In these lengthy articles, there is no spokesman for an opposing view. Oh, there are apologetic school administrators on the defensive. There are shadowy local student villains making videos where they repeat hip-hop lyrics with racial slurs on the Internet. But no one is allowed to debate the American Civil Liberties Union or the black students at La Crosse Logan High School that are the central victims of the story.
Sisters Chaya and Mia Davis are a sophomore and a freshman at Logan. You can sense the black fragility when Chaya was offended that she was asked for “proof” when she told a school official she had been called a racial slur by a classmate. The reporters don’t say what the alleged racial slur was. Sentence first, verdict afterward?
The charge of racism is a deadly serious charge, something that can now damage a student’s future, from college admissions to employment applications. Asking for evidence is the first step of real “racial justice.” But they define all justice as submission to the black activists.
The Tribune reporters proclaimed the recent police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minn. “brought their cries for equality to a roar. At school, the students found a lack of support for their distress, and say some teachers expressed victim-blaming views.”
Translation: The students found a lack of total agreement with their radical arguments of systemic racism and were upset some people would “blame the victim” by suggesting there was an opposing view of the Wright tragedy. You’re not allowed to discuss that Wright was wanted by the police for threatening a woman and putting a gun to her head and that he resisted arrest and hopped in his car to try to get away. No dissent from the “white supremacists” will be tolerated.
The media insist that they are the ones who embody the idea that facts matter. But facts always take a back seat when “racial justice” is the media topic. If we can’t discuss the controversial topic of racism, person by person, based on actual facts and intentions, what good is journalism?
Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org.