Support for Black Lives Matter Plummets From June 2020 High Water Mark; NY Times Tells Us Why

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National polling outlet Civiqs has been tracking the level of support from registered voters for Black Lives Matter since April 2017.

Two academics looked at the results from Civiqs most recent survey (May 21) and presented their analysis in The New York Times.

I feel compelled to share their bios, particularly Ms. Chudy’s. [Emphasis mine]: “Jennifer Chudy is an assistant professor of social sciences and political science at Wellesley College. She studies white racial guilt, sympathy and prejudice. Hakeem Jefferson is an assistant professor of political science at Stanford University, where he studies race and identity.

They note that support for BLM overall has seen a net increase since 2018.

On Jan. 1, 2018, 38 percent of registered voters supported the group, 41 percent were opposed, 18 percent neither supported or opposed and 3 percent were not sure. On May 21, 47 percent support BLM, 40 percent oppose, 12 percent neither support nor oppose and 1 percent are unsure.

Support for the group increased over the past three and a half years from 38 to 47 percent while those opposed decreased by one percent. What stands out is that those opposed largely remained opposed and the increase in support came from those who were previously neutral or unsure.

The Times presents Civiqs’ data on a graph which resembles a typical bell curve. It shows a breakout in support starting on March 13, 2020, the date that Breonna Taylor was killed. On May 25, the date of George Floyd’s death, support spikes and the line showing new support is nearly vertical. It continues to rise until June 3. Support reaches 53 percent, just 29 percent of respondents are opposed, 17 percent are neutral and two percent are unsure.

This is the high water mark for BLM. From that point on, support for the movement plummeted.

The authors point out that, by this time, “protests have spread to more than 140 cities nationwide.”

Americans had been shocked after seeing former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin press his knee into George Floyd’s neck for nine minutes, but that wasn’t an excuse for burning down cities, toppling monuments and looting stores.

Chuddy and Jefferson see other reasons for the drop. They lament that they “the more general picture contradicts the idea that the country underwent a racial reckoning. Last summer, as Black Americans turned their sorrow into action, attitudes — especially white attitudes — shifted from tacit support to outright opposition, a pattern familiar in American history. Whereas support for Black Lives Matter remains relatively high among racial and ethnic minorities, support among white Americans has proved both fickle and volatile.”

“Support among white Americans has proved both fickle and volatile?” Is it unreasonable to oppose an organization that burns down buildings and businesses, smashes store windows so they can be looted, wounds our police officers and disregards the law? I don’t see anything fickle or volatile about that.

Then, the two take aim at Republicans specifically. “After Mr. Floyd’s death, Republicans reported much stronger support for Black Lives Matter than they had earlier in 2020. For a party often characterized by its racial insensitivity and antagonism toward racial minorities, this increase in support was striking. But perhaps even more striking is its rapid decline.”

Finally, they write this: “Some have wondered whether support for B.L.M., especially among white people, is genuine or merely virtue-signaling. As the volatility of the polling suggests, there is reason to be skeptical. This conversation, however, misrepresents racism as a social problem rooted in individual values rather than as a system forcefully sustained by our institutions.”

I suppose this kind of stupidity is to be expected from a white guilt and sympathy major.

Not only do I not support Black Lives Matter, I consider them to be a terrorist group.

By constantly telling blacks that they’re oppressed, people like Chuddy and Jefferson are making blacks believe they’re oppressed.

Shortly after the protests began last summer, conservative writer and Senior Fellow at The Hoover Institution, Shelby Steele, joined Fox News’ Mark Levin on his Sunday night show. Steele, who is black, shared some much needed insight into the racial riots that were rocking the country at the time.

Steele recalled growing up in the 1950s in Chicago when segregation was “fierce.” No one was taking money from the government. His father, with a third grade education, bought three ramshackle houses, rebuilt them and then rented them out. He “kept clawing his way up.” And he wasn’t unique. They were all working hard.

Steele came of age during the civil rights era in the 1960s and said the biggest difference between then and now is that, back then, everybody knew exactly what they wanted. “Often [it was] a piece of legislation, a civil rights bill or something else that was specific or concrete.”

He speaks of the vagueness of the current protests. “So, what is this really all about?” Steele thinks it’s about power and, “in order to pursue power, as they do, you have to have victims.”

The death of George Floyd, he told Levin, “generates such excitement among this crowd and validates their argument that America is a wretched country. It feeds this old model of operation that we’ve developed, that America is guilty of racism – and has been for four centuries and minorities are victims who are entitled.”

Steele continued: “And so, when people start to talk about systemic racism built into the system, what they’re really doing is expanding their territory of entitlement. We want more. We want more. … Society is responsible for us because racism is so systemic.”

“Well, that’s a corruption. And I know it’s a corruption. Because the truth of the matter is that blacks have never been less oppressed than they are today. Opportunity is around every corner.”

He also believes there’s always going to be some racism in every society. He noted, “My own sense is that it’s endemic to the human condition. We will always have to watch out for it.”

“Blacks, he says, are unhappy that they’re at the bottom of most socioeconomic ladders, but instead of blaming it on the police or anyone else, they need to take a look at themselves.”

“Why don’t you take some responsibility for it? … I would be happy to look at all the usual bad guys, the police and so forth, if they have the nerve, the courage, to look at black people and say, you’re not carrying your own weight, you’re going to go have a fit and a tantrum and demonstrations…

“Are you teaching your child to read? Are you making sure that the school down the street actually educates your child? Are you becoming educated and following a dream in your life and making things happen for yourself? Or are you saying ‘I’m a victim and I’m owed? And the entitlement is inadequate and I need to be given more and after all, you know racism has been here for 400 years…and so, it’s time for you to give to me.

“That’s an exhausted, fruitless, empty strategy to take and we’ve been on that path since the 60s and we are farther behind than we’ve ever been and we keep blaming it on racism and blaming it on the police. I’m exhausted with that.

“They took a lot of responsibility for their lives because the government didn’t [during segregation]. What civil rights bill is going to replace that? What value system?

“And that is the problem. That we have allowed ourselves to be enabled in avoiding our real problems by a guilty white society. That keeps using us and exploiting us as victims. … If you really care about how minorities do, why don’t you ask them to do it? Why don’t you ask them to drop the pretense?

“We have let this sort of guilty society and our grievance industry put us in this impossible position where we are a permanent underclass.

“White guilt: Buying back legitimacy by exploiting minorities all over again.

“‘Look, we beat you up pretty badly. You can’t make it without us – unless WE are the agent of that change. Not you, us. So they take over the agency, over black development and say, if you don’t get more government money, more government programs, you will never make it. You are dependent on us and what happens? A grievance industry springs up in black America to receive all that white beneficence.

Chuddy and Jefferson would do well to listen to Steele.

The video of this segment can be viewed here.

Less Is Certainly More

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I was just reading the news, or at least all of the news I can ingest without experiencing an equal and opposite intestinal reaction, and noticed a highly impactful story from our friends at Fox News about a 47-year-old woman who disappeared last year, only to be “found” by sheriff deputies. She survived a winter in the Utah front range, not exactly the Hilton of outdoor experiences.

How she made it alive through the winter without tons of necessary gear is a mystery (and a great potential embarrassment to any and all professional preppers), but I am guessing that she had some level of physical, mental and emotional preparedness.

The Fox article reports that the woman wasn’t crazy:

Although the woman had struggled to find an adequate food supply over winter, [Sgt. Spencer] Cannon commended her resourcefulness in foraging grass and moss.

Cannon added that the woman’s campsite was well maintained and organized. He also shared that the woman is “very intelligent” and “has held highly respected jobs.”

With apologies to Charlotte (one of my favorite literary characters); my delicate, woven web message would be “some woman”.

Why she attempted it, to me, is the bigger question. The Fox news article explained that “Her motivation was, in part, for solitude and isolation,” Sgt. Spencer Cannon told Fox News in an email.

Wow.  I’ve driven by the Spanish Fork area on several occasions – it’s beautiful and if you would pick a place to starve to death or perish from the elements, you couldn’t find a more perfect landscape.

My lizard cortex jumps to the forefront of my brain and takes control. … Running from? Running to? Running away? Running towards?  Running, running, r.u.n.n.o.f.t. (Oh Brother, extra credit if you remember that line).

Mr. Narrator (interrupts):  “Richard Edward!  Stop! Deep breath! This woman wasn’t running in fear. Read the statement from Sgt. Cannon. She was running towards a better place, a more sane and serene place. She was running towards health and well-being.”

Richard Edward: “Okay, Mr. Narrator. I’ll consider your opinion. … But why risk death and/or being eaten by a bear for a little solitude? C’mon man, there are spas for that kind of thing, aren’t there? Does getting away from it all have to be a death-defying act? What ever happened to quiet and essential oils?”

Mr. Narrator: “Why do you really think she was running, Richard Edward? You think she was looking for just for a little solitude? Look around you and tell me what is happening. I think maybe she was looking for less. Yes, less of the following things.”

“Critical Race Theory is encroaching on every aspect of our lives. If you are white, you are the worst thing since spam was invented. Not guilty about being white? You should be. Just ask any race hustler who is working their corner.”

“Illegal immigrants are now the disadvantaged people of choice – they’re treated better than U.S. citizens. They’re more deserving of government help in difficult times. Just ask the Biden administration. Break the law to get here, no worries, come on down!”

“Mask up, dude! Every local governmental official below the office of county dog catcher governor is exercising their appropriated power to tell you what to do and how to behave in public.”

“Drug addled thugs from Minneapolis are celebrated as heroes. Cops who risk their lives everyday are the new Brownshirts of our society. Is this law and order you can count on to keep you safe?”

“Felons are released back into the community without so much as an overnight stint in the local jail, much less required to post bail. Local DAs are practicing a catch and release program. No chair to sit on when the legal music stops? No problem, just keep playing the game, we’ve got your felonious back.”

“I could go on Richard Edward, but answer me honestly, do you think this woman was comfortable walking the streets of her neighborhood, living daily life in her home, encountering her woke neighbors, the shopkeepers in her community, the roving activists with megaphones bellowing that Black Lives Matter, interacting with any level of her government representatives for assistance while constantly having to be aware of her skin color and supposed privilege?”

Richard Edward: “You mean she was running toward a life without ‘woke’ standards? A lifestyle that used to value people as people, and not as generalized identities based upon skin color and political views?

Mr. Narrator: “Yes Richard Edward. She was running towards sanity. She was running towards a life of truth. She was running towards a life of value, not virtue signals.”

Richard Edward: “We don’t have that kind of community any more. We can’t escape the all-encompassing theory of Critical Race Theory. The woke brigade now rules the planet and our daily behavior.”

Mr. Narrator:  “Richard Edward, you will someday wake up and realize that less truly is more. Less critical race theory, less government rules and regulations, less illegal immigration, less leniency to convicted felons, less government spending, less taxes, less politics, less of everything that steals your individual American rights. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was considered to be an architectural genius and his Bahus style of design influenced generations of architects. He is synonymous with ‘less is more’. Minimal intrusion, by architecture, on lifestyle.“

Richard Edward: “I get it now. This woman who ran away to a Utah campsite in Spanish Fork is more than an architectural genius. She didn’t run away to build a minimalist building, she ran toward liberty and self-reliance. She ran away from a life in the popular culture gulag and toward a life of independence. She ran toward freedom.”

If you think that a life in the wilderness could be better than a life in the Democrat-controlled matrix, please leave Richard Edward and Mr. Narrator a comment about why.

— Richard Edward Tracy

Another MSNBC Lunatic Criticizes Sen. Tim Scott, Yet No One Will Answer the ONLY Question That Matters

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The host of MSNBC’s “Cross Connection,” Tiffany Cross, became the latest liberal lunatic to express her outrage over Republican Sen. Tim Scott’s rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Wednesday night. Scott, as the world already knows, had the temerity to say that America is not a racist nation.

(Note: Please scroll down for a video and a transcription of Cross’ remarks.)

On her Saturday morning show, she insinuated that Sen. Scott was so intimidated by white people, he would say whatever they wanted him to say. “When you speak uncomfortable truths, like Nikole Hannah Jones (the creator of the 1619 project), the party that Scott claims is not racist gets big mad and tries to silence you.”

She said that it wasn’t worth arguing with an individual “Harriet Tubman would have left behind.”

“Perhaps this was merely Senator Scott’s audition to be Sam Jackson’s understudy in the film Django,” she told her audience.

Although she had clearly put some time into what she likely hoped sounded like an impromptu monolog, she needn’t have bothered. It was a mere repeat of all of the tired liberal talking points about voter ID.

I have one big burning question to ask every Democrat who disapproves of asking a voter to prove that they are who they say they are.

HOW is it racist?

Affordability is not an option because most, if not all, states provide free photo IDs for any resident who requires one. So, what is the reason?

Do they believe that blacks and other minorities aren’t smart and/or competent enough to figure out how to obtain an ID?

Because by constantly repeating that this requirement will suppress the votes of people of color, that’s essentially what you’re saying.

The position that requiring an ID in order to cast an absentee ballot is too onerous or too complicated for blacks and other minority groups to navigate is itself racist.

Am I wrong? Then please explain why I’m wrong.

The real reason is that an ID requirement makes it more difficult to commit voter fraud. Each eligible voter receives one vote. Ineligible voters receive zero votes.

The provision of a state issued number on a ballot limits that voter to one vote, rather than two or more votes.

So, do us all a favor Tiff and sit down, huh? Because you’re just another lying liberal hack who’s bummed out that Democrats won’t get away with the same chicanery they got away with in 2020.

 

Transcription of Cross’s Remarks

The Root’s Michael Harriot: Can anyone name a political social or economic institution in America where widespread disparities and discrimination does not exist? Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross: Such a great question from my friend, The Root’s Michael Harriot. And I actually have an answer: The hollow institution that resides inside Republican Senator Tim Scott’s head. No racism there. And apparently no sense either.

This week, the sole Black Republican in the Senate sounded a stone fool when he said this: “Hear me clearly, America is not a racist country.”

Okay let’s be clear. Tim Scott does not represent any constituency other than the small number of sleepy slow-witted sufferers of Stockholm Syndrome who get elevated to prominence for repeating a false narrative about this country that makes conservative white people feel comfortable.

Because when you speak uncomfortable truths, like Nikole Hannah Jones, the party that Scott claims is not racist gets big mad and tries to silence you. Just this week, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell asked Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to stop teaching the 1619 Project in schools because it would “reorient the view of American history.”

Lucky for McConnell, he has his own tap dancer to try and reorient the view of America for him.

There were so many contradictions in the senator’s speech that it was clear not even Scott believed the words he was speaking. I could go into great detail refuting each of his asinine points, but he did that for me.

And moreover, a lesson I’ve learned: Don’t argue with people Harriet Tubman would have left behind.

And sure, Tim Scott has spoken out about his encounters with law enforcement and he co-sponsored the anti-lynching bill in the Senate, but there are two sides to every token.

So thirsty for white approval, this dude actually stood on the national stage to defend the voter suppression law in Georgia even though, as of last month, 361 bills were being introduced in 47 states to keep people who look like him out of the ballot box.

The ability to shame the ancestors and appease the oppressors all in one speech, that’s extreme. Though not quite like the domestic violent extremism that the Department of Homeland security is investigating within its own ranks, mind you. But please senator, say more about how unracist the country is while you trot out that tired line about going from cotton to Congress to clown.

Perhaps this was merely Senator Scott’s audition to be Sam Jackson’s understudy in the film Django, because as a descendant of the enslaved, and damn near a daily survivor of institutional racism, I can assure you the question “Is America a racist country?” is one that has been asked and answered many times over.

Yet we still love America, not for what it was, but for what it could be.

On this one, you’re not only in the wrong side of the aisle, Senator Scott, but you’re embarrassingly on the wrong side of history as well.

No, Actually Ma’Khia Bryant’s Death Is NOT a Reminder the US Has a Long Way to Go

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A widely read CNN op-ed claims that “Ma’Khia Bryant’s death on the day Chauvin was found guilty is a reminder that we have a long way to go.”

As he awaited the Chauvin verdict on Tuesday, University of Texas history professor Peniel Joseph worried that the “U.S. justice system was going to prove, once again, unable to recognize and protect the sanctity of Black life.”

Joseph had been pleasantly surprised by the jury’s decision. But when he later heard that a 16-year-old black girl had been shot by an Ohio police officer shortly before the verdict was announced, the temporary relief he’d felt quickly passed.

The teenager, Ma’Khia Bryant, had tried to stab a girl, and was lunging toward a second girl with a knife in her hand when the officer pulled the trigger.

Joseph writes that “many are openly questioning why this young teenager could not have been subdued with nonlethal force.”

Because given the facts as they have been reported so far, had the officer not acted, Bryant would have plunged a quite large kitchen knife into another girl. So, let’s see, should he have tried to subdue her first? He did offer two verbal warnings. The group of individuals involved in this episode had been unable to deescalate the situation. A member of the group had called the police 12 or more minutes earlier because none of them had been able to subdue her either.

This case has nothing whatsoever to do with race. It has to do with a police officer responding to a call for help because that’s his job. Does Joseph really believe the officer thought, “I’m going to shoot this girl because she’s black?’

Equating Chauvin’s actions to the Ohio police officer’s actions is a reminder that the far left has really gone off the deep end. Mr. Joseph and his ilk are trying to attach Chauvin’s crime to every conservative.

By seeing “systemic racism” everywhere and in everything, and labeling everyone who doesn’t see it as they do as racists, they’ve lost credibility.

It seems that local and state governments care more about property, building and money than people of color. … We need only to point to the outpouring of state and local resources to prevent violence in the event that Chauvin was acquitted. Imagine if the same level of care that Minneapolis officials and law enforcement agencies took in turning the Twin Cities into a military encampment had been directed toward investing in Black communities?

Considering Black Lives Matter members generally react to every perceived slight by burning a building or looting a department store, law enforcement had to be proactive.

While we’re on the subject, doesn’t the professor think that behavior is rather infantile? Does he feel that BLM members are entitled to destroy property because 160 years ago, people none of us knew, thought slavery was a good idea?

Like these people do:

I agree it was a horrendous institution, but sorry, I’m not going to feel any guilt over it.

Next, he addresses the new Georgia voting law. House Judiciary Committee member Burgess Owens, a black Republican from Utah, absolutely destroyed this  talking point on Tuesday. Owens spoke at the “Senate Judiciary Hearing – Jim Crow 2021: The Latest Assault on the Right to Vote.”

Owens grew up in the Deep South and said he has “actually experienced Jim Crow laws” and would “like to set the record straight.” He told colleagues that “any comparison between this law and Jim Crow is absolutely outrageous.”

He said he’d once protested with his friends outside of a movie theater where blacks were not allowed. He spoke about gas stations that had restrooms for white men and white women and then one filthy bathroom in the back for “coloreds.”

“In addition, Jim Crow laws like the poll tax, property tests, literacy tests and violence and intimidation at the polls made it nearly impossible for black Americans to vote.”

He cannot fathom how it’s considered racist to ask for an ID.

“By the way,” he notes, “97% of voters already have a government-issued ID.”

“What I find extremely offensive is the narrative from the left that black people are not smart enough, not educated enough, not desirous enough of education to do what every other culture and race does in this country: Get an ID.”

“True racism is this: this projection of the Democratic Party on my proud race. … It’s called the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

“To call this Jim Crow 2021 is an insult, my friends. … For those who never lived Jim Crow, we are not in Jim Crow.”

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa told colleagues, “These claims about Georgia aren’t about truth, they’re about politics.”

On the other side of the aisle, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont said Georgia’s law was “the greatest crisis facing our democracy today.”

Actually Senator, the greatest crisis facing our democracy today is the Democratic Party’s insatiable hunger for power.

Back to Joseph. He spends a lot of time elevating Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California and activist Stacey Abrams to rock star status. I’ve addressed Waters’ actions twice in the last week, here and here, and I have nothing more to say on the subject.

Then, mercifully, Joseph concludes, telling readers: “In the meantime, Black people continue to be shot, to be brutalized and to die at the hands of the police.”

He is gaslighting. He knows that blacks kill other blacks multiple times more often than white officers kill blacks. According to Manhattan Institute Fellow Heather MacDonald, one of the smartest conservatives I know, 0.2 percent of black homicides are the result of unarmed black men being shot by police officers.

MacDonald appeared on Newsmax’ Rob Schmitt Tonight show on Tuesday.

After the Chauvin verdict had been announced, President Biden said, we have to get “systemic racism out of policing.” Schmitt asked MacDonald, “What exactly do the numbers say about ‘systemic racism’?

“The numbers say that it does not exist,” she replied. “The police go where the crime is. We have a crime problem in this country. We do not have a police problem. We have been talking about phantom police racism for the last three decades obsessively so as to continue turning our eyes away from the cultural breakdown that you so rightly spoke about Rob.”

“America does not want to confront the disfunction in the inner city black community.” She said that ten percent of white and Hispanic homicide victims are killed by police officers while only three percent of black homicide victims are. “Why,” MacDonald asks. “Because the number of black homicide victims is so huge that it dwarfs anything else. Blacks die of homicide at a rate 13 times that of whites.”

In 2020, MacDonald said there were 18 unarmed blacks killed by police. “Unarmed is defined very liberally, to mean going after an officer’s gun or fleeing in a stolen car with a loaded handgun on the seat next to you. Those 18 unarmed blacks represent 0.2 percent of all blacks who died of homicide last year.”

“The police could end all police shootings and it would have no effect on the black homicide rate. This idea that blacks are being gunned down on a daily basis is an optical illusion,” She explains that this is created by the media which should surprise no one. Watch the whole segment here (starts at 13:30 in the video).

The message from the left is anti-American. It’s disgusting that our president is in on this farce. The left has gone down the rabbit hole.

Call me crazy, but I think it would be difficult to find a country where there are greater opportunities for blacks than in America. I wholeheartedly encourage those who feel life is so unbearable to move. Quite frankly, I’m tired of hearing about their perpetual victimhood.

So professor, I’m going to call BS on your attempt to use Ma’Khia’s death to advance your narrative. America does not have a long way to go.

If you’re truly concerned about the sky high homicide rate among blacks, please start with the inner city black communities.

The Introduction of Race as a Central Issue in American Politics Can Be Traced to an Aug 2019 Staff Meeting at The NY Times

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Much ink has been spilled about the systemic racism that exists in America. This, of course, became front and center following the death of George Floyd last May. That event, which it turns out was grotesquely misreported, served as the green light for an all-out war against the evil white man who continues to oppress blacks to this day.

It gave license to domestic terrorist groups such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa to burn and loot American cities without consequence. Contrast the anemic efforts by law enforcement to pursue those responsible for what became billions of dollars of property damage and injury to police officers and civilians, with the FBI’s robust campaign to chase down citizens who attended the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally. We’ve heard reports of FBI SWAT teams conducting pre-dawn raids, similar to the Roger Stone raid, at the homes of these “dangerous criminals.”

Where the %&$# was the FBI when former President Donald Trump was being targeted for colluding with Russia to win the 2016 election? Oh yeah, they were in on it. They were busy preparing their fraudulent applications to the FISA Court for a warrant and three renewals to spy on members of the Trump campaign. And wracking their brains to find a way to set a perjury trap for Gen. Michael Flynn so they could turn his life into a living hell for the next four years.

The riots that spread like wildfire throughout the U.S. last summer thrust the issue of systemic racism to the fore. In the midst of a pandemic and a deep recession, systemic racism became the most pressing issue of the day. The country needed to find a way – and fast – to atone for the heinous behavior of nineteenth century southern plantation owners even though hundreds of thousands of Americans died fighting a war to abolish slavery.

The mainstream media has been moving away from the practice of journalism for years. With the arrival of candidate Donald Trump, it was abandoned altogether. The media collectively embraced activism. They operate as a unit.

Unlikely as it may sound, the adoption of “race” as a top issue in American discourse was actually a deliberate decision made by The New York Times, which is arguably the most influential newspaper in America.

It happened in August 2019, long before Americans ever heard of George Floyd. The manner of Floyd’s death, as it was represented in the viral video of then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, merely served as a catalyst.

The occasion was a “crisis employee town-hall,” a staff meeting held by The Times’ executive editor Dean Baquet. A recording of his remarks was leaked to and published by Slate. (The full transcript of the meeting, via Slate, is reprinted at the bottom of the page.)

At the time, Trump had just delivered a positive and widely praised speech on two mass shootings that had taken place nearly simultaneously in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The President had denounced racism in the strongest possible terms.

The headline in The Times read, ““TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM.” Following harsh criticism from the left for their positive take on the speech, the newspaper changed its headline to “ASSAILING HATE BUT NOT GUNS.”

The Times’ title change became a huge story, as it should have.

Baquet opened the meeting with a discussion of the “significant missteps” they had made in handling the “crisis.” But, he told employees, “there’s something larger at play here and that was their coverage of Trump.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller had given his disastrous testimony several weeks earlier which pretty much ended the Trump/Russia collusion story they had spent years covering. “We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well,” Baquet said. “Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.”

The story that would dominate the news over the next two years, he said, would be race.

He told his staff:

Race in the next year and I think, to be frank, what I hope you come away from this discussion with – race in the next year is going to be a huge part of the American story. And I mean, race in terms of not only their relationship with Donald Trump, but Latinos and immigration.

Baquet offered his “vision” of what this meant for them.

I think that we’ve got to change. I mean, the vision for coverage for the next two years is what I talked about earlier: How do we cover a guy who makes these kinds of remarks? How do we cover the world’s reaction to him? How do we do that while continuing to cover his policies? How do we cover America, that’s become so divided by Donald Trump? How do we grapple with all the stuff you all are talking about? How do we write about race in a thoughtful way, something we haven’t done in a large way in a long time? That, to me, is the vision for coverage. You all are going to have to help us shape that vision. But I think that’s what we’re going to have to do for the rest of the next two years.

So Baquet had two goals. The first was to paint President Trump as a racist. The second goal was to reshape American history putting slavery at the center of the story. This was the introduction of Nikole Hannah-Jones’ 1619 project, for which she has subsequently won a Pulitzer Prize.

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York wrote that The Times hopes to “reframe America’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”

“The basic thrust of the 1619 project is that everything in American history is explained by slavery and race.”

York explains:

The essays go on to cover the economy (“If you want to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation.”), the food we eat (“The sugar that saturates the American diet has a barbaric history as the ‘white gold’ that fueled slavery.”), the nation’s physical health (“Why doesn’t the United States have universal healthcare? The answer begins with policies enacted after the Civil War.”), politics (“America holds onto an undemocratic assumption from its founding: that some people deserve more power than others.”), daily life (“What does a traffic jam in Atlanta have to do with segregation? Quite a lot.”), and much more.

Newt Gingrich appeared on “Fox and Friends” to weigh in on this travesty. He told viewers:

The whole project is a lie. Look, I think slavery is a terrible thing. I think putting slavery in context is important. We still have slavery in places around the world today, so we need to recognize this is an ongoing story. I think certainly if you’re an African-American, slavery is at the center of what you see as the American experience. But for most Americans, most of the time, there were a lot of other things going on. There were several hundred thousand white Americans who died in the Civil War in order to free the slaves.

I saw one reference that the New York Times claims that the American Revolution was caused, in part, to defend slavery. That is such historically, factually false nonsense that it is embarrassing the New York Times is doing this.

But, if you saw the recent leaked interview town hall meeting with the New York Times editor, he basically said, look, “We blew it on Russian collusion, now we’re going to go to racism, that’s our new model, the next two years will be Trump and racism.” This is a tragic decline of the New York Times into a propaganda paper worthy of Pravda.

Baquet, in his wildest dreams, couldn’t have envisioned how perfectly his vision would be executed. This is an illustration of the enormous power the major media outlets wield over us. They not only influence events, they shape events.

Just as they perpetuated the Russian collusion hoax, they’ve methodically worked to create the systemic racism hoax.

Of course, the death of George Floyd handed them an extraordinary opportunity which they seized upon and ran with. Additionally, they worked in tandem with the like-minded leaders of Big Tech and the Democratic Party.

Their efforts have inflicted deep wounds upon our once great country.

Liberals writers and politicians will continue to rail against the systemic racism inherent in America.

But it’s not really about race. It’s about power.

 

Full transcript of Dean Baquet’s staff meeting: (Via Slate)

Dean Baquet: If we’re really going to be a transparent newsroom that debates these issues among ourselves and not on Twitter, I figured I should talk to the whole newsroom, and hear from the whole newsroom. We had a couple of significant missteps, and I know you’re concerned about them, and I am, too. But there’s something larger at play here. This is a really hard story, newsrooms haven’t confronted one like this since the 1960s. It got trickier after [inaudible] … went from being a story about whether the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia and obstruction of justice to being a more head-on story about the president’s character. We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well. Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story. I’d love your help with that. As Audra Burch said when I talked to her this weekend, this one is a story about what it means to be an American in 2019. It is a story that requires deep investigation into people who peddle hatred, but it is also a story that requires imaginative use of all our muscles to write about race and class in a deeper way than we have in years. In the coming weeks, we’ll be assigning some new people to politics who can offer different ways of looking at the world. We’ll also ask reporters to write more deeply about the country, race, and other divisions. I really want your help in navigating this story.

But I also want to [inaudible] this as a forum to say something about who we are and what we stand for. We are an independent news organization, one of the few remaining. And that means there will be stories and journalism of all kinds that will upset our readers and even some of you. I’m not talking about true errors. In those cases, we should listen, own up to them, admit them, show some humility—but not wallow in them—and move on. What I’m saying is that our readers and some of our staff cheer us when we take on Donald Trump, but they jeer at us when we take on Joe Biden. They sometimes want us to pretend that he was not elected president, but he was elected president. And our job is to figure out why, and how, and to hold the administration to account. If you’re independent, that’s what you do. The same newspaper that this week will publish the 1619 Project, the most ambitious examination of the legacy of slavery ever undertaken in [inaudible] newspaper, to try to understand the forces that led to the election of Donald Trump. And that means trying to understand the segment of America that probably does not read us. The same newspaper that can publish a major story on Fox News, and how some of its commentators purvey anti-immigrant conspiracies, also has to talk to people who think immigration may cost them jobs and who oppose abortion on religious grounds. Being independent also means not editing the New York Times for Twitter, which can be unforgiving and toxic. And actually, as Amanda Cox reminds me, doesn’t really represent the left or the right. [inaudible] who care deeply about the Times and who want us to do better, we should listen to those people. But it is also filled with people who flat out don’t like us or who, as Jack Shafer put it, want us to be something we are not going to be.

By the way, let’s catch our breath before tweeting stupid stuff or stuff that hurts the paper—or treats our own colleagues in a way that we would never treat them in person. It is painful to me personally, and it destabilizes the newsroom when our own staff tweets things they could never write in our own pages or when we attack each other on Twitter. But let me end where I began: This is hard stuff. We’re covering a president who lies and says outlandish things. It should summon all of our resources and call upon all of our efforts to build a newsroom where diversity and open discussion is valued. We will make mistakes, and we will talk about them openly. We’ll do things that cause us to disagree with each other, but hopefully we’ll talk about them openly and wrestle with them. I want your help figuring out how to cover this world. I want the input—I need it. So now I’m going to open the floor to questions.

Staffer: Could you explain your decision not to more regularly use the word racist in reference to the president’s actions?

Baquet: Yeah, I’m actually almost practiced at this one now. Look, my own view is that the best way to capture a remark, like the kinds of remarks the president makes, is to use them, to lay it out in perspective. That is much more powerful than the use of a word.

The weekend when some news organizations used the word racist, and I chose not to, we ran what I think is the most powerful story anybody ran that weekend. [inaudible] [chief White House correspondent] Peter Baker, who stepped back and took Trump’s remarks, looked at his whole history of using remarks like that, and I think it was more powerful than any one word. My own view? You quote the remarks. I’m not saying we would never use the word racist. I’m talking about that weekend. You quote the remarks. The most powerful journalism I have ever read, and that I’ve ever witnessed, was when writers actually just described what they heard and put them in some perspective. I just think that’s more powerful.

Staffer: But what is [inaudible] the use of a very clear word most people [inaudible]?

Baquet: I think that that word it loses its power by the second or third time. I do. I think that these words—can I talk about the use of the word lie for one second?

Staffer: As long as you come back to my original question.

Baquet: I will, I will. I’m not running away from you, you know me.

I used the word lie once during the presidential campaign, used it a couple times after that. And it was pretty clear it was a lie, and we were the first ones to use it. But I fear that if we used it 20 times, 10 times, first, it would lose its power. And secondly, I thought we would find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of deciding which comment by which politician fit the word lie. I feel the same way about the word racist.

I think that a bizarre sort of litmus test has been created: If you don’t use the word racist, you’re not quite capturing what the president said. I’m going to argue that, first off, if you go back and look at what Peter Baker wrote that weekend, it was more powerful than the news organizations that just tossed the word out lightly as the first thing. Secondly, I’m going to ask you to go back and read the most powerful journalism of the civil rights movement. The most powerful journalism of the civil rights movement—for instance Joe Lelyveld’s portrait of Philadelphia, Mississippi, after the murders of Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman—were vivid descriptions of what people in Philadelphia, Mississippi, said and how they behaved. The lead of the story described an old white man sitting on his front porch, saying that the town wasn’t racist, saying that everybody lived peacefully in the town. And as he was saying that, a much older black man walked by, and the guy called him “boy.” That is 20 times more powerful, by my lights, than to use the word racist. If the lead of that story had been “Philadelphia, Mississippi, is a racist town,” it would have been true, but it wouldn’t have been as powerful. I don’t expect everybody to agree with me. In fact, some of the people who were in the discussion that weekend don’t agree with me, but that’s how I feel, strongly.

Staffer: Hi. Thank you so much for doing this. I guess I have a two-part question. The first part is: Would it be fair to say that, if [contributing op-ed writer] Roxane Gay hadn’t tweeted out what she tweeted out, that we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now? And if that is true—or, regardless of whether it’s true—I think that something that some people have been wondering is: Do you feel that there is a person in a high position of power who can be as explicitly self-critical of this organization as Roxane Gay has, and is in a position to be, because she’s on the outside? Do you think that we would benefit from that?

Baquet: I know what you’re getting at—this is a roundabout public editor question, right?

Staffer: No, it’s not. It’s just true. I mean, I don’t know if Roxane hadn’t shared those tweets or those emails, whether we’d be having this conversation.

Baquet: Well, all I can say is, long before that happened I was out in the world meeting with groups of people, having one on one discussions with people. Meeting with, like, large groups of people who wanted to talk about using the words. I gave three interviews in one day. I mean, it’s possible, but I guess I think that—maybe I’m kidding myself, and tell me if I am—I guess I think that we have been having self-critical discussions before that. Do you all think we haven’t had enough of them? Let me turn it to you all, to the room.

Staffer: I mean, it doesn’t seem like there’s that much comfort with having certain kinds of discussions. And I think understanding that certain people’s jobs weren’t at risk, and that it was explicitly their job to be critical, is something that some people might relish or appreciate.

Baquet: Well, let me say something I would relish and appreciate. I would relish and appreciate anybody who wants to come to my office. And some of you have—a lot of people have—to tell me when there are things you don’t like about the New York Times. I get the question about having an outside critic, and it’s an interesting one. But to be frank, the best thing we can do is have a newsroom where, if you don’t like something the newsroom is doing, you can come to me and talk about it. I hope some people feel that way. Some people don’t, but I think that’s more important. And I promise you, if anybody wants to come talk to me or members of the masthead about anything involving coverage—and I’ve had 20 conversations in the last two weeks with people who disagree with me about coverage, or disagree with me about using the word racist, who disagree with me about a lot of stuff—we only get through this if we get to the point where we can have those kind of conversations.

Staffer: Hi. You mentioned that there could be situations when we would use the word racist. What is that standard?

Baquet: You know, we actually should have a written standard. I wasn’t expecting two weeks ago—and [associate managing editor for standards] Phil [Corbett] is working with me and the masthead to come up with it. I can think of examples, like, you know, the governor—was it the governor of Virginia with the costume? I mean, it’s hard for me to answer, but yes, I do think there are instances when we would use it. It’s hard for me to articulate an example of it.

A.G. Sulzberger: So I’m no longer in the newsroom, but Dean tends to bring me in on some of these conversations. And I think it’s useful sometimes to show the journey a little bit of how we reach these decisions. Because otherwise it can feel a little bit like this is a single case in which we’re deciding whether something is or is not racist. The conversation that I heard was really a conversation about labels and about whether we’re going to use labels as shorthand for something that we can convey through words and actions and with greater color and detail. And the moment that, for me, really hammered home the risk of some of these labels was actually when someone passed along to me a headline that we had run six months before the “Trump Makes Comments Condemned as Racist” headline. And the headline we had used six months before was, “Omar Makes Comments Condemned as Anti-Semitic.” And the amount of pushback that that I and others received in that moment from leaders in the Jewish community was really considerable. People wanted us to call this phrase, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby,” an anti-Semitic phrase. They pointed out that this is actually an historically anti-Semitic trope. Though that it was an anti-Semitic trope was actually referred to in the body of the story, which I pointed out.

But we’re really cautious with labels, because labels tend to slip. They tend to stick to each other. And I think that the conversation I heard Dean and other members of the leadership have was about whether or not those types of shortcuts actually end up doing the exact thing that we don’t want, which is keep people from reading, would keep people from actually understanding, by giving folks who are inclined to be skeptical that that label is fairly applied—whether it’s anti-Semitic or racist or anything else—to keep those people from having an easy out not to look at what actually just occurred, and what happened, and what the implications are, and what the effects are on the community. And I think this is a really tricky moment right now. You know, someone did a study of Twitter shares that showed that 70 percent of all stories shared on Twitter were never opened. And to me, that’s just a reminder that so much of the world is judging before they’re actually engaging. And I don’t think any of us would defend the headline from last week. Not only would you not defend it, we changed it. But I do think that if you take a step further back, and you look at the entire front page, or the entire body of coverage, I actually think that you saw in unmistakable clarity all the themes that we rightfully should be addressing. I just wanted to say that.

Staffer: I wanted to ask about the Atlantic interview from last week, where you were talking about how the headline happened, and you said that the copy editors had written [inaudible] I believe that was a slip of the tongue. I do. But I think it raises important issues, because the copy desk was in fact [inaudible] frequently flagged things like this. It was the place that wrote a lot of headlines. I can recall, personally, numerous times on the copy desk when I and my fellow copy editors flagged and got changed problematic headlines or phrasings before they went into print. And I’m just wondering if there has been any discussion of the extent to which streamlined editing system increases the risk of errors like this.

Baquet: I don’t think this one was the streamlined editing system. I mean we are having conversations about the streamlined editing system and whether some desks need more help, but I don’t think that’s what happened here.

Staffer: I’m not talking specifically about, you know, was this headline attributable to it. I’m talking about, in general, there are fewer eyes on stories and the copy editors would normally have been—

Baquet: I know. I honestly don’t think there are fewer eyes on that kind of story. There were a lot of eyes on that particular story. The eyes didn’t come in all at the right time. I know. I get what you’re saying. I don’t think this was a copy desk issue. I really don’t.

Staffer: To come back to the discussion of the word racist for a second, I’m sensitive to how charged a word it is. I’m sensitive to not using labels. But I was struck a couple of years ago. I went to Little Rock for the 60th anniversary of Central High School. And I went back and I reread Homer Bigart’s story, you know, the day it happened, and it was a triple banner headline across the front page. And Homer Bigart, who was a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, his lead was, “An impressive array of federal force cowed racist agitators outside Central High School.” And I was thinking, wow, that’s blunt, it’s powerful, it’s simple, it’s direct. And I was thinking, I wonder if that would ever be the way we would do it today.

Baquet: Oh, sure. The scene he described is—I mean, I’ve actually read this, I’ve gone back and looked at those stories. I don’t think anybody would avoid using the “racist” in a scene like that. It was only Charlottesville times 100, in a historic moment. I think that headline would appear in the New York Times. And I can say, because—.

Staffer: The flipside that I worked out—

Baquet: But I think you’d also… In a weird way, I would argue that proves my point. That was such a powerful moment in American history. It still resonates in American history. It was such a powerful scene of the American South at that moment, that in that instance, to have not used the word would have been weak. And I think, to me, I would argue that that proves my point.

Staffer: But the part that got me a little bit worried about is, if you compare it to how we would cover Charlottesville, which is different, sometimes we use these other words that sound like euphemisms or like—

Baquet: Agree.

Staffer: —you know, “white nationalists who are racially tinged” or we use things that seem to normalize and clean up and sanitize an ugly reality.

Baquet: Yeah, I hate racially tinged, racially charged, too. I think those are worse. If you’re going to do what I said, if you’re gonna put your money where your mouth is and actually just describe it, you shouldn’t use sort of half-assed words like racially charged or racially tinged either. You should either say it when the moment comes or you should describe the scene. I agree with that.

Staffer: Hello, I have another question about racism. I’m wondering to what extent you think that the fact of racism and white supremacy being sort of the foundation of this country should play into our reporting. Just because it feels to me like it should be a starting point, you know? Like these conversations about what is racist, what isn’t racist. I just feel like racism is in everything. It should be considered in our science reporting, in our culture reporting, in our national reporting. And so, to me, it’s less about the individual instances of racism, and sort of how we’re thinking about racism and white supremacy as the foundation of all of the systems in the country. And I think particularly as we are launching a 1619 Project, I feel like that’s going to open us up to even more criticism from people who are like, “OK, well you’re saying this, and you’re producing this big project about this. But are you guys actually considering this in your daily reporting?”

Baquet: You know, it’s interesting, the argument you just made, to go back to the use of the word racist. I didn’t agree with all of this from Keith Woods, who I know from New Orleans and who’s the ombudsman for NPR. He wrote a piece about why he wouldn’t have used the word racist, and his argument, which is pretty provocative, boils down to this: Pretty much everything is racist. His view is that a huge percentage of American conversation is racist, so why isolate this one comment from Donald Trump? His argument is that he could cite things that people say in their everyday lives that we don’t characterize that way, which is always interesting. You know, I don’t know how to answer that, other than I do think that that race has always played a huge part in the American story.

And I do think that race and understanding of race should be a part of how we cover the American story. Sometimes news organizations sort of forget that in the moment. But of course it should be. I mean, one reason we all signed off on the 1619 Project and made it so ambitious and expansive was to teach our readers to think a little bit more like that. Race in the next year—and I think this is, to be frank, what I would hope you come away from this discussion with—race in the next year is going to be a huge part of the American story. And I mean, race in terms of not only African Americans and their relationship with Donald Trump, but Latinos and immigration. And I think that one of the things I would love to come out of this with is for people to feel very comfortable coming to me and saying, here’s how I would like you to consider telling that story. Because the reason you have a diverse newsroom, to be frank, is so that you can have people pull together to try to tell that story. I think that’s the closest answer I can come.

Staffer: Yeah, I want to follow up and disentangle a couple of things that I’ve often seen conflated in these meetings. You have questions like “should we call Donald Trump a racist” and these broader discussions of our coverage getting flattened with the reason that I think we’re here today, which is really narrowly the question of how we present the work that we do and the headlines that end up on our work. Because this is sort of the thing that a lot of us who are, in some capacity, public representatives of the Times feel ourselves called to answer for. Because there are these patterns of getting headlines wrong in a very specific way that recur repeatedly and in a way that makes me think that it’s a process issue. And to me, the question of whether you put a phrase like “racial fires” in a headline is not actually about whether we think it’s OK to call Donald Trump racist. It’s whether we think it’s OK to use euphemisms instead of direct, clear speech in a headline. Which I think is a question you would ask of any administration.

And the issue with last week’s headline was not really about Trump per se. It was really more broadly about what kind of credulousness we want to reflect in terms of an administration—any administration. Or about other cases where we’re sort of shying away from the real content of the story to put a milder spin on it in the headline, which is sometimes actively misleading. And the process by which these headlines end up on stories is often kind of opaque, and it’s not always clear whether we’re taking on board the criticism that I think is very valid of a lot of these headlines. It is a real storyline about the Times out there now, that we are kind of repeatedly making mistakes that other people aren’t making so much. And it is something that’s kind of baffling to me from where I sit, and I guess I’m curious what is our process? How are we thinking about it? Do we perceive ourselves making the same errors repeatedly, or do we see these as sort of isolated episodes?

Baquet: I’m going to be really honest. I actually don’t think we make a whole lot more mistakes. I think I’ve made clear I’m going to own up to my mistakes. I don’t think we make a whole lot more mistakes than the Washington Post or anywhere else. After the headline issue came up, I think I heard from 10 executive editors, pretty much every major news organization. My favorite one was from somebody—I guess I shouldn’t use their names—was somebody who said, “I wish people cared about my headlines as much as they care about yours.”

Look, we are scrutinized. I ran another newspaper. I’ve never seen anything like this. We are scrutinized more than any other news organization in the country, in the world probably. To be frank, some of that comes with being the biggest and, I would argue, the best. And as hard as it is to do this, I think we have to accept it. We have to accept that maybe what goes along with being the New York Times is that we get scrutinized more. Maybe we should even say we deserve it more. You know? That’s the position I’m going to take. I mean, it’s almost funny when I read all of the attacks on the New York Times for not having a public editor. Nobody has a public editor! We’re not the only ones that made the decision to not have a public editor.

My main point is, yeah, we do get beat up more. And I think we just have to own up to [inaudible] in the process. Should I, do you want me to walk through what happened in this headline again, or is that—

Staffer: I would like to know. I mean I think in this specific case that’s now been made public. But in general, kind of, how does this happen?

Baquet: I mean, I think that if I had to (and I will) engage in a little bit of self-criticism, I made a decision. So we’re talking about print headlines here for a second. I made a decision that I still think was the right decision for the New York Times. We’re not just a print newspaper anymore. We have a television show. We have a podcast. We have a daily website that reaches tens of millions people. I thought that the days when the executive editor sat and sort of picked the stories, fly spec-ed the headlines … I just thought that that was sending the wrong signal to the room. What does that say to our video team if executive editor only cares about the print front page? I also, by the way, assembled a remarkable group of people who worry over the print front page. I’m going to also say that nobody puts out a print front page like the New York Times. Don’t let getting whacked the last couple of weeks make you forget that. But I think I should probably spend a little more time thinking about it. You know, again, I’ve said half of the big decisions I’ve had to make as executive editor I’ve made in my bathrobe at home.

You know, I didn’t look closely enough at it. I should make sure that the front page of the New York Times, which is still our glory, gets more scrutiny than it does, and we should all look at it. In this case, I’ve said it before, I think the layout boxed in the print hub in a way that probably made it impossible to put a great headline on it. But I think I should probably spend a little more stewing on the front page. Does that answer your question?

Staffer: Kind of. I mean, I think—

Baquet: Push! Push, man. They’ve never been shy.

Staffer: I do think, I mean, I guess I see it as not a matter of like getting beat up over the past couple weeks. I feel like there’s a sort of weariness with the share of the criticism directed towards us that is about the headlines that detracts from the discussion that we’d like to be having about the actual [inaudible].

Baquet: I agree, but I’m going to say one thing. And then [associate managing editor and Metro editor] Cliff [Levy] wants to say something. We let it distract us, if you don’t mind my saying. You know, there’s a little bit of … there are HR people in the room? There’s a little bit of a wallowing gene in the New York Times. Look, I don’t think any executive editor has owned up to more mistakes than I have. I don’t know if that means I’ve made more mistakes. Maybe it does. Or if it means I just believe in transparently owning up to your mistakes. But the last few months of the New York Times, we have produced some remarkable reports. Before I came in here, somebody from the national desk sent me a note pointing out just how amazing our coverage of El Paso was and how much it happened to have been driven by Latino reporters who felt powerfully about that story and wanted to surface it. We’ve got to move away from the position where we want to just beat ourselves up and not think about that stuff a little bit, too.

Cliff wanted to say something.

Cliff Levy: I just want to kind of delicately push back a little bit on this question of headlines. Headlines are very, very hard, as you well know. I spent a lot of time thinking about headlines. My colleagues on Metro might tell you that I’m kind of obsessed with them in an unhealthy way. A lot of the pushback that we often receive about headlines, particularly on social media is from people who have never written a headline, don’t have an understanding of how hard it is, the burdens on a headline. Particularly the burdens on a headline in print space where you are really limited. But the burden’s in digital, as well. We are limited by length and SEO and all these other factors. People who criticize our headlines—particularly people who are not in this newsroom—you’ll say to them, “Well, what would you want this headline to be?” And they repeat back something to you that’s like 15 lines or 15 words. You know, people want headlines that blitz out any nuance. They want headlines that say, “Donald Trump Is a Racist,” or “Donald Trump Is a Liar” or things that really take out all the texture and fabric of the article itself. And I will just say, you know, they’re extremely hard to do well, and I think in general we do them extremely well. And I think Phil would probably want to add something to that.

Philip Corbett: I did want to push back just a little bit more. Sorry, we’re all pushing back on you. This might not be a widely held view, but I would dispute the idea that when we have made mistakes about headlines in the last months or couple of years that they have always been in the same direction, which I think is how you put it. In other words, that the mistakes you’re seeing are when we’re going, shall we say, too easy on Donald Trump. There certainly have been headlines where I feel like that has been a failing. But I will say, honestly, there have been headlines that many of us have been concerned about or asked to have changed or have had discussion about where I felt the problem was the opposite. Where we were showing what could be read as bias against Trump, and were perhaps going too far in the opposite direction. So this goes to Cliff’s point that headlines are hard to write anyway, and we’re going to get them wrong sometimes. But I would not accept the criticism that the ones we get wrong necessarily show that we’re bending over backwards in one direction, because I’ve definitely seen headlines that I’ve been uncomfortable with that have fallen too far on both sides of the line.

Staffer: So I share the concerns about how coverage can be done aggressively, but not from a default point of view, which can feed into outcomes that repeatedly read to a number of people across the newsroom—and then outside as well—being too cautious or winding up in a zone that fails to accurately represent the situation to the readers. Which is, of course, the mission that we all do believe in. And I have had conversations and exchanges with a number of colleagues in different roles, from different backgrounds across the newsroom in the past week. And one of the things that I’ve brought up—and I know, Dean, you and I have talked about this a bit, too, is that some people, despite your welcoming stance as far as bringing feedback to you, are hesitant to speak up. Or don’t necessarily feel like they can do that safely, or have the standing to do that. Or some may not even have the access to do that. I wondered if it would be OK for me to share some of the feedback that I got that people asked for to be anonymous, but that I thought was thoughtful and could be useful.

Baquet: Sure.

Staffer: OK, so here’s just a selection that I thought was thoughtful.

“Saying something like divisive or racially charged is so euphemistic. Our stylebook would never allow it in other circumstances. I am concerned that the Times is failing to rise to the challenge of a historical moment. What I have heard from top leadership is a conservative approach that I don’t think honors the Times’ powerful history of adversarial journalism. I think that the NYT’s leadership, perhaps in an effort to preserve the institution of the Times, is allowing itself to be boxed in and hamstrung. This obviously applies to the race coverage. The headline represented utter denial, unawareness of what we can all observe with our eyes and ears. It was pure face value. I think this actually ends up doing the opposite of what the leadership claims it does. A headline like that simply amplifies without critique the desired narrative of the most powerful figure in the country. If the Times’ mission is now to take at face value and simply repeat the claims of the powerful, that’s news to me. I’m not sure the Times’ leadership appreciates the damage it does to our reputation and standing when we fail to call things like they are.”

And then this is a question that is more specifically about the process that you are also addressing: “Why are we passing off the biggest, most important part of the stories that we know very well”—this is from a writer—“that we know very well to this strangely anonymized print hub I am often completely unaware of who is even writing the headlines for my stories. Why can’t I or one of the editors who actually worked on the story just write it?”

Staffer: You know, I hurt the print hub in this case because I didn’t think sufficiently about. … We had created a front page, because we had two big stories, one of which had a two-column headline. One had a single line, four-column headline. It was designed with the print hub, but I don’t think I sat and thought about, what can you really say in four words. Right? Now, I do not scrutinize the print hub headlines before it goes to press. I happen to think that many of the people on the print hub are some of our best editors and are extremely talented. The second I saw that headline—I always get the front page that night—I kind of put my head in the hands. And I called in before I knew there was a Twitter storm and said, you know, this is off. We’ve really got to fix this. But I think in some ways, you know, those of us involved that day did a disservice to our colleagues, because it was a very hard thing to write. They were writing it on deadline. And because the headline had seemed fine on the web all day, it didn’t occur to me it would be problematic. But on the web they had a very large banner, and I think one of the things we’ve learned is that, if we’re going to do something that’s a banner, more of us should be involved. But I think I should’ve thought more about, if you have just four words, what can you write? I had been envisioning something like “A Day of Reckoning.”

Staffer: Hi, I actually wanted to raise a different issue, not to stop the discussion about language. About the push for social media and audience engagement, it’s very clear that the direction of the paper and of management is to incentivize and reward more engagement on social media. But then you have the things that get the most traffic on social media or something like people’s Twitter accounts, where it might push them to write inflammatory or stupid or ill-thought-out things. So we’re kind of incentivizing people to get eyes, but that also incentivizes people to say stupid things on social media.

Baquet: You know, other people can jump in here, I’m sort of unconvinced that the tweets that have made me uncomfortable happened because people wanted to get eyes. I mean, I don’t think the tweet that sparked part of this discussion, from an editor in the Washington bureau, was because he wanted to get eyes. I think he just. … We somehow have convinced ourselves that Twitter is not the real world, and that you can say things on Twitter that you wouldn’t be able to say in a newspaper story. And we need to just convince ourselves that that is not true. I mean, others should jump in, but I’m not sure that the tweets that have made me uncomfortable are tweets that were just done to attract attention. But others?

Staffer: I’m wondering what is the overall strategy here for getting us through this administration and the way we cover it. Because I think one of the reasons people have such a problem with a headline like this—or some things that the New York Times reports on—is because they care so much. And they depend on the New York Times. They are depending on us to keep kicking down the doors and getting through, because they need that right now. It’s a very scary time. And when something like this happens, or we have opinion columnists—because people really can’t tell the difference between op-eds and news anymore—but when we have people who post and tweet incendiary things, like Bret Stephens, people don’t understand. I think they get confused as to what we’re trying to do.

Baquet: Yeah.

Staffer: And I’m just wondering, how can we tighten that up?

Baquet: Are you talking about coverage, or are you talking about social media?

Staffer: I’m talking about all of it.

Baquet: OK. I mean, let me go back a little bit for one second to just repeat what I said in my in my short preamble about coverage. Chapter 1 of the story of Donald Trump, not only for our newsroom but, frankly, for our readers, was: Did Donald Trump have untoward relationships with the Russians, and was there obstruction of justice? That was a really hard story, by the way, let’s not forget that. We set ourselves up to cover that story. I’m going to say it. We won two Pulitzer Prizes covering that story. And I think we covered that story better than anybody else.

The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand, two things happened. Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, “Holy shit, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.” And Donald Trump got a little emboldened politically, I think. Because, you know, for obvious reasons. And I think that the story changed. A lot of the stuff we’re talking about started to emerge like six or seven weeks ago. We’re a little tiny bit flat-footed. I mean, that’s what happens when a story looks a certain way for two years. Right?

I think that we’ve got to change. I mean, the vision for coverage for the next two years is what I talked about earlier: How do we cover a guy who makes these kinds of remarks? How do we cover the world’s reaction to him? How do we do that while continuing to cover his policies? How do we cover America, that’s become so divided by Donald Trump? How do we grapple with all the stuff you all are talking about? How do we write about race in a thoughtful way, something we haven’t done in a large way in a long time? That, to me, is the vision for coverage. You all are going to have to help us shape that vision. But I think that’s what we’re going to have to do for the rest of the next two years.

This is no longer a story where the Washington bureau every week nails some giant story by [Washington correspondent] Mike Schmidt that says that Donald Trump or Don McGahn did this. That will remain part of the story, but this is a different story now. This is a story that’s going to call on different muscles for us. The next few weeks, we’re gonna have to figure out what those muscles are.

In terms of how to keep people from having these discussions on social media, I’m not 100 percent sure. I think we should tighten the rules a little, which always upsets people a little bit. I mean, there were tweets that people at the New York Times retweeted or liked last week that were really painful for this newsroom and for me personally. So I’m gonna keep saying that, and maybe we should talk about the rules, too.

Staffer: It appears to be that the public narrative around the headline is different from the internal narrative that I’ve been hearing. So for example, I know that the copy desk thing was a slip. But I have also heard that someone actually raised concerns about the headline and was overruled. So, I’m just trying to reconcile what I’m hearing from my co-workers internally and what I’m hearing from my other co-workers in the public.

Baquet: I reached out to the person who raised questions about the coverage that day, who works on the print hub, and it’s a little more complicated than that. She was leaving town, and I was leaving town. She thought it was a bad headline, but mainly she thought that particular story shouldn’t led the paper. Her complaint was different than the narrative that has developed, which is that one person on the print hub threw their body in front of the headline. In my exchanges with her, that wasn’t the case. She thought that that story should not have led the paper. And she thought the headline was bad, but mainly she thought the whole package, the whole architecture—but mainly the story—is what was wrong. And I told her frankly, in my exchange with her, which was good and helpful, I said look I disagree with you on this one. I’m happy to sit down and talk to you in person. I thought that was the right lead of the paper. I would not have minded, by the way, if she’d wandered into my office, knocked on the door, which I told her and which I will keep telling her when I talk to her in person. If she had come in and said, I think you picked the wrong lead of the paper, that’s a little bit of a different narrative from the headline narratives. That make sense?

Staffer: Hi. I just kind of wanted to return to the internal debate before the headline went to print. Do you think there was a breakdown there other than space pressure or time pressure? And if so, I wonder what you think that that breakdown was?

Baquet: Again, I had this exchange with an editor as she was going away and I was going away. I’m not sure that was a breakdown. I think the breakdown was that we drew a page that was really, really, really hard to put a thoughtful headline on. This was a really complicated story. It was not a story that said, Trump said X. In fact, what was wrong with the story is that the “Trump said X” headline wasn’t enough to capture the hypocrisy and all the kind of nuance we’re talking about. So I think we built a page on deadline that made it really hard to put a headline on it. So we set it up for a bad headline, and the people who were in a position to judge it quickly and change it, like me, did not look at it until too late. So I guess this is a system breakdown. We didn’t have a system in place where the people who would recognize it and then change it—And maybe, by the way, the right change—if you want me to tell you—the perfect scenario for this headline would have been like this: The print hub—I’m not blaming the print hub, I’m blaming me, because I set up this system—the print hub comes in and says, “We tried, we cannot put a headline on that story with this layout. You need to redraw the page.” We would have redrawn the page in a way that allowed us to put a more nuanced headline on it. That would have been, in retrospect, the ideal situation.

Staffer: But the editors were looking at it, do you have the impression that they felt that that was necessary, or there was a recognition that there was a problem?

Baquet: I should ask [associate masthead editor] Tom [Jolly] and others on the print hub. I mean, there was a recognition among the masthead when it got sent around. As soon as the mockup of the front page got passed around, I looked at it. Matt looked at it. Everybody looked at and said, “Oh shit.” The first edition had already closed, so that was a system breakdown. Does that answer it? I’m trying to walk you through the process a little bit. Go ahead.

Staffer: It just seems like the people who could have recognized that, perhaps, did not or were not on the team to look at the first edition.

Baquet: Tom, do you have a thought about that? Tom runs the print hub.

Tom Jolly: Well, I think, a) the problem was that the editor felt like that difficult headline had to tie directly into the lead story. If we had made it a broader headline that addressed the package of four different stories, “the day of reckoning” or something along those lines, it would have solved it. In terms of a system problem, print hub had a meeting Thursday, and one of the things that we’ve realized is, we need to be looking at the front page. First of all, we need to be talking to the editors who are going to be writing the headlines that come in in late afternoon. They’re not a part of the discussion during the day. We need to talk to them, give them a sense of what the storyline is. And then we need to review the page before it comes out. One of the problems here was that the page was already published, and that page goes to half of our print readers. So at that point, there was no bringing it back. Right? So yes we’ve addressed system issues that we’ve identified, and I’ve also talked with the editor from the stories going around. And she doesn’t feel that she was rebuffed. Obviously, we would never want that to happen. And I think as Dean explained that was a little bit of a bigger issue. But I think the biggest thing is discussing the storyline at a time in the late afternoon or early evening when the editors who are just coming in have an opportunity to think it out one more time.

Baquet: Can I say something in support of the print hub? Because just for the record, I’m not sure I love this narrative of these sort of anonymous editors you know sitting on another floor fucking up the New York Times. The print hub builds the front page of the New York Times every day. Pick up today’s front page. It is it is a thing of beauty. They do it every day. They’re not some anonymous nobodies. They’re fine journalists, assembled from across the newsroom, assembled from other news organizations. The original sin, I can say since I’m a Catholic and a former altar boy, the original sin was ours. Was setting up a front page that was really, really difficult to build a headline around. But don’t, do not… Go visit the print hub. I mean these are journalists just like us. I talked to the editor who wrote the headline. He’s sick, you know. I mean he feels terrible. He feels more terrible than he should, to be frank. But it feels terrible, and I don’t want to walk away from this with all of us thinking that they’re a group of fumble fingers on another floor of the New York Times secretly fucking up the New York Times. They’re not.

One more.

Staffer: When it came to actually changing that headline, how much influence did the reader input have? I mean, OK, all you guys didn’t like it. You were unhappy. But was a change in the works, or was it the response?

Baquet: We were all—it was a fucking mess—we were all over the headline. Me. Matt. The print hub. Probably [assistant managing editor] Alison [Mitchell]. We were all over it, and then in the middle of it, [deputy managing editor] Rebecca Blumenstein sent an email—but we were already messing with it —saying, “You should know, there’s a social media firestorm over the headline.” My reaction [inaudible] was not polite. My reaction was to essentially say, “Fuck ’em, we’re already working on it.” And we were working on it, on deadline. We had already lost half of the papers, and it was too late to redraw the whole page. We would’ve lost the whole thing.

Baquet: Can I just say one thing? This is a hard story. This is larger than the headline. This is larger than the other stuff. This is a really hard story. This is a story that’s going to call on like all of our muscles, all of our resources, all of our creativity, all of our empathy. Including all of our empathy for each other. It’s going to call on us to be maybe a little less harsh with each other, because we’re gonna make other mistakes. It’s going to call on us to listen to each other more, including me listening to you all more. If you ask me how we end up getting through this with the best coverage, it’s by having honest conversations. It’s by inviting people into the Trump story who ordinarily might not have played on stories like this and making sure they get to participate in the coverage. But I hope this is a start, and I hope people take me at my word when I say you may come into me and tell me something you don’t like. I may not agree with you. I will be direct, and I will say I don’t agree with you. But I promise you I will listen and I promise you that in the end all of this influences the coverage. So thank you. Thank you.

Get Woke, Go Broke; NBA All-Star Game Ratings Dive to Record Low

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The Urban Dictionary defines Get Woke, Go Broke as a phrase coined by the internationally bestselling author John Ringo to express the opinion that when organizations “get woke” to politically correct actions, those same actions usually result in a massive loss of income.

This is usually because the Twatter instigators calling for the company to “get woke” doesn’t actually spend any money with the company.

According to Sports Media Watch, the ratings for Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game across TNT and TBS hit a record-low of 3.1, down 24% from 4.1 last year. And 5.94 million viewers watched the game, a drop of 18% from 7.28 million in 2020.

SMW points out that it was up against the CBS interview of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry which was watched by 17.8 million viewers.

When will athletes get the message that fans don’t care about their political beliefs, especially when they are anti-American? And that just maybe fans respect our national anthem and don’t like to see a group of overpaid players “taking a knee” while it’s being played.

I saw this story over at The Gateway Pundit and I had to laugh at one of the comments which said, “Heh. Go play in China. See what real racism looks like.”

In fact, I would argue there’s no country in the world where blacks have more freedom, privilege or opportunities than in America. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty damn good. (At least it was.)

Racism is an issue in any society. It certainly isn’t unique to America.

Our flag does not symbolize racism, it symbolizes our nation’s victory over tyranny.

In August 2020, 74.2% of NBA players were black, 16.9% were white, 2.2% were Latino, 0.4% were Asian and 6.3% were classified as “other races.”

Considering the disproportionate number of black players, an NBA game seems a foolish place to be protesting racism.

Michelle Obama Gets it Terribly Wrong in Her Commencement Address and Exposes the Root of the Racial Divide

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After reading Victor Davis Hanson’s new column in which he makes the case that “we have become an absurd society obsessed with race” which I excerpted here, I was reminded of a virtual speech delivered by former First Lady Michelle Obama to “2020 graduates.” Her words exposed the root of the racial divide. I was especially struck by her remarks because I had just watched conservative commentator Mark Levin interview Shelby Steele, a black conservative who had a much different take on racism in America today than Mrs. Obama. ( Like Hanson, Steele is also a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.) I am reprising a post I had written at the time because the contrast between their perceptions had been so startling to me, and so revealing.

For most people, the biggest takeaway from former First Lady Michelle Obama’s virtual commencement address to the class of 2020 last June was this: “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re too angry.”

Not for me. I hadn’t reached that line in her speech when she uttered something that stopped me in my tracks.

Within 90 seconds, the topic turned to race. Not only have we had to deal with the pandemic, she told graduates, “but also by the rumbling of the age-old fault lines that our country was built on. The lines of race and power that are once again so nakedly exposed for all of us to grapple with.”

With one of the most sour expressions I’ve ever seen, she said, “What’s happening now is the direct result of decades of prejudice and inequality.”

“The truth is, when it comes to all those tidy stories of hard work and self-determination that we like to tell ourselves about America,” she says as she shakes her head to indicate this is a lie, “the reality is a lot more complicated than that. Because for too many people in this country no matter how hard they work, there are structural barriers working against them that just make the road longer and rockier.”

STOP. RIGHT. THERE.

Having just watched a powerful discussion the night before between Fox News’ Mark Levin and Shelby Steele, a Senior Fellow at The Hoover Institution, about this very subject, it struck me she was perpetuating the decades old myth that stands at the center of the racial divide in America today.

This statement is the crux of the problem. By their actions and their words, Democrats have instilled in blacks the notion that they are helpless, and the odds are stacked against them. Like all of the Democrat’s lies, it’s been repeated so often, many blacks firmly believe that no matter how hard they work, the system is rigged against them, and they will never get ahead.

Now, if a parent or a mentor tells a child, continually, that even if they persevere, it will make little difference, the child will have very little incentive to do so. And if that parent or mentor takes it further and says, “But don’t worry. I’ll always make sure you have everything you need,” what little motivation the child may have had will evaporate.

The Democratic Party and black parents, for whom this message is now deeply ingrained, are creating a never-ending cycle of failure.

Shelby Steele, who is black, provided some unique insight into America’s current racial problems.

Steele came of age during the civil rights era in the 1960s and said the biggest difference between then and now is that, back then, everybody knew exactly what they wanted. “Often [it was] a piece of legislation, a civil rights bill or something else that was specific or concrete.”

He speaks of the vagueness of the current protests. “So, what is this really all about?” Steele thinks it’s about power and, “in order to pursue power, as they do, you have to have victims.”

The death of George Floyd, he told Levin, “generates such excitement among this crowd and validates their argument that America is a wretched country. It feeds this old model of operation that we’ve developed, that America is guilty of racism…and has been for four centuries and minorities are victims who are entitled.” Steele continued:

And so, when people start to talk about systemic racism built into the system, what they’re really doing is expanding their territory of entitlement. We want more. We want more…Society is responsible for us because racism is so systemic.

Well, that’s a corruption. And I know it’s a corruption. Because the truth of the matter is that blacks have never been less oppressed than they are today. Opportunity is around every corner.

Blacks, he says, are unhappy that they’re at the bottom of most socioeconomic ladders, but instead of blaming it on the police or anyone else, they need to take a look at themselves. He goes on to say:

Why don’t you take some responsibility for it? Why don’t you take more responsibility? I would be happy to look at all the usual bad guys, the police and so forth, if they have the nerve, the courage, to look at black people…and say, you’re not carrying your own weight, you’re going to go have a fit and a tantrum and demonstrations…

Are you teaching your child to read?  Are you making sure that the school down the street actually educates your child? Are you becoming educated and following a dream in your life and making things happen for yourself? Or are you saying ‘I’m a victim and I’m owed? And the entitlement is inadequate and I need to be given more and after all, you know racism has been here for 400 years…and so, it’s time for you to give to me.’

That’s an exhausted, fruitless, empty strategy to take and we’ve been on that path since the 60s and we are farther behind than we’ve ever been and we keep blaming it on racism and blaming it on the police. I’m exhausted with that.

Steele recalls growing up in the 1950s in Chicago when segregation was “fierce.” No one was taking money from the government. His father, with a third grade education, bought three ramshackle houses, rebuilt them and then rented them out. He “kept clawing his way up.” And he wasn’t unique. They were all working hard. He continued:

“They took a lot of responsibility for their lives because the government didn’t. What civil rights bill is going to replace that? What value system?,” asked Steele.

“And that is the problem. That we have allowed ourselves to be enabled in avoiding our real problems by a guilty white society. That keeps using us and exploiting us as victims,” adding that, “If you really care about how minorities do, why don’t you ask them to do it? Why don’t you ask them to drop the pretense?”

He also believes there’s always going to be some racism in every society. He noted, “My own sense is that it’s endemic to the human condition. We will always have to watch out for it…That is no excuse for us being where we are right now in American life.” Steele explains:

We have let this sort of guilty society and our grievance industry put us in this impossible position where we are a permanent underclass.

White guilt: Buying back legitimacy by exploiting minorities all over again.

‘Look, we beat you up pretty badly. You can’t make it without us…unless WE are the agent of that change. Not you us. So they take over the agency, over black development and say, if you don’t get more government money, more government programs…you will never make it. You are dependent on us and what happens? A grievance industry springs up in black America to receive all that white beneficence.

The civil rights movement does nothing but scream bloody murder at how dependent black people are on what white’s do for them.

Levin noted:

The Democrat party history in many respects is a very evil history…It was the party of the Confederacy, the party of slavery. It was the party, after the Civil War that destroyed Reconstruction. It was the party that spawned and gave birth to the Klan. The party that pushed segregation. It was the party whose members were involved in the Dred Scott decision. The Plessy v. Ferguson decision.

The party up into the 1920s that embraced the racists and the segregationists. It was the party all the way up until the Civil Rights Act, that played serious politics with the racists and the segregationists in the Jim Crowe south…Now there are exceptions.

Steele interrupted to say, “Now, it’s the party of affirmative action. There’s a symbiosis that liberalism is a part of and, where there’s sort of a mutual corruption and you see this in the Democratic Party where you have on the one hand the grievance industry blacks, and you have on the other hand the Pelosi’s of the world who want to be the agents of black uplift. We’re just sort of stuck there. And, of course as always, the group that will pay the price for this stuckness [sic], this stalemate, is blacks. We’ll get farther and farther behind.”

Mrs. Obama’s advice to graduates is to mobilize and become community organizers to bring radical change following the death of George Floyd.

But rather than protesting for more entitlements, why doesn’t she just tell them to work hard in a chosen field and break out of the cycle that continues to keep them stuck? Many blacks have found success in today’s America. The old fashioned way.

That would be a lot more empowering than telling them to go out and protest.

The video of Levin’s interview with Steele can be viewed here.

Victor Davis Hanson: ‘We have become an absurd society obsessed with race’

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Victor Davis Hanson is a Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is a military historian, a columnist, a former classics professor, and one of the smartest conservative commentators ever.

In his latest column at American Greatness, he asks if America is (hopefully, finally) hitting woke herd immunity as two recent polls suggest. He begins:

Two recent polls suggest wokism is beginning to recede on a variety of fronts, from less trust in Black Lives Matter and more confidence in the police, to suspicion that the Capitol “insurrection” account is being used to unfairly suppress political expression while Antifa, increasingly, is seen as a terrorist organization whose violence has been ignored improperly by authorities.

There are tens of millions of Americans who either have been stung, or turned off by McCarthyite wokeness (and thus have anti-wokeness antibodies). More have been vaccinated from its latest virulent strains by their own values of judging people as individuals, not as racial or gender collectives. So lots of Americans have developed peremptory defenses against it. The result is that daily there are ever-fewer who are susceptible to the woke pandemic. And it will thus begin to fade out—even as the virus desperately seeks to mutate and go after more institutions.

Peak wokeness is nearing also because if it continued in its present incarnation, then the United States as we know it would cease to exist—in the sense that 1692-93 Salem or 1793-94 Paris could not have continued apace without destroying society. Woke leftism exists to destroy and tear down, not to unite and build. It is not designed to play down and heal racial differences, but to accentuate and capitalize on them.

Dr. Hanson says “the shark was jumped” with last week’s cancellation of Dr. Seuss books.

But what are to be the new standards of Trotskyization as we go forth? Can the Governor of New York be excused for months of policies that led to nearly 15,000 unnecessary deaths, but not for inappropriate kisses and touching of women? Or will he, as an Emmy-winning woke official, be exempt from punishment for both types of transgressions?

There are no logical standards that dictate who is and who is not canceled. For now, all we know about the rules of wokeness is that living leftists are mostly not canceled by the woke mob for the thought crimes that ruin both the non-Left or the generic dead.

There is a price to be paid for “wokeness.”

Wokeness is siphoning off billions of dollars from a productive economy through a sort of value-subtracted tax. We are spending a great deal of labor and capital for merit to be replaced in college admissions, in hiring, in grants, in publication, in the selections of awards, and in movies and videos, in everything—as racial, ethnic, and sexual identity considerations replace meritocratic, literary, artistic, and technological criteria, rather than just augment, them.

Americans also are investing lots of capital in preempting wokeness—writing/saying/acting in ways that are not productive, but simply defensive. Diversity oaths, and diversity applications, pledges, and statements take some time to read and digest. It will not be long before insurers will sell “woke insurance,” the premiums adjusted upward for those more conservative and of the wrong genealogy. It won’t be long before we all carry cards certifying that “At no time, did I say, hear, or think anything . . . .”

Our economy will soon mimic the totalitarian ones of old. Our commissars are like those of the old Red Army—ordering Soviet commanders’ counter-offensives during the Great Patriotic War to ensure that tank battalions were advancing ideologically correctly rather than just tactically or strategically soundly.

If that sounds overly dramatic to some, Dr. Hanson reminds us that at the height of the riots last May and June, then-President Donald Trump considered bringing in federal troops to maintain order. It was then that “280 former generals, admirals, and national security officials signed a letter warning that if Trump” were to do so, “he should be considered a dictatorial threat.” The letter read, “There is no role for the U.S. military in dealing with American citizens exercising their constitutional right to free speech, however uncomfortable that speech may be for some.”

Yet when Democrats insisted on bringing in 25,000 National Guard troops after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, this “group remained mute.”

No society can long exist if it believes that its own founding principles, its customs and traditions, its very origins are evil and must be erased. Tearing down statues of Abraham Lincoln, and redefining 1776 and 1787 as 1619, are many things, but one thing they are not is coherent. Trump was considered nutty when he warned that the statue topplers would go from Confederate monuments to Washington and Jefferson—and then when they did just that he was further ridiculed for being prescient.

Who were the long-dead men who devised a system whose natural and eventual fruition is what attracts indigenous people from Oaxaca, the destitute from Somalia, or the politically oppressed from Vietnam? If evil white people founded an evil system solely for their own evil purposes, why would anyone nonwhite dare risk his life to eat from the alluring fruit of the inherently long-ago poisoned tree?

If Americans are to accept that their Declaration of Independence and Constitution were frauds, abject falsifications of the real unspoken founding of 1619, then again what is to replace them? Whose statues are to rise, which books are we to be authorized to read, whose science are we to turn to?

“Everyone has feet of some clay,” Dr. Hanson reminds us. “Is there no adultery, or unkind treatment of women or plagiarism in the past of Martin Luther King, Jr? No violence or criminality in the life of Malcolm X? Did Cesar Chavez never send his goons to the border to beat back illegal aliens? Was Margaret Sanger only a sometimes advocate of eugenic abortion? Are the written biographies of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to be freed of anti-Semitism and petty corruption? Is Louis Farrakhan an ecumenical leader in the way FDR was not? Was JFK really our first feminist?”

Are we to look to those who erased our supposedly awful past for guidance?

Is it to be the architect of the 1619 Project? Long ago the ecumenical Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote that “the white race is the biggest murderer, rapist, pillager, and thief of the modern world . . . The descendants of these savage people pump drugs and guns into the Black community, pack Black people into the squalor of segregated urban ghettos and continue to be bloodsuckers in our community.”

Last summer, he points out, “Hannah-Jones bragged that, yes, it would be ‘an honor’ if the summer rioting—700 police officers injured, 40 deaths, and billions in property damages and hundreds—be called henceforth ‘the 1619 riots.'”

She also said, “Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence. … Any reasonable person would say we shouldn’t be destroying other people’s property, but these are not reasonable times.” He wondered if the Times considered Hannah-Jones “inflammatory?”

Moreover, he asks how we “ascertain who is and is not white or black or brown?”

Most illiberal societies in the past that tried such stigmatization of race, ethnicity, or religion did not end so well—from the Ottomans and the Third Reich to the former Yugoslavians, Rwandans, and Iraqis. One eighth, one fourth, or one half makes one a person of color—or not color? Shall we seek knowledge of one-drop of tell-tale bloodlines from the archived jurisprudence of the antebellum South?

If Peruvian George Zimmerman had only used his matronymic, and Latinized his first name, then would a Jorge Mesa have become a sympathetic character who lost a fair fight with Trayvon Martin rather than reduced by the New York Times to a strange category of “white Hispanic” hoodlum, with the additional odor of a Germanized patronymic.

Why does class bow to race, since the former seems to trump the latter. If we forget percentages for a moment, and also forget that we are individuals, not anonymous cogs of vast racial wheels, in absolute numbers, there are roughly (in some studies) more poor white people—both those earning incomes below the poverty level and those with no income at all—than all other commensurate poor minorities combined. Were these supposed to be the targets of Barack Obama’s “clingers” remarks, or Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables,” John McCain’s “crazies,” or Joe Biden’s “dregs,” “chumps,” and “Neanderthals”?

Predicating wokism on race is a tricky business, even if one could define and identify race, quantify its role in determining class status, and convince millions that it is moral to judge people by how they look.

Like the Salem witch trials and the McCarthyite hysteria, when wokism fades, we are likely to see its real catalysts revealed. And they will not be found to be misplaced idealism, nor heartfelt desire for a more ecumenical society, but mostly the age-old, narcissistic destructive road to career enhancement, fueled by customary ancient fears, envies, and hatreds.

New Poll Reveals Top Three Concerns of Democratic Voters; They Might Surprise You

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If I had to list my top three political concerns, they would be America’s slide into socialism, election fraud and the national debt.

Yours might be different, but there would likely be some overlap.

I’d be willing to bet, however, that not too many readers of this blog would choose at least the first two of the Democrats’ top three concerns.

  1. Donald Trump’s supporters.
  2. White nationalism.
  3. Systemic racism.

Readers?