Today, I sat within an arm’s reach of one of the media’s most prominent and controversial #BlackLives Matter advocates and listened to him pitch his agenda to my classroom.
He spoke for the better part of an hour, leaving time for only a couple students to respond. I had plenty to challenge hime with but didn’t get my chance.
Here it is.
I am required to take a class called, “Mass Media and Diversity: Race, Gender and Class” for my journalism major at the University of Kentucky. After a few weeks of learning about fake, mythical science terms like “micro-aggressions” and “white privilege,” we invited New York Daily News columnist Shaun King to speak at the University.
Let me preface this by saying I have no personal animosity toward Shaun King. Some of his positions are even similar to mine, including an issue with the way police often times conduct themselves. He seems like a nice guy and had some valuable points to make about the media industry, but he has said some pretty ridiculous things before and done some very questionable things when his history is reviewed.
King began by speaking about his career. Fast forwarding to 2014, he said that his inspiration to begin social activism, particularly with BLM – which I consider neither social nor active, but we’ll save that for later – was the case of Eric Garner.
As we all remember, Eric Garner was the black man that died in police custody after being wrestled to the ground for illegally selling cigarettes. The entire thing was caught on cellphone video and people were outraged.
The Eric Garner case is a complicated one.
Garner wasn’t targeted because he was black. He had a criminal record and was engaging in more illegal activity. That created the confrontation.
Garner wasn’t tackled because he was black. He was tackled because he resisted arrest and told the officers he wouldn’t go with them.
Garner wasn’t put into the hold because he was black. He was put into the hold because he was a huge man who continued to fight the police while on the ground.
I’m not saying he deserved to die, of course he didn’t. What I am saying is that he didn’t die because he was black.
King said that seeing the Garner video for the first time struck him so deeply that he became obsessed with writing about “social justice.” He went on to mention several other cases including John Crawford III, Tamir Rice and Michael Brown as reasons for his continued writing and activism.
King explained the case of John Crawford III, who was killed in a Walmart after picking up a pellet rifle and walking around the store. Somebody called the police and said that there was an active shooter situation in Walmart, which was obviously untrue.
King’s version of the Crawford video was a stretch, at best, when compared to the actual video. According to King, Crawford had no gun at all, had randomly seen a pellet gun on the shelf and happened to rest his hand on it. When police came into the Walmart expected an active shooter, they shot and Killed Crawford immediately. That is King’s description, here is the link to the actual video.
Again, this is horrible. This is a tragedy and his life never should have been lost. But to assume that he was killed because he was black and that the officer wasn’t prosecuted because he was white is wrong.
Stringing these cases together is the first problem with King’s logic. While he did say that these cases were different, he was essentially equating Garner’s choking for cigarette sales to Brown’s shooting for trying to beat the hell out of a cop and steal his gun to shoot him after committing a strong-armed robbery.
These individual cases are not the same. The first step for pulling people into the nonsense of BLM is convincing people that these cases are all equal. If you can convince people that all of these cases are similar because a black person was killed by a white cop and the cop wasn’t prosecuted, you have already made them stop paying attention to individual facts of the case. It’s a common theme for BLM activists and politicians. They will list off several different black men that were killed by police, as if all the instances were the same or similar.
Once you make the individual facts of each case irrelevant, you can build a narrative, because people begin thinking injustice is happening at an alarming rate.
King then told us about writing stories and that he was telling these stories,”… in the name of making justice happen.” Of course in his mind, justice isn’t happening or else we wouldn’t have a story.
He told us about getting hired at New York Daily News as the Senior Justice Writer, or in his words, “Senior Injustice Writer.”
He harped on how much writing he had been doing, and even said that people constantly trashed his writing to the point that he was” bitter.” He even excused getting facts wrong and not thoroughly checking sources, saying that the”grind” of so much writing was just too much.
King champions himself as a writer from a “different perspective.” He built a heroic version of himself as a writer who was writing from the perspective of the oppressed when everybody else was writing from the perspective of the oppressors.
Of course, anybody that payed any amount of attention to the media when each of these stories happened knows the entire media industry wanted to make us think it was white racism that caused all this. Despite what he thinks, King was no lone wolf.
The next part of his lecture was basically a lesson on how important he is and how much readership his stories acquire, until finally he let some students as questions.
Here is where my refuting of his positions begins.
The first thing King mentioned that I took issue with – aside from the case-equating of earlier – was his explanation of black representation in the media.
The diversity class deals with this topic heavily. Why aren’t there more minorities in the media? Why is there only one or two black people on Survivor each season?
The answer is quite simple. We are a capitalist society where businesses, like the media, compete for the largest market share. King challenged why there isn’t a plethora of “black” TV shows in primetime TV. Black TV shows aren’t going to get the same viewership as shows that feature mostly white people, because there are more white people in the nation.
Black people make up 13 percent of the population, of course they aren’t going to be seen as often in a media industry competing to earn viewership from the most people.
Thanks to capitalism, somebody like Viacom can recognize the demand for black representation and create a little something called BET. I would say that was a successful idea.
After this idea, he took a question about the election, which I won’t even begin to get into. He spoke for 20 minutes on that, referred to Trump as everything short of Satan, but surprisingly said he wasn’t a Clinton supporter either.
The juicy part came at the end when another classmate asked a question about black people and their deaths.
She asked for his opinion on the communities in relation to the death of young black people and what King’s thoughts are in regards to solving these problems.
Of course, he would like to believe “activism” and Tweets about the racist system are going to fix things, but reasonable people know identifying a problem isn’t the same as solving it, especially when it’s identified incorrectly.
He begins his answer by saying that there are a lot of “mean-spirited people” in the media. He blames these horrible people on the “bad information out there” regarding crime rates and statistics for black people.
For starters, if you have to begin an argument by saying mean-spirited people are passing along bad information, that’s code for, “Don’t believe anything real or factual, just trust me.”
His first argument about crime is that almost all crime in the U.S. is intra-racial. That means white people general commit crime on white people and black people generally commit crime on black people. He’s right about that. But that’s his defense for why groups like BLM aren’t protesting black on black crime.
He’s basically saying, since whites kill whites and people don’t protest, there’s no need to protest when blacks kill blacks because mathematically it makes sense.
What he leaves out is the disparity between the rate at which the races commit crimes. He says, “White people rarely even talk about white crime!”
Well, Mr. King, that’s because white crime isn’t an epidemic or statistically significant.
The leading cause of preventable death for young white men is car accidents. Not homicide.
For young black men, the leading cause of preventable death is homicide by other black men. Is it still irrelevant?
This alone is enough to take a pause and wonder, if #BlackLivesMatter is really about black lives mattering, why aren’t they be protesting the number one cause of preventable death of young black men?
What he is also leaving out is that black people commit crimes against each other far more often than whites commit crimes against other whites. He said, “The overwhelming majority of white people that are robbed, raped and murdered are robbed, raped and murdered by other white people.”
Actually, that’s not true either.
In 2007, the FBI released figures showing a black man is 40 times as likely to commit a crime against a white person than vice versa.
According to the FBI, 38 percent of all violent crime, including what King references, is committed by black people. Think about that. 13 percent of the population commits 38 percent of the crime.
I don’t know what math he’s taking, but that isn’t a normal outcome.
So we’ve established that yes, black people are statistically more likely to commit crimes than white people and much more likely to commit crimes against the opposite race. That’s why it’s important that BLM isn’t protesting these things.
His next point almost made me blurt out a comment, but I kept control. He argues that interracial crime gains more attention, which is true.
The irony was, he actually had the gall to say that Donald Trump’s usage of an illegal alien killing a white woman was an “anomaly” and that he didn’t understand why so many people talked about it when -and I quote -, “In San Fransisco, like 80 white men killed white women that year, he killed one woman, Donald Trump has talked about that man…”
Hmm. Well Mr. King, did you not just accuse Donald Trump of doing exactly what you’re entire movement is rooted in?
Finding individual, anecdotal cases to create an entire narrative of black men losing their lives is exactly what BLM is all about. How could King accuse Trump of doing exactly what his entire movement is built around with a straight face?
His next massive fallacy was that blacks are held more responsible for crimes than other races are. His evidence for this claim is that prisons are full of black people.
Well, simple logic would tell us that more black people are in prison because, as proven by stats, black people commit more crime.
He then reverted to a common myth about the disparity between prison sentences. Of course, studies have shown that when accounted for prior criminal history, black convicts are not being sentenced to disproportionally long sentences.
King’s next talking point was that 102 unarmed black men were killed by police last year, and as a nice little seasoning, he adds that in 1902, 100 black men were lynched in America.
As if this isn’t a self-evidently ridiculous claim already, he acts as if that is a high number. Now of course, nobody thinks 102 unarmed black men should be killed, even if they were guilty of fighting with police or trying to kill police like Michael Brown.
So we’re supposed to burn buildings down, cause riots, break things, call for police reform and an entire uprising of a community over 102 cases of the 300 million people in America?
The fact is, black men aren’t even more likely to be shot by police.
A study by Harvard professor Roland G. Fryer Jr., a black, award-winning economist, found absolutely no racial bias in police shootings. None. Fryer called this result the “most surprising” of his career.
Actually, he found that white people, when adjusted for violent crime statistics, are more likely to be shot by police.
King actually made the claim that black people feel that they are “over-policed.” While there are no statistics to prove or disprove that logic would tell us the answer.
He cited a nameless, 30 year study that claimed that black people use and sell drugs at a lower rate than white people. Get ready, another laughable claim is coming.
He then proceeded to say that in white affluent neighborhoods, people are “buying and selling and trading drugs for free, and they’re not even policed.”
I won’t even dignify that with a comment. He’s clearly never visited Eastern Kentucky.
Crime by black people is the number one threat to black people today. When there are more police in areas of poverty and broken systems, there is less crime. Why would it make any rational sense to want less of the thing that could help eliminate your greatest threat?
The last point I will refute that Shaun King made in my class today is one that I cannot believe he even made.
“I believe it to be a myth that this generation is less racist than previous generations.”
His evidence? Some students have sent him social media messages saying they had been called the N-word on campus.
Of course that’s inexcusable, but think about what that means.
That means that Shaun King, a biracial man that can freely come to college campuses and deliver sometimes borderline hate speech, while wearing nice clothes and getting paid to write about his victimhood, thinks that we live in a more racist society than two generations ago.
He thinks that times are worse for him now than they were 60 years ago, even though 60 years ago, he wouldn’t have even been born because when the local white supremacy group found out that one of his parents, a white one, was feeling romantically for the other, a black one, the black one may have been beaten to death.
And I am the one living in a delusion?
The point is, BLM is a fraud. They are an anti-police movement that has been completely destroyed when real facts are argued. If they really cared about black lives, there are plenty of other places to be saving black lives instead of the mythical, racist system that nobody can seem to expose or prove with real evidence.
There are some major problems in the black community, but they can be fixed with combined efforts. As long as we continue to convince 13 percent of the country that they are victims of a corrupt system they cannot overcome unless they riot, we will never solve the little bit of racism that does still exist.
I’m in this with the black people. I want a peaceful, cohesive society where color doesn’t matter. But until we stop using emotional plays to control entire groups of people and start having rational discussion about things like broken family structure, welfare programs and broken public education, we will go nowhere and may eventually pay a terrible price.