Murder by Cherry-Picking

August 25, 2014

Multiple Pages
Murder by Cherry-Picking

A society’s understanding of history is shaped not so much by what they’re told, but by what is hidden from them.

After a white police officer shot and killed the undeniably black Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO on August 9, the story blew up in the nation’s face and has dominated headlines for two weeks running now.

But in South Salt Lake, UT on August 11—a mere two days after Brown was shot to death—a police officer described as “not white” shot and killed 20-year-old Dillon Taylor, whose pictures (HERE, HERE, and HERE) reveal him to be at least predominantly Caucasian, if perchance not a purebred Nordic snow bunny. Taylor appears to be mostly white phenotypically (if not stylistically) and is far whiter-looking than George Zimmerman, whom the liberal press initially described as “white” for reasons that appear to have suited an agenda. And unlike the Brown shooting, there is currently video evidence of the Taylor killing available for public consumption, which should inflame white passions to the point where they’d riot—that is, if modern American whites were like blacks in the sense that they were prone to torching cities when one of their own gets killed.

Then again, it’s hard to get upset when you’re not even aware that something upsetting has happened. As I type this, a Google News search for the phrase “Michael Brown” alongside “Ferguson” yields a fulsome 13,700,000 results, whereas “Dillon Taylor” and “Salt Lake” only coughs up a puny 4,250 hits.

“A society’s understanding of history is shaped not so much by what they’re told, but by what is hidden from them.”

Why is there such a high-decibel hubbub about the Brown killing but nary a cricket chirp about Taylor’s death?

It can’t be because police kill more blacks in America than whites, because that’s not true. Politifact claims that CDC stats from 1999-2011 show that “2,151 whites died by being shot by police compared to 1,130 blacks.”

Were you aware of that statistic? I wasn’t until I went searching for it.

Similar sins of omission and obfuscation pockmarked the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman fiasco. The left-leaning media repeatedly opted to run the baby-faced Travyon picture rather than the more current and relevant one, which shows him as a cold-eyed, bird-flipping douchebag thug. NBC almost singlehandedly ignited a race war by deliberately editing Zimmerman’s 911 call in a way to make it appear he was troubled by Martin’s skin color.

I lived in Los Angeles during the Rodney King beating and subsequent riots. I heard the media continually refer to “four white police officers,” although technically, one of them was Mexican. And it wasn’t until a year or two ago when I learned that on the night he was beaten, King had two friends with him who obeyed police orders and emerged without a scratch. Fifty-eight people died in those riots, but I doubt anything nearly as catastrophic would have happened if the public had been aware that it wasn’t a tale of rabid Nazi cops attacking a lone meek non-belligerent descendant of slaves. By omitting crucial factual details to sustain a prefabricated moral narrative, the press seemed to enable mass murder.

And the propaganda deck is so stacked these days, merely mentioning any of this automatically leads to accusations that you hate blacks. They only wish. Double standards, though—especially dangerous ones—drive me up a freaking wall.

You’ve likely heard of the 1998 truck-dragging death of a black man named James Byrd, Jr. by three white men in Texas. But you’ve probably never heard of the 2000 death of a six-year-old white boy named Jake Robel, who died after being dragged for four miles by a black carjacker. Google searches for the victims’ names reveal results as absurdly lopsided as the disparity between Michael Brown and Dillon Taylor’s relative media attention: James Byrd, Jr. yields 108,000 hits, while Jake Robel gets a mere 4,910.

As I’ve said many times, apparently not all dead bodies are equal.

Black slavery in America takes on a totally different hue when you research white indentured servitude or the global ubiquity of slavery from antiquity until this very day. The European slave trade of Africans to the New World shape-shifts significantly once the Arab slave trade of black Africans enters the picture. The American South’s guilt for slavery doesn’t seem quite so monolithic once you read up on New England’s giant role in the slave trade.

It seems that on any given day, you can’t urinate twice without hearing of the Holocaust. But I can’t ever remember my schoolbooks or the TV mentioning the fact that 38-55 million European civilians died in WWII in addition to 22-25 million dead soldiers. A panoramic perspective would undermine a moral narrative in which many have placed tremendous emotional and financial investment. You hear so much about alleged “Holocaust denial,” but by failing to mention the tens of millions of other dead bodies, those who harp on the Holocaust are denying the other atrocities by omission.

The telling of history is not about truth but about myth-making, the construction of saints and devils. By and large, history is an exercise in guilt-projection by the victors. It appears that winning isn’t ever good enough for them—they have to justify their naked power and superior killing skills by smearing the losers as pure evil.

You may have noticed that estimated death tolls in any settled conflict vary absurdly depending on whether the winner or loser is tallying them. The victors cherry-pick facts to prop up their own moral narrative, because for most people, that’s more important than the truth. But when you pull back and get the merest whiff of perspective, you realize that there are no good guys and bad guys, only competing animals locked in an evolutionary struggle. Peeling away the moralistic shellac is the only way that history makes sense.

Sadly, most human beings are immune to sense. This is why they pick only certain cherries and leave the others to rot.

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