Let’s Wait Before We Believe the Next Hate Crime

People fall for hate crime hoaxes because they want to believe the narrative that America is a hateful and racist country. As such, they rush to judgement when an alleged hate crime is reported (the more sensational the better) and once it is proven to be false, there is an audible sigh of disappointment. Soon thereafter, the lesson is forgotten and the dance repeats itself when the next hoax comes along. Case in point, how long was it between the Jessie Smollet and Bubba  Wallace incidents?  My question is rhetorical.

What bothers me the most about hate crime hoaxes is the psychological damage they inflict. People give less credence to such reports over time and thereby make it more challenging for the authorities to take seriously actual hate crimes. Statistically speaking, reports of hate crimes are on the rise. Yet, how many of these reported crimes are real vs fake? I wish I knew but at this writing, I could not find the details.

Typically when I think of hate crimes, my mind goes to white people committing crimes against black people because that is what I tend to hear in the mainstream media. However, that is not the full picture. Consider this quote from The Bulwark.

According to FBI statistics for 2017, racially motivated crimes against black Americans—usually intimidation or assault—make up the single largest category of hate crimes (nearly 30 percent of the total).  Jewish Americans were targeted in about 12 percent of all reported hate crimes; Muslim Americans, in about 4 percent; Hispanics, in 6.5 percent; gay, bisexual, or transgender people, in about nearly 16 percent. African-Americans were overrepresented as both hate-crime victims and offenders: In cases with a known perpetrator whose race was identified, 26 percent of the offenders were black and 61 percent were white. (Blacks make up about 13 percent of the population of the United States and whites 64 percent.)

A look at news stories of hate crimes shows similar complexities. The spike in hate-crime reports around the 2016 election included attacks on white people perceived as Trump supporters. In a particularly disturbing case in Chicago in January 2017, a mentally disabled 18-year-old white man was kidnapped, tied up, beaten, and abused for more than 24 hours by four black assailants who livestreamed some of the abuse in a Facebook video while yelling anti-Trump, anti-white profanities. Some anti-minority bias crimes are also committed by other minorities—whether it’s last year’s vicious beating of a 91-year-old Hispanic man in Los Angeles by an African-American woman who told the victim to “go back to Mexico”; the recent streak of assaults on Orthodox Jews in Crown Heights, New York, in which most of the known suspects are black teenagers; or the brutal beating of a Jewish man in Brooklyn last October by a Muslim livery cab driver who shouted anti-Jewish epithets.

In light of that, I am not inclined to dismiss investigating a hate crime simply because it does not smell right.  However, I would urge the public to not rush to judgement when the next “white on black” crime is glorified in the media. And I say that because when the roles are reversed, the media and outrage is largely silent.

As a public service to the overall community, I would ask everyone who is justifiably outraged over { insert alleged hate crime here } to wait until the official investigation of  { insert alleged hate crime here } to conclude before being outraged enough to riot and loot. If at the conclusion of the matter, an injustice has been proven, at least the anger would have been justified. In the interim, I offer the following list of reminders as to why waiting for an official investigation to be over is in the best interest of all concerned.

(Big thanks to Milo Yiannopoulos who created the initial version of the timeline. My list is an update of what he created in 2016.)

HATE CRIME HOAXES: A TIMELINE

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

And while this post may not be relevant today, please bookmark it for future reference as it is only a matter of time before another sensational race crime is reported; real or not.

40 Acres, a Mule and Reparations For Slavery

The idea of reparations being paid to African Americans as recompense for slavery is a hot topic in America and has been for quite a while. In this episode of “Things I Think About,” I examine the very first attempt by the United States government to give reparations to African Americans post civil-war. The historical insights I share may surprise you as much, if not more, than they did me. Tune in to find out. | Big thanks to my sponsor – Black History Quiz. | Click here to subscribe to Black History Quiz

Resources cited to this podcast:

White Privilege is a Myth

Oprah Winfrey believes America is based on a caste system and that no matter your lot in life, as long as you are white, you have an advantage over all other minorities; alluding to what is popularly known as “white privilege.” Is simply being born with white skin enough to give you an unfair advantage in America? I do a bit of research and prove that its not.

Tune in to hear my argument on why white privilege is illogical (to put it mildly). Big thanks to my sponsor – Black History Quiz! Subscribe to the newsletter now because it takes more than a month to learn our history.

Resources related to this episode can be found here: https://bit.ly/ThingsIThinkAbout8

Music in this podcast:

Is Planned Parenthood Committing Black Genocide a Myth?

Throughout my career I have stayed away from controversial social issues for the most part, until recently. If you check my blog archives, you will notice that I have argued that America is not a racist country, that culture and not color impedes African American progress, questioned the motives of Black Lives Matter and pondered the inevitable demise of free speech. So, this article is not my first attempt at discussing a controversial issue.

What was the catalyst of this change? Why am I writing so much more about controversial issues? The civil unrest surrounding George Floyd, cancel culture, fake news and the escalating social divide over politics (which has become a religion for some people) has vexed me into action and so here we are.

The topics I write about generally meet one criterion: It sparks my interest. I find my topics from a litany of blogs and news sources; additionally, I receive tips from friends on both sides of the political spectrum. Once something catches my interest, I research it further and present my findings as an article or a podcast. When I produce my content, I purposely try not to tell anyone how to think. At best, I am a springboard for diversity of thought, encouraging people to research my topics further. To paraphrase what one news outlet says, “I report and you decide.”

This article is in response to an article about Planned Parenthood (of which I will share momentarily) and a round of questions concerning black lives and if “they all matter.” The premise being that if all black lives matter then, why are so many black children being aborted? This lead into a conversation about Margaret Sanger and her intent to eradicate the black race via abortions and why the black community was allowing it to happen. After a bit of back and forth, the conversation basically boiled down to this, “Is Planned Parenthood committing black genocide?” I told the person that I did not know the answer but, I would look into it.

And, here we are.

I am well aware that this is a sensitive topic so from the onset, let me offer my standard personal disclaimer.

MY PERSONAL DISCLAIMER

This article does not constitute the end of a matter. Please do your own research and come to your own conclusions. You have a mind and an opinion, and you are entitled to it; just as I am.

If at any point you think I am wrong in simply sharing what I found, I will save us both time by referring to this disclaimer, “You are right, and I am wrong.”

There, feel better?

SO, THIS IS THE ARTICLE I MENTIONED EARLIER

Planned Parenthood of Greater NY recently made a big announcement. This is the headline from MSN News – Planned Parenthood to rename health center due to Margaret Sanger’s ‘racist legacy’ and here is a quote from that article

Planned Parenthood of Greater New York announced Tuesday that it would remove the name of the national organization’s founder from its Manhattan clinic due to her “racist legacy” stemming from her well-documented connections with the eugenics movement.

Planned Parenthood’s Manhattan Margaret Sanger Health Center will be renamed, and Planned Parenthood of Greater New York is working with the city to also rename an honorary street sign that marks “Margaret Sanger Square” at the corner where the center stands, PPGNY said in a statement.

The decision comes as a result of “a public commitment to reckon with its founder’s harmful connections to the eugenics movement,” the statement said.

“The removal of Margaret Sanger’s name from our building is both a necessary and overdue step to reckon with our legacy and acknowledge Planned Parenthood’s contributions to historical reproductive harm within communities of color,” said PPGNY board chair Karen Seltzer. “Margaret Sanger’s concerns and advocacy for reproductive health have been clearly documented, but so too has her racist legacy.”

WAS MARGARET SANGER REALLY RACIST? OH YES, SHE WAS!

Hmm… As an example of her “racist” legacy, I will quote a letter she wrote to Dr. Clarence Gamble in 1939 where she expressed her vision of the “Negro Project,” a freshly launched collaboration between the American Birth Control League and Sanger’s Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau. The letter echoes the eugenic ideologies still visible within the corporate vein of Planned Parenthood today.

It seems to me from my experience…that while the colored Negroes have great respect for white doctors they can get closer to their own members and more or less lay their cards on the table which means their ignorance, superstitions and doubts.

We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal.

We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.

Actually, I had heard before how Planned Parenthood was an instrument for exterminating the black race. The validation of that argument being Margaret Sanger’s speech at a Ku Klux Klan rally in 1926 (something Planned Parenthood does not deny) and the notion that the majority of Planned Parenthood facilities are in minority neighborhoods. Is this true? Well, it depends on which side of the political fence you are on.

IS PLANNED PARENTHOOD MOSTLY IN MINORITY NEIGHBORHOODS?

 

IS THIS “BLACK GENOCIDE VIA ABORTION” A NEW THING?
Umm… NOT REALLY…

Curiously enough though, the idea of abortion clinics being tools for black genocide did not begin with modern day pro-life advocates, it actually began with influential black leaders in the 1960’s and 70’s. Here are some notable quotes courtesy of LiveAction.org.

  • In 1968, when radical abortion advocates such as Larry Lader were pushing their abortion agenda, civil rights leader Paul Cornely (then president-elect of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and African American chairman of the Department of Community Health Practice at Howard University) was opposing abortion as a way to “help the poor.” He told the Charleston Gazette that the way to “change existing social conditions is not through marketing abortion available to the poor. We need to find a better way for people to live. We have to look at the total problem – social, economic-education, housing employment….”

  • Also in 1968, Members of a Pittsburgh chapter of the NAACP, which charged that Planned Parenthood facilities in Black neighborhoods were paramount with genocide. According to the New York Times, “The N.A.A.C.P. contended in its statement that Planned Parenthood clinics here were operated ‘without moral responsibility to the Black race and become an instrument of genocide to the black people.’” Dr. Charles Greenlee, a black physician, along with NAACP president Byrd Brown, charged that Planned Parenthood facilities were keeping the birth rate down. Although Dr. Greenlee eventually walked back the term “genocide,” the group noted how Planned Parenthood was strategically placing its facilities in neighborhoods with high Black populations.
  • In the early 1970s, comedian Dick Gregory wrote an extensive article, “My Answer to Genocide,” published in Ebony Magazine, where he made similar claims: Of course, one of the definitions of genocide is, “imposing measures to prevent births within the group” – that is, forcing birth control measures upon Black folks. There is ample evidence that government programs designed for poor black folks emphasize birth control and abortion availability, both measures obviously designed to limit black population.”
  • In 1971, a Detroit Chapter of the Black Panther Party expelled one of its leaders from the organization for simply asking where she could obtain an abortion…. At the time the party proclaimed, “A true revolutionary cares about the people–he cares to the point that he is willing to put his life on the line to help the masses of poor and oppressed people. He would never think of killing his unborn child.”
  • In a separate 1973 Jet Magazine article, the Jesse Jackson, a known civil rights leader of his day, also called abortion “genocide.” Then, two years later, Rev. Jackson joined with anti-abortion organizations and endorsed a Constitutional Amendment banning abortion. And, in 1977, Jackson observed, “It is strange that they chose to start talking about population control at the same time that Black people in America and people of color around the world are demanding their rightful place as human citizens and their rightful share of the material wealth in the world.”

So, in the black community of the 60’s and 70’s, there was a very strong lobby against abortion clinics being placed in black neighborhoods. This social position continued well into the 1980’s. However, the will of the black community was stymied by their leadership. It was seem that politicians, no matter their color, act in ways that benefit them moreso than those they represent. Check out this quote from the book, “The Future of the Race” by Henry Louis Gates, Jr and Cornell West. (Page 33)

A 1985 survey found that most blacks favored the death penalty and prayer in public schools while most back leaders opposed those things. Most blacks opposed school busing, while most black leaders favored it. Three times as many blacks opposed abortion rights as their leaders. Indeed, on many key social issues, blacks are more conservative than whites.

 

SO, WHAT CHANGED THE MINDS OF BLACK FOLKS?

Since the 1980’s attitudes towards abortion has largely changed in the black community. The website “I Side With…” recently polled African Americans on the question, “What is your stance on Abortion?”  Over 300,000 responded and 63% of them were pro-choice, in favor of abortion.

So, what accounts for such a dramatic shift in opinion? I can only speculate with a hint of cynicism. Blacks overwhelmingly vote Democrat and Democrats as a party, overwhelmingly support Planned Parenthood as this chart of where Planned Parenthood gets their donations can attest.

­And the love goes both ways, annual lobbying on Pro-Abortion rights is quite lucrative according to Open Secrets. Here’s a quote…

The 2018 midterms saw the pro-abortion sector donate $8.1 million with most of it, nearly $5.6 million, headed to outside groups. Of the money given to political parties and candidates, the overwhelming majority, 99 percent, went to Democrats. The top recipient in 2018, Sen. Jon Tester (D-N.D.), received $94,999 from individuals and groups in the abortion access sector. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) was number two and received $87,051. Both are reliable pro-access votes and were in tight races in Midwestern states.

The largest contributor was the national women’s health organization Planned Parenthood. Individuals and affiliates of Planned Parenthood contributed more than $5.7 million in 2018. NARAL Pro-Choice America individuals spent the second-most and gave just over $1.1 million.

 

Hmm…  TIME FOR SOME SPECULATION

Democrats tend to support Planned Parenthood with donations.

Planned Parenthood reciprocates the love by supporting Democrat candidates to the tune of millions.

If Democrat candidates support the efforts of Planned Parenthood, it is of direct benefit to them.

Politicians (of every party) tend to operate in their self-interest. (Some are more naughty than others.)

SO, NO GENOCIDE THEN?

Based on recent polling data, the overwhelming Democratic support for Planned Parenthood (and vice versa) and the fact that most blacks are loyal to the Democratic party, I would guess that the majority of African-Americans dismiss the notion that Planned Parenthood is practicing genocide, despite its founder’s “Negro Project.” (Perhaps the pro-abortion side of the black community is mostly unaware of Margaret Sanger’s past? Will her cancellation sway black opinion on abortion back to where it was in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s? Time will tell. )

Some opinions I’ve read assert that while Planned Parenthood’s founder should no longer be celebrated, the health benefits to women (and women of color, specifically) should outweigh that stigma. I’m not sure I agree with that but, you decide for yourself.

I’ll end this article with one very interesting video addressing the “Planned Parenthood is committing black genocide” argument. I’m a big fan of hidden video reporting because I think it is the essence of true journalism. What better proof can you have than words from the proverbial horse’s mouth? The pro-life advocacy group produced an undercover video addressing the question, “What does Planned Parenthood do when it is offered money to reduce the number of black Americans through abortion?

 

Wow.

More stuff I found while researching this:

This is racist. That is not.

For those who don’t know me, sometimes I am distracted by proverbial squirrels. I could be reading one thing, notice something related to it and off I go down a long rabbit hole. This article is like that. Trust me though, it all makes sense in the end. Just sayin’…

Have you have noticed this increased focus on racism in America? I am, of course, being sarcastic. Racism is being discussed more today than it has been since 2004. It is also the source of much research. Check out this Google Trends chart that shows search traffic on the word- racism since 2004.

IS IT JUST ME OR, IS EVERYTHING RACIST?

And that brings me to this article before you now. I have noticed with increased frequency, how people are using the word – “racist” as a weapon. It seems to me that people are deliberately using it incorrectly to either score political points, to cancel someone they disagree with or, are woefully ignorant of what true racism is. For the sake of clarity, racism is defined this way…

This part of the definition stands out to me the most, “…usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.” This was heavy on my mind when someone brought to my attention recent controversy surrounding the  NMAAHC – “The National Museum of African American History & Culture.” Quite recently, they published a page entitled – Whiteness and on that page was a graphic illustrating “Aspects & Assumptions of Whiteness & White Culture in the United States.” The graphic is below. Do you notice anything unusual about it? I do.

A few points stand out to me. According to this chart, being “white” means…

  • You work for your reward and don’t expect a handout (“self-reliance”)
  • You believe hard work should be rewarded (“autonomy highly valued”)
  • You do not have a victim mindset (“you get what you deserve”)
  • You appreciate traditional family values (“father, mother, 2 kids)
  • You are objective in your thoughts and not guided purely by emotion (“rational linear thinking”)
  • You value hard work (“work before play”)
  • You respect authority
  • You have a religious faith.
  • You are willing to delay gratification for future success (“plan for future’)
  • You have a sense of fairness and not entitlement (“winner/loser dichotomy”)

These are universally accepted values and could be ascribed to every minority in the USA (and beyond) and not just white people. So, why did the National Museum of African American History and Culture frame the conversation this way? Aren’t these traits the basic building blocks for success? Wouldn’t labelling these traits as being part of a white supremacist dogma persuade some African Americans to rebel against them? If so, how does that benefit the African American community or for that matter, any minority community that wants to eschew any hint of racism? And if these traits are being “white” then, are they suggesting that being “black” means you are lazy, dependent on handouts and disrespectful of authority? How does it not?

The spirit behind the chart as well as the language therein, speaks to a bigotry of low expectations. There have been many commentators harshly criticizing it and I am happy to say that the chart was removed from the museum website; although the “whiteness” page is alive and well. Here are a few reactions from social media discussing it.

 

After I stepped away from the web and pondered how The National Museum of African American History & Culture was inferring how one race was inferior to another (hmm… there’s a word for that), something struck me. That chart is somewhat, and this might be a bit of a leap, a recent spin on an old evil – scientific racism. My definition of scientific racism is using anecdotal data and charts to “prove” one race is better than another. However, Wikipedia defines scientific racism this way

Scientific racism, sometimes termed biological racism, is the pseudoscientific belief that empirical evidence exists to support or justify racism (racial discrimination), racial inferiority, or racial superiority.  Historically, scientific racism received credence throughout the scientific community, but it is no longer considered scientific.

I think I like the Wikipedia version better. Okay, bear with me now, as I go off on a tangent and share  some examples of how “science” has been used to justify racism over the years.

THERE IS NO CURE FOR NEGROIDISM

Benjamin Rush (1745–1813), a Founding Father of the United States and a physician, proposed that being black was a hereditary skin disease, which he called “negroidism“, and that it could be cured. Rush believed non-whites were really white underneath but they were stricken with a non-contagious form of leprosy which darkened their skin color. Rush drew the conclusion that “whites should not tyrannize over [blacks], for their disease should entitle them to a double portion of humanity. However, by the same token, whites should not intermarry with them, for this would tend to infect posterity with the ‘disorder’… attempts must be made to cure the disease.” Despite this, Rush was an abolitionist who wrestled with various contrarian viewpoints.

CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO WHITE SUPREMACY-NESS

Alfred Ploetz’s theory of Rassenhygiene (racial hygiene) made him a popular eugenicist, especially among Nazis. In 1936, he was granted a professorship from Adolf Hitler. His book, “The Efficiency of Our Race and the Protection of the Weak,” promotes the idea of a superior Aryan and that race mixing was ruining society. Ploetz believed that the preservation of the Aryan race necessitated enforced selective breeding and the murder of children with disabilities and a ban on interracial relationships.

THE ORIGINAL BOOTYLICIOUS

In the early 19th century, Sarah “Saartjie” Baartman was a Black Khoikhoi woman whose body was exploited as a display to paying Europeans. She and other Black Khoikhoi women were displayed as the “Hottentot Venus,” a term that became the basis of the theory that Black women were hypersexual and had larger birth canals. Naturalists such as Henri de Blainville and Georges Cuvier believed that Baartman’s elongated labia was scientific proof that African women had naturally wide birth canals, enabling them to give birth with ease. The theory was seized upon by white owners in the New World, who used it to justify forcing Black women to work while heavily pregnant and sending them back to work immediately after giving birth.

U-G-L-Y, YOU AIN’T GOT NO ALIBI, YOU UGLY

In 2011, psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa published a blog on the Psychology Today website that argued that Black women were “far less attractive than white, Asian and Native American women.” He based his findings on a website that asked users to rate random pictures of women. Without proof of sample size or meeting scientific standards, Kanazawa continued to claim that his findings showed that Black women were “objectively” less attractive. He speculated that Black women were found to be less attractive because of high testosterone levels and more manly features. No evidence backed his claim and the blog post has been removed. [source]

As you can imagine, his article caused an uproar at the time. Here is one such example…

 

Any and all pseudoscience that portends to substantiate racial superiority with “data” should be thoroughly denounced, debunked and dismissed as harshly as possible and at every opportunity. The above examples are what I would identify as blatantly racist, no matter how “justified” by science. Conversely, the following “racist” example is not, in my opinion.

BRUH, A TRAFFIC LIGHT IS JUST A TRAFFIC LIGHT. TRUST ME.

I recently read an article that I mistook for satire. At first glance, I thought the article forwarded to me was from The Onion or The Babbling Bee. Alas, it was not. The title of the article was, “The Unintentional Racsim Found in Traffic Signals.” To quote…

A few months back, before Covid-19 kept us in our homes and George Floyd made us take to the streets, I was walking with a friend, her daughter, and my twin sons. My friend is White and I’m not — something I’d never given a second thought until we reached a crosswalk. “Remember, honey,” she said to her daughter as we waited for the light to turn green, “we need to wait for the little White man to appear before we can cross the street.

I realize that White people like to exert control over nearly everything everyone does, I thought, but since when did this literally include trying to cross the street?

Part of my surprise here was a function of age. My boys are a few months younger than her daughter and we hadn’t yet tackled the “crossing the street” component of basic toddler training. But as a Black dad, I was struck by the language at play. How is it possible that well into the 21st century, parents all over Manhattan — well-meaning, #BLM-marching parents — are teaching their children to ask “little White men” for permission to cross the street? And why doesn’t this seem to bother them?

In the article, David Kauffman (the writer), does some research to find the origins of the symbol and discovered that “the little white man” is not actually a man.

A “hominoid” is how the folks at the FHWA initially described him, though later they referred to him as a gender-neutral “Walking Person’”— an icon that actually dates back to the 1940s. At that time, “walk” and “don’t walk” typified traffic signage, but began to be phased out because words could be misunderstood by increasingly globalized populations. “The use of icons instead of words on traffic signs has been a slow but steady evolution for decades because they improve universal comprehension,” an FHWA spokesperson says. “This is not a recent development.”

In fact, the Walking Person’s first major move actually took place in 1971 when it became enshrined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices — the FHWA bible — as an alternative to the words “WALK” and “DON’T WALK.” For the next four decades or so, our little friend slowly, informally replaced its outdated predecessors until 2009; that’s when the Walking Person finally became the FHWA standard and, as the spokesperson says, “the option to use words is no longer permitted in newly installed signals.” One day soon, every traffic signal will contain the Walking Person, along with its counterpart: the bright red hand telling folks not to walk.

So the “little man” is actually a little person, but that little person is still white. Right?

I honestly thought I was reading a satirical piece up to this point, a daring jab at the woke culture that is triggered by indiscernible microaggressions and perceived racism where it does not exist. However, that changed with the last paragraph.

Nonetheless, that little White man woke me up to the ways that language imparts power and privilege even upon the most banal necessities. And so, as I begin teaching my boys survival basics like riding a bike, waiting in line, and… yes… crossing the street, I’ll work hard to avoid phrases like “little White man.” Obviously “bright light person” rolls off the tongue far less mellifluously, but a bit of extra verbal labor is worth the price of not conceding our power to even one more little White man.

At this point, I honestly reflected on what he had to say, carefully balancing his observations and how the situation resonated inside him enough to pen this piece. It was then I realized that we live in two very different, parallel worlds. In my world, a traffic light is just a traffic light. I am not a victim of a system designed to safeguard pedestrians and drivers alike. In this instance, oppression is not present. Although, in the separate but equal dimension alongside me, I am constantly reminded of the black asphalt on the roads we all traverse; where only the white lines have meaning. Indeed, they divide traffic and serve as borders for walkers to move from one side of the street to the other. What does the blackness of the road contribute?  It is all an unending reminder of the value of order that whiteness brings to us all and the inconsequence of blackness. Hah! I made myself laugh with that last sentence.

All that to say…

Ascribing positive traits to “whiteness?” That is racist.

Using “science” to justify racism? That is racist.

Traffic signs as a symbol of white oppression? That is not racist.

Okay, random thoughts are done.

I’ll just leave you with this…