Last week, the progressive news website Salon published an article entitled: That’s not how racism works: Newscaster fired for racist remarks claims she’s the victim of racism. The piece tells the story of Wendy Bell, a Pittsburgh news anchor who lost her job for making comments on Facebook that some insisted were racist. Bell was reacting angrily to the massacre of a black family in Wilkinsburg that killed 5 adults, along with a pregnant woman. She asserted that the killers would turn out to be “young black men,” and made a lot of predictions such as them living nearby, and having been in trouble with the law before. Nothing in the remarks made it seem as if Bell had a problem with black people, but rather a frustration with ongoing violent crime. Even though the killers did indeed turn out to be black, she lost her job.
The article also describes her lawsuit where she claims to have been terminated “because of her race.” Her lawyers are quoted as saying that “Had Ms. Bell written the same comments about white criminal suspects, or had her race not have been white, (the) Defendant would not have fired her, much less disciplined her.”
Well, the Salon author seemed to think the lawyer’s comments were absurd, and she confirmed what I’ve always thought about the left. They think white people need to be held to a different set of ethics when it comes to talking about race. She wrote the following in the article:
“You don’t get to talk about other races the way you would about your own – especially (if) you’re a member of a race that has historically held all the cards.”
The author seems to be white herself, but she proved Ms. Bell is in the right. The Facebook comments in question are tame compared to the racial comments that appear on Salon on a regular basis, but they seem to be acceptable by their standards.
On June 17th, they published a common anti-Trump piece entitled: Republicans in denial: They still can’t accept that years of festering racism made Trump 2016 possible. The article is one of many from the left that accuse the Trump campaign of being fuelled by racism. In the article’s head photo is a picture of Trump supporters selling hats and shirts at a table; sporting a Confederate Flag, with a looming head of Donald Trump imposed on the picture with an approving smile on his face. My problem with this is it’s much too easy a game to play, to accuse a candidate of racism based on the behavior of any supporter. If you remove the assumption that someone on the left is not a racist, then the discussion can take a very different turn.
In late May, they put out a similar article bemoaning the problems caused by white people in America. The article, entitled: Donald Trump exposes the GOP’s dirty secret: They build everything by nurturing white rage, reveals not only a bias for a political party, but seemingly a race of people as well. While the first thing I noticed was the dreadful title, I’ve been following Salon long enough to know this to be part of a long tradition of Salon demonizing white people.
In the first paragraph of the piece, the writer claims to know of anger felt by House Speaker Paul Ryan towards the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for exposing racism cleverly concealed by the GOP. She also claims to know that the Trump campaign and its followers are fuelled by racism. The article then tells of the long history of racism in politics and law enforcement directed towards black Americans. To claim Trump’s followers are mainly motivated by racism is a powerful assumption, despite the comments by Trump that lend to the theory; and more outlandish still considering the racism of the Salon website itself.
Yes, I’m claiming that the progressive website Salon is racist.
In late April, another anti-Trump article was published with another dreadfully long title: We must shame dumb Trump fans: The white working class are not victims makes the case that white, working class people who tend to be supporting Trump are not worthy of sympathy due to a long history of racism by the demographic, and blames racism for the white, working-class flight from the Democratic Party.
The first time my attention was drawn to the issue of Salon having a bias against whites was long before the Trump campaign during the aftermath of the Boston bombing in April of 2013. The day after the attacks; and before the public knew of any suspects, Salon published an article entitled: Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American. It was full of rhetoric about white privilege, and how white people aren’t demonized as a group if one turns out to be a terrorist. The argument is made in the article that only whites are immune from being targeted by the government, and treated as a threat after an attack is carried out.
It was during the long-running media storm following the shooting death of Treyvon Martin by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in February 2012 that I noticed a trend that would repeat itself on Salon several times. In June of 2013, Salon published the piece: Is George Zimmerman white or Hispanic? That depends. The writer identifies as white-Hispanic, and seems to argue that for the purposes of the shooting, Zimmerman is white. He draws on his own experience as evidence, but doesn’t state if he is racially mixed as Zimmerman is. In two separate excerpts from the article, the following is written:
“George Zimmerman, neighborhood watchman and wannabe cop, placed a bet on his whiteness; when he shot and killed a young , unarmed black teenager because ‘they always get away,’ he spoke with an oppressor’s voice, and for his service the oppressor’s justice absolved him.”
“The outcome of George Zimmerman’s trial is that he will go free, pardoned by a white supremacist society for acting like a white supremacist. But such a grant is, in fact, a gilded cage, entrapping Zimmerman in whiteness and a privilege that will never allow him to understand and accept the meaning of his own heritage in today’s United States.”
In the first statement, he implies that white people are “the oppressor.” In the second, it seems that the racist, white society made him white by finding him “not guilty,” even though the six-woman jury that acquitted Zimmerman had one Hispanic member. I guess it’s still possible for them to make someone white. I don’t really know how this progressive, faerie magic works. In any case, it’s a very peculiar article.
The next time Salon attempted to label a mixed-race killer as white was after the homicidal rampage of Elliot Rodgers. In May of 2014, Rodgers; who came from a white and Asian background, used knives, handguns, and his vehicle in a rampage that killed 6 and injured many others before he took his own life. On May 27th, Salon published the following article: White guy killer syndrome: Elliot Rodger’s deadly, privileged rage. In this article, his Asian mother is mentioned once (in parenthesis), seemingly to placate those who had brought up the fact to the author, but for the rest of the article, he is identified as white. This is very odd since Rodgers identified as mixed-race, though he seemed proud of his white background, and very racist towards non-whites – even Asians. He hated women a great deal as well (even white women), but none of this makes him white. One sentence of the piece reads as follows:
“ How many times must troubled, young white men engage in these terroristic acts that make public space unsafe for everyone before we admit that white, male privilege kills.”
In my mind, anyone who can throw down a statement like that and accurately predict it won’t be called out as racist by very many enjoys their own kind of privilege – one that is political in nature.
By December of 2015, Donald Trump had already announced his candidacy for President, but the roaring accusations of his racism hadn’t yet reached their fever pitch. Though many of his notorious statements were already made, most expected he wouldn’t survive the Republican primary election. It was at this time that I became convinced of the racism of Salon; not because of the content of a particular article, but because of my own ability to predict the website’s racism.
In December I read a news story of a disgraced, rapist cop named Daniel Holtzclaw who had targeted black women while he was on duty. The story was of his conviction in Oklahoma City. As I read the story of this awful, mixed-race slob from a white and Japanese background who used his authority to force women into sex, I thought to myself: “I bet Salon would try to pass this guy off as white too,” so I went to Salon to find their version of the story and quickly found the article: All-white jury convicts white Oklahoma City cop of raping 13 black women. I was amazed upon reading the title, and even more-so as I read the piece. There wasn’t a single mention this time of the criminal being of mixed-race, even though the photo heading the article revealed he obviously was. The writer did mention the all-white jury in a city with a large minority population, and seemed to think the ratio was racist in some way.
I knew then the true colors of Salon, though a reader can’t be expected to believe what I can’t prove – my ability to predict their racism. I decided to wait for more articles from Salon with a bias against whites. The Trump campaign began to heat up, and Salon delivered the articles I expected at a pretty steady clip. Of the eight articles I have covered and linked here, each was written by a different author. Some appear to be white – some not, with both women and men among their number. It makes the most sense in this case for the issue to be no particular writer, but the website itself.
So what exactly is my beef about Salon’s behavior? Saying they are hypocritical wouldn’t even begin to cover it. They, along with many on the left bemoan the racism of Donald Trump, and extend it to his supporters as well. Even the more outrageous assaults on Trump supporters have barely heard condemnation from the left. The attitude seems to be that Trump is surely racist, and so his supporters must be as well; yet at the same time, anyone who is well on the political left should be given the benefit of the doubt even when the comments or actions are their very own. This I suppose is a leftover benefit of the left supporting the civil rights movement, but its credit has long expired.
At one time, the vast majority of the left was made up of white people, who oft rebuked their own in trying to make a more fair society for other groups. Today, one only has to glance at the changing demographics of America to see that non-whites are becoming a massive group, especially on the left. With this change comes an evolution in the way the left discusses race and racism. The whites on the left need to get along with the non-whites on their side at any cost of principles to keep their dominance with minorities when it comes to racial-politics. What was once healthy self-criticism many whites gave themselves becomes a form of self-loathing, and finally a form a racism. Positive terms like equality; inclusion, and opportunity get joined by sinister terms like racial justice; whiteness, and white privilege. Even a once-nice word like diversity becomes tainted when it is only used to combat an over-abundance of white people when it‘s seen.
Personally, I don’t care if Donald Trump is accused of being a racist. If he opens his mouth, he can take the heat, but I’m well over extending credit to the left when they think they can read the minds of anyone who is not in their political sphere, or grant dispensations when those of their own make outrageous comments, and hide it behind comedy; satire, or claim the person is merely speaking the truth – to steal part of one of Salon’s own headlines: That’s not how racism works.