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Stop pretending the BLM protests were peaceful Are journalists deliberately ignoring the effects of these devastating riots?


July 16, 2020   6 mins

Having spent the past month traveling around the United States — from major cities to the countryside — the scale of the ‘movement’ which erupted in late May after the death of George Floyd is almost incomprehensible. According to the New York Times, which relays their finding with obvious excitement, the ‘movement’ (its precise contours seldom defined) “may be the largest” in U.S. history.

That is certainly plausible. In which case, it would presumably be important to document how ordinary Americans, especially those most directly affected, perceive the “movement” in question.

Scan almost any of the popular media coverage over the past six weeks and you’ll find that journalists have been steadfast in their depiction of “protesters” as unassailably “peaceful.” While the vast majority of those who attended a state-backed demonstration or some other event spurred by the ‘movement’ are unlikely to have committed any acts of physical destruction, the term “peaceful protest” doesn’t seem to quite capture the impact of a society-wide upheaval that included, as a key component, mass riots — the magnitude of which have not been seen in the U.S. since at least the 1960s.

From large metro areas like Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul, to small and mid-sized cities like Fort Wayne, Indiana and Green Bay, Wisconsin, the number of boarded up, damaged or destroyed buildings I have personally observed — commercial, civic, and residential — is staggering. Keeping exact count is impossible. One might think that a major media organisation such as the New York Times would use some of their galactic journalistic resources to tally up the wreckage for posterity. But roughly six weeks later, and such a tally is still nowhere to be found.

A standard retort one often hears is that “the riots” must not be conflated with “the protests,” which is technically accurate in certain contexts. But the distinction is not as obvious as the media like to make out. In many locations, police and fire services were diverted to accommodate these massive protests, which in turn created a vacuum that enabled the outbreak of riotous activity. As one resident of Minneapolis explained to me, emergency services told him that they would simply be unavailable during the weekend of 29-31 May, while other locals recounted with amazement that police were totally absent as their neighbourhoods burned.

In Milwaukee, a man described being chased down by rioters after getting off the bus on his way home from work. He saw no difference between protesters and rioters; the flippant idea that these groups can be so neatly disentangled is wrong.

This view is just as likely to be espoused by black people and other minorities as anyone else (the Milwaukee man was black), which renders the media’s strident insistence to depict the ‘movement’ as entirely peaceful incongruous with the perceptions of working-class Americans (of all races). So many of them experienced what transpired more as a painful tragedy than any kind of wondrous harmony.

Indeed, the resulting destruction may have set their majority-minority neighbourhoods back economically for months or years, if not longer. Most had already been struggling due to the pandemic, with the riots interrupting fragile reopening plans. To exclude the perspectives of these people from popular media narratives amounts to a kind of purposefully obfuscatory, moralising snobbery. Talk about ‘erasure’.

So why, exactly, has the scope of these riots been so assiduously downplayed, and the opinions of those who experienced them first-hand been largely ignored? A number of potential explanations ring true. For one, media elites desperately do not want to undermine the moral legitimacy of a ‘movement’ that they have cast as presumptively righteous. And highlighting that urban minority populations are generally less enthusiastic about a movement whose mantra is “Black Lives Matter” would be embarrassing for obvious reasons.

The white liberals and Leftists who claim to be so sensitively attuned to the feelings of minorities clearly spend very little time actually talking to working class non-white people — or at least those who happen to fall outside their activist cohort. If they did, they would be saddened to discover that, unlike them, working class non-whites frequently express “small-c” conservative cultural attitudes.

For instance, black Americans whom I’ve spoken to on the street across America in randomly-selected encounters were almost unanimous in their approval of the National Guard deployments to their neighborhood during the riots. If anything, their main criticism was that these deployments came too late to prevent the destruction.

This certainly makes the emotional meltdown of coddled 20 and 30-something journalists, who seriously claimed that they were “endangered” by a U.S. Senator’s NYT column advocating for a military presence to maintain order in cities, look especially disconnected and bizarre. So one could understand why the media would be reluctant to feature the “voices” of minorities who take an alternate view.

There’s also the barely-hidden fear that properly depicting the after-effects of these riots would somehow “help Trump” during an election year. Even if it could be established as true that reporting on a historically significant event would “help” the incumbent president, refraining from such reportage on that ground would obviously be wildly improper from a journalistic perspective.

But even from a raw political standpoint, it’s almost certainly not even true. Trump’s inability to convert this post-riot political environment into some kind of electoral advantage is an irony unto itself, given the theme of his inaugural address — which ominously (but not entirely unjustifiably) invoked the specter of “American carnage”. For all the non-stop hysteria painting Trump as some kind of maniacal fascist, it truly is a lousy fascist who fails to leverage widespread social unrest and instability to consolidate power.

Needless to say, Trump is also currently presiding over a disastrous federal pandemic response, and rapidly shedding support among elderly voters. So if one insists on behaving purely as a partisan actor — which many contemporary journalists certainly are — any fatuous “would it help Trump?” calculation ought to be irrelevant.

Trump or no Trump, the lack of adequate coverage is the true affront. It should be more widely known that large swathes of a major American metropolis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, still lies in rubble over a month after the riots. And the main perpetrators of this destruction — namely those who committed the most incendiary arson attacks — were, by many accounts relayed to me directly, white Left-wing activists. Refusing to seek out and accurately present this information reflects the mainstream media’s propensity to operate under predetermined, politicised assumptions that are antithetical to any rightly-understood conception of journalism.

Travelling around Minneapolis, one frequently sees the anarchist “A” symbol scrawled on charred and/or boarded-up buildings, as well as catchphrases like “Viva La Revolucion” — expressions typical of Left-wing activists. Indeed, it’s abundantly clear that there was a strong ideological component to these riots, one that’s also been under-emphasised by the media, again likely because of the belief that it could in some vague sense “help Trump.” I spoke to numerous residents who are convinced that white out-of-towners were the ones who instigated the most severe chaos, after which locals latched on opportunistically. Marianne Robinson, a black woman who has resided in Chicago’s South Side for decades, asked me if I was familiar with “antifa” and blamed them for the riots.

Flora Westbrooks of Minneapolis, whose hair salon was burned down, was likewise convinced that the perpetrators could not have possibly been familiar with the neighbourhood given her longstanding community ties there. The theory might be a tad over-simplistic, but it does seem at least partially accurate. A (white) rioter I interviewed, who was present when the Third Police Precinct building in Minneapolis burned, remarked to me that he found himself in jail alongside people who came from as far as Missouri, Florida, Colorado, California and other distant states. He said they ventured to Minnesota out of a mixture of thrill-seeking and inchoate political grievance.

A police officer on foot patrol in Chicago’s heavily-black West Side remarked to me how perplexed she was by the lack of coverage of the damage in these neighbourhoods. Indeed, a simple drive around such parts of Chicago reveals a stunning number of boarded-up establishments, many of which appear like they will never return. The officer mused that she enjoyed the social-work aspects of the job — I watched her greeting various street-dwellers by name — and so, far from seeing the “Defund the Police” slogan and other expressions of animosity as an existential threat to the Chicago Police Department, regarded it as so detached from her everyday experience that she wasn’t even bothered. Over the course of my ten days in Minneapolis, I didn’t see a single officer on foot patrol, which is highly unusual for a major American city.

In Chicago, at the peak of the riots during the last weekend in May, there were a record-breaking 18 homicides in a single 24-hour period — the most since such data started being collected in 1961. I mention this not to make a knee-jerk “what about black-on-black crime” point, but simply to ask in general terms: why wasn’t this historic occurrence featured more prominently in the coverage of these protests?

Something extreme just happened in America. I could give dozens of additional examples of reportorial tidbits which don’t align with the prevailing media narrative that has flourished in the wake of this “movement”. And if you hadn’t seen it directly, would you ever know?


Michael Tracey is a journalist in Jersey City, NJ

mtracey

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Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
3 years ago

The BBC, our state broadcaster, which owes the country a charter obligation to:

Provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them

not to mention,

To reflect the United Kingdom, its culture and values to the world

decided to cover the London Riots with this, frankly dumbfounding, headline:

27 police officers injured during largely peaceful anti-racism protests in London

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Yes, but all sensible people gave up on the BBC years ago. I threw out my TV 20 years ago because I simply refused to fund their lies and nonsense any more.

pirh zapusti
pirh zapusti
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

But you still have to pay that tax to fund them, right?

Anna Borsey
Anna Borsey
3 years ago
Reply to  pirh zapusti

No. If you fill in and sign a form explaining WHY you no longer need to pay the annual TV licence, you will be accepted as not having a TV and therefore not require a licence.
Here in the UK, we don’t pay the TV licence in the form of a direct tax, unlike in e.g., Sweden and Germany; we pay for a separate annual TV licence.
I do not have a TV, do not WANT to watch TV, and therefore I refuse to pay for a TV licence.

George Parr
George Parr
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

“6 officers injured in far-right racist white supremacist riot”

Kelly Mitchell
Kelly Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

That’s great! A clear demonstration of double-think.

Martin W
Martin W
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

To be fair, this was just the Twitter headline. And the text read “Anti racism pritests leave 27 police officers hurt. Pritest in LOndon have been largely peaceful but marred by scuffles…”. And the website said “
Protests on Saturday –
– were largely peaceful, but were marred later by disturbances outside Downing Street.” I don’t think you can condemn an entire corporation for a lazy Twitter headline.

Alexander Best
Alexander Best
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin W

The language they use is always manipulative, though, even in the example you quote. “Marred by scuffles” (which, in isolation, sounds like a wannabe bespoke clothing brand, like George by Asda). “Scuffles” implies that the violence was minor. “Disturbances” is even more of a euphemism. But the important one is “marred”. “Marred” implies that the protests were a good and glorious and perfect thing and that the scuffles/disturbances ruined them. Whereas, to many of those who took part, the violence was clearly crucial. How about neutralising it to “protests in London have been largely peaceful except where they descended into violence.” Sort of meaningless thing to say, isn’t it? So the only purpose of that “marred by scuffles” statement is to defend the “peaceful protests”. Language matters.

carolmneilson
carolmneilson
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin W

I would. They’re doing it with intent to manipulate.

aelf
aelf
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

The Left imposes obligations on others, it doesn’t accept any obligations on itself.

Martin Adams
Martin Adams
3 years ago

One of the most remarkable factors in social upheavals of this kind is that, almost invariably, they are driven by those who are comparatively well off, often well educated, and middle-class and above. This is true of the Paris riots of 1968, the disruptions on British university campuses in the late ’60s and early ’70s, and now these BLM riots.

I vividly remember how, in the early 1970s, sit-ins and other destructive protests on university campuses were driven by nebulous demands that, almost invariably, seemed to give the protestors a sense of self-worth, a sense of their own righteousness for a cause that they could barely describe. Truly, they were rebels looking for a cause.

A number of commentators have expressed the view that these current protests are just an up-to-date version of the same. As Mr Tracey’s excellent article explains, there are many things in common with those older protests. But I suggest that these current protests in the USA ” and their less violent equivalents in the UK and some other parts of Europe ” are infinitely more dangerous. That is partly because, as Mr Tracey also points out, the MSM are essentially sympathetic to the ideologies underlying the protests.

These rebels have found a cause. And, unlike the vague, quasi-Marxist or anarchist thought of the 1960s”“’70s, it has a superficial coherence that was entirely absent from that older protest thinking. That coherence makes the entire project far more potent. And it makes it far more dangerous, for the underlying presupposition is that human nature and behaviour can be mended by human effort ” totalitarianism masquerading beneath benign ethics.

There are very important differences between the protests in the USA and those in the UK. But in both countries, I see little solution to this beyond something tough, whether that comes via government action or popular reaction. One might rightly fear the former; but history shows that the latter has often led to some of the most terrible consequences in human history.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Adams

The common denominator linking the reporting is MSM and their globalist backers,a determination to bring down Trump (MAGA) Boris (Brexit) and just about ANY western leader that could vaguely be described as populist..
i.e its a war against the nation-state.

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Dunn

Completely true – if you watch the news through this lens it becomes very very obvious.

David Green
David Green
3 years ago
Reply to  jmitchell75

But yours is not the only lens. There are people who think theirs is the only one.

Martin Adams
Martin Adams
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Dunn

You and Mr Mitchell are absolutely right on all counts. I agree that this is one of the core dangers of BLM and other movements of this kind. It’s not that even the concept of the nation state is perfect, let alone the reality of it ” no human institution or structure can be, either in theory or in practice. But the nation state is the best structure that has been devised; and the structures that these scoundrels would prefer are infinitely inferior, practically and ethically.

The best nation states know how ” largely through their institutions and the relationships of their citizens to those institutions ” they know how to balance the good and the bad so as to achieve a balance that is in the best interests of the nation as a whole. I think the UK and the USA have a pretty good record in that respect.
Thank you.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
3 years ago

I can hardly conjure up a more ironic image than that of white middle class youth screaming “Black Lives Matter” and “educate yourself” at adult black police. But then irony seems a lost concept in general amongst social justice warriors.

Esmon Dinucci
Esmon Dinucci
3 years ago

That is because they are so virtuous and in tune with the zeitgeist that any black person who is on the side of the authorities – like those that refuse to support Joe Biden “aren’t really black”.
BLM has been, and probably always was a communist insurgent group trying to destroy capitalism and derange society.

Martin W
Martin W
3 years ago

Superficially I agree. But my two 17 year olds (who went to the marches in Reading) emphatically disagree. They are more concerned with a perceived social unfairess which is typified by the treatment of black people. BLM is just a convenient hook on which to explore their sense of inequality in society. It is better to try to understand than to condemn. I’m trying, but as a 64 yo parent I’m struggling.

Sharon Murphy
Sharon Murphy
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin W

It is better to educate them perhaps

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin W

perceived social unfairess

Most of which doesn’t actually exist, except in the emotional blackmail the Democrats perpetrate against the black Americans, exemplified by Biden’s “if you don’t vote Democrat, you’re not really black.”
The Democrats have done nothing substantial for black communities in decades. If Black voters were successful in their lives, they might vote Republican instead.

David Green
David Green
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin W

Thanks for that rare bit of sanity.

carolmneilson
carolmneilson
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin W

Search on YouTube for Larry Elder on Dave Rubin’s show. Rubin believed the unfairness, the systemic racism, the cops are killing blacks, etc. Larry Elder, a black man, had stats to refute. Have them watch videos with Thomas Sowell and other black economists. On Youtube watch Jericho Green, he’s one of my favorites (nsfw). Short and funny. Play Coleman Hughes’ podcast!! Heck find the video of 50± (Rapper) saying he doesn’t see how there’s racism when someone who looks like him (!!!) can become such a huge success (he later had to apologize for not kowtowing to BLMs @ss, sadly.)

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
3 years ago

And (white) Antifa types screeching the N word at black policemen. To fight …er… racism!

stephen white
stephen white
3 years ago

In the UK we had a few BLM riots, the press saw an opportunity here. This was something they could support, it fitted their agenda and it might damage the Government. This time the police, ‘took a knee’ and looked ridiculous for it. So the troika: the grievance industry, the press and the mob took BLM to its bosom. The mob responded in the usual way while the press did what it has always done in these situations and failed to ‘report’ but went in for propagandising instead. In this they were helped with ready quotes from the self-appointed of the grievance industry. At times all three appeared indivisible.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen white

Thanks for putting ‘took a knee’ inside quote marks, where this ridiculous phrase belongs.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen white

100% hit on the head of the nail.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago

Generally keep away from Twitter full stop – but your reporting on this is sobering in your Twitter feed.

Tangential but reminds me of when Top Gear (without initially setting out to) highlighted the ongoing plight of parts of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. This seems far worse though.

Keep up the good work doing real journalism, it’s rarer than it should be these days.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

I avoid and/or disbelieve the MSM and keep up with things via US podcasts by Tim Pool and others. As such, I was well aware of all this. It is sickening to see middle class white kids burning down inner city black neighbourhoods. It should be a massive story, but it doesn’t align with the agenda of the left-wing MSM.

pirh zapusti
pirh zapusti
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Tim Pool is the milquetoast french sitter that is so many of us regular Americans in these hyper-tribal times.

Peter Kaye
Peter Kaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Tim Pool is great. A bit hyperbolic at times, but he is great.

Paul Blakemore
Paul Blakemore
3 years ago

An important piece; and fascinating reading. There is a general tendency in the UK too for the media only to report what fits with their ”prevailing narratives”, and brush any inconvenient truths under the carpet. It’s why I no longer trust news coverage; I don’t even need to mention the most egregious example.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Blakemore

Can you mention it? Thanks

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Unfortunately the bullet hit before he could finish typing….

Paul Blakemore
Paul Blakemore
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Quite honestly it’s hard to discuss it without committing a hate crime; plus I can do without the taste of sick in the back of my throat.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Blakemore

Do be aware that what people think does not closely follow from what the msm tell them. In speaking to strangers as I do, I get there is quite a lot of belief that all this virus fuss is just a big hoax to make megamoney from vaccines. When the forces of darkness censor info it just goes to make their own credibility all the lower. And once you sense that some people are lying to you, you will never trust them again.

Paul Blakemore
Paul Blakemore
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

Yes indeed, there is, quite rightly much scepticism. One of the biggest problems however, is that the msm get to define what ‘is’ news, setting the agenda and the notional ‘debate’. Censoring information can lower the credibility of a source such as the BBC, but millions of people are simply unaware of what is happening; such as the subject of this piece.

David Jory
David Jory
3 years ago

Thankyou. Well done. Real journalism. Talking to real people and looking at things with your own eyes. It seems so rare now that it actually gives me pause.
Every major newspaper seems to be the reverse of Joe Friday: ‘Just the agenda,Ma’am. Just the agenda.’
Logically if talking about this helps Trump and is therefore unethical, then not talking about it is helping Biden and equally unethical.
This reminds me of David Horowitz describing San Francisco in about 1970 and being told off by a black woman as a then Leftist supporter of the Black Panthers. She knew it was damaging to her community. 50 years on the mistakes are repeated.
This article and Bari Weiss’s resignation letter to the NYT make a great pair.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
3 years ago

The BBC, our state broadcaster, which owes the country a charter obligation to: “Provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them “ not to mention, ” To reflect the United Kingdom, its culture and values to the world” decided to cover the London Riots with this, frankly dumbfounding headline, “27 police officers injured during largely peaceful anti-racism protests in London”

Martin W
Martin W
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

(as you’ve posted it twice I might as well reply twice)
To be fair, this was just the Twitter headline. And the text read “Anti
racism pritests leave 27 police officers hurt. Pritest in LOndon have
been largely peaceful but marred by scuffles…”. And the website said “
Protests on Saturday –

– were largely peaceful, but were marred later by disturbances outside
Downing Street.” I don’t think you can condemn an entire corporation
for a lazy Twitter headline.

Steve Dean
Steve Dean
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

You already said that. I already read it. Are you a bot?

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Dean

Apologies. There appears to be a delay of several hours between my posting and it appearing on the site.

It just says “Pending” and so I re-formatted it and reposted, hoping that putting quotes into the required format would get it past the moderation bot faster.

Steve Dean
Steve Dean
3 years ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

It is maddening isn’t it! Some posters not limited by this time lag. Some getting preferential treatment. Makes having a discussion difficult, we might as well write a letter!

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Dean

It is my own observation that gushing praise gets immediately posted, anything critical gets several hours delay, and anything that is too Politically-Incorrect elephant in room stuff hopefully just gets forgotten about. However I don’t control any fancy websites so who am I to lecture those who do….

Paul Blakemore
Paul Blakemore
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

I wonder if there is a two-stage process; that uncontroversial material can get approved quickly while more potentially PiC stuff goes for a ‘second opinion’. Depends how the moderating is done, I suppose.

Michael Howe
Michael Howe
3 years ago

A breath of fresh air!

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago

disastrous federal pandemic response,

The federal government is very limited as to what it can do, especially if the states themselves refuse help, or ask for help that’s unreasonable, e.g. Governor Andrew Cuomo demanding 30,000 ventilators, whilst standing in front of a stockpile of them.
The Democrats have been responsible for the same disastrous policy of sending infectious hospital patients into nursing and care homes as our own government. That was not the responsibility of the federal government or of Trump.
I would also question the loss of support for Trump – the voting in the recent primaries tells a different story to current polls, i.e. actual votes cast versus limited polling.

pirh zapusti
pirh zapusti
3 years ago
Reply to  Lucy Smex

IMO some of the contribution to the perception of the response being “disastrous” is the perception / lie that China has only had a handful of new cases since March. Look at the inverted hockey stick chart, it’s laughable, especially given news reports of new hot spots in Hubei. But this allows a zillion headlines that say “US has most coronavirus in entire world, Trump to blame.” Which is probably exactly what China is intending.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Even among the young these activist progressives are a minority, as evidenced by the fact that all the media that represents them – Vox, Fusion, Buzzfeed, Huffpost, Guardian etc – are constantly laying off their so-called writers.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I teach in the rural South. Both my black and white students hate the woke agenda and how it’s been inserted into all aspects of their lives: media, education and even entertainment.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

That is very good to hear. If they are old enough, they know who to vote for in November.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Most were not even employed – they milked their parents to pay for “internships”. It was ever thus. Around 1977 this comic strip shows the young rebel bilking Dad to pay for the alternative lifestyle. Merely weeks after it falls apart she’s back calling him a “capitalist pig, maan” https://www.reddit.com/r/co

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Outside of the Democrat Party and the MSM, nobody was pretending that the protests were peaceful.

pirh zapusti
pirh zapusti
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yeah but a lot of us have Boomer parents that only listen to the DNC and MSM and can’t wait to vote for Biden so he’ll keep their beloved 60s riots – I mean peaceful protests – going. Yay….

Alan Girling
Alan Girling
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Well, the Democrats and their mouthpiece, the MSM, cover a huge swath of the population, and it’s not just about pretending, it’s about justifying and allowing the violence to occur. I don’t wish to minimize the danger of this trend.

Peter Turner
Peter Turner
3 years ago

Describing the BLM protests as ‘largely peaceful’ is like saying Jeremy Corbyn’s stewardship of the Labour Party over five years was ‘largely successful’.

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago

To say that the coverage of BLM by the MSM is not necessary because Trump, Boris et al have failed so badly with Coronavirus, is absolutely missing the point. It is precisely because they were already on the ropes that the coverage is presented the way it is. The BLM coverage is really intended to provide the knock out blow. Sometimes, here in the UK, it feels like both these phenomenon are an extension of the Brexit, anti-populism agenda (and it’s worth pointing out that I am neither a Brexiteer or populist)

It was very apparent (for me anyway) that after about 2 weeks of lockdown, it became perfectly clear that the virus was not going to be the ‘spanish flu’ Ferguson and his pals thought it was going to be, and quickly morphed into a blunt political tool to use against Trump, Bolsarano, Boris etc … shrilling against their lack of care, empathy and completely ignoring the facts or the counterfactual destructive nature of a global lockdown on societies and particularly the worlds poor, while becoming increasingly authoritarian (completely anti-left)

But this wasn’t about effective policy or protecting people. It might have been at first, but the political opportunity for elites was way too large for them to ignore.

However, was it enough? The answer lies in the data, the data which told us the virus was on it’s way out – way too early for a political witch-hunt to be effective when the prize is the US elections. So, they had to whip up another storm, a double whammy, a kick in the proverbial teeth. Racism, judging by Trump previous comments in particular was a powerful, and importantly, believable campaign to run.

So, if you don’t believe these right wingers are bad at protecting their citizens, and you think that the threat has been overblown, maybe we can tempt you with anti-racist sentiment.

Time will tell if it works.

As someone who is, on many issues, left wing, I am absolutely appalled at the undemocratic power the MSM wield through what is effectively propaganda – in fact they do not represent the left at all. They, in my opinion, are closer to fascists

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago
Reply to  jmitchell75

The left are the fascists, or should I put it another way, the fascists were left-wing:

https://research.calvin.edu

David J
David J
3 years ago

As a newspaper of record, the New York Times is pretty well dead and gone, a slow-moving disaster highlighted this week by the removal of Bari Weiss.

The London Times is treading the same dark road to ruin, and of course the once-peerless BBC was run into the ground years ago.

This under the aegis of the BBC Director General, Lord Tony Hall, who seems to have neatly escaped undue criticism, probably by his leaving for a well-timed sinecure arts appointment.

‘Teflon Tony’ Blair has obviously taught Hall a few tricks.

cas2689
cas2689
3 years ago

Thank you for this. The media gaslighting about this has been driving me batty! It was typified by the clown Ali Velshi on MSNBC standing in front of a burning building saying the protest was peaceful. They think we are all stupid. And the odious Nicole Hannah Jones saying ” stop talking about looting- it’s only property, which can be replaced”. But many of these small businesses cannot be replaced- someones’ life savings, their livelihood, destroyed. Heartbreaking.

Robert Flack
Robert Flack
3 years ago

It is the same here. The working class are despised by the woke left. This why Labour yet again lost the election.

pirh zapusti
pirh zapusti
3 years ago

Just a big kudos to Mr. Tracey for not letting real journalism completely die on his watch. This is a great publication I wish more people would read.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Considering A Contemporary report ”Shows White working Class boys” lose out in Educational Grades,Higher Education and Employment, the Vacuous Media in UK ,and USA needs a complete change of ‘mindset” Manufacturing moving to china has created Generation of Unemployed Youth,Service industries as shown by SARS2 pandemic Cannot Sweep up million unemployed!…In my sixties I feel worried about Next Generation Working for A meagre pension at current 67,soon to be70!

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago

“Mainly peaceful….”

where amongst UK MsM have we heard this?
F. .king EVERYWHERE

Peter Kaye
Peter Kaye
3 years ago

Suppose Trump wanted to offer the destroyed city centers federal aid. The Democrats would be forced to object, saying that there isn’t much need, or, be forced to admit the level of horror. Of course, it isn’t violence, violence is now words, not deeds against property. There is precedent; the denial of aid for migrants, because the Democrats didn’t want to admit a problem.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Kaye

Minneapolis asked Trump for federal aid a couple of days ago. Quite sensibly he refused, pointing out that the mayor failed to deploy the police at the right time, and that in many cases the city’s leaders actively encouraged the rioting.

aelf
aelf
3 years ago

Are journalists deliberately ignoring the effects of these devastating riots?

Yes.

Next question?

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

The SARS-CoV2 scam and the Burn Loot Murder liars are just two sides of the same coin. The media accompanies both on behalf of the mainly white upper middle class grievance brigade. Their topsy-turvy parralel universe is so far removed from ordinary life across the globe i expect their powers are very temporary. Hard to see anyone of any ethnic identity who works for a living, let alone Putin, Xi or even Ramaphosa giving them the succour they get through the US/UK /Canada MSM and leftist parties. They are a regional, white identitarian pampered phenomenon. Like the students of ’68 and the
various green/anarchists since – black bloc, WOMBLES etc they loom large in the present but will shrivel under the future’s glare. To quote William Burroughs talking about a similarly cossetted elite: “so exclusively nurtured on exaggerated ideas of their position that, generally speaking, a factual approach is the worst possible.” This quantum level disjunction from reality is likely to be their undoing.

donlindsay8
donlindsay8
3 years ago

This phenomenon of the MSM and many other left-learning institutions not criticising black movements or governments has seen massive destruction of South African society as obscenely overt corruption and incompetence by those in power have brought that country’s fortunes back to pre-democracy levels. There too, any contrary opinion is labelled racist or Uncle Tom.
I now live in Brazil, a country that is vastly better run and more developed institutionally than South Africa (arguably more than most developing countries I have visited) yet such is the critique by the MSM, even my SA friends send me concerned emails and text messages. The difference – a white right-wing federal government that it’s OK to pillory in this day and age.

Clay Bertram
Clay Bertram
3 years ago

Your piece would not have gotten editorial approval to be published in the mainstream media (MSM).

It is shameful that the MSM have abandoned any attempt at reporting truth. The experiences of poor, working class African American folks in areas destroyed by Antifa/Left Wing fanatics are not important to them, if they don’t reinforce political editorial news values.

Only Liberal ‘Woke’ ideology is important to the MSM now, regardless of whether the truthful reporting of events supports or detracts from such ideology.

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago

IMO, the ducking, dodging and truth-bending from media and politicians is really down to fear of the new third rail in public discourse – the ‘R’ word.
Anarchists such as AuntieFay, Bothersome Little Marxists and their Guilty White Enablers have successfully made the ‘R’ label something virtually impossible to recover from.
It’s a modern, but equally powerful take on what was once called ‘counter-revolutionary’.
An instant career-killer or a ticket to Siberia – or worse.
You can be guilty of and survive an extensive list of personal flaws and failures but once you get branded with the scarlet ‘R’ – it’s over for you.

It’s a hallmark indicator of totalitarian states throughout history.
America has already had their own nasty albeit thankfully brief experience with strongman wannabe Joe McCarthy who weaponized the ‘C’ word.

Mairi MacThomais
Mairi MacThomais
3 years ago

In my opinion it’s about time someone did this! THIS is what’s needed! I hope someone can or will send this article to CNN or CBS or NBC or ABC although as many have already stated it won’t be reported! Utterly sad and disgraceful that truth in journalism does not exist!

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago

That is good, solid, old school reporting…ie you don’t go to a TV studio to *review* the papers and bang on about what you think it all means in light of your own views… you go out and talk to people and report what they say… that is what this writer did and it throws into sharp relief the endless, opining disguised as reporting, that passes for journalism these days.

Martin Rossol
Martin Rossol
3 years ago

Thanks for a well researched article. Right on the money (I am US citizen, yes). Another question which the media does not seem to want to ask: Is there are relationship between where the protests are the most intense and the in-power political party? The claim by BLM / Critical Theory is that there is “systemic racism” in the US. I believe that the anger, frustration and protests seem to be greatest in locals, cities and states which have been under Democratic party control for decades. Let me know if you cannot deduce a logical conclusion.

Perdu En France
Perdu En France
3 years ago

Ah come on! Even this article pussyfoots around what actually occurred. We all watched the looting of stores up loaded from phones from people on the scene. The vast majority of the pillagers were black

mrkglennon
mrkglennon
3 years ago

Outstanding, Mr. Tracey. I write on these things re Chicago and have a draft going on much of the same. You nailed it here.

Robert Pay
Robert Pay
3 years ago

I live in Manhattan…in a well-off parts such as the Upper East side stores are being held up and people mugged as was the case in bad days of the 1970s and 80s. Police show up to take the stats (late) – even if they caught someone they will be released. Riots and looting are real – not peaceful protests. This gets zero coverage…it does not fit the narrative. The aim is that we will blame Trump (not for this but other things.) Meanwhile people avoid political discussion with anyone they don’t know in case you say the wrong thing. City mayors, cave and/or look the other way or ask for extra support from the federal government while noisily condemning it…We are tired of being lied to by our media.

John Brown
John Brown
3 years ago

“The white liberals and Leftists who claim to be so sensitively attuned to the feelings of minorities” are going to go into meltdown when the cop who is alleged to have killed George Floyd is found not guilty of murder.

Any competent lawyer will point out that Floyd died of a heart attack due to the drugs in his system (and medical history) while awaiting the arrival of an ambulance that the police had already called.

A competent lawyer will also point out that the choke-hold used was not illegal at the time.

Mr Floyd’s criminal and (sometimes violent) past will also be revealed, begging the question of how such an individual could achieve sainthood so easily.

Leon Wivlow
Leon Wivlow
3 years ago

To paraphrase a tweet by Dawn Butler after the first BLM protest – she was disgusted by violence as it only confirms what the rest of the country think of them.

Patrick Mallen
Patrick Mallen
3 years ago

Why is mentioning black on black violence “kneejerk”? Nothing could be more relevant. What else explains the triggering of mass hysteria and rage?

Yes, perhaps antifa did burn down shops in Minneapolis. But blacks were responsible for 160 murders of other blacks across the 4th July weekend alone.

Whites arent to blame for the inspiring rage in the ‘hood – not antifa, the NYT, the police, or the systemically racist system. It is violent black men who inflict unimaginable levels of grief, terror and trauma on their fellow blacks who are to blame. As one black academic put it “George Floyd is the type of thug that has terrorized black communities for generations.”

Blaming antifa or twitter or the NYT is just whites throwing the problem back on other whites. Its a nonsense.

The problems of the black hood are directly traceable not to slavery, but to the moral revolution of the late 60’s – the overthrowing of the family unit, drugs, and revolutionary Marxist annihilating rage and with its fantasies of power and strength.

The real question whites should ask themselves is this: if this was happening in our neighbourhoods, if black gangbangers were killing our kids, what would we do?

The answer is of course, whatever it takes and by any means necessary.

Do you really think the army wouldnt have been deployed, or the police numbers swelled to sit on every street thug? If affluent whites had known grief like innocent blacks have known grief, city after city, generation after generation, do you really think we’d have despicable displays of Woke outrage like we saw on the NYT newsroom regarding the National Guard? *It would have happened generations before* with thousands of anecdotes and personal experiences of how so and so son, brother child had been killed, “some as young as 3 or 8 and 18 months”, that made the “clampdown” necessary.

They should do exactly the same for the decent innocent terrorized people in the black hood.

Send in the army deputized into the police in sufficent numbers to flood the streets and sit on the problem. Legalize weed and ecstasy and give sole licence to hood blacks, who are granted licences by the police, which will put them in back in the loop of society and give them some means of a living. Perhaps it might do some good.

Whats certain is the 60’s moral revolution has failed, destroying both high culture and the underclass.

If George Floyds death allows us to see just how rotten, hypocritical and of course selfish and adolescent so many once bastions of British and America have become *and forces us to do something about it* Floyd will not have died in vain.

Andrew Russell
Andrew Russell
3 years ago

Yuri Bezmenov, an expert in propaganda for the KGB and a Soviet defector, explained this all perfectly back in the early 1980s:
https://www.youtube.com/wat
Not sure if links work here, but his lecture makes clear what is going on.
Cui bono?

Keith Mills
Keith Mills
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Russell

Your link unfortunately no longer works.
Is this a copy of the same video: https://www.youtube.com/wat… ? (I haven’t listened to it yet, but will if you can confirm it is the same or similar)

Keith Mills
Keith Mills
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Russell

Unfortunately, that link no longer works.

I found another YouTube with a talk by the same person: https://www.youtube.com/wat… . Is this the same talk, or similar to the one to which you are referring?

Andrew Russell
Andrew Russell
3 years ago
Reply to  Keith Mills

Hello – yes, that’s the one, although my link was from a different poster on YT.

Keith Mills
Keith Mills
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Russell

Thanks, Andrew!

K Willis
K Willis
3 years ago

The premise of this piece, that there was more nuance and multiplicity in the BLM period of events than was typically reported in the news media, seems like one that is worthy of genuine, informed investigation. Unfortunately the writer in this piece fails to provide the required level of reportage investigation to improve the dominant narrative, beyond a fairly lazy argument of “I spoke to some people once and they said something different”. Not to mention the excessive use of quotation marks around terms he doesn’t agree with, which smacks of the very entitled and supremacist mindset he seems intent on proving doesn’t exist. Some humility, please.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  K Willis

Reporting is talking to people and then basing a conclusion of whatever sort on what they tell you.

That isn’t a lazy argument…it is an energetic rebuttal of the dominant form of ‘ journalism’ these days, especially where BLM is the topic, which seems to be writing and opinion piece and then getting people who agree your point of view to ‘debate’ it with you.