Us behaving like Them: Please click on this bait!


Salon toys with race again: Who writes the headlines at Salon? Is there any way he or she can be made to present for re-education?

These questions arose for the ten millionth time after a piece appeared last Friday. A young man had shot up LAX.

Salon responded like this:
Why is it always a white guy: The roots of modern, violent rage
The LAX shooter, once again, is reported to be a white male. Here's why they're always first to violence
The problem doesn’t lie with Kimmel or with his very long, pre-written piece, which doesn’t say a word about the LAX incident. The problem lies with the very bad people who are writing headlines for this deeply fallen publication.

It’s isn’t “always a white male,” of course, as every sane person knows, even the slugs at Salon. (Quite a few mass killers haven’t been white.) As every sane person knows, white males aren’t “always first to violence,” whatever that pile of words means.

That isn’t even what Kimmel said. That’s what Salon threw into its headline so it could toy with race again and beg you to give it your click.

Having said all that, hold on! There’s even more bad faith:

Salon’s photograph shows James Holmes, Timothy McVeigh and Adam Lanza, the famous Mass Killers Three. McVeigh is mentioned very briefly in Kimmel’s long piece. Lanza and Holmes aren’t mentioned at all.

If you understand the murderous role played by race in our brutal history, you will understand why this is such disgraceful behavior. If you know the names of the martyrs; if you remember the days when those great people died; you will understand that Salon has been seized by some very bad people.

It’s time that these very bad people were told to stop toying with race. Could we take a nationwide collection to ensure that they “make their nut” each week without making use of their favorite new toy, the sick scammy toy known as race?

Announcing hope for the world: Right from the start, commenters assailed Salon from the left. This was the second comment:
COMMENTER: Ugh. I'm sorry, but even as a leftist prone to identity politicking on occasion, Salon's persistent cynical use of click-racial baiting is tiresome, especially inasmuch as you know they are patting themselves on the back at the same time for their "challenging" polemicals.
Similar comments followed. One more early example:
COMMENTER: This is flat out ugly f*cking race trolling, Salon, and you should be ashamed of yourselves. Seriously. This gives credence to every unhinged right winger who comes here and talks about Salon's race obsession.
That said, a pitiful number of Salonistas tried to defend what Salon had done. It was Us behaving like Them, something we're getting quite good at.


  1. Colossal racial bias in reporting is why it seems like it's "always the white guy" is . E.g., here's a news story from just 2 weeks ago:

    Brooklyn group of black youths blocks white couple's car, bloody victims in racial attack: cops

    Authorities say Ronald and Alana Russo were pummeled by attackers — ranging in age from 12 to 18 — who showered them with racial slurs.

    Read more:

    Sadly, this sort of attack isn't that uncommon. But, you never see it reported on the national news shows. If the races were reversed, I think this would be the lead story.

    1. David,

      I'm not sure what to say. You take some unfair abuse from commenters here, but your above comment appears to willfully mis-read Bob's post and the Salon headline, which refers only to mass killers, not racial attacks. You then use this mis-reading to argue that there is "colossal racial bias in reporting."

      Of course, you're welcome to your opinion, and it's impossible to contradict your hypothetical "if the races were reversed." I don't think that you're correct, but even if you were there's a fair argument that given our country's racial history the media have more reason to report on White-on-Black hate crimes than vice-versa.

    2. Johnny -- IMHO the media have a policy of under-reporting crimes committed by blacks, regardless of the victim's race, and of hiding the perp's race, when he's black. IMHO that policy is one reason for Salon's error.

      As Bob documented so well, the reporting on the Martin/Zimmerman case was abominable. One bad impact was to give the false impression that blacks were at greater risk from white criminals than from black criminals.

    3. David, an important goal of civil rights activists was to change the habit of journalists of reporting the perps race whenever he or she was black, but not when white. That created the impression that crimes were more often being perpetrated by African Americans because that was the only race being mentioned and thus was made salient. Now, to claim that when journalists omit race they are being biased seems unfair when it was previously considered biased to include race. That is part of why Salon's use of race here seems especially wrong -- the race-blindness in reporting crime statistics was a civil rights goal in eliminating stereotyping but is now being practised by Salon. Not only is it inflammatory, it is irrelevant given that people of all races commit violent crimes.

  2. DinC,
    What color is the sky in your world? Do you really expect me to believe the media hasn't been making whites afraid of blacks for decades?

    Next you'll tell me they don't make whites think everyone (or at least a large majority of those) on welfare is (are) black too. (I'll leave aside what "small-town values" means, just so you won't think I'm piling on).

    Put at least one of your feet in reality, if you want to be taken seriously.

  3. Has the media been making whites afraid of blacks for decades? I think reality made whites afraid of blacks. E.g., consider this 1996 quote from Jesse Jackson:

    “There is nothing more painful to me … than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”

    IMHO there's an unspoken, but powerful societal denial regarding the high black crime rate. For me to even mention it risks my being tarred as a racist.

    1. David, if you think that people should be admitting that there is some innate propensity among African Americans to be criminal, you are right that you will be called racist. Logically, you would need to first eliminate all of the other things that are different for African Americans (compared to whites) and that contribute to their higher crime rate, before you could attribute their higher crime rate to their ethnicity. These factors include: greater poverty, lower levels of education, greater disruption in their communities, higher unemployment, greater levels of lead in their environment, lack of positive role models, social influence of a culture of crime especially with respect to gangs and drugs, bias in the justice system. Once you've eliminated all of those factors, then you might be able to talk about some inherent racial propensity toward crime. THAT is why nobody attributes crime to being African American. There are too many other explanations that make a lot more sense.

      I assume you are aware that crime is also higher among many immigrant groups. Your tendency to idealize the immigrant experience is statistically incorrect. Haven't you ever seen The Godfather or Gangs of New York of any of Ben Affleck's recent movies? Where do you think Whitey Bulger came from?

    2. David, in what world is the black crime rate unspoken or denied? Indeed, your Jackson quote suggests otherwise.

    3. AnonymousNovember 5, 2013 at 3:04 PM illustrates my point. I made a purely numerical statement. I didn't say anything about the causes of the difference in crime rate. Anon then re-wrote my statement into something I didn't say in a way that would make me a racist.

      Since he brought up the subject, I'll say that IMHO one of the biggest causes is wrong-headed liberal policies. For a current-day example, consider the liberal opposition to New York City's stop and frisk law, which the Mayor believes has saved thousands of lives, many of them minorities. See

    4. Geoff, evidence that the black crime rate tends to be hidden is in this headline:
      Let's take a run through the news and statistics you rarely hear mentioned
      BTW that article says black on white homicides are 7 times as common as the reverse. See

    5. Yeah, the mayor (to be replaced tonight) believes that ignoring the Constitution has saved thousands of lives.

      But that's what they always say, isn't it?

      And that's what you always believe when it matches your prejudices, don't you?

    6. Not my prejudices, deadrat. I'm pro-gun. Stop 'n Frisk isn't my cup of tea. I'd rather see NYC reduce crime by making it easier to legally own and carry a gun.

  4. I thought the bigger story there was how TSA agents were demonized and smeared about 6 months ago as "perverts" or whatever for doing their jobs.

    Such a weird, elitist hissy fit.