Fails to mention woke blacks: In this morningt's Washington Post, Colbert King writes two-thirds of an important column.
Working from recent Mueller indictments, he describes part of the process which sent Donald J. Trump to the White House. Specifically citing the Russians' "Woke Blacks" site, he blames Trump and the Russkies for what occurred.
But alas! He forgets to blame the New York Times—and he forgets to blame woke blacks!
At the start of his two-thirds of a column, King describes "the efforts of the Trump campaign and the Russians to suppress the votes of groups likely to support Hillary Clinton" back in 2016.
He notes the way the Russkies "deceitfully created theme-oriented groups with names suggesting a connection to the Black Lives Matter movement...on social media sites." "Blacktivist" was the name of one such Russian-run group, King correctly notes.
By 2016 "the many Russian-controlled groups had attracted hundreds of thousands of online followers," King correctly notes, citing the Mueller indictments. At this point, he goes where the rubber meets the road, citing two-thirds of the problem:
KING (2/24/18): But just as the Russians attempted, according to the indictment, “to encourage U.S. minority groups not to vote in the 2016 U.S. presidential election or to vote for a third-party U.S. presidential candidate,” a similar operation was underway in the United States, as skillfully reported by Bloomberg’s Joshua Green and Sasha Issenberg.Doggone it! The Russians were trying to suppress turnout among women and blacks—and the Trump campaign was playing the same game! As he continues, King mentions a particular play by the Russkies—and he blows past one-third of the problem:
The Trump campaign’s digital nerve center in San Antonio set in gear its own strategy: Don’t expand the electorate; shrink it. Turn off likely Clinton voters found among blacks and moderate-to-liberal white women.
Russia and the Trump campaign were calling plays out of the same playbook.
KING (contiuning directly): Clinton, like most Democratic presidential candidates, needed the overwhelming support of black voters. So the Trump campaign went after a 20-year-old Clinton suggestion, made at the time of President Bill Clinton’s tough-on-crime criminal-justice overhaul, that some young black males are “super predators.” The Trump operatives figured that would chill the interest of black voters in going to the polls, especially in a key state such as Florida.Doggone it! The Trump campaign was trying to discourage blacks from voting. So were the Russians, King says, through their "Blacktivist" and "Woke Blacks" sites.
On Oct. 24, 2016, Bloomberg reported, Trump’s team began placing spots about the “super predator” line on select African American radio stations and through nonpublic Facebook posts controlled by the Trump campaign. It was laser-focused so that, as a Trump campaign operative put it, “only the people we want to see it, see it.”...
Around the same time, the Russian operation launched its fake “Woke Blacks” account to post the following message, as stated in Mueller’s indictment: “Particular hype and hatred for Trump is misleading people and forcing Blacks to vote Killary. We cannot resort to the lesser of two devils. Then we’d surely be better off without voting AT ALL.”
They did so, King seems to say, through use of that stupid "super-predators" crap. Was this enough to let Trump win? King doesn't state a view on that point.
King is angry at Trump and Putin for all this "Woke Blacks"/"super-predator" crap. That said, he forgets to mention the parallel efforts in 2016 by any number of leading woke blacks, perhaps including the very group he named, Black Lives Matter!
Consider Patrisse Khan-Cullors' new best-seller, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir. We've been recommending the book all week, and we'll continue to do so. But Khan-Cullors plays the "super-predators" card at various points in the book, including in this early passage, in which she describes the war on crime in the low-income Los Angeles of her childhood and youth:
KHAN-CULLORS (page 57): Kids were being sent away simply for being alive in a place where war had been declared against us. And the propaganda, the rationalizing of how much we needed to be destroyed, we the generation called super-predators, was promoted by people who were Republicans and Democrats, and, save for a few, Black as well as white.On a recent C-Span After Words program, Toure challenged Khan-Cullors about the way Black Lives Matter, in effect, sat out the Trump-Clinton election. (Click here, move to roughly 44:00.) For better or worse—it's a matter of judgment—Khan-Cullors offered these thoughts as part of her response:
KHAN-CULLORS (2/10/18): Let me say this. The tactic of taking on the Democratic Party I think was very useful in that moment, and still is, because the Democratic Party has really milked the black voters, and has historically really not been on our side, and in fact have been some of the biggest proponents of mass criminalization of black communities. So it was very important to intervene on this idea that we were going to have our lives saved by Hillary Clinton...In the end, does that analysis make sense? In the end, that's a matter of judgment. Khan-Cullors knows much more about "mass criminalization" than most people do. It's a topic which won't be discussed on our "corporate liberal" cable news channel. On MSNBC, that part of the world simply doesn't exist.
But I think for folks across the country, including the Democratic Party, we didn't believe he was going to win. And that actually is the factor here. We didn't believe he was going to win, and so the time that people spent, the time that the Democratic Party spent—because I don't want to blame our movement for the reason why Trump got in office; I know you're not doing that, but some people might see it as such—they could have done a much better job at who they decided to run for president.
Each person will have to decide whether Khan-Cullors' overall statement makes sense. For ourselves, the suggestion that Khan-Cullors might have taken a different approach had she realized that Trump could win tends to undercut the analysis. It tends to throw Khan-Cullors in with decades of feckless liberal/progressive elites, including the clueless thought leaders who kept insisting, right to the end, that Trump couldn't win that election.
King rails today about the way Putin and Trump were urging blacks not to vote. That said, a substantial array of "woke black" leaders took the same approach all through the Trump-Clinton election.
On one occasion, in 1996, Candidate Clinton had uttered the word "super-predators." She had uttered the word at a time when it was in fairly widespread use with reference to acts of hideous criminality which were occurring within various communities, at a time when overall crime rates were much higher than they are today.
It would be absurd to say, as Khan-Cullors might seem to have said in her book, that Clinton was branding a whole "generation" on the one occasion when she uttered that word. Nor was Clinton necessarily referring to young black males and to no one else, as King suggests in his column.
On the one occasion when she uttered the word, Clinton made no such declaration. In our view, Clinton was a weak candidate this time around, but many things which have been said about her have been very weak and extremely unhelpful—and those unhelpful declarations dated back almost twenty-five years by November 2016.
Khan-Cullors has every right to her overall view. It may or may not make sense in the end, especially if we agree to ignore the "we didn't think Trump could win" part of her overall statement.
Regarding King's column, we'll lodge a basic complaint. He's happy to hammer Trump and Putin for urging black voters not to vote—but he fails to note that many "woke black" thought leaders were advancing the same idea in 2016. That's where Putin got it!
At one point in his column, King also scolds Trump and Putin for "[seeking] to turn off young women by rolling out the women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual improprieties." Inevitably, he fails to mention the egregious way the New York Times played that card in September 2016. That conduct by the New York Times was part of a 24-year war which sent George W. Bush, then Donald J. Trump, to the White House. To this day, people like King and Chait and all the rest refuse to discuss that history-changing fact.
(Kevin Drum keeps citing one New York Times front page and pretending it's granted him sainthood. His work on lead abatement has been sensational. In our view, he still has a long way to go regarding the upper-end press corps.)
The Russians created the "Woke Blacks" site, then played the "super-predator" card. For better or worse, leading woke blacks had done the same thing for two years.
As always, such things can't be acknowledged or discussed. We happily blame The Others, breeze right past ourselves.
The "career liberal" world still won't discuss the long war the Post and the Times both waged. To this day, rank and file liberals cannot be told about the conduct in which they engaged. Has any group ever been more committed to the code of silence?
Final note: Rachel would jump off the Golden Gate Bridge before she'd discuss those decades of misconduct by the Post and the Times.
Dearest darlings, use your heads! When you're a major corporate star, it just wouldn't be prudent!