On Tuesday, police in Columbus, Ohio shot an armed teenage girl as she was about to stab another girl in a public fight.
Because the girl was black and it occurred on the same day as the Derek Chauvin/George Floyd verdict, the media worked overtime to spin this into a racially-charged narrative.
Before we dive in, it's important to mention this still from the police body cam that shows the girl, Makiyah Bryant, push another girl against a car and raise a knife to stab her:
Despite there being zero evidence that race was a factor in this shooting, the Associated Press worked overtime to connect the shooting to the George Floyd case (in which there was also no evidence of racial animus) and the wider narrative of systemic racism:
Then, the NYT deceptively edited a statement by high-profile attorney for George Floyd's family, Benjamin Crump, where he had claimed the girl was unarmed. Compare the Times quote to Crump's actual quote:
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The purpose, presumably, was to sanitize the tweet to make sure leftists rushing to conclusions don't appear in a bad light for getting the facts wrong.
Then there was WaPo, which also connected the shooting to systemic racism and heavily featured quotes from heartbroken individuals:
Here were a few of the quotes WaPo pushed:
- "Why is lethal force is the only measure they seem to have with us? "Nothing here is new."
- "Another hashtag."
- "I say you never call the police for anything, you call your daddy,"
- "It's just so ironic. This stuff just never ends."
- "This is not all right. It's not okay, and it can't continue on."
Crime is never all right, but the portrait painted through these selected quotes is very, very specific to the narrative of systemic racism.
The media also heavily pushed the story of Bryant's mother – who called her a peaceful, sweet child – and made sure to mention she was an honor-roll student:
This whole thing is tragic. It's tragic watching teenagers go at each other with knives in a driveway, race be darned – especially when that teenager comes from a broken home where her mother had lost custody of her and she'd been living in foster care.
But that's not what this is about to the media and the Marx-adjacent left.
- The story here is not simply that police stopped an armed attacker (try imagining this as a national story if this had been a white girl).
- The story is not that we should wait for all the facts.
- The story is not that a girl's life was probably saved due to the split-second decision an officer made.
- The story is not even that we should learn to unify as Americans to better know and love our neighbors to keep our kids from killing each other on our front lawns.
Instead, everything is edited to fit the lie that America is hopelessly racist and that we must tear our institutions to the ground to remake them in a more "progressive" vision.