Fake News and Race

When Fake News becomes deadly.

Though many people, particularly the opponents of Donald Trump, would prefer not to remember this, the truth is that it is they, the President’s enemies, who first coined the term, “Fake News.” And they used it to refer to pro-Trump social media coverage.

To repeat, it is not Trump or any of his supporters who manufactured this nomenclature.

Brilliantly, the President commandeered the label and slapped it on the left-leaning press, forever ensconcing within the popular imagination the identification of Fake News with what conservatives formerly called “the liberal media.” But “Fake News” isn’t merely an effective piece of rhetoric.  It’s also an accurate assignation for an endemic phenomenon. Fake News is real—and it long predates the political rise of Donald Trump.

To be sure, to say of a news item that it is fake news is not, necessarily, to say that it is a blatant lie.  In fact, Fake News is powerful precisely because it normally does contain some truth.  About a century ago, G.K. Chesterton, an English academic and essayist who converted to Roman Catholicism, wrote that what made the “journalism” of his day especially dangerous is not that it consisted of flagrant untruths; rather, its danger stemmed from the fact that it was a pack of “half-truths.” Things haven’t changed. And nowhere is this more obvious than in the case of race.

Take the tragic example of nine year-old McKenzie Nichole Adams, a black girl from Alabama who committed suicide by hanging herself last week.  This poor child’s aunt, Eddwina Harris, said that McKenzie took her own life because she had been mercilessly bullied her peers.

McKenzie, a student at U.S. Jones Elementary School in Demopolis, Alabama, had befriended a white child.  This, according to her aunt, was the reason behind the bullying that had transpired throughout “the entire school year.” “She was being bullied the entire school year,” Harris said.

Yet Harris added that her niece was besieged with comments like, “you think you’re white because you ride with that white boy,” “you’re ugly”, “black bitch”, “just die”.

Because of the racially incendiary nature of the insults to which McKenzie was subjected, the media outlets that decided to cover this tragedy led their coverage with headlines that noted the “racist taunts” that her peers hurled at McKenzie. 

Suspiciously, none of the coverage identified the race of McKenzie’s tormentors. It was this omission that all but compelled me to conclude that the bullies had to be black, for had they been white, it would not only have been explicitly and repeatedly stated, but everyone in the country would be aware of how, even in this day and age, little white Southern children were still being molded in the image of Bull Connor, or something to this effect.

Over a week later, there is still no mention of the racial background of McKenzie’s bullies. There is no question that reporters who referenced “racist taunts” meant to imply that this little black child, living in the Deep South, was hounded by the Ku Klux Klansmen of tomorrow, bigoted white kids who were being taught to “hate” their black peers. All of the elements for this story were there.

The only problem, though, as fearless investigative journalist Colin Flaherty confirmed, is that it was black kids at McKenzie’s majority black school that made her miserable with “racist taunts.” This is an example of Fake News in this respect: It is indeed true, tragically, horrifically true, that a little black girl attending school in Alabama committed suicide because a group of other students harassed her with cruel, racially-charged epithets.  We can even say that it’s true that these kids victimized this child with “racist taunts.”

What makes it Fake News, however, is that this “reporting” was written in such a way as to reinforce a politically-useful narrative of unrelenting White-on-Black Racism. It was framed in terms meant to suggest that it was white Southern children tormenting a black child for daring to think that she was their equal. Fake News.

Lamentably, Fake News is implicated in another way by this story.  McKenzie’s poor mother, a woman for whom one’s heart must break, was quoted as saying: “She [McKenzie] told me that this one particular child was writing her nasty notes in class. It was just things you wouldn’t think a 9-year-old should know.” She continued: “And my baby, to tell me some of the things they said to her, I was like, ‘Where are they learning this from?’”

While it is indeed incredible that kids of this age could be as heartless and race-obsessed as McKenzie’s bullies are, her mother’s question must be rhetorical. For black people, more so than anyone else, know exactly why and how black children--like these black children in Alabama--act as mercilessly toward other black children as they do.  If those in the media didn’t produce Fake News, they would reveal this reason.

But they won’t do any such thing because the media belongs to the Racism-Industrial-Complex (RIC) and the latter won’t permit any but the most positive depictions of black American culture.  Moreover, the media has romanticized and glamorized precisely that which is at the root of the harassment which led to young McKenzie’s suicide.

These black children who tormented another black child for being friends with a white child were doing nothing more or less than what black teens and adults have been doing to other blacks who they convict of lacking racial authenticity: to summarize, McKenzie Nichole Adams was hounded to her death by peers who tormented her for “acting white.”

In other words, black children as young as nine years-old are simply following in the footsteps of their elders in fomenting anti-white animus and a deluded sense of racial authenticity that fuels them with at least as much animus toward fellow blacks who dare to defy the racial orthodoxy the prevails within the black community.

Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Walter E. Williams, Larry Elder, Condoleezza Rice, and a whole lot of other black public figures who have been slammed as “Uncle Toms” and “Aunt Jemimas” can readily relate to the kind of treatment that little McKenzie suffered courtesy of her black peers.

This destructive feature of black American culture has infected children.  It needs to be identified for the noxious influence that it is. As long as the media continues to produce Fake News, though, this won’t happen. And so, there will be more children who will meet the fate met by McKenzie Adams. 

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