Imagine for a moment that Michael Brown had been white and the police officer who shot him had been black. Would the media coverage have been as all-encompassing? Would the reaction of the white community in the suburb where the shooting occurred been as visceral? Would racial provocateur Al Sharpton have sounded off as loudly — or at all, for that matter?
There is no need to imagine. From the Washington Times:
On the surface, the cases appear nearly identical: Michael Brown and Dillon Taylor, two young, unarmed men with sketchy criminal pasts shot to death by police officers two days apart.
But while the world knows of the highly publicized situation involving 18-year-old Mr. Brown, whose Aug. 9 death in Ferguson, Missouri touched off violence, protests and an angry national debate, most people outside Utah have never heard of 20-year-old Mr. Taylor.
Call it Ferguson in reverse, but minus the noise.
Let’s examine the facts in the lesser known case. Taylor, who has been described as white and Hispanic (where have we heard that before?), met his death at the hands of a black cop on Aug. 11, two days after the now-infamous shooting death of Michael Brown. The Taylor incident occurred outside a 7-Eleven in South Salt Lake, Utah. According to a quote at the Inquisitr made by South Salt Lake Police Sgt. Darin Sweeten:
Taylor [was given] verbal commands to reveal his hands, but Taylor failed to comply and was ‘visibly upset. Taylor was subsequently shot and died at the scene.
There’s not much more to go on because the media have largely ignored the Taylor shooting.
Meanwhile, critics, struck by the discrepancy in media coverage, have taken to Twitter. Black radio host Wayne Dupree posted this:
— Wayne Dupree ★彡 (@WayneDupreeShow) August 21, 2014
Rush Limbaugh blames the obvious double standard on “the liberal world view” that portrays whites as oppressors and blacks as victims. On his radio show, Limbaugh said:
[I]n the current climate in the United States, a black person can never be the oppressor, and a white person can never be a victim.
As for Al Sharpton, his silence on this case would be deafening if it weren’t so predictable. He was vocal enough at Michael Brown’s funeral on Monday where both he and an uncle of Brown who happens to be a preacher called for revenge. That case, however, fit nicely with Sharpton’s racialist agenda. This case belies it.