Where Sally Kohn goes wrong in her lament about media double standard on race

Where Sally Kohn goes wrong in her lament about media double standard on race

It’s rare to hear the left complain about media bias without mentioning Fox News by name, but in her latest act of verbal hand-wringing, ultra-liberal CNN commentator Sally Kohn does just that. Her column asserts that the media — including the MSM — subscribe to a racial double standard when reporting on events like, on the one hand, the shootout in Waco between rival biker gangs and, on the other, the death in Baltimore of Freddie Gray. Kohn writes:

In … much of the coverage of the Waco shootings, the race of the gang members isn’t even mentioned, although pictures of the aftermath show groups of white bikers being held by police. By comparison, the day after Freddie Gray died in the custody of police officers in Baltimore, not only did most coverage mention that Gray was black, but also included a quote from the deputy police commissioner noting Gray was arrested in “a high-crime area known to have high narcotic incidents,” implicitly smearing Gray and the entire community.

She goes on to ask, seemingly rhetorically, “Why is it that in cases such as Michael Brown and Freddie Gray — and so many others — race is made central to the story?”

A better question, and one that Kohn might ask herself, is Who makes race central to these stories?

By way of answering let’s consider the case of Freddie Gray. It is well known that three of the six police officers who took Gray into custody are black. That includes the driver of the van in which Gray sustained the spinal injury that resulted in his death and who now faces up to 63 years in prison. Are we to accept the theory that that man, Caesar Goodson, deliberately gave Gray a “rough ride” because he is prejudiced against his fellow blacks? (Maybe it’s not such an outrageous question: Kohn, who is white, seems to dislike white people intensely.)

In the final analysis, it’s Kohn and her fellow enablers on the left who inject race into stories like this, and they do it to advance a narrative of black victimization even when, as in the case of Freddie Gray, the fit is poor.

If inner-city blacks are victims, it is of the well-intentioned but poisonous pandering done by people like Kohn, who assume that racism is the only thing holding black families in America back.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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