It was late May and early June. Black Lives Matter protests were gripping cities across the nation. They were accompanied by violence and destruction, yet the media cheered and mayors announced their support. Polling indicated that the American public was sympathetic. But aside from spontaneous rioting in Minneapolis and a few other places, the whole affair seemed staged, following a familiar script of racial outrage and white guilt that has become transparently destructive and self-serving.
Protests continue. Police have been injured and hospitalized; a young white man was brutally beaten by protesters in Portland, Oregon. Yet these and other ugly episodes are largely ignored. There are legitimate grievances in the black community against police behavior. BLM, however, is largely a creature of the race industry that prospers in academia, the arts and entertainment industry, and HR departments of major corporations. It is this industry and its stock epithets (“systemic racism,” “white privilege”) that predominate in today’s antiracism, not realities on the ground. Mainstream journalists didn’t report on Minneapolis two months after the riots. As freelance journalist Michael Tracey bitterly observes, when it comes to the destruction of lives and livelihoods, the media establishment has “moved on.”