Politico, Gene Demby & the Lie of the “New Civil Rights Movement”

The following essay from Politico is a leftist’s attempt to convince us that the reaction we’ve seen to recent events in Ferguson and New York is a noble “civil rights movement.”  It makes for a good lesson on how leftist’s lie and spin.  The comments in bold italics are mine.  ~CW

The shattering events of 2014, beginning with Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, in August, did more than touch off a national debate about police behavior, criminal justice and widening inequality in America.

There’s the first lie.  There’s been nothing resembling “debate.”  Debate implies honest people calmly engaging in a sincere examination of both sides of an argument.  Instead what we’ve seen is the opposite of debate.  Race hustlers with a one-sided agenda swarmed in and people have rushed to judgment before hearing the facts.  That’s not something to be proud of, it’s shameful, and it’s a giant step backward for this nation.  The second lie is the assertion of “widening inequality” in America.  There’s no basis for such a statement whatsoever.

They also gave a new birth of passion and energy to a civil rights movement that had almost faded into history, and which had been in the throes of a slow comeback since the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012.

There’s a good reason the civil rights movement had almost faded into history, Mr. Dembry.  The original civil rights movement wasn’t about insulating blacks from the consequences of their actions, as this new “movement” is.  It was about achieving equality under the law, and that’s been done.  Your problem and the problem in the black community is that equal treatment of minorities doesn’t guarantee equal behavior by minorities.  They commit crimes at a far higher rate than non-minorities, and thus attract greater attention from the police. 

That the nation became riveted to the meta-story of Ferguson—and later the videotaped killing of Eric Garner in New York—was due in large part to the work of a loose but increasingly coordinated network of millennial activists who had been beating the drum for the past few years. In 2014, the new social justice movement became a force that the political mainstream had to reckon with.

For those who may not know it, “social justice” is leftist-speak for legalized theft and special protection from consequences and responsibility.

This re-energized millennial movement, which will make itself felt all the more in 2015, differs from its half-century-old civil rights-era forebear in a number of important ways. One, it is driven far more by social media and hashtags than marches and open-air rallies. Indeed, if you wanted a megaphone for a movement spearheaded by young people of color, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one than Twitter, whose users skew younger and browner than the general public, which often has the effect of magnifying that group’s broad priorities and fascinations. It’s not a coincidence that the Twitterverse helped surface and magnify the stories of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

In other words, we’d better watch out because the mischievous and misinformed can spread their lies faster and farther than ever before.

Two, the new social-justice grass roots reflects a broader agenda that includes LGBTQ (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-questioning) issues and immigration reform.

Translation:  Gays want their share of the loot too.

The young grass-roots activists I’ve spoken to have a broad suite of concerns: the school-to-prison pipeline, educational inequality, the over-policing of black and Latino communities.

You have to marvel at Mr. Demby’s skill at cramming so much dishonesty into one sentence.  The “school-to-prison pipeline” is a consequence of 50 years of liberal social engineering that’s just done wonderful things for the black community.  Now the Left’s brilliant solution to fixing the mess is to relax the laws and police enforcement in those communities.  In five years they’ll be back to tell us that blacks and Latinos are being neglected by law enforcement, their communities have turned into jungles and it’s all our fault.  Wait for it.

In essence, they’re trying to take on deeply entrenched discrimination that is fueled less by showy bigotry than systemic, implicit biases.

Wrong again, Mr. Demby.  They aren’t taking on any such thing, nor is that their goal because bigotry and bias can’t be cured by marching and threatening.  It can only be cured by demonstrating that these attitudes are based on false impressions.  The truth is that these “activists” are fighting for freedom from all accountability, and they are getting help from the usual suspects, their ever-dependable enablers on the Left. 

Three, the movement’s renewal has exposed a serious generational rift. It is largely a bottom-up movement being led by young unknowns who have rejected, in some cases angrily, the presumption of leadership thrust on them by veteran celebrities like Al Sharpton. While both the younger and older activists both trace their lineage to the civil rights movement, they seem to align themselves with different parts of that family tree. And in several ways, these contemporary tensions are updates of the disagreements that marked the earlier movement.

That’s right, Mr. Demby.  Al Sharpton is not militant or radical enough for these “young unknowns.”  That should alarm you but you’re a clueless leftist, so….

Sarah Jackson, a professor at Northeastern University whose research focuses on social movements, said the civil rights establishment embraces the “Martin Luther King-Al Sharpton model”—which emphasizes mobilizing people for rallies and speeches and tends to be centered around a charismatic male leader. But the younger activists are instead inclined to what Jackson called the “Fannie Lou Hamer-Ella Baker model”—an approach that embraces a grass roots and in which agency is widely diffused. Indeed, many of the activists name-checked Baker, a lesser-known but enormously influential strategist of the civil rights era. She helped found Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference but became deeply skeptical of the cult of personality that she felt had formed around him. And she vocally disagreed with the notion that power in the movement should be concentrated among a few leaders, who tended to be men with bases of power that lay in the church. “My theory is, strong people don’t need strong leaders,” she said.

“My theory is, strong people don’t need strong leaders,” said Baker as they look to her for leadership.

Baker’s theories on participatory democracy were adopted by later social movements, like Occupy Wall Street, which notably resisted naming leaders or spokespeople. But James Hayes, an organizer with the Ohio Student Association, said that he didn’t think of this new social justice movement as “leaderless” in the Occupy style. “I think of it as leader-ful,” he said.

“Participatory democracy” is another leftist term to facilitate the legalization of wealth transfer, because theft by another name apparently helps ease the conscience of the thieves. 

By December, some of these same uncelebrated community organizers who spent the year leading “die-ins,” voting drives and the thousands-deep rallies around the country would meet privately with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (“We got a chance to really lay it out—we kept it real,” Hayes told me about the meeting. “We were respectful, but we didn’t pull any punches.”) A few days after that White House meeting, Hillary Clinton, widely assumed to be eyeing another bid for the presidency in 2016, nodded to them when she dropped one of the mantras of the demonstrators—“black lives matter”—into a speech at a posh awards ceremony in New York City.

“We were respectful, but we didn’t pull any punches.”  Yeah, they want their money and they want it now, or there’s going to be trouble.  Good thing these “community organizers” have a useful idiot like Hillary Clinton on their side!

All this new energy comes, ironically, as the country’s appetite for fighting racial inequality—never all that robust in the best of times—appears to be ebbing. The tent-pole policy victories of the civil rights movement are even now in retrenchment: 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, American schools—especially in the South—are rapidly resegregating; the Voting Rights Act, which turns 50 in 2015, has been effectively gutted; and, despite the passage of the Fair Housing Act, our neighborhoods are as segregated as ever. Once-narrowing racial gaps in life outcomes have again become gaping chasms.

Yeah, isn’t it “ironic” that our appetite for fighting racial inequality ebbed after the laws were changed to guarantee equal treatment under the law (and in some cases to even provide preferential treatment)?  What an amazing coincidence! 

But what isn’t a coincidence is that the “retrenchment” has come after 50 years of liberal policy that has progressively (no pun intended) turned much of the black community into government-dependent spoiled brats, Mr. Demby.  That’s no surprise at all.

At the same time, the new movement’s emergence has caused friction with the traditional civil rights establishment that identifies with those earlier, historic victories. At a recent march put together by Sharpton’s National Action Network in Washington, D.C.—meant to protest the recent decisions not to indict the officers in several high-profile police-involved killings and push for changes in the protocol from prosecutors—younger activists from St. Louis County were upset at what they saw as a lineup of older speakers on the podium who were not on the ground marching in Ferguson. So they climbed onto the stage and took the mic. “It should be nothing but young people up here!” a woman named Johnetta Elzie yelled into the microphone. “We started this!” Some people cheered them. Others called for them to get off the stage. After a few minutes, the organizers cut off their mics. (In the crowd, someone held up a neon-green sign making their discontent with the march’s organizers plain: “WE, THE YOUTH, DID NOT ELECT AL SHARPTON OUR SPOKESPERSON. HAVE A SEAT.”)

Hahahaha!  The spoiled brats are turning on their plantation masters.  I love it.

A few days later, Elzie downplayed the incident and told me that the disagreement was simply about “someone who doesn’t want to give up the reins and who has a huge platform.”

That’s right, Elzi.  Race hustling is a lucrative and ego-gratifying business.  Sharpton and Jackson and the rest of the original hustlers aren’t going to go away quietly, I’m afraid.

Gene Demby is the lead blogger for NPR’s Code Switch team, covering race, ethnicity and culture.

NPR.  That figures.  These are your tax dollars at work, folks. 


Lately when I read articles that attempt to put a credible spin on the Left’s agenda I’ve been taking a little time to peruse the comments posted by readers, and I’m seeing an encouraging trend.  Hopefully it’s not just wishful thinking on my part, but more and more it seems that readers are waking up and soundly rejecting the insanity with comments that reveal genuine disgust.  Writers like Gene Demby, who appear to have cocooned themselves in the world as they would like it to be, would be well-advised to read what their commenters have to say.


 A special thanks to Crawfish for bringing this gem to the attention of Nox & Friends and allowing me the honor of ripping it apart.

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19 Responses to Politico, Gene Demby & the Lie of the “New Civil Rights Movement”

  1. Kathy says:

    That was a great rippin’ job you did, CW. It makes me want to scream at the lefties when I see phrases like ‘widening inequality’. Using phrases like that just stokes the fire under a phony problem. These guys are already whipped up enough and don’t need encouragement.

    Like you, I loved that they don’t want Sharpton there – that’s priceless! It won’t make him go away, but priceless nonetheless.

    • CW says:

      Thanks, Kathy.

      What’s amusing to me is that the writer seems to think blacks are ready to trade the crony corruption of Al Sharpton for something more noble. LOL. I give them 5 minutes before the next generation becomes the reincarnation of Sharpton.

  2. Garnet92 says:

    Great job CW! Just after I started reading your post, I checked out Mr. Demby and found him to be (as you later stated) a black guy, working on NPR’s blog site – no surprise, but it just reinforced my perception of the author – a black guy writing for his choir – a pseudo intellectual study in the new incarnation of black protestors. What a load of crap. If blacks were half as smart as they seem to think they are, they would have recognized that problems between the races were at an all-time low and still improving just a few years ago.

    Black folk’s real problems are within their urban enclaves where they control the neighborhoods. As long as they refuse to admit that they have a BLACK problem, not a WHITE problem, they’ll get no sympathy from me.

    Some of them keep threatening a race war, telling their “brothers” to go to gun ranges, get trained, etc. They don’t want a race war, they will lose and put the advance of their race back several decades. They’re just trying intimidation as a scare tactic. It won’t work.

    • CW says:

      “What a load of crap.”

      That sums it perfectly, Garnet!

      This may ultimately come to a race war, and if so it will be the ultimate tragedy of the Left’s puppeteering. As long as they get something out of it the leftists never worry about the costs to anyone else.

  3. Terry says:

    Great dissection , CW.

    Next, the left will want to build a museum to this “New Civil Rights Movement”.
    In the meantime we will just have to be content to view the artifacts in the ‘Newseum’, dedicated to the brave journalists who risked it all to bring us disjointed, skewed coverage of it.
    I shit you not :


  4. CW says:

    Oh my lord. “Journalistic Artifacts From Ferguson Coverage.” Like what???? Photos of looting and burning?

    I think what’s most disturbing is that there isn’t even any pretense at reality here. The “widening inequality” that’s supposedly at the root of this movement doesn’t exist and we can all see that, but these are the days of Barack Obama and reality is whatever the thugs say it is.

    Thanks, Terry.

    • Terry says:

      Oh, the usual things you would find in a lib museum dedicated to nothing : rubber pellets from a police stun grenade, notebooks filled with interviews with protesters, press passes and the clothes worn by a reporter during the night of the most extreme protesting.
      …and hopefully they will be preserved in a hermetically sealed case for future useless idiots to admire. Especially those sweaty little mens clotheseses !

  5. Hardnox says:

    A stellar job CW.

    The leftstream is in full court press attempting to revisit history. This Friday the movie “Selma” is being aired.

    If the left keeps it up they will get their wish. They would like the outcome because even the elite won’t be exempt.

    • CW says:

      Thanks, Hardnox.

      Yes, the delusion that the U.S. is plagued by widespread, deep-rooted bigotry and racism is being carefully crafted and managed as we speak. In the end they will be proven right because it just so happens that when people are inundated with news coverage of minorities acting like thieves and thugs the prophecy becomes self-fulfilling and self-perpetuating. Kind of convenient how that works, eh?

  6. PT Bohan says:

    Ah, yes, CW, that was indeed great work at exposing the left’s agenda. I am going to do a piece on the difference between the left’s fairness ideas such as you point out “social justice” and true equality. The left talks in terms of fairness and not equality and for good reason – they are not the same. You did a great job interpreting the true meaning behind the left’s fairness ideas on civil rights and why they are not equality ideas.

  7. Clyde says:

    CW,excellent commentary as always. This double-speak among leftists HAS to be a genetic flaw. Great post, take a bow.

  8. PT Bohan says:

    Hi CW, I figured I reply to your comments to my blog on your site. Unfortunately, I got lazy and did not go into detail to explain my thinking on most of the proposed solutions to fairness so I do see your concern.

    On the task to have consistent law enforcement I was mostly of thinking about capital crimes that break federal laws. Unfortunately, even these crimes are not dealt with in a consistent matter across state lines.

    On the point to limit internet and TV use, I was referring to children. Children are the most likely to be manipulated and brained washed with propaganda and besides, kids no longer know how to behave socially. There are now signs up in public transportation areas showing people what is appropriate behavior. If people learn how to behave then there is less chance for them to feel they are not being treated fairly in society. This is mostly on parents, so it is not going to happen.

    I understand your point on lobbying and campaign contributions. I am not asking to limit campaign contributions, but capping how much of the money can be used for campaigns. I mean it is so ridiculous I see the same political commercials within the same TV timeout for commercials multiple times. The only way to clean up Washington and massive bills that are full of carve outs and earmarks is to limit money in Washington. I know it will not happen, but it is a major problem. The point I wanted to make is there is a lot of quid pro quo going on in DC based on Lobbying and big Campaign Contributors and this is my book should be illegal. Maybe that is the solution, limiting big campaign contributors and lobbyists from getting jobs on political staffs and vice versa. It is a conflict of interests. Under most circumstances, in the real world, you and I would go to jail if we used business or personal dollars to buy political favor.

    You get scared very easily. I am just brainstorming. After all, something has got to change if people want to understand that life is not fair because is is apparently obvious that nobody is getting the message.

    I hope that clarifies some of your concerns.

    • CW says:

      Thanks for the clarifications, Patrick, and you’re right – I do scare easily (too much exposure to liberalism, I’m afraid).

      I always thought federal laws were applied consistently from state to state, so I assumed you were talking about state laws/punishments. My mistake.

      The dilemmas caused by people trying to get the upper hand in politics can seem unsolvable, and to a large extent they are. People’s attempts to enforce fairness in politics reminds me of the way drug companies try to avoid lawsuits. After the first suit they expanded the directions on the bottle. Then they added a tamper-proof top. Then they added a cellophane seal. Then they expanded the directions some more, to the point where you need a magnifying glass to read the disclaimers. Then they moved it to behind the pharmacist’s counter. Then they started monitoring who’s buying it. The lesson is that the less you hold people accountable for their own mistakes, the more you must add to the maze of hoops everyone must jump through just to get through an average day of life. No matter what we do to try and combat the evils of money in politics there will always be those who figure out a way around it, just like there will always be those who figure out a way to sue the drug companies no matter how many precautions they come up with. It is not worth sacrificing any of our basic rights. Quid pro quo politics is already illegal, and more/different laws won’t fix it.

      Thanks very much for stopping by and responding to my comment. I hope things are good in Colorado.

  9. PT Bohan says:

    Thanks for keeping me honest CW. I should have been more specific when I wrote the blog. I did try to post to your latest comments on my blog and it still did not work.I may have some crazy thoughts but you do not have to worry about me becoming a liberal.

    I appreciate your latest comments and not sure what makes the difference for me. I do know that things seem to get harder everyday and for the first time I have thoughts such as “what is the sense in doing this” (something that was never in my DNA before – thoughts of quitting). I suspect I will push forward as long as I can. One day at a time. It does seem to be therapeutic for me to write about it from time to time.

  10. PT Bohan says:

    Absolutely CW. As bad as you think you have it there are a lot of other people suffering much more. I have to remind myself daily that I am lucky – it could be worse. I think I touch on that in article – maybe Part III.