And this brings me back to The New Republic, and the question of how the voices of supposedly sane liberalism are dealing with this racial incitement. To put it boldly, the journal of opinion has joined the false cries of racism.
Ms. Gurstein’s article is an unabashed call for TNR’s readers to join the proposed “1,000,000 Hoodie March for Trayvon Martin,” if you can believe such an event is actually being organized. She points with pride to certain internet sites:
Picture after picture of teenage boys and girls, parents holding their infants and toddlers and children, men and women of every age, color, description and from all parts of the country and the world, each and everyone of them wearing a “hoodie.” Some were holding handmade placards that read “I am Trayvon Martin.”
Except, of course, they are not Trayvon Martin, and none of those people know what happened there. Yet the old line racial demagogues have told them that if they don’t protest they are sanctioning a lynching. As for Ms. Gurstein, as she is walking to a protest rally and passes regular New Yorkers going about their business on a nice spring day, she praises herself for her empathy and feels nothing but disgust for those “people with fancy shopping bags in hand, sitting in cafes chattering away on their cellphones.” How dare they, she thinks, when they could be going to hear Al Sharpton and company at a protest? Indeed, as she writes, “I felt a kind of radical self-estrangement and heightened political consciousness” which she obviously gets when comparing herself to those bourgeois slobs who are enjoying themselves and living their lives normally.
Of course, she feels much better when arriving at the rally, where she sees fellow New Yorkers wearing hoodies, real “flesh-and-blood people,” not like those sitting in cafes who were obviously rotten to the core. How happy is she when she sees the “yellow-and-black ‘Occupy Wall Street’ banner” and the OWS crowd “out in full force.” She is also delighted to see “many signs with Malcolm X’s picture and his words ‘you can’t have capitalism without Racism,’” evidently displayed by a group called “The Party for Socialism and Liberation.”
Instead of talking about the thousands of black-on-black murders that take place daily in the ghetto — again, recall that in Chicago alone a few days before Martin was killed, 10 black youths and 40 others were shot — Ms. Gurstein talks about how last year thousands of blacks and Hispanics were frisked by the NYC police. Does she know why, and what precipitated these frisks, if indeed they took place? Does she even want to inquire about this?
She is sure of one thing only: the death of young Martin was nothing but an “unprovoked, cold-blooded murder of a young black man.” No jury is needed. She has convicted him without a hearing for Mr. Zimmerman. She ends by endorsing a day of action proposed by OWS on the old Communist holiday of May Day.
How sad that when reason and careful consideration of the facts is necessary and we need a calming of racial passions, the voice of sane liberalism joins the demagogic arena of hucksters like Al Sharpton. I guess I was right in my earlier column about the direction in which TNR is moving. Call it The Nation magazine, Version Two.