January 24, 2019

NY TIMES GOES EASY ON RACIST BLACK ISRAELITES: LESS ‘ALARMING’ THAN ‘WHITE GUY IN MAGA HAT:’ “In his New York Times profile Thursday, ‘Hebrew Israelites See Divine Intervention in Lincoln Memorial Confrontation,’ reporter John Eligon downplayed the rank, obvious offensiveness of the racist and homophobic Black Hebrew Israelites cult while even shelling out some praise,” Clay Waters writes at NewsBusters, quoting Eligon as writing:

So they post up on street corners in big cities, usually in predominantly black communities, wearing flashy garb — purple shirts or black robes, for instance. They shout, use blunt and sometimes offensive language, and gamely engage in arguments aimed at drawing listeners near.

That “blunt and sometimes offensive language” included:

The [Covington] students are called “hyenas,” “dogs,” “white crackers,” and “faggot.” They are ridiculed for being lice-ridden and told to “to back to Europe where you come from.” One man says he can tell by looking in the students’ eyes that they will be “school shooters.” They are the “product of sodomy.” We hear that black Jesus is coming back to kick the “white crackers’ ass.” This black Christ is not like the image of Jesus the boys supposedly hold — that Jesus is a “faggot child molester.” “Your president is a homosexual!” one man yells. He urges the teenagers to look up a YouTube video of Rudy Giuliani in drag, kissing Donald Trump. (I imagine he is referring to the skit for a charity event in 2000 that featured Giuliani in, yes, a fetching blond wig, dress, and heels.) By “your president,” the black nationalist obviously means Trump, but one student hoists up a campaign poster of Obama, and only about 10 percent of the students are wearing MAGA hats. One boy says that most of the kids in the group aren’t old enough to vote yet.

The students for the most part keep their distance and respond only mildly to these insults, if at all. A few briefly try out a little dialogue. There is no violence or assault of any kind. This all happens before the now-famous Nathan Phillips approaches the student group, beating his drum.

To most in the media, the black nationalists’ words, and their role in the controversy, are apparently like wallpaper, barely worth a mention.

Waters adds, “Eligon noted that the Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes the Hebrew Israelite groups as hate groups, but still managed to blame President Trump for the behavior of a cult that long predates his presidency.”

The Black Israelites’ language certainly doesn’t qualify for a paper whose motto is “all the news that’s fit to print.” But ultimately, it’s obvious why they’re getting a pass, when a mere smile from a MAGA hat wearing teenager is the end of the world:

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