Two Similar Tragedies, Two Wildly Different Media Reactions

(Left) Kansas City Police; (Right) Washington County Sheriff's Office

Two eerily similar tragic accidents recently occurred: one that critically injured a 16-year-old black teenager and another that ended in the death of a 20-year-old white woman. Ralph Yarl, a black Kansas City, Mo., teen was asked by his mother to pick up his siblings from a nearby residence. Yarl drove to what he thought was the address his mother gave him, got out of the car, and rang the doorbell.


But it was the wrong house. An 84-year-old white man, Andrew Lester, told police he feared for his life and shot Yarl twice, hitting him in the head. The criminal complaint alleges that Lester told police, “it was the last thing he wanted to do, but he was ‘scared to death’ because of Yarl’s size and his own age and inability to defend himself.”

“There was a racial component to this case,” prosecutor Zachary Thompson said, though he did not offer any specifics whatsoever.

Of course, Mr. Thompson offered no “specifics” to back up his charge of racism. He hasn’t even begun to investigate the case yet. But Lester is white and Yarl is black so, what else could it possibly be but another example of racism in America?

It could be as Mr. Lester said — that Yarl’s size and his own inability to defend himself put him in fear for his life — but that would mean actually ascertaining the facts of a case before jumping to conclusions and using incendiary rhetoric to start another round of protests, riots, endless commentary and editorials about what’s wrong with white America.

Biden jumped on the bandwagon early.

Washington Post:

President Biden spoke by phone with Yarl on Monday and shared his hope for a swift recovery, the White House said. “Let’s be clear: No child should ever live in fear of being shot for ringing the wrong doorbell,” Vice President Harris said in a tweet.

I wonder if Joe will call the parents of Kaylin Gillis, a 20-year-old white woman who was out with three friends on Saturday night in rural Washington County in upstate New York looking for a residence. She pulled into a driveway to turn around when 65-year-old Kevin D. Monahan came out of his house and fired two shots at the car, hitting Gillis.

Mr. Monahan was far less cooperative than Mr. Lester. The elderly upstate New York resident barricaded himself in his home for several hours until authorities were able to convince him to surrender.

“She was an innocent young girl who was out with friends looking for another friend’s house,” Washington County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy said at the Monday news conference. “There was no reason for Mr. Monahan to feel threatened,” he said later.

There was a very good reason he felt threatened: he was weak and old and terrified of being murdered in his own home. The prosecutor will decide how unreasonable — or reasonable — that fear was. But to attach any animus to Monahan’s actions is wrong.

That didn’t stop the brain-dead left from portraying the 84-year-old man as “racist scum.”

Was there a reason for Mr. Lester to feel threatened? There may or may not have been a justification for shooting either young person. But older people see the world a lot differently than most of the rest of us. And both Monahan and Lester — rightly or wrongly — felt in fear for their lives.

But now we have the Kansas City prosecutor — aided by the president of the United States — trying to gin up hysteria over the tragic death of a young black man by an old man who didn’t want to become another sad statistic in the war against the barbarians.

To make this young black teen a martyr to the cause of racial gamesmanship would be almost as big a tragedy as the shooting itself. No doubt Mr. Lester will have his own life threatened and activists will call for the death penalty if young Mr. Yarl dies. And they will hold Mr. Yarl’s dead body aloft and roar for “justice” while an 84-year-old man, who may not have a racist bone in his body, is pilloried in the media and portrayed as a prime example of white racism.

The media and politicians are handling these two shootings in noticeably different ways, and it’s up to sites like PJ Media to call them out. How can you help us? By becoming a PJ Media VIP member.

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