Radio host Dennis Prager has wisely observed that to the left, truth is not a value. Ideology is a value. And so the myths of Shepard and Trayvon must live on. That's because the left understands that narrative drives hearts and minds, rather than argument. Were the left to openly contend that gay men and women around America are in danger every day from the vastly homophobic majority of the American populace, most Americans would rightly be insulted and skeptical. Were the left to suggest that most Americans are vicious racists a hairsbreadth away from murdering black teenagers, most Americans would scoff. Instead, the left trots out cases like Shepard and cases like Trayvon -- and manufactures those cases to fit their needs.
Racism and anti-gay hatred must be wiped from the map. But there is no need to fudge the facts in order to combat them. The left's need to seize on individual cases as impetus for broad societal change demonstrates just how desperate the left is to paint exceptional cases as the rule to justify a broader agenda.