The ululations of the aggrieved ebb and flow like the tide. If there's an insult to be milked -- Macaca! Nappy-headed ho! -- the professional victims will rush in, sell some T-shirts, fire up their bullhorns, make the media rounds, issue their 21-point demands, and then recede until the next race-hustling opportunity comes along.
Thanks to his bipartisan enablers in politics and the media, leading civil rights charlatan Al Sharpton never lacks a stage. Still surfing on the wave of publicity over the Jena Six case in Louisiana, Sharpton is scheduled to lead an anti-hate crimes demonstration on Nov. 16 in Washington, D.C., outside the Justice Department. He's targeting both the Bush administration and Democrats who he thinks haven't pandered enough to him and his small flock of career shakedown artists.
Sharpton complained that the Democrat presidential candidates didn't address his agenda in recent debates. "Hate crimes and racism and Jena never came up one time. Even the Democrats have not, in our judgment, raised their voices to the level they should," Sharpton complained in an Associated Press piece on his upcoming demagogue-a-thon. "Don't come to us for our vote and then not speak about our needs when you're center stage."
Politicians would be wise to stay away from the Jena Six case on the debate stage and campaign trail, however, because the popular narrative of innocent young black men being victimized by the bigoted white Southern establishment is as slippery as Al Sharpton's hairdo. Jena Times newspaper assistant editor Craig Franklin demolishes the myths of the "whites-only tree," the truth about the supposed "model youth" who comprised the Jena Six, the bogus claim that the Jena Six gang's attack on a white victim was related to a noose-hanging incident, the smears against his city and other falsehoods at www.thejenatimes.net.
"As with the Duke Lacrosse case, the truth about Jena will eventually be known," Franklin wrote in a recent piece for the Christian Science Monitor. "But the town of Jena isn't expecting any apologies from the media. They will probably never admit their error and have already moved on to the next 'big' story. Meanwhile in Jena, residents are getting back to their regular routines, where friends are friends regardless of race. Just as it has been all along."
As for the members of the Jena Six, they seem to have learned to do the victim hustle quite well from mentor Sharpton. The Chicago Tribune's Howard Witt reported this weekend that some of the defendants are literally rolling in dubious dough. Robert Bailey, one of the Jena Six youths, posted photos of himself mugging for the cameras with $100 bills stuffed in his mouth and covering his bed. "[C]ontroversy is growing over the accounting and disbursing of at least $500,000 donated to pay for the teenagers' legal defense," Witt reported. "There are definitely questions out there about the money," Alan Bean, director of a Texas-based group, Friends of Justice, told the Tribune. "I hate to even address this issue because it inevitably will raise questions as to all of the money that has been raised . . . "
Inevitably, those who dare ask such pesky questions will be accused of racism and blaming the "victims." Sharpton and company will continue to deflect tough scrutiny by hiding behind rope imagery. Indeed, they're invoking the recent Columbia University noose-hanging incident to promote their nationwide fight against "Confederates" -- never mind the lack of suspects and the suspicious odor surrounding the Columbia case, which remains unsolved despite 60 hours of security tape and more than a month of probing.
The inexorable rhythm of the politics of racial insult is interrupted only when the insulter doesn't fit the left-wing grievance narrative. Which explains in part why former GOP Sen. George Allen's infamous "Macaca" gaffe was covered by the national news media like it was Armageddon, while a female Louisiana Democrat who this week called a black civil rights leader's mother "Buckwheat" (after the stereotypical "Little Rascals" character) barely warranted a blip on the outrage-o-meter. No pockets to pick, no bribes to extract from protesting a case of abject stupidity that can't be spun into institutional racism for partisan gain.
Sometimes, a thoughtless insult is just a thoughtless insult. Sometimes, the hate is fake. When will we stop allowing hoax crime king Al Sharpton and his ilk to make every single one of these incidents a federal case?