By Angie Speaks
The police arrested a suspect in a New York City subway shooting that left 23 people injured, 10 with severe gunshot wounds. The suspect, Frank James, is a 62 year old African American male who posted prolifically on social media and hosted a YouTube channel where he expressed Black Nationalist leanings and racial grievances.
But you wouldn’t know this if you got your news from corporate liberal media. Not only did they fail to cover the trail of hate James left on social media, but many hesitated to refer to him as Black at all, even while an active manhunt was underway for the would-be mass murderer.
And this despite an overall obsession with racial extremism from those same corners. The Biden Administration’s “war on domestic terror” announcement designated White Nationalism as the most ubiquitous threat to U.S. national security last year. Compare that with a headline from The Intercept last year: “The Strange Tale of the FBI‘s Fictional ‘Black Identity Extremism’ Movement,” which made the argument that Black identity extremism like Black nationalism is a racialized myth.
For the liberal establishment, extremism and terror are now a function of your skin color.
It’s no accident that the liberal establishment is willing to racialize extremism when it comes white Americans but downplays the same extremism that motivates acts of terror within minority communities. In the affluent liberal waters that New York Times and NPR consumers swim in, to be white is to be inherently guilty, while to be a person of color is to be innocent by virtue of your victimized status. Black Nationalism inverts the foundation of 21st century American liberalism.
Meanwhile, liberals can only profit off of extremism on the other side, which is why it sensationalizes White Nationalism and erases racial extremism from minority groups. The Manichaeism that is so prevalent within liberal racial discourse has created a homogeneous view that centers minorities as victims and white people, no matter their background, as potential aggressors.
This gross oversimplification inevitably deters critical examination by aggravating racial turmoil. Worse, it allows other forms of extremism to fester, especially if that form of extremism is not easy for the liberal establishment to sensationalize—and benefit from.
Of course, one can understand where the hesitancy comes from. America’s media has a long and sordid history of over-representing Black perpetrators and white victims, racializing crime in the ugliest way. American history is fraught with racial injustices, and much of the resistance to confronting forms of extremism that originate in the Black community stems from real historical abuses, like the nefarious FBI Counterintelligence Program and other hostile actions taken by the U.S. National Security apparatus against Black activist organizations and civil rights heroes.
It’s understandable that well-meaning, progressively-minded people would feel apprehensive about examining Black Identity Extremism or viewing it as a threat.
And yet, they are harming the very people they are trying to help. Despite the long and admirable struggle for African American civil rights, extremism and misanthropy proliferates in mentally disturbed Black individuals as they do in the white population under similar conditions of economic pressure, political polarization and other negative social influences.
Worse, there is a tendency in some to confuse the admirable, heroic historical pursuit of justice in the Black community with the more pernicious force of Black Identity Extremism, an ideology that has the same potential for hatred, bigotry and illiberalism as any other form of racial radicalization.
Take Kristen Clarke, President of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, notoriously claiming that the “Black Identity Extremist” designation should not exist and that it somehow distracts from White Nationalist extremism.