What Darrell Brooks Jr. did last November was undeniably racist and a textbook case of a hate crime, but you’d never know that if you read about his Oct. 26 conviction in The Washington Post or The New York Times.
That’s because the criminal-and-victim scenario in the case of the Nov. 21 Christmas parade massacre in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, Wisconsin, doesn’t conform to the liberal media’s preferred “racism” narrative.
Brooks, 40, is Black, and his 67 victims were White. He was found guilty on all counts related to plowing his red Ford Escape SUV through the parade itself and its spectators: six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and hit-and-run causing death, and 61 counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety. (Just as an aside, we still haven’t heard any calls from the left for banning SUVs as an assault weapon, which in Brooks’ case, it clearly was.)
The Washington Post and The New York Times shamefully demonstrated, in their Orwellian “Animal Farm” editorial judgment, that some criminals and crime victims are more equal — and dare we say, more sympathetic — than others.
In their respective Oct. 27 print editions, neither published a photograph of Brooks, a repeat offender with a long rap sheet, in their reports on his conviction (although the Post did so in its online version). Nor did either report cite Brooks’ race or those of his victims. The words “black” and “white” weren’t used in the articles, nor was there any speculation as to whether Brooks would or should face Wisconsin state or federal hate crime charges.
Given the corruptly politicized Biden Department of Justice under Kristen Clarke, the racist Black radical heading the Civil Rights Division, who makes no bones about leveraging the full force of the DOJ against only political enemies, Brooks likely has nothing to fear from the feds.
(That’s hardly hyperbole: The Justice Department under Ms. Clarke — presumably with Attorney General Merrick Garland’s shameful, tacit acquiescence — has brought charges against several peaceful anti-abortion protesters under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, but none against pro-abortion extremists who have vandalized and even firebombed dozens of pro-life pregnancy resource centers and desecrated churches in the past six months, since the Supreme Court’s draft opinion in the case that overturned Roe v. Wade was leaked on May 2.)
For the record, however, we have argued on these pages that hate crime laws, which carry enhanced penalties for crimes motivated by, among other things, race and ethnicity, are Orwellian. They make some criminals and crime victims more equal than others. They make a mockery of the concept of equal justice under the law, and as such are arguably unconstitutional, and are absolutely discriminatory in the way they are selectively applied.
Hate crime laws should be abolished, but as long as they remain on the books, they must be enforced evenhandedly. By any measure, what Brooks did was a hate crime on the basis of race.
It’s perhaps a moot point, insofar as Brooks faces what the Waukesha County district attorney said was “six consecutive life sentences plus 859 years of confinement.” Hate crime charges could hardly enhance that punishment unless they were to make him eligible for the death penalty. But it would have to be a federal death penalty since Wisconsin abolished capital punishment 170 years ago in 1852.
But we digress. The Post, in its print edition, ran its story on Brooks’ conviction at the top of page 2, but The New York Times buried its report, unbelievably, at the bottom of page 23. Does anyone really believe that the Gray Lady wouldn’t have put the story, along with the most unflattering photograph available of the perpetrator, on the front page — and likely above the fold — had the racial roles in the case been reversed?
You need to look no further for proof of this journalistic racist double standard than to the two papers’ reporting on the analogous case of Dylann Roof, the White man convicted in the fatal shooting of nine Black parishioners at an Episcopal church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015.
Roof, just 21 at the time of the massacre, was prosecuted by the Obama Justice Department. In December 2016, he was convicted of 33 counts of federal hate crimes, and in January 2017 was sentenced to death by a federal jury. (Again, we ask: Where is Ms. Clarke’s hate crime prosecution of Brooks?)
In addition, Roof was described in The Post and The New York Times as a racist, white supremacist, and even as a neo-Nazi, which from all indications he is. Brooks, by contrast, was not characterized either as racist or a black supremacist.
Just so we’re clear: We’re not saying Roof shouldn’t have been described that way. We cite it only to denounce the indefensible disparity in the liberal media’s reporting on the two criminals, their crimes and their victims.
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