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Oops: Looks like one of the major hate incidents that inspired the NFL anthem-kneelers . . . never happened
Like the entire racist cop narrative these ignorant fools keep blathering about, a search of public records suggest the whole thing was made up.
When people objected to the NFL anthem-kneelers on the grounds that their actions were disrespectful to the flag, or to the country, or to the troops, or to veterans . . . their defenders said to focus not on their tactic but on the substance of their message.
We did. And we repeatedly demonstrated that their message was false. They claimed that America's police officers were engaging on a massive scale in racist violence against black suspects, and that this was being permitted and accepted both by authorities and by the public. In order to demonstrate this, they misrepresented the facts in incidents like Ferguson and Baltimore, while failing to come up with any statistical evidence that this trend existed on any broad scale.
Liars like Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett made wild public claims about having been arrested "for being a black man," only to have these claims easily proven false.
But where did all this start? It started with some very specific claims that originated in Missouri. The Ferguson case you've already heard about, and you now know that the Black Lives Matter narrative on the shooting of Michael Brown was totally false, and that even the Obama Justice Department determined that Officer Darren Wilson had done nothing wrong.
But there was also a case that originated at the University of Missouri involving an activist named Jonathan Butler, who claimed to have been the victim of assault and vandalism at the hand of racist white students. Butler's story became legend, and inspired among others Miami Dolphins defensive end Charles Harris (who attended Missouri) to become one of the most vocal participants in the anthem-kneeling.
As often happens with these reported hate crimes, the person claiming to have been victimized is implicitly believed before anyone can really investigate the claims being made. When Jonathan Butler made his claims, pretty much everyone just assumed he was telling the truth, and no one in the media bothered to check into any public records to see if they backed up Butler's story.
Until last week, when the Wall Street Journal's Jillian Kay Melchior did so. And Missouri, we have a problem:
“Being on campus, I’ve seen the N-word spray-painted on my door,” Mr. Butler said. “I’ve experienced white students who have jumped me during the President Obama’s election night. . . . I was jumped by three white students on campus.” Mr. Butler said such behavior “allowed to be going on, on campus—let me make that very clear, was allowed to be going on, on campus.”
But an exhaustive review of law-enforcement records showed no sign of the incidents Mr. Butler described.
Vandalism on campus is reported to university police, both a residence-life staffer and a university police spokesman told me. Neither the university police department nor the Columbia, Mo., city police received any report of an incident where Mr. Butler’s door, residence or property was vandalized. Furthermore, neither police department has any record of Mr. Butler being jumped, assaulted, attacked or otherwise physically harmed by students as he described at any time between January 2008 and May 2016, when he departed the university.
To make sure I wasn’t missing anything, I reviewed all incident reports from both the campus and city police mentioning any physical assault or harm caused to any individual on, directly before or directly after Election Day in 2008 and 2012. I also worked with authorities at both departments to double-check all such reports possibly matching the incident Mr. Butler described in which victim names had been redacted. Finally, although it would be unusual for an incident involving a student to be reported only to the BooneCo unty Sheriff, the department also performed a search under Mr. Butler’s name.
There was no record of the racist assault or vandalism Mr. Butler described. It’s possible that the incidents happened and he didn’t report them—but in that case there is no basis for his claim that the university “allowed” the incidents to occur.
That last point by Melchior is critical. It would be strange, but not impossible, for Butler to have been the victim of such attacks and not made any reports of them to authorities. Personally I think it strains credulity in the extreme to believe that's what happened, but I'll concede it's not impossible.
But Butler's larger message wasn't just that the incidents had happened. It was that the university and the surrounding community allowed them to happen, essentially that the racist victimization of a black man was of no concern to them, and that they did nothing about it.
There's simply no way you can make that claim if you never reported the incidents in the first place, because you didn't give the authorities any opportunity to do what you're now complaining they didn't do.
If you want to perpetrate a publicity stunt to make yourself look like a victim, but your claim is false, the is pretty much how you'd want to play it. The news media will believe any minority who claims to have been the victim of a racist hate crime. They'll dutifully report the story peddled to them without any critical questioning. The police, on the other hand, will launch into a professionally run investigation that requires evidence in order to bring any charges. Often these police investigations end up revealing that the incident reported never happened, and that the claim was false. We've seen a lot of this in the past few years, especially in the immediate aftermath of the election of Donald Trump, as many aspiring hate crime victims let their imaginations get away with them, only to be revealed later as liars.
Was Jonathan Butler really attacked by white racists? Did someone really paint the n-word on his door? Only he knows for sure, and that's because, if it did happen, he made the very strange decision never to report it to the police. How is it that these incidents were so serious he was willing to go on a hunger strike over them, but not so serious that he would actually report them to authorities?
I think you know the answer.
And in the meantime, the NFL spent much of this season tearing itself apart as players refused to stand for the national anthem, all based on their belief that incidents like this were not only real but were widespread across the country - and the police and other authorities didn't care and wouldn't do anything about it.
That is, and always has been, a lie. That becomes clearer every day.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!