Vox Dusts Off the Race Card: ‘Anti-Black Racism Is Driving’ Lockdown Protests

News & Politics

When surveying the American media landscape for something to critique for a column, I tend to not pay much attention to any of the Juice Box Brigade writing for Vox.com. They really are low-hanging fruit over there, a perpetual open sore on the internet, oozing thoroughly awful hot takes instead of pus. Every once in a while, however, one of them will write something so monumentally stupid that I just can’t let it go.

This past weekend, Vox published a post titled “The whiteness of anti-lockdown protests,” which was subtitled “How ignorance, privilege, and anti-black racism is driving white protesters to risk their lives.”

Someone break out the fainting couch.


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Last weekend, thousands gathered in Washington, Michigan, Texas, Maryland, and California to protest lockdown orders resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Some marched with rifles draped across their backs and handguns resting on their hips, while others shared conspiracy theories about Bill Gates and his involvement with the Covid-19 vaccine.

Even in larger, less-rural cities in California, groups waved “Trump 2020” flags and marched the streets with signs that read, “No Liberty. No Life.” And these protests only seem to be picking up steam: On Friday, thousands stormed the Wisconsin State Capitol, carrying flags and wearing Tea Party regalia.

But what has been most glaringly obvious about these protests isn’t the far-right theatrics. It’s that almost everyone marching to end stay-at-home orders is white. And if they do return to “regular life” and refuse to distance themselves, their overt disregard will impact the population most vulnerable to the virus — black people.

I am well aware that liberals don’t do logic or linear thinking of any kind. The intellectual glop splattered all over this post is especially nonsensical, however.

As soon as I read “Tea Party regalia” I knew what to expect from the piece. I co-founded the Los Angeles Tea Party and spent most of 2009-2012 traveling the country, first going to rallies, then speaking to various grassroots groups. I became quite familiar with the MSM’s m.o. when covering gatherings and I found more of that here.

First, I don’t know why the gatherings are mostly white, or if that is even true. While perusing pictures from the various protests I saw dozens, not thousands, of people in each one. A shot of the Minnesota event did feature a hundred people or so, and I couldn’t really see the makeup of the crowd.

Pictures from the Michigan protest brought back some memories. There were various shots of the same two dozen or so people and that was supposed to be representative of “thousands.”

During the Tea Party era, MSM photographers would find one outlier at a rally where there actually would be thousands and one picture would then show up ad nauseam in the news, falsely giving the impression that whatever it was (an offensive sign, say) was an accurate portrayal of what everyone there was like.

Let’s just say I’m skeptical whenever I read these breathless accounts of “far-right” protests.

It’s the last line of the three paragraphs I quoted above that’s most problematic:

And if they do return to “regular life” and refuse to distance themselves, their overt disregard will impact the population most vulnerable to the virus — black people.

If the writer had gone with “might impact” instead of “will impact” I’d probably have left it alone. That’s a perfect place for a qualifying word but it doesn’t fit the narrative.

The author provides some handy statistics about black people having a higher mortality rate from COVID-19 based on data from three-quarters of the 50,000 or so who have died in the U.S. Do bear in mind that the left keeps justifying the lockdowns by saying that we don’t have enough data to know anything for sure.

Even if this statistic holds up after further study, there is no proof that the people who have been out protesting will have any significant on all black people, which is the way that sentence was purposely written. Maybe the author could have thrown in “some” impact.

Like most leftist arguments, this particular one is built on the flimsiest of false premises. The protesters are asking for the right to go back to work. They’re not all dumping themselves into the streets this week and refusing to distance themselves. The author wants to paint a portrait of a barely-controlled mob that’s on the edge of anarchy.

Boilerplate stuff from the Tea Party era again.

People who have been respectful of the rules to this point can also need to get back to work now. This isn’t a — pun most definitely intended — a black or white issue. The biggest victims of coronavirus are nuance and gray areas.

Protesters aren’t being driven by “anti-black racism,” they’re being driven by an American lust for liberty and the need to make a living, and shouldn’t  be demonized for either.


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PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author ofDon’t Let the Hippies ShowerandStraight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear every Tuesday and Friday.

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