From Knoxville to North Charleston With Leonard Pitts, Jr.
April 16, 2015

Leonard Pitts, Jr., a columnist for the Miami Herald, began his recent column about the killing of Walter Scott thusly:

So here we are with another isolated incident.
Pitts claims that "isolated incident" is how the killing "will play in those conservative enclaves where the notion that there is such a thing as systemic racism is regarded as deluded and absurd." He does not quote anyone who actually used that phrase.

I do not use phrases like "systemic racism" or "isolated incident." Any incident that was truly "isolated" would not be worth writing about. There is almost always some kind of context. What happened before? What else happened? How are people interpreting the incident? What are the relevant keywords? #HashTags?

In logic, we can go from the general to the specific, but usually not the other way around. We can say "all prime numbers greater than 2 are odd." We cannot say "13 is prime, therefore all odd numbers are prime." That is the fundamental absurdity of the Pitts column. He takes one incident -- not an "isolated" incident, but still just one incident. He takes this single incident and presents it to us as proof of "systemic racism." That is bad logic, period. People with a poor command of logic tend to get inappropriately emotional. Pitts writes:

Sometimes, you have to wonder at our conservative friends: Where is the conscience? Where are intellectual integrity and moral courage? Where is simple, human decency?

Because if you are a decent person, you are up in arms right now. You are demanding solutions -- not making excuses.

Oh, Lord help us! Pitts is getting off on a "Sir, have you no decency!!!!" trip. I just don't buy that crap. I have my opinions and I will honestly state them. That is more intellectual integrity in one sentence than Pitts has practiced in his entire dim-witted career. Just who the God-damned hell does Pitts think he is, questioning people's decency? We white people have grown up a bit since the 1960s. We do not take seriously the scoldings of an ill-tempered black guy.


Pitts displays enormous chutzpah in his demand that we draw huge conclusions from one incident. In January of 2007, a young white couple were carjacked, kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered. This has become known as the Knoxville horror.

Prior to that time there had been massive media coverage and commentary about the killing of Mathew Sheppard and the dragging death of James Byrd. The public does indeed have a certain appetite for true crime stories, but it seemed that the media were not just "reporting" events. They were plugging a narrative. We must fight racism and homophobia and pass a bunch of hate-crime laws! Or something like that.

The rape, torture and murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom did not support any narrative. It did not get any national coverage by mainstream media. In his commentary on the Knoxville horror, Pitts quotes blogger Michael Oliver: "Had the roles been reversed, would the media ignore such a horrific crime?" Pitts delicately answers:

Truth is, media ignore horrific crimes all the time.
Yeah, I know. Not much of an answer. Pitts gives the basic theme of his June, 2007 opinion piece in the first two sentences:
It always amazes me when white people put on the victim hat.

As in victim of racial oppression.

As with the Walter Scott article, Pitts offers no actual instance of the thing he sneers at. Questioning media coverage is not the same as complaining about "racial oppression." It is bizarre that Pitts would choose one of the most gruesome crimes of the previous decade as a springboard for his tirade against presumably "false" but most certainly apocryphal claims of "racial oppression" made by white people. He ends his piece:
I am . . . unkindly disposed toward the crackpots, incendiaries and flat-out racists who have chosen this tragedy upon which to take an obscene and ludicrous stand.

I have four words for them and any other white Americans who feel themselves similarly victimized.

Cry me a river.

The obscenity of that closing sentence taints everything Pitts has ever written and everything he ever will write. Maybe the Civil Rights Establishment should find another Minister of Guiltmongering.


The episode ending in the death of Walter Scott was much more complex than you would think just from the Pitts article. See

Here We Go Again: Walter Scott, Michael Slager And Another Post-American Lynch Mob
(Nicholas Stix,, April 10, 2015.)

Some commentary on the Dissident Right is severely critical of Officer Slager. See:

Officer Michael Slager, White Man
(Jared Taylor, American Renaissance, Posted on April 10, 2015.) writer John Derbyshire is always a good read. In his latest post, he discusses the Scott killing and media coverage thereof and also gives a short outline of "the Narrative."

Finally, I ran across this highly detailed account and analysis of the events leading to the killing of Walter Scott a few days ago. I haven't read it, but I commend the person or people who posted it for all of the work they did.

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