On the Left, the idea of personal responsibility is a rather foreign concept. But I’m not sure I fully understood how far that theory of operation went before the ongoing backlash following the Charleston mass shooting. While pretty much everyone is ready to acknowledge that Dylann Roof pulled the trigger, planned the entire thing out and managed to do it all single handed, it’s not very satisfying for the Social Justice Warriors to simply find, apprehend, convict and punish the perpetrator. There has to be some deeper meaning, you see. That’s what was on display during Bill Maher’s show, when he tossed the dice and decided that the blame could be placed on conservative opinion writers… most specifically Matt Lewis at the Daily Caller.
Bill Maher tonight really went off on the Republican reactions to the Charleston shooting, asking, “Isn’t denying racism itself a form of racism?”
MSNBC’s Joy Reid said that any time people on the right want to talk about “healing,” it “always has to come… from African-Americans saying ‘No foul.’” He, Maher, and Congressman Luis Gutierrez also went after the Confederate flag at the South Carolina state capitol.
When Maher remarked that he has an inkling of where the shooter got his news, The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis protested Maher’s insinuations. Maher shot back by saying his website has a “lot of stories about black people” presented in a very specific way, and so he thinks the media is “responsible to a degree.”
Raw Story surprisingly took a harsh look at Maher’s accusations and provided a bit more of Lewis’ response.
“You did a documentary that was anti-religion,” he said. “This guy goes into a church and shoots up a church. I would not accuse you of inspiring people to act violently because of your anti-religious rhetoric. That would be wrong of me to do.”
MSNBC contributor Joy Ann Reid immediately called Lewis’ argument a “non sequitur,” arguing that religion was not the point of Roof’s attack against the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, pointing out its storied history.
“He didn’t go to a bowling alley,” Lewis protested. “He didn’t go to a rock concert.”
The curious part of this is that I don’t think even Maher himself believes it. I spoke to Matt about the encounter and he told me that he brought this up with Maher before the cameras were rolling for that segment of the show. When he mentioned the religious hypocrisy angle, Maher responded by saying, “you got me on that one.”
This petty attack on conservatives – who have pretty much universally called for Roof to be put in front of a firing squad – and others like it have spilled over all across the web. Here’s just one example of yet another enlightened liberal who was willing to launch a fact free shot across the bow at Lewis.
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) June 20, 2015
Matt’s efforts to enlightened the intentionally ignorant apparently fell on deaf ears.
2.That does not in any way suggest that the shooter's primary motivation was not based on racism (as I've written). pic.twitter.com/CSoQOVFmVw
— Matt Lewis (@mattklewis) June 20, 2015
These are far from the only examples of the media trying to exploit this meme. Roland Martin took to Twitter asking people for their thoughts on why “we don’t view white supremacist domestic terrorists the same as we do Muslim terrorists.”
Why do we not view white supremacist domestic terrorists the same as we do Muslim terrorists? Respond using #CharlestonMassacre hashtag
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) June 20, 2015
That made a lot of sense… if you happen to have taken the brown acid at Woodstock, so I responded based on essentially everything I’ve seen from conservatives online since the shooting took place.
— Jazz Shaw (@JazzShaw) June 20, 2015
This is spreading like wildfire among every liberal who can elbow their way in front of a camera. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was on CNN this afternoon refusing to talk about Roof as someone in need of terminal correction, but rather as a “symbol” of what’s going on “all over the country.” This, despite the notable lack of mass killings of specific racial groups in recent history. The fact is that the sporadic instances of mass violence have been taking out people across all demographic lines when they happen. And even though conservatives across the board have been disgusted by Roof and calling for his dismissal from the gene pool (or at least free society) that’s not good enough. Nothing is going to be good enough unless the Left can dominate the conversation and twist every item in the news to fit the new narrative.
But you can’t give up on this. You have to push back just as Matt Lewis did. Otherwise, there is a much larger battle being lost even as law enforcement’s battle against the actual criminals scores a victory.