The Trump-era overcorrection

An analysis by Reason’s Robby Soave posited that “far from engaging in racially motivated harassment, the group of mostly white, MAGA-hat-wearing male teenagers remained relatively calm and restrained despite being subjected to incessant racist, homophobic, and bigoted verbal abuse by members of the bizarre religious sect Black Hebrew Israelites, who were lurking nearby.”

Although Soave’s post added relevant context, it led to a sweeping counter-narrative that also failed to adequately describe what occurred. The post, as Deadspin’s Laura Wagner wrote, was widely shared by media figures who apologized for jumping to conclusions, and the narrative shifted entirely in the other direction: It wasn’t the teenagers who were misbehaving, they were reacting to a circus-like atmosphere in which they were being taunted with insults by an extremist faction of the Black Hebrew Israelites in Washington, D.C.

The whole saga is an example of the Trump-era overcorrection.

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