With this as their template, Democrats went on to many more years of assigning their own thoughts to their foes or the public, claiming they knew more of what others were thinking than those others knew of themselves. On a good day, about 80 percent of the content generated by left-leaning websites will be spent explaining why Republican positions on x, y and z are really expressions of their fear and loathing of non-white Americans, and how modern conservatives descend from John C. Calhoun, Jefferson Davis, the 1948 presidential campaign of Strom Thurmond and the Ku Klux Klan in its entirety in one straight and unbroken line. MSNBC frets over the threat of the “dog whistle,” by which one uses a commonplace phrase to send a sinister message to one’s fellow bigots. Only their network’s anchors are apparently able to hear them.

The row between Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates and Sgt. James Crowley began when Gates assigned thoughts to Crowley he hadn’t actually been thinking. And in similar fashion, it was only a matter of time after Michael Brown was shot by former Ferguson police officer Darrell Wilson that the literati took it upon themselves to determine what Wilson was thinking and why.

Like The Shadow, the liberals peered into Wilson’s brain and found there a mare’s nest of racist invective, based on his testimony that the 290-pound Brown displayed anger that verged on demonic and displayed an indifference to danger and pain.