Shaun King Is Terrible for America

Ditto Social Justice Narratives Endorsed by the Mainstream Media that Reflexively Censor Key Statistical Context

David Shuey
27 min readJan 25, 2019

Article available to be reprinted or shared. Key facts within this article not widely shown in media reports:

  • Hate crime violence comprises far less than 1% of all physical assaults
  • The U.S. averages as few as eight hate crime murders out of 19,000 homicides annually, according to U.S. government data
  • White Americans are underrepresented as hate crime offenders
  • 400 black children in the U.S. are killed by guns annually, a rate 10 times higher than other races

“Social concern and activism must not cease, but proceed minus the religious aspect they have taken on. One can be fervently dedicated to improving the lot of black Americans without a purse-lipped, prosecutorial culture dedicated more to virtue signaling than to changing other people’s lives.”

— From John McWhorter article “The Virtue Signalers Won’t Change the World,” The Atlantic, December 23, 2018

#MAGAkids was a leading Twitter story of MLK weekend, appearing on the their moments front page for consecutive days, Saturday and Sunday.

Anyone on social media the past few years knows racism narratives dominate for attention, whether they’re originating at a Philadelphia Starbucks or the streets of Ferguson.

Inarguably the top social media story of the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend involved white privilege on full display at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC when a MAGA hat-wearing Christian teen reportedly intimidated a Native American Marine veteran. After mainstream media amplified social media outrage into yet another story of entitled racism, the narrative turned on its head and The New York Times reported a “fuller picture” had emerged, while omitting the fact it was the indigenous elder who waded into the crowd of teens for a confrontation and not the other way around. It turns out the white kid, who was widely doxxed by numerous people on the left, was guilty of being the wrong identity rather than a “shit-eating monster.”

This was story of perceived power, racial optics, and people making impulsive judgments not unlike taking a Rorschach test. It was confirmation bias at its worst.

Simply put, millions of people got the story wrong.

NY TIMES CORRECTIONS GALORE: The original headline for the New York Times story is found on their Twitter post: “Boys in ‘Make America Great Again’ Hats Mob Native Elder at Indigenous Peoples March.” The updated Times story now reads “Surrounding Native Elder” with a contextual header leading readers to a “fuller picture” story. Caitlin Flanagan wrote for The Atlantic on January 23 one of the more insightful and incinerating pieces of who was to blame for this controversy (mostly the “elite media” and their rush to judgment). She stated, “By Tuesday, The New York Times was busy absorbing the fact that Phillips was not, apparently, a Vietnam veteran, as it had originally reported, and it issued a correction saying that it had contacted the Pentagon for his military record, suggesting that it no longer trusts him as a source of reliable information.”

So many angles were incorrect that an early draft of this piece referred to the Native American man at the center of this national story, Nathan Phillips, as a “Vietnam Veteran.” That’s because CNN and many outlets erroneously reported him as such without question, and Phillips has often played up his service during “Vietnam Veteran times” in discussing past conflicts with youth to media — in 2015 he said college kids dressed in Native garb yelled slurs and threw a beer can at him. The media didn’t vet for accuracy when reporting Phillips saying the Trump-loving teens who attended an anti-abortion rally “were in the process of attacking these four black individuals” and he was forced to stand between “beast and prey.” Phillips also said the students were yelling the nativist — if not ironic — “Build that wall” chant, despite not a single shred of video footage emerging. Finally, three days after the New York Times reported on teens “mobbing” Phillips, they issued widespread corrections on his narrative and service record. David French at the National Review pointed out that Phillips indulged in peddling “falsehoods, inconsistencies, and nonsense” with the media swallowing it whole hog. Liberal voices at GQ continue to double down and argue it’s “powerful” white teens who are prone to “harass a man like Nathan Phillips” and be believed.

But is that true? Does the media really want to side with the “white” story, or is their fear of being on the politically incorrect side of a racialized line cause them to sensationalize first and ask questions later?

Tomorrow there will be another “America is racist (period)” anecdotal story, but the argument for quantitative prevalence can only come from the available data. I’m here to tell you: It does exist. It’s just not reported. Why? Likely because it would destroy the dominant narrative.

Shaun King.

While the #MAGAkids controversy continues to be bickered on social media, another big story continues to float along this month like rotten driftwood. At the center is a modern civil rights leader and a “white supremacy” fiction that’s dividing the United States, with the media playing the role of enabler. This occurred thanks to a white-on-black racism narrative shared from coast-to-coast and pushed by Black Lives Matter civil rights activist Shaun King. It concerns a wholly innocent black girl who was violently murdered, and the only reason people know her name is because of the politics of identity. And, one could argue, a fear birthed from America’s legacy of racism.

For many, the 2019 news cycle began with the tragic story of seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes’ drive-by shooting death in Texas. CNN, The Guardian, and The New York Times wrote multiple stories to shine a light in the Houston area playing up the possibility that this was a racially motivated murder because surviving family members and witnesses claimed it was a white man who randomly killed the black girl. Many stories highlighted the large $100,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of Barnes’ killer cobbled together by King and lawyer S. Lee Merritt, who together just six months earlier pushed a false story about a Texas trooper sexually assaulting a black woman to national prominence.

Jazmine Barnes and the two people arrested for her murder.

The story of a beautiful black girl killed by a middle-aged white man quickly took off. NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal offered to pay for Barnes’ funeral services. A star wide receiver for the NFL’s Houston Texans called it a “hate crime” on CNN and pledged to donate his football playoff check to the Barnes family. Tear-filled rallies were held, where a pastor stated, “This is a disgrace to our nation and we want the hate to stop. We want love to rise up.”

The emotional saga ended Saturday, January 5, with the arrest of a black man and the detainment of another black male. Both are now charged with capital murder.

That wasn’t what people expected. Though, statistically speaking it should have been because white gunman almost never kill black children in random shootings. Tragically, a black child in the U.S. is fatally shot on average at least once a day, 400 per year, occurring 10 times more often than their white or Asian counterparts. Left unsaid in media is the fact those are almost entirely black-on-black killings. And no one offers $100,000 to find their killers.


Even more controversial, but entirely relevant: The FBI Uniform Crime Report shows that twice as many blacks kill whites annually than vice versa. This has been true every year since 1980, according to the U.S. Department of Justice data. Empirical research indicates very few of these killings derive from racial animosity, yet around 2000 “stranger” murders occurred in 2008 with 26.7 percent being interracial. Factually, if anyone has the right to say they’re more likely to be killed by another race, it’s white people.

IMAGE SOURCE: Tuskegee University, Lynching, Whites & Negroes, 1882 -1968) (PDF)

However, the black community (or their so-called leaders) regularly trot out myths of harm coming from “blue eyed devils” and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates is praised by genuflecting liberal whites for repeating how “violence on the black body” comes from white “oppressors.” Yet, statistically, that’s just not the case in the past 80 years. Lynchings are a stain on American history and was undoubtedly racial terrorism at the hands of white supremacy. Beyond vicious cases like Emmett Till’s murder in 1955 — which seeps deep into the American consciousness through contemporary media and history books — the likelihood of anyone alive today having a parent or grandparent who witnessed such racist brutality is slim. While there have been nearly 5000 lynchings from 1882 to 1968, with one-quarter of the victims being white and three-quarters were black, it’s worth noting there were 71 killings over a 32-year period from 1936 until the year Martin Luther King was assassinated — about 1.5 percent of the total. This is according to widely respected data kept by the Tuskegee University. That’s less than two lynchings per year at the tail end of Jim Crow compared to 400 black children killed annually in post-Obama America.

SOURCE: CDC Data shown on liberal and conservative websites.

Modern myths continue to be perpetuated by people who may share ideological blinders with Shaun King. Everyone from a working group for the United Nations Human Rights Council to the director of the Equal Justice Initiative, which recently opened up a widely written about lynching exhibit in Montgomery, have compared police killings to lynchings. NFL protester Colin Kaepernick repeated this sinister parallel, too, stating, “Racialized oppression and dehumanization is woven into the very fabric of our nation — the effects of which can be seen in the lawful lynching of black and brown people by the police.” They say this despite the fact 75 percent of individuals killed by police aren’t black (half are non-Hispanic white), and killings of blacks have dropped 70 percent since the early 1970s while remaining the same rate for all other racial groups. Basically, per capita killings of black Americans by police were 3–4 times higher just 40 years ago.

These facts will never be mentioned by social justice advocates, and they’re rarely “woven” into news stories about police violence. I’ve found from personal experience almost everyone overestimates the share of black victims, even hearing from people that they believe 90 percent of police-involved shootings are of black people. The argument is often made that our militarized police makes outcomes for blacks worse than ever, yet a sociology book from 1982 clearly shows 148 Chicagoans, mostly black, shot by cops in 1975. Compare that to the fact no more than 25 Chicago citizens have been shot by police annually since 2015, with a killing rate that matches the national average (roughly 1 in 300,000 citizens). Thus, the onslaught of tropes and arguments of white supremacy and police as an occupying force in poor communities do not hold up to statistical scrutiny. Or even basic logic.

Additionally, today there are at least 400 violent crime arrests for every one physically violent hate crime, as aggravated assaults make up 11.7 percent of the 8,437 FBI-reported hate crime offenses in 2017 (7,175 hate crime incidents). When factoring in that there were 1,247,321 violent crimes in 2017, 65 percent were aggravated assaults, the ratio becomes as high as 800:1. The 2003–2015 U.S. Justice Department Hate Crime Victimization numbers state there are eight hate crime murders per year. That ratio compared to all other murders is 2000:1.

Worth noting, four out of five police agencies report hate crime data and collecting accurate information is notoriously spotty. Even so, the likelihood of any act of violence deriving from ideologically hateful motivations is a fraction of 1 percent.

If one is prone to skepticism of this data, the media isn’t as outlets like the BBC splash headlines such as, “FBI: Spike in US hate crimes for third year in a row.” This knowledge and stirrings of Trump-era hate crimes unsettles citizens and emboldens the Shaun Kings of the world. Indeed, FBI hate crime statistics are widely touted, sometimes inaccurately, by the leading news agencies every November. For example, The New York Times incorrectly reported just last year, “Black people accounted for nearly half of hate crime victims last year [emphasis added], according to the F.B.I. report. Of those targeted based on religion, 58 percent were Jewish.” That’s shoddy editing. That first part is patently untrue: Blacks are less than one-third of total victims. There are several categories of bias victimization and blacks are only half of the victims when broken down by race, ethnicity or ancestry — a category representing almost 60 percent of all victims. The second part The New York Times got correct. In fact, Jews are just 2 percent of the population and are victimized 2.5 times more often than blacks per capita.

The New York Times last October acknowledged that zero of New York City’s anti-Semitic acts the past 22 months have been committed due to far right-wing ideology, despite having the 1.1 million Jews living there. The article links to a James Baldwin’s 1967 essay that appeared in The New York Times in 1967 titled “Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They’re Anti-White,” but otherwise dances around who the perpetrators might be.

2016 Hate Crime data on offenders show that blacks are clearly overrepresented, as they are at least 26 percent of “known” offenders and 13 percent of the population. Of the known ethnicity category, Hispanic/Latinos make up 22 percent of the total, despite being 17 percent of the population. Thus, it’s clear that non-Hispanic whites are not overrepresented as offenders. If they were, is there much doubt that would be reported? SOURCE:

This leads us to the one other hate crime statistic that’s almost entirely unreported: Hate crime offenders. That might be because blacks were at least 26.1 percent of offenders in 2016 and 21.6 percent in 2017. There’s also an “unknown” race percentage that can push those numbers up a few points. Blacks are 13 percent of the population. Even the book “Race and Racism in the United States: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic” writes that blacks are “surprisingly” overrepresented in committing hate crimes, mirroring their percentage of overall arrests. The media doesn’t call attention to it. One can only speculate as to why.

Indeed, a cursory search for “hate crime offenders 2017” brings up no news stories except for a single November 2017 Washington Post article that speciously states the following based on 2016 data: “The FBI report, which collects information on the offenders in the hate crimes tallied in the previous year, found that the largest share — 46 percent — were white. [emphasis added] About a quarter of the people who carried out hate crimes were black.” Note their editorial decision to add “largest share” for whites, as if to hype how whites commit twice as many hate crimes as blacks. The Washington Post lacks the same consistency when reporting similar percentages when it comes to victims of police killings. There, they alert readers to the implied racism in that gap: “Black males accounted for 22 percent of all people shot and killed in 2017, yet they are 6 percent of the total population. White males accounted for 44 percent of all fatal police shootings.” Criminal context is omitted, such as black males being responsible for more than half of all murder and robbery arrests. Since 2015 when they started this database, they reported in the same manner, winning the Pulitzer Prize for journalism in 2016. The data is useful. Their willfully misleading narrative and inconsistency in reporting statistics around crime and race is not.

Clearly, the evidence that could upend these near-weekly parables of white supremacy and Trump’s America flexing its muscle against minorities is out there and searchable.

And as if it needs reminding, as stated before there is the broadest context in these social realities spring from that legacy — the blood-drenched history — of slavery and Jim Crow. Americans experience a uniquely nasty, persistent socioeconomic hangover compared to Europeans, or even Canadians. The continued realities of segregation (50 years removed from the supposed legal liberation from the Fair Housing Act), a dearth of job opportunities, and lack of infrastructure investment make criminal elements spring into public and increasingly vulnerable environments, killing little boys and girls far too often. (Of note, some of the previous hyperlinks are potential paths forward to get past this national impasse of continued urban violence and human suffering.)

Outlets like NPR might call articles like this “concern trolling.” Unfortunately, few make the statistical based argument that context and patience is necessary for an informed public in responding to tragedies such as Jazmine Barnes.

Predictably eschewing these facts, for a whole week hundreds of viral Tweets and news articles played up the potential “hate crime” angles of Jazmine Barnes’ story without a single shred of evidence that racism was a motive in the shooting. Yes, several eyewitnesses said a white guy fled the scene and they thought he was the shooter. But no one said he was wearing a MAGA Trump hat, had a Dixie flag on his red truck, or yelled racial slurs. On Sunday, January 6, when it was reported the real killer was black and half the age of the reported suspect, The New York Times rushed to find the experts and point out how unreliable eyewitness testimony is. Apparently, that need for caution didn’t apply in the journalism output the week before.

The reactions and controversies before and after the arrests in Texas strike directly at the ideological right-left divide in society in how we view shocking stories of violence and racial justice. Worse, it exposes how the media continues to play up racism when it’s white perpetrators, and sideline cases or make excuses when other identities may be involved, like Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill has done repeatedly on CNN before being fired late last year under charges of anti-Semitism. When it was seen as a “hate crime,” Black Twitter, left-leaning social media, social justice voices, and mainstream stories exploded in coverage.

A man who is innocent of killing Jazmine Barnes, but Shaun King accused of shooting her with no evidence. His family has received “rape, torture and murder” threats and is asking the social media mob to to back off.

When that narrative imploded, it was mostly right-wing media daring to criticize King’s many mistakes in the days after capturing the black perpetrators, which included him recklessly Tweeting a photo of an innocent white man and calling upon his 1.1 million followers to form a social media mob: “We’ve had 20 people call or email us and say he is a racist, violent asshole and always has been. Just tell me everything you know.” This led directly to “rape, torture and murder” threats against the white man and his family, as reported by one ABC local affiliate. Ironically, the May 2018 outright fraudulent claims of a Texas state trooper being a sexual predator that King and Merritt sensationalized played out similarly: Another white Texas state trooper with the same name as the accused received thousands of death threats and blamed King for disrupting his life.

At least Merritt apologized last May, even while keeping up his Tweets. King deleted his tweets after his misguided efforts directly led to more than 150,000 Google search results of his baseless racially charged sexual assault accusation. King has a record of getting things wrong and deleting his Tweet history and not apologizing.

Amid the furious howls of criticism from social media critics and conservative media, Shaun King Tweeted defensively to his critics on January 8:

“I’ll say it a thousand times. I don’t give a fuck who you are. If you shoot a little girl in the face and kill her, I’m coming for you. I don’t care if you are a white supremacist or the local neighborhood thug. On God. Every time.”

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales at the time of publishing this article still has erroneous Tweets up on his page he posted January 5 (pictured above). This is two days after being informed by Shaun King the suspects are not white, but black. BuzzFeed even quoted Gonzales as saying the suspect they arrested and solicited a confession on Saturday, January 6, was law enforcement’s focus: “He became a target in our investigation after a tip to Shaun King. “ The fact the mainstream press has neglected to ask King or Gonzales why they continued publicizing the search for a white suspect indicates an unwillingness to critique what many say Shaun King does: Play the race card.

What also upset people was how outlets like The Daily Beast to CNN had the audacity to praise King for his tip line and finding the shooter (CNN: “A tip from activist Shaun King led police to a suspect in the killing of Jazmine Barnes”). None of them dug deeper to mention that King continued to push to find a white suspect after being told by a “compelling” witness on Thursday, January 3, that the suspect was black. Mainstream media also ignored the fact that the high-profile county sheriff involved in the case continued retweeting the criminal sketch of a white man on his account as late as January 5, two days after being informed by King about the black suspects.

Indeed, a USA Today story on January 7 also praises the sheriff and King, but again did not ask the obvious question as to why they both continued to ask the public to be on the lookout for a white man after being correctly told about the black suspects at least 48 hours before the arrest. Only the conservative Daily Caller posed that key question. And it’s mostly conservative outlets like Daily Wire who are writing about King and his brazen callouts of innocent people whose lives are being threatened.

One could only imagine what King or The Young Turks — who also played up the “hate crime” angle for days before deleting their videos — would say if Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh did the same, or how the major media would respond. (Spoiler: They’d be outraged.)

When Trump was critiqued about being wrong about the “Central Park Five,” he arrogantly doubled down and didn’t apologize. Neither does Shaun King.

In fact, King and many other social justice advocates talk at length about wrongful convictions best exemplified in the “Central Park Five” case, turning it into a two-decade mantra about criminal justice racism, false accusations, and a Trump attack line. In this case, there is no consistency, simply hypocrisy.

Only this past MLK holiday weekend has left-leaning black media and Black Twitter began calling out the person most responsible for fueling this story, Shaun King. However, they’re mostly mad because he threatened a lawsuit via Twitter against a black queer woman and others who have piled onto a parallel controversy. They claim King is a huckster profiting from all the racial injustice fundraising, which has been a lingering issue for him since 2015. The Washington Post on January 18 also wrote a story on King’s threats to sue, while tangentially mentioning that “King has issued no retraction or apology on Twitter” to the white man he publicly assailed as a racist murder suspect without evidence. But the Post’s focus is primarily about the intersectional complications of his bullying causing a rift in the black community. The Post wrote, “King’s aggressive response has splintered the activist community, with some backing his right to defend his reputation and others questioning why he would go after other African American men and women who have advocated for similar causes.”

Conservatives (and worse) love to tease Shaun King with his moniker “Talcum X,” due to reports he is white. In fairness, King fully denies it with a rational explanation that his mother had an affair. He still grew up with white parents.

One could argue both extremes miss the bigger picture. It’s not the the conspiratorial racist right (“Talcum X”) or conspiratorial paranoid left (“He’s a fed”) that speaks to the glaring problem of what Shaun King represents. Instead, it’s his incessant and obsessive pushing of false narratives with the backing of the mainstream media that’s dangerous. It’s his very brand, which he will threaten litigation to protect, that exaggerates physical danger from police and racism.

The media helps King by self-censoring the most important facts that would completely neutralize one of the primary examples of systemic racism: Overexposure to police which lead to more killings. First, the percentage of blacks killed by police doesn’t even surpass their percentage of arrests, which contrary to popular belief are largely legitimate. According to data from the 2005 and 2008 Police-Public Contact Survey analyzed by statistician Philippe Lemoine, a higher percentage of whites (20.7 percent) than blacks (17.5 percent) have at least one contact with police in a given year, though it’s true 1.5 percent of blacks and 1.2 percent of whites (and just .8 percent for Hispanics) have three or more police contacts annually. A 2016 study in the peer-reviewed quarterly journal Criminal Justice Review wrote in reference to recent high profile police killings and interactions, “Results indicate that race does have an indirect effect on police contact, but it is White individuals who are more likely to be questioned and arrested.” Also, more than 90 percent of people killed by police of all races are armed, according to Washington Post fatal force data. While blacks are around 36 percent of the unarmed people killed, they’re also 43 percent of the people who kill cops. I’d argue this vastly underused Washington Post statistic provides essential context, but we don’t see it because it undercuts the dominant Black Lives Matter narrative of law enforcement systemically killing innocent people of color.

Also destroying the #BLM narrative is the fact that twice as many black people desire additional policing compared to white people. According to a 2015 Pew poll, 9 in 10 African Americans want the same number or more police than current levels. Therefore, King’s journalism is completely out-of-step with the black community with click-bait headlines like, “KING: America needs fewer cops, fewer laws and drastically fewer arrests and convictions.” It’s simply a fact that police killings represent just 4 percent of black homicides as compared to 12 percent of white and Hispanic homicides — a fact maddeningly omitted by Cornell University and the University of Washington researchers, and published in the American Journal of Public Health, who incredulously say police involved killings are significantly impacting health outcomes for minorities. Perhaps deep down blacks in America know they’re the ones most vulnerable to crime, and understand they have few alternatives to turn to for help.

Basic reporting could uncover those facts and enlighten readers, but adding criminal context remains practically unprintable. By not publishing these facts, King and the mainstream press work hand-in-hand in furthering the distrust gap between police and the disadvantaged communities they serve. It would also likely alleviate anxiety among black Americans if they knew their odds of being shot and killed per arrest was about the same as white Americans, about 1 in 10,000. That statistic is practically unheard of in thousands of stories concerning black citizens being killed by white police.

Most disturbingly, King regularly indulges intellectual dishonesty and often presents data in a hypocritical fashion. See this NY Daily News headline in May 2016, a newspaper where he was once given a regular platform (though, apparently no editor to critique his misleading data): “KING: White men killed more American police than any other group this year, but conservatives won’t address the facts.” First off, “more” white men are killed by police every year than “any other group” — twice as many as blacks — but that’s not how he measures those outcomes. Second, he maliciously and unnecessarily insinuates the shooters “may have very well been [Trump] supporters.” Third, King focuses on a tiny window of a few months to make an argument. Thus, his misleading racial story soon became irrelevant by the time two radicalized black individuals assassinated five police in Dallas and three in Baton Rouge after the killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling became national stories in July. (Reporters didn’t indicate, to my knowledge, that they were Obama supporters.) By year’s end, gunfire killings against police went up from 41 in 2015 to 64 in 2016, a significant increase of 56%, with non-whites as disproportionate offenders.

1 in 7 Americans are black, but they represent 3 of 7 cop killers. Again, these are the facts according to a one-off article in The Washington Post based on FBI data of law enforcement officers feloniously killed (Hispanics grouped with “whites”) that activists like King and media choose to ignore:

There were 511 officers killed in felonious incidents and 540 offenders from 2004 to 2013, according to FBI reports. Among the total offenders, 52 percent were white, and 43 percent were black. … From 1980 to 2013, there were 2,269 officers killed in felonious incidents, and 2,896 offenders. The racial breakdown of offenders over the 33-year period was on par with the 10-year period: 52 percent were white, and 41 percent were black.

I’ve yet to see that article referenced in hundreds of articles I’ve read concerning African Americans killed by police. Let alone, other articles written in The Washington Post on police shootings. A quick search pops up a single article that uses the data, by the extreme left website Alternet, with this face-palm headline: “FBI: More White Offenders Kill Police Officers than Black Offenders.” Alternet even has the gall to say in the same article that police officers all too often “use excessive force … disproportionately against black Americans.” It seems only stats-minded fans in sports forums have figured out how we’ve been duped.

Now, read some of Shaun King’s social media output and ask how he’s not dishonestly baiting his audience based on race. Far too often to his thousands of readers and one million Twitter followers he serves up isolated incidents with misleading (and non-transparent) manipulation of data. He dares to say “white men” are the “deadliest threat to American police.” His fans far too readily eat it up.

October 3, 2018 Tweet where King brings up an unproven, yet widely held, sentiment that police bring dangerous white men under custody alive while killing black and brown men:

“A white man in Florence, South Carolina just shot 5 police officers. One just died. Police then peacefully negotiated his surrender. 2 points:
1. White men continue to be the deadliest threat to American police.
2. Police almost always skillfully bring them in alive.”

October 4, 2018 Tweet where King starts caring about cops being killed when they’re black and brown:

“This is Officer Terrence Carraway — a 30 year veteran of the Florence, South Carolina Police Department, who was shot and killed yesterday. In fact, nearly 50% of cops who are killed in the United States are Black & Latino. And the majority of cops are killed by white men.”

Yes, a “majority” are white men, but they are not “overrepresented.” Because per capita representation is how King looks at all other outcomes for blacks to highlight racism, his hypocrisy and double-standards are on full display whenever he tries to paint whites as the dangerous, terrorists, evil, and media-protected killers, which he does practically on a weekly basis.

He can come up with single incident examples every day, and it doesn’t matter. White people aren’t the problem.

A TALE OF TWO DATA SETS TO FIT A NARRATIVE: Non-partisan and reliable New America Foundation data was widely used by media three years ago to play up far right threats when they could spotlight them as the #1 terrorism killers with just more than 50 percent of the total. The implicit assumption is that “far right wing” killings are “white,” which fit a narrative of a bigoted America. Today, they’re just less than 50 percent of total terrorism killings, the #2 leader after Jihadist/Islamic threats, and now New America data is largely forgotten. Time used New America as a source June 24, 2015: “Study Says White Extremists Have Killed More Americans in the U.S. Than Jihadists Since 9/11.” New York Times mirroring the New America data June 24, 2015: “Homegrown Extremists Tied to Deadlier Toll Than Jihadists in U.S. Since 9/11.” Newsweek also boldly stated this February 14, 2016, referencing New America: “RIGHT-WING EXTREMISTS ARE A BIGGER THREAT TO AMERICA THAN ISIS.” What you didn’t see after the ISIS-inspired Orlando nightclub shooting was The New York Times write a follow-up story with the updated New America sourcing saying, “Study Says Jihadists Have Killed More Americans in the U.S. Than Homegrown Extremists Since 9/11.” There were no such stories. Now in the Trump era, the media omits New America data and largely follows flawed and counterproductive Anti-Defamation League data to play up the threat of right wing (re: “white”) terrorism threats now that this past source of information highlights inconvenient narratives. This is despite the fact New America’s website of Deadly Attacks by Ideology and Year is regularly updated with strict methodological standards. Nothing has changed but the totals, yet multiple searches for New America related to terrorism or extremism come up empty. Currently, there’s a new statistic in town with quadruple the “far right wing” death totals. Thus, esteemed outlets like The Atlantic follows The New York Times in falling for this dubious ADL data that pushes far right totals to nearly 400 deaths and a share above 70 percent. Bizarrely, only the 2017 news release about the report mentioned those high numbers, but the report itself does not. The trail to their source data comes up cold. Forgotten also in these stories is the 300 mostly homegrown jihadist cases documented since 9/11 that could have killed hundreds, if not thousands. Never mentioned is the fact Muslims are only 1% of the population while non-Hispanic whites are 61% of the population. MORE ON THE TOPIC OF TERRORISM THREATS I WROTE ABOUT POST-CHARLOTTESVILLE HERE.

Simply stated, but almost never reported with per capita accuracy: Non-Hispanic white people in the United States are not overrepresented as perpetrators of mass shootings, terrorism, hate crime, sexual assault, or murder. In fact, mass shootings — which represent far less than 1 percent of gun deaths annually — and alcohol-related felonies are among the only crimes whites commit proportionally to their population. Frankly, suicides are the only violence where whites are overrepresented, and it’s not a crime. Whites commit just more than one-quarter of murders despite being just less than two-thirds of Americans, a data point easily deduced by looking at FBI data (which combines Hispanic crimes under the “white” category). Or check out the Violence Policy Center report in 2010 that shows white people are murdered at half the rate as Hispanics and eight times less than blacks. Murder is largely intraracial.

So why is the media and pockets of the left — and the Democratic party — so insistent on making white men out to be public enemy #1? Part of this can be summed up in three words, “President Donald Trump,” but it started before his election. It began before a white nationalist killed 11 Jewish people in a Pittsburgh synagogue less than two weeks before the 2018 election, but this tragic event spotlights how media carries the water for certain ideologies.

Post-Pittsburgh, even the center-left Jewish magazine Tablet argued the media unquestioningly promoted flawed and suspect Anti-Defamation League (ADL) data that paints a picture of Trump-inspired hate by showing gigantic 57 percent increases in anti-Semitism in 2017. The ADL data doesn’t actually show who’s perpetrating these “hate” events, and even acts not inspired by anti-Semitism are included, like the twin cases of the Israeli-American teen hacker and the black far-left writer for The Intercept who between them committed a majority of the Jewish Community Center bomb hoaxes. With inconvenient culprits, that connection to a multi-week storyline that horrified the nation was vastly unreported. They simply became separate one-off incidents following the much ballyhooed post-inauguration anti-Semitism panic, and the ADL and the media refused to point the finger at anyone other than Trump and his bigoted followers. Even though to anyone who reads the news regularly and can connect the dots it was obvious.

Additionally, the methodological tallying is questionable, which is clear when the ADL totals show a spike far beyond the FBI-reported increase. Interestingly, the data shows an actual decrease in physical assaults by nearly half, 37 to 19. The ADL director in a New York Times’ opinion piece titled “When Hate Goes Mainstream” made clear the near 60 percent increase of incidents includes “physical assaults” without transparently noting that they represent 1 percent of nearly 2000 incidents. That’s disingenuous. Basically, it’s unsubstantiated that far right wing hate is the predominant extremist threat — the smarter commentators show how anti-Jewish hate comes from all directions — yet that’s the story that the ADL pushes. The ADL even admits in the methodology section of their other recent studies of terror threats that they’re skewed to bolster “right wing” increases saying, “It is fair to say that nonideological murders committed by extremists other than white supremacists are probably underrepresented here.”

Obviously, legacy media has failed in vetting highly political conclusions from gold-standard acronyms like ACLU, SPLC and ADL — who coincidentally have prominent donation buttons on their websites and after the election of Trump are breaking fundraising records. The SPLC currently has an incredible $500 million endowment — many times higher than their initial goal. What are they going to do with that money but fight the specter of ongoing racism and hate? (Even though hate crimes only increased less than 5% in 2016, and are committed today at rates vastly lower than 10 years ago.) The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported this headline in November 2016: “ADL sees surge in donations following election of Trump.” The ACLU, for example, has made clear they want to operate more like the NRA — and that means being more partisan. And just like the NRA and other conservative groups do with Obama and Pelosi — or any “scary” liberal agenda item — it’s easy to separate money from people’s wallets with fear tactics and distortions.

Could lack of viewpoint diversity in media affect the news narratives we see? SOURCE: The Washington Post

The biggest crime of white folks in Trump’s America circa 2018, if you looked at social media or the news, was calling 911 on black folks. But it’s all anecdote and speculation based on irrelevant evidence, like surmising the fact whites get faster response times from cops has something to do with calling the police more on blacks, as Vox wrote about last May. I’ve yet to read a single story — from CNN to The New York Times — that presents hard evidence that white people disproportionately call police on blacks more often for bogus reasons than other demographics do. No evidence has been produced that there’s a quantifiable uptick the past two years. It’s all qualitative stories and assumptions. Just like the approximately 500 white people killed by police annually whose names we will never become a national story — unless you’re an Australian white woman — it’s quite possible hundreds if not thousands of “bad” 911 calls are made by blacks. It’s highly probable white people have also got kicked out of Starbucks for not purchasing anything. But those aren’t sexy stories. Social media doesn’t push them. Media doesn’t do their job and dig for them to give perspective.

Racism does occur. But how much it happens in relation to all the other horrible events, and who inflicts hate disproportionately, is unwritten.

A graphic I designed in my attempts to alert Chicago media and politicians to take a fresh look at the data. They didn’t. EXHAUSTIVE LIST OF SOURCE DATA AVAILABLE FOR JOURNALISTS AND RESEARCHERS:

The greatest suffering and injustice is indeed in the black communities. King may be the Writer-in-Residence at Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project, but he’ll never write about how peer-reviewed studies have shown whites, not blacks, are more likely to be arrested for assault or robbery. King likely won’t read Jill Leovy’s 2015 book “Ghettoside,” which shows how black victims of crime are less likely to receive justice by having their killers jailed, and he’ll ignore how 52 percent of murder offenders are black. A specific example where that injustice hits close to home: The clearance rate for murders in Chicago where I live is three times lower than the 59 percent national average, dipping below 17.5 percent in 2016 when around 800 people were shot and killed. It dropped even lower in 2017 and 2018, and in USA Today a Louisiana criminologist called the problem “national disaster.” More than 95 percent of victims and perpetrators are non-white in Chicago, and far too many of their families receive no justice. Nor peace.

As homicides jumped more than 20% nationally (from 2014 to 2016), an increase of 3000 deaths, and a near 60 per cent single-year increase in 2016 in Chicago, silence is not an option. The most influential media outlets like The New York Times cherry pick experts, and manages to say the resulting carnage may not be “necessarily bad” if police hassle less black and brown people. Predictably, the noise from King and activists is: White people and police are a threat. This is in utter denial of the available evidence.

By trying to draw attention to Barnes’ death only because he thought the killer was white, King and everyone who followed his lead missed a larger story: We have a gun and violence problem that is unquestionably many orders of magnitude higher than any white-on-black racialized violence problem. Or even a widespread racist police problem, as Harvard economist Roland Fryer and at least seven other studies have debunked in regard to racial disparities in lethal use of force. Yet the Twitter and hashtag crowd, bolstered by the media, blows up killings of blacks when the perceived perpetrator is white or a racist cop — even when we find out “hands up, don’t shoot” in Ferguson was a lie. Nothing on the Black Lives Matter website addresses gun violence, despite the fact it takes 85 percent of of black lives in the category of homicide — and police only take 4 percent. Misguided social justice breeds societal division— why else would Russia troll as Black Lives Matter activists to help elect Trump? Additionally, research has indicated even greater bloodshed in poor minority communities occurs, such as after widespread protests or when onerous ACLU mandates are placed on law enforcement and de-policing occurs. Or simply ask anyone in Baltimore, Chicago, or St. Louis the year after Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, or Michael Brown.

If we want to stop the hate, we need to marginalize not only the small subset of Americans perpetrating bigoted violence, but also the people calling out racism as if it’s their lifeblood and religion. We do this by tuning them out.

At the top of that list is Shaun King.

Like this story? Find errors? Hate it? Feel free to write a comment, or check out some of my other pieces, mostly focusing on media criticism, police, race & politics. My email is

And my first Medium piece that’s remarkably similar to this one. It’s where I dug into the data and found, “It’s more than 600 times likely these men in Indiana died from ‘gang violence’ than racist ‘hate crime’ triple homicide.” (And that ended up to be true.)



David Shuey

Writer. Researcher. Designer. Human seeking better outcomes for all. Empiricism, relevant facts, and logical arguments > simple narratives.