The story of Jazmine Barnes’ tragic murder is an example of how far many are willing to go to promote a particular narrative — even in the absence of supporting evidence. In certain situations, a tragedy can ignite a heated political debate over a variety of issues.
When a person is murdered by an illegal immigrant, Americans on the left and the right argue over border security. If a mass shooting occurs, we fight over the efficacy of additional gun legislation. But Barnes’ murder represents a different type of debate, one that is not designed to solve a problem but to demonize a particular group of people.
Soon after the news broke about Barnes’ brutal murder, several prominent left-leaning individuals rushed to social media and the airwaves to use the story to promote the idea that her shooting was racially motivated. The evidence? The shooter was allegedly white.
But there was one critical problem: The suspect was actually a black man.
Needless to say, this revelation destroyed the narrative pushed by activists like Shaun King, who never fails to let a tragedy such as this go to waste. But it also raises an important question: Why are so many people so quick to jump to the conclusion that race is involved in the story?
Suspect In Jazmine Barnes’ Murder Arrested
The New York Times recently reported that Houston law enforcement had arrested and charged Eric Black Jr. with capital murder in connection to the shooting. According to The Times, Black admitted to participating in the shooting that claimed the life of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes.
When the news broke about the murder, many immediately began claiming that it was racially motivated. Activist and professional race-baiter Shaun King tweeted:
URGENT. ALL HANDS ON DECK.
A 40 y/o white man w/ a beard in a red pickup truck pulled up on 7 y/o Jazmine Barnes and her family near a Houston @Walmart and shot and killed her and injured others.
I am joining the search for her killer and have a $25,000 reward.
Need him NOW. pic.twitter.com/ugfA2nJ1k8
— Shaun King (@shaunking) January 1, 2019
But the reality was much different from the narrative that was being pushed. The Times wrote:
“Contrary to initial reports that the suspect was white, Mr. Black is black. It was a revelation that swiftly changed the narrative of a case that had drawn the attention of national civil rights activists amid speculation that the shooting was racially motivated.”
Of course, this did not prevent King from continuing to use the murder of a 7-year-old girl to promote his preferred political narrative. “We live in a time where somebody could do something like this based purely on hate or race,” he said. “And that it turned out to not be the case I don’t think changes the devastating conclusion that people had thought something like that was possible.”
Using Death To Push Victimhood
Using these types of situations to push an all-too-familiar narrative about racism in the United States is part and parcel of how the left keeps Americans divided. Let’s say the shooter had actually been a white man. There was absolutely no evidence that he was motivated by racism, and yet, people like Shaun King still couldn’t wait to cry racism.
This tendency to insert racism into incidents such as these only serves to make blacks fearful of whites and whites resentful of blacks. Obviously, the majority of people who do this are not necessarily trying to keep people divided; they probably believe the lies they have been told. But at a certain point, one has wonder if some of the more prominent progressives know what they are doing. By constantly fomenting distrust and anger between the races, they solidify their influence and power.
These people position themselves as individuals who care about the plight of blacks and other minorities. What better way is there to accomplish this than by casting whites as the enemy? What is even more saddening is the fact that this story will likely fall out of the spotlight because it has lost its usefulness to those on the far left who just want to use these stories to push an agenda.
There are most certainly people on the left who do not appreciate how these stories are being used, just as there are people on the right who resent the fringe elements on our side. This behavior will not stop unless these individuals repudiate those on the left who are only interested in sowing division. But for now, I suppose we are still relegated to demonizing those with whom we disagree.