Accuracy in Media

While comedian Chris Rock’s Academy Awards’ monologue gave credence to the disproven, yet still much ballyhooed, claim blacks disproportionately are victims of police killings, more accurate messages about victimhood and Hollywood hypocrisy were there for those willing to look and listen.

A Manhattan Institute for Policy Research report has largely been ignored by the media because its findings undermine the claim’s accuracy. The truly disproportionate victims of police killings, its research determined, are really whites and Hispanics. Manhattan senior fellow Heather MacDonald noted, “The evidence does not support the conclusion that American police are waging a racist war against blacks.”

Ironically, Hollywood’s elite-usually promoters of every left wing cause known to man (Note to left wingers: use of the word “man” here is not intended to be sexist but to mean “all mankind”)—found themselves in black activists’ crosshairs for failing to nominate a single actor of color for the industry’s most prestigious awards.

Perhaps such an oversight of black talent made Rock’s anti-cop, black victimhood myth tolerable to an audience used to acting on emotion rather than knowledge.

Save for Canadian-Pakistani film-maker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy‘s well-deserved Oscar for her documentary on honor killings, all minorities were under-represented. While Rock put political correctness aside in bringing three Asian kids onstage as part of a joke, Asians comprise a group historically ignored by the Academy as well. But that matters not to the likes of Black Lives Matter and Reverend Al Sharpton—to whom it is black lives alone that matter.

But such a charge against Hollywood’s elite about a lack of black diversity suggests something that, while historically true, is improving—largely under its own volition.

Rock opened his monologue stating the fact during the 88-year history of the Academy Awards, there has been a notable absence of black nominees in 71 of them. But a recent study of 414 television programs and films released between September 2014-August 2015 found “people of color directed just 13 percent” of them. While suggesting this confirms “the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag is painfully true,” the study ignores the fact 13 percent is representative of a black community making up 13.2 percent of the U.S. population. (These racial equality activists clamoring about the entertainment industry’s oversight apparently had no problem with Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime performance utilizing 100% black dancers to promote her anti-cop theme and pro-Black Panther homage.)

Of note too was what several Hollywood elites chose to wear to the Academy Awards: a bracelet emblazoned with “#Enough,” provided by The Brady Campaign. Its purpose was to honor gun violence victims, promoting an end to it-both of which are honorable messages. However, the gun violence promoted in so many Hollywood films—represented by some of 2016’s Oscar nominations (earning the industry billions of dollars)—makes such a venue’s expression of concern somewhat hypocritical.

Additionally, like the false flag of black victim police brutality raised by activists, The Brady Campaign waves a flag also based on a false assumption-i.e., gun control is needed due to a rise in gun violence. But, as reported by Richard Larsen, “Not only do we not have an ‘epidemic’ of gun violence, the gun violence rate is declining, and has been for the past 45 years according to FBI data. And this has been occurring during a period of American history when gun ownership has skyrocketed.”

A highpoint at the Oscars occurred with Lady Gaga’s sensational performance of the song “Til it happens to you.” It is a song focusing on the pain of sexual violence—one for which she played the piano and sang with tremendous emotion.

As Lady Gaga’s performance was ending, dozens of sexual violence victims were silhouetted in darkness behind her. As they advanced into the light, various messages tattooed on their arms read, “It happened to me,” “Survivor” and “Not your fault.” As the audience gave Lady Gaga—and her message—a standing ovation, the group grabbed hands in a show of unity of cause and of suffering.

Interestingly, there was a very subtle message conveyed by the group’s composition. Its victims were not just of one race or of one sex or of one age. Victims of sexual assault—like victims of police brutality—run the gambit. Where brutality occurs—whether of a sexual or law enforcement nature—all victims need to band together to fight it.

Had the victim group on stage with Lady Gaga been isolated by race or sex or age to suggest it alone was being targeted, it would have undermined her song’s message. Only by sexual crime victims, demonstrating unity to attack a terrible social ill, will that illness receive the needed focus to cure it. The same is true whenever instances of police brutality occur.

The problem of claiming exclusive victimization of a particular social ill is that it gives rise to other ills.

Both Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime show and Rock’s Academy Awards monologue claimed black victimization by police. While it is difficult to tie their messages to subsequent law enforcement deaths, it can be said they are nurturing a culture in which police officers are now targeted simply for wearing the uniform.

A very telling message of a serious social ill is the number of police officer firearm-related fatalities so far in 2016. It has increased sixfold over what it was last year.

We now have two events, nationally broadcasted and watched by millions of Americans, reinforcing an anti-police message and promoting racial tensions. Surprisingly, this happens at a time America’s first black president occupies the White House. Unsurprisingly, however, this president does nothing to criticize such messaging.  Apparently, President Barack Obama abandons that role to Lady Gaga, choosing instead to listen to the racially divisive tunes of his previous presidential campaign supporter, Beyonce.

Guest columns do not necessarily reflect the views of Accuracy in Media or its staff.

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