In January 2007, two young people in Knoxville, Tennessee, were carjacked and taken to a small house. For several days they were tortured and beaten, and raped. The young man, Christopher Newsome, then was taken to a spot by a nearby railroad track and executed with two shots, the first one to his back that severed his spine, and the second to the back of the head. His assailants then poured gasoline on his body and burned it.
The female, Channon Christian, was brutally assaulted and died a horrible death by suffocating slowly in a kitchen trash can, where she had been turned upside down. Her assailants sprayed cleaning fluids into her mouth while she was alive and kicked her in the mouth and vagina.
Newsome and Christian were white and their assailants were black, and many people argued that the story was not covered in the national news because of the racial angle. Black Columnist Leonard Pitts argued differently, claiming that the story was no big deal. (For the record, he did condemn the act and wrote that if the accused were guilty, that “I’d be happy to see them rot under the jailhouse.”)
He went on to claim that the alleged racial and sexual violence of the Duke Lacrosse Case was much worse and deserved the coverage it got. There was a difference, however. The Duke charges were a fabrication, something that the police and prosecution knew very early and the supposed facts of the story were so contrived that any mainstream journalist with half a brain should have realized the story was a fraud. (OK, I admit that it is quite difficult to find mainstream media journalists today that would actually possess that much brainpower.)
So, a story that turned out to be a huge fabrication deserved all of the asinine media coverage it received, while a torture-murder story was no big deal. Perhaps that says all we need to know about Leonard Pitts. Unfortunately, it does not.
And, no, this column is not about how Pitts joined in the national media rush to claim George Zimmerman was the Second Coming of the Ku Klux Klan. Pitts wrote that not to “rush to judgment” in the shooting of Trayvon Martin was “moral cowardice.”
But if one wishes to understand what perhaps is the definition of “moral cowardice,” then go no further than Pitts’ recent column condemning Edward Snowden because he isn’t anxious to be thrown into a U.S. prison. That’s right; according to Pitts, “Edward Snowden is No Hero.”
Much of the Left and certainly most of the mainstream Democrats who masquerade as journalists have taken the side of Barack Obama in the Snowden case. After all, only a vicious racist and Hater of All Things Progressive would dare to do anything that would make the sainted Barack Obama look like anything less than the Great Liberator of the World.
To his credit, Pitts is somewhat more ambivalent, but in the end it is clear that he is angry that Snowden dared to expose the “heroic” Obama administration. Pitts writes:
Many of us, after all, believe he struck a blow for freedom in leaking classified information revealing the breadth and depth of government spying on private citizens. But he seems not to have thought through the implications and likely outcomes of that act.
Now, I’m not sure why Pitts, given the Statism that tends to define his commentary, would be against State domestic spying. If the State (and especially a State run by Progressives) should have vast control over the economy and control the way people relate to one another as individuals, then should it not have the means to ferret out “disloyal” people who might be a “threat” to all of the “Progressive values” being championed by the Obama State? After all, Pitts himself has written that criticism of Obama is based in racism. (I will admit that some of the criticism of Obama is racist in nature, but most of it is not; it is political and anyone who takes the office of President of the United States is going to be on the end of a lot of criticism, some of it unfair, but all of it being part of what comes with the territory.)
And what are the “implications and likely outcomes” that Snowden overlooked? It seems that he should have been anxious to accept prison and torture. Even after admitting that Daniel Ellsberg’s contention that if Snowden were arrested, he would be thrown for years in solitary confinement and suffer all sorts of torture, Pitts had the gall to write the following:
…Civil disobedience is, almost by definition, an act of faith. Not faith in government, nor even faith in law, but faith in vindication. It is an act that says, I am right, so I refuse to obey this law and will take my medicine until you see that I am right.
Snowden is not willing to do that, not willing to stand, with head held high, on the courage of his convictions. There is something unseemly about that. It makes his action feel unfinished. And undermined.
He admits that “there’s also something unseemly about some guy sitting safely behind his desk smugly advising some other guy to put the rest of his life at risk for the sake of principle,” but does it anyway. The question is: Why?
I don’t claim to have a personal insight into the thinking of Leonard Pitts except to read what he writes, and it is clear that he holds that critics of Obama are racists, and Edward Snowden is making some serious criticism of the Obama administration. No, he has not called Snowden a racist, but since Snowden in the past supported Ron Paul, I suspect that sooner or later we are going to see commentators like Pitts make the “R” claim, especially since Obama’s henchman, Attorney General Eric Holder, is the point man in the accusation that Snowden is nothing more than a criminal who needs to be arrested and thrown into prison.
Benjamin Jealous, the president of the NAACP, recently wrote that any criticism of Holder is racist and demonstrates a hatred for civil rights and is an attack on “all Americans.” That Holder made his career as a hatchet man for the Clinton administration, including leading the government’s cover-up in the Waco and Kenneth Trentadue murders, is not even on the radar screen to people like Pitts and Jealous. Holder is black, a Democrat, and a race-baiter, which is all that is needed for those two men to confer Greatness upon him.
One should not be surprised that someone like Leonard Pitts has become a wealthy man with all of his race baiting. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have done the same, and even though Sharpton was indirectly responsible for a number of murders, he still has the respect of the media establishment.
In other words, I am saying that Leonard Pitts thoroughly believes in what would be the Statist doctrines of fascism, given what fascists historically have believed. Thus, I am a bit surprised that he would not be openly condemning Snowden’s exposure of the tyranny and paranoia of the Obama administration, but there is plenty of time for Pitts to change his mind.
There truly is something grotesque when a columnist who claims to support “civil rights” condemns a man for not offering himself up to thugs and criminals to be imprisoned and tortured after enduring a rigged trial in a kangaroo court, all arranged by a so-called champion of “civil rights.” However, I have no doubt that Leonard Pitts is up to the challenge.