It’s one of the most famous moments in sports history, or 20th Century American history, period. Jackie Robinson, the first player to break the pro baseball color barrier, took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers on the road against the Cincinnati Reds. A hostile racist crowd poured abuse down onto him. But then, Robinson’s teammate Harold “Pee Wee” Reese shamed and quieted the crowd by walking over to Robinson and putting his arm around him in a gesture of support. It’s a moment immortalized in film, in children’s books, and even in bronze.
But as the Wall Street Journal revealed in a recent article, the whole episode never happened:
No newspapers reported the event at the time. In fact, the New York Post said Robinson had been “the toast of the town” in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Post reported the day after the game: “If anyone had any objection to Jackie’s presence on the field, he failed to make himself heard.” Writing in his weekly newspaper column, Robinson called his visit to Crosley Field “a nice experience.”
The story of the Cincinnati embrace surfaced decades later in an interview with one of Robinson’s teammates, pitcher Rex Barney. But Barney got one of the key details wrong. He said he was warming up to pitch in the first inning of the game when Reese shut down the hecklers. The fact is, Barney didn’t pitch that day until the seventh inning.
In interviews I conducted with Robinson’s wife, Rachel, for my book on his breakthrough season, she insisted that no such hug occurred in 1947.
This wasn’t just a harmless myth. For decades, ordinary people in Cincinnati were tarred as hateful racists in order to further a specific narrative about America. They weren’t the only victims of myths related to Robinson. Enos Slaughter of the St. Louis Cardinals has been villainized for decades for slashing Robinson with his spiked cleats during a play at first base. But Slaughter always insisted the injury was accidental, and sportswriters at the game from both St. Louis and New York City agreed, saying that nothing appeared deliberate about the incident. Similarly, in the 2013 film about Robinson, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Fritz Ostermueller is portrayed intentionally hitting Robinson in the head with a pitch before insulting him with a racist comment. In reality, the pitch hit Robinson on the wrist and there is no evidence of such an insult at all.
But all three myths will live on, because they are useful. They promote a certain story about America: That until very recently the country was overwhelmingly bigoted and hateful, and good for very little else. In fact, America’s entire 20th-century history, as it is taught in schools and portrayed on screen, is essentially “fake.” It is a sequence of myths atop myths, created to make Americans hate their ancestors and their history.
A full list of these myths could fill several books. For now, we will illustrate the point with some central examples.
The Tulsa Riot
As America steadily replaces pride in its achievements with a new white guilt national ideology, the nation has craved greater atrocities to further fuel a deep sense of shame. Lynchings and segregation were bad, but they lack the electric spark of a Kristallnacht.
For Americans desperate to hate their grandparents, then, the Tulsa Riot of 1921 has become the perfect symbol. Over the past few years, the riot has been promoted with a strange amount of glee. It was used to open HBO’s awful “Watchmen” adaptation, and both the press and President Biden made a major show of the riot’s 100th anniversary last year. Biden’s remarks on that anniversary repeat what is, essentially, the mainstream understanding of events:
[T]he mob terrorized Greenwood [the black neighborhood affected by the riot] with torches and guns shooting at will. A mob tied a Black man, by the waist, to the back of their truck, with his head banging along the pavement as they drove off. A murdered Black family draped over the fence of their home outside. An elderly couple knelt by their bed, praying to God with their heart and their soul, when they were shot in the back of their heads. Private planes dropping explosives, the first and only domestic air assault of its kind on an American city here in Tulsa.
10,000 people were left destitute and homeless, placed in interment camps. As I was told today, they were told, “Don’t you mention you were ever in a camp or we’ll come and get you.” That’s a survivor story. … The death toll records by local officials said there were 36 people. That’s all, 36 people. Based on studies records and accounts, the likely number is much more than the multiple of hundreds. Untold bodies dumped into mass graves.
But as Scott Greer wrote for Revolver last year, every part of Biden’s statement is a gross factual distortion. Even the most exhaustive investigation of the event could only confirm 39 deaths (13 of them white), with the supposed “hundreds” of other victims lacking bodies, causes of death, or even names. There is little evidence of any aerial bombing happening. The “internment camps” were temporary housing for those displaced by the massive fire (apparently they were supposed to just be left without shelter?). Lurid tales of elderly couples executed while praying have remained just that, lurid tales, a kind of racist pornography passed down through the years without any serious effort to verify them.
We don’t need to narrate to you the story of Emmett Till. You’ve heard it, your kids have heard it, everyone has heard it. Publications like the New York Times provide breaking Emmett Till news every few months. The constant drumbeat regarding the case has, ironically, fueled lynch mobs which have burst into nursing homes on the hunt for Carolyn Bryant, who accused Till of making sexual advances on her while she worked at a general store in Drew, Mississippi.
Emmett Till’s story isn’t a myth in the sense that it didn’t happen, or that Till deserved to die (he certainly did not). Rather, the myth of Emmett Till lies in how it is treated as a symbol of “typical” behavior in the Deep South shortly before desegregation. Till’s death, and the acquittal of his killers by an all-white jury, supposedly represent what was still normal behavior in the South even in the 1950s. But in fact, nothing about the case was typical, which was precisely why it generated so much attention. Mississippi’s governor, Hugh White, put enormous pressure on authorities to find the culprit. The largest law firm in Tallahatchie County, where the murder occurred, refused to represent Till’s killers. Mississippi’s white newspapers unanimously condemned the slaying and demanded justice:
The Greenwood Commonwealth, in a front-page editorial, stated, “The citizens of this area are determined that the guilty parties shall be punished to the full extent of the law.” The Vicksburg Post said, “The ghastly and wholly unprovoked murder . . . cannot be condoned, nor should there be anything less than swift and determined prosecution of those guilty of the heinous crime.” … The Clarksdale Press Register said, “Those who kidnapped and murdered Till have dealt the reputation of the South and Mississippi a savage blow. It is a blow from which we can recover only by accepting this violent and insane challenge to our laws and by prosecuting vigorously the individuals responsible for this crime.”
Even the label of “lynching” is a misnomer. Till’s death wasn’t ad hoc mob justice, carried out in public. It was just a normal murder, carried out in secret and denied afterwards. When Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam went on trial for the murder, they didn’t proudly defend their actions, but instead denied them. Only after being acquitted did they admit the truth to “Look” magazine, at which point whatever support remained for the pair evaporated completely. The Bryants and Milams were essentially “canceled,” not by Northeastern elites but by their own Mississippi peers. Neighbors who had supported them during the trial were disgusted, and the hatred was so intense that both families had to leave the state.
What Emmett Till has been for black activists, Matthew Shepard has become for the gay rights movement: the martyr whose violent death is supposedly emblematic of routine, homicidal violence that gays supposedly suffered routinely before the arrival of gay rights.
The traditional story is as simple as it gets: Matthew Shepard was a vivacious gay college student in conservative Wyoming, a budding activist with a lifetime of potential ahead of him, when he was brutally murdered for his sexuality by two men who later claimed in court that they killed Matthew in a state of “gay panic,” disturbed by his sexual advances.
Virtually overnight, gay activists made Shepard a national martyr. A play about his life and death, “The Laramie Project”, became one of the most-performed productions in America. Elton John even wrote a terrible song about him.
But it was all based on nothing.
Stephen Jimenez, himself a gay man, spent more than a decade reporting on the Shepard case, and in 2013 he published the definitive book on the case, “The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard”.
After some 13 years of digging, including interviews with more than 100 sources, including Shepard’s killers, Jimenez makes a radioactive suggestion: The grisly murder, 15 years ago this month, was no hate crime.
Shepard’s tragic and untimely demise may not have been fueled by his sexual orientation, but by drugs. For Shepard had likely agreed to trade methamphetamines for sex. And it killed him.
Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, now doing life for murder, were not homophobes, writes Jimenez. Shepard was lured from a bar, then driven to the outskirts of Laramie, Wyo., where he was robbed. McKinney savagely pistol-whipped Shepard with the barrel of a .357 Magnum. The men then hung him, barefoot, freezing and barely alive, on a fence, in a pose resembling a crucifixion. He died six days later.
But McKinney was no stranger. Strung out on meth for a week before the slaying, writes Jimenez, McKinney likely had been Shepard’s gay or bisexual lover.
But then the Southern Poverty Law Center, always a relentless enforcer of narrative orthodoxy, trashed Jimenez on its “Hatewatch” blog. Media Matters did its part as well. America still has a federal hate crime law named after Shepard. “The Laramie Project” continues to be one of the most-staged plays in America, ensuring that Americans from Fullerton, CA to Chestertown, MD continue to learn the Myth of Matt.
Central Park Five
As the media struggle to frame America’s tough-on-crime era as a mistake rather than an achievement, they have settled on the Central Park Five as their preferred case to indict America’s “racist” criminal justice system. For one, it offers a chance to not only attack all of America, but also President Trump:
President Trump said on Tuesday that he would not apologize for his harsh comments in 1989 about the Central Park Five, the five black and Latino men who as teenagers were wrongly convicted of the brutal rape of a jogger in New York City.
In 1989, Mr. Trump placed full-page advertisements in four New York City newspapers, including The New York Times, calling for the state to adopt the death penalty for killers. He made clear that he was voicing this opinion because of the rape and assault of Trisha Meili, a woman who had been jogging in Central Park.
The five teenagers were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to prison for gang-raping and nearly killing Ms. Meili.
They said the police had coerced them into confessing to a crime they did not commit. Their convictions were vacated in 2002, and the city paid $41 million in 2014 to settle their civil rights lawsuit.
On an April night in 1989, a mob of “youths”, went “wilding” through Central Park, robbing and assaulting anybody they came across in an orgy of mayhem. The climax of the crime spree was the horrifying assault on 28-year-old investment banker Trisha Meili, who was unwisely jogging through the park that evening. After the “youths” raped and sodomized her, Meili lost 75 percent of the blood in her body and spent 12 days in a coma before emerging with significant brain damage.
Five teenagers — Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise — were convicted of participating in the rape. In 2002, the convictions were vacated after convicted murderer Matias Reyes claimed to be the sole perpetrator. Reyes received a transfer to a nicer prison for his trouble. In 2014 Bill De Blasio awarded the five with a $40 million settlement. In 2019, Netflix dramatized the saga of the Central Park Five with its miniseries “When They See Us”. The show’s release prompted the cancellation of the case’s prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer, who resigned from her post as a lecturer at Columbia Law, and former Manhattan sex crimes unit chief Linda Fairstein, who was dropped by the publisher of her mystery novels.
But the truth is, the Central Park Five were almost certainly guilty, and in a just world all five would still be in prison (or better yet, executed). Reyes’s confession proves nothing, as it was known from the beginning that many people were involved in the attack. A 2003 NYPD report reaffirmed the group nature of the assault, and found no evidence of police or prosecutorial misconduct. Ann Coulter has been one of the few writers brave enough to tell the truth about the case:
The five accused rapists — Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, Yusef Salaam and Kharey Wise — were duly convicted of the 1989 Central Park rape, as well as other assaults in the park that night; “exonerated” 13 years later; and, more than a decade after that, paid $40 million by the city of New York to settle a malicious prosecution case within months of Bill de Blasio becoming mayor, despite city lawyers’ confidence that they would win at trial.
To his credit, Mayor Michael Bloomberg refused to give the “exonerated” convicts a dime.
Today, they are civil rights heroes to Hollywood airheads and others completely unfamiliar with the facts of the case.
Here is just some of the evidence against them.
Santana was one of the first boys picked up in the park the night of the attacks, April 19, 1989. While being driven to the precinct house, he blurted out: “I had nothing to do with the rape.”
At this point, the jogger hadn’t been found. The police knew nothing about any rape. Richardson rode to the precinct with another boy, who announced to the police that he knew who did “the murder,” naming Antron McCray. Richardson concurred, saying, “Yeah. That’s who did it.”
Salaam confessed to the rape after the detective questioning him said that fingerprints had been found on the jogger’s clothing, and if the prints were his, he was “going down for the rape.” Salaam confessed immediately.
Taken to the scene of the crime by a detective and a prosecutor the following morning, Wise said, “Damn, damn, that’s a lot of blood. … I knew she was bleeding, but I didn’t know how bad she was. It was really dark. I couldn’t see how much blood there was at night.” (She’d lost three-quarters of her blood.)
The evidence listed by Ann Coulter just goes on and on, you’ll have to click the above link to read it all.
So, in summary, the Central Park Five saga isn’t a case of systemic racism run amok. Instead, it’s a case study of how “exonerated” criminals are often anything but.
In 2016, President Barack Obama designated the site of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village as a national monument. The statement announcing the designation described the inn as the site of the “Stonewall Uprising”:
On June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn, one of the most frequented LGBT bars in the city, was raided by the New York City Police Department to enforce a law that made it illegal to sell alcoholic drinks to “homosexuals.” Customers and their allies resisted the police by refusing to show identification or go into a bathroom so that a police officer could verify their sex, and a crowd gathered outside. As word spread, the gathering grew in size and a riot ultimately ensued. Within days, Stonewall seemed to galvanize LGBT communities across the country, with LGBT activists organizing demonstrations to show support for LGBT rights in several cities. These events, which are now often referred to as the Stonewall Uprising, are widely considered to be a watershed moment when the LGBT community across the nation demonstrated its power to join together and demand equality and respect.
In his second inaugural address in 2013, Obama placed Stonewall on par with the Seneca Falls convention and MLK’s Selma march as an epochal moment in American civil rights history. And there, in all likelihood, it will remain, a part of the national mythology, taught to children in schools as part of their now-mandatory “LGBTQ+ history” curriculum.
Missing from the Obama summaries are a few important facts: That the Stonewall Inn was owned by the Mafia, that it was blackmailing its patrons, that it had become the hub of a multimillion-dollar extortion ring the police hoped to break up. The police officer who led the raid, even after being browbeaten into an apology, always said the target of the raid was the mob, not the gays.
A Time To Kill
Okay, this isn’t a literal historical event like the others — but so what? John Grisham’s legal thriller, and its execrable 1996 movie adaptation, are exemplars of American popular culture’s favored approach to racial topics. The plot neatly fits into the preferred tropes of 20th century racial history: two white rednecks savagely rape a young black girl. Fearing the men will be let off the hook by a racist system, the girls’ father guns them both down in broad daylight. Then, despite a terrorist campaign by the local Ku Klux Klan, a local attorney heroically gets the father acquitted for the murders.
No doubt thousands of people who read Grisham’s book, or watched the movie, thought it was based on a true story. Grisham himself repeatedly encouraged that belief, telling fans that the book was inspired by a harrowing case from his early days as a lawyer:
Charlie Rose: When you were practicing law and you’re going to the courtroom and you look around you and the story goes, this is now the Grisham lore. When you weren’t busy with your own trials, you’d sort of sneak over there and you would see fascinating cases. A Time To Kill is based on one of those cases. The story of —
John Grisham: The inspiration came from something I saw in a courtroom one day. I really don’t know — I don’t think I would have ever written a novel had I not sort of ventured into this courtroom one day and seen this horrible drama unfold. A little girl had been raped and she was testifying against the man who did it. She was 11 years old, 10 or 11. Incredible testimony and I felt a great deal of sympathy for her but also caught myself thinking about her dad and what he was going through. I thought society really shouldn’t hold a father responsible for doing what he has to do if this little girl had been raped.
In interviews, Grisham drove home that he tried to make the book as authentic as possible with respect to “race relations” and the nature of the Deep South.
John Grisham: It’s a different type of story from The Firm or The Pelican Brief. It was written — I’m very biased. This is something I’m very protective of because it was written over a period of time. I never dreamed that I’d get it published. It’s very autobiographical. It was very painful to write. I couldn’t write —
Charlie Rose: It’s autobiographical in what way?
John Grisham: In the young attorney’s — basically me.
Charlie Rose: Painful because you’re trying to be truthful about yourself?
John Grisham: That, truthful about the race relations in the book, truthful about the deep south, the people. I wanted to be fair and accurate. I couldn’t write a book now because I have a daughter now. I didn’t have a daughter then and I go back then, I read the first chapters sometimes of A Time To Kill and wonder how anybody could write something like that because it deals with the rape of a child.
As it turns out, Grisham’s novel was based on a real case. Specifically, a case with the races reversed, as he finally revealed in 2014.
In an interview with The Clarion-Ledger, Grisham confirmed the case he watched involved the 1984 rapes of two teenage sisters in a remote farmhouse not many miles from his law office then.
Deputies arrested Willie James Harris, who confessed. Days later, Grisham heard the confession on tape, where the man shared details with all the emotion of reading a shopping list.
“It was pretty cold blooded — and also infuriating,” Grisham said. “It made you think revenge. He was really a nasty character.”
On July 11, 1984, the steamy sun beat down on Harris and his 17-year-old accomplice as they drove through a rural area near Southaven, looking for houses to break in.
Although just 21, Harris was newly paroled after spending 2½ years in the state prison — far short of the six-year sentence he received for two different burglaries. Time on the inside, however, hardened him, rather than changed his ways.
Heading down a gravel road, Harris and his accomplice spotted a farmhouse with no cars outside. They made their way to the front porch.
Smashing the front window, Harris entered the house, where two sisters, ages 16 and 12, were alone. The older sister, who had just finished taking a shower, spotted him and screamed. She attempted to lock herself in the bathroom, but Harris rammed his shoulder into the door.
The younger sister tried to hide in her bedroom, only to be met by Harris.
Over the next hour, Harris raped and beat the girls, leaving them for dead.
In other words, Grisham took an authentic (and in America, disturbingly common) crime, and replaced it with a lurid fantasy that in reality almost never happens. According to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, entire years have passed where there are zero white on black rapes in America.
Grisham, of course, is free to write novels about whatever made-up crimes he wants. But his claims of “authenticity” are a lie. With his debut novel, he took a real crime, committed against young girls by a man let out of prison early — sound familiar? — and used it as inspiration for a fever dream attacking Southern whites for their racism.
It is truly astonishing to learn how many morality tales from the textbooks of woke indoctrination turn out to be based on blatant falsehoods. Of course, it has long been a staple of political philosophy that every society depends on certain foundational and animating myths. In Plato’s “Republic”, Socrates suggests that even the most perfect imaginary polity requires some kind of “noble lie” to function successfully. What is most nefarious about the myths undergirding the Globalist American Empire is perhaps not so much that they are falsehoods, but they are deeply destructive and malicious falsehoods. The American people must understand not only the falsehood of the myths foisted upon them, but also the maliciousness behind such myths, in order to begin to escape from the spiritual and mental prison created for them by their corrupt and illegitimate ruling class.