Facts trump distortions

By Steve Woodward

Local columnist William Shaw, a regular contributor to The Pilot’s op-ed page, devotes himself to degrading the President of the United States based on his hatred of Donald Trump. The Pilot is Shaw’s enabler despite his disregard for truth.

Shaw’s March 31 rendering (Hate Crimes Can Emerge Without A Moral Compass) includes a starkly misleading assertion: Trump’s father participated in a KKK march in 1927. Thus, the President inherited that DNA and is, today, a white supremacist.

As for Fred Trump, the President’s late father, being arrested while marching with “robed” KKKers in Queens, New York, in 1927 (19 years before Donald Trump was born), turn to Google to be properly enlightened. PolitiFact, a left wing “fact checking” site, rated claims that Fred Trump was arrested marching with the KKK as “mostly false”. Vice.com allows that “none of the articles” published at the time “prove that Fred Trump was a member of the Klan” and “it’s possible he was just a bystander.” Shaw’s column fails to mention this.

Shaw then claims, without source attribution, that “more than 70 percent of violent hate crimes against Jews, Blacks, Muslims, and Hispanics have been committed by right-wing extremist groups” across the past decade. It is likely Shaw sourced this data point from the discredited Anti-Defamation League. The ADL’s Center on Extremism issued a report earlier this year linking “every extremist killing” incident in 2018 (17 in all) to right-wing extremists.

Dan Feinreich, writing for The Times of Israel, dismissed the report’s conclusion that “far right extremism is a major threat”. Factually, extremist driven murder represents a small fraction of total U.S. murders.

“We do not even know how many ‘non-far right’ extremist murders took place because, according to the ADL,” Feinreich observes, “the data is difficult to obtain.” But, apparently, data on right-wing extremists is at their fingertips?

And, finally, The Pilot permitted yet another thread to be added to the false narrative that Charlottesville 2017 was the site of a Trump-fueled hate crime. The death of a pedestrian during a rally on a Charlottesville, Virginia, street in August 2017 was linked to one deranged individual, acting alone, who plowed his car into a crowd, injuring a dozen others. He recently pled guilty to hate crimes. Charlottesville law enforcement allowed tensions to escalate over two days, and failed to tame demonstrators until a life was lost. It was a tragedy but not solely an incident stoked by right-wing extremism. Not by a long shot.

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