Patterico's Pontifications


Newspaper’s Epic Fail at Social Justice

Filed under: General — JVW @ 9:59 am

[guest post by JVW]

Sorry I haven’t been heard ’round these parts recently. I have been on vacation for the past several days and am just starting to wind it down. Here is your latest progressive newspaper social justice fail, courtesy of the Olympics.

Simone Manuel of the United States Olympic Swimming Team pulled off an upset win in the women’s 100 meter freestyle on Thursday night, defeating a tough field which included Australia’s Cate Campbell, the current world record holder; Cate’s sister Bronte Campbell who had won the event at last year’s world championships; Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist in the event; and Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, who had won the 100 meter butterfly and finished second in the 200 meter free earlier in the competition. Manuel finished in a dead heat with Penny Oleksiak of Canada and thus tied for the gold, and became the first American woman to win the event since 1984 and the first Yank to win it in a non-boycotted games since 1972.

Manuel, who is set to begin her junior year at Stanford this coming fall, also happens to be the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in an individual swimming event at the Olympics, so naturally in this day and age that distinction became the big story to our race-obsessed media. The New York Times, ESPN, and NBC all made her race front-and-center in their coverage of her remarkable achievement, with the Washington Post trotting out the requisite academic/journalist to bloviate on how the history of segregation at swimming pools has allegedly stymied generations of black Mark Spitzes and Katie Ladeckys. In today’s America — Barack Obama’s America — we can no longer focus on the outstanding accomplishment of one of our fellow citizens without running it through the noxious lens of racial grievance-mongering.

But taking the gold in the social justice olympics was the San Jose Mercury News, famous on the race-hustling scene for promoting the overwrought and probably phony story that the CIA had sponsored the crack cocaine epidemic in urban American in order to raise money for the Contras in Nicaragua. Immediately after the race, the newspaper published the following headline on their website and then tweeted it out:


Sure, it could be the case that a racially-insensitive headline writer is responsible for this mess, perhaps someone who is so bored with the diktats of social justice that he or she just defaulted to the racial aspect in the headline. But if I had to bet, I would guess that it is far more likely that a racially-hypersensitive headline writer, whose views of social justice were shaped by a college journalism program and the reigning groupthink of the newsroom, saw nothing wrong with promoting the race angle as the attention grabber to the story. To the modern social justice warrior, everything is focused on racial/ethnic/gender identity, so why wouldn’t ze or zir subsume the person of Simone Manuel in favor of the identity of African-American?

Alas and alack, that appeared to be a bridge too far for the more conventional progressivism of the Mercury newsroom, sort of like being in favor of gay marriage in 2004 was. The newspaper immediately apologized for the “offensive” (to whom, one is left to wonder) headline which was rewritten to focus on Manuel’s local connection with Stanford instead of her heritage. Perhaps in a day or two we will be treated to the counter-reaction in which the Mercury is lambasted for downplaying the significance of race in the story. It’s always fun to watch the earnest progressives tread lightly in the grievance minefield.

Tonight Simone Manuel goes for a second individual gold in the 50 meter freestyle and then later she hopes to anchor Team USA to gold in the 400 meter medley relay. Go Simone. Go USA.


41 Responses to “Newspaper’s Epic Fail at Social Justice”

  1. Always -American. Never quite equal.

    n.n (c31c4d)

  2. I like this story in which Simone Manuel’s mom Sharron talks about her achievements, especially this passage:

    “We have always told her that her value was in who she was as a person not just because of her skin color,” Sharron said. “Her skin color is who she because that’s the way God made her but it is her responsibility to do the best she can with the gifts that he has given her.

    “We have always just emphasized encouraging her to be the best Simone that she can be.”

    JVW (30a532)

  3. of all the swimmers simone is probably the best reader i bet

    it would be fun to compare book reports from simone and ryan i think

    that’s some racial justice right there

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  4. And yeah, Simone had a kind of clunky and callow take on the significance of her gold medal:

    “It means a lot, especially with what is going on in the world today, some of the issues of police brutality,” Manuel said. “This win hopefully brings hope and change to some of the issues that are going on. My color just comes with the territory.”

    While it is true that there have been likely legitimate instances of police brutality directed against black citizens, one is left to wonder if she still believes the phony Michael Brown narrative pushed by the BLM crowd as well as other cases like Freddy Gray which have been exploited by nefarious characters. As with most youngsters, she perhaps has a slightly inflated view of her place in the civil rights pantheon:

    “It is something I’ve definitely struggled with a lot,” Manuel said. “Coming into the race I tried to take weight of the black community off my shoulders. It’s something I carry with me. I want to be an inspiration, but I would like there to be a day when it is not ‘Simone the black swimmer.’

    But I can’t come down too harshly on a 20-year-old who has just realized her life’s ambition and is thrust in front of reporters and asked the typical questions so key to the narrative.

    JVW (30a532)

  5. a lot of things hopefully bring hope

    it’s why people subscribe to cable

    it’s why they try new recipes like where they try to make pancakes with “mesquite flour”

    other things what hopefully bring hope are include movie sequels (for example the one to “guardians of galaxy”

    frequent flyer miles

    donations to Clinton Global Criminal Cartel


    finding many pokemons

    and eating quinoa salads

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  6. close parens

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  7. but yeah Simone sounds like a dumb-ass

    god help her ryan might actually drink her book report milkshake

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  8. if he could read

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  9. but yeah Simone sounds like a dumb-ass

    That’s too harsh. She’s just young, and has had the misfortune to be in a college environment during all of this brouhaha. But read her mom’s quote again and you should feel confident that her parents are pretty well grounded in reality.

    JVW (30a532)

  10. ima keep wittin and cleverin like im the ee cummins of doucheville i think

    doucheyfeet (f1f212)

  11. i just hate the olympics so much i can’t even tell you so that completely skews my opinion

    but still based on her speakings i’d venture she got into stanford on something other than her thinking prowess

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  12. Al Campanis could not be reached for comment.

    Skeptical Voter (1d5c8b)

  13. I am sure Simone knows that the narrative is being thrust upon her. Not just by the MSM, her cohort, and social media, but by her family. We can base this on our experiences of bias displayed, rightly or wrongly, by our own families. We did not live in a vacuum, but amidst the two worlds that each of us must reconcile; the world, as explained, through the lens of experience, by those who love us, and the world, as experienced. Reconciliation between these two cannot occur unless we begin to view the world through the lens of truth. (cue Pilote: “what is Truth?”)

    That Simone wishes to “take off” the burden of (I will say) “the narrative”, and wishes for “there to be a day when it is not ‘Simone the black swimmer.’”, tells me that she is in the process of opening her eyes to take her own full measure of the world. Whether she employs a lens of Truth, to view her world, remains to be seen.

    felipe (023cc9)

  14. I can’t find any national coverage on the anti-Semitism on full display at the games. See judo match forfeited so Muslim didn’t have to engage with Israeli athlete in next round, Israeli athletes being blocked from riding same bus with Lebanese athletes to venue, and Egyptian athlete refusing to shake Israeli athlete’s hand after losing match.

    Where is the outrage? Where is President Obama’s call for justice?

    Dana (995455)

  15. but by her family

    but by members of her family

    I can’t get anything right!

    felipe (023cc9)

  16. We know the answer to that: Protected classes. Protected classes of racism!

    felipe (023cc9)

  17. in the end, dana, we realize why moses was needed then, by the way the sabeans who ran off with job’s herd were from yemen,

    narciso (732bc0)

  18. obama has a pothead daughter problem on his hands right now

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  19. narciso (732bc0) — 8/13/2016 @ 11:16 am

    The fans were not sure their guy was up to the task. That was the shame.

    felipe (023cc9)

  20. Here is moral tale for you:

    When I was faced, after school one day, with the obstacle (in going home) of fighting off two ruffians – for who-knows-what offense, an observer stepped forward to even the odds. The two ruffians called off the fight with the objection that “we don’t fight with no (deleted).” Yeah, the fact that this guy was a foot taller and prolly 25 lbs heavier had nothing to do with it.

    felipe (023cc9)

  21. today.

    on National Soros Radio.

    USA Swimming Wants More Diversity In The Pool

    The U.S. swimming team competing in Rio is the most diverse yet. But there is still a long way to go before the ranks of swimmers reflect the diversity of the country.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  22. ohnoes

    horrible thought

    what if we cancel the cheesy faglympics before the diversity are achieved?

    yeah i’m not sleeping tonight either

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  23. Being a Social Justice Warrior requires so much detachment from reality that its practitioners are usually tone deaf, metaphorically speaking.

    C. S. P. Schofield (36f996)

  24. a reason to watch the swimming competition,

    narciso (732bc0)

  25. Eric Liddel wouldn’t race on the Sabbath.

    Muslims won’t roll with Jews.

    All religions are equal.

    Pinandpuller (a04b69)

  26. Nothing on the Muslim fencer Hillary poster girl falling spectacularly flat after denouncing Trump, a la Rhonda Rousey? For shame.

    Especially when she has so much material:

    Dystopia Max (76803a)

  27. That Simone wishes to “take off” the burden of (I will say) “the narrative”, and wishes for “there to be a day when it is not ‘Simone the black swimmer.’”, tells me that she is in the process of opening her eyes to take her own full measure of the world.

    Elegantly expressed, felipe. Thanks for the great contextualization.

    JVW (900ded)

  28. Am I hearing this right?

    Simone Manuel’s mom Sharron talks about her achievements

    Skin color is now an achievement?

    Well, why the h3ll not.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  29. To person on hear the happy feet you dont have all the olimpics that you know you just call people names.

    Thats not olimpic spurt at all Ima team memebr with Simon you are not we are olimpins

    You never will be.

    ryan (swimer) (28a91b)

  30. ryan (swimmer), you scare me. My daughter just signed up for the swim team at her school, and her mother and I are concerned about the intensive and time-consuming training schedule. We are afraid that she will not have enough time and energy left for her schoolwork. I hope the illiteracy demonstrated in your comment is due to problems with your device, but I venture that I’m hoping against hope. Jocks are, by and large, persons of sub-normal intelligence and education.

    On the other hand, Simone is going to Stanford. So maybe it’s more of a guy thing? Yeah, right. That’s hoping against hope too. She’s there because she’s a national champion black female swimmer, is the better guess.

    nk (dbc370)

  31. heh, heh, heh
    three hehs for you, mr. happyfeet
    you pranked mr. nk
    have one more heh

    twoleftfeet (dbc370)

  32. The Rio Olympics have demonstrated one thing, though. The new Russian FSB is not as competent as the old Soviet KGB. The KGB would have been able to obtain the undetectable performance-enhancing drugs the American contestants are using.

    nk (dbc370)

  33. I guess this goes here.

    G*dd*m it, Black people! Straighten up, fly right, and conform to stereotypes.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  34. Alternate headline:

    “Black chick acts white; film at eleven.”

    Why, the next thing you know the uppity negro will be winning spelling bees.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  35. how does the horde put it, a sjw network that occasionally dabbles in sport, I’m paraphrasing,
    griffin was a decent player, but he couldn’t keep the team afloat singlehanded,

    narciso (732bc0)

  36. Many of you don’t know this, which is I why I keep talking about it, but I served in the Navy. And, many of you don’t know this, but other people served in the Navy. Some of those people were persons of color.

    Apparently it’s not racist to say “persons of color” but it is racist to say “colored persons.”

    Also, my greasy, swarthy olive-picking ancestors were born on the wrong side of the Mediterranean to qualify as persons of color/colored people no matter how many times I get mistaken for Mexican.

    But I digress.

    But some of those persons of color float. And! And! When they find themselves floating they’re capable of acting sufficiently white that the reach out, grab a handful of water, and pull themselves forward.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  37. “Apparently it’s not racist to say “persons of color” but it is racist to say “colored persons.””

    Substitue ‘colored’ with ‘protected’ and ‘persons’ with ‘class’ and you’ll understand why: the latter is a little bit too usefully descriptive to tolerate.

    Dystopia Max (76803a)

  38. AFRICAN-AMERICAN???? Which “AFRICAN” country did this beautiful and talented young woman “represent”? What other country refers to any ATHLETE that they sponsor as ………SPANISH-NORTH-AMERICAN? Or Scottish-Asian????
    Then the MFM doubles down and decides Simone Manuels…….HERITAGE is not of issue.
    What pray-tell is SIMONE MANUEL’S “HERITAGE”????
    All of my Grandfolks were from Ireland. My Mother was from Scotland of Irish lineage.
    I am so very proud of Ms Manuel, regardless of what color her skin is.
    I’m also relieved to find, she didn’t swim in a HIJAB or BURQA.

    GUS (30b6bd)

  39. Steve57, you need to EDUMACATE your damn self!!! If you really really BELIEVE you are a N double A …COLORED PERSON, then VOILA….you ARE a COLORED PERSON. We’ll call this the RACHEL DOLEZAL rule, and or SPOKANE GAMBIT. If you want to be paid, lauded and given ESPY’S, you merely need to WIN THE DECATHALON as SPRUCE, and wear a DRESS as CAITLYN. And you are COURAGEOUS!!!!!! And rich.
    Remember….WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP!!!! That’s “all good”. Try rejoindering with “BLACK MEN CAN’T READ” and see what happens to your POST Baseball career at ESPN…..MR SCHILLING…………..
    The PANDER PRINCIPLE. Suck up or be cast out. Say what the MFM wants you to say or….BUH BYE.

    GUS (30b6bd)

  40. Ann Althouse points out this online headline from the New York Times today, which later got corrected:

    The man is “unarmed” in the initial headline, but “armed” in the body of the story.


    Sammy Finkelman (490095)

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