by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
It is not easy being a contemporary thought policeman.
No sooner had the radical gay Left demonized the owners of an Indiana pizza parlor, which does not cater weddings, for suggesting that in theory they might not wish to cater a gay wedding than all sorts of stories surfaced saying that lots of Muslim eateries professed that they too would not cater gay weddings. What can the thought bullies do if one victim should victimize another?
Money complicates thought policing as well. The CEO of Apple is outraged at the thought crimes of Indiana pizza-parlor owners who offer his trillion-dollar company no chance of lucre — but he is not outraged at the concretely homophobic culture of the Middle East or the religious intolerance of China, which are hooked on i-products. Are theoretical sins worse than actual ones?
We are back in spirit to the scripted outrage of a few years ago at Mormons in California for supposedly voting down gay marriage on a ballot proposition — until exit polls suggested that the state’s black voters had proved as much opposed to gay marriage as the so-called Religious Right. Figuring out who is and who is not an enemy of the people, and so subject to banishment to the PC gulag, is as difficult as it was for the Stalinists in the 1930s to hound out the last Russian counterrevolutionaries.
In the George Zimmerman case, we have to give the thought police of the New York Times and NBC News some credit for matching the untiring zealousness of Inspector Javert. The Times invented a new rubric, “white Hispanic,” to preempt any competing Zimmerman claim on ethnic victimhood. NBC doctored a 911 tape to make Zimmerman sound like a foul racist. Other news outlets tried to Photoshop away police images that had shown a bleeding Zimmerman after the fight; in contrast, Trayvon Martin, who by the time of the confrontation was a tall teenager, was often seen in photos as a cuddly preteen in his football uniform. But finally even the thought police could not stop a supposedly poor, honest woman of color who was a witness for the defense, Rachel Jeantel, from testifying as an unapologetic racist (“creepy-ass white cracker”) and homophobe who seemed to confirm the defense’s argument that Martin started the fight (“whoop ass”).