Freedom Rider: The Root and Russophobia
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
“The Black Guide to Russia is nothing more than Propaganda or Not warmed over with a dark face.”
The scoundrels and misleaders in the Democratic Party are leaving no stone unturned in their effort to escape responsibility for their ignominious defeats. There is no evidence of the Russian government “hacking” the election. Instead evidence points to a leak at the Democratic National Committee which revealed the gory details of their corruption and incompetence.
The lies have fallen apart one by one. After months of repeating that seventeen intelligence agencies agreed on Russian election interference they finally admitted that the number was actually three. The Democratic Party is willing to risk hot war and irreparable damage to the system in order to escape blame for their electoral failures. They have been exposed as little more than a brand management team that does nothing to help the millions of people who are still willing to vote for them.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus such as Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters have been in the forefront of this charade and now they have been joined by others. The Root online magazine announced it is joining this dubious group in doing the business of the bipartisan war party and the discredited democrats. “How Russia Used Racism to Hack White Voters” was the first installment in a new series, Black Guide to Russia. The Root promises that “each story will analyze the latest developments of the Russia investigation with a fresh, black perspective.” What is the black perspective on 21st century McCarthyism, on the craving for endless war or supporting the party which consigns black voters to the losers’ column?
“The Root promises that ‘each story will analyze the latest developments of the Russia investigation with a fresh, black perspective.’”
The answers to these questions are found in the history of The Root itself. It was founded in 2008 by Henry Louis Gates and Donald Graham of the Washington Post family. It is now part of the Gizmodo media group and Gates is still editor. Gates continues in his role as the go-to black man for white people. His influence is confined to cutting deals for himself in exchange for access to white people who are hostile to black interests. The Root takes Russia bashing to a new low, claiming that racist white Americans voted for Donald Trump in part because the Russians tricked them into it.
This media outlet which purports to present news of interest to black readers has chosen fealty to the Democratic Party over all else. If Trump’s victory is to be analyzed it must be through the lens of willful white racism. Republicans traditionally used winks and nudges to make clear their role in the duopoly as the white people’s party. Trump dispensed with code words and dog whistles. He made it clear that he would be the white people’s representative. Everyone from the corporate media to the Republican Party establishment to this columnist missed how much his message resonated with white America.
“Gates continues in his role as the go-to black man for white people.”
But according to The Root, white people were swayed by Russian “hybrid warfare” and fake news into doing what they have always done, support people who promised to put them and their interests first. Peddling this high level of foolishness requires a delicate balancing act, so The Root simultaneously blames white racism but says that the Russian government helped to peddle lies. “The Root will investigate the social conditions that made the American populace so vulnerable to being played.”
In 2016 white Americans played themselves in the way they always do. Donald Trump proved that they put whiteness first. They don’t care about Russia or traditional right wing ideology as much as they care about being white. They saw themselves in Trump and more than 60 million people gladly voted for him.
The only ones spreading lies are The Root, the Democratic Party and corporate media. If The Root wants to analyze the election results by all means they should. They should analyze how black people are trapped within the confines of the Democratic Party as they try to stave off Republican victory. They should talk about how the resulting risk aversion made Hillary Clinton the nominee and doomed black people to loser status within the loser party. They should look at the millions of black voters motivated only to support Obama who promptly stayed home when his name was no longer on the ballot. The Root might do what the Democratic Party refuses to do, expose the degree of voter suppression which prevents black people from exercising their right to the franchise.
“According to The Root, white people were swayed by Russian ‘hybrid warfare’ and fake news into doing what they have always done, support people who promised to put them and their interests first.”
There is a plethora of worthy subject matter in reporting on the 2016 election but The Root chooses to follow official propaganda instead of giving readers anything worth considering. Black Guide to Russia is nothing more than Propaganda or Not warmed over with a dark face. Propornot was a blatant if clumsy effort on the part of the Washington Post and the Democratic Party to keep the media within the confines of manufactured consent on the issue of United States foreign policy. The Black Agenda Report team was on the list of outlets condemned for doing what journalists ought to do, print what powerful people would like to see disappear.
Barack Obama’s babbling about fake news began shortly after election in a desperate attempt to keep the sinking ship afloat. Trump’s talk of rapprochement with Russia and the end of trade deals beloved by the duopoly threatened the established order. Turning Vladimir Putin into a bogeyman is an attempt to right the ship of neo-liberalism and empire. It is sad that The Root has joined corrupt people and institutions to uphold what ought to be torn down.
Hopefully this sham journalism will disappear from public consciousness. If Putin didn’t exist the Democratic Party and its operatives would have had to invent him. They keep going back for more, and make themselves less credible in the process. If a Black Guide to Russia is any indication, the sooner they all disappear the better.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.