CNN political commentator Sally Kohn was an easy choice for this week's Media Hall of Shame, not only for her vast body of progressive essays, but also her daily contributions to the Twitterverse. Most notably was her recent tweet after the two white journalists were murdered by a black former colleague in Virginia:
As that comment garnered understandable shock from those who read it, Kohn quickly went on the defensive against the accusation that she believed the killings to be justified:
Now that she "settled" those accusations, Kohn was able to get back to her larger point of how conservatives always jump to blame black culture for black crimes, but never question white culture for white crime:
This was something she wrote about in The Washington Post in July after the movie theater shooting in Lafayette, Louisianna, in a piece titled, "We blame minority groups for individual crimes. Why do white conservatives get a pass?" In the column she writes:
Houser [the shooter] was steeped and stewing in right-wing xenophobic, homophobic, misogynist and racist hate. He was obviously crazy. It’s generally safe to assume everyone who commits mass murder is. But Houser was crazy and held some beliefs that were variations of more mainstream conservative beliefs. The roots of some of Houser’s political views are hard to distinguish from ideas espoused by many, if not most, of the candidates running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.
In her typical fashion, Kohn immediately attempts to quell the thought that she is saying the man's "conservatism" drove him to kill, and to also ensure that she is not implying that any GOP candidate would endorse these actions. But, she is saying that though this apple fell far from the tree, he is still of the conservative tree. See? That's better.
It is white privilege, according to Kohn, that leads conservatives to view white crime as individualistic, but black crime as a product of that community. It's also why she is a proud backer of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. In an August piece for The Washington Post, Kohn instructed white people on what they can do to support BLM using the words of key leaders in the movement; things like refraining from using the term "ally" because "It’s too passive and doesn’t provide a sense of risk equal to the level of risks black folks experience every single day." Or not using your "whiteness as a shield," and stop saying "all lives matter." But most importantly, white people need to change and they must do so themselves. Kohn writes:
It is not up to Black Lives Matter, nor any movement led by and for communities of color, to make space for or articulate a vision for white people. The expectation that black leaders and movements should automatically do so is a subtle extension of the sort of white-centric entitlement that gives rise to the need for such movements in the first place. Then again, we haven’t exactly blazed a path to enlightenment and liberation so far on our own.
Back in June, after Dylann Roof shot and killed nine black Christians at a Bible study inside their church, Kohn joined the chorus of "take down the Confederate flag." But even that "solution to racism" isn't enough. It's the underlying racism founded in America that she believes still needs to be purged. For CNN, she wrote:
Racial equality won't come just from white people condemning the actions of overt racists like Dylann Roof or calling for the removal of the Confederate flag. Nothing will change if we turn a blind eye to the more subtle and pervasive systems of bias that perpetuate such inequality.
Whether it's our educational system, our banking policies, our hiring practices, our social behaviors, our health care system or our criminal justice system, racism and bias permeate through our structures. But we can't take these structures down until we see them.
Take down the damn flag. And then take down the systems of bias that helped create it.
When confronted on Twitter with a similar idea posed by The Daily Caller's Jim Treacher who said the rainbow flag, like is alleged at the Confederate flag, is "a symbol of division, used to spite one's opponent" and should be taken down, Kohn, an LGBT activist, didn't agree:
And now that Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has been jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses based on her religious convictions, Kohn is probably shouting, "Hallelujah!" This prediction is based on a July quote found in The Daily Beast in which she hoped for the day Christians would be shamed because of their beliefs on same-sex marriage, in what she dubbed, "the new post-homophobic Christianity." An America, she said, "most Christians are going to adapt to just fine:"
The world has changed. Christians and Christianity has changed, too. And again, I say, “Hallelujah!”
Will anti-gay Christians be politically and socially ostracized? I sure hope so.
A Thursday tweet combines all of these targets of conservatives, Christians, and guns in one progressive package:
But in the end, what Kohn is really asking for is love, and why not -- she's a liberal!