The media have to be reminded over and over just how much damage they have caused by their relentlessly unbalanced reporting on racial interactions.

Kudos to the Kansas City Star for not burying the revelation that the man responsible for the vandalization of the the predominantly black Concord Fortress of Hope Church in south Kansas City was a disgruntled black employee of the church.

That said, the Star pulled its punches with its headline, “Feds: Racist graffiti and arson at south KC church was cover-up for theft by employee.” As we argued on Sunday in the Sentinel, what makes words or symbols “racist” is the intention of the person who writes them.

By leaving the word “racist” in the headline and not acknowledging the race of Nathaniel D. Nelson, the man arrested, the Star does not undo the racial paranoia that it and virtually all other local media aggravated on Sunday with their unsuspicious reporting. Fake hate crimes have become far too common to be ignored, even in early reports. To its credit, the Star does provide a photo.

Nelson’s motives were “racist” only to the degree that he was willing to heighten anti-white sentiment in the black community to cover his alleged crime. As the Star reports, “According to allegations in the affidavit filed in court to support the charges, Nelson admitted to stealing money from the church to buy crack cocaine and that he had set the fire and spray-painted the graffiti in an attempt to throw off investigators.” Nelson had previously done time for arson and burglary.

In an unfortunate way, what Nelson did parallels what America’s progressives, especially those in the media and the black community, have been doing for the last fifty years. They use the relentless charge of “racism” against their political enemies to cover for their neglect of the real problems afflicting black America. If these usually spurious accusations heighten anti-white sentiment in the black community, so much the better.

Nelson, 48, is a symptom of those problems. Given a second chance by the good people at the Concord Fortress of Hope Church, he reportedly squandered it and turned on the church to support a drug habit. Barring the unforeseen, he will become just another statistic in a criminal justice calculus that seems far more racist than it actually is, if it is racist at all.

A Sunday article in the Sentinel was headlined, “Media, Please Wait Before Denouncing KC Church Vandalism As ‘Racist.’” We repeat this not to gloat but to serve as a caution. The media have to be reminded over and over just how much damage they have caused by their relentlessly unbalanced reporting on racial interactions.

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