On MSNBC, PBS and in USA Today, Tavis Smiley Excuses 'Disaffected Black Men' Like Gavin Long

Early this week, in an MSNBC interview, Tavis Smiley said that there's far too much attention being paid to "cop killers" and not enough to "killer cops."

Then, in a Tuesday USA Today column, he cast his sympathetic lot with Gavin Long, who killed three Baton Rouge police offices on Sunday before a police sharpshooter killed him. Smiley told readers that we should "Listen to the Baton Rouge police killer." Later in the week, he interviewed Corine Woodley, Long's mother, on his PBS show. Woodley's own words indicated that what caused her son to snap was that he bought into both the lies of the violent Black Lives Matter movement and the left's obsession with "the one percent."

In the Monday MSNBC interview at the Republican National Convention, serial fabulist Brian Williams was clearly impressed with Smiley's reckless characterization of police officers.

Smiley seems to believe that there are legions of cops just chomping at the bit, if given the slightest opportunity, to kill black men without cause. Both Williams and Smiley should know that reality differs.

The Legal Insurrection blog describes Williams's reaction to Smiley's "killer cops" rant, namely that he should be "appointed" President, as something that "could go down as the most egregious example of an MSM 'anchor' groveling at the feet of a liberal activist." It's certainly darned near the top.

Although delivered in a rather bland tone of voice, the disgraced anchor's presidential endorsement is stunning, given what Smiley actually said:

Transcript (bolds are mine throughout this post):

TAVIS SMILEY: It’s one thing to call the cop killers, and certainly in Baton Rouge and Dallas, these African-American cop killers, vicious and despicable and cowardly and reprehensible. But we don’t reserve that kind of language for killer cops. And so it’s not either/or, it’s both/and. If all lives matter, then cops have to respect citizens and citizens have to respect cops and we can’t scapegoat a particular set of protesters who are trying to get us to respect, to revel in the humanity of all of our people.

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Tavis, if I appointed you president and and if you still refused to run we’re just going to have to appoint you.

As Brad Wilmouth at NewsBusters noted on July 14:

... a new Harvard study of select police departments ... suggests not only that blacks are not more likely to be shot than whites, but that whites are more likely to be shot in cases when the police are not attacked by suspects first.

Several establishment press outlets have recognized the Harvard study. Where have Tavis Smiley and Brian Williams been?

Smiley's Tuesday USA Today column took matters a step further, reading hypocrisy into President Barack Obama's planned visit to Baton Rouge:

How many more disaffected black men have to self-radicalize before we take their claims seriously?

... whenever the memorial service for the slain Baton Rouge officers is announced, a conversation is going to erupt about the optics of such a visit. And they don't look good. Cops killed by black civilians and the president shows up, black civilians killed by cops and he does not.

Gavin Eugene Long shot six police officers, killing three of them, on his 29th birthday. He legally changed his name to Cosmo Setepenra, claiming affiliation with some separatist groups, but made it clear in a video on his YouTube channel that his ideology was his own. Referring to himself as a "freedom strategist," he had recently traveled to Dallas, where five police officers were killed by another sniper, Micah Xavier Johnson, who was also African American.

... It's clear from the large footprint that Long left online that he was deeply troubled by the recent officer-involved shootings of African Americans and saw himself as part of a counter-revolution.

...  the president chose to once again reprimand black folk in his Dallas speech, and refer to the black cop killer Micah Johnson as "vicious" and "despicable." That description may be apt, but what about the killer cops in the cases of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile?

What I'd say, sir, is that all of the facts aren't known, and that we should wait until they are before assuming, as the violent Black Lives Matter movement, its sympathizers and Smiley already have, that the cops are at fault. Especially in the case of Castile, there is strong reason to believe that they are not.

Thus, as he acknowledges "a pattern here" of "Young black men, angry, armed and aiming at law enforcement," Smiley really ends up mere inches away from effectively admitting that nearly two years of exposure to the poisonous lies of the Black Lives Matter movement drove a deeply disturbed Gavin Long to travel over 760 miles from Kansas City to Baton Rouge to assassinate police officers.

But there's more.

In the following two-minute segment of Smiley's Thursday interview of Corine Woodley  — the segment PBS is teasing on YouTube and presumably elsewhere to promote the program — Ms. Woodley identified another poisonous influence the left has beaten like a drum for at least the past five years:

Transcript:

TAVIS SMILEY: Here's the line I want to bring your attention to:

"We determined that the following conditions were not related to your military service, so service connection couldn't — could not — be granted."

You see on the screen there, those medical descriptions, and there are four categories. The last line of the medical conditions that he will not be treated for — in other words, "We're not going to do anything about this" — the last line: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Now if I reaid this document correctly, it seems to me that the VA is acknowledging that he has PTSD, but they're denying him treatment for it.

How do you process that the VA says to your son, if I'm reading this correctly, "We determined that the following conditions were not related," which suggests to me that they're acknowledging the condition exists, but again because they don't think it's related to his service, because he didn't see combat, for whatever reason, they know he has PTSD as a miliary vet, and they're denying him treatment.

How do you process that as his mother?

CORINE WOODLEY: Well, according to Gavin, another reason he didn't keep going back to the VA, pursuing it, is like, "They do not care about anything except the 1 percent." It's like, "I'm not going to keep running back there." It's like, he says, "the 1 percent, they only care about money and banks."

He says, "Forget it, they're not going to do anything, they're never going to do anything. They don't ever do anything."

Gavin again was the type, he cared deeply for veterans. He ride around on his bike, talking to veterans, feeding veterans, um, because he says nothing is going to be done. And, uh, I don't know if this is correct. I was reading one of his journals what he said, "At least 33 percent of all homeless people are veterans."

It is not clear, and Smiley acknowledges this, that the VA was admitting that Long had PTSD.

A far more obvious question is this: What in the world does "the one percent" have to do with whether VA claims are approved or denied? The answer: It apparently makes sense if you've been brainwashed by the Occupy movement. As USA Today reported on Wednesday in covering the Smiley-Woodley interview, Long indeed was:

Woodley said her son was fascinated by protest groups and closely followed the Occupy Wall Street Movement. But he also believed that peaceful demonstrations accomplished little and grew increasingly angry with each news story about black civilians killed by police officers. "Every cop killing pushed him over the edge," Woodley told Smiley.

Let's be clear here. I can't imagine Mrs. Woodley's grief, and my heart goes out to her and other members of Gavin Long's family.

That said, Gavin Long, PTSD or not, was responsible for his actions, because although "PTSD is associated with a risk of violence, most people with PTSD have never engaged in violence."

So why did he give in to his violent urges? While remaining depressingly non-judgmental, Smiley in his column and Long's own mother during her interview acknowledged the influence both the violent Black Lives Matter movement and the violent, filthy, unhinged Occupy movement actually had on him. Those effects were disastrous.

Tavis Smiley may be right that Gavin Long was a victim, in the sense that he was victimized by movements which aim to sow hatred, and which in his case tragically succeeded.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

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