Conservative Media Race-Baiting: Ferguson Edition

In response to the protests following the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the right-wing media have unleashed an array of race-baiting tropes. From “lynch mobs” to “race pimps,” here are some of the worst examples.

Right-Wing Media React To Ferguson Protests With Race-Baiting

Wash. Times Columnist: President Obama And Eric Holder Are “Wall Street Version[s] Of The Race Pimps.” In an August 20 post on, Fox News contributor and Washington Times columnist Charles Hurt attributed the unrest in Ferguson to government anti-poverty programs, blaming them for making the poor “slaves of the Dependency State.” Hurt called civil rights leaders in Ferguson, Missouri “race pimps,” adding that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are “a more Wall Street version of the race pimps” claiming they stir up bitterness in the black community:

This black-clad brute force stings all the more deeply coming from the hand that delivers food stamps, free cell phones and health care for everyone. It is the moment that slaves of the Dependency State learn that government bestows only a false dignity upon them. Indeed, they are despised now more than ever.


Just look at the race pimps like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. After a career of stirring people up and engendering deep bitterness toward the boundless opportunities America offers, they are rolling in the bucks. How is that working out for you?

President Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. -- a more Wall Street version of the race pimps -- are doing even better, jet-setting around on private planes paid for by you and me. All the while, stirring up the bitterness and convincing every next generation that here in America their lot in life is hopeless. [, 8/20/14]

Breitbart's Shapiro: “6 Times Black Americans Jumped To Racial Conclusions.” In an August 20 post, senior editor-at-large Ben Shapiro listed six occasions in which he claimed black Americans had jumped to “racial conclusions,” in addition to the Michael Brown incident:

“Only a deep-seated belief in the corruption and evil of America's criminal justice system justifies these numbers. If you believe the system targets black people, then outrage is always justified before the facts are in - and in many cases, even after the facts are in.” [, 8/20/14]

Fox's Rivera: "The White Jurors Will Put Themselves In The White Officer's Place" And Say “Of Course The Officer Responded The Way He Did”: On the August 19 edition of Outnumbered, Fox News host Geraldo Rivera claimed that the white jurors in the grand jury case on the shooting of Michael Brown would sympathize with the white police officer who shot Brown and see the teen as “menacing”:

RIVERA: The white jurors will look at that convenience store surveillance tape. They will see Michael Brown menacing that clerk. The white jurors will put themselves in the shoes of that clerk. They'll say, of course the officer responded the way he did. He was menaced by a 6-foot 4-inch, 300-pound kid, 10 minutes fresh from a strong-armed robbery. The officer was defending himself. The white jurors will put themselves in the white officer's place. The black jurors will see Michael Brown, despite his flaws, as the surrogate for every black youngster ever shot. [Fox News, Outnumbered8/19/14]

Fox's Ablow: Ferguson Protesters Presume “The Moral Depravity Of Whites.” Fox News medical contributor Keith Ablow claimed that there was something wrong with the “psychology” of Ferguson residents, suggesting that the communities reactions to the death of Michael Brown were racially motivated and “presumes the moral depravity of whites.” Ablow concluded that “something is deeply wrong with the psyche” of protesters in Ferguson. [, 8/20/14]

O'Reilly: “Race Hustlers” Have Already Convicted Officer Who Killed Michael Brown And Want “Lynch-Mob Justice.” On the August 20 edition of his Fox News show, host Bill O'Reilly claimed that to the “race hustlers,” the officer who shot Michael Brown is already guilty, adding that “their slogan is: no justice, no peace. I guess that's lynch-mob justice.” [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor8/20/14]

Ingraham Calls Ferguson Protesters A “Lynch Mob.” Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham called Ferguson protesters a “lynch mob” on the August 14 edition of her show. [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show8/14/14]

Fox's MacCallum Stokes Fears Of Racial Violence From New Black Panther Party In Ferguson. On the August 13 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, guest host Martha MacCallum hyped fears of violence from the New Black Panther Party pointing to Facebook page of one member of the small fringe group, who she said was “very vociferously advocating violence against the police.” [Fox News, The Kelly File8/13/14]

Limbaugh: “The Democratic Party, I Think, Profits From Racial Strife,” As In Ferguson. On the August 18 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh injected politics into the Michael Brown tragedy, claiming it showed Democrats need “a permanent underclass of subservient, poor, low-skilled dependents on government” to vote for them. Limbaugh added that “the Democrat party, I think, profits from racial strife.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show8/18/14]