Liberals have found an ideological bugaboo on par with Benghazi in the Michael Brown shooting, according to Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen.
“Ferguson has become the liberal Benghazi,” Cohen wrote in a column published Monday night. “It is more of a cause than a place, more of an ideological statement than an incident. Ferguson was not the racist murder it was thought to be, and Benghazi was not an incident in which the Obama administration’s incompetence or timidity allowed four Americans to die. The facts argue otherwise.”
Cohen wrote that the unarmed black teenager didn’t deserve to die. But he suggested that a Justice Department report clearing white police Officer Darren Wilson of civil rights violations in the shooting indicated Wilson could be considered a victim in the shooting, too.
“If Brown was not criminally shot because he was black, then possibly the cop was accused because he was white,” Cohen wrote. “Who was the stereotyped individual here?”
The columnist then invoked the heated debate about campus rape to argue that liberals fudge statistics, including statistics on the number of black men killed by police, to agree with their ideology.
Cohen has a history of making disputed comments about race. He was forced to defend a 2013 column that argued people with “conventional views” would have to repress a “gag reflex” when confronted with a biracial couple, like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and his wife Chirlane McCray.
In another 2013 column, Cohen expressed the same ambivalence about the Trayvon Martin shooting as he did about the Michael Brown shooting in Monday’s column.
“I don’t like what George Zimmerman did, and I hate that Trayvon Martin is dead,” he wrote. “But I also can understand why Zimmerman was suspicious and why he thought Martin was wearing a uniform we all recognize,” referring to Martin’s iconic hoodie.
Perhaps to fend off accusations of reverse racism, Cohen concluded his column on Ferguson with a disclaimer of sorts.
“Now for a blogger alert: Please note that I do not think racism is no longer a problem or that campus rape has not been an unaddressed horror,” he wrote. “I know better. But I also believe that distorting the facts can impede progress.”