Or, How I Learned To Hate The Left–the Leftmedia in particular.
But what happens when a case provides no opportunity for cover and no room for shenanigans? That brings us to Roberta Happe and, by extension, my own personal Henry V “no mercy, no prisoners” moment regarding the left.
Roberta Happe was a beautiful 23-year-old woman, a recent graduate from USC with a business degree who eschewed the corporate world to devote her life to working with disadvantaged, developmentally disabled children. One evening in February 2001, as Happe was leaving work, she was abducted in a parking garage by a man named Jason Thompson, who made her drive to an ATM, where she was forced to withdraw $400. Thompson then raped, tortured, beat, stabbed, and strangled Happe, leaving her naked body in a Culver City park. By the next day, the LAPD had identified Thompson as the assailant. He’d left behind fingerprints, DNA, and his image on the ATM security camera. An APB was put out for Thompson, who—due to the horrifically brutal nature of the crime—was considered a major risk to strike again.
For the Times editors, this was a disaster. Thompson was black; Happe was not just white but blond. There’d be no finagling their way out of telling the story of an unimaginably brutal black-on-white crime that involved rape and torture. Unless, of course, they simply decided not to tell it.
And that’s exactly what they did. They sat on the story. The front page of the metro section the day after police released the details to the press was devoted to a whimsical human-interest story about people in Altadena who keep llamas as pets. The Happe murder and the clear and present threat to every woman in L.A. went completely unmentioned. I called ombudswoman Gold to ask why the story was being suppressed. Even Gold, the ever-obedient cog in the Times machinery, was dumbfounded by the omission, calling the story “such a huge thing that would’ve been in the public’s interest to have published” (you can hear her voicemail message here).
Within a few days, Thompson was turned in by his own family. Yes, the blood relatives of this vile creature cared more about getting him off the streets than the Times editors, who did not report the story until Thompson was safely in custody, thus freeing them of the responsibility to show his photo (Happe was killed Feb. 22; the first Times story ran March 3).
The L.A. Times was willing to jeopardize the life of every woman in L.A. in the name of politically correct, “racially sensitive” reporting. And there’s something else: Roberta Happe lived exactly the kind of life that leftists claim a white person should live. She “checked her privilege” and devoted herself entirely to those less fortunate, especially “people of color.” Yet that did not win her one iota of credit, not one scrap of respect, not the smallest amount of concern, when she was murdered. In the end, to the editors of the Times, she was just some inconvenient white bitch to be ignored, an embarrassing statistic to be afforded neither dignity nor justice.
This is the disease of political correctness. Through the Roberta Happe case, I came to truly understand the human cost of the left’s pathology. I’d been a critic of political correctness my entire life, but the Happe case gave birth to an anger, a rage, that’s never left. And it’s a rage that sometimes gets directed at my fellow conservatives when they fall for childish hoaxes like the “CNN albino Mercer” fraud. In the ongoing battle against the mainstream media’s manipulation of stories, there is no need for fakery. The actual facts are much more damning, and much more grotesque, than some anonymous troll’s clumsy Photoshop.
“Disease” is exactly right: “liberalism” is, in fact, a mental disorder. Thankfully, it isn’t incurable–quite. But it almost always requires a huge jolt of unvarnished, sometimes ugly reality to jumpstart the healing process, which onset can be arduous but usually doesn’t take very long at all to show results. More like a sudden dawn breaking than some long, difficult slog through a dark wilderness, really. That was my experience, anyway, and that of a whole slew of others I know.