Slandering Jordan Neely while raising millions for his killer: The media campaign in defense of lynching

Protesters flood the New York City subway to demand justice for Jordan Neely, May 3.

Richard “Watergate” Nixon declared, “I am not a crook.” Subway vigilante Daniel Penny – who choked to death Black homeless man Jordan Neely – says, “I am not a white supremacist.”

Penny made that statement to the New York Post, which, like Fox News, is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. The racist rag put Penny’s picture on its Sunday, May 21, front cover with the headline “Nothing about race.” 

It was all about race when Daniel Penny strangled Jordan Neely for 15 minutes in a New York City subway car. That doesn’t stop the capitalist media and politicians from defaming the dead victim and trying to make his killer a hero.

As Malcolm X pointed out, the media “…have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent.” We have to use the power of the people to turn that around.

Over $2.6 million has been raised for the vigilante on the GiveSendGo site, which describes itself as “the #1 Christian fundraising site.” 

GiveSendGo collected dough for the fascists who were allowed to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Another recipient was Kyle Rittenhouse, who killed two anti-racists during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Super bigot Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, now a presidential candidate, wants to ban Black history and has banned gender-affirming care for transgender youth. He’s urging his followers to donate for the killer.

So have fascist members of Congress Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz. Greene calls the vigilante a “hero.”

The campaign to defend Penny comes right from the filthy top of capitalist society.

“Free Daniel Penny” was the title of William McGurn’s May 15 column in the Wall Street Journal, another Murdoch publication. McGurn was chief speechwriter for war criminal George W. Bush, who lynched Iraq. At least 280,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the U.S. invasion. 

Capitalism’s last refuge is hate 

Food prices are soaring, rents have gone through the roof, and an inevitable economic recession is coming sooner than later. So how can apologists for capitalism hope to defend their rotten system?

Hate is their weapon, including hatred against homeless people like Jordan Neely. The greatest crime under capitalism is to be poor.

The New York Post claimed that 20 homeless veterans were kicked out of two Orange County, New York, hotels to make room for immigrants. The May 13 story was a complete hoax intended to stir up hatred against migrant families and their children.

Every bigoted politician is targeting trans folk, particularly children. The capitalist war drive needs you to hate Russia and China.

“The United States of Lyncherdom” was how Mark Twain described the U.S. in 1901. The year before, South Carolina Senator Ben Tillman defended lynching before the U.S. Senate. 

The first Hollywood blockbuster was “Birth of a Nation,” which showed and justified a lynching. It was shown in the White House to President Woodrow Wilson, a racist who segregated federal office buildings. 

The film glorified the Ku Klux Klan and was used for decades by the cross-burners to recruit more members.

The five “Death Wish” movies starring Charles Bronson hailed vigilante violence. The New York Post and racist politicians celebrated the vigilante Bernard Goetz, who shot four Black youths in a subway car in 1984. Today they’re hailing the vigilante Daniel Penny.

As Ben Tillman did a century ago, the defenders of Penny are supporting lynching. Poor and working people have to reject their slimy campaign and demand that Daniel Penny be jailed.

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