The Racism of Jimmy Breslin


There is ample reason to suspect that the writer Jimmy Breslin, in response to whose passing many in his profession have been tripping over themselves to eulogize, may have been one of the most despicable (and fateful) racists in the history of American letters. 

For as was to later emerge in 2005, Mr Breslin who on the morning of the 21st of February 1965 was heading off to attend yet another one of the many galas at which his fellow white ‘journalists’ routinely congratulate themselves on a job badly done, reportedly received a tip-off from a white source within the NYPD urging him to cancel those plans and instead head on down to Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom and, upon arrival at the venue, to make good and sure to sit “well back” from the stage area where, shortly thereafter, Malcolm X was scheduled to appear to address his supporters.

The rest is now history and it is a period about which the notoriously loquacious Mr Breslin, with the solitary exception of a news story that featured in the following morning’s issue of the New York Herald Tribune reporting Malcolm’s shocking assassination (and a story Mr Breslin later tweaked for the paper’s afternoon edition after a scolding he received from the NYPD), has had surprisingly little to say. 

And just why might that be? Could it perhaps be that Mr Breslin, like many white ‘journalists’ of that era, was a party to the media operations of the FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) – and to which many an unscrupulous white reporter volunteered their services – in assisting cross-dressing Director J. Edgar Hoover’s criminal efforts to destroy African-American leaders like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X for the simple crime of having the temerity to challenge their country to finally live up to the ideals it falsely professed? 

And is it any wonder then that many of the same white reporters that have taken to Twitter to hashtag and rhapsodise about their deceased colleague now fancy themselves to be ‘feisty truth-seekers’ who are carrying on what they would have us believe to have been Mr Breslin’s ‘noble legacy’ of holding to account the great and powerful as they’ve supposedly been doing with the embattled President Donald Trump?

The sickening indifference they’ve all displayed regarding the questionable character of the man upon whom they’ve been heaping fulsome praise, now makes it plain that whatever the shortcomings of the new president, few are less qualified than those self-same ‘reporters’ to perform that necessary task.


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