by Merrill Hope
Last week, an inflammatory Top 10 list in an article flagrantly and falsely accused Texas of being “The Most (Overtly) Racist State in America.” The list was published by a non-profit education organization called Empathy Educates. One of this group’s partners is 1960s domestic terrorist-turned-radical but now retired University of Illinois at Chicago professor Bill Ayers.
He was billed in the highest regard as a university scholar, although Breitbart News has reported that the roots of the Common Core resonate from ideas generated by the “radical community organizer” Ayers.
Interestingly, that defamatory Top 10 list traced back to the relatively obscure Atlanta Black Star, according to cutestat.com. It’s an outlet that comes with a manifesto to change the world. Its goal on how to change the world may best be illustrated by the fact that it slapped a 2014 date onto an 2012 article and called it new news, which, in turn, Empathy Educates blasted out under its own finely crafted new title: “The Top 10 Most (Overtly) Racist States in America.”
The Atlanta Black Star version of the article, “Top 10 Most Racist States in America,” mentioned that the story emanated from a “website run by a group of independent cyber-geography researchers” that found an alleged spike in racist tweets “during and after President Obama’s 2012 re-election.”
That group was the Floating Sheep in a research blog post on November 8, 2012. The original incarnation of this data was “Mapping Racist Tweets in Response to President Obama’s Re-election.” Floating Sheep tracks tweets. Apparently, it claimed to have longitudinally databased 2012 post-voting presidential election tweets and created a corresponding map to pinpoint the precise location of these allegedly racist social media communiqués.
Also, according to this version of the article, Floating Sheep geo-coded tweets through a system called DOLLY that cleverly continued the sheep theme. DOLLY stood for “Data on Local Life and You;” however, it appears poor DOLLY has met her cyber-maker because the source data that the Floating Sheep folks used is no longer on Knights News Challenge, to which it was ostensibly submitted – a site that claimed to ascribe to “transformational ideas that promote quality journalism” and where they believe “democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.”
The Floating Sheep article also credited Jezebel: the Home of the Happy Shiny Ladies as its original story source point. Jezebel is a celebrity story-driven site that boasts for its readers who post comments the how-to’s of getting noticed by the editorial staff. Those “examples of tweets chronicled by Jezebel” mentioned in the story also dead ended somewhere in the cloud.
Also in the Floating Sheep version of the article, the “Location Quotients (L.Q.) for Post Election Racist Tweets” actually placed Texas way down in the bad word list at a meager 1.3 tweets and a mediocre 25th place, which, in reality, is a very good thing and clearly displayed that Texas is not the rabid racist that Empathy Educates insisted upon. Actually, the District of Columbia came in 22nd. Oregon was 21st, Illinois was in 18th place, and Arkansas, home to former President Bill Clinton and former Governor Mike “Rebrand Common Core” Huckabee, came in at 13th place.
However, it turned out that the whole repurposed story that Empathy Educates ran with to allege racism was based on a whopping 395 tweets across 50 states during the period of November 1-7, 2012, according Floating Sheep. “Footnote 1” defined a racist tweet as one that contained both the use of the “n word” or worse as well as “Obama,” “reelected,” or “won.” Continue reading here.