Amazon reverses course on censoring un-woke film What Killed Michael Brown

"Unfortunately, we have found that your title doesn't meet Prime Video's content quality expectations and is not eligible for publishing on the service at the time," an Amazon spokesperson informed Hoover Institution senior fellow Shelby Steele last week. 

"We will not be accepting resubmission of this title and this decision may not be appealed," the email continued.  "We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause."

Fortunately for the viewers and for Amazon, its brass had a change of heart.  "They acknowledged what happened and said they would work to improve and prevent incidences like this one from happening again," said Steele's son Eli, the film's director.  

Now with Amazon's reluctant blessing, the film should be required viewing at every "diversity" training session forced on corporate America, starting with its newsrooms.  Written and narrated by Shelby Steele, the film traces the demise of Ferguson's Michael Brown to its roots in the guilt-driven "reforms" of the 1960s.  As in his many books, Steele does not slug.  He jabs with precision.  Over the years, no one has spoken about race relations more accurately or more sensitively than Steele.

According to Steele, the Chicago-born son of a black father and white mother, America had begun to address the obvious imperfections in its racial history just as "liberals" — a word he does not shy from using — were coming to power.  Young liberals sensed a crack in moral authority as their parents' generation struggled to atone for its racial sins and drove a wedge through it.

Liberals would celebrate themselves not for honing their own character or for honoring a larger principle, but for disassociating themselves from the sins of their parents, real and imagined.  Of late, liberals have taken to decorating their lawns with signs suggesting just how virtuous they are and others — "Racism is a sin, period" — are not.  That this celebration came at the expense of the black family and black community was of no consequence.

For black activists, power came with victimization.  For white liberals, innocence came with honoring that victimization, even if fictional.  These forces found a certain harmony in the imagined "murder" of Michael Brown in Ferguson with its lethal "hands up, don't shoot" Kabuki.  In 2020, this street theater climaxed in a summer of self-destructive madness.

The film's one failing, one that I suspect Steele will correct when the evidence becomes clear, is its assumption that George Floyd was murdered by a brutal Minneapolis cop.  With that one caveat, I would recommend that parents write not one more tuition check until their woke little students watch this film from end to end.

Jack Cashill's new book, Unmasking Obama: The Fight to Tell the True Story of a Failed Presidency, is widely available.  See also

Image: ajay_suresh via Flickr (cropped), CC BY 2.0.