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Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, available exclusively on

George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984 famously contained the aphorism: “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

Apparently, he was right. It waxes stronger by the day.

This is most particularly true in anything to do with race. The very simplest, plainest facts about race are treated by the guardians of our culture—the media, the schools, the corporations—as radioactive, to be shielded from public view.

Here is a tiny instance, of the kind that is so commonplace, we hardly notice it anymore. get a daily delivery of the New York Post paper edition. Here was a short filler item from last Monday, June 3rd. I'll read you the item in its entirety, as printed. Headline: Woman, 78, raped. Story:

A creep forced his way into a Queens home Sunday morning and raped a 78-year-old woman, police said.

The sexual assault was reported just after 6 a.m. in a house on 148th Street near 241st Street in the Brookville neighborhood.

The man had broken into the house before attacking, police said.

No arrests have been made, but cops described the suspect as a man in his 30s, about 5-foot-9, weighing around 165 pounds.

The woman was treated at the North Shore University Hospital.

I don't need to belabor my point here; you know what I'm getting at. Quote from my neighbors re Long Island Railroad gunman Colin Ferguson, as reported in Chapter Six of We Are Doomed: "It must be a black guy. If it was a white guy, they would have told us."
That quote is from 26 years ago, so there is nothing the least bit new here.

(The "creep" was quickly apprehended. In fairness to the New York Post, I should note that the online version of the newspaper—although not, for reasons unfathomable to me, the print version—published his picture. Is he black? Of course he is!)

And as Ann Coulter noted in her column the other day,  the careful sculpting of the past to hide anything that contradicts our rulers' narrative does sometimes seem to be at well-nigh the level of Chinese suppression of the history of Tiananmen Square.

We've been seeing this recently with the case of the Central Park Five. These were the five young black and Latino men who attacked, raped, and left permanently injured a young white woman jogging in the New York City park in 1989.


Netflix is currently running a TV series titled When They See Us, produced by  anti-Trump black activist Ava Duvernay.

The guilt of the Central Park Five is not in serious dispute, as Ann and many others have documented. [Netflix’s False Story of the Central Park Five, by Linda Fairstein, WSJ, June 10, 2019]They were convicted by two separate juries and spent years in jail before crazy-liberal 90-year-old District Attorney Robert Morgenthau celebrated his retirement by vacating their convictions. New York City's communist mayor Bill De Blasio then awarded them forty million dollars from city funds.,0,182,268_AL_.jpgThose are the mere facts. The Narrative is that these five young men were randomly arrested and coerced into making false confessions. The current Netflix production follows that Narrative.

So does the entry for it on IMDb, the standard-reference movie database. The heading on that IMDb entry read (I'm sorry for the poor grammar, which is IMDb's, not mine):

Chronicle the true story of a notorious case of five black teenagers who were convicted of a rape they did not commit.

A bit further down the IMDb entry we read that, quote:

"When They See Us" Shows the Horrors of Injustice.

In the same spirit Wikipedia includes the case in its List of wrongful convictions in the United States.

The false narrative about the Central Park Five is now as thoroughly, firmly established as the ChiComs' narrative about June 4th, to the slight degree that the ChiComs have a narrative—i.e. that it was trouble stirred up by a tiny group of counter-revolutionary malcontents in the pay of hostile foreign powers.

Watching the 10 o'clock news the other evening on Fox 5 New York I saw the bubble-brained presenters, Steve Lacy and Dari Alexander look straight into the camera and tell me the Central Park Five were "wrongly convicted." I bet they believe it, too. At the NPC level, which is the level you're at with local news announcers, the Narrative is fact while facts are heresy.

Linda Fairstein, who headed up New York City's sex-crimes unit and was lead prosecutor on the Central Park case, is being ruthlessly unpersoned. She has written a couple of dozen books, most of them crime novels based on her own experiences as a prosecutor. Now the mob is calling for bookstores and libraries to remove those books from their shelves, and for Ms. Fairstein's publisher and agent to disown her.

This particular Narrative, the one about the Central Park Five, is helped along by the fact of its keying in nicely to Trump Derangement Syndrome. Donald Trump was still very much a New York City personality when the assault occurred and in the years up to when the convictions were vacated; and he was vocal for justice to be done on the facts as presented, twice over, in court—facts, remember, that left no doubt about the guilt of the defendants.

When Fidel De Blasio awarded the rapists forty million dollars of city money in 2014, Donald Trump wrote an op-ed for the Daily News calling the settlement "a disgrace."

He was of course right.

"Who controls the past controls the future." No, we're not at China's level, yet. Linda Fairstein's book sales might take a dive, and I'd advise her to be careful who she answers the door to;  but she's not being dragged off to have her organs harvested, as routinely happens to dissidents in China.

Our rulers still have a pretty firm grip on the narrative, though. Damn them.

Previous Counter-Narrative Central Park Five Coverage



2010-12-24dl[1]John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire's writings at can do so here.






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