Monday, April 8, 2019

Fort Wayne's Own Lethal Hate Crime Hoax

A local story in Fort Wayne unexpectedly received a lot of attention from around the nation. That is usually a bad sign as no one outside of Fort Wayne (or often even people in Fort Wayne) pay much attention to this region unless something bad happened. This didn't seem like much of a story. A truck driver named Taemon Blair, who happened to be a black man, drove from North Carolina to Indiana and stopped in Fort Wayne. The cause of death was asphyxiation and ruled a suicide. But inexplicably this death caught the eye of some "activists" who decided that any black man that died from hanging was automatically "lynched". Google his name and you get 39,000 results and many of them claim that Mr. Blair was murdered or lynched. Once semi-reputable media outlet Newsweek even ran a story about it. There is an obligatory Gofundme page with over $10,000 raised.

Why do people assume he was murdered?

Some say that the Klan is alive and well in Indiana like this dimwit calling himself A.R. Shaw: Black man allegedly lynched in state known for KKK presence. Uh, no. A couple of rappers that I have never heard of caught wind of the story and started making up a narrative about him being lynched. Again, no black man has ever died from hanging unless he was lynched apparently. Lots of stories talking about him "turning his life around" (after a year in jail) and that he had a baby on the way so obviously he wouldn't kill himself. Just like a multimillionaire comedian wouldn't kill himself. Basically the family doesn't want to believe he would kill himself, which is understandable, but that has turned into a frenzy of people claiming that Taemon Blair was murdered in the notorious KKK hotbed of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Granted a fair number of black men are murdered in Fort Wayne but they are almost universally murdered by other black men, which is the case everywhere in America.

It got so bad that the Fort Wayne coroner took the unusual step of releasing a statement of facts about the suicide of Mr. Blair. This took the form of a four page letter that laid out that: there is GPS evidence of Mr. Blair's route. Video surveillance caught him parking his truck at a Fort Wayne business. That same video showed no one else approaching his truck. The first sign of anyone else was an employee of the business trying to get his attention and then trying again later, discovering the body. There are no signs of any foul play. The wounds are consistent with hanging. The dash of the truck was not damaged as was reported on social media. Nothing about his death warranted additional investigation or an autopsy. The report states:

There are numerous reports on social media, Facebook, twitter, reddit etc.… which should be
addressed. It was reported that Taemon Blair’s hands were tied or bound, there is no reported
documentation or photographs which show the hands are tied or were bound. It was reported
that Taemon Blair had defensive wounds present, there is no reported documentation or
photographs which show any wounds other than the ligature marks on the body of Taemon
Blair. There is a report that the dashboard of the truck was caved in from kicking and his leg
was broken. In the same posting it is reported that his neck was severed from ear to ear from
what looks like fish hooks. There is no reported documentation or photographs which show
damage to the interior of the truck or the injuries described in the on line post. There is a
report where it is stated that the coroner’s office refused the family the opportunity for
autopsy, once the body is released to the family they have the option to have an autopsy
performed. In this investigation an autopsy was deemed not necessary to determine the cause and manner of death and one was not ordered through the coroner’s office, which is consistent with the protocol and past practice of the office. 

Unless you think that the police and coroners office are involved in some giant conspiracy to murder a random black truck driver in Fort Wayne, why would anyone think this was anything other than a suicide? He is on video pulling into the lot and is on video being discovered. Yes he was 6' 5" tall but that doesn't preclude him hanging himself. When I heard about this my first thought was that he died in the midst of Auto-Erotic Asphyxiation. He finished his route, pulled in for the night and was taking care of himself when it went wrong. It happens weirdly often. I don't get the attraction but whatever. I have no proof of that of course and even if that was what was going on, hopefully the coroner wouldn't include that detail out of respect, but that is a far more likely scenario than some random black truck driver being "lynched" in Fort Wayne for no reason.

What makes this lunacy possible is an entire segment of the population being spoon fed a constant diet of resentment and lies. There are tons of people ready to immediately believe that a truck driver from North Carolina drove into Fort Wayne and was lynched with no evidence whatsoever, just like many people assumed Jussie Smollett was attacked by two white guys in the dead of winter, in the middle of the night, deep in Chicago wearing Trump gear and shouting "this is MAGA country!". It is ridiculous to normal, sane people but when millions of Americans think the Klan is a real threat today and that cops are quite literally executing black men for no reason, there really is no scenario that they would find unbelievable.

Nothing will ever come of this. Mr. Blair killed himself, there is nothing to investigate and his family will insist in perpetuity that he was secretly murdered. For most people like me, this is a non-event and is already forgotten. For far too many minorities in this country, this event or at least the social media driven perversion of what happened, will be another part of their mythology of persecution. The resentment and anger and suspicion will simply be added on top of the already existing liturgy and every day the divide and anger grows.

A nation cannot survive when millions of people hold grudges and resentment based on hoaxes and rumors toward tens of millions of other people.

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