The Loud, Shameful Haitian Migrant-Whipping Hoax Dies Quietly

In the corporate media’s characteristically sensationalist coverage, wild accusations are typically conveyed with prominent placements and screaming headlines. Corrections, on the other hand, are more often buried so deeply that most readers never see them.

The federal government did its own version of a buried correction recently when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) discreetly gave a service award to one of the mounted Border Patrol agents it had falsely accused of “whipping” Haitian migrants in Texas in 2021. If this is the government’s way of apologizing, it leaves much to be desired.

It may be hard to recall after all the subsequent border security disasters, but five members of the Border Patrol had their characters assassinated by the government’s highest officials and the media over a misinterpreted photograph. Trying to control a group of Haitian migrants in a chaotic scene, the mounted agents were photographed as their horses’ reins were flying through the air. Those in America’s booming racial grievance industry seized upon the false narrative that the agents were modern-day plantation overseers whipping a group of runaway slaves.

The narrative had some credibility issues, however. The man who took the photograph said no such whipping had occurred. Also, whips are not part of the equipment issued to mounted agents by the Border Patrol. That didn’t stop the opportunists from pouncing. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) seriously argued that the image was shocking because … well, because the Haitian people were repressed by France over 200 years ago. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, after initially defending the agents, said he was “horrified” by the images, and vowed swift punishment. 

The worst take on the hoax was given by the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the person who should be the most fair and diplomatic voice on such matters. “To see people treated like they did, horses barely running over, people being strapped,” President Biden said. “It’s outrageous. I promise you those people will pay. There will be an investigation underway now, and there will be consequences. There will be consequences.”

What about due process and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty? That was quickly discarded at the first opportunity to distract from consequences of the administration’s disastrous border policy and to continue the Democrats’ favorite political pastime: fanning the flames on race relations.

And what became of the promised investigation? A nearly 10-month long inquiry found that while the Border Patrol agents did not use whips to corral the Haitian migrants at the border, and that Border Patrol does not even have whips as part of its equipment, the agents must face internal punishment anyway.

After the investigation essentially died from lack of evidence, the most notable event is what didn’t occur. No apology issued from the White House, DHS, or the loudest members of Congress. So five men who took low-paying, low-prestige jobs to defend their country’s security had their lives turned upside down in a sickening, agenda-fueled hoax, and their bosses were leading the charge. Is it any mystery why recruiting is down at virtually all levels of law enforcement today?

Now, DHS belatedly gives an award to one of the five agents in the quietest way possible in the hopes that the nation’s often flea-like attention span will cause them to forget the shameful way they rushed to judgment and mistreated their own in the name of political opportunism. It is the typical tone-deaf, ham-handed approach to problems we have come to expect from Washington.

If our ruling class really wanted to apologize to the agents, they would honor what they fought for and legitimately defend our borders. We are tired of politicians talking tough to the media about protecting America while allowing a lawless, dangerous situation at the border to spread throughout the country. Words are plentiful and cheap. Honor those who serve by backing the rhetoric with action.

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