Imagine being so consumed with racial hatred that you travel all the way from Maryland specifically on a mission to kill black people. This is what seems to have happened last Monday night when Timothy Caughman suffered a brutal sword attack from a complete stranger apparently intent on targeting black men in New York City.
Caughman, who was 66 and lived on West 36th Street, managed to stagger into a police station, was taken to hospital but died of his wounds.
Caughman had an active Twitter account – @timrock715 – where he followed celebrities, admired Barack Obama, mourned Chuck Berry, celebrated Bob Dylan, commented favorably on Hillary Clinton’s debate performance and often retweeted posts about autism.
In his profile he described himself as:
can and bottle recycler in new york city and i would love to visit california. Im a good businessman.
Imagine too that you write for the New York Post and feel the need to describe the victim as a “career criminal”.
Caughman was in fact the college educated son of a preacher who had been a concert promoter with a lifelong love for Motown music. He was sorting through refuse in search of returnable cans and bottles when he was murdered.
On election day he tweeted: “Standing on line waiting to vote I love America.”
Imagined also being a journalist so consumed by … something … that throughout 2016 you are obsessed with a non-story of emails when the big scandal of Trump and Russia is right under your nose hiding in plain sight.
Trump, his minions and propaganda arm Fox News frothed with self-righteous indignation at the false notion that Clinton was under FBI investigation. The allegations went effectively unchallenged. (As Paul Krugman would say, “Thanks, Comey”.)
Now we know that it was the Trump campaign that was under investigation. Imagine being so consumed with Trumpophilia that you were willing to go along with and promote those false narratives.
To what extent they influenced the outcome can never be known for certain. But influence they surely did. Imagine having that on your conscience.
Here is how Timothy Caughman commented on the election result: