By John Ruberry

This year could end up being the most tumultuous year since 1968. During that year there was of course a heated presidential election, the Democrats nominated Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who represented the status quo, one that was not especially popular. The Republicans chose a former vice president, Richard Nixon, whose critics decried as someone who presented a dark vision of America. Sound familiar?Chicago Police SUV

Missing of course in 2016 is a third-party presidential candidate who can win electoral votes; in 1968 avowed segregationist and renegade Democrat George Wallace fed on racial discord–and there is plenty of that this year, most of it brought on by leftist groups such as Black Lives Matter, which seems very keen on protesting the rare shootings of African-American criminal suspects but is largely on silent on the daily carnage in cities such as Chicago, where so far this weekend over thirty people, most of them black, have been shot. In most of these shootings it’s very likely that other blacks pulled the trigger.

What is largely forgotten about the 1968 election is that it was the first presidential contest since Reconstruction in which a southern blacks voted in large numbers.

We’ve progressed far.

The penultimate year of the turbulent 1960s also brought us the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War, North Korea’s seizure of the USS Pueblo, the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King–the anger from the latter caused dozens of deadly riots in American cities–the May Insurrection in France, and the turmoil of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

John ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

I’m sure I overlooked something.

This year has seen several deadly Islamist terrorist attacks, including last month’s Orlando night club shooting and the Nice, France truck killings, two assassination tragedies–one in Dallas and the other in Louisiana–where multiple police officers were killed, “Brexit,” Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, the attempted coup in Turkey, and of course the frenzied US presidential campaign.

Remember: We still have five more months in 2016.

On the positive end, the Apollo 8 mission brought the moon within reach at the end of 1968.

Let’s hope 2016 ends with good news.

Oh, it was also in late 1968 when Star Trek’s “Plato’s Stepchildren” episode aired. Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura delivered American television’s first kiss between a black and a white, and this embrace was not an innocent peck on the cheek.

As Mitch Albom wrote in Tuesdays With Morrie, “Love wins. Always.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit. And yes, he was alive in 1968.

By John Ruberry

It’s been a rough May for hate crime hoaxsters. Liars have been caught peddling racist incidents that never happened, two of these, not surprisingly, were spread by college students and the third, was fabricated by a man living in a big college town.

America’s grievance industry preferred habit is the college campus.

All of the exposed accusers are black.

University of Iowa student Marcus Owens  said he was brutally beaten outside an off-campus bar and called the “N” word by three white attackers on the evening of April 30. Iowa City police officers investigated Owens’ story and discovered that there were in fact three fights that took place that night–and Owens started all of them.

Sherry Watt, the university’s diversity officer, says Watt deserves “empathy.” If my father was still alive he’d say that Owens deserves a kick in the head, although he clearly got his already.

State University of New York at Albany students Alexis Briggs, Ariel Agudio, and Asha Burwell said they were assaulted by a white mob who screamed racial slurs at them on a public bus in January. But as with the Owens case, it appears that “the attacked” were in fact the the attackers. Earlier this month the trio was hit with a variety of assault charges, two of them, Agudio and Burwell, were expelled from SUNY Albany while Briggs has been suspended for two years.

Security cameras, which helped catch Owens’ lies, were essential in exposing the correct narrative in the Albany case. This story attracted national coverage–even Hillary Clinton weighed in by Tweeting an early version of the violent assault.

While the national media, except for conservative outlets, have paid scant attention to the first two hoaxes, best-selling author and Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom’s Sunday piece offers the story of Jordan Brown, an openly-gay minister of a tiny church in Austin, Texas, who told the media and anyone who would listen that a cake he ordered from a local Whole Foods Market outlet with “Love Wins” written on the frosting had another word added, becoming “Love Wins Fag.”

Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments marker, Colorado state capitol grounds

Brown picked the wrong town, the wrong store, and the wrong pastry chef. Austin is the most liberal city in Texas and Austin-based Whole Foods, which prides itself on championing diversity, instantly stood by the baker, an LGBT community member. Brown sued Whole Foods and he referenced his faith repeatedly in his lawsuit, Albom notes. My guess is that “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” one of the Ten Commandments, was not mentioned in that suit.

Last week Brown admitted that this hate crime was fabricated.

He lied.

Another May millstone: Earlier this month Milo Yiannopoulos, an openly gay writer for Breitbart, presented a list of over 100 phony hate crimes over the last decade.

Which makes me wonder: While racism and bigotry is still a problem in our society perhaps it’s not a widespread as we are led to believe. But many people, liberal politicians among them, feel compelled to keep picking at this tragic national wound so then can advance the rest of their agenda.

Lying offers rewards. Race-hustler Al Sharpton road the 1980s Tawana Brawley race-based attack hoax into a very successful, albeit shameful, career for himself.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.