A United States Border Patrol agent on horseback uses the reins to try and stop a Haitian migrant from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acuna Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas, on Sunday. (Paul Ratje – AFP / Getty Images)
By Christine Favocci September 24, 2021 at 5:04pm
Leftists never let facts get in the way of a good story, and the fable about Border Patrol agents whipping Haitian refugees was destined to be a classic — even as it’s proven time and again to be a fabrication.
Social media was abuzz earlier this week after photos appeared to show agents on horseback whipping illegal immigrants at the border in Del Rio, Texas.
It was an easy lie to debunk, as agents don’t carry whips, and it was clear to those with a vague familiarity with horseback riding that what observers were mistaking for weapons were just the reins used to steer horses.
Still, politicians and pundits were not about to let such a useful narrative go to waste and quickly seized on the tale as a way to deflect attention from the Biden administration’s several blunders, including the burgeoning crisis at the border.
But the facts just keep piling up, and now the photographer responsible for the images has sought to set the record straight once and for all.
Speaking with KTSM-TV, Paul Ratje, the photographer who captured the images Sunday, was adamant that he did not see agents whipping anyone despite the story crafted around those pictures.
“Some of the Haitian men started running, trying to go around the horses,” Ratje said of what he witnessed.
“I didn’t ever see him whip anybody with the thing,” he added about an agent in the photos. “He was swinging it, but I didn’t see him actually take, you know, whip someone with it. That’s something that can easily be misconstrued when you’re looking at a picture.”
Do you think leftists knowingly ran with a false narrative?
This fact was corroborated by two photos of the scene taken from two different angles.
“Let me help you be more accurate,” Breitbart journalist Brandon Darby tweeted Tuesday.
“First photo appears to show Border Patrol using ‘whip-like cord’ on migrant. Second photo of same event shows it’s just the horse reins slinging around and agent is not whipping migrant,” Darby explained.
Let me help you be more accurate. First photo appears to show Border Patrol using “whip-like cord” on migrant. Second photo of same event shows it’s just the horse reins slinging around and agent is not whipping migrant. pic.twitter.com/wfFB2Dgweg
— Brandon Darby (@brandondarby) September 21, 2021
It’s undeniable that this is yet another case of leftist hysteria over innocuous inanimate objects — a phenomenon that strikes whenever it is convenient to advance some cause.
Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California is certainly getting some mileage out of this fake scandal, as it gives her a fresh excuse to put herself and her party on moral high ground with claims the situation is “worse than what we witnessed in slavery.”
It also gave White House press secretary Jen Psaki a way to talk about the crisis at the border without actually talking about the crisis at the border — after all, a myth about racism is preferable to the embarrassing truth about President Joe Biden’s incompetence every time.
Unfortunately, the game they’re playing with this ridiculous lie has serious consequences, as the agents involved were put on desk duty while the White House has now banned the use of horses on the border, according to NBC News.
Before the administration had a meeting with civil rights leaders about the fabricated scandal, Psaki said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas made the decision to cease the use of horses.
Border Patrol has lost another useful tool now that they’re no longer on horseback. Besides being a convenient way to navigate the tough terrain, horses also provided agents a better vantage point and kept them out of harm’s way on the ground.
The false narrative pushed by the left puts agents at yet another disadvantage while adding to the hysteria about the mistreatment of illegal immigrants at the hands of Border Patrol, a convenient way of letting the Biden administration off the hook for its actual humanitarian abuses.
Of all the false narratives Democrats have used, this story is turning out to be both the most easily debunked and one of the most consequential of them all — but leftists don’t care as long as they’re making another winning issue out of it.