Friday, March 30, 2012

Media Lynch Mob

Everybody's so busy wanting to be down

with the gang.

"I'm conservative", "I'm liberal",

"I'm conservative". Bullshit!

Be a fucking person! Lis-ten!

Let it swirl around your head.

Then form your opinion.

No normal, decent person is one thing, okay?

--Chris Rock

The cops reported you as just an another homicide

But I can tell that you were just frustrated

From living with Murder Incorporated

--Murder Incorporated
Bruce Springsteen

one may smile, and smile,

and be a villain

, I. v

Rounding out race week: What it means to be liberal.

One of Ranger's associates once asked me, "So what are you?" after their discussion of their early years in Catholic school. "I'm a human" I said (
thank you John Lennon), so absurd seemed the question, as though he could draw a bead on me via such categorization.

So how do we know who anyone is? We have been discussing the rush to judgement this week on the Trayvon Martin case. In legal matters, we come to know what's relevant based upon the workings of our legal system. If we no longer have faith in the process, we have a problem.

The quick and severe sectarianism even in the legitimate press over this issue has been shocking. Among the commentariat, if one sides for the guilt of Zimmerman, one is
correctly liberal, and if one calls for delegating the matter to the authorities, one must be a bigot. I am confounded by the majority of my supposed fellows who cannot countenance my position of non-outrage over the non-revealed facts.

To be a liberal thinker is to be broad-minded and inclusive, to consider as many angles as possible, and to shut off no option until it becomes a dead-end or fails to jibe with the preponderance of the data one ingathers. Yet -- it seems today, liberal equates with toeing the party line, swallowing an agenda, being either-or. How did thought become so factionalized and such a bully point?

In the Martin case, what does this imply, this imperative to whitewash any possible culpability of the killed member of a confrontation if he is black and his killer is not? I am not making any judgement here, but simply asking the questions. Is this another opportunity for the anti-gun crowd to argue their agenda?

We have a race problem in this country; of this there is no doubt. It is Hobbesian in proportion, as it really is all against all. Of course, this is not admitted in polite company, but if you drive a mile across Division Street in most towns, you'll see it. It is confusing why we cannot seem to get it together. Part of the problem is that we are not brave enough to speak about it; part is that we -- none of us -- do not even understand it.
Magical thinking -- not acknowledging the problem or erasing any culpability is not solving it.

There are some nuts and bolts deficiencies, but there are esoteric and philosophical aspects, too. It may be that people always need a scapegoat. Maybe we are lazy and scared, or angry, or a little of all. What seems clear is that we like to be outraged and like to feel righteous, but still, NIMBY rules the day for most.

I loved the "Portlandia" clip about the principles deep and abiding concern for the provenance and well-being of the chicken they were ordering at a restaurant, but the bottom line? They are going to eat Harold the chicken, providing his upbringing is devoid of enough terror so as not to upset their delicate equilibrium after ingesting him. And this is not to bang Portland (how wonderful to have a microbrew - cafe culture; I wish we had such a thing!)

So you can gussy it up and make eating meat a little more palatable, or you can stop eating it altogether. Your degree of conviction is what is on the chopping block.

All I'm saying is, we have some race problems, and we have people entrenched on both sides of the matter. The problem cannot be solved through outrage over one incident which only got print because of some salacious thinking in the hardcore liberal circles. The problem is not going to be fixed by throwing money at it; it is intransigent, and has thus far resisted the solutions offered.

So, you can get up in arms at the police, or call people pansies for not walking in the Tenderloin or being suspicious of a guy with a hoodie pulled over his head.
But it's all about place and time, concealment and intent: A burqa, niqab or a chadri would arouse similar suspicions in our terror-fearing world, and what to do about that?

I'll stick with my original statement: Martin's death would have been a non-starter, save for some crime reporter picking up up on the novelty of the name of the shooter. By the time it went national, the reporters had only just discovered that Zimmerman was not only not white, that he was, in fact Hispanic and Catholic.

The Jewish students who campaigned for and died fighting in the American Civil Rights Movement are forgotten; it is a long-known sociological phenomenon that those who help pull you up are later resented for the inequity of power which they once represented.

In one of the more grotesque examples of the hatred in the Left, the radical's darling rag,
CounterPunch (The Second Killing of Trayvon Martin), describes Zimmerman as "a pathetic, chubby, Chaz-Bono-lookalike" -- boy that really makes you bust a gut, huh?

Writer Eskow goes on to enjoy more schadenfreude at Zimmerman's expense:
"Any man who lived through public high school knows George Zimmerman, and may well have had occasion to kick his ass," because, you know, George is fat and pathetic, and looks like a transgendered individual. Hey, let's laugh at some she-males ... do we feel bigger, yet?

And the final line delivers the knock-out punch: Zimmerman has "a shyster lawyer" -- surprise, surprise. So, dammit, we have missed the bus on finding a Jew perpetrator, but we can surely skewer a Jew sort-of accessory to the fact, right?

I see this media lynch mob as a prime example of racist bullying, and racism is racism. If you want to present as anti-racism Mr. Eskow, et. al, it would be really good if you were not racist.

So the liberals do the weighing act, and I guess up against the shysters and the alternatively-gendered buffoons, Mr. Martin in his hoodie is looking pretty good. Is this the best we can do in our efforts to ferret prejudicial rot out of our society?

You are either all in about civil rights and human rights and trust in the rule of law, or you wallow in a personal miasma in which you are constantly tallying up the score of least-reviled individuals based on your proximity to the perceived threat.

It looks like easy outrage has trumped rationality for the moment.

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Blogger FDChief said...

I keep coming back to this, Lisa, but the bottom line here is that there was enough squirrely stuff about our boy Zimmerman in this shoot for the DA to have at least empaneled a grand jury. The catch-and-release aspect of this is what is generating the outrage, and I can't exactly disagree; you say that "liberals" are supposed to trust the legal/political system, but this one seems to be a nasty reminder that there is a strong bias IN the system to give the benefit of the doubt to the copper or and white guy (or, if it's a black-on-black homicide, to not give a shit about it).

Not disagreeing with you that there IS a ridiculous amount of fulminating about Zimmerman. But if the DA had done an actual investigation - as opposed to, as seems to have happened, asking a handful of questions and throwing up his hands - this entire thing might have been strangled in its crib.

Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 10:43:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I had any feelings left, that 'toon would get me upset :0)


PS here's some real music to sooth angry & disjointed souls


Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 11:31:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Everybody is bitchin' about the DA's actions, but nobody is telling us where the manpower or funds will come from to give detailed attention to every case that passes their desk.
Do some research on the budget cuts in the Atty Gen'ls and legal system in Fla.
Were fat fuckin'g busted, and this event shows this to be true.

Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 5:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Chief says,

this one seems to be a nasty reminder that there is a strong bias IN the system to give the benefit of the doubt to the copper or and white guy

... yes there's bias in the system, so why are we outraged over this ONE? This is not giving the benefit to the "white guy" 'cos there IS no white guy. Again, we don't know details, and what's most intriguing is that this one all-too-typical story got any national press and why has the liberal media decided to lynch mob Zimmmerman?

That's the question. You see, no one seems to care much about the plight of the black community otherwise, unless someone trumps up a case for them to rally behind.

Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 9:27:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Unfortunate your name was used in the 'toon! Wonderful music, and it is soothing. Man may reach for exaltation, or degradation. It would be nice if more chose the former.

Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 9:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

jim: I'd be shocked if the problem really was "budget cuts"; a squirrely shoot like this, the DA doesn't see how - purely in self-defense - it'd be a good idea to make damn SURE that this was a good shoot? We're cash-strapped here, too, but somehow we find a couple of dollars in the budget to empanel a GJ to make sure we find all our white-Portland-cop-shoots-black-Portland-citizen all righty-tighty.

Lisa: We're outraged because the system SO obviously didn't give-a-shit. Little Richie Lowry had a column (if by "column" you mean "vaguely hinged rantings about race owing much to the sort of worldview the National Review held in 1962") about this where he compared the "outrage" about this to the "lack of outrage" over several black-on-black shootings he listed.

But - the differences were

1) the shooters in the black-on-black killings were prima facie ASSUMED to be guilty, and

2) in both cases they were pursued by the authorities, and in at least one caught, tried, and condemned.

Like I said to jim - if I'm the DA, the local coppers, and the Florida State Attorney I want to be Caesar's wife here - I want to be above suspicion of letting some guy walk because he MIGHT have taken the law into his own hands because he MIGHT have been a racist pain-in-the-ass.

That didn't happen here, very obviously didn't happen, and as such looks really, really bad. As you point out in your very next post; the callous assumption of innocence on the part of the shooter - whether he's some sort of self-appointed gated community hall monitor or a self-inflicted foreign occupier - makes the shooter look very bad and the relatives (or racial fellow-citizens) of the shot very angry and suspicious.

Like so much of the recent sorts of legal/social/political "choices" here in this country; foreign wars, Citizens United, the ridiculous arguments about the "individual mandate" of the ACA, the notion that government bureaucrats are somehow scarier, more intrusive, and more venal than corporate bureaucrats (whether from petrochemical producers or insurance providers), the decisions seem to fly in the face of common sense.

Of course we should be more careful where possible racial animus is involved. OF course we should consider the real possibility of corruption from corporate money and influence. Of course we should question our motives in intervening in a foreign internal war.

Instead, we seem to be more interested in proving our assumptions correct than dealing with practical problems.

Monday, April 2, 2012 at 3:13:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

I think what I felt on this had more to do with a bag of skittles vs a 9mm then it did with black vs white. I kind of see it the same as Chief, that the reason we feel outrage is that the process did fail. This case was not handled as it should have been by either the police department or the DA.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 3:36:00 PM GMT-5  

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