Love this. Happy Sunday Open Thread :)
Love this. Happy Sunday Open Thread :)
A Texas sheriff’s deputy was killed execution style. The deputy was white. The killer was black. Excuse me, he had a “dark complexion”.
The suspect was described in multiple media outlets as follows:
Police described the suspect as a male with a dark complexion, about 5-foot-10 to 6-feet tall, wearing a white T-shirt and red shorts and driving a red or maroon pickup-style truck with an extended cab.
I’m already seeing some frustration on social media in terms of the kid gloves approach that CNN and its competitors are taking in describing that situation. With that in mind, allow me to rewrite the introductory paragraph from the CNN coverage at the top of this article.
A black man shot a white uniformed sheriff’s deputy “execution-style” while he fueled his patrol car in the Houston area, killing him instantly, authorities said…
The black gunman walked up from behind him and opened fire for no apparent reason, Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said.
When Goforth, who is white, fell to the ground, the black gunman stood over him and shot him some more, authorities said. He died at the scene.
Does that sound any different? It certainly seems to follow the standard journalistic style guide which is used every time the roles are reversed and it’s a suspect who is shot by a police officer. But for some mysterious reason the races of the individuals involved don’t seem to be worth mentioning in the immediate wake of this tragedy. Everyone is showing pictures of the deputy, who is obviously white. All the descriptions of the suspect include variations of the phrase, dark complexioned. That’s at least somewhat odd, since two of the witnesses on the scene clearly described him as a “black male driving a red or maroon pickup truck.” Granted, early reports can prove wrong and the still photo from the survellance camera is rather grainy so that may change later, but when you have multiple eye witnesses it seems quite curious that you wouldn’t report what they said.
This shit is really getting out of hand. Thanks Obama, for fanning the flames of racial unrest. Pretty soon the whole country will go up in smoke.
Two articles – the first is from Rick Wilson:
This was like a thousand other murders, carried out by a thousand other madmen. This was like a thousand other killings, be it with a knife or a hammer or a gun or fists. He was like a thousand other men, broken and dark and empty, punishing a woman who he imagines scorned him. He was like a thousand other killers, ridden by demons no mental health professional could correct or treat.
But this killing has the shock of the new built in. He set out not just to kill her, but to memorialize a digital record of his bloody vengeance. Instead of seeing the killing on grainy closed-circuit camera footage, or the tearful recountings of survivors and eyewitnesses, he’s turned his terrible work into a first-person shooter.
He recorded it on his phone. He posted his nearly-incoherent tweets, not as a justification but as a few final grunts out of his dead soul. He shared his video on Facebook. He faxed his manifesto. All the tools of our socially networked lives and world were used as a public channel for his rage. Even as a bit player on a local television station, he knew enough to exploit the boundless vacuum, thirsty for attention and clicks.
We’ve built a online society that posts our selfies, our food, our pets, our children, our high points and joys, all those manifestations of our best selves. There’s no turning the clock back, or unringing the bell of social media and technology, and we shouldn’t. The moral ambiguity of our tools is under-appreciated. We’ve become a people who believe in the agency of the weapon, not of the hand that wields it. The same social media account that lets you share something funny or touching or wonderful is the same social media the killer used today, and his ilk will use tomorrow.
There’s no solution to this problem. There’s no technical or regulatory fix. There’s no social structure to mediate this. We’ll see more first-person shooters, recording on their phones or their Google Glass or their brain implants, and we’ll stop feeling that this is new and shocking and just watch it settle into a terrible new normal.
I won’t use his name, because at least that’s a tiny, futile gesture to deny him his attention. All we can do is try to look away. Try not to click. Try not to share the product of the killers’ demented hearts.
But there is a solution, and he just said it. We can look away.
Why does someone shoot up a movie theater or school filled with total strangers? Because they want attention. They want infamy.
They want everyone to know their name. They want their picture in every paper and on every television.
We should respond the same way you respond to a child who is throwing a fit to get attention. We should look away. We should turn away the cameras. We should not say their names.
This isn’t censorship. It’s not something that the government could or should do. It’s something WE THE PEOPLE need to do. The best part is it won’t cost us anything.
What if each of us decided we would look away? What if we didn’t buy magazines, click on links, watch videos, tune into news reports or even talk about it?
What if we used social pressure to encourage the news media to stop sensationalizing these atrocities? Not a law, but a consumer-led campaign to deny fame to killers.
Imagine if the media treated these insane killers the same way they treated Kenneth Gosnell and the Planned Parenthood videos. Imagine if every tragedy wasn’t exploited by one side or the other. Imagine if the victims were more famous than the psychos who killed them.
Wilson is right – if only one person does it then it’s just a tiny, futile gesture. But it’s a start.
If you look away, and I look away, maybe those people over there will look away too.
Who knew Lady Gaga was was classically trained in opera, this is frilliant, warning goosebumps. Enjoy!
Latest on Erika:
Last night at the Staples Center Taylor Swift surprised everybody with a special guest when she performed a duet of “Smelly Cat” with Phoebe Buffay.
(Tay crushed it.)
If I had a daughter I wish she was just like Taylor Swift.
Don’t forget, Tay is up for Video of the Year for Bad Blood on the MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday.
What happened yesterday in Virginia was bad enough, but now the media ghouls are feeding on the dead.
The worst part is that this latest nutjob has raised the bar for all disturbed psychos who want to become infamous – record yourself committing murder and post it on social media. If it gets taken down somebody else will publish it.
Here’s the classy way you report the news and honor the dead without glorifying the killer:
If you want to be a hate-filled bigot, Hollywood will show you the way. John Cole (who else?):
I’ve been watching Show Me a Hero on HBO the past few weeks, and you should too. They are showing two episodes a week, and the final episodes will be aired this upcoming Sunday, so if you want to watch them live you have ample time to catch up on the last four. The true story focuses on young mayor in Yonkers attempting to put public housing in predominately white neighborhoods.
t’s all the old racial ugliness brought up again, and man is it timely. Or timeless (and yes, I am aware that this is the third post to link this- it’s just so terrifying):
The group said Trump has their best interests in mind, while other Republicans are looking out for themselves. “We’ve got to show the Republicans that we’ve had it with them, that we will not be there every single time. They treat us like crap and they lie to us and promise us things and then they expect us to vote again,” said a Republican woman. “That’s why we want Trump.”
The crowd in the room was angriest about national security. Nearly all of them, it appeared, had an unshakeable feeling that U.S. border was porous as a sieve and that the very things that once defined the nation: army, border and national pride—were fading. They complained of America’s reduced standing in the world, and Obama’s apparent ineptitude in challenging Russia, Syria and ISIS.
When the group listened to a clip of Trump claiming that as president “the military is going to be so strong” that “nobody is going to mess around with the United States,” nearly everyone registered approval on their dial meters of 100—a seldom occurrence among focus groups.
“We love our country and we love what our country stands for,” said a woman who added she comes from a military family. “I look at where we are now as a country where entitlements are just totally out of control. Our borders have completely dissolved. We’re not what we used to be. I want to people to represent my interest.”
Trump’s unapologetic focus on strengthening the border—he wants to build a wall and deport all 11 million immigrants before letting many back into the country—excites many conservatives, as well as some who don’t traditionally vote Republican. Though he has announced scant specific plans, Trump has said he will expand the military, commit to veterans, and take a tough line on dealing with China and Iran.
“He’s not afraid,” said a woman who voted twice for Obama. “He keeps prodding on even if people give him negative press. He doesn’t change and apologize.”
A couple years back, I thought the Republican base would be clamoring for a bully-boy asshole like Christie. I just didn’t realize they wanted a xenophobic fascist, but I probably should have.
As I am sure you are all aware I am not Trump fan, but I’m not sure how you get “xenophobic fascist” from that particular passage. On the other hand I can understand why middle class people would object to low-income housing projects being built in their neighborhoods. You don’t see them building “projects” in upper-class white liberal enclaves, do you?
But that’s not what I wanted to talk about.
John Cole hates white people, especially the conservative kind. Which is kinda funny because he is white and used to be a conservative. I’m guessing there are some issues there. Frankly I’m surprised he hasn’t gone full Shaun King/Rachel Dolezal and tried to pass as transracial.
In John’s mind, white people are bad. With the exception of an enlightened few (such as himself) we are racists who carry the original sin of slavery and segregation. Republicans are the worst of the worst, especially when it comes to race. Southerners and Tea Partiers are the worst of the worst of the worst. According to John Cole they are the modern KKK.
Which is really ironic because up until a few years ago John’s senior senator was a former Klan member:
West Virginia’s Southern Democratic United States Senator Robert C. Byrd was a recruiter for the Klan while in his 20s and 30s, rising to the title of Kleagle and Exalted Cyclops of his local chapter. After leaving the group, Byrd spoke in favor of the Klan during his early political career. Though he claimed to have left the organization in 1943, Byrd wrote a letter in 1946 to the group’s Imperial Wizard stating “The Klan is needed today as never before, and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia.” Byrd defended the Klan in his 1958 U.S. Senate campaign when he was 41 years old.
Despite being the only Senator to vote against both African American U.S. Supreme Court nominees (liberal Thurgood Marshall and conservative Clarence Thomas) and filibustering the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Byrd has since said joining the Klan was his “greatest mistake.” The NAACP gave him a 100% rating on their issues during the 108th Congress. However, in a 2001 incident Byrd repeatedly used the phrase “white niggers” on a national television broadcast.
Getting back to that HBO miniseries you might wonder where in the Deep South Teabagger part of our nation that Yonkers is located. Well, it turns out that Yonkers is actually a suburb of New York City!
That young mayor was a Democrat, but he wasn’t the hero that John Cole thinks he was:
In 1988, at the age of 28, Wasicsko defeated six-term Republican-Conservative incumbent Angelo R. Martinelli, age 60, to become the youngest-ever mayor of Yonkers, and the youngest mayor in a major American city. Wasicsko won by a margin of 1,466 votes of the 42,700 cast.
The major issue in the 1988 election was the court-ordered integration of public housing in Yonkers. As a candidate, Wasicsko advocated for “for resisting the court-ordered integration by legal appeals.” Martinelli and Wasicsko “had not taken dramatically opposite positions on the integration dispute, but … Mayor Martinelli had become identified with much of the emotion surrounding the issue,” contributing to his loss.
As mayor, Wasicsko changed his position when the city’s lawyers told him that the case was hopeless. He did so not because he thought it was right, but because he had no choice but to comply. After his death, his executive aide at the time said that “He wasn’t pro-desegregation, he was pro-compliance.”
so the US Department of Justice was trying to desegregate Yonkers? Who was the Attorney General back then? It was Edwin Meese, a Republican. And who did Meese work for?
Is your mind blown?