Saturday, November 29, 2014

How to avoid being a jackass about Ferguson


Allan Uthman, in full.

One unpleasant side effect of the unrest in Ferguson MO, and now spreading across the country, is that a lot of white people are making giant asses of themselves on social media. Amazingly, none of them are racist, as they will tell you, but that’s how they’re coming across for some reason. For these people and those poor souls who care for them, here are a few pointers on how to avoid being a huge jackass. You’re welcome, America! Let’s start with an easy one:

  • If you find yourself using the word “animals” in a non-zoological context, try punching yourself in the face repeatedly until the impulse subsides.

  • If you think it makes sense to judge an entire community or race based on what a few people have done, please turn yourself in for your part in whatever recent crimes white people committed in your area.

  • If you feel a desire to blame the media for the simple act of covering the story, because if they didn’t, then people wouldn’t be mad, because they wouldn’t know what happened, try to understand that this makes you a proponent of censorship and that if anyone needs to shut the hell up it’s you.

  • If you find yourself repeating the details of the accused murderer’s story as if it were the definitive version of the events in question, you are probably stupid. Try to keep this in mind. Even racists know enough not to trust any random white guy with a clear motivation to lie.

  • If you think this was an acquittal based on a thorough examination of evidence, please make an attempt to learn what a grand jury does and how it is not a trial. Also look up how many grand juries don’t indict. Never mind; I’ll tell you: like, none. Seriously, 11 out of 162,000.

  • If you found Officer Wilson’s statement that he “felt like a 5-year-old holding on to Hulk Hogan” compelling, consider that Wilson is Brown’s height, nearly his weight, and that he is a goddamn trained police officer, and that you were subconsciously wondering why he didn’t just say “gorilla.”

  • If you’re tempted to wonder aloud why the media didn’t cover some other shooting in which the victim was white and the assailant black, stop for a moment and remember that the shooter WAS NOT A COP and there is therefore no equivalence. Also, please don’t mention that whites didn’t riot over the OJ Simpson verdict, because OJ Simpson is arguably the first black guy who ever got away with murder and again, there is no equivalence there, you idiot. Then also try to recognize that it is you who is putting the situation in terms of race and only race. Then shut up.

  • If you were led to believe erroneous reports that wildly exaggerated Officer Wilson’s injuries, and yet still rely on the same sources of information that just lied to you, you need to acknowledge that you’re not primarily interested in the truth. But then again, why would you start being honest with yourself now?

Prosecutorial misconduct certainly; most likely corruption.  A police officer without the courage or even the decency necessary for the job, now a millionaire as a result of his fame in conservative circles.  There's more than enough wrong with this fresh stain on America's moral conscience to last for a generation.

But we know it's just going to keep on happening.  Until they can be convinced to stop it.

What do you suppose it will take to do that?

2 comments:

Katy Anders said...

I also find that the use of the term "thug" is not helpful and usually a harbinger of worse statements to come.

Gadfly said...

You mentioned enough moral bad conscience to last a generation.

Well, that's probably about how long it will take.

For the oldest generation to do, and the generation below it, its more wingnut members to maybe get old enough that a few of them mellow out.