‘So, You Know How You Felt on 9/11? Yeah, That’s How We Feel When It Comes To Race.’
MSNBC's Michael Eric Dyson summarizes why the headlines remain haunted with bitter conflict this week.
July 17, 2013 - 9:30 am
This is the fifth of my reading/writing journals, a new routine of season 2 of the 13 Weeks Radical Reading Reading Regimen. Each morning I will juxtapose book excerpts from my readings with the day’s headlines and then try in the afternoon to make sense of the chaos of the day’s news. So far I’m not doing as well as I hoped. Some days I haven’t been able to finish, thus yielding longer multi-day collections. Eventually I hope to get in a better rhythm. See last week’s entries:
- Monday: “We Ought to Defeat Capitalism With Its Own Weapons, Comrades…“
- Tuesday: Can We Just Fast Forward to 2040? Please?
- Thursday: Researching the American Family’s War to Beat Death…
And here’s Monday’s entry collecting stories and readings from Friday through Monday — the battle over the scapegoat George Zimmerman’s fate continues: Turning On Mankind’s Magical Machines To Battle Mother Earth’s Cruel Monsters
Tuesday Dawn Book Reading:
On Tuesdays I strive to read books about technology, media, and the future. Lately I’ve been enamored with America 3.0 by James C. Bennett and Michael J. Lotus. The book explores American culture past, present, and future, explaining American exceptionalism. Here’s a passage from page 33 explaining that while Americans may not embrace egalitarianism, they reject inegalitarianism. This is very different from German culture and shapes the differences in how the two countries’ unions function so differently:
Tuesday Morning News Round Up:
Lead PJM Stories:
Jack Dunphy on George Zimmerman: There But for the Grace of God…
Richard Fernandez: The Government as Anti-Government Agitator
One of the most astonishing things about the recently concluded trial of George Zimmerman is that neither side walked away with renewed confidence in the court system. One side believed it had averted a miscarriage of justice while the other felt it had been the victim of one. Had the verdict gone the other way it would have been vice versa. Blind justice rarely makes anyone happy, since one side must lose and the other win. Yet it succeeds when both sides find it acceptable, for the king’s justice was intended to replace private vengeance, which is exactly what some are vowing to deliver after the expensive and widely televised trial.
Ironically, the players most actively stirring up discontent are the government and media themselves.
Their message seems to be: don’t trust government, don’t trust state legislation or the prosecutors or law enforcement — even when all of the above are substantially no one else but the agitators themselves. With Obama in the White House, Eric Holder at the Justice Department, and Angela Corey the district attorney, and the media the Media, just who exactly perverted justice? Just who exactly is the Man that one should rise up against and fight?
Adam Levick: Tisha B’Av and the Virtue of Jewish Statehood
The problem that Sharpton and Jealous have is that the FBI already had investigated the case, and could not come up with any proof that racial hatred was what motivated Zimmerman to follow Martin. Indeed, George Zimmerman was shown to have mentored black children, and to have publicly complained about police actions that he thought were unfair to the African-American community. His best friend is a black man. The tragedy that developed was hardly the same as when white cops were found to have beaten Rodney King and used unnecessary and brutal force out of racial animus.
Bryan Preston: Trayvon Protesters March into Florida Governor’s Office
Video from Lee Stranahan:
A witness posted on Facebook that she saw the gang of young men chasing the victim before they caught up to him and started kicking and beating him. That witness wrote that the black males were shouting “This is for Trayvon!” as they beat the man.
If Eric Holder is still looking around for a hate crime to prosecute, Baltimore offers one.
PJ Lifestyle Stories Today:
Roger Kimball: Sir Thomas More On the Trial of George Zimmerman
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
Theodore Dalrymple: Does Doctors Badgering Their Patients To Exercise and Eat Better Actually Work?
Doctors are often appalled by their patients’ unhealthy habits, as much for aesthetic as for health reasons. They are also irritated by the refractory nature of those habits and the failure of patients to do anything about them even when repeatedly advised to do so. Such repetition serves a purpose, however. Doctors may not be able to cure their patients, but they can at least make them feel guilty. To do so relieves the doctor’s feelings.
Becky Graebner: The Best and Most Rewarding Way to View the U.S. Capitol
Chris Queen: Hollywood’s Terrible Southern Accent Syndrome
Los Angeles officials late Monday night commended police in their response to violence following a protest of the George Zimmerman verdict and vowed to crack down on similar actions beginning Tuesday.
About 350 Los Angeles Police Department officers swarmed the Crenshaw district after groups of youths broke away from a peaceful protest in Leimert Park and stomped on cars, broke windows, set fires and attacked several people. Among those attacked were a television reporter and his cameraman, according to law enforcement authorities.
Late Monday, at least 13 people were arrested on suspicion of committing various offenses, the LAPD said. Reporter Dave Bryan and his cameraman, both of whom work for Channels 2 and 9, were attacked and one of them was taken to a hospital with a possible concussion, Lt. Andy Neiman told The Times.
Hollywood Reporter: Stevie Wonder Boycotting Florida Following Zimmerman Verdict
Washington Times: Feds admit improper scrutiny of candidate, donor tax records
A government watchdog has found for the first time that confidential tax records of several political candidates and campaign donors were improperly scrutinized by government officials, but the Justice Department has declined to prosecute any of the cases.
Its investigators also are probing two allegations that the Internal Revenue Service “targeted for audit candidates for public office,” the Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, J. Russell George, has privately told Sen. Chuck Grassley.
In a written response to a request by Mr. Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Mr. George said a review turned up four cases since 2006 in which unidentified government officials took part in “unauthorized access or disclosure of tax records of political donors or candidates,” including one case he described as “willful.” In four additional cases, Mr. George said, allegations of improper access of IRS records were not substantiated by the evidence.
New York Post: Spitzer, Weiner maintain poll position
A strange story recommended at the end of this story: 15-year-old French teen ripped in half by shark in Indian Ocean.
International Business Times: Man Sues Apple for His Porn Addiction Ruining His Marriage
In a 50-page complaint, Sevier calls Apple a “silent poisoner” responsible for the proliferation of “arousal addiction, sex trafficking, prostitution and countless numbers of destroyed lives.” Sevier is seeking damages from Apple but said he will drop the lawsuit if Apple agrees to sell devices with a “safe mode.”
Sevier claims that his addiction started when he “accidentally” replaced the “a-c-e” in Facebook with a “u-c-k.” Sevier said this F***book site “appealed to his biological sensibilities as a male” and he started to prefer the images on the screen to his own wife.
“His wife abducted his son and disappeared, which was a subsequent consequence of Apple’s decision to sell its computers not on ‘safe mode,’” Sevier argued, adding that until he got the MacBook, he had never seen porn of any kind or been to a strip club or sex shop. “The Plaintiff became depressed and despondent, unable to work as a result of observing porn on his MacBook and the impact it caused.”
George Zimmerman immediately went back into hiding after being acquitted of murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, his parents told Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview with ABC News, adding that they haven’t seen him since he left the courthouse.
The Zimmermans said that because of “an enormous amount of death threats,” they, too, have remained in hiding and still don’t feel safe enough to return to their home in Orlando, Fla.
Two days after a Florida jury found their 29-year-old son not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Martin, 17, Zimmerman’s parents, Robert Zimmerman Sr. and Gladys Zimmerman, sat down for their first television interview. They opened up about how their son’s murder trial has affected their family and how he and they are struggling to cope with the aftermath.
“Under the circumstances, we have not been able to talk to him,” Gladys Zimmerman told Walters. “To tell you the truth, we don’t trust anything, not even the phones.”
BBC News: 7 Killed in Protests in Cairo
Breitbart News: NBC’s Sharpton Plans 100 Protests in 100 Cities.
More must-reads at Breitbart:
Ben Shapiro: Justice for Darryl
On Thursday, July 11, police discovered the rotting body of 17-year-old Darryl Green, a black child from the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Green’s body was found behind a boarded-up house in the 6500-block of South Damen, face down on basement stairs. The body was so badly decomposed that originally, local news reports suggested that he had died of blunt force trauma. On Friday, an autopsy showed he had been shot to death. Relatives reported that Green had refused to join a gang at school.
Meanwhile, members of the media including Reverend Al Sharpton and Reverend Jesse Jackson focused on the “not guilty” verdict in the George Zimmerman trial over Trayvon Martin. The only media outlets that have covered the murder of Darryl Green are The Chicago Sun-Times and ABC 7 Chicago.
Joel B. Pollak: AP Still Referring to Zimmerman as ‘White’
Via Daily Caller:
Jeff Poor: MSNBC’s Harris-Perry: Zimmerman verdict says it’s ‘OK to kill’ unarmed African-American child
“I think this is part of this question about is this case about race,” she said. “And obviously there have been multiple viewpoints on this. But let me be really clear that one of the key ways in which we know this is about race is that this moment, in this moment, black families are holding their sons and daughters closer to them with such a sense that in this moment, this verdict — a verdict which may be the appropriate verdict, given the evidence presented to these six people and the decision they made based on Florida law — nonetheless, it feels as though it is saying it is O.K. to kill an unarmed African-American child who has committed no crime.”
San Jose, Calif. elementary school teacher Craig Chandler is on trial right now for allegedly blindfolding second- and third-grade girls and coercing them to perform oral sex on him during recess.
The trial opened Monday, reports the San Jose Mercury News. If convicted of the five child molestation accounts against him, Chandler faces up to 75 years in the state pen.
The details of the prosecution’s case are nauseating.
“There is no federal connection here,” McCarthy said. “If it’s possible, there’s even less evidence of a federal jurisdictional nexus than there was evidence that he had the state of mind to commit depraved-indifference murder, which is what he was charged with and what the jury rejected in Florida. There is no evidence after all the searching that they did that racism played into what happened in this altercation at all. And even if there were, there is even less evidence that what would happen apart from being self-defense, which I think what is strongly established as being at this point. There is no evidence that he had any intention of depriving Mr. Martin of any cognizable federal right. So if it’s possible, a federal case here would be even more frivolous than the state case was.”
Watch the video at the Daily Caller.
Noah Rothman: Dem Rep. Charlie Rangel: If Zimmerman Was Black, Police ‘Would Have Beat Him To Death’
Evan McMurry: Zimmerman’s Brother: ‘We Have Concerns Of Having Our Phones Tapped By The Administration’
Zimmerman had no kind words for the organizations that are calling for a Justice Department investigation into possible civil rights violations by Zimmerman:
“I think Eric Holder is being pressured by some groups who were calling for, initially, just an arrest. These same groups keep moving around the goal posts: the NAACP, Al Sharpton, the Rainbow Push Colaition with Jesse Jackson. First they wanted just a simple arrest and that’s it, have his fair day in court and whatever the verdict is, we’ll respect it. Then when the verdict was coming they wanted him to be found guilty. But the verdict isn’t what they wanted, so now they’re moving the goal post again, and calling on the Department of Justice to investigate him more.”
What do Barack Obama and Edward Snowden have in common?
Potentially, as of next year, both may be proud owners of a Nobel Peace Prize.
A sociology professor at Umea University in northern Sweden has just submitted an open letter to Norway’s Nobel Prize Committee nominating the controversial fugitive for the same award that illustrious persons like President Obama, Martin Luther King Jr.,Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela have been granted over the years.
In the letter, published July 13 in the Swedish Västerbottens-Kuriren newspaper, professor Stefan Svallfors asserts that “Edward Snowden has helped to make the world a little bit better and safer” through his “heroic efforts” to reveal the large scale surveillance program known as PRISM. In addition, he cites the 2009 Prize President Obama was awarded as a “hasty and ill-conceived decision” and that granting the honor to the former contractor will help rebuild the Nobel organization’s reputation worldwide.
Noah Rothman: MSNBC’s Michael Eric Dyson: ‘You Know How You Felt About 9/11? That’s How We Feel’ About Race
“When the people who rig the definition and the litmus test have a bias to begin with, it’s not going to be proof positive for you when you come along testing whether race or bias exists,” Dyson began. “We don’t have to impugn [Zimmerman attorney] Mr. [Mark] O’Mara‘s character and integrity to say what you are talking about is on Mars and we’re on Venus.”
“We have to often tell people who get defensive about racism analogy, let’s make an analogy to terrorism,” he added. “So, you know how you felt on 9/11? yeah, that’s how we feel when it comes to race.”
At the Daily Mail:
Daily Mail: Jobless couple who claim £27,000 a year benefits want a new council house because they’ve had SIX children ‘by accident’ while living in a one-bedroom flat
Mrs Flisher says she cannot work because she is depressed and has mental health problems, while Gavin has to stay in their cramped home to look after her and their family.
Their three eldest children Lacieann, eight, Elektra, six, and Gavin Jnr, five, all currently sleep in the only bedroom.
Daily Mail: Norwegian neo-Nazi musician said to be an ‘Anders Breivik sympathiser’ arrested in France over fears he was plotting a similar massacre
‘If you, dear European nationalists, really want to save Europe (as a biological term) you have to realise that the only thing to do is to cast aside all Christian other international nonsense and embrace only the European (i.e. Pagan) values and ideals and if you like the European deities as well,’ said the posting, dated December 13.
‘If you work for Christianity in any way you work for the Jews. Plain and simple.’
Vikernes, a black metal musician and writer known as Varg, was convicted in 1994 of stabbing a rival musician to death in Oslo and burning down several churches.
Daily Mail: Canadian man gets 12 years for repeatedly raping his girlfriend’s toddler and filming the attacks
A man who believes sex with children is the ‘purest form of love’ has been sentenced to 12 years jail for repeatedly raping a toddler.
A court in Canada heard how the convicted paedophile began to sexually abuse the two-year-old daughter of his girlfriend shortly after moving in with them.
The offender was adamant that he disapproves of the social views and laws prohibiting sex with children and that he views such a relationship as the purest form of love,’ Judge Cutler was quoted by CTV News.
‘The offender demonstrated no sense of guilt, shame, regret or remorse for his behaviour. He acknowledged no victim impact and demonstrated no victim empathy.’
The news service revealed that in one psychological interview, the man said he believes he is likely to re-offend and cannot be rehabilitated.
Daily Mail: Inside a sex doll factory: A look at the eerily lifelike faces and bodies before they are assembled into $7,000 silicone ‘companions’
Afternoon Culture Headlines:
R.J. Moeller at Acculturated: Rick Santorum’s Terrible Plan to Remake Pop Culture
Ashley E. McGuire at Acculturated: Time to Unhook from “Hook-up Feminism”
Are serious relationships and marriage incompatible with career?
As a career-minded woman who fashioned herself marrying sometime at 30 after a couple years of dating, but instead met The One at 24 and got engaged after five months of dating, married six months later, and was pregnant 11 months after that, I can speak for myself: No. My career took off after getting married, and accelerated even more after having a baby.
Think about it. Having emotional support from a committed and lifelong partner, being liberated from the perils and anxieties of the dating world, spending your evenings and weekends with your best friend and love of your life is like constant defibrillation. Bad day at work? You have someone who will always take your call. Nervous before a speech? You have someone to listen to you rehearse over and over again. Just feeling down? You have someone to pop the cork off a bottle of wine and sit down and just listen.
Or you could sext or drunk dial your sex buddy?
The next generation of women needs to free itself from the preconceived notions of the feminists of the generation prior. Yes, they gave us some good things: we can’t get fired for getting pregnant, our boss can’t slap us on the behind and get away with it, and our husbands can’t beat us and then leave us. But the most recent variation of feminism also gave us a vision of sexuality that has cost some 55 million lives to abortion, infected us with countless sexually transmitted diseases, and led us to believe that having drunk sex with strangers is not just okay, but the golden ticket to career success.
Reminder from David P. Goldman’s article on Monday:
Just 29% of black women over the age of 15 were married in 2010, according to the Census Bureau’s comprehensive Current Population Survey. That compares to 54% of white women. At all ages, black women were about half as likely to be married as white women. That is an astonishing number.
The percentage of out-of-wedlock births has risen from 18% in 1980 to 40% in 2010. Twenty-nine percent of white births were non-marital, against 73% for black births. That’s nearly three-quarters of all black births.
Via the Writers Write Facebook page:
Wednesday Morning Reflections:
Perhaps one of the reasons why I’ve slowed down on my writing recently is because I’m embarrassed at how “socially conservative” my conclusions have grown after years of editorially stewing in the kinds of depressing sex, violence, and political corruption stories like those linked above.
Among the facts of the George Zimmerman trial nobody wants to mention:
1. Trayvon Martin’s parents divorced in 1999. He was four years old at the time.
2. Martin lived with his mother and older brother.
3. Before changing his mind and deciding to assault Zimmerman, Martin was heading to the home of his father’s new fiancee.
The questions nobody wants to ask: if Martin’s parents hadn’t divorced, would he still be alive today? If he’d had a regular father in his life modeling proper masculinity, would he still have taken his cues about how to be a strong man from hip hop culture?
Here’s another un-askable question: would Barack Obama still be the person he is today if his parents had not abandoned their marriage too? (My list of Obama’s surrogate father figures here.) How much of our politics today is a war between those broken by not experiencing a family growing up and those striving to protect their families now?
I’ve got something else embarrassing to write about: I decided to highlight Michael Eric Dyson’s gaffe about racially charged crimes as equivalent to 9/11 because during my previous life as an undergraduate progressive troublemaker he was one of my favorites and influences. His books on Malcolm X and Tupac Shakur shaped my naive, sheltered, suburban sympathies for a criminal “ghetto” culture allegedly rebelling against a racist white power structure.
Yeah, that all fell apart once I got out of college, actually started living amongst “ghetto” culture, and then read a few Thomas Sowell books.
But now that MSNBC has gone full-on Nation in its editorial line Dyson has a more prominent perch than a decade ago and perhaps it’s time to go back and catch up on his books that I didn’t get to during my Democrat days. He’s become one of the most effective voices at mainstreaming very radical, destructive cultural ideas. And it’s important to understand where he got those ideas to begin with if we’re to ever hope at preventing more Tryavon Martins from growing up to think that the way to be a man is to beat up a “creepy ass cracker” up to impress your girlfriend.