A Response to Dorner Supporters
February 11, 2013 - 8:20 am
A disgruntled reader, a certain Mr. “JES,” writes:
“…the identification of his [Christopher Dorner’s] race as the reason they are sympathizing with him is even more ridiculous. Before Wargas mentioned that, I never even thought of it. I thought these idiots were sympathizing with him b/c they felt he got screwed by the police.”
Of course he didn’t think of it. He didn’t think of it for the same reason that many people from across the entire political spectrum (yes, even some conservatives) don’t think of it: the association of a minority with oppressed righteousness has become totally reflexive and completely instinctual in contemporary society, to the point where nobody “thinks” of it; they just feel it on some sub-rational level.
Indeed, Dorner’s supporters do believe he has been screwed by the police. But why do they think that? Have they investigated Dorner’s case? No. They believe it because Dorner himself told them so, and gave explicitly racial reasons for the alleged injustice done to him. The LAPD has hundreds of minorities in service as well as in positions of power and administration. Why would they target Dorner for any reason other than a legitimate grievance? They are surely aware of the legal and political repercussions of genuine racism. What cop or police administrator wakes up in the morning and thinks, “Gee, today I’m going to compromise my career, my pension, my family, my reputation, and my freedom by targeting some minorities”?
And yet Mr. “JES,” who obviously hasn’t read this “manifesto,” continues to wonder where the racial element comes from:
“To bring race into the argument is rather sad, and a perfect pathetic
parallel to these idiots who are trying to find some justification in
what this lunatic is doing in LA. I don’t know this writer [i.e., me], but seems
like he might suffer from the White man’s burden [sic].”
Mr. “JES” (give your real name; I give mine) asks why I have brought race into this. Perhaps Mr. “JES” can put this same question to Christopher Dorner–assuming he can find him and, furthermore, assuming he doesn’t get shot before opening his mouth. For it is Dorner, not I, who brought race into this matter, by claiming the following in his screed:
“The department has not changed since the Rampart and Rodney King days.”
“Terminating officers because they expose a culture of lying, racism (from the academy), and excessive use of force will immediately change.”
“Those Caucasian officers who join South Bureau divisions (77th,SW,SE, an Harbor) with the sole intent to victimize minorities who are uneducated, and unaware of criminal law, civil law, and civil rights. You prefer the South bureau because a use of force/deadly force is likely and the individual you use UOF on will likely not report it. You are a high value target.”
“Those Black officers in supervisory ranks and pay grades who stay in south bureau (even though you live in the valley or OC) for the sole intent of getting retribution toward subordinate caucasians officers for the pain and hostile work environment their elders inflicted on you as probationers (P-1′s) and novice P-2′s. You are a high value target. You perpetuated the cycle of racism in the department as well. You breed a new generation of bigoted caucasian officer when you belittle them and treat them unfairly.”
Dorner explicitly writes that he is targeting whites. He also claims to target blacks, but only for the reason that those blacks may simply create more racist whites by taking revenge on their racist oppressors. Those who claim, therefore, that Dorner is in some sick way fighting to extirpate racism miss that his only reason for wanting to target black supervisors is that “they breed a new generation of bigoted caucasian officers.” In other words, all whites are basically the same–robots and automata who reflexively become racist on having a black supervisor. How racist can you get?
How odd, but not so surprising, that with a murderer on the loose with these political and racial motivations, it is I, a blogger, who am accused of moral degeneracy and racism. (Despite the attempt to look moderate, or even conservative, by condemning Dorner and referring to the “idiots” who defend him, Mr. “JES” shows his hand by accusing me of racism.)
Even if Dorner hadn’t provided us with this racial context, it could nevertheless be gleaned from the moist display of support for, or generally weak-kneed and wishy-washy criticism of, his murderous actions. As I have pointed out in two posts, a disturbing number of Huffington Post readers regard Dorner as one or more of the following: (1) a fighter for truth and justice who should continue killing; (2) a fighter for truth and justice who should not kill, but continue to fight for truth and justice in other ways–by, for example, taking hostages; (3) an essentially good soul whose decline is not his own fault and therefore the stuff of Greek tragedy.
How do the above interpretations of Dorner relate to his race? A thought experiment might serve us well in this regard. PJ readers must bear with me, for I am sure this is a hypothetical they have already thought of. Let us suppose that Dorner were a white man. Having been fired from a big city police department, he proceeds to go on a Rambo/Falling Down rampage, murdering both cops and civilians. He publishes, on his Facebook page, a document proclaiming his intention to murder more people in retaliation for the alleged wrong done to him. Also contained in this document are references to his love for Wayne LaPierre and the NRA, his hatred for gun control, his contention that Barack Obama is a Kenyan usurper, and the assertion that those who have badmouthed George W. Bush must cease to do so or face some serious consequences. He cites Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck as among his favorite media personalities. He says he will shoot blacks for treating him badly.
I can’t imagine, in this case, Mr. “JES” going onto the Huffington Post and asking its readers why they insist on injecting race into the discussion. No, I can’t imagine that at all. Nor can I imagine that, in this case, the received wisdom pumping through liberal websites would be that this hypothetical nut is a tragic figure who has been wronged by the system, despite his being a murderer.
Mr. “JES” then claims that I “suffer” from the “white man’s burden.” He cannot possibly know what this means. Rudyard Kipling’s poem refers to the “burden,” noble in the poetic speaker’s mind, of colonizing the benighted world for its inhabitants’ own benefit. In what sense do I advocate this? Mr. “JES” seems to be using the word “burden” here to mean something more mundane, as in “I am burdened by blacks” or “I am burdened by this rock in my shoe.” This is not the first time I have seen this literary term employed in this illiterate and ahistorical manner.
Apropos, though the business of calling others racist is a market that has been cornered, I can do it as well as anybody else. If anyone is laboring under a “white man’s burden,” surely it is the white progressive, who seems to view him- or herself as the only recourse that blacks have to succeeding in society. This is a kind of imperialism of the mind, is it not? It is an imperialism that presumes to bring comforts, both psychic and material, to the hearts of the helpless and the incompetent. A burden indeed–not for white men but for petty and power-hungry men. It is a form of soft bigotry whose low expectations mean that men like Christopher Dorner are never permitted to be fully responsible for what they do.
Instead, it is we who are the true criminals.