I don't see the relation between "unarmed black teenager is shot under puzzling and racially charged circumstances" and "black people shoot each other all of the time," but apparently it's become quite a thing. George Will has even jumped on the bandwagon (via Crooks and Liars):
WILL: Well, precisely. I mean, this is why we have what's called due process. We have institutions that are juries and grand juries and prosecutors who are supposed to look at the evidence and come up with the answer.
The root fact is, though, Mr. Jones, that about 150 black men are killed every week in this country. And 94 percent of them by other black men.
And this is — this episode has been forced into a particular narrative to make it a white-on-black when "The New York Times" rather infamously now decided that Mr. Zimmerman was a white Hispanic, a locution (ph) that was not — was rare until then, and I think they abandoned by Friday.
The funny thing is that Will's researchers must have looked up that little factoid. It certainly does not clarify the puzzling circumstances around this case: namely, the fact that someone stalked a skittle-bearing teenager on his way home , described him as suspicious, shot him, and walked away claiming, among other things, that he stood his ever moving and stalking ground. I don't know what happened, it seems odd.
But I suppose the implication is that one is inconsistent if one isn't shrieking with rage over the other murders. Which people are, anyway.
Here's a question. If one hasn't remarked on the 150 or so black men who die every week violently, is one enjoined from being outraged by the Trayvon Martin slaying?
2 thoughts on “Odd inferences”
"…this episode has been forced into a particular narrative to make it a white-on-black…"
The thing is, I don't recall people who were upset about a 17-year-old being shot for carrying Skittles while wearing a hoodie were obsessing over the ethnicity of the shooter. They were upset because (a) the 17-year-old was dead, (b) there appears to be no good reason why the 17-year-old is dead, and (c) the police seemed indifferent.
I understand why Will wants to project the black-white narrative onto critics of the shooting, but I see little reason to believe that critics of the shooting would be any less upset if this were a "black-on-black" incident.
It is fair to observe that critics of the police investigation believe in significant number that, had the races been reversed with a grown-up Trayvon Martin stalking and killing a 17-year-old George Zimmerman, Martin would have been arrested and jailed. Does George Will agree? If not, why isn't he focusing on that actual issue of perception rather than implying that nobody (including those concerned about the Martin shooting) cares about black-on-black violence?
Perhaps somebody should point out to Will that, in those other 150 or so cases, right-wing commentators aren't lining up to say that the shooter shouldn't be charged because the victim may have smoked marijuana, wore a hoodie, and had been in trouble at school.
Nice points. There's also the simpler point that you can pick out someone who looks like a thug who always gets away with it, think that justification to confront him, and think that sufficient justification for killing him.
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