Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jon Stewart, Fox News and Ferguson: Race Matters

The all too predictable thing about many conservatives is that whenever there is a situation in which there is an abuse of power by state agents and the alleged victims are Black, conservatives, with very few exceptions, rush to defend the state agents, insult and smear the victim, and go out of their way to do to the alleged victim what a police dog allegedly did to the Michael Brown memorial.  In defending alleged or even proven abusive state agents on hidden or not so hidden tribalistic/racial grounds they often will claim no bias. In their view they are being objective. Obviously conservatives aren't the only people with blind spots and unchallenged assumptions. Liberals, libertarians and people of other political persuasions and ideologies have their own hypocrisies and instances of moral myopia. I just don't care to discuss those today. What I find fascinating about the normal conservative stampede to defend the police, provided the victim is Black, is that these are often the very same people who will work themselves up to a high dudgeon about overreaching government when it comes to the IRS, or Obamacare or bossy TSA agents or the EPA or nosy census questions or Common Core standards or any number of other instances of government bigfooting that usually fall far short of a policeman beating or shooting someone. These folks will wave the Gadsden flag and opine about "freedom loving Americans" but won't criticize police who wrongly harm someone provided that someone doesn't look like them. Such actions say everything about who's considered a "real American" and why the President has been dogged with false claims about his nationality, race and religion.

Ultimately though, we're all in this together regardless of race.  As Angela Davis said it they come for me in the morning they will come for you at night. Police who are comfortable insulting, harassing, abusing, assaulting and killing black people will do the same things to any "unworthy" white people. We've talked about that before. You let some dogs get off leash and they will bite whoever they see.  Unfortunately some conservatives, say Bill O'Reilly, can't see this.  Such conservatives assume that if a black person got hurt, that thug/thugette had it coming. These folks glory in their privilege even as they deny it. In his own inimitable manner Jon Stewart tried to explain this to Fox News watchers/hosts in general and Bill O'Reilly in particular.

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