STOCK TAKING

The older I get, the less satisfied I am with the decisions I've made in life. Despite being gainfully employed and not universally considered a terrible person by those who know me, I can't shake the feeling that I could have turned out a lot better than I did.

Then I see people rallying in the streets to support a white cop who shot an unarmed black teen under still-mysterious circumstances and I feel better. At least I didn't turn out like them. See? It could always be worse. I could be holding up a "We are all Darren Wilson" sign in Ferguson right now or I could be donating money to him along with some choice racist words of wisdom. Maybe I haven't succeeded at anything in life, but at least I don't have thoughts like, "Isn't it time somebody finally stood up for the white power structure?" and then act on those thoughts to let The Man know that I am a good, reliable, authority-worshiping bootlicker who can be counted on to defend that which actively screws us all. At least I'm not a mulleted, scowl-faced piece of white trash hiding virulent racism behind the facade of "support" for someone who has been on paid vacation for two weeks and has the support of every single institution of our society from law enforcement to the media to the courts to (white) public opinion. At least I'm not plastering the internet with excuse after excuse for a white cop shooting an unarmed black teen six times even though it benefits me not one bit to do so other than to reinforce the social order that allows cracker assholes like me to kill black males with impunity because, you know, they're scary and shit.

Cop Bingo

If you want some insight into the mindset that produces this kind of quasi-fascist sucking up among white people who loathe the government with every fiber of their being yet will defend the police to the death, refresh yourself on Adorno's classic The Authoritarian Personality or, for a slightly more recent take, Bob Altemeyer's work on authoritarian followers (and how they can be simultaneously so submissive and aggressive) and Right Wing Authoritarianism is always worth a read. These provide interesting looks into the minds ("minds") of people who want to secede from the United States because Congress passed a health care law but rally to the defense of a cop for actively killing an unarmed citizen.

If we didn't have these deeply unwell people among us we might have to invent them for our amusement.

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43 Responses to “STOCK TAKING”

  1. Xynzee Says:

    I was very "pleased" to see the Bill Cosby quote—the Stop Blaming White People one—in my newsfeed today. Of course it was reposted by a white guy.

  2. Jude Says:

    Careful, Ed. You're going to upset the authority-worshiping bootlickers who often show up in your comments.

  3. Freeportguy Says:

    From their stand in the Bundy case in Nevada, it's not that right wingers are authority-worshiping bootlickers as much as they REALLY hate black people who are not all star football players on their favorite team.

  4. Sarah Says:

    Dude, I'm not into social justice for my amusement. I'm more than happy to spend my time reading books and playing video games and walking my dog if it weren't for all the shit going on in the world.

  5. Rich Says:

    I can relate to the sentiment, as I've often had such thoughts myself: I may not be much, but I'm sure as heck not what they are!

    Also, those cops in Ferguson look like total asses in their storm trooper getups. That has got to be pretty uncomfortable, and I wonder how much it contributes to their rotten temperament.

  6. Delbort Says:

    I've said it before (along with thousands of other people), for a group so outwardly incensed by government coercion in the form of progressive taxation they sure get a raging murderboner for government coercion in the form of "shooting you dead in the streets".

    They have all kinds of rationalizations and excuses when someone they don't like gets murdered by State Power, but heaven forfend a single dollar should be used to feed children.

  7. FMguru Says:

    My favorite so far was the counter-protest where the protestors were yelling "Don't shoot!" and the crackers were yelling back at them "Shoot! Shoot!"

  8. c u n d gulag Says:

    I believe I also haven't lived up to my potential.

    But, at least I'm not some kiss-up/kick down bigoted Fascist follower – or leader.

    There's something to be said for those of us who have some degree of empathy.

    Empathy is what separates us from these bigoted sociopathic monsters.

    While black protesters were chanting, "Hands up. Don't shoot!", the white sociopathic monsters were yelling "SHOOT! SHOOT!"

    Nice, huh?

  9. FMguru Says:

    Also, I'd replace the "Jesse Jackson" square with "Al Sharpton"

  10. Major Kong Says:

    That has got to be pretty uncomfortable, and I wonder how much it contributes to their rotten temperament.

    The kevlar helmets are like wearing a hollowed-out bowling ball on your head and about as heavy.

    Gas masks get rather hot and claustrophobic very quickly, even in relatively cool weather.

    Even worse is the full MOPP 4 chem gear, which covers your entire body because nerve agents can kill you by skin contact. That stuff was torture to wear for any length of time.

    You can simulate this by putting on all your heaviest winter clothing including parka, boots and gloves. Then stick a bucket on your head and a toilet plunger on your face and go walk around in August.

  11. Michael Says:

    Another good read along similar lines is Eric Hoffer's "The True Believer".

  12. Sock or Muffin? Says:

    I laughed at "Cop Killer", nice.

    Would also like to recommend "Conservatives without Conscience" by former Nixon counsel John Dean.

  13. Graham Says:

    Thanks for the Bingo. I've saved that for use here at an appropriate time.

  14. arjun Says:

    OK, someone is going to have to explain this one to me. First of all, let me emphasize that i would feel the same if this case were about that pretty-faced white punk whose mug shot became so popular recently.

    "Saint Trayvon Martin and Saint Michael Brown?" PLEASE!! You've got to be kidding! What about ND Tyson the great scientist or even George Washington Carver? I never hear black people saying they want to emulate them or talk about their great contributions as African Americans.

    OTOH, it's obvious that the local officials did a terrible job managing this case in Ferguson and that there are real problems with relations between the police and the local community, often involving excessive use of force, profiling and poor representation. But addressing these problems will not do much to stop a "gentle giant" from being a menace to society. I fail to see how elevating thugs to sainthood is helping anyone.

    It's obvious (IMHO) that there are two separate issues that have unfortunately become tangled. My solution would be to address the problems caused by the mostly white police force for a mostly black population, while delaying the investigation as long as possible. That way, if it comes out that MB has a long juvenile record and was hardly a "gentle giant" and Wilson turns out to be mostly innovent, maybe the resulting riots will not be so bad.

  15. Whatver Says:

    Without these deeply unwell people, we would have controlled fusion and a Solar System wide empire about now….

  16. buckyblue Says:

    Sorry Arjun, your logic is the logic of the bootlicker. If the kid is bad enough, then he got what he had coming to him. For my money, I'm not letting the cops make that call. It has NOTHING to do with what Michael Brown or Trayvon Martin did, and everything to do with what the cop and the Zimm did. So the shooting's justified because Michael Brown isn't the pillar of the community? Hardly.

  17. John Doheny Says:

    @Arjun,

    "What about ND Tyson the great scientist or even George Washington Carver? I never hear black people saying they want to emulate them or talk about their great contributions as African Americans. "

    Really? I hear that all the time. But then, I live in a black neighborhood and have actual real conversations with actual black people.

    Unfortunately the bingo card does not have a space marked "irrelevent speculations on victims "character,"" but it probably should. Nearly every attempt to explain why it's okay to shoot an unarmed man 6 times from 30 feet away while wearing a bullet proof vest in the comfort of your squad car starts from this speculative position of 'he was a bad guy."

    My question to you then would be "how does the cop know this"? Does he have special clairvoyant cop powers giving him instant insight into "character"? And are you comfortable with a justice system that allows powers normally assigned to a judge and a jury to be carried out in the street?

    The ONLY thing that matters (or should matter) is what kind of justification Warren can come up with to paint an unarmed man 30 feet away from him as a threat.

    That said, I got $5 says he cops a walk.

  18. J. Dryden Says:

    Gee, a black kid growing up in a world in which his race and social class have all-but-guaranteed him a life of abuse, mistrust and disenfranchisement who chooses to act out a little of the seething mass of justifiable anger and fear within him as he realizes just how much and how far he is fucked? No, Mr. Brown wasn't a "saint"–he was young and dumb (as all young men are) and pushing back a bit against the wall of hopelessness and abuse that life was increasingly giving him–lest you doubt me, I suggest you spend some time living as a "young black male" in this country–or, as he is more commonly known, a "suspect." Or a "thug."

    Dumb kids do dumb things. Some of those dumb things will be illegal. Shoplifting. Tagging. Smashing mailboxes. And so on. This doesn't make them anything more or less than young minds becoming terribly aware of how miserable their lives are going to be in comparison with their white counterparts.

    That's who I think Mr. Brown was, based on what we've been told/shown. Maybe he would have grown out of that. Maybe he wouldn't have. Most people do, and he deserved that chance. And a lot of other chances.

    Instead he was shot and killed and left to lie in the street for hours.

    And the people who side with Darren Wilson are doing so because they wish that they, too, could have killed him.

  19. proverbialleadballoon Says:

    Why mince words? They're fascists. They would happily provide the boot, stamping on a human face, forever.

  20. bjk Says:

    That's right, the media is full of mulleted white trash. Ed might be on the right side or not, but he's definitely on the establishment's side. Which would get more strange looks from his colleagues, an "I support Officer Wilson" sticker on his car, or a "Stop Killer Cops" sticker? Ed's rant is about as radical as an episode of Modern Family. The left forgets that it's in charge and has been for a long time.

  21. Major Kong Says:

    On what planet has "the left" been in charge for a long time?

    Today's Democrats are Eisenhower Republicans and today's Republicans are about one notch from Jefferson Davis.

  22. nate Says:

    The left is in charge? Awesome! Man, I can't wait until we give these corporations the what-for. Why is it taking so long?

    Killer Mike has been great about this, making the point that what the establishment can do the least of us, they can do to any of us.

    http://pitchfork.com/news/56402-killer-mike-discusses-police-militarization-ferguson-on-cnn/

  23. mk Says:

    I think "arjun" comes pretty darn close to winning your Bingo game with that one comment.

  24. comrade oz Says:

    I hate to bring this up, but where is Wayne La Petite? I've watched and listened for him on all the far right and farther right talk shows but no Wayne.

    Also, too, there's the old CYA standby: "He was following accepted police procedure."

    I love that one.

  25. fernando_g Says:

    "You can simulate this by putting on all your heaviest winter clothing including parka, boots and gloves. Then stick a bucket on your head and a toilet plunger on your face and go walk around in August."

    Thanks Major Kong, for explaining it in laymen's terms.

  26. Andrew Says:

    @Freeportguy: They hate that black guy too. He's just useful to them.

  27. Mo Says:

    Michael Brown didn't do anything as a teen that I didn't — but only one of us got killed

    There, arjun, does that explain it in simple enough terms for you?

    It always amazes what will rise to the bait. Too bad they can't be clubbed on the head, taken home and fried to feed the puppies.

  28. dieselross Says:

    bjk, the thing is that "don't kill kids" is not a "left" value, it's a basic human value. To the extent that supporting Officer Wilson is stigmatized, it's because it's a morally indefensible position that is incompatible with basic human decency. Ed shouldn't have to rant about this at all. In a decent world, this would be an utterly uncontroversial perspective with 100% support.

    Instead, we have a sizable chunk of the American populace that openly cheers for black children to be killed, that has no problem asserting that black kids in general are better off dead than alive, and that their killers deserve not only to escape prosecution but to be showered with hundreds of thousands of dollars. That's frightening in a way that goes far above and beyond any questions of political disagreement.

  29. bjk Says:

    Honestly diesel if you really believe that there is a sizable chunk of anywhere that "cheers for children to be killed," you're just not living in reality. But if you have to overstate your case to the point where it makes no sense, then maybe you had no point to begin with.

  30. dieselross Says:

    Allow me to quote Officer Wilson's gofundme page:

    "I support officer Wilson and he did a great job removing an unnecessary thing from the public!"

    "Waste of good ammo. It's my privilege to buy you a replacement box."

    https://twitter.com/fart/status/502366739431051264/photo/1

    "Thanks for taking out the trash."

    "All Darren Wilson was [sic] save the community a lot of trouble."

    https://twitter.com/ShaunKing/status/502697730440196097/photo/1

    I really don't think I'm reading more into these comments than was intended.

  31. Daphne Says:

    "Count your blessings, Todd: at least you have a spine."

  32. Ed Says:

    "Under Armour" clothing was invented not as athletic gear but….to be worn UNDER ARMOR. Body armor. Because anything kevlar is incredibly, almost lethally hot. You can sweat off 10 pounds in a day and that is not an exaggeration.

    It was 117 in central Illinois today. I couldn't handle being outside in shorts and a tank top. Imagine a tactical helmet and full armor. I'd be mad at the world too. At least until I passed out like 20 minutes in.

  33. Mo Says:

    I wanna see a bingo-off between arjun and bjk.

    Over-under, anyone?

  34. N__B Says:

    "You can simulate this by putting on all your heaviest winter clothing including parka, boots and gloves. Then stick a bucket on your head and a toilet plunger on your face and go walk around in August."

    What I do for fun with Mrs__B is none of your business.

  35. BubbaDave Says:

    "They would happily provide the boot, stamping on a human face, forever."

    They figure they're gonna provide either the boot or the face.

  36. moderateindy Says:

    Wait, I'm confused, when exactly are they jack-booted thugs trampling liberty, and when are they upstanding law enforcement officials doing their duty?
    Sure seems to be a big mystery doesn't it. I loves me some post-racial Murika!

  37. Freeportguy Says:

    Remember when discussing the virtues of the 2nd Amendment, a few conservatives went as far as saying that had slaves had guns back in the day, fewer would have been killed…

    Not only we haven't heard a single conservative or Wayne L'Idiot say this about Michael Brown, but now conservatives are considering that he was "armed" given his…size! In other words, he was a threat who deserved to be shot due to race and size (Hum, I wonder at what height that starts…)

    Here's what I've believed for a while: conservatives are all "armed" with the worst thing possible in politics and in any debate or disagreement: bad faith!

  38. Tim Says:

    I just can't believe how will people are to accept unarmed people being killed by the police. I don't think that's the kind of outcome where you can just say "oh, we'll just give him the benefit of the doubt and move on with our lives".

  39. Tim Says:

    Furthermore, even if the shooting legally falls within the bounds of the police officer's discretion, shouldn't people be asking whether this person should be trusted in future with policing the population?

    If I was in Ferguson I certainly wouldn't want an armed person with a history of bad judgement cruising my street or pulling me over.

  40. Mike andrews Says:

    MO do you have any Swishers for sale??

  41. Kaleberg Says:

    These are the same people who used give their kids lollipops to suck on when the family went out to watch a lynching. You aren't one of them. That is something to be proud of.

    The right wing is full of cowardly suck ups. I remember reading 'Sleeping With Soldiers', written by a woman who wondered about having sex with self characterized "real men". Well, she had her fantasy, but reading the book you'd find all these macho guys were afraid of rich people, afraid of blacks, afraid of touching another guy, afraid of just about everything. In fact, that fear was a lot of the reason for their macho posturing. It was an interesting book, but not what the author had intended.

    I grew up in an America that clobbered the Nazis and Japanese fascists, then stood down a nuclear armed Soviet Union. Ever since Reagan all I hear is America clucking like a headless chicken. Awk, buck, buck – It should be our national anthem. It's easier to sing than the Star Spangled Banner anyway.

  42. Davis X. Machina Says:

    The left is in charge? Awesome! Man, I can't wait until we give these corporations the what-for. Why is it taking so long?

    They're headquartered overseas, a lot of the bigger ones, anyways, and it's taking forever to scrape the money together to go over there and seize them.

    Have you ever tried to check a tumbrel as baggage?

  43. Bitter Scribe Says:

    You forgot "What about black-on-black crime?"