BUT OTHER THAN THAT IT'S OK, RIGHT?

Posted in Rants on November 10th, 2015 by Ed

Most of the (almost inevitably white) people you find making excuses for racism have a limit. Like, anything that could conceivably be argued to fall into some kind of gray area they will litigate and downplay until the cows come home. But if you ask them, point blank, "If a pickup truck full of white fratboys drive past a black university student and scream 'NIGGER!' over and over, that would have to qualify as racist, right?" They might not admit that anything short of that counts as racism, but unless they're really deeply disturbed, don't understand the definitions of words, or are trolling you hard, they'll give you that one. That would count as racism.

It is nothing short of amazing, then, that the above incident actually happened to the student body president at the University of Missouri in Columbia and there are still (white) people complaining about those uppity negroes demanding that everyone cater to their prima donna needs. You know. Like the desire to attend a public university that is not openly hostile to their presence (in small numbers). Go around the internet reading comments (never do what I just told you to do, ever) and count the instances of balding white men with tits using phrases like "playing the race card" and "whining" in reference to, just so we are clear, a truck full of presumably drunk white guys screaming racial slurs at a black student walking by himself. A reasonable individual might feel like that behavior and more importantly tacit condoning of that behavior by the community and the authorities constitutes a hostile environment in which personal safety is by no means assured. How many emboldened gaggles of drunk white hillbillies do you think it would take to graduate from screaming insults to physical violence?

That such a thing is even being mentioned in conversation in 2015 underscores just how badly the alleged "leadership" of the U of Missouri system has failed. I'm starting to think that being a moron may not be a prerequisite to serving in such positions but it certainly does seem to be an asset. The level of tone-deafness that leads a person to describe a swastika of human feces as "some graffiti" is difficult to comprehend, yet there you have it. Much commentary has focused on the role of college athletes at Missouri in applying pressure (It's an SEC school, the billion-dollar NCAA football conference for those overseas). I'm neither surprised nor bothered by that. If that's what it takes, that's what it takes. And I'm already on record supporting the idea of shutting down athletic programs or having walkouts/sit-downs/whatever you want to call it by football and basketball players to hold state legislators and university administrators over the fire.

By the way, is Missouri actively campaigning for Asshole of America status or did it stumble into the lead accidentally? We see the problem inherent in people in The North or the Coasts making fun of the Deep South; it's not that they don't deserve the mockery down there in Mississippi, it's that the rural parts of any state are every bit as bad. Or in Missouri's case, the urban areas too. Pretty much just the whole thing.

REAL POWER

Posted in Rants on November 10th, 2015 by Ed

Look, we know cops aren't very bright. Yeah you know a good cop blah blah blah nobody cares. These people are not the sharpest knives in the drawer at their best, and when you start scraping the bottom of the barrel you quickly find that expecting even mediocrity is too ambitious.

This video of the bottom of the bottom of the barrel – the campus cops at University of Alabama, a school best known for its excellence in chanting "Roll Tide" – doesn't show us anything we have not seen before. Buzz-cut idiots with seriously violent tempers that come immediately to the fore the second they sense that they are not being treated with sufficient deference reacting with disproportionate force toward something that presents no threat to anything except their insecurities…I mean, that's old news by now. What amazes me is how these people seem oblivious to the fact that they are being video recorded as though we don't know exactly how this is going to turn out. Congratulations, Buford "Hoss" McGee or whatever the hell your hillbilly name is: you have until Friday to clean out your desk! If you doubt that, just remember that all the students in the video are white. Their parents probably have money too.

The sheer stupidity necessary at this moment in time to realize that you're being videotaped, act like that, and think "I'm going to come out of this looking good!" is hard to conceptualize. With all but the oldest, most authoritarian, and most reactionary segment of the American public slowly waking up to the fact that police in a lot of places in this country are basically street gangs with badges, you might think that handling this situation differently might have had some appeal. Instead, they chose this. They chose this because they are not smart enough to realize why choosing this approach was a bad idea. And they thought that the video would hit the internet and they would somehow be hailed as heroes. For using six people to beat up a 5 foot tall college girl. Way to go there, Audie Murphy. Let's get you guys some medals.

Watch it again and remember that this guy knew he was on about five different smartphone videos. He thought we would be impressed at his bravery and sympathetic to the nightmare of Teen Sass that he has to confront every day. He doesn't understand that all we see is a man who is about to lose his double-wide in a civil judgment and will be lucky to have a desk job by this weekend.