It’s magical when people with dramatically different backgrounds can find common ground on controversial stories, especially those involving race, but that is exactly what has occurred today.
Exhibit A is a post by arch-conservative, and very white, journalist/blogger Stacy McCain (via Instapundit), entitled “My Official #Ferguson Commentary,” in which McCain reports that we call all stop watching the cable TV news, because the story of the death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, is simple:
. . . Stories like this happen all the time.
People get shot to death on a daily basis in America, and if I was required to express an opinion every time somebody died in a shooting, I’d never have time to comment on anything else. The only reason that the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, has become The Biggest Story in History of the Whole Freaking World is that (a) Brown was black, and (b) the cop who shot him was white.
That’s it — the whole story.
Criminal suspects getting shot by cops isn’t really unusual. Brown was unarmed, but the policeman who shot him — identified as Darren Wilson — didn’t know that. There was a robbery, and Brown matched the description of a suspect. . . .
Some people seem to think that just because cable TV news is covering a story wall-to-wall, they are obliged to blog about it.
How many people got shot to death in Chicago this past weekend? I don’t know, but I’m going to guess it’s probably more people than the Ferguson, Missouri, police have shot to death in the past five years. (OK, I just Googled it: 7 dead, 29 wounded in Chicago last weekend, including 16-year-old Shaquise Buckner. For killing black kids, the Ferguson police can’t ever hope to rival Chicago.)
When a story like Michael Brown’s death makes national news, it’s because the media decided there’s some kind of Social Justice angle.
Exhibit B is a story on Newsweek.com featuring liberal, and very black, recent Harvard Law School graduate Ryan Hatten, “Up From Ferguson: A Harvard Law Graduate Reflects on His Hometown.” (For some reason, Ryan goes by “Ryan Joshua” on his Facebook page, from which the above photo was lifted.) The article discusses Hatten growing up in the St. Louis area, and living a few years in Ferguson, and then graduating from the University of Chicago and Harvard Law School.
It then summarizes Hatten’s view of the Mike Brown story: that just as McCain says, it is, literally, black and white, and it depends for any significance on a Social Justice angle — one that Hatten proceeds to lay out, alleging without substantiation that white cops killing unarmed blacks is “commonplace”:
“As a young black man in America, the shooting death of Mike Brown, and other killings like it, hit me close to home,” Hatten told Newsweek. “The fact that Darren Wilson shot Mike Brown 10 minutes away from my high school home makes this experience especially personal to me.” . . .
“In order to understand what happened in Ferguson, one need not study at Harvard Law School or the University of Chicago,” Hatten told Newsweek. “In order to understand what happened in Ferguson, one need only know that Mike Brown was black, Darren Wilson is white and Darren Wilson shot Mike Brown numerous times while Brown was unarmed and, according to eyewitnesses, surrendering.”
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“The reason why so many people are so incensed by the shooting death of Mike Brown is because it is not surprising. The murder of unarmed black men has become commonplace in our society, and that fact should disgust any advocate of freedom and equality.
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“[A]s a law school graduate and as a person interested in the preservation of civil liberties, the police and media attempt to justify this killing by implicating Mike Brown in a ‘strong-arm’ robbery is appalling. Beyond the fact that ‘strong-arm’ has no legal significance, the fact that Mike Brown allegedly stole a box of cigars did not give Darren Wilson the legal justification to shoot him as he stood unarmed with his hands up.
“However, as a black man in tune with the deep cultural history of victim-blaming in these types of situations, I know that I should have expected this type of strategy from law enforcement and some in the media.
“I truly feel that this is a watershed moment. People are tired of hearing about unarmed black men being gunned down by those purported to serve and protect us.”
Time to turn off the TV.