NPR Watch (10-28-15)

I was listening to National Public Radio on the way to work this morning. It was, as it usually is, their morning fake news program: “Morning Edition.”

This morning, they covered the incident in South Carolina in which a white “School Resource Officer” (whatever the heck that is) dragged a disruptive black girl out of her chair and onto the floor and, I gather, cuffed her. I saw only part of the video so I don’t know the entire story, but that’s the gist of it.

Then the story went to the — I think — School Board meeting either the same day or the next (yesterday) — doesn’t matter when it happened.

Needless to say, since the races were the ones involved, the public was there and, smelling blood in the water, the Race Grievance mongers were out in full force. And, needless to say, some idiot had to invoke “the history of our state.” This in reaction to someone saying that it was not possible to draw the conclusion that the incident was racial in nature.

The perfectly irrelevant “history of our state” remark passed uncountered, unremarked upon as if it were very deep and meaningful — which it was not — instead of stupid, inflammatory, irrelevant and idiotic — which it was.

It’s that very casually tossed-off, meaningless remark that explains the sorry relations between black and white Americans today. That and nothing more. All the acrimony springs from the fact that no one has countered the “history of our state/region/country” hogwash that has colored the narrative of race relations in America for the past half-century.

The “history of our whatever” is perfectly irrelevant when it comes to any individual incident that ever happens. Period.

You read it right. Perfectly irrelevant. People have been using this same pathetically stupid excuse to do and say all manner of pathetically stupid rubbish forever, and the way out of the current baseless hostility between the races is for someone to get up and say something on the order of “shutup about the history of this or the history of that, it’s perfectly irrelevant. All that counts are the facts of THIS incident. Period

If someone of prominence had had the courage to do that in the aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s killing, of Michael Brown’s killing in Ferguson, or Eric Garner, etc., there would be a lot less violence in America today.

When you keep banging the irrelevant drum of the history of this or that in individual incidents, you push every fringe, uneducated, close-to-the-edge, nutball just a bit closer to the edge, and some, sometimes many, go over the edge, as we saw in Ferguson and Baltimore.

History is not irrelevant in terms of our ability to learn from it — if, that is, we learn real history — but it is always perfectly irrelevant when it comes to the proper investigation into and disposition of individual incidents.

Read this well: if you were all of a sudden to revise the history of the South taught in schools today to say that — Oops! — it was never all that racist after all! It was really only isolated pockets, and those have all dried up with modernity — whether it’s accurate or not — guess what would happen. All these racist or crazy nutballs would step just a bit away from the brink.

There’s no reason to revise history, but there does need to be an understanding that things just aren’t all that badfor any race! — in America today. Therefore, someone needs to tell the truth: The history of a state or region or country is not important when it comes to the facts of incidents between people belonging to this race or that.

What counts are the facts of an incident. Nothing more, nothing less.

We have a beyond sacred belief in a core value of this country’s judicial system: The accused is innocent until proven guilty. It’s unique, and truly revolutionary in the history of the world. We all jeopardize that little part of our justice system only at our own vast peril.

In vain will you say that, well, the history of this or that region means that more people will be interacting with people of other races from a position of racism. Hogwash!

It’s just as likely — more likely even — that, Americans being Americans, people from regions with a history of racial strife will be even more conscious of acting with moral decency in their relations with members of other races.

Here’s a simple observation: if the races of the people in question — the girl student and the “School Resource Officer” — had been reversed, we’d have heard nothing of the incident whatsoever.

If the School Resource Officer is not a racist, then that’s all there is to it. It could be a case of excessive use of force, or not, but a racial incident is completely off the table if there’s no evidence that the guy’s a racist. If it’s excessive use of force, then treat it as such. Period.

Did the officer say or do anything that might indicate that the incident was racial in nature? No? Then there is no legal or moral way to start trying to pillory the guy as a racist.

When a person is investigated as a “person of interest” in a robbery, for example, the authorities are not able to launch any kind of other investigation into whether he’s been involved in anything else unless they uncover evidence indicating that he has. Pure and simple.

The fact that the officer was white and the student was black was evidence of one thing and only one thing: the officer was white and the student was black. Period.

We the people are being played by a media corps aggressively on the hunt for anything that can possibly be spun to appear like a racial incident. The fact that they scrounge up something like this only every other month or so — in a land of more than 300 million people! — proves that such incidents are exceedingly rare.

If America were the racist hellhole that the media wish to portray it to be, we should see hundreds, thousands, of such incidents every day. With cell phone cameras being as ubiquitous as they are, don’t you think we would?

— xPraetorius

3 thoughts on “NPR Watch (10-28-15)

  1. “This morning, they covered the incident in South Carolina in which a white “School Resource Officer” (whatever the heck that is) dragged a disruptive black girl out of her chair and onto the floor and, I gather, cuffed her. I saw only part of the video so I don’t know the entire story, but that’s the gist of it.”

    In our crazy, mediated reality, those videos were even edited to present a false impression, to exaggerate a point. When you look at the video taken from a different angle, the officer is actually bent forward and on his toes. She throws herself backwards, nearly taking him with her. Given his position and balance he clearly doesn’t have enough leverage to “drag” or “throw” her out of her chair.

    Also missed is the sound in the video, the gentleness in his voice when he speaks to her. He’s not in the heat of battle at all, he’s fairly calm.

  2. Thanks, IB! I was unaware of all that. Your phrase “mediated reality” is particularly apt here.

    It’s clear that I need to go back and read up more on the incident.

    The part that threw me here was the “history of the region” twaddle. How unAmerican is that?!?

    Can you imagine if you were brought up on some charge or other, and someone told you that, well, we think you’re guilty because there’s a history of people like you doing this thing?

    In America?!?

    You expect to see that kind of garbage in a country where the government is perfectly indifferent to the idea of actually understanding what happened in a case, but wants rather to have each outcome reflect its narrative properly.

    That’s third-world, banana republic stuff! We see such things all over the world in lands where basic human rights are as plentiful as unicorns.


    — x

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