Toure Has The Real Questions On Ferguson, Black Kids And The Police
Anyone who has watched or heard Toure knows he is quite the race-baiter and sees almost everything in terms of racism. He continues this at The Washington Post
An information war is being waged in Ferguson, Mo., each salvo meant to shape public perceptions of Michael Brown and Darren Wilson.
Through this war we’ve learned that the 18-year-old Brown had marijuana in his system when he was killed, suggesting he was of poor character, and that police officer Wilson shot Brown six times, a use of force that could seem reckless or excessive. We’ve been told that Brown was a “gentle giant” who would have started attending classes at a technical college this month, but we’ve also seen a grainy convenience-store video in which he does not look gentle. We have seen a video of Wilson receiving an award, looking professional and happy, but we’ve also heard about him cursing at a Ferguson woman who had been maced, weeks before the town began to smolder.
Such snippets and images are efforts to shape public opinion about these men. They could influence St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch as he weighs whether to bring charges against Wilson. They could also influence the potential jury pool, showing prejudicial evidence that may not be admissible at trial.
In an information war, the news media is deployed as a weapon, our collective mind becomes a battlefield, and biases are land mines waiting to explode.
Yet, Toure and his network, MSNBC, have been leaders in pushing the memes about racism and Michael Brown being a gentle giant, along with other Liberals. Here’s where it really goes off the rails
I feel confident stating that neither Brown nor Wilson is an angel – because no one is. But that doesn’t matter, because the two men have been reduced to symbols. Information wars suggest that character is destiny and that character is knowable, as if a handful of snapshots or tweets constitute an autopsy of the soul. They are waged in all kinds of legal battles, from civil suits to contract negotiations to public divorces.
But when there’s a black victim involved, the information takes a different and predictable turn: The victim becomes thuggified. This is an easy leap for many minds, given the widespread expectation of black criminality. If you become nervous when you see a young black male approaching on the street, it is not hard to convince you that a kid who was shot was not one of the “good ones,” that he was scary and maybe did something to deserve it. Information wars thrive on America’s empathy gap – the way some people struggle to see any kinship or shared humanity with strangers who don’t look like them.
Reall? Did something to deserve dying because Black? How about if the truth is that Michael Brown attacked a police officer, including punching him in the face? This is all an interesting point of view coming from someone who works at a network which portrays Conservatives and Tea Party members who get in legal trouble as The Worst People Ever (usually right before we learn that the perp was actually someone who has Lefty political leanings and the story silently disappears).
So after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012, people were told that he had been suspended from school, that he had written graffiti, that he had smoked marijuana. As a result, many saw him as a thug – even though many non-thugs have been suspended from school or gotten high, and those are not violent acts. More important, none of that sheds any light on what happened the night George Zimmerman shot him.
Zimmerman was portrayed as a virulent racist, a vigilante, a White guy (despite being Latino), a guy drunk on power. NBC edited the 911 call to paint him as a racist. Toure forgets to say that Martin was suspended three times, once for possibly having marijuana, and makes it seem that the graffiti is separate from the suspensions. He was found to have stolen jewelry, which matched jewelry stolen from a residence a half mile from his school. And, according to the law and the trial, we know Trayvon attacked Zimmerman first. We know from his text messages that he was fighting and thinking about getting a gun. Huh.
With Michael Brown, he had just committed a strong arm robbery. He was walking in the middle of the street (not jaywalking, as some like to portray). The officer asked him and his friend (who also has a criminal record and outstanding warrants) to not walk in the street. Is that “thug” behavior? The first certainly is, and makes no difference whether Black or White or Other.
But it doesn’t matter whether Brown was an angel. He was young and growing and human, and he made mistakes. That’s okay. The real question is not: Was Brown a good kid? The real question is: How are police officers supposed to treat citizens? California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor, has put it well: “Our penal code was not created just to protect Snow White.”
Yes, he made mistakes. He robbed a convenience store and assaulted and menaced people in the store. He wasn’t a kid. He was a legal adult who had just committed felonies. That’s not “okay”. As far as how are police officers supposed to treat citizens, well, in this case, the officer was apparently asking two idiots to stop walking in the street, for their own safety. According to many witnesses, the officer was attacked. Brown and his partner then ran away, stopped, taunted the officer, then Brown charged the officer.
Toure is correct with the end quote, though. The penal code was also created to protect people, including police officers, who are attacked by citizens.