The Widdershins

21 Times…

Posted on: December 2, 2014

We are now in the holiday interregnum. It’s that period between Thanksgiving and Christmas where we will be besieged with ads telling us if we are worthy spousal units, children, friends, or postal patrons we will show it by exercising the credit card “swipe of love”. I’ve often thought transforming a religious holiday into a consumer-driven guilt fest is synonymous with proclaiming sin a virtue.

Which brings us to today’s series of inconsequential words birthed by less than consequential thought and mercifully Hello I'm a Victimstopped at intervals of interspersed periods and paragraph breaks. The question I pose today is this: When did the 98-pound weakling become the inspirational role model for, well, just about everyone?

The news channels have become one big tug-of-war between who is the bigger victim. Twitter is basically a “hash tag woe fest” in 140-characters or less. Facebook is just a 365-day Christmas letter of unbridled bragging intertwined with catastrophes and personal “major-go-to-pieces” of shoe-dying not matching new nail polish.

Wow — in rereading what I have written so far and I sound like a curmudgeon of the highest order. Perhaps I am, but I am sickened by the unending fiasco of “my victimhood is bigger than your victimhood.” It seems as if everyone is jonesing to sit “shiva” at the slightest of slights or a hint of innuendo twisted into a pretzel of defamatory duel-worthy insults.

The genesis of these decidedly “unpositive” thoughts is the Ferguson, Missouri, demoralizing mess. The whole Ferguson prolonged episode is fraught with leaders who wouldn’t know a good decision if they ran over it one of their MRAP tanks and then shot it with their grenade launchers and machine guns.

Over the weekend it was announced that the police officer, Darren Wilson, has resigned from the “56 member white, 3 black” Ferguson police force. His reason for resignation was, “His safety.” Not that he had been involved in a questionable incident where he lost control of a situation, failed to call for backup, and then chased an unarmed eighteen year-old at least 153 feet from the safety of his police cruiser and gunned him down.

Not that he had been the beneficiary of a tainted and lopsided prosecutorial grand jury.  A grand jury where he was paraded in at the beginning of the process and allowed to tell his story with all the conflicting testimony coming later and subjected to rigorous cross-examination by the incompetent prosecutors.

Not that he was the only person, the only person, out of the twenty witnesses who saw eighteen-year-old Michael Brown reach for the waistband of his basketball shorts — basketball shorts that couldn’t hold up a water pistol no less a revolver. Not that only two witnesses said Michael Brown charged at Darren Wilson while no less than a plurality of the twenty witnesses said Michael Brown had his hands up and was surrendering.

Add to this the indignation of the St. Louis police union over five Rams football players exiting the tunnel with their hands up and you have a perfect aperitif to accompany a feast of victimhood.

Or take Rudy Giuliani’s nonsensical race-baiting comments about “white police officers wouldn’t be in these neighborhoods if blacks weren’t killing one another.” Of course Giuliani, like so many others, have hopped onto the shiny trope train of blaming the victims of black-on-black crime to divert attention. The real facts are simple: People commit crimes of violence against real people they can see where they live — people don’t much care about crimes against invisible non-existent people. In fact, 84% of crime is white on white crime, but that statistic is rarely trotted out as an explanation of police militarization or as a criticism of why Humvees aren’t trolling suburban neighborhoods.

Truth is, we will never know the truth about the end of Michael Brown’s life. With both sides of this situation being “lawyered up” where Wilson is guarding his flank against a criminal civil rights prosecution and Brown’s friend angling for a civil suit, the two best witnesses have three months of legal programming to shade their recollection.

One thing we do know without any question, if you are a young black man you have a 21 times greater chance of being killed by a police officer than a similarly situated young white man. That’s not twenty-one more young black men being killed, that is twenty-one TIMES more likely to die from a police pistol than a similarly situated young white man.

There’s no victimhood in Darren Wilson changing his circumstances because of fears for his safety — the real victimhood is that Michael Brown could not.

In case you didn’t see Jon Stewart’s usual insightful take on the burgeoning cottage industry of victimhood instigation fertilized by Fox, here it is:

This is an open thread.


18 Responses to "21 Times…"

Great post Prolix.

Truth is, we will never know the truth about the end of Michael Brown’s life.

That’s the sad part. Also, had they not left his body out on the street like the body of a dead animal, perhaps the situation would not have gone downhill so quickly between the folks of Ferguson and the police. Just a thought there.

Is the embedded video working? I’m having trouble getting it to play with audio.

If anyone else is having problems with the video I found it here and it’s working.

Just saw the wx on the news about the storms in Cali. Lots of rain and mudslides. Buckle up annie!

Yep, this will certainly get me in the Merry Ho-Ho mood. 😉

Thanks Fredster for finding a video that works.

I thought about attaching the Tamir Rice video to this post, but it is just too disturbing with a 12-year-old being gunned down by a rookie cop for playing with a pellet gun. Here’s a chilling fact from the Tamir incident — two seconds after the police arrived on the scene Tamir was shot — twice — and the officers on the scene did nothing, no rendering of any type of first aid and not until 3 minutes and 49 seconds later with the arrival of another police car did anyone render any type of assistance to the boy.

I’m all for the body camera, but don’t you think adequate training should come first? Training like not jumping a curb and pulling up along side Tamir or in the case of Michael Brown, not giving chase until there is back-up on the scene.

Apparently, it’s not just us long haired hippie commie pinko freaks that are discomfited by Ferguson:

@9, for once we have comrades from within the ranks.

Prolix, last week I was having trouble embedding the youtubes and getting them to actually embed. I had to eventually go over to the text side to get them to embed, much like the way we were first doing them. Have no idea what’s going on with WP at times.

@7: I’m so glad you didn’t do that Prolix. I think it would just be too disturbing to see.

I love your post Prolix, and agree with all of it! Why aren’t cops taught to only shoot to kill as a last resort, when someones life is in imminent danger. I will never believe he had to shoot Michael Brown so many times, if at all. It seems they shoot without a thought. Time to move past that. Real life situations are rarely like movies.

chat @8, good link.

Fredster, I will listen to the Oh Crap Its Christmas vid a little later, it looks hilarious. I wonder if the Susan Cowsill mentioned is the girl from that sixties family pop band, The Cowsills.

We’re getting a lot of rain, but we do need it, so I’m not complaining. I drive slowly on the freeway, and don’t go out if I don’t have to.

Laker & I saw Stewart last nite, it was great. Can you believe The Colbert Report is almost over! That makes me sad! 😦

annie@13: The Oh Crap thing is actually pretty good. i wondered too about the Cowsill person. Debbie (singer on the album) has a website and she has a good voice. I didn’t know that she sang with the Pfister Sisters. And I’ll put it this way: anyone who can combine ukelele with Sousaphone is someone I have to listen to. 😆

If you can catch either her or the Pfister Sisters, I think you would enjoy it.

@16, I am really going to miss The Colbert Report. The network late nite talk shows are all such snoozefests (I guess maybe I should go back to watching them then…so I can sleep). Colbert won’t have any like the freedom he has on Comedy Central.

We are not Rams fans but when we saw their hands up entrance, we all burst out cheering and clapping. That was awesome. I’m so glad they didn’t apologize.

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