Thursday, July 18, 2013

A New Low For The Right

klan and kidOn Tuesday the Washington Post defended the publication of a column written by Richard Cohen where he argued that George Zimmerman was justified in being suspicious of Trayvon Martin on the night he stalked and killed the unarmed black teenager. He says this because Trayvon was wearing a hoodie, which he suggests is a “uniform we all recognize”. My first thought was this sounded like the familiar statement “You People”.

Let me say that I know everyone has the right to freedom of speech and I appreciate it because in theory – so do I! However, some of Cohen’s comments were reprehensible and at best slanted to a Z-man mind set. For example, he said in the article: “I’m tired of politicians and others who have donned hoodies in solidarity with Martin and who essentially suggest that, for recognizing the reality of urban crime in the United States, I am a racist”. “The hoodie blinds them as much as it did Zimmerman.”

When Politico asked Cohen about the hoodie “uniform” that he described Martin wearing the night he was killed. He said, “It’s what’s worn by a whole lot of thugs”. “Look in the newspapers, online or on television: you see a lot of guys in the mugshots wearing hoodies.” Irresponsible!!!

I, like many reasonable people, reject Zimmerman claim of self-defense in spite of the all white – minus one – jury  that acquitted him of second-degree murder saying he was justified in shooting this boy “just because he was walking while black”. I might add that many share my view of the verdict that has sparked outrage and protests around the country. The good thing, if there is anything close to a good thing, is the decision continues to be discussed and debated on cable news, on social media and in newspaper opinion pages asking to address the system that is obviously biased toward people of color and black men in particular.

Cohen’s column drew sharp criticism and mockery online Tuesday:

“Richard Cohen’s not a racist, he just thinks it’s reasonable to assume young black men are all criminals,” tweeted Slate’s Matt Yglesias.
“I totally recognize the hoodie uniform,” tweeted The Washington Post’s own Ezra Klein. “I wore it at UC Santa Cruz. Weirdly, no one thought I was dangerous.”
“Washington Post is scared of young black men,” tweeted Circa editor-in-chief Anthony De Rosa.
And Washington City Paper editor Mike Madden tweeted his own summation of the piece: “Post columnist Richard Cohen: ‘… I am a racist.’”
The Washington Post’s editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt, defended running the column in an email to The Huffington Post on Tuesday. “If I had not published the column, just as many people would be asking why the Post can’t tolerate diverse points of view,” Hiatt said.

“I think if people want a ‘conversation about race,’ as is frequently suggested, they should be open to a range of views and perspectives. We already have published multiple such views — not only Richard Cohen’s, but Gene Robinson on the same page, Ruth Marcus and Jonathan Capehart and our own editorial the day before — and we’ve got more coming,” Hiatt continued. “If people don’t like a particular opinion, my feeling is they should respond to it, not seek to stifle it.”

Robinson’s column this week — “Black boys denied right to be young” — offered a perspective from a different point of view from a black man who knows the unfairness of the system and racism concerning Cohen’s justification for being suspicious of Martin. Further, it is worth mentioning that the Attorney General, the number one law enforcement officer, told a story of being profiled in Washington DC as a prosecutor.

Robinson said, “Our society considers young black men to be dangerous, interchangeable, expendable, guilty until proven innocent,” Robinson wrote. “Black boys in this country are not allowed to be children” but “are assumed to be men, and to be full of menace”.

“I don’t know if the jury, which included no African Americans, consciously or unconsciously bought into this racist way of thinking — there’s really no other word,” Robinson continued. “But it hardly matters, because police and prosecutors initially did.”

This isn’t the first time Cohen and others has come under fire for making insensitive comments about young black men and as we see there are many who want to make the Z-man a hero or a champion of their racial biases. Much in the same way Paula Deen got into trouble for saying "n¡gga" and those who found no problem with it. What we have here is that Zimmerman killed one and that opens the door for others to get away with it too.


America has caused too many pains and much terror upon the black race from the first day we landed on the shores, and continue to remind us that we are not a white man and thereby not citizens. This ideology is not new. There were white people who signed the Constitution who owned slaves and thought like this man. There were also men of the same ilk who fought a Civil War over the issue of race where supposedly we were free with all right and privileges – we see how true that was!

Thought the prism of whites many view African Americans as little more than what they said in the beginning – less than human. These people also see women in the same way as it relates to reproductive rights, voting rights, or for that matter anything that could harm their view of the inalienable right to supremacy. Racism is a mindset, a twisted understanding of a bias toward another, and rooted in a belief in white entitlement.

These same people speak of life though their anti-abortion views. Yet, they believe in retroactive abortion through the killing of black man. One of the defense lawyers said, if the Z-man was black, he would never have been arrested. These kinds of statements are the problem. In their protection of manifest destiny and white privilege there seems to be no end to this non-sense.

The true fact is this: the country’s minority population is rapidly growing and in not too many years they will be the minority. These race hustlers are trying to sell a narrative that “Nat Turner is at the door of the plantation house and white people need to be afraid”. So the NRA and the right wing nuts as white people shoot to kill the scary black man. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…