In this country of 300,000,000+, it shouldn't be too hard for the national media to come up with actual news stories to illustrate its favorite themes of White Racism, the Invalidity of Stereotypes, and so forth. And yet, when the prestige press decides to go all in on a story to Push the Narrative, like Duke Lacrosse case or Jena Six, they usually seem to wind up with another travesty, playing Walter Sobchak with poor Donnie's ashes at the end of The Big Lebowski (video)
The Trayvon Martin story was supposed to demonstrate how white people invidiously stereotype young black males and get away with murder because they are white. First, though, it turned out that George Zimmerman wasn't what most people are told to think of as white.
Then it turned out the poor Trayvon had never gotten the anti-stereotyping message himself. In fact, judging from his Twitter account, Trayvon loved stereotypes of young black males as violent, criminal, and dangerous, and was working hard to polish his own thug image.
For his Twitter
handle, he chose the title of a rap song that I won't repeat (but you can listen to it here
and read the lyrics here
), by Kane and Abel and featuring C-Murder. According to Wikipedia
, "Corey Miller (born March 9, 1971), better known by his stage name C-Murder, is an American rapper and convicted murderer."
(By the way, what's the deal with the gold foil on the teeth
? I guess I'm out of touch with today's youth because I don't get that at all.)
This, the three suspensions from school, the school's suspicion of jewel thievery or fencing ... well, none of this is terribly conclusive, but it should give pause to the mainstream media's drive to rile up lynch mobs to go after the shooter. First, it suggests that Zimmerman's assessment of Trayvon as a potential burglar was, in fact, quite reasonable. He was found by his school with a backpack of silver jewelry for which he had no persuasive explanation.
Second, it adds weight to the notion that Zimmerman's version of the fatal encounter is conceivable. That doesn't mean it's wholly accurate, it just means that it doesn't sound terribly implausible.
Being a frothing at the mouth extremist, unlike the mainstream media, my view of this case has been that patience is the best advice. It reminds me of the homicide case against Michael Jackson's doctor for giving him that sleeping drug, in which the criminal justice system took over a half year to decide whether or not to arrest him. The doctor wasn't going anywhere, so what's the hurry? Get all the facts and think through the law. (I still don't know if that case was rightly decided, but I feel a little better that the authorities took their time about it and weren't stampeded into overly quick actions.)
As more facts emerge, the criminal justice system's behavior seems fairly reasonable. The myth is that the racist cops immediately let Zimmerman go due to White Privilege, but, in reality, they cuffed him and took him down to the station. There, he was questioned and the prosecutors decided that they didn't have a strong enough case to arrest him at present. Presumably, he has enough ties to the community relative to the only moderate severity of any potential charge, so he wasn't likely to go on the lam before they might change their mind.
One interesting argument I saw in an anonymous comment was the assertion that Zimmerman's father, who is some kind of judge, brought some sort of influence to bear on the prosecutors, or that at least the state listened more sympathetically to Zimmerman's story because of who his father was. I don't know of much evidence for or against this claim, one way or another, but it does not sound utterly implausible. But since it's too idiosyncratic to fit well into the main Racial Narrative that everybody is worked up over, it's been largely ignored.
What general lesson can society draw from the Trayvon case? Well, there's a win-win solution for how to get people to stop stereotyping young black males as thugs. Blacks should stop trying so damn hard to act like thugs.
P.S. A commenter writes:
"And yet, when the prestige press decides to go all in on a story to Push the Narrative, like Duke Lacrosse case or Jena Six, they usually seem to wind up with another travesty..."
They've eaten their own dog food. On the conscious level they actually believe their message. If they didn't, they'd look hard for the extremely rare cases of actual white-on-black rape and unprovoked violence. But since they do believe the message that they're spouting, they think that white racism is everywhere and that they don't have to look hard for it at all. Almost any case that involves whites and blacks will do. And when their message is reliably contradicted by that almost-any-case, they just think that THAT's an exception.
Yes, that makes sense. Everybody is an amateur statistician, and most people behave in their personal lives like pretty accurate ones (e.g., Jesse Jackson feels relief when he discovers that the people walking behind him down a dark street are white). But a working definition of a person who feels himself elite in modern America is that he doesn't integrate what he's learned from his daily life with his understanding of public affairs. There is mundane knowledge that you use when picking out where to live or where to send your child to school, but only ignorant people apply that knowledge to thinking about what's in the news. Instead, people with class only apply to their Higher Thought the Higher Knowledge that they picked up from reading, say, To Kill a Mockingbird in junior high school.
My view, in contrast is that, as the motto of Faber College in Animal House, pointed out: "Knowledge is good." The more we know, the better for everybody, overall. There shouldn't be disreputable knowledge that's kept apart from reputable knowledge. All knowledge is good.
I've been told that the reason it's bad for me to quote the Justice Department statistics on homicide rates by race is because everybody knows that and takes that into account when it comes to public policy, so it's just rude to mention it. But I see little evidence that elites are able to take into account Justice Department statistics in their Higher Thinking without articulating them in public. Instead, we just see repeated travesties in the press.
I'd add to the commenter's point that the media wants to find examples of whites not only doing terrible things to blacks but getting away with them because of White Privilege. And that turns out to be especially hard to find in 2012, contra so much that you are told by Hollywood and the press.
For example, here is an account of the sentencing to life imprisonment of a white teen in Mississippi last week who killed a black man for racist fun. (I suspect it was also a gaybashing, but that seems to have been not emphasized, for whatever reasons). This case got a fair amount of national publicity, much more than a case of blacks killing a white for fun would have. I watch about an hour of TV per week and yet even I'd seen it on a national news show many months ago.
Nonetheless, it was ultimately unsatisfying to the prestige press. They couldn't flog it too hard because there wasn't much controversy over it. It was understood to be a horrible crime, and justice was served. So, it's ultimately another boring and depressing story about lowlifes, just with the races aligned in the approved manner.
In contrast, the Trayvon tale sounded to the mainstream media like the case they'd been dreaming of since J-school: white man kills black child in cold blood and is freed because of White Privilege! So, they fell hard for a story molded by a lawyer and pushed by Al Sharpton. Not surprisingly, it turns out to be a lot more complicated and ambiguous, but by now they are all in, so they'll just have to push harder to denounce skeptics as racists. When you own the Megaphone, that's what you do.