TRUTH, JUSTICE AND JOURNALISM
It seems almost redundant to link to the Reuters piece on George Zimmerman that nearly everyone has seen by now, but what's interest about it is just how routine it is. It's a standard background piece and thousands like it run after prominent crimes. Any sizable news organization can put one out within a week and smaller
community papers and magazines regularly run them when there's a major
case. When the case is big enough, some of them get turned into movies,
mostly they help set a tone.All they really involve in meeting with some of the locals, arranging
for interviews, taking some notes and writing up the results. And what's
really interesting about "Prelude to a Shooting" is how long it took
until a media organization chose to run it.
I strongly suspect that there's a dozen pieces like it sitting in file
folders and desks in other media organizations that have not decided
what to do with them. I suspect the Reuters piece was in that same state
until someone decided to finally run it. The Zimmerman family has been
proactive in reaching out and trying to tell the story. It's the media
that has held the door shut.
"Prelude to a Shooting" is not the last word on the case. It's
background on Zimmerman, not the entire set of events, and it wouldn't
even be all that significant except for the lynch mob atmosphere in the
media and the refusal of the media to do any basic reporting on the case
besides spewing back the same 'hoodie and skittles' narrative.
If Zimmerman had just shot a man in cold blood, there would be little
point in laying out the background, it would be no more than another
Bernie Tiede piece, but instead we do get crucial bits of context that
explain what was going on in the neighborhood at the time in the context
of property values, constant break ins and a neighborhood on the edge.
It's the final concluding material on Emmanuel Burgess that sets the
most important context in the case. It tells us part of why events
happened the way they did and that along with Martin's No Limit Nigga
material sets a different stage than the one that the media has thrust
BUILDERS AND DESTROYERS
We are more than who we are at any given moment. We are also who we aspire to be.
Both Zimmerman and Martin were flawed men, but Zimmerman's writings and
behavior showed a man who aspired to be something better, while Martin's
showed that he wanted only to sink down. Martin can't be entirely
blamed for that, he did not create and perpetuate the fake gansta
culture. It's the mostly white entertainment industry that did that,
often embedded in the same news corporations which organized the
lynching of George Zimmerman.
The entertainment industry did not tell Martin what would happen if he
assaulted an adult man who was concerned about the neighborhood, while
Martin was concerned about getting the "Respect" that gangsta culture
told him he was entitled to by virtue of his posing.
Martin did not understand that life was different than gangsta culture.
That men who have guns don't necessarily go waving them around. And that
sometimes when you have someone down on the ground and you're beating
on them, they will use what they have.
Had Martin killed Zimmerman, he would be preening for the cameras now,
the defiant upward head tilt you see so often in court photos. The pose
that says, "I don't care, because I'm too cool to care." It's the pose
that the man who might have been Martin's father often wears to tell us
that he's going to go on doing whatever he likes, because he can.
But that's not what you see in Zimmerman's face, it's not just regret,
it's pain. Zimmerman did not intend to take another human life, and he
regrets that and regrets how society sees him, and he is coming to terms
with doing what he had to do. There is a basic decency in his
expression which cannot be photoshopped onto Martin's face. The
photoshopping can pale his skin, younger photos can make him look
innocent, but nothing can make him look decent.
Zimmerman quoted Burke. Martin quoted hip hop. That was the fundamental
difference between the two men, not race, but culture. Zimmerman aspired
to be a good human being. Martin aspired to be street trash.
In a society under siege, there are builders and there are destroyers.
Zimmerman was a builder, we will never know what Martin might have
become, but he was on a path to becoming a destroyer.
We live in a culture that punishes builders and rewards destroyers. That
treats the destroyer as innocent and moral, because he is untainted by
knowledge and experience, because he resists the builders and spreads
anarchy and chaos.
The gap between Martin and Zimmerman is the gap between the graffiti
scrawler and the business owner, the occupy wall street thug and the
office worker, the rap star and the composer, the activist and the
Martin was just another pawn in a culture war waged by the destroyers
against civilization. As a a man he gorged himself on destroyer culture,
imitated it and then fatally lived it out. As a dead man, he became a
rallying cry for the destroyers.
There have been multiple black on white hate crimes in his name. There
is a trial in his name. And there is an election campaign in his name.
Destroyers are obsessed with martyrs. They need these tokens to see them
along to the next fight, the Horst Wessels, the Pavlik Morozovs, the
Hussein ibn Alis and the Trayvon Martins. Idealized figures to justify
the destruction and repression that they visit on others. Rituals, show
trials, songs, marches whip them up into a frenzy of destruction.
The Destroyers are always out for respect, but when they say 'respect'
they really mean power, they really mean the right to destroy because
they are somehow superior. They aren't. Decency is worth respecting,
power isn't. And those who try to get power by enforcing a mandate to
respect them sometimes learn that power works both ways.
VICTORY IN IRAQ
A united Iraq died a few days after the withdrawal. The only people who
still believe in the fiction of a centrally governed Iraq are holding
down desks in the State Department. There are several Iraqs now. There
is Iran’s Iraq, the one overseen by Tehran’s puppet in Baghdad, Prime
Minister Maliki. Then there is Iraqi Kurdistan which stands on the verge
of declaring its independence, an act that will touch off a violent
territorial dispute accompanied by ethnic cleansing.
Iraqi federalism is only popular among some in the Shiite majority, for
whom it means majority rule. Maliki’s warrant for Sunni Vice President
Tariq al-Hashemi and the latter’s subsequent flight and sanctuary in
Iraqi Kurdistan has ended the fiction of joint rule in Iraq. The Kurds
have branded Maliki a dictator and are swiftly breaking their remaining
ties to Baghdad.
President Barzani of Iraqi Kurdistan declared that, “Power-sharing and
partnership between Kurds, Sunni and Shiite Arabs, and others is now
completely non-existent and has become meaningless” and concluded his
speech by hinting at an independence referendum, a move almost certain
to touch off a violent conflict, particularly in oil rich Kirkuk.
... part of the story from my Front Page piece on Iraq's Coming Civil War
Occupy Wall Street is planning the expected freak show for May 1st.
There have been stickers all around the city calling for a general
strike, they won't get their general strike, this isn't Paris in the
30's, but they may pick up some headlines.
On the other coast though, another sort of strike will be taking place. A Town Hall on Terror
There will be some interesting people there, including Mark Tapson, a
friend from another coast, Bosch Fawstin, whose illustrations appear
sometimes in these roundups, Nonie Darwish, who knows the problem from
the inside out, and Dwight Schultz, whom some of you may know from the
A-Team, and a longtime conservative.
This will be a panel discussion on confronting the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic terror and you can find more details about it on the site
Click here to read