'This American carnage' is right here, right now
Also, if you want a story, do the work
|Jay Caruso||Jun 1|| 1|
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If anyone remembers President Trump’s inaugural address, he said, "This American carnage stops right here. And stops right now." It wasn't the most optimistic of speeches as Trump laid out a vision of America at the time as one that more likely resembled the late 70s.
Still, it was just a little over two months ago that most of us talked about the November election and how it would play out over the economy. That could happen, but as it stands right now, the carnage that Trump said would go away was never there but lurking and waiting to strike.
Over 100,000 people died in two months due to a deadly pandemic.
Forty million people have filed for unemployment in that same time.
Cities are burning due to the deaths of African-Americans at the hands (and at least one knee) of police officers.
Oddly enough, it won't necessarily be a death knell for President Trump, but there's no escaping that it's an ugly time in the United States right now.
Naturally, social media, particularly Twitter, is the worst place to be and try to take in what's going on. Attempting to get to the heart of the issue is almost not worth the effort. The political culture is so fractured that when you look around, far too many people want to frame the issue around their political agenda.
According to the self-interested partisans, the real issue is in all of this is:
The complaints about cop violence and how the press ignores it when the victims are white, as opposed to black, wherein it becomes a narrative. Whatever that narrative is, they don't say because it doesn't matter. "It's the narrative!"
How the “wonderful conservatives” say what happened to George Floyd was awful, so they're now asking why jerko liberals won't acknowledge the FBI was horrible to Donald Trump
Naturally, there's the George Soros angle from the real kooks. I mean, what doesn't happen in this country that is not funded by Soros?
The deflection by Trump and his supporters to frame the story about Antifa, designating them a terrorist group that has little to do with the death of Floyd
Blaming President Trump and anyone who voted for him because racist.
I mean, do I think the issue of police violence is rooted in more than just race? Of course. Look up Tony Timpa and Daniel Shaver. Both men were white and died at the hands of cops in a nauseating manner. That said, do I also believe there are cases where race factors into the behavior of the police? The behavior they might not have exhibited if the perpetrator was white? Absolutely. That's not hard to say, and the people who will attack you for doing so are not worth your time.
Trump, who never came across an incident where he didn’t believe exercising raw authority is the best solution to almost any problem, won't comment publicly on any of it. It's not surprising as President Trump is incapable of leadership. He only knows about being a boss. Empathy is a weakness. Kindness is a weakness. Sorrow is a weakness. And Trump cannot exhibit any of that lest his most ardent supporters abandon him for not being "strong."
So Trump tweets.
And much like Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs, aka The Wizard of Oz, the man behind the phone is much more comfortable exercising his perceived "strength" using Twitter than he is at dealing face-to-face with people. His tweets today are proof of that. He's tweeting, "LAW AND ORDER!" and egging on state governors to call out the National Guard, wondering there the arrests are, and retweeting those advocating for the use of "overwhelming force." It's what one does when fantasizing about being the authoritarian the Constitution won't allow him to become.
Leaders step forward in the moment of a crisis. They don't hide behind their Twitter accounts.
The rioting and looting is not productive
Turning away from Trump, I also have to say that I cannot comprehend the reasoning behind those not excusing the rioting and looting, but claiming to understand it or saying it's something that may finally get the attention necessary for change.
But is it? The death of George Floyd did not happen in a vacuum. We've been watching this play out over the years, even decades. Are the people in Ferguson, Missouri, in a better place now? What about those in Baltimore? Following the death of Freddie Gray, the city dealt with riots and looting. It followed with a spike in violent crime, including homicide.
Watch the video below:
How does that, or robbing an Apple Store or burning down a locally owned business, bring about justice for George Floyd?
I mean, I’d like to understand why people think it helps. But based on history, it’s not a net positive.
Do you know who it does help? People like Donald Trump.
Don't get me wrong. I am not chalking it up to a brilliant political strategy. Trump isn't smart enough to think that way. But he does have good political instincts. He'll use that when it comes to situations as we have now. Consider where violent protests are taking place. Either in blue states or blue cities within red states. Trump will play on that in an attempt to reel back in the suburban voters who let the GOP take a beating in 2018.
"That riot took place in Atlanta. The next time it will be in Cartersville."
"The riot took place in Jacksonville. The next time it will be in Pensacola."
"The riot took place in Dallas. The next time it will be in Plano."
He will attempt to sell people on the theme of, "They will come for you next, and Joe Biden will let it happen."
Call it a racist tactic. Call it whatever you want. Trump won't care. It is impossible to instill a sense of shame into a person who doesn't have it. It's an extreme comparison, but it's like attempting to get a sociopathic killer to feel remorse for his actions or to feel sympathy for their victims or victim's families. They can't. It's not even as if they don't want to. They don't have the capability to do it. Neither does Trump.
Get off your butt
I'm critical of the press. I've been doing the politics thing for nearly 30 years, and I've seen a lot. Take a trip back to 1992, and it was a much different media landscape. It was the Big Three networks, CNN and newspapers.
No Fox News. No MSNBC. No blogs. No social media. No video streaming.
The criticism of the press back then continues today, and a lot of it is often true. One positive of Twitter is how it revealed the biases of reporters who've claimed for years they were fair arbiters of the news. Granted, they will argue their Twitter account is not the same as their reporting, but the reality is, most reporters are not churning out encyclopedia-style stories. Biases come out in those stories, and I'd be happier if reporters admitted it. There is a difference between bias and getting it wrong. People can determine the former.
Fast forward to 2020, and the "media" means a whole lot more than it did 30 years ago. There is a cottage industry that thrives on the media monolith as an enemy. Trump's most ardent supporters laughably defended Trump's "enemy of the people" bromide against the press by pointing out he only said it about "fake news." That fell by the wayside. Trump routinely calls the "lamestream media" the "enemy of the people."
And the sycophants follow suit. "The media got the entire Russian collusion hoax story entirely wrong! They got it all wrong!" It's an easy thing to say because it's so broad and covers such a wide swath of issues that to say, "That's not true" is to invite specific examples to "prove" what they said was correct.
In any event, something I've seen permeating throughout Twitter, and from Matt Walsh of The Daily Wire, specifically, is the accusation of the "media narrative" about police violence and how it gets far more attention when it happens to black people as opposed to white people.
Walsh tweeted out a video about a man named Tony Timpa, who died in the custody of the Dallas Police in 2016. A former colleague of mine at the Dallas Morning News, investigative reporter Cary Aspinwall, wrote an in-depth story about the case at the time. Timpa, 32, called 911 for assistance and wound up dead. You can read her story here. It's horrifying how the police behaved. People know about it because it took a federal judge ordering the Dallas P.D. to release the bodycam footage and records related to the incident to the press.
There's also the story of Daniel Shaver. He was the 26-year-old man shot by Mesa, Arizona Police officer, Mitch Brailsford, while Shaver was on his stomach and pleading for his life. There are more details about it here.
Both Timpa and Shaver were white.
Walsh's little exercise was to "prove" a "media narrative" because the Timpa and Shaver stories received "little coverage." When I called him out on Timpa, discussing how it received a lot of coverage by the local press as well as some coverage from the national press, he got whiny, erecting a strawman argument about the equality of total coverage, which I never argued. I merely brought attention to the value of local news.
But it also bothered me because Walsh's little act reveals a level of laziness among many so-called journalists and reporters.
If Walsh truly believes the press is not giving due attention to the times when white people are the victims of police brutality, then why isn't he getting off his lazy millennial rear end and writing a story about it? If he's so concerned about the overall impact of police violence, then why not take the time to cover it? Walsh can go to Ben Shapiro and say, "Ben, I want to take two months to dig into stories about people killed by police around the country, find out which cases involved officers engaging in possible wrongdoing, to bring more attention to it and to show that it's a problem that is not limited to minorities."
Instead, we see this (it's part of a larger thread):
"I don't have that figure."
Why don't you go out and get it? Well, because that would require work. That would require reporting. And it's much easier to go on Twitter and complain to get those sweet likes and retweets.
Take a moment and think of what it could do. Walsh has over 300K followers on Twitter. He has over 719K likes on his Facebook page. Ben Shapiro has nearly 6 million likes on his Facebook page and nearly 3 million Twitter followers. The Daily Wire Facebook account has 2 million likes and its Twitter account has more than 415K followers.
That could be a huge story and the information is out there.
Until next week, folks! Stay safe out there!