50 Years After the Civil Rights Act: Don’t Let Partisan Frauds Rewrite History

Posted: April 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: VOC Essays/Blogs | No Comments »

W28-12_LBJ_MLK_Web

“The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.”—Joseph A. Schumpeter

Earlier today, President Obama gave a speech at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, TX in order to mark 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Naturally, both conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats have chosen to proclaim themselves as heroes on civil rights, while casting the opposing side as villains. The truth, as expected, is somewhere in the middle.

While the Republican Party has a long history of passing civil rights legislation, it is also true that the mainstream conservative position on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was to oppose it. This can be confirmed by looking at the position of the ideological godfather of modern mainstream conservatism, William F. Buckley, Jr. He vociferously opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 using all sorts of sophistical “conservative” arguments—the main one being the pathetic “discrimination is good in a free society” argument. To make the case, then, that the mainstream conservative position was to support the Civil Rights Act of 1964, just because there are a number of Republican politicians who did, is arrant casuistry. In all arguments that try to paint the mainstream conservative movement as perfect on race, you’ll see the amateurish conflation of Republican politicians with ideological conservatives. You don’t ascertain the mainstream conservative position on issues by looking at the actions of Republican politicians. You ascertain the mainstream conservative position by reading the flagship ideological publications of the mainstream conservative movement—The National Review being the most prominent. As I said in my essay, The End of Artificial Black Conservatism:

Simply pointing out that Republican politicians supported civil rights bills in the 1960s is not a refutation of the fact that many ideological thought leaders in the mainstream conservative movement did not.

Similarly, Democrats pretending as though Lyndon Baines Johnson was an anti-racist hero because he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law are delusional partisans.

Read the rest of this entry »


Roderick Scott Is Not the Black George Zimmerman

Posted: July 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: VOC Essays/Blogs | 10 Comments »

eGk1N3RxMTI=_o_roderick-scott-trial-first-testimony

The latest canard promulgated by George Zimmerman’s cretinous defenders is that Roderick Scott is his black equivalent. They argue that it is hypocritical for the pro-Trayvon Martin mainstream media to be silent in the case where 17-year-old white male, Christopher Cervini, was shot and killed. Zimmerman fans argue that the only reason why Scott isn’t being lambasted the way Zimmerman has been is because his victim was a white teen.

The notion that the two cases are analogous is utterly moronic—if you consider facts beyond the similar ages of the deceased teens.

Let’s look at those facts, shall we?

On April 4, 2009, Roderick Scott confronted Christopher Cervini, 17, and two of his accomplices in the middle of their attempt to break into a car in the neighborhood. (Please note that Scott caught them while they were committing a criminal act.) Scott armed himself with his licensed gun before instructing his girlfriend to call the police. When Scott got outside, he immediately informed Cervini and his partners in crime that he had called the police and that he had a firearm. He told them to freeze. After this, Cervini charged towards Scott and yelled, “I am going to get you.” At this point, Scott shot Cervini twice and killed him. According to the defense’s story, Cervini was screaming, “Please don’t shoot me! I’m just a kid!”

Interestingly, Scott was asked whether he would do things differently if he could do the situation over. Here is YNN’s recap of what he said:

“If it meant a person not losing their life, absolutely,” he said. “Would I still have tried to stop what was going on? That I would have done. But if I knew ahead of time that I could do something to help somebody from losing their life, I don’t want anyone to lose their life."

The differences in the Scott and Zimmerman cases are so glaring that it’s quite pathetic that they need to be pointed out for dense Zimmerman fans. It just goes to show how morally bankrupt Zimmerman defenders truly are.

Firstly, Cervini was in the middle of committing an actual crime. That’s what alerted Scott to Cervini. Trayvon’s “crime” was walking while black and wearing a hoodie. That’s what alerted Zimmerman to Trayvon.

Secondly, Scott clearly announced that he had called 911 and that he had a gun. By his own testimony, Zimmerman announced no such thing when he had the opportunity to do so. Had Zimmerman announced those things, Trayvon would not have defended himself and would have likely explained who he was and where he was going. Getting an explanation about where Trayvon was going was not part of Zimmerman’s agenda. He was a wannabe cop — one who was too stupid to pass community college criminal justice introductory classes — who was intended on making sure a “f*****g punk” doesn’t get away like they “always” do.

Thirdly, Scott was arrested and charged for the killing (as he should have been). Yes, I believe Scott was legally right, but surely a person shouldn’t sleep in their house after killing a teenager. George Zimmerman did! The principal reason for the Zimmerman outrage was because he was not charged with any crime whatsoever after needlessly killing an unarmed teenager who was committing no crime! Scott killed a teenager who was committing a crime, yet he was still arrested and charged.

Lastly, one glaring difference is the stark contrast in the morality of the two killers. As I mentioned earlier, Scott said if he could do everything over, he would avoid taking a life. He clearly understands that just because something is legally justified doesn’t make it morally right. Wicked demon George Zimmerman, however, when asked by dummy Sean Hannity about whether he would take anything back, he said: “No, I feel like it was all God’s plan.”

That tells you the level of die-hard, sociopathic wickedness you’re dealing with as far as Zimmerman is concerned.

If you believe that Roderick Scott is the black George Zimmerman, you’re either a bloody fool with no capacity for understanding analogous situations, or you’re a dyed-in-the-wool racist, inasmuch as you think Trayvon being a black male while walking down the street at night poses the same threat as a white male actually committing a crime. Rather than mindlessly screaming, “Where’s the media outrage?!?” you should be screaming one of two questions: either (a) “Why wasn’t I blessed with the ability to identify analogous situations?!?” or (b) “Why has my racism strangulated my rationality?!?”

 

facepaalm


Trayvon Martin Historically Supersedes Emmett Till

Posted: July 17th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: VOC Essays/Blogs | 4 Comments »

Emmett-Trayvon560x300

As the outrageous ‘not guilty’ verdict in the murder trial of George Zimmerman came in, Trayvon Martin was instantaneously elevated to a symbol of greater historical import than Emmett Till. However, many still believe that the comparison between Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till has more basis in melodramatic exaggeration than in logical argumentation. Those who think this way are disinclined to look at the bigger picture.

The idea that Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till are incongruous is based solely on myopically looking at the brutality of their respective deaths. Yes, Emmett Till’s body was unquestionably maimed more severely by Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam than Trayvon Martin was at the hands of George Zimmerman. Nobody can dispute that historical fact.

However, the historical context in which the death of Emmett Till occurred was a time when Jim Crow was an integral part of American livelihood and overt racism was both pervasive and uncontroversial. By contrast, the shooting death of Trayvon Martin occurred in modern America with a black man occupying the Oval Office—and, more importantly, at a time when overzealous academicians and naïve social commentators consistently advance the phantasmagoric delusion of a colorblind, post-racial America.

Manifestly, the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and the utterly depraved support for his killer by a vast majority of people on the American right shows that despite the progress that has been made on race relations on an official level, there is still a casual cultural acceptance of anachronistic bigotry that permeates America. It is this culture that makes the killings of innocent black males like Trayvon Martin acceptable. Does that mean every American is racist? Absolutely not. However, the insidious folklore that suggests racism has completely evaporated is the very notion that allows atrocities like the shooting death of Trayvon Martin to occur. Lamentably, the proverbial young black male is the receptacle in which the most vituperatively racist notions about blacks are contained—and those racist notions preclude him from being an authentic victim. Trayvon Martin happens to be the current apotheosis of the proverbial young black male.

While Emmett Till was savagely murdered, he did unintentionally provoke the murderous tendencies of his killers by being a 14-year-old black boy who committed the “crime” of whistling at a married white lady. Presumably, if one were to transport the immoral right-wing commentators of today back to 1955, they would have argued that Till was a threat to society, and that he was a feral rapist who would have terrorized the neighborhood. They would have also argued that Till’s killers did the world a favor, just like Zimmerman supposedly did by disposing of “trash” Trayvon Martin.

Those who viciously attack Trayvon Martin but see Emmett Till as a civil rights icon do so solely because they have the benefit of the historical record to aid their morality. Their reaction to Trayvon, however, exposes how flawed their moral compasses truly are when there are no history books to give them the correct answers. It shows how quick they are to demonize the black murdered victims and paint them as the aggressors responsible for their own deaths. In Trayvon’s case, they even managed to successfully twist facts to achieve this, such as ignoring Zimmerman’s role as the instigator and only focusing on Trayvon’s actions to defend himself from his armed killer.

Interestingly, if one looks at various right-wing comment sections on the Internet, one can see people debating whether or not Emmett Till caused his own death in similar, but less vitriolic, ways to the heartless pontifications about Trayvon causing his own murder. Even with the benefit of hindsight, some of these wicked folks cannot contain themselves from revising the “liberal” narrative on Emmett Till.

It is worth posting this comment with a short, revisionist account of what this right-winger feels “really happened” to Emmett Till:

Someone else that has bothered to research the case rather than just swallow the liberal take all these years.

Till was much larger than his age and was trying to show off to his country bumpkin cousins.

He went back into the store and asked the wife to be his ‘girlfriend’. I doubt if he used those words.

The wife didn’t wish to cause the young man any trouble and kept her mouth shut. In fact, it was an old black man sitting outside the store who was insulted and tattled to the husband when he got back from a trip.

It became a tragic case of a couple of drunk guys squared off with an obstinate kid and nobody backed down.

This nonsense is eerily similar to the justifications made across the conservative media for the needless killing of Trayvon Martin.

Clearly, if one has the immoral temerity to justify the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, then Emmett Till’s murder can also be justified using the same malefic logic. Objectively, Trayvon Martin did less to initiate his murder than Emmett Till did.

Trayvon did precisely nothing to make himself a target of his killer’s attention except being a black male wearing a hoodie and peacefully walking home after buying Skittles and Arizona juice on a dark rainy night. The lack of sympathy with which Trayvon was treated for literally doing nothing wrong except walking home, and then being forced to defend himself against an armed killer with a history of felonies, shows the extent to which many are desensitized to the plight of young black males.

One of the key counterarguments used to contest the point that Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till cases are relatable is that Emmett Till was lynched, whereas Trayvon was “only” shot. They argue that lynching has a special level of brutality in American history and should not be frivolously compared to other cases.

Interestingly, however, this argument often comes from the same people who, with shocking alacrity, accuse mainstream media sources of engaging in high-tech lynching in order to distract from the marital problems of famous black Republicans, such as Herman Cain. To them, lynching deaths have a special place in America and should not be flippantly compared to other murder cases—but lynching deaths can apparently be compared to politically unfavorable news stories. The hypocrisy is rich.

When the history books are written about the tenure of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America, Trayvon Martin must unfailingly be placed adjacent to that story. While America has advanced legally, and it is no longer impossible for blacks to make it to the zenith of government in America, the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and the despicable reaction to it balances that narrative. It shows that, in many ways, America still has a very long way to go on race.

Certainly, Emmett Till did not deserve to die, but right-wing commentators dedicated to convincing people that innocent Trayvon Martin caused his own death could argue the exact same thing about Emmett Till, using all his teenage misbehaviors as rationales for his death. Surely, the whistling act that provoked Till’s murder gives them a sturdier foundation to build that sophistical case than they had with the death of Trayvon. Trayvon didn’t whistle at anybody to provoke fear in them. The only things that provoked Zimmerman was Trayvon’s blackness and his hoodie—a perfectly understandable item of clothing to wear in the rain.

Emmett Till is one of many examples of savage, racist murders occurring in the savage, racist era of Jim Crow. A savagely racist murder in a savagely racist era is still morally opp­­robrious, but it is less historically surprising. By contrast, the unnecessary killing of Trayvon Martin, the gleefully racist reaction to his death, and the joyous celebrations of the acquittal of his killer, is the prime example of racist murder in the allegedly “post-racial” and “colorblind” 21st century era of Obama. For that manifest reason, Trayvon Martin historically supersedes Emmett Till.