Friday, August 15, 2014

Shooting, Robbery, Looting, Race

Police: Brown suspect in robbery before shooting -

The "standard model" of "white" -- or rather "non-black" as in George Zimmerman, and in the case of some of the officers in the Rodney King case, "not truly black" -- shooting, beating, sometimes killing of a young or younger black man has repeated yet again.

The first portrayal of the "assumed victim" is always complete innocence, almost beautification. Then, inevitably we find a little robbery, a little gangsta activity, some drugs, some booze, some whatever -- and the equally inevitable charge from the black community that whatever the previous history -- or even the actual facts of the incident, "it doesn't matter, it is an attempt to blame the victim".

Then we have the looting. For some cultural reason, black communities always need to do some looting. Somehow a few flat panel TVs, jewelry and maybe some custom rims are a good way to show your solidarity with the victim dejour.

This is a major cultural difference that I'm quite certain that sociologists have fully explained, but it never seems to happen in white, Jewish, Korean or even very much in Hispanic communities. Some white kid can take a wrong turn and end up beaten, shot, raped or otherwise damaged or dead in some altercation with blacks and nobody ever seems to say "Hey, let's go loot the neighborhood Best Buy".

I have this backward idea that culture drives human behavior far more than race, economic status or even education. I don't believe that soccer hooliganism in certain stadiums in Britain or the wearing of the cheese in certain stadiums in WI are racial at all -- I believe they are cultural. But then I'm so foolish as to be a conservative, so what do I know.

So we will have another standard scripted "discussion" made up largely of talking past each other. The cops are racist, circumstances are beside the point, the kid is dead.

Am I the only one that finds it all way way too predictable? I have no idea what happened between the cop and the kid, hopefully some obvious evidence will show up. I CAN imagine that determining someone is armed or not in an encounter where physical pushing and shoving ensues with an officer is not as easy as even reading an NFL defense with a 300lb lineman bearing down on you. Robbery or not, if he was unarmed, it is a tragedy he is dead -- as it is that the guy that Tony Stewart hit is dead, or a friend guy from IBM I knew is dead because someone failed to see him and made a left turn in front of him when he was on his Harley.

Tragedy, bad decisions, death -- they all happen with way too much regularity, and sometimes we can even do something to reduce future ones -- like NASCAR deciding that there should be a rule on the obvious, stay in your car. Left turns in front of nearby oncoming motorcycles are already illegal -- maybe look twice?

I wonder if getting in any kind of physical altercation with an armed police officer will ever be perceived as a bad idea?

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