Friday, July 08, 2016

Friday Reads About Last Night's Tragedy in Dallas

There are limits to "free speech." One limit is making veiled threats to the president of the United States by using inflammatory rhetoric.

The tragedies in Dallas are no excuse for engaging in racist rhetoric:

One of the first sinister responses Thursday night, which appeared as news about the shootings was still arriving, came from former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh. This dolt, who has become known for inflammatory comments, let loose a series of tweets, including one (later deleted) that stated, "This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out Black Lives Matter punks. Real America is coming after you." By the morning, things had gotten worse, and the vitriolic response had gone more mainstream. The Drudge Report, a highly-trafficked sewer of right-wing racism and hate, led its site with the despicable headline "Black Lives Kill." The New York Post, normally a slightly less unseemly sewer of the same, decided to go with "Civil War" in its headline. As well as offering a clue as to what side the Murdoch empire would have taken in the actual Civil War, this form of gross, borderline incitement is legitimately scary and depressing.

It is responses like these that now shape how people respond to tragedy. There was so much hatred and xenophobia circling the internet and the news media after Omar Mateen's murder of 49 people in Orlando that the focus shifted nearly instantly from grieving the dead (and confronting the urgent question of how to stop men like Mateen) to Donald Trump and other preachers of hate. Indeed, Trump is, predictably, a huge part of the problem. All the jokes on social media about what bit of stupidity will trickle out from his mouth after every awful event merely underline the fact that one of our two major presidential candidates is very likely to respond to a tragedy with, at best, self-congratulations, at worst, bigotry and hatred.

Not about the Dallas murders, but this is about the latest publicized killing by police officers.

The New York Post has gotten a lot of flak for this cover:

No comments: