Updated January 10, 2015
The November 6, 2013 headline in the local paper read, “Mall shooter called friendly but troubled.” The story was about the man authorities say fired six rounds in Westgate Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus, New Jersey and later took his own life. But this is not about him, this is regarding the inevitability that the media will automatically try to downplay criminal behavior by offering an excuse for that behavior, at least where it concerns whites. Call it what you will but it’s time somebody said it, and it’s not something that just started either - it’s been happening since this country’s founding.
History refers to Indians defending their lands and their families as savages therefore justifying their (Indians) slaughter (accountability) by whites. On the other hand, however, the white people stealing those lands and killing those families, history refers to them (whites) as settlers (entitlement).
A few seasons ago on the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire,” a couple of white male students at Temple University decided to get even with a rival student. The two students sabotaged the drink of their rival with a heavy dose of Milk of Magnesia and the student died. Upon being questioned by an uncle, one of the students said in a scoffing manner, “It was suppose to be a joke” as if to imply that the perpetrator somehow was the victim because the boy that died took the joke too far. Although fictional, the story is a classic example of art imitating life because that’s just the way things are done in these United States.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you heard some so-called expert talking about how troubled a black or Latino youth was before committing a heinous crime – answer…probably never. No, the only thing you might hear, if anything, is a police rep surrounded by cameras spewing hate-filled rhetoric and calling the youth animals. Back in 1996 after the boys (white) who committed the rash of arsons in the south that turned several black churches to ash, MSNBC’s Dan Abrams had a white guest on his show, who as expected, said that what the boys had done was, “A prank that got out of hand.” A prank ...Are you kidding me?
A few years later in New Jersey, police discovered pipe bombs behind several suburban 7-Eleven stores. Afterwards during interviews with local TV stations white teens defended the actions saying it was, “just a bunch of kids trying to have some fun”. Really?
Furthermore, let’s not even talk about if it’s a white woman. I remember the day after Phil Hartman of SNL fame was killed by his wife as he slept, Hartman’s neighbor, a white female said on the local news that Hartman, must have done something to his wife otherwise she would not have killed him. Reality-check… she killed him while in a cocaine-induced rage, which as it turned out was one of many.
Up next, Debra Lafave the white teacher in Florida accused of having sex with her 14- year old male student. In court, her lawyer told the judge, “She’s young, blond, and too pretty for prison.” It worked. Lafave received probation, we should all be so lucky. Marissa Alexander was young, and pretty too but she received twenty-years in prison for firing a warning shot into the air to prevent a possible assault on her person by her ex-husband. Oh, yeah Marissa is not white.
The evidence supports all that I am saying. Think about all of the school shootings and the first thing that comes up are mental-health issues and people searching for reasons. Surely there must be an excuse, because according to white experts, “we are not like them” (people of color).” Even when young men of color are the victims, the media, along with the police, portray the young men as criminals implying that these young men are responsible for [their] own deaths sans Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Sean Bell and perhaps the most egregious, Eric Garner. Let’s face it; I am not saying that anyone be excused. There is no excuse. Some people are just pure evil and excuses only serve to enable evil.
What it comes down to is accountability versus entitlement, and it not only applies to crime. This ethnic favoritism applies in other areas too. For example, President George W. Bush’s hundreds of days of vacation time. Bush’s vacation time was referred to as deserved rest. Compare that reasoning to President Obama’s relatively low number of vacation days, which gave rise to people casting false light aspersions on Obama’s character and entitlement, versus accountability once again appears to be a matter of race.
I often wonder how this accountability versus entitlement ideology will play itself out when the role is called up yonder…I don’t think it will pass the laugh test.
Written by Jay Arrington
The Maryland Daily Examiner -
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