I found myself reading something that was perfect for the moment, considering the news noise of the past few days, and I wonder how many people will pay attention, or even notice it.
Yes, the big news, probably The One Thing Happening In The World on CNN (I haven’t really looked), is the news of a grand jury decision in Missouri, and the drama following. What’s most noticeable to me is that the general narrative actually demonstrates something that applies to too many things now, events and circumstances, which is people seeing what they want to see, and taking in what reinforces whatever they’ve decided to think already, if there is even any thought involved. A lot of this kind of problem revolves around people not really thinking at all, but just swallowing and absorbing what they’re told to think, making sure that what they say they think about things matches neatly with what they figure they’re supposed to think.
In this particular story in human history, people are going apeshit in outrage in what’s held to be a tragedy of racist police brutality murdering an unarmed innocent child, a kid, even, amazingly, a “boy”, in more than one narrative, which is a subtopic of its own given the circumstances. The problem is, enough is known to have it be obvious that the victim was maybe not so much a victim. Video security camera footage that made it into the news shows the scene of the “innocent child” in confrontation with a store clerk, as the very large young man was walking out with goods he had not bought, and without audio, the visuals make it clear that the store clerk was obviously physically intimidated, maybe explicitly threatened, by the lineman-sized (yes, that matters) young adult man making it clear that he was going to leave with the goods he was stealing, and this small store clerk was not going to stop him. Somewhere around 15 minutes later, according to the news, a local cop found himself in an encounter with this very large young man, who, according to the cop, was presenting him with a very dangerous and threatening situation, presented by someone who had literally committed a crime just minutes before.
Now, people are raging and holding up the young man as an innocent victim, an unarmed child gunned down, a martyr representing murder by racist police brutality and injustice. It’s absurd, and only serves to divert attention from a very real problem faced by people, who feel genuinely in fear for their safety, their very lives, if they encounter an officer of the law while having dark skin. For that matter, people don’t need to have dark skin and a particular ethnic composition to feel in danger from an out of control and increasingly militarized and violent police state.