Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Toure: An information war is being waged in Ferguson, Mo., each salvo meant to shape public perceptions of Michael Brown and Darren Wilson. ... [W]hen there’s a black victim involved, the information takes a different and predictable turn: The victim becomes thuggified. This is an easy leap for many minds, given the widespread expectation of black criminality. If you become nervous when you see a young black male approaching on the street, it is not hard to convince you that a kid who was shot was not one of the "good ones," that he was scary and maybe did something to deserve it. Information wars thrive on America’s empathy gap -- the way some people struggle to see any kinship or shared humanity with strangers who don’t look like them.

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rcade

 

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It's as if a black person must be a perfect victim to escape being thuggified, an angel with an unblemished history in order to warrant justice. The burden of the perfect victim suggests that only impeccable résumés may qualify for protection under the law and the support of the community.

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Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

Toure is correct that among many people, especially upper middle class white society, the paranoia about young black men is very real.

That being said, we also see the opposite dynamic playing out from the other side. The police officers all being depicted as abusive black-hating racists out to keep minorities in their place. It is just as false and harmful a storyline as the one Toure decries.

It would be nice to see an op-ed piece such as the one above posted right alongside one from the opposite viewpoint involving the over-the-top demonization of the police.

#1 | Posted by moder8 at 2014-08-26 03:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

There is a case in Utah where a black cop killed an unarmed white guy under almost the exact same conditions.

No one cares. Threaten cop, get shot.

But black racists race baiters will not be denied their opportunity to stir crap and make racism charges against whitey.

And don't get me started about the racist diner in Mississippi, where racist thugs beat a victim recently (black thugs, white victim).

Hey Black America! If you model your behavior on that of ignorant white racist losers from the first half of the 20th century, it is NOT a recipe for 'success' (although these days they score high marks for living in trailer parks and being methheads....). Just thought you might want to know that.

#2 | Posted by USAF242 at 2014-08-26 03:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

#2 | POSTED BY USAF242

Translation: "See! There are bad black people! Therefore Brown MUST be a thug."

I think this adult conversation is over your head.

#3 | Posted by Sycophant at 2014-08-26 03:32 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

No one cares. Threaten cop, get shot.

People care. It wouldn't be in the news is nobody cared.

#4 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-08-26 03:32 PM | Reply | Flag:

No one cares. Threaten cop, get shot.

Dillon Taylor's death is sparking local protest:

fox13now.com

#5 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-26 03:59 PM | Reply | Flag:

#5 Peaceful protest. And no national media is picking it up and running with it like they did in Ferguson.

No calls of hate crimes, civil rights violations, cops out to get people, etc.

#6 | Posted by HeuristicGratis at 2014-08-26 04:25 PM | Reply | Flag:

Ah, a "DOZEN" protestors protested Dillon Taylor's death. They even chanted slogans!!!

Yep, RCADE, your point is valid.

#7 | Posted by USAF242 at 2014-08-26 04:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Information wars thrive on America's empathy gap -- the way some people struggle to see any kinship or shared humanity with strangers who don't look like them."

Republicans are the living embodiment of the empathy gap. Unable to have any sympathy for any hardship that they themselves haven't endured.

Against gay marriage, unless they have a gay relative.

Against abortion, until they knock up an intern.

Against environmental protection, unless the pollution is in their backyard.

Egocentric would be a mild word for it.

#8 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2014-08-26 04:39 PM | Reply | Flag:

Republicans are the living embodiment of the empathy gap.

That seems a bit one-sided to me. I'm calling out your post as hypocritical. Let's consider some (stereotypical) liberal empathy gaps:

* Not empathetic to the low/semi-skilled Americans who have to compete with illegal immigrants for jobs. (Guess what happens to wages in these jobs when worker supply goes up, assuming an American could even find a job in the first place?)

* Not empathetic to religious American's religious liberty and right to not have parenting interrupted by the state (secretive birth control of teens; school lessons which seek to normalize sinful behaviors, etc.)

* Not sympathetic to the plight of fatherless children, partially thanks to a welfare system that makes single-parenting and having children out of wedlock more palatable.

* Not sympathetic to aborted babies. I mean seriously, a baby goes from being a worthless piece of (torturable) medical waste, to a fully valuable human, simply by moving through a birth canal?

* Not sympathetic to the victims of redistributive tax policies. Seriously, I'm paying ~35% effective taxes to pay for others' sex changes???

#10 | Posted by DoofusOfDeath at 2014-08-26 04:51 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Considering the idiots rioted BEFORE the verdict I find it hard to sympathize with their side.

I'm just glad there's going to be a trial.

#12 | Posted by Tor at 2014-08-26 05:12 PM | Reply | Flag:

Yep, RCADE, your point is valid.

The claim was that no one cares. Anyone who has been following the Dillon Taylor story knows that public anger over the shooting has been percolating for a few days.

#13 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-26 05:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

Considering the idiots rioted BEFORE the verdict I find it hard to sympathize with their side.

I'm just glad there's going to be a trial.

#12 | Posted by Tor

Yeah because they're just mad about this one shooting. Not about the decades of injustice and ruthless treatment at the hands of the police.

Duh.

#14 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2014-08-26 05:50 PM | Reply | Flag:

"decades of injustice and ruthless treatment at the hands of the police."

You live in that town?

#15 | Posted by Tor at 2014-08-26 09:45 PM | Reply | Flag:

The pushy cop who got suspended was a 35 year veteran.
Nobody batted an eye when he posted his wacky Oathkeepers video months ago.

But, like evolution, I guess I wasn't there so how could I know?

#16 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-08-27 12:21 AM | Reply | Flag:

"decades of injustice and ruthless treatment at the hands of the police."
You live in that town?

#15 | POSTED BY TOR AT 2014-08-26 09:45 PM | FLAG:

Do you live on Earth?

#17 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2014-08-27 01:48 AM | Reply | Flag:

"decades of injustice and ruthless treatment at the hands of the police."
You live in that town?

#15 | POSTED BY TOR AT 2014-08-26 09:45 PM | FLAG:

Decades? How about centuries!

#18 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2014-08-27 07:34 AM | Reply | Flag:

Toure'

Every time I see that name, I know there's going to be race-baiting involved.

#19 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-08-27 07:45 AM | Reply | Flag:

" Seriously, I'm paying ~35% effective taxes to pay for others' sex changes???"

Link please.

#20 | Posted by danni at 2014-08-27 08:28 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Every time I see that name, I know there's going to be race-baiting involved."

Pretending black people aren't treated differently in many or most cities and towns of America is ridiculous. I'm not black but when I drive my car I often see the police harassing black people, we have more black people in our prisons than any other nation on Earth has people in prison. You can pretend that is OK but some of us can't ignore such a terribly glaring fact and pretend it doesn't matter. America is still, deep down, a racist nation.

#21 | Posted by danni at 2014-08-27 08:32 AM | Reply | Flag:

"we have more black people in our prisons than any other nation on Earth has people in prison."

yeah....but they're really nice prisons.

#22 | Posted by eberly at 2014-08-27 09:00 AM | Reply | Flag:

"yeah....but they're really nice prisons."

Especially the private, for profit ones. When profit enters the Justice System you can be sure there will not be justice.

#23 | Posted by danni at 2014-08-27 09:18 AM | Reply | Flag:

#23

I'm in total agreement with you on our prison system combined with the war on drugs that keeps those prisons filled.

#24 | Posted by eberly at 2014-08-27 09:29 AM | Reply | Flag:

we have more black people in our prisons than any other nation on Earth

Did these people not commit a crime to warrant their imprisonment? Or is it they just didn't receive the same judgement like their white counterparts who committed the same or similar crimes? Maybe to be more "fair", we should be imprisoning more whites? If you do the crime, you should do the time, black or white.

#25 | Posted by Daniel at 2014-08-27 09:31 AM | Reply | Flag:

Or is it they just didn't receive the same judgement like their white counterparts who committed the same or similar crimes?

That tends to be the case. Also, locking up Black youths for non-violent drug crimes tends to place them in an situation where they get violent to survive and then are more prone to repeat and more violent crimes later on.

#26 | Posted by kanrei at 2014-08-27 09:34 AM | Reply | Flag:

We need to do two things:

1) Reform our laws and punishment so that prison is saved for real criminals that are a threat to society

2) Reform the prison system so that it is less a training school for greater crimes. We have given the prison to the gangs and that forces imates to join or be a victim.

#27 | Posted by kanrei at 2014-08-27 09:37 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Maybe to be more "fair", we should be imprisoning more whites? If you do the crime, you should do the time, black or white."

Yeah cuz we don't imprison enough people yet. We have more people in prison than any other country in the world regardless of population.

#28 | Posted by danni at 2014-08-27 09:52 AM | Reply | Flag:

The problem with making this argument in the case of Brown is that there is video of him acting like a thug. People who deserve to be described as "gentle" don't rough up convenience store clerks half their size.

I find the cop's story problematic but that doesn't mean I shut off my brain and pretend I'm seeing something different when I watch that video. I'm watching a violent bully push around a smaller guy.

#29 | Posted by Sully at 2014-08-27 09:55 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

" People who deserve to be described as "gentle" don't rough up convenience store clerks half their size."

It was a fairly gentle "rough up." Seriously though, I try to refrain from pre-judging a case that I don't really have enough info to judge.
However, in general, racism is real and police are, for whatever reasons, influenced by it.

#30 | Posted by danni at 2014-08-27 10:06 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 2

Every time I see that name, I know there's going to be race-baiting involved.

This column isn't race baiting, and it makes you look foolish to claim it. Toure has said some dumb things on television over the years, but this commentary is insightful.

#31 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-27 10:12 AM | Reply | Flag:

#31 You have GOT to be -------- me, RCADE. The title is "Black America and the burden of the perfect victim". In the title ALONE he paints all of Black America as victims. That's Race Bait 101.

#32 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-08-27 10:39 AM | Reply | Flag:

The title is "Black America and the burden of the perfect victim".

Authors rarely write headlines.

#33 | Posted by kanrei at 2014-08-27 10:44 AM | Reply | Flag:

The title is "Black America and the burden of the perfect victim". In the title ALONE he paints all of Black America as victims. That's Race Bait 101.

You don't understand the headline. There's nothing in it that describes ALL black Americans as victims.

The headline is about how black Americans often have to be perfect to be treated as victims when something happens to them. If there's any blemish in their past, they don't get the sympathy a white victim would get.

This should have been obvious to you from the piece. But you saw a black TV pundit writing about black concerns, so you wrote it off as "race baiting" without giving it a fair reading.

#34 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-27 11:01 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Did he write this part?

But when there's a black victim involved, the information takes a different and predictable turn: The victim becomes thuggified.

or this one?

And for black Americans, those facts too often are used to suggest that victims of injustice don't deserve justice,

or this one?

It's as if a black person must be a perfect victim to escape being thuggified, an angel with an unblemished history in order to warrant justice. The burden of the perfect victim suggests that only impeccable résumés may qualify for protection under the law and the support of the community.

#35 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-08-27 11:03 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Do you live on Earth?"

That's right make a personal attack.

#36 | Posted by Tor at 2014-08-27 11:31 AM | Reply | Flag:

Thank you for quoting three passages that prove my point, Mustang.

Like a lot of Americans, you are blind to the reality of what it's like to be black in this country. You could open your eyes by reading more pieces like this or the blog of Ta-Nehesi Coates, who covers a lot of the same ground as Toure here:

www.theatlantic.com

"The 'angelic' standard was not one created by the reporter. It was created by a society that cannot face itself, and thus must employ a dubious 'morality' to hide its sins. It is reinforced by people who have embraced the notion of 'twice as good' while avoiding the circumstances which gave that notion birth. Consider how easily living in a community "with rough patches" becomes part of a list of ostensible sins."

#37 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-27 11:40 AM | Reply | Flag:

. You could open your eyes by reading more pieces like this or the blog of Ta-Nehesi Coates, who covers a lot of the same ground as Toure here:

#37 | POSTED BY RCADE

Not fancying Melissa Harris-Perry anymore?

#38 | Posted by tontonmacoute at 2014-08-27 12:45 PM | Reply | Flag:

Ta-Nehesi Coates's wife is not a person of color. His guilt must be unbearable.

#39 | Posted by tontonmacoute at 2014-08-27 12:51 PM | Reply | Flag:

Not fancying Melissa Harris-Perry anymore?

I haven't watched MSNBC in around six months, so I don't know if her show's still any good.

#40 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-27 12:59 PM | Reply | Flag:

Ta-Nehesi Coates's wife is not a person of color. His guilt must be unbearable.

It says a lot about you that the first thing you say about Coates is that he has a white wife. Does it bother you when the blacks marry our women?

Making it even better, what you said isn't true. His wife is Kenyatta Matthews Coates. She's the woman on the right in this photo:

cdn.theatlantic.com

So now that I've reassured you that he doesn't engage in race mixing, I hope you'll read his blog.

#41 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-27 01:09 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#41 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-27 01:09 PM | Reply | Flag:

Yeah but why does she have so many white friends? Why can't she pose for pictures with her own kind?

#42 | Posted by Sully at 2014-08-27 01:16 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 3

"It says a lot about you that the first thing you say about Coates is that he has a white wife. Does it bother you when the blacks marry our women?"

No, it just says a lot about someone who is obsessed by race, writes copious amounts about race, and who finds ice people extremely prejudicial to his own race, ends up marrying said race. Must be somewhat painful to his conscience? Don't you think?

#43 | Posted by tontonmacoute at 2014-08-27 01:30 PM | Reply | Flag:

My bad RCADE, Ta-Nehesi Coates is is a true hard brother. Made the mistake of looking at Google images of Ta-Nehesi Coates's wife. Turned out she was just a ghost* writer appearing with him. Again apologies.

*made a funny

#44 | Posted by tontonmacoute at 2014-08-27 01:35 PM | Reply | Flag:

Coates is a great writer whose contributions to our national dialogue about race are often brilliant. I wish I could place a bet somewhere on him winning a future Pulitzer Prize for commentary.

#46 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-27 01:39 PM | Reply | Flag:

[W]hen there's a black victim involved, the information takes a different and predictable turn: The victim becomes thuggified.

In THIS particular case the Whole Town was Thuggified.

And that "justified" the overwhelming show of force.

#47 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-08-27 02:21 PM | Reply | Flag:

He was a thug, attacked clerk in store, broke officers eye socket, and tried to get his gun. What more evidence do you need?

Michael Brown is not on this earth because of his own actions. I feel sorry for his family as I know they still loved him but his actions led to his own death.

I have had a police officer pull a gun on me. I chose to listen to what he told me to do and didn't get shot. I was pulled over by an officer while he was approaching my car I went to open the glove box to get my registration which proved to be a mistake. When he drew his gun and told me to stop I did. Had I continued to reach for the glove box he might have shot me.

What I don't see from the liberals here is any concern about the officer. No one with a heart can kill another human being and not be affected. This officers life is destroyed. He will never work for another police department, for the rest of his life he will have to look over his shoulder every time he is near a black person and wondering are they going to try and kill him.

#48 | Posted by mcmlcxx at 2014-08-28 12:28 AM | Reply | Flag:

What I don't see from the liberals here is any concern about the officer. No one with a heart can kill another human being and not be affected. This officers life is destroyed.
#48 | POSTED BY MCMLCXX AT 2014-08-28 12:28 AM | FLAG:

Not quite as destroyed as that of the boy he shot....

#49 | Posted by DirkStruan at 2014-08-28 12:37 AM | Reply | Flag:

"He was a thug, attacked clerk in store, broke officers eye socket, and tried to get his gun. What more evidence do you need?"

Do you actually believe that all of those things have been proven?

#50 | Posted by Sully at 2014-08-28 09:40 AM | Reply | Flag:

It was a fairly gentle "rough up."

#30 | POSTED BY DANNI

You forgot "elegant" and "clever." And "efficient."

LOL

#51 | Posted by DixvilleNotch at 2014-08-28 11:00 AM | Reply | Flag:

EVERYONE is a victim.
Women
Gays
Blacks
Hispanics
Muslims
Native Americans
...well, everyone except white men and Asians.

#52 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-08-28 12:29 PM | Reply | Flag:

for the rest of his life he will have to look over his shoulder every time he is near a black person and wondering are they going to try and kill him.
#48 | Posted by mcmlcxx

But don't we all have to wonder that anyway?

#53 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-08-28 01:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

everyone except white men and Asians.

#52 | POSTED BY HUGUENOT

There's always that size problem for the Asians. Victim of nature, so maybe the should stay off the list.

#54 | Posted by DixvilleNotch at 2014-08-28 02:02 PM | Reply | Flag:

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