Thursday, March 22, 2012

Searching for False Equivalence

While listening to the Thom Hartmann show, I heard three conservative callers trying to create a false equivalence between Trayvon Martin's murder, and a horrific assault by two black youths on a thirteen year old white boy in Kansas City. While the Kansas City assault is horrible, there is no real comparison between the two incidents. The murderer of Trayvon Martin is known to the police, and remains unincarcerated, while the Kansas City police are investigating the assault on the Kansas City boy.

The reason why the killing of Trayvon Martin became a national news story is because the police have done nothing to investigate his murder. Furthermore, the reason why the murder has remained uninvestigated is because a psychotic law pretty much gives the okay to homicide in Florida and other states.

The sad fact is that murders occur every day in These United States. It is likely that the killing of Trayvon Martin would have remained a local story if George Zimmerman had been arrested. If the police had refused to investigate the Kansas City assault on a white teen, a comparison could be made between media coverage of the two incidents.

Just like The Right's attempt to draw a comparison between Ed Schultz's stupid and ill-conceived use of sexist slur against right-wing personality Laura Ingraham (for which he was rightfully suspended) with Rush Limbaugh's three day sexist rant against Sandra Fluke, the comparison between the Martin case and the Kansas City case is a stretch. I hope they catch the individuals who assaulted the boy in Kansas City, just like I hope George Zimmerman faces justice, and I can't think of any liberal in my circle of friends who wouldn't agree with me. The Right's attempt to draw a parallel is yet another bullshit attempt to play the hackneyed "Both Sides Do It" game.


Substance McGravitas said...

BOTH SIDES want laws that let you shoot people!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

That Laura Ingraham even has a job blathering in the media is proof that our country is insane.

It's really not that hard. If we lived in a sane country it would be passed by acclamation.

But we don't ...

digby 3/21/2012 05:00:00 PM


Glennis said...

Also - and I can't follow all your links - but another issue is that Zimmerman was the self-appointed "guardian" of his neighborhood, and whether official or unofficial, felt entitled to passing judgement on everyone who happened to pass through his "jurisdiction." This is an amazingly arrogant assumption.

Bad as the KC assault you mention, those assailants were criminals, carrying out criminal activity, and not pretending to somehow be above the law.

I have my own take on the Trayvon Martin death, and posted it on my blog.

Sirius Lunacy said...

What the wingnuts can't, or more likely just won't, grasp is that it's not the apparent racism of the killer, but the apparent institutional racism of the Sanford Police Department and Florida state law that makes this a story. Race is a no more or no less stupid reason to kill someone than any other, but when the PD lets race affect they way they handle the case then we have a much, much larger problem. And when state legislatures pass laws that enable this instututional racism then you better believe the story is worthy of national and even international coverage.

I also have to point out the irony here with this coming right on the heels of Big Ho's big reveal of the 'racist, radical' professor Bell. Bell's 'radical' theory of racial realism states, "despite law school indoctrination and belief in 'the rule of law' - abstract principles lead to legal results that harm blacks and perpetuate their inferior status." This case shows that Bell's theory is not only not radical at all, but is quite accurate.