Hare Krishna, Hare Digby: The tribe will render you insane.
Attempts to keep faith with tribal narrative will leave you sounding insane. Case in point:
The following text appears in Salon, in a new piece by Roxane Gay which was posted today. The highlighted text is insane:
GAY (7/12/13): Zimmerman was a neighborhood volunteer watchman in his gated community in Sanford, FL. For whatever reason, he wanted to protect his community. Perhaps he was as susceptible as any of us are to aspiring toward heroism.It’s interesting that we liberals can’t imagine a reason why a person would “want to protect his community” without turning to variants of the standard snark about being a wannabe cop.
Nothing is ever simple. Since the beginning, the Zimmerman case has also been about race—and when a high profile case is about race, tension is inevitable. Very little about the conversation surrounding this case has been rational. Zimmerman claims he shot Martin in self-defense but Martin was unarmed, carrying a pack of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea. What, precisely, was Zimmerman defending himself from? This is one of the many questions for which we will never have answers.
That said, the highlighted text is insane. It’s even more insane when Salon puts it in print. A nation can no longer hope to exist when its tribes are prepared to tolerate this form of self-imposed blindness.
You may think Zimmerman should be found guilty. You may think he wasn’t engaged in allowable self-defense. But: “What was he defending himself from?”
At this late date, asking that question that way is insane. It’s a form of tribal lunacy.
One step down the lunacy ladder is the account offered by Digby in the post excerpted below. There’s a word for this kind of account—dishonest:
DIGBY (7/11/13): The facts show that George Zimmerman armed himself with a gun loaded with hollow point bullets and ended up killing an unarmed teenager who was just out buying some snacks. How that happened is disputed but to me it's obvious that when you strap on a gun, go looking for trouble and end up stalking and killing an unarmed 17 year old, you've done something wrong. To me, the carrying of that gun morally requires that he be held liable in some way for the unarmed Trayvon's death.Why do we call that dishonest? For starters:
But, as this article shows, the law in Florida says something different. It says that he was legally entitled to carry that gun with hollow point bullets, chase down someone he thought looked suspicious and then kill him in "self-defense" when they got into a tussle. In this trial the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman did not shoot Trayvon Martin in self-defense. It makes your head hurt a little bit.
Chasing a "suspicious" person you know nothing about in the dark with a gun loaded with hollow point bullets should mitigate against whatever we might normally think of as defending yourself. But in a country that allows scared little men like George Zimmerman to make up for their shortcomings by carrying a great big gun, loaded for bear, as if that's not dangerous in itself, means I suppose we'll have to get used to this kind of vigilantism. If the law allows this, we're basically saying that people can conceal a gun, provoke a fight and then shoot someone dead in "self-defense."
In just her first paragraph, Digby tells us that Martin was “unarmed” three separate times. That statement is true, of course.
But referring to the way Martin died, she is only willing to say this: “How that happened is disputed.”
That is also true! But in one of the major disputed accounts, Martin was banging Zimmerman’s head onto concrete moments before he was killed.
Digby isn’t allowed to say that! In thrall to the tribe, she just keeps repeating her mantra: “unarmed.” Refusing to tell you what has been charged, she refers to the fight as “a tussle!”
Was Martin “just out buying some snacks?” At one point in the evening, yes! But if Zimmerman’s account is accurate, Martin moved well past the point of “buying some snacks” at a later point. Unless you are in thrall to the tribe and its rigid narratives.
Like Digby, we weren’t present in Sanford that evening. We can’t exactly tell you what happened.
We can imagine various possibilities, in which different people behave very badly. But Digby, being in thrall to the tribe, is allowed to imagine one thing.
As they used to say when they jingled those bells, “Hare Krishna! Hare hare!”
Digby starts with two key words—“the facts.” She then lists a string of facts not in evidence:
It hasn’t been shown that Zimmerman tried to “chase down” Martin. It hasn’t been shown that he “stalked” Martin, unless you just enjoy servicing pleasure centers.
Meanwhile, did Zimmerman “provoke a fight?” It’s possible! But by his account, he was simply walking back to his truck when he was confronted, then punched, by Martin. If Digby knew that claim wasn’t true, shouldn’t she have gone to Sanford and shared her knowledge with others?
Throughout history, the tribe and the cult have made people insane. But oh, how good that certainty feels! Hare Krishna! Hare Digby!
It's not a good thing when we libs go insane. We liberals should not form a cult.