THURSDAY, APRIL 15, 2021
The Dumbness we're sold in Our Town: Will we in Our Town ever understand how dumb we've turned out to be?
On Fox, they're told about our dumbness. Will we ourselves ever get clear about this major problem?
We've been dumb for a very long time over here in Our Town. At present, we're thinking about something we read yesterday at Slate.
Yesterday, it happened at Slate! In an interview about the shooting death of Daunte Wright, this exchange appeared:
QUESTION (4/14/21): The Brooklyn Center police have said Wright was accidentally shot and that the officer thought she had her Taser. How has that been received there?
ANSWER: She was on the force longer than Daunte was alive. So I don’t know how you mistake one for the other. But let’s go back even further. Let’s say she actually thought it was a Taser. Let’s, in some freakish, strange, upside-down, Stranger Things world—let’s give her the benefit of the doubt. Why is she grabbing for that anyway? You’re out in suburban Minnesota. You’ll catch this man if you need to find him. There’s really nowhere to go. You got the license plates. The question is why did she feel the need to go for any weapon. For air fresheners? Why is that even the move? Regardless of what we think if it’s an accident or not, she shouldn’t have had her hand on anything, and you can see the look on the Black officer’s face afterwards in the bodycam. Like, “What the fuck are you doing?” I want to know what he thinks, without the protection of the blue line. So, no, I don’t believe her. I don’t think it was an accident. She’s a 26-year veteran who can’t tell the difference between a Taser and a gun? Then they shouldn’t be a police officer. She surely has no business being the president of the police union in Brooklyn Center either.
The names have been erased to protect the well intentioned. But there you see it, loud and clear. That's the kind of Damn Fool Stupid we're persistently sold in Our Town. More specifically, that's the kind of foolishness they're willing to publish at Slate.
Earth to Slate:
The officers weren't trying to arrest Wright because of his several air fresheners. They were trying to arrest him based on a series of events in which 1) he was accused of armed robbery (stealing $820 at gunpoint from a young woman), followed by 2) a second alleged gun offense in which he successfully fled from arrest, followed by 3) a failure to appear in court on that second gun offense charge, resulting in 4) a warrant for his arrest.
Through some chronology which hasn't been specified yet, those are the events which seem to have produced the attempt to arrest Wright. Once again, he attempted to flee, resulting in the apparent error which produced his death.
For the record, people who are 17-20 years old do lots of stupid things. By normal reckoning, (alleged) armed robbery involves a high level of same.
That said, Slate is the kind of publication which is actually willing to publish the "air fresheners" line. (For a second such report, see below.)
Can a major nation hope to survive in the modern world with a liberal world as dumb, incompetent and delusional as we have turned out to be?
How to speak Our Town's language: The offense for which the warrant was issued was a gun offense. (Remember how we liberals are normally concerned about guns?)
For whatever reason, the offense was listed as a "gross misdemeanor." Presumably, that's a bit of local legalese.
Confronted with this event, pundits know how to speak Our Town's preferred language. If they mention the warrant at all, they tend to avoid mentioning the fact that the offense involved a gun. Also, they drop the word "gross."
Rolling their eyes as they dumb us all down, they proceed to say that the offense was "just a misdemeanor." After that, they may even cite the air fresheners! Why would anyone care about them?
We've seen these conversations all week. Can a modern nation hope to survive when its tribes are so happily dumb?
Our team is very, very dumb. We've been like this forever.
UPDATE: Also being promoted at Slate: A second such report is also being promoted at Slate. Sorry, we just saw it:
Other media outlets have noted that, in the broader scheme of police violence, the number of people shot in lieu of being tased is small. But that fundamentally misses the point of why people are so deeply upset about Wright’s death, those who were shot or killed before him, and the ways in which police operate within communities.
Before the Brooklyn Center officer reached for either of her weapons, she chose to stop Daunte Wright in the first place. Traffic stops involving Black motorists are often done for tenuous reasons—Wright was reportedly stopped for an expired registration and an illegally positioned air freshener—and the interactions that follow are amplified by the police...