Professor discusses only one species of death!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 26, 2021

Does Our Town's practice make sense?: Yesterday morning, Professor Glaude performed the mandated winnowing.

That evening, it would be Sherrilyn Ifill, who we greatly admire. That morning, in the Washington Post, it was Professor Glaude. 

Does this peculiar procedure make sense? Hard-copy headline included:

GLAUDE (5/25/21): It is painful to remember. We have to remember.

Anniversaries of death can be tricky occasions. There is the life remembered. All the moments of joy flood in on this day: the unique laugh, the corny jokes, that special smile. Then there is the intimacy of loss. The reminder that the person you loved is gone forever. The grief is constant, especially if the person you loved did not die right. Covid-19 snatched them away. The police stole their last breath. Nothing anyone can do can right the loss. The anniversary throws you deep into sorrow, but you have to remember. Forgetting would be a sin against God.

[...]

A year ago Tuesday, George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Millions of people witnessed his death, because Darnella Frazier, a 17-year-old Black woman, refused to turn away from the cruelty of Chauvin and three fellow officers. Her video sparked protests across the country and around the world as people demanded police reform. Chants of “defund the police” emboldened some and deepened the fears of others. The trial and conviction of Chauvin signaled that, perhaps, we might be on the verge of substantive change—even as politicians clamored for compromise.

Then we saw the video footage of the deaths of Adam Toledo, the 13-year-old shot in Chicago; Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old shot in Brooklyn Center, just 10 miles from downtown Minneapolis; Andrew Brown Jr., killed by police in Elizabeth City, N.C.; and so many more. Their deaths dampened the jubilation surrounding the Chauvin verdict, reminding everyone that some things remained the same: The police were still killing Black people. 

For what it's worth, the late Adam Toledo is generally identified as Hispanic, not as black. The question we're left with is this:

Does it make sense to discuss this topic in a way which gives the impression that the only people being killed by police are black?

"Forgetting would be a sin against God?" Under current arrangements, no one is forgetting the decedents in the majority of these cases. Those decedents never get mentioned in the first place, no matter how unjustified their deaths may seem to have been.

Let's take an example:

Professor Glaude mentions Andrew Browne, who was shot from behind as he drove away from police who were trying to arrest him. He says this death should be remembered, and we'd be inclined to agree.

That said, Bijan Ghaisar was shot from behind by Park Police as he drove away from them. He was shot from behind and killed.

Those police officers didn't have a warrant for his arrest. Indeed, he had done nothing wrong. He'd been rear-ended in a fender-bender.

The Washington Post has discussed this peculiar case for several years, but the fatal shooting of Bijan Ghaisar has never been mentioned on the national level. The Post identifies Ghaisar as "white," and such cases don't get discussed on the national level. 

This is an extremely peculiar journalistic practice. But the practice is journalistic law here in our rather strange town.

In fairness to Professor Glaude, he hasn't "forgotten" Ghaisar's death. On the national level, he's never heard a word about it. A few would say that the Princeton professor may not quite seem to care.

By any conventional norm, the current practice, in which we only mention and discuss one particular species of death, is remarkably hard to justify or explain. Beyond that, the practice is guaranteed to create widespread misperceptions.  

But this is plainly the way Our Town rolls, and our most erudite professors are plainly sunk in the practice.

This practice is sure to create misimpressions. Can this practice be justified? 

At present, this practice is law in Our Town. We've asked, you can decide. 


55 comments:

  1. "This is an extremely peculiar journalistic practice."

    It would've been, dear Bob, if it was a journalistic practice.

    However, as a dembot practice, which is what it is, it's completely unremarkable. Garden variety dembottery.

    ReplyDelete
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  2. ""Forgetting would be a sin against God?" Under current arrangements, no one is forgetting the decedents in the majority of these cases. Those decedents never get mentioned in the first place, no matter how unjustified their deaths may seem to have been."

    This is untrue. They are mentioned locally, so that the people who knew them or their families will know what happened, and so that communities will know too. They are not mentioned nationally because there is no national issue involved, given that we have agreed to allow the police to shoot people as part of their job.

    For Somerby, if something isn't national news it isn't news at all, but the rest of the nation follows both local and national news.

    And yes, it would be a sin to forget because of the wrong involved in deaths like Floyd's.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "the fatal shooting of Bijan Ghaisar has never been mentioned on the national level"

    Somerby is now adding the phrase "on the national level" to his complaints. That suggests he is reading his comments. However, he still thinks that when white deaths are not mentioned nationally, it is the fault of black activists, not white people who consider such deaths to be no big deal, not worth a fuss.

    That's why Somerby's complaints come across as an attack on BLM and its supporters, not police use of excess force. And using white deaths to batter BLM supporters also comes across as a callous and insensitive use of those deaths. Somerby doesn't give a damn about them otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If BLM values peoples' lives, they would mention white deaths as well. They seem to only value the lives of members of their own tribe. Why aren't they concerned about police brutality in general? If blacks stopped being killed by police would they be satisfied? What about whites and other races?

      Delete
    2. No, there is no reason to mention white deaths when white people are not the victims but the beneficiaries of racism in the police force.

      It is a strawman to claim that BLM doesn't care about police misbehavior in general. However, the causes of other forms of police abuse of authority are different than those resulting from racism. Any organization has the right to choose its focus and to set priorities without being accused of not caring about broader problems or other problems.

      If I donate to an organization dedicated to eradicating food insecurity and hunger in the USA, it doesn't imply that I don't care about hunger in the rest of the world. It would be specious to argue so. That's why, when folks argue that BLM doesn't care about all lives, it is motivated as an attack on BLM, not a serious argument that white lives don't matter to them.

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    3. We're talking about deaths here in OUR country. It is just wrong to not care about your fellow citizens just because they're white. We should all care about each other regardless of skin color.

      Delete
    4. BLM stood up for and protested against the murder of white Daniel Shaver - that was before George Floyd - an example that runs directly against your claim.

      White BLM faux liberals are the ones that don't care about white deaths. Being sheep, they only care about what they see on TV or what is propagandistically fed to them in their balkanized media feeds. They don't know how to think for themselves and they don't have the courage to stand up for anything that is not pre-approved by the propagandistic media they consume.

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    5. It's kind of like caring only about blacks without health insurance in the context of Medicare for All. Makes little sense for an organization to be formed to advocate for Medicare for Blacks even if they're disproportionately not insured. The issue is police killings, not police killings of blacks only.

      Delete
    6. 6:01 thank you!

      Delete
    7. I receive emails regularly from BLM and they never mention white deaths.

      Delete
    8. The BLM protest of Daniel Shaver’s murder is instructive because it was at a unique time after BLM started, had died down and before it was reignited with George Floyd.

      Remember the movement was started in earnest after a completely justified killing of a black man by a police officer where many of the black witnesses lied to police about what they saw according to the report from the Justice Department.

      Then the whole issue had died down and the white faux liberals like the cretins who comment on this site, Rachel Maddow and the pathetic set of propagandist faux liberal media etc had completely stopped talking about it and thinking about it. The BLM group that protested Daniel Shaver’s murder was at that time mostly black people, genuinely upset at the violent recklessness of that murder.

      Maddow and the pathetic cretins who comment on this site etc. had completely forgotten about the issue. Totally. The issue did not exist at all to them at that point in time. The only thing that is real to these people is what is in their news feeds. They have absolutely no original thoughts. The pathetic comments you see here are copied exactly from Twitter and other comment boards. And once the issue disappeared from their feeds, the issue completely disappeared from their lives. It was never something they cared about in the first place.

      Then George Floyd happened and it got them back on board. Not because they care about black people. They don't. They could care less about black people or the issues that face black people just like they could care less about white people of lower class and the issues and unfairness they face. But when it came back in such a real and visceral way with the killing of Floyd, they got back on board for the only reason they ever cared about it in the first place: as a way to feel better about themselves because it differentiated them from Republicans in their mind.

      Delete
    9. Still doesn't answer why BLM doesn't talk about white deaths now, even if they did 5 years ago in one case. And, the emails I get are directly from BLM, not in my "feed." I do and always have cared about police brutality, also recognizing that there is a racial element (also, I believe, a class element), while not understanding why the focus has to be only on one "race." I have no need of differentiating myself from Republicans since I've always been a Democrat.

      Delete
    10. I get it. I believe you and agree with you. I don't consider you one of the pathetic, propagandized cretins. Your point is valid.

      Delete
    11. "where many of the black witnesses lied to police about what they saw"

      Witnesses nearly always disagree about what they saw and their interpretation of what happened. That doesn't mean they "lied."

      Delete
    12. Anyone who uses the term "faux liberal" is a right-wing troll. The only faux liberal here is Somerby, who lies when he says he is any kind of liberal.

      Delete
    13. It is easy to differentiate normal people from Republicans:

      1. Normal people have empathy.
      2. Normal people don't believe or tell big lies about elections they lost.
      3. Normal people don't commit insurrection against the government by storming the Capitol building and trying to kill the VP and Speaker of the House.
      4. Normal people wear masks and get vaccinated to protect themselves and others from dangerous diseases.
      5. Normal people don't persecute children for their God-given biology.
      6. Normal people don't try to rewrite school textbooks to leave out the parts they don't like.
      7. Normal people don't bring guns to peaceful gatherings, such as Congress or the supermarket.
      8. Normal people don't pretend their political opponents, including nice old Grandmas such as Hillary, are pedophiles who eat children to prolong their lives.
      9. Normal people don't pay teenagers to have sex with them, or condone it when others do.
      10. Normal people have no respect for men who cheat on their wives with porn actresses, then pay them off not to tell anyone how small their dicks are.
      11. Normal people don't turn the other way when their president invites his cronies to get rich by looting the government.
      12. Normal people don't commit treason by colluding with Russia to win a presidential election, or pretend that didn't happen after they voted for the wrong guy.

      And you think we have to support BLM to remind ourselves we are not Republicans? What planet are you from?

      Delete
    14. What a pathetic list. It's sad to know someone actually believes this shit. Worse, there is more than one.

      Delete
    15. VERY sad and pathetic list. It is the fruit of a very successful campaign of propaganda designed to fool dimwits like him and divide the country in a way that prevents unity along class lines. He's fallen for the oldest trick in the book basically. Can't blame him, he just an idiot toady and the world is full of them.

      And of course avoids the issue completely: Why does Maddow et al disappear white, yellow and brown deaths from police?

      Delete
    16. 9:50,
      Great list.
      You nailed it.

      Delete
    17. Failure to cover a local issue nationally isn't "disappearing" anything, since those deaths are well reported at the local level, and included in the Washington Post database.

      Delete
  4. "species of death"

    A repetition of an offensive term. No doubt Somerby will annoy us with this repeatedly until he comes across some other meme.

    Death doesn't come in species. Neither do people. When Somerby uses such a construction he reveals some ugly things about the way his mind works.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deaths don't come in white or black either, actually. They all have value on a fundamental level, regardless of color.

      Delete
    2. The problem is not skin color, but the fact that black people are being killed disproportionately more often than white people (adjusted for proportion of the population). Black people are being killed by cops at a higher rate. That suggests that skin color matters to the police, and it shouldn't. Somerby refuses to acknowledge this problem.

      Delete
    3. The disproportionality of which you speak is never mentioned. The whole point is the white killings are totally disappeared. Your disproportionality argument is a weak and stupid non starter. GTFO with you disproportionality.

      Delete
    4. 6:02
      White people have just never gotten a break in this country, amirite?

      Why is it so important to you whether BLM or the media “cares” about white deaths? Have the whites been shortchanged in this country up until now? Maybe you go care about white deaths and let BLM have its agenda.

      Delete
    5. Because it's unnecessarily divisive. It presents an image that just blacks are killed which is false. And that actually creates a hostile attitude toward the white majority which ironically tends to intensify race hatred.

      Mostly because it's stupid. Just like you are stupid.

      Delete
    6. No black person has ever said that only blacks get killed by cops. That is Somerby's invention.

      Delete
  5. "In fairness to Professor Glaude, he hasn't "forgotten" Ghaisar's death. On the national level, he's never heard a word about it. A few would say that the Princeton professor may not quite seem to care."

    The death was reported in the Washington Post. What is the likelihood that a Princeton professor doesn't read that paper? Slim to none. Assuming that someone doesn't care because they don't mention something depends on the context. Why would he mention a white death when he was specifically talking about wrongful black deaths?

    But Somerby rarely considers context. He presumably doesn't care about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The context was one in which black deaths, but not white ones, are talked about.

      Delete
    2. That's right, because black deaths at the hands of the police are doubly problematic because they occur disproportionately more often -- that was the problem being discussed, not simply the deaths themselves. White deaths were not being discussed because they do not occur disproportionately often.

      Delete
    3. So, we shouldn't discuss deaths unless they're disproportionate? So if black deaths were reduced to being proportionate, everything would be fine, and we wouldn't need to discuss police killings at all. Also, if you want proportionality, roughly one or maybe 2 white deaths should be discussed for every 5 black ones. But all we see are black ones discussed.

      Delete
    4. We should always be talking about police reform.

      Delete
    5. There is no obligation for a black person to give equal time to white deaths, especially when white people spend little to no time considering black people's concerns.

      Delete
  6. "By any conventional norm, the current practice, in which we only mention and discuss one particular species of death, is remarkably hard to justify or explain. "

    By any conventional norm? If someone were grieving, would you mention the death of your own relative while talking to that grieving person? It wouldn't be a good idea, based on conventional norms, because it appears to shift the focus onto your own loss instead of comforting the newly grieving person.

    In fact, when someone is talking about how bad it is that a disproportionate number of black people are killed by police, it seems conventionally wrong to shift the focus onto proportionate white deaths for which there is no question of racial bias or targeting, as if those white deaths exemplified the same social problem or were equally problematic (when there is no evidence that they are). Doing so minimizes the black deaths and suggests a lack of caring about racism and its impact on police encounters.

    And in fact we know that Somerby does not care about the intersection of race and policing, because he has explicitly said so. That makes him the last person who should be complaining about anyone not caring about a police shooting death.

    I wonder how the family of Bijan Ghaisar feels about his death being used as a political symbol by Somerby. Does he even care about their feelings? I would bet not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those white deaths aren't "equally problematic"? Try telling that to their relatives. You are so deeply into only caring about black deaths that you are blind to the basic human worth of each person tragically killed regardless of skin color.

      Delete
    2. Those white people killed by cops were no angels.
      Besides, they should have just obeyed the cops orders.
      Sound familiar?

      Delete
    3. I don't spend a lot of time mourning psychopaths. It takes a lot more to provoke a cop into shooting you, such as a mass killing of innocents. Traffic stops aren't enough to get a cop to assist a white person in committing suicide.

      Delete
    4. "I don't spend a lot of time mourning psychopaths."

      Speaking of, Congratulations to Rush Limbaugh on his 100th day of sobriety.

      Delete
  7. If Adam Toledo is Puerto Rican it is possible and even likely for him to be both black and Hispanic.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The widespread journalistic practice of giving relatively little publicity to police shootings of whites and Asians, and to black shootings of blacks leads to reduced police protection for blacks, which leads to hundreds more black murder victims. But, our journalists don't relly care about black murder victims. They give lip service to the phrase "Black lives matter", but their true attitude is "Black lives DON'T matter."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is absolutely no support for this idea among social scientists, including criminologists and sociologists.

      Note the agreement between Somerby and David in Cal. That should tell you everything you need to know about where Somerby is coming from on this.

      Delete
    2. That's true David. They could care less about black lives. They are hypocrites in this situation.

      Delete
    3. "But, our journalists don't relly (sic) care about black murder victims."

      Be careful David, IMAX has patents on huge projection.

      Delete
    4. @5:41 wrote "There is absolutely no support for this idea..."

      Can you please clarify which idea you're referring to?

      Thanks

      Delete
    5. This is: "The widespread journalistic practice of giving relatively little publicity to police shootings of whites and Asians, and to black shootings of blacks leads to reduced police protection for blacks, which leads to hundreds more black murder victims."

      Delete
  9. Professor Glaude is Chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton.

    Doesn’t he care about Caucasian Americans? Huh?

    Why should we have African American studies departments at all? Isn’t that racist and divisive?

    I assume Somerby would argue that, since he expends a great deal of energy essentially asking “don’t white lives matter” when thinking about black lives matter.

    Complaining about BLM purportedly not caring about white deaths is equivalent to complaining that the NBEC (National Birth Equity Collaborative) [whose founder, Dr Crear-Perry, has been mentioned by Somerby] doesn’t care about white maternal and infant health, because it focuses on black maternal and infant health:

    “NBEC creates solutions that optimize Black maternal and infant health through training, policy advocacy, research, and community-centered collaboration.”

    Professor Glaude is probably safe, because he is at a private university. But have no fear. The GOP will probably eventually ban African American studies departments at public universities, and Somerby will have prepared his readers to view that as perfectly acceptable, because he is a fellow traveler with Republicans.

    ReplyDelete
  10. "Why should we have African American studies departments at all? Isn’t that racist and divisive?"

    It sure is.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you to all who posted here to remind us of all the white, yellow, and brown deaths caused by out of control cops.
    Every case is added to the pile, to plainly show why this country desperately needs police reform.
    Now let's get to work making it happen.

    ReplyDelete
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