THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2022
The endless novelization: Stating the obvious, "race" is very important.
The concept may lack scientific meaning, but it lies at the heart of this nation's brutal history, which is part of the brutal history found in locations all around the world.
Race may be a social construct—"a social invention"—but given its role in our brutal history, race is very important. It would be hard to overstate the amount of suffering connected to social practices tied to race in the course of our American history.
For those reasons, it seems to us that discussion of "race" should be conducted with great journalistic care—even with a bit of respect. But then we come upon the kind of work which is prominently displayed, this very morning, at the Washington Post's web site.
It's hard to find words which are adequate to describe this report. At some point, you simply have to throw up your hands and offer the following statement:
It's all anthropology now.
It's all anthropology now! By that, we mean that there are certain topics which are so fraught that they will never be treated in a journalistically respectable way.
At present, the children who people our upper-end press corps display that very type of moral / intellectual shortfall with respect to the question of "race."
It's pure anthropology now! Clearly, without any serious doubt, this is the best they can do. It comes to us, live and direct, straight from their flawed human wiring:
What became of Trayvon Martin’s hoodie?
Tracing the 10-year journey of the slain teen’s hoodie on its way to becoming a civil rights icon
Those are the headlines which sit atop the Washington Post's latest novelization. In the report in question, Manuel Roig-Franzia novelizes the shooting death of Trayvon Martin all over again, if not more so.
A few weeks back, we tried to revisit this topic. In truth, it's hard to list the remarkable number of ways in which the children of our mainstream press have rearranged the basic facts of this case, which is now a bit more than ten years old.
The children have invented standard claims which are simply false. They've disappeared highly relevant facts which are plainly true.
They've emphasized accurate statements which are clownishly irrelevant. Routinely, they take factual claims whose accuracy can't be resolved and act as if the claims are known to be true.
These are the habits of Donald J. Trump—and of our "mainstream press!"
It's the work of children playing with toys—of children toying with race. Can a modern nation expect to function when the children within its upper-end press corps behave in such remarkable ways with respect to such a serious subject?
We hadn't planned to discuss this topic today. This astonishing bit of journalistic porn was unknown to us until it appeared this very morning.
That said, what we're seeing here is anthropology—anthropology all the way own. It reminds us of certain basic, well-worn facts:
Long ago and far away, Aristotle is said to have said the following:
Man [sic] is the rational animal.
Plainly, that isn't the case! Modern experts in the field assure us of these alternate facts:
In fact, we humans are the tribal animal. We're the animal which invents, memorizes and recites inaccurate tribal tales.
Roig-Franza's report is a stunningly disrespectful journalistic clown show. In fairness, Roig-Franza seems to be a child.
The larger question would be this:
Can a modern nation expect to survive when it's dividing itself into identity groups, most of which are inventing novels designed to showcase and display their own moral greatness?
Race is important—and race is profound. But at present, as Gates and Curran have said, race is also "too much with us."
("We need a new language for talking about race?" Could any claim be more profound?)
As journalism, Roig-Franza's new report is an astonishment. That said, viewed from the anthropological standpoint, the behavior of the Washington Post offers insight all the way down.
Tomorrow: In the face of conduct like this, how should observers proceed?