"WHEN FASCISM COMES TO AMERICA IT WILL BE WRAPPED IN THE FLAG
AND CARRYING A CROSS." -SINCLAIR LEWIS

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Apparently Black People Own Guns Too...

A lot of the conservative blogs have been getting rather excited about this story:

On Tuesday, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer fretted over health care reform protesters legally carrying guns: "A man at a pro-health care reform rally...wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip....there are questions about whether this has racial overtones....white people showing up with guns." Brewer failed to mention the man she described was black.

Following Brewer’s report, which occurred on the Morning Meeting program, host Dylan Ratigan and MSNBC pop culture analyst Toure discussed the supposed racism involved in the protests. Toure argued: "...there is tremendous anger in this country about government, the way government seems to be taking over the country, anger about a black person being president....we see these hate groups rising up and this is definitely part of that." Ratigan agreed: "...then they get the variable of a black president on top of all these other things and that’s the move – the cherry on top, if you will, to the accumulated frustration for folks."

Not only did Brewer, Ratigan, and Toure fail to point out the fact that the gun-toting protester that sparked the discussion was black, but the video footage shown of that protester was so edited, that it was impossible to see that he was black. The man appeared at a health care rally outside of President Obama’s speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Phoenix, Arizona.

Now, was it disingenuous of MSNBC to have focused their cameras so tightly on this guy's gun that it was impossible to discern his race while also not mentioning that he was black in the context of a discussion about race? Yeah, totally. But let's be honest here: This isn't indicative of the liberal media, it's indicative of all corporate media at large. For the most part they already have their stories written, be they conservative or liberal. They just send the cameras out to find a shot that supports that narrative. But did MSNBC also have a valid point about the racial overtones inherent to electing the first black American president? Yeah, totally. Of course not everyone who carries a gun or disagrees with Obama is a racist but a significant portion of them are and anyone who can not see that is either blind or willfully ignorant.

Although what the conservative blogosphere seems to be implying with this story is that by pointing out that this guy was black, now any discussion about those racial overtones has apparently been neatly negated. A black guy showed up at a town hall with a gun too so now white people doing it can't be racists, right? Right, and according to these same people the day we elected a black man as president all the racism in this country just magically dried up and blew away. We made one of them president, what more do black people want!? Of course there are plenty of legitimate reasons for people to disagree with Obama on many different issues (I have several myself) but to also deny that a certain portion of the opposition movement is racially motivated is obviously untrue and it only further discredits whatever else you have to say. MSNBC may have gone about making their point about race in the wrong manner but that doesn't in any way lessen its importance or validity and the people who think that it does should know better.

[Update: Jon Stewart follows up on this story as he and Wyatt Cenac try to divine what carrying around loaded assault weapons could possibly have to do with health care reform:
]

3 comments:

TRUTH 101 said...

The Shaft movies were terribly under rated. My favorite was Shaft in Africa. That man was indeed a bad mother -----r.

JBW said...

T101, shut your mouth!

eclecticradical said...

"Although what the conservative blogosphere seems to be implying with this story is that by pointing out that this guy was black, now any discussion about those racial overtones has apparently been neatly negated. A black guy showed up at a town hall with a gun too so now white people doing it can't be racists, right?"

In some cases, not just implying.

At least two blogs (http://www.jennqpublic.com/inconvenient-race-just-edit-accordingly/ and http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2009/08/18/msnbc-no-mention-black-gun-owner-among-racist-protesters) go beyond implication to specifically accuse MSNBC of deliberately trying to whip up racial hatred for malicious partisan political motivations.

Now it's obvious that racism and a black president makes for good tv, and today's networks are more committed to good tv than good news. It's why Stewart and Rachel Maddow are more popular than the actual newscasts on CNN or MSNBC.

Last I heard, though, we liberals weren't trying to whoop up a race war.