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The Victim Parade

Oh, my. Here it comes now: The Victim Parade.

In the wake of star witness Rachel Jeantel’s testimony in the George Zimmerman case, a flood of narrative shaping litanies has been unleashed decrying the maltreatment of said star witness. MsRachel_94‘s Twitter feed has as its tagline the words, “My Character And Action Describe Who I Am” and after 7 mostly combative hours on the stand, in which she fairly spat the word “Sir” at defense attorneys, most of America is familiar with both her character and actions. She is the face of underclass black America, and indicative of its attitude toward anyone not swaddled in the suffocating hold of black underclass culture.

In one such litany called What White People Don’t Understand About Rachel Jeantel, author Rachel Samara displays part of what it is that irks so many American whites. It’s in the very first line:

A predominantly white jury is not going to like Rachel Jeantel. Let’s just be real here.

After a lifetime of being told we are not to pigeon-hole people, that we must treat them as individuals deserving of respect for their human status, to see a women on a black-oriented hip hop website resort to the exact same behavior she spends 20+ paragraphs decrying is annoying. Nevermind that Samara is a thin blond chick or that one could easily portray her the same way people on the left portray the women of Fox News: as a disingenuous foil being used for her looks to sell a point of view the group of men in charge don’t believe in. That’s just icing on this poisoned cake.

In another screed at the Sad Bastard Bar, an actual immigrant stands in defense of the American-born, English-speaking Jeantel because she couldn’t be understood. The defense offered? The same one used by the prosecution; she had a Haitian mom who spoke Creole sometimes. This is being portrayed across the web as The Most Important Reason she couldn’t talk straight. This false sympathy chaps at the hide because Jeantel spoke good English when she wanted to, and she spoke clearly when she wanted to. The problem wasn’t her English, it was her apathy and attitude, her insistence on proving her hood credibility in a court of law, and on national television.

No one in that courtroom gave a shit about her hood credibility or her court nails, and for good reason. It was a court of law and a second degree murder trial, one in which one young man was dead and another young man’s life was hanging in the balance. This is serious shit requiring serious attention and serious conduct.

A black man at DailyKos, the clearinghouse for progressive race relations, has a recommended diary called The Digital Lynching of Rachel Jeantel. Like the other articles linked above, it’s heavy on emotional exploitation and light on logic. In Vyan’s telling, Rachel:

…was an amazingly shy teenager. At times introverted, distraught and occasionally brittle. She was not Media Trained. She’s not massively articulate.

This of course didn’t stop her from becoming a laughing stock online.

Among the great ironies of this diary is the linking of a Salon article within it, where a quote about her not being blond and thin, and there goes her credibility…was included, which I suppose brings us back to Samara from the first linked article.

The irony and assumptions present in the articles about white people are astounding, and will do little to cultivate alliances with white people who genuinely care about Civil Rights issues. Oh, sure, those who speak the progressive language, who’ve gladly slapped on their white guilt shackles, will get it, but those aren’t the kinds of people these authors need on their side. That is, if changing what they perceive as evidence of white racism is their agenda. I’m not convinced it is.

The upside to all of this is that we are, finally, getting to have that conversation on race that President Obama said we needed to have in 2008. I want to do my part. What I perceived of Jeantel was that she is evidence of the failure of our national attempts to address race relations, to end racism in America. She is exactly the kind of person I avoid in any government office, or while shopping or seeking services. Her hostility toward life in general, and white people in particular, is not something I want to have to deal with. And yet, I do, often. Read more…

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Because segregation, that’s why

Funny things happen when you watch as the political party you once wholly integrated into your psyche comes off the rails and transforms itself into that which it professes to hate. Certain little things become obvious. Like, for instance, the whole diversity/oppression game. Almost weekly for years now I have seen people wonder about how different the treatment of racial and gender issues is for the political left in America. The left is all about race, but not so much about gender, though they pay plenty of (hollow) lip service to it.

So I’m here and I’m tipsy and I want to ‘splain something to you folks who just. don’t. get. it. The difference in treatment boils down to one thing: segregation. As in, we still have it racially speaking, and we have never had it gender-wise. Oh, sure, we no longer have Jim Crow laws to enforce segregation, but we get right down to it when it comes to conventions. And I speak of both sides.

It’s no secret that white flight drove white families out of our urban centers. Oh sure, there’s a few single or DINKy hipsters who take up residence, but once people have kids, priorities shift. White people in general do not g out of their way to encounter black people. they stay in their mostly-white enclaves and avoid predominantly black neighborhood unless they are looking to score.

On the other side of the coin, black people it turns out prefer to be around other black people, and self-segregate, even in institutions, such as public schools, that aim for integration. It is what it is, and what it is is proof that social engineering is often a colossal fail. The result is that via the mechanism of self-segregation, isolation exists, and that’s what allows those namby-pamby intellectuals I’ve derided before to believe that black people are just hapless victims with zero agency.

But isolation is a weird thing, which is what segregation really is. In isolation, assumptions aren’t challenged and issues aren’t addressed. Isolation exists to preserve the status quo. This is not the case with gender issues. Women and men have cohabited literally from the dawn of time. That means that the opposite sex knows all your dirty little secrets. And it is this proximity and familiarity that allows political intellectuals to treat race and gender differently, and to fight progress on gender fronts more overtly and more vociferously. That’s the short of it, anyway.

And one day, when I’m not drunk, I might even get around to explaining this issue a little more. That’ll be about 4 years from now, though.

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