How do you take an event and make it viral?
Apparently you pick a side, remove all traces of rationality, and scream as loud as you can.
The “Pool Incident” in Texas this week has taken a much more trivial event than Ferguson or Baltimore, and made it screamworthy. From both fringes. My ears hurt, my brain hurts, my heart hurts. My eyes are bleeding at the comments I see on pages dedicated to it.
I have friends that will never admit it, and even take umbridge at the notion, but are racist. Period. I hate they feel the way they do sometimes, but I still like them. (If you commented on the facebook post of this with something to the tune of “White Guilt”…this is you, dude.)
I have friends who will never admit people behaving recklessly will, and should, draw the ire of law enforcement.
I am about to say a few things that you might disagree with. Please finish before you accuse me of picking a side.
This event, though, shows a couple things: the cop was absolutely in the wrong to draw his weapon. If he drew a Taser, or a baton, he’d have a LOT more ground to stand on. This was a non-lethal force situation, and upping the ante by drawing a lethal weapon to a teenager who is already scared for thir lives more than you are is irresponsible.
The factors that set this event in motion are very much in dispute. If you share an article claiming what *really* happened, please stop. You do NOT know, you weren’t there. If you WERE there, feel free to tell your story, but remember, it’s only YOUR version, and not the Truth™, it’s just your observed facts. Facts, not Truth. As Professor Jones said if you’re looking for Truth, “philosophy class is right down the hall.”
Fact: There were kids at a pool, the neighbors had objections to the kids being at the pool, a fight allegedly took place between a white mother and a black teenager, police were called in for security, and none of those event may have happened in that order. Fact: the kids that are being accosted by police are primarily black. Fact: a cop pulls a gun on unarmed (and barely clothed) black teenagers. Fact: many kids were not following commands issued by the LEO. Fact: many *were*.
Rumor: there was a DJ tweeting out for kids to come to a party. Rumor: the Black Kids weren’t supposed to be there. Rumor: The neighborhood pool had a visitor policy that was violated. Rumor: kids were crashing a party for someone else. Rumor: basically anything else shared by friends of friends of a cousin whose neighbor said his friends mom used to live in a neighborhood with a similar name three towns over from the incident.
Some of those rumors may turn out to be fact. Some won’t. Keep that in mind.
Here’s my observations: The first videos that showed the cops actions had write ups that were very much anti-police-brutality/anti-police-racism. People latched on and immediately extrapolated that the neighborhood was a racist cesspool of Whiteys who only wanted to rid themselves of any view of Brown Skinned individuals, at any cost. Police were called in to enforce the White Only order, and proceeded to beat and shoot anyone on sight that was Not White.
The counter claims came almost immediately, this was a civil get-together, and criminals invaded a completely demur event. They started breaking in to private property, and they were resisting police officers, who should always be obeyed, no matter what the order is. The whole “if you haven’t done anything wrong…” mantra.
Neither of those really bother me as much as the comment sections from every hosted article. Especially the pro-cop ones.
Don’t get me wrong- the anti-cop ones are bad, too…no doubt about that. There are ones with people with people saying things that were out of line. Real antisocial tendencies type stuff.
But the ones from the “conservative” blog machines. Holy racism, Batman. It’s not subdued, it’s blatant. Is some of it trolls? Maybe. But not all of it. The words “feral” and “savage” are used almost interchangably, usually as a direct replacement for “nigger”. Oh, but they aren’t *racist*- those kids are just out of control! Right.
Now, to the people screaming….but…but…but…those thugs deserved justice! You are probably right. From the rumor mill, that does occasionally hit on actual facts- it absolutely sounds like a legitimate resident of the neighborhood threw a party, did not go through the proper channels, completely overpromoted, and things got out of hand. It does NOT appear she was charging admission, it does not appear this was “planned thuggery”, as I’ve seen it described. It does not appear that this was simply a case of white people not liking all the black kids at “their” pool. So, seriously, back off with all the rumormongering.
It does appear that the cops had every reason to be called, it appears there were at least some altercations, and it appears that the girl and mother responsible for the event are absolutely criminally liable for the event. Again, it APPEARS that way, I’m not saying it IS that way. Regardless, the Left is all up in arms over the way the cop on film is treating the juveniles around him, and the Right is all up in arms over the criminals that should have just listened to the nice police man.
Both sides have valid points.
You want to discuss it? Great. There’s a couple of rules:
- Keep a civil tongue
- If you discuss police brutality, accept that the police have a right to fear for their own lives too. (This point is not negotiable. You can argue that the force is excessive, you can argue that the cop was out of line, you can argue the cop accepted the risks of being a cop by joining the force. These may well be valid points, but they don’t diminish the fact that the cop is a real life human being, with the same adrenaline flowing through his veins as you, or the 15 year old kids.)
- If you discuss the “moral decay” prevalent in society, accept that just because someone listens to rap music and talks “street”, they are still human beings deserving of decency like everyone else. (This point is also nonnegotiable. You can argue how black kids tend to have single mothers, and black fathers are vacant; you can argue poverty make kids angry and rebellious; you can argue kids today are lazy and self centered. If you do, have actual FACTS, and not anectdotes about how you see kids all the time doing things you don’t approve of. You still can’t deny these are PEOPLE, and you don’t get to judge people because of the color of their skin or how they enunciate “in an uneducated manner”.)
- If you have a interesting or unique viewpoint, share it, but expect resistance. You need to be informed of your own facts, and accept when someone points out a fact that is contrary to your opinions, and accept that you might need to alter your opinion if you are wrong. It’s not soul crushing to adjust.
- Learn to agree to disagree. Sometimes you just will not see things the same way. LET IT GO. Choose your battles. If you choose well, you’ll find there are less of them.
Discussion is great. Please stop turning legitimate discussions into screaming matches.