Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Don't be that guy

Which guy? The one below:

Who is he? His name is Brandon Giles. He's sitting in a church in New York wearing a hoodie.

Brandon is the dead-end white guy, the one who is spiritually defeated and disordered.

You may have followed the story at View from the Right, but I'll quickly retell it. Late last month in Florida, a neighbourhood watch captain called George Zimmerman noticed a young African-American man he didn't recognise, Trayvon Martin, in his gated community. He thought Martin was acting suspiciously and called the police. By the time the police arrived an altercation had taken place and Zimmerman had fatally shot Martin.

Zimmerman's story is that Martin challenged him, knocked him down and was beating him and that he acted in self-defence. There is some support for this version of events; when police arrived Zimmerman had a broken nose and was bleeding from the back of his head. One witness corroborated Zimmerman's story.

The police did not charge Zimmerman, finding the evidence of self-defence to be credible.

But then the story took on a life of its own, being put into a kind of liberal script in which a black man was held to be the victim of white racism. Newspapers printed very youthful looking pictures of Trayvon Martin and President Obama said that "If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon" and that all of America had some "soul searching" to do over the incident. This then led to people, like Brandon Giles, dressing in hoodies in solidarity with Martin.

The media presentation of the issue has unravelled to a considerable degree. Zimmerman, it turns out, is of mixed ancestry and looks Hispanic. Martin was into gangsta culture, wore a grill, had recently been suspended from school for 10 days, and was a lot more physically mature than early newspaper reports suggested.

So how should a well-intentioned white guy react? It is perfectly legitimate to want a thorough investigation and to want justice to be served. But what's pathetic is for a white guy to jump straight into the script of "evil white racists oppressing black men." Not only is it an illogical way to filter reality, worse still it is a symptom of an underlying spiritual defeat or disorder.

So let's not be that guy anymore. We can do much better.


  1. Let's not be that guy.

    But Rick Santorum is that guy. Here on Face the Nation (thanks to Legal Insurrection) is Rick Santorum running with the anti-White lynch mob, prejudging a man who hasn't been and shouldn't be charged with anything, and using language that reveals a lot of hate in his heart:

    NORAH O'DONNELL: Okay, there you go. Let's move on to a very serious subject. And, of course that is the national uproar that is going on after the death of that seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida. The President made a very personal statement about this. Let's listen.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I can only imagine what these parents are going through. And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids. My main message is-- is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son he would look like Trayvon.

    NORAH O'DONNELL: Senator, the President did not use the word race, but do you think race played a role here?

    RICK SANTORUM: Well, I mean, I obviously I'm not privy to what's going on in someone's mind. Obviously in my opinion someone who had a very sick mind who would-- who would pursue someone like this. This is clearly a heinous act. And, you know, there are a lot of people who have a lot of distorted views of reality. And, it's-- it's a tragic, tragic case. And my heart goes out to the parents, too. I can't imagine what they're suffering losing their son in-- in such a horrific way. All I would say is that whatever the motive is, it was a malicious one and a very, very tragic one.

    NORAH O'DONNELL: Well, Newt Gingrich said that what the President said in a sense is disgraceful because it is not a question of who that man looked like. Any young man of any ethnic background should be safe. Was Newt Gingrich wrong to make those comments?

    RICK SANTORUM: Well, all I can say is that, you know, again, there are a lot of people who have very-- very perverted views of reality and-- and obviously have, as we see, people who-- who do horrible things for seemingly senseless reasons. And I-- I think it's hard to generalize from one heinous act something that is, you know, try to-- try to make a bigger point out of it. And I think that's probably what Newt was getting at. And I would just say to the President and to everybody that, you know, we need to focus on being there to be supportive and-- and, for the family that's going through this tragedy.

    NORAH O'DONNELL: All right. Senator Rick Santorum, thank you for joining us.

  2. Zero support or sympathy for the neighborhood watch captain who was defending his community from a real and chronic crime menace, and then who was defending his own life.

    George Zimmerman is a hero. (And yes I thought the same when early reports suggested he was Jewish.)

    Rick Santorum chose to be part of the political lynch mob.

  3. Brandon Giles looks like he could have been listening to a sermon from Sinead O'Connor.