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Jack



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
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Post Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:06 am
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
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Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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Here's the thing about that: Geraldo is right that some kinds of clothing make you more likely to get into conflicts with strangers, and that parents should be making sure that children are conscious of that. I've been hassled by drunks at a bar far more often when I'm wearing seven to ten pounds of black leather outerwear than I do when I'm wearing a collared shirt and a necktie. Martin's choice of clothing probably did help to attract Zimmerman's attention that day. It's also true that Martin probably could have made choices during the confrontation with Zimmerman that defused the conflict rather than allowing it to escalate into violence.

Here's the other thing: None of that justifies Zimmerman doing what he did. Making a dispassionate observation that if x had been different y might not have happened is not the same thing as saying that y should have happened for a given value of x. Unreasonable people are a reality we all have to deal with, whether we should have to or not.

Here's the other other thing: Geraldo was wrong when he responded to the whole "hoodie protest" thing as if it were about rehabilitating the hoodie. Those protests aren't an attempt to rehabilitate the article of clothing, they're about challenging us to think about the reaction we have when we see a person dressed that way.

That video of Bobby Rush being kicked off the House floor for donning a hoodie during his speech is a visceral example of that dynamic in action. Clothing affects the way we perceive others, and the way others perceive us, for good and for bad. We have a responsibility to own and police those responses within ourselves. When Juan Williams acknowledges his fear of Muslims but stops short of acting to expunge it from himself, he has admitted a moral failing. The same moral failing cannot be shown in Rivera's case where he's saying that parents should encourage their children to acknowledge the bias which exists and insist that they act to reduce the associated risk to themselves.

Martin isn't dead because he made a decision to dress the way he dressed, and refuse to back away from intimidation by an unreasonable and hypervigilant asshole in his neighborhood. He's not a martyr in that sense. Martin's contribution to his own death was a failure to recognize the threat in front of him for being as serious as it was. That's the rashness of youth, not martyrdom. Martyrdom is about recognizing the threat and acting anyway.

Parents should counsel their children against rash behavior, even in situations where the behavior is only rash because other people behave unreasonably. This is why my dad still tells me to this day that I should stop hanging out in bars: Because he's right, and because some people look at a 6'3, 300 pound dude with a ponytail and a leather jacket sitting by himself at a barstool drinking whiskey and decide they want to know if they can take him.

People like that should drink less, and possibly seek counseling for their "tough man" impulses. I shouldn't have to stop wearing leather because those people exist--but sometimes I avoid wearing that jacket or avoid going to the bar anyway. I'd rather be safe and at home than right and in jail.

Zimmerman should go to jail for what he did, and he should not think he has the right to confront anyone just for having dark skin and a hoodie. Martin might still be alive had he chosen to defuse that conflict rather than escalate it. He shouldn't have had to make that choice, not ever, but neither should we pretend that he didn't have the choice to begin with.

Geraldo has a lot of the details wrong but he's at least trying to think like a parent ought to think about the safety of their children. We should let him remove his foot from his mouth and move on.
Post Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:05 am
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2026
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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More succinctly: Symbols have power. Geraldo is right that parents should teach the power of symbols to their children. He's wrong to suggest that the hoodie protests are an attempt to erase its particular symbolism. The protests are, rather, an admonishment that we need to pay closer attention to the ways in which we allow symbols to have power over us.

It's like the old poster says: participate in your own manipulation.
Post Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:22 am
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Jesse Custer



Joined: 01 Dec 2006
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Location: London
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Good analysis as always Mark. But I have a really hard time believing the example of you looking like a hard case, leather jacket or not.
Post Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:18 am
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2026
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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That's totally fair. Just personal anecdotal evidence, made about night life in Minneapolis suburbs. Not exactly hardcase central in any case--but some people just don't need much of an excuse to start looking for a fight. Which is sort of my point.
Post Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:27 am
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3flip



Joined: 30 Dec 2003
Posts: 2201
Location: Minneapolis
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Mark in Minnesota wrote:


I think that even people who think that statute is good law should be able to agree that you shouldn't be able to claim to be protecting private property when it's a Common Element owned by that large of a community association.




yes. As a person who is not thrilled about taking guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, it is disgusting this guy was able to carry a firearm after his 3(?) run-ins with the law.
Post Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:04 am
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FuseONE



Joined: 11 Jul 2002
Posts: 1715
Location: Newark, DE
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Mark in Minnesota wrote:
I've been hassled by drunks at a bar far more often when I'm wearing seven to ten pounds of black leather outerwear


ummm....what kind of bar is this?
Post Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:20 pm
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2026
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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Pizza joints and chain restaurants with full service bars, mostly. I'm talking about a winter coat of mine, which literally does weigh about 9 pounds with hood and liner--and a stingy brim leather fedora I tend to wear with it.

I see what you did there, though.
Post Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:24 pm
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mancabbage



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
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Location: london
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what kinda black leather, are we talking some kinda rob halford shit here, tassels n all that?
Post Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:30 pm
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2026
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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Yes, exactly like that. The message I'm trying to send is "I'm looking for rough trade, boys" but for some reason the reaction I'm getting is "come on then if you think you're hard enough." Being a fat pasty nerd in my 30s has been more difficult than I thought. Wait, what is this thread about again?
Post Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:49 pm
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FuseONE



Joined: 11 Jul 2002
Posts: 1715
Location: Newark, DE
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Mark in Minnesota wrote:
I see what you did there, though.


lol sorry...the way you said it though just kinda made it sound like a gay leather bar. and a leather fedora? i would gladly pay you...$5 through paypal to see a picture of this.
Post Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:56 pm
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mancabbage



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
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Location: london
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you ain't gettin no rough trade in that leather ensemble, comeon man, let the 80s die
Post Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:55 am
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Jesse Custer



Joined: 01 Dec 2006
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Hey, if it's good enough for Terry Pratchett...
Post Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:56 pm
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
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Location: Third Coast
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You guys act like Mark is chillin in some pleather, Amstel Lite in hand. And that this thread is about Mark's wardrobe.
Post Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:25 pm
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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 6166
Location: privileged homeless
Geraldo is on a whole other level  Reply with quote  

I have seen some stunningly insincere and weaselly non-apologies in my day, but the recent remarks by Geraldo Rivera are so incredibly devoid of regret or intent to repair damage done that I’m taken aback that anyone would stoop to using the word “apology” in the same paragraph as any reference to them.

I don’t think I have ever read or heard someone who is pretending to apologize spend so much more breath staunchly insisting that what they are pretending to apologize for was noble, brave, and unimpeachably correct.
Geraldo wrote:
I apologize to anyone offended by what one prominent black conservative called my ‘very practical and potentially life-saving campaign urging black and Hispanic parents not to let their children go around wearing hoodies,’

That is a thirty-word sentence. The first six mimic the barest minimum form of apology, where you patronize those thin-skinned souls who were unfortunate enough to suffer the emotional condition of “offense,” and then it’s twenty-four successive lightning bolts of self-congratulation. That is 1/5th apologetic at best. That is less than Robert MacNamara is sorry for Viet Nam, and he kind of still thinks that was pretty clever. Geraldo isn’t apologizing, he is CROWING like a BIG COCK.
Politico.com wrote:
Rivera said that “by putting responsibility on what kids wear instead of how people react to them I have obscured the main point that someone shot and killed an unarmed teenager,” and that he was offering a “sincere and heartfelt apology” to anyone he may have offended in his “crusade to warn minority families of the danger to their young sons inherent in gangsta style clothing; like hoodies.”

He carefully chooses the word “responsibility” to sort of sound like he’s acknowledging that he placed BLAME upon Trayvon and family for what was done to the kid - which he did do - but to elide quite doing so, and instead reiterate his position that “minority families” are accountable to not make themselves look, in his breathtaking words, “gangsta.”

He is, can you believe this, not only standing his ground but digging his heels more deeply into it. It does not get less apologetic than this, my dear news media, so please PLEASE stop reporting that he has apologized. The news is that Geraldo has NOT apologized, but has instead used the word “apology” so cheaply and liberally that it may be some time before anyone is able to genuinely say they’re sorry for anything again.

You fucking asshole; you galoot; you maniac, Geraldo. You’re gonna fucking presume to WARN MINORITY FAMILIES? Motherfucker, THEY KNOW.

MINORITY FAMILIES - YOU IDIOT - ARE ON TOP OF THIS ONE.

How sick is this. I can’t abide watching it unfold. One numbskull’s remarks on the matter of course are not even close to the worst thing about the killing of Trayvon Martin, but it says so much. There’s no pretending that he’s the only person who feels this way. There’s no pretending that the fact that many, may people feel this way is what makes perpetual the condition of elevated danger for people of colour in white America.

It’s not just offensive, Geraldo Rivera; you didn’t just get people’s knickers in a twist. You are making people DEAD with the attitudes you reveal when you speak this way. YOU are more to blame for his death than any article of clothing.

You fuck.
Post Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:02 pm
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