Skip to main content

I share no sense of linked fate with Marvell Weaver, the hoodlum who was arrested for playing the "knockout game" and then decided to do an interview with the local news about his exploits.

After watching Weaver's pathetic explanation for the logic of his crime, I am left wondering what happened to shame?

Right-wing trolls are doing their best to play up the foolishness called the "knockout game". It is a new moral panic that combines white anxieties about black criminality, fear of black young people, and stereotypes about "African-American violence" which have been cultivated by white supremacists since Reconstruction.

The emails, comments, and stories on Right-wing websites about the faux moral panic "knockout game" phenomena are not rooted in a fair concern about crime and youth brigandry. Rather, the "knockout game" meme is rooted in a pathologically white racist obsession with "black crime"--what is alone and unique in its distinction, as white privilege has disallowed any discussion of "white crime" in America's public discourse.

There is no assumption made by the White Right that the majority of black people disapprove of the criminals among us. Moreover, the White Right is incapable of such an inference because the White Gaze sees black and brown people as an undifferentiated mass and a hive mind, one step removed from savage beasts. And there is most certainly no understanding by the White Right of the range of nuance and pragmatic politics in the African-American community.

America is highly segregated along lines of race and class. Most white people do not have African-Americans or other people of color in their friendship or social networks. Consequently, many of them actually believe the distorted and stereotypical images of black crime and vulgarity that are circulated by the mass media.

Once more, white racism hurts white people because an obsession with outlier silliness such as the "knockout game" distracts them from the murderers and rapists in their own neighborhoods and families. The conservative noise machine's obsession with "black crime" also creates a type of magical glamour which masks how white people are overwhelmingly the victims of crimes committed by people who look just like them.

Ultimately, the pathological white racists who are obsessed with "black crime" and "the knockout game" are incapable of seeing African-Americans as individual human beings. The White Right's fixation on these issues sells books, gets hits on websites, and fills up time on TV and radio. It also does political work for conservatives by ginning up white resentment. This move blinds white voters to the real criminals, the plutocrats and corporatists, who have been committing wholesale violence against the American people.

I make my best effort to write and speak with precision about issues of race and cultural politics. But sometimes, one has to default to some basic and simple concepts: the conservatives and Right-wing media bloviators who are circulating this "knockout game" meme are stupid. Why? Because their own black crime fixation robs them of the capacity to ask a basic question. The street hoodlums playing this "game" are the same thugs who attack and terrorize black and brown urban communities. Occam's razor demands that African-Americans and others who live in those communities would have the least use and tolerance for such nonsense.

To come to such an obvious conclusion indicates two things. First, members of the White Right would actually have to know real black folks (as opposed to the hired and paid for black conservatives who are trotted out as "exceptional negroes" whose only purpose is to excuse-make for white racism). Second, members of the White Right would have to assume that people of color are not that much different from them.

The Right-wing's dream-nightmare of black crime and the "knockout game" is just one more of the many little white lies that sustain the psychologically maladapted and delusional Whiteness that has possessed contemporary conservatism in the post civil rights era and the Age of Obama.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site