By all accounts, Brown was One Of The Good Ones. But laying all this out, explaining all the ways in which he didn't deserve to die like a dog in the street, is in itself disgraceful. Arguing whether Brown was a good kid or not is functionally arguing over whether he specifically deserved to die, a way of acknowledging that some black men ought to be executed.
To even acknowledge this line of debate is to start a larger argument about the worth, the very personhood, of a black man in America. It's to engage in a cost-benefit analysis, weigh probabilities, and gauge the precise odds that Brown's life was worth nothing against the threat he posed to the life of the man who killed him. It's to deny that there are structural reasons why Brown was shot dead while James Eagan Holmes—who on July 20, 2012, walked into a movie theater and fired rounds into an audience, killing 12 and wounding 70 more—was taken alive.
To ascribe this entirely to contempt for black men is to miss an essential variable, though—a very real, American fear of them. They—we—are inexplicably seen as a millions-strong army of potential killers, capable and cold enough that any single one could be a threat to a trained police officer in a bulletproof vest. There are reasons why white gun's rights activists can walk into a Chipotle restaurant with assault rifles and be seen as gauche nuisances while unarmed black men are killed for reaching for their wallets or cell phones, or carrying children's toys. Guns aren't for black people, either.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2009—Militia Groups on the Rise:
|A new report finds that after a ten year lull, armed militia groups are growing rapidly, and officials worry that full blown domestic terrorism could soon follow:
On today's Kagro in the Morning show: Thanks to Bill in Portland Maine for his generous tip of the hat to the 3rd anniversary of Daily Kos Radio! Thanks go out to all the people who make the show possible, and to all the people who do the things that make the Daily Kos community the remarkable place it is. A bit of an introspective show today, involving some of the mechanics of how we measure the growth of the show. But Joan McCarter helps save the day, and we discuss Ferguson, the militarization of local cops, the Koch pullout from MI, Joe Miller's ugly AK campaign, the big Dem NC-Sen ad buy, and how Rand Paul stiffed IA evangelicals to party in the Hamptons.