|At least Blacks, Whites, liberals
and conservatives can agree that
Narragansett Lager is crap.
‘Puter was in scenic Worcester, Massachusetts this weekend attending a reunion for alumni of the college student-run theater and the college choir. As one might imagine, choir and theater alumni tend to occupy the Lefternmost* portion of the political spectrum. At about 22:00 EDT, while ‘Puter was at a bar in a former jail (bars intact), the jury returned a verdict, finding George Zimmerman not guilty of all charges.
Many of ‘Puter’s friends were shocked by the verdict, opining (briefly and politely) that the jury’s verdict was a gross miscarriage of justice. ‘Puter politely pointed out that the jury followed the law, which it was sworn to do. Whether or not Florida’s self-defense laws were too lax was not a question properly before the jury. ‘Puter and his friends then politely determined this was not the time or place for a deeper philosophical discussion about race and law, and returned to drinking Narragansett Lager** in pint cans.***
Since Saturday evening, ‘Puter’s pondered the Zimmerman verdict not so much for its own sake, but as a leading indicator of an individual’s intellectual maturity. It is not only possible, but eminently logical to hold the following two thoughts:
George Zimmerman was properly acquitted of all criminal charges brought against him by the State of Florida.
Blacks specifically, and minorities generally, experience America’s criminal justice system far differently than Whites.
Many liberals deny the first point, alleging that the existence of the second point falsifies the first. Conservatives contend (correctly) that the existence of the second point has nothing to do with the first point, and incorrectly fail to consider the importance of the second point.
If America is to “move forward” and “have a national conversation”**** regarding the Zimmerman verdict, fine. Let’s rip the Band-Aid off our nation’s festering race relations boil and lance it by examining the difficult questions.
Here’s a starter list for our conservative readers:
· Even assuming there is a rational explanation for such a wide disparity in incarceration rates between Whites and Blacks, is it not troubling that such a wide gap exists?
· Blacks have been uniquely singled out in American law for differential treatment (negative and positive) because of America’s history of slavery and state-sanctioned racism. Is it not understandable that Blacks would continue to suspect the justice system of discrimination, whether or not banned by law?
· Florida’s self-defense law favors a finding of self-defense and is lax relative to the nation as a whole (Florida Standard Jury Instructions §3.6(f)). Florida also has liberal concealed carry laws, as well as a “stand your ground” law, effectively codifying the common law duty to retreat prior to imposition of deadly force. Does this combination of lax self-defense standards, lax gun laws and a statutorily limited duty to retreat unreasonably increase the likelihood of use of deadly force in a situation where such force may not have been necessary in the first instance?
Here’s a starter list for our liberal readers:
· Does protest against a verdict with which you disagree include rioting (i.e., the destruction of physical property and/or assault of individuals by a group of individuals)? If so, under what circumstances is it permissible (or tolerable) to riot?
· Assume as a given that racial disparities in incarceration are both unacceptable and motivated at some level by racial animus. Do you believe it is rational for Whites to see so-called “Black culture” as dysfunctional, glorifying thuggery and misogyny, reveling in violence? If not, why not?
· Does the Black community deserve some blame for refusing to help itself? See, e.g., shunning education as “White,” seeing welfare dependency as a good outcome, tolerating young men fathering multiple children by different women, electing politicians on the basis of skin color rather than results, etc.
· Isn’t it rational for Whites (and Blacks) to be frightened of young Black men dressed like and behaving like the violent, unpredictable thugs, hoods and gangsters portrayed by Black performers in the music industry and reported on by the media? If not, why not?
· Do you believe the rule of law is important to the continued cohesion of America as a functional nation? If so, please reconcile your position that the Zimmerman verdict was a gross miscarriage of justice with your belief that the General Motors bondholder cramdown intended solely to enrich labor pension funds was permissible.
‘Puter doesn’t claim to have all the answers, but at least he’s spent a good deal of time thinking the issue through. Too many Americans, both on the Right and on the Left, prefer to ignore data inconsistent with their belief systems, content to dwell in a fantasy world where their favored positions are the only possible correct positions. And a few Americans deserve a special place in Hell, knowing full well that they’re acting in contravention of the facts, doing so solely to enrage certain racial or special interest groups to enrich themselves.
Let the 42,736th iteration of The Great National Conversation on RaceTM begin.
*Puter neologism, bastardized from “westernmost.” ‘Puter thinks it’s a cromunlently awesome word and should be used by all minions with great frequency, provided ‘Puter receives due obeisance full credit.
**’Puter guesses Narragansett is the New England hipster equivalent of Pabst Blue Ribbon, crap beer old-timey blue collar guys used to drink because it was cheap. Narragansett’s slogan is “Sold on Merit.” If by “Sold on Merit” Narragansett means “intestinal death sentence,” then the slogan is apt. If Narragansett meant its slogan literally, it most certainly ran afoul of Massachusetts’ very strict consumer protection laws. ‘Puter still can’t believe he drank that crap back in college.
***’Puter lived off campus his senior year in a crappy neighborhood behind a massive furniture store and an operating manufacturer. ‘Puter could tell it was the first of the month without a calendar because his chronically unemployed neighbors would trade in their Narragansett forty-ouncers for Budweiser forty-ouncers.
****’Puter hates the phrases “move forward” and “national conversation” because they’re politico-speak for “we’re not going to do a damn thing about the underlying problem, but we’re happy to use the ongoing national trauma to bludgeon our opponents.”
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.