Kessler begins his rant by reading a headline from a June 3, 2013 Fox News story — “Kerry says US will sign UN treaty on arms regulation despite lawmaker opposition.” He then launches into an angry rant professing his unwillingness to comply with this treaty should the United States sign it…
After his first video began to get noticed online, the police chief followed up with a second video in which he pretends to apologize for his first, before telling people who disagree with him to “go fuck yourself and get some more.” He then proceeds to fire multiple different kinds of automatic weapons while referring to the people watching as “fucking cocksuckers,” and telling “all you fucking libtards out” there to “grow a pair of balls.”
Asked about President Obama’s remarks on the nation’s divisions in light of the George Zimmerman verdict, Jackson blasted Obama for “racializing” the real problem. Though asked about how as Lt. Governor he would stem violence, he responded by attacking sex.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is both white and a racial other; he is “us” and “them.” This in-between place – neither white nor a dark-skinned terrorist; neither white nor a black criminal – manifest itself with the reactions. The yearning to deploy narratives reserved for white males and the discomfort when attached to his body reflects the racial ambiguity and the ways that innocence/criminality or innocent/terrorist binary operates through America’s racial schema.
At one level, the outrage over the “rock star cover” reflects a discomfort with the image not fitting expectations of what a terrorist looks like. It defies dominant stereotypes of who a terrorist is, what a terrorist looks like, and where a terrorist lives. It operates outside the racial schema of America’s terror discourse; it also defies the popular narrative, popularize by Bill Maher, that terrorism is an outgrowth of sexual frustration of males. The image works in contrast here.
Leontine G. sent in a troubling example of the framing of children’s deviance, and their own complicity in this framing. She included two links: one to a “Today” show story about a 7-year-old boy who took his family’s car on a joyride and got caught by police, and one to a CNN story about a 7-year-old boy who took his family’s car on a joyride and got caught by police. Different 7-year-olds. One white, one black.
The white boy, Preston, is interviewed with his family on the set of the “Today” show. Knowing his kid is safe, his Dad describes the event as “funny” and tells the audience that if this could happen to a “cotton candy all-American kid like Preston,” then “it could happen to anybody.”
This story contrasts dramatically to the CNN story about Latarian Milton, a black 7-year-old who took his family’s car on a joy ride. I’ll put the video first, but be forewarned, it’s disturbing not only because of the different frame placed on the boy’s actions, but because of the boy’s embracing of the spoiled identity…
The interviewer, off-camera, asks Latarian why he took the car. He replied: “I wanted to do it ’cause it’s fun, it’s fun to do bad things.” The interviewer asks further, “Did you know that you could perhaps kill somebody?” And he replies: “Yes, but I wanted to do hoodrat stuff with my friends.”
The interviewer asks him what punishment he should receive and Latarian offers a punishment very similar to Preston’s: “Just a little bit… no video games for a whole weekend.” In a longer version of this news story, now taken down, the camera focuses on a reporter who explains that the police plan to go forward with charges of grand theft against him. While he’s “too young to go into any type of juvenile facility,” he says, “police say they do want to get him into the system, so that they can get him some type of help.”
The implication here, of course, is that this child is not innocent or impetuous like Preston, he’s a pre-criminal who needs “some type of help.” The sooner they get Latarian into “the (prison?) system,” the better. No cotton candy kid this one.