Monday, May 11, 2015

Neither A Liar Nor A Spinner Be

First day as real Minnesotans
The last week certainly has been an exciting one over at Chez WP. The folks arrived from Flah-rida in fine shape....sorta. My dad landed in the hospital briefly, and is now checking out the rehab side of the residence for a bit. He's doing well and should be right as rain soon enough. On the up side, I did get to spend Mother's Day with my mom, probably the first one in a number of decades. 

Lest I wander off into kitsch-land, I want you to all humor me for a moment or two, and try to follow this line of thinking. 

Charges have been filed against 6 of the police officers involved in the arrest and ultimate death of Freddie Gray. Those charges include murder and manslaughter. Cops were charged. So there are lots of headlines about cops doing their job and an equal number about cops being racist. But before you get all huffy, take a look at the 6 cops:

They're not all white guys. They're not even all guys. Three are white. Three are black. One is a woman. Which one of those 6 should have spoken up for Freddie Gray? Which one of those 6 thought, even for a moment, that what they were doing to this guy, criminal or not, was wrong? Which one of those 6 wondered if, when Freddie Gray died, he/she had just summarily executed a person without the benefit of charges, judge, or jury? And which one of the 6 realized he/she had trampled the Constitution of the United States?

At the same time, which looters knew the racial and gender breakdown of the cops involved? Which one thought "We have seen the enemy and it is us?" And which one believed burning, looting, and rioting were going to actually accomplish something other than spreading more hate and maybe getting some free stuff?

There was a disconnect for me because the racial part flew in the face of reality. So I go back to the idea that the perception is that white cops are killing blacks indiscriminately. Or so the rioters would have us believe. But that wasn't true here. It wasn't white cops versus black guy Freddie Gray. It's cops versus Freddie Gray. Did he have a switchblade? Did he have a rap sheet? Does it really matter now? 


It's really all about spin. The first spin cycle, the one when the news gets out, sets the tone. If the headlines are screamingly outrageous, the response will be. Doesn't matter if there is any truth on the table. Truth is disposable, a waste product.

And it's not just about cops. It's about everyone with any sort of social power.

You gotta love how Rush Limbaugh spins this stuff. Michelle Obama gave a speech at the opening of the new Whitney Museum in the city. I thought it was a terrific speech and it was rather pointed about the iconic and formidable nature of cultural institutions found in most cities. 

Rush Limbaugh translated the First Lady's words into racist hate speech, 
 “Museums and concert halls just don’t welcome nonwhite visitors — especially children — the way they welcome white people.”
and no sooner had he uttered those words than Mrs. Obama was labelled all manner of vicious, racist sobriquets. 

What the lady actually said was,
“You see, there are so many kids in this country who look at places like museums and concert halls and other cultural centers and they think to themselves, well, that’s not a place for me, for someone who looks like me, for someone who comes from my neighborhood. In fact, I guarantee you that right now, there are kids living less than a mile from here who would never in a million years dream that they would be welcome in this museum.
“And growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I was one of those kids myself. So I know that feeling of not belonging in a place like this. And today, as first lady, I know how that feeling limits the horizons of far too many of our young people.”
ANYONE who has ever worked in the arts knows exactly what she is talking about, just as millions of kids and grown ups who have lived in those cities know the same thing. It's about affluence v. poverty, not color. This is so not new, but talking about it out in the open is. She is totally spot on and gee, we should be glad she wants to talk about this part of the class divide.

Not to be left off the hook, here's a good example from a hard left wing website called PoliticusUSA: 57% Of Republicans Say Dismantle Constitution And Make Christianity National Religion.

Well, that's not exactly what the poll question asked. Here's a snip from the poll in question. What the poll asked was whether or not the respondent would want an established national religion. The question did not ask whether or not the respondent would like the Constitution dismantled in order to do that. So instead of reporting what the poll found, they put up a sensational headline that is likely to start a flame war in the comments section. Is this like a secret hate-shake? Or just bad journalistic practice/

This does not stop with the media. The candidates participate in the hate mongering as well.

We, the People do hear between the pauses when Jeb Bush tells the graduating class at Liberty University, "Federal authorities are demanding obedience, in complete disregard of religious conscience — and in a free society, the answer is no.”  Excuse me? What if you don't believe African-Americans shouldn't marry Caucasian-Americans? Do you get to deny them wedding cakes? Where is the line between civil rights and civil wrongs...and who gets to decide? 

Whatever your political proclivity, for G-d's sake, tell your local whatever to knock it off and get back to telling the truth. Neither a liar not a spinner be. Stand up to your elected officials and demand they stop spreading hate speech. From both sides. 
Tell them it's just not acceptable. 

I mean, would you let the kids do this at the dinner table? 

I didn't think so. 

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Flowers, crafted bourbon, and a potted mint plant for juleps.
Having kids that appreciate moms and the Triple Crown?


  1. I understand what M. Obama was saying. I was that kid. I felt the same way- this is not a place for me. I knew I was out of my element. But by the same way, I also knew that anyone who was comfortable in the museums and concert halls wouldn't be comfortable in my comfort zone, in small town America. But that was okay. I never felt any class-envy. I was comfortable in my humble life. It didn't make me feel anything but glad to see something as grand as the first symphony concert I ever saw, as a young kid, knowing I didn't look or feel like I belonged there. But here is where she is wrong, it wasn't LIMITING. It was actually the opposite. I yearned for more diversity in my life. I sought that. It became a passion for me. In no way was it limiting to not be a part of the museum/symphony concert life. Not even close! I loved my woods and I loved my friends. So, what's the answer? Love your kids! Show them that the love in their life is the life they live- and there are different people out in the world. Embrace the diversity that the city and the country bring. It's really good to have a positive outlook to growing up, and not feel envy. Feel proud. And act that way. Life is 10% attitude and 90% how you react to it.


  2. Another, excellent, support for the quiet, apathetic members of We, the People, to speak up!