The confluence of the Trayvon Martin case and Derbyshire-Gate has unleashed a tsunami of stupid from the Right. Zandar provided a good rundown of the various wingnut responses to Derbyshire’s firing, and they are expectedly racist and stupid.
For his part, Mark Judge of The Daily Caller has decided that he’s had enough white guilt, thankyouverymuch because something-something Trayvon Martin and because black people are criminals:
I was at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., for the Stations of the Cross — the pre-Easter Catholic ritual of recounting the events that happened to Jesus on his way to crucifixion.
It was a beautiful and sunny day, and I planned to ride my bike around the city. The bike, a sharp silver-blue hybrid from L.L. Bean, was only a year old, but had already taken on great literal and symbolic significance for me. In 2008 I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and the chemotherapy caused some nerve damage. The doctor says it will slowly go away but exercise will be a big help.
I bought a bike, and it quickly became a source of joy — and efficiency. D.C. is a car-heavy city, and the bike made getting around it a breeze. I could park on Capitol Hill, coast down Independence Avenue and take in the museums and cherry blossoms in a couple hours. The bike was a sign of strength, of determination. Of recovery. When a friend of mine, a social worker, expressed surprise that the entire time of my treatment I had never gone on disability, I couldn’t believe she would even think that I would do such a thing. One magical early spring night I rode through about half the city, going to rock clubs, coffee shops and museums, ending up on the lit hilltop at Georgetown University. Disability? Wrong answer.
But when I came back to my car after the stations, my bike, which had been locked to a bike rack on my car, was gone. I called the cops and filed a report. Then I walked around Brookland, the neighborhood around the Shrine, for an hour to see if I could spot it. I didn’t, but I did talk to some people who said there were a lot of kids around that day because the schools are out.
I went to college at Catholic University, which is right next to the National Shrine, and I know Brookland pretty well. It’s home to several Catholic religious orders (Brookland was once known as “Little Rome”). I could be pretty certain that on Good Friday a member of the Little Sisters of the Poor, which is across the street from where I was parked, had not nicked my bike. Neither had the monks at the Dominican House of Studies on the corner. The students at Catholic University were on Easter break. That left the neighborhoods around the university. Since the time I was an undergrad at Catholic University in the 1980s, most of the crime that has occurred on campus has come from those neighborhoods, which are predominately black. As sure as it took the D.C. cops forever to get to the parking lot to file a report, I knew that the odds were very high that a black person had taken my bike — maybe one of the kids that had been described.
When I got home I vented to my friends. I told them I was going to scour those neighborhoods until I found the bike. In reply, a liberal friend gave me a lecture about profiling and told me to just forget about the bike. “That person needs our prayers and help,” she said. “They haven’t had the advantages we have.”
Hearing the kumbaya song from my liberal friend, I immediately thought of a phrase Piers Morgan had recently used when he was debating the tiresome black liberal journalist Touré about the Trayvon Martin case. Touré had accused Morgan of not “fully understanding what’s really going on here and what’s really at stake for America.” To which Morgan replied: “What a load of fatuous nonsense you speak, Touré, don’t you? You think you have the only right to speak about what’s serious in America? You think I don’t have the right as somebody from Britain who spent the last six or seven years here to address the story like this with the seriousness it deserves?”
Score one for the Queen. In that moment, I had a change of consciousness. Why was I assuming that the kid who stole my bike was acting out of some terrible pain, as if he had been directly under the lash of Bull Connor? What if he has a car, a nice apartment, a hot girlfriend and good health?
What if he is just a selfish asshole?
I decided that I’m just going to let go of my white guilt. We’re all human, we all experience pain in our lives. And black pain is no different than white pain.
It felt good to say it: Black pain is no different than white pain. I’m tired of people using the moral authority of past generations for their own personal gain and self-aggrandizement. Soledad O’Brien, a Harvard graduate, acts like she just stepped off the Amistad.
I’d like to congratulate Mark Judge on his decision to be an outright asshole. It’s a brave thing to do — to confirm one’s preexisting biases through faulty logic and rank stupidity. Rather than doing what a non-asshole would do — lamenting the loss of his bike and shaking his fist at the person who stole his bike, irrespective of race — Judge solemnly lays down his white man’s burden based on his unproven assumption that some black kid stole his beloved bike, a bike which he describes with the sort of overwrought prose usually reserved for existential philosophical musings.
You see, Mark always heard that black people are criminals. He went to Catholic University in the 80s and most of the campus crime came from neighborhoods that were predominately black. Mind you, it’s unclear that “most of the crime” was committed by black people (just as it is unclear that a black person stole his precious bike), but that doesn’t matter. Mark has always felt in his gut that black people are criminals, and now he had proof — controvertible, deniable proof — that black people are criminals. The reasoning is stunning:
- Mark had a bike (from L.L. Bean, no less!);
- Mark left his bike somewhere near Catholic University;
- someone stole Mark’s bike;
- there were black people in the area;
- Mark’s bike disappeared;
- BLACK PEOPLE DID IT.
You just can’t beat logic like that.
image via Amanda Underwood, all rights reserved.