It is a relatively telling commentary on the state of American media when a regular contributor and professor of religious studies labels the nation’s lone left-leaning news network an evil empire. However, when Anthea Butler lashed out at MSNBC’s resident teabagger Joe Scarborough for blatant lies in defense of racist cops and their predilection to gun down African Americans, especially unarmed African American youth, “evil empire” is an apt description; of the network, mainstream media in general, and as is becoming evident to the entire world, the apartheid United States.
Butler was rightly incensed at Scarborough, and MSNBC, after Morning Joe parroted the Fox narrative that the nation is doing a “grave disservice” to the police for criticizing them for the recent epidemic of trigger-happy cops gunning down African Americans; unarmed African Americans. In less than a minute, Scarborough fabricated a scenario he likely plagiarized from any number of Fox News’ reports that police in Cleveland Ohio were justified, and wrongly criticized, for shooting a 12-year old African American boy playing with a toy gun. Of course, Scarborough’s version of the story bore no resemblance to the truth, but that is precisely what one expects from “Fox News lite” (MSNBC).
Scarborough said, “There’s another story in Cleveland where a young boy was shot dead. Police officers got a 911 call he was waving a gun scaring the blank out of everybody in this public park. Police officers came up and shot the young boy. He was 12 years old. They had taken off the markings to make it look like a toy gun. It was an actual gun. Do you know what The New York Times put in the caption of the video? ‘Police officers shoot child with toy.’ I don’t know exactly who puts those, attaches those, we are doing such a grave disservice to police officers in this country by pushing a narrative that they are going around looking to shoot and kill black people. Somebody has to tell me why Michael Brown has been chosen as the face of black oppression.”
First and foremost, what Scarborough certainly knows is that Michael Brown is not “the face” of Black oppression, and not the so-called “perfect victim” to incite anger at racist cops gunning down unarmed African Americans. Mike Brown is just the latest face of Black oppression and another in a long line of victims of racially-driven police shootings. Second, the 911 caller actually told the police dispatcher the gun was “probably fake,” but the trigger-happy cops just ran up and shot the child. Third, and this is pure Fox News fabricating lies, the gun was a toy gun, and not as racist-Joe said, “An actual gun.” Fourth, there are not that many people claiming that racist cops are “going around looking to shoot and kill black people;” that narrative is driven by the preponderance of racist cops actually going around shooting and killing unarmed Black people. Whether they are going “around looking” for them is debatable, but according to empirical data that certainly appears to be the case.
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Indeed, research and statistics prove racism plays a major factor in police shooting African Americans at a rate of 21 times faster than they do white people. However, facts aside, that is not the point of this screed; Joe Scarborough still has a job at MSNBC despite doing his best impression of Fox News racists, and worse, MSNBC portrays itself as a reasonable alternative to Republican-racist main stream media. Something that other white MSNBC commentators are proving is completely false.
The idea that Michael Brown is, or is not, some kind of “perfect victim” is being parroted by other white MSNBC pundits to incite white racists against Mike Brown and African Americans in general. Over the weekend on another MSNBC show, Up with Steve Kornacki, contributor Mike Pesca issued a warning to protestors not to champion Mike Brown “because he’s really not the perfect victim” following the Fox racist story that the unarmed teen deserved to be gunned down. After a conservative commentator brought up the story of the unarmed African American young man shot dead by cops in a Walmart store as a not really a victim, Jonathan Alter, a typically reasonable human being said, “But that was an accident.” No, an accident is when an idiot drops a loaded firearm with a round in the chamber and it accidentally discharges killing the drunken moron mishandling a loaded gun. Two cops rushing in and gunning down a young African American man shopping for a gift for his nephew is not an accident, it is cold-blooded murder.
It is despicable that in this so-called civilized society, the media, any media, is debating exactly what a “perfect victim” of deliberate racial killing at the hands of law enforcement is before Americans wake the sod-all up and demand accountability from law enforcement. For any of the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, John Crawford, or any of the young unarmed African Americans gunned down in cold blood, every victim is “perfect” to demand action.
However, there will be no accountability or action because racist mainstream media is falling over itself to demonize the real, and deceased, “victims” by defending trigger-happy cops. The ones Joe Scarborough claims are victims of “a grave disservice” that he has heard a thousand times on Fox News since Mike Brown was murdered and likely promoted by MSNBC to earn its bona fides from racist Republicans, racist cops, and the Ku Klux Klan. MSNBC is not an evil empire, it is just aspiring to be as racist as Fox News and with Joe Scarborough on board, they are giving Fox a run for their money.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.
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