July 8, 2012, 12:33 pm
On July 4th Chris Rock tweeted
Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks.
I realize that tweets in and of themselves are not that important, but the backlash against this particular one is overburdened with significance. Over at Huffington Post, they have a poll and you can vote whether you find the tweet “funny” or “unpatriotic.” About as many people found it unpatriotic as found it amusing (15.56% to 18.42%). Needless to say, if 15% of readers of the left-leaning Huff Post found Rock’s tweet unpatriotic, the red, white and blue vitriol was ramped up in the right-wing blogosphere. At briebart.com, John Solte wrote about Rock:
Still carrying a grudge against a country that has made Chris Rock wealthy and famous way beyond where his waning talents should’ve taken him… To divisive racialists like Rock, nothing will ever be…
May 1, 2012, 7:20 pm
Rodney King (photo from Wikipedia)
Twenty years ago this week, riots swept through Los Angeles. Rioters looted stores and then burned them to the ground. Photographers and journalists attempted to capture the mêlée, but some were physically assaulted in the process. South Central and South East Los Angeles were on fire. The vitriol and violence emerged hours after several white police officers were acquitted by an all-white jury in the infamous Rodney King beating case. A year before, Rodney King’s name left an indelible mark on our collective conscious as did the video tape of his brutal beating at the hands of baton-wielding officers.
Indeed there was a sad double consciousness for some blacks—pain and empathy for King while at the same time his beating provided some political expediency…