How the Chicago Kidnapping Hurts All Liberals
I'm sure by now you've at least scrolled past a friend's post sharing the Facebook Live video of four black people torturing a mentally disabled white guy for over 30 minutes, while saying “Fuck Donald Trump!” and “Fuck white people!” cutting his scalp, and punching his face. What you may have missed was the cacophony of right-wing pundits' boners thumping the bottoms of their desks at the breaking of this news.
Conservative media outlets have spent the last few years doing everything that they can to ensure that their audiences are foaming at the mouths at the very mention of Black Lives Matter, but have had almost no opportunities to demonize the group with actual substance. This event is no exception. I want to make it very clear: None of the four suspects in the case have any proven affiliation with BLM. But then again, neither did Micah Xavier Johnson.
Johnson was the guy who shot and killed five officers in Dallas, and wounded nine other people in 2016. The sniper claimed that this was done in the name of Black Lives Matter, and it was all systems go over at FOX News. That narrative was going to be looped until their viewers didn't even need to take their ginko biloba tablets to remember the story.
Unfortunately for all of the pseudo-journalists who thought that this was their chance to crucify BLM, the group had actually rejected Johnson because of his radical and violent views. Oops. Once that piece of information broke, and the aforementioned pundits started having a more difficult time using this story as a conduit to indict every black protester, they were forced to let the story peter out.
While this particular story of horrendous torture coming out of Chicago is still breaking and the details are not complete, it's hard to imagine that the talking points and patterns will differ much from what we saw last year out of Dallas. At the moment, the Chicago police statement is that they've “found nothing tying the kidnapping to Black Lives Matter.” This is pretty unsurprising to those of us who use facts and information to make our decisions about the world around us, but I'm sure Tomi Lahren will be screaming 'bud!' at the top of her lungs in no time. The proven scruples of BLM as an organization have no effect whatsoever on empty headed fools who wouldn't know a damn thing if their prompter went out.
What these four sick, depraved idiots did has consequences that stretch a lot further than one organization. When this pack of braying jackasses implicated their disdain for Trump in this horrific video, they opened the flood gates against every non-sociopath who is also anti-Trump. Now all that Bill O'Reilly has to do is go on TV and say “You see this? Black people are all violent criminals, and liberals can't take the fact that they lost the election. You see what they're doing? These anti-Trump wingnuts are attacking disabled people!” And his low-to-no information audience will gobble up every word out of Papa Bear's mouth. It doesn't matter that everyone with half a conscience wholly opposes the actions of these lunatics. What matters is that they jumped in the boat with all of the sane and reasonable people who can't stand the unprecedented corruption and hateful rhetoric of our new Commander-in-Tweet. They chose to use aimless violence instead of intelligent discourse to make their point, and they've made it all too easy for the right to throw us all in the same camp. Mass indictment of naysayers is what conservatives have done for decades. “If global warming is real, then why is it so cold right now?” “If black people aren't criminals, then why are so many of them in prison?” “If Islam is so peaceful, then why are there terrorists?” They dismiss facts and nuance in favor of bullshit platitudes, and psychotic morons like this do nothing but help them.
I'm a white male. By the logic of these four turds, I must be a Trump supporter. Never mind the hundreds of articles that I've written in favor of progressive action in politics. Forget all of the years of heated arguments I've had favoring liberal policies since Dubya's reign. According to these troglodytes, all white people represent Trump, just as they are sure to represent every black person and liberal in the eyes of the right. It's kind of like the KKK thinking all black people are subhuman rapists, or right-wing 'newsmen' holding every Muslim responsible for ISIS. But the difference between responses is incumbent upon all of us to deliver. We should be able as a society to admonish this group without indicting an entirely separate one. These four nutbags represent nothing more than their own limited world view and racist ideas. They don't speak for all black people or all Trump detractors any more than the Grand Wizard speaks for me. It is absolutely crucial that we continue to fight the spoon-fed stupidity and simplistic thinking that comes from the dangerous and greedy bastards lucky enough to possess both a platform and an agenda. It is our duty to not offer them our necks, but instead to reject the idea that this small gaggle of mouth-breathers represents the interests or actions of the other millions of people who are presently disenfranchised by our bleak political state.