Mark Draughn, a.k.a Windypundit and the Ethics Alarms 2013 “Blogger of the Year,” has swallowed the Kool-Aid, apparently, and decided to defend the race-baiters, from the tippety top of our government to the stygian depths of MSNBC, who have finally managed to get police killed in retaliation for the “racist murders” of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and others. In his most recent post he challenged my analysis, and ended up making me feel pretty good about it. I love Mark’s blog and admire Mark’s mind, and if can’t do any better than this, I am obviously on firm ground.
I want you all to visit Windypundit, for Mark is terrific (usually), so I’m not going to go through the whole post, which you can read here. I will make a few salient observations though. Let’s play “Mark Says”:
“I knew there would be people who would take Brinsley’s reputed motive and use it to smear protesters and activists who had spoken out against police abuse.”
1. Mark wrote this before my straw man post, and sure enough, he followed the script. It’s about “police abuse.” Right. Not race. Not the racism of whites, the hunting down of black men; not about how blacks can’t get justice even when they have been gunned down with their hands in the air. Indeed, it’s not “about” any of the irresponsible, exaggerated, inflammatory accusations that we have been hearing since Trayvon Martin was shot…and not by a cop, either.
2. “Reputed motive.” Mark thinks I am unfair to conclude that a killer who wrote online that he was going to kill some “pigs” in retaliation for police killing Mike Brown and Eric Garner killed the two police officers in retaliation for police killing Mike Brown and Eric Garner. Got it.
3. I’m smearing protesters! These are, recall, protesters who, by their use of the “hands up, don’t shoot” theme, were smearing a specific police officer with the false claim that he was a racist and a murderer, though the evidence says otherwise, and smearing the integrity of the citizens on the grand jury who refused to indict him. By extending this smear to police generally, they were also asserting that this—that is, the fictional racist murder of that “harmless, unarmed black teen” who had just tried to take the officer’s gun and was charging all 300 pounds of his body at Officer Wilson—was the potential orientation of all white police. I was smearing them by pointing out that this was divisive, inflammatory, dishonest and irresponsible.
“There wouldn’t be constant references to police shooting unarmed black men if police were not, in fact, shooting unarmed black men.”
Yet, strangely, the shooting of unarmed white men, which also occurs, has been left out of the discussion. I wonder what Mark thinks this signifies. That only black men are shot by the police? That’s not true. That protesters want to make it seem like this is the case? That is true. That they cheery-pick incidents to maximize racial distrust? Also true. If the issue is not making police out to be racist killers, but just reforming “police abuse,” why isn’t police abuse of non-African Americans part of the discussion? It has to be either because the race-baiting, anti-police activists want to distort the facts, or because they don’t care that white men get killed too. Which is it?
“ It’s not like the civil rights advocates, activists, journalists, and pundits are just making stuff up.”
Sure they are! They are made up the narrative that Brown was harmless, and used a photo that made him look like Gary Coleman. They treated the “hands up” story, which came from Brown’s pal, as if it was fact. Then after it was shown to be unreliable, they continued to treat it as fact, and do to this day. I guess it doesn’t count as “making stuff up.” Treating the deaths of Garner and Brown as racial incidents absent any proof whatsoever is making stuff up. Representing to the public that four hours is an unreasonable time to process an outdoors potential crime scene is making stuff up. I’m not even going to list all the stuff they made up about the Trayvon Martin inccident—Zimmerman immediately saying the kid was black, that he was profiled because of a hoodie, etc. But mostly they are making up the illusion that only black men get shot by the police.
“However, Jack’s assertion that Michael Brown activists should not have made accusations before the investigation was complete is hypocritical nonsense. He is making that assertion in the middle of a post in which he accuses civil rights leaders and activists of creating the atmosphere that motivated cop killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley. In other words, just hours after the shooting — long before the NYPD investigation could possibly be complete — Jack claims to know who the murderer was, why he did it, and the identity of the people whose anti-cop rhetoric supposedly influenced him to do it. Jack is doing exactly the same thing he’s criticizing others for doing. The next time a cop kills an unarmed black man, should we hold Jack accountable for creating the conditions that made the cop fearful?”
This is the second worst of Mark’s arguments (the worst is yet to come.) In the case of Wilson, he was publicly accused, with nothing but the testimony of Brown’s accomplice in crime and a proven liar, of executing an unarmed man who was in a position of surrender (that was after Darion Johnson abandones his earlier claim that Brown was shot in the back, and that Wilson fired a final shot into him, execution style, as he lay on the ground). When I wrote about Ismaaiyl Brinsley, there was no substantial question that he was the killer, and the evidence of his Instagram message announcing his intent and motivation was online for all to see. And he was already dead. I wasn’t contributing to the conviction by rumor of a man who hadn’t been yet shown to be guilty of anything, and would have to live with the results
“This is not the first time Jack has criticized activists for claiming there was racial bias in the Michael Brown shooting when “there is no evidence of this at all.” Technically speaking, Jack is plain wrong. As Jack more-or-less admits, the simple fact that a white police officer shot an unarmed black teenager is evidence of racial bias. It’s not very strong evidence, and it’s subject to interpretation and possible refutation by other evidence and testimony. But it’s still evidence.”
This is Mark’s worst argument, by far. I never “admitted” any such thing. The fact that a white man ends up killing a black man is no evidence of racial bias at all, unless you believe, as the activists do, that whites are inherently racist. Does Holder start civil rights inquiries when a black man kills a white one? No. Never.This idea, which I am frankly shocked that Mark or anyone but the most virulent anti-white racist would endorse, assumes that prima facie racism exists because a white individual is, justly or not, inflicting harm on a black one. Does a white judge sentence a black prisoner harshly? Racism. Does a white superior reprimand a black subordinate? Presumptive racism. Does a black candidate for a job fail to get hired by a white interviewer? Must be racism. A white cop gives a black driver a speeding ticket. Well, look at their colors, man! Racism! Is a white blogger convinced that a black President is a catastrophic, epic, tragic failure? Isn’t that racism? I’m told it is, almost every day.
You can, and should, examine the whole of Mark’s post. It fails because it adopts the straw man that the issue is merely police abuse, rather than police racism that culminates in the murder of blacks, as part of a larger racist culture. It fails because it continues to rationalize the “hands up” narrative, because it conveniently ignores the Trayvon Martin references—which have nothing to do with police–in the rhetoric of pundits and activists. It fails because it can’t explain, if the issue isn’t race, why white victims of excessive police force aren’t part of the discussion. Most all, it fails because the underlying belief that the simple fact of a white individual taking action that results in negative consequences for an African-American is evidence of racism is racism itself.
35 thoughts on “After The Brooklyn Cop Murders, The Sound Of Spinning: WindyPundit Takes On My “Smear””
Oh God, it’s going to take me a while to digest all of this. Let me just say one thing, though: I’m sorry I used the word “smear.” When I originally wrote my post, I started with quotes from several other people who had also tried to blame the shootings on activists and protesters, but when I added your rather substantive post to the mix, it grew so long that I decided to edit out the other statements. Those other quotes could, I think, have fairly been referred to as smears, but if I’d been more careful, I wouldn’t have left that in as a characterization of your post. Your post was sincere and substantive — not a cheap shot to score political points — and I was careless not to fix that before publishing. Sorry, Jack.
and about that other part? the content?
I don’t write nearly as fast as Jack. I’m putting something together.
I apologize for pushing. You’re right. Nobody writes as fast as Jack.
But real talk though, he cranks out pages of quality analysis and arguments in less time than it would take me to jot up an outline.
Thanks, Mark. I must admit, that one set me off a bit, and may have influenced the tone of my rebuttal. For that, I’m sorry.
I look forward to your response. You might want to add more caveats if you link to that PBS chart again, but I was glad to see someone acknowledge that hands up on that chart did NOT mean surrendering. If you haven’t seen it already, you might want to take a look at the following.
“Most all, it fails because the underlying belief that the simple fact of a white individual taking action that results in negative consequences for an African-American is evidence of racism is racism itself.”
I’ll take your word for it – can’t read much right now – am finishing Christmas cards. Your word is good with me on this cop-killing controversy – other bloggers’ words, not so much. I just want that de Blasio jerk canned.
He had already proved himself a jerk in so many other ways, too…
Administrative note: An attempted first time character naked “Andy” just got himself banned here without ever getting a single comment accepted.
See, I’m not dealing with someone like that. Whatever anyone thinks about the post, there are clear arguments backed up with facts and analysis there. I spam several such comments every day or so: replies that just ridicule, or say “LOL,” or “You’re kidding,” or “You’re a teabagging douche” without ever offering any substantive criticism or rebuttal, because they don’t have any. “I disagree because my mind is made up and I am incapable of actually thinking about these complex issues, so I just attach myself to talking points memes and bumper stickers and call that thinking” is not debate. It’s a confession. If that’s the best you can do, go away.
It’s infuriating, and a tactic that I often fall for. Just a notch above “I know you are, but what am I” . I guess that’s an admission of my own.
What’s sad about all of this is that indeed there are grievences the minority community have about the police. Ones that should be addressed.
But by hitching their wagons to these false narratives, they wont be. The ‘middle ground’ isn’t with them.
This moment could be like the Oklahoma City bombing, where law enforcement knew they needed to dial back. In this case, the false narratives only make law enforcement more entrenched.
Matthew, you’re right. This can’t be a rational discussion because both sides have become hardened partisans. Not unlike the “rape culture” and so many other issues. When either side gets to the point of false narratives it takes years to defuse the issue. If it can ever be done. We (United States citizens) could have a real discussion about the fears, history and attitudes of either side if only we could get to the point where these divisive cultural lies would not be part of the discussion.
All that ever happens is escalation from both sides. And, when anyone tries to unravel the distortions like Jack does, with as little bias as possible and the single measure of ethics to go by he gets slammed.
I think I might be the neo “let-it-burn” commenter here, because I don’t see any other possible end to it.
It’s probably not clear from my post, but I’ve never been a Mike Brown true believer. I’ve always felt it could turn out to be a justified shooting (or at least an understandable mistake). On the other hand, unlike Jack, I don’t think it was unreasonable to question the shooting early on, and I don’t think it was unreasonable to accuse Wilson of some form of murder in the court of public opinion — especially since the Ferguson police department was going into “Our officer did nothing wrong, nothing to see here, move along before we gas you” mode almost immediately.
To clarify, I believed, like a fool, the early accounts too. I also didn’t know that Brown was 300 pounds, had just roughed up a 4 foot clerk, was high, and wasn’t the innocent angel represented by his folks. As a lawyer, I resent anyone being pronounced guilty while key elements of the alleged crime–like self defense are in question because it makes a fair justice process literally impossible. Chanting and agitating for someone to be tried for murder based on rumor is pure lynch mob stuff, and that’s what happened to Wilson.
Just to add to the pile about racist cops:
Here we have officers looking for a black dude and the accidentally shoot a white dude who had dialed 911. The guy they accidentally shot was a rent-a-cop headed to work and called in the perp’s car.
I just wonder how many of these anti-cop commenters have ever pulled a patrol themselves or worked in a prison. I’ve done both… and more. The view from the trenches is in stark contrast to the ivory towers in which some apparently live their lives.
That’s one side of the story of course. The source is also not known for giving police the benefit of the doubt.
There’s this too though
Indictment remember is only “might have committed a criminal act”, not “probably committed a crime” let alone “committed a crime”.
I don’t think anyone is saying that there are not cases of police committing violence against citizens. What I, at least, am saying is the constant tampering with the truth from both sides is not going to result in anything good for anyone. Each incident needs to be addressed separate from partisan spin and public finger pointing. How does it help for each side to keep stirring the pot?
Same here, with some subtle differences; part-time at Duval County Sheriff’s office when I was stationed at NAS JAX , exploring the possibility of getting out and being a cop, then being inmate 314736 for 4 years for possession of an “assault ” weapon a while later. Very eye-opening stuff. I became much more of a conservative in prison.
….and much more opinionated about certain social matters.
That’s a hell of a note, Joe. Any honorably discharged veteran should be able to own any piece of weaponry he so desires, much less a common semi-automatic rifle. Have you applied for a pardon with Governor Scott? After all, you’ve got the Constitution on your side.
Thanks, Steven . I’ve applied for a pardon, but I suppose it could go either way here in Connecticut, for obvious reasons. Actually, it was a select-fire weapon (a Thompson 1921 SMG) that I mistakenly believed I could re-wat with the proper signed form 1. (it’s a long, convoluted story that had to do with my misunderstanding of the 1986 law). I got the local police chief LEO to sign off on it, then sent it off to the ATF with a $200 money order. I started milling the receiver when a local agent told me that the LEO was the “sticking point”, and that I was pretty much good to go, but I didn’t finish it because I didn’t have the stamp in hand yet. I was going to school at the time, and shared an off-campus apartment with another student. One day, the person who was holding the parts for me decided he didn’t want them in his house anymore, and brought them to my apartment, much to my dismay. Even though the Thompson wasn’t complete, it looked like it was to an untrained observer. I told my roommate that this wasn’t what it looked like, and they would be gone that night. About 2 hours later, the kid called daddy, who called the cops. I was taking a nap, and awoke to a swarm of local cops, ATF, FBI, homeland security, and media at my door. Well, initially they were going to indict me, because I also had a Sten mark II demilled parts kit that they were able, I shit you not, to duct-tape together and make go “bang” once, thus making it a short-barreled rifle. After a brief investigation, thorough vetting by my friends, family, previous commanding officers, and others, the feds dropped the indictment. Connecticut, however, needed blood, so they got me with the “possession” thing for 4 years. The ATF guys felt bad, actually, and would periodically visit me in prison to check on me and just keep me company. There was even one who managed to get on my personal visiting list so he could put money in my commissary account.
Funny how the press treated it. They made it sound like I was this brooding vet with an arsenal that was probably ready to snap. They even had students saying “yeah, he was quiet and kept to himself” and whatnot, even though I was easily the biggest class clown and one of the most socially active guys in the place. At least there was one network that broadcast the police chief saying “look, this isn’t some nut; he’s just a guy that likes shooting and old war relics”. That was certainly true, especially considering that I was a 4-position rifle distinguished expert by the time I was 15. I just liked guns; not the thought of hurting people or any sort of feeling of power/penile substitute. I just like the noise, the smell of burnt gunpowder, and all that. As far as full-auto; that is an absolute blast! My favorite time at the range was when we had excess ammo to get rid of, and we were authorized to do that until it was gone.
I envy you the Sten and the Thompson, Joe. I certainly don’t envy you the price that you paid for having them. I’ll bet that your former room mate and his freakout daddy still feel noble about themselves for what they did. It’s a crazy and dangerous world where the citizens go to jail against the mandates of the Constitution and the domestic enemy goes free to cause more havoc. What happened to New England that it turned from the bastion of patriots into the commune of cowards over time? It’s doubly amazing when you consider that Connecticut was once the home of the finest gunsmiths and firearms inventors in the world.
Agreed. It brings to mind the Tytler cycle. As far as the jail time, I made sure it was time well-spent. I essentially taught myself the primary sciences; math up to calculus I, anatomy and physiology, chemistry up to biochemistry, and college (not university) physics. I also met an intelligent and moral friend, and we would read important works of literature in turn, and compare our impressions afterward. Additionally, I learned a great deal about human nature, my own nature, and how to find meaning in,and gratitude for, life. I left there much stronger, and with the pride of knowing that, when stripped to my bare corporeal existence, there was a man of integrity beneath.
You and your friend had extraordinary attitudes, Joe. You must have stood out in that prisoner population like a nun in a cathouse. My respects and congratulations. In your place, I doubt I would have had that much fortitude.
Mike Rowe made a FB post about the shooting of the police officers, and he put up a photo he found online, a man with his face covered by a bandana, holding a sign saying “All my heroes kill cops” to show how awful the situation is. He was criticized for using a photo from the wrong activist group, as if one group of protesters calling for cop killings is better than another. It was really weird…because Rowe has plenty of fans, the person who made a post about his photo choice ( and who told him to ‘get a degree’ before he comments on social issues) was promptly pilloried, but, wow…if that’s your only comment on something this bad, how far ‘off’ are you? Or, how badly do you want to bury the issue?
“.. who have finally managed to get police killed ..”
Statements like this are indefensible. These shootings are barely a week old and before we’ve even had a chance to try and understand what happened or why, you’re already assigning narrative complete with motive. How does this make you any better than those in Ferguson you were so quick to blame for jumping to conclusions? What if, arguendo, it’s discovered the two officers in question were working for the mob and had been threatening Brinsley for years, or that the shooter was someone else and he’s being framed? Neither of these scenarios is likely, I realize, but they also can’t (currently) be disproven. Yet, before the bodies are even cold, you can definitively lay claim to exactly what happened and exactly who’s responsible? I’m sorry, but I call foul.
Even if you accept that increased race-baiting, blame-shifting, and misinformation have created a culture of distrust and further fostered an “us vs. them” mentality (something I wouldn’t disagree with). No one on the left, right, center, or elsewhere purchased a gun, put it in Ismaaiyl Brinsley’s hands, and told him that executing two of NYPD’s finest was a going to make things better. Yet, over the last few days, I’ve read in disbelief as you hold Obama, John Lewis, Bill DeBlasio, and numerous other lefties as being more or less directly responsible.
Whatever culpability they may have in instigating the aforementioned culture of distrust, none of that equates to homicide. What you’re doing is akin to blaming Columbine on bullies, or that unfair tax policies caused a man to kamikaze an IRS building, or that eroding personal liberties were responsible for Oklahoma City. We’re talking about a disturbed individual (further evidenced by the fact that he also shot his ex-girlfriend, who was otherwise uninvolved) who tried to justify his own sick, murderous rage by using convenient rhetoric that was readily at hand. Yet, suddenly, it’s the rhetoric that gets called into question, not the madman who man manipulated it to fit his own twisted worldview.
Speech doesn’t equate to action (that’s why one is [mostly] free while the other has heavy limitations), so I can’t see how blame can ultimately lay with anyone but the shooter himself. If I were to tell you that Stephen King is responsible for the deaths of everyone you’ve ever loved and that killing him would bring them all back, would that make me culpable if you were to “make his head explode” with a shotgun? Unfortunately, Brinsley decided to take his own life before society could mete out proper justice, leaving everyone (including you) scrambling to find someone else to blame.
None of the people you’ve mentioned said word one about violence or did anything even close to endorsing murder and, even if they had, there would still be no one to blame but the one who pulled the trigger. You’re using the deaths of two men to justify a political outlook and I find it absolutely deplorable. You’re a better man than this, Jack. Far, far better.
Great comment, Neil, and the Comment of the Day. You couldn’t be more wrong, but somebody needed to write this, and I’m glad it was you.
” the simple fact that a white police officer shot an unarmed black teenager is evidence of racial bias.” I keep re-reading this, and everything around it, hoping I’m missing the context or something.
Something like this: Cop shoots and kills a guy. He shot six times, so we rule out an accident, which makes it either self-defense or murder. (I’m simplifying.) Cops shoot lots of people in self-defense, so that seems like a pretty good bet. But given that the dead guy didn’t have a weapon, we should at least consider the possibility that it wasn’t self defense, which brings us to the question of why a white cop would murder a black guy. Could be a bunch of reasons, but unless there’s some history between them, racism is right near the top.
Like I said, not very good, and subject to refutation. But it’s not nothing.
But see, that’s bias. The presumption is: cops enforce the law, they don’t murder people in cold blood. If an unarmed man is dead, then he must have done something to make the officer believe deadly force was required. Presuming that a cop is a killer as the first option has to be based on a hatred of police. That’s bias. Assuming that police do their job without breaking the law is the assumption due any professional. If a black man dies on a white doctor’s operating table, is the reasonable first assumption that the doctor intentionally killed him?
Early reports of Brown’s death did not mention his size, and included a picture making him look like Gary Coleman.
This report, on the group of protesters who called for “dead cops,” is useful. Note the name: the Trayvon Martin Organizing Committee. You know, named after Obama’s “son.” No police abuse there. Note also the banner pictured: “No good cops in a racist system.” And note that the “hands up” theme is central to their cause.
Spinning, the author emphasizes that the group is a small percentage of the protesters.
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