Monday, November 25, 2013

The "Knockout Game". Conservative America's Latest Racial Dogwhistle.

I'm a black male (duh). That being the case, I'm keenly aware that people have perceptions of me from the moment they lay eyes on me. I should have a criminal record. I should have at least 3 baby's mothers. I should be unemployed. I should have dropped out of the 9th grade. I should be able to perform pratically any dance move ever invented. I should have a wicked crossover. I should be feared. Mostly the last one.

Every person of color, but particularly black males, walks the thin line between perception and reality on a daily basis. We see it when we walk into stores and are either routinely ignored or clumsily followed. We see it when we walk down the street and people clutch their purses and in some cases move all the way to the other side of the sidewalk, as if to avoid getting anywhere within reaching distance.[1] We feel it when we sit down on the rental car shuttle bus at the airport and people avoid sitting next to us like the plague. Or Charlotte Bobcats tickets. Take your pick.

So yeah, you learn to just suck this up, or find productive ways of processing it, because if you don't, the anger and frustration that builds up will probably result in you doing something in the first paragraph of this post. Not the crossover dribble thing, the other bad stuff. Cause if misplaced race-anger could help you develop a wicked crossover, I'd be Derrick Rose by now. 2010 Derrick Rose, not the guy who just blew out his knee (again!) and will probably never play another high quality NBA game again.[2]

That said, sometimes perceptions are fueled by reality. And reality is, a whole lot of black men are total and complete f*ck ups who make it really, really difficult for the rest of us trying to walk the straight and narrow. Thus, while this latest Conservative Media Meme called "The Knockout Game" is undoubtedly trumped up and waaaay overblown for dramatic effect[3], there's some truth to this idiocy.
A sick so-called game known as "knockout" -- where teens appear to randomly sucker-punch strangers with the goal of knocking them unconscious with a single blow -- is catching the attention of law enforcement throughout the nation.

The assaults can be fatal. In New Jersey, Ralph Santiago, 46, a homeless man, was walking alone in Hoboken on the night of September 10 when he was suddenly struck from behind, said Hoboken Detective Anthony Caruso.

The blow knocked out Santiago, who had a pre-existing brain injury. He suffered a seizure. The victim's body struck a nearby fence, with part of the wrought iron fence piercing his body and killing him, Caruso said.

Surveillance video in the area showed three teens running from the scene. Two weeks later, police arrested the juveniles and charged them in connection with the killing. Caruso said the attack was unprovoked.

Authorities have reported similar incidents in New York, Illinois, Missouri and Washington.
Much like the "roving bands on black kids beating up innocent white people" at county fairs across the country in 2011, and the spate of "convenience store flash mobs" last year, I suspect this is a case of the media making a relatively small series of completely unrelated incidents into an epidemic for the sake of, well, news. That happens. It's the nature of the beast, but it doesn't mean you're any more or less likely to get walloped by some gang of kids on your way into Trader Joes than you were yesterday. Again, perception/reality.

And you get sh*t like this....

Reality is though, that these morons are out here committing pointless crimes and that's nothing new. It's also nothing to defend, so please, please, please black folks, stop deflecting from the story by (rightfully) pointing out that this "phenomenon" is hardly a solely urban occurrence. We know that already. It is a terrible act, and needs to be dealt with accordining. There's no need to make excuses.

Raise your damn kids already. And if you don't have any, mentor/tutor/coach some, before you get knocked upside the head on your way into Trader Joe's.

Question: Is the Knockout Game yet another example of the media making a mountain out of an anthill, or is this a real and increasing threat to public safety?!?

[1] This sh*t just happened to me today. To. F*cking. Day. I'm 40 years old. Does this sh*t ever stop? Ever?

[2] He won't. Sorry, but there is a limit to how many times you can go under the knife and come back close to your former self. The NBA is littered with guys who "used to be good before knee surgery". So shout out to D-Rose. I'm guessing that contrived and corny "Basketball is Everything" corporate slogan nonsense is gonna be put to a serious real-life test now.

[3] And by "dramatic effect", I mean Because Obama.

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