After Slaying of Christopher Lane, Rightbloggers Revive the Old Ooga Booga
An Australian baseball player named Christopher Lane was shot to death in Oklahoma, allegedly by three local kids, two black and one white. The kids were questioned but presumed to have acted in self-defense, so they were let go, leading to a public outcry and an arrest...
Whoops, actually the young men were arrested promptly. This would seem to be the key difference between this apparent thrill-killing and the death of Trayvon Martin -- unless you're a rightblogger, in which case the key difference is that this time the victim is white and the shooter is black, inspiring a new round of that old conservative pastime, Ooga Booga.
As we have previously explained in these pages, Ooga Booga is a routine in which rightbloggers tell the world (actually each other, but they think the world is listening) that black people are predisposed to kill white people, and are in fact engaged in a decades-long pogrom against them. The intended effect, it would seem, is to stir up white animosity toward Democrats, who are associated with African-Americans for some reason.
In this case, the brethren appear to be animated by resentment over the recent Trayvon Martin case -- not the outcome of the trial, which they applauded, but the fact that some people felt bad for the unarmed dead black kid, despite rightbloggers' best efforts to explain why he deserved to die. So while there were some far-outliers who blamed Lane's murder on, say, abortion (the suspects "could have been aborted... there's a thing called 'survivor syndrome,'" etc.), in the main rightbloggers compared the responses to Martin's death and Lane's, and portrayed the difference as yet another unfair break black people were getting at the expense of whites.
Early rightblogger reports were right down the expected pipe. "Three Teens Who Could Look Like Obama's Son Murder Australian Man, NRA Gets Blamed," raged Jammie Wearing Fool. (In an update, the author added, "Apparently the original photo contained two images of one suspect, and now one is identified as white. The revised photo has replaced the original." Many of his colleagues, needless to say, never bothered.)
"If G.W. Bush Had a Son, He'd Look Like Christopher Lane," said Taleen Starkes at American Thinker. When Obama expressed sympathy for Trayvon Martin, Starkes explained, "the Lefties claimed that he wasn't being divisive, he was simply 'keepin' it real.'" (There was no citation for that quote. Was it Chris Matthews?) "Another Dead White Teen Obama Won't Identify With... Unfortunately, he doesn't look like Trayvon," wrote The Foxhole. "Of course, it's not a hate crime unless the victim is black. I hope he and his little nigga pals get the death penalty."
"Cat got your tongue, Al?" asked Weasel Zippers, referring to Al Sharpton; if you're wondering, the failure of black leaders to denounce every black-on-white crime as it occurs is often assumed by rightbloggers to be evidence of anti-white racism. Cf: "Not surprisingly, Al Sharpton and Barack Obama, who quickly opined on the George Zimmerman self-defense case against Trayvon Martin, are silent," said Katie Pavlich at TownHall. She also thought Sharpton and Obama "should be asking why the hell these teenagers were 'bored' in the middle of the day." Pavlich did not solicit their opinion on why they have to wear their pants so low. "Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson: call your office," said Greg Pollowitz of National Review.
Now apologize for that chick Bigger Thomas killed in Native Son.
Not that any response from black people would matter to these guys. For example, when Jackson tweeted, "Praying for the family of Chris Lane. This senseless violence is frowned upon and the justice system must prevail," Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit scoffed, "It's the least he could say - And he knows it. Maybe someday Jesse, Barack and Al will weigh on Morley Lion's murder, but it's doubtful." This refers to another white person killed by blacks; presumably if Jackson reacted to that, Hoft would just pick another such case, in hopes of luring Jackson into a Bugs Bunny/Yosemite Sam-style confrontation.
At Legal Insurrection, neo-neocon asserted that since Obama was so goopy about dead Trayvon Martin, "empathizing with the grief of the African-American community without mentioning anything about Zimmerman or his family" -- killers suffer too, y'know -- and hadn't said anything about Lane, "it's difficult not to conclude that in the Lane case Obama identifies more with the accused killers and their families than the victim of their attack..." She also deduced that Obama "thinks the killers were angry about profiling, that their violence was motivated by that same 'difficult history,' and that they need to know we care."
"If Obama Had A Son He Would Not Look Like Christopher Lane," said Some Guy at RedState, who claimed that "this event has an interesting parallel to the Trayvon Martin case" because "the primary killer in this case as identified by police, James Edwards, has an internet presence eerily similar to that of Martin." For example, "He created a ganster-wannabe image, brandished weapons, etc." (Martin's gun-brandishing, it should be noted, took place in internet photos, not on the night of his slaying.)
As to the line Obama "emoted" about Martin and his son, Some Guy added, "that is probably true as Obama has treated the nation exactly the way Trayvon Martin treated George Zimmerman, he's sitting on its chest and bashing its head against the metaphorical sidewalk." Following Some Guy's logic, if someone shoots Obama, it'll be America defending itself, metaphorically.
Some Guy also informed us that "in the milieu in which Obama was raised and educated" -- Hawaii and Harvard Law, we guess he meant -- "a 'dialog on race' is shorthand for 'let's shakedown whitey.'" He then went on about the "documented epidemic of black on white violence" but, apparently to show he was No Racist, added an expression of concern over "the carnage endemic in black neighborhoods in our major cities"; then, just in case anyone thought he was showing insufficiently tough love, dropped in a knock on "the deleterious effects of the gangster culture romanticized in hip hop music."
"According to other posts on [his Facebook] page, [alleged triggerman James] Edwards is an aspiring rapper," said Bryan Preston at PJ Media. Edwards also once tweeted, "Bang 2 drops In 2hours," which Preston said "could be taken to mean shots or music recordings." Finally, Edwards has tweeted rap lyrics. Therefore: "the rap and gang culture may have played a prominent role" in the shooting. Elsewhere Preston wrote, "Media Missing Gang Ties in Oklahoma Murder." Here is a Google News search for "Christopher Lane" and "gang" -- at this writing, it delivers 18,700 results. You tell us.
At FrontPageMag, Arnold Ahlert complained that Obama "pals around with rapper Jay-Z, who has become a multi-millionaire rapping about guns, dope, misogyny and gratuitous violence," which explains why Jay-Z's Barclays Center in Brooklyn is, in addition to the home of the Brooklyn Nets, a thunderdome of honkeycide. What's more, reported Ahlert, "Amazon.com is selling a line of Trayvon Martin hoodies, while Ebony magazine has published several covers with celebrities dressed in the same thug-symbolizing attire... Yet when violence occurs, 'civil rights' leaders like Jesse Jackson call it 'senseless' and carefully avoid drawing attention to the real problem," which is Obama hanging out with Jay-Z and hooded sweatshirts.
Rush Limbaugh explained that these "bored, thug-wannabe African-Americans" proved an epidemic of "this cultural rot, this decay -- that you can't even address without being called a racist... if you do want to insist on a common morality or a common right and wrong, what are you? You are a heathen Christian pro-life hick, is what you are, in America today... you are public enemy number one."
"The old conscience-forming and character-forming institutions - home, church, school and a moral and healthy culture fortifying basic truths - have collapsed. And the community hardest hit is Black America," wrote Black America's old friend Pat Buchanan.
Soon enough more upscale rightwing channels stepped in to couch the Ooga Booga in more respectable language. "There was no saturation cable TV coverage, no press conference featuring Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, and no statement from the Oval Office," sighed the Wall Street Journal's editors. And that was awful, because there exists in America "a culture that produces teenagers for whom the prospect of shooting an innocent man in the back on a Friday evening apparently raised not a scintilla of conscience," which the Journal's editors judged "an issue of far greater consequence to the future of young black men than the acquittal of George Zimmerman in his awful showdown with Trayvon."
So, see, black people, they're only trying to help. You can tell because, though they just told you your kids are thugs, unlike the cheaper outlets the Journal doesn't make Obama's-son jokes.
Speaking of class, at the Washington Post Kathleen Parker declared, "If I had a son, he would look like Christopher Lane" -- but, striving for an appearance of equanimity, also said this son would "look like the white teenager who police say drove the getaway car in the Oklahoma killing," too. Now that she had the attention of people who didn't know what to expect next, Parker lashed out at Obama because by sympathizing with dead Trayvon Martin he "essentially gave permission for all to identify themselves by race with the victim or the accused," the white people who identify with Martin being, apparently, racially confused.
As for Obama's comments on being followed around in stores as a young man, well, Parker could top that: "Even today," she said, "I am followed when I go to the second floor of a boutique in Georgetown. Apparently, store policy requires that an attendant be upstairs when a shopper is. The way department store clerks follow me around, you'd think my face was plastered on a 'Wanted for Shoplifting' poster. This is especially so if I'm dressed like a slob."
This experience inspired Parker to offer useful advice to black Americans: "It occurred to me that my ratty jeans and T-shirt might be the problem," she said, "so I went home, changed into a dress, and returned," and all was well. "Was the clerk prejudiced? You bet," Parker said. "But like it or not, the way we present ourselves to the world affects the way we are treated." The message is clear: people of color should go home and change out of whatever it is that makes security guards follow them around. (Some folks at the University of Texas have apparently tried to give local African-Americans the same advice, albeit more forcefully.)
Since these people obviously believe every black-on-white crime is part of a honkeycaust, why, one wonders, did they pick this specific incident to exercise their Ooga Booga? Our guess is its proximity to Saturday's March on Washington commemorating the 1963 gathering at which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. Despite the large number of attendees, by and large the brethren have kept their mouths shut about the event. National Review, for example, only recorded Kathryn J. Lopez' outrage that the National Organization of Women tweeted about it. ("There are places in America today where the number of black babies aborted outnumber the number born," sputtered Lopez, who sees feticides in every woman's organization not involving convents.) Other rightbloggers took weak shots -- Red Alert Politics, for example, headlined "Progressives use March on Washington anniversary to attack gun rights," several rightbloggers flipped out that someone at the March had an Obama flag, and a number of them engaged in a Twitter thing about one of the March speakers called #AlSharptonMovies with humorous titles like "Get Morty (he's a Jew)" and "The Black Reich: The Early Years." But generally they let it alone.
We'd like to think this was out of embarrassment, but we know these guys are incapable of that; more likely they sensed that they couldn't get much traction by knocking something that reminds normal people the civil rights movement has actually been good for America. So they took comfort instead in a nightmare vision of permanent race war. Like the old song said, everybody's got to have a dream.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.