Thursday, November 27, 2014

CNN’s VERY Mixed Messages on Race and Crime

Don Lemon

Carol Costello

Ashley Banfield

Is it me, or has CNN cynically played the subject of “race in America,” both ways?

In both the Trayvon Martin and the Michael Brown shootings, they (almost certainly deliberately) failed to make an affirmative argument in favor of either racial profiling, OR murder in either case, while at the same time, many CNN hosts seemed to exhibit a rooting interest in the cases.

In the Brown case, in particular, CNN seemed to buy into Brown’s assaulting Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson from the start. Nothing at all wrong with that, as that’s almost certainly what happened, but then commentators from Erin Burnett, to Brooke Baldwin to Carol Costello, to Ashley Banfield and Don Lemon than cynically played the story both ways.

There’s something wrong with a station seemingly undermining its own official meme (IF indeed “a crisis of black victimization” is truly their meme), by constantly trumpeting America’s wildly disproportionate violent crime stats. I can’t even count the number of times I've heard CNN anchors talk about how 6% of the population (black males) commit at least 50% of the murders nationwide. Such stats certainly DO seem to make the case for greater police scrutiny and a greater chance of such catastrophic encounters with law enforcement.

Why else pick such terrible cases to make their case for “black victimization”? Apparently Trayvon Martin attacked George Zimmerman and tried to wrest the local “community watch captain’s” gun from him, and it now seems all but certain that Michael Brown charged Officer Wilson’s cruiser, pummeled the cop and struggled for that police officer’s gun! Those are hardly incidents of “black victimization,” in fact, they seem much more like examples of blacks victimizing others!

On Staten Island (my home town) Eric Garner was killed while non-violently resisting arrest, this past July (, and more recently, a rookie police officer in the NYPD (Peter Liang) apparently had his finger on the trigger of his gun while patrolling a housing project's stairwell and killed 28 y/o Akai Gurley with a single gunshot that ricocheted off a wall.

BOTH of these cases seem to be much stronger cases, with much better chances of a determination of some degree of police misconduct.

So, WHY does CNN continually do this? Using such poor cases to advance an alleged agenda, other than to deliberately undermine an agenda they themselves don’t really believe in? If that's truly the case, than THAT is sickeningly cynical.

The fact is, in the United States, all citizens are legally bound to comply with ALL police directives. If a cop orders you off the street, non-compliance WILL and SHOULD result in an arrest. There is NO right to confront, debate or otherwise contest police action in the streets. The courts exist to adjudicate (judge), the police exist ONLY to enforce the law.

The minute a police officer says the words, “You are under arrest,” you are ALREADY under arrest. Merely backing away and proclaiming, “I didn’t do anything” (even if true) is a crime - RESISTING ARREST. Just pushing a cops hands away as he tries to handcuff you is “ASSAULTING a POLICE OFFICER.”

Again, there is NO right to negotiate in the street. Police merely enforce the laws. The COURTS adjudicate charges and determine guilt or innocence.

In the Michael Brown case, there’s virtually NO DOUBT that Michael Brown assaulted a cop (Darren Wilson), actually struggling with that cop for his gun. A New York State cop was murdered with his own gun by an "unarmed" man just 4 months prior to the Mike Brown shooting ( and yet some misguided and misinformed media people act as though that can't happen!

At any rate, that struggle (inside that police cruiser) amounted to attempted murder. Sadly, for him and his family, Michael Brown got exactly what he deserved.

One of the refrains throughout these protests is the “lack of respect” police exhibit...I suppose like Officer Wilson telling Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson to “Get the f*ck outta the street,” as they sauntered down the center of a busy thoroughfare, and sentiments about “our servants shouldn't be pushing us around.” The police are NOT any individual’s servants. They SERVE the LAW...they serve the greater society at large.

I and others like me (very probably Carol Costello, Ashley Banfield, Don Lemon and Erin Burnett) WANT the police to enforce the laws and we revile citizens who’d do anything we wouldn't challenging, or confronting a police officer, or actively resisting arrest.

On the one hand, I DO commend CNN for NOT hiding the widely disparate violent crime rates in America (black males, appx. 6% of the population commit nearly 50% of all homicides in America), HOWEVER, I deride them for failing to even attempt to make a credible argument in favor of blacks being abused, or disproportionately singled out for criminal investigation by law enforcement.

Doesn't CNN have the responsibility to at least make an attempt to defend a meme they purport to advance?

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