Courtesy of David Carr in an article entitled, A Shooting, and Instant Polarization.
That the public is rendering its verdict immediately and firmly may be routine, but choosing sides takes on a deeper, more dangerous meaning when race is at the heart of the story. Race as an explosive issue is nothing new, but it’s been staggering to see it simmer and boil over in our hyperdivided media environment where nonstop coverage on the Web and cable television creates a rush to judgment every day.
My problem with this narrative is figuring out what the “sides” are on this question. My side, to the extent that I have one, is that a kid who was doing nothing wrong was gunned down in the street on his way home from the store. I would like to see the person who did that held accountable.
That’s it. That’s my side.
What, precisely, is the position of the other side?
As near as I can figure, the “other side” consists of a toxic mixture of straight out racists (did you know that some of the first lies on the story — the fake photos of Trayvon — originated at the neonazi site Stormfront and were almost immediately assimilated into the mainstream media) and the usual harebrained wingnut response of just reflexively taking the opposite side from the liberals on any issue, even when there really aren’t two legitimate sides to take.
A kid is dead, let’s have some justice. Is there really another side to this?
If you’ve got a moment, harden your heart and then go check out the photo that accompanies Charles Pierce’s excellent post on the rightwing reaction to the Trayvon Martin killing. I saw the photo a few days ago and I’ve got to say it’s haunted me ever since. What kind of barren, soulless place do you need to come to as a human being to appear in public dressed like that?