Race & Murder

Jim heartfield jim at heartfield.demon.co.uk
Mon Apr 26 15:51:34 PDT 1999

Charles' confidence that he is in the right is impervious to all evidence to the contrary. He isn't concerned with what happened in Denver. He is only concerned in fulfilling his own pre-existing beliefs about what he thinks ought to be happening.

First reports suggested that this was a racist killing. Then it emerged that the vast majority of those killed were the same race as the killers - NO MATTER, the dogma must be upheld.

In response to the killings Charles demands the KKK be banned. The KKK had nothing to do with it. The inspiration for the group of adolescents that did the killing was Goth music like Manson, and films like Basketball Diaries - NO MATTER, the dogma must be upheld.

It emerges that the group of which the two were members did not have an especial hatred for black students, but for high-achieving students. The flirtation with right wing motifs is not part of a traditional racial ideology of the far right, but of a more indiscriminate misanthropic obnoxiousness - NO MATTER, the dogma must be maintained.

Buckminster Fuller said that the man with a hammer sees a world full of nails. That's Charles. He has one interpretation: it's race. It doesn't matter what the question is, the answer is race.

And woebetide anyone that disagrees with him: they must 'have a problem' with racism. Snidey, sneaky way of trying to smear those that disagree with you. If you don't agree with Charles then, by definition you 'have a problem' with race.

This is the pseudo-psychological approach that thinks it is unnecessary to actually make an argument. It just assumes what is sets out to achieve. If you don't 'get it' then the problem is you: 'get with the program', Charles is saying. It's beneath him to actually say what he means, because that would mean engaging with what is being said. It's so much easier to suggest some kind of psychological short-coming is the explanation for why others would disagree.

But then there is the difficulty that these are real events - not a blank page on which any interpretation can be sketched. They do not fit into the preconceived schema that Charles has laid out for them. It's too much effort to try to engage with what's new in this circumstance, so let's just pretend that it's the same as it ever was. To difficult to let the facts intrude, when you can pontificate about general trends etc etc.

Charles needs these events to be race murders. Who am I to refuse him this deeply felt need to believe? By all means hang on to that dogma if it gives you comfort. After all, those beliefs cannot change the events themselves.

In message <s72463dc.066 at mail.ci.detroit.mi.us>, Charles Brown <CharlesB at CNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us> writes

>The problem with Jim H. and the others who argue like him on this thread is he
>thinks there is some problem of complaining about racism too much in this
>society or a problem of labelling non-racist events as racist. It seems to be
>part of his theme of fighting against "panics".
>But the problem in the U.S. and elsewhere is the complete opposite: Racism is
>covered up, understated, denied. The mass media certainly isn't overstating the
>racism in the current case. So the only ones Jim H is complaining about is those
>on this list who have complained about the mass media understating the racism.
>Jim is attacking a true non-problem - the over broadcasting of complaints about
>racism. He is a true ideological child of Reaganism/Thatcherism. They are so
>expert at finding false claims of racism and so weak at finding any real racism.

-- Jim heartfield

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