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Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:59 AM

Cornell West On Sandy Hook: ‘We Can’t Just Shed Tears For Those On The Vanilla Side Of Town’

Link: http://www.mediaite.com/online/cornell-west-on-sandy-hook-we-cant-just-shed-tears-for-those-on-the-vanilla-side-of-town/

Princeton University Professor Dr. Cornel West appeared on the Tavis Smiley radio show on Thursday where he weighed in with his thoughts on how the media and lawmakers are responding to the tragic massacre of teachers and children in Newtown, Connecticut. West expressed his frustration over how eagerly the media demanded a conversation about gun laws after Newtown, but seems unmoved by endemic gun violence in America’s cities where the victims are primarily minorities.

“We can’t just shed tears for those on the vanilla side of town,” West said.” They are precious, but they are no less or more precious than our poor brothers and sisters on Indian reservations — who are killing each other — or be they black or brown or what have you.”

“But it’s a good thing that we now have a discussion on gun control. We need one on drone control. Not a peep, not a mumbling word when black folk get shot,” West added. “But now, Newtown, Connecticut, vanilla side — low and behold we got a major conversation. That’s wonderful. Each life is precious, but it just upsets me when we’re so deferential.”

West echoes a sentiment expressed by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh who, in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, admonished the media for their collective disinterest in urban gun violence.

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Reply Cornell West On Sandy Hook: ‘We Can’t Just Shed Tears For Those On The Vanilla Side Of Town’ (Original post)
Jamaal510 Jan 2013 OP
Deep13 Jan 2013 #1
malaise Jan 2013 #19
Deep13 Jan 2013 #50
malaise Jan 2013 #56
Hekate Jan 2013 #2
TexasBushwhacker Jan 2013 #5
merrily Jan 2013 #7
pnwmom Jan 2013 #29
Major Nikon Jan 2013 #67
Scootaloo Jan 2013 #9
cali Jan 2013 #11
kentauros Jan 2013 #24
Mdterp01 Jan 2013 #32
ReRe Jan 2013 #6
FSogol Jan 2013 #23
elleng Jan 2013 #3
Scootaloo Jan 2013 #10
stultusporcos Jan 2013 #12
Scuba Jan 2013 #16
stultusporcos Jan 2013 #45
Le Taz Hot Jan 2013 #73
haikugal Jan 2013 #28
TheKentuckian Jan 2013 #72
sabrina 1 Jan 2013 #44
Major Nikon Jan 2013 #64
sabrina 1 Jan 2013 #71
freshwest Jan 2013 #4
merrily Jan 2013 #8
Earth_First Jan 2013 #13
zellie Jan 2013 #14
bluestate10 Jan 2013 #61
Paladin Jan 2013 #15
ananda Jan 2013 #17
gollygee Jan 2013 #18
leftynyc Jan 2013 #20
gollygee Jan 2013 #21
leftynyc Jan 2013 #26
Major Nikon Jan 2013 #74
Bjornsdotter Jan 2013 #48
gollygee Jan 2013 #49
Bjornsdotter Jan 2013 #53
gollygee Jan 2013 #54
dmallind Jan 2013 #22
Sirveri Jan 2013 #77
dmallind Jan 2013 #78
Jeff In Milwaukee Jan 2013 #25
Hekate Jan 2013 #40
Jeff In Milwaukee Jan 2013 #41
Mdterp01 Jan 2013 #27
Major Nikon Jan 2013 #75
Hosnon Jan 2013 #30
still_one Jan 2013 #31
CakeGrrl Jan 2013 #46
still_one Jan 2013 #55
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #70
madrchsod Jan 2013 #33
bigtree Jan 2013 #35
OldDem2012 Jan 2013 #52
bigtree Jan 2013 #34
deutsey Jan 2013 #37
bigtree Jan 2013 #38
tularetom Jan 2013 #36
riderinthestorm Jan 2013 #39
CakeGrrl Jan 2013 #47
Hekate Jan 2013 #42
mfcorey1 Jan 2013 #43
Hoyt Jan 2013 #51
obama2016202428 Jan 2013 #57
Arcanetrance Jan 2013 #58
Mdterp01 Jan 2013 #65
cbrer Jan 2013 #59
bluestate10 Jan 2013 #60
Trailrider1951 Jan 2013 #62
Comrade_McKenzie Jan 2013 #63
Major Nikon Jan 2013 #68
RB TexLa Jan 2013 #66
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #69
DonCoquixote Jan 2013 #76

Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:17 AM

1. I thought the exact same thing. nt

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Response to Deep13 (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:16 AM

19. The question is why since

not everyone who was killed was vanilla - by the way vanilla is a very bad analogy - it's the milk that's white not the vanilla pod.

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Response to malaise (Reply #19)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:24 PM

50. Tradition.

This country has a well-deserved reputation for ignoring problems that mostly effect black or Latino children, but is quick to be outraged when the victims are white. By "this country," I mean media, politicians, and white voters.

I didn't know they weren't all white, though certainly most were.

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Response to Deep13 (Reply #50)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:54 PM

56. Little Ana was slaughtered and there was a little Asian girl as well

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:23 AM

2. Dr West: If this is what it takes for real change to happen, please just stfu

I would like to point out that it was the murders of several little BLACK girls at Sunday school during the Civil Rights era that shocked the conscience of a nation and was one of the turning points for that cause.

He and Rush are living proof that when you go extremely left you can end up meeting the extremely right around the bend.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:39 AM

5. And I hope he realizes we would be equally outraged

if 20 black children had been gunned down in Chicago.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:38 AM

7. I think he is saying that we have not been just as outraged.

I am not agreeing with him or with you or saying who is factually correct.

I am pointing out only that he is saying that we, as an entire society, have not been as outraged collectively when shooting victims have been people of color.

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Response to merrily (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:13 AM

29. That's because the shooting of one person at a time doesn't have the same impact as 26. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #29)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:38 PM

67. Perhaps, but 26 instances of one person shooting to death one other person does

Or at least should. The fact that it doesn't is really more of an emotional response rather than one originating from reason.

A 14-19 yr old black person is 5 times more likely to die of gun violence than a white person. If white kids were dying at the same rate, the gun problem would have been fixed a long time ago.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:47 AM

9. After watching the contortions DU'ers went through to attack Trayvon Martin?

I don't share your confidence, sorry. Color makes a damn big difference in how people in the US respond to tragedy.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 05:29 AM

11. I disagree.

First of all the vast majority of DUers were outraged about what happened to Trayvon Martin. Secondly, any mass murder of a classroom of children will garner massive publicity and massive outrage.

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Response to cali (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:02 AM

24. Correct.

It's the age that gets to people, not the color of skin.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:17 AM

32. +1 and Co-sign

 

Thank you. I don't share the confidence either. The bottom line is that we are a country that is still very racially divided and its clear to see that in the media when these things happen. I'm not lumping everyone into a category, but generally this is how it is. This whole gun debate thing should've been handled long ago, but its been mostly brown people and poor people dying in gun violence. If it was mostly white and not poor faces you best believe there would be much harsher regulations on gun control.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:28 AM

6. Amen

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Response to Hekate (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:58 AM

23. Around the bend is correct.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:26 AM

3. West and Limbaugh!

'West echoes a sentiment expressed by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh who, in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, admonished the media for their collective disinterest in urban gun violence.'

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Response to elleng (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:49 AM

10. Limbaugh is trying to distract focus; West is trying to attract attention

Rush: "HEY LOOK OVER THERE! *Smokebomb*"

West: "We should look at the whole picture, not just few places on the painting."

Putting the two together in the same breath is disgraceful.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 05:35 AM

12. Not much love for Dr West here on DU and it has been going on for a while now

 

I lurked before I joined.

Few can deal with the truth and reality so they take it out on the messenger instead.

America needs more people like Dr West to speak the truth to power.



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Response to stultusporcos (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:56 AM

16. +1 You need to post more.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:08 PM

45. Perhaps not much love or room on DU for truth and reality some days either

 

or liberals and progressives.

I don’t want to get involved in the drama or being deleted for not being moderate or practical enough.

I am more of a party purity kinda of person, no love at all for that here so I will hold my tongue.


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Response to stultusporcos (Reply #45)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:47 AM

73. On the other hand,

you are absolutely not alone. There are lots of like-minded progressives here. If you lurk, you know who they are.

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Response to stultusporcos (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:12 AM

28. All too true...

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Response to stultusporcos (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:24 AM

72. One only has to think of the missing blond girl of the month to know there is plenty of truth

there.

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Response to elleng (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:40 PM

44. You are not trying to make any kind of comparison between West and Limbuagh

on the subject of minorities are you?

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #44)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:41 PM

64. I took it more to be a comparison on that one salient point

I'm not sure what the portly drug addict said on the subject, but the sentiment is correct.

When black kids are 5 times more likely to be killed by guns than white kids one has to wonder what it takes for the media to stand up and take notice.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #64)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:26 AM

71. Yes, I definitely agree with you on the fact that the media doesn't bother to cover

this very important issue.

As for Rush, I doubt he cares, but it does help, despite the likely ulterior motives. when someone like him tells this to his ignorant audience. They probably believe he is sincere which is good, and maybe unwittingly, he is helping to change some attitudes.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:27 AM

4. Obama has remarked on this too, even in relation to Sandy Hook.

But Rush is coming from somewhere else, though.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:41 AM

8. I don't know about his particular point, but I do know that people

have pointed out that the kidnapping of people of color does not get the same media coverage/reaction as kidnapped of blue-eyed blonds.

This was a point made again and again, especially after Natalie Holloway went missing.

And how media reacs, unfortunately, tends to drive how America reacts.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 05:41 AM

13. I got into it with a local activist recently about this...

He used this article in reference to how he just couldn't get worked up about the deaths of the firemen in Webster, New York.

Long story short, he's been put out on his ass over it.

I just cannot get behind inflammatory language like this. It serves NO purpose and uses victims of gun violence to further wedge racial divides among individuals who are sympathetic to your conversation!

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:18 AM

14. That is a horrible statement.

 

nt

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Response to zellie (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:14 PM

61. The nation would have been just as shocked if 20 young children had been gunned down

all in one setting in a minority community. West is off base. BTW, President Obama spoke about killings in urban communities in every interview and speech that he made in relationship to gun violence.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:35 AM

15. Some Legitimate Points, Dr. West. Now Shut The Fuck Up. (nt)

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:08 AM

17. This was the subject of an early West Wing episode in 1999.

The Black Congressman was upset with the White House for not backing a stronger bill than the one they were trying to get passed, and that because so many minorities and their kids were getting killed.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:14 AM

18. I don't think what he's saying is so outrageous

Last edited Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:40 PM - Edit history (1)

http://www.bradycampaign.org/facts/gunviolence/factsethnicity

He's very clear that the lives of those who died at Sandy Hook were precious and that it was a tragedy, but he can't help but notice that people are concerned about guns suddenly when the statistics are what they are.

Also, "We can't just shed tears for those on the vanilla side of town" means "We need to also shed tears for everyone else." Not that it's wrong to shed tears for the victims of Sandy Hook.

But of course every time a person of color discusses racism, he/she is called racist.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #18)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:26 AM

20. Yes - it is

Just imagine if a white commentator has used "chocolate side of town". The outrage would be deafening (rightly so).

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:28 AM

21. I don't see the two as being equivalent

Someone from a group without privilege speaking about a group with privilege doesn't carry the same weight of power as someone from a group with privilege speaking about a group without privilege.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #21)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:05 AM

26. All I can tell you is how it looked to me

And all it did was make me roll my eyes and not give a shit what else he has to say on any issue. He could have made the same point without the "look at me" language.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:01 AM

74. The purpose of identifying privilege is not to allow those without it a free pass

The purpose of identifying privilege is to figure out how to eliminate it by bringing the have nots to the level of the haves.

The answer to privilege is not privilege.

Just sayin'

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Response to gollygee (Reply #18)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:11 PM

48. Page 6?

In my opinion he could have stated that a lot sooner than page 6.

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Response to Bjornsdotter (Reply #48)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:12 PM

49. OK you so obviously didn't read it

The item with a page 6 isn't by him. It shows a chart.

Edit - the chart wasn't good anyway so I'm putting in better data, but it's still slanted. There are tons more black victims of gun crime than white, but it takes white victims to make people act. That's the issue.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #49)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:48 PM

53. Not arguing the crime rate

...or the number of victims by race.

I still think that if it is first stated on page 6 it should be stated sooner.

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Response to Bjornsdotter (Reply #53)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:51 PM

54. It wasn't anything by him

It was just a chart of statistics of gun crime victims. There was some introduction and then one page had a chart on what percentage of victims were either gender, and then a page on what percentage of victims were various ages, and then page 6 showed the breakdown by race.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:54 AM

22. You'd think a PhD would be bright enough to count

20 kids at once will get much more attention than 500 kids shot individually over a year. The press doesn't go national-hysteria over white kids shot as individuals either, and certainly would over 20 kids killed in one mass event of any color (pretty sure not all this group were "vanilla" either).

Of course he certainly is bright enough to both count and grasp the difference, but he's never missed a chance to do a self-publicity bullshit grandstand yet regardless of decency - so why start now?

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Response to dmallind (Reply #22)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:56 AM

77. Really? Casey Anthony? any of those other white kid of the month abductions/slayings?

When was the last mass slaying of an ethnic minority by a gunmen in our country. There has probably been one but I don't remember it and it likely didn't get much media attention either. Just looking at how people approached the Trayvon Martin shooting shows the level of racism at pay still.

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Response to Sirveri (Reply #77)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:45 AM

78. Really? More false equivalency?

Two kids are shot to death every week - NOT counting accidents. The number of stories about, say, Gregory Erdmann (white) and Ta'Keith Russell (black) are very similar and very low. They only even raise to the level they do because there was something unusual about them - the execution style family hit and the stepfather involvement respectively. Most shot kids of any race are unlikely to get beyond small town newspaper articles or page C7 snippets in big cities because there is nothing unusual about them - unlike say a mother (allegedly) killing her own kid - not by shooting - and then trying to elaborately fake a cover story including news publicity. If the Anthony case made the news because a white kid died, why don't we hear about the dozens of other white kids who get murdered on non-stop all-channel sturation? Because unlike that case there is nothing new or unusual to hook hoi polloi's attention. Kids black and white are shot to death with dreadful monotony, and few indeed make the news beyond a brief article precisely because they are so common. To make a big media splash it takes something out of the ordinary....like 20 kids being killed at once. And yet you bring up a case with a black victim that WAS media saturated to pretend media attention is all because of race? Make your mind up! Why did Martin make the news at all? Because it was something different...not just another teen getting shot but getting shot by a vigilante wannabe. Hell we have some idiots saying the massacre was a false flag plot - Martin didn't get that! Of course racism exists - but that's bugger all to do with which murders of kids get media attention.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:02 AM

25. If Dr. West lay aside his racist bullshit...

Well, he wouldn't be Dr. West, would he? But if he WOULD choose to lay it aside for a moment, there's an important point to be made in there. We notice Sandy Hook because all the killings happened at once. It's shocking and it's tragic. But the fact is that in a nation with about 10,000 gun homicides per year, that's about 28 gun homicides per day. That's a Sandy Hook Elementary School every single day of every single week -- it's just that it happens in ones and twos and doesn't grab the headlines. It's just as tragic, but not as shocking. And so the killing goes on.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #25)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:53 AM

40. Jeff, I agree the *per day* is the important point

Cornell West could have made that point without the gratuitous racism that rubs salt in the wounds of -- well, everyone.

He could have made that point, but he didn't, and that unfortunately is why his very voice grates on my ears.

Not all those children were white.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #40)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:57 AM

41. In Chicago, where they just had 500 homicides last year

80% of the victims were African American. Now I'll agree with Dr. West that some of the lassez faire attitude is the result of race, but hurling those accusations as people is not a good way to gain traction.

As my old granny used to say, "You catch more flies with honey."

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:10 AM

27. I usually roll my eyes at Dr. West but...

 

I get what he is saying here. Most of the news reports used the phrase "Anytown USA" as it to mean that its a part of Americana that should be immune to this kind of tragedy. I definitely agree that there is a sense of innocence with this crime that does make it different from the crimes that are committed in urban areas that we hear about on the news every night; most of which are criminal in nature. However, this is one of the few times I will concur with Dr. West.

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Response to Mdterp01 (Reply #27)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:38 AM

75. I feel the same way

I'm not fan of Dr. West, however the gun homicide victimization rate for blacks is 20.3 per 100K. For whites it's 3.3. Guns would be outlawed completely and totally for civilians long before the rate for whites ever approached 20.3.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:15 AM

30. Anytime you use language like that, expect your audience to tune you out.

It's unnecessarily divisive.

Are there no chocolates in the vanilla side?

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:16 AM

31. Cornell West is a racist. He should join the teabaggers

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Response to still_one (Reply #31)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:53 PM

46. Completely misreading the intent here

I'm no big fan of West, but I get what he's trying to say here: Young minorities die daily due to guns. Why does it take a tragedy involving nearly all white victims to get this kind of national attention to opening the debate on gun control?

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Response to CakeGrrl (Reply #46)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:51 PM

55. I am not just basing it on this, though his "vanilla" comment a disparaging racial remark, and it is

Not the first time he has gone out of his way with remarks like that, such as referring to Obama as not black enough

If the point that he wanted to make was that African Americans are not dealt with in an equal or fair way that would be fine, but west really does have problem with whites that he has to use such terms.

If similar type terms were used againt African Americans, Latinos, Jews, and other groups, I would have the same issues with folks using those terminalogies

He has a problem

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Response to CakeGrrl (Reply #46)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:07 PM

70. No...he said you guys don't pay attention unless it's "the vanilla side" of town. Pretty racist.

What if a leading professor said the media doesn't pay attention to elections unless too many from "the chocolate side" vote?

Really helpful.

But he's wrong. What this incident was about was that it was a mass murder - the largest in history in our country at a school. The shooter used a semi.

What he's talking about are guys in their own neighborhood doing drive bys or belonging to gangs, using regular pistols. An ongoing crime thing that happens in primarily large cities in the country, TO WHICH CITIES have tried to tackle.

Those are different sorts of incidents probably caused by different things. Here's what happened when Chicago banned guns, in an effort to deal with teh violence:

On Monday, the Supreme Court upheld a challenge to Chicago's 28-year-old handgun ban, which ultimately signals the end of the ban on handguns in Chicago and Oak Park. As gun rights were extended throughout the country by SCOTUS, Chicago was recovering from another violent weekend that left at least 29 shot and three dead.

Even with the gun ban in place, shootings in Chicago have been rampant. Last weekend, at least 52 were shot and ten killed in just three days, and this weekend the gunfire continued. According to CBS, shots were fired into a group of about 30 people Sunday night--likely a crowd gathering in Uptown after the Gay Pride Parade. Two men were wounded in the incident, at least one suffered serious injuries.


When the Supreme Court ruled Monday (read the entire decision here), they did take these violent weekends into account. From the Supreme Court decision:



Chicago Police Department statistics, we are told, reveal that the City's handgun murder rate has actually increased since the ban was enacted and that Chicago residents now face one of the highest murder rates in the country and rates of other violent crimes that exceed the average in comparable cities.


The lawsuit against the City was brought by Otis McDonald, with several other neighbors, a 76 year old Af. American, who wanted to buy a handgun for protection.

That case was covered by the media....a big gun control battle resulting in a S.Ct. case that defined how the 2nd Amendment applied to states/cities banning or regulating guns.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:26 AM

33. so he does`t care about "vanilla" kids?

what a racist prick.

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #33)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:29 AM

35. he didn't say that at all

. . . he said that he wanted just as many tears shed for the community he described.

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #33)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:47 PM

52. That's not what he said. He actually said the following....

“We can’t just shed tears for those on the vanilla side of town,” West said. "They are precious, but they are no less or more precious than our poor brothers and sisters on Indian reservations — who are killing each other — or be they black or brown or what have you.”

He may very well be racist, but from the above quote, I believe he's saying all kids are equally precious.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:27 AM

34. good points made -- not digging the rhetoric, tho

'vanilla' vs. the 'chocolate' side of town?

(I'm old enough to remember when D.C. was affectionately referred to as, "Chocolate City." I've always been much less bold than that.)

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Response to bigtree (Reply #34)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:38 AM

37. P-Funk: "God bless Chocolate City and its vanilla suburbs" 1975 n/t

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Response to deutsey (Reply #37)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:44 AM

38. I have the Parliament album, somewhere

It was my sister's . . . waaaaal!


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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:35 AM

36. That's a cheap shot

Because there is no basis for comparison. To the best of my knowledge there has never been a school shooting involving 20 black children in an urban school setting.

And while inner city kids are shot at least as often as white suburban kids, they don't seem to be shot in mass incidents. And shootings with a single victim just don't draw the press that a mass shooting does.

I hope there is never a school shooting involving 20 black kids. Hell, I hope there are no more of them involving white kids either.

But West is comparing apples with oranges.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:58 AM

39. Adam Lanza did not give a shit about the color of his victims, or the racial make-up of those kids

Our outrage NOW is because of the age of those kids! The bravery of the teachers in the face of that kind of evil! Race has nothing to do with why there's a galvanizing force now and injecting face into this feels like a pretty cheap shot.

I like Cornel West but some of his rhetoric is beginning to go over the top imho. His good points get lost.





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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #39)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:00 PM

47. The point is that the media and lawmakers apparently DO discern by color

To wit: Recall the Public Enemy song "911 Is A Joke?" It was about the very real problem of people dying in minority neighborhoods because first responders either didn't come or were very slow to do so.

It's an extension of the same long-standing problem: Minorities die, and it's largely ignored. White victims get more attention. That's the theory.

There've been running jokes here about the latest 'missing young white girl' to grab media attention a la Natalee Holloway.

There was the phenomenon of LA gang violence coming to the fore in the 80's, but only when it started to spill over into the LA suburbs and threaten those communities was congressional action taken.

The media, for good or ill, has the power to shape the narrative, which is why it's so dangerous when they lose their objectivity. They can draw national attention to an issue or keep the public mired in ignorance.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:01 PM

42. Birmingham Sunday. Those girls were black. I remember....

... and so does Dr. West. Governor George Wallace called for violence -- he got it -- and the nation was revulsed. As far away as we were, and as white as we were, my mother wept.

The NRA and its extremist gun lovers (oh, by no means are all its members nuts) have called for violence -- and they have gotten it -- and the nation is revulsed. This is the moment we may finally, finally rein in our home-grown terrorists.


http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/m_r/randall/birmingham.htm

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:28 PM

43. He is the chocolate antithesis of Ann Coulter. There, I said it. Say anything outrageous. nt

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:41 PM

51. West has a point. Further, one reason guns are so entrenched is that bigoted right wingers

are the majority of the so-called gun culture.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:54 PM

57. Use any gun death

 

It's not about precious lives it's about using a big tragedy to your advantage. If our President is going to be successful at un-arming the country he needs to take advantage of the deaths of such young children. Nobody will remember him using the dead kids for implementing his social policies they will only remember him as the great man who lead the people away from evil Capitalists. It will be easier to redistribute in the name of fairness when the only guns are in the hands of our government and it's looking really good using tragedy toward our advantage.

"We are the ones we've been waiting for"
Barack Obama

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:04 PM

58. I understand his point but using the terms he did to describe this doesn't help his cause.

I think it served to force people to tune out

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Response to Arcanetrance (Reply #58)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:42 PM

65. This I agree with

 

He went about making a valid point in the wrong way.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:04 PM

59. Innocent Babes vs. Gang Warfare?

 

Fuck skin color. This is an outrageous use of ones bully pulpit.

If he spent as much time trying to fix urban blight, poverty, and drug policies as he does pointing out racism (which still exists), he might get something done.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:06 PM

60. At least on of the kids that died was African American. nt

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:26 PM

62. Sorry I cannot go there

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:31 PM

63. This debate should be about gun control... not race. nt

 

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #63)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:43 PM

68. It should be about both

Pointing out that one group is extremely disparately impacted doesn't detract from the gun control debate, it adds to it. If whites were dying of gun violence at the same rate as blacks, the debate on gun control would have been decided a long time ago.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:44 PM

66. It's like Sandy and Katrina. Americans say Katrina was NOTHING compared to Sandy.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:53 PM

69. That's helpful. nt

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:56 AM

76. One the one hand...

West could have been more tactful in the way he said this, and tact is useful in that people who normally would not listen to you can do so without their mental defenses being tripped.

However, as much as we can point fingers at West, the essential truth is the same. A lot of problems are not seen as problems until kids from the suburbs get hurt.

Did anyone pay attention to AIDS back when it was considered a Haitian disease?

Was Cocaine a problem until it hit the suburbs?

Note I say the suburbs, because in rural towns, there can be as much poverty and drug addiction as any inner city, but people just call those folks "poor white trash." Dr. West does not factor in that there are many shades of White.

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