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Michael Brown, Entirely Normal Teenager, Is “No Angel”

Are you fucking kidding me, New York Times?

Michael Brown Spent Last Weeks Grappling With Problems and Promise

Michael Brown was “no angel” — because he got frustrated with his family, sometimes used vulgar language, dabbled in drugs and alcohol, got into one scuffle with a neighbor, wasn’t the best student, once took money meant for shoes and bought a PlayStation, and as a child climbed fences and scribbled on the wall.

None of which makes him an ENTIRELY NORMAL TEENAGER.

Also he “had taken to rapping in recent months.” OOOOOOO! No! Not rapping!

Oh, and he was accused of stealing an iPod, but actually didn’t. Which is relevant how?

Seriously? Are you fucking kidding?

Comments

  1. brianw says

    Racism at work. There would have a different response if this was a white middle class teenage male. *sighs*

  2. parkersipes says

    It is entirely unfortunate that a publication as large and as widely promoted as the New York Times is can get away with publishing an article like that. Why even come out with all of his wrongdoings? His wrongdoing STILL aren’t punishable by death. So why, you know? So heartbreaking.

  3. doublereed says

    That’s absolutely horrid and disgusting. Seriously, wtf? This smear campaign is fucked up.

  4. johnthedrunkard says

    And police are SUPPOSED to be able to diffuse public disturbances and take potentially dangerous suspects into custody. WITHOUT inflicting multiple gunshot wounds.

    No military hardware or mega-gun purchases can ever substitute for competently screened and vetted individuals with adequate training for real-life situations.

    It doesn’t matter, for example, that Rodney King was a parole violator, drunk driver, domestic abuser etc. etc. Half a dozen cops randomly slugging a man as if they were chopping firewood is NOT excusable.

  5. yazikus says

    What gets me is that there is basically no information available to us regarding Wilson’s character. Why aren’t we allowed to mull over every little detail of his life? Where are the traces of his social media accounts? Sordid gossip from the ex-wife? Seriously, is no one curious about the character of the man who murdered an unarmed teen? No one?

  6. says

    Take this sentence:
    he got frustrated with his family, sometimes used vulgar language, dabbled in drugs and alcohol, got into one scuffle with a neighbor, wasn’t the best student, once took money meant for shoes and bought a PlayStation, and as a child climbed fences and scribbled on the wall.

    And change it to:
    Princeton graduate Hank J Biggleworth III got frustrated with his family, sometimes used vulgar language, dabbled in drugs and alcohol, got into one scuffle with a neighbor, wasn’t the best student, once took money meant for shoes and bought a PlayStation, and as a child climbed fences and scribbled on the wall. Became congressman for mumblemumble district when his father bought him the election.

    And the New York Times would be gasping about his achievements on the “Society” page.

  7. says

    People like to project their own ideas onto people. We have this idea that if a black person doesn’t fit into our white fantasies about “good black people,” their tragic death is somehow less tragic. Same thing with us queers. People love to project this image that we’re all monogamous and want to raise families. Isn’t it enough that we’re human and have a right not to be murdered?

    (I’m not making a direct comparison between racism and homophobia, of course.)

  8. lorn says

    At the funeral today there was mention of Brown as “martyr”, “representative of the community” and how “his name would be known by the world”.

    I hope this trend of idealization is a short term trend and self limiting. Celebrating him as human being, and the normal funeral related coat of wax and polishing, is to be expected. But if it goes too far it can lock in contradiction and flaws better avoided.

    The translation of human beings into symbolic objects is always problematic. I would counsel that people using humans to exemplify an ideal and create a mythology need to be very careful as to what raw material they select. When that square peg is pounded into that round hole the knots and rough spots are not removed.

    Case in point: Mohammed being re-framed as holy Prophet has meant all of his historic flaws and inadequacies have become cemented for all time as beyond question. Neither the blessed prophet nor his destructive behaviors may be judged harshly . Violence, pedophilia, oppression of non-believers, misogyny, and a cult of death are a result his human flaws being deified along with his name.

  9. maddog1129 says

    None of which makes him an ENTIRELY NORMAL TEENAGER.

    Shouldn’t that be “none of which makes him anything other than an entirely normal teenager”?

  10. Dr. Pablito says

    This morning’s NYT offered a front page with articles right next to one another — one about Mr. Brown, featuring the background information you’re discussin here, … and one about Officer Wilson, presenting some digging into his past. The idea, I think, for NYT, was to present both people as more fully imaginable human actors in this story. Left to the reader was the question, “What, if anything, in each of these two persons’ backgrounds, can illuminate what happened in the confrontation that lead to the death of Mr. Brown?”

  11. besomyka says

    he was accused of stealing an iPod, but actually didn’t.

    Evidence that he was often accused of things he didn’t do.

    Imagine that :(

  12. muletonic says

    Ooo, there were times when he would “talk back” too. I hate it when black people do that.

  13. sparks says

    Why all the outrage? It’s the goddamned fucking NYTs! We all know what they are and why they don’t matter at all.

  14. says

    That headline: “…spent last weeks grappling with life’s mysteries.” Shit.

    1) Every single young man ever grapples with “life’s mysteries” (if that is, as I suspect, meant to be some kind of condescending paternalist code for “fucks up and acts out”). Even educated white middle-class Australian country lads like myself with nice friends and two professional and attentive parents had the occasional “grapple”. And hell, I liked not only rap but heavy metal music – and still do.

    2) Forgive me for stating the obvious to the highly-esteemed journalistic organ Tha Noo Yawk Fuckin’ Times Ova Heeah, but those wouldn’t have been Brown’s “last weeks” at all but for one particularly trigger-happy racist piece of shit whose police training appears to have consisted of a butch haircut and target practice (and not very goddamn much of it). Most kids get over their grapples, even where the cops are involved, with time and help from parents, friends or trusted adults and without needing to be shot six fucking times.

    3) Fucking hell. Every damn thing about this makes me blind with rage. I’m going to put the kettle on and log off.

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