In Todd Starnes' twisted world, the LGBT and African-American communities are ruining the nice, white, Christian America that Starnes so loves. And just to prove his point, he posts tweets that provide examples of bad behavior on the part of the two groups that he fears and loathes the most. While nice white, Christian youth do engage in thuggish behavior, Starnes has made it his mission to let his twitter followers know that they need to be afraid, very afraid of blacks gone wild such as his famous "blacks riot at Burger King" and his "why am I not surprised" that black teenagers were "battling" in Louisiana tweets. The verdict in the George Zimmerman trial has provided Starnes with an opportunity to advance his view that African-Americans are wild thugs. While the majority of protests were peaceful, Starnes' Twitter is full of comments about the small number of violent actions which, of course, he links to the president and Eric Holder. But, as News Hounds Ellen reported, Starnes thinks Obama is divisive. Seriously?
Did ya know that "California is burning, courtesy of the nation's professional race baiters and their political enablers?" Hmmm, substitute political for media and you've got Fox News!!!! And BTW, check out Starnes, red, white, and blue book cover that he uses for a backdrop for his twitter account. Love the overalls with the gun in one pocket and the bible in the other. It just exudes Christian love and respect for "life." One imagines that the overalls are supersized to fit Starnes racist paranoia?
And about that divisiveness thingie - check out the responses to Starnes tweets. Put it this way, they're not directed towards healing the persistent and ugly racial divide in the most awesome country that Jesus ever created.
Their meme is “Massive riots! Look at all this lawbreaking! Toldya!” Except that this isn’t what’ happening. Not by a long shot. Over the past several days, there have literally been hundreds of protests around the country by people unhappy about the outcome of the Zimmerman trial. I wouldn’t be surprised if the numbers were up to at least 500 protests by now, given that we have 50 states, and in just about all of them, there have been multiple gatherings for people to speak out. In states like California and New York, there have been many more than in other states, obviously. And of that number of protests and gatherings, we know of a small handful where some people have acted badly – and in each case, the police have been able to quickly deal with the problem. I believe what we’re seeing in several of those cases is that there are always some people who want to take advantage of a situation to go out and break the law. We see this when a soccer team wins or loses the championship. We’ve seen this in Los Angeles when the Lakers won their first championship in 2000. It’s a phenomena that isn’t about race – it’s just about some people, frankly, being jerks and/or criminals.
Los Angeles has been almost completely peaceful, in spite of right wing attempts to spin up paranoia about wild black people rioting. Now, when the Rodney King verdict happened in 1992, THAT was a riot. That was a situation where part of the city was literally on fire. That was a time when it really wasn’t safe to go outside in parts of Los Angeles and there was a very real sense of danger. And that’s the fear that these outlets are trying to drum up today. Except that we’re not seeing riots or anything like that today.
Given that they don’t have the huge riots they predicted, right wing AM station KFI in Los Angeles has now taken the approach that the protests are distracting “hundreds of police officers from doing their jobs”. They’ve tried to blow up any incident of a protest where someone gets arrested and then pair it with a robbery or a murder somewhere else in the city. The silliest notion of this came this morning, when they tried to say that some burglars in Hollywood were supposedly taking advantage of the police not being present. Which is total nonsense. We have a massive police force in Los Angeles, and there’s plenty of police on duty in Hollywood. There certainly have been some cutbacks in recent years, but not because some people are protesting in different areas. The cutbacks were due to California and Los Angeles having budgetary problems – hence layoffs of teachers, and furloughs of various state and local government employees. If there’s a reason we haven’t expanded our police presence further, it’s budgetary. On any given day in Los Angeles, there are ALWAYS protests happening somewhere over something. There are a few more lately due to this trial, but nothing that would cause everyone to suddenly lose their focus. So the entire premise of this right wing meme is false from the beginning.
I would further add that this notion that President Obama is being divisive is ridiculous on its face. The President expressed sympathy for grieving parents last year in a tasteful and humane manner. After the verdict was announced, the President clearly stated that people should calmly reflect on what had happened and work to try to limit gun violence in the future. How in the world is such a statement divisive? I would argue that the President has been trying to bring the country together, and that various media outlets like KFI and Fox News are the ones trying to divide it. And sneers like the ones I’m hearing on the radio or on Fox News feel like a much more divisive force than a President asking for calm reflection.