Thursday, August 14, 2014

Don't Talk About Suicide

Apparently PZ Myers believes suicide gets too much media coverage.

In a post titled, "Robin Williams brings joy to the hearts of journalists and politicians once again", PZ writes:

I’m sorry to report that comedian Robin Williams has committed suicide, an event of great import and grief to his family. But his sacrifice has been a great boon to the the news cycle and the electoral machinery — thank God that we have a tragedy involving a wealthy white man to drag us away from the depressing news about brown people. I mean, really: young 18 year old black man gunned down for walking in the street vs. 63 year old white comedian killing himself? Which of those two stories gives you an excuse to play heart-warming and funny video clips non-stop on your 24 hour news channel? Besides, the real story in Missouri is that businesses have been damaged by angry black people — no one is going to trash the Family Dollar in rage over the death of a popular comedian. Mike Brown’s death is confusing — the police say he was a shoplifter struggling to get a gun, while no stores reported a shoplifting event, and Brown was unarmed and shot while raising his hands in surrender. Where’s the moral clarity? We’re supposed to want to believe the police, you know, yet all the evidence points to their status as a gang of militarized thugs. That’s very uncomfortable.
Boy, I hate to say it, but it sure was nice of Robin Williams to create such a spectacular distraction. [The rest of the post is redacted as PZ doxxes a woman making racist comments on Facebook and subjects her to his vigilante hate machine]

There are many things that are reprehensible and tone-deaf about Myers' statements.

But the most offensive thing is PZ Myers failed spectacularly at his half-assed attempt at making points already made by a black comic.

Enter Patrice O'Neal:

It's clear why Robin Williams is dominating the headlines. He's Robin Williams. Pretending he's just another wealthy white dude is to insult his contributions and erase his status as an icon. Any ultra rich white male Fortune 500 CEO could kill himself tomorrow and nobody would bother taking notice.

The point O'Neal brings to the table is this - many white women are household names simply because they have been victimized. If Myers is really interested in the logical path he's on, he should really find himself the courage to ask why we know the names Natalee Holloway, Elizabeth Smart, Amanda Knox.

Consider the position that many "feminist" social justice bloggers find themselves in when criticizing coverage of Robin Williams. Many of them only have exposure because their own trumped-up victimization took precedence over what someone could say were more pressing events of the day. Every little thing said to them can turn into a drama that keeps their online community busy for days, if not years. "Microaggression" is a word often used in a serious manner. The same "social justice" community of white folk in the orbit of Minnesota also finds themselves rationalizing their fears of black men in enclosed spaces. Does this sound odd?

Williams' death should give some focus to the fact that ninety people commit suicide everyday. Hopefully we can have this discussion as well as question why so many black men are being shot and killed. Ultimately black men have to face both issues - speaking as if one is obscuring the other is pointlessly argumentative and derailing.

Among all this, Robin Williams' daughter is receiving abusive messages. How many of them are from FTB readers?

PZ Myers is just another nasty troll.

1 comment:

  1. I was harangued by one FtB fool for Tweeting the proposition that Myers inferred that Williams had 'martyred' himself to help the PR department of the Ferguson PD. I had lost interest in Myers' buffoonery but his serfs are incapable of getting on with life - no-one can insult the Dear Leader anywhere at any time. Myers f*cked up, there was a kerfuffle, then everyone moved on - except his minions. These are strange people indeed.