Last week, as riots in Ferguson, Missouri decrescendoed and the country held its collective breath over the question of the indictment of Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, rappers Diddy (formerly P. Diddy, formerly Puff Daddy, formerly Sean Combs), 2 Chainz, The Game, and Rick Ross, along with 10 of their fellows, released a song: "Don't Shoot."
The Game explained why he felt the necessity to record the song: "I am a black man with kids of my own that I love more than anything, and I cannot fathom a horrific tragedy like Michael Brown's happening to them. This possibility has shaken me to my core."
The lyrics of the song speak to a perverse view of race in America -- a view reinforced day after day by a media dedicated to the proposition that American law enforcement maliciously targets black men at random. To this point, nobody knows the facts of the case in the Brown shooting. Nonetheless, the rappers label the shooting cold-blooded, first-degree murder. Because facts are unnecessary; only feelings are real. "God ain't put us on the Earth to get murdered, it's murder," says one rapper, TGT. Another, The Game, raps, "They killin' teens, they killin' dreams, it's murder."
Next, Diddy launches into a listing of various black men killed under controversial circumstances. Some, like Emmett Till, were murdered in acts of pure and evil racism. But Diddy lumps together Till with Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown -- and even Ezell Ford. Last week, the Los Angeles Police Department released the identities of the two police officers who shot Ford. One was Asian; the other was Hispanic. The Huffington Post did not even cover their races. The Los Angeles Times buried that relevant fact in paragraph 13 of their comprehensive story. But again, facts do not matter: Only a feeling of persecution matters.
Then Rick Ross sums up the generalized view of America created by media-stoked racial conflagrations like the Michael Brown situation: "Black men, we pay the toll, the price is your life, Uncle Sam want a slice, black dress code now we looting in the night, now we throwing Molotovs in this Holocaust." A grand total of just under 100 young black men are killed by white police officers each year, according to statistics provided to the FBI by local police. To compare police treatment of young black men to the Holocaust is not only statistically idiotic, but also morally dangerous.
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