A high-school kid got beat up on a school bus in
Illinois (!) yesterday, an event so shocking and rare that the nation's seventh-largest news site chose it as its top story. Oh, and the kid was white!
On Friday, Bill Maher accused Matt Drudge of hyping race because of this headline: "Poll Hell:? Obama Negs Rise." Maher discerned a resonance between Drudge's abbreviation for "negatives" and a certain other word that tea partiers use when they pray to God to strike down Obama, and used it to launch a comedy bit featuring other transparently race-baiting headlines. We found that somewhat silly—"negs" is a common enough bit of insider jargon, and though it appears to have been the only time Drudge used it in a headline, it's certainly not enough to hang an accusation of racial tomfoolery on.
But we were wrong. Drudge seems to have taken pride in Maher picking up on his little joke, because he linked to the bit and has spent the last two days trying to prove him right. Yesterday, as Daily Intel noted, there was the interesting juxtaposition of a photo of an enraged Serena WIlliams telling a judge she was going to "take this fucking ball and shove it down your fucking throat" with a photo of an angry-looking Barack Obama warning that "they can't stop us" on healthcare.
And today, we get a routine high-school beating cast as a newsworthy racial assault. We feel awful for the poor kid who got attacked in the video Drudge links to, partly because we got threatened and punched by a veritable racial rainbow of bullies when we were his age and partly because now it's on Drudge so a whole nation can see him looking hurt and defenseless. But kids get beat up by other kids literally every hour, and the newsworthiness of this case seems to rest solely in the fact that the victim was white and the attackers were not. And that it was caught on video. A local police officer makes the absurd claim that the attack appeared from the video to be racially motivated because "many of the students, most of whom were black, yelled their support for the beating"—which is the same thing as saying "because the students were black." Shouting out support for a beating is as common to high schools as acne.
But the important thing to remember is that Barack Obama is black, and there are angry black people, and they will beat you and steal your health care and shove this fucking tennis ball down your fucking throat and the negs are rising.
UPDATE: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has updated its story. The police official who initially described the attack as "racially motivated" is backtracking:
"After having reviewed the video, it doesn't strike me nearly as racially motivated," Sax said.
The about-face came this morning as the story made national headlines. Although, Sax said it was purely his review of the video that changed his mind.