No matter how great the backlash, the venerable Washington Post is determined to publish explanations from white columnists of why Trayvon Martin's death was actually very understandable. Today: Kathleen Parker says that racial profiling is "common sense." Oh yes.
One might imagine that after everyone in America who is not a white supremacist slammed Richard Cohen's blatantly bigoted racial profiling apologia yesterday, the WaPo's op-ed editors might think twice before publishing yet another inane and bigoted racial profiling apologia by a clueless white columnist today. Not so! Today, blonde upper middle class white woman Kathleen Parker steps up to once again justify the shooting of an innocent black teenager— while couching this justification, of course, in the language of sympathy and realism. You see:
The point is that this is one of those rare instances in which everyone is right within his or her own experience. African Americans are right to perceive that Martin was followed because he was black, but it is wrong to presume that recognizing a racial characteristic is necessarily racist. It has been established that several burglaries in Zimmerman’s neighborhood primarily involved young black males.
"Everyone is right within his or her own experience," says Kathleen Parker, offering up an endorsement of moral relativism, a philosophy dismissed as absurd hundreds of years ago. Why, gentle white readers, try placing yourselves in the shoes of this woman ATTACKED BY BLACKS:
Picture Zimmerman’s neighbor Olivia Bertalan, a defense witness, hiding in her locked bedroom with her infant and a pair of rusty scissors while two young males, later identified as African American, burglarized her home. They ran when police arrived.
Now that Kathleen Parker has justified George Zimmerman following Trayvon Martin because Trayvon Martin was black, and raised the horrifying specter of a defenseless white woman being attacked by vicious black thugs, she comes to the real heart of this column. Please read this carefully, keeping in mind that the writer is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist at a respected mainstream newspaper:
This is not to justify what subsequently transpired between Zimmerman and Martin but to cast a dispassionate eye on reality. And no, just because a few black youths caused trouble doesn’t mean all black youths should be viewed suspiciously. This is so obvious a truth that it shouldn’t need saying and yet, if we are honest, we know that human nature includes the accumulation of evolved biases based on experience and survival. In the courtroom, it’s called profiling. In the real world, it’s called common sense.
What is racial profiling called in the real world? "It's called common sense." Racial profiling is common sense, according to respected Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker. If you do not agree that racial profiling is common sense, you are not living in "the real world." You are living in some fantasy land, where young black males are not to be feared automatically due to the color of their skin. Get real, why don't you? Don't you know that young black males have committed crimes, in the past? And yet you pretend that George Zimmerman was not well within his rights to grab a gun and follow and challenge and fight and shoot and kill a young black male that he spotted in his neighborhood? What world are you living in? Not the real world, in which George Zimmerman and Kathleen Parker reside. A world in which "everyone is right, within his or her own experience." People who fear all young black males— people like Kathleen Parker and Richard Cohen and George Zimmerman— are right to do so, because that's their experience, you see, and whether that experience is based on being mugged once or on watching Fox News or on listening to a Tupac album, it's all equally valid, because it is their experience. And young black males like Trayvon Martin are right to get racially profiled and shot and killed and maybe be angry about it in the afterlife, because that's their experience. Sure, it's a tragedy that Trayvon Martin was killed; but he was, after all, walking around being a young black male. What did he expect? This is just common sense.
Kathleen Parker manages to say all of this in the same paragraph in which she says "just because a few black youths caused trouble doesn’t mean all black youths should be viewed suspiciously." Now that takes Pulitzer Prize-winning talent.
[WaPo. Image by Jim Cooke. Photo via Getty]