In the post-Katrina world, in which America seems (at least, temporarily) to have discovered racial and class disparity, it is instructive to recall the unending lectures (some would say, harassment) about "values" we’ve endured from the right wing. (Yes, I’m referring to superior folks like inside trader and Schiavo malpractice artist, Dr. Bill Frist; ethics advisor and gaming enthusiast, Bill Bennett, the self-medicating Rush Limbaugh; and the junket loving, rule-bending master of funny money, Tom DeLay, among a growing list of others.)
Because the BAG mostly has eyes for the images, however, I wanted to look at a visual example.
Consider this item from Michelle Malkin’s blog about a week before Katrina struck. In the entry, Malkin has a moral meltdown over an incident in Seattle in which two men are captured on video having beaten a U.S. soldier who was just back from Iraq. Of course, the attack is senseless. While retching over it, however, the one thing Malkin never mentions is that the assailants are black.
That’s because the images she posts do it for her — and more.
One of the assailants is wearing a white t-shirt with a red baseball
hat on backwards. Given the display of anger and defiance, I suggest
the photos carry inferences way beyond the incident reinforcing the
stereotype of young black men as predators. The clothing (aided by
indicting white digital arrows) also helps carry the message. With the baggy white shirt and the red baseball cap on backward, the colors, cap (which appears to be specifically
"called out" by the arrow) and the hip hop look would seem to
subconsciously remind good white people that they are under siege by
To highlight just how hypocritical (dare we say, racist?) this post was, seven days later I saw this image posted on YahooNews.
It depicts still another (white) Iraqi veteran involved in a
violent assault. This attack occurred in Mexico after a group of
Marines were apparently accosted by a motorist outside a nightclub. In
this instance, the photograph documents the soldier attended to by his
friends, two of whom are apparently African-American.
Another sickening instance of an Iraqi vet being attacked.
Another case of the incident being visually documented. And, as opposed
to Seattle episode, this incident resulted in a fatality. Somehow,
however, I didn’t notice Ms. Malkin having anything to say about this picture.
(image 1& 2: KOMO TV. August 25, 2005. Seattle. komotv.com. image 3: Raymundo Ruiz/AP. Aug. 31, 2005. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. YahooNews.)