February 12, 2013

Our Take on the Viral Photo "Not Chris Dorner Please Do Not Shoot"

Not Chris Dorner Please Do Not Shoot

The combination of Chris Dorner’s inability to find himself in a predominantly white world, our culture’s hyper-militarism and obsession with violence, the neglect of mental health prevention and treatment (whether for troubled cops or traumatized vets), as well as the ascendence of social media is producing all kinds of opportunities for public commentary (including this one on racial profiling) based on the ongoing tragedy/manhunt in Southern California. Some further thoughts on this viral Instagram photo:

• With the paper under the bicep blocking the word, the visible letters spell out more of the same.

• I’m sorta sorry — this shopper caught in his own visual drive-by — we don’t see him looking us in the eye.

• In part tongue-in-cheek but a more serious swipe at racial profiling (including actual victims), I see a commentary here, also, about American “justice” (and an appeal, dare I say!, to at least try and bring Dorner in alive). This culture has become all-too-easily aligned with eviscerating people, whether by drone strike or robo-cop artillery. More and more, it feels like this is what America has come to, failing people on the front-end, then just rubbing them out quick-and-simple on the back end to save ourselves from having to look in the mirror. I’ll state right now America could grow, perhaps greatly, from a Dorner mass-murder trial.

• Let’s not let this go by as just a racial commentary. You wouldn’t have a picture like this go viral (also wondering if Instagrammer was white) unless American citizens were worried about “the man” and the militarization of our “civil defenders.” In that regard, I look at a photo like this (speaking truth to power through public signs and statements) as a continuation of what drove the Occupy/ “We are the 99%” movement.

(photo via: MichelleFields/Twitter)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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