June 22, 2015

"Here’s an idea: Why don’t you leave the grieving alone right now? Why don’t you not impose your agenda items on them?"

"Why don’t you not force them to debate while they have tears in their throats? Don’t politicize their pain. Don’t turn this into a debate on a flag or guns. Don’t use it to make your points and wave your finger from your high horse. These people are doing it right without you."

Says Peggy Noonan.

ADDED: I was saying something similar earlier this morning, specifically criticizing the way Chuck Todd interviewed the family of Daniel Simmons Sr. on "Meet the Press," and this makes me want to extract one more thing from the transcript. The question is addressed to the dead man's granddaughter:
CHUCK TODD: Alana, a lot of people want to use this incident to have a bigger conversation to try to do something. Racial reconciliation, guns. There's a lot of issues that people want to grab onto. What do you want the country to take away from this? And what do you want the country to be having and our political leaders to be having a conversation about?

ALANA SIMMONS: Well, we elect not to talk about politics, or policies, or race issues at this time. At this time, we just want to focus on our grandfather and the other victims and making sure that the communities and the families heal and move on from this tragedy.

64 comments:

etbass said...

Great response.

Brando said...

But you can never let a crisis go to waste! If we don't use this to pass gun control and outlaw bigotry, then we are just as responsible for the next shooting! Why does Peggy Noonan hate black people so much?

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

It's nice that these church folks are turning the other cheek. And, it's sickening that cons who are in favor of the status quo are so eager to take advantage of that.

Why can't cons say, "look at these great Christians, we will follow their lead by saying we're now opposed to the flying of a symbol of government sponsored white supremacy."

But, no. The cons say, "look at these great Christians, we will honor them by keeping the status quo and not saying that it's wrong to fly a symbol of government sponsored white supremacy."

Sick.

tim in vermont said...

Too late, PB&J is all over the race war angle and wants to get it going while feelings are still raw.

amielalune said...

PBandJ: So, your point is that we should "honor" someone by doing something political that you think should be done? How juvenile.

tim in vermont said...

BTW, I am not saying it is right to fly that flag. I don't think it is. But I am not willing to subvert the law of the US to take it down. I wish that this guy and the Boston bomber were both already hanged and buried too, but we have laws.

What needs to be done is to convince the people of South Carolina that it needs to come down, through persuasion and democratic processes.

BP&J's whole thesis is that these people are not persuadable and that the force of federal power is the only solution.

It's pretty bigoted, when you think about it.

Sick.

Tank said...

Sometimes you get that unintentional humor in the comments.

tim in vermont said...

Take down the flag through use of federal power will just engender more resentment. But it will satisfy the machlust of people like PB&J, so it is justified.

Pookie Number 2 said...

But it will satisfy the machlust of people like PB&J, so it is justified.

heck, people like PB&J are thrilled that innocent people were killed, because it reinforces their unwarranted self-importance.

tim in vermont said...

Should have been Macht Lust, lust for power.

lgv said...

I don't get it. First, If there were no confederate flag flying anywhere, Roof would not be a racist and shoot people?

Guns, guns, guns. Second, other than an outright gun ban, what exactly would gun control people want to change that would have prevented Roof from shooting people? The "kid" was 21. Even if we assume he wouldn't have gotten guns illegally, what legal constraints would we have that would have prevented him having guns to shoot people? Even if we banned all handguns and "assault" rifles, he could have blown away the people with a couple of fully loaded pump action shotguns.

I know we are the only civilized country that has these mass shootings (well, except for France and Norway), but if we banned all hand guns tomorrow, I don't think the results will be quite like gun control advocates believe.

Brando said...

"What needs to be done is to convince the people of South Carolina that it needs to come down, through persuasion and democratic processes."

I also think they should take it down, but it should be because they've decided to do so. It won't mean anything if the feds somehow forced them.

I get why so many want to continue flying it--resistance to what they see as federal tyranny, southern pride, honoring ancestors who may have meant well--but two things. First, it is hurtful to a lot of black people, and not unreasonably--the flag was the symbol of a rebellion spurred by defending slavery, as well as more recently a defense of segregation. Yes, it may not be what most flag-fans mean now, but it's not total crap that people see it as racist. You may not be a racist, but you'll be needlessly hurtful to those you don't intend to offend.

Secondly, it was conceived and used as a symbol of rebellion against the U.S. If you're a patriotic American it's a bit strange to wave a flag that was flown by the army that killed more Americans than any other in history, for the purpose of breaking this country apart.

Both these things are deeply enmeshed in that flag's history, regardless of other more laudable meanings you ascribe to it. If a flag is to represent something you're proud of, why use a flag that can (not unreasonably) be interpreted as representing something heinous?

Brando said...

"I don't get it. First, If there were no confederate flag flying anywhere, Roof would not be a racist and shoot people?"

I agree--the flag issue and the shootings are separate, and it's idiotic to suggest that the flag caused the shootings (even in some abstract way).

As for guns, we simply have so many in this country that no gun control--even if we abandoned the 4th Amendment and searched every home completely--will prevent the determined killer from getting hold of one.

dbp said...

""Why don’t you not force them to debate while they have tears in their throats? Don’t politicize their pain. Don’t turn this into a debate on a flag or guns. Don’t use it to make your points and wave your finger from your high horse. These people are doing it right without you.""

The reason is: They can't resist. They are so certain they are absolutely right about, everything, that they must, must, must act and push.

Yes, they are assholes.

Leslie Graves said...

I will say, though, that people also do this in personal grief. (Grief that doesn't get in the media.) An example of this is someone dying of lung cancer; it would not be at all unusual to overhear some people at the funeral mention the person's smoking history in an I-told-you-so sort of way. Or a divorce is announced, and people say "Yeah, I saw that coming because..."

It is surely unattractive when people do that, either in private settings or public settings.

But I think it's helpful to see that it is sort of human-naturey (albeit unattractive) to do this.

Michael K said...

"And, it's sickening that cons who are in favor of the status quo are so eager to take advantage of that."

Not to mention the sicko lefty here who wants to deny the tremendous outpouring of concern of white and black citizens of Charleston who marched across the bridge last night led by the families of the murdered.

They are showing how they feel and don't need some lefty asshole to tell them.

Thousands of people joined hands and marched to form a chain of unity on Charleston's Arthur Ravenel Bridge Sunday, in a show of solidarity with those affected by last week's shooting that killed nine people.

My daughter attended the church service yesterday morning and was probably in that march if she wasn't at work.

EDH said...

Seems to me the grieving folks of Charlestown are resisting the call to grievance that is the hallmark of race hustlers of all stripes.

In "What Draws People to White Supremacy", Stephen L. Carter offered "a preliminary analysis, based on visits to seven sites, a couple of them difficult to track down. I’ll write later with more detail. For now, I want to record some general impressions."

The first thing to understand is that most of the sites frame their welcome to visitors not in terms of supremacy but in terms of grievance. To those who are suffering, they offer succor. To those who are outcasts, they offer an explanation: The white race is being oppressed, and is in danger of extinction. Those feelings of being left out, they suggest, are being intentionally fomented. Every other race is encouraged to celebrate itself. Whites are encouraged only to feel guilty about themselves. They are blamed, the sites say, for all the world’s ills.

But then you read on, and here comes the hate. You discover that they see whites as victims of aggression -- particularly black aggression. Some of the posts are about racial preferences -- that job you lost, that college that didn’t admit you -- but most are about crime. They trumpet questionable statistics about how much more likely it is that a black person will kill or assault a white person than the other way around.


Okay, now over to "Black Lives Matter". How is this different?

All #BlackLivesMatter. This is Not a Moment, but a Movement

#BlackLivesMatter was created in 2012 after Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime, and dead 17-year old Trayvon was post-humously placed on trial for his own murder. Rooted in the experiences of Black people in this country who actively resist our de-humanization, #BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society.Black Lives Matter is a unique contribution that goes beyond extrajudicial killings of Black people by police and vigilantes...

When we say Black Lives Matter, we are broadening the conversation around state violence to include all of the ways in which Black people are intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state. We are talking about the ways in which Black lives are deprived of our basic human rights and dignity. How Black poverty and genocide is state violence. How 2.8 million Black people are locked in cages in this country is state violence. How Black women bearing the burden of a relentless assault on our children and our families is state violence. How Black queer and trans folks bear a unique burden from a hetero-patriarchal society that disposes of us like garbage and simultaneously fetishizes us and profits off of us, and that is state violence. How 500,000 Black people in the US are undocumented immigrants and relegated to the shadows. How Black girls are used as negotiating chips during times of conflict and war. How Black folks living with disabilities and different abilities bear the burden of state sponsored Darwinian experiments that attempt to squeeze us into boxes of normality defined by white supremacy, and that is state violence.

#BlackLivesMatter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. We affirm our contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression. We have put our sweat equity and love for Black people into creating a political project–taking the hashtag off of social media and into the streets. The call for Black lives to matter is a rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation.

Lem said...

Within hours of the shooting CNN's Brian Stelter @brianstelter said‏...

Reading and hearing reactions to #Charleston, it seems like this attack is going to shake the country like no shooting has since Newtown.

Fabi said...

Nothing will come from this shooting just as nothing came from the Newtown shooting. Nor should it. Emotion is the worst possible reason to do anything except fuck.

I am not a street sign

Hagar said...

Well, this attack, and the attacks at Newtown and on Gabrielle Gifford and the Aurora, CO movie theater, do have a common thread, and it has nothing to do with race.

garage mahal said...

Hey, Rick Perry said this was an "accident"! It's too soon to talk about how this accident happened.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Hey, Rick Perry said this was an "accident"! It's too soon to talk about how this accident happened.

I'm sure the people in Charleston that lost loved ones are greatly comforted by your idiotic snark.

Drago said...

Pookie: "I'm sure the people in Charleston that lost loved ones are greatly comforted by your idiotic snark."

Garage has great empathy for those "blacky's".

The Bergall said...

Civility is the act of showing regard for others by being polite, like the civility you showed in speaking kindly to someone who has hurt your feelings.

Civility comes from the Latin word civilis, meaning "relating to public life, befitting a citizen," in other words, being friendly and nice to everyone. When you show civility, you use kindness and good manners. You are respectful, even if you do not like that person very much. Civility can also mean formal politeness, like your behavior at a fancy dinner.

Brando said...

"I will say, though, that people also do this in personal grief."

That's true--it's a natural reaction for many to say "how can this have been prevented" and "what can we do so this wasn't a meaningless waste". We certainly did it after 9/11. It's why it's important for the rest of us to not fan the flames or try to play off of emotions--that often leads to poor policy.

Ultimately, in a case like this I don't see what could really be done--law enforcement did what we should expect them to, and the black and white communities have been near unanimous in expressing sorrow for the victims and contempt for the killer. We live in a country where guns are easy to come by, and there will always be some hateful murderer on the fringe who will eventually pull off something like this. We can't do anything to further marginalize someone like that, and even the most European style gun control isn't going to prevent this guy from killing. We can only act promptly when it happens and hope to catch the warning signs before the next one strikes.

khesanh0802 said...

Isn't this what Scott Walker was saying?

Fernandinande said...

Why don’t you not impose your agenda items on them?

Why do not you not doubly not negate do?

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

Instead of con candidates refusing to say the flag should come down, what if we had the following:

1) racist lover of racist battle flag kills innocent black folks because they're black.

2) family members of murdered black folks say they forgive the racist, they say they're grieving so they're not asking for any political solutions.

3) cons say they know the families are grieving, but that doesn't prevent them (i.e. the cons who don't have dead relatives) from acting like human beings who don't need to pander to racist constituents, so the cons call for the murderer's beloved flag of state sponsored white supremacy to be removed.

The cons can't do that. No way!

Pookie Number 2 said...

what if we had the following

What if we had liberals that cared more about people's grief than they do about preserving their unwarranted self-importance by dragging in unrelated political issues?

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Maybe you should tell that worthless lawn bitch of yours to stop trolling other blogs doused in the blood of the 9 victims then.

President-Mom-Jeans said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bbkingfish said...

Sober commentators can consult Peggy's own work for examples of reticence in the face of pressing issues...like her recent work on the import of Rachel Dolezal, for example, or her hand-fluttering about the Great Big Ebola Crisis, which Peggy found riveting at the time...but not so much since the election's over.

In other news, expect Mike Huckabee to make a big move in summer polling for the SC primary. He stepped up to the plate and took his swings, while Bush, Walker, Rubio, et al, stayed at home and ate waffles.

Rusty said...

Alana Simmons is a class act. She's a credit to her grandpa.



I know we are the only civilized country that has these mass shootings (well, except for France and Norway), but if we banned all hand guns tomorrow,

Without a draconian police state that would be impossible. The confiscation ship sailed decades ago.

Drago said...

bbkingfish: "He stepped up to the plate and took his swings, while Bush, Walker, Rubio, et al, stayed at home and ate waffles."

LOL

Yes, a lefty actually wrote that. Apparently completely oblivious to it's origins. Or perhaps not unaware of it's origins but instead completely lacking in self-awareness.

EMD said...

"intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state."

Yet, make the state bigger, and see how much more powerless black lives become.

Birches said...

We could learn a lot from these family members. They are true Christians. And yet, no one wants to talk about that--they just want to score cheap political points or put up a defensive front because they're worried that the Gun Grabbers mightsucceed this time.

damikesc said...

It's nice that these church folks are turning the other cheek

I';ll note you failed to do the same for every following sentence.

I guess the grieving aren't doing it "right"

Michael said...

The people of Charleston are confounding lefties from the newsroom to the blogosphere. The lefties don't get the south and they don't get Christianity. They loathe both, however.

damikesc said...

What needs to be done is to convince the people of South Carolina that it needs to come down, through persuasion and democratic processes.

It CAME down. It's been off the Capitol for a while. Now they want to move the goalposts.

My state tends to not like playing that game.

Both these things are deeply enmeshed in that flag's history, regardless of other more laudable meanings you ascribe to it. If a flag is to represent something you're proud of, why use a flag that can (not unreasonably) be interpreted as representing something heinous?

I don't like it and never have. But, for a lot of people here, the more you lecture them on something, the more steadfast they will become. Some view it as honoring family (I view it as honoring a massive mistake and don't see why we'd want to do that, but to each their own).

And, as I've said earlier, we did what we were asked to do and what we were told was acceptable. Now, it's not. We don't play moving goalposts too happily. It might get pulled (I know a GOP rep here is proposing a bill to remove it off the memorial and place it in the Confederate Museum and Relic Room), but a lot won't like it because nobody likes to be told what to do.

The press is from NYC and DC, places so uncivilized that a crime like this would cause riots and mass destruction. We don't do that here. We catch the perp quickly and punish the guilty harshly. Heck, the cop who shot Walter Scott has already been indicted. How is that going with those Baltimore police?

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

"Now they want to move the goalposts."

Who set the goalposts?

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/jun/21/james-clyburn/james-clyburn-says-original-confederate-flag-compr/

The white political majority making a deal with itself regarding the display of its battle flag of white supremacy was never accepted.

Brando said...

"We don't play moving goalposts too happily. It might get pulled (I know a GOP rep here is proposing a bill to remove it off the memorial and place it in the Confederate Museum and Relic Room), but a lot won't like it because nobody likes to be told what to do."

No one likes getting told what to do, especially by "outsiders" and I think that was a part of why there was so much resistance to civil rights reforms in the '60s--the idea of someone outside who doesn't know your business telling you that you're bad and need to make changes would grate on anyone, even if on some level you agree with their assessment (and of course many southerners back then did not agree).

As for the goalposts, that's true--and I'm betting it wouldn't stop with just removing the flag from state-owned monuments but would also extend to renaming streets and schools so as not to honor confederate heroes. Ultimately, if it were up to me I'd agree with such changes (of course private displays are another matter) because there are surely other southerners and local people who can be honored who did not rebel (e.g., George Thomas, who has his own circle in D.C. but I don't think in Arlington). To do this would send a signal that the pain of the past is not forgotten but also cannot define a region that has much more to be proud of. But then, I'm not a South Carolinian so it'll be up to them.

tim in vermont said...

I get a kick out of all of the people claiming the flag should go because it is "traitorous." The Vermont Republic flags that are flown by so many "liberals" around here are also "traitorous."

South Carolina should be persuaded to remove the flag. It is too late to include a ban of the flag in the terms to end the war.

garage mahal said...

The Vermont Republic flags that are flown by so many "liberals" around here are also "traitorous."

How so?

Brando said...

"I get a kick out of all of the people claiming the flag should go because it is "traitorous.""

Well, the flag we're talking about was conceived and used for the biggest and most deadly rebellion this country ever faced, and is well known for that. I grant that it has other meanings for other people, but that is the historically predominant meaning.

If this was say a southern regional flag that was later coopted by secessionists, that might be a different story--but this was a secessionist flag from the beginning. There's no way to get around the fact that it was used by armies fighting the feds.

(Now, you'll hear some argue that the feds were in the wrong, should have allowed the secession, they were the real tyrants, etc., but that's antoher argument)

William Chadwick said...

I was amused when Il Dufe said something like, "Some will accuse us of politicizing this tragedy, but we're not." Of course not! Who would ever suspect the Alinskyite Red Diaper Baby in the White House and member of the socialist New Party would edver, in a million years, use the Charleston shootings to increase the power of the State? You'd have to be garage-mahal-level stupid to believe something that far out!

garage mahal said...

Only white conservatives are allowed to comment on this accident!

jr565 said...

When black lives matter incite hatred of cops, and cops then get killed the last thing the left wants to do is have dialogues about responsibility.
Yet they insert their damn agenda EVERY time there is a shooting. It's really ghoulish.

jr565 said...

Brando wrote:

Well, the flag we're talking about was conceived and used for the biggest and most deadly rebellion this country ever faced, and is well known for that. I grant that it has other meanings for other people, but that is the historically predominant meaning.

And the american flag is a symbol of our traitorousness towards our king in England, no?

JAORE said...

Here in Alabama there is a proposal to rename the Edmund Pettis Bridge because he was a Confederate officer and a Klansman.

Nearly everyone knows the EP Bridge and its role in the civil rights movement. Changing the name (because of a link that VERY few are even aware of) is typical dumb assery. Heavy on symbolism, low to none existent positive effect, ripe with unintended consequences.

damikesc said...

You cited Politifact? A site that actually labelled a 100% accurate statement as not being true? Good choice, really.

And the compromise was one of several and hardly the most accepted one.

Do you read what you cite here?

Hint: I LIVE here. You don't. I know what I'm talking about. You don't.

Only white conservatives are allowed to comment on this accident!

Given that the Left seems unable to get really basic facts correct, maybe you shouldn't.

garage mahal said...

If you comment on racist killings, and you're not a white conservative, and not commenting directly in line with with conservative thought, you automatically are: a.) glad the killings happened b.) trying to score political points.

Those are the rules!

steve uhr said...

Not to be disagreeable, but I hope the relatives are wrong when they say the shooter will go to heaven if he is born again. He should forfeit any right to redemption

Pookie Number 2 said...

If you comment on racist killings, and you're not a white conservative, and not commenting directly in line with with conservative thought, you automatically are: a.) glad the killings happened b.) trying to score political points.

Those are the rules!


Those aren't the rules - they're simple observation of the comments and proclivities of several of the folks that comment here.

You, for example, are undeniably dishonest and dishonorable in your political attacks, and nothing that you've ever written - including on this post - indicates that you view this sort of tragedy as anything other than an opportunity to attack people with whom you disagree. That's not a function of your being on the left, which comprises many decent people. It's simply a function of your ignorant bitterness.

I eagerly await another infantile attempt at sarcasm, undoubtedly with an exclamation point(!), in response. Self-reflection would require more character than you possess.

garage mahal said...

Those aren't the rules -

Sure they are. You don't like the possibility of being linked to racist killers, so one of you're defense mechanisms is to announce early on in the thread that any comments that don't fit into the narrative you want put forward means the commenter who made them is glad the killings took place.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Well, I'm not shocked that you missed the point. It's not about not liking the possibility of being linked to racist killers, it's about recognizing the fact that it's such an illogical linkage that it could only be made by someone like you, who views cold-blooded murder only as an excuse to justify gleefully making political attacks. Most liberals get that, but you obviously don't.

Had you made a legitimate, thoughtful observation that didn't "fit the narrative" rather than your characteristically shallow partisan pablum, that would have been very positive, but doing so is quite clearly beyond you, and why the comments noting that were fully correct.

garage mahal said...

Well, I'm not shocked that you missed the point. It's not about not liking the possibility of being linked to racist killers, it's about recognizing the fact that it's such an illogical linkage that it could only be made by someone like you, who views cold-blooded murder only as an excuse to justify gleefully making political attacks.

I didn't make any linkage and pointing out the complete absurdity of Rick Perry is not making a political attack. [You call it cold blooded murder. Rick Perry calls it an "accident".]

Pookie Number 2 said...

Pointing out that a politician said something stupid isn't insightful, your insistence on doing so here and now is only a reflection of the thrill you get in bludgeoning your political opponents with this tragedy, and the fact that you only selective condemn political stupidity is only a reflection of your dishonest venality.

Again, an intelligent liberal would have said something decent, or thoughtful, or compassionate. But you chose to mock Rick Perry. Unimpressive, but in-line with your general behavior.

garage mahal said...

But you chose to mock Rick Perry. Unimpressive, but in-line with your general behavior.

More where that came from. Get used to it, or scroll past.

Pookie Number 2 said...

I think we're all used to seeing your happiness in using a tragedy to make brainless political attacks.

garage mahal said...

You're using a tragedy to happily make brainless attacks against liberals. Stop!

Pookie Number 2 said...

Almost clever, but I'm clearly not. But again, you lack decency, so your return to peurile sarcasm was predictable. In fact, I predicted it.

Brando said...

"And the american flag is a symbol of our traitorousness towards our king in England, no?"

It certainly was conceived as such--and if the revolution was unsuccessful, it would certainly be odd for the Colonies to continue flying that flag on government property. It would be hard to say that people flying the Stars and Stripes are loyal British subjects (the analogy isn't perfect, of course--a subject of the British Empire isn't equivalent to a citizen of the U.S.).

Conversely, if the rebellion was successful, and we later established diplomatic ties with the Confederacy, we would likely display their flags at diplomatic events, and their flags would over time take on additional meaning beyond the rebellion, such as their history since then.

I know for many the confederate flag means things other than "secession" and "preserve slavery" and "preserve segregation" but those negative parts of history have such an outsized meaning for the flag that it is not unreasonable to assume those meanings behind the waving of it.

The South has many things to be proud of, but that flag symbolizes its biggest mistake. You can't divorce yourself from your history, but you can choose what parts to celebrate.

Birches said...

Well said Brando @ 4:54

William Chadwick said...

"Only white conservatives are allowed to comment on this accident!"

If we made it a rule only rational people who can handle a syllogism could comment on anything, that would exclude State-cultists such as garage mahal and the Red Diaper Baby in the White House.