Saturday, January 28, 2023

Nothing to see

The Friday night doc dump is a longstanding Washington tradition:  Put out inconvenient information at the end of the week, when all but political junkies are unlikely to be paying attention, distracted by sports, shopping, family activities and other weekend events.  By Monday it's old news and we're all braced for fresh outrages.

I chose to look away from the latest wrinkle -- let's call it the Friday night snuff film.  I spared myself the police video of a frustrated David DePape attacking Paul Pelosi in the absence of his real target Speaker Nancy Pelosi (do I have to say "allegedly" when he made it perfectly clear who he wanted to "talk to"?).  I also decided not to watch the half-hour assault on Tyre Nichols by Memphis police which caused his death several days later.  The memory of George Floyd calling for his mother is still indelible, thank you, and that was only eight minutes and forty-six seconds.  I may not be strong enough to witness American history in the making.  

We have made so much progress in the century or so since lynchings were recorded with a box camera and then made into postcards which the participants could mail to friends (until the post office improbably refused to handle them).  Thanks to Smartphones and body-cams (and courageous witnesses like Darnella Frazier) the world can watch in real time as America embarrasses itself afresh.  They don't even try to conceal or destroy the evidence.  At least racist murderers by the 1950s hid the bodies of victims like Emmett Till.  Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner were buried in an earth dam, which must have required a lot of work in the dark.

The January 6 insurrectionists had a similar nonchalance about their attempt to overthrow the government.  They attacked professional journalists and damaged their equipment but only in a half-hearted way, then proudly recorded their crimes on their own phones and shared them with envious friends back home.  These amateur documentarians provided the evidence for their own criminal convictions.

It's the pride of Arkansas, Bigo Barnett, at 62 old enough to know better, with his foot on Nancy Pelosi's desk.  He helpfully points at it in case there's any confusion.  He's going to prison.


Post a Comment

<< Home