You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Archive - Jul 19, 2013
Memo to Richard Cohen: CLEARLY, THEY CAN COEXIST.
We all remember Richard Cohen, awful columnist for the awful Washington Post editorial page. Whether complaining that people don't think he's as funny as Stephen Colbert, complaining that people are mad at him for thinking he's as funny as Stephen Colbert, complaining that Obama doesn't love Israel enough, complaining that Michelle Obama isn't angry enough, or complaining that, I shit you not, Daniel Craig isn't as sexy as Cary Grant, Cohen has been filling the Post with tepid drool for years.
So as much as I'd love to be done with the Zimmerman case, there is one more take on it that needs to be addressed. Right off the bat, it's called "Racism Vs. Reality", and when Cohen, or whoever writes his headlines, decides that "racism" and "reality" are two concepts in opposition to each other, you know there's trouble ahead. ACTUAL OPENING TIME!
"I don’t like what George Zimmerman did, and I hate that Trayvon Martin is dead. But I also can understand why Zimmerman was suspicious and why he thought Martin was wearing a uniform we all recognize. I don’t know whether Zimmerman is a racist. But I’m tired of politicians and others who have donned hoodies in solidarity with Martin and who essentially suggest that, for recognizing the reality of urban crime in the United States, I am a racist. The hoodie blinds them as much as it did Zimmerman."
The first sentence is classic boilerplate disclaimer, the kind of thing you have to state off the bat because the rest of your article is about to undermine it. The Cohen doth protest too much. Or, as a more contemporary reference, the classic "I'm not a racist, but..."
You know, like "I'm not a racist, but Trayvon Martin was wearing a uniform we all recognize." Let's be clear. No matter what Cohen, Geraldo, or anyone else says, the "uniform we all recognize" isn't a hooded sweatshirt. It's black skin. There are millions of hooded sweatshirts out there Three of them in my closet. But when I put one on, I'm not wearing the uniform Richard Cohen recognizes. Because even though I live in a city, I'm not what Richard Cohen thinks of as "urban", and therefore part of the "urban crime problem".
But the best part of this is the last sentence. If the hoodie is blinding people who don't think the hoodie is a reason for suspicion, and the hoodie is blinding Zimmerman, who thinks the hoodie is a reason for suspicion, then how is it that Richard Cohen, who thinks the hoodie is a reason for suspicion, the only one who can see clearly? The answer, of course, is that he can't. He's just a fuckwit.
Cohen goes on to defend New York City's racist stop-and-frisk policy, to cite crime statistics to "prove" it's OK to be scared of black people, to claim he doesn't have a solution, to bemoan a culture where nobody is brave enough to talk about how many black people are criminals the way Richard Cohen is, to blame Barack Obama for failing to talk about how many black people are criminals the way Richard Cohen does, and closes with a paragraph so bowel-wrenchingly awful that you should probably put on a pair of adult diapers before you read it.
"There’s no doubt in my mind that Zimmerman profiled Martin and, braced by a gun, set off in quest of heroism. The result was a quintessentially American tragedy — the death of a young man understandably suspected because he was black and tragically dead for the same reason."
It's adorable that RIchard Cohen wants to climb on his cross and burn it too, but maybe the Washington Post should do better than keep paying a guy who says it's OK to suspect people because they're black. All evidence suggests that they can't do better, mind you, but it'd be nice to see them try.