Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Then what IS your point?

Via David Codrea, this article regarding a wholly outstanding billboard in now-(more-)occupied Colorado:

Hell, I've probably linked to dozens of interpretations of that basic message before:  it works because it works.  And I'm perfectly clear on the primary objection that the control freaks have with it.  There's nothing new there.

But this...jeez.  Having dispensed with the usual "gun-article" formula of one-flaccid-statement-that-someone,-grudgingly,-might-call-"pro-gun-rights"-in-outlook, the remainder of the space is (of course) devoted to multiple, and of course wiser and more intelligent-like, opinions. Who speak, as usual, with the volume of those unencumbered by the weight of actual content.

Thing is, even for this crowd, this is done so...badly.
Greeley resident Kerri Salazar, who is of Native American descent, said she was livid when she learned about it. She said she doesn't have a problem with the gun rights message, but she's offended the Native American people were singled out, apparently without their consent.

"I think we all get that (Second Amendment) message. What I don't understand is how an organization can post something like that and not think about the ripple effect that it's gonna have through the community," she said.

What "ripple effect"?  How strange that we get no answer to that;  this is the last we hear of the "livid" Kerri Salazar with her standard-issue "big but".  Instead, we move on to another obvious expert, who is authorized for delivering approved opinion by virtue of her combination of ethnic origin, professional service to the State, and (uber alles) her willingness to denounce the unapproved billboard.
Irene Vernon, a Colorado State University professor and chairwoman of the ethnic studies department, said the message on the billboard is taking a narrow view of a much more complicated history of the Native American plight. She said it's not as if Native Americans just gave up their guns and wound up on reservations.

"It wasn't just about our guns," said Vernon, a Native American.

Well, apparently someone told her it was "just about our guns".  (Now don't you be impertinent and ask who;  a CSU professor implied it, you believe it, that settles it.)  And so, like Bruckheimer, we're off to the next thing that done go all blow'd up:
Greeley resident Maureen Brucker, who has worked with Native American organizations and who frequents the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota as an honorary family member, said she thinks the billboards are making light of atrocities the federal government committed against Native Americans.

She said the billboard brings to her mind one of the most horrendous examples of that, the Wounded Knee Massacre on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1890. Historical accounts say the 7th Cavalry had detained a band of Native Americans and asked them to give up their weapons. Troops began firing after a shot rang out. Death toll estimates of Native American men, women and children range from 150 to 300.

Again, notice the "one of them" bona fide implied in Brucker's description.  It's not that she is "Native American", per se, as it were, but see, she's "honorary".  Hey, no giggling now, this is important.  Those who tally such things may notice that in this little survey, 100% of "Native Americans" and their "honorary family member[s]" hate the sign, 100% of evil advertising employees have no problem with the sign, and 100% of those responsible for the sign are secretive bastards--almost certainly racist rich white guys who are known to eat their children--who have too much privacy and not enough morals.  This is iron-clad evidence, people!   (I have been told more than once that the decision-tree for a lawyer is as follows:  If the law is on your side, argue the law.  If the facts are on your side, argue the facts.  If neither the law nor the facts are on your side, assassinate the character of the witness.)

Now if one wanted to be extremely impertinent, one might well ask the question how--how on earth, or for that matter, how on any other planet in existence--this sign "make[s] light" of Federal atrocities.

And astoundingly, she actually tries to "answer" that question.  By referencing--look at the above quote again, if you have as hard a time believing it as I do--Wounded Knee.

Jeez, lady, you can argue against me publicly any day.  I'll have a harder time with the folks that will think I'm employing you as deliberate agitprop.  (They at least will have a compelling circumstantial case.)

Even for the control-freak crowd, with their well-deserved reputation of being better party-line stenographers than independent analysts, this arrangement of quotes is terrible.  It makes one wonder why the paper even bothered to run the article.  It's certainly "devastating to my case".

What all this smells like, of course, is an activist reporter who, preemptively trumped on all the usual Victim Disarmament Playbook responses, nonetheless had to come up with something, lest the unwashed masses become exposed to an unapproved message not effectively marginalized by their betters.

Maybe this is why "Authorized Journalists" need editors.  Perhaps this is what it looks like when one of them actually tries to go--uh--off the reservation, and tries to go beyond the playbook.

Somehow, that would be encouraging.  :-)

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