Dan Riehl’s so cute when he’s being racist:
Put directly and too harshly, the tragic reality is that Trayvon Martin got, not only what he deserved, but what he sought, with or without realizing it, on the night of his encounter with George Zimmerman. Less bluntly, thug-life and even wannabe thug-life is not a good life, rarely a long life and never a life that any young man — or woman — of any color or race should want to pursue.
Now, I know he’s saying that no person of any “color or race” should want to be a thug, but we all know that Dan Riehl has a long history of cowering in corners:
Dan Riehl recently encountered some black people who “were technically thugs.” What did these “technically thug[gish]” black people do? “There was no confrontation,” Riehl informs his readers, but “there were maybe ten or so” of them in the bus, which is about nine or so more than is required to trigger a flight-or-flight response in folks like Riehl. Somehow, he managed to keep it together long enough to hear what these “pretty young, not that big” black “kids” were saying.
Re-reading that post, I’m struck by the similarities: a white man’s confronted by “pretty young, not that big” kids who he considers “technically thugs,” but luckily for all involved, “it [by which he means, not insignificantly, the black kids] went on but not really to a level that was so loud, or so confrontational that it needed to be addressed.” The implicit question is, of course, “Addressed by whom?” In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death, for Dan Riehl the answer is “By the likes of George Zimmerman.”
Because Zimmerman’s going to become a folk hero in the style of Bernard Goetz, someone white people call out to
in their moment of desperation when a black kid approaches them on a sidewalk, armed with concrete. Or maybe he’ll become an Arthurian figure who will rise again in their hour of greatest need when the kids behind the counter at McDonald’s have tattoos and wear their caps crooked. Or maybe the next time Dan Riehl finds his ass on a bus with some black kids it won’t be so clenched because, like his hero, he’ll be carrying concealed heat.
Because maybe next time those kids won’t “get away” with threatening Riehl with their youth and blackness, but will get “not only what [they] deserved, but what [they] sought, with or without realizing it, on the night of [their] encounter with [Dan Riehl].”
*Actual quotation from the article: “That’s life in the big city, or just another day in the hood if you prefer, bro. Deal with it.”
UPDATE: According to Robert Stacy McCain, “Nobody is saying Trayvon Martin ‘deserved it,’ and it is astonishing that the Tampa Bay Times would employ a reporter who would write such a dishonest sentence, or editors who would let that lie appear in print.”