A comment I got off-line from a neighbor got me thinking a little more about (I puke a little in my mouth to say it) last week’s bizarre little Nick Coleman blog post.
I focused on his fabrication of facts in re the cancellation of an open carry event scheduled in conjunction with the “Open Streets” event in Minneapolis this past weekend. Coleman – the current “Executive Editor” of lefty videoblog “The Uptake” – essentially created a story from pure vapor; in the original latin, I believe the term was “de anus“.
But there was another aspect to the story that should draw even more brickbats – including from “Uptake” readers and putative “progressives” that actually think about what their “movement” says and how they say it.
Here’s Coleman from his piece last week – starting with his ofay classist jape:
Imagine how reassured you would feel when hundreds of bearded guys from Andover and Elko show up in North Minneapolis or the Summit-University area of St Paul (“Open Streets” events will take place in both of those communities later this summer) with Bushmasters and Brownings slung over their shoulders or Glocks and Rugers hanging from their paunches.
That Minneapolis and Saint Paul are full of vapid Prius-driving government-employed Saint Olaf grads with infinite senses of social entitlement and who’ve never had to confront the notion that there are people out there who disagree with and live life differently than you, in ways other than skin color and sexual orientation isn’t up for debate.
But here’s the interesting bit:
Here’s a neat mental exercise: Try to imagine hundreds of inner-city residents carrying weapons at the Andover Family Fun Fest, July 13. Just because they can.
Now, as I noted last week, to Coleman – as dork-fingered and inarticulate a Studs Terkel-wannabe as has ever occupied space in a newsroom – “inner city” means “black, Latino and Asian”. And maybe not Asian.
And so I’d love to know what Coleman had in mind when he imagined “hundreds of inner city residents” with guns out in the suburbs.
Is he envisioning an apples-to-apples comparison – hundreds of black, latino and asian citizens over the age of 21 with carry permits and clean criminal records and passed training classes on their resumes? People among the 140,000 Minnesotans with valid carry permits (the application doesn’t collect ethnic data) who are several orders of magnitude less likely to commit any crime than the general public?
People like the ones I ran into at Gander Mountain at their Carry event over the winter? Responsible, adult citizens exercising their legal right to own and carry firearms (once deemed suitably responsible under this state’s legal code) who happened to be black, Latino or Asian? People that I – who have lived in the Midway for 25 years, but am apparently too Anglo-Scandinavian to qualify as “inner city” – would have no qualms mingling with, armed or not, because they’re just like me – a rigorously law-abiding citizen?
Or is Coleman – grandée and resident-for-life of leafy, lily-whiter-than-Lakeville neighborhoods like Tangletown and Crocus Hill – picturing do-rag-clad teenage thug wannabees, Los Reyes with face tattoos and Hmong tough guys in “rice rocket” Honda Civics – the cliche du jour “inner city” caricature among our media’s pallid chanting classes?
If it’s the former, then I have to ask Coleman; do you think a carry permittee who happens to be black or latino is a better, more reliable citizen than your “paunchy, bearded” honky walking cliches? Do you have any statistics to bear that out? (Because the real stats show they’re exactly identical).
If it’s the latter, I have to ask The Uptake; do you accept this form of racism from your staff? Especially when you layer it atop the giggly homophobia that’s been Coleman’s stock in trade for his entire career?
Because if Bradlee Dean or Jason Lewis or Michelle Fishbach had made a jape about “inner city” residents, or about how living on a submarine can turn people gay because “You have the hot cot thing going on there”, you’d be baying at the moon.
I know, I know. If moral consistency were a “progressive” value, “MoveOn” and Sandra Fluke would never exist as media figures, and the “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” would be utterly silent. Asking is a purely academic exercise.