Friday, October 31, 2008
Look like a race riot to you?
DEAR MS. MALKIN:
I was going to let this go because today should be for pure celebration, but I can't let it go. I'm too angry. I believe you owe the City of Philadelphia a formal apology for your gratuitous and inflammatory cheap shot on October, 30, 2008.
How some Philadelphians celebrate victory: Riot!
Your team wins. How do you show your pleasure?
Take to the streets, rampage, overturn cars, and rob banks.
Here’s a vid of a car torching after the Phillies’ win:
You’ll recall that a Philadelphia Daily News columnist threatened riots if Obama loses on Tuesday.
Who knows what they’ll do if he wins. [boldface mine]
We've defended you here at InstaPunk on multiple occasions, believing that the kind and amount of abuse you receive via email and lefty bloggers is unwarranted. But for this post you warrant extreme criticism. There is no way I can interpret what you wrote as anything but a thinly veiled racial slur. An unwarranted one.
Your reference to a political op-ed in the Philadelphia Daily News was sneaky. You know very well, because your Google link corrects your disingenuous emendation immediately, that the column was about the possibility of race riots and race war. Then you proceed to the question about what they will do if Obama wins. Which makes it clear who you were talking about in your headline when you used the word "some."
Your commenters -- whom, I might add, are all subject to your personal approval before they can be permitted the honor of reacting to your posts in print -- understood exactly what you were saying. This little elite of the hand-picked offered up dozens of sniggering jokes about loading their shotguns in preparation for defending themselves against them on Election Night, in addition to all their ignorant and prejudiced characterizations of Philadelphia.
Here's what the Philadelphia police had to say about the malefactors:
Police maintained calm during revelrySuch a scene has absolutely nothing to do with race riots. It has to do with young idiots of all colors and backgrounds drinking too much in a public setting and spurred on by their peers -- i.e., other young idiots -- trashing a city street as if it were a frathouse common room. And the goings-on did not amount to "riots" just because the police wore riot gear. About two officers were treated for minor injuries. I believe most of the cities which have experienced actual riots would be delighted if they had concluded with a few bruises and a few dozen acts of vandalism instead of a few city blocks burned to the ground. But maybe that's just me.
...Thousands of college students converged on Center City after the National League Championship Series victory on Oct. 15, and police expected a repeat performance in Center City. So they barricaded nearly a mile of South Broad Street and allowed pedestrians to take over...
The victory celebration was largely peaceful for the first two hours. Police mostly stood by as thousands of fans caroused.
"The majority of people celebrated responsibly, but around 12 to 12:30, it took a downturn," Ramsey said yesterday.
The celebration began to go out of control, particularly in Center City, where drunken revelers began to destroy public property and parked vehicles.
Monitoring the crowds from a bank of video screens at the Spring Garden Street command post, police commanders quickly dispatched several buses of officers in riot gear. Supported by state police mounted and aerial units, the reinforcements moved into Broad Street, breaking up the crowd and restoring order.
"When you get chaos like that, you can't grab everybody," said Deputy Commissioner Richard J. Ross Jr., who directed operations from a command post on Spring Garden Street. "You grab the worst of the worst."
Police said 76 people, a majority of them college students, were arrested, mostly for misdemeanors such as disorderly conduct or vandalism. [boldface mine]
You see, I watched some of the early televised celebrations on Broad Street. The first hooligan activity I saw was a crowd of white kids who stormed a local TV news van, climbed on top, probably breaking the satellite dish, and subsequently began rocking it in an obvious attempt to overturn it. Let me repeat the salient fact. They were white kids. I'm sure none of your gun-toting commenters from Oklahoma, Arizona, or Texas have ever seen drunken white college students make asses of themselves and destroy private property after a Big Twelve football game. Right. And do they call those incidents white race riots? Probably not. Of course, their ability to make such a comparison was prevented by your subtle manipulation, which no doubt led them to imagine an emptying of the eternally resentful inner city tenements seeking any opportunity to trash whitey.
Way to go, Michelle Malkin. You are quadruply guilty in this instance. First, you dream up a phony racial issue where there is none. Second, you tolerate without chastisement a population of goon commenters who make you look as bad as your critics insist you are. Third, it didn't even occur to you to congratulate Philadelphia on a victory that brought joy to 99.9 percent of a regional community consisting of some five to seven million people before you scorched them in service to a half-baked political analogy. And fourth, you know better, generally and specifically.
You were born in Philadelphia and grew up in South Jersey, which means you have no excuse for believing all the despicable libel of Philadelphia sports fans that has been disseminated throughout the nation for so many years. You of all people should be aware that Philadelphia's -- and by extension the entire Delaware Valley's -- relationship to its sports teams is a positive and highly instructive example of the bedrock American values you claim to advocate, defend, and treasure in your personal life.
As I write this, more than two million people are thronging the streets of Philadelphia to celebrate a unifying event that transcends all political, racial, ethnic, and economic divisions in a community that is capable of such a display despite our supposedly hopelessly fractured country. Today, no one in this subset of three blue states is wearing or feeling anything but Phillies red. It's a perfect demonstration of the American ideal. As are the fans who have been so reviled by the mass media. Do they boo bad performance and failure? Yes. Absolutely. Like every citizen and dissident who loves his country and has the guts to insist that it be better. Does their loyalty ever falter, their love ever fade? No. The boos are as much a proof of their love and loyalty as the cheers, the overwhelmingly exuberant joy when success is achieved. Even if the intervals between success are more than a quarter of a century.
The parade that has shut down everything in the City of Philadelphia today -- including network TV programming, and syndicated radio broadcasting, and political campaigning, and business, and government -- is the real-world solution to the supposed oxymoron of America's individualistic union. No single Phillies fan -- or Eagles, Sixers, or Flyers fan -- ever abdicates his individual right to criticize the team he loves so much, but he is also instantly prepared to join the unity created by outstanding accomplishment. What better demonstration could you hope for of the American entrepreneurial spirit? The values continuously reinforced by the entire community require hard work, character, individual effort, teamwork, investment in the future, fearless self-criticism, perseverance through hardship, accountability for results good and bad, devotion to the ideal of being the best there is, and ready acknowledgment, by acclamation, of those who have proven themselves to be the best.
That's the exercise Philadelphia is acting out right now for an entire nation -- in the teeth of one of the most bitterly divisive political environments in our nation's history. Of course we can come together, they are showing us. On Broad Street. In Philadelphia. In the City of -- white, black, gay, straight, male, female, rich, poor, Catholic, protestant, muslim, Jew, Democrat, Republican, Italian, Polish, Irish, Russian, German, Hispanic, and Anglo-Saxon -- Brotherly Love.
How you cheapened that epithet. You should be ashamed of yourself. If you are true to the real land of your birth, you will apologize publicly before another 24 hours goes by.
P.S. Anybody who reads this and shares my ire can learn how to email Ms. Malkin at her site. I doubt she'll respond to this post without some pressure in the form of numbers, which is why I'm expecting no response. But I think she deserves some pressure. Don't you?