Do you ever ponder the imperfectability of human nature?
Right at this second, you and I have at our fingertips the greatest information technology of all time... instant access to a near-infinite volume of words and images.
Yet what does this lead to? A proliferation of enlightenment and wisdom?
No. It leads to big bullshit wastes of time and energy. People jumping to conclusions that fit their own ideologies. And layers on layers of staticky noise, crowding out the calm voice of reason.
Take the percolating drama surrounding the “Palmdale Four.”
Pleajhai Mervin is a high-school student in Palmdale, Calif. On September 18, she dropped a piece of cake in the school cafeteria, and ended up in a physical confrontation with a big burly security officer over the matter of cleaning it up. Mervin says the security officer broke her wrist.
Pleajhai Mervin is black. The big burly security officer is white.
(Al Sharpton, please pick up the white courtesy phone. Al Sharpton, white courtesy phone...)
Part of the confrontation was recorded on a cell-phone video camera. Eventually, Mervin and her mother and two other students were arrested and charged with battery.
Before you could say “clusterfuck,” this incident ricocheted from L.A.’s mainstream media to fringe political websites to the black blogosphere.
“School Guards Break Child’s Arm And Arrest Her For Dropping Cake,” read a September 28 headline on Infowars.net. The subhed: “Pandemic of police and security violence continues unabated.”
(Infowars.net is one of several websites run by Alex Jones, a libertarian and conspiracy theorist.)
“Security guard breaks wrist of student for dropping cake,” read an October 5 headline on the website of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. The subhed: “Yet another case of racist excessive force.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton indeed showed up in Southern California a week ago in support of Pleajhai Mervin.
“You have a young lady with a broke arm here, with a video of the man assaulting her, and she's charged with battery,” Sharpton told the media. “That may be even more egregious than Jena.”
On Monday, blogger Michael Fisher posted images of the Palmdale confrontation with these words: “Failure to pick up pound cake crumbs => assault => broken wrist...”
Well, there’s only one problem.
The doctor who treated Pleajhai Mervin told L.A.’s Channel 7 Eyewitness News yesterday that the girl’s wrist had NOT been broken, and that she wasn’t injured at all. (Read the story here.)
Another big bullshit waste of time and energy, I guess. And it ain’t over yet. These things create their own weather.
I’ll probably have more to say about this mess in the future. Meanwhile, I have a related audio bite to share.
Click here to hear Mervin’s mother, LaTrisha Majors, on Alex Jones’s radio show on October 1.
If you don’t know about Alex Jones and where he’s coming from... oh boy, get ready for something wild. Real wild.