The 5 Worst Conservative Reactions to the McKinney Pool Incident
The recent incident in McKinney, Texas – during which, among other things, white police officer Eric Casebolt pinned a black teenager in a bikini to the ground by sitting on her – has understandably resulted in national outrage. It seems clear from the details that have continued to emerge that these teenagers, most of them people of color, were not a real threat to anyone but got treated like a bunch of violent criminals.
Many insightful commentators have reacted to the situation with trenchant commentary, in-depth historical analysis and pointed humor. But pundits on the right, perhaps out of a knee-jerk worship of police authority – especially when it’s aimed at black citizens – have gone right into bunker mode, pointing a finger at everything under the sun except our nation’s systemic police problems. Here are some of their most pernicious reactions.
1. Blame it on the liberal media.
According to Bill O’Reilly, there are “certain liberal cable news programs hammering American police agencies over and over and over again,” resulting in a “growing disrespect for police officers.” He seems to think the role of journalists is to cover up for the police when they act out of line, rather than to report facts and speak truth to power. In O’Reilly World, journalists’ negligent willingness to do their jobs has taught teenagers (who are totally the target audience of cable news shows…) to do outrageous things like ask the police if they can collect their things before going home.
O’Reilly did admit that it’s not right to throw a girl on the ground and sit on her. But his comments imply that her efforts to collect her belongings were rooted in some kind of cable news-inspired police hatred, when the likelier explanation is that she just didn’t want to lose her glasses.
If O’Reilly wants people to respect the authority of police officers, perhaps he should stop badgering journalists for doing their job, and start pushing police to be worthy of respect.
2. Oh no! Black protesters!
Twitchy, a popular right-wing site started by Michelle Malkin, went straight for the racist id of the conservative mind by digging up a bunch of photos of protesters gathered in McKinney. The protesters in the photos aren’t doing anything even remotely risible – they’re mostly sitting, walking and listening to speeches – so Twitchy staffers made sure to emphasize that the Nation of Islam and Black Panthers were there. For those on the right, panicking like racists circa 1965 never goes out of style.
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