Social Media Shaming Versus Guns

Yesterday two wealthy middle-aged lawyers in Saint Louis were so terrified of a group of Black Lives Matter protesters who marched into their gated community that they stood on their front lawn in front of their gaudy mansion brandishing their guns.

I suppose the protesters were guilty of trespassing, but rarely has one image so perfectly summed up how Americans look to the rest of the world.

Donald Trump and the right-wing media have already started putting this couple up on a pedestal, calling them heroes.

In the short run,  I suspect that both of them are going to learn that the soft power of social media shaming is more powerful than an AR-15. Who exactly wants to hire a lawyer so paranoid and hateful that he, or she, would murder people for trespassing? A confident ruling class has no need for threats. It rules by propaganda, by its ability to convince the rest of us that it’s deserving of its power and privilege. These two look ridiculous. I suspect that even among their fellow bourgeois elites they’re going to be very lonely for the next few years.

In the long run, however, this is a sign of the ugliness to come.The (mainly black and brown) working-class is starting to feel more confident about violating the gates and the boundaries society has set up to keep them down. A lot of rich, hateful white assholes are just dying to shoot somebody. It’s also why I’m a rare person on the far-left who’s in favor of gun control.  Absolutely nothing good can come of any of this.

20 comments

  1. John Thurloe · · Reply

    The protesters were on their way to the neighbouring house of the uber-rich Biden supporting Democratic mayor to protest her bad conduct over BLM protests. The two lawyers claim to be BLM supporters and are indeed well known for representing many poor and black people in personal injury cases including those involving police.They’re classic liberals frightened by the hypocrisy of their own corrupt positions.

    The private property – trespassing angle of rich gated ‘communities’ doesn’t rate at all. Hoisted on their own petard.

    1. Classic ambulance chasers. To be fair, I don’t think Biden even in his advanced state of cognitive decline would be stupid enough to Tweet his support for these clowns. That disturbing incident was one nervous twitch away from a mass shooting. As I keep arguing, I think the beginning of Trump’s campaign for President was the Sandy Hook Massacre and the accompanying conspiracy theories. Do you remember when we used to think mass shootings weren’t political?

      1. John Thurloe · · Reply

        Maybe it was a staged event. After all Missouri has the the easiest gun control laws. And Americans are everywhere armed to the teeth. How long before some or many clay eating redneck white trash degenerates work it up to go kill those protesters. It’s like a Greg Isles novel waiting to happen.

        On the other hand take a read of Matt Taibbi’s piece on White Fragility. The more the temperature goes up, the closer to the election, the more volatile and unstable things get. To the point that all parties big and small are merely in reaction mode.

        Meanwhile, China’s manufacturing index is back on track.

        1. Taibbi’s piece on the book White Fragility was good.

          I also think people are forgetting that Malcolm X’s black nationalism was developed within the context of an anti-imperialist struggle in the “global south.” He absolutely would have supported Evo Morales and Nicholas Maduro and the people of Venezuela against the American government. The Black Panthers were Maoists who visited China. No way they’d be supporting the right wing protests in Hong Kong.

          This time we seem to have a corporate friendly black nationalism that’s very similar to the recent trend in neoconservative “anarchists” for regime change in Syria.

          But is it the dominant ideological trend among the protesters? Only time will tell.

  2. The two lawyers claim to be BLM supporters and are indeed well known for representing many poor and black people in personal injury cases including those involving police.They’re classic liberals frightened by the hypocrisy of their own corrupt positions.

    Turns out this is fake news. Buzzfeed Benny is never a good source. He’s basically a plagiarist who saved his career by becoming a right wing hack willing to plant dubious stories without checking them. I guarantee you he knew this story was fake when he planted it but that’s his job.

    1. John Thurloe · · Reply

      I don’t know anything about Buzzffeed. I sourced this from St. Louis newspapers and television reports directly. There are many variations on this and I don’t think that locally the general line is in dispute.

      1. Buzzfeed Benny planted the story in the media and wire services picked it up. Happens all the time, now that most local newspapers have been hollowed out and don’t have any real reporting capabilities.

        Although upon Googling I do notice that gun couple has hired a lawyer and he is slinging some bullshit line about how they’ve taken civil rights cases. Looking at that house though my guess is that they’re just your standard apolitical ambulance chasers. It’s also Missouri, a very racist border state where BLM actually began. St. Louis has a nasty history of segregation and these two were subconsciously enforcing it.

  3. Stan,
    I don’t like guns, either, but we live in a barbaric society that believes violence is the answer to disagreements. Since we have an growing situation of Government-Over-the-People (for the peoples’ own good, of course), I can understand why certain people might want to take the law into their own hands. After all, the presumed rationale for the Second Amendment was to enable people to protect themselves from the government.

    1. Does that pair of rich assholes in that photo look like they’re “protecting themselves from the government?”

      1. They are obviously paranoid, or they wouldn’t be living in a gated community, which is supposed to protect them. The police are also supposed to protect them, and the federal government, too.

        Unfortunately, when I look at that photo, I see more than a couple of “rich assholes.” I see a failed society.

        1. There’s the rub. They’re not protesting the “government.” They’re expressing their fear that the government might not be able to protect them from the poor, from immigrants and black people as much as they thought it would. If they wanted to protest the government they would have put the guns down and joined the Black Lives Matter march.

          note: Admittedly BLM hasn’t been particularly good at choosing targets lately. If you want to protest the police, protest at a police station. If you want to argue for tearing down statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson (which I think is a reasonable argument) then for God’s sake don’t tear down statues of Ulysses Grant, the man who literally defeated the slave power and suppressed the KKK.

          1. I don’t pretend to know why that couple took to their guns. I’m only saying that they were afraid, and fear breeds violence, among other things.

            The symbolic implication, to me, is that the entire US (and the world) is becoming increasingly paranoid, with the fear feeding on itself and erupting in protests, violence, and governments (attempting to seize) ever more control.

    2. John Thurloe · · Reply

      The Second Amendment means and says nothing at all of the sort you claim. The entire purpose of it was to make an obligation that American citizens would stand to arms as the military force to defend the country from foreign powers, to defend sovereignty. A levee en masse as opposed to a standing army which was considered to be a permanent threat to the Republic. Drawing on the lessons, then well known, of the English Civil War.

      All this ‘right to bear arms’ crap that is put about has no basis. It is that every able bodied citizen has duty to answer the call for the defence of nation with arms in hand.

      1. The issue here is really that every big city has a standing army meant to enforce class privilege and white supremacy masquerading as a “police department.” I remember when the NYPD attacked Occupy Wall Street. Their code word was “Normandy.” They see themselves as soldiers and the people as the enemy. Note how those riot cops in Buffalo busted a 75 year old man’s skull and just kept marching along. They’re soldiers, not police officers.

      2. And the NRA see their job as helping the cops repress black people and ICE round up “illegals” more than they see themselves as limiting government. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to compare the NRA to brownshirts and the cops and ICE as the Gestapo. I wonder if there’s a Night of the Long Knives coming in the near future, especially if the Democrats take over. What I’m seeing over the past 2 months is that Trump and his low class fascist base is starting to embarrass the corporate elite (ironically the same corporate elite Trump’s base supports so uncritically).

      3. Thanks for your response. You will not see me bearing arms to support the barbaric US government. The “right” to bear arms is different from the “obligation” to bear arms.

  4. John Thurloe · · Reply

    Keeping in mind that the worst police forces answer to Democratic mayors and city councils. I don’t see one lawless fascist gang. I see two.

    1. Technically they do but in reality they answer directly to the ruling class in their cities. De Blasio is pretty powerless when comes to the NYPD. That’s part of the problem. People in these cities are voting for Democrats but the cops are a force in and of themselves.

      1. John Thurloe · · Reply

        You are certainly correct that police are a force above the law. However, Democratic legislators took no exception to this, failed to speak out or exercise their control of the power of finance. They are and have been enablers of the system. How would it be that Republicans could have done any worse?

        1. Very similar to foreign policy. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans will question the Pentagon. One Police Plaza in NYC is the American ruling class’s Manhattan Pentagon.

          Right now you have cross pollination between 3 grouups

          1.) Militarized big city police departments
          2.) The Military itself and its pipeline of soldiers coming back from imperialist war
          3.) The NRA and various white supremacist groups that largely draw their membership from the police and the miltary

          There’s only so much any Democratic politician is going to do. The NYPD sent De Blasio a none too subtle message doxing his daughter. It would be trivial for them to hire some junkie or psycho to arrange a little “accident” or a fake mugging or drug deal gone bad.

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