Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cluck or roar?

So now that Eugene Kane is back, he has written on Jasmine Owen's death. He refrained from making excuses for the thugs or trotting out any of the tired old nostrums. In fact, he expressed his horror through a pretty good money line: "Just think about what a kid in a casket looks like before taking the next shot."

James Widgerson prefers chicken clucks and McMahon must not have seen it because he thinks Kane is still clucking. I disagree with both of them. This time, Kane focuses on the problem: people who shoot at other people.

But here's a question for you all: How is what Kane did here any different that what local liberals get all over local conservatives for doing when it comes to urban issues. He called people thugs. He expressed outrage. He offered no solutions.

Is it because he tries not to be so blunt about it? Is the problem inattention to the requisite sensitivities? Doesn't calling for that seem a tad bloodless in the wake of the murder of a child? In any event, Kane spoke plainly here.

Is the difference that you figure that someday he'll write a column calling for an end to W-2 or for the start of some expensive anything? Is it that you think he'll call for the end of guns ? Is it because you are sure that he won't actually support more aggressive law enforcement that might have a "disproportionate" impact on a minority group as if that concern ought to trump the need for safe streets?

If it's the latter, we're talking about strategy and not objectives. If it's not hateful for Kane to call a thug by his name, its not hateful for Sykes either.


James Wigderson said...

"This time, Kane focuses on the problem: people who shoot at other people."

If that's movement on an issue, I apologize. I should've been much harsher on Kane in the past than I have been.

Anonymous said...

He called people thugs.

He did? Where? You must have him confused with Jessica McBride describing Milwaukee's 6th Aldermanic District.

Rick Esenberg said...

I wasn't quoting him. If I was, I guess he used the words gangsters and knuckleheads. Are these sensitive in a way that thugs is not?

Anonymous said...

The term he used, I'm told, is seen in the black press, apparently indicating that the "thug" term does not carry the same weight or may be alienating. And alienation stops hope of understanding and hoped-for actions.

So he may be saying the same thing -- emphasis, may; he is the one to know that -- but because he is not writing to suburbanites in this column. An intriguing difference from many of his columns, when he is put in the position of having to explain actions to whites that he would not have taken himself.

I don't envy him that duty.