The AP is Making Up New Definitions for Old Words
One of the fundamental differences between the left and right side of the political spectrum is the difference in definitions of equality.
Those more right leaning believe in equality of opportunity. That all people should be afforded the same opportunities, and that based on those opportunities they should be allowed to rise as far as their own talents and work ethic allow them. Our results have been mixed.
Those more left leaning believe in equality of outcome. That all people should have equal everything no matter their talents or work. Their results have been primarily abject failures and macabre horror shows.
Yours truly graduated college in 2011, which was a bad time to graduate in general, but especially if one hadn't learned to code. Rest assured, I had not.
I left life as an undergraduate with astronomical student debt, no stable work, and no inside tracks to the cherry jobs, and no family money or connections to rely on. I had my parents love, a precious commodity to be sure, but not one with which bill payments can be made.
As I sat in a house in the middle of nowhere, eking out a living on a literal isolated compound, I got to go to sleep every night pondering my inequality of opportunity. I and my parents--who were not college attendees themselves--had been lied to about the entire higher education affair. Moreover, there seemed to be little opportunity to even compete for work, much less demonstrate any value I might have. Life seemed to have decided my fate was to be poor and miserable.
I could have cried unfair, and probably been justified. I could have started protests and marched. I could have lain in the street and thrown a temper tantrum, or burned buildings, or thrown molotov cocktails. Instead I moved across the country to a place I'd never seen, to do a job I'd never done, because it would get me on the right track. I lived in a hovel because it was what I could afford. I worked--at times--three jobs, and held on to money so tightly that even Scrooge would blush.
And out of the hole I emerged.
The point is that I didn't burn anything down, and I didn't stop at blaming others for my difficulties, however much would have rightly been someone else's.
In my new life, I teach (among other things) English. So I'm pretty familiar with denotation (the literal definition of a word) and connotation (essentially the emotional attachment or implication of a word).
So imagine my surprise when the AP let out this whopper:
I've had some pretty legit grievances in my day, but the number of buildings I've burned, diners I've accosted, police I've attacked, and/or riots I've partaken in could be counted on the fingers of a man with no hands.
A riot is an uncontrolled mass gathering characterized by violence and property destruction. They may be coordinated or spontaneous. This is a denotation.
Riots are perpetrated by criminals, not freedom fighters, and are the hallmark of people who have opted out of the social contract while daring you to do something about it. Riots are unpleasant, violent, disgusting acts which punish only the people in the neighborhoods where the riots take place. This is the connotation.
The AP is trying its best to be Squealer, rewriting the rules of Animalism on the barn of our nation, and they're doing a remarkably poor job of it.
Try as they might to change the denotation of the word--and who knows, they may well succeed--they cannot change the connotation of the word, because people do not wish to see their neighborhoods destroyed. If they do, they are not citizens, and should not be treated as such, regardless of melanin levels.
The AP is not our friend. It is, like all journalists, an enemy of the people, because journalists have been given too much power. We need to see through them as we push Trump to a second term. And thankfully, our citizenry seems capable of doing so, whether by intellect or by base self-preservation.
These people are not protesting some great social injustice. They are protesting because they are mad they cannot coast through life. Such is the way of the world. Those in these communities who have worked hard to succeed are being punished not for a crime of hatred like lynching or Jim Crow legislating, but for succeeding. The bottom line is that while there are certainly challenges facing marginalized communities, many of them are populated with people who choose failure, and choose not to rise above their circumstances, but to sink down to them. This is not a racial observation either, as it is as true of generational poverty among lily white Ozark trailer parks as it is among Chicago's worst ghettos.
We must see through this, and we must call out this hypocrisy. But don't take my word for it. Take the word of these unbiased commenters:
I don't want to say that the AP is bad at gaslighting, but...you know what actually I do. Byrns here did the equivalent of dunking on David the Gnome, and we're all grateful he did it.
Duckman laces in an absolute dagger here, and in fact may have produced my favorite Goon Sourced tweet of all time. These domestic terrorists are not marching to the homes of their congressman, mayor, or alderman. They are not marching to the homes of the business oligarchs of our nation, nor to the homes of those in charge of their failing schools. They are marching to the electronics section, and to the upscale clothing store. The revolution will be televised, and will apparently also be fashionable.
One of the worst things about suburban moms is that they seem only capable of doing this if it's their home under attack. We would all like to keep that stigma in place. That the AP actively wants to end a stigma against looting and pillaging tells you who they are, what they want, and whether or not they might come over to our side.
And it's always toys, isn't it, Dutch? For a group of people who apparently live in utter squalor, they don't seem to be raiding a lot of Lowe's stores. It's always something that comes with a user manual and installation guide, instead of drywall, paint, or outlet covers. Perhaps, there is something to be said for the pitfalls of newly minted lottery winners.
Getting more serious as we draw to a close: The AP is making the classic mistake of an honors student who is just going to try too hard to prove their dumb point. They are trying to force nuance into something that needs none and can take even less. There is no nuance to the destruction of homes and businesses. There is no nuance to the burning of a court building, the attacking of police officers, or assaults on the citizenry. The AP wants to frame this as nuanced because they know they're not in danger from being attacked by the revolutionaries. One never engages in friendly fire, after all.
Well, if we play their rules, then the answer is yes. All actions are protests now. What fun this could be. I will protest having to pay my electric bill by burning down the El Pollo Loco, a chain restaurant at which I have never eaten. I will then protest my own racism by throwing a molotov cocktail at a police officer. Then I will go to Whole Foods because we're one planet and we need to eat in a non-violent way.
Didn't get a raise? Peacefully protest by executing your boss' family.
Had to pay a traffic fine? Peacefully protest by bombing a local pizza parlor.
Didn't get the job? Peacefully protest by looting a family owned jewelry store. I'm sure it's their fault somehow. Ask Chicago's mayor, whatever its name is.
Thanks for reading.