And if Michael Brown was not angelic, I was practically demonic. I had my first drink when I was 11. I once brawled in the cafeteria after getting hit in the head with a steel trash can. In my junior year I failed five out of seven classes. By the time I graduated from high school, I had been arrested for assaulting a teacher and been kicked out of school (twice.) And yet no one who knew me thought I had the least bit of thug in me. That is because I also read a lot of books, loved my Commodore 64, and ghostwrote love notes for my friends. In other words, I was a human being. A large number of American teenagers live exactly like Michael Brown. Very few of them are shot in the head and left to bake on the pavement.
The “angelic” standard was not one created by the reporter. It was created by a society that cannot face itself, and thus must employ a dubious “morality” to hide its sins. It is reinforced by people who have embraced the notion of “twice as good” while avoiding the circumstances which gave that notion birth. Consider how easily living in a community “with rough patches” becomes part of a list of ostensible sins. Consider how easily “black-on-black crime” becomes not a marker of a shameful legacy of segregation but a moral failing.
"…I’m working on my faults and cracks
Filling in the blanks and gaps
And when I write them out they don’t make sense
I need you to pencil in the rest
I’m working on drawing a straight line
And I’ll draw until I get one right
It’s bold and dark, girl, can’t you see
I’ve done drawn a line between you and me
I’m working on erasing you
Just don’t have the proper tools
I’ll get hammered, forget that you exist
There’s no way I’m forgetting this
I’m working hard on walking out
Shoes keep sticking to the ground
My clothes won’t let me close the door
'Cause the trousers seem to love your floor…”
This used to be my break up song, fortunately I still love it.
King Baby says No
I’ll be honest here, I don’t know if the proper word is Lay or Lie