Pokey V Zano: Our Culture War for Dummies

Cokie McGrath

I did very little actual moderating for this one, none actually, but I agreed to review a challenging email exchange between Pokey McDooris and Mick Zano. I cleaned it up a bit and took out all the more colorful metaphors, terroristic threats, as well as any and all references to midget porn. You owe me, Zano, big time.

Before we start you also owe me for last weekend’s Brewery ghost shoot. I am ready to kill all of you bozos! Grrrrrr. I am Cokie, hear me roar! ¯Let it Go! ¯ Let it GO! ¯ …now back to our regularly scheduled program. This debate focuses on those recent cases involving encounters between white officers and unarmed black men. I would like to add, it was nice to see Zano discuss a topic that he generally avoids. He has Avoidant Personality Disorder—among other things from the DSM-V.

Pokey: My problems with the recent police brutality news stories have to do with people highlighting scenarios wherein a white man kills a black man. Look, I know racism exists, and I’m sure racial motivations account for some black men’s death at the hands of white police officers. The problem is that President Obama consistently aligns himself with black racists who have time-and-time again pushed forth a narrative that corrupts the truth of what actually occurred. This had real consequences in Ferguson.

Zano: It’s true, twenty seven windows were broken and, had Obama delivered the Ferguson Address, several windows could have been saved that night (innuendo/in your window joke removed by the editor).

Pokey: Obama never acted as a leader during the Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown incidents. He said, “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon,” invoking race into a case that obviously had nothing to do with race. He said, “I understand your frustration” to people who were justifying their mob aggression by showing their “hands up, don’t’ shoot” theme, even after it had been clearly determined that Michael Brown never put his hands up in surrender and never said “don’t shoot.” President Obama also sent his emissary, Reverend Al Sharpton, who has made his living off exploiting ‘black murders by whitish men.’ Where exactly did Reverend Al attend seminary, Our Lady of the Black Panther?

Zano: I understand your frustration. Hah! Sorry. This is a serious subject, but as it turns out I’m a comedian. This is a media issue, it’s just like how Fox News is catching and covering all black on white violence that MSNBC “missed.” Funny how when MSNBC is misbehaving, it’s already Fox’s Modus O’Reiandi. I was not there for Martin or Brown incidents, but the Cleveland video raises an eyebrow and after the Garner video my eyebrows flew off my face and landed in my beer. I was shocked. I wanted to drink that beer.

Pokey: As for the Garner video, obviously the police officer used too much force. On the surface it seems like a case best taken to court, but I didn’t see everything involved. Maybe New York ought to rethink its prosecution of people who sell untaxed cigarettes. New York overtaxes the shit out of cigarettes and then, when a guy finds a better deal for the addicts, the SWAT team arrives. When a man resists arrest, it becomes a life and death situation for the police—I agree, I wish this case would have gone to court—although that didn’t help Trayvon, did it?

Zano: Surprise, surprise you’re using the Rand Paul, nanny state defense (Talking Point Alert). Blame liberal laws for a botched arrest. Taxing harmful products is another debate. The choice of technique used during the arrest is the problem. It’s hard to even see how he resisted arrest from the video. He threw up his hands, he was tackled, and he died. The video is damning. I don’t need to know any more about this particular case. We were all there—just some of us wore filters over their eyes and the frontal lobe regions of their brains.

Pokey: My point remains, this promotes a ‘racist policeman’ narrative. Garner case aside, the reason I give you a hard time about Benghazi, Fort Hood, Trayvon and this “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative in Ferguson, is that each involves politically motivated false narratives pushed by the media and the White House. This is the worst kind of lie. In order to ease the tensions in Ferguson, President Obama could have been a leader and said, “The evidence shows that the police officer in Ferguson acted justly in his handling of this tragedy.” Or in the case of Trayvon Martin, “The evidence shows that there were no racial motives involved with this tragedy.” Those words would have gone a long way to defuse both situations. 

Zano: Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Was all those shots necessary? I don’t know. I don’t think Obama was at the scene either, and he is taking into consideration the cultural trauma when he speaks to black communities. He has a perspective on this that you and I simply don’t. But I guess he’s instantly the Mob organizer-in-Chief since he’s not driving a tank alongside Joe Arpio and routing out those Un-Muricans. I don’t see this grand conspiracy. Benghazi!!!!!!

Pokey: “Hands up, don’t shoot” is being used as a rallying cry for mobs of people to protest, riot, destroy businesses and threaten people. The objective evidence shows clearly that Michael Brown never raised his hands in the air in surrender. Of course, the “hands up, don’t shoot” theme is just fine because the “up” is relative to Michael Brown’s tallness, since his hands were “up” in relationship to a shorter person. And, while Michael Brown was sprinting toward the officer in rage, his defiant body language would best be interpreted to imply the phrase “don’t shoot,” even though the words “don’t shoot” did not come out of his lips. So when people gesture “hands up, don’t shoot”, they’re expressing an honest and accurate picture of what occurred to poor helpless Michael Brown on the day of his lynching.

Zano: Tongue and cheek, I get it, but you’re putting scenarios in my mouth. This is how many people viewed these events through their own ideological filters. I have maintained all along that I wasn’t there, but could predict a given interpretation based on political affiliation. That’s the problem, a problem you see only one side of. You can’t extrapolate that to my own views. I’ve agreed with you on this one, but I just added better jokes, which might have thrown you.

Pokey: The Grand Jury has presented their report, which appears to be thorough and objective. It shows strong evidence in support of the policeman’s perspective. I’m sure that President Obama has been made aware of the facts of this case.

Zano: Obama condemned the court’s decision in the Brown case, oh wait, he didn’t. Damn facts. Obama has said multiple times that if you break the law, you will be prosecuted. He’s called for calm. I guess that’s translated now by republicans as “Obama’s inciting violence.” This movement is being handled poorly, by the media, and I have been against such stuff since the Tawana Brawley days. Remember her? I’ve heard Obama’s speeches on this. He is nuanced and pluralistic at times, but he’s always careful. You extrapolate my views in the same way you extrapolate Obama’s misdeeds.

Did you hear about the torture report today? While Ferguson is a big deal from a cultural standpoint, this is a political firestorm.

Pokey: Oh, yeah perfect timing for the administration to distract us with the ‘torture report’ that tells us how over a decade ago U.S. agents simulated drowning and induced sleep deprivation. And just for the record, I see nothing wrong with releasing the detailed techniques of the torture, beheadings, rape, and forced indoctrination of Islamic extremist groups. Oh how libs love finding dirt on the U.S. military, the police, the Border Security Agents, the evil U.S. foreign policy, of course Israel’s violent occupation of Palestine, details of U.S.’s evil history of genocide, slavery, imperialism, but then lets ignores the actions of Islamic Jihadists, the drug cartel at the border, the anarchist and communist involvement in “Occupy Wall Street” and Ferguson protests, the strategies of Hamas, and the criminal attacks against police officers. I’ve heard a rumor that one time an aggressive black man did physically attack a white police officer.

Zano: The Torture Report is a distraction? Real stuff is such a distraction these days. It gets in the way of all the bullshit, doesn’t it? Liberals focus on cleaning up our own house first and rightly so. We torture and they torture…uh, but we shouldn’t. Plain and simple. Both sides slant, but only one side consistently lies. Oh, and let’s try comprehensive immigration reform and end the War on Drugs. Then you will solve this border problem. Granted, some things are ideologically driven on the left, but almost EVERYTHING is ideologically driven from the right. I think that’s my summary of today’s media. Is it possible MSNBC will sink further? Sadly, yes. The dip in MSNBC’s coverage has not gone unnoticed. See my last post, in fact, see our last debate. Oh, and our crazy liberal prez just wrote another blank check to Wall Street. So we do need to Occupy, and now.

Pokey: It’s not about sides and slants, it’s about people who are abusing power right now. Back to my point with the Benghazi wherein a “reprehensible video caused a spontaneous protest.” The people who pushed that purposely presented an unclear narrative. Similarly, the “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative was politically motivated and untrue. The people who called the Fort Hood attacks “workplace violence” knew as well…. and another thing, no members of the White House were sent to the funerals of victims of the Fort Hood. Members of the White House were sent to the funeral of Michael Brown.

Zano: Did Bush send members of the White House to the funeral of those he tortured to death? Sure propaganda has reached untenable levels and I agree liberals have their slant of events, but I remain focused on the biggest offenders. As it turns out in Benghazi, after catching the guy we know it was a little of both, the video and a planned attack. So the truth apparently has nothing do with a good false-false narrative. So the worst thing Obama did was start a false narrative that turned out to be true? They hang people for that, uh, back in the deep south.

Pokey: I was concerned with Obama’s Reverend Wright and Bill Ayer connections, and I was uneasy about him marketing himself as a spiritual savior and all of his clueless ‘true believers’ evangelizing his cause. Nevertheless, on inauguration day I felt proud to be an American. Two hundred years ago black people were enslaved in this nation with no hope of directing their future in any way; and now here we are with a black man elected President of the United States; and I did hope that he would truly lead us beyond race and political polarization so that people would truly be judged by the content of the character. But from the start, he exploited racial issues for his own political gain, oftentimes at the expense of truth and justice. President Obama and Eric Holder decided to give the New Black Panthers a pass after a video showed that they had deprived would-be white voters of their civil rights on Election Day. And then there is the ‘Al Sharpton’ business. Reverend Wright and Sharpton are blatant racists. “Oh, Barack Obama is different; he’s the post racial President.” But what’s the difference between Reverend Wright and Al Sharpton? More than anything else, President Obama will be judged by history for his failed opportunity to unite our nation.

Zano: Those two yahoos in Philadelphia again? Another perfect example of a singular/weird incident overshadowing a systemic attempt by republicans at voter suppression. Two verses two million votes, but who’s counting? Certainly not republicans. Math isn’t their core curriculum anymore. You’re always focusing on the lesser of two evils.

And, sure Obama didn’t vet his preacher, but McCain didn’t vet his VP candidate. I can avoid Reverend Wrong by avoiding church. Palin, meanwhile, could see the presidency from her house. And Obama ran as a uniter but the Minority Leader on the right, Bitch McConnell, made it his priority to obstruct from day one. Once atheism is more common, politicians won’t have to pretend to believe in God anymore. Problem solved.

Besides, this torture thing is happening right now. Check out this old Bush video here. Everything our former president said about enhanced interrogation techniques was a lie. This isn’t some nuanced slant or some grand conspiracy to bring down whitey. Our president tortured, then lied about it. I really think the stuff I identify ends up being epic and directly involves politicians and you are all too happy to entertain right-wing conspiracy theories.

Granted, there’s something to what you say about media coverage. Guilt by omission has become their M.O. and I also agree that sending al Sharpton to Ferguson was a mistake, but I don’t see this laundry list of missteps that you and your ilk are busy inventing. MSNBC’s coverage on all these subjects, at the end of the day, is still called journalism. The other side’s antics are simply not. Sorry, but torture trumps Obama’s fairly sensible handling of Ferguson.

Pokey: You’re changing the subject again, oh shock. Obama is not a stupid man. He chose his soldiers wisely, aka: “I can no more denounce Reverend Wright than I can denounce the black community.”

…well, until Reverend Wright said, “He ain’t no savior; he’s just another politician.” That day he became Reverend who? What happened in Fort Hood and Benghazi is what George Orwell described in 1984.

Zano: 1984 is an excellent album, except for Panama. I will not stand here idly and watch you bad mouth one of the greatest rock bands of all time!

Pokey: You don’t even like Van Halen.

Zano: I concede that point, but Orwellian? Geesh. You’re thinking of republicans. Libs are pointing out systemic problems while republicans are too busy creating them. The vast majority of liberals are trying to make this country better, not tear it apart. And I think when you have a cop not even indicted for strangling a guy on the street—for the lamest resisting arrest moment ever, or, a country that throws the Geneva conventions out the window—uh, I think this liberal slant may have a point. Liberals will continue to focus on racism, some historical mistakes, and some cultural trauma. It doesn’t make them un-American. These are real toxins that need to be hashed out, and I encourage peaceful protest of these systemic issues.

Pokey: This is about the priority to which stories and policies gain attention. Is there racism is this country? Of course, but hasn’t our nation made phenomenal progress in the area of race? Why is “American racism” the number one subject on our culture’s mind right now, when vowed enemies of our nation blatantly (and I’m not talkin’ accidental death during law enforcement confrontations; I’m talking premeditated, announced to the world, and with pride) murder and publically execute people on the basis of their race and religion right now as we speak?

Any concluding arguments will have to wait as I need to fly my Learjet to both the post office and the bank today. Sorry…well, not really.

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Cokie McGrath

Cokie McGrath

Cokie McGrath is a field reporter and contributor for The Daily Discord. She moderates debates and is the journalist for team Search Truth Quest. Cokie is considered by most of the team as both a menace and dangerously annoying. 

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