The competition for the most wonderfully batty wingnut commentary on Ferguson is awfully intense, but this from the always reliably dopey Richard Miniter certainly takes a solitary recherché biscuit.
As an opening, a number of paragraphs occur wherein Miniter informs us that after extensive directly experienced police-work on his part, he gradually came to appreciate the fact many black people are not, as it happens, savage drunken beasts 24-7, and that some of them even wear nice clothes and attend regular religious observances. This came to him as a powerful epiphany.
In subsequent paragraphs, however, he informs the attentive reader that he sympathizes with his fellow Boys in Blue about how they are right to shoot first whenever they experience trepidation upon discovering a troubling Negro -- perhaps, you see, they understandably fail to grasp the existence of the otherwise undetectable Good Negroes.
This is all very satisfactory and unimpeachable horseballs. But then it gets weird:
And the intellectual playbook about race relations in America, the theory intellectuals embrace, is and has been for a long time the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. One of the most widely read books in recent history. Assigned in thousands of college courses, endlessly debated and parsed by intellectuals.
It’s a great read, but the fact is that the novel was set in the nineteen-thirties and that segregation and most of its abuses – certainly its legal abuses – ended fifty years ago in the South and never existed at all in the West and North. Yet despite that, despite the Voting Rights Act and the now numerous black officeholders everywhere, despite having an African-American elected president, the intellectual view of race relations in America is still that one book.
To Kill a Mockingbird is almost never assigned in college courses; it is usually taught in high schools.
The novel in fact has attracted relatively little serious and sustained critical attention, though there exist certain sparkingly-composed introductory studies (AHEM). As it happens, much of the commentary on the novel that exists on a "college" or "academic" level occurs in the pages of garbage "law reviews," wherein crank law professors wrangle over idiotic iterations of the case "Atticus Finch: Hero v. Zero," and generally waste the time of people trying to produce sparklingly-composed introductory studies who are mostly doing so because they're getting paid.
But THAT ASIDE.
It's actually sort of weirdly charming that this nut is in all sincerity putting forth the theory that if you really look hard at what happened in Ferguson, you must conclude that it's because too many smart-aleck whites have been bamboozled by Harper Lee nostalgia.
I mean, shit, your ninth grade English teacher probably SHOULD be in Total Charge.
The world couldn't possibly be weirder, but it would be gentler, and eventually you'd be able to move on. Or at least more prepared for the Hunger Games or whatever the fuck.