Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Freak of the Week #3

It's tempting to give the award this week's Freak of the Week award to the Pope, for this unintentionally hilarious bit of pablum:
Is it not true that inconsiderate use of creation begins where God is marginalized or also where his existence is denied? If the human creature's relationship with the Creator weakens, matter is reduced to egoistic possession, man becomes the "final authority," and the objective of existence is reduced to a feverish race to possess the most possible.
An attempt to blame atheists for environmental degradation is so absurd that, in any other week, it's a clear winner. Well, Holy Father, you would have taken it, but you had the misfortune of having to go up against this guy:
“If you’re African American, you’re six, seven or eight times more likely to have a violent history,” Keith said. “I didn’t go out there and put a gun in your hand and say, ‘You commit eight crimes, and I’m a white man, I’ll commit one.’ That’s just instincts, that’s just how it is.”
Yup. Black people have an "instinct" to commit more crime than white people. Forsyth County (NC) District Attorney Tom Keith, step right up, you're this week's winner!

Some of those who work forces are the same that burn crosses, indeed.

Hat tip to @Jerimee for pointing me to the story.

Update: Your lucky day, Holy Father. Seems like we have to disqualify Mr. Keith in light of this: it looks like Mr. Keith was misquoted. He actually said "statistics," not "instincts." This doesn't make his argument less intellectually bankrupt (the debate is over racial disparity in the application of the death penalty, not over disparity in actual convictions or arrests), but it does remove the bigotry from the equation. Which means he's not the Freak of the Week anymore. I thus declare Pope Benedict XVI the winner by default.


Mike said...

Along with Chris Cornell's awesome (and better rhyming) variation when I saw Audioslave live and they played "Killing in the Name": "Some of those who hold office are the same that burn crosses."

Anonymous said...

Seems like a retraction is in order.


Anonymous said...

Tom's arguing that African-Americans are more likely to have a violent criminal history (just based on statistics, not on propensity or instinct), and that therefore they're more likely as murder defendants to have one or more of the aggravating factors necessary to justify seeking the death penalty. THAT's the argument he's making. You can disagree with the statistics, but you can't really argue with the logic.

Ben said...

At some point when I have time to write a treatise, I'll have to tell you why I think you're missing the point with the Pope's quote. And I'm not even Catholic.