Thomas Sowell has done it again. The economist and syndicated columnist regularly produces thought-provoking work, but his column today on the media's role in stoking a mob mentality in the aftermath of the fatal police shooting of Ferguson, Missouri, man Michael Brown is really worth reading.
"Race is the wild card in all this. The idea that you can tell who is innocent and who is guilty by the color of their skin is a notion that was tried out for generations, back in the days of the Jim Crow South," Sowell reminds his reader, adding, "I thought we had finally rejected that kind of legalized lynch law. Apparently, it has only been put under new management." Below the excerpt is an excerpt from "The media and the mob of Ferguson," which you can read in full at WashingtonTimes.com (emphasis mine):
Television people who show the home of the policeman involved, and give his name and address — knowing that he has already received death threats — are truly setting a new low. They seem to be trying to make themselves judge, jury and executioner.
Then there are the inevitable bullet counters asking, “Why did he shoot him six times?” This is the kind of thing people say when they are satisfied with talking points, and see no need to stop and think seriously about a life-and-death question. If you are not going to be serious about life and death, when will you be serious?
By what principle should someone decide how many shots should be fired? The bullet counters seldom, if ever, ask that question, much less try to answer it.
Since the only justifiable reason for shooting in the first place is self-protection, when should you stop shooting? Obviously, when there is no more danger. There is no magic number of shots, though, that will tell you when you are out of danger.
Even if all your shots hit, that doesn’t mean anything if the other guy keeps coming and is still a danger. You can be killed by a wounded man.
Something tells me Dr. Sowell won't be getting any calls from MSNBC or CNN bookers anytime soon.