It seems the cops have been killing a lot of people lately. Every time that happens, I've noticed if the victim is black, it's only a matter of time until someone call him a "thug." It seems to be a word that conotes "violent black man whose life is of no value."
Maybe this has been obvious to everyone else, but I've only just noticed it and now that I have, I can't stop seeing it. I thought maybe it was just my imagination, so I did some quick Google comparisons and the idea that this word is applied disproportionately to black men seems to hold true. These numbers are from doing Google News searches. I tried the same just using regular Google web searches; the numbers there were larger, but the trend remains.
Take these three high-profile cases, for example:
- "michael brown" "thug" -- 8140 hits
- "eric garner" "thug" -- 5960 hits
- "trayvon martin" "thug" -- 4100 hits
- "Tamir Rice" "thug" -- 694 hits (12 years old with a toy gun, shot within 2 seconds)
- "John Crawford" "thug" -- 223 hits (man buying a BB gun, shot by police in Walmart)
Now compare it to these:
- "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev" "thug" -- 342 hits
- "anders breivik" "thug" -- 93 hits
- "scott peterson" "thug" -- 42 hits
- "Elliot Rodger" "thug" -- 75 hits
- "Jerad Miller" "thug" -- 9 hits (one of the two Bundy Ranch protesters that killed two cops)
President Obama last week said he wanted to recapture that special moment we had after 9/11. And here week later, we have an example of how this White House can recapture that moment by inviting a thug to the White House... And whose lyrics are sexually explicit and misogynist. This guy is a thug... If he believed last week that he wanted to reestablish the great tone in the country after 9/11, why would he invite a thug to the White House who said, he wanted to kill President Bush for having taken the country to war in Iraq.
I'm not saying Common's lyrics about Bush II weren't controversial or even appropriate. But Ted Nugent has threatened to kill the President multiple times and he is a regular guest on Hannity. Why isn't he a thug?
I'm not even going to mention Nugent's reference to "Ferguson thugs." I think we all know who he means.