One wouldn’t need to look much further than this article at Yahoo! Sports reporting the death of an NBA player to see damning evidence of what has gone wrong in this country.
“Shams Charania of The Vertical” offers up the blandest, sanitized, least-negative judgmental account of the death possible of Bryce Dejean-Jones. It’s filled with lots of positive judgments, solopsism and the obligatory “he was just getting his life back on track” malarkey. The team sent out its “It is with deep sadness… had such a promising future ahead of him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bruce’s family during this difficult time.” Dejean-Jones (yeah, those two-name last names no longer hint at British semi-nobility but rather the thug these days). His agent topped that with a lachrymose, “Bryce was such an incredible person to represent as a client… Bryce was turning the corner in his life and in his career. He was an undrafted player, someone who had so much turmoil throughout his life. Now, he had a contract with the Pelicans and was rehabbing well with his broken wrist. He had come such a long way and we were all proud of him. ”
So, was dear Bryce killed running into a burning building and trying to save someone? Did he die of a disease that he had been fighting? Hit by a drunk driver? Did he pass away while climbing Mt. Everest?
Eh, Shams just blithely notes, almost, but not quite, in passing, “According to the Dallas Police Department, police responded to a shooting at an apartment and found Dejean-Jones collapsed in the apartment breezeway. Dejean-Jones allegedly kicked in the front door of the apartment and entered, the resident told police. The resident called out to Dejean-Jones from the bedroom but received no answer, according to the report. Dejean-Jones then allegedly kicked in the bedroom and the resident fired his gun.”
Okay, that seems to kind of be important information. Maybe it’s just me but I think such info might cast some doubt on the whole Bryce is a good person and had cleaned up a fuzzy life. But instead, the majority of the story focuses on the “tragic” loss of this short-term contract player for the New Orleans Pelicans, who had actually spent most of the season in the D-League.
The article also backhandedly mentions that he spent a four-year college career at three different schools (two of which are known as havens for ‘troubled’ players — USC and UNLV). Again, seemingly important information treated as if it was inconsequential.
Shams includes a few quotes from Dejean-Jones on how he was cleaning up his life and “owning up” to his mistakes. You know, somehow, I think the kid was fibbing on that one.
A lot of people think that acknowledging an error absolves one of that error. That the slate is washed clean. Then they can move on and make lots more “mistakes,” and then “own up” on those two and repeat the whole cycle.
If the “alleged” story of the break-in is true, Shams’s whole “cleaning up his life” thread collapses.
The story should have been “Pelicans Rookie Killed in Possible Break-In.” It could offer some of the “he was cleaning up his life” gossamer but also should have clearly led with the theme of a possible reversion to his troubled side.
It most definitely should not have led with the polishing of Dejean-Jones as if he was a latter-day St. Francis. Charania treats the whole possibility of a break-in or home invasion as a minor detail. As if it were barely worth mentioning, on par with, he ate at Applebees or stopped at Wal-Mart to get toilet paper before the tragic death that stole such a shining light from us… It’s as if Charania thinks thugging around is simply part of the regular lifestyle of the modern black male athlete — and there are no victims, other than the dead player. The actual victims are just minor characters in the play. Poor Bryce, the gods toyed with his life as if it were all just a Greek play, is the line here.
But we’ve seen this in so many high-profile deaths — Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown most notable. Their deaths involved questionable behavior perpetrated by them at the very least, yet somehow they come out being painted by a large number people as Little Red Riding Hood merrily skipping along when some big, bad white wolf leaps out and randomly kills them. I see that all the time in the Washington, D.C. area. A black thug with a lengthy criminal record is killed, often by the police, and we’re treated to a press conference where the mother or, more likely, the grandmother holds up a picture of the man when he was a cute little kid at church or in junior high. They wail about the “tragedy” of “such a promising young life snuffed out” blah, blah, blah. Some relative proclaims the almost certain innocence of the thug and how, yes, they had made a few mistakes but lately they had been putting their life back together, then possibly hints at a police conspiracy to execute another proud black man… Some church guy intones about “healing the community” and a local politician whine that not enough government money is being spent on community stuff… It’s like “Groundhog Day.”
And then liberals of all types, including journalists like Shams, seem surprised at the rise of Donald Trump and that a large proportion of the non-thug-supporting population (including middle class blacks that do not reflexively support the racial grievance industry — and there is a small group of them) would like to fence off some areas of the country.