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The "Knockout Game" is a Dream Come True for Racist White Conservatives

I do not share a sense of linked fate with Marvell Weaver, the hoodlum who was arrested for playing the "knockout game" and then decided to do an interview with the local news about his exploits.

After watching Weaver's pathetic explanation for the logic of his crime, I am left wondering what happened to shame?

Right-wing trolls are doing their best to play up the foolishness called the "knockout game". It is a new moral panic that combines white anxieties about black criminality, fear of black young people, and stereotypes about "African-American violence" which have been cultivated by white supremacists since Reconstruction.

The emails, comments, and stories on Right-wing websites about the faux moral panic "knockout game" phenomena are not rooted in a fair concern about crime and youth brigandry. Rather, the "knockout game" meme is rooted in a pathologically white racist obsession with "black crime"--what is alone and unique in its distinction, as white privilege has disallowed any discussion of "white crime" in America's public discourse.

There is no assumption made by the White Right that the majority of black people disapprove of the criminals among us. Moreover, the White Right is incapable of such an inference because the White Gaze sees black and brown people as an undifferentiated mass and a hive mind, one step removed from savage beasts. And there is most certainly no understanding by the White Right of the range of nuance and pragmatic politics in the African-American community.

America is highly segregated along lines of race and class. Most white people do not have African-Americans or other people of color in their friendship or social networks. Consequently, many of them actually believe the distorted and stereotypical images of black crime and vulgarity that are circulated by the mass media.

Once more, white racism hurts white people because an obsession with outlier silliness such as the "knockout game" distracts them from the murderers and rapists in their own neighborhoods and families. The conservative noise machine's obsession with "black crime" also creates a type of magical glamour which masks how white people are overwhelmingly the victims of crimes committed by people who look just like them.

Ultimately, the pathological white racists who are obsessed with "black crime" and "the knockout game" are incapable of seeing African-Americans as individual human beings. The White Right's fixation on these issues sells books, gets hits on websites, and fills up time on TV and radio. It also does political work for conservatives by ginning up white resentment. This move blinds white voters to the real criminals, the plutocrats and corporatists, who have been committing wholesale violence against the American people.

I make my best effort to write and speak with precision about issues of race and cultural politics. But sometimes, one has to default to some basic and simple concepts: the conservatives and Right-wing media bloviators who are circulating this "knockout game" meme are stupid. Why? Because their own black crime fixation robs them of the capacity to ask a basic question. The street hoodlums playing this "game" are the same thugs who attack and terrorize black and brown urban communities. Occam's razor demands that African-Americans and others who live in those communities would have the least use and tolerance for such nonsense.

To come to such an obvious conclusion indicates two things. First, members of the White Right would actually have to know real black folks (as opposed to the hired and paid for black conservatives who are trotted out as "exceptional negroes" whose only purpose is to excuse-make for white racism). Second, members of the White Right would have to assume that people of color are not that much different from them.

The Right-wing's dream-nightmare of black crime and the "knockout game" is just one more of the many little white lies that sustain the psychologically maladapted and delusional Whiteness that has possessed contemporary conservatism in the post civil rights era and the Age of Obama.