The Curious Case Of Darrell Brooks
On November 22nd, a man driving a red SUV plowed into a Christmas parade taking place in Waukesha, WI. As of now, the death toll stands at 6 with 62 people injured, with the latest addition to the death toll being an 8-year-old boy who died in the ICU. The oldest killed was an 81-year-old, Wilhelm Hospel, who was an assistant for the Dancing Grannies dance troupe who was participating in the parade. Hospel was one of the four members of the troupe that were killed during the incident. Many of the injured are children, some of whom are severely injured and still in the hospital.
The driver of the SUV, Darrell Brooks, was taken into custody soon after fleeing the scene. Initial reporting from the Waukesha Police Department indicated that Brooks may have been fleeing the scene of a knife fight, but no further details have been reported.
Further complicating matters, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office made a massive error in setting bail for Brooks’ prior offense. For reasons that have yet to be explained, the DA’s office set bail for Brooks at $1000, an amount the office now calls “inappropriately low.” Brooks, who is a repeat offender, was granted this curiously low bail for charges stemming from a domestic violence incident with the mother of his child in which it is alleged that he punched her and tried to run her over, coming close enough to leave tire prints on her pants. He was also granted bail despite having jumped bail on a previous charge.
Brooks bonded out of jail five days before the Christmas parade. The domestic violence incident was less than three weeks earlier.
As news of the Waukesha Christmas parade attack started to spread across social media, the first assumption was that the act might have something to do with the verdict in the Rittenhouse trial. As of now, investigators have found no connection between the two events, stating “investigators have no reason to believe there is any connection to radicalization, extremism or the ongoing debate about the verdict delivered in Kyle Rittenhouse's trial last week elsewhere in Wisconsin”
Perhaps investigators missed the posts referring to beating up white people, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, saying that Hitler had the right idea in exterminating white Jews and that World War III would come when everyone realizes that Hitler was trying to do everyone a favor and takes up the cause of eliminating all Jews from the planet.
Brooks is now facing six counts of murder, each with a potential life sentence without the possibility of parole. Thankfully the DA’s office didn’t set an “inappropriately low” bail amount this time — Brooks is being held on a $5 million bail.
After having read all of that, you might be wondering why you have not been seeing wall-to-wall coverage of these killings and the man accused of perpetrating them. That would be because I haven’t told you the most important piece of information about Brooks.
He isn’t white.
Brooks is, in fact, a black man and the cognitive dissonance of him not fitting into the currently en vogue narrative leads media outlets to do things like implying that the SUV is the real killer.
Here’s the first instance from the Washington Post, that has since been deleted after all of Twitter took time out of their Thanksgiving Eve to ridicule it
And here is one from CNN along the same lines
To look at this portrayal, you’d think there was a self-driving SUV on the loose with a thing against Christmas parades instead of a vehicle being driven by a person with a history of violent vehicular behavior.
When commentators, pundits, and people with functioning brains criticize the media for biasing their coverage like this we say that they aren’t covering this story. This isn’t true in a precise sense — you can find dozens of pieces detailing the facts of the event. What you don’t find are the 5,672 op-eds on white supremacy that would exist if Brooks were a white man. Also missing are the hours and hours of cable news talking heads navel-gazing about Brooks’ motives and personal beliefs that would exist if he were more melanin-challenged.
Even from a pure investigative journalism standpoint, there is a lot to look at here. Why is nobody pressuring the Milwaukee County DA’s office to give a precise explanation for why Brooks’ bail was set so low? Why is nobody questioning the assertion that Brooks was fleeing the scene of a knife fight when there is no verification that police were ever on the scene to determine if that is true? The claim that Brooks was trying to avoid parade goers by zig-zagging his way through the crowd, which seems like a good way to hit as many people as possible?
The epic level of incuriosity stems from the fact that Brooks does not fit into the currently preferred narrative that white supremacy is the biggest danger facing the US. Honestly, am I to believe that a white man who ran his SUV through a Christmas parade, killing and injuring children and grannies, after getting a ridiculously low bail for his last series of offenses which include trying to run someone over, and who posted racist and anti-Semitic material online would be getting this same kind of hands-off treatment from the media? Especially coming after the coverage of the Rittenhouse case?
Adding to my suspicion is the relatively muted reaction to the verdicts in the Ahmaud Arbery case. The verdicts were a vindication of what anyone who watched the video could see — Arbery was murdered in the middle of a street and the three men involved were guilty, and they will now spend the rest of their lives in prison. Yet this news wasn’t met with the joy that one would expect from such a correct verdict
The Arbery verdicts were correct, as was the Rittenhouse verdict. Yet only one verdict can be used to serve a race-based narrative, so the other goes largely undiscussed.
The contrast in how the media treated the Rittenhouse case and how it’s treating the Brooks and Arbery cases highlights how stories are amplified only if they serve a negatively focused race-based narrative. If the mainstream media wishes to regain any sort of credibility, I’d suggest they knock it off.
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