Monday, February 25, 2013

Did Dorner Have a Point?

A hundred years after Lincoln’s assassination the following question might have taken on a humorous hue: “Putting aside the shooting, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”

It’s indicative of the moral vacuity of our age that within twenty-four hours of the time Christopher Dorner murdered San Bernardino Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremiah MacKay, CNN’s Brooke Baldwin could pose this question to four panelists: “Take the murderous rampage out of it, would he have had a point?”

Even worse than Baldwin’s question was the positive response proffered by Columbia Professor Marc Lamont Hill. Hill was almost giddy in his insistence that Dorner’s “manifesto” had prompted “an important conversation” about police brutality and corruption.

Hill also noted that Dorner had been “like a real life superhero to many people” who were rooting for him to extract vengeance against a system that had wronged him. Judging by his tone and enthusiasm, Hill clearly sympathized with those moral cretins for whom Dorner’s murderous rampage was “almost like watching ‘Django Unchained’ in real life. It’s kind of exciting.”

Parenthetically, Hill conceded that “what [Dorner] did was awful” and that “killing innocent people [is] bad,” but quickly refocused on the murderer’s manifesto that proved “he wasn’t entirely crazy.”

One wonders if Hill bothered to read this document that combined vulgar self-justification and bizarre cultural commentary with angry accusations against the Los Angeles Police Department. The manifesto reached all the way back to Dorner’s bitter resentment toward a first grade principal who “swatted” both him and a “fellow student” that young Dorner had punched and kicked for calling him the n-word.

Those collected “injustices” (real or perceived) were used by Dorner to justify the murder of 28-year-old Monica Quan, an assistant basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton, along with her fiancée, Keith Lawrence—a promising young black officer at The University of Southern California’s Department of Public Safety.

Dorner’s feelings of victimization also justified, in his self-obsessed mind, the killing of Riverside police officer Michael Crain and the aforementioned deputy Jeremiah MacKay, neither of whom worked for LAPD but both of whom left behind wives and two young children.

Put more accurately, Brooke Baldwin’s question would look like this: Putting aside the murder of two completely innocent young people and putting aside the murder of two non-LAPD police officers and ignoring the pain endured by those officers’ wives, Regina and Lynette, and dismissing from consideration the tears of Regina’s children, Ian (10) and Kaitlyn (4) as well as those of MacKay’s 7-year-old stepdaughter and 4-month-old son—did Dorner have a point?

No one who asks such a question or responds with a positive answer possesses a functioning moral compass.

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