Tsarnaev, Deen, Martin, Nakamura, and Constantin

The bomber, the chef, the dead boy, and the $300,000 duo

Rolling Stone’s August cover features Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bombing suspect, and some people don’t like it. The photo Rolling Stone picked is from one of Tsarnaev’s online accounts and reveals him to be a good-looking teenager, which is no doubt why he chose it, and which these same people like even less than his being on the cover to begin with. That the accompanying text refers to him as a “monster” doesn’t count.

That Tsarnaev looks like he might be an ordinary young human upsets the most rabid fearmongers and rightly so. To present him as human, albeit a monster, threatens their world view, and nobody likes that. I’d like to see Rolling Stone give the same treatment to a drone pilot or some other political killer. I don’t suppose I will, though.

Paula Deen, a restaurant owner and celebrity chef, has been getting flak for being racist, as though that’s illegal or even unusual. All of the reports I’ve seen say she used the “N-word,” and not one actually says what the N-word is. They assume we all know what it is and can fill in the blank, so they don’t have to be explicit and direct. They can just wuss out and make us think of the word that’s supposed to be so godawful without actually using it themselves. That’s professional journalism today. Personally, I’m proud to be a Ninja.

Dora Charles, a black woman who worked for Deen 22 years, also accused her of asking Ineata “Jellyroll” Jones, another black woman on Deen’s payroll, to dress up like Aunt Jemima and flip shortcakes to entertain customers. Charles said that Jellyroll didn’t want to dress up like that, although she apparently did it anyway. Charles is still Deen’s friend, although now she says she “might feed her with a long-handled spoon.” I love that Southern talk.

As for Trayvon Martin, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, namely Florida since the European invasion. The media hoopla seems to assume that Florida is not the Deep South, where random murder of black people has been going on since the Civil War. The media needs a map. Before the Civil War, black slaves were worth too much money to just kill willy-nilly. With slavery now mostly confined to prisons, black people aren’t worth so much on the open market, so any coward with a gun can murder whomever he pleases.

If you live in Chico, take a look at www.savechiconow.org for the lowdown on Brian Nakamura, the Silly Council’s highly paid city manager, and Chris Constantin, its highly paid finance director. Very interesting.