FanDuel - WFBC

May 13, 2006

Francis shot and killed in Baton Rouge: Southern California freshman point guard Ryan Francis was shot and killed early Saturday while riding in a car in Louisiana, where he was visiting his mother. This is sad, he was just visiting his mother. R.I.P. Ryan

posted by STUNNER to basketball at 04:35 PM - 106 comments

Wish the story had some more details. For example what was Francis doing out at 3:30 am riding around? Or was his death provoked? Either way that's too bad. The hyperlink to his stats is worth checking out. At 5'11 it seemed as though he was beating the length diversity for a modern basketball player. Terrible deal, hope they catch the suspect.

posted by T$PORT4lawschool at 04:47 PM on May 13

that would really stink. i feel sorry for his family

posted by angiescodabear@sbcglobal.net at 08:59 PM on May 13

What a dumb question!!! So what if you are out late than you are asking for bad stuff to happen? Just keep the dumb questions and judgement to yourself. Instead If you believe in God then pray for him and his family.

posted by TYLAW#1FAN at 09:35 PM on May 13

My heart goes out to his family, and USC.

posted by bruinboy at 10:50 PM on May 13

The driver of another vehicle got out and opened fire...............The driver of the car Francis was in attempted to drive away but Francis, who was sitting in the back seat, was shot multiple times....... no one else in the vehicle was injured. Sounds like a perfect hit to me. I can't wait for all the facts to surface in this one.

posted by chrisly13 at 12:03 AM on May 14

Thank you Bishop, I live here in louisiana, and yes out here the clubs close early, but don`t they close late everywhere on the weekend? Not knowing the facts of what went down,its kind of hard to make a comment, but please pray for his family, and remember they may have access to the internet and can read also.

posted by lilabe8823 at 07:50 AM on May 14

It's tragic very tragic, why can't someone be out at night without be questioned why? When I was younger I was out late and not looking for trouble! Most inocent parties and good parties end in the morning or late at night! So don't be quick to judge!

posted by The Tribster at 09:09 AM on May 14

rest in peace Ryan...19 is too young.

posted by chemwizBsquared at 09:57 AM on May 14

T$PORT4lawschool actually brought forth a valid point not worthy of the reaction. He's not by any means suggesting that the fact he's out late means there was some wrongdoing on his part or anything nor that he deserved it, but the facts are lacking right now. Bishop/TYLAW#1FAN, I don't see any ill nature in the comments other than an inquisitive approach, which I fully share. And quite honestly, one should be more cautious when out in the late hours (especially if by a "bad" neighborhood) than in the afternoon; again, not to pass judgment or suggest he "deserved it" since I believe in alternative ways of settling scores. Regardless, I expect more facts to come into light to help show the killer's motives.

posted by PublicUrinal at 10:53 AM on May 14

It doesn't matter what he was doing out at 3:30a.m. he has the right to be out if he wants and not to get shot while he's out there. My heart goes out to the family

posted by toocole at 11:28 AM on May 14

Well to everyone saying that it is not a legitimate question as to "what he was doing out so late?" I have to say you are being quite ignorant. I doubt he was out for an evening ride along and passing out bibles to the homeless. The truth is that whether he was doing anything wrong or not, he was running the streets of NO at 3:30 a.m., and if you have ever lived there... as I have, you would know that from Algiers to Belle Chasse, it is no place to be at 3:30 a.m. So, if you want to swim with alligators, as Ryan did, expect someone to get bit.... as Ryan did. Stupid action.... stupid equal and opposite reaction.

posted by jmarkc4 at 12:54 PM on May 14

asking what he was doing could also be viewed as a sympathetc inquiry, the answer could lead to some kind of justice. people are killed for no reason, but you don't assume they are until you know. it was kust a question, with the crime in mind. give the guy a break...

posted by Pabo at 12:57 PM on May 14

I always assumed this site was in existence to discuss different issues regarding sports-related stories. If a car load of young people getting riddled with gunfire is only allowed to elicit 122 "Rest in Peace" posts, then I'll be sure not to open these anymore. My initial reaction, though, when I hear about a car-load of people, at 3:30 in the morning, having another vehicle pull up and a gunman get out peppering them with bullets is that it probably wasn't merely an act of random violence. If that's being cold-hearted, well I'm sorry, but hopefully there's a team of just such cold-hearted police investigating this tragedy. I'm sure they're under the opinion there was some sort of reason for the shooting. Just because one of the occupants had the ability to dribble a basketball doesn't mean either he, or any of the others he was with, weren't involved in some other dangerous undertakings. I'll be interested to see what comes from the investigation. Either way though, 19 years of age is too young to die, especially in such a horrendous manner.

posted by dyams at 01:17 PM on May 14

My initial thought is an adage that got my ass kicked here for posting it before: Nothing good can happen when you're out at 3 a.m. That will be taken as a harsh judgment on Ryan Francis, but I don't mean it that way. I just think it's good general advice. I'm glad I'm old and decrepit and the days in which I ran around at 3 a.m. are behind me, aside from the times I make an emergency trip to the pharmacy for Doxidan. A news report today indicates that the shooting followed a prior altercation between the shooter and the driver of Francis' car. From press reports, Francis sounds like he was a well-behaved athlete who doted on his mother and didn't get into any trouble. He was her only child. For this to happen on Mother's Day weekend is exceptionally grim.

posted by rcade at 01:55 PM on May 14

The fact remains that this young man was worthy of the respect of his coach and fellow athletes and that his family loved him. My heart goes out to all that were touched by his untimely passing.

posted by orlando32 at 03:26 PM on May 14

it's sad too see someone so young go so quick without reaching their potential

posted by T.MAY at 05:23 PM on May 14

My initial thought is an adage that got my ass kicked here for posting it before: Nothing good can happen when you're out at 3 a.m. At least you have the right to be heard here. It looks absolutely ridiculous to see several people responding to my initial post, while the post itself is removed by 1 person. You should consider a voting link to have the post removed. While I'll save you the time of mentioning there would be to much work involved with something like that, at least it would be considered fair vs. someone not liking what's been posted, and removing it based on the conclusion of 1 individual. One person even responded "thank you" for my point of view, does their opinion not count? I'm sure not everyone will always agree, but when they are given the chance to read the post themselves, they are also given the option to either agree or disagree. As soon as you remove a post, it eliminates that right. So I'll just post it again. If it was his father or son who got shot, I bet the first thing on his mind wouldn't be, "I wonder what they did to deserve it", or the ever popular "Oh well, shouldn't have been out so late". The older generations should know and understand that before the days of the all night raves and techno clubs, all there use to be was cruising until the sun comes up. That said, it's the mentality that all young men his age are basically looking for trouble, so don't be so shocked when they find it, that rubs me the wrong way. 1 day maybe you will lose a family member to pointless and foolish gunfire, and hopefully someone will ask you what the hell your family member was doing there in the first place. Only then will you know how it feels.

posted by Bishop at 09:32 PM on May 14

You are the company you keep, Bishop. I second all that Dyams and rcade said.

posted by mjkredliner at 09:47 PM on May 14

You are the company you keep, Bishop. Umm?? I take it you're not quoting Jesus. So I assume you're quoting the scribes and pharisees of His day. The victim here GOT shot, he didn't do the shooting nor did anyone he was with.

posted by Bishop at 01:38 AM on May 15

Your comment was deleted because calling another user a "dumbass" is flamebait. 1 day maybe you will lose a family member to pointless and foolish gunfire, and hopefully someone will ask you what the hell your family member was doing there in the first place. Only then will you know how it feels. And Steve Howe's family will be hurt by speculation he might have returned to drug use. And Reggie White's family will be hurt by questions about whether steroids contributed to his death. ... Unless you're speaking from experience, this is a strange place to put your focus. Do you honestly think "what was he doing there?" isn't the first question on anyone's mind after something like this? The fact people are asking it here, on a public forum, shouldn't be a big shock.

posted by rcade at 06:19 AM on May 15

Well...I have no personal knowledge of the area where the shooting took place, or what it's like at 3 am; however, as someone who lived in a large city for quite a few years (and more than once heard suburbanites describe my neighborhood as dangerous), I know that there can be a considerable gap between perception and reality. IOW, it honestly wouldn't occur to me to ask, "What was he doing there?" if I didn't have pretty good information on what "there" was like. Just one more perspective.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:43 AM on May 15

Local authorities have arrested a 19-year old and charged him with first degree murder.

posted by Ufez Jones at 08:21 AM on May 15

Ridiculous. "What was he doing out there" is a suggestion that there was a cause, a reason, a easily pidgeon-hole-able explanation for such a violent event. But really, I think that we're just looking for a tidy way to justify our own prejudices. i.e He shouldn't be doing that - be out late. He was asking for trouble. The crime is assumed; he is not a victim in the true sense, but a participant and unlucky. I find it all very distasteful. I was out until 3:30 on Saturday and we were eating Chinese Food. So were thousands and millions everywhere. Were I shot, no one who lives in my city would think twice about the events and their legality leading up to my death. I would be a victim of a heinous act - the fault would not lie with me in any part. But no - we're sitting here with no facts trying to find a way to blame the 19 year old for getting shot. That's pretty low.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:10 AM on May 15

Thanks for that Weedy. I was trying to formulate a response as to why asking that question was so wrong, but you said it much better than I could.

posted by bperk at 10:58 AM on May 15

I don't necessarily think anyone is saying Francis was guilty of anything, especially something as simple as being out in the early morning. There isn't anything wrong with that. What people (at least myself) are looking for, however, is what may have happened prior to this person driving up and opening fire. Did they have a problem with this person earlier in the evening? An argument? I'd just like to know if there was a precursor event or if it was just some 19-year old with a gun looking for a random vehicle to walk up to and shoot up. Wanting, or expecting more information regarding a tragic event isn't wrong, and if anyone is trying to pin unfounded guilt on the victim is wrong, also.

posted by dyams at 11:15 AM on May 15

Could it have been avoided/averted with a little common sense, such as not hanging around with friends of questionable repute? Or leaving them after an earlier confrontation/altercation with the other party? That is what I wonder. I think all agree it is senseless and tragic, but could it have been avoided with perhaps a little foresight ? Or was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time? No one is assuming "guilt by association", but if you knowingly hang out with tough's then you are liable to get more than you bargain for.

posted by mjkredliner at 12:38 PM on May 15

First, what difference does it make if it was avoidable? You already have the answer in your own head -- it was avoidable if he was home at that hour. Second, assuming guilt is exactly what you are doing with this "I need more information before I can rule this a tragedy" bullshit. If a soccer mom gets shot, I bet you first assume it is a tragedy until you have further information. But, this young, black man gets shot, he probably did something stupid to deserve it -- hanging out with his thug friends. If you don't see the racism in that kind of thinking, then it is because you don't want to.

posted by bperk at 12:45 PM on May 15

holy crap... This looks like it was exciting!

posted by everett at 12:47 PM on May 15

njkredliner, there are an awful lot of white suburban middle-class teenagers who are faced with the same choices, WRT not hanging out with a trouble magnet and not being in the car with someone whose self-preservation instinct isn't all it should be. These teenagers make a lot of bad decisions, and when their luck fails them and there's a funeral, it's extremely rare for someone to say that the death was stupid and preventable. Maybe there are questions to be asked, but unless and until middle-class white America is willing to be as critical of the decisions made by its own youth, it's going to raise questions of appropriateness when such criticism is virtually the first thing anyone has to say about the death of a young African-American athlete.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:08 PM on May 15

Bperk: I said all agree it is senseless and tragic so I do not need "more information before I can rule this a tragedy. Bullshit.". I would question anyone's judgement, white, green, soccer mom , or presumptous liberal, if the facts pertaining to their murder were the same as this victim's.

posted by mjkredliner at 01:12 PM on May 15

I don't mind the query "what was he doing out at 3:30 a.m.", if it's quickly followed by "he's 19, of course." (And depending on one's marital/parental status, it could be "he's 59, of course.") Of the 10 posts of "what was he doing", exactly none of them reflected that kind of follow-up self-questioning. And MJKR, you're acting like it's an extreme m.o. for a 19-year-old to be out at 3:30 a.m. (Uh-oh, the famous hypothetical green person to prove our progressiveness. Bill Bixby?)

posted by jackhererra at 01:21 PM on May 15

You all, in your feeble attempts to label me a racist, are the ones trying to prove your progressiveness. Read my comments from the archives, then say what you may, but I am definitely not racist. A realist is closer to the truth. Like I said, I would question anyone's judgement if the facts about their murder were the same.

posted by mjkredliner at 02:17 PM on May 15

Even if it were Jesus?

posted by yerfatma at 02:26 PM on May 15

No, the facts about his murder are well documented.

posted by mjkredliner at 02:29 PM on May 15

Like I said, I would question anyone's judgement if the facts about their murder were the same. What are the facts as you understand them to be? And, who called you a racist? Oh, I know the answer to that -- no one did.

posted by bperk at 02:30 PM on May 15

"What was he doing out there" is a suggestion that there was a cause, a reason, a easily pidgeon-hole-able explanation for such a violent event. "What was he doing there?" is an acknowledgement that few things happen entirely at random, so the decisions we make sometimes have consequences. It kills me that people have so much trouble hearing this. This isn't his memorial service or a gathering of his friends. It's a place where we're looking at a news story of a shooting and discussing what might have happened. That's difficult to do when people want to shut down any hint of speculation that reflects adversely on the victim.

posted by rcade at 02:30 PM on May 15

And, who called you a racist? You did.

posted by rcade at 02:31 PM on May 15

It kills me that people have so much trouble hearing this. rcade, has any teenager in your town made a bad decision in Dad's car and taken a couple of other teenagers with him to the ER -- or the morgue? That's a sacred cow, dude -- talking about why those deaths happen. It beats me why you're acting so flabbergasted about people wondering if "What was he doing there?" is the right first question to ask, when a middle-class kid who drives too fast and/or drinks and drives and ends up dead is treated as a tragic hero. I'm in the minority in that I favor asking the hard questions in those cases, particularly when the facts are rarely in dispute, and not lionizing someone who made a bad decision and hurt others. But as long as people hush up the questions and haul out the hankies when a middle-class white teenager does something self-destructive and dies, as long as that's considered comme il faut, it's even less appropriate to be questioning what role Francis's actions played in his own death.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:57 PM on May 15

The problem with blaming the victim is that you have no facts with which to blame the victim except the time of night. And, you don't even know where he was, so what is the point of asking why he was there. Fine, blame the victim if there is actually any reason to do so. But, reacting to a story about someone's death by saying that you need more information to facilitate your blaming the victim is asinine. And, no, rcade, I didn't call mjk a racist. I said that there is racism in the type of thinking that leads one to question whether a black man was at fault in his death when the same questions wouldn't be asked after a soccer mom's death.

posted by bperk at 02:59 PM on May 15

a middle-class kid who drives too fast and/or drinks and drives and ends up dead is treated as a tragic hero. Sounds made up. as long as people hush up the questions and haul out the hankies when a middle-class white teenager Sounds really made up. Where does this happen? And now the hypothetical middle-classer is white? Hey, while we're making stuff up, why not say she's a neo-Nazi? A neo-Nazi child killer! Yeah, that's the ticket! Then our argument'll be ironclad! I agree that young black murder victims are too often made suspects before any evidence is out. And that a case like this, and the comments on this page, is a pretty good illustration of that mode of thinking; some folks may be insensitive, some ignorant, and some ignorant of their insensitivity. But your argument is weakened when you start making up counterexamples out of whole cloth and waving around these false double standards as if they proved anything. That's bullshit. Blaming the young black victim sucks; blaming everyone for not blaming the young white victim is ridiculous, partly because it's not true, but mostly because that kind of falsehood pulls the rug from under a valid argument. Shame.

posted by Hugh Janus at 03:14 PM on May 15

That is not the case where I come from at all, lil_brown _bat. The State of Texas has passed rigid laws concerning drinking and driving and providing minors with alcohol, and I think it is fair to say that the only people who would treat such an unfortunate accident victim (although, drinking and driving, and it's consequences are not accidents) as a tragic hero would be his/hers immediate family and/or close friends whose judgement could easily be seen to be tainted. And, the same could be said of young Mr. Francis' demise. People ask hard questions anytime someone someone dies in such a senseless manner, at least in my neck of the woods. Bperk, I can not say it enough apparently, that this does not have racial overtones, it is a matter of questioning the judgement of the deceased, regardless of their color, for crying out loud.

posted by mjkredliner at 03:22 PM on May 15

Well, I think that it's not a question of calling people here racists - I think it basically comes down to a case of combative perspectives. IMHO, those like mjkredliner are self-described realists, which means that the incidence of black-on-black violence in America (and other places, like Toronto) is common place. It is predictable and therefore the circumstances surrounding the death of Francis are not unique. Therefore, one could say that Francis, undoubtedly aware of this, could have taken steps to prevent his own death. He is of course, in some ways, right. Those like lbb, bperk and I chose have a different perspective. One, while it would be foolish to suggest that black-on-black crime is not pervasive, it would be equally foolish to suggest that victim should share part of the blame, when all we know is that he was simple a victim of a shooting - at a time that is not condusive to safety - at a place none of us seem to know much about. Moreover, I think that the implied problem with events like these, is because of the feeling that being PC is stifling the truth (i.e. that black-on-black crime is not to be discussed in broad terms) people are compelled to "tell it like it is" - or be realists if they chose their own designation. I can appreciate that. But I feel very strongly that this kind of thinking also equates with old ways of thinking about rape victims. Since rape is predictable (1 in 3 women will be sexually assaulted in some capacity in their lives - my sister and mother are no different), we used to feel that occassionally the victim has to accept some of the blame. She shouldn't have been there, or in the worse cases - she shouldn't have been wearing that, or acting provocatively. Most progressive individuals now know this for what it is - wrong, unfair and unjust. The example extrapolates for me like this: Since Francis is young, black and from a poor background, he shouldn't have carried on with his friends, and he shouldn't have been out at that time of night- why? Because he might get shot. Really this is the same as the analogy of the rape victim. We expect Francis to do things that we ourselves do not - not be with his friends on the weekend having fun, and to accept some responsibility for being shot despite doing nothing wrong. He should abandon the same freedoms that we have, as women should to avoid being assaulted because that's the easy way of compartmentalizing these things. This is not acceptable thinking for rape victims, and as far as I'm concerned not acceptable reasoning for Francis being shot. What you call realism, I call blaming the victim in an unjust way. And maybe, in a small but real way, contributing to the same kind of thinking that kept rape vicitms from getting justice for a long time.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:27 PM on May 15

I don't think anyone's trying to shut down speculation, but I also think that one might want to temper it a little bit. In my life, rare is the evening that ends after 2 a.m., but I'm wondering what's an acceptable time to get shot. Is 1 a.m better? Midnight? 11 p.m.? 10 p.m.? 9 p.m.? You tell me. Far as I know, any of those times are going to be too late to be "running the streets" depending on who you're talking to. As for Hugh's comment, I'm wondering where his info is coming from in terms of differing characterizations.

posted by jackhererra at 03:30 PM on May 15

What part of "regardless of color" do you all not understand?

posted by mjkredliner at 03:31 PM on May 15

But colour has everything to do with this. If you're talking about predicting outcomes as the victim, then of course colour is involved. One is about five times more likely to be shot if one is black than white. One is more likely to be shot in poorer neighbourhoods than wealthy ones. You wouldn't be worried about a 19-year old blasting around Scarsdale at 3 AM - he probably won't get shot (maybe if he's driving an American car). If you want to assign responbility to the victim, then be responsible about why. Colour has lots to do with this.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:43 PM on May 15

We understand that we're reading words, MJK. Those come cheap, we've been told.

posted by jackhererra at 03:43 PM on May 15

As for Hugh's comment, I'm wondering where his info is coming from in terms of differing characterizations. I'm not sure I understand what you're asking. I'm on about a specific fallacy in the argument: that while young black murder victims are automatically treated as suspects, young white drunk drivers are routinely hailed as fallen heroes by the knee-jerkerati. I don't buy it and I don't think it helps shed light on the subject; I do, however, think it confuses a real issue. Young black victims are treated as suspects by many folks, regardless of color. It's just needlessly contentious and false to whip out the double standard argument in this case, and I think it hurts more than it helps.

posted by Hugh Janus at 03:48 PM on May 15

Are you specifically criticizing the drunken drivers part or the fallen heroes part? Or are you criticizing a general statement about differing treatment between white and minority victims?

posted by jackhererra at 04:03 PM on May 15

middle-class kid who drives too fast and/or drinks and drives and ends up dead is treated as a tragic hero. No they are not a hero, it is an unnecessary death. There was a boy in my hometown who was killed because he was driving to fast. Everyone wanted to know how fast he was going and noone made him a hero but they did use him as an example of why you shouldn't drive so fast. Did he deserve to die, NO but he did and maybe someone can learn from this experience. By the way, he was white. My nephew is 20/white and is always out till wee hours of the morning. I worry about the things that could happen to him and tell him all the time it is stupid to be out causing a ruckus at 3:00 in the morning. I pray it doesn't happen but if something were to happen it would be a senseless tragedy that could have been avoided. Also if a soccer mom was out at 3:00am and gets shot I would be asking the same question. What were they doing out at that time. I think people are only asking questions to get more facts not put any less of importance on this tragic death. If the facts were given and the questions were answered maybe I could use this tragedy to help my children avoid a tragedy.

posted by skydivemom at 04:05 PM on May 15

So do opinions, jackhererra.

posted by mjkredliner at 04:06 PM on May 15

MJK -- As you've so ably proven. Thx. Hugh -- Sad to say, treatment is going to be different, whether you choose to believe it or not. Occasionally, something like the Duke case comes along -- a Muffaletta sandwich of pathos from all angles -- and you happen to have an alleged black victim. But for the most part, black victims -- of kidnapping, of rape, of murder -- are not regular staples of your average daily metro paper beyond the police blotter page. Until proven otherwise, the immediate assumption, particularly in places with high murder rates, is that the victim put his or herself in jeopardy. In contrast, we're not only familiar with Missing White Woman syndrome, but also people who simply pulled the okee-doke on us, like Susan Smith, Andrea Yates, and the woman who simply wanted to pull out of her wedding. In most cases, the best is assumed until proven otherwise. I don't necessarily think that a drunk driving fatality is the best example (though I don't think we're talking fantasy with LBB's scenario) of disparities in perception, but they do exist.

posted by jackhererra at 04:35 PM on May 15

What is it about idealism that causes one to try to put words in another's mouth, and to read things into another's written word that were not implied? I am not looking to cast blame, I am MERELY WONDERING IF IT COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED!!! It is a little late for blame to assigned, the deed is done and young Mr. Francis is with us no more, but PERHAPS IF A LESSON IS TO BE LEARNED, THEN THE MISTAKES WILL NOT BE REPEATED BY ANOTHER YOUNG PERSON WHO HAS THE ABILITY TO CHANGE THEIR LIFE WHILE THEY STILL CAN!!! What is so difficult to comprehend about that? And, I must say, that many valid points have been made, but ease up a little bit on inferring that I am racist, I assure you that nothing is further from the truth. Insensitive, well, guilty as charged. But not racist.

posted by mjkredliner at 04:56 PM on May 15

Hugh, I wish I had made up my hypothetical "out of whole cloth", but I didn't. It's prom season, and it happens every year, and it will happen this year too. I've seen it too many times. Perhaps my neck of the woods -- New England -- is an anomaly in the world, and everywhere else, when a teenager dies doing something stupid, their friends say, "Wow, that was stupid," rather than hold vigils and wakes and make roadside shrines and talk with high drama about what a great person the deceased was. I'm a most-days reader of the Boston Globe, and the first time I can recall somebody -- anybody -- really calling a spade a spade was last year when columnist Bella English said (paraphrased and much boiled down), "You know, these deaths are tragic, but we gotta stop acting like these deaths are caused by a bolt from the blue, and start recognizing where the responsibility lies." Again, I really wish I were wrong about this one, but I'm not. It's a particular kind of destructive behavior that, not everywhere, but all too often, seems to get a pass, or at least a partial pass.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:10 PM on May 15

Whatever label you want to put on it, I don't think that MJK means any harm and I'm willing to move on to other matters. (How idealist of me!) Is it fair to wonder what the kid was doing out at 3:30 a.m.? Overall, there are greater sins than to ask that question, so long as one is willing to question one's self for asking it. Is it the right question? I'm not sure. It's probably not out of the realm of possibility that it will be discussed throughout the very pews where his wake will be held. But it's more of a judgement than something that answers anything. I think the question of what led up to it (posed during this thread) is a far better one. Unfortunately, there's no real answer to that one yet, but it's also the one -- fueled by assumptions -- that's providing most of the heat to this discussion.

posted by jackhererra at 05:26 PM on May 15

If he had been shot at five in the afternoon would we be asking what he was doing out then or just saying that it was circumstance?

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:27 PM on May 15

Hugh, I get what you're saying, but what I think lbb is saying (not that I'm speaking for anyone) is more that suburban drunk driving deaths get treated as tragedies and the deceased is never blamed for something that is their fault. When I was in prep school, we had 3 kids get hurt and 1 die in a prom night crash. The funeral will stay with me forever: a few hundred boys and family in this room remembering someone who was loved, singing the Grateful Dead's Ripple accompanied by just acoustic guitars. It was a beautiful memorial. The fund founded in his name has better than $600,000 in it as of last fiscal year. He died in a drunk driving accident. Perhaps if Stalin were alive today he would say the death of the rich man is a tragedy. The death of the poor man is a statistic.

posted by yerfatma at 06:58 PM on May 15

The thing you have to realize is young guys who grow up in the city understand if you are going to start any type of problem on the streets unnecessarily, the person you're messing with runs a good chance of pulling out a gun and putting bullets in you. I (a white male) worked with a inner-city, college basketball team several years back, and one night, after a game, myself and several of the players (yes, they all were black (just a fact)) were sitting in a car after being out, still drinking a few beers and partying, when another vehicle drove slowly by. Well, stupid asshole me decides to make a few gestures towards this vehicle, and the other guys in the car I was in just flipped out. They were instantly worried the guy(s) in the other vehicle may have guns and would possibly, or likely, come back and open up on us. Like it or not, that's the way life goes in the city, especially after hours. That's why, several dozen posts ago I said I wanted to know if Francis' car (maybe his friends, not him) started something, perhaps minor, with someone, and it just turns out it (obviously) wasn't someone they should have messed with. That type of thing is more common than we'd like to admit in many city neighborhoods, and it's the kids who grow up in those cities who understand the risks. I'll be interested to see what becomes of this investigation. I'm absolutely sure it will turn up nothing that could justify taking the life of a 19-year old, but most murders are senseless.

posted by dyams at 07:58 PM on May 15

If he had been shot at five in the afternoon would we be asking what he was doing out then or just saying that it was circumstance? Uh, no. We wouldn't be asking what he was doing out then. Perhaps my neck of the woods -- New England -- is an anomaly in the world, and everywhere else, when a teenager dies doing something stupid, their friends say, "Wow, that was stupid," rather than hold vigils and wakes and make roadside shrines and talk with high drama about what a great person the deceased was. I have no idea what you are talking about. In New England, people hold vigils for those who have killed others? In other parts of "the world," if you are driving a car and do something stupid, which results in the deaths of your passengers...you go to jail.

posted by tselson at 11:28 PM on May 15

Wish the story had some more details. For example what was Francis doing out at 3:30 am riding around? Or was his death provoked? posted by T$PORT4lawschool at 4:47 PM CDT on May 13 This is what started the discussion into the direction that it took. My comment was, if the story was about a family member vs. a young black athlete, you'd be less likely to ask this question or make the following remark, "or was his death provoked". To me that question is more offensive than, "what was he doing out so late". No one asked the prior question of the kids at columbine. No one asked this of the victims of the DC sniper (which is a far tougher place than the one in question IMO) But since it was a young black athlete cruising in his "hood", Some can't help but wonder "if he provoked his own death". If you're a young black male, that's a slap in the face no matter how you phrase it. If you're not a young black male, you can never truly understand why that thinking is offensive.

posted by Bishop at 04:15 AM on May 16

If you're not a young black male, you can never truly understand why that thinking is offensive. Ah yes, the ol' It's a Black Thing, You Wouldn't Understand line of reasoning. That certainly helps the issue at hand. You're wrong, Bishop. Skin color has nothing to do with understanding offensive speech. Statements like the one you just made are no less divisive than "what was he doing out on the streets at 3am?"

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:20 AM on May 16

If you're a young black male, that's a slap in the face no matter how you phrase it. If a white kid in my neighborhood is gunned down by a guy who pulls up in his car and opens fire, I'd soon be asking what may have triggered the shooting. It's a natural question. I've heard of many killings over the years and I've automatically wondered, Why? There are very few random, just-for-the-thrill-of-it killings. And this is not to imply that whatever reason this gunman had for this killing is justifiable in any way. You just want to know the events prior. Asking what may have happened shouldn't always be twisted to mean "How did the victim provoke it." The word "Provoke" is the misleading term. I'd just like to read a timeline of events from earlier in the evening regarding these guys prior to the shooting.

posted by dyams at 07:51 AM on May 16

I have no idea what you are talking about. That's been evident for some time. Having repeatedly explained myself, I decline to do so further. You and one other person have claimed that teenagers who do blatantly irresponsible things and get themselves killed are never looked at with sympathy rather than condemnation where you live. Rather than dispute the nature of your Smallville, I'll take your word for it, and you might want to do the same with me.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:56 AM on May 16

You're wrong, Bishop. Skin color has nothing to do with understanding offensive speech. Being on the receiving end has a lot to do with such understanding, however...and skin color can have a lot to do with being on the receiving end. That's not to say that young black men are the only people who get targeted with offensive speech; OTOH, there's a difference between speech that is offensive, and speech that is both offensive and oppressive. A young black man can call George W. Bush a honky all he wants, but he has zero power to affect George W. Bush's life, whereas the reverse is not true. IOW, it's not all about name-calling, it's about name-calling with power behind it...and there, I suspect, it is pretty hard to get it if you haven't lived it in some form.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:02 AM on May 16

Being on the receiving end is certainly one way to gain an understanding of offensive speech, but it isn't the only way. Plenty of people can understand the cultural context and impact without themselves having been victimized. If you follow the "you've never been a victim, so you can't understand" argument, you give a complete bye to those people who refuse to acknowledge the cultural context of this offensive speech. If you haven't been victimized by speech, you should still be able to understand why suggesting that Francis' murder might have been provoked is offensive.

posted by bperk at 08:22 AM on May 16

Jiminy Christmas. Any chance we can stop reading so much ill will into what other people are saying? It's tough to have an honest dialogue when people infer so much from comments, as if we're all seething bigots who are about to slip up and reveal ourselves. Francis appears to have died because he took a ride home from somebody who had a beef with the wrong guy, perhaps after a road alercation. Personally, whenever I encounter hostility from another driver, I back off because the other guy might be an imbecile with a gun and I don't need to prove my manliness with my car. I know I shouldn't think this -- since I'm neither young nor black, and people like me believe we're immune from crime.

posted by rcade at 08:23 AM on May 16

rcade, you had me until this point: I know I shouldn't think this -- since I'm neither young nor black, and people like me believe we're immune from crime. For a guy who's making an appeal for "honest dialogue", you sure know how to sabotage yourself. YOu were doing fine until you got to this throwaway polarizing remark. Your points were much better off without it. Other than that, jiminy christmas, I'm inclined to agree with you, only I'd like to point out that I and a couple of others had veered off into a side discussion that really had nothing to do with who's a seething bigot; rather, it was more about what experiences and perspective make it possible to understand offensive/oppressive speech. Call it a digression of a digression, if you will, but it ain't calling anyone a seething bigot.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:18 AM on May 16

So, does this exonerate Francis, rcade? Should he not have been out that late and in the car? Can we now safely suggest that he did nothing wrong? I resent people suggesting that Francis made a mistake that the rest of us wouldn't. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time it now seems. Sad. I thought this discussion was actually quite civil given it's explosive content. I didn't see too many instances of bigotry. Just people who are very comfortable with how they organize a rationality or reason for this event.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:19 AM on May 16

We don't know that much about the altercation, Weedy. I'm curious to hear what the driver and the other passengers of those cars say about the incident. Your resentment, given the way people here have tiptoed around the question of whether Francis might have been in any way at fault, seems a bit overblown to me.

posted by rcade at 09:41 AM on May 16

For a guy who's making an appeal for "honest dialogue", you sure know how to sabotage yourself. YOu were doing fine until you got to this throwaway polarizing remark. Your points were much better off without it. Maybe. But it's tough to get past the self-perception "I am a unique individual who is fair-minded in my approach to life; you are a knee-jerk reactionary stereotype." The meta-discussion here was certainly one of the more interesting blowups on SportsFilter recently. Especially since race became an issue, and that has become a recipe for disaster.

posted by rcade at 09:48 AM on May 16

I liked it better the way Brad Pitt's character said it.

posted by yerfatma at 09:53 AM on May 16

Your resentment, given the way people here have tiptoed around the question of whether Francis might have been in any way at fault, seems a bit overblown to me. Ah, wouldn't be the first time.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:02 AM on May 16

The meta-discussion here was certainly one of the more interesting blowups on SportsFilter recently. Especially since race became an issue, and that has become a recipe for disaster. Some people blew up; not everybody did. I don't think I'd characterize the meta-discussion as a "blowup". Rather, I think it was wondering about our reactions to bad stuff happening, and where we feel different deaths lie on the forseeable-and-preventable vs. bolt-from-the-blue spectrum...and whether our perceptions really mesh with reality. The question was also raised as to how much responsibility a victim has for avoiding a preventable crime, and at what point do we concur that the victim was only doing what others have every expectation of doing without being victimized: for example, the case of a woman who simply wants to go for a walk alone after dark. One person, I'd say, blew up, but there was a lot more to it than that.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:15 AM on May 16

Wow, this discussion exploded since my last comment. I will reiterate what I said then since it clearly still applies. When the discussion started, nobody said he was asking for it by driving that late. Nobody said he was black and therefore a victim of what he had done. The point of asking questions was to not instantly assume anyone's guilt, but rather try to discover reasoning for what took place. The 3:00 AM question was merely an example of things we should be asking, with the latter question, "was his death provoked?" being the ultimate aim. It is key to note that that question should not be only one asked but rather be part of an array. As the Irish saying goes, "Questioning is the door of knowledge."

posted by PublicUrinal at 10:37 AM on May 16

FTR, it appears that the shooter did have a beef with the driver, but Francis had nothing to do with the conflict. Basically, Francis got shot as the driver tried to get away. As for the nature of the conflict, or whether the driver was a "tough", that's still unclear.

posted by jackhererra at 01:20 PM on May 16

I still contend that the point I'm making is clear. The question, "was his death provoked" is asked why? You want to know if he brought it on himself, the thinking is, wait....before i feel sorry for him or consider this a tragedy, let me make sure this kid didn't do something worthy of being killed. If that's not it, what else could it mean? Let us not forget the white guy who shot his own wife sitting in their car, then said, "we were in a "bad neighborhood" and we got robbed by a black guy. Instantly you feel sympathy for the victims. Nobody asks, I wonder if they provoked the guy who shot her. To the contrary, your more likely to think the alleged assailant is a piece of shit scum bag. Sure not everyone thinks this way, but a lot of people do. Turns out he did it himself. Or how about the teenage white girl victim missing for all that time, turns out she was with those people willingly. Needless to mention the woman who claimed the black guy took her kids, turns out she drove them into a lake. No one's first thought was "I wonder what she did to provoke the black guy". Some people are more likely than others to be thought of as victims in this country. So when those who are less likely to be thought of as innocent victims get a little offended, the only argument is to simply contend that the previous statement is not true. If you take the following comment, If you're a young black male, that's a slap in the face no matter how you phrase it. If you're not a young black male, you can never truly understand why that thinking is offensive and all you get is, Ah yes, the ol' It's a Black Thing, You Wouldn't Understand line of reasoning. That certainly helps the issue at hand. You're wrong, Bishop. Skin color has nothing to do with understanding offensive speech. Statements like the one you just made are no less divisive than "what was he doing out on the streets at 3am Instead of trying to see something from a different perspective, you attempt turn it into something meaningless, thus missing the point entirely. Which is common when it comes to topics like this. If this discussion was, let's say, about your mother getting shot at Saks, I think you would feel differently. I also think we would not be having this discussion about whether or not she provoked it.

posted by Bishop at 06:46 PM on May 16

Q: What were Charles stuart's last words after he jumped off the Tobin Bridge? A: "A black man pushed me." Skip it if you weren't there. It wasn't really funny even if you were.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:55 PM on May 16

After much thought and re-reading every comment, I have decided that those of you who read something evil or bigoted into asking "what was he doing there?" or "at that time?" cannot see the forest for the trees. What do you think the first thing his mother asked was?

posted by mjkredliner at 10:42 PM on May 16

What do you think the first thing his mother asked was NOT, I wonder if he did something to cause this. You can be damn sure of that. She didn't say, damn him, I told him not to ride with ray ray and them because I knew he had beef with june bug. Her precious child is gone, and nobody here can write anything that would help her comprehend that. Regardless of fault, cause, or whatever else you might want to argue to show there may have been a justifiable reason why he was shot in the back by someone emptying a clip into a car that was leaving the scene. After much thought and re-reading every comment, I have decided that those of you who read something evil or bigoted into asking "what was he doing there The subject being discussed is the statement, "was the shooting provoked"and the context in which it was asked. Forget about the "what was he doing there" BS. If the story was about JJ Redick, there would hardly be that "I wonder what he was up to mentality". This was traggic in my opinion. You may think otherwise. Obviously some here agree, some disagree, leave it at that.

posted by Bishop at 11:20 PM on May 16

No, I think she probably asked, "what was he doing out there so late" and wondered if it could have been avoided. Which is not asking if he did something to cause it. And why would we not ask the same of JJ Redick? Simply because he is white? That is stupid, and incorrect, pal. I most certainly would ask the same question. Your attempt to turn this into a racial issue holds no water. Read the above comments and see who mentioned race first, the (obviously) bleeding heart liberals who feel that they are holier than thou and need to make a simple, perfectly logical question iinto a matter of race andor social status.

posted by mjkredliner at 07:33 AM on May 17

I still contend that the point I'm making is clear. The question, "was his death provoked" is asked why? You want to know if he brought it on himself, the thinking is, wait....before i feel sorry for him or consider this a tragedy, let me make sure this kid didn't do something worthy of being killed. You say that like it's a bad thing. Mike Bastianelli and Darrell Russell, two other athlete with USC ties, died recently when Bastianelli was driving his car so fast and erratically that he hit a curb, two trees, newsstand, fire hydrant, light pole and a bus. Should I feel nothing but sympathy for Bastianelli, or am I allowed to question why he was driving so recklessly that he killed two people and could have easily killed more?

posted by rcade at 08:44 AM on May 17

The difference here is that you had no evidence whatsoever to lead you to believe that he might have been at fault. But, that didn't stop folks from speculating. There was evidence that he was a good kid who didn't get any trouble. And, even after more information has come out that reinforces that he was not at fault, people persist down that path. And, mjk, regardless of whether you think race is involved or who mentioned it, you are not the sole arbiter of whether this is a racial issue or not. There is no point in trying to take the cultural context out of this conversation. And, fyi, no one called anyone a bigot. Accusing people of that is a conversation killer just as much as actually calling someone names is. I have no difficulty understanding what you are saying -- you would ask that question of anyone dying in this way. Fine. But, people have repeatedly told you why they feel differently. I think we can agree to disagree at this point if you can at least understand the point that many of us are trying to make. Can you see why some of us think that asking those questions in this context is offensive?

posted by bperk at 09:36 AM on May 17

The difference here is that you had no evidence whatsoever to lead you to believe that he might have been at fault. But, that didn't stop folks from speculating. New to the Internet, Bperk? There was evidence that he was a good kid who didn't get any trouble. So you'll accept speculation that suggests he's a good kid but won't tolerate any attempt to ask questions that might show otherwise. Neat trick.

posted by rcade at 09:59 AM on May 17

posted by yerfatma at 10:47 AM on May 17

So you'll accept speculation that suggests he's a good kid but won't tolerate any attempt to ask questions that might show otherwise. The people who know him like the coach and teammates said he was a good kid. No one who knew him has said otherwise. That is why I find this whole thing mind-boggling. If you know something that gives you any basis whatsoever to suggest that he was anything but a good kid that people have said he is, then please share it. But, don't talk like we are doing the same thing. You guys without any evidence are speculating that he might have provoked his death. What others of us are saying is that there is no evidence to support that and such speculation is offensive. Please give me one shred of facts to support your position. There are tons of quotes about how he was a great kid. Your own link earlier indicates that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I just have no idea why you think at this point that your speculation is anything but complete and utterly baseless.

posted by bperk at 11:06 AM on May 17

Show me a single example of "complete and utterly baseless" speculation I've posted in this discussion, Bperk. From my first comment on, I've made clear that I think it sounds like a wrong place at the wrong time situation. I wrote that "the shooting followed a prior altercation between the shooter and the driver of Francis' car" and "Francis sounds like he was a well-behaved athlete who doted on his mother and didn't get into any trouble."

posted by rcade at 11:11 AM on May 17

The type of speculation I was referring to was your Bastianelle and Russell analogy, the nothing good happens at 3 am, your personal advice as to how you handle angry drivers (and presumably would have handled this situation), and the wait-and-see approach to what the driver and passengers had to say before “exonerating” Francis.

posted by bperk at 12:15 PM on May 17

I'd just like to clarify that "what was Francis doing out at 3:30 am riding around?"does not translate to "nothing good happens at 3 am," nor does "was his death provoked?" translate to "[did] he [bring] it on himself?" In creating those relationships, you are doing exactly what is being preached against: speculating intent.

posted by PublicUrinal at 12:56 PM on May 17

It's impossible to hold a conversation with someone who thinks everything you say is motivated by malicious intent. I haven't said anything here that's nearly as speculative as the truckload of bullshit you attributed to me with this remark: "If a soccer mom gets shot, I bet you first assume it is a tragedy until you have further information. But, this young, black man gets shot, he probably did something stupid to deserve it -- hanging out with his thug friends." Because of course, I'm a racist asshole who thinks all young black men are thugs! I also hate Jews and Catholics! And immigrants! If you climb any further up my ass, I'm going to charge you rent. My end of this conversation is over.

posted by rcade at 01:52 PM on May 17

It's not me that is getting crazy in this discussion. You folks on the okay-to-question side of this argument kept using the word bigoted when no one else did. In addition, I was accused of calling someone a racist when I didn't. I also tried to agree to disagree without much success. Now, you are able to discern exactly what I think. All that to say, I am fine with leaving this where it is.

posted by bperk at 02:14 PM on May 17

rcade: A few questions... Do you rent to Lutherans? Are sub leases okay? Do you charge more for pets? Just wondering, I'm kinda in between asses right now.

posted by tselson at 02:41 PM on May 17

A few questions... Do you rent to Lutherans? Are sub leases okay? Do you charge more for pets? Just wondering, I'm kinda in between asses right now. tselson.....you owe me a new keyboard.

posted by Folkways at 04:19 PM on May 17

nor does "was his death provoked?" translate to "[did] he [bring] it on himself?" For example what was Francis doing out at 3:30 am riding around? Or was his death provoked? What clues do you think the writer is searching for here? We can agree that he is looking for more information, but what type of information? My point is, these types of questions are not normally asked of all victims at the onset of bad news. Sure they may pop up eventually, but in all cases it would not be the first thing on a persons mind. If you can't see this perspective it's because you choose not to look at it, and no words written here would help to open your eyes. This Sean Hannity technique of force your opinions into peoples minds until they accept it or give up on getting their point across only further demonstrates your lack of compromise and over eagerness to be considered right at all times. God made night and day, black and white and a whole bunch of things in between for normal folks that understand that sometimes there is a gray area. Your comment was deleted because calling another user a "dumbass" is flamebait. posted by rcade at 6:19 AM CDT on May 15 bleeding heart liberals who feel that they are holier than thou That is stupid If you climb any further up my ass, I'm going to charge you rent Rcade, certain forms of name calling are acceptable? I called someone a dumb ass in the heat of making my opinion known. I made a mistake. However since there is a person who tends to have the same opinion as you, the name calling is acceptable. Double standard man, your final comment is much less offensive than calling someone a dumb ass, actually it's nothing but flamebait.

posted by Bishop at 04:30 PM on May 17

I'm kinda in between asses right now. I don't appreciate that crack.

posted by yerfatma at 04:31 PM on May 17

I made a mistake. However since there is a person who tends to have the same opinion as you, the name calling is acceptable. Y'know, comparing people in the thread to Sean Hannity probably isn't helping your point here.

posted by yerfatma at 04:33 PM on May 17

However since there is a person who tends to have the same opinion as you, the name calling is acceptable. Are you accusing me of being more lenient on myself than I would be to other people? It's hard for me to dispute that. I banned myself from another site that I admin once. Best weekend of my life. Nothing good can happen when you say "nothing good can happen when you're out at 3 a.m."

posted by rcade at 05:16 PM on May 17

I'm totally calling you on that remark. Seems fraught with meaning.

posted by yerfatma at 05:22 PM on May 17

Bishop, I could certainly make a reasonable argument that self-reflection with your comments would be beneficial to you. My point is, these types of questions are not normally asked of all victims at the onset of bad news. Sure they may pop up eventually, but in all cases it would not be the first thing on a persons mind. If you can't see this perspective it's because you choose not to look at it, and no words written here would help to open your eyes. I have no relationship to the victim and was not even aware of his skin color/background/etc. when I read the article (the article does not mention any of those factors). Nor did I care about them. Yet yes, that was my first reaction. The only thing the article disclosed were the then-available circumstances. I am not even sure what you are claiming me to be imposing on you other than perhaps to not have you speculate intent without any substance; and, as a religious man, I am sure there is, to some extent, a similar lesson in your holy teachings. As for the black/white/gray stuff, it has absolutely nothing to do with this -- you are "compromising" by saying that the questions posed are in search of information but had some ill motivation behind them with absolutely no evidence of this other than a claim that "you wouldn't ask that of all victims at the onset of bad news," which cannot at all be substantiated being that, to my knowledge (and correct me if I'm wrong -- I am presuming), you have never seen him react to a case with an identically similar scenario save for that which you attribute to the motivation for his ill will. And that is not a compromise I am willing to make. I am not defending T$PORT4lawschool by saying that I am certain that he harbored no ill will, but I will defend him in saying that you have no substance to assert that he did.

posted by PublicUrinal at 09:40 PM on May 17

comparing people in the thread to Sean Hannity probably isn't helping your point here I was merely referring to the way 1 of them was attempting to get their point across. It wasn't a personal comment about anyone, as I don't know anyone here well enough to make such a comparison. Though I think a few would take it as a compliment. (and correct me if I'm wrong -- I am presuming), PublicUrinal, you're presuming while saying that some of us shouldn't have speculated. presume:verb: take to be the case or to be true; accept without verification or proof speculate:verb: to believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds verb: talk over conjecturally, or review in an idle or casual way and with an element of doubt or without sufficient reason to reach a conclusion I could certainly make a reasonable argument that self-reflection with your comments would be beneficial to you.

posted by Bishop at 11:28 PM on May 17

Bishop, I added that on purpose, even phrased it so. Hence I say, "correct me if I'm wrong," because I cannot verify it and, being aware of this, ask for clarification. Anything else?

posted by PublicUrinal at 12:16 AM on May 18

Anything else Yep, I can on apologize for my role in an idiotic disagreement on a thread that is about an innocent victim of unprovoked violence. Now, scamper on over to the thread about the rich kid who killed himself and add your 2 cents about how tragic it is. While you're at it, see if you can find some low income minority to blame it on like the guy who killed his pregnant wife, or the girl who drowned her own children. Bishop, I added that on purpose A friend of mine was sitting at a red light with a cop behind him. He was so nervous about making a driving error that he went through the light when the opposite light turned yellow. After he got pulled over to receive his ticket we asked him what the hell he was thinking. In an attempt to keep from looking like a complete idiot he said he did it on purpose. Charlie?

posted by Bishop at 04:10 AM on May 18

Now, scamper on over to the thread about the rich kid who killed himself and add your 2 cents about how tragic it is. While you're at it, see if you can find some low income minority to blame it on like the guy who killed his pregnant wife, or the girl who drowned her own children. Bishop, you had some worthwhile points, but you've lost it. There must be some kind of internet sniglet for the person who labels all those who are not in complete agreement with every nuance of what he/she says as some ludicrous caricature of complete opposition, as you've done here. I don't know what that sniglet would be, but you might want to look into it; it fits. How ironic that you should lecture others on the existence of gray areas; look in the mirror, hmmmm?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:07 AM on May 18

This Sean Hannity technique of force your opinions into peoples minds until they accept it or give up on getting their point across ... If they're weak enough to accept a position Sean Hannity espouses, they deserve whatever they get. Now, scamper on over to the thread about the rich kid who killed himself and add your 2 cents about how tragic it is. So, now this guy shoots himself and it isn't tragic? Why not? Because he's white and affulent?

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:10 AM on May 18

Bishop, as a white guy who attended Norfolk State University (on a minority scholarship, no less), I stand by my statements. Skin color has less to do with the ability to understand "offensive" speech than brainpower and good ol' common sense. Depending on your categorization of "offensive" speech, some people are too damned stupid to even know they've been insulted.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 09:54 AM on May 18

You know, I just have to say that this thread is kind of watching a reverse pie-eating contest. I have never seen so many people on so many sides of an argument break so much sweat to stuff words into each other's mouth. A regular pie contest is grotesque enough, don't you think?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:08 AM on May 18

Quite honestly, Bishop, your last post did you in. On numerous occasions during this thread I discussed how race/background wasn't a factor, pointing to the lack of it's inclusion on the original article that left me ignorant of those circumstances when I posed like questions. Yet you persist without any evidence, making this no longer a discourse. And I'm sorry to hear about your friend -- it's absolutely clear the exact same thing happened here. Oh, shame. Being that discourse is no longer an option in this thread, this is my last post.

posted by PublicUrinal at 11:51 AM on May 18

Being that discourse is no longer an option in this thread, this is my last post. Good enough So, now this guy shoots himself and it isn't tragic? Why not? Because he's white and affulent? I'm not saying it's not tragic, I just wish the story had more info, like, was he high? Did he molest children and feel guilty about it? I want to make sure he didn't deserve death before I form my opinion. Now I wonder if you will argue for MY right to do that. Or does that thought process only apply to certain types of victims?

posted by Bishop at 07:09 PM on May 18

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