Monday, April 02, 2007

Kane Watch: Mean Mugging

Eugene Kane is trying to pass off what's come to be known as "mean mugging," defined by the Urban Dictionary as "[t]o glare at another person with a scowl, or other antagonistic facial expression, with malicious intent, hoping to provoke a response from the intended receipient," as a cultural phenomenon among young black males. In yesterday's column, Kane goes so far as to compare those who feel intimidated by such behavior to someone who sent him a vile, racist-rant-filled journal. To his credit, Kane does acknowledge that there may just be something to how these people feel, but...

...unless some new laws have been passed recently, freaking out mall shoppers
with your hip-hop appearance isn't yet considered a crime.


In a follow-up blog post, Kane responds to much of the criticism he received for his column:

I've always thought the problem in Milwaukee is many people see a group of young
black males talking loudly in a group and they have no cultural perspective
to decide if the kids are joking around with each other or about to start a
fight.


Ahhh...so it's an issue of "cultural perspective" then, is it? Isn't that an easy cop-out? Once again, it has little to do with the behavior of these kids who feel it appropriate to behave in such a manner that makes them appear to be taking every step that normally preceeds a crime or some act of violence, but rather with those people who wish to take a proactive stance in protecting themselves. Kane is classically using the tactic of victimization, where an individual's behavior means nothing compared to society's reaction. Act like a thug? No worries...it's a cultural thing. Be treated like one? That's racism.

Kane's attitude towards such behavior is growing more and more ludicrous with each passing day. When he's ready to approach this more as a member of society and less as a extremely special interest, the Kane Watch may be less apt to question his legitimacy.

Even if he has a newspaper column.

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