For those who don't know, The New York Times recently posted an article about the life of Michael Brown, the teenager who was recently gunned down in Ferguson, MO. The piece, which ran opposite of a flattering profile on the life of the (surviving) police officer who shot the poor boy six times for the crime of walking down the street, criticizes the dead teenager who can't even defend himself for being "no angel." His numerous faults include occasionally disagreeing with his parents, drawing on the walls as a toddler, trying to escape from his crib, dabbling in drugs and alcohol, and listening to "the rap music." These behaviors reflect a common psychological condition known as "being a god damn kid" — a condition which, yes, is fatal, but usually not for another 70 years or so.
If you're struggling to understand why painting a dead black teenager as a "thug" because he did the things that teenagers do, The Boston Globe offers a particularly eloquent takedown of the problematic of this piece. I suggest you read it. Meanwhile, I've rounded up some of my favorite responses from the around the web (read: seen on Twitter), comparing Brown's obituary to similar mainstream retrospectives on other individuals who are almost universally accepted to be more deservedly reviled.Read More