August 5, 2010

More Pavlovian News Analysis

From ABCNews.com: 
Hartford Shooter: Clues in Workplace Violence Sprees
Humiliation Can Trigger Rage, Experts Say; Gunman Believed Racists Were Targeting Him
By KIM CAROLLO and EMILY FRIEDMAN

Aug. 4, 2010

The allegations of racial harassment that Omar Thornton told his family about may have been what finally sent him over the edge and on his fatal rampage, according to mental health experts. 

From NECN, a ComCast Network:
Shooter's girlfriend: Company should be held accountable for racism

(NECN) - Kristi Hannah, says her boyfriend Omar Thornton was harassed at work prior to this week's shootings.

Kristi spoke with NECN's Brian Burnell Thursday, but did not want her face shown.

"There were racial things being said to him, and there was drawings on the bathroom walls," says Hannah.

She said the drawings included a stick figure hanging, and racial slurs. She says he had called his union rep two times, and never got a call back. ...

She said she is speaking out because, she wants, "everybody to know that Budweiser should be held accountable for the racism stuff.

I'm not just cherrypicking absurd news stories. This is a sizable theme of the coverage. The MSM is trying to get to the bottom of this pressing issue of whether white racism led this guy to shoot eight people. From CNN just one hour ago on Thursday afternoon, we learn that the answer to the burning question of whether we can blame this unfortunate incident on the scourge of white racism is, so far, no:
Company says Connecticut gunman never filed race complaint
By the CNN Wire Staff

Story Highlights:
    * NEW: Company president said no racial complaints were filed
    * Omar Thornton brought two guns with him in a lunch box, police say
    * Authorities believe at least some of the victims were targeted
    * Thornton's girlfriend says he was racially harassed at work

(CNN) -- The president of a Connecticut beverage distributor said Thursday a man who went on a shooting rampage this week never filed a claim alleging racial discrimination.

The girlfriend of Omar Thornton, who killed eight people and then himself, told CNN that he was being racially harassed at work.

But Ross Hollander, whose family owns Hartford Distributors, said there were no grievances filed with the company or Thornton's union.

"I can state to you unequivocally no racism claim was ever alleged," Hollander said at a news conference. "Nevertheless, these ugly allegations have been raised and the company will cooperate with any investigation."

Kristi Hannah, Omar Thornton's girlfriend, said he first told her about racial harassment at work last summer.

Hannah said her mother told Thornton to take pictures of the alleged harassment with his cell phone. He took two pictures in the men's bathroom at work, she said. She described one as his name written on a cartoon, and the other as a drawing of a hangman with a noose around its neck. Connecticut state police have the phone.

Hannah's mother, Joanne Hannah, said she had heard of the cell phone photos. She said Thornton heard a co-worker say he "wanted that n****r out of there." She said Thornton told his girlfriend he had reported harassment to a company supervisor and a union representative, but nothing was done about it.

"There is nothing on record of any complaints from Omar, and there had been no disciplinary actions with him prior to this," said Chris Roos, secretary and treasurer of Teamsters Local 1035.

Manchester, Connecticut, police have said they have found no evidence of racial discrimination.

While I'm glad to see that the police are devoting time to this crucial question, we must always ask: Is absence of evidence truly evidence of absence of white racism as the cause of the recent unpleasantness?

P.S. I can't find from "Google News" any references to:
Hartford "hate crime"

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

"everybody to know that Budweiser should be held accountable for the racism stuff."

A case of 'get your retaliation in first'.

tomf1027@hotmail.com said...

She said she is speaking out because, she wants, "everybody to know that Budweiser should be held accountable for the racism stuff."

The victims aren't even cold in the ground yet and this "young lady" is already fishing around in the deepest pockets. Disgusting.

Jim O said...

Let's not get carried away here, Steve. I thought race amused you, not obsessed you. Yes, of course you're kidding, but but the MSM's reaction to this horrible story is so predictably unremarkable that I'm surprised you're even deigning to remark on it.

Anonymous said...

I'd say the girlfriend's comment that Budweiser should be held accountable is a clue to where this may be going. It seems improbable that Anheuser Busch would reach into its deep pockets to pay off Thornton's family, but who knows? Anyway, the family has nothing to lose by trying.

John

Anonymous said...

Even if they find photos on his cell phone showing said images, how will we know who created them? Given the recent rash of staged hate crimes, who is to say Thornton did not draw these images himself?

As for the WT girlfriend. I don't recall any recent shooting events where the 'family' of the shooter has so hogged the aftermath as much as these folks. Usually the family members of the shooter are silent outside of offering condolences to the dead. Then we learn some of the stories of the dead and what great people they were and how sad it is that their loved ones have been left behind. But this case is different. All I've heard is talk from this guy's family and the victims are being killed a second time.

Anonymous said...

MSMs reaction may be predictable but is certainly not unremarkable.

LER

Average Joe said...

Let us say for the sake of argument that he was the victim of racial harassment - so what? Let him go out and get another job if he feels that his co-workers are treating him badly. This is what normal people do when they don't like their jobs. The idea that this cretin had a logical excuse for murdering his co-workers is asinine in the extreme.

Kylie said...

Jim O said..."Let's not get carried away here, Steve. I thought race amused you, not obsessed you."

You write as if Steve plucked some obscure news item from a backwater periodical and gave it undue attention. The US is obsessed with race generally and this particular story is all about race. I just googled "Omar Thornton" and got 638,000 hits.

So who's obsessed with race?

I think Steve's phrases "Pavlovian News Analysis" and "the recent unpleasantness" show he does indeed find the national obsession with race amusing.

He's great when it comes to black humor.

Melykin said...

I think it is appalling that the MSM is giving the shooter's girl friend and family a platform on which to spread rumours about people who have been murdered and are not here to defend themselves.

Louis B. said...

P.S. I can't find from "Google News" any references to:

Hartford "hate crime"


There's one with the following quote:

frightening thought: How long until the racially resentful cabal of angry white men who are “losing their country” decide to actively strike back?

CJ said...

Every one of these hate crime stories I have read about that has featured a noose in any form has turned out to be a hoax.

Also, just in case anybody missed it, this guy and his union reps attended a disciplinary hearing where management (the management of a locally owned distributor named Hollander Industries, not "Budweiser") played a security video that showed him stealing beer. It was immediately after the meeting that he started shooting people.

HH said...

Is absence of evidence truly evidence of absence of white racism as the cause of the recent unpleasantness?

Actually, absence of evidence IS, by any logical definition, evidence of absence. If you look for evidence and don't find any, that in itself is evidence that there's no phenomenon. Caplan and Yudkowski explain this best:

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2007/08/the_bayes_who_w.html

http://lesswrong.com/lw/ih/absence_of_evidence_is_evidence_of_absence/

Truth said...

"So who's obsessed with race?"

Well, Steven has written 4 articles about the story in the last 24 hours: I'm Just sayin'...

Ron Mexico said...

Oddly, the young woman's name--and her mother's--suggest she's white. That would cast an interesting light on affairs. Can anyone verify or disconfirm?

l said...

The girlfriend's attention-seeking is pathetic enough, but the media's giving her a soapbox is worse.

Whiskey said...

The girlfriend is White, there was a picture, not very good, from a cellphone with her and the shooter. She's Blonde, and has pale skin. That's about all that's evident in the photo. I think the NY Post had the picture.

Yes, probably Budweiser will pay out, and the family/g-f will get a big settlement. Look for Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, to jump in front of cameras any day now. Along with the NAACP, and of course Obama. Perhaps Shirley Sherrod will also weigh in.

They simply cannot help themselves. Of course, to the average White voter this looks like another big reason to kill AA, this time in the private workplace.

That this occurs is a failure of social/legal pushback. There should be lawsuits already filed against the family, the G/F, the church, the local NAACP, etc. alleging "depraved indifference" in that they knew of planned violence, and did nothing. Is that a winnable lawsuit? Maybe not but the expense and discovery will be punishment, so too protests.

travis said...

Is Character Destiny or not? Consider the thoughts of a mulatto drifer before he slits the throat of his white abolitionist lover in Faulkner's Light in August, "...he believed with calm paradox that he was the volitionless servant of the fatality in which he believe he did not believe. He was saying to himself I had to do it already in the past tense; I had to do it. She said so herself"

Kylie said...

Truth said..."'So who's obsessed with race?'

Well, Steven has written 4 articles about the story in the last 24 hours: I'm Just sayin'..."

Yes, and the black shooter managed to inject the subject of race into his 911 call made shortly after he murdered 8 white people.

A good thing he wasn't obsessed with race or the white body count might have been even higher.

But racially-obsessed people like Steve are sure to see a supposed racial angle to this story of workplace violence, no matter how few white people the black shooter killed.

Anonymous said...

Average Joe: The idea that this cretin had a logical excuse for murdering his co-workers is asinine in the extreme.

It's not asinine.

It's evil.

Anonymous said...

"So who's obsessed with race?"

Well, Steven has written 4 articles about the story in the last 24 hours: I'm Just sayin'...
-----
You know, you don't have to take the bait.

Mr. Anon said...

"Whiskey said...

Yes, probably Budweiser will pay out, and the family/g-f will get a big settlement. Look for Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, to jump in front of cameras any day now. Along with the NAACP, and of course Obama. Perhaps Shirley Sherrod will also weigh in."

Budweiser should be used to paying danegeld to Jesse Jackson - ever since he extorted a distributorship from them for one of his sons.

By the way, Whiskey, good post. I heartily agree. The families of the murdered dead should sue all of the killer's relatives, biologoical and common-law, who have sought to excuse his actions before his victims are even in the ground. Sue them. Sue them all. Ruin them.

Truth said...

"You know, you don't have to take the bait."

He's talking to all of you bread-and-circus loving automatons watching the news every night!

truth_the_punk said...

He's talking to all of you bread-and-circus loving automatons watching the news every night!

Yeah, xcept if the color-tables were turned there would be a national outrage over "race-baiting". You f. hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

whoa, "panem et circusumems"--somebody brought out the big guns! No offense to recent victims of alleged unhatecrimes which involved bullets

a 3-person panel must be convened--I suggest Tawana Brawley, DeWayne Wickhem, and Stephen Glass--to establish the authenticity of the bathroom scribblings. If only cellfone fotos remain there are dozens of unemployed journolists who could step in, under the supervision of Dan Rather perhaps

Carl said...

Steve,

What is the point of this blog post????

What happened is undoubtedly tragic and no one who is rational disputes statistics regarding crime and race. But from a scientific/logical perspective, what value is added by referring to a specific incident, other than a demagogic one? One could refer to the Asian VTech killer or numerous Caucasian spree killers for instance, but it is pointless and idiotic to use anecdotal evidence if that anecdotal evidence is all there is in your post. As insightful as you are at times (e.g. analysis of NFL players; parsing Gladwell's ridiculous claims), how can anyone educated and intelligent with a RIGOROUS mindset take your blog seriously anymore?

My ultimate point is that your bias against blacks and hispanics has grown so strong that you are working from an axiomatic framework, instead a logical one. Math people will understand what I mean. Please consider what I am saying; it's more than just some P.C. bullshit.

Mr. Anon said...

"Carl said...

Steve,

What is the point of this blog post????"

The press is treating this mass murder in a qualitatively different way than they did mass murders committed by whites. That's the point of the post, idiot.

"Math people will understand what I mean."

Math people? Who are the "math people"? That sounds really stupid - not the kind of thing that "math people" would say.

ben tillman said...

Please consider what I am saying; it's more than just some P.C. bullshit.

Actually, it's less than that. You missed the point, which has to do with the media, not Blacks or Mexicans.

John said...

"Let's not get carried away here, Steve. I thought race amused you, not obsessed you. Yes, of course you're kidding, but but the MSM's reaction to this horrible story is so predictably unremarkable that I'm surprised you're even deigning to remark on it."

WTF? While predictable, demonising the victims of this is rather ominous and anything but unremarkable. Imagine a German in 1938 shooting up his Jewish coworkers.

Carl said...

"Math people" means analyzing the evidence and adjusting your assumptions and theories to fit the facts as opposed to starting with a set of inviolable ideas or principles and distorting the "facts" to fit those axioms.

"Math people" means people who understand scientific methods and RIGOR, who know how to discuss things without resorting to emotion. Do you know what rigor means and how it applies to logical arguments and particularly to the limitations of conclusions drawn from statistical arguments?

It also means not introducing anecdotal evidence unless your intention is to clarify or preface a broader topic. Here, the anecdote is the point itself, serving no other purpose than to inflame whites against blacks. I read a post from a related blog post (the following blog entry from Steve) in which a "genius" typical of the readers of this blog suggests that killing whites is just another black entitlement. Wow, just wow.

Carl said...

Also, let's not be so naive as to think there isn't a larger reason behind these blog entries other than media response. To prove my point, what is the lingering thought or emotion that the majority of blog readers will leave with after reading these blog entries? Get real.

Anonymous said...

Carl wrote:

"It also means not introducing anecdotal evidence unless your intention is to clarify or preface a broader topic. Here, the anecdote is the point itself, serving no other purpose than to inflame whites against blacks. I read a post from a related blog post (the following blog entry from Steve) in which a "genius" typical of the readers of this blog suggests that killing whites is just another black entitlement. Wow, just wow."

This anecdotal evidence does clarify/preface the broader topic of mass media discrimination against whites and disparate application of the 'racism' meme.

Do you imagine that no emotions are driving your rigorous application of logical reasoning about how Steve should handle topics? Then why such anxiousness? Does logic compel you to anxiously keep watch over Steve's writings? Lets not fool ourselves, Math Person.

Mr. Anon said...

Carl said...

"Math people" means people who understand scientific methods and RIGOR, who know how to discuss things without resorting to emotion. Do you know what rigor means and how it applies to logical arguments and particularly to the limitations of conclusions drawn from statistical arguments?"

It's too bad "math [eople" does not encompass people who can write sensible english prose, rather than using retarded constructions like "math people".

By the way, you want statistics on black crime rates, look at the DOJ's website. These statistics are well known among most people who visit this site. This thread did not begin ab initio.

Hey, that's a "math person" term!

Doug1 said...

No Budweiser won't pay out Whiskey.

Your judgment is laughable.

Anonymous said...

You can't get blood from a stone