Social media is a double-edged sword. If an individual wants to quickly disseminate a message, it’s there. Unfortunately, social media doesn’t discriminate between the man of tact and temperance and the reckless individual who rides his emotions wherever they take him. Enter Russel Brand, the successful comedian who thinks that spewing a bunch of contradictory New Age gibberish automatically certifies his opinion as genius.
On the Ferguson shooting death of Michael Brown, Mediate called his twelve-minute rant against Fox News, Bill O’Reilly and anyone who disagrees with him a “searing take down.” (It was so “searing” that the writer couldn’t be bothered to transcribe any of it for his audience.)
Here is an excerpt:
Bill O’Reilly: “Do we weigh in as the boy’s father? And if it were my son I would have probably said the same thing. But he’s obviously talking through an emotional prism. His son is dead. He believes, probably — I know he believes — that it was an injustice. That it was done for nothing. A murder. And many, many African Americans believe that without knowing the facts.”
Russel Brand: What facts can emerge? There is no fact that can emerge that makes it all right that this kind of thing keeps happening. What is the motto of police? ‘Protect and serve.’ That relationship has completely broken down. I would never condemn police officers. I know the kind of background that most police officers come from. They come from the communities that they work in, but the ideology they work for is an establishment ideology. They are not protecting and serving. The people that they are protecting and serving are not the people of the streets of Ferguson. They’re the people of Wall Street, and the city and the government.”
If an unarmed teenager, who stands over six-feet tall and weighs over 200 pounds, gets into a physical altercation with a cop and goes for the officer’s weapon, then it most-certainly is a “fact that can emerge” that could (and should) change the emotional calculus of neutral observers. If that cop, who is fighting for control of his weapon, knows that there is a second suspect who could join in the fight at any time, then it certainly is a “fact that can emerge” that could (and should) change how third-parties judge the situation. That is why investigations are necessary. That is why prudence is a virtue. That is why the millions of people who buy into Mr. Brand’s ramblings have no idea what they’re talking about.
Perhaps the most hilarious part of the Russel Brand “take down” is the moment where he says he would “never” condemn police officers — who grew up in the communities they protect — before doing precisely that. Brand would “never” condemn cops, but yet we’re supposed to believe they’re all a bunch of stupid tools who protect and serve “the establishment” (whatever “the establishment” means in the mind of Russell Brand).
In the end, even the comedian’s spiritual mish-mash of beliefs falls apart. If we are all essentially a part of the universal consciousness and “I am you and you are me, and Bill O’Reilly is Russell Brand and Russell Brand is Bill O’Reilly,” then why does it matter if Bill O’Reilly is “racist”? If we follow Russell Brand’s logic, and the two men are really one, then the reality is that Russell is the racist. We’re all racist…and none of it matters because the swirling spinning universal consciousness will be just fine in the end.
If you’re looking for insightful analysis on race relations in the United States, then you probably don’t want to turn to Russell Brand. If you want to see evidence that it really does matter what religion you choose, then watch his so-called “take down” in its entirety.