Russell BrandSocial 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.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

15 comments

  1. Russell Brand is an idiot, plain and simple. He doesn’t know jack about politics, and I never understood what was so great about this guy. He was never funny.

    1. I actually think he’s a pretty intelligent guy. His problem is that he has filled his mind with mush. For every insightful observation he has there seems to be three weird ones that bear little to no resemblance to reality. Lump on a huge helping of moral relativism and it’s understandable why others label him an idiot.

  2. “What facts can emerge?” The “victim” had just committed a strong-arm robbery, the “witness” (who has become the darling of the MSM by claiming that the cop murdered the “victim”) was an accomplice in the robbery, the cop stopped the “kid” for jaywalking and may have found stolen items on him, and the “victim” assaulted the cop before the cop shot him.

    None of which matters to the media, who have already convicted the cop without a trial.

    BTW, the Justice Department tried to prevent the convenience store video from being made public, saying it would be “inflammatory.” (More inflammatory than the media repeating the mantra “unarmed teen” over and over?) But the protests and looting had already started long before the video was released.

    1. I’ve seen multiple people say that releasing the video was tantamount to “character assassination.” The only person who sullied Mr. Brown’s character was Mr. Brown the moment he decided to rob a convenience store and rough up its clerk.

  3. I have never understood what people find funny and appealing about this guy. I have watched some of his TV comedy shows and whilst he comes across as fairly intelligent; for my tastes, I find him to be incredibly unfunny and overly brash, rude and crude.

    1. I find it interesting how he spends so much time going after guys like Hannity, O’Reilly, etc. without realizing just how much he is actually like them. Hannity and O’Reilly have “agendas,” but Russell Brand does not? Hannity and O’Reilly are loud-mouth know-it-alls, but Russell Brand is not? Hannity and O’Reilly twist facts to suit their worldview, but Russell Brand does not? The list goes on and on…

  4. Russell brand has some funny lines and stories in his standup; but not to well thought out as a social commenter…..

    On to the bigger issue of Ferguson itself; I am always torn by these stories. Just some observations:

    A teen is dead. That is a fact, and even if he were doing dumb a** things, he is still someone’s son, and I feel bad for that family. Hopefully kids in his situation may tone town the thug image/activities, because when you act like one you will be treated as such, this may include police attention. That said, Doug has posted multiple inspiring stories of people that rise up from bad teenage decisions, anyone dying before their time is a tragedy.

    This seems like the most well armed suburban police force ever; I don’t remember seeing that amount of armored vehicles and machine guns in the LA riots of the nineties.

    I see Al Sharpton didn’t let this “opportunity” pass him up in the race hustling business. I’m sure the people of Ferguson can air their grievances without him making it a circus.

    I really felt for the poor shopkeeper seen sweeping up his looted store with a sad expression. I’m quite familiar with small business financials; events like this are devastating, even with insurance. He didn’t participate in the police action, a sad commentary on the looters. Though, it was nice to see the good number of volunteers from the community helping with the cleanup.

    Captain Johnson seems a genuine, caring guy about his job and the community. I hope things stabilize under his leadership, and a dialogue reached to prevent this from happening again.

    1. If anything, this whole sad ordeal makes a very strong case for the Second Amendment. Seeing store owners who had to use their personal firearms to fend off looters because the cops were too afraid to move in was incredibly telling. When everything falls apart, who is there to protect your life, liberty and property? I remember seeing similar stories during Hurricane Katrina. The looters moved in, and the guys who had the signs that said “Looters will be shot” fared pretty well.

      I see Al Sharpton didn’t let this “opportunity” pass him up in the race hustling business. I’m sure the people of Ferguson can air their grievances without him making it a circus.

      I’m not sure why he isn’t run out of town with this stuff happens. He brings so much baggage with him that, as you point out, it just becomes a circus. Also, given his past…getting him involved almost slimes whoever he helps with a layer or guilt and suspicion (i.e., Tawana Brawley).

      I really felt for the poor shopkeeper seen sweeping up his looted store with a sad expression.

      We may have watched the same video. I think the store owner looked Hispanic, if I’m not mistaken. So “Sam’s Meat Market” gets looted — twice — why, exactly? Because it was in the area. Real smooth, guys. What if Sam is older and he decided to just pack it in and retire? Would you want to open a store in that vacant lot after what happened? What kind of business would want to move into that part of town, knowing that there are plenty of individuals waiting to smash windows and steal goods the moment an opportunity presents itself?

    2. Plus, is Sharpton really helping? I’ve heard several speeches by prominent black voices (clergy, organizers) actually from Ferguson or the area. They got their grievances out just fine without Al, and one has to question how much he cares- you know he will skip right out of town when the next tv appearence or photo-op becomes available to him…..maybe Russell Brand should poke fun at him.

      Yes, the store owner looked so glum, it was sad. Even if he had insurance, they may not pay for all damage to the store fixtures, inventory gone, windows/signs/displays. All these things are expensive, and now the poor guy’s rates will skyrocket if he stays. We all complain about lack of business in some minority communities, and here we have one; and it gets destroyed. For what? The shopkeeper didn’t do anything and it doesn’t fix the situation. Plus the fact he’s trying to make a living too.

      Im glad for the 2nd amendment for these cases; those shop owners work hard and put their lives into the business. Certainly within their right to defend it.

    3. Update: It looks like the initial autopsy results are in…and Mr. Brown’s friend may have been caught lying.

      Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a police officer, sparking protests around the nation, was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, a preliminary private autopsy performed on Sunday found.

      One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury, according to Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, who flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family’s request to conduct the separate autopsy. It was likely the last of bullets to hit him, he said.

      Mr. Brown, 18, was also shot four times in the right arm, he said, adding that all the bullets were fired into his front. …

      Mr. Johnson said that he hid behind a parked car and that Mr. Brown was struck by a bullet in his back as he ran away, an account that Dr. Baden’s autopsy appears to contradict.

      So first we were told Mr. Brown would never hurt a fly, but then it turned out he robbed a convenience store less than an hour before his death. Then we were told that he was shot in the back, which now appears to be false.

      What else will we learn in the coming days? This is why I held off on doing a blog post specifically about Ferguson for so long…

    4. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson exploit these tragedies because they need hot button issues to justify their sinecures. And Benjamin Crump is an ambulance-chasing pettyfogger who is planning to shake down the city in a lawsuit.

      “A very strong case for the Second Amendment.” The media always claim that you don’t need a gun for protection because the police will protect you. But storekeepers in Ferguson who called 911 for the city police were told to call the sheriff’s department. Then the sheriff’s department told them to call the state Highway Patrol. Then the state troopers told them to call the city police department. All three agencies were too overwhelmed to respond.

      Ferguson, like the Rodney King riots, proved that there is a need for civilians to own firearms, including so-called “high capacity assault rifles.”

      Even in the best of times, there is no way that fewer than one million law enforcement officers can protect 300 million civilians from ten million criminals. And the courts have repeatedly ruled (Riss vs. New York, Warren vs. District of Columbia, Castle Rock vs. Gonzalez) that police do not even have a legal duty to protect anyone.

      The media’s attitude toward law enforcement depends on what agenda they are trying to push at the moment. They feign sympathy for the cops when advocating more anti-gun legislation. A TimesDaily.com editorial in December 2013 was entitled “Police Know Urgency of Gun Control.” “We should listen to what our law enforcement officers have to say.” “The men and women who patrol our streets are the loudest advocates for greater restrictions on gun ownership.” But every “law enforcement officer” that they quoted was a chief or a commissioner, i.e., a bureaucrat with a desk job. Not one was a working street cop. Meanwhile, the police-only website PoliceOne.com conducted a survey of real cops. 95% said that magazine capacity limits would not reduce crime, 71% said that an assault weapons ban would have no effect on crime (and another 20% said it would have a negative effect), over 75% were in favor of arming teachers and other school staff if they were properly trained and qualified, and 80% said an armed citizenry could help deter crime.

      But whenever a mugger resists arrest and a cop has to twist his arm to make him submit, or whenever a bank robber is shot in a gunfight with police, then the heroic “men and women who patrol our streets” are suddenly a bunch of trigger-happy Nazi storm troopers who go around shooting innocent African-American children for sport. And the criminal is suddenly a Boy Scout, an honor student, and a saint.

      We saw it in the infamous “Rodney King video,” when the MSM repeatedly showed the cop hitting King, but never showed the earlier part, in which King was attacking one of the cops. And the “unarmed motorcyclist” (a drug dealer) in Miami, who was shot “during a chase” (actually, it turned out he was shot in self-defense while trying to run over a cop). And the “unarmed bridegroom” in New York who was shot by police “who claimed they thought he had a gun.” (It turned out that he was trying to run them over with his SUV when they shot him.)

      And the Associated Press handbook instructs reporters to use the term “child” for people twelve or younger, “youth” for adolescents (13-17), and “man” or “woman” for legal adults (18 or older). But the media have constantly referred to the “victim” in Ferguson as a “teen,” an “unarmed teen,” and even as a “boy” and a “child.”

    5. Normally I’d have something to add, but…in this case I think I’ll just tell people to reread your comment! No pun intended: “Boom!” Great stuff, Tom.

  5. I have a question how might the police have handled this situation better?
    I think more transparency from the start but then again sharing information that could lead to mistakes could do more harm than good. I just keep going back to the Zimmerman situation.

  6. I also posted this in the comments section of my blog.

    One should consider why this seems similar. Please pay extra attention around 6:20

    Twitter is now a very open form of media so we all need to be careful. Charles Barkley has some strong points that we all need to consider.

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