Baltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes told CNN on Wednesday, ""Of course it's not the right word, to call our children 'thugs. These are children who have been set aside, marginalized, who have not been engaged by us. No, we don't have to call them thugs."
The Rev. Jamal Bryant, who delivered the eulogy at Freddy Gray's funeral, also took exception to the use of the word "thug" Wednesday on CNN. "The President and the mayor are wrong, he said. "These are not thugs, these are upset and frustrated children."
"It's amazing," The Reverend continued. "You don't call six police officers who kill a man without probable cause 'thugs,' but children who are frustrated and don't have an outlet, you call them 'thugs.' 'Thugs' is the 21st century word for the N-word. And it is repulsive and it is offensive to every person who is a parent trying to raise children interpreting what's taking place in this hour."
Ignoring for the moment the Reverend's obvious attempt to try six police offices in the CNN kangaroo court without due process, let's examine what these worthies are actually saying. First, they would have us believe that voting-age adults who steal other people's property and torch other people's livelihoods are "frustrated children without an outlet," and "marginalized children with whom we have not 'engaged.'"
These are not children, gentlemen. these are adults who are expected to act responsibly. And if they are "marginalized," it is by their actions. Burning and stealing other people's property is not an acceptable "outlet" at any age in a civilized society.
Further, the word thug is portrayed as "repulsive and offensive," an unsubstantiated assertion embellished by comparing it to the über-offensive N-word. This is a classic Newspeak maneuver – an attempt to control our thinking by limiting our vocabulary. Thug is a recognized and respectable English word that precisely and succinctly describes the sort of people whom we watched Monday night on television. There is no logical reason not to use the word in context.
Returning to Rev. Bryant's assertion that "six police officers killed a man without probable cause," Freddy Gray was a thug who was breaking the law. And under the laws of our civilized society that is "probable cause" for being arrested and incarcerated. The knee-jerk presumption that his death was caused by the police officers, though, is telling – and ominous. Why is the myth of police brutality being so vigorously promulgated? And by whom?
Frank Roosevelt said, "In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happened, it was planned that way" Could the infusion of a universal presumption of police brutality be a subterfuge intended to pave the way for the imposition of President Obama's dream of a Nationalized police force?
So, is thug the new N-word? Frankly, Rev. Bryant, we don't need a new N-word. The old one describes the Baltimore arsonist looters quite adequately.