Throughout the holiday week, protests continued over the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and numerous other unarmed black men that have died by the hands of law enforcement. It’s impossible to ignore either the empirical facts or the visceral emotions, and the demonstrations, whether one feels they are justified or not, demand attention. America has a big problem with dead black men, and it needs to be addressed.
A story that hasn’t gotten much attention however, is the recent bar fight and resultant stabbing of a civilian by Dustin Diamond, the actor most famous (well, only famous) for playing Screech on the 1990s teen drama Saved By The Bell. Why is it, one must ask, that systemic racism and state-sanctioned, widespread violence towards people of color is met with outrage, yet no one seems to be up in arms about Screech violence? Is it because it’s a false equivalency? Is it because, like in the cases of pro-police rallies, demonstrations against Screech lack any real target of protest and are mostly just silly outbursts from racists looking to mock the real pain minorities feel? No, no it’s not because of that. It’s because I’m the only person smart enough to realize that Screech is a systemic problem, one that needs to be eradicated, torn off like a moldy band aid, discarded and forgotten, so that our nation may heal. What I’m saying is, we need to kill Screech.
What I’ve noticed is that many of the complaints arising from the #blacklivesmatter movement are not necessarily that police are shooting too many unarmed black men, it’s that the police aren’t shooting enough armed unarmed white men. After all, isn’t that the solution to racism? Equitable treatment? You’re going to have a hard time convincing police not to murder people, that’s what they do, but we can at least solve the racism aspect by killing more white men. Why not start with Screech?
What I’m saying is, we need to (very publicly) allow the NYPD to execute Dustin Diamond in broad daylight.
Here’s how it would go down. We do it in Rockefeller Plaza, as soon as they discard the Christmas tree. A raised platform serves as a sacrificial altar, and Screech is restrained by officers as Di Blasio, shoulder to shoulder with New York’s finest, places Screech in a chokehold. Meanwhile, cameras capture the event from every angle. Its simulcast on Google Play and Youtube. Di Blasio, bracing Screech’s oafish chin with his forearm, constricts Screech’s airflow long enough to induce semi-unconsciousness. As Screech is left wheezing and barely lucid, the officers and the mayor step aside, and a throng of police draw their weapons and riddle Screech’s body with bullets. Protestors are invited to shoot at Screech. Children come up and take turns placing bullets in the idiot’s face. A city, and a nation, bond over the murder of one of pop culture’s most perennial and obnoxious figures.
We will also have killed an unarmed white man, and a famous one at that. Which, of course, won’t necessarily prove that #blacklivesmatter but it will prove that white ones don’t, and that should be enough to return America to the quietly racist complacency that we all passively enjoyed before any of these atrocities occurred in the public gaze. We can go back to hating celebrities rather than each other.
Is it excessive? Yes, it is. But that’s what we need right now. We need excessive. Often, people will hear my takes and put forth rebukes that accuse me of pushing the pendulum too far in the other direction. But really, when it comes to pendulums, there is no “too far” in the other direction. That’s just how pendulums work, folks. If they didn’t swing in one direction, they wouldn’t swing back in the other. There would be no balance. It wouldn’t be a pendulum, it would just be a big, stagnant ball. And you know what one ball represents? Someone without multiple balls. Someone without balls. A coward. And that’s about as far as I can go with this pendulum metaphor.