If You Tweet Lil Wayne Lyrics, Is It Still a Crime to Shoot You?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 28 2012 10:46 AM

If You Tweet Lil Wayne Lyrics, Is It Still a Crime to Shoot You?

There are really two Victor Davis Hansons. One is a cracking good military historian, the author of Carnage and Culture, the guy Hollywood calls when it wants to make sure it's got the Spartans' helmets right. The other is a conservative columnist who relies on the sort of rigor and research normally reserved for the dream journals of Twilight fans. In "Tom Wolfe, Where Are You?" he adds some intellectual heft to the argument that the media sugar-coated Trayvon Martin's story. This is the nut graf.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

After demonizing Zimmerman for a week as an unhinged white racist wannabe vigilante, Sharpton, Jackson, et al. are upset that the tables are turning and Martin is emerging not quite as a model pre-teen, Skittle-eating student with a slight truancy problem, but as a 6 foot 2 inch teen with troubled Twitter allusions to criminal activity, an obscene n-word Twitter ID, and suspensions entailing possible drug use and theft.

Two things here:

Troubled Twitter allusions to criminal activity. What criminal activity? Davis Hanson doesn't cite any. The No_Limit_Nigga account, which has been locked again, included a tweet reading "Finna smoke 1 wit my dawg wayne," and more damningly "2 glock 40's... bitch you got 80 problems." Hang on, though -- the second item is from "It's Good," one of the songs from the last Lil' Wayne album. There aren't actually any tweets on the account about "criminal activity."

Possible drug use and theft. Hanson doesn't mention the drug or the usage. We're taking about an empty marijuana baggie. Maia Szalavitz wrote a good piece pointing out the obvious: Marijuana use doesn't make you violent. Why not mention the drug in question?

More Hanson:

[T]he country beats itself up over whether Zimmerman may have used a racial epithet — even as Twitter messages are released of Martin self-identifying himself with the n-word.

Yes, it's the "how come black people can say 'nigga' and white people can't" argument. Forget about the context -- Martin referring to himself, Zimmerman referring to a black kid that he's about to confront after calling 911. This is almost too lazy to deal with, but it's not any lazier than the chatter online and on talk radio, made by people less learned than Hanson.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



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