I saw something about a driver killing in Las Vegas on AOL Monday. Of course I didn’t look at the AOL article–AOL is arguably the most unreliable source of news there is. I set my DVR to record the PBS Newshour. Surprise–there was nothing at all about this on the PBS Newshour. I had set my DVR to record my local news (ABC affiliate) for the weather forecast, as usual–there was a ridiculously short clip on that news broadcast about this incident.
So yesterday I picked up a copy of The New York Times. This incident wasn’t reported on the front page at all–which was really surprising. I had to look all over the place to even find any mention of it in an index. It was on page A19–in the back half of Section A–and only in a tiny corner of the page: Murder Charge to Be Filed in Crash on Las Vegas Strip.
When I first saw anything about this, on AOL, I immediately recalled a similar crash in Las Vegas many years before. And I remembered that incident was all over the front page of every newspaper in America–and all over the television news media. That occurred in 2005. The perpetrator was Stephen Ressa. He intentionally drove into a crowd, killing three people, and injuring many more. And he was White.
The perpetrator of this latest crash is Lakeisha N. Holloway. She intentionally drove into a crowd, killing one person, and injuring many more. And she is Black.
The American press is going to great lengths to keep this incident in the background–barely mentioning it at all.
Given the American press’ practice of inserting the race card into every single act of violence in the last year–yet only when the perpetrators are White, and their victims are Black–its downplaying of this act of violence is due to the fact that the perpetrator is Black, and most of her victims are probably White. What other credible explanation could there be?
Consider this section of the article:
Sheriff Lombardo said repeatedly that Ms. Holloway’s motive was unclear, though he said she had offered an explanation of sorts to officers, “and I’m not comfortable disclosing that.”
Perhaps because this violent act was racially motivated, and the sheriff wouldn’t dare admit that a Black person could commit a racially motivated act of violence.
Sheriff Lombardo is later reported to say, “As of now, we do not believe it to be an act of terrorism.”
Well of course not! Lakeisha N. Holloway is not a Muslim–and as God-fearing, patriotic Americans, we all know that only Muslims commit acts of terrorism, don’t we?
Finally, there is this:
Steven B. Wolfson, the Clark County district attorney, said, “We are going to start off by filing one count of murder with the use of a deadly weapon.” He added that he expected to file more charges later, including “multiple counts of attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon…”
Wait a minute–this woman drove her car into a crowd of people. Since when has a car been a deadly weapon?
Since cars were invented–in the late Nineteenth Century.
A motor vehicle, in the right hands, is a machine used for transportation.
A motor vehicle, in the wrong hands, is a deadly weapon.
A motor vehicle, used carefully, is a machine for transportation.
A motor vehicle, used carelessly, is a deadly weapon.
Now this woman, Lakeisha N. Holloway, intentionally used her car as a deadly weapon–just as that man, Stephen Ressa, intentionally used his car as a deadly weapon in 2005.
But your motor vehicle can be used as a deadly weapon whether you intend it to, or not.
Of course if you have so much alcohol in your system that you cannot safely drive, and you kill someone–your motor vehicle is a deadly weapon.
But get this–if you are using a mobile device (cellphone, iPhone, Smartphone, Blackberry) behind the wheel, you cannot safely drive–no matter how sober you are. Whether you’re texting on it, playing a game on it, accessing the Internet on it, checking your emails on it, or just talking on it, you are engaging in willful distracted driving if you are using a mobile device while driving. And no matter how careful you try to be, you cannot be careful enough to drive. You will kill someone–sooner or later–and your motor vehicle will be a deadly weapon.
Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s right–willful distracted driving is just plain wrong.
If you kill someone by using your mobile device while driving, you might as well have been drunk off your ass while driving–indeed you might as well have intentionally used your motor vehicle as a deadly weapon–it makes absolutely no difference.
And if you kill someone by using your mobile device while driving, you might as well have shot that person to death–it makes absolutely no difference.
If you insist on carrying a mobile device, turn it off when you’re behind the wheel of your motor vehicle–for God’s sake, for your sake, and especially for everyone else’s sake.
Seriously, if you use a mobile device while driving, you have no regard for human life.
Is that too harsh?
Then if you use a mobile device while driving, and you have any regard for human life at all, you certainly don’t show it.
Hang up and drive. Put it down, it can wait. Leave it off while you’re driving–for God’s sake, for your sake, and especially for everyone else’s sake.