HEADLINES NEED TO STOP BEING MISLEADINGBY GREGG DesELMS | Thursday 31 October 2013
I signed this (below-linked-to) petition because, in the end, it's the right thing to do... despite the misleading "subject" line in the email which called it to my attention. And so, then, so should YOU sign the peition, too. But that "subject:" line...
Black teen arrested for buying a belt at Barneys
...that's just misleading... intended to incite! And that's wrong. No one was arrested just for buying a belt. Granted, someone was arrested *AFTER* buying a belt, but not *FOR* buying a belt.
There's no small amount of difference between "after" and "for," no matter *HOW* used. This sort of misuse of the language, intended to incite, happens a lot with petitions and causes, I notice.
For example, the people who want us to be upset about the McDonalds employee who stood-up during a speech being given by McDonalds CEO, interrupting it, and aksing him why she's not being paid a living wage after her 10 years of employment with and loyalty to McDonalds. The headlines were that she was arrested for simply asking him that question; but, of course, she was arrested for interrupting a meeting in someone else's venue, to which one either isn't invited, or during which one was expected to remain silent or at least participate in an orderly manner...
...which is illegal in most states. She had free speech rights, of course; but her exercise of them didn't get to deprive McDonalds CEO of his. Her place for her words was out on the street, in front of the building, or holding picket signs across the street, or in the press, or on a website, or in her very own venue and meeting of *HER* creation. That's how our system works... how it MUST work, else there'd be constant chaos. So the headline and email "subject" line writers who wanted to get us all worked-up over this woman seemingly being arrested just for asking a question were manipulating us. And that's wrong.
Just as the headline in this morning's email suggesting that a black teen was arrested just for buying a belt at Barneys was wrong. Yes, all he did was buy a belt, and then he was arrested; but he wasn't arrested *FOR* buying the belt. He was arrested because some racist white clerk in a snooty store just couldn't believe that a black person who looked like him could possibly afford a $350 belt, and so she just assumed that he bought it with a stolen or forced or in some other manner illegal credit or debit card. So he wasn't arrested for buying a belt. That's not illegal. He was arrested on suspicion of having used a stolen or by some other means fraudulent credit or debit card.
There's a huge difference, isn't there.