Battle lines have been drawn on both sides of the Cedric Benson arrest, with both sides showing the savvy of average Americans regarding extended public media battles. In other words, they’re both screwing up in full view.
In response to pictures from a UT co-ed showing large black men partying with white women in an attempt to humanize Benson, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office launched a multimedia counterstrike with a video showing a fuzzy surveillance video of a compliant and demure large black man with his head hung following directions without “cockiness” noted in the police report during arrest.
Seriously, does either side know what they’ve got themselves into? The police undermined their case by showing a polite young man following directions and a naive young woman sandbagged her own friend accidentally by showing many Texans’ worst fears in full color.
Benson has also hired the local equivalent of Alan Dershowitz, the high-priced celebrity lawyer known for high-profile success. That’s not the move of someone seeking middle ground. (On the other hand, that doesn’t make it the wrong decision, either.)
As the détente escalates, both sides find themselves calcifying their positions and making it much harder to just plea to the Lake Travis equivalent “being too loud and having too much fun” and moving on with their lives. Instead, we have the brewing war over “boating while black”. Who exactly gains from this?
Oh, right. The media. Keep up the good work, kids. We heard Cedric Benson once called Travis County police “doodyheads”! Get on that.