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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Nick Coleman: Regurgitating Nothing New

I do a pretty good job avoiding my of reading Nick Coleman. Regurgitate a couple cans of any generic brand alphabet soup and chances are there's a Coleman column contained in the, uh - regurgitated material (aka vomit). I did find interest in his most recent scribblings, "Verdict in Block E's murder case doesn't solve one mystery", which appears below at the end of my post.

In March of this year a man minding his own business was shot and killed by someone he did not know. The shooter received a life sentence.

Yet Bleeding Heart Uber-Liberal scribbler for the Red Star, Nick Coleman writing about the murder, begins his story with this sentence:

    The Block E murder that shocked Minneapolis turns out to be a double homicide.

Why? Because the shooter received a life sentence? Only the warped mind of a Liberal like Coleman could conceive and believe that his opening sentence is objective, legitimate or anything remotely approaching truthfulness. I guess Nick's editor was absent that day to proof the column. Or perhaps his editor's heart bleeds at the same rate and quantity as does Nicks. There's no other way to explain it.

The mother of the shooter, upon hearing the life sentence verdict, cried out the following, according to Nick's column:

    "I might as well stop living. They gave him life for political reasons. My son is not a menace! His life is over! This is racial and political! Oh, Jesus! I'm sorry what happened to [the victim], but they didn't give my baby a chance!"

Do you remember the "Seinfeld" episode where the character Elaine, to get back at an old boyfriend whose book she was editing, added exclamation points after each sentence? Okay, Nick - was there a sale on exclamation points at the Red Star?

Now..."who" gave the shooter life for political reasons? The jury? The judge? Who is "they"? The only person responsible for the life sentence is the person who fired the gun.

Yes, your son was a menace. Without the slightest consideration for the victim, your son shot and killed another person without any reason or motive. Your son, unprovoked, pulled the trigger on a gun and shot another person dead. Your "baby" had chances and choices. And no one is a "baby" at 21-years of age. Unfortunately for him, he made one very bad choice when he pulled the trigger, sealing his own fate. It's just that simple.

For the majority of the rest of the column Coleman tells us about the killer, about his difficult teenage years, about how the killer developed a good relationship with a Big Brother sponsor, about how the killer was a good student, about how somewhere along the way the killer went bad. Perhaps, it is implied that the killer, before killing, was a "wannabe" gangsta.

The Big Brother interviewed for the story says he was shocked when he heard that the killer was the kid he had spent time with in the BB program.

In court, after the verdict was read, the killer said to the victim's family, "I hope y'all are happy."

The column runs 911 words (heh, 911...I wonder if he threw in some "ands" or an "is" just to do that). Of these 911 words the name of the victim and his family account for thirteen (13!) of the 911 words. Thirteen words out of 911...why Nick, it's almost anecdotal that you mention the victim. Was doing so an afterthought?

The rest of it is basically devoted to who, what, where, why, when and how what happened with the killer and his life prior to pulling the trigger.

You may have gathered by now that the killer is black or guessed that he was a part of a "minority". But does, or should, race matter in terms of sentencing when it comes to a shooting like this one? It doesn't for me. Apply the same standards employed by the killer in this story to anyone else, and their color, gender, race, religion, creed, ethnicity, sexual preference or any other societal and/or self-described label is irrelevant. Anybody found guilty in a shooting like that of the story should receive a life sentence.

But Coleman, in a not-that-coy manner, attempts to draw sympathy for the life sentencing of the killer! This illustrates one of the major problems of Liberals and Liberalism. How long a sentence should the killer have received, Nick? Ten years? Two? Fifteen? Twenty-five? First-Timer Get Off Free Card? Liberals like Nick won't give you an answer because they don't have one. Oh, they know how to set up their faux-sympathy generating stories but they never have the answers to their very own questions that they pose to the reader.

The story Coleman tells is a story that has played itself out over and over, hundreds and hundreds of times in city after city, around the country and around the world. There's nothing unique or different in Coleman's story than is in any other similar story about the same issue written by a any Bleeding Heart Liberal. The only message stories like this convey is advancing the Liberal Agenda that "good kid-goes bad-gets unjust lengthy life-sentence".

Hey Nick - how about an 911 word story on what a great guy the victim was. Tell us about how his life enriched those around him. Maybe how he took interest in helping someone less fortunate - you know - maybe he was a Big Brother to someone. Tell us about the victim's family, what they recall about the life of their now departed son, brother, nephew and friend. Tell us how his co-workers liked him, how he always got the job done, how he went out of his way to succeed in everything he did. Tell us how he smiled when he talked of his dreams, what his goals were and what he wanted to do during his life. Tell us how much the victim will be missed by his family and friends.

You won't read a story like that in any Coleman column or by any of the Liberal Columnist (and you know, it is so unfair and unwarranted to even call them "columnists") Clones scattered about on the staff of any newspaper in any U.S. city. They won't write about the victim or tell you his or her story. To do so would mean they might actually agree that paying a price for committing a crime falls on the perpetrator - no matter what their color is - and not the victim.


    Verdict in Block E's murder case doesn't solve one mystery

    Nick Coleman, Star Tribune

    The Block E murder that shocked Minneapolis turns out to be a double homicide.

    Alan Reitter died last March. His killer, Derick Holliday, 21, was convicted of the crime last week and will spend his life in prison. The loss of his life was self-inflicted, but left another mother crying.

    When Hennepin County District Judge Toddrick Barnette delivered the verdict, Holliday's mother, Yolanda White, wailed loudly.

    "I might as well stop living," she cried. "They gave him life for political reasons! My son is not a menace! His life is over! This is racial and political! Oh, Jesus! I'm sorry what happened to Mr. Reitter, but they didn't give my baby a chance!"

    I can't question a mother's grief, but a few points in rebuttal are in order. There is little doubt that Derick Holliday was a menace when he was wildly firing a "Dirty Harry" .44 Magnum in downtown after a fight in a movie theater. Alan Reitter, out on the town with his fiancee, didn't have any chance at all. County Attorney Amy Klobuchar, who is running for the U.S. Senate, spoke with Reitter's family outside court. But if she hadn't done that, she would be criticized, and rightfully. As for race, Judge Barnette, like Holliday, is black.

    Justice isn't always color-blind, or politically pure. But it appeared to be so in this case.

    That leaves us with this mystery: Why did Derick Holliday, without a hard criminal record or evidence of drug use, shoot a perfect stranger? One person who knew Holliday as a smart, happy teenager says murder was the last thing he expected from the kid he called "D."I nearly dropped on the floor when I heard them say his name on TV," recalls Steve Dwyer. "The 'D' that I know and remember would never have done something like this."

    Dwyer, 31, is a finance manager at United Health Care. From 1999 to 2003, he was in the Big Brothers program and his "little brother" was Derick Holliday. Derick was in eighth grade when they met, and for four years, the two got together regularly to play basketball, see movies or just hang out.

    "We had the same interests and we would talk a lot about sports. He was always up on it. He would say, 'K.G. [the Timberwolves' Kevin Garnett] had 23 points last night!' He was lacking in direction. But he was sweet. He had no temper at all. I am shocked that a kid like that ends up in prison for life."

    Dwyer was startled by the impoverished conditions in the fourplex where Derick lived: There were six children, and some seemed to be sleeping on the floor. And when Dwyer would take Derick out to eat, he had to demonstrate the proper use of silverware because Derick ate everything with his hands.

    "It was disgusting," Dwyer says. "I'd say, 'D, you have to use a fork to eat spaghetti!' It was definitely an eye-opener. But I have a lot of respect for Derick's mother. She was trying hard. She was able to make a good home for that family. "

    The trajectory of this kind of tragedy is familiar: A good kid gets caught up in a gang, is drawn deeper and deeper into criminal activity, and ends up dead. Or kills someone. But Derick Holliday made the descent without warnings.

    There is only one misdemeanor on his record, and a few minor scrapes as a juvenile. Experts would tell you this was not a kid at high risk for homicide. But one theory around the courthouse was that Holliday was a "wannabe" who carried a big gun in the hopes of gaining a big image.

    "He was on a good path," says Dwyer, who has written letters to Holliday in jail and tried unsuccessfully to visit him. "Now he has made this terrible mistake. I thought he was too smart to pull something like this."

    Dwyer says Holliday did well in school, earning B grades until he was a senior at Edison High. That's when he was expelled after a fight with another student. He went to an alternative school for a while, then went to Chicago to live with a grandmother.

    "He just fell off the face of the Earth," says Dwyer, who tried to keep in touch. Dwyer was dismayed when Holliday smarted off in court after the verdict, telling the Reitter family, "I hope y'all are happy."I think D knows he really screwed up," Dwyer says. "That comment shows that he's probably scared out of his wits."I keep thinking of him making that initial mistake -- getting kicked out of school. That's when this all began. Somehow, we need to do a better job to prevent things like this from happening. To just throw up your hands and say, 'That's the way things are,' or that "It's just another black kid going to prison. ...' Those things are crimes unto themselves. We have got to keep searching for answers."

    The Block E murder trial is over. The hurt is not.

    After the verdict, I asked Alan Reitter's sister, Jean, how she felt when she heard Holliday's mother crying.

    "I remember when we were crying so terribly, when we went up to see my brother Alan, in his casket," she said. "And I remember my mom almost falling over. So, yes, I know how she [Yolanda] feels. She lost her son today.

    "But at least she can visit him."


You said, among other things: "Now..."who" gave the shooter life for political reasons? The jury? The judge? Who is "they"? The only person responsible for the life sentence is the person who fired the gun."

Aren't you forgetting that the gun itself is the criminal? The person who fired it would never have committed any crimes, in fact he would have been a blessed saint, if the evil gun manufacturers hadn't forced a dreaded firearm into his hands. It's likely the gun actually fired itself, unbeknownst to the poor, downtrodden man who received the lengthy prison sentence.

Drake, you need to start reading Coleman and other socialists with your liberal hat on (you know, the one made of tinfoil). It's much more entertaining that way.

Wait! Forget everything I just said. This is all Bush's fault! (drool, spittle, slobber, sneer)
All points well made, or, put another way - "spot on"!

Wait (urp....duhhhhhhhhhhhh....gasp, sputter) it is...it is all Bushs' fault..."(hic, hic, frowz-a-razzum, pi-tooey), "it's all Bushs' fault, no war for oil, halliburton......"

Good thing the shooter didn't get a date with the needle. If Coleman went so spastic over life, imagine his exploding over death.

Alan Reitter died last March He said that like it was natural causes. How about Alan Reitter was murdered last March.

Reminds me of the old Monty Python routine:
Cops: You're under arrest for murder.
Holliday: It's a fair cop but society's to blame.
Cops: Right were sending someone to round them up.
Dane, Thank You - yes, excellent point about the language chosen by the Liberal writer Coleman.

And spot on with the analogy to MP! Thanks for visiting and insightful comments.
First of all, to pretend that race matters don't matter is pure ignorance. Coleman was trying to discribe some of the life of Derrick, not excuse his actions, but explain some of the situation. Race matters.
Next, you, as well as the above writer, suggest that blaming society is a cop out. I agree entirely. But Derrick's already behind bars; that's already done. Society is the place to work proactively. It is important to highlight the troubles in a person's life that leads them to make such terrible decisions for the sake of preventing other such situations. (Though in this case, I think they've got a lot of it wrong). Coleman is not requesting that Derrick get off in a few years, he is suggesting that a kid from tough upbringings, even if e seems to be coping well, might have some repressed corruption. It's not only the cat killers that people kill. Dwyer said, "To just throw up your hands and say... "It's just another black kid going to prison. ...' Those things are crimes unto themselves. He's not saying to let the kid go, or even that the sentencing was influenced by race, but that race IS an issue and that we should not be desensitized or complacent to the profound effects institutional discrimination (economically and racially) has.
So basically, stop being such a conservative tool. Think about the issues and what people are saying, and please remember that Derrick too is a person when you speak of him. I'm certain you have made mistakes, albeit not as damaging, but then again, your life was diferent - you were, in some ways, as we all are, priveleged.
Molly, thanks for commenting. I'm guessing - and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong - that you are intimate to one of the parties, either Derick Holliday or Alan Reitter.

Are you saying race matters, for instance, that a black person will receive a more harsh sentence than someone who is white? Let me know if that's what you're saying and where you've obtained those statistics.

Look - Coleman wrote a "Let's Have Pity On The Killer" story, go back and read it more than one time. Do you get any sense from Coleman's column that he has any sympathy or concern for Alan Reitter? I sure don't. But then, I don't expect that type of a column from a Bleeding Heart Socialist like Nick Coleman.

It's sad that RACE is always a card that is played by Liberals. Why is that Molly? If the Left would stop reminding everybody that RACE is an issue, it would cease to be an issue. But the Left won't do that because it's an issue they use, abuse and exploit.

The only person responsible for firing that gun is Derrick Holliday, period. Had he not pulled that trigger, we wouldn't even be discussing it.

I'm a Conservative Tool? Sorry, not the case. However, you have to be a Bleeding Heart Molly, and that's okay, you can be one, it's a free country.

Yes, Derrick is a person, and I don't think I spoke ill of him - not like the rage that the Left speaks about George Bush, who, also is a person. Gee Molly, are you as compassionate towards those you vehemently disagree with politically as you are asking me to be of Derrick?

I have no sympathy for murderers, I don't care what their color, gender or ethnicity is. Guilt knows no color, gender or ethnicity. Bullets don't care what color someone is.

You don't know me, you have no clue to what color or ethnicity I am. You have no clue to whehter or not I was "privileged" or otherwise.

Why don't we see Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Mike Farrell - to name a few - lobbying for the release of Mark Chapman, John Lennon's killer when they're willing to lobby for clemency for someone like Tookie Williams? Is it like that, perhaps, because it's a racial matter? Or because Williams didn't kill a celebrity like John Lennon?

I appreciate intelligent disagreements in politics. Much of your argument is good stuff. But don't ask me to buy into the Liberal mantra that appears to be your outlook.

Look, so much of racial tension exits because it's to the advantage of Liberals to continue using it as an issue. They - the liberals - don't care about fixing it, they just want to continue to use it as an issue. And that's just reprehensible on their part. You DO KNOW that it was the Democrats who fought Against civil rights back in the 1960s, and it was the Republicans who were for Civil rights. Look up Al Gore, Sr., he voted against the civil rights bill. The Left has co-opted uninformed people (and that's not directed at you by any means) to beleive that it was the Republicans who were against passing Civil Rights. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I DO thank you for the comment. Just because we disagree on some areas doesn't make us adversaries.
It is nice that Derrick's friends and family can still visit him. I don't find that to be too harsh of a situation.
What is harsh is picking up the phone, still, and start dialing your friend's phone number to tell him something funny that you thought he'd like to hear. Only to remember that you can't call him. You can't visit him in jail or have a 3 minute phone conversation with him because he's gone. He has been taken from us and it still hurts and will continue to hurt forever.
I am only now able to cope with reading what people thought and felt about this situation. I thank you all for your thoughts that you put into your comments about the situation. I hope you never have to see what I saw that night. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Think about that when you go to bed tonight.
I was a good friend of Al's. I was with him that night and am reflecting on that day. I just wanted to say thanks for remembering Al's side of this.
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