Mississippi Prosecutor Sorry/Not Sorry For Hilarious Joke About Protesters Dying Of COVID-19
The Right is getting better at comedy and it's making Lefties nervous! But only because the "comedy" they do seems to be indicative of a sociopathic personality disorder and makes it seem a lot like they are very close to murdering us all.
Take Mississippi prosecutor Pamela Hancock (please!). This Monday, Hancock, the second-term prosecutor for Madison County, enjoyed a pithy little Facebook exchange about the George Floyd protests and coronavirus.
Responding to a post from one of her very clever friends, which read, "Does Covid spread during massive street riots or just in bars and restaurants? Asking for a friend," Hancock wrote, "We can only hope the deadly (coronavirus) strain spreads in riots!"
People who saw the post were naturally horrified, as it is not every day one sees an elected official wishing for the death of thousands of people protesting the killing of an unarmed, handcuffed man by a police officer. Note that she did not simply hope that they get the virus, she specified "deadly." She was not wishing a cold upon them.
Though, to be fair, she's an elected official who is a prosecutor. In Mississippi. This could very well be one the less appalling things she's ever done in her life.
In an interview with Mississippi Today, Hancock explained it is practically her job to hope protesters die of a deadly virus.
"My job is to prosecute all crimes, including civil disobedience," Hancock said. "I'm against any breach of peace or criminal activity, and I would prosecute it. I have nothing against people peacefully protesting, but breaking into businesses and stealing things is a crime."
Sure, it's a crime. But even in Mississippi, it is not a capital crime. There's no death penalty for that. Also, people dying of COVID-19 is not the same thing as being fairly convicted of a crime in a court of law. Totally different things!
Hancock went on to explain that also, she was doing humor. She was being funny. It was just a light-hearted joke. About people being punished for protesting by drowning in their own lung fluid.
"I was really just making light of it," she said. "I was not serious about wanting anyone to die. That's not who I am. The post was kind of a joke, and I was attempting to joke back. Obviously, I did it very poorly. If you ask anybody that knows me, I don't hold any ill will towards anyone or any group. I only try to be fair."
You will note that the word "sorry" does not appear anywhere in either of these statements.
As someone with a fairly dark sense of humor, I find the key to making it work is actually being funny. "LOL HOPE THEY DIE!" is probably not the right joke for this situation. The post, also, was not a very good joke. Maybe if Pamela Hancock hung around with funnier people, she would not be so extremely unfunny.
It seems as though every time someone gets in trouble for saying something gross like this, they do the "I have friends and they like me!" deflection. This is stupid and unhelpful. We all know terrible people who have friends. Having friends doesn't mean you are not a jerk. Pamela Hancock's friends could very well think she is a total jackass but continue hanging out with her anyway because they've known her forever or because she gets them out of having to pay parking tickets. Or her friends could also be terrible people. Judging by that post she responded to, this is the most likely scenario.
Personally, I have never had a "so do you think I hold ill will towards anyone or any group?" conversation with my friends, and I don't think she has either. Also everyone has ill will towards someone, so that is a lie. What about child molesters? Does she have no ill will towards child molesters? (I'd say Nazis, but given the times we are living in ...)
If all these people are so wonderful and non-hateful around their friends (again, I question this), why do they have such a hard time not being jackasses in public? If you can do nothing else in life, at least behave in a way that never puts you in a situation where you have to explain that your friends know you're totally a good person. And if you do, try to be more accountable for your own bullshit than to actually say that kind of thing out loud, to the press. Apologize and show us that "totally good person" all of those friends know and love.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse