On family values.

Ruminations on the McMichaels duo.“Family values.” It does not mean that a person’s efforts are firat and foremost devoted to promoting the welfare of the immediate and extended family, but rather that a person derives a sense of importance, promotion and protection FROM the family. Paternity is a route to effortless status, to being somebody without having to do anything.

In McMichael’s case, he got to murder without actually pulling the trigger. What else did he achieve by virtue of being part of a law enforcement family? “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know,” is a common expression. What is perhaps not well understood is that “who” cancels “what” entirely. In other words, it’s not an additive, but a substitute. Indeed, because the family-like connections are the sole criterion for association total ignorance, even idiocy, are insignificant. “My son, the idiot” expresses both ownership and pride. What counts is the possession.

How does that comport with a population that resists the concept of people owning people?

How do black Americans relate to the fact that minors are legally owned by their parents? Do they just ignore it? Of course, if ownership is defined in terms of obligation, rather than exploitation, then it is not a problem.