MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry asked her guests today whether cultural factors should be discussed in association with the recent shooting in Aurora, Colorado, where James Holmes allegedly killed twelve people and wounded dozens of others at the midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight."
In response, Richard Kim of The Nation drew a parallel between modern America and the fictional failed state of Gotham, saying that men like George Zimmerman are being "encouraged to vigilantism because we've cut all these police forces."
He also said that that it's hard to tell the difference between Batman and the Joker in a discussion over violence that is "just," and violence that is "unjust."
Watch the clip, via Mediaite, below:
Kim argued: "And what the movie depicts is that it’s very difficult in a failed state to tell what is just and unjust violence, right? What's the difference between a terrorist like the Joker, and [Batman], a vigilante? And so you look at America now, and it's not too much a stretch to say that in those horrific moments in Aurora we approached a failed state. When someone can buy that kind of ammunition and these weapons online..."
He continued: “When you have people like George Zimmerman encouraged to vigilantism because we’ve cut all these police forces...you have the shards of a failed state so I think that’s a very profound, a very profound, sort of reflection, a dark reflection, really. Do we want to live in that night?”
Many commenters were seemingly confused by Kim's comments.
Is he saying that America could be approaching a failed state because we don't have enough police officers, and we need stricter gun control laws? Who exactly is George Zimmerman in this scenario?
After a number of comments pointing out the high unemployment rate and skyrocketing national debt-- and how that would seemingly indicate we could become a failed state-- one commenter just asked: "So you're saying 'Replace the President?'"
Another simply wrote: "How do these people get a job?"