“Black Lives Matter” Is Unethical, And So Are Politicians Who Pander To It

black-lives-matterThat’s the tipping point for Ethics Alarms. “Black Lives Matter” is unethical, and those who use it are unethical. And politicians who grovel to those who criticize them for not embracing it are contemptible.

The Martin O’Malley embarrassment over the weekend clinched it for me. Demonstrators interrupted the former Maryland governor, mounting a pathetic campaign against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, as he was speaking at the Netroots Nation conference. When they shouted, “Black lives matter!” a rallying cry of protests that has superseded “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” because that one was eventually exposed as a lie,  O’Malley—the naive, racist fool!!!!— responded: “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.”

The activists  responded by jeering him and refusing to let him speak. .Later in the day, O’Malley, “showing the firm commitment to leadership in the face of adversity that we expect in a presidential candidate,” as one wag put it on Jonathan Turley’s blog—apologized, saying…

“I meant no disrespect. That was a mistake on my part and I meant no disrespect. I did not mean to be insensitive in any way or communicate that I did not understand the tremendous passion, commitment and feeling and depth of feeling that all of us should be attaching to this issue.”

I bent over backwards to defend Smith College President Kathleen McCartney when she apologized for using the phrase “all lives matter” in December of 2014. I wrote:

If an activist says to me, “too many children go to bed hungry!” and my retort is, “Too many people go to bed hungry!”, the unspoken argument is “So stop acting like children are a special problem!” If I say, “We need peace in Syria,” and a friend’s response is “We need to end war, period!”, I view that as an effort to minimize my concerns by launching it from the realm of a specific issue into vague, generic territory.  “Black Lives Matter!” in the context of recent police episodes where African Americans died under circumstances that many believe show police callousness and excessive force against blacks is a distinct assertion that suggests that the law enforcement and justice systems do not currently function as if black lives matter as much as white lives. It is true that “All Lives Matter” includes the larger subset “black lives matter”; it is also true that it blurs the issue at hand, and dilutes the protesters’ point. It is not inappropriate for  President McCartney to apologize in this context…unless, of course, she intended a rebuttal, in which case she is indeed spineless.

I still believe that made sense in December, but “Black Lives Matter” means something very different now, after six police officers were charged with murder to quell a Baltimore mob after Freddie Gray’s death, and after President Obama decided that the merciless shooting of a  young white woman in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant wasn’t worthy of the same attention he has given other deaths when it was a black life that had been lost.

Now “Black Lives Matter” means and is intended to mean that black lives should matter more than white lives, since whites are responsible for the ills of Black America. “Black Lives Matter” makes the demand that police officers shouldn’t try to arrest resisting black suspects, or defend themselves when threatened by them. It means that the law will work differently when a black individual is killed by a police officer, and that the rules of probable cause, due process and reasonable doubt will be suspended to ensure “justice”—for African Americans. If that means wrongly destroying the careers and lives of white police officers, well, too bad. They don’t matter.

I defended Smith’s president because it was obvious that she was completely aligned with the students she had offended, who were—wrongly, like her—citing the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner as examples of black men marked for death by brutal police officers. I defended her because she really wasn’t aware that “all lives matter” was then being used by those who wanted to demean the genuine and valid concerns of the African American community that police forces were excessively callous and violent when black suspects were involved. O’Malley, however, wasn’t speaking at an anti-police brutality rally, and is not running for President of Africa-America. He must believe that black and white lives are equal in value, and that the same standards of law and ethics should apply to both in exactly the same manner.

No candidate for the Presidency should apologize for saying “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter,” nor should any speaker, anywhere, ever, apologize to a crowd that employs the “heckler’s veto” to silence him or her. Someone once said of Hubert Humphrey that he was a decent man who, by the manner of his seeking the Presidency proved himself unworthy of it. That description now applies to Martin O’Malley as well.

“Black Lives Matter” is no longer worthy of respect, if it ever was. It is divisive and racially prejudiced on its face: res ipsa loquitur. Those using it continue to attach the phrase to the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, meaning that it is now code for wearing protest hoodies and shouting “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!”

It is a simple-minded bumper-sticker, hashtag phrase that avoids the complexities of a complex issue by reducing it to three words and pretending that this is all that needs to be said to win a debate. “Black Lives Matter” is the “Better Red Than Dead” of 2015; it is another “Bush Lied And People Died”: misleading, simplistic and lazy. “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” was a lie; “Black Lives Matter” is deceit: in the context in which it is used, it is a statement of fact that is meant to suggest that in the United States, black lives don’t matter to whites, to the government, to policy-makers, the courts and, of course, police.

Any presidential candidate who panders to the so-called African-American base by endorsing this divisive and dishonest slogan and worse, apologizing for saying and believing that all lives matter is unworthy of the office.

102 thoughts on ““Black Lives Matter” Is Unethical, And So Are Politicians Who Pander To It

  1. Sandra Bland, and Kindra Chapman can be added to the list. If it makes you feel any better, replace Trayvon and Mike with these two women. The reason you continue to hear utterances of “Black Lives Matter” is not because anyone really thinks that All lives don’t matter. It’s because in the face of repeated and systemic abuse of blacks by the police, we are left to feel that our lives have less meaning, are less important and matter less. Your attempts to focus on Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown are simply reinforcing what many feel. In the face of overwhelming evidence, and years of black people telling the world how we’re mistreated by the police, our protestations are met with “why didn’t you simply cooperate”, why didn’t you stop running”? “If you have nothing to hide, simply do as the officer says and it’ll be OK”. The phrase “Black Lives Matter” is a cry for you to believe us when we tell you what our horrific experience has been, as it relates to the police. Instead, what we normally get is a devils advocate response, shifting the blame from the wrong doer with a badge to any black person they encounter, regardless of circumstance or standing. It’s frustrating, frightening simply not the truth. And it won’t change until you’re willing to acknowledge that where there’s smoke, there usually is fire. The policing system in America is burning. Do you smell it?

    How are you Jack? Well I hope…

    • Plenty of white people have negative experiences with the police, too. Why do you assume it is race-based? The police have a very hard job, and some of them don’t do it very well.

      • Because it is race based. And your statement is exactly what I’m talking about. Why is a discussion on race so uncomfortable for many white folks? Sure white people have bad encounters with the police from time to time. And I’m sure that some of theses encounters occasionally end in death. But it’s dishonest to try and equate this with the systemic and well documented (but not widely believed) history of RACE based interactions between African Americans and the Police. And we all have hard jobs. The police need to do their “hard job” better. Thant sounds like one of Jack’s classic rationalizations.

        • “Why is a discussion on race so uncomfortable for many white folks?”

          Well… How about this: Let’s have a conversation about raping teenage girls. I mean… It doesn’t matter if YOU personally raped teenage girls or not. Just people like you, statistically, you know. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never had a thought about raping a teenage girl. We’re going to make you have a conversation that’s so far outside your lived experience it’s uncomfortable. And then once you balk, because you have no idea why you should be part of the conversation, we’re going to call you names, and infer some kind of guilt based on your reluctance to have that conversation.

          • I don’t get your analogy. What would be the problem about having a conversation about teenage girl rape and ways we can systematically decrease the incidents of such? Who should be uncomfortable with this subject matter? Who should be excluded from being part of this conversation?

            • I think your confusion is exactly the difference between the way you and I think.

              “What would be the problem about having a conversation about teenage girl rape and ways we can systematically decrease the incidents of such?”

              The problem is in requiring participation, specifically: The participation of people who have nothing to contribute outside of belonging to a demographic that is deemed to have some kind of connection to the problem. This isn’t just “We need you to talk” This is “We need you to talk because we think you’re part of the problem.” To which the average Joe has every right to chafe.

              “Who should be uncomfortable with the subject matter?”

              Everyone. Christ. Aren’t you?

              “Who should be excluded from being part of this conversation?”

              Excluded? No one. Allowed not to participate? Anyone.

              • No one is being forced to participate. You can choose at any time to turn away from the conversation. That is everyone’s right. And talking about systematic rape, or systematic sexism, and ways we can lessen them does not implicate you as an individual (thus the whole “systematic thing). But I think people feel implicated, or feel bad, or hopeless, and want to turn their faces away, but also not to feel any guilt about turning their faces away from the problem, and thus lash out the people bringing attention to it, and asking for things to change or be improved.

                • “No one is being forced to participate.”

                  Tell that to the policemen who are having their lives upended, the mob victims, and the people who are having their regular routines inflicted with things like #Racetogether. People are being forced into this daily, and they resent it.

                  Which is why:

                  “I think people feel implicated, or feel bad, or hopeless, and want to turn their faces away, but also not to feel any guilt about turning their faces away from the problem, and thus lash out the people bringing attention to it, and asking for things to change or be improved.”

                  Is bunk. It’s not that they feel responsible, it’s that they feel accused. It’s not that they feel guilt, it’s that they feel frustrated. And if there was some way to opt out, I have no doubt that at least some people would take it. But there is no opt out.

                  • Tell that to the policemen who are having their lives upended, the mob victims, and the people who are having their regular routines inflicted with things like #Racetogether. People are being forced into this daily, and they resent it.

                    You are deliberately shifting goalposts. The question was why are people so offended about having a discussion on race? Your answer was that they are forced into a discussion.

                    A mere discussion is not mob violence, or having routines disrupted of course. Once you are talking about the physical realm you have moved beyond discussion. But even with discussions online, with no one holding a gun to anyone’s head, people are still “offended”, even while choosing to voluntarily participate. A mystery…

                    Is bunk. It’s not that they feel responsible, it’s that they feel accused. It’s not that they feel guilt, it’s that they feel frustrated. And if there was some way to opt out, I have no doubt that at least some people would take it. But there is no opt out.

                    I agree with your assessment on this count actually. But I think the sentiments are exactly the same from the other side as well. Which part of what Coates wrote about in his essay that was posted earlier, and why he felt so pessimistic about the ability of any of it to change. To which Jack wrote, essentially, “stop being such a downer.”

                    • “You are deliberately shifting goalposts. The question was why are people so offended about having a discussion on race? Your answer was that they are forced into a discussion.”

                      Yeah… I don’t think I shifted anything. The people effected by the examples I stated are some of the most high profile examples of people being forced into the conversation, and they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

        • Its not an uncomfortable conversation for me. I commented voluntarily.

          Just saying it is race based does not make it so. Some law enforcement professionals are jerks. Others are out of their depth. I am not rationalizing bad policing — but bad policing exists for any number of reasons.

          • Just saying it is race based does not make it so.

            Agreed. But when you have documented proof that it is race-based, like in the NYPD, Chicago PD, or the LAPD as major examples, what do you do then?

            • Documented proof? What precisely are you referring to? I am sure there is “documented proof” of individual racists as well as other types of jerks in all three forces. But that is not evidence of systematic racism, and does not mean that race plays a factor in any given police stop.

              • “Documented proof” like a precinct captain ordering his staff, on tape, to target more minorities, and no one saying a peep. When one (minority ) officer tried to blow the whistle, he was falsely committed to an insane asylum by his fellow officers.

                Documented proof like he Rampert scandal, where an entire department is documented stopping, harassing, and convicting minorities based on false allegations.

                Documented evidence like the so-called Chicago “black sites” where minority suspects were whisked away to be tortured and forced to give false confessions to crimes they did not commit.

                And these are a few of the cases where this is actual documentation. This is far beyond the fault of any one individual, or two or three “bad apples”. It is indeed systematic.

          • There is also the fact that blacks as a group have a much higher rate of contact with law enforcement, because they have a much higher rate of criminality within the group. If you don’t factor that in, and behavior at the time of arrest, then you really can’t say any group is being unfairly targeted. This little bit of unpleasantness seems to get left out of the “conversation about race”. Make meaningful strides in reducing this disproportionate criminality, and there might be some reason to look at the whole issue if it still existed. Until then, I’m unsympathetic.

            • There is also the fact that blacks as a group have a much higher rate of contact with law enforcement…

              But you have police on tape, being specifically ordered to target more black people. It becomes a vicious cycle in a very short amount of time.

        • Discussion on race is uncomfortable for white people because a) very few people in general have the analytical skills, critical thinking, and nuanced thought that are necessary to separate muddled ideas into their basic components, b) they don’t have the skill of listening to someone else and understand their point of view, either, and c) many people feel there is blame associated with this subject in particular, and if there is blame it must be ascribed to someone, and cognitive dissonance means that people want to avoid being blamed as much as possible. People aren’t good at figuring things out or discussing them with others, so they’re already out of their depth. Adding strong emotions only freaks them out more. Most of the time, people can’t talk about politics or religion, either, for the exact same reasons.

          That said, I’m in the business of helping people develop the aforementioned skills of analysis and empathy, which will allow them to dispel the strong emotions.

          To actually discuss race, as far as I can tell the problem is that for historical reasons, there is at present a correlation between a physical appearance and a subculture which is rather destructive. The reason this is a problem is that correlation becomes causation due to anticipation, creating a vicious self-fulfilling prophecy. If a person is treated differently because of their appearance, then their behavior may change to match how they are treated. Treating someone differently based on their appearance is technically racial prejudice, but it is not the belief that black people are inferior, but rather the more basic idea that the correlation has predictive power. That technically isn’t wrong; correlations do have some predictive power, but the problem is not only that people aren’t being given the opportunity to prove those predictions wrong. The problem is also that they are not well-equipped to make and take such opportunities.

          In a very real sense, it is “everyone’s” fault. For the most part, humans don’t learn how to deal with people who aren’t just like them. They usually either find a group they can be safe in or they quietly go nuts. Those who can deal with people who are different either take to it naturally or, like me, are forced to learn because they won’t tolerate being misunderstood by anyone. Like most societal problems, this one won’t be solved unless we can promote in people the skills necessary to interact productively. A large part of the solution requires disadvantaged people to become more like Chris Bentley in his inspiring comment below: responsible and self-respecting (which everyone needs to be anyway). Another large part of the solution requires that people with advantages work directly with disadvantaged people to help them develop those qualities. Affirmative action would make perfect sense if it was defined and targeted based on income, culture, local opportunities for education and development of life skills, and other things that are directly, causally related to whether someone needs help, rather than what they look like, which is only correlated.

          The prerequisite for this solution, though, is that people know what skills it takes to make a mature, responsible person, which on the whole, they don’t. That’s why human society has made such slow progress over the centuries. That’s why it’s my job to educate people about these skills and help them develop them. If people don’t learn how to be excellent, they’ll keep dragging each other down, in every aspect of society.

        • “Why is a discussion on race so uncomfortable for many white folks?”

          Because it’s not really a ‘discussion’ but a series of attacks that you have to refute somehow. Saying you’re not racist ‘proves’ you’re so privileged that you don’t realize you’re racist, “People who say ‘I’m not racist’ are the most racist people out there”…’all whites have blood on their hands’ was one meme going around Facebook the week before that, with liberal friends all eagerly sharing it to prove they’re not racist…it’s not a discussion, the outcome is determined already, all whites are racist, and any attempt to refute it is proof that it’s true. Eventually any normal person will say ‘Screw it.’ Why bother? I assume though, that the point is to get whites to back down and shut up, mute acceptance of the party line is what’s actually required, not ‘discussion’. The starting point for the discussion is ‘all whites are racist’. Why should I participate?

          A group Asian Americans went into the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and forced them to cancel the interactive portion of the exhibit of Monet’s ‘La Japonaise’, citing it as ‘imperialistic’ and ‘racist’. The Museum had replicas of the uchikake kimono that Monet’s wife is wearing in the painting available for Museum patrons to try on so they could pose with the painting. This set these activists off and they cornered people trying on the kimono, and those about to, and lectured them about the racism they were participating in. Many (elderly among them) either took of or declined to try on the kimono after hearing the protesters’ views. Not one Japanese was among the protesters. In fact, the kimono were commissioned by NHK Japan (Japan’s PBS) for the exhibition of the painting in Japan, and Japanese patrons of the arts all donned them and had their photos taken with the painting. How they survived this hideous racism is beyond me, but a group of Chinese and Korean Americans took the the MFA to protect them from it. People who tried to talk to these people were banned, blocked and/or harassed. The truth matters little.

    • All true, UR…but “if it makes you fee better” is exactly the problem. Mike Brown attacked an officer, and Trayvon Martin wasn’t shot by a police officer, or murdered. How can anyone take an argument seriously that is dishonestly argued? Your post is 242 well-chosen words…that’s an argument. Many—most?—of those using THREE WORDS do so as a lazy and emootional substitute for argument, and an ambiguous, misleading, divisive one at that. Most of them refuse to accept that Martin wasn’t stalked and killed for wearing a hoodie, and that Mike Brown was not just a gentle giant who just happened to be executed for being black. Why should I respect a chant facially saying that black lives matter more than my son’s life from people who reason and argue like that, and build movements on false narratives? Why should I respect their chosen deceit? Is a scream more useful than a coherent position? Is a chant—“hey, hey, LBJ, hwo many kids did you kill today?”—really the ethical way to build consensus?

      [I’m so glad you’re still lurking out there—you always enhance any topic you decide to weigh in on.]

      • Try to think of the statement differently. Instead of immediately going to a place where you focus on how the statement affects you- …”black lives matter more than my son’s life”…not what I think the phrase means at all, take a look at what led people to say, and more importantly feel this way. Seeing those that look like you abused over and over is what has caused the phrase to resonate. It really doesn’t have anything to do with white lives mattering. And for the record, they most certainly do. But given the treatment of African Americans at the hands of the police over history, is it really unethical to use this phrase? Must it be immediately associated with two specific cases when there are so many more out there that make the same point?

        And I’m glad you counted my well chosen words! Sometimes I feel like in my haste, I’m not as clear as I’d like…

        • But given the treatment of African Americans at the hands of the police over history, is it really unethical to use this phrase? Must it be immediately associated with two specific cases when there are so many more out there that make the same point?

          The unethical part, to me, is using the phrase as a bludgeon to force apologies from people making the reasonable and cogent point that all lives matter, black as well as non-black. One would think the movement would have no trouble agreeing with that, but instead, they use it to silence reasonable commentary that does not parrot that of the “black lives matter” jeremiad.

          I also agree with Jack that the phrase has mutated into something nefarious, and arguably racist, from it’s original visceral but defensible roots. The problem really is that the defenders of using “black lives matter” as a cudgel to enforce ideological purity demonstrates, to me, the ethical bankruptcy of the “movement,” and illustrates that it never was about black lives, but about attacking non-blacks and especially Caucasians.

          It is, at its essence, little more than Social Justice Warriors assaulting anyone who wants to have a adult conversation and not join an ideological melee. Apparently, this is so important that the normal rules of reason and dialog must by excluded by any means necessary, almost like a Twitter mob assault. If you aren’t ready to loathe the white man for his historical unfairness to black people and buy wholeheartedly into “white privilege,” you just aren’t pure enough and must be shamed — non-blacks are not welcome unless they abase themselves before the BLM cant.

          In my view, we should reject such narrow-minded nonsense. It’s good to see most people are, except, of course, those wedded to the radicals — like O’Mally, it’s latest victim. In my view he was deservedly hoist upon his own ideological petard, and looked foolish and feckless in the process.

          • I would say the phrase didn’t mutate, it was always used to mean that black lives are superior to the lives of others. I know Jack disagreed because he was trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. Do you think President Obama has only given preference to black ‘victims’ in the last few months, or has he always done this? His choice of church and his dropping of the Philadelphia Black Panthers lawsuit indicate it is not a recent mutation. Has Al Sharpton only turned into an anti-white bigot in the last few months, or has he been that way for a long time? So why should I think that this was ever meant to mean anything other than black lives are more valuable than others. Isn’t that what hate-crime statutes say?

            If the KKK puts up a billboard that says “White Lives Matter” in response to a discriminatory affirmative action program, I don’t give them the benefit of the doubt. I don’t assume they are making a valid point. I have learned they are a hate group and I assume this is a white-superiority message. When the black rights organizations say ‘Black Lives Matter’, I don’t give them the benefit of the doubt either. I learned that a long time ago, too.

            • Do you think President Obama has only given preference to black ‘victims’ in the last few months, or has he always done this? His choice of church and his dropping of the Philadelphia Black Panthers lawsuit indicate it is not a recent mutation.

              I really wasn’t talking about the president. For instance, I don’t think he, in a debate with O’Malley, would insist on slogan purity and that the “all lives matter” comment was just changing the subject.

              But your point is a fair one. President Obama has gone out of his way to make high-level overtures to the black community regarding the criminal justice system, and involved himself in events that arguably no past president would have, and in a way that leads to a reasonable conclusion that he’s much more concerned about blacks than whites.

              In a way, that’s defensible — as Dara Lind writes for Vox in a typically biased article, blacks are more under threat than whites. The point that she fails to make is that blacks are much more under threat from other blacks than anything else, and instead focuses on the police threat.

              I find that curious. Yes, black men are disproportionately likely to be killed by police than other races as a percentage of the population, but they are also by far the most likely to be confronted by police after committing a homicide or other violent crime than any other race as a percentage of the population.
              President Obama isn’t interested in rehashing the unpleasant truth about young black violence — it doesn’t play well in Peoria, as the saying goes. When you want to pander to a group, you have to pick your battles.

              When the black rights organizations say ‘Black Lives Matter’, I don’t give them the benefit of the doubt either. I learned that a long time ago, too.

              Again, that’s defensible, if jaded. If we were talking about a black rights group with an identifiable past (like the Black Panthers) rather than just some black activists, I might agree. But I think we have to acknowledge that black people do suffer from a lot of social ills that white people created or helped create, and arguably have not adequately redressed.

              Black people also happen to be a minority, which matters. When a large majority acts in bigoted ways, the effects are much more dramatic than the effects of a minority acting similarly. Whether we like it or not, we can’t always compare apples to apples. Even if both blacks and whites are equally “racist” today, it is the black people who will suffer the consequences the most.

    • I think what the proponents of camp politics fail time and time again to realize is that if the message they’re putting out is so alien to the intended audience, not only will they not understand it, but it won’t resonate and it won’t go anywhere. The average police officer isn’t racist. The average citizen isn’t racist. And chants like these, built on a lie, to paint entire demographics as bigots rings hollow to them. It doesn’t reflect their lived experience. What it does is get the audience riled up against you. So even if you have a legitimate concern, the messaging loses people. And you have to understand… Deep down… That the people organizing rallies where these platitudes are regurgitated… They aren’t blind, or stupid, they know exactly what they’re doing: Creating racial tensions to get special treatments and rile up the vote. It’s a numbers game. They assume these lies will bring in more black people than the white people and policemen they alienate.

      If there’s a silver lining: They’re wrong. People are tired of hearing the message that they’re horrible people, and so white America, white male America in particular, is abandoning the Democratic party, and Hillary Clinton in particular, like never before.

        • 30 point spread among white men between Hillary and Bernie. The other gaps are widening. Slowly, as these changes tend to be. I’ll bring this up again at the exit polls.

            • I think it’s going to be a trend… The Democratic party (regardless of who represents it) is going to lose white America by a huge margin. In the primaries, we’re seeing the most divisive candidates lose the demographics they’re slandering, I think the logic will carry on to the exit polls.

                • No, it’s not. But it’s there…. And it’s the logical conclusion of demonizing demographics. There’s a lesson here, if people choose to see it.

                • State full of trans-black people?

                  Seriously though… I’m not talking about massive shifts in short term polls (Although the Hillary/Sanders poll DID happen fast), I’m more talking about a creep that is happening and will continue to happen into 2016. I’m not even saying Republicans will win in Vermont (they won’t) but I think the margin might be closer than it’s been in a very long while.

    • An interesting post, to be sure, but I disagree with several of the points that you make, as a fellow African American.

      I would argue that your phrase “systemic abuse of blacks by the police”, should instead read, “systemic abuse of SOME blacks by SOME police”, to be much, much more accurate. Generalizing with such a wide sweeping net, for both blacks and cops is unfair, because it just ‘aint true. In my 36 years on this planet, I have not ever faced brutality, nor unfair treatment at the hands of the police. I have, on the contrary, been the recipient of (undeserved, based on my prior driving record) multiple cases of leniency from police, receiving warnings rather than tickets after stops. And in every single pullover, I was speeding by at least 15 mph….so every one has been deserved.

      How is it that this “systemic abuse” that you, other blacks, and people on the left talk about, somehow eluded me? Why have I never felt the need to use the “legacy of slavery” to rationalize away my failures? Im not rich; I grew up in a middle class family, and as a young adult, while I was trying to pay my way through school, I was dirt poor, living in some of the poorest sections of Baltimore, living pay check to pay check. And yet, I was never harassed by the police, never had educational opportunities closed to me, and somehow -SOMEHOW- was able to land 16 different PT jobs during my 4 years living in Baltimore (why so many? I was an immature, fickle young adult, who also had a frequently changing class schedule). The point is, I had no college degree (at that point), no money, and lived in poverty…and yet, found. a. way. Finding a job, even as a poor black in Baltimore City, is not that hard, if you’re (not literally you, of course) willing to 1) be paid a rate relative to the experience you bring to the table; and 2) present yourself in such a way that shows a respect for yourself, and an understanding for how your potential employer would want their employees to present themselves to customers. But I digress.

      This is not some Dr. Ben Carson story, with a determined mother pushing me all the way in spite of myself; rather, it was an understanding that whites (in general, not just cops) were not the enemy, nor my savior; that when you go looking for trouble, it’s real easy to find it; that taking low paying jobs was my route to start climbing the ladder to higher paying jobs; and that education was bigger picture ticket towards getting doing something with my life. These aren’t difficult realizations for other blacks to come to, assuming they haven’t already had their minds poisoned by anti-white crap, or their sense of common sense derailed by negligent parenting.

      The repeated reference to Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, at least to me, serve as a reminder that while those situations happen more often than they should, they are still isolated examples, that don’t speak towards systemic racism, any more than the murder of Caroline Small at the hands of cops is indicative of systemic sexism by cops. And the references of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown by name, prevent the white-cop-shoots-black-man narrative from becoming a blurred, generalized narrative, which is much easier to dismiss….sort of how it’s really easy to dismiss and forget the 50 nameless, faceless black teens who trashed the Macon Walmart for the fun of it, and forget that that ever happened. Or how easy it is to dismiss and forget the 54 nameless, faceless perpetrators (and victims) of black-on-black shootings of the 4th of July weekend in Chicago.

      When, oh when, will #blacklivesmatter begin to include the other 95% of black lives that are ended by other blacks? Or the law abiding black victims of black criminality? Or the 75% of black children who are growing up with single parents, and are already starting life with an arm tied behind their back?

      • If only more people like you had a national platform, and vultures like Al Sharpton would shut their mouths and go away.

          • Nothing would change, if impoverished young black people heard more from people who told them that there’s no obstacle that can’t be overcome with hard work, persistence, and belief in one’s self, rather than the endless victimhood bleating, drilling it into their heads that their life’s circumstances are firmly in the hands of the malevolent others, and that the system is designed from the ground up to keep them down? Really? You believe this? Because I believe that if too many others do, your race is doomed.

      • Ha! Congratulations! Hopefully you’re less than halfway through your life, and will continue to have such success in life in general, and with the police in particular. My problem with your commentary above is that you seem to imply that you’re special. And in some ways unfortunately, you are. Special or lucky, or simply average. I’m significantly older than you, have statistics that 90% of Americans white or black, would aspire to, and have had few dealings with the police. Unfortunately, most have been negative, and one in particular almost got me killed. More importantly, my African American peer group (I’d estimate that half of my friends are white, or of a race other than black) TO A MAN, educated, well spoken, law abiding, hard working and married, have All been on the business end of a policeman’s gun for a minor infraction, or a misunderstanding. Most if not all of us share the frustration of black on black crime, but recognize that this argument; why do they kill each other? or burn up their own neighborhood etc, is just as stupid as the one that justifies police dealings with blacks by saying that they commit a higher percentage of crime, and thus are obviously going to have a higher percentage of adverse dealings with the police. Both serve to find a reason other than racism to explain the relationship that so many African Americans have with the police. Many people are uncomfortable speaking about race. Others-smart folks too, use their intelligence to find arguments to dispel what they feel is “the myth” of racism and it’s effects on people of color. They seek to divide and concur. “For every black life lost at the hands of the police, or for every instance that is called out as racist, I’ll find TWO examples that dispel and refute this claim”, and deny racism exists. Flip it around and make it seem that blacks are the real racists (an impossibility by the way) make us out to all be equal even though it’s clear that we’re not, simply so you (not you specifically) can feel better about yourself, or your ancestors or whoever the mythic racists are that harm blacks. It makes white people uncomfortable, and I truly and sincerely understand this. But the way through this, is not to pretend it doesn’t exist. The way to feel better about your self, is not to continuously rationalize racist illegal police actions as justified based on a technicality or a failure to behave on the part of the oppressed. The pain is real. But the way through it is to acknowledge that blacks have a point. You’d be surprised what you’ll hear from blacks if a simple acknowledgement precedes a discussion. And I’ll let you in on a secret: Black people have no love lost for those that try to cheat the system. We simply look at the bigger picture, and ancillary reasons surrounding an occurrence, before we deal with our own. But we get around to condemning them. It’s just usually done outside of the public domain. I always look to Marion Barry as an example of this. He was a corrupt, drug abusing narcissistic womanizer. The government spent millions trying to catch him. And what he got, he deserved. But he also got a private ass kicking from many black people. I for one felt no need to publicly kick him after the mainstream had done such a thorough job.

        Perhaps your feelings will adjust with age or added experience. Or perhaps not. Either way, you’re entitled to your thoughts. I simply disagree ( not completely). And there are way more hard working mainstream black folks out there than you or I alone. We ain’t special…

        • On the contrary, I don’t think, nor did I imply, that I was special. I may suffer from a lot of flaws; special snowflake syndrome is certainly not one of them. I thought I made clear (“This is not some Dr. Ben Carson story…”) that my story should not be looked at as unique. Im sorry that you and your friends have had negative interactions with the police; that doesn’t change that I, nor my older brother (who’s lived in Baltimore for 20+ years), father (DC resident for a large part of his life), nor anyone in my peer group have. I get the sense from you and Deery that it’s just because I’m “young” that a bad interaction is just an inevitability, that my own free will won’t come into play; I maintain the opposite. We will have to disagree.

          And to be clear, I do not find the “blacks committing a higher number of crimes = higher number of adverse dealings with police” concept to be stupid, depending on what you mean by adverse, obviously. If, by adverse, you mean police going beyond the scope of what is reasonable and necessary, to enter the realm of abuse or police criminality, then I agree with you. If, by adverse, you mean more blacks being questioned, or on the receiving end of stop-and-frisk policies, then that’s where you and I part ways. It is not to find a reason other than racism to explain an antagonistic relationship with police, as if this were just an either/or proposition; it’s to look at the entire picture, and include, maybe even discuss for a change, everything that could explain the relationship, including racism, and including black criminality rates. I really don’t understand why so many people treat this as a either/or fight: “You’re either with us, and see racism as the root of everything evil in the world, and is just a prevalent as it’s ever been, or you’re against us, and justify unjust, brutal police tactics. There’s nothing else left to consider, and no middle ground” You can see that w/ Deery’s comment below: Even the thought of bringing up other relevant points are considered red herrings, so clearly Im on the “other” team.

          Even your comments above, “for every instance that is called out as racist, I’ll find TWO examples that dispel and refute this claim” or “make it seem that blacks are the real racists” imply an all or nothing mindset…it’s either “the whites are all bad, or the blacks are all bad, and I’ll be damned if I let you turn the tables and imply the blacks are all bad”, so the “whites are all bad” train keeps chugging right along, undeterred. No logical, reasonable person is going to make the case that racism doesn’t exist, that SOME police act very badly, with their motivations inspired by race, and that these situations, when proven to be true, should be condemned and punished to the full extent of the law. But, why is it like pulling teeth to get so many blacks/liberals to see the opposite end of the spectrum, without them thinking it’s just a ploy to explain away or justify racism: that many blacks (like many, many whites) do many bad things, because of selfishness, laziness, shortsightedness, greed. Like many whites do (I feel like if I don’t say that enough times, it’ll be forgotten). It’s insulting to continuously have bad black behavior explained away as always being the result of being backed into a corner by white racism. It’s akin to saying blacks don’t have free will, they’re just puppets.

          I realize that Im jumping around a bit; your post was a bit long (no judgement; so was mine), and I get caught up in emotion a bit, but I will leave with this: Why is “we get around to condemning them. It’s just usually done outside of the public domain” an appropriate reaction to bad black behavior? Is it a “closing of ranks, we know one of ours has done bad, but we don’t need you (whites) to know”? How does this serve as an effective deterrent for the 50 black Walmart youths? How is it that I, who have lived near DC almost my whole life, missed the ass kicking of Mayor Barry? Im not saying it didn’t happen; I don’t really know. But as someone who was a teen during his last 4 years in office, who never was privy to this private ass kicking, the lack of significant public condemnation, and the fact that he could still be re-elected only served to affirm that his crimes, weren’t really all that bad. Is that the appropriate end-result of private condemnation of black leaders? That black youths misunderstand the significance of the actual offense?

        • Your comment below on race being a relatively new social construct; I agree, and I also agree that it would probably make more sense to find another way to subdivide race besides skin color; maybe intelligence or tendency towards recalcitrant criminality? I’ve had friends from Africa that don’t consider themselves of the same race as inner-city American blacks. I wouldn’t want to repeat their names for them. This makes more sense to me than the many blacks in America, like yourself, who have their shit together taking up the cause of people who are making life much more difficult for all blacks than it has to be. It makes no sense that, instead of laying responsibility for the tensions between the races where it firmly belongs, you place all the blame on the people who have to police these cesspools at risk of life and limb, and the citizens that have to both foot the bill for their epic floundering through life AND be the victims of their hatred and violence, all while being told WE’RE the bad guys. Start holding THEM accountable for a change. Until then, I for one, don’t want to hear it.

          • You may not be wrong, but the effect of what you’re saying is to reaffirm your lack of blame so that you don’t feel obligated to do anything. Holding people responsible for their own actions is something we want to do, but we also want them to actually know how to be responsible. We can’t expect people to improve without giving them a path. So if your goal is to leave them to their own devices and sleep well at night, you could probably justify that to yourself. Me, I’m much more ambitious and intolerant than that. I won’t tolerate a world where people don’t have what they need to learn how to be constructive. It doesn’t matter what anyone’s ancestors did. There’s people who need help in order to take control of their own lives, and I intend to help them.

            • And just how much has to be done for them to “get it”? Sorry, I’m not buying what you’re saying. Every effort is made to lead them by the hand to a way out, but they refuse to take it. We provide them with all sorts of paths; Innumerable scholarships, voc-ed programs, quotas, all manner of welfare, housing, intervention programs, etc., etc., etc; billions of dollars POURING in to these communities, not to mention the staggering cost of health care and imprisonment. What do we get in return? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_47VwOX4Da4&feature=youtu.be
              And the icing on the cake is that we’re told that we’re keeping them down, holding them back, we’re racists, WE’RE responsible for the animal behavior of their criminal element. Look, I’d like nothing more than for them to join civilized society, but you’re right; I’m not to blame. I place blame squarely where it belongs, and so should everyone else, ESPECIALLY other black people who are leading exemplary lives.

            • When THIS stuff is addressed (there are hundreds of videos like this), when black leaders start admitting that an epidemic of black-on-white violence exists, and that the out-of-control violence of all types is most likely a HUGE contributing factor in how blacks are treated by cops, THEN I might begin to sympathize. At this point, I’m just fed up.

              • I’m talking about the tensions between blacks and cops, not police brutality. That is deplorable, no matter who the victim is.

      • I would argue that your phrase “systemic abuse of blacks by the police”, should instead read, “systemic abuse of SOME blacks by SOME police”, to be much, much more accurate.
        You don’t seem to have an understanding of what systematic racism is, perhaps this can help: http://egbertowillies.com/2015/06/10/systemic-racism-for-dummies-is-racism-over-yet-video/

        I’m glad that you have (thus far) had only positive interactions with the police. Hopefully that continues in the future. Your experience still does not negate systematic abuse of minorities by the police (system).

        All your other points (“black on black crime”, out of wedlock children, etc) are mostly red herrings, along the lines of, “please don’t focus on things that are important to you, focus on things that are important to me.” Plus a mix of #22 and #46.

        • I never said my experiences negate the experiences of others; Im not sure how you took that from my post. Nor did your video do anything to clarify or correct my original statement. But thanks for the maternalistic, patronizing comment…essentially saying “there, there, you don’t really seem to understand that you really have been abused by the police. Let me explain it to you….”

          And I don’t really see how my other comments are red herrings. My intent is not to pretend that those comments are akin to pretending that the spoon full of veggies are an airplane, so I can secretly get you to accept these truths without realizing it. My point it to inquire why these truths are NEVER EVER discussed, anywhere, except on the most right leaning of websites; not to ignore the actual racism that also simultaneously occurs, but is frequently discussed. That attack by 50 youths occurred; that they were all black, and this occurred due to a lack of parental supervision, at a time when they should (by any reasonable assessment) have been at home is not in question. Yet, once the 24-hour news cycle passes, the incident is forgotten, just like the knockout game. Does the incident excuse legitimate racism; hell no. I never claimed that they did.

          Are these incidents important to me? Yes, and they should be to you as well; if they aren’t, what does that say about you? And yes, I do want people to focus on them (NEVER did I say not to focus on actual examples of racism), because the original focus is ALWAYS limited, short-lived…. and eventually blame-shifted away.

          • Ah, the old red herring defense, the use of which, for lovers of irony, is often a red herring.. You can’t have it both ways – you can’t wonder why white folks can’t have an honest discussion about race, but ignore black on black crime or what’s happening in Chicago. That’s not an honest discussion. You can’t unilaterally take relevant, pertinent items for discussion off the table, reuse to talk about them, and bemoan the lack of honest discussion.

          • I never said my experiences negate the experiences of others; I’m not sure how you took that from my post.

            My point was that I don’t think your experiences can be used to show that systematic racism does not exist. If you weren’t trying to use your extra legitimacy as a black (conservative) man on the subject, then why did you bring it up? My point it to inquire why these truths are NEVER EVER discussed, anywhere, except on the most right leaning of websites;..Do you really not hear any thoughts about personal responsibility, crime, and illegitimacy when you are at gatherings with your family or at the barbershop, or out with your other black friends?

            I do reject the notion of black on black crime. There is only crime. We don’t talk about white on white crime, though most whites commit crimes against other whites, and other races commit most of the crimes against their own race. This is mostly because people tend to commit crimes against those they know, and those around them. Due to America’s segregated history, most crimes will be intraracial. Nor, I respectfully submit, would it make things better if blacks suddenly started to make crimes a more interracial matter. Almost certainly a lot worse.

            Are these incidents important to me? Yes, and they should be to you as well; if they aren’t, what does that say about you? And yes, I do want people to focus on them (NEVER did I say not to focus on actual examples of racism), because the original focus is ALWAYS limited, short-lived…. and eventually blame-shifted away.

            I say it is a red herring because, as Jack pointed out in the original post, it is not what the focus of the conversation is on at the moment. It is essentially an interruption to say, “stop talking about what you consider important, and pay attention to what I think is important>” It very well might be important, if that is the case, start your own conversation on the matter. It is akin to someone talking about eradicating heart disease, but instead you begin bringing up statistics about diabetes. Important, true, but not where the conversation is right now. A classic, and often used, derailing tactic.

            http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/08/black-people-are-not-ignoring-black-on-black-crime/378629/


            The notion that violence within the black community is “background noise” is not supported by the historical record—or by Google. I have said this before. It’s almost as if Stop The Violence never happened, or The Interruptors never happened, or Kendrick Lamar never happened. The call issued by Erica Ford at the end of this Do The Right Thing retrospective is so common as to be ritual. It is not “black on black crime” that is background noise in America, but the pleas of black people.

            There is a pattern here, but it isn’t the one Eugene Robinson (for whom I have a great respect) thinks. The pattern is the transmutation of black protest into moral hectoring of black people. Don Imus profanely insults a group of black women. But the real problem is gangsta rap. Trayvon Martin is killed. This becomes a conversation about how black men are bad fathers. Jonathan Martin is bullied mercilessly. This proves that black people have an unfortunate sense of irony.

            The politics of respectability are, at their root, the politics of changing the subject—the last resort for those who can not bear the agony of looking their country in the eye.

            • Before replying, I’m trying to figure out what you’re doing with the italics in your post. You switch to italics (but w/o quotation marks) when quoting me, stay in italics when not, stay in italics when quoting me again, leave italics when not, then go back to italics when not.

              ??

            • As far as making crimes interracial, you do realize that there IS a MASSIVE black-on-white crime problem, no? Blacks are more than 39 times more likely to do violence on whites than the other way around. Every year, there are more than 35,000 black-on-white rapes, including more than 3000 black on white gang rapes, and fewer than 9 (Nine !) average white on black rapes. Blacks murder whites at 18 times the rate at which whites murder blacks. On a per-capita basis, blacks commit more than 50 times more violent crime than whites. Eighty-eight percent of all gun violence is committed by a demographic that comprises less than 12% of the population. I could go on forever. It’s all in here:
              http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=3

                • Of course not! Black on black crime is a huge problem, just as black on white crime is. What seems odd to me is the way that the latter keeps getting swept under the rug, most likely because it does grave damage to the whole black victimhood at the hands of white America thing.

                  • Joe, you’re wasting your time. Liberals have all the facts they need. Presenting the with actual numbers will not sway them. “I’ve already made up my mind. Don’t confuse me with facts.” According to them, all whites are racist, all the time. It is not possible for a black person to be racist. One of the main reason I don’t bother to engage any of them here.

                    • I know. I should have known better when one actually stated that it’s impossible for blacks to be racist. Somebody that can say that is operating on a wavelength you or I am not privvy to. I keep making the mistake of thinking that logic, sound reasoning, and truth will win the day. Poor deluded me.

                    • Black’s can be, and some are bigoted. Black’s can be, and All are prejudiced. All human beings have any variety of prejudices. Black people are not, and cannot be racists. To be racist, one must have the ability and the power to oppress those of another race socially politically and economically. Black folks simply don’t have such power. Period. Also bare in mind that the whole notion and concept of race as a social construct is a relatively new phenomenon, and not one based on anything scientific. I’m the “one of them” that made this statement, and this is my reasoning. We’re off in the weeds here anyway. So if we’re going to stray away from the #blacklivesmatter debate, let’s do so respectfully.

                    • The problem is it has nothing to do with logic and/or reasoning, it has to do with feelings. Anything that makes them feel good, special, unique. Unfortunately, most of what they advocate has unintended consequences, and is counterproductive in the end.

                    • In response to urbanregor:

                      1. I appreciate that you are spelling out your definition of racist, but you should know that “racism” originally meant the belief that ancestry was a solid indicator of character and ability. Then it meant merely racially prejudiced: not believing that people were different because they had different ancestry, but simply believing that everyone of a certain appearance simply happened to be a certain way, i.e. stereotyping. Now apparently it means the ability to oppress a group of people without meaning to. The problem you run into when you use the word that way is that most white people are still using the first and second definitions, except for probably some fervid Democrats, so when you tell them they’re bulldozing over other people, they think you’re impugning their benevolence or their open-mindedness, when really you’re impugning their consideration for the problems of others, which is fair.

                      I think it would help to put a rationalist taboo on the word “racist.” It’s better to use words for which everyone agrees on the definitions.

                      2. Black people are rapidly approaching the ability to oppress people politically, if not socially or economically.

                      3. At this time, I’m not particularly interested in how much biology plays a part in a person’s character traits. Being a person means taking responsibility and developing beyond the traits that come easily. That applies to everyone equally, and I expect it from everyone. Such an expectation is the foundation of respect. I am interested, however, in how we empower humans everywhere to actually take responsibility and develop. Since the process will be a bit different for each culture, we might as well discuss how it will work for lower-class black culture.

                    • Well now we’re getting somewhere! If we use ancestry as a starting point for a definition of racism, we could easily account for the various western European countries and the supposed traits associated with each of them. But we’d link all blacks to the 2nd largest continent, and lump descendants from 54 countries into one ancestral pool. I’m not sure if this is helpful or fair. At the very least, it can’t be considered apples to apples can it?
                      2. I’m not sure most whites see that as the defacto definition, but could understand why. It suites them. You must also ask yourself why if this definition is so widespread, whites continue to take such umbrage with being called a racist. If you own the definition, it shouldn’t matter. Should it? Time for dinner. More later…

                    • “You must also ask yourself why if this definition is so widespread, whites continue to take such umbrage with being called a racist. If you own the definition, it shouldn’t matter. Should it?”

                      I don’t know if there was a miscommunication in my explanation of how different groups of people think different things when they say and hear “racist”, or if I’m just failing to understand you here. Which definition do you think I meant was widespread? Who do you think “owns” the definition?

                      What I meant was that people used to believe that character traits were indelibly bound to bloodlines, mostly because it gave them an excuse to war against “the other,” and this perpetuated feuds between families and prejudice against local ethnic groups, and on a larger scale towards Africans and Asians during more recent centuries. Of course it’s dumb to lump all Africans into the same category. That’s one of many reasons why racism is dumb.

                      When white people are accused of being racists, they think they’re being accused of believing the above. Racism ends in “-ism” because it’s been defined as a belief for decades. That’s why when white people are told that they are racist, they think they’re being told that they believe something that makes other people mad and which they themselves think is dumb, and they get indignant. It’s arrogant to tell someone that they believe something when they’re positive they don’t.

                      As I gather, when black people tell white people they’re racist, what they mean is that white people are oblivious to and negligent of how their routine behavior and influence over society as a whole make it difficult for black people to become successful. But since humans are not particularly good with precision of language, and underprivileged humans even less so, they use the word “racist” (“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means”) instead of saying what I just said, which people might actually listen to, considering it’s an “I” message and not a “you’re evil” message.

              • ” Blacks are more than 39 times more likely to do violence on whites than the other way around.”

                That’s a numbers game, the average black person by the necessity of the demographics we live in is far more likely to have to socialize at least in part with other demographic groups than a white person is. That statistic (While being factually accurate) really isn’t apples to apples. People naturally segregate themselves demographically…. We tend to marry people that look like us, for instance. It’s the single largest determinant as to why the vast majority of violence happens within our own ethnic groups.

                That’s not to dismiss the facts that for whatever reason black people tend to commit more violent crime…. But we’re on the less PC side of this. We need to be as accurate as possible.

                • Okay, I could see that accounting for a lower-order disparity, but 39 times? I think it would be hard to establish a goodness of fit, if what you’re saying accounts for this discrepancy.

                  • I’m not suggesting that there isn’t a racial factor here, I’m just saying that 39 times is an artificially inflated number, partially explained by factors other than racism. In a town with one black family and 99 white families, chances are that any murders committed by the black family would be black on white, and murders committed by the white family would be white on white. That’s not social commentary… That’s a numbers game.

                    • Except that that’s not really how that works. The criminal element of the black community tends to be cloistered in inner cities, whereas the one black family in a town with 99 whites tends to be at least middle-class, if not professional. Again, blacks comprise 12% of the population, not some much smaller number. I’m not saying that racism is necessarily the primary cause either.

            • I never said my experiences negate the experiences of others; I’m not sure how you took that from my post.

              My point was that I don’t think your experiences can be used to show that systematic racism does not exist. If you weren’t trying to use your extra legitimacy as a black (conservative) man on the subject, then why did you bring it up? My point it to inquire why these truths are NEVER EVER discussed, anywhere, except on the most right leaning of websites…
              .Do you really not hear any thoughts about personal responsibility, crime, and illegitimacy when you are at gatherings with your family or at the barbershop, or out with your other black friends?

              I do reject the notion of black on black crime. There is only crime. We don’t talk about white on white crime, though most whites commit crimes against other whites, and other races commit most of the crimes against their own race. This is mostly because people tend to commit crimes against those they know, and those around them. Due to America’s segregated history, most crimes will be intraracial. Nor, I respectfully submit, would it make things better if blacks suddenly started to make crimes a more interracial matter. Almost certainly a lot worse.

              Are these incidents important to me? Yes, and they should be to you as well; if they aren’t, what does that say about you? And yes, I do want people to focus on them (NEVER did I say not to focus on actual examples of racism), because the original focus is ALWAYS limited, short-lived…. and eventually blame-shifted away.

              I say it is a red herring because, as Jack pointed out in the original post, it is not what the focus of the conversation is on at the moment. It is essentially an interruption to say, “stop talking about what you consider important, and pay attention to what I think is important>” It very well might be important, if that is the case, start your own conversation on the matter. It is akin to someone talking about eradicating heart disease, but instead you begin bringing up statistics about diabetes. Important, true, but not where the conversation is right now. A classic, and often used, derailing tactic.

              http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/08/black-people-are-not-ignoring-black-on-black-crime/378629/

              The notion that violence within the black community is “background noise” is not supported by the historical record—or by Google. I have said this before. It’s almost as if Stop The Violence never happened, or The Interruptors never happened, or Kendrick Lamar never happened. The call issued by Erica Ford at the end of this Do The Right Thing retrospective is so common as to be ritual. It is not “black on black crime” that is background noise in America, but the pleas of black people.

              There is a pattern here, but it isn’t the one Eugene Robinson (for whom I have a great respect) thinks. The pattern is the transmutation of black protest into moral hectoring of black people. Don Imus profanely insults a group of black women. But the real problem is gangsta rap. Trayvon Martin is killed. This becomes a conversation about how black men are bad fathers. Jonathan Martin is bullied mercilessly. This proves that black people have an unfortunate sense of irony.

              The politics of respectability are, at their root, the politics of changing the subject—the last resort for those who can not bear the agony of looking their country in the eye.

  2. Odd timing. I came across this, literally a minute before opening this post:
    The Sun is a liberal agenda newspaper, however since its readership has declined, to put it out of business, it has finally decided to print reality of life in Baltimore. Subject: The Black Dilemma – .FROM THE BALTIMORE SUN
    “The Baltimore Sun” is definitely not known as a Conservative newspaper, this very well written assessment of the situation in USA comes as something of a surprise..
    Some great thoughts about other races that have come to the USA and successfully integrated into our society. This will obviously be called racist, and will upset the liberals, but they should really think about the message and this interesting point of view.

    The Black Dilemma
    “For almost 150 years the United States has been conducting an interesting experiment. The subjects of the experiment: black people and working-class whites. The hypothesis to be tested: Can a people taken from the jungles of Africa and forced into slavery be fully integrated as citizens in a majority white population?
    The whites were descendants of Europeans who had created a majestic civilization. The former slaves had been tribal peoples with no written language and virtually no intellectual achievements. Acting on a policy that was not fair to either group, the government released newly freed black people into a white society that saw them as inferiors. America has struggled with racial discord ever since.
    Decade after decade the problems persisted but the experimenters never gave up. They insisted that if they could find the right formula the experiment would work, and concocted program after program to get the result they wanted. They created the Freedman’s Bureau, passed civil rights laws, tried to build the Great Society, declared War on Poverty, ordered race preferences, built housing projects, and tried midnight basketball.

    Their new laws intruded into peoples lives in ways that would have been otherwise unthinkable. They called in National Guard troops to enforce school integration. They outlawed freedom of association. Over the protests of parents, they put white children on buses and sent them to black schools and vice-versa. They tried with money, special programs, relaxed standards, and endless hand wringing to close the achievement gap. To keep white backlash in check they began punishing public and even private statements on race. They hung up Orwellian public banners that commanded whites to Celebrate Diversity! and Say No to Racism. Nothing was off limits if it might salvage the experiment.
    Some thought that what W.E.B. DuBois called the Talented Tenth would lead the way for black people. A group of elite, educated blacks would knock down doors of opportunity and show the world what blacks were capable of. There is a Talented Tenth. They are the black Americans who have become entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors and scientists. But ten percent is not enough. For the experiment to work, the ten percent has to be followed by a critical mass of people who can hold middle-class jobs and promote social stability. That is what is missing.
    Through the years, too many black people continue to show an inability to function and prosper in a culture unsuited to them. Detroit is bankrupt, the south side of Chicago is a war zone, and the vast majority of black cities all over America are beset by degeneracy and violence. And blacks never take responsibility for their failures. Instead, they lash out in anger and resentment.
    Across the generations and across the country, as we have seen in Detroit, Watts, Newark, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, and now Ferguson, rioting and looting are just one racial incident away. The white elite would tell us that this doesn’t mean the experiment has failed. We just have to try harder. We need more money, more time, more understanding, more programs, and more opportunities.
    But nothing changes no matter how much money is spent, no matter how many laws are passed, no matter how many black geniuses are portrayed on TV, and no matter who is president. Some argue its a problem of culture, as if culture creates peoples behavior instead of the other way around. Others blame white privilege.
    But since 1965, when the elites opened Americas doors to the Third World, immigrants from Asia and India people who are not white, not rich, and not connected have quietly succeeded. While the children of these people are winning spelling bees and getting top scores on the SAT, black youths are committing half the country’s violent crime, which includes viciously punching random white people on the street for the thrill of it that has nothing to do with poverty.
    The experiment has failed. Not because of white culture, or white privilege, or white racism. The fundamental problem is that American black culture has evolved into an un-fixable and crime ridden mess. *They do not want to change their culture or society, and expect others to tolerate their violence and amoral behavior. They have become socially incompatible with other races by their own design, not because of the racism of others – but by their own hatred of non-blacks.*
    Our leaders don’t seem to understand just how tired their white subjects are with this experiment. *They don’t understand that white people aren’t out to get black people; they are just exhausted with them. They are exhausted by the social pathologies, the violence, the endless complaints, and the blind racial solidarity, the bottomless pit of grievances, the excuses, and the reflexive animosity.*
    The elites explain everything with racism, and refuse to believe that white frustration could soon reach the boiling point. “You can’t legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government can’t give to anybody anything that the government doesn’t first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they don’t have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”

    Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun , May 30, 2015

    • *They don’t understand that white people aren’t out to get black people; they are just exhausted with them. They are exhausted by the social pathologies, the violence, the endless complaints, and the blind racial solidarity, the bottomless pit of grievances, the excuses, and the reflexive animosity.*

      This.

    • . Acting on a policy that was not fair to either group, the government released newly freed black people into a white society that saw them as inferiors. ..

      I think that line, in and of itself, tells you everything you need to know about this author, and anyone who agrees with his line of thinking.

      • All it’s saying is that regardless of how ethical a decision may be or how grievous and longstanding the wrongs are that it rights, if the majority of affected people are operating in a paradigm that is unequipped to deal with it, the resulting culture shock will cause damage to society. That’s why many African-Americans moved to Liberia; as far as they could tell, white society and black society couldn’t deal with each other.

        After some very difficult years, it was eventually made clear to me that no matter how right you are, you still have to care about how your actions impact other people on an emotional level. When I learned that, I was under the impression that I had been behind the curve. It’s been surreal learning that I actually leaped far ahead.

        To be clear, what I’m saying is that any grand movement towards societal improvement must involve a change in cultural paradigms. That’s where I’m concentrating my own efforts. To attempt to force a change in society without addressing the concerns of the stakeholders is foolish, and goes against the fundamental principles of engineering (i.e. the discipline of coming up with solutions that work).

        So, yes, that line, in and of itself, tells me that the author has sense, and is willing to use it even though it goes against the popular feel-good narrative. Offhand, the only lines in the article that I could see as possibly reflecting racism would be the lines describing the European and African societies. I think “majestic civilization” and “virtually no intellectual achievements” are laying it on rather thick.

        As a side note, I have a suspicion that the concept of the “Talented Tenth” applies to humanity as a whole, not only the black people of DuBois’s day. Most of the white people I see just go along with the system they were born into, which isn’t as stressful as poverty, but which instead traps them in the illusion of excellence while locking them into mediocrity. If the Talented Tenth applied to all of humanity, it would be consistent with Sturgeon’s Revelation, which states, “90% of everything is crud.” Of course, my job is to empower all people to be excellent, so I don’t intend to let such a status quo persist.

        • Thanks for clearing that up. It seems that Deery believed the author thought releasing slaves was a bad idea. I also believe “virtually no intellectual achievement” was needlessly crass, though I’m not well-read enough in African history to say whether or not it’s true. I believe that what you’re stating is actually the main point; that timing, circumstances, lack of personal accountability,and the unintended consequences of social engineering are behind the experiment’s failure, not some fundamental flaw in black people.

    • It a hoax btw. A beautiful hoax. This has been around since 2014 or so and came from a blog called American Renaissance.

  3. I agree that #blacklivesmatter is a slogan. It is a shorthand, but I don’t see where that is wrong or unethical in and of itself. It is the start of the conversation, not the end of it. Anyone who wants to find out more from there can easily do so. But if time, space, and attention are at a premium, then it serves its job well. Because #weareprotestingthesystematicracismandstateapprovedextra-judicialkillingsofafricanamericans is a very unwieldy hashtag for someone to remember and find on twitter. I think Black Lives Matter works well as a slogan to wrap a protest around.

    BTW, I don’t know why people keep attempting to interject the illegal immigrant killing the woman in San Francisco into the Black Lives Matter conversation. She wasn’t killed by an officer, everyone agrees that a crime has occurred and her murderer should be punished, and the murderer has been caught, charged, and will soon be convicted. What is there to talk about? It isn’t even in the same universe as what #Black Lives Matter is talking about.

    • 1. If the conversation includes making people apologize for saying what O’Malley said, then it is not a benign, fair, clear or useful slogan. Tell me: what does it mean, other than “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!”

      2. Trayvon Martin wasn’t shot by a police officer. The victims in Charleston weren’t either. Obama weighed in immediately in both instances. He hasn’t said anything about the Chattanooga shooting. When has Obama made the kind of comments he made about Martin or Brown when a white man was killed? THAT’S why people mention the San Francisco murder.

      • 1. Black Lives Matter means, as noted above, “we are protesting the systematic racism and state approved extra-judicial killings of African-Americans.” More information, if you are genuinely curious, can be found on Wikipedia for the overview (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Lives_Matter) and the Black Lives Matter website for an in-depth look (http://blacklivesmatter.com/about/).

        2. Trayvon Martin wasn’t shot by a police officer. The victims in Charleston weren’t either. Obama weighed in immediately in both instances.

        Obama definitely did not “weigh in immediately” with the Martin case. No one did. The shooting happened months past, and the family waged a ceaseless campaign to raise awareness about it. Obama was first asked about the case in his press briefings, and obviously anticipating he was going to be asked about it, had some thoughts about it. The Charleston shooting, nine victims, one a state senator, in an historically black church, a manhunt with a shooter(s) on the lam, was obviously going to be a national story from the get go.
        The really isn’t much to the murder in San Francisco. Unfortunately, such murders of opportunity are not uncommon, and as noted, the perpetrator has been caught, and there is near unanimity that he should be convicted. The Chattanooga shooting is a national story, but as it is unfolding, and more facts are known in the days after the shooting, it is looking like the work of a depressed suicidal young man, and less like terrorism. I can see the President waiting a little while longer before speaking about that.

        • 1. There are no “state approved extra-judicial killings of African-Americans.” That statement by itself is divisive and racist. And ridiculous. And if someone asked to name one answered with the names of Brown, Martin, Garner, Timothy Russell,and Malissa Williams, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott and others, that is the smoking gun: they don’t care about facts, just skin color and victim-mongering.

          2. Live the tactic of focusing on the tangential while ignoring the substance—Obama weighed in, and shouldn’t have. Nothing about Marin’s death had larger national significance, Brown’s either. How can you say that the murder of a woman by an illegal immigrant allowed to run amuck by Obama’s INS and San Francisco’s unilateral vetoing of the law isn’t “much”?

          • 1. There are no “state approved extra-judicial killings of African-Americans.” That statement by itself is divisive and racist. And ridiculous. And if someone asked to name one answered with the names of Brown, Martin, Garner, Timothy Russell,and Malissa Williams, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott and others, that is the smoking gun: they don’t care about facts, just skin color and victim-mongering.

            That is the crux of the matter, yes? Either one believes that there is systematic racism in law enforcement, up to and including the more liberal use of force when it comes to black suspects, or you don’t. Without the use of video and social media, most of those names you listed would have never been known, including Rice, Crawford, and Scott, the most egregious examples, imo. I have a difficult time seeing how anyone can look at those videos of those killings and feel that anyone of them were “good kills”, but somehow people manage it, so it obviously takes all kinds.

            2. 2. Love the tactic of focusing on the tangential while ignoring the substance—Obama weighed in, and shouldn’t have. Nothing about Marin’s death had larger national significance, Brown’s either. How can you say that the murder of a woman by an illegal immigrant allowed to run amuck by Obama’s INS and San Francisco’s unilateral vetoing of the law isn’t “much”?

            Lol. One could accuse you of the same from above. But anyway, Obama was asked about Martin and Brown, he didn’t convene a press conference about them (at least not during the initial stages). I’m not sure where the controversy is exactly with the San Francisco story, or at least how its related to Black Lives Matter. The perpetrator was caught .Everyone agrees that the guy should be punished. He will be. Pretty much end of story as far as the particulars of that case is concerned (compare and contrast with the list of cases outlined above, most of which Obama hasn’t commented on either). It would be the same outcome whether or not the guy was illegal. Now if he was treated differently as far as being charged based on his immigration status like police officers are, then the parallels would be more clear, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

            • Who says there are “good kills”? There is a Grand Canyon between incompetence, negligence, bad judgments and bad luck and “systematic executions supported by the system.” Rice was shot by a bad cop, who was further led astray by a bad complaint relay. Negligence, probably negligent homicide. Crawford’s death was a worst case scenario. Scott was executed, and the officer was also fired immediately, and also charged.

              • Scott was executed, and the officer was also fired immediately, and also charged.
                The thing to remember with Scott is that despite being shot in the back several times, some distance away from the car, nothing at all was being to the officer, and it was clear that he was going to get away with it. That is, until the guy who filmed the encounter turned the tape over to some activists associated with the #blacklivesmatter movement, who spearheaded publicity for the Scott execution.

                And even still, with the charges, video, and eyewitness testimony, there are still people excusing the officer’s actions, and a strong chance the officer may not be convicted.

        • “More information, if you are genuinely curious, can be found on Wikipedia for the overview (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Lives_Matter) and the Black Lives Matter website for an in-depth look (http://blacklivesmatter.com/about/). ”

          The problem with self-described movements is that people tend to look at themselves in the most charitable of ways. For instance, if you go to the KKK’s website, they call themselves “America’s Oldest Christian Organization”. I think we can all agree there’s a little bit more to it than that.

            • Wikipedia is edited by mob rule. There aren’t any standards for proof or fact, just enough upvotes by editing contributors, which has proven over time to have shown bias on controversial issues. You remember when Colbert had fun changing the definitions of words?

          • Or less, depending on your outlook and particular brand of Christianity. Some of them are excessively left-field.

        • So, a kid goes off to Jordan, travels through ISIS controlled territory, comes home, grows a jihadi beard, starts posting on social media in favor of jihad and martyrdom, then shoots up US military recruitment centers because of depression? Well, then we better lock all the depressed people up. We have now found the cause of suicide bombers, they are depressed! It is interesting that all of this depression talk only started after the jihadi posts were uncovered and that no mental health organizations have chimed in saying “depression doesn’t make people mass killers!”. Before the Middle Eastern trip and the pro jihadi posts, he was just a kind, normal kid, no sign of any problems. Now he was an extremely troubled, incredibly depressed person. How convenient.

  4. I heard the self proclaimed leader of “Black Lives Matter” (yes, and she even approves organized Black Lives Matter Chapters worldwide…) start to speak about how inappropriate and insulting this guy’s comments were on NPR. Mercifully, I arrived at my destination and got out the car…

  5. Anyone who felt constrained to apologize for saying something like “All lives matter” is not only unworthy of being an elected official but is in the company of people unworthy to be American citizens.

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