Back To The 13th Question: Answer It, Stop Grandstanding, Or Shut Up.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy, explaining why arson can be a GOOD thing…

In this post, I added a 13th question to the Ethics Alarms 12 question checklist for protesters, in light of the current unpleasantness:

What is the “systemic reform regarding race in America” that the George Floyd protests purport to be seeking?

Apparently nobody wants to answer it, and the political and news media grandstanding demanding “systemic reform” has only become more pervasive. Yesterday Joe Biden, decrying hate and divisiveness and then blaming the President for the riots across the nation sparked by a single instance of police brutality in Minneapolis, finally called for a solution to what he called “systemic racism.” What would that be, Joe?

Crickets.

As I wrote in the post, this is a phony virtue-signaling stance without substance or integrity. What? What is it you want?

Joe was a minor offender, though, compared to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy (Do I have to give up the Red Sox if I renounce the state of my birth?).

Healey started her speech with “The color of my skin doesn’t allow me to truly understand what it’s like to leave your home and automatically be subject to so many assumptions and biases.” Healey said in her work as AG, she wanted to address the “systemic racism plaguing society.”  She  described racism as a value that is “embedded” in the United States. “Racism has been embedded in our country from the time that Europeans plundered our First Americans and Africans were stolen from their land, shackled, and brought to our shore,” she said.

She asserted that George Floyd’s killing gave America an opportunity to create a more just society! Yeah, that’s the ticket!  “I won’t talk about rebuilding. Instead, I’ll talk about building anew in ways that rid us of the institutionalized racism that’s led to America burning today,” Healey said. “Yes, America is burning. But that’s how forests grow,” she said.

Boy, she’s an idiot. But I digress. Sorry.

If Americans do not seize that opportunity, she said, it will “extinguish the promise of this great country.” Healey said she is calling for a “revolution,” but not a violent one. “I support calls for a revolution but not the revolution of violence in our streets,” Healey said. “Instead, I’m calling for a revolution in mindset. A fundamental change to our ingrained assumptions.”

“We’ve seen people come from out of state to Worcester last night, to Boston, to try to wreak havoc, who are in no way supportive of the movement,” she added. Wait..what “movement” would that be?

No hint. Except, you know, dealing with “systemic racism.” Whatever that means.

Returning to the lowest common denominator, I heard a Minnesota protester say that there’s no mystery what the angry mob wants: “Justice!” No wonder we’re hearing appeals to the incoherent foolery of Colin Kaepernick again: that was the extent of his incoherent protest. As far as I can discern from what was risibly called his “explanation,” this meant, and means, discarding due process of law for police officers, and summarily arresting them and locking them up based on news accounts, YouTube videos, and fake quotes like “Hands up! Don’t shoot!”  That’s justice, everybody. Just so you know.

Is that what you mean by addressing “systemic racism,” Joe, Maura? I hope not. Frankly, I don’t think either of these demagogues mean that; I hope not. Both are lawyers, after all. The truth: they don’t know what they mean, and they are confident that no interviewers will ask, because they know they have no idea what fixing “systemic racism” means.  I almost listed the options in the post: Re-education camps? Reparations? Automatic discipline for any cop who arrests a black citizen? An institutionalized, legal fist on the scales to benefit African-Americans competing with whites in jobs and college admissions? Indoctrination in the public schools representing all whites as oppressive, violent racists?

Wait, we already have that.

Libertarians, to their credit, have used this opportunity to raise their long-held recommendations to address some of the problems, as in this essay by law professor Illya Somin. I am absolutely certain that these recommendations would not constitute “addressing systemic racism” according to politicians like Healy and Biden.

Digression: I also think the libertarian belief that legalizing recreational drug use would benefit African-Americans  is delusional. George Floyd  was, we now know, stoned out of his mind. Some of his own bad choices led to the circumstances of his death, and among them was being under the influence of drugs.

Further digression: Once again, I heard protesters talking about how the demonstrations/riots/ burnings/killings “honored the memory of George Floyd.” George Floyd was a human being and did not deserve to die in the custody of police, but there is little to “honor” about his life. This morning I heard the woman identified as “the mother of Floyd’s daughter” speak about the father her daughter had lost. So we know Floyd fathered a daughter without the little inconvenience of a marriage, and never did marry her mother. He was arrested allegedly passing counterfeit 20 dollar bills, and was under the influence of fentanyl and meta-amphetamines during his deadly encounter with police.

Here’s an idea; Has anyone considered that one way to begin addressing “systemic racism” is to develop an African-American community culture that doesn’t “honor” men like George Floyd?

I’m still waiting for a serious answer to Question 13.  I think voters and citizens should demand it, or conclude that those demanding an end to “systemic racism” don’t really want one, because it would rob them of income, influence, and power.

18 thoughts on “Back To The 13th Question: Answer It, Stop Grandstanding, Or Shut Up.

  1. What they want is for people to be cordoned off into groups, with one group always to be the booger-man. If they can manage that, they can manipulate the groups and kerp all the good stuff for themselves.

  2. The problem with trying to end racism is that it runs aground the basic human impulse to “other” people who are different. It has been a practice of mankind from the beginning, and even our very best of societies will constantly struggle with the temptation to “other” the people who at the very least aren’t playing along.

    “Othering” is to make someone an outcast from the group, and to place blame on them for the groups problems. Theologians have referred to it as scapegoating. If someone looks different, dresses different, acts different, talks different, there will be the temptation to mock that person, ostracize that person, and perhaps even blame that person for everything that is going wrong. Then, if you can destroy that person, then magically all the problems will go away.

    “You want to know what’s wrong with this nation? It’s those damned Republicans trying to horde all the wealth.” “You want to know what’s wrong with this nation? It’s those damned Democrats who are trying socialize everything.” “You want to know what’s wrong with this nation? It’s all those hateful religious folk.” “… It’s all those LGBT people destroying family values.” “…It’s all those white supremacists trying to suppress minorities.” “…It’s all those anti-vaxers…” “…It’s those climate change deniers…” “…It’s those power hungry people who treat science like a religion…”

    From this, I’ll make a nod to G.K. Chesterton, who reportedly submitted his shortest essay to The Times in a response to The Times posing the question, “What is wrong with the world today?” His answer was two words: “I am.”

    One thing that we need to understand is that we all have the temptation (and we all probably commit the offense) to “other” people, especially people we dislike. Therefore, I will openly confess that I have this temptation, and I have indeed placed all of society’s blames on groups of people. Thus I am indeed what is wrong with our country, and the only way to fix it is to fix myself. I have some ideas of how that is to be accomplished. An external standard of behavior that I can compare my actions against, since I know that were I to make my own moral rules, I would find myself quite virtuous from the start with no need to change. Constant reflection on my behavior, my motivations, and how they help or hurt my efforts to conform to that moral standard. Taking time to consider my own faults before lashing out at someone else’s.

    There’s a quote by St. Augustine that I’ve been trying to take to heart (not that I’m succeeding very well at it): “Try to acquire the virtues you believe lacking in your brothers. Then you will no longer see their defects, for you will no longer have them yourself.” In other words, most of the defects we see in other people are projections of our own faults, and if we focused on our own faults, we might find that the people around us did not actually have those faults we attributed to them, or at least not to the degree we thought. If, on the other hand, we still find defects in our brothers, we’ll at least have removed the log from our own eyes before we attempt to remove the splinter from theirs.

    What is the solution to our racial problems? It has to be everyone taking person responsibility for their own lives and actions, and it has start at home. But outwardly, we should always remember that no policy, no law, no enforcement will ever remove the temptation to “other” people. It requires constant vigilance, and that constant vigilance must be first of all directed inward.

    If I ever succeed, I’ll let you all know…

  3. Maura’s just spouting the intersectional gibberish she’s been awash in at least since she enrolled at Harvard. She’s a social justice warrior and even a lesbian. So she’s got that going for her. She has no idea how to implement a plan to eradicate “systemic racism,” and doesn’t give a rat’s ass that she doesn’t. She’s just chanting as the congregation nods in agreement.

    I find it curious the vast majority of the truly peaceful protestors are white people Maura’s age or younger (who I guess don’t have jobs to go to right now) who seem to be out on the street showing their social justice and wokeness bona fides and flagellating themselves to expiate the sin of their whiteness. Not a good look.

    Had to laugh at her use of “the movement.” I hadn’t heard that since January of 1970.

      • Jack,
        I would love to hear the opinions and insights from this treads contributors in trying to answer your 13th Question, “systemic reform regarding race in America”, in the context to this opinion piece in the publication Foreign Affaires?
        Here is the URL link: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2015-03-01/racial-inequality-after-racism?utm_medium=newsletters&utm_source=fatoday&utm_campaign=The%20Folly%20of%20Decoupling%20From%20China&utm_content=20200603&utm_term=FA%20Today%20-%20112017

        My apologies for throwing such a lengthy article out there this way but the comments in this thread on White Privilege ( which I am struggling to understand) and the “Stress Testing” Suggestion for Institutional Racism By Foreign Affairs, Is something I would very much like to see discussed by brighter minds than mind. Thank you, I appreciate your site and try my best to come to an understanding of both sides of the controversial issues of our day. Blessings to you all.

        John W

        • Thanks, John…I’ll try to figure out a way to raise it.

          I have to say, it’s an annoying article, cherry-picking hoary examples and incidents—Willie Horton? Seriously?—The long-setttled cocaine vs crack disparity?—as well as false narratives. I almost bailed with the use of the Mike Brown case, as if this was an example of an institutional failure. The grand jury found no just cause to prosecute for the same reason Eric Holder’s racialized Justice Department didn’t: the evidence wasn’t there, and they desperately wanted it to be. The thing doesn’t even get to institutions until near the end of the article. And comments like this: “To many right-wing observers, the characteristics of black poverty—joblessness, broken families, welfare dependency, drugs, crime, violence—suggest a set of pathological cultural traits that black communities share.” Right wing observers? How about observors period? In 2018, 65% of black kids were in fatherless families. 24% of whites were. let’s just aim at fixing that one disparity, and see what happens. The same with single black women giving birth. A post abut racial inequality that doesn’t mention either factor at all is inherently suspect, don’t you think?

        • It’s funny. I think there’s a silly fondness and romanticization of the radicalism of the ’60s prevalent among the forty and under set. They seem to view this current situation as a time for them to experience something real and revolutionary like the ’60s were. (Which is weird because for the most part they seem to despise Baby Boomers.) Even Obama resurrected his “Hope and Change” mantra in his awful comments the other day. (Whew, didn’t that die ten or so years ago?) Assuming these times turn out to be as big a dud as the ’60s did, this generation is in for a surprise.

  4. Why does this ‘systemic racism’ seem to be worst in cities that have been run by minorities almost exclusively for a long period of time? Why is the next worst place for systemic racism in cities run by progressive for a long period of time? Does ‘systemic racism’ mean treating people differently based on their race? Because in the cities mentioned above, that is more prevalent. Which cities are more likely to excuse crime, drug use, and poor behavior because of race? Until we stop treating black Americans like grown-up toddlers who can’t control their temper tantrums, this won’t stop. The more this behavior is excused and enabled, the worse off the black community is. If you tell people that they can’t do anything because ‘systemic racism’ will stop them, if you tell them they aren’t responsible for their own actions because it is due to ‘systemic racism’, how do you think they will act? Systemic racism may be real, but I don’t think it is what these protesters think it is.

    • If you look at economic data from the 40’s and 50’s relating to African American home ownership, poverty rates, incarceration rates and other metrics that COULD measure the effects of systemic racism you would find that despite true segregation then black families were doing better then than today.

      If you want justice stop treating blacks as unable to achieve without assistance and if you do offer help establish milestones to be achieved to continue assistance.

      • The meritocracy may not work perfectly, but it does work. a good education has been the ticket out of poverty for generations of Americans and the black inner-city seems to have some of the most public education despite some of the highest spending. Perhaps starting there would be a good point, but the people in those areas consistently vote against a good education. So, to give the children there a better education, you have to paternalistically impose better schools on the inner city. Such a nice would start protests and riotd. Again, you can’t win.

  5. Does AG Healy not recognize that everyday she leaves her home she is subject to assumptions and biases based on the color of her skin? The only difference is that those assumptions and biases are created by race hustlers and held by people of color.

    The idea that only whites hold such assumptions and biases is itself evidence that she herself does not understand human behavior and therefore unqualifed to be an AG.

  6. Is that what you mean by addressing “systemic racism,” Joe, Maura? I hope not. Frankly, I don’t think either of these demagogues mean that; I hope not. Both are lawyers, after all. The truth: they don’t know what they mean, and they are confident that no interviewers will ask, because they know they have no idea what fixing “systemic racism” means.

    Of course, this begs the question of why systemic racism persists.

    My longtime Usenet ally, Christopher Charles Morton, provided an explanation four years ago.

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/chicago-three-big-reasons-why-murder-city-usa-is-so-unsafe/#comment-2836333

    I’ll give you three reasons, having lived there until I joined the Army:
    1. The city “government” is as corrupt as any you’ll find in the third world. Members of the city council are in bed with the major gangs.
    2. The police department is as corrupt as the “government”, considering itself wholly outside the law. Until relatively recently, there was a home invasion, burglary and kidnapping ring operating INSIDE the most “elite” unit in the department.
    3. The population obviously LIKES these things, since they’ve been voting for them since before my grandmother moved there from Nashville… BEFORE WWI.

    Black Chicagoans elected and reelected Richard M. Daley for something like twenty+ years, DESPITE the fact that he profited politically from an organized torture ring operating INSIDE the Chicago PD. Most of the known victims of said ring were NOT Norwegian…

    Chicago is what it is because the Chicagoans WANT it that way. Sucks to be them.

    Chris is from Chicago.

    The reason he actually developed a sense of ethics is that he joined the Army and was thus exposed to many different points of view as he was stationed around the world.

    He greatly influenced my own political views, and I learned much from him.

  7. I thought quite a few groups in support of and involved in the protests had developed a list of reasonable requests (peppered with some less than reasonable ones), mostly focused on police arrest procedures…the least of which and seemingly easy to institute- once a perp is cuffed, quit sitting on them. Put them in a squad car or cuff their ankles too. If they want to flail about on the ground in the meantime of their own effort, keep a camera on them and leave them alone.

    I wish the protesting Left would also seek to bust unions in this.

    The requests to reconsider qualified immunity seem reasonable. I’m not confident it should be completely ended, though I’d be easily convinced of this, but it certainly needs to be modified significantly.

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