1. I’m cancelling Philip Gallanes. The advice columnist in the Times’ Sunday Styles section has provided some interesting topic for discussion here, but there have to be some consequences for irresponsibly spreading propaganda and falsehoods, even if they are sanctioned by his employers. In response to a “Social Q’s” query from someone who was annoyed that a neighbor had posted a “Defund the Police” sign and asked if it would be ethical to eschew calling the cops if she saw her neighbor’s house vandalized (Answer: Of course not.), Gallanes had to give readers the whole set of George Floyd Freakouts talking points:
“Many of the reports I’ve read about defunding the police focus on limiting the deployment of armed police officers to situations where they may be necessary and helpful — such as violent crimes. Many activists point to the large share of state and local budgets dedicated to police services when many calls to police (about persistent homelessness or family conflicts, for instance) would be better handled by social workers. Why not redirect some police funds to affordable housing and mental health services, they ask?”
Then why not say what you mean, I ask? Defund means defund. I resent this dodge.
“Still others would like to dismantle the current model of policing, as Minneapolis has pledged to do, and reimagine community safety given the frequency with which officers kill unarmed Black men and women.
And how’s that working out so far for Minneapolis, Phil? The frequency in which officers kill unarmed Black men and women is called “infrequently,” and the frequency is decreasing.
Later Gallanes cites “another spate of senseless killings by police.” A spate means “a large number.” That is a false characterization and anti-police propaganda.
Bye! I don’t pay attention to advice columnists who either lie or just uncritically adopt the prevailing biases of their peers.
2. Speaking of Gallanes’ biased and irresponsible employer: Full time anti-Trump propagandist Maggie Halberman has a story on today’s Times front page headlined, “Trump Adds To Old Playbook As He Stokes White Resentment.” Black Lives Matter and its assorted Marxist and anarchist allies are “stoking white resentment” by intimidating, insulting and attacking white Americans as well as the nation’s Founders, among others, using the Catch-22 that if a white Americans don’t grovel, prostrate themselves, admit guilt and vow amends, ideally financial, then they are racists who shout be fired, canceled, and shunned. Stating facts isn’t “stoking resentment,” and correctly saying wrongful conduct and divisive rhetoric is wrongful and divisive isn’t either.
3. And now for something completely puzzling: Why do TV shows and movies almost always show people in the workplace getting Chinese food and eating with chopsticks like they were raised in Beijing? It just isn’t true! I recently saw a meeting on a TV procedural where all eight actors were happily using chopsticks. My experience is that in any group, maybe one or two will use chopstick, and the rest will opt for the (far more efficient ) fork. What’s going on here?
I apologize in advance if this is one of those things, like people on TV never saying “goodbye” at the end of phone calls, that you never noticed and will now drive you nuts.
4. Good. Yesterday the Supreme Court decided unanimously in Chiafalo v. Washington and Colorado Department of State v. Baca that state laws penalizing or removing Presidential electors who do not vote for the candidate they pledged to support will not violate the Constitution. Unanimously. NPR said that the decision “is so strong that it would seem to allow states to remove faithless electors even without a state law.” Fox News reported that “[m]embers of both parties feared that if the Supreme Court did not issue a ruling on the faithless electors issue, a close election in 2020 could see just a handful of electors move to sway the result.”
5. Weenie of the Day, George Floyd Freakout Division. U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney thought that he was complimenting Central District executive and clerk of court Kiry Gray during a June 9 webinar when he commented, discussing his adjustment to his chief judge’s role. “Fortunately for me, we have just a fabulous clerk of the court in Kiry Gray. She’s so street-smart and really knows her job,” Carney he said. Ah, but Gray is black, and though calling someone “street-smart” who is wh=ite is not uncommon (I’ve done it), calling an African American street-smart is evidence of racial insensitivity.
Apparently facilitated by Gray, some of the audience were outraged, and called for the judge’s resignation. So he resigned. For using the term “street-smart.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that in the email announcing his resignation from the chief judge’s post, Carney said he thought that his “street-smart” comment was positive at the time.“To me, the term means a person of great common sense, initiative, and ability to work with people and get things done. It saddened me greatly to learn that some people view the term to be demeaning to people of color. I never knew that there was a different definition of the term,” he wrote.
Carney said he has apologized to Gray, “but I have concluded that a simple apology will not put this matter to rest. There will be division in the court, unnecessary, negative and hurtful publicity, and a diversion from the court’s essential mission of administering justice if I were to continue serving as the chief district judge. I cannot allow the court to become politicized and embroiled in controversy.”
The judge is a fool and a weenie. He should have refused to apologize, and publicly refused to resign, saying that he would not be made into something he was not because a mob was looking for ways to fix its social and political muscles. He had an opportunity to condemn what has become exactly what “witch-hunt” describes. If African-Americans are going to be hyper-sensitive to imagined slights and “micro-aggressions, waiting to pounce on innocent and harmless episodes like this, then it will be impossible to have a healthy integrated workplace.
The Ethics Villain in this case was Gray, who should have shut down the controversy as the Golden Rule dictated, and could have.