Monday, July 11, 2016

The Sound and the Fury

Common decency would have recommended a time of mourning and a time for reflection. After five police officers were murdered in Dallas-- presumably as payback for the deaths of two black men-- people should have tamped down the rhetoric, the protests and  the black against white violence.

Would it really have been too difficult for our president not to take potshots at police departments and not to recommend that they be investigated by the federal govenment? 

One undestands that Obama was trying to be even-handed. In fact, he was drawing a moral equivalence where there is none.

As for the protests, and the shootings of police officers, the sound and the fury continued. It might even have increased. People are paying lip service to the murdered police officers while doubling down on the Black Lives Matter rhetoric. Some people believe that the nation's race problems-- aggravated over the past seven years-- can only be solved with semi-violent protest-- with threats and intimidation--  so they are mobilizing themselves. Others are sufficiently scared that they insist on having what they consider the morally correct position. In the end it will all solve absolutely nothing.

Do the protests address the problem of the disproportionate number of homicides committed by African-Americans and other minority groups? If you listen to our president you hear him intimate that it's not really a problem: it reflects overzealous policing in black communities. And it reflects overzealous prosecutions. Because, you see, if you do not see it or prosecute it you do not know who did it. One may be permitted a reflection that the epidemic of rape of other crimes in Sweden, Norway, Germany and Austria is not the fault of local citizens. Taking a page from the Obama administration playbook the local authorities have been trying to cover up the problem... by not mentioning the ethnic background of the accused.

A while back New York Times columnist Charles Blow bemoaned the fact that his black son, a student at Yale University had been stoped by a police officer on suspicion of having committed a crime. Blow was outraged by the racial profiling, though one does not understand why he could not have grasped the fact that if the perpetrator was black, it makes very little sense to stop Chinese women.

Everyone knows this; it makes no difference. The will to victimhood is so strong that it drowns all rational considerations. And no one noticed that Blow did not direct any of his rage at the black criminal who had compromised the good reputation of his son.

The same might be said of the protesters who are railing against the police. Presenting yourself as an angry, aggrieved group does not look good on your resume. No one wants to hire a troublemaker. Burning down your neighbor hood does not make anyone want to hire you. It might be unfair, but reputation is never a purely individual phenomenon. It's not just you but anyone who is associated with you who will provoke the same reaction.

The way you present yourself in public influences the way people see you. It produces and sustains your reputation. It produces something of a stereotype. It has nothing to do with the courts and the criminal justice system. No one can ever see anyone just as an isolated individual. It takes too much time to judge each individual individually. We always see people as members of group. If your group does well you feel pride. If your group does poorly you feel shame. It is the groundwork of moral sentiment. If you care about how people see you, act accordingly. Do not pretend that you can gain respect by indulging in violent protest.

It is not about justice. If a police officer is convicted of murder, it will change nothing about the job conditions in the black community. It will not create a single job and will not build one new house. It might convince businesses to locate elsewhere.

So, why protest?  It does nothing more than sustain a narrative in which blacks are the eternal victims of white perfidy. Underlying it all is a demand for reparations-- for crimes real and imagined, that took place a very long time ago. The rallies and the protests are demands for hush money. If you don't pay us, we will make it impossible for you to go about your lives.  It's all about threats and intimidation ... and a pretense of being strong and empowered.

Supposedly serious thinkers believe that nothing will change in America until blacks receive reparations for slavery and segregation. Black will need to receive a special dole ... otherwise there will be violence in the streets. If you think that that will gain anyone respect, think again.

One might respond that affirmative action programs resemble reparations. If so, many more qualified white and Asian people have agreed to step aside to give black Americans a leg up-- in universities, in jobs, in politics. But, would it not be more dignified to express gratitude for the good will exhibited in these programs, rather than to keep demanding more reparations.  

But when black leaders call for reparations they are sending the message that the system is so totally rigged against them that they cannot succeed on their own. Of course, the programs offer opportunity, not results. The call for reparations and the attempt to solve the problem in the courts tells blacks that they can never succeed, and thus that they should not even try. It tells them that there is no point to hard work, to earning what one has. And there is no point to good conduct because whites will always look askance at blacks.

Of course, racism exists in America. But there are degrees of racism. If people have a negative view because people who look like you, and who insist on being identified by their race, have behaved badly, it might be a good idea to behave well, to try to change your reputation by changing your behavior for the better.


Dennis said...

Sadly, much of this is based upon outright lies and dissembling. When one looks at the statistics and underlying causes one sees facts that do not backup the narrative that those who would divide us push.
Like all statistics they can be abused by those with an agenda. When 6 percent of the population create 40 percent of the crimes in this country police are by this very fact going to be called more into areas that represent these criminal activities.
It is interesting that there is such a rush to judgment that vast amounts of damage and violence is perpetrated before the facts emerge. Also along those line places like Dallas and Charleston, which have good community policing policies do NOT have this trumped up outrage.
Evil exists and there will always be bad people who do bad things. It would behoove us all to understand that we are Americans and we ought to blame the individual instead of groups. As I have mentioned a number of times we need to recognize that we are Americans no matter any of the hyphenated names we call ourselves that I would suggest does more to divide us that unite us.
Understand that 800,00 police have a tremendously tough and complex job trying to protect and defend 300 million people. If we can after the Vietnam War finally recognize the military for their service and understand the hazards of the job then it should behoove us to do the same with the police. We have a stake in creating good community relations. Sad that it takes the death of five policemen in Dallas to remind us of this.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

It does not matter what you say to BLM. The facts don't matter. They're pissed, they feel they're justified, they believe they're right, and that's all that matters to them and the Obama Administration. Self-righteous rage is the hallmark of Obama's presidency and the groups he enables, lauds and draws attention to. It's not an invitation to exchange, it's telling opponents to shut up.

The "Ferguson Effect" is real, and it's compromising policing and lives. Police are on edge, black citizens are sensitive to the issue, but few are looking at the root causes. Police are not killing people because they are black.

What I don't think we should discount is the timing. The conventions are coming, and the Republican Party convention starts next week. George Soros has given millions to BLM. Now it seems they are doing their "beta tests" across America to see how they can coordinate their efforts. It reminds me a lot of Occupy ______, which was a phony "movement," too.

If these groups really feel black lives matter, they can take the millions from Soros and the energy of these protesters and make black communities safer. This weekend in Chicago: 4 killed, 40 wounded. What was BLM busy doing? Breaking up Taste of Chicago. That's not a protest, that's not civil disobedience... that's rioting and insurrection. There's a big difference. And Loretta Lynch's focus is to not discourage people.

Weaponized moral indignation and politicized rage. No justice, no peace! Get ready for Cleveland.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Dennis @July 11, 2016 at 6:00 AM:

"Understand that 800,00 police have a tremendously tough and complex job trying to protect and defend 300 million people."

That's 0.27%. That's a figure that's less than the estimated transgender population. Look at the difference in the way they're treated by the Obama administration!

Dennis said...


I would agree with your analysis of the timing of much of what BLM does. I would suggest that BLM, much like Occupy Wall Street, were and are creations of the democratic party with the money coming from Soros. Occupy was meant to counteract the TEA party, which was an outgrowth of concern about the growth of the federal government and the costs inherent in it. Since Hillary is such a terrible candidate the party needs to keep Blacks at odds with the country as a whole and that is one of the purposes of BLM. BLM cares little about Blacks in this country which is determined by the points you have made about Soros et al.
I must admit that I think that the democrats may rue starting this fire. Fire has a bad habit of turning and doing damage to the arsonist. Fire will eventually gain a momentum that consumes that which it was not meant to do.

Anonymous said...

I say cops should stand down and stop protecting ingrate urban Liberals from crime and thuggery.

If urban Libs love thugs and radicals so much, let them have them.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

It's a perfect illustration of the times in which we live that Houston city councilman Dwight Boykins said only black police officers should police black neighborhoods, because they understand that "People know their community; they know their culture; and I think that can make a difference." That is a perfect solution to the issue... we'll eliminate one variable from the issue, and what happens when the "problem" continues? Because it will continue. Lawlessness is the problem, not the color of the skin of a police officer. If the color of skin makes that big a difference in the way someone performs their job, what the hell are we doing with all this stuff anyway?

The lawlessness is caused by a complete breakdown in the nuclear family. It has nothing to do with skin color. It's happening everywhere... in all communities, in all ethnicities. The reason the black community is so impacted is that the out-of-wedlock birth rate is most pronounced there. Kids with no fathers grow up pissed off. How would you feel if the police pulled you over for stuff no one told you was wrong? You'd be upset. 't's unavoidable... how does a normal person feel when their father chose to abandon them? It takes a big man to get beyond that, and it's a minority in and of itself. It's devastating.

They're making the argument against all this themselves. This culture is so victimized that it's invisibly intoxicated with racism. You think white America is racist? Talk with black America. It's madness. If a white person ever said any of the stuff Councilman Boykins said, they'd be digitally tarred and feathered. Run out of town. Instantly. Yet that's 21st century America: no standards, full of grievances.

I love that the Dallas police chief invited BLM people to join the police force. Beautiful.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Dennis @July 11, 2016 at 12:11 PM:

"Occupy was meant to counteract the TEA party, which was an outgrowth of concern about the growth of the federal government and the costs inherent in it."

One important caveat to this: the Tea Party was/is a threat to the urban gravy train I mentioned in my comment yesterday: all the billions going to urban America because America sucks. It's an existential threat. All hands on deck... the Tea Party must be destroyed! Lois Lerner was not an accident, nor was she an independent actor. Occupy _____ wasn't real, it was phony... the same parade of malcontent extras from bad Democrat Hollywood productions we've seen before. The rent-a-mob. No, no, no... Lerner was different. Very different. The IRS was weaponized to stab fear into the law-abiding citizens most conservatives are. The effort was designed to destroy the free speech rights of normal citizens. Meanwhile, Loretta Lynch on Friday tells her BLM to not be discouraged. Keep up the good work.

It's a disgrace! And a popular media that is so in the bag for Leftist Democrat interests that they would never think to connect the dots.

Here's an even better question: Why the blacks? Why are the Democrats so concerned about the blacks? I think it's because (a) they can't guarantee 94% of the black vote this time around with Hillary, and (b) black turnout will be low with Hillary. They need a frenzy. Another "astroturf" issue. No need to worry about the collateral damage. Keep up the pressure. It is impossible to be too cynical about these Democrat operators. If they really thought black lives mattered, they'd descend on the south side of Chicago and set up a massive 24/7 neighborhood watch campaign. That would do some good. Do you honestly think Soros' money is going toward stuff that will work? Not a chance.

You mentioned fire. I encourage you to watch this clip from "Backdraft" to understand the full story of fire:

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

One last thing...

Why is it that no one has ever done a "follow the money" investigative report on George Soros, the billionaire? I thought Soros was one of the "millionaires and billionaires" that Bernie Sanders wanted to rid us of. And my, how Soros seems to get these massive, gargantuan short bets right on complex trading in global currencies, major national events, etc., eh? What... do people think he's THAT smart? No one is that smart! He gets inside information. He gets inside information from gullible human beings who are desperate for flattery, recognition, adulation, celebration, etc.? Certainly not government types who might admire the man because he supports the stuff they agree with. No, no, no... certainly not.

Really now, who might fit that profile? Hmmmmm...

Interesting that Hillary sent her son-in-law sensitive information that he was too incompetent to do anything with. You think George Soros would drop the ball with that kind of intel? Not a chance! After all, Hillary didn't succeed at cattle futures with expert knowledge... she knows how the game is played. Chelsea doesn't get a $600K job at NBC on talent, does she? Nope.

"Follow the money." Isn't that the phrase that unleashed generations of amazing, altruistic, idealist journalists who wanted to be the next Woodward and Bernstein? Curious... why don't they want to do such intrepid journalism now in the age of Obama? Lord knows there's enough material...

I marvel that conservative politics is still a force amidst such corruption. Must speak to the resilience of the American character. That's why traditional American culture is the target of so many dark, powerful forces. Don't lose hope!

AesopFan said...

I suspect many of you are seeing the stories taking apart the first narrative of the Castile shooting, but this one has some interesting details that dovetail with Stuart's posts.

And a commenter at another blog that often sheds light on complex subjects.

expat Says:
July 11th, 2016 at 2:29 pm
We should stop calling this group BLM. It is actually BDM–Black Deaths Matter (when a cop was involved). Show me some evidence that any of the BDM were working with Trayvon Martin while he was in school to steer him away from stealing jewelry. Show me examples of them tutoring black kids so they would be able to read and add. Show me their boycotts of trashy rap music that shows no respect for black girls. I could go on forever with the things they do not bother with. I know that there are some fine people in the black communities trying to do these things, but how much recognition do they get from lefty whites, the media, or all those concerned protesters? Most likely they are labeled “Uncle Toms.”

Dennis said...


Have you ever wondered how the left can hold such diametrically opposed ideas at the same time? Take the fact that an overriding theme on the left is all policemen are racist. Then take another overriding theme that only the police should carry guns. Here I have always believed that there was/is intelligent life other than us in the universe. After years of trying to put the dogma and tenets of the left into some logical form and argumentation and failing I am now unsure that there is intelligent life on this planet. Oh, did I mention that one of the reasons I believe there is intelligent life in the universes is because of the fact they have been smart enough not to contact us. Since much of the drivel that populates the airway, et al is leftist in its nature it is little wonder.
We have this concept that all people are innocent until proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt, but we are so quick to judgment as to have to ignore the facts when they emerge in order to justify the errors in judgment. This alone give credence to the fact that large numbers of people, especially on the left, are not what they would like us to believe. They are violent non violent. They are intolerant intolerant people. They are bigoted non bigoted people. I could go on about the ability of the left to continually hold diametrically opposing ideas, but you understand the point I am making. There must be some mental problem inherent in the easy with which they can say one thing and do another.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Dennis @July 12, 2016 at 5:54 AM:

"Have you ever wondered how the left can hold such diametrically opposed ideas at the same time?"

Yes, and I have arrived at this conclusion: they emote. Thought may come later, as a rationalization or justification. That is why there is no consistency... there doesn't need to be any consistency. What matters is emotion, in full authenticity and fury. That's the definition of a Leftist's credibility. It's also the reason they cannot run a polity they take over -- they don't know how to think things through. Hence, we get Venezuela, et al.

That's why you cannot argue or reason with them. They are not motivated by the higher stages of thinking. They just feel, and believe that is enough. They do not understand the human condition -- they think it's someone else's fault. They are perpetual victims, and victimize others. They even anthropomorphize animals and victimize them. It's not thoughtful, it's just emotional.

Your comment about intelligent life is very funny. Have you read "Lost in the Cosmos" by Walker Percy? You'd love it!

Dennis said...


Thanks for suggestion. I just downloaded it. Right now I am reading Asian History to widen my understanding of world history.
I would suggest that one of the reasons the Left now spends so much time trying to control other people's speech is that they have lost the ability to present a well reasoned argument for their ideas. This because emotion has taken the place of logic. One gets fine examples of "Its racist to talk about racism." or "only whites can be racist." I have to admit that I had to laugh when "The secret lives of pets" was an example of white privilege. I guess it takes an academic to find sinister motives in almost everything. What closing of the american mind?