Archive for Race in America

What You Call a Win-Win

Unless you are an American worker:

The evidence continues to roll in: Broad increases in the minimum wage destroy jobs and hurt the working-class Americans that they are supposed to help. The latest evidence is an announcement that Wal-Mart, America’s largest employer, will close more than 150 U.S. stores, a move that will affect 10,000 employees.

Having to pay increased wages obviously diminishes a business’s financial performance. Wal-Mart voluntarily raised its base wage to $9 an hour last April, then announced in November that this resulted in a 10% reduction in earnings per share for the third quarter. This year Wal-Mart will raise its base wage to $10 an hour and is forecasting as much as a 12% decline in earnings per share.

Every retailer has locations that are profitable, but only marginally. Increased labor costs can push these stores over the line and into the loss column. When that happens, companies that want to stay competitive will close them. That’s one of the reasons that substantially increasing the minimum wage poses real risks for working-class Americans.

Let’s look at Oakland, Calif., where the minimum wage is $12.55. When Wal-Mart opened there in 2005, about 11,000 people applied for the 400 positions. Those jobs will soon be gone, as the Oakland store is on the closure list. While Wal-Mart declined to address the details of its decision, City Councilman Larry Reid told the San Francisco Chronicle that Oakland’s minimum wage “was one of the factors they considered in closing the store.”

Councilman Noel Gallo, who supported efforts to submit the minimum-wage increase to voters, bemoaned the closure, saying that “losing a Wal-Mart is a blow to the city of Oakland” and adding that “what Oakland needs more of is jobs.”

Oakland…Oakland…isn’t that a “dog whistle” of some sort?

There’s a lot more at the link—Andy Purzer writes regularly on such issues at the WSJ—but we have enough to work with. In pursuit of a misguided perception of “fairness”, private enterprise is targeted—Alinsky-ized, if you will—and the working stiff takes the hit. There’s no argument; that’s fact. It’s also intentional.

Grandstanding to the mob, liberal government imposes rules injurious to business; business reacts as a living being, recoiling, retrenching; people are put out of work; they land on welfare; they blame business, while government takes credit (a second time) for looking out for them. Why wouldn’t liberal government do that? Why would they do anything else, Oakland—all two-thirds non-white of it—be damned?

This is not cynicism. This is stated Democrat Party policy. A few people inside the welfare gerbil wheel—a very, very few—have figured this out, and call out the Democrats for their decades of failure. The rest are reliable Democrat voters, year after year, benefit check after benefit check. It’s a wonder any conservative can win a national election, and almost a certainty that he or she won’t, ever again.

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Who You Callin’ Racist?

We were among the first (eleven days ago) to note the remarkable uniformity of color (or lack thereof) among the Oscar nominees. That was because we remembered the same thing happening last year. Even we, who hold the liberal cultural elite in a contempt of cosmic proportions, never imagined they’d make the Oscars whiter than a Jim Crow lunch counter for the second year in a row.

But to borrow from television, this whole topic has jumped the shark:

Actor Danny DeVito is the latest to weigh in on the lack of diversity at the Oscar’s, saying it’s not the award show that’s to blame.

DeVito said that Americans ‘are a bunch of racists’, according to People.com.

‘It’s unfortunate that the entire country is a racist country,’ Danny told the AP at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

Someone tell me why DeVito works and Mel Gibson is blacklisted.

Don Cheadle was also interviewed about his take on racism in Hollywood and this year’s coveted award show.

‘Again, this is dealing with the symptom, not starting at the root cause,’ Cheadle told the Associated Press.

Actor Sam Neil also spoke and said that he was utterly socked by the lack of nomination for black talent.

‘I mean I’m baffled by it, I would have thought that Idris Elba and Sam Jackson would have been a shoo-in for a nomination,’ he said.

Idris Elba acted in the film Beasts of No Nation and Samuel Jackson acted in the Hateful Eight.
This year’s Oscar’s has been under fire for its lack of black artists nominated for awards.

Celebrities like Spike Lee Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have decided to boycott the Oscar’s due to its lack of diversity with Spike Lee saying he’ll be watching the Knicks game instead.

Masochism is no solution to anything, Spike.

I’m just a white guy, but how does “the Academy’s” dissing of black actors and filmmakers make me, you, all of us racist? This is the same “Academy” that bestowed Best Picture on Twelve Years a Slave two years ago. Was I a racist then? You, Aggie? Hollywood—the rich, spolied, liberal, white weenies—deserves every bit of scorn it’s getting. But leave me the eff alone. I love Samuel L. Jackson.

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How Portland Is It?

A recurring feature, to be sure:

A new program being held this April at Portland Community College, Whiteness History Month, has garnered lots of unwanted negative attention. Which is why the school’s interim president, Sylvia Kelley, posted a statement on Wednesday in an attempt to calm the waters.

Scheduled for April, Whiteness History Month: Context, Consequences and Change is “not a celebratory endeavor,” according to its description on the school’s website. “The Project seeks to challenge the master narrative of race and racism through an exploration of the social construction of whiteness. Challenging the master narrative of traditional curriculum is a strategy within higher education that promotes multicultural education and equity.”

I thought they spoke English in Portland—at least they did when I grew up there. I don’t know what language that is.

How did President Kelly clear things up?

“‘Whiteness’ is an academic term commonly used to describe the social and political construction of white identity related to beliefs, cultural norms and privileges. The concept of ‘whiteness’ has been referenced by a broad range of scholars and has been a focus of research, teaching and scholarship since the early 1990s.

“We view this project as part of a larger national conversation around race and social justice on America’s college campuses. As Oregon’s largest post-secondary educational institution, it is our responsibility to help continue this courageous conversation. We understand that this will be challenging and uncomfortable work, yet we have made a commitment in our strategic plan to take intentional action to advance diversity, equity and inclusion –for all we serve.”

“‘Whiteness’ is an academic term commonly used to describe the social and political construction of white identity related to beliefs, cultural norms and privileges.

So, “whiteness” means what it means to be white, is that it?

And all white people share “beliefs, cultural norms and privileges”, do we? “Since the early 1990s” …oh, from antiquity, you mean.

I just wish I were half as white as they think I am. I could use some privileges. (Beliefs and cultural norms—what the hell good are they?)

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Of Human Bondage

Any time we start feeling high and mighty about ourselves as Americans, as President Obama did, repeatedly, in his boastful STFU speech the other night, some leftie is always there to harsh our mellow by shouting “SLAVERY!!!” at us. As if anyone currently alive in this “nation of immigrants” had anything to do with human bondage. (How come no one in the audience heckled Obama—“SLAVERY!!!”—when he nattered on about “America’s promise”?)

I used to argue back that slavery has been a part of just about every culture, including Africa, in every time. America is not unique in allowing slavery, but was unique in engaging in a civil war to abolish it. Indeed, thanks largely to our bloodletting, we are unique in history in living in a largely post-slavery era. You’re welcome.

But now I think differently. Next time I bloviate about the greatness of America (under conservative stewardship), and someone shouts “SLAVERY!!!” at me, I’m going to wholeheartedly agree.

I’m sure they don’t know how right they are:

Human trafficking is a cruel and inhumane practice found in countries around the world. So it should come as no surprise that President Obama proclaimed this month National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

The exploitation and coercion of girls and young women into prostitution, however, is not limited to places overseas.

Right here in the nation’s capital, our most vulnerable residents — children — are subjected to sex slavery. Their stories don’t make the evening news or even warrant blurbs in your morning paper. But human trafficking is, and has been, a shadowy and seamy part of D.C. life.

Let me tell you about “Stacks” and “Kandy.”

You want the sordid details? Colby King is only too happpy to oblige. But this is a family blog.

Then there’s the story of “Smoke” and “Cupcake”…

Again, not a story you’ll read here.

U.S. attorney spokesman Bill Miller told me this week, “Since 2009, about 70 defendants have been prosecuted in [federal and D.C. courts] on charges related to human trafficking … including abducting or enticing a child into prostitution.”

This is about the time BTL employs Oscar Wilde’s witticism about losing one’s parents: to pimp out one child may be regarded as a misfortune; to pimp out more than 70 looks like wickedness.

This is also a good time to note that Washington DC is a majority-black city. I don’t have photographic evidence of the race of either the pimps or the hos in these or other cases, but I can do the math. Think how much worse it would be if Obama hadn’t declared it National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

Next time someone tells me how dreamy Obama is, you know what I’m going to say, don’t you? “SLAVERY!!!”

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Hooray for Hollywhite

That screwy, ballyhooey Hollywhite
Where any office boy or young mechanic
Can be a panic, with just a goodlooking pan.

A white goodlooking pan:

2016 Oscar nominations will be announced early tomorrow morning, Thursday at 5:38am PT. Ahead of that, I thought I’d take a brief look at what black actors, directors and films just might be in contention. I say I’ll be brief because, well, as I’m sure you already realize, pickings are slim this year, as they have been almost every year since the first Academy Awards event.

But in terms of black nominees, here are the names and titles that I think could contend in the major categories:

– Best Picture: Since the Academy upped the number of nominees to 10 in this specific category, this may be one category in which “anything black” may get a nod; and 3 films immediately come to mind as possible contenders: “Straight Outta Compton,” “Creed” and “Beasts of No Nation.” All 3 received much critical attention, and the first 2 are blockbusters. “Beasts” is a *smaller* so-called arthouse film anyway, so it wasn’t expected to be a commercial hit. Also, Netflix released it both in theaters and on its streaming platform on the same day, so its theatrical box office potential was cut by the fact that, I’d guess, most of us probably watched it at home.

– Best Director: The directors of 2 of the above films have the best shot – F. Gary Gray for “Straight Outta Compton” and Ryan Coogler for “Creed.” Neither is a favorite to make the list of 5 nominees in this category, but, in a year in which diversity seems to have been a kind of industry rallying cry, we might be surprised by a selection in a category here and there.

– Best Actor: This is a tough category because there are too many strong nominees here, with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Fassbender, Eddie Redmayne, Bryan Cranston and others all impressing with solid individual performances. The list goes on and is strong. In terms of black actors who might contend, the most obvious here are Will Smith (“Concussion”), Michael B. Jordan (“Creed”), Samuel L. Jackson (“Hateful Eight”) and Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation”). At first glance, Attah might be considered the least likely. But when you consider that Quvenzhané Wallis was nominated for Best Actress for “Beasts of the Southern Wild” in 2013 (both child actors in critically-acclaimed films), Attah definitely has a shot.

– Best Actress: An even tougher category in part because there are much fewer black actresses (compared to black actors) who starred in any Oscar-caliber films released in 2015. The knee-jerk reaction is usually to criticize the Academy for its lack of diversity in terms of nominees, but it all starts with the work. People of color have to first be cast in films that can contend for the highest honors in all of the industry. As Viola Davis said during her Emmy Awards acceptance speech last year, “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.” The same goes for the other gender. All that said, the only black actresses with any real shot at nominations are Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez for thier performances in “Tangerine.” Long shots for either of them, although, as shared on this blog in October, Magnolia Pictures and the Duplass Brothers teamed up to launch an Oscar campaign for both “Tangerine” stars, for what has been the first awards season push for transgender actresses by a movie distributor in Hollywood history. Rodriguez is being pushed as Lead Actress, and Taylor as Supporting. Mark Duplass said: “Jay and I are new to the Academy, so we’re just figuring this whole thing out. One thing that has become apparent to us as we look at this stuff, it seems that the TV Academy has embraced what’s happening in the trans movement with ‘Transparent’ and ‘Orange is the New Black.’ We feel that the film Academy is a little behind on that front […] This is the time for it. We’re in the middle of a civil rights movement.”

– Best Supporting Actor: This might be the only category in which a nomination of a black actor/actress in any of the acting categories, is most likely – and that will be Idris Elba for his performance in “Beasts of No Nation.” Although Jason Mitchell’s name has popped up on a few “expert” lists here and there for his performance in “Straight Outta Compton.” So he might make the cut as well. It’s just that Elba is the one name that’s on just about every list I’ve seen in this specific category.

– Best Supporting Actress: As noted in Best Actress category, Mya Taylor may be a contender for “Tangerine” if Magnolia Pictures’ campaigning has had any effect on voters; and also, there’s that diversity thing again, as the Academy may see this as an opportunity to make a statement that will resound with the transgender community. As Mark Duplass said above, “One thing that has become apparent to us as we look at this stuff, it seems that the TV Academy has embraced what’s happening in the trans movement with ‘Transparent’ and ‘Orange is the New Black.’ We feel that the film Academy is a little behind on that front […] This is the time for it.” Also, a very long shot might be Gugu Mbatha-Raw for “Concussion.” But there’s really been zero buzz around her for her work in the film. And Tessa Thompson in “Creed” – although there’s really been no push or buzz around her either.

– Best Original Screenplay: “Straight Outta Compton” is in the top 5 of a number of “expert” lists that I read, so it looks like a strong contender here. And also “Creed” could make the top 5. But of the two, “Compton” seems most like a sure-thing. Although what may not be widely-known is that the screenplay was written by 2 white writers: Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff. So if it is nominated, it’ll certainly be good for the film itself, but, ultimately, the writers will get the glory, and the award in the end, should it actually be nominated and go on to win in this category.

– Best Adapted Screenplay: “Beasts of No Nation” is really the only contender here. It’s based on Nigerian author Uzodinma Iweala’s novel of the same name; although Cary Joji Fukunaga, the director, adapted the novel to screenplay, so if it is nominated in this category, Fukunaga’s name will be on the plaque, not Iweala’s.

You already know where this is going, don’t you?

In addition to “The Revenant,” the nominees for best picture are “Spotlight,” “The Big Short,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “Brooklyn,” “Bridge of Spies” and “Room.”

The nominees for best director are Alejandro González Iñárritu (“The Revenant”), Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”), George Miller (“Mad Max: Fury Road”), Adam McKay (“The Big Short”) and Lenny Abrahamson (“Room”).

The nominees for best actor are DiCaprio (“The Revenant”), Matt Damon (“The Martian”), Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”), Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”) and Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”).

The nominees for best actress are Cate Blanchett (“Carol”), Brie Larson (“Room”), Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”), Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”) and Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”).

The nominees for best supporting actor are Christian Bale (“The Big Short”), Mark Ruffalo (“Spotlight”), Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”), Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”) and Tom Hardy (“The Revenant”).

The nominees for best supporting actress are Rooney Mara (“Carol”), Kate Winslet (“Steve Jobs”), Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Hateful Eight”), Rachel McAdams (“Spotlight”) and Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”).

The nominees for best original screenplay are “Spotlight,” “Ex Machina,” “Inside Out,” “Bridge of Spies” and “Straight Outta Compton.”

The nominees for best adapted screenplay are “Carol,” “The Big Short,” “The Martian,” “Room” and “Brooklyn.”

Creed and Straight Outta Compton—two African American nominations! Woo-hoo!

Uh…

Nominating only white people, even in films featuring mostly black people, is bad. But is it worse what happened to The Color Purple in 1985?

The Color Purple was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Goldberg and Best Supporting Actress for both Avery and Winfrey.[17] It failed to win any of them, tying the record set by 1977’s The Turning Point for the most Oscar nominations without a single win.

Want the best laugh of all? Purple lost out in a couple of major categories to Out of Africa, a movie about white folks in Africa! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!

PS: Not to rub kosher salt in the wound, but…

The Hungarian Holocaust film “Son of Saul” was nominated for the best foreign film Academy Award.

Other Jewish Oscar nominees include Steven Spielberg, producer and director of “Bridge of Spies,” which made the shortlist for best picture. The film, which tells the story of a Cold War prisoner exchange, is based on a screenplay by filmmaker brothers Joel and Ethan Coen.

Also in the running is Israel-born super producer Arnon Milchan, whose Leonardo di Caprio thriller “The Revenant” is also in contention for best picture.

Jennifer Jason Leigh was nominated as best supporting actress for her role in the “The Hateful Eight,” about eight strangers seeking refuge from a blizzard during the American Civil War.

The documentary “Amy,” about the British Jewish singer Amy Winehouse,” was nominated for best documentary.

“Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah,”about the director of the epic Holocaust documentary “Shoah,” was nominated for best documentary short.

Even a movie about a movie beat anything by African Americans. Black Lives Matter, but not on the silver screen.

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Who Knows?

Did Obama grow misty-eyed over this?

Blood was shed in Baltimore at an unprecedented pace in 2015, with mostly young, black men shot to death in a near-daily crush of violence.

On a per-capita basis, the year was the deadliest ever in the city. The year’s tally of 344 homicides was second only to the record 353 in 1993, when Baltimore had about 100,000 more residents.

The killings were on pace with recent years in the early months of 2015 but skyrocketed after the unrest and rioting of late April. In five of the next eight months, killings topped 30 or 40 a month.

And then, in a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma:

Experts said there is no single cause for the surge in violence in Baltimore, and it may take criminologists years to identify all of the factors. But many agree that the spring’s unrest was a catalyst.

Rioting, looting and arson broke out in April after 25-year-old Freddie Gray died of neck injuries suffered in police custody. Six Baltimore police officers have been charged in Gray’s arrest and death, and they are scheduled to stand trial this year. All have pleaded not guilty.

Before the unrest, the city hadn’t had a month of 30 or more homicides for 94 straight months, since June 2007.

“To have one event so dramatically increase the crime rate overnight? I’ve never seen that before,” said Peter Moskos, a former Baltimore police officer and assistant professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. “It’s unprecedented.”

“The retaliatory violence has always existed in Baltimore,” Davis said. “But why is it so pronounced after Freddie Gray? I’m not sure I have an answer to that, but it’s something I think about daily.”

I take a few days off, but I think of it often enough. Having never been to Baltimore, there’s little I know for sure about it. But the case offers us some clues: record numbers of young black men are dying (presumably, allegedly) at the hands of other young black men; the murders took off in frequency after a career petty criminal (also a young black man) died in police custody, under peculiar circumstances (though the first officer tried in Freddie Gray’s death got off on a hung jury).

There are conjectures, chiefly that Baltimore PD has taken a hands-off approach to community policing since the outburst and riots that followed Freddi Gray’s death. But the facts are that young black men started killing each other in unprecedented numbers after another young black man died in the care of six police officers (three of whom were also black). I don’t know what to make of that either. It doesn’t make sense.

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Defend Free Speech!

Bloodthirstani defend—nay, insist on—the right of national newspapers to depict the children of leading candidates as any animal they choose, from higher primate to nematode worm.

It’s who we are:

The Washington Post removed an editorial cartoon from its website late Tuesday that depicted Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s young daughters as trained monkeys.

As of midnight Wednesday, the webpage where the cartoon by Ann Telnaes had been shown was replaced by a note from the Post’s editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt.

“It’s generally been the policy of our editorial section to leave children out of it,” Hiatt wrote. “I failed to look at this cartoon before it was published. I understand why Ann thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case, but I do not agree.”

Politico reported the cartoon was in response to an online ad released by Cruz’s campaign that depicted him reading politics-related Christmas stories to his daughters, 7-year-old Caroline and 4-year-old Catherine.

Of course this is an exception to the policy. Just as all those cartoons depicting Sasha and Malia Obama as adorable apes were exceptions to the policy. I can’t find any such images at the moment, but you all remember them. Laugh riots every one.

I heard a discussion on NPR yesterday about BuzzFeed’s decision to label Donald Trump a “mendacious racist”.

BuzzFeed’s ethics guide states that “reporters and editors should refrain from commenting in a partisan way about candidates or policy issues.”

“The goals of this policy (which is stricter with BuzzFeed News staff) are twofold: To preserve our readers’ confidence that we can be fair; and to not needlessly undermine the work of reporters on the beat,” Smith wrote. “And in that context, Trump is operating far outside the political campaigns to which those guidelines usually apply.”

“It is, for instance, entirely fair to call him a mendacious racist, as the politics team and others here have reported clearly and aggressively: He’s out there saying things that are false, and running an overtly anti-Muslim campaign,” he continued. ”BuzzFeed News’s reporting is rooted in facts, not opinion; these are facts.”

Racist, maybe—though his proposals toward Muslims are based neither on race or even religion per se, but inclination toward terrorism. It might have been more politically correct for his proposed band on immigration to be expanded to all foreign nationals, but Trump is obviously not PC. And why should Poles or Peruvians be denied opportunity in America when they present no threat?

As for “mendacious”, about what? Muslims celebrating 9/11? They did, and the evidence is there. The only thing he may have “mendaced” about is the number. “Thousands” may have overstated the case, but the events were recorded at the time, and have been retold often. Call him out on the number if you like, but all you’re doing is reminding people of whoops and ululations from across the Hudson River as the towers imploded. (And then call out Hillary for her serial mendacity.)

BuzzFeed (and NPR) finds itself up the Pauline Kael cul-de-sac. The New Yorker film critic expressed dismay that Richard Nixon could have won the presidency because she knew no one who had voted for him. This mendacious racist enjoys high poll numbers, and not just among other mendacious racists (like the cartoonists at the Washington Post).

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Black Lives Matter

Yet this young black man gave his to save three others:

A 15-year-old Fulton High School football player was memorialized Friday night, a day after he was shot to death while trying to protect others from gunfire during a “senseless act of violence,” according to the Knoxville Police Department.

Friends told 10News that Zaevion Dobson was a selfless young man who looked out for others first.

KPD Chief David Rausch said Dobson was with a group of people in the Lonsdale neighborhood when several men showed up and began randomly shooting.

““I’m shocked. I’m really just shocked. I cant believe it, cant get it across my head,” said Zaevion’s big brother, Zack Dobson. “We were just sitting on the porch chillin’, and we see these random dudes walking up.”

Dobson, called “Zae” by friends and famiily, jumped on top of three girls to protect them from the gunfire. He was the only one hit.

Dobson was pronounced dead at the scene, leaving family members, and a community, wondering why.

“Why would you shoot at random bystanders. For nothing. We were just sitting there chilling,” said Dobson. “Zae, he was an awesome kid awesome brother. Just know that I miss him. I miss my brother.”

According to police, Dobson’s death was connected to two other shootings overnight.

It all began when someone shot into a woman’s home in East Knoxville on Dallas Street. Lisa Perry, 46, was hit a number of times in the lower back, KPD said. She was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A 10-year-old child was also home at the time but was not hit.

Perry’s son, Brandon, then went with several other men to the Lonsdale neighborhood and began randomly shooting, police say.

That’s when Dobson was fatally shot while trying to protect three others.

Brandon Perry fled Lonsdale and would later crash a car into an apartment building. Officers arrived on scene and found he had been shot several times. He was taken to UT Medical Center and died several hours later.

Christopher D. Bassett, 20, was charged with being a Convicted Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Violation of Probation, with more charges pending. He is being held without bond.

Chief Rausch urged the community to pray for the families and for the faith community to help calm the violence.

He said the shootings could have ties to gangs.

Knox County Deputy District Attorney General Kyle Hixson said there are more than 1,500 documented gang members in Knox County. The county has more than 30 documented gangs operating. Every middle school in the county has at least one known gang member.

People are up in arms over the death of Freddie Gray, with some reason. But will they spare a thought for Zae Dobson and the circumstances of his death? Sadly, his story is much more common. Tit-for-tat-for-tit violence doesn’t pay.

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Who’s Time is it Now?

Though I had much to say about the charges against the Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, I’ve been quiet about the trial because trials are sealed chambers where only evidence speaks.

What a dumbass I am:

[T]he Porter case was state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby’s best shot. That the prosecution’s presentation was woeful will come as no surprise to readers who’ve followed Mosby’s antics here: her rush to bring charges before the investigation was anywhere near complete; her politicized rant in announcing the charges, nakedly acknowledging that they were intended to satisfy the mob’s cries of “no justice, no peace”; her embarrassing need to dismiss false-imprisonment charges brought because she was either unaware of or indifferent to the governing law; and so on.

Nor should anyone have been surprised by her signature tactic: a relentless pattern of concealing exculpatory evidence from the defense: e.g., the fact that Gray was under the influence of drugs when arrested; the fact that he’d claimed prior back injuries in the few weeks before his death; the fact that the medical examiner initially ruled Gray’s death accidental but changed the finding to “homicide” after meeting with Mosby; the fact that the medical examiner concluded that the police did not intend harm to Gray and that Gray would not have sustained his severe injuries if he had remained in the prone position the police had placed him in; etc.

The prosecution did not have a case.

As Andrew Branca points out at Legal Insurrection, the evidence established that, if anything, Porter went “above and beyond his duty in dealing with Gray.” The jury could not convict him on any of the four charges: manslaughter (a truly absurd overreach), assault, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office (each only marginally more plausible).

Finally, it bears noting that, like Freddie Gray, Officer Porter is African-American. That fact is clarifying. The campaign against the police is driven by race-mongers pushing a racial injustice narrative. But it is against the police. We’re told “Black Lives Matter,” but when it comes to black cops … not so much.

All of which leads Andrew McCarthy to conclude:

The chilling thing about the hung jury that resulted in a mistrial for Officer William G. Porter, the first Baltimore cop to stand trial on charges arising out of the death of Freddie Gray, is that it was a hung jury.

Jurors, who are supposed to weigh cases without fear or favor, are beset with concerns about their personal safety, the safety of their families, and the fate of the city. In that setting, even though there was no proof, it was an act of great courage for jurors to vote “not guilty.”

Think he’s coming on too strong?

To those that are angry, hurt or have their own experiences of injustice at the hands of police officers I urge you to channel that energy peacefully as we prosecute this case I have heard your calls for ‘No justice, no peace,’ however your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of Freddie Gray.

Last but certainly not least, to the youth of the city. I will seek justice on your behalf. This is a moment. This is your moment. Let’s insure we have peaceful and productive rallies that will develop structural and systemic changes for generations to come. You’re at the forefront of this cause and as young people, our time is now.

Marilyn Mosby, May 2, 2015.

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Identity Politics

Clarence Thomas had his intelligence belittled and was labeled an “Uncle Tom”—by other black people.

Carly Fiorina was ridiculed and dismissed in a most sexist manner—by the women on The View.

Benjamin Netanyahu was excoriated, even accused of outright racism—by other Jews, both in Israel and America, for opposing Obama’s supine capitulation to the mullahs of Iran.

Ben Nighthorse Campbell switched from the Democrat to Republican party, and was branded an “apple” (red on the outside, white on the inside)—by other Indians.* (And don’t get me started on the pass Elizabeth Warren—who was, was not, was again, was not again, was yet again, etc. an Indian—has largely received from Native Americans for her casual appropriation of ethnic identity.)

Guy Benson, a conservative commenter, came out as gay, and was branded a “pink elephant” (or a memeber of the Velvet Mafia)—by gays.*

Alberto Gonzales was the nation’s first Attorney General (appointed by George W. Bush, who also appointed the first black Secretary of State, the first woman Secretary of State, and the first black woman Secretary of State). But when it came time for consideration as a Supreme Court justice, Gonzales was a papa calda (hot potato) among Latinos. I don’t know what derogatory term he was called, but I know no Democrat would have heard a peep.

There is only one identity in liberal politics: liberalism.

Which brings us to:

Liberal Hispanic groups have launched a campaign designed to turn Latino voters against the two Cuban American Republicans who have risen to the top tier of the GOP presidential field — assailing Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz as traitors to their own culture.

Radio and online ads, social media posts and public discussions with Hispanic leaders in swing states are accusing Cruz and Rubio, senators from Texas and Florida, respectively, of fighting against immigration reforms, a minimum wage increase and other changes that millions of Latinos support. Many of the ads equate the two candidates to GOP front-runner Donald Trump, whose sharp rhetoric on immigration has until now drawn most of the attention of Hispanic activists.

“It’s not comfortable for us to do this, to call out members of our own community who don’t reflect our community values, but we have no choice,” said Cristóbal Alex, president of the Democratic-backed Latino Victory Project.

“Not comfortable” mi culo. Only certain Latinos are worthy of victory. Which is fine: if you’re liberal, you’re liberal. But stop hiding behind the lie that is your name. Even the WaPo calls you out.

You all know I could have given dozens more examples. The moment one member of an “identity group” expresses his or her own identity, he or she is cast out, excommunicated. And not in a civil manner.

* I don’t have actual evidence of these two being called the slurs that I have discovered, but the slurs were real enough. And so was the derision they faced.

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Sister Souljerk

Not only is Hillary down with the struggle, she drives the bus!

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is under fire after inserting Rosa Parks into her campaign logo on the anniversary of Parks’ 1955 arrest for refusing to give her bus seat to a white person.

Clinton’s logo, which usually features the letter H with an arrow going through it, depicted a woman sitting appearing to be Parks, sitting on what some social media users are calling the back of an H-shaped bus.

The public outrage came on Tuesday as Clinton spoke at an event in Alabama marking the boycott of Montgomery buses by black Americans to protest segregated seating.

Hillary spoke south of the Mason Dixon Line? She drawled, right? She had to drawl. She’s like a verbal chameleon, taking on the accent of wherever she happens to be. When she comes to Boston, she sounds like an extra in The Departed.

I couldn’t find a shorter clip; bail at your earliest convenience. But did I call it or did I call it? That wasn’t her best Clem Kadiddlehopper, but it sure isn’t the North Shore of Chicago or Wellesley.

‘How utterly disrespectful of you to place Rosa Parks in your campaign logo. It reeks of commodification and appropriation. @HillaryClinton,’ Twitter user BrownBlaze wrote.

‘Hillary gotta fire whoever threw Rosa Parks on the logo. Gotta do it tonight,’ Twitter user Hanif Abdurraqib wrote.

‘No one on @HillaryClinton’s team suggested that the addition of Rosa Parks was a TERRIBLE, AWFUL idea?,’ tweeted Kimberly Reese.

‘Rose and her legacy are both above this. Nah. I’m not feeling it for *any* candidate,’ Twitter user Brittany Packnett wrote.

‘.@HillaryClinton, don’t compare yourself to Rosa Parks. She’s done more for racial equality than your political dynasty ever has,’ CJ Pearson wrote on Twitter.

“Commodification”? From “commode”? Hillary has turned Rosa’s legacy to sh*t?

Where did she get such a lamebrained notion to appropriate another woman’s bravery?

Oh, of course. I forgot where she might have picked up the habit:


Nelson Mandela’s jail cell.


Nelson Mandela’s funeral

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Student Threatening To Kill “White Devils” Arrested At University Of Chicago [Updated]

The University was closed today due to shooting threat

A University of Illinois at Chicago student has been arrested and will face charges for an online threat to kill at least 16 “white devils” in revenge for the death of Laquan McDonald who was shot 16 times by police.

“This is my only warning. At 10AM Monday morning, I’m going to the campus quad of the University of Chicago. I will be armed with an M-4 carbine and two desert eagles, all fully loaded. I will execute approximately 16 white male students and or staff, which is the same number of time McDonald was killed,” the Chicago Tribune reports. The message continued, “I will then die killing any number of white policeman in the process. This is not a joke. I am to do my part and rid the world of white devils. I expect you do the same.”

He was thinking big. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, a mere eight people were murdered on the streets of Chicago. Of course, twenty were wounded, so that’s impressive, but this guy was thinking of murdering 16 White Male Devils and untold number of white police in one swoop! Wowza!

I do have a question though: If he was a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a perfectly nice public school in Chicago, why bother to travel to the University of Chicago to murder White Devils? Don’t they have any White Devils at UofI Chicago? How is that possible? Isn’t it more convenient to just hang around the same neighborhood? Was he planning to take an Uber to University of Chicago, or was he planning to schlep guns and ammo onto public transportation? Or does he have his own car? What if he couldn’t find parking?

Oh, well, I suppose he’ll explain his brilliant strategy before he gets a lawyer.

Update: We do have a name: Jabari R. Dean,a 21 year old engineering student from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Given the choice of profession and the use of the phrase “White Devils” I have to wonder if he’s a member of the Nation of Islam, the Louis Farrakhan religion. That might explain the choice of University of Chicago, because the Nation of Islam and the good Dr. Farrakhan are located in Hyde Park. Hard to say.

– Aggie

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