Archive for Race in America

One Nation, Under Obama, Racist, With Justice4Trayvon

Boy, Obama must really worried about the collapse of ObamaCare, the backlash against amnesty, the creeping IRS scandal, and all the other chickens coming home to roost.

He’s talking about racism again (still):

“There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys,” said the president, adding that, yes, it had happened to him.

Mrs. Obama recalled another incident: “He was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee.”

Was it Bill Clinton?

But it gets worse. Michelle:

“I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”

Neither is her story:

Letterman held up a photo of Mrs. Obama shopping at Target in low-key garb.

“That’s my Target run. I went to Target,” she said. “I thought I was undercover. I have to tell you something about this trip though. No one knew that was me because a woman actually walked up to me, right? I was in the detergent aisle, and she said — I kid you not — she said, ‘Excuse me, I just have to ask you something,’ and I thought, ‘Oh, cover’s blown.’ She said, ‘Can you reach on that shelf and hand me the detergent?’ I kid you not.”

As the audience laughed, she went on, “And the only thing she said — I reached up, ’cause she was short, and I reached up, pulled it down — she said, ‘Well, you didn’t have to make it look so easy.’ That was my interaction. I felt so good. … She had no idea who I was. I thought, as soon as she walked up — I was with my assistant, and I said, ‘This is it, it’s over. We’re going to have to leave.’ She just needed the detergent.”

A short woman asking a statuesque black woman (FLOTUS in disguise) for help reaching the detergent on the top shelf is racist? Even when the interaction made her feel “so good”? “She didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life.”

If this racism follies was a Broadway tryout it would close in New Haven.

And just as for honesty’s sake, can we acknowledge that Mrs. Obama didn’t go to Target accompanied by only an assistant (and a photographer). The stock clerk in the next aisle wore sunglasses and had a bulge under his smock (Hi, My Name is Smith & Wesson!). The puny lady with the dirty laundry couldn’t have gotten with twenty feet Michelle without four sniper scopes being trained on her left temple.

Seriously, if there is anyone trading on the deaths of those lamentably late lawbreakers, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, more than Al Sharpton, it is the First Family. With Eric Holder close at hand.

Sorry about getting your a** kicked in the midterms. But it’s not personal; it’s strictly business.

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Hangin’ With My Homies

College campuses are reliably leftist, and they don’t come more leftist than Berkeley.

Which is why we’re not surprised:

Effigies of black lynching victims found hanging on a Northern California college campus have sparked debate over whether the images are powerful protest art or just plain tasteless and racist.

The photographic images were found Saturday morning hanging at two prominent spots on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. They were discovered a few hours before a demonstration against police brutality organized by a black student union was to start. Police are investigating, but officials say they still don’t know who hanged the images or the motivation.

“It’s unclear if this is racially motivated effort or an effort at something else,” campus spokeswoman Claire Holmes said.

Do you think if these effigies had been displayed at, say, Bob Jones University, there would have been a question about the “motivation”? Why give the benefit of the doubt to the socialist redoubt in the Bay Area?

Because there is a “motivation”, however “queer”:

Sunday Dec. 14, 5 p.m.: An anonymous artists’ collective has taken responsibility for the effigies strung up in nooses at UC Berkeley on Saturday.

The statement from the collective:

“We are a collective of queer and POC artists responsible for the images of historical lynchings posted to several locations in Berkeley and Oakland,” reads a notice the group found posted on campus Sunday. “These images connect past events to present ones – referencing endemic faultlines of hatred and persecution that are and should be deeply unsettling to the American consciousness. We choose to remain anonymous because this is not about us as artists, but about the growing movement to address these pervasive wrongs.”

“For those who think these images are no longer relevant to the social framework in which black Americans exist everyday – we respectfully disagree. Garner, Brown, and others are victims of systemic racism. For those who think these images depict crimes and attitudes too distasteful to be seen .. we respectfully disagree. Our society must never forget. For those under the mistaken assumption that the images themselves were intended as an act of racism – we vehemently disagree and intended only the confrontation of historical context.”

“We apologize solely and profusely to Black Americans who felt further attacked by this work. We are sorry – your pain is ours, our families’, our history’s. To all, each image represents a true life ended by an unimaginable act of ignorance and human cruelty: Laura Nelson, George Meadows, Michael Donald, Charlie Hale, Garfield Burley, Curtis Brown. We urge you to further research the lives and deaths of these individuals. History must be confronted.”

POC means persons of color, I take it. Not colored persons, but persons of color. Nice of them to apologize, though. Five words out of 230, buried deep within the screed, directed “solely” at 13% of Americans.

Some of whom aren’t buying:

Berkeley Pastor Michael McBride told the Oakland Tribune that he sees no redeeming quality to the display.

“This is racial terror they are experiencing,” said McBride, who is also co-director of Intervarsity’s Black Campus Ministries at UC Berkeley. “I don’t care if it was a white person, a black person, a blue person, if it was an adversary or ally, these images strewed across campus have terrorized my students.”

I followed the suggestion of the “queers” and POCs and looked up every name they listed. All but one were lynched over a century ago. Hanged by the neck until dead by a terrorist mob yes, but none more recent than 1911. Did the queers and the POCs think we didn’t know that happened? And why equate murdered innocents with two people, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, whose actual law-breaking led people to call the cops?

I will give them full credit for re-exposing one lynching we may have wished to forget. That of Michael Donald in 1981.

Berkeley, man. No [bleeping] wonder.

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Black Lives Still Matter

Those still protesting the decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases say they won’t stop until things change.

Very well, neither will we:

Two men were killed and more than a dozen others, including a 15-year-old boy, were wounded since Friday in separate shootings on the city’s [Chicago] South and West sides, police said.

Around 7:03 p.m. Friday, a 28-year-old man was fatally shot while he sat in a vehicle on the 1300 block of North Springfield Avenue in the North Lawndale neighborhood, said Police News Affairs Officer Thomas Sweeney.

The man was in the vehicle with a female child when someone came up to the vehicle and began shooting, Sweeney said. He was shot in the head.

According to WGN TV, the man had a 3-year-old girl, who was possibly his daughter, on his lap at the time. The girl was not injured, Sweeney said.

The man was a documented gang member, police said.

Another fatal shooting happened shortly before 5 p.m. Friday on the 10400 block of South State Street in the Roseland neighborhood, Sweeney said.

Preliminary reports said a 26-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to his chest and side, and was pronounced dead at the scene, Sweeney said.

According to the reports, a vehicle pulled up to the victim and someone inside the vehicle fired several shots in the man’s direction. As of 6:30 p.m. Friday, no one was in custody.

Plenty more about the wounded if you care to read about them.

Meanwhile, in Houston:

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a deadly shooting that happened Friday at a shopping center in north Harris County

The shooting happened around 7:10 p.m. in the 15700 block of the North Freeway near Richey Street at a Movie Tavern, according to authorities.

Officials said that the victim was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital by LifeFlight where he later died. He has been identified as Jonnie Catling, 43.

Authorities say Catling’s wife was involved in a disturbance with another woman in the parking lot. Investigators say that when Catling tried to intervene, he was shot multiple times by an acquaintance of the woman.

Up to Portland, OR!

His family will tell you 17-year-old Labraye Franklin is not a stranger to street violence. His uncle, whose name we are omitting because of safety concerns, is a former gang member.

“I’ll put it like this, he’s very intelligent for his age and it’s because of people like us. I’ve done the gang thing. I’ve been shot. I’ve been stabbed,” Franklin’s uncle, who we will call “Tim” told KATU News.

“He’s a good kid. He is and it’s sad because it always happens to the good ones. It always happens to the good ones– The ones that trying to be something they also beat us up.”

Friday afternoon, a gunman opened fire outside Rosemary Anderson High School in North Portland. Franklin was one of four shooting victims. As of Friday evening, Franklin has been upgraded from serious to fair condition. Police say the shooting may be gang related.

Schenectady, anyone?

A 30-year-old mother was gunned down with her baby nearby on a busy city street Saturday afternoon in an apparent domestic dispute, police said.

Police identified the victim as Markia Booth. She also apparently went by Markia Harris and lived in the city.

Police Chief Brian Kilcullen late Saturday confirmed eyewitness accounts that Booth’s infant, who is only a few months old, was in or around the dark-colored sport utility vehicle when the woman was shot several times in the torso either inside or outside the vehicle on State Street near Elder Street in the Central State Street neighborhood.

Lastly, for now, back to our nation’s capital:

Police are searching for suspects after a 20-year-old man was shot outside of a restaurant in Fairfax County early Saturday morning, authorities said.

Fairfax County Police said the shooting happened around 2 a.m. in the parking lot of Safari Restaurant and Cafe located in the 5800 block of Columbia Pike in Falls Church. The lounge had nearly 100 people inside at the time, Fridays are typically the lounge’s busiest night of the week.

A car with several young men inside pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant and got out of the car.

The victim was parked in the back of the business when he was shot, police said.

The victim has been identified as 20-year-old Darnell Rashard Ford of Capital Heights, Md.

Ford was transported to Alexandria hospital with life-threatening injuries. Ford succumbed to his injuries Saturday afternoon, police said.

“I’m hurt that was my youngest child, it’s right before the holidays and someone had to kill my child,” Donna Ford, Darnell Ford’s mother, told WUSA9. Ford is also survived by a 5-year-old daughter.

A father at 15, dead by 20. Words fail me.

PS: Except for the Chicago deaths, I confirmed by visual identification that the victims were indeed black. As for the Chicago deaths, well, it’s Chicago. But I’ll make a note to confirm.

PPS: Might as well add one more.

Auburn University student Jakell Mitchell was shot and killed at an off-campus apartment complex overnight, police said Sunday.

The 18-year-old was a freshman football player, according to news website AL.com.

No suspect is in custody, and police are investigating.

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The Real Tinsel Underneath

If I’m ever in trouble with the law, remind me never to engage Juan Williams as my defense attorney:

White liberal hypocrisy on race is so delightful for conservatives.

White conservatives are always on defense against charges of hating President Obama because he is black; suppressing minority voters and indifference to the difficulty minorities have living everyday with the legacy of slavery and a culture filled with stereotypes of black inferiority.

We are? Says who and since when? To the debatable extent we hate at all, we hate President Obama for the same reasons independents and liberals hate him: because he’s a lying weenie. Race has nothing to do with it, at least not for us. (As conservatives, we have the least reason to resort to racial animosity: we hate his policies for the content of their character, not the color of his skin.)

And find me one charge of suppressing minority voters that is not laughable on its face.

As for “indifference to the difficulty minorities have living everyday with the legacy of slavery and a culture filled with stereotypes of black inferiority,” I plead guilty to confusion, not indifference. Most conservatives I know would love nothing more than for black people to overcome “the legacy of slavery”, abolished more than 150 years ago by a Republican. We have done everything we can think of to help, from congressional acts to affirmative action to cultural and individual education—to electing a son of Africa to president. I think it’s no longer up to us. If there is a legacy of slavery, we’re not indifferent to it, we’re ignorant of it. Might this conservative suggest it’s in the heads of those who perceive it?

I don’t know what he means by “a culture filled with stereotypes of black inferiority”, and I won’t even try to guess.

But his piece started so promisingly!

This week white conservatives can take a break, step out of the dock and make way for white liberals.

Hacked emails from Hollywood’s white, liberal elite show them belittling the president by assuming his taste in movies is confined to racial stereotypes fitting just another black guy.

“Should I ask him if he likes’ DJANGO?’” asked Amy Pascal, a Sony Pictures’ co-chair. Scott Rudin, a movie producer, responds: “Or ‘The Butler’… or ‘Ride-Along. ‘ I bet he likes Kevin Hart.”

Where to begin unpacking that powder keg of race and class bigotry?

I’ve already come to the defense of my white liberal elite friends. This is immature banter, not racism. (Classist, on the other hand—they’ll need different counsel to defend that charge.) The president, any president, is the last person to be shielded from ridicule. Just ask all the living ex-presidents. We teased Bush 41 about “read my lips”, Clinton about weight and waitresses, Bush 43 about being a war criminal—what else are we going to rib Obama about, his ears? That would make him really mad.

If a conservative had written it, however, we’d need 40 days and 40 nights of rain to put out the fires of indignation (which might explain the deluges in California).

Pascal and Rudin have both apologized for the content of their private emails. “The content of my e-mails to Scott were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am. Although this was a private communication that was stolen, I accept full responsibility for what I wrote and apologize to everyone who was offended.”

Rudin gave a statement to Deadline.com, explaining that his emails were “written in haste and without much thought or sensitivity,” he understood the notes were out of line. “I made a series of remarks that were meant only to be funny, but in the cold light of day, they are in fact thoughtless and insensitive,” he said.

Isn’t that enough? Private notes, stolen and exposed, lead to humiliation and apology. That’s a closed circle as far as I’m concerned.

But let Juan Williams make his point:

Pascal and Rudin, on their way to meet the president at a Democratic fundraiser, have no hesitation about painting Obama into this limited, one-dimensional personality. What they have revealed is how demeaning and patronizing their liberal minds can be even when the man is the leader of the nation.

Chris Rock, the comedian and actor, recently said Hollywood is a “white industry… it just is.” He added they don’t hire black men.

I imagine they do hire some black people. But those black people have to color inside the lines of what white liberals think is the right kind of black person. Black conservatives have no chance in that world.

Black intellectuals and even black left wingers have no chance either. But that is a different story. In the restrictive confines of the white liberal world they would be seen as threatening black people.

Jamie Foxx, Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, and Kerry Washington come to mind as obvious refutations, but let’s assume Rock and William mean more than just beautiful actors and actresses.

But while we’re on that point:

But one aspect of the film that shouldn’t have made folks count No Good Deed out of the running for box office glory? Its cast of black stars. In fact, it is the latest in a string of movies led by black actors that have “overperformed” at the box office, any number of which should have put to rest the still-prevailing notion that films with all or primarily black casts don’t do well at the box office.

[M]ovie studios should take a page from their television counterparts and recognize that audiences are hungry for more diversity on the big screen.

After these emails, I think you can take that to the bank.

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Black Lives Matter

I think they do. Aggie thinks they do. So do our readers.

Then WTF?

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Lontrell Lee Turner, 16, was shot and killed Sunday about 12:37 p.m. at the corner of Bullis Road and Queensdale Avenue. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s homicide detectives say the boy was walking north on Bullis when another young man, between 16 and 18 years old, was walking in the opposite direction.

“Some words were exchanged,” Homicide Lt. Dave Coleman said Sunday night. “At which time the suspect used a handgun and shot the victim.”

Turner was shot four time in the torso. Four shell casings from a .40-caliber handgun were recovered but detectives did not find the gun itself. Witnesses told investigators the suspect ran south on Bullis to get away, wearing what they described only as a dark-colored hoodie.

“He was just walking home from church and they just shot him,” mother Regina Dixon told NBC4. “They shot my baby, for no reason, they just shot him.”

Heartbreaking.

And Lontrell wasn’t the only baby who got shot:

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The young man who police said pulled the trigger in the murder of a teen at a Northeast Miami-Dade bus stop faced a judge in juvenile court on Tuesday.

Bryan Mercado, 17, was gunned down just after 12:30 p.m. near a bus bench at NE 164 Street and NE 15th Avenue. The shooting happened near Maverick High School where Mercado attended the morning program.

Miami-Dade Police arrested Gutierrez and 19-year old Yveslander Oriscar Tuesday morning.

Oriscar walked up to Mercado, who was with friend at the bus stop, pointed at him and told Gutierrez ‘Shoot him, shoot him’, according to his arrest report.

Gutierrez then pulled a gun and shot Mercado several times, according to witnesses.

“It seems like he was shot point-blank,” said William McCoy. “One of the guys just went up to him and shot him. The shots are what got my attention. This was shocking to look at him.”

Of course, a black person’s blood spilled is all the more tragic when it’s shared:

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have charged a man with shooting and killing his father in northeast Charlotte Monday morning.

Police say 57-year-old Willie Golphin died after a shooting on Balvenie Court around 7 a.m.

“There was some sort of domestic disturbance inside the house, some sort of argument,” said CMPD Captain Rob Dance.

And last (for now), that dusty cliche, death by rapper:

Stephanie Moseley, an actress star best known for her role on VH1’s Hit the Floor, was found dead this morning after a Los Angeles SWAT team responded to calls of gunfire in her apartment complex.

After busting down her door, authorities discovered a pair of dead bodies inside the residence. Both were killed via gunshot.

One belonged to Moseley. The other belonged to her boyfriend, a rapper named Earl Hayes.

Hit the Floor, huh? Ouch.

There is no moral to any of these stories but the moral common to all such stories: black lives matter.

Black. Lives. Matter.

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Hands Up, Don’t Shoot

You “can’t breathe” when you’re dead:

A Loyola student killed in an attempted robbery and a 9-year-old boy were among victims in 15 separate shootings across the city since Friday evening.

The student, 23-year-old Mutahir Rauf, was shot in the 1200 block of West Albion at 7:50 p.m. Friday, police said.

He was with another person when two people walked up, showed a weapon and demanded his belongings, police said. At least one person then opened fire, striking Rauf in his chest and head, police said.
Rauf, of the 1400 block of West Pratt, was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:08 p.m. according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Luigi Loizzo, a junior at Loyola, had taken an organic class with Rauf over the summer. He lives just 200 feet where the incident took place, the Sun-Times reports.

“It’s pretty scary that I have to look over my shoulder every time I walk outside,” said Loizzo, 20, of Addison.

Late Saturday morning, a 9-year-old boy was unintended victim of a shooting on the Near West Side, according to police.

The boy was walking with his father at 11:35 a.m. in the 2500 block of West Adams when a gunman opened fire on a passing black four-door car. The boy was struck “inadvertently” in the lower right leg, police said.

He was taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition. Police said the shooting likely is gang-related.

Better a leg than a head:

A 19-year-old Detroit woman is on life support with a gunshot wound to the head after she was found in a neighborhood early this morning on Detroit’s west side, police said.

Police were called to the scene after people discovered the woman lying on the ground.

“She was in very critical condition, and she was conveyed immediately to the hospital,” Woody said. “We’re still trying to determine exactly what took place.”

Are these despicable, deplorable acts why President Obama said this?

“What I told the young people who I met with, that we’re gonna have more conversations like this over the coming months, is this isn’t gonna be solved overnight. This is something that is deeply rooted in our society. It’s deeply rooted in our history.”

Now, now, Barack, don’t be so hard on you and yours.

Ha-ha, just kidding. That’s the president appearing on black television (BET) to slander his (adopted) country. (Ha-ha again.)

‘You know, when you’re dealing with something as deeply rooted as racism or bias in any society, you gotta have vigilance, but you have to recognize that it’s going to take some time and you just have to be steady – so that you don’t give up when we don’t get all the way there.’

In “any society”? Is Obama making the point that any society can be susceptible to racism, that bias is a human fault, not a uniquely American one? If so, he sounds like me. But somehow, I doubt it.

I don’t think he was referring to this:

A 16-year-old boy was shot in a hand and leg in South Los Angeles on Sunday, but he was uncooperative with investigators trying to determine where he was shot and who was responsible for the attack.

The boy would not tell investigators where he was shot, who shot him or if a vehicle was involved, which Stevens said may indicate the shooting was gang-related, but had not been confirmed as the investigation was in an early stage.

Or this:

The gunman who shot and wounded four people in front of a Brooklyn baby shower was in a gang beef with the baby daddy of the mother-to-be, police said.

The father of the unborn child is affiliated with the Crips gang, police said.

The gunman, who was still at large Monday, was believed to be acting on behalf of an opposing gang when he opened fire….

Chicago. Detroit. LA. Brooklyn. Maybe the president is right when he says: “This is something that is deeply rooted in our society. It’s deeply rooted in our history.”

PS: You can understand why President Obama would rather talk race on BET than appear on Fox and talk about how the IRS shared thousands of tax records with him. Or why Iran is closer than ever to a bomb. Or why he ordered a rescue mission on the eve of one of the murdered captive’s release. Or how he intends to defeat ISIS. And Al Qaeda. And the Taliban. And Boko Haram. And Al Shabaab. Playing on white guilt is a lot easier.

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Turn Out the Lights, the Democrat Party’s Over

We’ve already taken our victory lap for calling a net gain of nine seats for the GOP, leading to a 54-46 majority. Thirstradamus may be clairvoyant, but he’s also refined enough not to take a second victory lap (or a third). Where was that vaunted clairvoyance when I wrote demurely “They’ll certainly keep, probably widen, their lead in the House.”?

As of this morning, they have 246 seats, a gain of 14 seats. “Probably widen” hardly does justice to that sort of ass-whuppin’.

I would rather revisit the scene of my success with someone else’s take on the events and their meanings, Kevin D. Williamson’s:

The Democrats, being intellectually dishonest, cling to the myth that the two parties “switched places” on racial issues in the 1960s, that Senator Landrieu’s troubles are a consequence of that reversal, and that the general Southern realignment is evidence that the Republican party is a comfortable home for bigots, Confederate revanchists, and others with dodgy racial politics.

This is a strange line of argument, and an indefensible one once the evidence is considered. Democrats remained the favored party in the South for decades and decades after the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, controlling a majority of governorships, Senate seats, state legislative bodies, etc., well into the 21st century.

A few obvious questions: If white Southerners were really so enraged about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and if they switched to the Republican party to express their displeasure, then why did they wait 30 years before making that preference felt in House elections? Why did Dwight D. Eisenhower — a supporter of civil-rights legislation who insisted on the actual desegregation of the armed forces (as opposed to President Truman’s hypothetical desegregation) and federal agencies under his control — win a larger share of the Southern vote in 1956 than Barry Goldwater, the most important Republican critic of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, did two cycles later? Why did Mississippi elect only one Republican governor in the entire 20th century, and that not until 1992? Why didn’t Alabama have a Republican governor until 1987? And why did Louisiana wait 60 years to eliminate its last Democratic senator in favor of a candidate from the party of Condoleezza Rice, Ben Carson, Allen West, Mia Love, Tim Scott, and that not-very-white guy who serves as governor of Louisiana? White supremacy should be made of sterner stuff: Did somebody forget to tell Louisiana state senator and newly confirmed Republican Elbert Guillory that he’s black?

Strange that redneck bigots would wait for so many decades to punish the Democrats for giving up cross-burning; my own experience with that particular demographic suggests that its members do not in general have that sort of attention span.

And then, my favorite point:

Similarly, the migration of white Southern voters to the GOP did not begin after the fight over the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And why would it have? Despite the principled opposition of Barry Goldwater, a lifelong NAACP member who nonetheless believed that the bill gave the federal government too much power over state and local matters, Republicans supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 at significantly higher levels than the Democrats did, just as Republicans, Goldwater included, had fought for the Civil Rights Act of 1957, passed on Republican votes over Democratic obstruction and signed by a Republican president.

“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes,” said Mark Twain. A later version, attributed to Winston Churchill, has the truth still putting on its pants, but the point is the same. The evaporation of the Southern Democrat has everything to do with the Democrats and nothing to do with race.

Does this look like the showing of a rump Southern white people’s party to you?

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That the Democratic party has attempted to hijack for itself credit for the hard and often bloody work performed for a century almost exclusively by Republicans, from Lincoln to Eisenhower, is a reminder that the party of Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton is not a place for men with a very developed sense of decency.

And what happened in the 1960s wasn’t the parties’ “changing places” on racism and civil rights; it was the Democrats’ — some of them, at least — joining the ranks of civilized human beings for the first time.

It only took them a century.

Slavery wasn’t the unique sin of this country—almost every trading country was guilty of it two hundred years ago. And neither party was clean of the stain of slavery either, though Lincoln’s Republicans obviously deserve more credit for its abolition. But the century of Jim Crow that persisted like an open sore after slavery was abolished—that the Democrats own. Just ask Robert Byrd.

PS: We may say that Barry Goldwater was on the wrong side of history on the Civil Rights Act—and he was—but not how hard it was for states to get out from under the presumption of guilt of the Voting Rights Act:

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was unconstitutional. Section 4 lays out the formulas for how the Justice Department enforces Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Section 5 requires that the states identified with a history of discrimination obtain approval from the federal government before they can make changes to their election law. Section 4 formulas as of 2013 mandated that “Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia in their entirety; and parts of California, Florida, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, and South Dakota” ask for preclearance for electoral law changes. After Shelby County v. Holder, these states are free to make changes to election law or district maps without approval from the Justice Department.

The Supreme Court’s opinion notes: “voting discrimination still exists; no one doubts that. The question is whether the Act’s extraordinary measures, including its disparate treatment of the States, continue to satisfy constitutional requirements. As we put it a short time ago, ‘the Act imposes current burdens and must be justified by current needs.’”

Just so. As we’ve already demonstrated above, this ain’t your granddaddy’s South: no Democrats.

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On The Eric Garner Case

Like many Americans, I saw the video footage of the arrest of Eric Garner for the first time last night. I gotta tell you, it looks to me like the Grand Jury screwed up. I don’t know what others in Bloodthirstan think – and I’m interested – but my sense is that the police got carried away, at best. The worst case scenario is that they had it out for this guy at some level and really wanted to hurt him. I don’t know.

It is unfortunate for our country that we’ve had such a long history of stuff like this with the police, because it pretty much guarantees that trust, giving the other guy the benefit of the doubt, can’t happen any time soon, if ever. This is because people really do think in anecdotes: This is what happened to me or my grandmother or a good friend told me such and such. The police have provided too many anecdotes to the African American community and creeps like Al Sharpton glom onto that stuff and make a career out of it. On the other hand, the police and large swaths of the public have plenty of anecdotes on the other side. We are sentenced to several lifetimes of shouted slogans, I’m afraid.

To the Garner family, my heart goes out to you.

– Aggie

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BREAKING

NY cop skates:

A grand jury has decided Wednesday not to indict the police officer who placed a Staten Island man in an apparent chokehold just before he died.

Eric Garner, a father of six, died in July after police officers attempted to arrest him for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

In cellphone video of the incident, Officer Daniel Pantaleo is seen placing his arm around Garner’s neck and then taking him to the ground after Garner refuses to be handcuffed.

Garner is heard saying repeatedly, “I can’t breathe!” He died a short time later.

The New York City Medical Examiner’s office ruled Garner’s death a homicide, caused by the officer’s apparent chokehold as well as chest and neck compressions and prone positioning “during physical restraint by police.”

This is so depressing. Not the verdict, which I am in no position to attack or defend. But the spate of dead black men, from Trayvon Martin to Michael Brown to Eric Garner to the pellet gun wielding kid in Cleveland who will become the next cause célèbre once Al Sharpton catches his breath. While in each case the cops (or George Zimmerman) could have acted differently, the deceased (I hesitate to call them victims) were the prime movers in their demise.

It never pays to get physical with cops. Never. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. As Otis Redding put it, try a little tenderness.

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Ferguson is Just Another “Crisis” Obama Won’t Waste

Let him tell you:

I think Ferguson laid bare a problem that is not unique to St. Louis or that area, and is not unique to our time, and that is a simmering distrust that exists between too many police departments and too many communities of color. The sense that in a country where one of our basic principles, perhaps the most important principle, is equality under the law, that too many individuals, particularly young people of color, do not feel as if they are being treated fairly.

Are we dealing with facts or feelings here? Nothing factual about the incident between Michael Brown and Darren Wilson supports anything like this sort of talk. What facts prove that Brown was not treated fairly under the law? And if there is “simmering distrust”, aren’t both sides at fault? Why focus solely on the police? Did the police riot and loot?

But Eric Holder does Obama one better:

“This presents this nation with, I think, a unique opportunity,” Holder said. “And I think it’s incumbent on all of us to seize this opportunity to deal with issues that for too long have been ignored.”

Never let a crisis go to waste. Even if you’ve been in office for nearly six years, pretend like you just got to town. And for heaven’s sake, don’t define the crisis, or “issues”. The vaguer you are, the more you can get away with.

Holder further bloviated:

Like millions of Americans, I know many of you have spent the past few days with family members, friends, and loved ones, giving thanks for the blessings of the past year – but also mindful of recent news, the anguished emotions, and the images of destruction that have once again focused this country’s attention on Ferguson, Missouri.

Is this where he comes down hard on the rioters and looters, the professional agitators, the Panthers?

Not exactly:

Like you, I understand that the need for this trust was made clear in the wake of the intense public reaction to last week’s grand jury announcement. But the problems we must confront are not only found in Ferguson. The issues raised in Missouri are not unique to that state or that small city. We are dealing with concerns that are truly national in scope and that threaten the entire nation. Broadly speaking, without mutual understanding between citizens – whose rights must be respected – and law enforcement officers – who make tremendous and often-unheralded personal sacrifices every day to preserve public safety – there can be no meaningful progress. Our police officers cannot be seen as an occupying force disconnected from the communities they serve.

Responding to a convenience store robbery—in a black neighborhood—is occupation?

Move along, nothing to see.

But the issue is larger than just the police and the community. Our overall system of justice must be strengthened and made more fair.

That’s right, make a spurious point and then move on. To an even more spurious point.

[I]n the coming days, I will announce updated Justice Department guidance regarding profiling by federal law enforcement, which will institute rigorous new standards – and robust safeguards – to help end racial profiling, once and for all. This new guidance will codify our commitment to the very highest standards of fair and effective policing.

Again, he’s been Attorney General for nearly six years! If racial profiling is so bad, what’s he been doing all this time? Obama should sack him for indifference or incompetence.

But of course he won’t:

Eric Holder is going to be working in parallel with the task force to convene a series of these meetings all across the country, because this is not a problem simply of Ferguson, Missouri, this is a problem that is national. It is a solvable problem, but it is one that, unfortunately, spikes after one event and then fades into the background until something else happens. What we need is a sustained conversation…

We keep trying, but no one answers us.

Holder has already announced his resignation; I thought he couldn’t wait to get out of there. Now he’s point man on a nationwide initiative? What are these creeps up to?

But enough with the questions. You come here for answers.

This is all about politics. Obama is not playing to America. He’s playing to a subset of Americans with a gripe. We can argue about the validity of that gripe, but this is not how you “bring people together”. The vast majority of Americans think justice was done in Ferguson—until the rioting and looting started, that is. They look at the mayhem in Ferguson, they listen to Obama and Holder, and the two do not match. Neither do the vast majority of Americans support amnesty for illegal aliens. But with the same self-righteous pontificating, Obama assured us he was acting unilaterally (and illegally) out of fairness.

It took some doing, but Obama has lost the middle-class white vote for Democrats. But that’s okay because he’s leaving them with a new coalition. Latinos legalized by an invalid diktat, and African Americans united by a fiction (“hands up, don’t shoot”), plus the usual collection of kooks, cranks, and Kool-Aid drinkers that remain loyal to the Party—these ain’t your daddy’s Democrats. But they’re Liz Warren’s. The Class Warfare will commence shortly.

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Another Conversation on Race

Listening to the superabundance of pieces-of-mind expressed over Ferguson, MO recalls one of my brother’s favorite aphorisms: opinions are like a**holes—everybody’s got one. That always stifled debate, so I never adopted it as a saying of my own. I always preferred “everybody is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own set of facts.”

I’ve already had my say on the subject (several times over), but I came across this interesting note at NRO:

The always interesting Orlando Patterson has a piece in the current issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, “How Sociologists Made Themselves Irrelevant.” His basic thesis is that, after studies in the 1960s by Daniel Patrick Moynihan et al. were criticized for blaming the victim, “for several decades, sociologists have taken pains to distance themselves . . . from studies of the cultural dimensions of poverty, particularly black poverty.”

The great irony in that overreaction is that throughout that 40-year period of self-imposed censorship within the discipline, the vast majority of blacks, and especially black youth and those working on the front lines of poverty mitigation, have been firmly convinced that culture does matter—a lot. Black youth in particular have insisted that their habits, attitudes, beliefs, and values are what mainly explain their plight, even after fully taking account of racism and their disadvantaged neighborhood conditions. Yet sociologists insisted on patronizingly treating blacks in general, and especially black youth, as what Harold Garfinkel called “cultural dopes” by rejecting their own insistence that their culture mattered in any understanding of their plight.

And:

Black youth, and people generally, are not offended by attempts to change their values, habits, and even their modes of self-presentation if they are first persuaded that it is in their own interests to do so. Jackie Rivers and I learned this firsthand from our study of a group of inner-city youth, many with prison records, undergoing a demanding job-training program that aimed to alter those aspects of their cultural styles and attitudes toward work that made it hard for them to get or keep a job. None of them considered this a threat to their identities, as individuals or as black people.

This is news to me, but so much is. If black people are not so wedded to sometimes self-destructive “values, habits, and even their modes of self-presentation”; if their “habits, attitudes, beliefs, and values are what mainly explain their plight”, why do those values, habits, beliefs, etc. persist, if indeed they do persist?

It’s hard to judge without knowing which behaviors and attitudes we’re talking about, but one consistent villain I can think of is liberal white guilt. Moynihan was criticized for pointing out the human cost of the disintegrating black family. The cost has fallen on all of society, but obviously hardest of all on black women and children. Since when did coming to the aid of black women and children become a bad thing?

If by culture, we mean such social detritus as Ebonics, gangsta rap, and pants on the ground, I applaud black youth for casting off such stigmatizing uselessness. If we’re talking dreadlocks, hoodies, or other harmless cultural expressions, I think we should all relax.

But what we really ought to be talking about the 6,261 homicides of black people in 2013 (nearly six-to-one men), compared to about 200—three percent as many—black people killed by cops. Ebonics, hoodies, and dreads seem irrelevant compared to that.

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In Other News

While doing next to nothing to stop the nationwide lawlessness purportedly in response to the grand jury’s decision in Ferguson, Obama is not doing absolutely nothing:

And on Sunday, the president went golfing at Joint Base Andrews. Looks like some of the usual White House aides were with him.

Not counting a brief trip to the driving range the Sunday before, this is Obama’s 48th golf outing of the year and the 205th of his presidency.

Wait! I take that back.

Play all the golf you like, sir. Lovely day for it:

President Barack Obama will discuss the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, Monday with his Cabinet, civil rights leaders, law enforcement officials and others.

The White House says Obama’s Cabinet meeting will focus on his administration’s review of federal programs that provide military-style equipment to law enforcement agencies.

The White House says the president will also meet with young civil rights leaders to discuss the challenges posed by “mistrust between law enforcement and communities of color.” He’ll then meet with government and law enforcement officials, as well as other community leaders, to discuss how to strengthen neighborhoods.

Officer Darren Wilson didn’t have any military-style equipment on him; he had his sidearm and that’s it—and he almost lost that. Maybe the riot police had some, but they were facing a, you know, riot. Never let a crisis go to waste, Obama. Answer a question that nobody’s asking.

And how come there’s been no outcry over Molotov Cocktail control? Is there no Molotov Cocktail registry? No waiting period? The Second Amendment says nothing about the right to keep and bear incendiary devices.

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