Category Archives: Racism

America Doesn’t Need a New Revolution

I have not heard one single American politician enunciate the argument any clearer than this amazing woman. mrosso

By Ayaan Hirsi Ali

 

Outrage is the natural response to the brutal killing of George Floyd. Yet outrage and clear, critical thinking seldom go hand in hand. An act of police brutality became the catalyst for a revolutionary mood. Protests spilled over into violence and looting. Stores were destroyed; policemen and civilians injured and killed. The truism “black lives matter” was joined by a senseless slogan: “Defund the police.”

Democratic politicians—and some Republicans—hastened to appease the protesters. The mayors of Los Angeles and New York pledged to cut their cities’ police budgets. The Minneapolis City Council said it intended to disband the police department. The speaker of the House and other congressional Democrats donned scarves made of Ghanaian Kente cloth and kneeled in the Capitol. Sen. Mitt Romney joined a march.

ILLUSTRATION: DAVID KLEIN

Corporate executives scrambled to identify their brands with the protests. By the middle of June, according to polls, American public opinion had been transformed from skepticism about the Black Lives Matter movement to widespread support. Politicians, journalists and other public figures who had denounced protests against the pandemic lockdown suddenly lost their concern about infection. One Johns Hopkins epidemiologist tweeted on June 2: “In this moment the public health risks of not protesting to demand an end to systemic racism greatly exceed the harms of the virus.”

Although I am a black African—an immigrant who came to the U.S. freely—I am keenly aware of the hardships and miseries African-Americans have endured for centuries. Slavery, Reconstruction, segregation: I know the history. I know that there is still racial prejudice in America, and that it manifests itself in the aggressive way some police officers handle African-Americans. I know that by measures of wealth, health and education, African-Americans remain on average closer to the bottom of society than to the top. I know, too, that African-American communities have been disproportionately hurt by both Covid-19 and the economic disruption of lockdowns.

 

Yet when I hear it said that the U.S. is defined above all by racism, when I see books such as Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility” top the bestseller list, when I read of educators and journalists being fired for daring to question the orthodoxies of Black Lives Matter—then I feel obliged to speak up.

“What the media also do not tell you,” I tweeted on June 9, “is that America is the best place on the planet to be black, female, gay, trans or what have you. We have our problems and we need to address those. But our society and our systems are far from racist.”

America looks different if you grew up, as I did, in Africa and the Middle East. There I had firsthand experience of three things. First, bloody internecine wars between Africans—with all the combatants dark-skinned, and no white people present. Second, the anarchy that comes when there is no police, no law and order. Third, the severe racism (as well as sexism) of a society such as Saudi Arabia, where de facto slavery still exists.

I came to the U.S. in 2006, having lived in the Netherlands since 1992. Like most immigrants, I came with a confidence that in America I would be judged on my merits rather than on the basis of racial or sexual prejudice.

There’s a reason the U.S. remains, as it has long been, the destination of choice for would-be migrants. We know that there is almost no difference in the unemployment rate for foreign-born and native-born workers—unlike in the European Union.

We immigrants see the downsides of American society: the expensive yet inefficient health-care system, the shambolic public schools in poor communities, the poverty that no welfare program can alleviate. But we also see, as Charles Murray and J.D. Vance have shown, that these problems aren’t unique to black America. White America is also, in Mr. Murray’s phrase, “coming apart” socially. Broken marriages and alienated young men are problems in Appalachia as much as in the inner cities.

If America is a chronically racist society, then why are the “deaths of despair” studied by Anne Case and Angus Deaton so heavily concentrated among middle-aged white Americans? Did the Covid-19 pandemic make us forget the opioid epidemic, which has disproportionately afflicted the white population?

 

This country is only 244 years old, but it may be showing signs of age. Time was, Americans were renowned for their can-do, problem-solving attitude. Europeans, as Alexis de Tocqueville complained, were inclined to leave problems to central authorities in Paris or Berlin. Americans traditionally solved problems locally, sitting together in town halls and voluntary associations. Some of that spirit still exists, even if we now have to meet on Zoom. But the old question—“How can we figure this out?”—is threatened with replacement by “Why can’t the government figure this out for us?”

The problem is that there are people among us who don’t want to figure it out and who have an interest in avoiding workable solutions. They have an obvious political incentive not to solve social problems, because social problems are the basis of their power. That is why, whenever a scholar like Roland Fryer brings new data to the table—showing it’s simply not true that the police disproportionately shoot black people dead—the response is not to read the paper but to try to discredit its author.

I have no objection to the statement “black lives matter.” But the movement that uses that name has a sinister hostility to serious, fact-driven discussion of the problem it purports to care about. Even more sinister is the haste with which academic, media and business leaders abase themselves before it. There will be no resolution of America’s many social problems if free thought and free speech are no longer upheld in our public sphere. Without them, honest deliberation, mutual learning and the American problem-solving ethic are dead.

America’s elites have blundered into this mess. There were eight years of hedonistic hubris under Bill Clinton. Then came 9/11 and for eight years the U.S. suffered nemesis in Afghanistan, Iraq and in the financial crash. After that we had eight years of a liberal president, and the hubris returned. Sanctimonious politics coincided with deeply unequal economics.

Through all this, many Americans felt completely left out—of the technology boom, of the enterprise of globalization. I never thought I would agree with Michael Moore. But at an October 2016 event, he predicted that Donald Trump would win: “Trump’s election is going to be the biggest [middle finger] ever recorded in human history.” I still think that analysis was right. Mr. Trump wasn’t elected because of his eloquence. He was elected to convey that middle finger to those who had been smugly in charge for decades.

But you can’t give the middle finger to a pandemic, and 2020 has exposed the limitations of Mr. Trump as a president. Yet when you look at the alternative, you have to wonder where it would lead us. Back to the elite hubris of the 1990s and 2010s? I can’t help thinking that another shattering defeat might force sane center-left liberals into saying: That wasn’t a one-off; we’ve got a real problem. They’ll be in the same position as the British Labour Party after four years of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and two election defeats, when eventually the moderates had to throw the leftists out. One way or another, the Democratic Party has to find a way of throwing out the socialists who are destroying it.

 

The Republicans, too, have to change their ways. They have to reconnect with young people. They have to address the concerns of Hispanics. And they have to listen to African-Americans, who most certainly do not want to see the police in their neighborhoods replaced by woke community organizers.

We have barely four months to figure this out in the old American way. To figure out how to contain Covid-19, which we haven’t yet done, because—I dare to say it—old lives matter, too, and it is old people as well as minorities whom this disease disproportionately kills. To figure out how to reduce violence, because the police wouldn’t use guns so often if criminals didn’t carry them so often. Perhaps most pressing of all, to figure out how to hold an election in November that isn’t marred by procedural problems, allegations of abuse and postelection tumult.

Who knows? Maybe there’s even time for the candidates to debate the challenges we confront—not with outrage, but with the kind of critical thinking we Americans were once famous for, which takes self-criticism as the first step toward finding solutions.

Ms. Hirsi Ali is a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/america-doesnt-need-a-new-revolution-11593201840

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Black Lives Don’t Matter to Black Lives Matter

Make sure you make it down to the Beatles’ song…  mrossol

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The Epoch Times. 6/22/2020  by Roger L Simon

In case you missed it, and you could have, considering the endless thumb-sucking regarding just how many came or didn’t to the Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 60 were shot, nine fatally, at last count, over Father’s Day weekend in Chicago.

These included a 13-year-old girl in the Austin neighborhood of the West Side. Two hours earlier, in the same area, someone pulled up alongside a blue Honda in an SUV and fired several rounds at the driver, striking and killing his 3-year old son.

Similar carnage occurred in Chi-town only a couple of weeks earlier, over Memorial Day weekend, when 39 were wounded and 10 died, including a 16-year old boy.

And then, of course, we have Minneapolis, where most of the recent contretemps began, where early on June 21, one died and 11 were wounded in a shooting spree.

All of this was black-on-black violence of the most tragic sort.

Where was Black Lives Matter? Nowhere to be found, since the cops didn’t do any of it. BLM doesn’t seem to care about violence done to blacks if the police aren’t involved, even though black-on-black crime is by many multiples more lethal and more common, resulting in exponentially more black casualties.

BLM’s primary interest appears to be smashing the state, creating revolution with their pals in Antifa in order to take power themselves.

But there is another, perhaps more psychologically potent, reason that BLM doesn’t want to deal with black-on-black violence, other than finding some preposterous way to connect the police when it doesn’t exist.

Protesters Demonstrate In D.C. Against Death Of George Floyd By Police Officer In Minneapolis
A protestor waves a DC flag with “Black Lives Matter” spray painted on it next to a DC National Guard Humvee as protestors march through the streets during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody, in Washington on June 2, 2020. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

To do this they would have to raise a question that could be truly embarrassing and elicit shame: Just why haven’t black people been able to improve their own neighborhoods in such places as Chicago, Minneapolis, Baltimore, St. Louis, and Los Angeles?

Why are they in such a miserable state after all this time? Why are so many people still killing each other? Is it all the white man’s fault?

Well, it some ways, it is, if the white man is Lyndon B. Johnson. Before he initiated, for reasons both idealistic and self-interested, the Great Society in 1964, most black families were intact, some say even more so than white families. Then, along came the welfare system and, over the years, as entitlements became more valuable than work, the black family disintegrated. Their communities fell into increasing disrepair.

The vast majority of black children are now born out of wedlock to single-parent homes, the world stacked against them before they can start.

That’s something BLM should want to do something about if real black lives actually mattered to Black Lives Matter.

Of course, it’s not fun. That’s hard work, improving lives on the ground, encouraging people to get off welfare and get jobs, to start businesses, to stay or get married, to stay away from drugs, alcohol, and gangs.

The leaders of Black Lives Matter are obviously bright people. But they are taking the easy way, allowing their anger and their fear of truth to dictate their lives when they, of all people, have so much to offer.

BLM are the very young people who could be improving black communities, and they’re not. They’re directing their energies to the romantic delusion of revolution, as they tear things down rather than build them up.

Lennon and McCartney put it well in an early, similar era:

“You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out”

Verse three is even more, actually quite eerily, contemporary, as if John and Paul were singing directly to Black Lives Matter and Antifa in the time of the CCP virus:

“You say you’ll change the Constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know
You better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow”

How right they were.

Roger L. Simon is an award-winning author, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, and co-founder of PJ Media. His most recent books are “I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already” (non-fiction) and “The GOAT” (fiction).

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/black-lives-dont-matter-to-black-lives-matter_3397428.html?ref=brief_Opinions&__sta=vhg.hhksexuhqqhbbv|UJJ&__stm_medium=email&__stm_source=smartech

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106 shot, 14 dead, zero shot by police. Massive Protests planned

Zero shot by police.  Just wanted to make sure you didn’t miss that. Oh, not sure about the protests.

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6/23/2020. Chicago Tribule

New Chicago police Superintendent David Brown has been in his post for just two months, but his walk to a lectern at police headquarters had a familiar feel Monday.

Another weekend of stunning bloodshed in Chicago had given way to another round of police and city leaders grasping for explanations.

“On the heels of Father’s Day, I come to you again with obviously a high level of frustration and disappointment,” Brown said at a press briefing.

This time, on the first official summer weekend of the year, it was 106 people shot, 14 fatally — including a 3-year-old boy.

The tally marked the most people shot in one weekend here since at least 2012, and the violence took a particular toll on children. Twelve of those shot were younger than 18 years old. Five of them died, including two walking into their backyard after going to get candy at a corner shop.

Six shootings involved three or more victims. One drive-by shooting early Monday in the East Garfield Park neighborhood injured five, including a 16-year-old girl who was left in critical condition.

The Austin District, where 3-year-old Mekhi James was fatally shot Saturday afternoon, had the most shooting victims: 18.

And while shootings were seen across the city, those who work at the front lines of reducing violence also were left to consider what’s happening on blocks that have borne the brunt of the problem for decades. Chicago is an agitated place, they said, dealing with the stress of a global pandemic, recent civil unrest and the fallout from decades of neglect and abandonment in some neighborhoods.

“I think the main thing to understand is that tensions are high,” said David Stovall, a professor of African American studies and criminology, law and justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “You have the COVID situation, which is making it harder to get work. The same communities have been disenfranchised for an elongated period of time. They haven’t had access to quality education or quality health care. … In these situations, these stressors are often enacted on the people who are in proximity to you.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot often talks about long-term disenfranchisement as an underlying factor in the violence problem. But on Monday, Brown was left to handle the more immediate issues.

He appeared somber. Asked about the contributing factors to the escalation of violence, Brown replied, “Gangs, guns and drugs.”

As he took the helm earlier this year, Brown publicly stated he could envision a Chicago with fewer than 300 murders a year, a figure the city is already quickly approaching. For her part, Lightfoot has continued to support Brown, including on Monday, when she addressed his stated goal.

“I think what the superintendent said when he had this ambitious goal of 300, he called it a moon shot,” Lightfoot said. “And the idea was, not so much the number, but making sure that we rallied all the resources, both within the Police Department, but also with our various partners, to really focus on what each of us could to do more around public safety.”

But Brown seemed to blame at least some of those partners for this weekend’s mayhem.

Not enough violent offenders are locked up, and those who are jailed don’t stay there long enough, Brown said at his briefing. He also criticized the tracking of suspects who are arrested and placed on electronic monitoring by Cook County as they await trial.

“There are too many violent offenders not in jail, or on electronic monitoring, which no one is really monitoring,” Brown said. “We need violent felons to stay in jail longer and we need improvements to the home monitoring system.”

When asked how he knew this was to blame, Brown said only that it was his years in law enforcement. He also refused to be specific about what was not working about the electronic-monitoring system.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has long complained that system is stretched too thin.

Asked about Brown’s comments Monday, Dart spokeswoman Allison Peters noted it is judges who determine who is placed on monitoring. And the number of people on ankle bracelets has grown by about 1,000 people since the coronavirus pandemic began, further stressing the system, she said in a statement.

“This increase took place without any additional staff or funding allocated to (monitoring),” she wrote. “In the past, we have routinely made requests for additional funding for positions in EM, but budget restrictions did not allow for the increase.”

Whether that explanation from Brown gains traction remains to be seen, but some police sources who spoke to the Tribune on the condition of anonymity blamed other factors. Some blamed a lack of a cohesive crime-fighting plan as well as the warm weather that drew a lot of people outdoors, creating an opportunity for gang shooters to settle scores with rivals.

Anti-violence outreach teams reached by the Tribune agreed that the first warm, celebratory weekend brought a lot of people outside. The weekend opened with the Juneteenth holiday and ended with Father’s Day.

That recipe put more innocent people in harm’s way, they said. And having neighborhoods newly full perhaps sometimes brought those with disputes in contact with each other.

“We’re working with guys that (have) been into it all year round that probably didn’t see each other,” said Bennie Clark, a program manager for Target Area Development, a South Side anti-violence group that mediates street conflicts. “Now they get a chance to see each other. It just made (it) an opportunity to carry out these acts.”

Clark said he was sad to see so many people across the city get hurt, and that it reflects the difficultly of street outreach workers to stay ahead of so many conflicts to prevent shootings and retaliatory violence.

“We’re up against a lot,” Clark said. “We can tackle one thing, and then it’d be a whole other situation going on.

Some noted that the shootings this time happened against the backdrop of not only COVID-19 but also the sustained protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis.

At the pandemic’s start, deaths from the virus were happening in the same neighborhoods historically suffering from gun violence. Then, in late May and early June, Chicago, like many cities, experienced protests over Floyd’s death, some of which gave way to looting.

Brown, at the news conference, acknowledged that his officers have worked multiple 12-hour days and had much time off canceled in the last 20 days since the civil unrest that began during the last weekend of May.

“They’re human and they’re tired,” he said. “But they are very professional and I am so proud of the work that they’re putting in given the circumstances that they’re under.”

But whatever the immediate reasons for this weekend’s bloodshed were, UIC’s Stovall and others remarked that the real driver of violence is that so many neighborhoods have been left without access to adequate jobs, education or health care, and that is not a new situation.

Stovall said solutions such as having outreach teams of the kind Brown has sometimes mentioned could help, reaching people swept up in the violence to try and reduce tensions. But the city needs to consider wider, deeper solutions, including access to meaningful jobs, he said.

Asiaha Butler, a longtime community activist in the South Side’s Englewood neighborhood, said she also felt the weekend’s tension.

But on Monday, between her usual community meetings, Butler said the answers to ending Chicago’s violence are found in the long, hard work of demanding better conditions.

“Many of us hear these stories, and believe me, we are not happy to hear about the 3-year-old, but we just know that the work has to keep going,” Butler said.

“And it’s not a quick fix,” she said. “We can’t protest our way out of this. We really have to take some deep assessments. I will continue to go back to the economic stability of neighborhoods and the generational trauma that takes deeper work to address.”

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Hillsdale’s Statement about non-statement

A June 18 letter from the leaders of Hillsdale College:

Amidst the events of recent weeks, a number of alumni and others have taken up formal and public means to insist that Hillsdale College issue statements concerning these events. The College is charged with negligence—or worse.

It is not the practice of the College to respond to petitions or other instruments meant to gain an object by pressure. The College operates by reasoned deliberation, study, and thought. The following observations, however, may be helpful and pertinent.

The College is pressed to speak. It is told that saying what it always has said is insufficient. Instead, it must decry racism and the mistreatment of Black Americans in particular. This, however, is precisely what the College has always said.

The College is told that invoking the high example of the Civil War or Frederick Douglass is not permitted. Perhaps it is thought that nothing relevant can be learned about justice and equality from the words and actions of great men and women in history. Instead, the College is guilty of the gravest moral failure for not making declarations about . . . justice and equality.

The College is told that it garners no honor now for its abolitionist past—or that it fails to live up to that past—but instead it must issue statements today. Statements about what? It must issue statements about the brutal and deadly evil of hating other people and/or treating them differently because of the color of their skin. That is, it must issue statements about the very things that moved the abolitionists whom the College has ever invoked.

It is told that failure to issue statements is an erasure, a complicity, an abandonment of principle. The silence of the College is deafening.

The College founding is a statement—as is each reiteration and reminder of its meaning and necessity. The curriculum is a statement, especially in its faithful presentation of the College’s founding mission. Teaching is a statement, especially as it takes up—with vigor—the evils we are alleged to ignore, evils like murder, brutality, injustice, destruction of person or property, and passionate irrationality. Teaching these same things across all the land is a statement, or a thousand statements. Organizing our practical affairs so that we can maintain principles of equity and justice—though the cost is high and sympathy is short—is a statement. Dispensing unparalleled financial help to students who cannot afford even a moderate tuition, is a statement. Helping private and public schools across the country lift their primary and secondary students out of a sea of disadvantages with excellent instruction, curricula, and the civic principles of freedom and equality—without any recompense to the College—is a statement. Postgraduate programs with the express aim of advancing the ideas of human dignity, justice, equality, and the citizen as the source of the government’s power, these are all statements. And all of these statements are acts, deeds that speak, undertaken and perpetuated now, every day, all the time. Everything the College does, though its work is not that of an activist or agitator, is for the moral and intellectual uplift of all.

There may be something deafening in the culture—certainly there are those who cannot hear—but it is not from the silence of the College.

There is a kind of virtue that is cheap. It consists of jumping on cost-free bandwagons of public feeling—perhaps even deeply justified public feeling—and winning approval by espousing the right opinion. No one who wishes the College to issue statements is assumed to be a party to such behavior. But the fact that very real racial problems are now being cynically exploited for profit, gain, and public favor by some organizations and people is impossible to overlook. It is a scandal and a shame that compounds our ills and impedes their correction. Hillsdale College, though far from perfect, will continue to do the work of education in the great principles that are, second only to divine grace, the solution to the grave ills that beset our times.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/notable-quotable-hillsdales-statement-11592770733?mod=hp_opin_pos_3

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