Tag Archives: racism

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, let the GOP remember its great betrayal

Summary: Amidst the recollections about the trials and accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr., let’s remember that at the peak of his success another man’s actions would undo much of his work. Barry Goldwater betrayed the Republican Party and poisoned American politics at what should have been a moment of triumph. Now the Republicans have an opportunity to fix this, and recapture their lost greatness.

Martin Luther King: Injustice

In 1964 Martin Luther King Jr. was leading the civil rights movement to its greatest triumph since the Civil War. But one man’s decision had introduced corruption into the Republican Party, which has flowered so greatly in the following five decades.

Reflecting the parties geographical, not ideological, foundations, the 1964 Civil Rights Act passed on 19 June 1964 with strong majorities in both parties — but against determined opposition.

  • Democratic Party: 46–21  (69%–31%).
  • Republican Party: 27–06   (82%–18%).

The Republican candidate for the Presidency cast one of those “no” votes. Barry Goldwater saw an opportunity to redraw America’s political map and end the Democratic Party’s domination, held since the Great Depression. The price paid: betrayal of the Republican Party’s century-long civil rights legacy, the original foundation of the Party. All for nothing. Goldwater lost by a landslide of 38% to 61% for Johnson. He did not even get 30 pieces of silver.

Here’s the speech Goldwater gave justifying his betrayal, from the website of Brad DeLong (Prof Economics, Berkeley). It has the high-flown rhetoric racists have used since the founding, and use today. The red text highlights the apocalyptic forecasts often used to scare Americans from doing what they know is right. DeLong decodes the key phrases Goldwater used to disguise his betrayal.

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America is mainlining fascism. It won’t end well for us.

Summary: Mainlining fascism – and heroin – have become fashionable in America. Trump has given little evidence of being a fascist, but his campaign has emboldened them. The Right’s extremists were expelled from mainstream conservatism in the early 1960’s. Let’s hope they come to their senses and do so again — or that the rest of us stand together to resist this infection.

America goes from freedom to fascism

Fascism is an endemic disease in the west since its origin in the late 19th century. There are warning signs of a revival in America. On the right, racism, white nationalism, and fascism have become respectable. For example, turn to Chateau Heartiste is a popular Men’s Rights and Pick Up Artists blog run by James C. Weidmann (aka Roissy; see RationalWiki). In the past year he’s gone big into White Nationalism. More recently, he’s become proto-fascist — as shown in yesterday’s post. While you read listen for the echos of history.

A White Hot Fire Rises.”

“There are signs of volcanic life surfacing in long dormant White America. A White hot fire rises. Recently, I saw once such sign, a very small sign, but magnificently portentous because it was an act of pro-White rebellion committed deep in the heart of a decadent anti-White shitlibopolis; the nature of the act was one that I had not encountered before in the wilds of any SWPLville.

“A handful of posters promoting an anti-Trump protest march were taped to traffic light poles and other utility boxes near an outdoor cafe. As I watched with growing interest, five corn-fed and bearded White men wearing working class clothes and ear-to-ear shitlib-eating grins strode purposefully from one poster to the next, tearing them down and (respectfully) walking to a nearby garbage can to throw them out. As they performed their valuable public service, an effete, stoop-shouldered white manlet snarled at them from across the street. Even at twenty paces I could see the manlet’s curled lip quivering with menopausal rage.

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Trump and the 1% lead America back to its past, to its dark roots

Summary: Look to the past to see the future of the Trump revolution. That means seeing through the half-truths of both the doomsters and the panglossians. Here’s a brief look at the bad news and the good news. Draw your own conclusions.

Donald Trump's Revolution

The Trump “revolution” is a moment in the wave of history carrying the US to the right. Most Americans do not understand because of their amnesia about our history. Much of what we love about America was true only for a moment. Most of American history is dark. Slavery of Africans. Treaty-breaking, enslavement, and genocide of American Indians. Colonial wars. The long destruction of the craftsman and farming classes. The centralization of power and wealth in the 1%.

Our history is too dark; we do not want to see it. So we manufactured myths to replace facts. We cheer the triumph of “John Wayne in Chisum, the opposite of actual sad events in the Lincoln County War (the cavalry arrived to help the bad guys, as it so often did).

The post-WWII era was an anomaly in our history, a new beginning created by the fires of the Great Depression and WWII. The campaign rhetoric about American exceptionalism, our role as a force for good in the world, our love of social mobility and equality — all was true (in the incomplete fashion of the real world) for a few decades after WWII. Now we have the inevitable counter-revolution, a reversion to the mean of America driven by the immeasurable power and wealth of the 1%. Beginning in the 1970’s they laid plans, which they have lavishly funded and skillfully executed.

I have written warnings about this since 2003. Commenters overwhelmingly said I was exaggerating our danger. Now my predictions appear on the front pages as generations of progress are erased. The 1% has built its political power for four decades; now they have begun to use it. Mother Nature does not care about right and wrong; the 1% deserve to win by her cold logic. Slow and stupid are sins she always punishes.

The old America is resurgent: rule by the exploitative plutocracy backed by domestic force, with an unprincipled and extractive foreign policy. They have just begun to reshape America.

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Hard data from Harvard about police violence & race

Summary: At last in the long debate about police violence we have an actual analysis (rather than the amateur tallies). Professor Fryer Jr. (economics, Harvard) looks at a sample of the data and discovers some surprising news. He gives some innovative suggests for practical police reforms (i.e., possible to implement). His conclusions are essential reading for anyone concerned about this vital issue.

Protect and Serve

An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force
By Roland G. Fryer, Jr.
National Bureau of Economic Research, July 2016

“This paper explores racial differences in police use of force. On non-lethal uses of force, blacks and Hispanics are more than 50% more likely to experience some form of force in interactions with police. Adding controls that account for important context and civilian behavior reduces, but cannot fully explain, these disparities.

“On the most extreme use of force – officer-involved shootings – we find no racial differences in either the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account. We argue that the patterns in the data are consistent with a model in which police officers are utility maximizers, a fraction of which have a preference for discrimination, who incur relatively high expected costs of officer-involved shootings.”

Fryer evaluates seven levels of force short of shooting by police: hands, pushing to wall, handcuffs, drawing a weapon, pushing to ground, pointing a weapon, using a spray/baton. The following graph shows the data by race and hour of day, from a sample of New York Police Department stop and frisks from 2003-2013.

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Racism is the dark side of populism. Will it divide & defeat us?

Summary: With the rise of populism comes racism, its dark side and America’s original sin, freely expressed as America has not seen since the 1960s. These are strange times, unless you remember our history. Then’s its the same old same old. Here are examples of this horrific but familiar phenomenon, and a possible way of coping with it.  {1st of 2 posts today.}

“Really, any society that has White identity at its core should be unanimously preferred over any of the alternatives we as a people have been forced to endure. ”
John Heckathorn, at the “Traditional Right” website, 18 February 2016. This is the traditional Right in America, but they haven’t been so candid about it since the 1960s.

An increasingly typical event at at Trump rally

U.S. UnCut describes the video…

In the video, several young black men are protesting nonviolently during Trump’s speech. The men are near the back of the Crown Coliseum, surrounded by white Trump supporters. One of the young protesters is seen shouting back at the rally attendees, who are yelling at them and making rude gestures.

As the exchange becomes more heated, several tan-shirted private security officers show up to escort the protesters away from the event. The protesters quickly acquiesce and being walking calmly toward the exit. Then, one Trump supporter walks to the end of the row, waits for his opportunity, and swiftly sucker punches one of the protesters in the face.

But rather than arrest the violent Trump supporter, security guards tackled the young man who was punched and knock him to the ground. Not one security officer attempts to even confront the Trump supporter who threw the punch, despite several witnessing the full encounter clearly. …

Sadly, these kinds of assaults and hateful acts are all too common at Donald Trump rallies. In addition to his hateful rhetoric, he has inspired these kinds of violent attacks at many of his rallies, including incidents in Alabama, in Kentucky, and elsewhere, even telling his supporters to steal the coat of one protester as they were being pushed into a freezing night.

Update: a 78-year old man was arrested for this assault. The 26-year old victim was not injured. See the story at WRAL, which says …

“A press release from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said several deputies did not see the attack happen. …but cell phone video of the incident that was posted online led to an investigation and arrest.” We went to work immediately to identify this man, and we did this morning,” said Sheriff Earl “Moose” Butler.”

So despite the curiously blind deputies (a man they’re escorting is punched), yet again a cell phone video leads to justice. See more details at Slate.

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Donald Trump leads us back to the future, to the dark days of US history

Summary: Every election gives us the opportunity to shape America. We do not choose the specific national policies of the next four years, since Presidents often don’t do what they promised. Rather we give a nudge to the evolution of America; we influencing what we become. Those who vote make that decision. The choices, however unappealing, are unusually clear in 2016.

On September 22 Donald Trump attended at 45-minute long rally at Rochester, New Hampshire, speaking to about 3,000 people. Anyone who believes America is not in serious trouble should read these remarks as reported by The Hill.

“We have a problem in this country, it’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one — you know he’s not even an American. But anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question, when can we get rid of them?”

Trump responded: “We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things, a lot of people are saying bad things are happening, we’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.”

A second man stood and made the same claim. “I applaud the gentleman who stood and said Obama is a Muslim born abroad and about the military camps, everyone knows that,” he said.

“Right,” Trump responded, before quickly moving to the next questioner.

… {A woman in the audience} told him that there is a “new holocaust” in New Hampshire and that people are being loaded into boxcars and beheaded by members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. “I just wanted you to know that,” the woman said. Trump moved on without addressing the woman’s claim.

The remarks from the people are unexceptional; every society has people on the fringes with such views. Hatred of people different from ourselves is a sad but widespread phenomenon around the world and across history. It is an endemic “disease” that has errupted again in America, as reported by the NYT: “New Poll Finds Anti-Muslim Sentiment Frighteningly High“.

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The riots in Baltimore teach us much about America. They’re dark insights.

Summary: Political violence is a flare over society illuminating aspects of America about which we could otherwise only guess. This post attempts to describe things obvious but unstated in the flood of words about the riots in Baltimore and relate them to the quiet revolution now in progress.  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

Martin Luther King on nonviolence

What can we learn from the riots in Baltimore? The most obvious lesson: they demonstrate our amnesia and inability to learn. We could send America’s journalists and the chattering classes on vacation and just rerun articles from the late 1960’s about their race riots. That would also show our limited progress from that dark time.

These riots are wonderful for the news media (“if it bleeds, it leads”). They’re fodder for America’s thumb-sucking intelligentsia (see examples below). They provide us with some dark humor.  For example, the NY Times drolly reported that “… {new attorney general} Lynch’s aides said that improving police morale and finding common ground between law enforcement and minority communities would be among her top priorities”  (Salon’s Elias Isquith reasonably replied “As the chaos in Baltimore has shown, it’s far too soon to shift our attention to the grievances of cops.”)

But the problem of weaponized police transcends partisan lines, as shown by the NY Times’ description of how Obama’s “Justice Dept. Routinely Backs Officers’ Use of Force“:

At the Supreme Court, where the limits of police power are established, Mr. Holder’s Justice Department has supported police officers every time an excessive-force case has made its way to arguments. Even as it has opened more than 20 civil rights investigations into local law enforcement practices, the Justice Department has staked out positions that make it harder for people to sue the police and that give officers more discretion about when to fire their guns.

… “There is an inherent conflict between people at the Justice Department trying to stop police abuses and other people at the Justice Department convincing the Supreme Court that police abuses should be excused,” said Ronald L. Kuby, a Manhattan civil rights lawyer.

More pointedly, these riots provide a teachable moment for the Left. William Teach at Right Wing News points out the evidence about the political failure which Baltimore’s flames illuminate. Increasing political participation of minorities was a solution to the 1960s race riots.

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