Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I'm Just Sayin'


  1. I think this idea about looking far and wide for one sole black republican or one lonely black conservative may be changing over the next twenty to thirty years, maybe even sooner if this young man is any type of bellwether. Then again, he may just be one happy camper embedded in a nice conservative campus surrounded by a whole lot of nice people that seem to be doing alright.

    He seems to put forth the same arguments about race that a white or Asian conservative might, although they sound much more striking in the vernacular. That said, I really didn't like what he had to say about Trayvon Martin or DWB one bit. He's sort of a traitor to the cause.

    Hopefully everything will work out for the guy. I could see a lot of black people getting along in the republican party. Very socially conservative. Thing is, so far, the party hasn't been all that welcoming. I still dig Michael Steele, no matter what anybody says. I will always love that guy. Brother was cool. Could not believe it when Böhner gave him the axe.

    1. Traitor to the cause? What cause?
      Here B Michael Brown rappin his cause while flashing "Bloods" gang signs.
      Enjoy the music and lyrics

      orlin sellers

    2. In order to be "a traitor to the cause," one must have at some point been a part of that cause--one cannot betray a cause one has never joined. Can you be certain that this gentleman was ever a part of the cause to which you say he is a "traitor," Flying Junior?

    3. Junior,

      I think you should reevaluate your analysis of his comments on Trayvon and DWB. Before this, he talked about blacks being charged and sentenced disproportionately and admonished people (paraphrasing), "Did you do the crime? Stop doing that and you won't suffer these consequences." This advice is good advice for the individuals living on the wrong side of the law--it doesn't address fixing the problems in the system, and thus it doesn't say that we shouldn't try to fix those problems. Instead, it just advises people to avoid running afoul of the system in the first place.

      In the same way, when he mentioned Trayvon and getting pulled over for DWB he was advising people to adjust their behavior so as to not run afoul of the law. He didn't suggest that we shouldn't try to correct problems in the system such as stopping DWB practices. Instead, he gave practical advice to people who may get pulled over in such a stop and noted that the more often a DWB stop happens and turns up nothing illegal the more it will counter rather than reinforce the stereotype that perpetuates this problem.

      I see this as a healthy part of a multi-pronged approach: 1. Keep your own nose clean so as to avoid problems; 2. Fight negative stereotypes through education And not reinforcing them; 3. Work to fix flaws in the system; 4. Realize this needs to be done in multiple directions--the view of all cops as corrupt can be just as harmful in this arena as the view of all blacks as criminals--and all of the cops doing corrupt shit keep perpetuating that stereotype in the same way black criminals perpetuate their own stereotype.

      This guy needs to be able to make his comments about people cleaning up their acts without being called a traitor to the cause just as those of us who want to see the police cleaned up need to be able to tell them to clean up their acts and respect the Fourth Amendment without being accused of being traitors to the cause of justice. Otherwise, we just continue the ongoing process of Balkanization into a bunch of little warring factions that could eventually flare up into a level of ugliness rivaling or exceeding the Civil War.

    4. Kurt wins the prize once again for the whiniest and pettiest comment which added exactly nothing to the discussion.

    5. I have zero idea about what's "whiny," or "petty" about my comment. I'm starting to think you just have stopped liking me, Mikeb.

    6. Example of whiny and petty: Kurt, for one to have stopped liking someone, he would have had to have liked that person at some point in the past.

      I don't usually waste my time with shit like that - it seems that you don't miss an opportunity.

    7. Humor is entirely lost on you, isn't it, Mikeb?

    8. "Irony," rather than "Humor," would probably have been a better choice of words on my part. Hopefully, the gist was clear regardless.

    9. 3. Work to fix flaws in the system;
      Something Kurt has said he is against. He will take arms against the government. He rejects working within the law to change law.

    10. Oh, now it was irony? Is this part of your honesty regimen, Kurt?

    11. Oh, now it was irony?

      There's considerable overlap between humor and irony. My comment about you "hav[ing] stopped liking me" was meant as a little joke, but I decided that calling it "irony" would be clearer than calling it "humor." It's not that damned complicated.

      Is this part of your honesty regimen, Kurt?

      Mikeb, maybe you'd save yourself a lot of time if you just told everyone to assume that you assert that everything I say is a "lie," and/or "whiny and petty," and probably "racist," and you'll just point out the rare exceptions.

  2. responsi damn bility.......Nice!

  3. " He's sort of a traitor to the cause." How so FJ?


    1. I took the "traitor to the cause" remark to mean that people should be free to dress and look any way they want without fearing punishment from the police.

    2. What if getting dressed involves holstering a sidearm?

  4. I agree that this man makes some very salient points. I like the points that anonymous makes as well. I certainly do not have anything but respect for the police department in my community. And, of course he is free to speak his mind. My comment was provocative.

    He qualified and prefaced his remark about Trayvon Martin, yet I feel that still, he was placing the blame for the hatred and distrust in George Zimmerman's eyes somehow on the black community for not policing themselves, for providing the police departments with so much steady work. Why pull over the car full of white guys? Where's the profit? It's a myth. Kids of every color run around in gangs, get high, cause trouble.

    I think that the media works very hard to portray young brown and black men as being typically unemployed or under-employed, maybe into substance abuse, maybe into petty crime, carrying weapons for no good purpose etc with reality cop shows as well as the fictional ones, running news stories where we take it for granted that the trouble-makers are always young, black men. I think this young man has bought into that fantasy.

    Think for a moment of all of the black people you have known or still know in your life. Young people in school, going to sporting events right along side you, shopping or walking about town, homeowners, parents, holding jobs, driving buses, delivering mail, working retail, academia, teachers, police officers, doctors and nurses.

    How many black people have you ever known who drive around in old Cadillacs selling weed or dope in the city? How many black coke fiends can you remember?

    It's all a media fabrication. And we all more-or-less believe it.

    1. Junior,

      You're right about kids of every color running around in gangs, getting high, causing trouble, etc. 75% of the stoners I met at college were upper middle class or upper class white kids who had little worry about being caught by police. I don't deny that police in urban areas focus more on black communities than white ones, though in my experience in the one larger city I lived in this was more a matter of the poor community being more black than white. Note I'm saying it was more about class, but not completely--I did have some friends, law students, who had been pulled over for driving while black or brown (not sure if these happened in that city or another, just know they had experienced it). (Also note I'm saying this was the case in that city, other cities probably have more and less racial motivation depending on the town--where I'm at now there are more poor whites than poor blacks, and most of the defendants I see in court are white.)

      As for the stereotype, I think it developed out of a combination of racism and confirmation bias--whether black crime and drug use were more common or not at some time in the past, cops expected to catch blacks with drugs, did so pretty often, and the stereotype was born. There are two ways to tackle this--one is to work for better policing that follows evidence rather than stereotypes. The other way is for the people in this community to work to eradicate various activities from their communities so that those cops with biases don't have them confirmed. This is the same advice I've given to clients who complained of police harassment before--white kids who were on the county sheriff's department's usual suspects list because of who they were related to, and who had been confirming the expectation by acting out in minor ways.

      This was good advice that I hope these clients took to heart--hopefully the lack of future trouble (if they listened) will cause them to drop off that usual suspects list, but at least it will keep the cops from having anything to get them on.

      I think that this guy was simply trying to give the same advice to blacks who receive added scrutiny because of a stereotype rather than buying into that stereotype himself.

  5. I think that the media works very hard to portray young brown and black men as being typically unemployed or under-employed, maybe into substance abuse, maybe into petty crime, carrying weapons for no good purpose etc with reality cop shows as well as the fictional ones, running news stories where we take it for granted that the trouble-makers are always young, black men. I think this young man has bought into that fantasy.

    Are you shittin' me, FJ?
    The Brown kid had stolen property from an Asian and then ruffed him up, then charges at a cop and tries to take his gun and the media portrayed him as a "gentle giant."

    A Bosnian dude gets his head smashed in and dies and the media reports the attackers as 4 teenagers. The fact is they were three blacks and a latino. You had to dig deep to find that out.

    Trayvon Martin was some sweet little kid until that Narrative Collapse and we have a witness who saw him beating Zimmerman's head onto the sidewalk.

    It just goes on and on with the media portraying everyone who is white as a White Supremacist.

    orlin sellers

  6. Well, if anything is true out of all of this and yet more recent developments...

    Nothing is getting any better.

    Everything just seems to be heating up.

    1. Junior,

      Sadly, I agree. It's what I referred to as the ongoing Balkanization in our society. People increasingly refuse to discuss things rationally and instead take positions based on which group lines up with which cause.

      To move away from from the current topic for a second, look at Immigration. Our immigration code is based on one Harry Truman rightfully vetoed for being racist and unamerican, but which Congress passed over his veto. The problems in it are manifest if you look at it or talk to immigration practitioners--and these are just problems in the law, not the corruption you can find where people applying for visas get asked for bribes by consular officials in some of our embassies.

      However, we can't seem to get movement on the issue because the two major parties have found ways to make the system work for them. The Republicans take advantage of a "law and order" desire among their base (no Mikeb, it's not racism in most cases) and rail against illegals. This draws support from those who fall into the law and order camp, including, often times, legal immigrants. If you talk to legal immigrants who sat in line for years waiting on their green card, Latin Americans and Indians in my experience, they are as pissed off by the push for amnesty as any Fox News anchor.

      Meanwhile, the Democrats have turned it into a reliable method to increase their voting base both by creating new voters as with the old amnesties that did provide a pathway to citizenship and by drawing in people who they convince that theirs is the only way to not be racist.

      And so, neither party is really interested in fixing the issue. I was hopeful in early 2011 when there was talk of Immigration Reform--maybe they meant it (I know, what a naive idiot I was); maybe they'll actually do something about the flaws in the system, e.g. remove the quotas, replace them with requirements to learn English and show proof of employment or other support, enforce the border, and yes, as part of it, come up with a solution for the illegals currently here--maybe amnesty for some and the others go home and immigrate legally without 10-15 year quota system backlogs.

      But no, nobody wanted to do that. Instead, it fell apart after it became clear that the primary goal was amnesty with a little more border security. So now, we have the media and the parties telling us, "Latinos and progressives--line up to support amnesty. Conservatives, line up to fight it. Blacks, remember, conservatives are racist, support amnesty. Workers, they took our jobs, oppose it!" Etc., etc., etc. Nothing gets done except the occasional amnesty, and people keep building resentments against the people they line up to fight rather than engage.


    2. Similar "line up the groups" tactics are at play in the issue we've been discussing here. Everything is getting framed in terms of a racial and political narrative designed to play to the bases of the two main parties rather than to find a solution. We are told one set of people must support one side and the other set must support the other side in both cases. We are told that the issue is race, and we must line up according to that set of teams, not the set involved if it is police brutality, or the set involved if you're a black man holding a BB gun he plans to buy while browsing the Lawn and Garden section.

      Is race an issue? Yes, probably to some extent. Other issues are cops sometimes having authority complexes, questions about prosecutorial conduct, questions about sovereign immunity and its application to police, questions about double standards, questions about some cops being way too quick on the trigger, and questions about which of these factors was at play in each situation, and to what extent.

      But no. We're told by the media that Brown and Garner were Murdered and Crawford was just a tragedy that is only worth looking at in terms of gun control issues. Others frame it as "you gunloons must support Wilson because he used a gun and that puts you on the side of the cops in the Garner case by default." (Mike, I'm not accusing you of doing this--this is more a reflection of the argumentation used by the Anonymous troll when he kept accusing us of supporting Jordan Davis' killer despite all of our comments to the contrary.)

      When Mike Brown was first shot, I was ready to see it as another case of excessive force used by police. Since then, I've come to think that the evidence points the other way. We may disagree about this, but we should be able to still talk about some solutions like body cams and better training, and a disagreement on the evidence in that case shouldn't be taken, as it often is in the media coverage I've seen, as proof of racism and not caring about black lives. It also shouldn't prevent our agreement about the problems in the Garner case, the Crawford case, and many other uses of excessive force against people of all melanin levels.

      Unfortunately, the conversation we've had here is far too rare, and the media coverage is just exacerbating people's tendency to line up by groups without thinking--thus, I have trouble talking about the police issues involved with many liberals because they automatically tune me out for not being on Mike Brown's side, and I have similar problems with many conservatives who lump Garner in with Brown, after all, that's what the idiot box keeps telling them, and won't look at the issues.

      Sometimes I can get through to conservatives since I'm one of them. Maybe you and others like you can get through to some of the liberals since you know the handshake.

      If not, things are just going to keep getting worse and worse as the media's and politicians' narrative continue to put us in our boxes, line us up to fight, and dry the tinder for a spark that could lead to something that makes the LA riots look tame.

      It would be a shame if we let the political narratives go unchecked like this and undo all the progress made since the Civil Rights movement.

    3. Anonymous, that was some double comment. You made several claims in there that I cannot accept: neither Republicans nor Democrats want a solution, legal immigrants are as upset as Fox News about illegal immigration, everyone's lumping the MIke Brown and Eric Garner incidents together.

      There's probably more, but you get the idea. Your lack of coherence was almost compensated for by your prolixity, but not quite.

    4. Mike,

      If the Democrats or Republicans want a solution, where were the comprehensive proposals? I'd be happy to see anything dealing with the busted quota system, the selling of green cards, etc. If there was a bill proposed, please show me; I saw nothing of that nature, from either side, back when immigration "reform" looked possible in 2011. The Democrats can call for reform all they want, but I don't believe them any more than the Republicans until I see some of these actual solutions proposed rather than temporary fixes like pathways to citizenship.

      Regarding the Legal Immigrants, which of us practices Immigration law and, thus, has dealings with these legal immigrants and hears their frustration with the fact that they sat through a 10 year line, or are 7 years into a 10 year one and can't catch a break--spouse can't get a work permit, but people who came here illegally are going to get one? Not all Legal Immigrants feel this way, I'm sure--generalizations don't cover everyone in a group--but most of the ones I've worked with feel this way. Can you blame them when I have to tell them that no, they can't get a work permit, but some of the undocumented clients I've had may be able to?

      Regarding your third complaint, where did I say that Everyone was lumping those cases together? I didn't say everyone, instead, I made a broad statement about the narrative being built by many politicians and the media who, as I wrote that, were busy tying the cases together as much as they could--at least the ones I saw on CNN and MSNBC.

      As for your comments on prolixity, I love how you always respond that way. Short posts are oversimplifying, long posts are overlong, medium ones are spin, etc. etc. You always have an excuse to dismiss whatever is written rather than thinking about it and responding.

      It's especially sad in this case where Junior and I were having a civil exchange and here you come to toss in inanity about "Wow, that was a long post." Why not join the discussion rather than hurling insults about length and coherence?

  7. The only traitor here is Kurt.