Ferguson’s Affirmative Action Solution

Part of the fallout of the Trayvon Martin shooting was a change at the top for Sanford PD.  Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee first stepped down from his position, and then later, after offering to resign, was fired.  Lee was replaced by Cecil E. Smith as the new Sanford Police chief. In Ferguson, MO, Police Chief Thomas Jackson had his entire police department shunted to the sidelines as the Governor put the State Police, lead by Captain Ron Johnson, in charge.  The common thread of course is that in both racially charged cases, a white person was replaced by a black person.

Of course, in the never ending war on noticing, we…aren’t supposed to notice that.  It’s just a guy bungling the situation replaced by someone who is hopefully more competent.  But in both cases with black victims and an activated civil rights establishment on the march; literally on the march, it makes perfect sense that the head of the law enforcement agency in question be headed by someone who’s black.

And as a PR move, it’s worked great.

The media is full of respectful and flattering stories of Captain Ronald Johnson and it’s not just media hype, he’s achieved real results in bringing a boiling situation to a simmer and getting control of the looting after the Ferguson Police Department’s heavy handed military occupation-like attempt to gain control through superior firepower.  And although Johnson does deserve all due credit for that, the fact is that he would not have been able to do that if he were white.

In the post civil rights era, the realization of this started back in the infamous Rodney King beating and has continued up through the age of a Black President, from Trayvon Martin to Michael Brown.  Black people do not trust white cops.  They never have, and are unlikely to start in any of our lifetimes.  We can gnash our teeth of this, and try even more community outreach programs that will fail like all the ones before, but in a town like Ferguson, MO, with a black population of 67%, the police department is 94% white.

The consequences of this are that the black population feels like they are under occupation, and as demonstrated by the Ferguson PD overkill to the looting, they clearly think they are occupying hostile territory. Black President or no, this is an extremely racially divided country, and not because of this or that racial crisis that the media loves to gin up, but because that is our default position.  Sad to say, but the racial divide is normal.  It’s not just a media creation (although they do love to exploit it).  White people like to pretend that after the civil rights era it’s all taken care of, and will point to our Black President as proof, “See there?  Black guy; mission accomplished.”

Mission not accomplished and it may never be accomplished.  We can of course, go on and pretend that this isn’t a divided country, or we can stare down reality and admit that we have problems that another commission, or inner city funding, is not going to solve.

Civil society and all of the threads that make a society work depend on social trust.  That is increasingly in short supply in our society, but it is clearly missing in the relationship between Blacks and police, otherwise we wouldn’t have ‘The Talk.’  But, if we’re willing to accept these painful truths maybe we can do something to mitigate the damage these incidents play on our national psyche.  We need to recognize that Black people really want to be policed by Black cops.

I’m no fan of the concept of Affirmative Action.  I think it’s a legal and constitutional stain on the country, but you know, we have a lot of stains.  Maybe we ought to recognize that for black people, they need the trust in law enforcement that black law enforcement can provide and that white law enforcement, no matter how well meaning, will never be able to.  So what am I suggesting?  I think we need black cops to police black areas.  This would require a massive hiring of new black police officers to police these areas, so this isn’t something that would happen overnight.  It would take years to implement.  But I think the benefits make it worth pursuing, and we certainly haven’t come up with anything else that’s made much of a difference.

But a major nationwide recruiting effort with the subsequent publicity might make a lot of black youth consider a career in law enforcement that they wouldn’t otherwise have even considered.  And not for nothing, but these are considered “good jobs.” People in high crime areas might consider calling the cops more, and actually talking to them, instead of avoiding “snitching.”  If they can start trusting their local cop on the beat, maybe they can start trusting law enforcement at large.  Certainly if a black cop shoots a black suspect, it’s not going raise the ire of the civil rights establishment.  Eventually, when those incidents happen, maybe black people will have the same reaction to those shootings that white people have when a white or black cop shoots a white suspect; ignore it.  Generally we default assume the guy had it coming, not that the cop set out to specifically murder someone.

It’s a low bar of achievement I realize, but we have to accept that for our racially divided society, we can’t even reach that low bar.  We need to try something, even if means recognizing painful truths.

 

 

 

Those Interracial Right Wingers

Part two of the interracial Cheerios commercial was released for the Super Bowl, and of course, it’s adorable.

Of course, this was seen as yet another opportunity to pointlessly race-bait by MSNBC, which released this now deleted tweet.

Eventually, MSNBC apologized which is a minor victory in itself.

But they didn’t apologize before they had pissed off a lot of interracial conservative families, prompting this twitter hashtag # MyRightWingBiracialFamilyThat brings us round to the Volokh Conspiracy law blog, now run by the Washington Post.  In the post, New Evidence on the political views of mixed-race adopted and step-families, they break down the data on mixed race families using the GSS data, one of the largest social science surveys on the US population.  In fact some bloggers do nothing but mine the GSS data for interesting tidbits, so just about any sort of social science query on Americans can be teased out if you have patience and a familiarity with statistical methods.

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer.  The gist is that there is virtually no statistical difference between liberal and conservative mixed race families.

“Thus, there is no evidence in the GSS data that Republican, conservative, or conservative Republicans who were living with step-children or adopted children were less likely to live in mixed-race households than Democrats, liberals, liberal Democrats, or moderate Democrats in adopted or step-families.  Indeed, in each instance the point estimates for living in a mixed-race household were insignificantly higher for the right side of the spectrum than for the left side.

This is not really a surprise, unless of course you work at MSNBC.

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The Real White Privilege

Representative Charlie Rangel, joined noted Zimmerman trial witness Rachel “Dee-Dee” Jeantel, in bringing racial slurs to the forefront of American consciousness once again.  Of course they’re not the only ones, but the term “Cracker” is getting quite the workout lately in the American media.  In discussing the Tea Party, Rangel said:

Rangel

Rangel (Photo credit: Georgetown Voice)

“It is the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police. They didn’t care about how they looked,” 

Leaving the Tea Party aspect of it aside, I’m fascinated that the word cracker is getting so much of a recent work out in recent public statements.  It’s generated a great deal of online commentary, revolving around is it a racial slur, is it a good racial slur, and should white people be offended by that racial slur?

When it comes to racial slurs, there is still a disparate impact between the use of what is now euphemistically referred to as the “N Word,” and virtually every other attempted racial slur.  For Paula Deen, the use of the N Word 30 years ago effectively ended her career.  For Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper, he’s removed himself from the team and is now seeking counseling.  Yes that’s right, counseling.

Of course there are a few outliers.  Tim Allen recently gave an interview in which he argued that as a comedian, he should be allowed to say the N Word.  At least so far, there seem to be little major reaction.  Allen’s TV show, Last Man Standing, was renewed for another season.  No Michael Richards treatment for him.

Rangel or anyone using the term cracker is just something I cannot seem to get worked up about.  The truth is, there are not any good racial insults for white people.  Oh there is quite a list of different terms, but they have all of the effectiveness of a wet firecracker.  Oops, there’s that word cracker again.  I was born in Georgia, and that was practically a State nickname.  My father called me a Georgia Cracker when I was growing up there, and has yet to appear on the Today Show to give a sobbing an incoherent apology for it.

I think when it comes to derogatory racial slurs for whites; this is an area in which black people just cannot compete on an even playing field. As a white person, I just can’t be racially insulted. Cracker? Sorry Charlie (Rangel). I remember during the 1970’s TV sitcoms tried to tell us that honky was a racial slur, but I laughed and laughed whenever George Jefferson would call a white person honky. So call me an Ofay honky cracker if you want, I’ll just laugh.  It just sounds funny.

Rangel could have spewed the term with all the ugliness, hate and vitriol of any KKK’er, and it still would have been more funny than insulting. Calling him the N-word however, would have probably been an emotional kick in the gut to him. So it’s not a fair fight. There isn’t a racial slur from his arsenal of hate that would affect me in the slightest, other than amuse me, but he’s a powerful Congressman, and the lowliest white guy, even a hobo or prisoner in lock-up, could emotionally wreck him with a few slurs.

That’s the real white privilege.

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What hath Trayvon Wrought?

I was not planning on writing about the Martin-Zimmerman saga again.  For one thing, I just wasn’t that into it.  I had the normal amount of public interest in the story, and since it was a local one, it’s always interesting to watch your local area mischaracterized by the national press.  But it wasn’t an obsession for me and I thought my previous post would be my last take on the subject.

Al Sharpton

Al Sharpton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But post verdict, the issue refused to die.  My twitter feed, my Facebook news feed, my web forums, and my television news are all filled with the results of the post verdict world, and it is not pretty.  The MSM is insisting that this is racial issue, with Trayvon now elevated into the exalted ranks of civil rights martyrs such as Emmitt Till and James Chaney.  The New York Times, which basically functions as the editor to every newspaper and TV newsroom in the country, has declared it a racial issue.  So by the preponderance of noise, if not reason or evidence; it’s a racial issue.

And what made George Zimmerman the 21st Century Bull Connor and George Wallace combined?

He mentored black children in the neighborhood;

He tried to raise awareness of police ignoring the beating of a black man;

He took a black girl to the prom;

He had a black business partner;

He was a registered Democrat and Obama supporter;

and was part black himself.

So George Zimmerman, who told family members he supported Obama for President because he wanted to end the Presidency as a club for white men, found himself declared a white man, and a racist one to boot, even being slandered by innuendo by the very President he supported.  Of course, someone could have an item or two off of that check list and still be a racist, but all of them, with no actual proof otherwise?

Considering that there are actual racial crimes that occur on a regular basis, what made the press champion this phony racial issue?

I think it’s all due to Al Sharpton, the most powerful media influence in America.  The fact that he is so powerful is fairly amazing.  He hosts a low rated show on a low rated network, but was able to galvanize a nation into following his racial witch hunt all the way to Sanford, Florida.  And why did Sharpton pick that case, when there is an abundance of real racial cases to choose from?

That requires knowing a little something of Sharpton’s history, and as someone who has been a Sharpton follower since the Tawana Brawley debacle, Sharpton has created quite a reputation as a fraud and huckster, and an anti Semitic one as well.

So I think, and let me emphasize that this is just speculation, that Sharpton’s interest was piqued when he heard the name Zimmerman.  I think Sharpton intended to create Crown Heights all over again. Of course, even though Zimmerman turned out not to be Jewish, he apparently could still stand in for white, and he was presented as such, leading the New York Times to include the term “White Hispanic” in its style book;  apparently with a picture of George Zimmerman by the phrase.

So Sharpton, along with MSM, set up a fake racial issue, and have promulgated it fairly successfully for the past year, with really no effective counter narrative.  They’ve managed to increase racial division in this country and seem to intend on continuing it as long as possible. For liberal whites, it serves as a vehicle to drive their agenda, which is increased gun control and elimination of legal protections for self defense.  And what do Black people get out of this?  Anger, hurt, and distrust of their fellow Americans.

Not a great bargain in my opinion.

And the biggest outrage of them all?  The Justice Department is setting up an email address to receive tips to assist in the George Zimmerman investigation.  Now, given that the criminal trial is already over, what “tips” could the Justice Department be seeking?  Why, to charge Zimmerman with Federal Civil Rights violations. And to do that,  they need evidence that Zimmerman is racist.  So if Zimmerman used the N-word in Middle School, he could find himself indicted for felony charges.

So the entire weight of the Federal government is going after one guy to see if he told a racist joke at any point in his life.  If he did, it better be one about gringos.

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L’affaire Zimmerman

Now that the verdict is in, I feel I need to take responsibility and admit I was wrong.  When the name Zimmerman first became a household word in March of last year, I correctly predicted that Zimmerman would be indicted, however I also felt, up until last night, that he would be convicted.  So I was surprised to  see “Not Guilty” on Drudge.  Given that I’ve had a pretty good track record in outguessing the experts, I have to concede that even a stopped expert can be right twice a day.  Although the “system” seemed to work in a judicial sense, justice was never the purpose of the trial; it was intended to be a revolutionary court that would find Zimmerman guilty of racism in the first degree.

George Zimmerman

George Zimmerman (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

The ironic thing is that like most revolutionary courts, eventually they turn on, and eat, their own.  Zimmerman was an Obama supporter, and was as much a wanna-be community organizer as a wanna-be cop.  Just like Paula Deen, an Obama supporter, found herself voted most buttery racist in America.  So now, Deen is the symbol of genteel Southern racism and Zimmerman is now the number one creepy ass racist cracker in the country.

This was never a case about doughy neighborhood watchman who shot a teenager in the heart and claimed self defense, this has always been a case a Black kid shot by Hispanic guy who was standing in for White.  Race has been the only aspect of this case that made it a national story.  It’s colored (yes, pun intended of course) the view of the two actors in our little racial drama.  There was St. Skittles, the honor student who was viciously attacked by a cop wanna-be, who was angry that these “assholes, they always get away.”  Or, there was Community Activist George Zimmerman, who cared about his community and tried to get justice from the Sanford Police Department after they tried to cover up the beating of a black man who found himself threatened one rainy night by no_limit_nigga, a thug wanna-be who jumped Zimmerman, knocked him down, and told him that, you’re gonna die tonight.”

At this point in the narrative, it’s customary to ask rhetorically, which is true?  Both?  Neither?  Actually it doesn’t matter.  Since this is strictly a racial issue, you pick a side and adopt their arguments.   You don’t need to worry about the truth, that’s already been picked out for you.  And if revolutionary courts don’t do the job, then on to Holder’s Justice Department to once again inflict double jeopardy on a new defendant.  Between a Justice Department civil rights investigation, and civil suit, Zimmerman’s trial isn’t over, the trials of George Zimmerman are just beginning.

To you, Tom Wolfe, who correctly predicted the template of racial “justice!”

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Obama Wins; the Republic Loses

On the one hand, I should be happy that I called it right once again.  Months ago I predicted that Obama would win and I was right.  But on the other hand…Obama won.

The practical effects of that election are that Obamacare, with all of the costs and “unintended” consequences, is here to stay.  To me, this election was a referendum on Obamacare, so I am disappointed in what I see will be the declining state of healthcare in the country. So over the course of the next few years the cost of health care will go up and its quality will decline.  That’s the perfect mixture to lead to Obamacare Part II: Single payer.

But that’s for the future.  For now, the biggest take away is that not that this was just a win for a Democratic incumbent by a rather large margin, but it was the first of what will be the new normal in American national elections:  The triumph of identify politics.

Of course identity politics are nothing new.  That’s been around a long time, but we are entering a new era.  President Obama’s campaign strategy, as leaked by Thomas Edsall on the pages of the New York Times last year.

For decades, Democrats have suffered continuous and increasingly severe losses among white voters. But preparations by Democratic operatives for the 2012 election make it clear for the first time that the party will explicitly abandon the white working class.

All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.

Considering that working class whites have been the mainstay of the Democratic Party since the New Deal, this was quite a startling change in campaign strategy.  But the results speak for themselves.  You can win the White House without working class whites.  This isn’t really about demography though.  That is an issue, and I’ve already heard it discussed on the post election babble on TV this morning.  As Chuck Todd said on Morning Joe this morning, “The demographic time bomb went off.” But that’s not what I’m talking about; it’s really about how we identify ourselves.

That lesson will revolutionize American politics for the future.  But I may have been among the last to pick up on the idea of whites as “the other” so I’m playing a bit of catch up.  I didn’t even know that white was now being used as a pejorative; at least culturally.  Politically it’s been going on for a while. That’s clear to the most casual viewer of MSNBC. Slate took the position that white men were out of step with the rest of America, with a 23 point gap between Romney and Obama among whites.   What’s up with those white people?  Why can’t they get with the program?

As the lamest, majority/minority in America, white people continue to both fascinate and repel the “normal” people of the country.  As a San Francisco Chronicle columnist put it, … older white males remain the most terrified, lopsided, confused demographic in all of America, perhaps even more acutely – and more embarrassingly –  in this election than any other in modern history.

It’s clear that since Obama carried only 39% of white voters, they are no longer necessary for a win.

Four years from now, as the demography of the United States changes, these trends will become more pronounced.  In the political process at least, whites will be just another minority vying for power among a coalition of other groups. Single white women are already their own tribe.  So what does that mean for our politics?   Even if Romney had won, it would have been the last gasp of an archaic idea in US politics; political parties that are more or less based on policy decisions and ideas and to a lesser degree, ideology and the left/right continuum   Eventually, I suspect that we will be voting according to our ethnic, gender, and sexual preferences.  In other words, our politics will become more tribal.

This has been Democratic standard operating procedures for decades, but the Republican Party has mostly (not entirely) managed to avoid direct appeal to ethnic loyalties.  But it was a doomed policy.  General appeals to all Americans left out those who identified by ethnicity first.  Decades of multiculturalism have taught the country that ethnicity was first.  Eventually leaving a Republican party left with those who didn’t think of themselves as having an identity beyond their American national identity.

So the Republicans became the political party of white people.

That’s fairly standard outside of the first world nations that have representative governments.  Political parties are drawn along tribal lines and politics is a game of acquiring wealth, status, and patronage through the political process for the winning political party; which is really a surrogate for a tribal or ethnic group or a coalition of ethnic groups.  But that’s the lowest level of the political process, and our politics is reverting to it.  Our democracy is becoming less advanced, not more.

There will be lots of Republican weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth for the upcoming weeks, with the usual cast of “experts” giving their opinions that the Republican Party is too far right, and needs to change.  But we had in Mitt Romney one of the most moderate Republican candidates in decades, and in him a candidate who was competent and qualified.  He was just in the wrong tribe.

So for the long term big picture, Identity politics will have more to with who supports what party then any public policies, programs, or ideology.  Anyone who has studied anything about post colonial third world democracies knows what that looks like, and it’s not pretty.

We are all hyphens now.

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Blood Will Tell

Columnist Mark Steyn has had a lot of fun with the latest Elizabeth Warren mini-scandal, dubbing her Fauxcahontas.”  So with that, most of the good lines have already been taken on the story about Warren identifying herself as Native American for affirmative action purposes on supposed 1/32nd Native ancestry based on “family lore.”  So I can’t top Fauxcahontas, but I can relate how this is a deeply personal story for me.  Like Elizabeth Warren, I too am Native American.  In fact, based on my family’s lore, I’m twice the Indian Elizabeth Warren is, since I supposedly have 1/16th Indian ancestry.

And before anyone says anything about my use of the word Indian, remember that’s our word.  I’m taking it back.  You palefaces can continue to refer to us based on the previously approved PC list.

Elizabeth Warren, Chairman of the Congressiona...

Elizabeth Warren, Chairman of the Congressional Oversight Panel; Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, and Cherokee Indian Princess (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to my family’s lore, my great-great grandmother on my mother’s side was a Cherokee Indian Princess.  I’ve been astonished with the amount of royalty the various Indian tribes got away with in those days.  Practically everyone I’ve met who has claimed Native ancestry has claimed it through an “Indian Princess.”  Three fourths of the Native population east of the Mississippi prior to the Trail of Tears must have been an Indian Princess. With so much of the population as female royalty, no wonder my people were pushed out of the East.  Too few warriors and too many princesses.  And those Indian Princesses must have really had a thing for Scot-Irish mountain hillbilly types.  I guess they were the bad boys of the 1800’s.

However, unlike Elizabeth Warren, I’ve never tried to exploit the suffering of my people to procure employment, as Warren apparently did as she professor shopped from one diversity starved University to another.  In fact, this story neatly ties in to the Derrick Bell story of two months ago.  Not that it was a new story, only the knowledge of the depth of President Obama’s previous relationship with Bell was new.  But as the Harvard Crimson related in 1998:

Harvard Law School currently has only one tenured minority woman, Gottlieb Professor of Law Elizabeth Warren, who is Native American. The racial makeup of the HLS Faculty has been an issue before as well: in 1989, Harvard dismissed Weld Professor of Law Derrick A. Bell after 18 years of teaching because the noted expert on race and law refused to end his leave in protest of the absence of minority women on HLS faculty.

So Professor Bell did get his wish, more minority women on staff.  Or at least woman. That woman was Native American Elizabeth Warren.

But unlike Warren, I’ve never tried to exploit my people and culture to get a job that wouldn’t have otherwise has been offered.  Instead, I’ve played the Peter Principle to navigate the job market.  But Warren, or as she is known by her Indian name, She-who-fakes-bankruptcy-studies, has tried to have it both ways.  Indian when moving up the academic ladder, then white when she reached the top of her field.

What’s astounding to me is that Harvard doesn’t seem to be the least bit embarrassed about its blond affirmative action hire.   What a world we live in.  Elizabeth Warren is  Indian enough to get jobs because of 1/32nd blood ties, but George Zimmerman, who is 1/8th black, is a White Neo Nazi killing machine.

Unfortunately, these race differences really matter to our society.  If George Zimmerman had looked like the son Obama never had, we most likely would never had heard of him.  And Elizabeth Warren, who looked as much (or as little) Indian as I do, parleys herself a minority hire.  As the old Jim Crow one drop rule comes back into vogue, in a new, weird way, “content of our character” seems to becoming less and less a goal and more of a distraction from counting tiny droplets of blood.  Maybe someday we’ll all need to have our DNA encoded on our ID cards, not for health reasons, but to make sure we qualify for every discount and set aside we’re eligible for.

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