W.E.B. Du Bois vs Barrack Obama

Last year for Black History month I wrote a post that was a bit more entertainment related, but promised I would do something serious later.

Now is later (whut?).  Anyway…

W.E.B. Du Bois was born shortly after the Civil War to free Blacks and for the times, lived a fairly integrated middle class life in Massachusetts.  Needless to say, going to an integrated school and playing with white friends growing up wasn’t common for young Black kids at the time.  He coined the term “talented tenth” and was a very early voice in pushing for full integration and equal rights.  Naturally enough, things didn’t work out for him and became a socialist and moved to Ghana.

But before that he, as someone who was about as “privileged” as an African American could be at that time, fully accepted the culture he was raised and educated in; a Western one.

I sit with Shakespeare, and he winces not. Across the color line I move arm and arm with Balzac and Dumas, where smiling men and welcoming women glide in gilded halls. From out of the caves of evening that swing between the strong-limbed Earth and the tracery of [the] stars, I summon Aristotle and Aurelius and what soul I will, and they come all graciously with no scorn nor condescension. 

-W. E. B. Du Bois’s 1903 book The Souls of Black Folk

Du Bois clearly saw himself as a Western man.  He had a BA in History from Harvard, did post graduate work at the University of Berlin where he traveled Europe extensively, an returned to the US to get a PhD from Harvard.  He saw no incompatibility between being a Black man and embracing the Western canon.

Compare that to another prominent and privileged African American who many decades later, came to a different conclusion.

For three weeks I had traveled alone, down one side of the continent and up the other, by bus and by train mostly, a guidebook in hand. I took tea by the Thames and watched children chase each other through the chestnut groves of Luxembourg Garden. I crossed the Plaza Mejor at high noon, with its De Chirico shadows and sparrows swirling across cobalt skies; and watched night fall over the Palatine, waiting for the first stars to appear, listening to the wind and its whispers of mortality.

And by the end of the first week or so, I realized that I’d made a mistake. It wasn’t that Europe wasn’t beautiful; everything was just as I’d imagined it. It just wasn’t mine.

-Barrack Obama, Dreams From My Father 1995

Class, compare and contrast the differing views of Western culture by two prominent African Americans.  Du Bois, who spent his adult life during probably the most racist period in American history, regarded himself as part of Western civilization.  While Obama, who spent his adult life in an America in which Du Bois’ wildest dreams had been realized, saw himself as an outsider to Western Civilization.

What to make of this?

First of all, in 2021, is there even a single African American public intellectual who would say, “I sit with Shakespeare?”  Is there one who would say, “I summon Aristotle and Aurelius?”

I would say that’s unlikely.

I’ve always felt that the Western canon was open to all races if they chose to accept it.  That doesn’t seem to the trend however.  As noted in The New York Times Magazine, Princeton classicist Dan-el Padilla Peralta, wants to cancel the classics because “Systemic racism is foundational to those institutions that incubate classics and classics as a field itself.” 

This idea of burning down the idea of Western culture doesn’t even make sense in its own terms.  It’s not like African-American scholars are rushing off to Africa to sup at the table of African language, history, art, or culture.  No, they want their own victimization studies that do nothing but demonize what is actually their very own culture.

None of this is sustainable, and it gets loonier as time goes on.

How to End Inequality-This Won’t End Well

I find myself constantly surprised that professors of history are not all reactionaries.  Studying the ebb and flow of multiple human societies, from struggling rise to decadent fall, should give those who study it some humility about what is possible, what can be accomplished, and the obstacles that are faced.

But no, almost all who teach history at the University level are wide eyed leftists, as if the topic they’ve dedicated their professional lives to has had zero impact on how they view the world.  It’s like an atheist theology student.  If you don’t take your subject seriously, why even study it?

Which brings me to Ibram X. Kendi, Professor of History; director of the “Center for Anti-Racism Research” at Boston University, and author of the well timed book, How to be an Antiracist.  The man who once wrote that “Europeans are simply a different breed of human” now has figured out how to fix what ails America.  The disease of course is racism and the cure?  Antiracism silly!  Kendi’s book, along with White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo has in a matter of months become the new doctrine on which all public policy in the US is to be judged.

Apparently these are America’s new Bibles.

In the pages of Politico in their How to fix… section Kendi turns semi-religious Woke ideology into actual public policy via a Constitutional amendment:

Reading this proposal, it reminded me of the source where Kendi may have stolen it from, author Kurt Vonnegut’s short story Harrison Bergeron (full story here).  Wikipedia describes it as a “dystopian science fiction story” in which in the future, constitutional amendments have mandated equality by mandating handicaps.  In the story George is intelligent, so is forced to wear a device that blares noises into his ears at intervals to interrupt his train of thought, beautiful people are ordered to wear masks and so on.  But the thing about dystopias is that we live in an age in which one man’s dystopia is another man’s utopia.

It doesn’t take too much thinking on this antiracism amendment idea to realize it would require the US to become probably the most totalitarian regime in world history to pull this off.  I’m sure that would be just fine with Kendi.  He does tend to see racism as the world’s number one problem and by any means necessary as the path to fix it.

So  Department of Anti-racism or United States Handicapper General, whatever we name it, it’s the same thing.

 

 

One Nation, Divisible

 

Just when you think the establishment GOP couldn’t sink any lower…

Republican senators Johnson, Lankford propose making Juneteenth a federal holiday and dropping Columbus Day

In response to bipartisan efforts to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, Republican Sens. Ron Johnson and James Lankford have proposed eliminating a different federal holiday “in exchange.”

The choice?

Columbus Day.

“We support celebrating emancipation with a federal holiday but believe we should eliminate a current holiday in exchange. We chose Columbus Day as a holiday that is lightly celebrated, and least disruptive to Americans’ schedules,” Johnson, of Wisconsin, said in a statement Wednesday.

Johnson and Lankford of Oklahoma will be seeking to amend a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

This is the “Republican” response? What happened to all of that standing athwart history stuff?  This isn’t standing athwart; it’s running over with a steamroller.  What could possibly be conservative about this?

Johnson said adding to the number of federal holidays would give federal workers an additional day of paid leave and increase the government’s costs. He called his amendment a “counter-proposal that does not put us further in debt.”

Oh this.  Gotcha.

The further we get from the civil war and slavery, the more enflamed we become by it.

In the continued undoing of e pluribus unum, The NFL makes its contribution.

NFL will play Black national anthem ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ before each Week 1 game

Starting with the nationally televised regular-season opener between the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 10, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as the Black national anthem, will be performed before every Week 1 kickoff, before “The Star-Spangled Banner,” according to a person familiar with ongoing discussions. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because plans have not yet been finalized and announced by NFL officials.

I’ll freely admit my ignorance that there even is a “Black National Anthem.”  I also don’t know the American Indian, Hispanic, or LGBTQWERTY national anthems either, but I’ve a feeling I’ll be educated on that soon enough.  And as for the “White National Anthem,” would that be The Star Spangled Banner?  Serious question I’m afraid.  I’ve no idea if we are still one country anymore, or if we’ve already spun off into our identity groups fighting over the spoils.

The George Floyd effect may turn out to be the most socially significant movement in American history, not the least because it seems to be effectively ending US history.  When everything that happened the day before yesterday becomes verboten, and we no longer even aspire to be one country, what holds us together?

Something to think about this July 4th; when greater and greater numbers of the nationality formerly known as Americans look at the flag and think, “not my country,” and “not my independence day.”  Of course, this is a wave of hysteria and the tide could well break  and thing return to something close to normal, but the longer it goes on, the more we’re looking at a new normal, when everyone has their own independence day, holidays, and carefully nurtured grievances.

Happy Independence Day.  I hope the next one is better than this one, or that there simply is a next one.

 

Is there a limit to what we must give up?

On the radio last week (or the week before-time moves differently in 2020), I heard a talk show host make the argument that because of racism, white people are just going to have to give up some things.  He was referring specifically to Confederate flags at NASCAR, but it could include the myriad cancelling’s that the Twitter Red Guards have instituted in the past few weeks since George Floyd’s death.  There was some self-canceling as well. Tina Fey, creator of 30 Rock requested that three 30 Rock episodes be removed from streaming because of blackface episodes. The creator of Scrubs also requested that three of their episodes be removed due to blackface episodes.  This of course is as we’ve always suspected; blackface always comes in threes.

These are mini-tragedies since none of these episodes were racist and actually handled the entire blackface issue in show (spoiler-it’s NOT OK!).  But what really got me in the gut was the removal of the “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” episode of Community.

The 21st Century has not been kind to the venerable television format of the sitcom.  Partially, it’s because the format is just tired.  Since the 1950’s almost every possible permutation has been done; and then done again…and then again, and again, and again.  Also as a general rule, TV writers and creators have not gotten any smarter or more creative. So a show like Community, when it premiered in 2009, was quite a revelation.  Not in ratings of course, but in tight writing, quirky characters, and good laughs.  Think of it, a sitcom that was actually funny.  Believe it or not, that used to actually be a thing.

The actual episode wasn’t of course about race, Advanced Dungeon’s and Dragons, as Wikipedia described the episode, was about…

“The episode is introduced in flashback, narrated by a female narrator who explains the plight of Neil, a student at Greendale who had hoped that the stigma of teasing and name-calling from other schools would not carry over to Greendale. However, he soon became known as “Fat Neil”, causing him to become very depressed. Jeff observed his change and tried to cheer Neil up by feigning interest in Neil’s favorite pastime, Dungeons & Dragons. When Neil gave Jeff all his Dungeons & Dragons books, saying that he didn’t need them any more, Jeff worried that Neil had become suicidal. Jeff worked with the rest of the study group to invite Neil to play a game of Dungeons & Dragons with them to cheer his spirits. The group specifically did not invite “Pierce the Insensitive”, worried that Pierce would tease Neil.”

So it’s an episode about depression, told through the gameplay of Dungeon’s and Dragons, years before shows such as Critical Role began integrating a D & D game into episodic television, and it was done brilliantly, combining both the round-the-table gameplay with the actual story being told through the game.  It was easily in the top 10 Community episodes, and now it’s gone.

But wait you ask, what about the blackface?

Señor Chang (Ken Jeong) shows up dressed as a Drow, or Dark Elf.  Get ready, here it is!

 

So for that, we lose this episode to the memory hole.

So it’s not blackface at all, but a character cosplaying an imaginary species that doesn’t exist. But who has time to figure out what’s offensive and what isn’t?  Ban it all!

Since all of the episode-vanishing, statue vandalizing, history vanquishing, and imaginary noose hysteria has nothing to do racism or solving any racial issue, my prediction is that no racial issue gets solved no matter what you throw off the ship.  Even burning the entire Western canon isn’t going to satisfy a mob, either a real torch bearing one or a twitter one, because a mob can’t be satisfied, they’re a mob.

A Nation Divided between Normal and Woke

Last August, I commented on a New York Times article that opined that Trump’s chance to win re-election was slim, simply due to demographic changes that are leading to a larger and larger nonwhite electorate that has little connection to anything that the GOP has traditionally stood for.  Of course, demography isn’t the only factor in an election, but it’s a pretty big one, and for political scientists has been a reliable guide, at least for those who’ve dared pick up the 10 foot pole to poke at it.

But it’s not the only thing obviously, and 2020 has already revealed it to be such a dumpster fire that who knows what could happen?  Look how quickly the Coronavirus was forgotten to move on to the next hysteria, race.

The current, post George Floyd hysterical moment, like the post Dylann Roof era, which lead to the banning of The Dukes of Hazzard from the airwaves, has taken on a crazed life of its own, as multiple numbers of business people and celebrities found themselves cancelled, for issues having nothing to do with George Floyd. However let’s face it, Fawlty Towers was asking for it.

Simply, wokeism, is insanity.  Or more specifically, it’s like a cross between a mental illness and a religion.  The constant struggle sessions over being “more woke than thou” leading to upping the woke ante more and more is what accounts for George Floyd’s death leading to actor Hartley Sawyer’s firing from The Flash; it’s just a big ball of hysteria rolling downhill picking up more and more victims in it’s wake.

So now, George Floyd has led to “CHAZ” an Antifa secession of a few blocks of Seattle, whose leader may find that he’s been canceled over homophobic tweets

It’s ridiculous, and getting more so.  I wrote about the Defund the Police movement last week, and despite several days of various liberal articles trying to smooth it over by saying, no, defunding the police really means police reform, no; the activists are still insisting that defund the police means….defund the police.

And that has what to do with the election?

Most people liberal or not, are just not cool with that. A recent ABC poll showed that 64% oppose defunding the police.  The idea that this is a winner with suburban moms, the group that Democrats thought they had grabbed back in 2018, is absurd.  To be fair, Biden has demurred on the “defund the police” idea for now, but how long can the handlers who operate the Biden puppet resist the pull of the activists?

But forget suburban moms for a moment.  Deep in the heart of woke country even some of our tech elites are getting sick of it.  LinkedIn recently had a Townhall on race which normally would have gone the way these things normally go when held in the open; Black Lives Matter, fight racism, ect…and so on.  But this time there was an option for anonymous comments.  As The Daily Beast reports:

“We’ll spend most of our time together in open discussion, so please consider bringing questions or experiences you’d like to share,” read the invitation email to staff.

LinkedIn employees followed those instructions precisely. The results were a disaster.

Throughout the meeting, which was conducted by videochat and featured a sidebar where employees could leave comments, several anonymous staffers shared opinions echoing the detractors and skeptics of the Black Lives Matter movement. Several of these commenters criticized LinkedIn’s position on diversity hiring, equating such practices with racism against white people.

“As a non-minority, all this talk makes me feel like I am supposed to feel guilty of my skin color. I feel like I should let someone less qualified fill my position. Is that ok? It appears that I am a prisoner of my birth,” one commenter wrote. “This is not what Martin Luther King Jr. would have wanted for anyone.”

“I believe giving any racial group privilege over others in a zero sum game would not get any support by others. Any thoughts on hurting others while giving privileges with the rosy name called diversity?” read another employee comment.

“George’s killers need to be tried according to law. But how can hiring more minorities into manager roles and C-suite positions address cop racism? I thought hiring at LinkedIn is based on merit alone.”

That’s not what we usually hear from Silicon Valley, but on the other hand, we don’t usually get to hear anonymous comments either.

I’ve wondered for years when we would finally hit Peak Woke, the point when wokism is so ridiculous it collapses in on itself and is devoured by common sense forces.  It hasn’t happened yet, but there hasn’t been a real pushback to it either. But if even Silicon Valley is starting to show dissent…

I’m not predicting a public push back to this.  The risk is too great.  People can lose their jobs or even face death threats.  But once in the voting booth, it may be a different story.  It’s possible that the political re-alignment the country has been going through that began with Trump could veer off in unexpected ways.  We’ve mostly been looking at the 2020 election as elite vs deplorable,  managerial class vs blue collar workers, nationalists vs globalists, even the comments page vs the editorial board.  But this year it could spin around to normal people vs the Woke.

This of course could benefit Trump, but he has some issues of his own.  He’s not exactly been the avatar of normalcy as President.  If Trump, simply by manner, could look and act normal for a few months, while those on the Democratic side slide further and further off to crazy land, he could persuade a lot of normally Democratic voters who aren’t crazy to side, however unwillingly, with Trump.  That’s a big ask, but on the other hand, I’m sure Trump wants to win.

And when Trump is asked what he thinks about Black Lives Matter, he better have an answer.

“Defund the Police!”

Trying to parse the policy preferences of a mob is difficult at best. “End Racism,” or “Equality Now” tell me nothing about how to achieve that.  During the civil rights era, there were marches to end specific practices or support specific legislation.  This?  Who knows…

Well wait, there actually is one policy suggestion I’ve seen in the many images and videos of these protest/riots:

I think it goes without saying that defunding the police is, in a wheelbarrow of stupid ideas, one of the stupidest.  Even during the Obama era, during the Ferguson and Baltimore riots, there were no calls to do that.  But luckily, Democrat and leftist politicians are too canny to do anything so dumb…

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Officials Cutting $100 Million-$150 Million From LAPD Budget, Funds To Be Reinvested In Communities Of Color

“We will not be increasing out police budget,” said the mayor. That allocation is pegged at $1.8 billion in the mayor’s previously proposed budget.

Garcetti spoke of “reinvesting in black communities and communities of color.”

The mayor proceeded to announce $250 million in cuts to the proposed budget and to reallocate those dollars to communities of color, “so we can invest in jobs, in education and healing.” L.A. Police Commission President Eileen Decker then announced that $100 million-$150 million of those cuts would come from the police department budget.

L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez made it official Wednesday by introducing a motion to cut LAPD funding, “as we reset our priorities in the wake of the murder of #GeorgeFloyd. This is just one small step. We cannot talk about change, we have to be about change,” Martinez tweeted.

Well that will certainly be some change.

Of course that isn’t nearly good enough.

The amount of police spending in L.A. has long been a source of frustration for activists. This year, Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles teamed up with other grassroots organizations to survey Angelenos about their budget priorities and draft their People’s Budget.

Under their alternative spending plan for the coming year, police would receive only 5.7% of the city’s general fund — a reduction of nearly 90% compared with the mayor’s budget.

Well that sounds interesting.

Naturally this lead to some interesting twitter commentary.

Of course this led to some amusing comments from the right.

And an actual suggestion.

Frankly I’m with Byron York on this one.  I would love to see how this experiment plays out in some big blue cities.

And if they don’t defund their police, they’re racist.

Rush’s Conversation with The Breakfast Club was a Waste of Time

In what I would call a surprise move, Rush Limbaugh informed his audience today that he had pretaped a conversation with the popular Radio Show, The Breakfast Club. Of course the killing of George Floyd in the annals of popular outrage over police killings of unarmed Black men is an unusual one in that unlike most others, there is only one side.  This isn’t a Michael Brown situation, in which the details of the killing were disagreed with.  With Floyd, everyone knows what happened, no one is arguing about the details, no one is arguing that Floyd asked for it, and everyone agrees that it was horrible and deserves justice.

So naturally the country had the worst rioting in years.

What to make of a situation in which the country is united, yet also tearing itself apart?  Given the odd unity of the country on George Floyd, and Rush’s own disgust with the crime as expressed on his show last week, he took the initiative to reach out to the show with the largest Black radio audience to…what?  Seek common ground?  Honestly I don’t know what he hoped to accomplish but it did make for fascinating radio.  The full transcript is here, but I do have a few comments on some of the points that were gone over.

First a general observation; The Breakfast Club maintained a low level of hostility towards Rush throughout the interview while Rush clearly was trying to reach out with a “come let us reason together” type of attitude.  However there seemed to be no reciprocation of that.  Just a hat tip for negotiators, the person who reaches out puts themselves in a position of weakness.  Here is a good example:

DJ ENVY: You talk about peacefully protest, right? And you were very opinionated about Colin Kaepernick when he was peacefully protesting, right? And now people are saying, “Oh, they’re not peacefully protesting.” This is the same thing Colin Kaepernick was kneeling for that the world was so upset about and the world said he’s taking it too far and he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. This is exactly the reason why he was kneeling and protesting…

RUSH: Look, I – (crosstalk)

DJ ENVY: And looked at us like, yeah, I’m doing it and what?

RUSH: Guys, I’m trying to tell you, I’m all with you, I’m a thousand percent with you on this. This is why I wanted to talk to you because I know that there are — you know, we all have preconceptions that we live under and biases that we live under, and I wanted to reach out to you guys specifically, you were the ones that I was told to speak to, that this is intolerable. Now — but — (crosstalk)

I have to admit, Rush didn’t come out looking good in this exchange, particularly with the easy bait of Kaepernick dangling before him.  Anyone who had actually listened to Kaepernick knew that his “taking a knee” was about rejection of the country, not any particular list of social justice grievances.  He said it himself, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color…”  For Kaepernick, it was always about America (or Amerikkka as he might spell it).

The other, and in my opinion more troubling issue was the total lack of similar vocabulary.

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: I have a question for you. I want to know. How are you gonna use your privilege as a white male to combat this prejudice. You got a direct line to Donald Trump. (crosstalk)

RUSH: No, wait a minute, I don’t buy into the notion of white privilege. See, I think that’s a liberal —

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: You’re being —

RUSH: That’s a liberal — (crosstalk)

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: You’re being delusional.

RUSH: — political construct right along the lines of political correctness. It’s designed to intimidate and get people to shut up and admit they’re guilty of doing things they haven’t done. I don’t have any white privilege — (crosstalk)

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Do you know what white privilege is? White privilege is that what happened to George Floyd would not have happened to a white man.

RUSH: If what happened to George Floyd had happened to a white man we probably wouldn’t have even heard about it.

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Huh?

DJ ENVY: We definitely would have heard about it. You definitely —

RUSH: You think so? If George Floyd — if George — if George — (crosstalk)

DJ ENVY: — be killed by –(crosstalk)

ANGELA YEE: Yeah, I would like to — (crosstalk)

RUSH: I don’t think — if George Floyd — (crosstalk)

ANGELA YEE: Rush, there’s a lot of instances where this does happen and we don’t hear about it. There’s a lot of times that there’s no video that exists and then people are — police officers lie and they say this is what happened, just like we’ve seen it happen so many different times where fortunately there was video. There’s a lot of cases that won’t make it.

RUSH: I think – (crosstalk)

ANGELA YEE: That don’t go viral. (crosstalk)

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Never hear about it, that never make it to TV, that never make it to social media because there is no phones, there is — (crosstalk)

RUSH: I think you misunderstood what I said, guys. I said if George Floyd were white, we wouldn’t have heard of this. And if the same thing had happened to him, we wouldn’t have heard about it, it wouldn’t be — you know, we — (crosstalk)

It’s clear The Breakfast Club cannot conceive of a situation in which an unarmed white person is killed by the police and it go unremarked, “White privilege is that what happened to George Floyd would not have happened to a white man.” 

But what does actual data reveal?

The Washington Post has a database of police shootings and it reveals data that goes against the narrative.  For example:

In 2019, 9 unarmed black people were killed by the police.

In 2019, 19 unarmed white people were killed by the police

Does anyone know any of their names?  Yet I’m sure if you presented those figures to Charlemagne Tha God, he simply wouldn’t believe you, so his entire definition of White Privilege, based on this radio interview, is false.

Even if Rush had confronted The Breakfast Club on the actual data, I don’t think it would matter.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time real data or facts have mattered, but it definitely doesn’t matter if you don’t even bother to bring it up.   Rush needn’t have bothered.  There was never going to be any dialogue.  The Breakfast Club would have been happy to accept Rush’s surrender, but they weren’t interested in having a conversation.

 

Racial Profiling in the Age of Corona

There is a full roundup of stories dealing with Identity Politics in the hysterical times we’re living in.  Even though the Coronavirus seems an ill-suited square peg to be stuffed into the round identity politics hole, for some people, that’s all they do, so as I wrote about here and here, stories abound.

For Blacks, the real threat isn’t the virus, its racial profiling.  I came across two stories on how Blacks are hardest hit when they wear masks.

People of color are worried they’ll be racially profiled if they wear homemade face masks

Activists and academics fear that people of color will be racially profiled if they wear homemade face masks in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to make masks from cloth or bandanas when medical-grade masks are unavailable.

“We have a lot of examples of the presumed criminality of black men in general,” Trevon Logan, an economics professor at Ohio State University who won’t following the CDC’s recommendation, said in an interview with CNN. “And then we have the advice to go out in public in something that … can certainly be read as being criminal or nefarious, particularly when applied to black men.”

This story, besides hitting the usual marks about Blacks hardest hit by the virus, has “Activists and Academics” worrying, presumably, about Black people being shot by police for wearing masks.

Cops:  Pew Pew Pew! [Police firing his service weapon]

Masked Black Man:  Urrgghh…it is finished.  [Black man dying]

Cops:  He had a mask on, case closed. [Receives medal for bravery]

Along the same vein…

Why coronavirus mask-wearing orders leave black Americans facing a tough decision

The coronavirus pandemic has created life-and-death dilemmas for people all over the globe — and a particularly devastating one for black men living in America: Wear a mask for protection against COVID-19? Or go without one, simply to lower the risk of being perceived as a criminal?

This specific quandary comes amid some key factors: reports about black people dying of the coronavirus at disproportionately high rates, recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for all adults to now wear cloth masks in public, and, taking effect this week, a New York State order that everyone must wear a mask in public if social distancing is not possible.

That all leaves black men, many of whom have grown accustomed to monitoring their appearance so as to not look “threatening” in public, between a rock and a hard place.

So check about Black people dying disproportionally than white people, and check about the problem of wearing a mask when it’s a “life-and-death” dilemma.  Less clear is why it’s a problem “all over the globe.”  Do Black people face the same threat in Port-au-Prince and Lagos as they do in Chiraq?

The thing about both of these articles is that they’re heavy on the hand wringing and light on actual examples of police, store managers, or even the local Becky on her cell phone doing any actual profiling.

To find some actual profiling, I had to go here…

Racist Attacks Against Asians Continue to Rise as the Coronavirus Threat Grows

Hate crime task forces have been responding to calls and social media users who have been posting videos and tweeting stories of attacks — both verbal and physical — that have been posted online to try to find perpetrators who’ve been targeting Asians.

As a long time skeptic of “Hate Crimes,” as I wrote about during the Jussie Smollett hoax and earlier, I’m not one to dive right in and gullibly swallow every racial tale of woe.  The incentives of sacred victimhood are too sweet for there not to be hate hoaxes, but by the same token, there are also real attacks and crimes inspired by racial animus.  This article lists several reported attacks against Asians.  Some may eventually turn out to be hoaxes, but I also wouldn’t put it past some people to commit these crimes either.

Meanwhile we live during a period in which for the first time in American history, White America is more relieved to see a Black man with a mask waiting outside of Wal-Mart than one without.

I call that progress!

The Racialization of COVID-19: The Hardest Hit

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we could expect to see many more stories linking race and coronavirus, and boy oh boy, did the dam break!  I collected a few of my favorites.

Coronavirus Is Wreaking Havoc on Black People Across the United States

I hardly ever see the word “wreaking” in print so this caught my eye immediately.  The gist of this article is that “Black people make up a disproportionately large percentage of new positive Covid-19 cases and deaths in major cities all over the United States.” 

It did mention something I had mentioned a few weeks ago, an early rumor that black people were immune.

“There are a number of reasons why Black people and other people of color in the city are at increased risk for not only contracting the virus but also dying or experiencing severe symptoms from it, Knight says. There was early misinformation floating around that Black people couldn’t contract the virus…”

Outcry over racial data grows as virus slams black Americans

This AP story does the usual hardest hit lines before almost, but not quite, edging into conspiracy theory territory, “Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told the AP it would be “indefensible” if the federal government was concealing any testing and treatment data.”

But the most interesting thing I learned from this story is that the Associated Press has a”Race and Ethnicity Team.”  So what’s a race and ethnicity journalist team supposed to write about when the story is about a virus?  Well there is a template…

Why Black Americans appear to be more affected by COVID-19

This Yahoo video is a step by step of the template I noted a few weeks ago.

Whiteness to blame

Memories of Oppression

Lack of Basic Medical Care

Frightening statistics

Dire Predictions

Apparently most of modern journalism consists of fill-in-the-blank.  That would explain a lot…

Coronavirus map shows Illinois zip codes, COVID-19 cases

ABC 7 in Chicago breaks down virus deaths by zip code, which in segregated Chicago, is almost the same as breaking them down by race.

More than half of the COVID-19 cases in the city of Chicago are African Americans, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and city health officials announced Monday.

According to data from the city, African Americans compose 30 percent of the population, but make up 52 percent of the city’s COVID-19 cases. African Americans also make up 72 percent of the city’s deaths from COVID-19.

“This is a call to action moment for all of us,” Mayor Lightfoot said. “When we talk about equity and inclusion, they are not just nice notions. They are an imperative that we must embrace as a city.”

I don’t get what “inclusion” has to do with this, but clearly “equity” is a call for more non-black deaths by virus.  And speaking of non-blacks…

“The death rate right now in the cases that have been reported for non-Latinx deaths in Chicago is seven times the death rate as its for white non-Latinx,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, director of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

That’s a great sentence right out of the Newspeak handbook that’s designed to be as confusing as possible. Nowhere are “Latinx” deaths mentioned.  I find that interesting that so far, no one cares about that.  I expected to see by now some interest and articles about how COVID-19 is hitting Hispanic or other ethnicities.

There is certainly no mention of Asians.  That seems a subject you can’t touch with a 10 foot social distancing pole.

 

Coronavirus: Minorities Hardest Hit

In retrospect, I wonder why it’s taken so long to see an article like this.  From Propublica comes this:

Early Data Shows African Americans Have Contracted and Died of Coronavirus at an Alarming Rate

No, the coronavirus is not an “equalizer.” Black people are being infected and dying at higher rates. Here’s what Milwaukee is doing about it — and why governments need to start releasing data on the race of COVID-19 patients.

I think there must be a template document for articles like this in which [Crisis of the Day] afflicts [identity politics fill in] at a greater rate than that 21st Century supervillain, white males (boo! hiss!).  This does seem to have elements that I’ve seen a hundred times before:

Rich whites are at fault.

The coronavirus entered Milwaukee from a white, affluent suburb. Then it took root in the city’s black community and erupted.

Government brings back painful memories of oppression.

Then, when the shelter-in-place order came, there was a natural pushback among those who recalled other painful government restrictions — including segregation and mass incarceration — on where black people could walk and gather.

Because of racist lack of basic medical care…

As the disease spread at a higher rate in the black community, it made an even deeper cut. Environmental, economic and political factors have compounded for generations, putting black people at higher risk of chronic conditions that leave lungs weak and immune systems vulnerable: asthma, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. In Milwaukee, simply being black means your life expectancy is 14 years shorter, on average, than someone white.

The reasons for this are the same reasons that African Americans have disproportionately high rates of maternal death, low levels of access to medical care and higher rates of asthma…

Frightening racist statistics!

In Michigan, where the state’s population is 14% black, African Americans made up 35% of cases and 40% of deaths as of Friday morning. Detroit, where a majority of residents are black, has emerged as a hot spot with a high death toll. As has New Orleans.

Illinois and North Carolina are two of the few areas publishing statistics on COVID-19 cases by race, and their data shows a disproportionate number of African Americans were infected.

Dire Predictions!  Although to be fair, that characterizes virtually any article having to do with the coronavirus, but when it comes to minorities, is even more dire!

“It will be unimaginable pretty soon,” said Dr. Celia J. Maxwell, an infectious disease physician and associate dean at Howard University College of Medicine, a school and hospital in Washington dedicated to the education and care of the black community. “And anything that comes around is going to be worse in our patients. Period.

Period!

Although the article does ultimately make the reasonable point that demographic data, including race, is important in determining how and who is at risk.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks virulent outbreaks and typically releases detailed data that includes information about the age, race and location of the people affected. For the coronavirus pandemic, the CDC has released location and age data, but it has been silent on race. The CDC did not respond to ProPublica’s request for race data related to the coronavirus or answer questions about whether they were collecting it at all.

And as we all know, when America catches a cold, black people get the coronavirus.

Experts say that the nation’s unwillingness to publicly track the virus by race could obscure a crucial underlying reality: It’s quite likely that a disproportionate number of those who die of coronavirus will be black.

After all, the real disease is racism.

“We declared racism as a public health issue,” said Kowalik, the city’s health commissioner. “It frames not only how we do our work but how transparent we are about how things are going. It impacts how we manage an outbreak.”

And because of distrust, and racism, the “community” doesn’t trust or listen to Public Health instructions.

Knowing which communities are most impacted allows public health officials to tailor their messaging to overcome the distrust of black residents.

“We’ve been told so much misinformation over the years about the condition of our community,” Royal, of the NAACP, said. “I believe a lot of people don’t trust what the government says.”

Because…Tuskegee Experiment.

And of course businesses are forcing their people of color employees (POCE) to put themselves at risk.

Police and inspectors are responding to complaints received about “noncompliant” businesses forcing staff to come to work or not practicing social distancing in the workplace. Violators could face fines.

“Who are we getting these complaints from?” she asked. “Many people of color.”

Here that?  Many!

And in keeping with the Ta Nehsi Coates era…

“When COVID-19 passes and we see the losses … it will be deeply tied to the story of post-World War II policies that left communities marginalized…”

You guessed it, redlining!

With this basic template, you could plug just about any public issue into it and get pretty much the same causes and the same effects.  Expect to see more and more stories like this in the media.