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Imminent Ferguson Mayhem is the Fault of the Residents of Ferguson.

So, we’re about to find out if the officer in Ferguson is going to be indicted, and the rumors floating about seem to suggest that he won’t.

After making some remarks about the ‘power structure,’ a protester commented, “I also think we’re not going to get change in this society unless white people are just a little bit afraid.”

There is just so much one could say to that.  Personally, I think it is a very childish thing to say.  Indeed, I think the whole Ferguson thing is a mass-manifestation of childish behavior.

Now, in some senses I’m actually sympathetic.  The instances of police brutality seems to be on the rise, and police officers seem to have taken the adage, “better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6” to heart.  Society has given them a pass in many ways because of the dangerous job that they have.  But part of that job is upholding constitutional rights.  That means that there are certain risks and responsibilities that come with being an officer of the law in our country that other countries don’t have to be concerned about.  That is to say, we certainly could better preserve officer safety more concretely if we disarmed every American and allowed the police to have their complete way with the citizenry.  But that’s not the way of freedom.  If a police officer cannot operate as though the civil liberties of the people he serves are as sacrosanct as his own life, he really ought to get out of the job.

Moreover, my research has led me to the conviction that blacks in America have been targeted for oppression, and that this oppression often occurs along the lines that they maintain.  The difference is that this oppression was largely built and maintained by liberal progressives.  To hear people talk today, you’d think that Lincoln had been a Democrat, when in fact he was a Republican.  But even that is too much of a gloss–it is really a product of the elites… but the elites are color-blind.  They can be found on both sides of the aisle and they wish to enslave commoners of all colors.  The failure of the black community to understand the true nature of their oppressors is in fact engineered.  Worst of all, the black community has actually elected the people who would enslave them, and in this way facilitated their own re-enslavement.  But as I alluded to, this is not just true of blacks.

It’s time for the people of Ferguson, MO to grow up, and the rest of this nation with them.

I took a look at the demographic data of Ferguson, and here is what I discovered:

  • As of 2010, 30% of Ferguson’s population was white, while 67% was black.
  • It has 53 police officers, only three of whom are black;  apart from two other minorities, the balance of the officers are white.  The chief of police is white.
  • The Mayor is white.  4 of the councilmen are white, and only one is black.  One of the white councilmen is a woman; I don’t know if that means she is inside the ‘power structure’ or outside it. [Link]

So, we’ve got a population that consists mostly of black people but it has a police force composed mainly of white people, which is under the authority of the council, which is also composed mainly of white people.

We may now ask exactly whose fault it is that the council and police force does not reflect the racial demographics of the town… it can’t be the white people’s fault.  They are out-numbered 2 to 1.  Whose fault is it that Ferguson’s leadership doesn’t reflect the proportions of Ferguson itself?  The blacks.

Here we have all of these protestors out in the street, trying to inspire a ‘little bit of fear’ among the white folk, scaring the white folk into better representing the values and perspectives and needs of the majority of the population.  It’s a temper tantrum of epic proportions, exactly the sort of behavior we’d expect children to engage in.  Bullying, in fact.  Bullying.  [Insert screams of horror at the invocation of the word ‘bullying’]  The adult thing to do is to elect people who will represent your values.  That is the whole point of a republican democracy!  (Whether or not the people you elect who supposedly share your values actually act on them is an entirely different matter altogether, as conservatives have discovered year after year after year, and are poised to discover here again presently.)  Instead of acting like adults and running for office and putting people into positions of power and authority that will do the things you approve of, they wish to strike a little ‘fear’ into the ‘power structure,’ whilst leaving the ‘power structure’ otherwise intact.

In so many ways, the power and reach of the ‘system’ has been so extended that it is not practically possible for the average person to really change the ‘power structure.’  That’s what liberalism does:  it puts self-rule as far out of reach of the average person as it can–after all, the average person is not too bright, stupid in fact, and is not able to make decisions for themselves.  Indeed, not only do people not make decisions that are in their own self-interest, but they will resist efforts to help them along.  That’s how stupid people are–according to liberalism.  Which is why liberals constantly ‘kick’ as much up to ever higher levels of government.  Your local town can’t be trusted to manage itself, that’s why the state should be in charge.  The state can’t hack it, that’s why the Feds need to be in charge.  (The Ferguson story seems to embody each of these elements.)  Why do you think so many issues are falling under the purview of the United Nations?  It’s because even nations can’t be trusted to manage their own affairs;  experts are needed.

And yet.

And yet, for all of that, it is still possible, at least to a degree, to affect the course of affairs in one’s own town.

I know, because I was an elected official at one time, and I did affect the course of affairs in my time.  I also served on the Law Enforcement Committee and know without a doubt that I had the opportunity there to make sure that the police department reflected my values, or at least was aware of them and sensitive to them.

Instead of resorting to jack-booted tactics, the ‘oppressed’ in Ferguson should wise up, grow up, and run for office.  It really is within their power to do so.

Regardless of the fact that the elites would much rather have them marching through the streets, prepared to burn down their own neighborhoods “in the name of justice.”

The guilt or innocence of the officer or the young man slain is totally irrelevant.  If you think one is guilty and the other innocent or vice versa, your solution is the same:  self-governance.  Best get to it, while we still can.

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41 Responses to Imminent Ferguson Mayhem is the Fault of the Residents of Ferguson.

  1. This sounds a lot like victim blaming.

  2. If it’s self-victimization, is not the ‘victim’ to blame by definition?

  3. Exactly, EB.

  4. Yeah, sure. If you subscribe to the whole “it was the way she was dressed” line of thinking.

    And I hope you don’t.

  5. *snort* A typical over-simplification, Timmy.

    There are ‘victims’ that are totally free of responsibility, and ‘victims’ that may have some degree of responsibility, though naturally still not deserving of the offense. And then there are ‘victims’ almost wholly responsible for their victimization and deliberately choose to wallow in it.

    Now granted I have not looked into the Fergusen matter too closely to judge which it is, but these days when it comes to discrimination against the African American community I cautiously lean on the 2nd option, personally. If the population proportions have existed for less than a decade, I could see SJ’s argument being somewhat invalid in this specific case (the rioters are still acting like petulant children regardless).

    But if the percentages have been largely the same or even just closely balanced for ten, twenty, or thirty years and the racial disproportion in the civil sector has still been the same in all that time, then yeah, I see the African American community in the area having less and less ground to be complaining. If you make no effort to promote your own representatives, then you don’t get to be outraged that no one is representing you.

  6. There is not a single resemblance to any “it was the way she was dressed” line of thinking in this Ferguson incident. The dude was confronted first of all because he was walking down the middle of the street and compounded the problem greatly by reaching inside the officer’s car to try to get the officer’s gun. It isn’t even in in the same universe of ideas.

    But I would mention again that my argument stands regardless of the guilt or innocence of either party. If you don’t want whites to control your political system, your police, etc, and you have the whites outnumbered 2 to 1, who on earth do you have to blame for that fact except yourself?

    They have no sympathy from me.

  7. A couple of thoughts:

    1) You attribute the quoted opinions of a single Ferguson protestor to the entire group, which is at best unlikely to be fully representative.  

    2) Isn’t it reasonable to protest about a police force employing lethal force against unarmed African Americans regardless of the ethnic composition of the town council?  Does every other minority group in town also need to get themselves an elected representative asap in order to prevent their members being targeted?

    3) The strategic use of coded racist discourse is a commonplace in modern conservative punditry and in today’s Republican party, which despite your frequent historical myopia on this point can no longer be said to be the party of Lincoln in that particular sense (9/10 of its voters and 98% of its elected representatives are White, for example).  To say that the oppression of African Americans has been “largely built and maintained by liberal progressives” is ridiculous.

    Media figures on the Right have already been using this event to stoke racial anxieties among white voters.  Michael Brown was a “menacing thug” (Rev Jesse Lee Peterson) who was “hyped up on marijuana” at the time of his death (Bryan Fischer) and who probably stole to feed his drug habit (World Net Daily).  He was a “gangsta wannabe” (WND again) who may have “been on PCP” (Pat Robertson), and who ultimately died because he “lacked a father figure to teach him respect for authority” (Ben Carson).  The policeman is the real victim here, and has been the subject of a “lynching” (Ben Stein) orchestrated by the “thug’s mother” who is only looking for her “pound of flesh and a pile of money” (BarbWire).  At the end of the day, the shooting of Michael Brown was “justice for his crimes” (American Family Association), and the protests against it are indicative of the “racism within the Black community” (David Horowitz), are being incited and stoked by Obama (Pat Buchanan) and will probably lead to a Race War (Larry Klayman & Glenn Beck). Once again the dog whistles are starting to drop into the audible range.

    Ironically the greatest condemnation of the lawlessness of protestors has been from pundits who were effusive in their support for the Bundy ranch freemen/militia types just a couple of months ago (until Cliven Bundy himself turned out to be a bit too much of an outspoken racist to fit the soft pedal approach they prefer).  Taking an armed stand against the authority is only praiseworthy if you’re White apparently.

    4) The fact that you, as a well-educated White guy, were able to get into locally elected office says nothing about the relative difficulty you might have had if you had been (for example) a Black guy who didn’t finish school.  How do you know that Black people in Ferguson haven’t been trying to do exactly what you suggest for years but being unsuccessful in part because of the very discrimination that you say they can’t really complain about until they do what you suggest?  Catch 22.

    “Regardless of the fact that the elites would much rather have them marching through the streets, prepared to burn down their own neighborhoods “in the name of justice.””

    I agree.  The timing and manner of the announcement were likely calculated to make some sort of violent reactions a near certainty (delivered at night after a long build-up of tension and without first informing the family), and this allows the police to position themselves as the brave defenders of civilisation against barbaric Black rioters.  That stuff plays very well in (especially conservative) media, because it lends more weight to the idea that the problems of the African American community are mainly cultural and definitely not anyone else’s fault.  Thus are White Americans absolved of any responsibility for their relative privilege in matters of criminal justice (among other things).

    Blaming the victims indeed.

  8. Breaking news – Bryan Fischer has now used his powers of theological deduction to determine that Michael Brown was possessed by a demon when the confrontation with the police officer took place.

    Why isn’t more of the liberal media reporting on this kind of groundbreaking journalism, that’s what I want to know!

  9. SJ can address those comments directly relating to his post (assuming he gets notified), but a couple things stand out as odd to me.

    “2) Isn’t it reasonable to protest about a police force employing lethal force against unarmed African Americans regardless of the ethnic composition of the town council? Does every other minority group in town also need to get themselves an elected representative asap in order to prevent their members being targeted?”

    This especially seems to be a rather naïve comment given that so much of the rhetoric and protest has been about racial inequality as “proven” by the racial proportions in the local police and government rather than simple a ‘shooting of an unarmed suspect’ by itself. Do you really think this situation would have exploded the way it did if everything else was the same about the shooting itself, but the civil service generally favored black people more heavily? Personally, I doubt it (the media would likely not have had such a frenzy with it to add fuel to the fire for one thing).

    “Taking an armed stand against the authority is only praiseworthy if you’re White apparently.”

    Or when it’s a clear case of standing up to intrusive government versus a lynch mob that doesn’t care about the facts or notions of ‘innocent till proven guilty’ (an irony given the historical race reversal). Or even when it’s simply a defense of personal property and doesn’t involve other people’s lives and properties in vandalizing, looting, shooting, throwing rocks and molotov cocktails, etc. How does looting and burning a mall translate as being “a stand against the authority?”

    Seems there CAN be a legitimate difference to what a demonstration is about and how they are conducted that doesn’t have much to do with race, can’t there?

    “4) The fact that you, as a well-educated White guy, were able to get into locally elected office says nothing about the relative difficulty you might have had if you had been (for example) a Black guy who didn’t finish school.”

    Does your analysis take into account how difficult a White guy who didn’t finish school could get appointed?

    This seems to be a comment that is unaware that the pervious Democrat County Executive was black and beat out Republican challengers for 10 years, and his replacement may be white, but still in the Democratic party (the so-called champions of minorities). So the idea of blacks being inherently incapable of holding office would seem to be undermined a bit.

    Regardless, SJ’s underlining point is still valid – there comes a point in a system of elected representatives in civil service where if you outnumber the other 2-to-1, yet still find yourself without the representation you want then you have to accept responsibility may lay with your side more than the other. To do otherwise and expect things to be handed on a silver platter is, as SJ said, the mindset of children throwing a tantrum.

    So just how long can African Americans keep acting like it’s the 1800s and are incapable of improving their situation despite a black President and many examples of black officials?

  10. Poppycock, Hecknoe, the lot of it.

  11. Awesome posts, Danny. Spot on.

    While we’re playing the blame game, though, I think we should go back a step further and blame Abraham Lincoln. I mean, if he hadn’t freed the slaves Michael Brown would have been in a field picking cotton where he belongs. Or maybe we should blame Columbus, because, really, that was when things really started to go downhill. Actually, it’s really all Eve’s fault, since we’d all still be in Eden if she hadn’t eaten that magical fruit. Then again, the serpent talked her into it, so it’s really his fault. But then he was just following his cunning nature, which god had given him, so we should probably just blame god.

    Or, we could just look at the actual reasons for the escalation, and blame a culture that generates racist, trigger happy cops, a blatant disregard for a grieving community, and a massively unnecessary show of force. Oh and a stupid justice system where 12 idiots get to decide if someone should be charged with a crime.

  12. EB,

    “…so much of the rhetoric and protest has been about racial inequality as “proven” by the racial proportions in the local police and government rather than simple a ‘shooting of an unarmed suspect’ by itself.”

    Do you honestly think that’s the only (or even the primary) complaint here?  Racial discrimination is a multifaceted issue, of which the fatal shooting of a Black teenager (young Black men are 21 times more likely to be killed by the police than young White men) has been interpreted as a particularly intolerable example by many people in that community.  The relative accessibility of positions of influence in the local police and town council to Black people, which (I repeat) neither you nor SJ has any genuine insight into – and therefore arguably no standing to comment upon – seems like more of a long-standing grievance which has quite reasonably been used to bolster the argument for systemic racial injustice being at the root of this tragedy.

    “Do you really think this situation would have exploded the way it did if everything else was the same about the shooting itself, but the civil service generally favored black people more heavily?”

    Hard to say.  A community that feels systematically oppressed by authority may well be more likely to explode in protest at a single egregious incident than one that does not.  Then again, in terms of the violent parts of the protest, the percentage of unemployed young men is also probably an important factor.  On top of that, much depends on how the authorities handle the aftermath of the incident (in this case, I would argue, quite badly).  I think there are too many variables to pin down causation to a single factor, as you seem to want to do here.

    However, this seems like something that you have already made your mind up about, given that you characterise the protestors as a “lynch mob” (which is quite impressively historically insensitive, even for you, but does nicely echo the sentiments of some of the conservative pundits I quoted above) who are “vandalising, looting, shooting, throwing rocks and molotov cocktails, etc”.  Thus you dismiss (and exonerate yourself from the responsibility of addressing) the views of the vast majority of peaceful protestors by characterising them all as violent, when in fact only a minority (who have been very effectively goaded into such deplorable behaviour by the authorities you unthinkingly make common cause with) are.

    Your blindness to the effect that “race” has upon the issue is part of the problem.  How many instances of unarmed Black people (or Black children holding replica guns) being shot dead by police do you need to contrast with those White Christian Patriot Second Amendment Defenders who walk around their home towns with AR-15s proudly on display, or who have tense stand-offs with law enforcement officials over grazing rights, without being so much as threatened with even an unholstered firearm in return?  The ways that police deal with these incidents, and the decisions they make about whether or not to escalate the ratio of force vs diplomacy that is used to resolve them, are not typically race-neutral and both result from and perpetuate the historical injustices and corrosive stereotypes which African Americans have been and still are disproportionately the victims of.

    If you are under the impression that, were you to be in their shoes, you would take this all quite calmly then I am going to have to direct you to some examples of the degree of frothing indignation you are capable of demonstrating about perceived injustices which don’t actually affect you in any way at all (e.g. gay marriage).

    “Does your analysis take into account how difficult a White guy who didn’t finish school could get appointed?”

    Given that White guys who didn’t finish school have about the same odds of getting a job as Black college graduates, I’d say that “race” is a separable factor.  Or that otherwise identical job applications are significantly more likely to be rejected if they have a “Black-sounding” name at the top, rather than a “White-sounding” one.  This is not even controversial unless you’ve deliberately not been paying attention.

    “This seems to be a comment that is unaware that the pervious Democrat County Executive was black…. So the idea of blacks being inherently incapable of holding office would seem to be undermined a bit.”

    What are you talking about?  I didn’t say that Black people are “inherently incapable” of holding office.  I made a comment about the relative difficulty that they may encounter if they try to.  You didn’t address that issue at all, except with inane tokenism.

    Somehow when Black peoples’ constitutional rights are being infringed (or made more difficult to obtain), you either dismiss it or wave it away as a trifle – something that they really ought to just man up and overcome.  But heaven forbid anyone suggest imposing a waiting period on the right to buy an Uzi in a gas station – that right there’s a clear symptom of tyranny!

    “So just how long can African Americans keep acting like it’s the 1800s and are incapable of improving their situation despite a black President and many examples of black officials?”

    Tokenism again.  Of course, we all know that discrimination and oppression against women in Pakistan and Afghanistan completely ended when those countries got some elected female representatives (and in the case of Pakistan, an elected president).  Any protests against the still-ongoing practices of honour killings or acid thrown in the faces of women who get “above themselves” would be pointless and unnecessary, am I right?  Women in those countries already have all the equality they need, as demonstrated by the inerrant metric of tokenism.

    It would be silly to pretend that it’s still the 1800s – the game has changed since then.  The new game is called “let’s all pretend that racism is over”, and it’s a game that is – as always – heavily rigged against the designated underclass. The only surprising thing is that people on the receiving end don’t start flipping tables more frequently, but of course that also feeds the narrative that they are the authors of their own misfortune. It’s quite similar to the way that the so-called “Indian Mutiny” was perceived in Colonial Britain at the time.

    It’s worth talking to Black people about their experiences of everyday discrimination, which is very often invisible to people like you and me, even if we happen to be walking arm in arm with the Black person in question at the time that it occurs. It’s invisible to us because we’re not the targets of it. Really, I’d recommend listening more than talking on this one,

  13. Poppycock?!? I am wounded Mr Snorevath, deeply deeply wounded. 🙂

  14. How many instances of unarmed Black people (or Black children holding replica guns) being shot dead by police do you need to contrast with those White Christian Patriot Second Amendment Defenders who walk around their home towns with AR-15s proudly on display, or who have tense stand-offs with law enforcement officials over grazing rights, without being so much as threatened with even an unholstered firearm in return? The ways that police deal with these incidents, and the decisions they make about whether or not to escalate the ratio of force vs diplomacy that is used to resolve them, are not typically race-neutral and both result from and perpetuate the historical injustices and corrosive stereotypes which African Americans have been and still are disproportionately the victims of.

    Yes, yes, yes.

  15. As I said, this is victim blaming, plain and simple. If your argument is true, it amounts to a licence for white cops to do whatever they like to unarmed black citizens, because, well, the blacks should have just gotten themselves elected, eh?

    I’m sorry, but this is exactly the attitude behind “it was the way she was dressed”. Don’t like being raped? Well then don’t dress that way. Don’t want to get shot by cops? Run for office and stop complaining.

    Even if your argument is right, and the situation could have been prevented if they could be bothered to run their own town, it doesn’t mean the cops can do whatever the hell they want.

    Also, you seem to pin all the chaos on the initial act, with no consideration of the subsequent police response. Perhaps that’s not your position, but that’s what it looks like.

  16. If Jesus didn’t want money-changers in the temple, then he should have taken that job as the temple’s facilities manager… not thrown a temper tantrum of epic proportions.

    Discuss.

  17. What do you mean, “if my argument is true”? Of course it is, and you can easily verify it. All you and DB have offered is typical knee-jerk tripe. It’s actually EB that offered some analysis of the merits of my remarks, thinking about precisely how it might be tested. Ie, if the demographics are a recent phenomenon (they aren’t) then my conclusions won’t follow.

    Moreover, it most certainly doesn’t follow that it is ‘open season’ or the cops can do whatever they want. You will note that in my original post, I actually spoke to that. I notice that neither Tim nor Hecknoe has given even the faintest acknowledgment of that fact. In my opinion, that discredits all of your later comments and reveals them as stemming from an entrenched ideology that is not thought out, but merely felt.

    Or, to put it another way, regarding your comments about police brutality… asked and answered, my friends, asked and answered… except that I was the one that initiated the question.

    The accusation here is not that there is generic police misconduct, but rather that there is specific police misconduct directed at a certain population. But that certain population has more than enough capabilities to address the specific police misconduct; if it is true that the misconduct is based on the ‘whiteness’ of the police force, then that theory can be tested definitively by changing the racial makeup of that police force–a power that is completely within their own hands by a 2 to 1 margin.

    Given this, I believe that this is not a matter of ‘blaming the victim’ but rather attempting to FREE the victim from the tyranny and enslavement imposed on them by an ideology that would prefer to perpetually have them as victims. Just what would a liberal do if there weren’t victims? Make new ones, I reckon.

    But the ‘blaming the victim’ argument here is muddled at best. Who is the victim, here? The black community, which just burned down their own town? Or are we talking about the large black man who, according to the grand jury’s investigation, was walking down the middle of the street and then, instead of getting onto the sidewalk as is proper, decided to reach into the officer’s car and fight for the officer’s gun?

    We should be clear about just who the ‘victim’ is. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Brown. A Democrat district attorney believes he was the perpetrator. I am pretty certain that if the larger black community is the ‘victim’ it is not at the hands of the white leadership–which they could change any time they want–but a liberal ideology would prefer to have a ’cause’ than free men and women.

    Cue reactionary, knee-jerk liberal tripe in response. 😉

  18. Hey guys, here, this will help you out.

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/078c82ad45ff4ec6aa1c7744dfa7df14/grand-jury-documents-rife-inconsistencies

    Surely you should be able to find some discredited witness testimony you can use to fuel your narrative.

    (Since one of the discredited witnesses happens to have claimed something that ascertained via other means, which I myself have repeated, allow me this: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/darren-wilson/witnesss-said-brown-charged-wilson-897043

    It seems definite that Brown was reaching into the police vehicle. Probably just to shake Wilson’s hand, but since Wilson is a white guy, and therefore a liar, we’ll never know for sure. Anyway, reaching into a police officer’s vehicle seems to me to be generally ill-advised and something we’d not recommend to the average person who does not wish to get shot.)

  19. Correction. DB insinuated that the blacks are not represented by people who share their values because of ‘corruption.’ That counts as an attempt to address my post. Still, there is a big difference between insinuation and documentation. You’ll observe that in the opening post, I *did* document my assertions. Anyone who would like to go further and explore the ‘corruption’ angle I think will find it a tough row to hoe. I shall now document what I already knew by general observation (I could make similar comments re: the Detroit area).

    Nov 2014: http://www.stlouisco.com/portals/8/docs/document%20library/elections/eresults/el141104/twnfer.htm

    Ferguson voted overwhelmingly DEMOCRAT in the last election. A quick survey shows huge majority votes for the liberals and the only GOP victory was one where the candidate ran unopposed. This includes both state and Federal candidates.

    Nov 2012 (presidential): http://www.stlouisco.com/portals/8/docs/document%20library/elections/eresults/el121106/twnfer.htm

    U.S. PRESIDENT & VICE-PRESIDENT
    01 = BARACK OBAMA & JOE BIDEN (DEM) 14,203 85.16
    02 = MITT ROMNEY & PAUL RYAN (REP) 2,270 13.61

    A quick glance indicates that Ferguson gave every single race–every single one–to the liberals.

    Some of the races don’t indicate which party the candidates are, so maybe a conservative candidate slipped in. I wouldn’t put money on it.

    Further investigation will most likely reveal that Ferguson has been electing Democrat for decades; I find myself suddenly of the mind that maybe this is the result of corruption. Those EVIL white male REPUBLICANS obviously manipulated the results so that the good people of Ferguson would remain under the thumb of their liberal overlords.

    Now for some fun.

    The 2014 MUNICIPAL elections (most recent):

    http://www.stlouisco.com/portals/8/docs/document%20library/elections/eresults/el140408/twnfer.htm

    MAYOR FERGUSON
    (Vote for ) 1
    01 = JAMES W. KNOWLES, III 911 97.12
    02 = INVALID WRITE-IN 27 2.88

    The mayor, as you can see, ran unopposed, and received only 911 votes in Ferguson, compared to 14,203 that Obama received. More people turned out to burn down the city than cast a vote for the mayor of the town.

    Would anyone like to place a bet as to whether James Knowles is a Democrat or a Republican?

    In 2013, Ferguson elected some of their council members: http://www.stlouisco.com/portals/8/docs/document%20library/elections/eresults/el130402/twnfer.html

    COUNCIL MEMBER FERGUSON WARD 1
    (Vote for ) 1
    01 = MARK J. BYRNE 490 73.35
    02 = MIKE DOEDLI 175 26.20

    COUNCIL MEMBER FERGUSON WARD 2
    (Vote for ) 1
    01 = DWAYNE T. JAMES 214 61.49
    02 = MARTIN PION 133 38.22

    COUNCIL MEMBER FERGUSON WARD 3
    (Vote for ) 1
    01 = KEITH KALLSTROM 72 96.00
    02 = INVALID WRITE-IN 3 4.00

    Again, more people turned up to raze their own minority-owned business to the ground than turned out to cast votes in the council election; moreover, Kallstrom ran unopposed.

    5 to 1, every single person who runs for office in Ferguson is a Dem. It doesn’t say, but I bet research would show that this is the case.

    At any rate, a town that can turn out 14,000+ for Obama can surely rouse 1,000 to elect a black person to every single position of power in the town.

    I rest my case.

  20. Dear Pastor Horvath,

    “It’s actually EB that offered some analysis of the merits of my remarks, thinking about precisely how it might be tested. Ie, if the demographics are a recent phenomenon (they aren’t) then my conclusions won’t follow.”

    Your conclusions stand or fall on an assumed and unsupported premise which you seem extremely reluctant to recognise – namely that Black people in Ferguson COULD easily access local political office if they tried and, moreover, that they haven’t already tried.  Have you investigated whether either of these assumptions are correct?

    Let’s take a relevant example – what percentage of the USA is Christian?  Depends on your definition I guess, but most people would agree that they (you, plural) are a demographic majority.  And yet – and YET! – I seem to recall hearing you complain on more than one occasion about the poor representation of Christian values by your elected leaders and warning of the dire consequences that may result from this neglect.  Why haven’t you tried to get someone who will properly represent you into office for goodness sake?  You’ve been a majority for a good long while, so my conclusion of your complicity in your own disenfranchisement clearly follows.

    Looks like you might have more in common than you think with those protestors when someone tells you that if you are suffering mistreatment then the power to change that is “completely within your hands” on the basis that there are more Christians than non-Christians in the US.

    “Who is the victim, here? The black community, which just burned down their own town?”

    Do you not recognise that as an inherently inaccurate and prejudicial statement?  Like EB, you have repeatedly assigned the blame for the actions of some members of a group onto the entire group, and because of the context that this is occurring in it really seems like a conscious part of the attempt to discredit/dismiss the grievances of that community.  It would be a shady and unbecoming tactic, so I am happy to give you the option of walking it back as a “mis-speaking” if you like.

    “Anyway, reaching into a police officer’s vehicle seems to me to be generally ill-advised and something we’d not recommend to the average person who does not wish to get shot.)”

    That seems superficially like good life-advice, but it is also missing the point somewhat in my view.  It is a near certainty that both Michael Brown and the officer had opportunities to de-escalate the situation before it became a fatal one.  I am not making any claims of sainthood on the part of the young man, who is now dead.  Police officers have to deal with rowdy, unreasonable, aggressive, idiotic and intoxicated young men on a regular basis (something that we have reason to be grateful to them for), and they manage to resolve the majority of those situations without shooting any of them dead.  However, a disproportionate number of the young men who they DO shoot dead are Black, and this is a very serious problem which explicitly biased guesswork about how hard local Black people have tried to get themselves elected onto the town council does not assist one bit in the resolution of.

    “I am pretty certain that if the larger black community is the ‘victim’ it is not at the hands of the white leadership–which they could change any time they want”

    Well I will certainly remember that next time you are pedalling the narrative of White Christian victimhood.  It’s good to know that it is impossible for a majority to be oppressed by a minority in a democratic country unless that majority is basically too lazy to help themselves out of the situation.

    “Just what would a liberal do if there weren’t victims? Make new ones, I reckon.”

    How does that compare with wallowing in every real or perceived slight directed at your own special interest group while minimising or dismissing anyone else’s claims to victimhood?

    Ah, you had more to say:

    You’ve rather damaged the mis-speaking excuse I had generously granted you with yet MORE superior, prejudicial & lazy conflations of all Ferguson protestors with looters and rioters.  Seriously, “More people turned out to burn down the city than cast a vote for the mayor of the town” is a really dumb statement to make.  Not only does it expose your closed-mindedness on the motivations of the majority of protestors, it also makes a factual claim that you cannot possibly support.  There were more than 900 people rioting that evening in Ferguson, really?  

    Again, feel free to walk that one back anytime.

    Apart from that, your point seems to be that the area leans heavily Democrat so therefore…. what?  What does that have to do with up to 25% of Black Ferguson residents being barred from holding office or, in some cases, even voting under Missouri law because they have a felony on their record? What does that have to do with the ability of communities fractured by poverty, crime, drug and mental health problems to organise and rally behind a local candidate of their own?

    Are any of these locally elected positions salaried?

  21. Or are we talking about the large black man who, according to the grand jury’s investigation, was walking down the middle of the street and then, instead of getting onto the sidewalk as is proper, decided to reach into the officer’s car and fight for the officer’s gun?

    I thought this was irrelevant? Perhaps you should stop mentioning it. If you really think it irrelevant, that is.

    I notice that neither Tim nor Hecknoe has given even the faintest acknowledgment of that fact.

    I was actually doing you a service by not mentioning it. Frankly, I think the fact that you mentioned it and then made the point you did is rather embarrassing. “Oh yes, I sympathise with their plight. They’ve had a tough run of things. But they only have themselves to blame.” That strikes me as remarkably un-Christian, and yet, somehow also very Christian. At any rate, Jesus would be rolling in his tomb. If he was still there, that is.

    Moreover, it most certainly doesn’t follow that it is ‘open season’ or the cops can do whatever they want.

    Yes, it does. Think about it. Your central argument is “Imminent Ferguson mayhem is the fault of the residents of Ferguson”. If it’s their fault, then it’s not the cops’ fault, and if it’s not the cops’ fault, then they can do whatever they like, and it won’t be their fault. You can’t have it both ways.

    You are yet to address two points.

    1
    Danny’s point… “The fact that you, as a well-educated White guy, were able to get into locally elected office says nothing about the relative difficulty you might have had if you had been (for example) a Black guy who didn’t finish school. How do you know that Black people in Ferguson haven’t been trying to do exactly what you suggest for years but being unsuccessful in part because of the very discrimination that you say they can’t really complain about until they do what you suggest? Catch 22.”

    I would also ask how keen a young black man might be to join a police force that is comprised almost entirely of whites. It would be just like Lethal Weapon, eh. Fun and games for all.

    2
    My point… the riots have less to do with the shooting itself, and more to do with the subsequent response (or in some cases, a lack of response) from the Ferguson police, the mayor, the governor, the state police, and any other racist gun-toting army rejects that happened along in their APCs. The treatment of Michael Brown after he was shot, and the treatment of the initially peaceful protestors, is a massive part of why things have escalated. Throw in the fact that, at the time, Michael Brown was simply the most recent in a long line of blacks gunned down by white cops (and there have been a few more since) and you might start to see that having a few blacks in the council wouldn’t have made a lick of difference.

  22. DB:

    “Do you honestly think that’s the only (or even the primary) complaint here?”

    Of course not. Which is why I found your comment implying that all of the protesting and rioting is only (or even primarily) about the shooting itself, rather odd.

    “The relative accessibility of positions of influence in the local police and town council to Black people, which (I repeat) neither you nor SJ has any genuine insight into…”

    Actually SJ’s recently laying out of past political races and voter turnout would indeed seem to provide some insight into the situation, and it not appearing to be persuasive for your case of black people being directly hindered from engaging in the political process. Not just for the fact of numbers, but for the fact that it’s a district that apparently favors liberal Democrats heavily for many years… and apparently never initiating the kind of “change” liberalism frequently promotes. What’s your argument for that? White Republicans parading around as liberals?

    “Thus you dismiss (and exonerate yourself from the responsibility of addressing) the views of the vast majority of peaceful protestors by characterising them all as violent, when in fact only a minority (who have been very effectively goaded into such deplorable behaviour by the authorities you unthinkingly make common cause with) are.”

    I would note that the notion of those who turned to violence being in the minority of those protesters present is a mere assumption on your part that plays well into your sociological narrative, but for which we can not verify. But in the end the matter is rather irrelevant, for the simple fact that we can simply see the state of the Ferguson town for ourselves, and come to the quite reasonable conclusion of what would happen to Officer Wilson if he fell into the crowd’s hands. No matter HOW MANY were peacefully protesting.

    But even then I can set that issue aside, and make the simple observation that very few in the black community seem satisfied by the grand jury’s decision not to indict the Officer, and how revealed forensic evidence seems to support his account over eyewitnesses that portrayed Brown in a more innocent light though few ever claimed to see the entire confrontation (to my knowledge). The evidence was put through the system, weighed, and found to be lacking, yet many still call for the Officer’s arrest (if not death). That seems to indeed be the mindset of people who have decided guilt beforehand, and are fixated on a certain outcome rather than caring for the truth in itself and no matter where it leads, would it not?

    So I would say I have taken the responsibility of addressing the protestors as a whole. It’s just that this instance of protest does not play well for your narrative, DB.

    “If you are under the impression that, were you to be in their shoes, you would take this all quite calmly then I am going to have to direct you to some examples of the degree of frothing indignation you are capable of demonstrating about perceived injustices which don’t actually affect you in any way at all (e.g. gay marriage).”

    *snort* I take this to be proof of how you’ve missed SJ’s point by a mile. NO ONE is denying African Americans face discrimination in this country, DB. What those like SJ and myself are saying is that the discrimination is neither as bad as it historically once was, and that these days there are indeed more opportunities for African Americans to do something to improve their situation that doesn’t necessitate unthinking violence.

    If African Americans want their values represented, then they need to do what it takes to get their people into the police force and elected offices. If they fail, then they need to keep working till they do. It’s no less than what has been said on this site for the conservative/libertarian Christian side, now isn’t it DB?

    “What are you talking about? I didn’t say that Black people are “inherently incapable” of holding office. I made a comment about the relative difficulty that they may encounter if they try to.”

    Whoops! What I meant was that a black Democrat County Executive would suggest that local black people are not being unduly hindered from taking positions of influence as you suggest. Sorry, my bad.

    See, you say we refuse to recognize the issue of black people being able to enter local politics and police force. I however note that you have completely ignored the PROVEN FACT of African American’s outnumbering the local white community by 2-to-1 and being a sizable number for many years prior. That would actually seem to indeed indicate a likelihood access is within the local black community’s reach. Your notion that blacks are being hampered or prevented from such positions (apparently by liberal Democrats, I’d note) is itself merely an assumed and unsupported premise you favor because it supports your view.

    So what do we indeed have to look on the situation? Cold, hard facts of population vs. a speculated conspiracy theory of a minority maintaining power. It’s actually rather ironic YOU are the one touting a conspiracy by Democrats, DB.

    “It would be silly to pretend that it’s still the 1800s – the game has changed since then.”

    I absolutely agree the game has changed, but not in the way you think it is. I would contend it’s more along the lines of ‘let’s publically be their advocates, but make sure they stay oppressed and discontent so that they continue to support us.’ And unfortunately it’s more the strategy of liberal Democrats than conservatives, DB.

    We note this in things like Planned Parenthood that was founded on the ideal of keeping minority populations a minority, and use abortion-on-demand as a method to achieve this, and succeeding. This is a FACT. Just as it’s a FACT the blacks outnumber white populace 2-to-1 in Ferguson, and the county has been liberal Democratic for many years…. yet still we see situations like this. What are we to think, except that liberalism is not in fact the way to go?

  23. EB,

    The shooting, the disrespectful treatment of the corpse, the way the police sought to criminalise the victim in the media while cracking down on peaceful protests with a militarised response generally reserved for foreign enemies – all of these were catalysts for the current protests, but they didn’t fall out of a clear blue sky.  The Black community in Ferguson has obviously felt unrepresented and marginalised for a good long time, and I don’t think that pointing at one Black representative is any kind of meaningful response to that.

    To return to the analogy I used above, Christians are a majority in the US, and EVERY president for the last century has been (at least nominally) a Christian.  Does that prevent you from feeling unrepresented and marginalised in your society?  Does it prevent you from rejecting or protesting against results from the courts or the electoral process which you consider to be morally wrong? If it does then I am at a loss to explain about 50% of our debates in recent years.

    You both seem to be under the impression that I think Democratic party representatives never enact or perpetuate racially discriminatory policies.  That would be a remarkably stupid thing for me to believe.  I’ll console myself that you are probably pushing this foolish strawman more because it allows you to suggest an inconsistency in my argument than because you really believe that I would think that.  Just because the Democrats haven’t explicitly set themselves up as the party of angry old white dudes (like the GOP has) doesn’t mean that they are free of the same prejudices.  Besides, when racism has become institutional there may be little that a single elected official can do to dismantle it.  Culture is not easily changed.

    “I would note that the notion of those who turned to violence being in the minority of those protesters present is a mere assumption on your part that plays well into your sociological narrative, but for which we can not verify.”

    Nice try.  YOU made the assertion, I pointed out that it was entirely unsubstantiated, and then you act like I am the one who has made a positive claim.  I take this as an admission you do recognise that you can’t actually justify your conflation of all Ferguson protestors with looters and rioters, and are in your own way backing away from it.  That’s something I suppose.

    “But in the end the matter is rather irrelevant….”

    Yeah, funny how so often when you are shown to have been wrong it turns out that the point in question was actually irrelevant.  As for your suggestion that Officer Wilson might be harmed or killed if he was let loose in the middle of one of these protests, I am not sure what you think that proves.  I wouldn’t much fancy Obama’s chances without his secret service detail at some of the rowdier tea party rallies either.

    “The evidence was put through the system, weighed, and found to be lacking, yet many still call for the Officer’s arrest (if not death). That seems to indeed be the mindset of people who have decided guilt beforehand, and are fixated on a certain outcome rather than caring for the truth in itself and no matter where it leads, would it not?”

    You are completely ignoring the historical context and the very different relationship that Black people in the US have with law enforcement, for reasons already mentioned.  Also previously mentioned was the fact that if protesting results that have been “put through the system” indicates a closed-minded and prejudicial outlook then I presume that you are owning up to the same intellectual failure with regard to several elections, a whole bunch of supreme court decisions and at least one constitutional amendment.  What’s it to be, Pot?

    “NO ONE is denying African Americans face discrimination in this country, DB.”

    Perhaps, rather than speaking in generalities, you could give some examples of ways in which African Americans currently face discrimination.  I don’t personally recall you ever endorsing as genuine any potential example of racial discrimination we have discussed unless it was directed against White people, so this would help a lot in clarifying your position.

    “What those like SJ and myself are saying is that the discrimination is neither as bad as it historically once was, and that these days there are indeed more opportunities for African Americans to do something to improve their situation that doesn’t necessitate unthinking violence.”

    What you and SJ are saying is that most African Americans are sufficiently stupid to consistently vote against their own interests, sufficiently lazy not to take action to better their situation and sufficiently uncivilised to prefer “unthinking violence” to proper engagement in the democratic process.  Despite acknowledging that African Americans may encounter some non-specific instances of discrimination in their daily lives, you are confident that any misfortune they may find themselves in is pretty much their own fault.  This is not a new conservative view – you’ll find similarly self-exculpatory views expressed by White conservatives to explain the disparities in living conditions, educational attainment and levels of poverty for African Americans right through Jim Crow and back into slave-holding times.  Racial discrimination and injustices have apparently NEVER been the root cause of this kind of thing, according to those who are very much not on the receiving end of them. Who should know better?

    “I however note that you have completely ignored the PROVEN FACT of African American’s outnumbering the local white community by 2-to-1 and being a sizable number for many years prior.”

    I haven’t ignored it, I have addressed it several times both directly and by analogy which you, ironically, have ignored.

    “What are we to think, except that liberalism is not in fact the way to go?”

    The same logic by which a man who built a two-foot high fence to keep out kangaroos would confidently tell his friends that fences just don’t work against those hoppy little buggers.

    That one’s for you Tim.  Hope it doesn’t convict me of anti-Australian racism 🙂

  24. Oh you just had to throw in a convict reference didn’t you.

  25. Quick scan and all I see is more poppycock.

    I will however respond to this:

    “What you and SJ are saying is that most African Americans are sufficiently stupid to consistently vote against their own interests, sufficiently lazy not to take action to better their situation and sufficiently uncivilised to prefer “unthinking violence” to proper engagement in the democratic process.”

    Actually, what I am saying is quite the opposite. I have a much higher view of African Americans and minorities in general than any liberal ever has. It is the liberals who believe that without large helpings of government aid, these populations would be helpless.

    I don’t actually think it is a case that they are ‘stupid’ or ‘lazy.’ They’ve been told by the liberals they’ve elected that the way to get what they want is to piss and moan, and when necessary, burn down their own neighborhoods. Oh, and elect more liberals–because only liberals are sympathetic to their plight. So, they are rationally employing what they have been educated to think–by liberals.

    We see this sort of thing every day here in the US. It’s called ‘identity politics,’ and, quite coincidentally, I’m sure, it is almost completely a Democrat approach to gaining and holding political power. There’s a ‘war on women’ or ‘immigrants’ or ‘gays’ or ‘black people’ or whatever. Shockingly, none of these groups are able to fend for themselves unless the Dems come to their rescue. The whole mindset is in my opinion, vile.

    As a case in point highlighting the liberal view that blacks are hopeless, helpless saps, incapable of governing themselves, I submit DBH’s comment,

    Your conclusions stand or fall on an assumed and unsupported premise which you seem extremely reluctant to recognise – namely that Black people in Ferguson COULD easily access local political office if they tried and, moreover, that they haven’t already tried. Have you investigated whether either of these assumptions are correct?

    As far as I’m concerned, this is pure bigotry. Soft bigotry, to be sure, but bigotry nonetheless. Those poor, poor black people… despite having the overwhelming majority in their town just can’t get out from underneath the thumb of their white oppressors, who, because of their superior wiles, are able to outwit the hapless majority population–who constantly elect THEM and not their fellows.

    I am willing to consider another option that would undermine my argument. I have been assuming that the 14,000+ people who voted for Obama are real. It may actually be the case that the real turnout, even for a general election, is not much greater than the spring elections. I wouldn’t put it past the Democrats to do such a thing. Unless you investigate this option, you can’t dismiss it. 😉

    If you can show me that the 14,000+ votes for Obama are likely a fabrication, then, and only then, will I think about raising my estimate of DBH and Tim’s arguments.. from poppycock to ‘spurious at best.’ 😉

  26. Hey, I would never use the c-word! I am not a bigot – I prefer to think of you as members of a rogue colony that we still might get back one of these days, or alternatively as “Southern Hemisphere Americans”.

    *duck & cover*

    🙂

  27. Edit:

    If you can show me that the 14,000+ votes for Obama are likely a fabrication, then, and only then, will I think about raising my estimate of DBH and Tim’s arguments.. from poppycock to ‘spurious at best.’ 😉

    to add:

    Otherwise, I will persist in my view that the good folks of Ferguson, MO are perfectly able to govern themselves. All they need is for agitators like Sharpton, Holder, and Obama, to be run out of town and replaced with people who inform them that the levers of power are not only at their fingertips, but cannot be kept from them no matter how anyone tried. To that end, this blog entry may provide that service.

  28. Tony,

    “Quick scan and all I see is more poppycock.”

    Poppycock is like trouble – if you go looking for it, you find it everywhere.

    So, what I got from the first half of your post was that you have a much higher view of African Americans than any liberal, as demonstrated by the way that you seriously maintain the view that they have been fooled into consistently voting for elected officials whose only goal is to screw them over.

    “I don’t actually think it is a case that they are ‘stupid’ or ‘lazy.’”

    Nooooooo, not at all!  You just claim that they are unable to see through the lies that liberals tell them, to the extent that they are apparently ready to burn down their own neighbourhoods on demand, and that they lack the motivation to elect representatives who genuinely represent them.  That’s totally different from saying that they are stupid and lazy.  Like, totally!

    “As a case in point highlighting the liberal view that blacks are hopeless, helpless saps, incapable of governing themselves, I submit DBH’s comment,”

    Is DBH my new wrestling nickname?  Because I like that.

    I realise in retrospect that this joke only makes sense in the UK, where there is a criminal offence on the books related to physical assault known as “GBH” (grievous bodily harm).  If you know that, then it’s funny.  Well, mildly amusing.  At least.  Maybe?

    Ok, what were we talking about?

    “As far as I’m concerned, this is pure bigotry. Soft bigotry, to be sure, but bigotry nonetheless.”

    Ah, yes.  I was being accused of bigotry for suggesting that any additional obstacles might be placed in the path of Black people wishing to run for local political office purely because they are Black.

    I’d like to think that we’ve moved beyond the he-who-smelled-it-dealt-it level of sociological analysis since leaving primary school, but this does seem to be what you’re invoking here.

    “Those poor, poor black people…”

    This is classic post-racial rationalisation.  Racism doesn’t really exist anymore, so any invocation of it to explain the massive disparities in wealth, educational attainment and incarceration rates between Blacks & Whites is somehow infantilising Black people, and suggesting that they have no ability to determine their own destiny, or some crap of that nature.

    I mean, what’s your explanation for those disparities?

    You don’t get it – Black people WILL liberate themselves from racial discrimination.  They don’t need the assistance of anyone else for that.  I am their ally in this because it is a just cause, not because I am required in any way shape or form.  YOU are the one being patronising here by seriously representing the position that “despite having the overwhelming majority in their town [they] just can’t get out from underneath the thumb of their white oppressors, who, because of their superior wiles, are able to outwit the hapless majority population–who constantly elect THEM and not their fellows”.  What is this if not the bigotry of low expectations?

    “I am willing to consider another option that would undermine my argument. I have been assuming that the 14,000+ people who voted for Obama are real. It may actually be the case that the real turnout, even for a general election, is not much greater than the spring elections. I wouldn’t put it past the Democrats to do such a thing. Unless you investigate this option, you can’t dismiss it.”

    Lol, we’re DEEP in the rabbit hole now.  This reminds me of confronting a 9/11 “steel doesn’t melt at that temperature” Truther with the implications of the Chemtrail “commercial planes are fitted with secret chemical spraying tanks” theory, which he also subscribed to.  Just how flammable are those secret chemicals?  We may never know.

    So, the unsubstantiated voter-fraud narrative could undermine the Blacks-are-the-authors-of-their-own-misfortune meme?  Yikes, it’s like a right wing black hole up in this shiz 🙂

    Perhaps we can agree that, in the same way George W Bush’s election didn’t herald the end of Roe vs Wade, the election of an African American president might not have immediately ended racial discrimination either, no matter how many people (in both cases) may have hoped that it would.

    Does that answer your question?

    “All they need is for agitators like Sharpton, Holder, and Obama, to be run out of town and replaced with people who inform them that the levers of power are not only at their fingertips, but cannot be kept from them no matter how anyone tried. To that end, this blog entry may provide that service.”

    Wow, that is in no way presumptuous. I mean, you are welcome to try that with any of the Ferguson protestors, absolutely. I suspect that in response they might draw your attention to some of the very real barriers that prevent them from accessing the levers of power, and it would be interesting to see how the conversation progressed from there. You would presumably fall back on your expressed conviction that they had been duped by the liberal establishment into thinking that those barriers were real, and I suspect that much colourful language might result from that suggestion. I only ask to be a fly on the wall.

    As I said before to EB, I really do consider it advisable to ask these people about their experience, rather than to complacently assume that we know what it is like. I honestly think you would have a hard time finding a non-patronising way to say “Yes, but you can achieve anything if you just work a bit harder” after a Black person had narrated to you all their experiences of being unjustly passed over for promotion, advancement or just getting a cab late at night.

    And maybe that’s the real disconnect here – I totally agree with the statement that African Americans cannot be kept down in the long term. I just see the current protests as part of the ongoing struggle, which will eventually be successful, against the conservative-approved faux-colourblind inertia of race and racism in America.

    DWB out!

  29. Like SJ said, all you can do is respond with the same knee-jerk strawmans, denials, and dismissals you always respond with in these cases, DB. Your insistence of the “Christian Majority” analogy is especially laughable on this site given so many of SJ’s blog posts directed at conservatives and Christians in particular carry the same message as this post to the African American community – you want your values represented make sure you elect people that have proven will represent them.

    Same issues, same message. To all races/demographics. You can’t get any fairer than that.

  30. Yeah, telling people who are already most of the way up the ladder to get climbing is totally the same thing as chiding those at the bottom (and whose heads the rest of us have been using as rungs for the last five hundred years) for their failure to reach the same height.

    That equivalence is only made remotely credible by a failure to recognise either the financial & social legacy of historic racism OR the effect that contemporary racial discrimination has on African Americans’ ability to prosper and succeed.

    Still waiting for your examples of specific instances of discrimination faced by Black people in America today, incidentally. Or is the discrimination that you acknowledge African Americans face of a strictly hypothetical variety?

  31. you want your values represented make sure you elect people that have proven will represent them.

    Oh. My. Dog.

    How can you possibly be that obtuse?

    The point is that the vast majority of your nation’s elected representatives are Christian, and yet you still seem to find a multitude of allegedly anti-Christian things to whinge about. But I guess if you want to do something about abortion or same-sex marriage or euthanasia or big government then you should get some Chritsians elected eh! Oh wait…

  32. “Still waiting for your examples of specific instances of discrimination faced by Black people in America today, incidentally. Or is the discrimination that you acknowledge African Americans face of a strictly hypothetical variety?”

    Still waiting for you to address the numerous voting facts SJ has presented beyond a hypothetical conspiracy theory, or an analogy that pretty much has the same answer – if a majority in a represented government fails to elect those who hold to their values, then it’s the fault of the majority. Which is what the data would suggest in this particular incident with Ferguson.

    Also still waiting how the fact the county has been liberal Democratic for many years yet no apparent ‘changes’ the ideology is driven by, fits into your excuses. You know, other than mere hand-waving away the problem.

    Oh, and just because I need to point it out apparently:

    “YOU made the assertion, I pointed out that it was entirely unsubstantiated, and then you act like I am the one who has made a positive claim.”

    Actually here is what I was addressing:

    “Taking an armed stand against the authority is only praiseworthy if you’re White apparently.”

    Let the record show it was YOU who acknowledged the element of violence between the two examples, DB. When faced with the hard fact the white conservative example didn’t erupt like Ferguson did, you simply try to down play the violent element within the protest. And thus also miss the fact that mine and SJ’s comments on the matter are in no way invalidated by however many protesters were indeed peaceful, because they are specifically addressing that element.

    Timmy:

    I wouldn’t trust yours or DB’s judgment on what constitutes ‘being Christian’ if the fate of all the cinnamon cookies in the world hung in the balance. Given that we likely study the book that lays out the guidelines a lot more than you, we’re both faaaaaar more secure in saying the Christian ideology has been largely removed from most aspects of the country. Seriously, when was the last time you heard of Bible studies in the public school system?

  33. EB, thanks for noting my chiding of Christians and conservatives, I appreciate that.

    In addition to that, what DBH (where the H stands for the new nickname I gave him) and Tim fail to consider in their analogy to the Christian majority is that THESE ARE NOT THE PEOPLE BEING ELECTED TO RUN FERGUSON.

    If Ferguson was being ruled by white, conservative, Christians, than perhaps we might be able to give that argument some weight. But Ferguson is wholly represented by LIBERALS.

    Why, one would almost think that Liberals would be especially tuned to the needs of the ‘minorities’… especially when those minorities are in the majority. It’s (almost) as if Ferguson was run by blacks complaining about blacks treating them unfairly and then trying to draw a connection to white Christian men complaining about [fill-in-the-blank]. It’s ludicrous; the blacks in Ferguson HAVE elected people that supposedly represent their values.

    So, I just see that whole line of argument as pure tripe.

    Now, on to just a few remarks by DBH, cuz I ain’t got a lot of time.

    ————

    “So, what I got from the first half of your post was that you have a much higher view of African Americans than any liberal,”

    Yes, that’s right.

    First of all, I see African-Americans as made in the image of God, precious in his sight, and fully endowed with all the rights and privileges of every man and woman that has ever walked the planet.

    This viewpoint precludes looking at them as political pawns or expendable elements of our society. It expressly maintains that they are as capable as any other person of living and thriving WITHOUT THE HELP of (sometimes well-intentions) bureaucracies and institutions… which in many cases would cease to exist if African-Americans (and other ‘oppressed’ minorities) stopped availing themselves of those ‘services.’ Think of a host throwing off a blood-sucking parasite: that’s the African-Americans becoming self-sufficient.

    As such, I am particularly sensitive to the fact that liberal progressives have declared war on the African-American community, in particular, the black people that haven’t yet been born. Black babies are disproportionately more likely to be aborted than white ones. Earlier this year, it was reported that more black babies are aborted than born in New York.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/371704/more-black-babies-aborted-born-new-york-city-alec-torres

    This targeting of black people is born of the eugenic mindset that thrived prior to 1945. I am sure that I have mentioned before that Margaret Sanger, just 2 years before officially founding ‘Planned Parenthood’, discussed the “Negro Project” in a letter to Clarence Gamble the need to enlist black pastors in the cause to eliminate blacks. She wrote:

    “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

    http://www.citizenreviewonline.org/special_issues/population/the_negro_project.htm

    We are supposed to think nothing of the fact that a disproportionate number of Planned Parenthood’s abortion facilities are located in urban centers.

    This of course means nothing to you to, because whether the unborn child is black or white, it is not a ‘child.’ You therefore have no grounds for objecting to this targeted destruction of the black race, since what is being destroyed isn’t a human, anyway.

    In the meantime, while AIDS and other ailments are spreading across the African continent, the only thing that we can get the international community excited about doing is offering… birth control. Lots and lots of it. Usually pushed and promoted by liberals. It is no wonder that many Africans don’t trust Americans or Europeans, and in my opinion, they have every reason to doubt our ‘compassion.’

    Of course, the liberals in question are usually sincere. But that does not make them any less the instrument.

    I could really go on and on about all this, but as I said, my time is short. The bottom line is that under liberalism, blacks are still on the plantation, viewed as a sub-species, and appropriate for pushing and pursuing agendas and padding the margins of a certain politcal party. Under conservatism–Christian conservatism in particular, blacks are brothers and sisters of the same Father.

    The way I see it, the ‘war on blacks’ is far worse than either of you two have described it. Much more pernicious. Much more sinister. Most of it covert.

    And its not MY fellow travelers carrying out this war.

  34. Incidentally, Alveda King (Martin’s niece) has been trying to make this case for a long time, but for some reason, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, Holder and Obama, and the rest, would prefer to have a constant base of subservient agitators.

  35. we’re both faaaaaar more secure in saying the Christian ideology has been largely removed from most aspects of the country. Seriously, when was the last time you heard of Bible studies in the public school system?

    Aaaaaaaaaaand there you go. It’s actually possible that you are that obtuse.

    That is exactly Danny’s point.

  36. EB,

    “If a majority in a represented government fails to elect those who hold to their values, then it’s the fault of the majority.”

    Except when it’s the result of voter fraud, right?  Or is that only a thinkable explanation when you DON’T want to dismiss the grievances of the majority community in question, because they also happen to be your own?

    “Let the record show it was YOU who acknowledged the element of violence between the two examples, DB.”

    Wow, and after accusing ME of hand-waving.  You are the one who referred to the protesters as a “lynch mob”.  Now if you say that you were only talking about the violent elements there then I will believe you (even if you did later go on to suggest the statement that not all the protesters are violent was an unverifiable assumption on my part).  Actually SJ has been more guilty than you of blaming the entire Black community for the violence.  I quote:

    “Who is the victim, here? The black community, which just burned down their own town?”
    “Again, more people turned up to raze their own minority-owned business to the ground than turned out to cast votes in the council election”

    The attribution of collective guilt is a short step away from the advocation of collective punishment.

    “When faced with the hard fact the white conservative example didn’t erupt like Ferguson did…”

    Something that is obviously due to the superior character traits of white conservatives and in no way contingent on differences between the way that the two groups are treated by law enforcement.

    “Seriously, when was the last time you heard of Bible studies in the public school system?”

    I hope you’re not complaining about that, given that it is entirely your fault.  🙂

    ……

    SJ,

    “…what DBH and Tim fail to consider in their analogy to the Christian majority is that THESE ARE NOT THE PEOPLE BEING ELECTED TO RUN FERGUSON.”

    I feel like you missed the point of the analogy.  You surely acknowledge that just as there are elected leaders who are nominally Christians but who do not govern in a manner consistent with your view of Christian principles, there are also Black elected leaders who do not govern in the best interests (whatever you consider those interests to truly be) of their constituents.  The notion that any Black person will necessarily represent the voters that elected him or her any more than anyone called a Christian will govern the way that you want them to is traceable to a deeply simplistic and monolithic view of Black culture and communities.

    “Ferguson is wholly represented by LIBERALS.”

    And we all know that liberals, like Black people, are an entirely homogenous group.  They all think exactly alike and put exactly the same policies into place regardless of the local context, politics and influences.  Obviously, that’s ridiculous, but if you aren’t making that assumption then I struggle to see what your point is here.

    On the abortion tangent:

    Women of colour undergo a disproportionate number of the abortions that take place in the US, that is quite true, although when you adjust for poverty the disparity is a lot less.  Overall, about 60% of women getting abortions come from the poorest sections of society, where African Americans are heavily concentrated (which, as I recall, Herman Cain said was totally their own fault – seems to be a theme).  Still, even after controlling for poverty, abortion rates among young African American women are still higher than any other group.

    This is because young African American women have a higher rate of unintended pregnancies than any other group, which in turn is the result of a whole range of factors including poverty, the pernicious everyday effects of discrimination, lack of access to affordable health care, Black male incarceration rates, fewer educational and professional opportunities and, in some cases, an understandable distrust of the medical community.

    I am not the one proposing simple solutions to these complex problems, you are.  Spread the influence of Christianity and ban abortion, right?

    The first alleged solution is redundant – African Americans are already the most reliably Christian ethnic group in the US.  Looks like that’s not the panacea you imagine.  As for the second one, it would be a palliative measure, treating only the symptoms of some very deep social problems without addressing the causal factors at all.

    In the meantime, this “womb lynching” narrative is a very useful one for pro-life activists (often, no doubt, very sincere and under the impression they are doing the right thing) to appropriate the civil rights legacy and drive a wedge through African American communities who otherwise generally don’t support them politically.  Alveda King is the ideal spokesperson in this regard, although it is quite apparent that her motivation is a born-again religious rather than a civil rights oriented one, and she publicly clashed with Coretta Scott King over the latter’s support for abortion and LGBT rights.  Still, as a relative of the most famous recipient of the Margaret Sanger award, she was the best recruit to the cause that the Religious Right could get their hands on.

    “We are supposed to think nothing of the fact that a disproportionate number of Planned Parenthood’s abortion facilities are located in urban centers.”

    That’s a high velocity face-palm moment.  I’m pretty sure that most food banks and soup kitchens are located in urban centres too.  Must be part of the same liberal conspiracy!

    There are a great many Black women’s groups which campaign against reducing the access of women of colour to reproductive services – all dupes, in your opinion of course (but Alveda King = not a dupe.  NOT a dupe, this is important!).  I think I would defer the last word on this subject to the leader of one of them, Dr Loretta Ross of the SisterSong Reproductive Justice Collective.  This was her comment in response to a proposed legislation in Georgia explicitly designed to limit access to abortions for women of colour:

    “It is very hard to persuade African-American women in the city of Atlanta that this legislation headlined by rural white Republicans is truly about saving black or South Asian children. These are the same legislators when we look at their voting records that have fought against improving our schools, getting guns off the streets, getting children in the SCHIP program — I mean, these are not people whose votes indicate that they care about children of color once they’re here.”

  37. DB:

    “Or is that only a thinkable explanation when you DON’T want to dismiss the grievances of the majority community in question, because they also happen to be your own?”

    The sheer irony of the fact YOU so frequently dismiss such instances as “conspiracy theory”, yet appeal to it now, is too precious for words DB. Though technically it IS liberals who have benefited in Ferguson, so I suppose it would be consistent.

    But you’ll note when SJ and I bring up such instances it’s supported by a little more than just the outcome – two voter machines WERE making the same error, a liberal woman proudly admitted to voter fraud in order to support Obama, etc. and we all know it’s not liberals demanding more methods to maintain the voting processes’ integrity. Yours is entirely based on a presumptive attitude that white people in Ferguson MUST be using nefarious methods to keep the black majority from offices, because the notion that the local African American community could have a fair share of the responsibility for their own situation seems to be inconceivable to you.

    You ask me that’s rather racist of you, DB.

    “The attribution of collective guilt is a short step away from the advocation of collective punishment.”

    As someone who was a part of a track team and a band where the actions of one or a few indeed affect the whole, I’m neither unfamiliar or uncomfortable with such notions.

    But again, I have to shake my head and laugh at the irony that you wish to nitpick generalizations and collective guilt, when your entire argument is based on a generalization that the people of Ferguson (if not all white people) must be guilty of keeping blacks down, based solely on the actions of white people in the past. Frankly most of liberalisms argument power is based on ‘collective guilt.’

    Seriously, isn’t the whole ‘Global Warming’ alarmism founded on the notion ‘it’s all humanity’s fault’ in order to make people do something about it? Maybe you only have a problem with generalizations and ‘collective guilt’ when it’s being applied to groups you favor.

    “Something that is obviously due to the superior character traits of white conservatives and in no way contingent on differences between the way that the two groups are treated by law enforcement.”

    Or due to the media and various figures not putting it on a stand before the whole world and pouring gasoline on the fire. Just saying that too could be a factor.

    Which does contribute to SJ’s contention on how attacks against blacks by liberals are simply more covert these days. A white conservative person’s struggle against government injustice barely gets any media attention. While Ferguson is put on center stage, riling up the back community till it degenerates into violence, which makes the African American community look bad, and just further deepens the divide.

    And we know which side of the political spectrum lives entirely off of divisiveness, don’t we? 😉

  38. EB,

    It’s too bad that all your tinsel can’t obscure the collapsing ideological scenery behind you.  For someone who is usually very fond of invoking the irrevocable patterns of history (selectively interpreted, of course) as a reliable guide to both the present and the future, you utterly fail to recognise the unbroken line of continuity in the way that America treats its Black population.  Slavery was replaced by convict-leasing.  Convict-leasing merged into the era of lynching and Jim Crow laws.  Jim Crow gave way in the face of a civil rights movement which was relentlessly targeted, beaten and bugged by the White establishment, and mass incarceration, crushing poverty & seemingly consequence-free death at the hands of the police has taken its place.

    Just today another grand jury has failed to indict a cop who strangled a man to death on camera.  The racial breakdown of this alleged non-crime will not surprise you.  And yet, as ALWAYS happens in response to these travesties of justice, White conservative voices will be raised in apparently sincere defence of the notion that he (whoever, and however young the latest disposable “he” may be) had it coming, brought it upon himself, is somehow to blame for his own barely-regrettable extinction.  Can you name a single occasion that a death like this was reported in the news when that didn’t happen?  No, you can’t. 

    It seems that there’s no such thing as an innocent Black man as far as some people are concerned.

    You plug your frankly pathetic sour grapes conspiracy theory about rigged elections, backed up with the stunningly comprehensive evidence of two faulty voting machines and one anecdotal claim of voter fraud, while scoffing at the very idea that the two Black men A WEEK who are killed by the police in America signify anything at all about racism or discrimination.

    Putting the responsibility for their own situation firmly onto the shoulders of Black communities is a tried and tested reactionary strategy, which has its own inglorious line of historical continuity among conservatives going back (again) to slavery.  Even the occasional Black person can be found to represent it, but somehow these relatively privileged spokesmen always seem to turn out not to be great at taking responsibility for their own actions, especially when it comes to women (Herman Cain and Bill Cosby are the two main Black proponents of this view that I can think of right now).  Victim blaming appears to be something that they just like to do generally.

    As with the idea of the afterlife, the element of wish fulfilment is hard to avoid in this overwhelmingly-White narrative (its not a coincidence that conservatism and religiosity are so well correlated).  If every Black man who is killed by the police (or by people who seem to think that they are the police) is at fault, and every Black community trapped by poverty and enforced social dysfunction is also at fault, then – thank the Lord – it can’t be OUR fault, nor our responsibility!

    Pick any moment in US history when African Americans were suffering what we would all agree (now) to be intolerable persecution and discrimination. Whenever it was, there were privileged White people taking the same position that you are taking and saying that it was their own responsibility. Don’t they know racism is over? It ended when slavery/lynching/Jim Crow ended. It’s not our fault! Rinse and repeat.

  39. Y’all need to let me know when you start having debates on your blog in stadium of THE FREAKING DEBATE FORUM.

    Like, for realz.

    Word,
    THE sasquatch

  40. Haha, yes I’ve noticed you battling on against Gnostic Bishop by yourself… I feel for you 🙂

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