The Price of Black Man’s Life

Sign in Ferguson as riots erupt.

This decision seems to underscore an unwritten rule that Black lives hold no value; that you may kill Black men in this country without consequences or repercussions. This is a frightening narrative for every parent and guardian of Black and brown children, and another setback for race relations in America.”

Congressional Black Caucus head Rep. Marcia Fudge

Ninety-three percent of blacks are killed by other blacks,” Giuliani said, triggering a heated argument on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I would like to see the attention paid to that that you are paying to this.”

“Black people who kill black people go to jail,” Dyson said. “White people who are policemen who kill black people do not go to jail.”

“What about the poor black child that was killed by another black child?” Giuliani asked. “Why aren’t you protesting that?… Why don’t you cut it down so that so many white police officers don’t have to be in black areas?”

“When I become mayor, I’ll do that,” replied Dyson, exasperated.

“White police officers wouldn’t be there,” Giuliani said, “if you weren’t killing each other

Former Mayor of NYC Rudolph Giulani

Those two quotes or a variation of them pretty much encapsulate the debate about Michael Brown, Ferguson and the wider issue of blacks males, crime and the police. The issues are more complicated than those two statements assert but both are partially correct even if not exactly as the quoted intended.

The statistics for young black males are stark. Black males commit and are a victim of homicide at extremely disproportionate rate compared to White males or Asians. We can try to excuse it in a variety of ways but those facts remain. This is where the CBC head is correct, black lives have been cheapened. The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case or the lack of charges by the Grand Jury in the Michael Brown case did not demonstrate that Blacks lives are cheaper, this has been demonstrated for years by ignoring the rampant deaths of thousands of Blacks at the hand of other Blacks for years.

Black people around the country are rioting for the last two days and had been holding protest since August because of the Michael Brown shooting by Officer Darren Wilson but have been silent for the 136 homicide victims in the St. Louis area.  Just last October 19th siblings, 35-year-old Margaree Dixson and 29-year-old Jermaine Jones, were killed by gunshot 2 hours and a few blocks apart.  They were homicide victims number 109 and 110, in a little over month almost 20 other homicides have been committed, few of these ever get solved.

A local news station reported last week that 73% of the more that 136 homicides this year remain open.  A case remains open until an arrest is made but in cases where arrests were made only 8% was there an actual conviction, last year. The same story is repeated nationwide in NYC, LA, New Orleans, around the country.  This is a problem, it not just that Black lives are cheap, is that no one wants to come forward and identify the perpetrators, and they know this. As Nicole Rice, the sister of the two siblings killed explains in the interview:

No answers, no answers, all my answers are to God, I don’t know nothing, I know people talk, and I have clues to what their talking about,” Rice said. I don’t blame the police because they’re doing everything they can do to find out what’s going on, If anyone knows anything, just what you heard, that would give a motive, It goes back to my little niece, well she’s really my cousin, but i call her my niece and her murder has never been solved so you ask me if my brother rand my sisters will be? No. Because no one will talk.

“Snitches get stitches” as DeAndre Joshua, 20 found out he was shot and killed on the first night of rioting. His body was found inside his car, which had also been set on fire. Though no official confirmation has been made, DeAndre fit the description of one of the witnesses that provided testimony to the Grand Jury that heard the evidence in Michael Brown’s case. He is also a close friend of the other person that was accompanying Brown that day, Dorian Johnson. Regardless of whether this was related to any testimony he may have provided or just a victim of opportunity for someone with a grudge against him, he has become just another statistic that will be forgotten in the aftermath of the Riots.

Ms. Fudge is correct that Black lives have been cheapened, they are continually being cheapened everytime that the community hides their criminals from justice. They are cheapened everytime that a riot is started because someone broke their monopoly on killing blacks. Especially when that person was in the act of committing a felony which led to their death. Black lives are cheapened when they excuse all wrong doing by blaming race, poverty or the “white establishment” for every ill in their communities. Children are held to a higher standard of conduct than the one of  many black criminals.

When the Black community celebrates and elevates a petty criminal like Michael Brown, or Trayvon Martin it only ensures that other young Black youths will follow in those footsteps. It also means that because they have been convinced that the law devalues them that they will continue to ignore the law and this never ending cycle will continue. The CBC and Ms. Fudge know this, that is why they are trying as they have done with the Educational system by trying to establish a separate system of grading and disciplining Black students to downgrade aberrant or illegal behaviour.

David P, Goldman describes what is happening with the CBC and the new civil rights movement as follows:

To restate the “civil rights” argument in a clearer way: Young black men are disproportionately imprisoned. One in three black men have gone to prison at some time in their life. According to the ACLU, one in fifteen black men are incarcerated, vs. one in 106 white men. That by itself is proof of racism; the fact that these individuals were individually prosecuted for individual crimes has no bearing on the matter. All that matters is the outcome. Because the behavior of young black men is not likely to change, what must change is the way that society recognizes crime itself. The answer is to remove stigma of crime attached to certain behavior, for example, physical altercations, petty theft, and drug-dealing on a certain scale. The former civil rights movement no longer focuses its attention on supposedly ameliorative social spending, for example, preschool programs for minority children, although these remain somewhere down the list in the litany of demands. What energizes and motivates the movement is the demand that society redefine deviancy to exclude certain classes of violent as well as non-violent felonies.

Which brings us to the quote by Giulani, perhaps ironically is the fact the CBC ( Congressional Black Caucus) were instrumental in pushing for passing legislation that called for more cops and stricter mandatory sentences in the late ’80’s and early 90’s.  During those days crime was rampant, drugs and gang warfare was taking a terrible toll on the communities that they represented. In those days the cries where not about police brutality (though it did exist), but for more cops, tougher sentences, loosening of forfeiture laws. The laws that were passed then did have their intended effect, crime now is at the lowest levels in 40 years but had an unintended effect of targeting criminals which were disproportianately Blacks young males.

Rather than addressing the causes of why young Black males are committing more crime, the civil rights movement and the CBC kept blaming racism and the Establishment for the failures of their own community to address this problem. They still ignore the issue, instead they elevate the violent assaults of Trayvon Martin and Martin Brown  as noble young black male martyrs.

Michael Brown assaulted a police officer and attempted to remove his gun,  what purpose does the supporter of Brown think he was trying to do this? If, this is true do you really want that person in your neighborhood, if attacking a police officer is not out of bounds for him, do you think that attacking someone else would have been? The answer I get when these questions are posed is that he was unarmed and did not deserve to die for stealing cigarillos, but this does not answer the question is just deflects it and since most do not have to live in Michael Brown’s neighborhood it would not affect them either way.

Golda Meir the former Prime Minister of Israel once said about the Palestinian and Israeli conflict:

Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us (the Jews).

In many ways the Arab and Israeli conflict is a metaphor for the issues that afflict the Black community. A day will come when Blacks will love their children enough and value their lives enough to stop accepting violent or illegal behaviour as normal and start addressing those issues in their communities. When they realize that all Black lives matter, not just those few that die at the hands of non-Blacks and stop excusing themselves of the problem.

Here’s Police Chief of Milwakee-Police Chief Edward Flynn on the subject.

 

 

The Michael Brown Case, Update 4.2: The Media, at TTAG

Mike delivers a powerful and concise look at the Michael Brown case. HIs criticism of the media is well-earned and could cost lives. Primer from the linked article:

“If a criminal is willing to attack a cop, what would they do to the next citizen they meet?”

This point seems to be forgotten by those who support Brown and were likely the first to have to deal with the menace that Brown seem to be. Even the Washington Post appears to get it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/new-evidence-supports-officers-account-of-shooting-in-ferguson/2014/10/22/cf38c7b4-5964-11e4-bd61-346aee66ba29_story.html

 

Stately McDaniel Manor

credit: clashdaily.com credit: clashdaily.com

As bits of pieces of information trickle out in the Michal Brown case, I’m compiling information for a new addition to the articles in that archive. The next article will be posted in the near future. In the meantime, you might want to visit The Truth About Guns, where my weekly contribution this week is something of a primer on the Brown case, the law, and the way the media makes self-defense more difficult for us all.

The article is titled “Practicing the Art of Self Defense–From the Media.”  By the way, please keep in mind that when one contributes articles to the publishing concerns of others, it is the editors of those concerns that usually write the headlines, titles, decide when to publish articles, etc. At the Manor, I wear all the publishing hats and the decisions–and blame–are entirely mine. At TTAG, and the other sites that…

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By Hook (race card) or by Crook (cheating)

Once again elections are upon us, and we are again faced with the decision of which way the country will head. If you want to know why so many Americans are repulsed by politics or politicians all you have to do is look at what is happening during this election and feel disgusted. This is something that extends to both parties, Democrat and Republican, though in this one is seems like the Democrats who are facing an uphill battle are pulling no punches in their underhandedness.

By CROOK:

This election the Democrats are in a particularly hard battle to retain the Senate. To many contests with many in States that are normally Republican held areas. Many rode the Obama wave election in 2008 into office but now it is the same Obama Administration that has put them in a bind. As the Administration continues to go from blunder to blunder the fortunes of those seeking re-election get worse, and are not helped by Obama who keeps inserting himself into the campaigns of the beleaguered Senators, whether they want him to or not.

For those Senators who are trying to distance themselves from the Obama Administration and their many “blunders”, what Obama said just the other day in Sharpton’s Radio show could not have come at a worse time.

“The bottom line is though, these are all folks who vote with me; they have supported my agenda in Congress; they are on the right side of minimum wage; they are on the right side of fair pay; they are on the right side of rebuilding our infrastructure; they’re on the right side of early childhood education.”

“These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me, and I tell them, I said, ‘You know what, you do what you need to do to win. I will be responsible for making sure our voters turn out.’ ”

Talk about a cynical statement, not only is Obama saying that these Senators are with him and by extension share responsibility for his policies but also telling them that it is fine if they LIE to the electorate on their positions or opposition to the President to get elected. Once elected they will come back into the fold and continue as before. Of course, lying about positions and policies is something that the President is intimately acquainted with; you can keep your doctor, Syria red-line, not my decision to remove troops from Iraq, not a smidgen of corruption in the IRS, etc.

In Kansas, the Democrats had their candidate bow out of the election when it became clear that their candidate would lose against the Republican incumbent Senator Pat Roberts.   Greg Orman the Independent candidate a longtime Democrat operative running as an independent was sure to split the vote with the Democratic candidate but was a stronger opponent than Chad Taylor, who won his party’s nomination on the primary. Though Kansas law said that a candidate withdrawn after the primary had to be replaced by the party committee, the Democrat Party choose not to run any candidate in order to give Orman a better chance at defeating Roberts.

Is not just national elections that have their share of underhandedness, in Nevada for instance in a race for State Assembly #34 a candidate who was disqualified from running for not meeting the residency requirements but whose name will still on the ballot, could be seated if she wins, anyway.  The candidate Meghan Smith has been for the past 2 elections a politician in search of a seat. In 2010 she ran in a Republican leaning district and lost. In 2012 she ran in a different district in a Democrat leaning one but lost in the primary-her opponent won her seat. This year an open seat in District #34 produced an opportunity, thing was that she did not live on District #34.

On January 30th she instructed her Realtor to find her a residence within the boundaries of the district but with the deadline of February 12th fast approaching time was of the essence. A condo in the edges of the district was found the next day and negotiations were begun. Before she had even bought the property she proceeded to the state DMV office to get her address changed to the property which was not hers, yet.  She also filed paperwork to run for this seat with the Secretary of State.

Ms. Smith finally purchased the property and moved in March 7th, almost a full month past the residency requirement proscribed by Nevada law. She won the Democratic primary by 15 votes and was set to face the Republican challenger. The Republican challenger sued to have her declared ineligible and won in court after the Judge found in the Republican challenger’s favor. This might be a Pyrrhic victories of sorts, because of the time it took to adjudicate the lawsuit, Meghan Smith’s name will remain in the ballot and Nevada law allows the State Assembly to pick a replacement for disqualified candidates. This means that the Assembly which is controlled by Democrats could name Ms. Smith to the seat, though she was disqualified from the election for not meeting residency requirements. Continued next page.

In Search of Meaning, why do they do it?

When Polish Jew, Henri Tajfel, left Poland to study Chemistry in Sorbonne, France he did not know that when he returned that none of his immediate family and few of his friends would be alive. The Second World War would find in France, where he volunteered in the French Army and later would become a prisoner of war a year later.

He would face a dilemma, announce to his captors deny he was a Polish Jew or claim to be a French citizen. In the end he admitted to being Jewish but claimed French citizenship. This act probably saved his life as he survived the war in a series of POW camps. This experience also embarked him on a quest to find out the reasons for prejudice and intergroup relations.

After the war he worked with a Jewish organization helping to resettle Jewish orphans and the UN’s refugee Organization, but it was his work in social psychology that is the most influential to this day. After moving to the UK to study psychology and graduating his research examining different areas of social psychology, social judgment, nationalism and prejudice that I want to talk about.

Mass Media as a Weapon

Whether Randolph Hearst actually said “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war”, or it is just a made up story that help further increase his persona, there is no question that his newspaper’s coverage leading up to the Spanish-American War was influential as a weapon influencing our decisions leading to the conflict.

This was not the first use of media to build support for or influence governmental action but it is an example how Mass Media can be used to manipulate the populace into supporting such actions. Prior to Hearst’s concerted effort in support of the Cuban Revolution it was a little known conflict with few casualties, of mainly the wealthy educated Cubans trying to get rid of the Spanish Crown.

Today no one newspaper has that amount of influence by itself, but concerted efforts like the group of left-leaning journalist “Journolist“, played a great role in the 2008 Presidential Election of Barack Obama and its support of Obama’s policies meant that he would be re-elected as well. The suppression of the vetting process that all candidates go through was subverted, there are still many Americans who are surprised to hear about the racist views Rev. Wright or his dealing with former weatherman Akers.

Conversely, the media can also act as a blanket by omitting facts that they have determined are inconvenient. In the ‘Journolist’ case they both acted as cheerleaders and protection for President Obama. The Mass Media frequently omits the political affiliation of Democrats in cases of corruption and the races of perpetrators in crime cases. Lately, the Media are hiding the religious affiliation of perpetrators of acts of terrorism (Reuters has a policy of not using the word terrorist, at all), or as is the case of the Rotherham sexual assaults misnaming them altogether.

By using the term South Asians or just plain Asians as the perpetrators it tried to hide that those accused of the mass sexual abuse of some 1400 predominantly White young girls were Muslim men from Pakistan. This has enraged other South Asians that live in England, primarily those that originated from India and are not Muslims.

Can anyone think of a politician any party that was treated by the Media as Sarah Palin? From calls that she was a dumb whore to allegations that her young son Trig should have aborted or that he was her older daughter’s child the treatment that the Media gave the ex-Governor of Alaska was shameful. Some of the things for which she was pilloried were true, you can see Russia from parts of Alaska, and would invade Ukraine if we did not adjust our thinking about them and the opportunity arose.

Palin has not only weathered those attacks but has tried in her own way to strike back, as for her holding any office… that part of her political career well that is over, though I know there are many that still believe.

The Tea Party, is another group that has been under incessant attack by the Media. The members of the Tea Party have been called racist, homophobic, xenophobic, religious fanatics to a degree that it has become an accepted fact that if you support the Tea Party your are all those things.

On the opposite end the short-lived OWS movement was the Media’s darling. The glowing coverage of the movement meant that the Media would not report on the crimes that the movement’s followers were committing. I remember how fawning the Media was with the married mother of 2 who left her husband with the kids and went to New York to sleep in the park with the other occupiers. The daily rapes, mass consumption of drugs that the occupiers were engaging in barely got mentioned.

We have read and know the statistics about how Blacks are 13 percent of the nation’s population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims. If the homicide rate of Blacks was that of White, 14.1 versus 1.9, the US would be one of the safest countries in the World. Minus the homicide rate only Japan and Canada have lower rates of violent crime. (Sources were the OECD Index, FBI Crime statistics).

Due to the recent shooting of Michael Brown much have been made by the Media about police discrimination and particularly police shooting of Blacks by police. The USA Today reported that the police were involved in 400 killings per year only 92 were Police shootings of Blacks. There is no break-down as to the circumstances that led to shootings or other information available. The article does point out that only 750 Law Enforcement agencies contribute the statistics to the FBI which compiles the reports, but it does not mention that while there 17000 different LE agencies nationwide the 750 that do report their statistics are the largest and cover 95% of the population. Small or rural agencies do not report to the FBI but most of them crime is rare, murder, rape or other violent crimes are usually handled by their neighboring larger agencies.

Another problem with the article and other like it is the lack of context, if out 400 yearly LE shootings only 92 are involving Blacks that squares with the crime statistics as Blacks are 13% of the population but commit 38.6% of the crimes according to the FBI. If anything this shows that LE is less likely to shoot at Blacks than Whites by a 38% crimes committed only 23% of those shoot by LE. Regardless the Media will reported as another attack on the besieged Black community, instead of acknowledging the problems and as Walter Williams says: “Blacks must confront reality”.

 

Th090214_2313_MassMediaas3.jpgere is another area where the Media has disproportionate and mostly negative influence, that is the ME and specifically Israel. As Matti Friedman, a former AP correspondent calls it; “the Most Important Story on Earth“. It is an essay on how the Media obsession with Israel, Hamas and the whole issue of the Palestinian question transforms and infects with its bias the discussions in the area. In essence the Media is the biggest obstacle to a mutual settlement between Israel and Palestine.

The Mass Media wields tremendous power, though it is being diluted by Social Media which offers an alternative to the monopoly it once had, when it only competed with niche publications that appealed strictly to a few people. The Media has an important role is a free society, and I would never advocate its censorship. Mass Media has been weaponized by the Left, which controls most of the traditional Media. When Media abandons its principal role of watchdog and assumes the role of activist the effect on society can be and has been historically detrimental and this failing can lead to disastrous consequences.

President Obama recently complained that Social Media was responsible for the perception that the World was in chaos, which is ironic as his whole ascent to the Presidency was aided by Social Media and Mass Media’s love for him. I don’t know which is scarier that the President would say it or that he really believes it. For 6 years the Media was a weapon against those that opposed the President, now that some of that Media are noticing how incompetent he really has been, he is complaining that they are not doing enough to shield him!090214_2313_MassMediaas4.jpg

Obama was a media construction, now it has become media nightmare, as it has exposed something that they have denied for years that they have a Left-Leaning tilt and have for decades. As a once Democrat supporting Hearst might have said; “You furnish the stories, I get you the Presidency”, but can he govern?

 

 

 

Diversity a Failed Ideology

In 1908, a play by Israel Zangwill was first staged. It was called the Melting Pot and depicted the life of a Russian-Jewish immigrant who having survived a Pogrom in Russia had immigrated to the US. The hero of the plays proclaims:

America is God’s Crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and reforming… Germans and Frenchmen, Irishmen and Englishmen, Jews and Russians – into the Crucible with you all! God is making the American.”

While the idea of melting together as a metaphor was not new, it dates back to at least 1780, this play brought the expression “melting pot” into general use in the US. Since then the expression has come under derision and now the accepted term is “multiculturalism” or diversity.

At the time, Zangwill, was celebrating the fusion of all these different cultures to produce Americans, not Russian-Americans or German-Americans but new Americans. He saw this as something to be celebrated. America would take all these heterogeneous people and assimilate them into a homogenous society. This simple principle served our country well. Aspects from different cultures were adapted into the general society but the end result was the same an American.

Diversity or multiculturalism has become official policy throughout the world but after the horrors of WWII it has change to mean something different than what Zangwill had celebrated in his play. Today, rather than celebrate the oneness of our country within all the cultures that make up our society, we instead celebrate the differences, fighting against assimilation and integration.

This has proved at times disastrous to various groups and the society as whole. In the UK the large migration of Muslims from South Asia with their contrasting views about women, religion, western laws have caused a huge rift in the country. Right now Scotland could vote to leave the commonwealth and the UKIP party which is promoting separation from the European Union, controlled immigration, etc. is poised to make huge gains in Parliament.

The recent scandal involving men mostly of Pakistani descent who in the city of Rotherham “groomed”, that is raped, trafficked and beat up to 1400 minors-some as young as 11 yrs. old- all while local authorities ignored the problem, in some cases jailing those who reported the issue has brought the issue of diversity to the fore-front.

According to the New York Times, the problem has existed since 1997, and though there were 3 earlier reports of the mass abuse the authorities, either suppressed or ignored the earlier reports published between 2002 and 2006. According to Alexis Jay, who filed the report that finally brought the problem to light said:

“They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated,”

Three earlier reports, published from 2002 to 2006, detailed the abuse, and according to Ms. Jay, “could not have been clearer in the description of the situation in Rotherham.” But the first one was “effectively suppressed” and the other two “ignored,” she said.

Some officials were apparently ordered by their managers to withhold information on the ethnic origin of the abusers, the report said. As a result, no contact was made with local Pakistani leaders for help in identifying gangs that continued to assault and abduct teenagers.

In case you think this is an isolated instance the same problems of sexual exploitation in cities including Oxford, Rochdale and Derby have also been reported with authorities ignoring the issue in the name of maintaining community harmony and diversity.

In Sweden, out of the 495 rapes committed against girls under 15 yrs. Old reported in 2013, 437 where committed by Muslims immigrants, something that the BRA has long tried to suppress. Other European countries have similar problems and it is not just relegated to “sexual crimes”.

With the goal of achieving diversity and multiculturalism, government officials have in many cases ignored or suppressed knowledge of problems since they would put certain culture norms in a negative light. Rather than those immigrants assimilating to life in the countries where they immigrated they are encourage to maintain their cultural identity and even those norms that are contrary to their host countries.

We have seen this with cities throughout Europe, adopting Sharia Law, banning of prayers, removing iconography deemed offensive and in some cases ignoring the laws of their countries. In the case of the sexual assaults they have adopted the views of the attackers that women are “sluts” and in essence were asking for it or just not worth the effort or the strife that it would cause to pursue the assailants. All in the name of Diversity.

Here the issue is how to address the criminality that afflicts the Urban Black population. Since the 70’s, local governments have adopted the view that only Blacks can solve their problems (which is true to an extent), and allowed a small group of Black leaders to dictate what the common policy will be. This has failed the Black community tremendously, as those leaders have used this power to enrich themselves and their cronies while the communities they are supposed to help have languished.

In a conundrum, the communities both decry the absence of law and order and at the same time protest law enforcements attempt to bring some order to their communities. The Black leaders rather than promote assimilation into the larger community, as Dr. King and others sought. They try to foment discord by pointing the differences and promoting “Black Culture” as separate to that of the whole community as a whole.

This divide and conquer strategy, whether done in good will or for nefarious reasons has meant that the larger Black community has been unable to fully integrate into the rest of society. Only those few who are successful are able to leave the turmoil behind and advance. The rest are stuck in a perpetual machine with low opportunities and bleak futures, which re-enforces the negative connotations inferred by others.

As Walter E. Williams writes:

“Though racial discrimination exists, it is nowhere near the barrier it once was. The relevant question is: How much of what we see today can be explained by racial discrimination? This is an important question because if we conclude that racial discrimination is the major cause of black problems when it isn’t, then effective solutions will be elusive forever.”

The problem with Diversity is that you don’t get to pick and choose which parts to maintain and which to drop. If Muslims cultures view of women is less than desirable, that needs to change. If Black minorities so not see how their Urban Black culture is affecting their community then nothing will ever change for them. Diversity only works when we all put something into a pot and come out as Americans, or British, Swedish or whatever. While no culture is perfect the values of those that live in it, should be reflective of the whole, otherwise chaos ensues…

Tea Party “is” responsible for the IRS, VA, Benghazi and other scandals

The Tea Party, or a better description the Tea Party movement, is responsible for the scandals that plaguing the Obama Administration, by bringing to the forefront the problems that afflict our government; cronyism, incompetence, size, mismanagement and size. Its populists message made inroads with people and appealed to voters across, racial, political, income and age lines.  It was this disenchantment that a young Jr. Senator from Illinois was able to tap into the Presidency over the more senior and experience opponents; first in the Democratic Primary against Hillary Clinton and then against long-time Senator McCain both Washington insiders.

The origins of the Tea Party Movement or TPM  are difficult to place, since many groups have claimed to be Tea Party Patriots or a variation, many in commemoration of the original protest that gave its name the Tea Party of 1773, a protest against the Crown’s taxes in the colonies. The current TPM really started to take shape as a protest against the Bush Administration, in particular the then proposed TARP program and the  Bush Administration expansion of the Federal government in 2008.

In 2009, with the new President Obama and its expansion of the TARP, to the bailout GM and Chrysler as well as the Stimulus Bill and later the proposed Health Care overhaul bill, while mired in a recession flamed the TPM into a National movement. The TPM held massive rallies throughout the country and in the mid-term elections of 2010 many candidates supported by the TPM were elected into Congress over Establishment politicians. Those gains in 2010 and the earlier victory of Senator Scott Brown at the beginning of 2010 to replace Senator Ted Kennedy who had died cemented the TPM as a legitimate force in National politics. Brown’s election was extremely important as his election would provide the Republicans with 41 Senate seats, which would have been enough to sustain a filibuster of the Obamacare bill in Congress.

Senator Brown’s election was important in other ways because it forced the Democrats to find ways to thwart the TPM and its populist movement. It also marked the departure of how the MSM’s media outlets covered the TPM. The TPM’s strong opposition to the Health Care bill, the Stimulus and other policies of the new Administration was from that point on in the MSM’s (Main Street Media) eyes one driven by racism, homophobia, xenophobia,  Hellenologophobia, anti-government, anarchists or just plain crazy people. One example of this is the Media’s reporting of the protests outside of Congress on the day that then Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and her entourage of Democratic Leaders including many from the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) marched in with her oversized mallet to commemorate the passage of the Health Care Bill. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) and other members of the CBC would claim that protester spat on him as they hurls racist slurs at him other Congressmen, despite the dozens of MSM cameras and hundreds more of others that were recording the event, none have corroborated his accusations. Breibart even offered a $100,000 reward for any video or audio that corroborated the claims, needless to say the reward was never claimed, in fact all the video footage disproved the claims. It didn’t stop the MSM from reporting the claims as factual, to this day many point to that non-event as proof of the TPM’s racism, just another instance of the MSM’s false but accurate reporting that become vogue when reporting about the TP or non-Democrats for that matter.

The TPM was becoming a powerful force in politics, one that could upset the delicate balance our 2 party system had developed through the years. To the Democrats it was siphoning support from those fiscally responsible Democrats still in the party, even though the party itself had taken a sharp turn to the left. To the Republicans they faced the possibility of it being consumed by the movement, upsetting the things as they are of the Establishment. Both parties have profited from government largesse, the Democrats would get funding for their social engineering and the Republicans the Defense and breaks for corporate entities. Both could go home to their districts and “bring home the bacon” from Washington and use it to get elected and re-elected. It was something that both would tout endlessly about  during the election season by incumbents and opponents if one failed to deliver. The TPM was looking to upset that symbiotic relationship between the parties, they had to be stopped.

In the beginning the Republican Party was happy with the Tea Party as it added life to their ranks who had been demoralized after the Bush Administration, they had lost both Houses of Congress and the Presidency and seemed lost without a clear message for the future. The TPM gave them a boost that they sorely needed, but it became apparent that the TPM was not going to be puppet of the Establishment Republicans, in fact the TPM would go just as hard against them as they would against the Democrats.  If the movement was to be stopped the Democrats would have to get involved to help and they did utilizing their allies in the MSM, Hollywood and some Republicans to bring a stopped to the TPM.

The Media’s reporting of the TPM changed, rallies that were once looked upon skeptically now were reported in negative connotations, the attendees where under reported, the racial make-up of the attendees was analysed, income levels, intelligence, etc. The TPM was put under a microscope, in the 2010 Mid-terms any Tea Party supported candidate was vetted rigorously, after the elections much was made about those that lost but very little was said about those that one, which far out-numbered the loses. The TPM candidates were often vilified, their statements were often taken out of context and portrayed negatively, but all of this was not enough to stop the wave that saw the Republican party from retaking one half of Congress putting the stop brakes on the Obama Administration Agenda. It was clear that the TPM needed to be stopped or 2012 would be another bad year for the Democrats.

This is why the TPM is responsible for the scandals that would follow. The Obama Administration and the Democrats Congress in had a very pro-Government Agenda. They sought to pass legislation that would radically change our country. From climate change regulation, to gun control, health care, financial regulation, etc. all would consolidate power on the Federal government. To the Democratic leadership, name the problem, more government seemed to be their solution. This of course was contrary to the TPM’s message, that saw too much government intervention and spending as the problem. To accomplish this the Administration and the Democratic Leadership set about in motion several actions to prove the not only the need for government intervention but that it could deliver the goods.

Fast and Furious– To prove the need for stricter gun control, it revived a Bush Administration program that was intended to track guns purchased in the US and sold to Mexican Drug Cartels, only this time the amount of guns would be much larger and no attempt would be made to track the guns across the border, we also would not notify the Mexican authorities of it. The hope was that when those guns would turn up in Mexico and traced back to the US, it would lend impetus to gun control legislation. This led to these guns being used to kill at least 2 US border agents and hundreds more dead in Mexico, including several massacres in Mexico.

Solyndra and others– To prove that the government could stimulate and replace the use of fossil fuels, millions of dollars were given to Solyndra and other renewable energy companies most have ceased operations, a few are limping along but the program has been a colossal waste of taxpayers money.

Benghazi and Arab Spring To demonstrate the new approach to Foreign relations, the Administration backed the rise of Islamist factions in allied countries, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Syria and Libya, the rebellions in those countries have thrown them all into chaos. Secular Tunisia is in turmoil by the new proposed constitution based on Sharia Law, Libya is split in two and in a continuing civil war, Yemen has been split with large portions in control by al-Qaeda, Syria was plunged into a civil war that has more that 150, 000 dead and millions residing in refugee camps, Egypt rejected the rule of the Islamist with a coup by the military who now rule the country. Also worth mentioning the rise al-Qaeda related groups in Mali that required the intervention of the French, or Boko Haram in Nigeria and neighboring countries. In Benghazi the same groups that we assisted in overthrowing the government attacked our Consulate which led to the deaths of our Ambassador and 3 others. In Syria the rebels that we were supporting have now turned around and have conquered large portions of Iraq, possibly leading to the partition of the country into 3 different factions.

Ukraine and Russia– The “reset” with Russia has worked about as well as can be expected with this Administration with the Ukraine losing the Crimea and in danger of losing the Eastern half of the country after we supported the Maidan pro-Western uprising against its elected government. Russia is also supporting the Syrian government which we are opposing and strengthening ties with China.

VA scandal– The Administration pointed to the VA as the standard and goal of its Health Care ambitions, it paid bonuses to their officials for delivering the quality of care that showed how a government could take over the health system and provide a quality service. Instead those bonuses helped to incentivize a system that failed to perform and hid the results of its failure with mock lists when those waiting to receive care died while waiting to see a doctor.  At the same time whistleblowers were harassed and fired when they brought the failures to light.  Meanwhile millions were paid to the families of the dead veterans in settlements to cover their failures to provide care.

IRS scandal To prevent the TPM from spreading its message, the IRS was weaponized to prevent local groups of TPM and Conservative groups the means to organize as an entity. The groups were investigated, slow walked and people on donor lists were investigated and audited.  Unlike the DNC and RNC the TPM is not one national organization but a conglomeration of smaller regional entities working together. They also did not share a single platform as some shared some social goals but others didn’t. The end result was that the TPM was mostly silent in the run-up to the 2014 Presidential Elections, which was immensely helpful in the re-election of the Obama Administration. Without their local voices the TPM, and the marginalization of the “teabaggers” by the MSM it blunted and silenced the TPM.

There other instances of actions that were caused by the TPM but as you can see the Administration and Establishment Republicans have taken measures to quashed the TPM. Just yesterday Senator Cochran won the primary in Mississippi over a TPM,  Conservative challenger by depicting his challenger as racist and directly appealing to the black community for its votes.  One black pastor who helped to organize votes against Cochran opponent, was asked why he was supporting Cochran over his challenger, he said because he that his challenger Chris McDaniel was a tea partier and a racist so he was helping Cochran win.  Oh by the way he also said that he would work hard come November to elect the Democratic nominee.

Like I said at the beginning, the Tea Party is to blame.

The Incredible Lightness of Being a Pop Culture President

Back in 2004, President Obama’s speech at the Democratic Convention put him on the map. A young State Senator from Illinois, highly educated of mix race who raised hopes of a better America. From that springboard he thrust into the national spotlight, first elected to serve in Congress as Illinois’ Jr. Senator serving in that capacity from 2005 until his election as President in November 2008.

In 2006, the future President wrote a second book, The Audacity of Hope, this book was more like a thesis on his political views and made his case to ascend to the Presidency. His first book, Dreams of my Father, which had been published in 1995 and then re-published to include the 2004 speech, was an auto-biography of his life until his election as the first Black President of the Harvard Law School Review. Both books won Grammy’s for best spoken word album, Dreams in 2006 and Audacity in 2008. Oprah Winfrey highly recommended his books, and was a central early supporter for his bid to the Presidency.

President Obama became a celebrity, even before he ran for President. Little was known about him except that which he had written in his books. The vetting that normally accompanies anyone seeking our highest office was forgotten. Contrast this to the investigations into the life of Sarah Palin who was running as VP candidate. Remember the calls from NY Times and other media entities for help in reading all, of  then Governor Palin’s e-mails, accusations that she was not the mother of her son, etc.

Very little vetting of Barry Soetero, aka Barack H. Obama was done. His celebrity status served as shield to his past and his written words were taken as gospel as to how he would lead the country. Obama would use his celebrity, clamoring for Hope and Change but anything time his got specific about what that entailed, he would either say something that should have made people cringe and take pause, or he would speak in such general terms that the words were meaningless. He would get a Nobel Peace Prize, months after taking office and without any accomplishments to merit such award, other that just being Obama.

When in January of 2008, as he was running for the nomination for President he said;

You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know — Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”

While he was unable to establish his cap-and-trade system as his own Democrats bailed on the idea, he is now doing using Executive fiat by utilizing his EPA and their power to regulate to achieve the same goal. At the time the MSM was not listening, they were remarking on how great the creases on his pants were, how good his oratory sounded, what would his picks for NCAA would be.

After all he was this guy who as Joe Biden said, was clean and articulate and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would expound as, “light-skinned” and “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”,  was a star. A celebrity that they could ride into the White House and to control Congress. Obama was that and much more, like a Hollywood A-list actor who could portray many roles, a blank slate that people could project anything to.

To the young, he was someone who appear just as comfortable talking about basketball, movies and Hip Hop music as he was about boring politics.

To women, he embodied the new man, a well-dressed metro sexual totally in tune with his femininity.

To Blacks, he was one of their own, someone raised by a single mother who through education and hard work had risen to the top, despite discrimination and racism.

To the Old, here was a minority candidate that would prove once and for all that they were not bigots, and racists, that they could elect some other if the candidate was right.

To the Academia, he was a product of themselves, an embodiment of their goals

To the Middle Class, he appear as someone who knew their struggles, an outsider who had risen, to deliver the relief they needed after the battering the Recession had given them.

He was the anti-War, anti-Bush, anti-Capitalist candidate, he was everything they projected and he was none of that. At the end of the movie the projector is turned off and people have to get on with their lives.

The movie is over for many people, the credits are rolling for others. Far too late many are recognizing that it was all a façade an illusion. It was a long movie that had a promising plot and characters but that ultimately did not deliver. This is not just those Independents and Republicans who helped to elect him and re-elect Obama but many of his own that are realizing this.

As Richard Fernandez writes, using a runaway train for a metaphor;

The illusion of concordance may have held up at first, at the start of the Obama administration. But ever since Hope and Change left the off-ramp it seems headed off into the blue and nobody is quite sure where it’s going.  A terrible realization has set in among insiders. Suppose this wheel is disconnected from the steering linkage?”

Although it fashionable to caricature the liberal mindset, intelligent liberals are no fools. Many of them have a record of solid achievement believed they could safely engage in income transfers, arms control, engagement with American enemies or even opening the border because they could turn off the valve if things threatened to go too far.  They were comfortable with power and certain — perhaps over certain — of their own judgment.’

“They’re a bunch of authentic geniuses on a runaway train wondering what went wrong. The blind spot that fooled them was basic.  They took the terms of the train journey at face value. That made them highly vulnerable to the one man who boards the train for whom the agreement means nothing at all;”

Worth reading the whole article, these are people who read the plot the skipped the reviews or only those that were favorable and paid to see this movie but now the movie is ending and a hallow feeling is all that is left. Yet there are still some believers, some refuse to leave the movie theater and want an encore.

As James Taranto, writing in Wall Street Journal, describes National Journal’s Lucia Graves’ article “Obama’s Thankfully ‘Dictatorial’ Approach to Climate Change.”

According to Graves, Limbaugh “has it precisely backward: The decision to use executive authority is the means, not the ends.” And you’ll never guess what justifies the means: “It also makes a lot of sense when it comes to global warming given Congress’s failure to pass the Waxman-Markey energy bill in 2009, and, for decades before that, to pass any sort of comprehensive climate legislation whatsoever.”

Yes, it has come to this. Americans are being urged to submit to “dictatorial” government because democracy is incapable of controlling the weather. “In college classes, climate change is taught as a textbook example of where democracy fails,” Graves asserts in the very first sentence of her column.”

As with all fads in Pop Culture, Obama has a deadline. At some point people realize that wearing pants 3 sizes too big and showing your dirty boxers, is not cool anymore. Or that Uggs boots are ugly, that Rap music is not Urban Poetry but a misogynist, violent and detrimental genre of music to the Social fabric of our country, especially the Inner Cities.

There is nothing wrong with having ‘Hopes and Dreams’, as long as we keep the facts in mind and act accordingly. Otherwise we have to delude ourselves and as Victor Davis Hanson, writes treat “Fictions as Truth”, another must read.

Eventually, the credits roll and the movie ends. We have to move to the exits of the theater and ponder the reality as it hits us in the face. Currently there are more people who are more familiar with our Pop President’s dealings with Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Will and Jada Smith or his basketball picks than his policies or their effect on them.  Obama is not the first Pop President, certainly JFK and more recently Clinton used their celebrity to help govern. Obama may be the first to be elected because of his celebrity, and has proven just as shallow, as little as them.

Perhaps Obama should remember those words that helped to propelled him into the spotlight, and eventually into the Presidency:

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.

Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.

There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.

The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states.

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

Those words that seemed to have so much meaning then, but now sound just like any other spoken by a Hollywood Actor. Roll the credits; THE END


 

Race- Getting wrong again- The Case against Reparations

UPDATE!

Kevin Williamson writing for the National Review gives his take on the same subject, here’s an except:

It may very well be the case that African Americans will never, no matter what policies are enacted, catch up economically with whites. Even assuming that invidious racism were an entirely negligible factor, it is likely that economic development will tend to proceed along broad racial channels if, for example, people of various ethnicities tend to largely marry within their ethnic group, live in neighborhoods largely populated by co-ethnics, and engage in other social-sorting behavior that is racial at its root but not really what we mean by the word “racism.” If that is the case — and it seems that it is — then initial conditions will be very important for a very long period of time.

And that would be true even if there had been no slavery and no discrimination. Imagine, for example, that rather than having been brought to the colonies as slaves, the first Africans to arrive in the New World had come as penniless immigrants in 1900. If their incomes grew in the subsequent century at the same rate as those of white natives, then a century later they’d still be as far behind as they were when they arrived. Income gaps have been closed and closed quickly by some immigrant groups — notably European Jews, Vietnamese immigrants, and Indian immigrants — because their incomes across the first few generations grew much, much more quickly than the native rate. And though the hostility that often met these immigrants is not comparable to the experience of slavery and African Americans’ subsequent repression, it is worth appreciating that Jewish and Asian immigrants have not always been welcomed with universal warmth. The black experience is unique within the context of American history, but it is hardly unique within the context of the experience of other racial minorities in other societies throughout history.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/378737/case-against-reparations-kevin-d-williamson

 

The election season must be near, it is easy to tell as articles such as, the Atlantic’s  Ta-Nehisi Coates’, “The case for reparations“, get published and become the fodder for all the talking heads in the MSM. While it was not his intent he makes a good case as to why we don’t need reparations.  In his attempt to demonstrate the uniqueness of the “Black Plight” he rather shows how similar the experience is to that faced by other groups of immigrants and migrant worker who have thrived and persevered despite the obstacles they originally faced. After quoting the Bible, John Locke and another anonymous source he begins his essay thus:

“The state’s regime partnered robbery of the franchise with robbery of the purse. Many of Mississippi’s black farmers lived in debt peonage, under the sway of cotton kings who were at once their landlords, their employers, and their primary merchants. Tools and necessities were advanced against the return on the crop, which was determined by the employer. When farmers were deemed to be in debt—and they often were—the negative balance was then carried over to the next season.”

Peonage or debt servitude was very common and it was not limited  to blacks but many white farmers had similar arrangements and similar results. A real example of State sponsored Peonage would be like that which was instituted by the Spanish Crown in 1873 when it abolished slavery in Puerto Rico. Under the new law that emancipated the slaves, the slave owners were compensated by the government for their former slaves but it also decreed that the former slaves must work the land of their previous owner for a minimum of 3 years.  They would not be “free” until that time expired.  Though they would be compensated for their work, they could not leave until the peonage had been paid.  Those that did not stay on the land that was provided to them, as many did, without title to the property until their time was up would lose claim to the property and became fugitives. That is not what Mr. Coates describes, but a very common happening to this day of farmers borrowing money for expenses using the projected future crops, with the land as collateral.  If the crops failed or prices deviated many farmers found themselves losing their land to their lenders or bank.  But fallow land is not profitable so many lenders resorted to share-cropping , that would allow the farmer to remain and work the land while debts were paid and crops was the only collateral available to them at that point. In Mississippi for instance while 70+% of black farmers were sharecroppers so were 40% of white farmers.  By the 1920’s  the price of cotton was on a free fall which meant perpetual debts for both black and white farmers. Coates likes to use small anecdotes in making his case, but they leave out information,  is misleading,  incomplete or unverifiable. His anecdote on how the Ross family lost their farm due to back taxes, for instance does not have a date only that it was when Mr. Ross was a child.  He then talks about a story by the AP in 2001 detailing 406 victims throughout the South that the story determine were documented thefts of black properties.  Sad as that may have been 406 “thefts” out of the millions of farmers that existed in the South is hardly indicative of anything. Again he does not mention the story by name, or authors or provide a link. He goes on to detail how Mr. Ross was a smart kid but the better school was to far to walk and return in time to work the fields, this strikes me as a decision of convenience for him and his family. Whether the white kids had access to a school bus or not is immaterial as he was not prevented from attending this new school because of  busing, schools were segregated, but because it would be inconvenient to the family. The same thing happens with Coates’ anecdote about Mr. Ross horse. The story is meant to garner sympathy for a young child. But, does it do that.  Examining the story it is very strange that if the point was to relieve the kid of the horse that they would pay anything for it. Further, if you do a simple search about the prices of a colt,  you find that $17 is about the  price you would pay in 1933 for a 2-year-old colt.  A 6 month-old horse was worth about $8, he could buy 2 for the price of the one he lost or sold.  I can’t help but wonder if because, this was 1933 and the 4th year into the Depression that having a horse for leisure was an extravagant luxury during that time. Cotton had been falling from their high pre-Civil War highs when the South produced 3/4 of  the world’s cotton. In 1919 cotton hit its high 35 cent per bale before the bottom fell out of cotton prices. By 1933 the price was down to 5 cents per bale.  In fact the sharp decrease in prices of cotton in the 20’s led to the First Great Migration of blacks farmers to the North. Looking back at historical data, the avg. price of cotton between 1900 and 1945 was 14.6 cents,  from a high of 35 cents in 1919 to a low 5 cents in 1933 so the prices the Ross family was being paid are certainly within the range of what others were getting regardless of race. Cotton prices would not hit 50 cents a pound until the mid 1970’s, all of this information is readily available for Mr. Coates if he wanted to educate or inform the readers of plight of the farmers at the turn of the century. Living in a farm is hard work, regardless of race.  The years at the turn of the century were hard on farmers there is no need to try to insinuate that things were harder because of race.  The same hardships were faced by White sharecroppers as Black sharecroppers. Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty show, was suspended from his show on the A&E network,  was suspended  for his comments on gay relationships but in that same article he also said this:

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

There were calls by some to label Robertson for saying this, as it is against the prevailing story from people like Mr. Coates that Blacks left the South because of discrimination which drove them out of their farms and homes. The truth is a little more nuanced than that.  Is interesting that Mr. Coates choose to showcase Mr. Ross’ story and not someone from another southern State.  Mississippi was the first State to elect a Black Senator in 1870 and the second in 1875.  Their new Constitution in 1868, the  convention adopted universal suffrage; did away with property qualifications for suffrage or for office, a change that also benefited poor whites; provided for the state’s first public school system; forbade race distinctions in the possession and inheritance of property; and prohibited limiting civil rights in travel.   The reforms only lasted for 22 years until 1890 when a new constitution disenfranchised most blacks and poor whites but by that time fully 2/3 of Mississippi’s Delta  farmers where black. Blacks kept coming to the Delta area and it was not until first agricultural depression culminating in the early 20’s that the first Great Migration of  Blacks to the North occurred.  As falling prices of Cotton caused many Black and White farmers to sell their land in order to pay-off  debts.  Though many did remain as sharecroppers for another 20 years. Was discrimination part of the decision to leave the Delta farms and seek better fortunes in the North, probably but it was not until the economic conditions got dire that many made that decision.  The North needed labor, the South had excess labor as with Migration of workers economics was the driving factor. Mr. Coates continues with Mr. Ross’ life by detailing his efforts to buy a home in Chicago,  using  a Contract for Deed.  He tries very hard to make the practice seem nefarious, but that is far from the case. Contract for Deed or Land Contracts are still used to this day.  It provides people who have lack credit or have limited resources and opportunity to own a  property and are used quite frequently.  Are there risks involved sure for both the buyer and the seller. Depending on how the contracts are written a buyer risks losing his investments if he loses his job or some large expense like the boiler breaks down and he is unable to pay for the repairs.  Owners risk potential buyers leaving the property before the contract is finished in deplorable conditions that would require a capital expense before the property could be sold again. Either way Mr. Ross was able to purchase his home using this method despite his complaints against the way by which he bought the property. The complaint about lack  of access to equity in the house while on the Contract Sale is true, but if as Mr.Ross did, and buy out his home the equity did not disappear only his access to it while paying for the house. None of this would strike any other large group of immigrant out of the ordinary, Germans, Poles, Jews, Italians, Irish, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, etc all faced restrictions and lack of access to financing, areas where they could not buy a house at all and were steered to certain areas at one point or another. Mr. Ross’ story should be one about perseverance and success not as case for reparations.  It seems such a shame that rather than celebrating his achievements we are told to see his story as one of deprivation and envy because his journey should have been easier in Mr. Coates’ opinion.

“Contract sellers became rich. North Lawndale became a ghetto…” “According to the most-recent statistics, North Lawndale is now on the wrong end of virtually every socioeconomic indicator. In 1930 its population was 112,000. Today it is 36,000. The halcyon talk of “interracial living” is dead. The neighborhood is 92 percent black. Its homicide rate is 45 per 100,000—triple the rate of the city as a whole. The infant-mortality rate is 14 per 1,000—more than twice the national average. Forty-three percent of the people in North Lawndale live below the poverty line—double Chicago’s overall rate. Forty-five percent of all households are on food stamps—nearly three times the rate of the city at large. Sears, Roebuck left the neighborhood in 1987, taking 1,800 jobs with it. Kids in North Lawndale need not be confused about their prospects: Cook County’s Juvenile Temporary Detention Center sits directly adjacent to the neighborhood.”

This is one of Mr. Coates’ most spurious charges, he does not explain how Black home ownership created a ghetto with all the connotations that come with that charge.  If home ownership created a ghetto in North Lawndale, then perhaps the problem is the pressure that is put on Blacks to own a home when renting is better option.  Instead of pushing for higher rates of home ownership, especially of those on the fringes we should discourage it until they a stronger foundation (long-term employment, financial security, marriage, stability, substantial down payment) things that many first-time Black buyers lack, but feel pressure to commit to buying a home nevertheless. There segregation was policy practice against Blacks, as it was other groups but does policies are not in force now and have not been for decades.  Today’s segregated communities are the result, in many cases of governmental policies.  Free or subsidize Housing that directs the poor to certain neighborhoods, welfare policies that penalize recipients if they get married, obtain a job or move to another area and the lack of accountability of those that game the system. Making matters worse, has become permissive of lifestyle choices that while at pains to say it, sociologists have now recognized that the family unit is the a main contributor to many of the ills that Mr. Coates feel will be cure by re-desegregation.  Including lower crime rates, higher wealth and incomes.  It is the reason why Latinos the group most often compared, comparatively to Blacks have surpassed them in practically every category even though back in the 60’s they trailed Blacks and Whites by wide margins. Today Latino’s are reaching parity with Whites in all categories and are poised to supplant Whites as the largest Ethnic group. The rest of Coates’ long essay does not break any new ground, he tries to correlate poverty with crime as an excuse to the Black real problems with high crime in their neighborhoods.  One statement he made I want to address.  He writes the following:

“From the White House on down, the myth holds that fatherhood is the great antidote to all that ails black people. But Billy Brooks Jr. had a father. Trayvon Martin had a father. Jordan Davis had a father. Adhering to middle-class norms has never shielded black people from plunder. Adhering to middle-class norms is what made Ethel Weatherspoon a lucrative target for rapacious speculators. Contract sellers did not target the very poor. They targeted black people who had worked hard enough to save a down payment and dreamed of the emblem of American citizenship—home ownership. It was not a tangle of pathology that put a target on Clyde Ross’s back. It was not a culture of poverty that singled out Mattie Lewis for “the thrill of the chase and the kill.” Some black people always will be twice as good.”

Yes, Trayvon Martin had a “father”  and mother as did Jordan Davis and Billy Brooks Jr. but what they lacked was a family unit. All three were sent to stay with their fathers because they had become too much to handle for their respective mothers.  Being a sperm donor is easy, being a father is much harder.  Showing up after problems manifest themselves is failing in your duties as a father and should not be celebrated. Ethel Weatherspoon, like Clyde Ross bought a house in the North Lawndale area is she also to blame for the condition of the neighborhood today? Of course not, and neither are the rapacious speculators that sold them the house.  They wanted the American Dream to own a house and they did, using the method available to them as many others of limited means did before. That is the problem with Mr. Coates’ essay, with the exception of the despicable period of slavery, the hardships and triumphs  are the same that many other ethnic groups faced and are still facing. The Black experience is only singular in their estimation, as is their feeling that because of slavery their road should to success should have been paved, rather than a curvy, rock-strewn one with detours along the way.

The road to success is not straight. There is a curb called Failure, a loop called Confusion; speed bumps called Friends; red lights called Enemies;caution lights called Family. You will have flats called jobs. But, if you have a spare called Determination; an engine called Perseverance; insurance called Faith, and a driver called Jesus, you will make it to a place called Success!!- Anon.

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