Site Proves Racism Isn’t Really the Problem; Commenters Prove Otherwise

A black leader is running a billboard campaign to improve his community. Racism ensues.

black-lives-matter

A conservative site highlights Memphis businessman Fred L. Davis’ billboard campaign urging young black men to do better as evidence racism isn’t the problem. The site’s commenters demonstrate otherwise.

The Blaze (“Civil Rights Activist Who Marched With Martin Luther King Posts Blunt Billboard About ‘Black Lives Matter'”)”

“Black lives matter. So let’s quit killing each other.”

One man feels so strongly about that message that he put it in big bold letters on a Memphis, Tennessee, billboard, just steps from where he goes to work everyday.

“We’re going to have to wake up. We’re going to have to say to ourselves that black lives matter, and we’re going to have to refrain from killing each other out of our own frustration,” civil rights activist Fred Davis told WMC-TV.

The sign was put up at Airways Boulevard and Park Avenue southeast of downtown. Davis said he wanted to get the message across to people because he was a part of the history.

“I think that gives me a license as an experienced observer to push and to advocate to the black community – let’s stop it,” Davis added.

Davis is an Army veteran who served in France for two years. He was also the first black man to receive a masters of business administration degree from the University of Memphis, the first black chairman of the Memphis city council, and walked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when the iconic civil rights leader made his last march in Memphis in 1968, the year of his assassination.

Okay. So what’s the punchline?

Much of the national debate has largely centered around white-on-black shootings and in many cases has failed to mention the number of blacks who die at the hands of other blacks every year. But for the black members of this Memphis neighborhood, the sentiment isn’t quite the same.

“I feel like it’s a great deal for the community,” one man told WMC-TV.

“I feel great about this,” another said.

The story also highlights another billboard run by Davis back in 2013:

show-your-mind-not-your-behind

 

I concur with Davis—and the president, and virtually every other black leader—that black-on-black crime is a problem and that young men should both get an education and pull up their damned pants. Does that mean that white racism is a thing of the past?

Well, lets’s go to Jinxe, the first commenter on the thread:

I like this guy…too bad his way of thinking won’t spread.

Black on black crime, sagging pants…it’s all a part of the culture that gives free rides through life.

Too follow his advice, they’d have to man up, get in the game…and earn their own way in life.

And that ain’t happening.

Or rvick, the first responder to Jinxe:

I agree………..something else it shows is this Highly educated “Black” man worked hard and got a good “usable” college degree and started his own business………
unlike the few young Blacks today who are getting useless degrees on Affirmative Action basically just handing them pieces of paper like a Trophy to the losing Little League Team.
Black people were some of the best people after the horror that they were put through but then something happened…….The Government stepped in and put them back in bondage but they just don’t realize it! or they just don’t care!

Here’s Gonzo, the second original commenter:

Too bad our POTUS didn’t have this man’s common sense. He could have improved black lives, instead he’s just embittered them.

And RaisedRightMT, the first commenter on Gonzo’s post:

Barry O and Moochele are both racist. Their full intention was to keep tensions high just to keep the “debate” open. But, we all know they just set race relations back decades.

Having hosted an Internet site (this one) for more than a dozen years, I’m the last guy to argue that a site should be judged by its commenters. But the above comments are highly representative of not only the discussion thread on that particular post but pretty much every discussion of this issue I’ve seen, well, anywhere, including here. Over the years, our commentariat has drifted left—much more so than the original posters. But even here, where we make a pretty concerted effort to run off the worst offenders, there’s a lot of the sort of reaction that Jinxe his cohorts spout on pretty much any posting touching on racial issues.

So, yeah, to quote President Obama, “Brothers should pull up their pants.” But, no, racism isn’t dead.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Race and Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    Here’s Gonzo, the second original commenter:
    Too bad our POTUS didn’t have this man’s common sense. He could have improved black lives, instead he’s just embittered them.

    And RaisedRightMT, the first commenter on Gonzo’s post:
    Barry O and Moochele are both racist. Their full intention was to keep tensions high just to keep the “debate” open. But, we all know they just set race relations back decades.

    Kind of depressing, but not surprising.

    In my view, those two responses encapsulate the attitude of today’s Republican Party concerning the president and about race in general. That is, (1) Obama is a racist, and (2) ‘reverse racism’ is a bigger problem than historical racism that has afflicted this country since the 17th century. We’re not over race, we’re over the Civil War.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    In my view persistent racism and the enduring effects of slavery, Jim Crow, and AFDC all continue to pose barriers to African Americans, as does poverty itself. Kevin Drum has made a mission of pointing out the possible effects of lead poisoning on intellectual development and impulsive behavior.

    Do bad decisions play a role, too? Probably. I’m not in a position to quantify any of these effects.

    The whole society is pushing everyone, not just African Americans, in the direction of bad decisions. The consequences of one bad decision for a kid from a rich family or a famous movie star or the executive of a big company or an elected official who holds high office may be negligible. The same bad decision for a kid from a poor family may result in a blighted life.

    It’s not fair but it’s real.

  3. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Dr. Joyner, it’s not even debatable.

    The only black people whose killings are important are those who were killed by non-blacks.

    Look at your own site. Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice — they all got extensive coverage here. When was the last time OTB gave any coverage to a black person killed by another black person?

    You can argue that you’re not the problem, and I’ll agree. You don’t make the trends, you just follow them. But that makes you a part of the problem. Your own articles show that you don’t care about dead black people unless they were killed by non-blacks — at least, you certainly don’t give them any public attention.

    And if I may go off-topic, Dr. Joyner, I’ve been wondering (and worrying a little) about you and the OPM data hacks. From all accounts, you’d definitely be in the list of victims, and I was hoping to hear what it has been like from that perspective.

  4. stonetools says:

    This is unsurprising-and not limited to blacks. During the 19th and early 20th Centuries, European Jews did everything they could think of to fit into European culture.They changed their names, they moved to the countryside and farmed, they participated in various league sports, they joined the army, they even converted to Christianity. Nothing worked.
    Thomas Sowell and many black conservatives dating back to Booker T. Washington have argued that the solution is for blacks to change and become “model minorities”-then racism would fade away.
    That’s not how it works. The haters would simply hate blacks for other reasons. (Note the hatred for Barack and Michelle Obama-two “model minority” Americans).

  5. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Lord, that chesnut again? Dry your crocodile tears and read Jamelle Bouie:

    And in short, it’s easy to find examples of marches and demonstrations against crime. In the last four years, blacks have held community protests against violence in Chicago; New York; Newark, New Jersey; Pittsburgh; Saginaw, Michigan; and Gary, Indiana. Indeed, there’s a whole catalog of movies, albums, and sermons from a generation of directors, musicians, and religious leaders, each urging peace and order. You may not have noticed black protests against crime and violence, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t happened. Black Americans—like everyone else—are concerned with what happens in their communities, and at a certain point, pundits who insist otherwise are either lying or willfully ignorant.

    To that point, it’s worth noting the extent to which “what about black-on-black crime” is an evasion, an attempt to avoid the fundamental difference between being killed by a citizen and being killed by an agent of law. And it’s not new. “When Ida B. Wells … tried to explain to a wealthy suffragist in Chicago that anti-black violence in the nation must end,” writes historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad for The Nation, “Mary Plummer replied: Blacks need to “drive the criminals out” of the community. ‘Have you forgotten that 10 percent of all the crimes that were committed in Chicago last year were by colored men [less than 3 percent of the population]?’ ”

    Regardless of cause or concern, a community doesn’t forfeit fair treatment because it has crime. That was true then when the scourge was lynching, and it’s true now that the scourge is unjust police violence. Say what you will about “black-on-black crime,” just don’t pretend it has anything to do with unfair killings at the hands of the state.

  6. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: Conversely, you could look at the hatred spewed at blacks like Ben Carson, Allen West, Condoleeza Rice, Clarence Thomas (and the aforementioned Dr. Sowell), among others, by liberals and progressives. They’re “model minorities” in that they’ve each risen to the top of their chosen professions, yet still can’t be accepted because of their chosen political beliefs.

  7. MBunge says:

    This is the bind we are in. White racism provides an excuse for black dysfunction. Black dysfunction provides an excuse for white racism.

    Mike

  8. steve says:

    Jenos- Do you have examples of black police,(including wannabe police) or other govt officials killing unarmed black people under dubious circumstances? The one case I can think of, Freddie Gray, has certainly gotten lots of coverage. Black people killing black people gets plenty of local coverage, as does white people killing white people. Stories that achieve national attention seem to be ones where authority figures, people authorized to use violence, have done so in situations that were highly questionable, and it seems to mostly result in black people being killed. How many 12 y/o’s playing with toy guns have the police shot?

    Steve

  9. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: And just what has all that achieved?

  10. steve says:

    “. They’re “model minorities” in that they’ve each risen to the top of their chosen professions, yet still can’t be accepted because of their chosen political beliefs.”

    They are also accepted by half of the country because of their political beliefs, but I am not sure that prominent political figures are the way to judge things. Half the country also doesn’t accept Scott Walker due to his beliefs, as half the country loves him because of those.

    Steve

  11. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @steve: Here’s an idea: treat each case on its own merits, instead of trying to make them fit into some overarching template.

    The Michael Brown shooting: entirely justified.

    The Trayvon Martin case: still ambiguous to some people, but the evidence is pretty conclusive that it was justified.

    The Freddie Gray case: something seriously stinky there, and the prosecutor’s attempting to keep critical facts sealed and secret is NOT helping.

    The Tamir Rice case: also seriously stinky.

    The Eric Garner case: also stinky, but medical records indicate that his underlying health issues were a major factor in his death.

    When you try to make every case a part of a whole, you do a disservice to the people involved in those cases by reducing them to statistics. If you decide that a certain percentage of cops are racist, and are motivated by that racism to commit crimes, then it becomes ridiculously easy to simply say that a certain percentage of killings by police are racially motivated, and just “play the odds” and say that a particular case was racist. And when that happens, the actual facts of that particular case cease to matter.

    Darren Wilson’s career as a police officer is over, and the city of Ferguson will never be the same, because the myth that he killed Michael Brown in an act of racist rage was fabricated and propagated around the world. And the people who created, promoted, and profited from that lie will never be held to account.

  12. James Joyner says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    The consequences of one bad decision for a kid from a rich family or a famous movie star or the executive of a big company or an elected official who holds high office may be negligible. The same bad decision for a kid from a poor family may result in a blighted life.

    I think that’s the key right there, Dave. I didn’t come from monetary privilege by any means but have been able to fail on more than one occasion and get another shot. It’s much harder for a black man, all things being equal, to do that. And the poorer, the harder.

    People who make it can, rightly, point to their own hard work and sacrifice along the way. But lots of people work hard and make good choices and still fail through sheer bad luck and other things outside their control. And highly talented people, especially from affluent backgrounds, can make bad choice after bad choice and land on their feet.

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Yeah, I’m almost certainly a victim of the OPM hacks. There are supposed to be credit monitoring and other countermeasures coming. I’m not super worried, in that I just always assume that information is going to get into the wild at some point, anyway.

    In terms of the topic at hand, I just don’t focus much on “human interest” stories or individual level crimes. The white-on-black crimes that we discuss are part of a larger trend that I find more interesting.

  13. MBunge says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: hatred spewed at blacks like Ben Carson, Allen West, Condoleeza Rice, Clarence Thomas

    Rice has received far less criticism than just about any other member of the Bush II Administration and virtually none of it is racial in any respect.

    Who has spewed “hatred” at Ben Carson?

    Allen West gets ripped because people think he’s a loon.

    There is definitely a racial element to the animosity toward Thomas but that is because he is seen as a sellout who defends and promotes policies that are harmful to black people.

    Mike

  14. MBunge says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: erits, instead of trying to make them fit into some overarching template.

    Shorter Jenos – People being blamed for killing blacks? Very bad. The killing of blacks? No big deal.

    Mike

  15. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @MBunge: You apparently don’t read the comment threads here if you wonder who spews hatred at people like Carson.

    And Dr. C. Rice was the subject of some truly vile racist attacks by nationally prominent cartoonists, who suffered not one whit for their racism.

  16. MBunge says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: A link to the Nationsl Review, of all places, which makes allegations of racism WITHOUT EVEN PROVIDING A LINK to the alleged racism kind of proves my point.

    Mike

  17. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And Dr. C. Rice was the subject of some truly vile racist attacks by nationally prominent cartoonists, who suffered not one whit for their racism.

    Yeah, well….the point of this post is that racism is not dead, not that only one side of our political dichotomy engages in it.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MBunge:

    White racism provides an excuse for black dysfunction.

    There is a difference between an excuse, and a reason. Sorry you can’t tell it.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The Michael Brown shooting: entirely justified.

    By what criteria? The results of a rigged Grand jury?

    The Trayvon Martin case: still ambiguous to some people, but the evidence is pretty conclusive that it was justified.

    Yeah… cause only armed people get to stand their ground.

    The Freddie Gray case: something seriously stinky there, and the prosecutor’s attempting to keep critical facts sealed and secret is NOT helping.

    Just leave it at that.

    The Tamir Rice case: also seriously stinky.

    Glad to see you did this time.

    The Eric Garner case: also stinky, but medical records indicate that his underlying health issues were a major factor in his death.

    So it’s OK if non-violent people are killed by police using unnecessary force is OK if they have health issues?

  20. grumpy realist says:

    Yah, you imagine that if Barack and Michelle had kids who acted like Bristol Palin we’d see the noise turned up to eleven. Heck, look at the squawking that was done when the kids looked slightly bored at a ceremony!

    But the Palin clan’s shenanigans–not a word out of the right on their trashiness.

  21. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I thought the original point was that there was no concern for black-on-black crime. Once you demonstrated you were wrong about that, you the n moved out to the different question of “how effective it was”. You know, we can actually see you moving the goalposts.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    What is missing from this discussion (everywhere it is discussed) is that Black Lives Matter. I put this on the back of my truck, but not after Michael Brown got shot for shoplifting, or Eric Garner was choked to death for selling loosies, or John Crawford was shot for being black while holding a BB gun, or Tamir Rice got shot for being black while holding a toy, but after the Ferguson folks who were marching to Jefferson City to demonstrate their concerns were met in Rosebud MO by a racist crowd waving Confederate flags and yelling “GO BACK TO AFRICA NI**ER!”

    I put it there just to say to all my racist Confederate flag waving POS neighbors that no, even out here in backwoods Washington Co, racism is not acceptable, that black lives matter, and it is time for this stuff to end. Not just the killing, but all the stuff that makes black lives so much more difficult, from blatant racism to the repeated systemic injustices to all the little slights that sting on a daily basis but we don’t even notice.

  23. stonetools says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Note the right’s defense of former ” family values” icons the Duggars.
    I’m not a fan of the “low hanging pants” look. I think it’s idiotic beyond words. But compared to someone molesting his sisters? It’s obvious to me which is more worthy of condemnation. But apparently, not to many conservatives…

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @stonetools: My youngest took to doing that in HS. After the 3rd or 4th time I yanked them to his ankles and laughed as he fell, he stopped doing it. At least around me.

  25. stonetools says:

    Please free my comment from the anti spam defenses. Thanks.

  26. Tillman says:

    Man, some people really need to watch The Wire.

    Paraphrasing here…

    “We’re never going to beat [the drug dealers]. When we screw up, we get suspended, we get shuffled to a different department. When they screw up, they get beaten or killed. It’s not the same game to them.”

  27. Kylopod says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You apparently don’t read the comment threads here if you wonder who spews hatred at people like Carson.

    I have read–and participated in–the comment thread here, and the overwhelming consensus I see is that Dr. Carson is a very smart man who holds some very stupid beliefs which demean his accomplishments. If you disagree with this assessment, feel free to defend his claims that the contemporary U.S. is like Nazi Germany, that Obamacare is like slavery, and that prisons prove gay people choose to be gay. Otherwise, you may want to rethink holding him up as a prime example of conservative martyrdom.

  28. anjin-san says:

    @Kylopod:

    You beat me to it.

    But keep in mind that Jenos is the guy who thinks Muslim “no go” zones are real. He’s the one who though Ebola was going to kill us all and it was Obama’s fault. He also apparently thinks he won the argument over Treyvon Martin’s killing.

    Is it any wonder that he sees a delusional person like Ben Carson as a sympathetic figure?

  29. anjin-san says:

    Here’s video of David Washington being pepper sprayed by police while he was having a stroke.

    Here’s video of William Wingate, a 70 year old veteran who has never been in trouble with the law, being arrested for a fictional assault on a police officer.

    Here’s video of Eric Casebolt’s violent and entirely unprovoked attack on a teenage girl in a bikini.

    Yea, there’s no evidence of a template/pattern here.

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @anjin-san:

    Here’s video of Eric Casebolt’s…

    The best part of that video is the obvious assumption by him that the problem was being caused by the blacks, the whites are all innocent bystanders.

  31. anjin-san says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    This picture is worth a thousand words…

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Different issue (Occupy Wall Street protests), but I thought this pic spoke a million words.

  33. Gustopher says:

    @MBunge:

    There is definitely a racial element to the animosity toward Thomas but that is because he is seen as a sellout who defends and promotes policies that are harmful to black people.

    He also opposes the policies that he himself benefited from. And he doesn’t ask questions or even speak during court, which leads to accusations of him being dumb and lazy — fitting right into the stereotype of the dumb, lazy n***** who got his job through affirmative action. He refuses to report his wife’s lobbying work, which makes him uppity, and he doesn’t recuse himself where there is a conflict from that which just makes him corrupt. He has a white wife, which clearly upsets some people who already think of him as a race traitor.

    He engenders a level of hatred that Scalia, his oft-times ideological soulmate, does not. Some of that is deserved (the never speaking in court is weird, and his wife’s lobbying is problematic), but a lot is just plain racism. Fat Tony gets a little bit of racist criticism, but generally people have stopped caring about Italians, so there’s no bite to it.

  34. humanoid.panda says:

    @MBunge: @MBunge:
    Here is Jenos’ thought process:

    1. Presume that reverse racism creates as shield that makes African American politicians immune to criticism.
    2. Notice that Carson, West, Rise, Thomas*, etc. are routinely criticized.
    3. Cry victimhood in their names.

    Here’s an SAT question: spot the faulty assumption underlying this thought process!

    * As you say, Thomas is really one case where race (and the fact that he, rather wisely IMO, doesn’t participate in the SCOTUS circus act) made liberals presume the man is not nearly as smart as he is.

  35. Gustopher says:

    Over the years, our commentariat has drifted left—much more so than the original posters. But even here, where we make a pretty concerted effort to run off the worst offenders, there’s a lot of the sort of reaction that Jinxe his cohorts spout on pretty much any posting touching on racial issues.

    Are you saying that people on the left are less racist?

    I think we’re just more subtle. For instance, Republicans email each other racist jokes, and liberals email each other news stories about Republicans getting caught emailing racist jokes with the jokes included.

  36. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You apparently don’t read the comment threads here if you wonder who spews hatred at people like Carson.

    And Dr. C. Rice was the subject of some truly vile racist attacks by nationally prominent cartoonists, who suffered not one whit for their racism.

    See, the problem is that you imagine that there is a PC police that takes people who make racist comments and sends them to reeducation camps, and when that police fails to show up to bring down “a liberal” you cry hyporicy. The problem is that this police doesn’t exist: the only damage that may be caused to someone like Rall is reputational, and right now, to the best of my knowledge, the only outlets to publish him are his own blog, and some far left weeklies who tend to believe that race iis made up problem meant to subvert the people’s revolution. What “consequences” beyond that you expect for him?

  37. michael reynolds says:

    James:

    Good post. But if that’s the example of online racism you have, may I introduce you to Reddit? Because what you’ve shown is the cleaned-up, “Ooooh, we’d better not use the N word, or we’ll get caught,” racism. The other kind, the flat out, undisguised “Kill all ni**ers!” racism is out there, too.

    There ought to be a way to have an intelligent on-line discussion around race. The black community’s problems are not all about racism – largely, but not all. And even in those areas where the effects of racism are clearly evident the discussion ought to look at countermeasures and not just at victimhood.

    But as we can see here, such rational discussion is quickly diverted by angry, defensive white folks who simply cannot bring themselves to admit that yes, black people are running the race with handicaps imposed by whites. There is a craving among some whites on the right to claim some victim status of their own. It’s absurd, of course, and about as offensive and distasteful as Holocaust denial, but as we see here on a regular basis, that’s the way it is.

  38. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds: Reddit can be absolutely awful. Have you seen the recent uproar over the banning of /r/fatpeoplehate? It’s unbelievable how far some people will stretch to defend bigotry and harassment.

    Of course, they haven’t yet banned the more virulently racist subreddits, so there are still many examples of terrible racism on the site.

  39. Tillman says:

    @michael reynolds: As a former racist white person (who’s still racist, you can’t purge that sort of conditioning with enlightenment), I understand perfectly the concerns of the average white dude in their 20s who’s found themselves voting Republican and on the side complaining about race cards. Ta-Nehisi Coates tweeted some days ago about how “white” culture was defined and built on domination and supremacy. I was offended for exactly twenty seconds — long enough to pen a tweet back asking if “black” culture was then entirely defined by subjugation and persecution — until I reread the tweet again and started thinking about it. (Never sent that reply, was pointless to do so if you thought about it.)*

    I’m not certain if there’s a way to teach people that last, crucial step — the thinking about it. This step is crucial. It requires paying attention to what someone’s saying in a very focused, and perhaps introspective, way. The tests we give in schools to examine reading comprehension only test for the basest kind of critical thinking, whether you can parse a sentence or not.

    But the AWDIT20s (the audits of the aughts!) grew up in institutions that gave months — entire months!** — of the year to focus on a specific race’s history. They never identified with the history normally taught to them as their race’s history, and it was never sold to them that way. College scholarships you couldn’t qualify for unless your skin was a shade lighter than ivory? Well that’s the real racism right there! I fell victim to such thinking, and I came out of what was at the time one of the best public school systems in the country. (Not really evidence, but neat fact: Amy and David Sedaris both went to my high school in the ’70s.)

    If I, such a good-natured, above-average-like-everyone-else person, can succumb to such thinking, it’s no wonder you get the craziness online we see now. Online communication isn’t essentially distinct from other kinds that’ve preceded it except in availability. The Internet won’t magically make us better people.

    * I saw his point fairly quickly, it was why he put “white” in quotations. Some follow-up tweets of his confirmed what I thought his point was: the idea of “white” in American culture, as a race, has always been fluid, meant to discriminate between acceptable and unacceptable people. Irish, Polish, Jews, Italians — none of these ethnicities started out as “white” in this country. In this sense, “white” culture is built on supremacy in an artificial hierarchy. The point at which I realized this is when I noted “white” is a catch-all term. I’m Scottish by ancestry, not “Caucasian” or whatever that’s supposed to mean.
    ** It seems stupid now, but you have to remember a month is a really long time to someone in their teens. It’s a significantly bigger fraction of their lifetime.

  40. michael reynolds says:

    @Mikey:

    My son is very into the whole Reddit scene. It’s hardcore libertarians defending hardcore racists and woman-haters and assorted other aszholes, vs. those who understand that Reddit will eventually be destroyed if it doesn’t begin to police itself. My son is in group 2. I get regular updates.

    The whole debate would be greatly improved if someone would explain to libertarians that the first amendment limits government not private businesses. Reddit has a perfect right to “censor” its own pages. My publisher does it to me all the time. It’s called editing.

  41. Tillman says:

    @Mikey: I’ll go ahead and be the asshole that defends reddit. My example is that I had nearly no clue what was going on except for a post in /r/OutOfTheLoop asking about what was going on. The subs I’m subscribed to didn’t have anything unusual happening in them at the time I checked.

    /r/Christianity was lamenting the whole episode though. /r/Heavymind was too busy with crazy, overdetailed drawings to care. It is impossible, if you know it well enough, to draw too many broad generalizations about reddit as a whole. Much like most groups of people when it comes down to it.

    Though I’ve heard of the really racist subreddits, I’ve never bothered looking at them. I looked at /r/TheRedPill once and that was bad enough.

  42. anjin-san says:

    Just do a quick search for “Michelle Obama ghetto trash” and you will get a primer on racism in America in the year 2015.

    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=michelle+obama+ghetto+trash

  43. michael reynolds says:

    @Tillman:

    It requires paying attention to what someone’s saying in a very focused, and perhaps introspective, way.

    That is so true. And boy it takes hard, conscious effort. As I’ve mentioned too many times, I have a very smart, very liberal 18 year-old with excellent logic and debate skills. He and I have disagreed on what my generation called “political correctness.” I instinctively reject any limitation on what I can say, and get really irate when it seems comedy is being strangled by PC.

    But when I actually listen to him, he’s making good points.* I’m a 60 year-old man, a product of my era, and, as you say, not immune to racist, sexist, homophobic thoughts. I work to keep that programming from affecting my positions or actions, but I’m still a PC running Mac software, if I may offer a strained analogy. What is built-in for him is after-market for me.

    It’s the listening that makes the difference. And as you say, it’s more than listening in order to find the next opening for a riposte. It’s listening while maintaining the disturbing thought that I might just possibly be wrong.

    *Which is not to say that there aren’t a fair number of lefty morons dying to play Commissar at the Ministry of Truth.

  44. Hal_10000 says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    The consequences of one bad decision for a kid from a rich family or a famous movie star or the executive of a big company or an elected official who holds high office may be negligible. The same bad decision for a kid from a poor family may result in a blighted life.

    This. One of the claims that conservatives like to make is that if someone doesn’t have children out of wedlock, doesn’t break the law and graduates high school, they will avoid poverty 95% of the time. That’s true and it does highlight the role that bad-decision making plays in our nation’s problems (something I think liberals are a bit reluctant to acknowledge). But that average, like many stats, hides a big truth, which is that if you have money, you get a lot more chances. A poor black kid screws up once — say, gets caught with drugs — and his life is irrevocably damaged. A rich kid, however, will get treatment instead of jail, will have support and will probably be fine (and is way less likely to get caught with drugs in the first place, despite being equally likely to do them). A poor kid who gets pregnant as a teenager can kiss college goodbye. A rich kid who gets pregnant could — oh, I don’t know — end up with a six figure job promoting abstinence. Conservatives are way too reluctant to acknowledge that.

    The key to ridding the country of entrenched poverty and hopelessness is better individual choices. But it’s also about allowing poor kids the same second and third chances that the rich kids get.

  45. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tillman:

    They never identified with the history normally taught to them as their race’s history, and it was never sold to them that way.

    Yes they did, it was a given, and anyone who says otherwise is lying.

    As to being a racist, I have never known a person who wasn’t racist to some extent (not saying they don’t exist, may have even met some, but I never got to know them well enough) we are all products of the times and places in which we were raised. It is just that some of us fight that latent racism, and some don’t.

  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Hal_10000:

    That’s true and it does highlight the role that bad-decision making plays in our nation’s problems (something I think liberals are a bit reluctant to acknowledge).

    It needs be acknowledged that for a poor person there are many less good options and many more bad options, and when society repeatedly tells you you aren’t worth a dime, you take that to heart.

    Example: Schools. Is the paint peeling? Do the textbooks come from the 60s? Does the library have more than a dozen books? Do your teachers dip into their meager earnings to ensure all their students have pencils and papers? Is daddy not able to help with your homework because he’s in prison for sharing a joint with an informant? (distributing a controlled substance-really happened) Does mom work 3 different jobs but needs food stamps to put food on the table, and you still go to school hungry? etc etc

  47. superdestroyer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The DC Public schools spend over $20k per student and still have peeling paint and a black of books. If an additional $5k per student is not enough to have schools similar to Montgomery County Maryland or Fairfax VA, then how much is enough.

    If you really look at underfunded schools, they are the rural and exurban schools that are filled with blue collar whites. They do not have the tax base but also do not quality for all of the federal block grants that flow to the heavily minority urban schools. Of course, one should admit that the level of corruption in many urban school systems is massive such as Detroit.

  48. michael reynolds says:

    Actually, black and Hispanic graduation rates are rising and are rising faster than white grad rates.

    It is clear that blacks and hispanics are outperforming in terms of HS graduation.

    So, what’s your next bit of easily-refuted b.s.?

  49. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Michael Brown got shot for shoplifting, or Eric Garner was choked to death for selling loosies, or John Crawford was shot for being black while holding a BB gun, or Tamir Rice got shot for being black while holding a toy,

    Michael Brown committed a strong-arm robbery and assault, then assaulted and tried to kill a cop.

    Eric Garner didn’t die from choking, but from his asthma, obesity, and heart disease — the force the police used would NOT have caused death by themselves.

    The person who called 911 on John Crawford should be charged with manslaughter, as he or she lied about him having a real gun and pointing it people. The cop who pulled the trigger is still liable, but the idiot who set up the shooting should also be held accountable.

    The Tamir Rice case is the only one where I can see that the cop is 100% responsible.

    I’d also add in the (not-fatal, thank God) shooting of Levar Jones, where the cop has already been fired and charged, and the shooting of Walter Scott as another case where it’s clear the cop was in the wrong.

    There are enough “real” cases to cite, if you’re so inclined to do, to make your case. There’s no need to use weak or outright false ones.

  50. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Oh, and here are the C. Rice cartoons, complete with mealymouthed excuses.

  51. grumpy realist says:

    @Tillman: Replace “white” with “class” and you’ve caught what’s going on exactly.

    I think one reason lower-class white people are so pissed is this “white/black” dichotomy, if it were totally what is going on, would mean that they’re in a “superior” position. Then they run into the doors that have been set up and discover that the economic world is almost as biased against someone who says “I ain’t”, or uses double negatives, and they get mad.

    We don’t like to admit that class exists in the US, but boy does it. And it’s a very weird form. Politicians claim to enjoy NASCAR racing and will involve themselves in all sorts of lower-class antics in order to convince people that they are “one of the people” and slap them on the back at a truck stop, but if the same individual were running a company instead, do you think that they would want as a colleague a lower-class American or promote one to the position of CFO? Hell, no! (Nor would the lower-class American be hired on any of their political campaigns for anything higher than to clean the toilets or take out the garbage. It’s just Not Done.)

  52. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. I’m frankly classist, and think that certain cultures are better than others. I try not to be racist, especially with the examples I have before me of people like Leontyne Price, Paul Robeson, and dark-skinned classmates of mine, many of whom are inarguably much more intelligent than I am. As I’ve mentioned before, one of my co-grad students while I was in grad school was the most brilliant theoretical physicist I knew, and his skin color was such that it makes President Obama look white.

  53. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    you could look at the hatred spewed at blacks like Ben Carson, Allen West, Condoleeza Rice, Clarence Thomas (and the aforementioned Dr. Sowell), among others, by liberals and progressives

    Well, we could look at it, but you have not provided us with anything to look at.

    And Dr. C. Rice was the subject of some truly vile racist attacks by nationally prominent cartoonists, who suffered not one whit for their racism.

    Following your link, she was the subject of two cartoons with racist overtones. Not pretty, but compared to the fever swamp of racism on the right, it’s cotton candy. And here is the conclusion that the article you cited reached:

    So, what’s the score? The IWF, attempting to smear liberals, makes three accusations – but two of them, while racist, aren’t by liberals, and the third, while liberal, isn’t racist. As usual, the IWF scores zip on truthfulness.

  54. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Your own link proves you wrong. You posted a link that destroyed your own point.

    Sometimes I’m just open-mouthed in astonishment, not just at your featherweight intellect or your underlying nastiness of personality, but at your laziness, your lack of effort. Jesus, put in the work you putz.

  55. Average Joe says:

    The fact that you consider those comments to be “racist” doesn’t demonstrate that they are. Indeed, as you point out, Obama has said many of the same things when attempting to pander after a fiery riot. It merely shows that you’re unserious, and another race-baiter like Obama, Holder, Sharpton and the rest of the privileged, elitist hustlers.

  56. michael reynolds says:

    @Average Joe:

    How about this:

    Just putting it out there. I spent some tim e reading some of the stories about ni–ers moving into someones block and ruining everything, you really learn to apreciate living in one of the expensive parts of town where ni–ers can’t afford to live, when reading those stories. I feel sorry for anyone stuck in an area with high ni–er population.

    That racist enough for you? You want to find more? Hundreds of thousands, even millions more? Not hard to do. So cut the bullshit.

    Incidentally, I masked the words, they are not masked in the original.

  57. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Even the progressives at NPR know that there is nothing to the increased graduation rates. cite

    When a school makes it easier to graduate, it makes sense that the graduation rate would go up.

    Schools in places like Detroit and Camden, N.J., are making it easier to get a diploma. In all, 21 states offer alternative, sometimes much easier, paths to graduation.

    That still does not answer the question is how much more money would urban school districts have to spend to be equivalent to the suburban schools (using the same criteria and not some alternative criteria).

    Many progressives say that all schools should receive equal funding without realizing how much Title I money flows to urban schools. Also, does anyone really believe that public school performance based of academic education imparted to students will actually improve with a Clinton II Administration or as the Democrats gain even more control over public school education.

  58. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And Dr. C. Rice was the subject of some truly vile racist attacks by nationally prominent cartoonists, who suffered not one whit for their racism.

    Please tell us, Jenos, how much suffering should these cartoonists endure?

    (Obscurity isn’t enough apparently….)

  59. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Michael Brown committed a strong-arm robbery and assault, then assaulted and tried to kill a cop.

    According to whom? The cop who shot him? How convenient. As to a “strong armed robbery”… Let me take you down to the hood and show you what a “strong armed robbery” is, cause obviously enough you don’t have a clue (here’s a clue: victims of Sarobberies end up getting stitches)(or worse)

    Eric Garner didn’t die from choking, but from his asthma, obesity, and heart disease — the force the police used would NOT have caused death by themselves.

    Bullsh!t, the man repeatedly said “I can’t breath.” but nice try at victim blaming.

    The person who called 911 on John Crawford should be charged with manslaughter, as he or she lied about him having a real gun and pointing it people. The cop who pulled the trigger is still liable, but the idiot who set up the shooting should also be held accountable.

    Agreed.

    The Tamir Rice case is the only one where I can see that the cop is 100% responsible.

    I’d also add in the (not-fatal, thank God) shooting of Levar Jones, where the cop has already been fired and charged, and the shooting of Walter Scott as another case where it’s clear the cop was in the wrong.

    There are enough “real” cases to cite, if you’re so inclined to do, to make your case. There’s no need to use weak or outright false ones.

    I am not citing weak cases, you (and others) are the ones arguing that the cops were right to arrest Eric Garner no matter what it took at that very moment for the heinous crime of selling loosies. I have been involved on 3 occasions where cops could have violently arrested me (as they had for similar transgressions from others), and they didn’t. Instead they let me vent and cool off and calm down and then either took me in or let me go.

    This matches Eric Garner’s case to a tee. As to Michael Brown…. We will never know what really happened there. What I do know is that McCullough is as crooked a lawyer as has ever been seen, that Darren Wilson never should have been given a badge (much less a gun), and that Michael Brown f’d up. The question is, should he have died for it?

    For stealing cheap cigars? Really? That is the hill people want to die on?

  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Average Joe: Your comment indicates you are below average. Try again

  61. anjin-san says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    As to Michael Brown…. We will never know what really happened there.

    We do know that Wilson lied about receiving several blows to the face that were so powerful that he feared another might kill him. If he lied about that, it’s no stretch to believe that he lied about other things.

  62. Tillman says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I really doubt they consciously thought of it as “white” history. They certainly presumed whiteness was the default (and why not, the culture-at-large projects such presumptions), but being default and identifying with the default are two distinct things. Black History Month (the favorite of idiots) was special: it was emphasized, time was set aside for it. It was differentiated from boring ol’ history, and that set the stage for idiots to not think about why this is so.

    Gotta remember, my cohort’s the oldest set of Millennials: we got the early doses of “everybody’s special” shoved into our heads in one way or another.

  63. Average Joe says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Excellent content-free comment! Thank you for conceding defeat.

  64. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    First, if you think it’s black inner city schools that are making graduation easier, I’d like you to meet my son. He simply refused to show up for literally, no exaggeration, 75% of his senior year, on top of bailing on about 40% of his junior year, and just got a diploma from a very rich, very white, very “rigorous” school.

    Second, in order to that calculation you’d need to factor in costs born by parents beyond the school which contribute to the school. For example: Unlimited access to latest generation tech. For example: door to door car service which increases time at home. For example: tutors at $100 an hour. For example: the spillover effects of parents’ own education. For example: computer camp. I can go on and on.

    You want to pretend that all that matters is how much is spent by the state on school. I can tell you from personal experience that we rich white people subsidize the hell out of our kids. I just sent my kid to a Web Dev conference in London. He learned, he made connections, he improved his education. Many inner city parents can’t afford to fly their pampered children to London.

  65. Tillman says:

    @grumpy realist: I was infected by a character in The Diamond Age saying much the same thing about some cultures clearly being better than others. The problem with America, however, is due to our history of racism it’s unduly difficult to separate classist and racial issues. We have municipal histories chock full of frankly racist housing policy, the organization and setting-aside of space for ghettos and the like. Bring up some to benefit the lower classes, “white” idiots think it’s giving money to “those people.” It’s worked tremendously well.

  66. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You still did not answer the questions. The Washington Post reported the direct spending per student for the DC schools was over $17k while Fairfax County was around $11k. Yet the graduation rate for DC schools is 61% while Fairfax County is 93%. If more funding is the key to “clsing the gap” when how much more would DC have to spend?

    And I can tell you that if a student in Fairfax County Public Schools skipped 75% of their classes, they would not graduate and the parents would be seen as massive failures since their children would not get admitted to a university in the US News Top 50.

  67. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Fairfax schools have not met Jake. He’s quite bright and well-versed in game theory. He’s got a full ride to a good research university. He’s also a national merit scholar finalist. I was surprised, too, but like I said: bright kid.

    To calculate what it would cost to roughly equal everything out you’d need a way to calculate the value of parental resources. Then you’d have to figure out how to account for negative impacts from crime, say, or the simple stresses of poverty, or from racism. That’s a little beyond my math powers.

    Are you saying black people are simply uneducable? If so, why don’t you quit dancing around the burning cross and just say so.

  68. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds: Superdestroyer will never quite come out and say it, because that would make him a fascist rather than just someone impartially looking at the facts (and drawing the conclusions his racist little heart wants to). He’s smart enough to see patterns, but not experienced enough to poke the patterns to see what they mean. He reminds me of myself when I was 14. And my brother now.

    He is right about one thing though — throwing more money at the problem isn’t going to fix it.

    There is a cycle of poverty and discrimination that makes it incredibly hard for black and Latino youth from lower class, single parent homes to escape (and merely very hard for kids that half-match). Well funded schools aren’t enough to make up for that. I’ve squandered more opportunities than most of them get.

    We need some amazing piece of social engineering to fix our society — give kids structure and support so the default outcome from that situation is lower middle class rather than just lower class.

  69. michael reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:

    I’ve squandered more opportunities than most of them get.

    See, this is it, the awareness that yes indeed we have profited from white privilege. Life is easier for us, we get more opportunities, the dings hurt less. Rarely does a day go by that I don’t realize how lucky I am. Louis CK has a bit about being white. “Thank God for that shit. That is a huge leg up, are you kidding me?”

    The least the lucky can do is acknowledge that they’re lucky. Which is what’s so nauseating about racists; they drew three queens and they’re still bitching. What kind of a creep does that?

  70. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    There are several writer who argue that the question is wrong when it is frame in how to close the performance gap between blacks and Hispanics versus whites and Asians. If the legacy of racism was the main reagaon when Asians would not be outperforming whites across all 50 states. And Latinos would not be outperforming blacks across all 50 states.

    The real question is what can urban school systems such as DC, Chicago, or Los Angeles do to increase the performance of black and Latino students independent of the performance of white and Asian students. However, making lowering the drop out rate or pushing for higher graduation rates usually works against improving academic performance.

    So the question to answer is there a way to bring up the academic performance of blacks up to the same level as whites (in other words, can a school system improve black scores without improving white and Asian scores) or is improving the academic performance of all student more important?

    What is amazing is that progressives want to take away resources from middle class whites and Asian families and put more effort into improving the academic performance of urban black males when urban black males are the highest hanging fruit where there will be the highest cost-benefit ratio.

  71. grumpy realist says:

    Somewhat related……

    I’m still scratching my head. Crowdfunding gets the grudging blessing from the SEC as NOT being a security sale because those who pony up get something product-wise in return, which is enough of a cover that the SEC can treat any money transferred as a “pre-payment.” If you don’t manage to make your stated target, you’re supposed to return the money. And if you don’t produce what you claim you are going to produce after reaching target, you can be hauled into court on charges of fraud.

    But here, this neo-Nazi nitwit wants to raise money to buy real estate–what will he be offering? Two weeks per year ability to stay at the property, along with crisp cotton sheets on the bed and a mint on the pillow?

  72. stonetools says:

    @superdestroyer:

    What is amazing is that progressives want to take away resources from middle class whites and Asian families and put more effort into improving the academic performance of urban black males when urban black males are the highest hanging fruit where there will be the highest cost-benefit ratio.

    =================

    Maybe that actually can pay dividends, if the resources are properly invested, :

    A U.S. high school student who is the son of immigrants from Ghana has accomplished the rare feat of being accepted to all eight of the prestigious “Ivy League” universities.

    Seventeen-year-old Kwasi Enin of Long Island, in southern New York State, found out recently that all of the universities, among the most selective in the United States, had accepted his admissions applications.

    and

    NEW YORK — High school senior Harold Ekeh didn’t just get into one Ivy League university. He was accepted into all eight.

    Now comes the really hard part: Deciding where to go. He actually got into all 13 schools he applied to, including MIT and Johns Hopkins.

    And, if you fear the brown:

    It would have been a success story if Fullerton High School senior Fernando Rojas, the son of Mexican immigrants whose schooling stopped in the eighth grade, was accepted to college. But the 17-year-old achieved a surprising clean sweep — he was accepted to every elite Ivy League school

    So, SD, how do these examples fit into your theory that it’s a complete waste of time educating black people who will always be hopelessly behind and that the USA is going to be inevitably dragged down by a horde of inferior brown immgrants?

  73. bill says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: race baiting makes for better news i guess. my gf lives in mckinney (where the infamous “pool party” took place) and we still see it all over the news. now, nobody was injured there let alone killed but it’s still some sort of “issue” with some up there. and even local blacks are being threatened for supporting the cop…….crazy yet true.
    just this weekend some dude shot 3 girls at a “house party” and he in turn was shot by a cop. none of the news reports say the race of any of them- it was in a predominately black neighborhood though so we can do the math.
    nobody died either- so that was good.
    and just last night an unarmed hispanic guy was executed in a store robbery in a black part of town. no news on that either unless you look for it.

  74. superdestroyer says:

    @stonetools:

    It has been an open fact that a large percentage of the African-American students at the Ivy Leagues are really recent immigrants cite

    Just look at the quote from Lani Guinier:

    I don’t think, in the name of affirmative action, we should be admitting people because they look like us, but then they don’t identify with us.”

    So once again, the benefit of spending the most resources on black males attending urban public schools is very low with the highest cost-benefit ratio and the taking of resources of suburban middle class kids to pursue the highest hanging fruit is silly.

    If more than $5k per student additional spending per student in the urban school districts like DC is not enough to even begin to close the racial gap between inner city black students and suburban white and Asian students, then how much is enough?