9 comments on “I am a F&$#ing Prophet

  1. So the real victims here are white conservatives? Still no thoughts on police brutality, huh?

    • Come on Greg, is that the best you can do? A one line snark comment of the rhetorical form “Have you stopped beating your wife yet”? You have engaged productively with me in the past; why waste your time clicking “comment” if this ridiculous gaslighting garbage is the best you can muster?

  2. My comment may have dangerous levels of sass, but the point stands. If your conclusion from these rallies is that conservatives are the main victims, then you are deliberately ignoring its context. Yes, PC culture is annoying and in parts of academia can be somewhat oppressive–for a conservative that must be infuriating–but the grievance behind these protests is of a different order of magnitude. (PC censorship does not trap generations of people in the prison cycle, and kill people with virtual legal immunity.) The majority of conservatives have been happy to ignore police brutality for decades, and that pattern seems to hold true across my conservative friend’s profile, and this blog.

    • Thanks for improving the quality of the commentary here. I appreciate it. Now I have something to respond to.

      First of all, let’s be clear, I’m a libertarian, not a conservative, and I’ve opposed police and government oppression my entire adult life. Throughout the 21st century I opposed the militarization of the police, the expansion of the surveillance state, and the normalization of the idea that the police and gov’t agencies were “at war” with various criminal groups. I opposed the war on drugs and the war on terror. I still oppose these things, and would happily support sensible legislation to scale these abuses back.

      However, I think it’s naive to believe that police brutality is the point of all of this. If it was, people would point out that the police brutalize every segment of the US population, with the exception of the wealthy elite. The statistics simply do not support the hypothesis that there is a racial dimension to police brutality. Speaking as somebody who has had a cop’s gun stuck to his temple while unarmed, I’m deeply offended at being ‘erased’ from this conversation. No, if people were serious about police reform, they would obviously try to engage the whole country, rather than focusing on a single population and demanding silence and/or deference from people with the wrong skin tones. But at no point in this situation has anyone in the BLM “movement” or any of its comrades acknowledged this fact. Police brutality is merely a convenient excuse for them to sow chaos, enflame race hate, and push their openly communist political agenda on the country. I have no doubt that there are TONS of people of all ethnicities in these crowds that WISH it were otherwise, and fool themselves into thinking they are supporting a righteous cause. But that doesn’t change the fact that they march shoulder to shoulder with violent racists, seething antisemites, and communist terrorists — and at this point THEY FUCKING KNOW IT, and are completely complicit.

      I mean, sure, “there are very fine people on both sides.” But still.

      My take is that what we see here is exactly what I was warning of last August. The escalation of explicit race-hate rhetoric from prominent people on the left (e.g. Rashida Tlaib, but increasingly even the most mainstream politicians like Pelosi and even Biden) has created a climate where violence against “oppressors” is justified and even encouraged, and where the most extreme political movements feel free to operate openly, and with the explicit financial and legal support of the most powerful forces in our government. Once you’ve joined the Robin d’Angelo cult and internalized the religious belief that all white people are “white supremacists”, you have declared that there can be no conversation or compromise with infidels, only submission or subjugation.

      Last week was a hell of a lot closer to Kristallnacht than it was to anything from the civil rights era.

      And lastly, your comment “PC censorship does not trap generations of people in the prison cycle, and kill people with virtual legal immunity” needs some pushback. The cult behavior you are minimizing as “PC censorship” is identical to the policies of the Soviet Union and communist China that have, in fact, trapped generations of people in nightmarish prison states where people were routinely killed with total legal immunity. Tens of millions of people, with the priceless cultural wealth of whole nations purged from history. This movement that has risen in the University, and metastasized into the general population, has that same energy, and it is unspeakably evil and all around you and me.

  3. Sorry I called you a conservative. My wife is a member of BLM and her activism is in good faith–but even so, I can’t claim to know the totality of motives behind such a massive grassroots movement. So I think your claim that BLM and/or these protests are somehow inauthentic at their core–and that you know what it is *really about*–takes some serious hand-waving. Fortunately, the majority of polled Americans have sympathy for the nonviolent protestors and acknowledge that racism is a problem in policing.

    Your claim that there is no racial dimension to police brutality is just false. 1 in 1000 young American black men is killed by police. “Black women and men and American Indian and Alaska Native women and men are significantly more likely than white women and men to be killed by police. Latino men are also more likely to be killed by police than are white men.” Also “African Americans, are at greater risk for experiencing criminal justice contact and police-involved harm than are whites” (see https://www.pnas.org/content/116/34/16793 and references therein). Democrats have also just put forward a bill proposing a national police misconduct + use of force database. Til then, there are countless examples of uneccessary use of force by officers against unarmed civilians if you feel like looking, and most of the victims are people of color.

    Lastly, I’m not going to indulge your Kristallnacht + communist hyperbole–you get one fascist comparison per post (Hitler or Stalin, but not both)–that’s the line that I’m gonna have to impose here. I just can’t care about the PC dystopia you imagine when there are so many more pressing threats–and especially given that it is not democrats but republicans who have cornered the market on domestic terrorists, armed militias, secessionists movements, muzzling and spinning science (alternative facts), suppressing votes, and doing the bear freaking minimum of preventing foreign interference in our elections. There is a difference between a civil war and a culture war, and the fact that you see a largely nonviolent protest as Kristallnacht suggest that you don’t know the difference. (PS: Republicans are way keener on actual civil war, because guns https://www.newsweek.com/trump-civil-war-tweet-grounds-impeachment-1462044).

    • “1 in 1000 young American black men is killed by police. “Black women and men and American Indian and Alaska Native women and men are significantly more likely than white women and men to be killed by police. Latino men are also more likely to be killed by police than are white men.” Also “African Americans, are at greater risk for experiencing criminal justice contact and police-involved harm than are whites” (see https://www.pnas.org/content/116/34/16793 and references therein).”

      You’re too smart not to see the confirmation bias in this paragraph. You haven’t taken into consideration the rate of contact between police and civilians of different populations. If one group commits crimes at a different rate, then the rate of police contact increases and therefore also the rate of police killing increases. When you normalize against violent crime rate, there is no difference by race in police killed. (https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/fryer/files/empirical_analysis_tables_figures.pdf) Now, if you want to argue that the violent crime rate is a product of economic inequality, I’ll agree with you, and that might very well be influenced by some sort of legacy racism. Maybe. But the police don’t control economic inequality. US cops are more violent than they need to be, but there is no evidence that they are racist.

      “it is not democrats but republicans who have cornered the market on domestic terrorists, armed militias”

      This is just blatant head-in-the-sand denialism. It doesn’t warrant a response. All of the violence last week involved leftist terrorist militias. They have been causing trouble throughout the west since roughly 2000. They are organized and well-funded and have support from wealthy people in the US and elsewhere. Comparing organized and funded leftist terrorist cells to random incel nuts arguably on the right is utterly disingenuous.

      “you get one fascist comparison per post (Hitler or Stalin, but not both)”

      Why? There’s no important difference between so-called left and right totalitarianism. Your (wife’s) friends incorporate all the best elements of both. Race hate, economic ressentiment, opposition to free expression, street fighting, pseudoacademic doublethink… etc etc etc

      “the fact that you see a largely nonviolent protest as Kristallnacht”

      Man, I can totally hear that line coming out of Rudolf Hess’ mouth. Total denial. We’re the good guys; just a few bad apples breaking heads, totally not representative of the movement as a whole. Hell, I hope you’re right. Because if you’re not, we’ll both be in the docks eventually.

  4. “if you want to argue that the violent crime rate is a product of economic inequality, I’ll agree with you.” I do actually, and in my first post on your blog I argued that discrimination (mainly during the Jim Crow era but also still today) has left black people with fewer economic opportunities. That leads to poverty, which leads to crime, which leads to more intensive policing, which leads to more officer contacts & therefore more death by cops–and more arrests for bullshit like marijuana.

    As for who is racist and who is not–that’s not that relevant. Hypothetically, NO cop could be racist, and policing could still disproportionately hurt black people, as long as (A) there are more cops per civilian in urban areas and (B) they are more stringent with bullshit laws like marijuana position, jaywalking, loitering, etc. And they are. https://norml.org/marijuana/fact-sheets/item/racial-disparity-in-marijuana-arrests

    I’m not actually arguing that all or even most cops are racist. It is the uneven enforcement of the law (and some of the laws themselves: stop and frisk, drug scheduling of marijuana v. cocaine) that is effectively racist. That’s the first problem. The second problem is that there is a positive feedback loop between the amount of policing and the number of crimes/arrests reported–which leads to ever more strict (and expensive) policing in certain areas–areas that are starved for investment in infrastructure & education. Poverty is expensive. The question is what is the better investment: constantly increasing policing for poor areas, or investing in the communities? I don’t know, but I’m glad this movement is allowing the country to ask that question, so that we can use places like Minneapolis as case studies to inform our approach.

    • I agree with the first paragraph, as I did in our previous conversations. Poverty carries with it all sorts of problems. So does addiction. None of those should be criminalized. Both may disproportionately affect black people, but numerically speaking, the affect more white people. By turning it into a racial issue, however, you reduce the effectiveness of any effort to politically address those issues. Worse, the fallacious obsession with race has a tendency to encourage “solutions” that either won’t have any effect, or completely ignore people suffering the exact same problems who have the wrong skin tone. The cult of “White Fragility” genuinely believes that a white family living in a West Virginia flophouse is more privileged than Barak Obama… those people are NOT equipped to deal seriously with poverty and addiction.

      “I don’t know, but I’m glad this movement is allowing the country to ask that question, so that we can use places like Minneapolis as case studies to inform our approach.”

      It would be nice if people were actually thinking those kinds of thoughts. I’m glad you are. But like I said above, I think the overtly racist messaging being delivered by BLM, academia, and the media has completely ignored all of the root causes of these problems in favor of a grade-school good guy vs. villain narrative about “white supremacy”. Nothing will be solved; it will all only get worse in the next round. Believe me, whatever they replace the Minneapolis Police Department with will be worse in every possible way.

      I guess my take-home is that we ALL ought to be angry at an establishment that has failed its people in so many ways, but instead we are split into squabbling factions that pick at each other over imagined slights while that very same establishment profits from the fighting. It is all so very tiresome and depressing.

  5. Personally, I see the world’s biggest problems as being (A) climate change, and (B) plutocracy, so I agree that tribalism is often used as a wedge issue to distract from these problems (see, corporate diversity initiatives that don’t really improve life for underpaid workers, or like, anything racial that Trump—a classic plutocrat—says). I think about the right’s nativist rhetoric is dangerous, but I also I think the left’s emphasis on white guilt is unproductive. The answer though, is not just ignoring the racial factors in inequality. Doing that also leads to racism.

    Example: I know nobody who was taught about red-lining or white-flight while they were growing up. Unless you know about this systemic discrimination, there is no way to understand why so many black people live in ghettos—and the conceptions that fill that void are going to be pretty racist (e.g. ghettos are just where black people belong; they failed to work hard, save up their money, and move somewhere else [Many would have done that generations ago if discrimination hadn’t prevented it. And because most wealth in the US is inherited, harding working-black people will still be behind the curve in terms of savings and property.]). People should know the history. Likewise, if somebody doesn’t know about (1) predatory opioid companies, and (2) the collapse of domestic manufacturing, they will probably assume that a lot of poor white people are lazy and dumb. (I agree with you that the left is hypocritical by not caring about the offensiveness of words like “white trash.”)

    So yeah, I think It’s a mistake both to ignore the historical basis of poverty, and it’s also a mistake to use sanctimonious white-guilt-rants to teach about it. People who are serious about inequality need to do empirical studies about what kinds of teaching approaches work, or it will—like you say—backfire and lead to more resentment. Glad that’s not my job!

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