… when I would’ve probably resolved this situation by advocating a name like “European Conquerors”.
But I have to say, I’m trending towards the “no name” response.
… when I would’ve probably resolved this situation by advocating a name like “European Conquerors”.
But I have to say, I’m trending towards the “no name” response.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Women’s group wants to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. Time for more women on the money, and besides, he was Bad because he enforced the Indian Removal law passed by Congress, which modern Liberals claim was genocide but which Conservative scholars claim averted genocide (if the Indians hadn’t been relocated West, they’d have been wiped out by Eastern Whites).
The women recommend Rachel Carson instead, the “a marine biologist who wrote the hugely influential environmental book ‘Silent Spring.’ That was the book that urged the ban on DDT, the most effective way to kill tsetse flies. Millions of Blacks now suffer from malaria.
Or Margaret Sanger, who opened the first birth control clinic in America because society needed to kill mentally ill and defective babies. Which tended to come from families that lacked proper nutrition and health care. Mostly Black.
Or Betty Friedan, who wrote “The Feminine Mystique” to launch the modern feminist movement by ridiculing stay-at-home-motherhood, saying “. . . housewives are mindless and thing-hungry . . . housework is particularly suited to the capabilities of feeble-minded girls.”
Is it just me, or is there a bit of elitism going on here? The $1 Susan B. and Saca-bucks aren’t large enough denominations, gotta be $20? Maybe we can bring back the $1,000 after Hilary gets her email account sorted.
I’m sure it’s all in the works.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Arrest made in Ferguson cop shootings. Suspect admitted shooting but not at cops; he shot at other people and missed.
What do we always tell hunters: Be Aware Of Your Backstop!!
Since he was only charged with assault for shooting a cop in the face, then I guess police lives do NOT matter and we can stop hearing about it.
Also, the news reports say the suspect had an outstanding warrant for receiving stolen property. That’s “undocumented property,” morons.
What? No trigger warning?
(Ba domp bomp)
Last week, when stickers labeling establishments as “exclusively for white people” went up around Austin, Texas, I quietly figured it had to be a “progressive” false flag.
Because Bergs Seventh Law (“When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character, humanity or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds”), that’s why.
So – were those “exclusively for white people” stickers a progressive false flag?
[Austin lawyer] Adam Reposa posted the video on YouTube and made a statement on Facebook saying he was trying promote the issue of gentrification in East Austin. (Warning: The video contains explicit language)
“They’re getting pushed out, and pretty quick. This area of town is turning into white’s only,” Reposa said in the clip. “Not by law like it used to be, and everyone’s going to jump on, ‘that’s racist!’ ‘that’s racist!’ Man, this town, the way **** works is racist! And I knew I could just bait all of y’all into being as stupid as you are.”
Reposa went on to blast people for not getting the message.
“You’re just not smart enough to keep up with my argument!”
I started Berg’s Law as a joke, pretty much, back in 2004. But the more I see, the less funny they seem.
Except, of course, is that I still laugh my butt off at “progressives”.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
The Prime Minister of Hungary gave his State of the Nation address. Love this line:
“And as far as I see it, Hungarian people are by nature politically incorrect – in other words, they have not yet lost their common sense.”
The Republicans should run this guy against Hillary No, he wasn’t born in this country. What difference, at this point, does it make?
And trying read Hungarian is about the same as trying to read most legal writing…
I’ve always been curious about things like this (seen on Facebook yesterday):
Foreigners are “baffled by how much water is wasted…while other places in the world are in desperate need of water?”
When foreigners flush a toilet, where do they think the water goes? Do they think it gets destroyed? Sent into an alternate universe via a wormhole in time?
That water goes to a treatment plant of some kind or another; usually the icky stuff gets separated out, and the water goes into a holding lake, where it filters down back into the groundwater, or evaporates back into the atmosphere, to fall somewhere in the world as rain, or to float around as humidity, or (mostly) sit in the ocean.
And it’s water that’s here. Does an American have the option of sending water from his toilet – or from the Great Lakes or the Mississippi River, for that matter – to Ethiopia or the Gobi Desert? Is there an alternate flush button we could push to send the water (waste-free, natch) to the horn of Africa?
Who are these “foreigners” with no knowledge of the evaporation cycle, anyway?
The Mozilla Firefox browser seems to be slipping into second-tier status, after nearly 2 decades as one of the go to web browsers.
Is it lagging technology?
Or is it user anger over the politically correct ouster of former CEO, Brandon Eich?
Personal experience in the IT business says the former is certainly a factor – but there’s evidence that the witchhunt is accelerating things.
To: Betsy Hodges – Mayor, City of Minneapolis
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re: Protest Plans
Dear Mayor Hodges,
I, like (I take it, after the news that the Minneapolis Police were ordered to facilitate rather than hinder the blocking of I35W by protesters yesterday) you, am a big believer in the First Amendment right to free speech, especially free speech focused on political protest.
This is especially important, since it wasn’t all that long ago that Tea Party protesters were being harassed by the police for waving signs above the freeway as “too distracting”.
This seems like a major step forward!
So if it’s OK with you, I’d very much like to reserve I35W at 28th Street for some of my friends; the limited-government, pro-Second-Amendment, pro-life, pro-school-choice, fiscal-responsibility and other right-of-center movements.
Have your people call my people!
That is all.
The Twins re-signed Torii Hunter.
Say what you will about the move – signing a 39 year old fielder whose numbers are just a tad off – but I’ll give the man mad props for his first press conference:
When Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press asked Hunter about his previous, well-documented statements against gay marriage and support of political candidates who share his viewpoint, he called Berardino a “prick” and said he was done talking about the topic.
And Hunter is right.
Berardino – and most of the rest of the mainstream media who’ve commented on the acquisition – have burned a lot of column inches babbling about Hunter’s support for traditional marriage, which, let me remind you, the mainstream media has declared trayf via, I presume, “settled science”.
All dissent must be scourged.
The media are the new Spanish Inquisition.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Good take on shirt-storm:
“Of course, the very point of the mob action is that no conscious offense by Taylor was required for him to be boiled in online oil. Thoughtcrime does not always proceed from deliberate action; intention is divined by the accusers. The goal is to create an atmosphere of terror, in which everyone is double extra careful to pre-censor their words and deeds, and by extension their thoughts, for fear of career destruction.”
It’s like 1984 – except instead of a screen watching you wherever you go, it’s your “fellow citizens”.
Feminists – including some, no doubt, who think “slut walking” is an “empowering” thing – are overshadowing discussion of a major scientific achievement (including, no doubt, the work of female scientists) over what a nerd was wearing.
We’ve come a long way, baby.
The thing that always bothered me about the Democrat “War on Women” meme wasn’t so much that it was BS (there is no “rape culture”, women with the same credentials and experience are not paid less than men, there is no shortage of contraceptives and Republicans are actually the ones trying to get The Pill sold over the counter – a move Planned Parenthood opposes, since it’d cut into part of their, ahem, gravy train).
No - it’s the fact that it assumes women are stupid.
The whole campaign springs from the same place as Thomas Franks’ idiotic “What’s The Matter With Kansas“, a book based around the ideal that people should vote for “their interests”, meaning “the party that gives you the most goodies”. Which is, itself, a noxious but inevitable end-result of the fact that while conservatives see people as assets – individuals of boundless worth who via their existence are capable of creating things that are human, moral or financially good additions to our world and lives; liberals, on the other hand, see humans as liabilities. And liabilities should seek to have their liability mitigated. Kansans should vote for more subsidies. Women should vote for someone who keeps spreading the salve on the sense of victimization they’re suppose to feel.
It’s why the Obama Administration close to depict its prototype American woman in the form of “Julia“, the pathetic lifelong consumer, blowing hither and yon through her life from one government program to another:
To a liberal, people are liabilities. Stupid incompetent liabilities whose existence without government is of no meaning.
Women, more so; to the left, women are liabilities those sole worth is measured in their “lady parts”.
That’s why the news that women are turning on the Democrat Party’s “poor victimized widdle wimmin” schtick is so un-farging-gardly sweet.
Of course, it’s pretty obvious when you compare the two sides’ women; prominent liberal women seem to have gotten to where they are as a result of their spouses (Hillary! Clinton, Arianna Huffington, Wendy Davis, John Kerry), or by pretending to be someone they’re not (Elizabeth Warren). (The one exception I can think of is Jennifer Granholm – and she was a terrible governor, who left Rick Snyder a Bulgarian goat-rodeo to clean up).
Conservative women? I’m at a loss to think of a prominent conservative women who got to where they’re at for any reason other than being very smart, tough and capable (and moreso, having thicker skin than an M1 Abrams given the “conservative-shaming” that seems to so enthrall the American media; I’m at an even bigger loss to think of the name of the spouse of any prominent conservative woman, other than Todd Palin and Marcus Bachmann – and neither Sarah Palin nor Michele Bachmann depended on either of their spouses to get where they are today. Nikki Haley? Susanna Martinez? Shall I keep going?
As we slog through the final week of the campaign, the Obama Administration and Democrat candidates around the country are doubling and tripling down on the “war on women” meme.
And if the Democrats lose, and lose even bigger because the female vote deserted them (or should I say the unmarried female vote, since married women are more likely to vote Republican anyway), it’ll be a great sign for gender relations in this country…
…and a signal that only a gender-identity feminist, a U of M women’s studies major (but I repeat myself) or a Jezebel staff writer would be stupuid enough to miss.
…you don’t get scientific politics. You get politicized science.
And in this case, you get a public that trusts neither politicians nor scientists.
It used to be called “Columbus Day”.
I think Minnesota now refers to it as “Invasive Italian Day”.
As the US flirts with Ebola panic, it’s worth noting that Nigeria – more corrupt than Chicago but probably not Camden, with ethnic and social divisions that would make the most hardened academic grievance-monger yak up her skull, and a nation that as a whole is like a Detroit that rarely ends – has managed to stop its Ebola outbreak pretty much cold. 20 were infected, and eight died – a tragedy, sure, but since the outbreak occurred in Lagos, a city of 21 million that is among the least hygenic metropolitan areas in the world, that seems fairly miraculous.
Nigeria did it by doing the public-heath blocking and tackling that has stanched epidemics from cholera to malaria to dengue fever; isolating the infected and the infection, monitoring the exposed, practicing basic hygiene around the ill and the potentially ill.
They knuckled down and did what needed to be done.
Now, the US is one of the healthiest nations on earth. Perhaps too healthy – modern parents’ mania for germ-killing may be hurting their childrens’ immune systems. Worse, while some among our public health community are well aware of the dangers a virus like Ebola could cause, it seems there were several major breakdowns in the handling of the first case, Thomas Duncan, a Liberian living in Dallas.
Will the CDC and the other public health authorities react appropriately to the outbreak? Especially given that the CDC answers to an Administration that clearly values political correctness over competence?
Let’s just say that this is one area where I’d love to think government was as competent as big government’s proponents tell us it is.
The track record is mixed, of course.
Through much of the last 100 years, between sound public health and public information, and world-leading research (thank you, free enterprise!), most epidemic diseases have been contained, and many former scourges have been nearly eradicated.
And yet when the AIDS epidemic broke out, it quickly escaped the public health agencies’ ability to control it. Part of it was the government’s response; in one of three mistakes he made as President, he kept the government’s response low-key.
Of course, there was plenty of blame to shame. Some countries contained AIDS using sound, traditional public health practices. Cuba contained its outbreak far more quickly and effectively than the US, using sound, traditional public health techniques including quarantining the infected…
…which were politically untenable in the US; as the gay rights movement gained traction, the idea of focusing public health efforts on gay culture, much less quarantining gay male patients, as the Cubans did), became politically incorrect.
(And since some liberal will no doubt read the above as “Mitch Berg calls for quarantining teh gay” – I’d say the same thing if there were a 100% lethal, contagious, viral disease that spread via the behavior of straight Presbyterian conservatives; public health is public health).
Will the Obama Administration react any better to this crisis than they did the last several? There’s always hope. The President certainly isn’t getting useful advice from some of his supporters (hint to MSNBC hosts and other illiterates; the CDC needs a surgeon general to react to an epidemic about like the IRS needs a director to process your 1040 form; Obama needs to quit politicizing public health. Oh, wait – there it is again!).
[SCENE: The New Jersey-side bank of the Delaware River, December 24, 1776. General George WASHINGTON, having just led the ragged Continental Army across the Delaware River, is having a final conference with his senior officers before attacking the Hessians, who are passed out, hung over after their Christmas drinking binges, in their winter camp in Trenton New Jersey.]
WASHINGTON: Our revolution has had major setbacks this past year. Now is our time to strike back, re-set the balance of this war, and convince the French, Dutch and Spanish that the Revolution can be sustained!
[The generals cheer - except for A. LIBRELLE, a civilian bureaucrat attached to the Army by the group Justice For Britain].
LIBRELLE: I’m sorry, General. This attack is disproportionate. Your men need to get drunk,, become hung over, and then wake the Hessians so it can be a fair fight. And lose the cannon.
General Marquis de LAFAYETTE: Sacre bleu, is this person mad?
[SCENE: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1863. General George Gordon MEADE, commander of the Army of the Potomac, is at the front line atop Cemetery Ridge, alongside his battered, bloodied army. Across a wide open field, Confederate General George Pickett is lining up his troops for their epic charge across the rolling field of grass, as MEADE's artillerymen load their cannon]
MEADE: Men – this is it. It’s here that the union stands, or falls. We hold here, or the war is over. Who’s with me, boys!
[The men cheer - except for A. LIBRELLE, a representative from Quakers for Peace, whose head shakes and face scowls disapprovingly].
LIBRELLE: Wait, General. This isn’t proportionate. You should move your men off this hill and away from behind these walls and fences, and move down into the field so that nobody has cover, and it’s a fair fight. And what’s with the “men” and “boys” bit? Isn’t that just a tad patriarchal?
MEADE: It’s the Army…
[SCENE: London, June 5, 1944. Generals Dwight EISENHOWER, Bernard Law MONTGOMERY and Omar BRADLEY are firming up the final details of the next day's invasion of Europe, known to us as "D-Day".]
EISENHOWER: The entire fate of Western Civilization hangs on tomorrow’s invasion.
BRADLEY: We’ve done all we can. Now, it’s just down to the guts of the regular GI Joe.
[A. LIBRELLE, representative from the United Nations Office of Philosophy, interrupts]
LIBRELLE: Wait – Generals? This invasion is by no means proportionate. You have battleships, paratroopers, waves and waves of bombers. The Germans have none of theses.
MONTGOMERY: Then you suggest…
LIBRELLE: Do the invasion without the battleships, the bombers, or the paratroopers.
EISENHOWER: That’s suicide!
LIBRELLE: It’s proportional!
[SCENE: Somewhere in the desert of Judea, early in the morning, 63BC. Roman legionary RICHARDUS Magnus is addressing his Legion before their final assault on the Jewish stronghold of Masada, where dozens of Jewish patriots are making a last stand against the Roman conquerors]
RICHARDUS: Legionaires! Today we shall charge up the siege towers and scale the walls and build a pyramid of the enemy’s skulls!
[The soldiers cheer lustily, as A. LIBRELLIVS, a reporters from the news-scroll Tempus Romanii, stands, bored, kicking at clods of sand]
RICHARDUS: [Looks at LIBRELLIVS with a look of ill-concealed disdain] Anything to add, Librellius?
LIBRELLIVS: Nah, I got nothing.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Michelle Obama wants grocery stores to install talking grocery carts that will encourage shoppers to buy healthier food.
I predict that as soon as my medical records become part of Obama-care, the NSA will monitor the bar code scanner as I load the talking grocery cart with purchases and when it sees the package of Hostess Ding Dongs, a red light will flash and the cart will shout “HELP HELP UNWISE FOOD CHOICE IN AISLE THREE” until a Team Member arrives to take away the unhealthy item to replace it with a nice head of broccoli.
I can hardly wait.
It’ll have to do until the kids are trained to do the ratting-out more reliably.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Stopped at Pep Boys on South Robert to buy epoxy for a cracked bumper. Pep Boys Bans Guns In This Store. I asked if that was a franchise decision but the counterman said no, all Pep Boys stores are corporate. So I went up the street to O’Reilly Auto Parts instead.
No, I wasn’t carrying. But if they don’t want my business on my terms, I’m happy to take it elsewhere.
As everyone should.
I haven’t voluntarily patronized a posted business since 2003. I’ve specifically thanked businesses that took down their idiot signs.
Now is no time to let old habits die.
Chris Kluwe potentially kicks open a Pandora’s Box.
Given Chris Kluwe’s love of role-playing board games, it shouldn’t surprise that his latest actions have more angles than 23-sided dice.
On Tuesday, former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe was demanding that the team, through the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P, release the six-month independent investigation into Kluwe’s allegations that he was let go due to his gay marriage activism. By Friday night, Kluwe (or at least his attorneys) might have wished the Vikings had kept the findings to themselves.
The 29-page summary of the investigation (pdf warning on the link) was notable for two things: 1) proving Kluwe’s story that current Special Teams coach Mike Priefer did indeed make his “nuke the gays” comment; 2) proving little else. Instead, the investigation brought to light an incident of Kluwe mocking the Jerry Sandusky trial and generally negatively commented on Kluwe’s final years as a Viking:
The record does not support the claim that the Vikings released Kluwe because of his activism on behalf of marriage equality, but instead because of his declining punting performance in 2012 and potentially because of the distraction caused by Kluwe’s activism, as opposed to the substance of such.
Throughout the independent investigation, interviewees characterized Kluwe in similar
ways: someone who is highly intelligent, reads a lot, a prankster or jokester, comfortable with the media and seems to enjoy attention. [Vikings kicker Blair] Walsh stated that Kluwe spent much of his free time in the locker room doing interviews. Walsh also said that Kluwe “loves the attention,” “was focused on everything but football,” and wanted to be in the spotlight.
The fallout was sadly predictable.
The perpetually indignant community – Kluwe’s political base – expressed outrage (outrage!) that the Patron Saint of Punting was a “hypocrite” for engaging in the same sort of outrageously inappropriate locker room behavior that Kluwe supposedly was fighting against by his threatened lawsuit. While many former media supporters were throwing Kluwe under the bus, the man at the center of the report took to twitter to vent, sparing even with gay marriage supporters and potentially getting the Vikings (and maybe himself) deeper into the dark waters of legal action:
Oooh, shall we talk about the time two very well known Vikings players were caught in a compromising situation with an underage girl?
— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) July 19, 2014
Color me unimpressed with the outrage over Kluwe’s Sandusky jokes. In the pantheon of vulgar Kluwe behavior/comments, his exposed butt cheeks aren’t even as crass as most of his Deadspin articles. But Kluwe’s accusation that he (and presumably, the Vikings) knew about statutory rape and did nothing is a world away from Kluwe’s STD shots at Mankato or calling NFL lockout opponents “assh*le f**kwits.” Kluwe is potentially an accomplice in this (alleged) crime at worst. At best, he kept silent about actions against minors, but the words of a hot-headed, idiotic Special Teams coach were somehow his personal Rubicon…after he was fired.
Kluwe’s defenders, like ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio, are trying to poke holes in the investigation’s conclusions over the Vikings’ assessment on Kluwe’s punting abilities, setting the stage for Kluwe’s threatened lawsuit that he was dismissed for his beliefs, not his on-field actions. Despite all the vitriol, the merits of any potential Kluwe lawsuit are few and far between, and minus a heretofore undiscovered “smoking gun” document or testimony, a legal Trojan Horse for the entire NFL should Kluwe prevail.
NFL history, and Minnesota Vikings’ history, is replete with older veterans being replaced for players deemed to have a larger upside who can be signed for less money. In the last several seasons, the Vikings alone have cut ties with still capable players like kicker Ryan Longwell or defensive end Jared Allen. These moves aren’t always right or popular (SITD argued against the Allen move months ago) or consistent across franchises. Denver’s punter, Britton Colquitt, is the highest paid punter in the NFL, earning $3.9 million a year for a 46.1 yards per punt average. Chris Kluwe was making $1.5 million, due to increase to over $2 million, for a career average of 44.4 yards per punt. Jeff Locke kicked an average of 44.2 yards for roughly $400,000 for the Vikings in 2013. Is any of that logical? By NFL standards, for better or worse, yes.
If Chris Kluwe can convince a jury that a $1.5 million punter with the league’s 22nd best average cannot be cut for a younger, cheaper option because said player is outspoken, then the NFL’s entire collective bargaining agreement will be up for grabs. In a league with an openly gay 7th round draft pick who isn’t assured of making the team, what will stop current and future NFL players from adopting controversial political/social causes if they believe doing so will complicate their release? Will the next Tim Tebow decide that his Christianity, not his throwing motion, was the motivating factor in his cutting, and sue his former employer?
A Kluwe victory (again, barring new evidence) means a more political NFL – an outcome that can only hurt the most popular sporting brand in the country.
The most famous (or is it infamous?) punter in modern history tries to pin the Minnesota Vikings against their end zone.
Chris Kluwe may possess a number of less-than-desirable qualities, but the former punter’s media savvy remains arguably his strongest suit. Since leveling accusations against the Minnesota Vikings, in particular special teams coach Mike Priefer, of fostering an atmosphere of homosexual hatred which led to his firing by “two cowards and a bigot,” Kluwe has remained relatively quiet. Perhaps partially motivated by a press corps seemingly less willing to believe him, or realizing that his legal strategy depended upon him dragging many of his former teammates into the mix, Kluwe and his representation had said little about the Vikings’ independent investigation in the past seven months.
That changed Tuesday as Kluwe charged that the Vikings’ investigation has concluded and that the lack of public disclosure over the findings proved Kluwe’s allegations of bigotry:
The onetime punter said Tuesday the team is “reneging on a promise” to release a copy of its completed investigation of alleged anti-gay sentiments expressed by special teams coach Mike Priefer during the 2012 season.
Kluwe and his attorney, Clayton Halunen, announced at a morning news conference that they will file suit against the Vikings alleging discrimination on the grounds of religion, human rights, defamation and “torturous interference for contractual relations.”
The move is self-aggrandizing and potentially premature (the Vikings said the independent investigatory group would provide a report this week). Had the press conference included accusations of the team of being “lustful c**kmonsters,” it would have been vintage Kluwe.
It was also a somewhat smart public relations ploy. Now, whenever Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P release their findings, Kluwe can claim his pressure forced the team to do so. And Kluwe’s willingness to forgo a lawsuit for a monetary settlement that goes towards an LGBT cause also assists both the Vikings, in helping the issue go away faster, and Kluwe himself as even old media allies questioned the punter’s motivations (the KFAN Morning Show, who often gave Kluwe free-rein to voice his opinions on all matter of subjects, openly wondered if he was making a money grab this morning).
But “somewhat smart” isn’t the same as “smart.” Kluwe’s strategy only truly works if the independent investigation proves some or all of Kluwe’s anecdotes, in particular his claim that Mike Priefer suggested moving gay people to an island and hitting it with a nuclear bomb. Not unlike the current Jesse Ventura defamation suit, Kluwe’s case ultimately comes down to a “he said/he said” legal battle. Even if Kluwe is 100% accurate in quoting Vikings’ staff, he would still have to prove a correlation between comments like Priefer’s and his cutting in 2013. The Vikings can respond about Kluwe’s declining skills and (for the position) high salary – reasons that even Kluwe cited…when cut last summer by the Oakland Raiders.
The outcome of the investigation – or any following legal action – may be pointless. Kluwe’s defenders will continue to insist the end of his career was due to his gay rights activism, and not his next-to-last finish for punts inside the 20-yard line while making $1.45 million. Kluwe’s detractors will continue to be maligned as being bothered by his politics rather than his penchant for vulgar name-calling to anyone who doesn’t share his views (on gay rights or other subjects).
Other than attorneys or an LGBT charity, it’s hard pressed to see who benefits from this continued fight.
SCENE: Mitch BERG is walking through the downtown branch of the Saint Paul Library. He’s way back in the stacks, deeply engrossed in a book, when Avery LIBRELLE pops around the corner. LIBRELLE notices BERG, and tiptoes up to him.]
LIBRELLE: Hey, Merg!
BERG: (Startled) Huh? Oh. It’s you.
LIBRELLE: Bar Louie is Racist!
BERG: Oh, the story about the dress code? That’s kind of a stretch.
LIBRELLE: They bar people wearing clothing that only black people wear.
BERG: You’ve never worked in a bar, have you?
LIBRELLE: I’ve been to a few. I love the Lurcat.
BERG: Naturally. But I meant a bar. A hangout. A dive. I worked in bars – places with pool tables and brawls on Friday and Saturday nights. Some of them barred people wearing “colors”.
LIBRELLE: Because they were racist!
BERG: Well, no – it applied to motorcycle club colors just as much as gangs. Our bouncers kept ‘em all out.
LIBRELLE: Yabbut Bar Louie’s dress code pretty much applied only to black people.
BERG: Like Vanilla Ice, Robin Thicke, Ad-Rock and Eminem?
LIBRELLE: Exac…hey, wait ! Those are white guys who dress like…
BERG: …like what?
LIBRELLE: Like you’re a racist!
BERG: Naturally. So here’s a thought experiment for you. Let’s say we started a club. We had a dress code; guys have to wear suits with ties. Is that racist?
LIBRELLE: Of course!
BERG: Why? Black people don’t wear suits and ties?
LIBRELLE: Of course they do.
BERG: I thought they wore sports jerseys and flat-billed baseball caps?
LIBRELLE: Well, not all of them…
BERG: …what’s that? Not all black people are identified by their clothing?
LIBRELLE: [stares blankly, jaw slowly undulating up and down]
BERG: Let’s try this on for size. Pick a bar.
LIBRELLE: The Lurcat!
BERG: OK, sure, the Lurcat. Let’s say as you’re walking toward the Lurcat, you see a group of burly white guys in biker leathers wearing motorcycle club colors. They’re drunk, they’re looking aggressive. Do you go in?
LIBRELLE: That’s silly.
BERG: Or a bunch of intoxicated white guys in grubby jeans and “wife-beater” tank tops waving pool cues about….
LIBRELLE: Don’t be silly. The Lurcat would never…[pauses, stops]
BERG: They’d never allow people in biker gang colors in their joint, much less set up pool tables to draw the blue-collar crowd? Because they’re racists?
LIBRELLE: Because…[head slowly rolls about]
BERG: Because social cues have meaning.
LIBRELLE: Stereotyping people! That’s just so typical of you bitter gun-clinging Jeeeeebus freaks in flyoverland!
BERG: Sure. Later!
When I worked in bars, many of them had dress codes that explicitly barred “colors” and other gang-wear from the bars.
This, by the way referred equally as much (sometimes moreso) to motorcycle club colors as to urban “gang” colors.
Here’s the thing; when you work in bars for a while, you realize that trouble comes in all shapes and colors and even genders – but there are some traits across colors, genders and social classes that let you know that trouble might be likely. Drunk guys in Packer jerseys; drunk rednecks in t-shirts and worn-out jeans; drunk guys in Marine greens (yep, I had that once); drunk bikers in their club colors; drunk urban youth in gang colors.
It wasn’t a “race” thing; it was a “trouble” thing.
The local (and to some extent national media) has been all a-swirl over the claim by Michelle Horovitz, leader and likely sole member of “Menu for Equity” or “Forks Against Racism” or some other such “group”, that h Bar Louie’s dress code is “overtly racist”:
A Minneapolis woman says a sign she found outside Bar Louie in Uptown was shocking, and she’s not shy about speaking out on the controversial dress code that has many saying they’ll no longer spend money there.
“It’s the new Jim Crow being enforced in a colorblind way,” Michelle Horovitz told Fox 9 News.
If it’s color-blind, Ms. Horovitz, then how is it “Jim Crow?”
“What is ‘excessively baggy?’” Horovitz asked. “Who’s going to judge that? Are you going to have Grandma B sitting by the door saying, ‘That’s too baggy’?”
Grandma B? That seems a little ageist of Ms. Horovitz, who looks – if I may profile – like an upper-middle-class white humanities graduate who’s trying to score a grant.
Horovitz considers the dress code to be both appalling and racist.
“You might as well say, ‘No black folks allowed,’” she said. “It’s ridiculous.”
She’s not the only one who is disgusted by the dress code either. Sean Tierney told Fox 9 News he believes it’s “totally racial profiling,” and Imani Vincent said the real message is clear.
Mr. Tierney is at least onto something. It’s definitely profiling. Not racial – social.
Bar Louie doesn’t want people coming in dressed like thugs and gang-bangers. Being in uptown Minneapolis (and Minnetonka), I’m gonna take a wild guess that they don’t get a lot of drunk bikers, drunk rednecks or drunk Packers fans; what trouble do you suppose they’ve had?
Let’s be honest; everybody profiles.
Let’s try a thought experiment: let’s take Michelle Horovitz – suburban upper-middle-class humanities or social “science” major (there, I’m profiling again) and check her reactions around, say, a group of drunk white guys with ZZ Top Beards and biker leathers, and blue-collar rednecks in white t-shirts and grubby jeans hanging around the pool tables?
Think she’s going to “discriminate” deep in her heart of hearts? Use her “profile” of drunk bikers and rednecks to guide her actions?
Based on clothing and visual cues?
Think Michelle Horovitz might be a “we-ist”, feeling more comfortable around people like her?
Place your bets.
(But when you’re placing your bets, I’ve got “she’s a publicity hound shooting for a grant from some progressive organization” taken already).
2008: ”Hah! Sarah Palin gave her baby brain damage – if it’s even hers!”
2014: ”How dare you question whether Hillary Clinton suffered a brain injury? Have you people no decency? Give a woman her privacy!”
The fact that someone has beaten me to giving the graduation speech I’ve always wanted to give – especially at a Minnesota school - is tempered by the fact that I will never be asked to give one.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
“Check my privilege?” Okay, let’s. Let’s check the privileges that I enjoyed, which may have contributed to my success.
A “privilege” is only meaningful when it gives advantage between competitors. The Queen of England enjoys greater privileges than I but they don’t affect my opportunity for success in Minnesota because she and I are not competing to succeed in the same arena. The privileges that contributed to my success were the ones I enjoyed but my competitors did not. What were they?
I was born White, as were 98% of the people in Minnesota at the time. Skin color could not have been the deciding factor that set me apart from other, less successful people of my generation. If being White was a privilege, everybody had it so nobody gained anything by it.
My parents were married when I was born, as were 95% of other kids born in Minnesota at the time, and stayed married throughout my childhood, as did more than 90% of the families in my time. Legitimacy and intact family status could not have been the deciding factor, we all shared those privileges.
My Mom read stories to us kids, which instilled a life-long love of reading, which is the foundation of learning. That definitely was a factor.
I worked full time days and studied law nights for four years, eventually making me one of 25,000 lawyers in the state.
So – when I “Check My Privilege,” which of these factors should I be ashamed of?
Yes, I was gifted with better-than-average intelligence. I freely acknowledge it and regret only that I haven’t put my God-given abilities to better use. Brain power is not something anybody can do anything about so it’s nothing I need to feel guilty about having.
If society wants to identify the factors to success, it’s worse than senseless to harp on factors people can’t do anything about, such as intelligence or skin color, it’s wicked. Being born poor and Black does not absolutely condemn you to a life of poverty and crime – see the many Black people who succeeded. Making people think their lives are predetermined, that no amount of effort can make a difference, is soul-destroying evil.
If society wants to identify the factors to success, we should emphasize the choices that everyone has control over. Wait to have kids until you’re married. Stay married, for the kids’ sake. Be involved in your children’s education – read to them, make them do homework. Kids: stay in school until you graduate, then get a job and work at least 40 hours per week, and stay out of trouble with the law. Make the most of your God-given talents, whatever they may be.
After you’ve done all that to the best of your ability, if someone is still holding you back, then we can talk about race. Somehow, I don’t think that’s a conversation the “Check Your Privilege” crowd wants to have.
“Privilege” is one of those charges that’s intended to shut down all “debate”.
It needs to be answered, mocked, and shut down itself.