Tone Shopping

In the 1986 movie Soul Man, C. Thomas Howell squandered the last of his Red Dawn teen-star career momentum on a dreadful movie about a white college student who gets into Harvard by, er, turning black.

You’ve probably never heard of Vijay Chokal-Ingam.  You may know of his sister, actress Mindy Kalling (“The Office”, “The Mindy Project”), and then again, you may not, either.

And I have a hunch the forces of political correctness will do their best to make sure Chokal-Ingam does not become a household name; he’s become an activist against Affirmative Action.

His journey there, from being an unknown pre-med student, is wrapped up in this; a stunt to get into med school that sounds like it was ripped from Soul Man:

So, I shaved my head, trimmed my long Indian eyelashes, and applied to medical school as a black man. My change in appearance was so startling that my own fraternity brother didn’t recognize me at first. I even joined the Organization of Black Students and started using my embarrassing middle name that I had hidden from all of my friends since I was a 9 years old.

Read the whole thing.

Rule Four

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.

Joe Doakes

What?  No trigger warning?

(Ba domp bomp)

One Morning At Starbucks

SCENE: Mitch BERG walks into a Starbucks and approaches the order counter.  Moonbeam BIRKENSTOCK, the barrista, is behind the counter.

BERG:  Large light roast and some of that lemon cake, please.

BIRKENSTOCK:  Sure.  But first – what do you think about race?

BERG:  Huh?

BIRKENSTOCK:  When did you first become aware of your race?

BERG:  The race I’m in to get to work?  About 45 minutes ago.

BIRKENSTOCK:  What?

BERG:  It’s a joke.  Research shows that race is among the first things babies perceive about people in the world around them.  Even tiny babies are uncomfortable around people that aren’t the same race as their parents.  So a form of “racism” – being uncomfortable around people like you – is born into human beings.

BIRKENSTOCK:  White babies?

BERG:  All babies.   And I think it holds true through peoples’ lives, and expands on itself.  People are more comfortable around people like them; they are uneasy around people who aren’t.  And it’s not just race – class is something babies learn later on – but race is a big one.  Some middle class whites are uncomfortable around blacks.  Middle-class blacks get nervous around blue-collar white people under certain circumstances.  Jennifer Lopez probably watches herself around people who still are “from the block”.  White MPR listeners avoid being around white people with leathers and Harley-Davidsons.

Everyone on earth – including Barristas who went to Carlton…

BIRKENSTOCK:  …eeeew.  I went to Saint Olaf!

BERG:   Exactly.  Now – could you leave a little room for cream…

BIRKENSTOCK:  What do you think about your privilege?

BERG:  My privilege?

BIRKENSTOCK:  White privilege!

BERG:  I think there’s a reason that black people – and white people with liberal guilt – talk about it, and Latinos, Asians, and African immigrants largely don’t.

BIRKENSTOCK:  They’re racists too!

BERG:  No, they and their ancestors largely came here of their own free will, while the African-Americans are culturally as well as geneologically descended from slaves.  And 150 years of emancipation and 50 years of full rights haven’t undone 500 years of cultural damage.  So the question is, what do you do about it?

BIRKENSTOCK:  Have I asked you about your privilege yet?

BERG:  The privilege is this:  I’m descended from a culture that, going back almost 1,500 years, was dominated by a patriarchal society that was ruled by a warrior elite and venerated fighting skill and still doesn’t have a word for “relax, man”, but had more words for “combat” than Eskimos have for “snow” or the Irish have for “vomit”.  And between geography, the market, and my ancestors’ skill at killing their enemies, nobody managed for the most part to enslave my ancestors.  And the biggest thing I have to say about privilege is that I’m sorry for those whose ancestors and their matriarchal, hunter-gatherer societies were unable to protect their people from slavery.

But what do you want me to do about it now?

BIRKENSTOCK:  So…do you think your choice of coffee is itself racist?

BERG:  (Turns and walks out the door)

BIRKENSTOCK:  Can I interest you in the new Cold Play CD?

(And SCENE)

Our National Monologue

In all of of this nation’s frenetic back-and-forth – usually just forth – over race, i’ve really just had one question, all all this time ”

What do you want me to do?

Only an idiot doesn’t recognize racism exists, in some form. And that’s above and beyond to the “We -ism” that is endemic to every human being in the world; the race of people around them is one of the first perceptions babies develop, with uneasiness about the difference following closely.

And white privilege exists, too. Of course, the roots of white privilege date back hundreds, maybe thousands of years, when wage Northern European societies developed into patriarchal, militaristic societies dominated by aggressive warrior cultures that were able to avoid being enslaved, for the most part, as societies, at a time when most sub-Saharan African societies were small, matriarchal, and ripe for the picking buy more aggressive societies.

That’s one of the greatest “privileges” a society can hand down to its offspring; a history of freedom.

So racism and privilege exists. Stipulated.

Now what?

Writing at The Daily Beast,” John McWhorter, in a long, excellent article, has the same questions:

However, one can thoroughly understand how racism works and still ask just what this laser focus on “White Privilege” is meant to achieve.

“This is messy work, but these conversations are necessary,” says Sandra Chapman, director of diversity and community at Little Red School House in New York City. OK—but why? Note that the answer cannot be, “So that whites will understand that they are the privileged … etc.” That makes as much sense as saying “Because!” So I’m going to dare to ask a simple question: What exactly are we trying to achieve with this particular lesson?

And the questions keep coming. I will urge you to read the whole thing.

Compare And Contrast

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Worst place in the world for a Black person to live:  Madison, Wisconsin.

So says Meaca Moore, a sociology student from Columbus, Ohio.

Oddly, Madison is only ranked 3rd on the Whitest Colleges In Americalist.

It’s too bad she was required to go there, and is prohibited from transferring.

Joe Doakes

Racism seems to be a little like “sexual harassment”; not only does it mean whatever the complainant wants it to mean, but the respondent’s intent is irrelevant.

Antiquated And Myopic

50 years ago, United States declared a “War on Poverty”.

For much of the last 30 years, the State of Minnesota has been actively pursuing a top-down housing policy, aggressively trying to jiggle the “mix” of housing found in communities that grew up organically over the course of a century and a half.

And for almost 20 years, the cities have been extremely aggressively squeezing out private market “low income housing”, while “investing” heavily in public low income housing.

In schools in the Twin Cities crummier neighborhoods have been terrible for nobody knows how long.

What do all of these things have in common, besides being functions of the cultural left?

The attempt to use politics to solve social problems.

So it’s perhaps ironic that Myron Orfield, the patron Saint of the dismal, discredited political “art” of “urban planning”, comes perilously close to blaming the right thing – politics – for once in one of his studies.

He’s it cited in the MinnPost::

Specifically, Orfield and his co-authors from the institute — Will Stancil, Thomas Luce and Eric Myott — blame policies and practices that redirected affordable housing programs from mostly white suburbs back to segregated neighborhoods in Minneapolis, St. Paul and first-tier suburbs such as Brooklyn Center and Richfield.

“You can build affordable housing in poor neighborhoods,” he said during an interview this week, “you just shouldn’t build all of it [there].”

Absolutely not. Why, you “should” build low income housing in West Bloomington, and Southwest Edina, and North Oaks, and Kenwood!

Except since the policy is entirely driven by politics, the people with political clout decide how the policy will be implemented. And the people in those DFL-addled areas have decided that poverty is just too hard on their property values.

In the meantime – driven by the same sorts of policies that the likes of Orfield have been peddling to cities for close to a generation – Minneapolis and St. Paul have been making it virtually impossible to be a successful private market landlord in either city. Meaning “affordable housing” is almost exclusively provided by the government – at two or three times its market value.

The DFL takes the likes of Myron Orfield very seriously (except, of course, for putting “affordable housing” next door to their leadership’s homes). The next paragraph explains why I don’t:

The study also repeats an argument Orfield has put forward before: that charter schools re-create school segregation by creating institutions that are too often mostly black or, increasingly, mostly white. “I don’t think the public schools in segregated neighborhoods have been doing very well for a long time,” he said in an interview this week. “I think they’re bad schools. I don’t defend them at all. But the sad thing is, the charters are worse.”

The difference – and it takes someone as highly educated as Myron Orfield to miss it – is this: charter schools are voluntary. They are a free market (well, free-market-ish) response to the rot and decay in our school systems. Unlike the wretched inner-city public schools, nobody forces anybody to go to them. They succeed or fail on their own merits – unlike, again, public schools.

Perhaps poor parents know something that highly educated experts like Orfield don’t; that forcing kids to be proxies for their adults “discussion on race” may make academics like Orfield feel good, but it does nothing for their children’s futures.

It Gets So Very, Very Old

It gets old, always, always, always repeating “if a conservative said this, the media would collectively crap a cinder block”.

But it’s always true.

But former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg said something that would put him squarely in David Duke territory; emphasis added for the dense and dazed:

“It’s controversial, but first thing is all of your — 95 percent of your murders and murderers, and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all of the cops. They are male, minorities, 15 to 25. That’s true in New York, it’s true in virtually every city in America,” Bloomberg is heard saying in the newly released audio.

And his prescription?  Well, it’s meant to sound a little more benevolent than something a Klansman would say, but spiritually it’s the same exact thing:

“That’s where the real crime is,” he added. “You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of the people that are getting killed. First thing you can do to help that group is to keep them alive.”

“Keep them alive” – by disarming the victims.

Forget dog whistles; this piece is full of racist foghorns.

And it puts an exclamation point on the most important premise related to the gun control issue today; it is today, as it was in 1968, and 1866 and 1842, an instrument of keeping ethnic minorities disarmed, helpless and in “their place”.

Rarely as they as obliging as to say it in as many words, as Bloomberg is recorded saying (and the media is doing its best to scrub all mention of the tape’s existence); even Heather Martens is smarter than that (thus far).

Do the world a favor; make sure a black DFL voter hears this.

Hands Up: Don’t Spread Narratives Without Thinking

After a couple of months of investigation, the Justice Department – that would be Eric Holder’s Justice Department – has reached the same conclusion in on the Michael Brown case that the state grand jury did several months ago:

Let’s reiterate that. Eric Holder’s Justice Department has looked at the case and decided that the evidence indicates Officer Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown.

This is actually not much of a surprise. When local prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced the grand jury’s decision not to prosecute the officer, he strongly emphasized that federal investigators had access to the exact same evidence, which was his way of expressing confidence that they would reach the same conclusions. The Times report confirms this: “The federal investigation did not uncover any facts that differed significantly from the evidence made public by the authorities in Missouri late last year.”

have you noticed we only get asked to have a “conversation about race” after an ugly, inflammatory event that jacks everyone’s emotions to 11?

The Mountaintop

One of the great tragedies of our age is that “Oratory” is nearly a lost art.

It’s an age when Barack Obama is considered a “great speaker”.

But Martin Luther King was one of the great orators of modern times; to listen to his great speeches is to hear one of the summits of what was once one of the great western traditions.

And he gave few speeches better than “I Have Seen The Mountaintop”.

How The GOP Should Respond To #BlackLivesMatter

Today’s Democrat Party represents an unbroken line of “urban policy” thought in majority-black areas – from urban Chicago to rural Mississippi – stretching back 50 years. It’s a school of thought that says if we throw enough money at poverty, at bad education, and at crime, they’ll magically get better.

And yet after 50 years of unfettered Democrat power in places ranging from Newark to rural Alabama, from Compton to North Minneapolis, poverty in the Black community has only grown, the achievement gap between black and white students has skyrocketed, black literacy has fallen, and crime in black neighborhoods in Democrat cities has defied the national drop in violent and property crimes; in the meantime, the black family continues to fragment, with a majority of African-American children born out of wedlock and growing up in single-family homes.

And in response, what does the Democrat Party bring to its Black voters? Big words and protests and emotional catharsis over an issue like black men being shot by the police – which is certainly a terrifying and frustrating issue – and not a word about the fact that unemployment among blacks has increased more than any other demographic since 2007, that literacy has fallen as the achievement gap has ballooned, and that for all of the Black community’s loyalty to the Democrats, poverty hasn’t budged.

One can’t blame Black America for protesting – but you have to wonder, after fifty years, if the protests aren’t being ginned up to give people something to protest about other than achievement gaps, black-on-black crime and poverty.  

The GOP joins with the Black community in seeking an end to the senseless waste of young black lives, while calling for an *honest* conversation with the community and the Democrat party on the abject failure of their policies to make life even one iota better for Black Americans over the past two generations.

(Drop mic).

Reform

SCENE:  Avery LIBRELLE is waiting at the light rail station on University Avenue. 

Seeing Mitch Berg driving past, LIBRELLE leaps and, incredibly, sails through BERG’s passenger side window and lands sitting upright in BERG’s passenger seat.

BERG:  What the…

LIBRELLE:  Hahahahahahahahaha, Merg!    You and your conservative teabagger friends “won” the South!  Now, you can keep it?

BERG:  Um, right.  Mary Landrieu lost, leaving not a single Democratic Senator, Governor or Democrat-controlled Legislative chamber in the entire old Confederacy. 

LIBRELLE:  Yeah!  You got all the racists!    The journey you started in 1968, when you inherited all the racists with Nixon’s “Southern Strategy”, is complete!  You guys got the KKK vote!

BERG:  You’re still babbling about the so-called “Southern Strategy?”

LIBRELLE:  Yes!  The racists, upset about the Civil Rights Act, all voted GOP!

BERG:  OK – let’s accept for a moment purely for sake of argument that the South is more “racist” than the rest of the country – which is deeply debatable, but again, it’s for argument’s sake – and that people vote first and foremost over racial issues. 

LIBRELLE:  Yep.  Absolutely!

BERG:  OK.  So the South voted for Nixon – but then, so did Vermont and California and, in 1972, Michigan, New York State, and even ultraliberal Minnesota.  So they’re all racists, too, right?

LIBRELLE:  The South were voting their consciences, though!

BERG:  Were they indeed?

LIBRELLE:  Even though these rhetorical questions of your always end up with me falling into a trap that makes me look stupid and uninformed, I’ll say “hell yeah!”

BERG:  OK – so the Democrats controlled every single southern Congressional delegation until 1994.  And the GOP didn’t win a majority of southern Governor’s offices, to say nothing of state legislatures, until well into the 2000s. 

By the way – the Klan hasn’t been a factor in Southern Politics since the sixties, maybe the seventies at the very latest.  So it would be more realistic to say that Republicans oversaw the extinction of mainstream racism in the Deep South. 

(BERG’s car pulls up to stoplight.  LIBRELLE steps out, walks between traffic to nearest train station).

BERG:  Avery?  Avery?

Maybe Dog Whistles Just Jumped The Shark

Well, if I have anything to say about it, they have.

Because this particular episode may be the most parity worthy bit of leftist prattle I’ve ever seen.

Darius Rucker – African-American country western singer and onetime member of “Hootie and the Blowfish” – saying the seasonal classic “White Christmas” on NBC broadcast last night.

In the reaction was the kind of thing you do found in parody, 15 short, yet much smarter, years ago.

IMG_3029.PNG

What was it that PJ O’Rourke said? “Life is full of irony, when you’re stupid”?

A World Full Of We-Ists

In the wake of the unrest in Ferguson – just as in the wake of the Martin-Zimmerman incident, and every other racial episode in recent memory – there’s been a call for a “dialogue about race”.

Of course, the “dialogue” that most people are calling for involves one side doing all the talking, and the other shutting up and taking whatever’s dished out.

Not that listening isn’t a bad idea.  I’ve long since found that when the subject is race, I’m much better off listening than talking.

One of the few substantive things I’ve ever had to say, when I do talk about the subject, is that everyone in the world is a “we-ist”; that everyone on this planet comes practically from the womb more comfortable around, forgiving of, and accepting of people who look, sound and act like them.

And it’s not just my theory.  No.  It’s settled science™:

Science has bad news, though, for anyone who claims to not see race: They’re deluding themselves, say several bias experts. A body of scientific research over the past 50 years shows that people notice not only race but gender, wealth, even weight.

When babies are as young as 3 months old, research shows they start preferring to be around people of their own race, says Howard J. Ross, author of “Everyday Bias” …

Other studies confirm the power of racial bias, Ross says.

One study conducted by a Brigham Young University economics professor showed that white NBA referees call more fouls on black players, and black referees call more fouls on white players. Another study that was published in the American Journal of Sociology showed that newly released white felons experience better job hunting success than young black men with no criminal record, Ross says.

“Human beings are consistently, routinely and profoundly biased,” Ross says.

And humans being humans, they ladle all sorts of learned behavior on top of that human trait, down to the languages they learn; some languages codify “we-ism”; Farsi and Lakota are two examples of languages where the world for “person” gets less and less complimentary, the more removed from one’s own tribe the “person” comes from.

And it’s everyone, not just white people.  And it shows; middle class blacks get uncomfortable around white bikers; Koreans are leery of Latinos.  Pick your combination; whoever you and they are, everyone is wired to keep people who are different from them at arm’s length.

That, of course, is never part of the proposed “dialog about race”.

Dear Superintendant Silva

To:  Valeria Silva, Superintendant, Saint Paul Public Schools
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  How You Can Superintendantsplain Things To Your Black Students

Superintendant Silva,

In the immediate aftermath of the Ferguson Grand Jury release, you tweeted:

No indictment for officer Wilson!  Very sad day in America.  How do I explain this to my black students? 

I’m here to help.  You can start by explaining to them…:

  1. The reasons Saint Paul – despite spending more money per student than almost every district in the state – continues to have among the worst black student achievement gaps in the country.  Worse even than other urban toilets like Detroit or Philadelphia. 
  2. You can explain why it is you support the current school board, which – being elected city-wide rather than by ward, is thus under the complete control of the DFL vote machine, and thus represents the wishes and whims of the city’s Crocus Hill DFL elite; lots of gnashing of teeth about multiculturalism and the morality of Junior ROTC, and absolutely nothing about pulling “your black students” up.  You could explain why you aren’t actively working to return the school board to a ward-based system. 
  3. You can explain to them, maybe, that while there are bad cops, there is also nothing in the world more stupid and unpredictable than an 18 year old boy, and that even if a cop is bad (and I’m not saying Office Wilson was), provoking them is a really really bad plan. 
  4. Explain that rioting is a good way to get a good chunk of society to swing from “middling to sympathetic” to “loading up with birdshot and walking their sidewalks with their neighbors”. 
  5. Perhaps you should explain the reasons that Saint Paul shouldn’t follow New Orleans’ lead, shut down the public school system, and go all charter? Because the African-American community in NOLA – much bigger than in Saint Paull, btw – is doing much better since they did exactly that. Three reasons will do.

Let me know if you need more help.  Being a public bureaucrat, I’m sure you rarely have to deal with the actual public.

Ted Nugent Speaks

Rock and roller and conservative icon Ted Nugent tweets about Obama’s response to Ferguson:

Obama’s empty neutrality, moral bankruptcy and political cowardice is now undeniable to even his most loyal cheerleaders and boot-lickers!

— Cornel West (@CornelWest) November 25, 2014

Well, Ted Nugent saying that sort of thing about Barack Obama barely rises to Dog Bites Dog, now, does it?

UPDATE:  Wait…

The Speech I’d Like To Hear

For the better part of a decade, I’ve been saying two things:

  • The GOP needs to engage the voters in the 4th and 5th CDs – including the dreaded ”inner city” voter - better.  I’m not the only one to say this, of course – but so far, Dan Severson and his Minority Liberty Alliance have been the only real cow to go with the moo. 
  • While black, Latino, Asian and immigrant voters tend to vote overwhelmingly Democrat (for reasons that are less related to patronage and force of habit than some would like to think), it remains a fact as well as a stereotype that Latinos are socially conservative, Asians do place a premium on education and initiative, and African-Americans are among the most passionate advocates of school choice, and they should be, eventually, amenable to a message that reflects that. 

Below is the outline of a speech that I’d love to see a (presumably white) Republican (although the candidacy of Abdimalik Askar against Phyllis Kahn is a hopeful sign) give to an African-American audience in the 4th or 5th CD.  The candidate won’t be me, natch – there’s no way I’m ever running for office.  I’ve given oppo researchers almost 15 years of smear-fodder.  It’s just not gonna happen. 

But for someone else – someone who actually belongs running for office? 

Here’s an idea.

Continue reading

Illinois Democrats Enforce Fugitive Slave Act

Black Chicago preacher endorses the GOP candidate for governor of Illinois over the loathsome Pat Quinn…

…and gets robbed, along with death threats:

Corey Brooks, a South Side pastor featured in an ad endorsing Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, says he’s moved his family from his home while police investigate an overnight burglary of his church, as well as threatening derogatory phone calls he received which claim he’ll be beaten for being Rauner’s “puppet.”

On Saturday, Brooks rushed to the New Beginnings Church of Chicago after a maintenance employee found the church’s back doors shattered and an estimated $8,000 stolen from a glass charity box, meant to build a community center across from the church.

Democrat apologists will no doubt say that it was just typical street crime. 

How many common thug burglars operate from a political/racial agenda?   Emphasis added below:

“The death threats seem to be related to [GOP candidate] Bruce Rauner,” Brooks said at the church Saturday. “They say his name as well as mine and most of the references were in response to me in support of him. So it’s really derogatory, real racial, a lot of homophobic words. It’s real life threatening.”

Brooks said he received the five phone calls on Friday. He recorded one of them, and provided it to police. In that call, which was played for the Sun-Times, a man’s voice is disguised via a high-pitched filter. He is heard calling Brooks a “token n—–.”

How many common burglars in Chicago would you think even know the GOP endorsed a candidate, much less take the time to pitch-shift their voice on the phone?

Their message sounds a little like Minnesota Progressive Project reads:

“We on you boy, we on you. And you ain’t got nobody that can stop us, nobody. Who you go [to] the deacons? They can’t stop us. We going to beat your fat a– in front of your mama congregation Sunday. Yeah we going to steal the sheep of the hypocrite. You’s a hypocrite we going to beat your fat a– in front of your own congregation. Who you got that…f— we going to beat their a– too. They can’t protect you. You sell out you Uncle Tom a– n—–. You token. You a puppet for Bruce Rauner you puppet n—– a–. P—- a– n—–,” the voice says on the recording.

Read the whole, disgusting thing.

And imagine if it would be different here in Minnesota if a black pastor in North Minneapolis or Frogtown broke from the DFL. 

I’d bet $20 on “no”, but I’ll forgive you for not taking the bet.

Gun Control And Racism, Part MCCXCIX

The goals of gun control, from the very beginning before the American Revolution, are rooted in racism. 

Every single gun control measure in this nation’s history has been passed against a backdrop of “making sure black people don’t kill white people” – from laws disarming slaves before independence, to the post-Civil-War era laws in Texas passed after black Union Army veterans kicked the Klan’s pointy-sheeted tushes, to the Gun Control Act of 1968, a knee-jerk response to the riots that wracked the nation’s inner cities after the assassination of Martin Luther King. 

Not long ago, we Real Americans celebrated the court case that pounded a spike through the head of Illinois’ civilian gun ban – the last in the country after the Heller and McDonald cases euthanized. 

But Illinois is still doing its best to t keep guns out of the hands of inconvenient minorities; over 90% of Illinois’ carry permits have been issued in counties that are mostly white:

Within Cook County, the top five concealed carry ZIP codes per capita are all predominately white, middle class and are in areas that have low crime rates. However, the most violent neighborhoods within the county — all of which are on the South Side of Chicago — are predominately black, where residents earn less than $48,000 annually and hold the fewest concealed carry licenses as a percentage of the population.

“But maybe it’s because fewer poor black people apply for permits”, a lefty might say.

And she’d be right – but not for the reasons they assume (with emphasis added):

Illinois residents say the disproportionate statistics all boil down to cost. Of right-to-carry states, Illinois has the highest registration and training fee, costing an applicant about $650 on average for fingerprinting, taxes and logistics — excluding the price of the gun.

“In these gangbang neighborhoods, people can’t afford the license. They’re making choices between food and medicine, and they can’t even guarantee they’ll get even that,” said Shawn Gowder, 49, who lives in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood on the South Side, where two homicides have taken place in the last 30 days. “We need to arm ourselves and protect ourselves from these gangbangers, but we just can’t afford to do it.”

Tack on sixteen hours of training – the longest requirement in the US.  Go ahead – fit that in around work and family. 

Of course, “safety” legislation over the past 45 years have done a lot to price firearms, especially handguns, out of reach of poor people. Even a Soviet-surplus Makarov – just about the cheapest useful handgun on the market – will be close to $300, especially in a high-tax area like Chicago. 

If the same data trends occurred in banking and insurance, there might be outcries of “redlining,” denying a group of people access to goods or services because of the color of their skin or income levels. But there’s little public concern expressed so far about the possibility that poor blacks are being disenfranchised from the right to carry a concealed weapon.

“You really need to ask whether or not politicians are consciously trying to disarm certain groups of people,” said Dr. John Lott, a Second Amendment expert and president of the Crime Prevention Center. “Why do they want a law that primarily disarms blacks and gives guns to only well-to-do whites? Don’t they think it should be equal for everyone to protect their lives?”

Lott knows as well as you, me, and the poor people of Chicago that that’s a rhetorical question.

Our National Monologue

When people say they want a “dialog about race”, what they really mean is “let’s have a monologue where I talk and you listen”.

Now, I don’t talk much about race. As a matter of fact, I do think listening is a better approach on the subject – and while I’m the only person I can speak for, it’s advice I think pretty much everyone in the world should follow anyway. Even you, Al Sharpton.

But I saw this video – from a group called “Kids of Ferguson”, which is plausible if you assume the Kids of Ferguson are world-class videographers and editors.

And this is what our “dialog” is?

“Hey, white people!”.

Apparently, my skin color is my only defining feature.

Who knew?

(By the way – the kids’ t-shirts say “Racism’s not over, but I’m over racism”?  I’m gonna guess if I said exactly that, I would be told I can’t be “over racism” because…I’m Caucasian?  How does that work?)

Let’s pretend for a moment that “dialog” is what anyone’s looking for.  Here’s my side of it – just three points, really, not that anyone cares:

People Are People – And That’s A Bad Thing:  Everyone, of all skin tones – white, black, brown – is equally worthless. No, seriously – that’s part of the Christian creation story.  Mankind is fallen.  People, as groups, are pretty much always awful – collections of stereotypes and group dogmas, pretty much.  Ick.

People Are Individuals, If You Let Them:  If you’d like to try and get to know me as an individual, I’ll return the favor.   There’s more to you than your skin color, you say? (You do say that, don’t you?  Martin Luther King did, anyway)  Anyway – bully for you!  Me too!  I mean, come on – “white?”  Any label that includes Swedes and Italians and pre-Arab North Africans, or Icelanders and Hungarians and Armenians, is meaningless anyway – just like any term that includes Bantus, Tutsis and Ethiopians.    Anyway – Martin Luther King once said he dreamed people would one day judge his children by the contents of their hearts rather than the color of their skin.  I’m the last guy to try to speak for Dr. King, but that video has got to have him puking in his grave.

People Are Also Trash, If You Let Them:  Let’s take a test.  You see a group of drunk, aggressive teenagers coming down the street.   You can’t make out their skin tone yet – it’s dark – but what do you do?  ”Take precautions, because drunk teenagers are just about the worst plague in the world, whatever their hue?”  You win the freaking cookie.  Here’s the deal;  you wanna treat me like an individual human person, I’ll return the favor with interest.  I’m less worried about the color of your skin than your attitude.  You wanna talk?  We’ll talk.  You wanna be a dink?  I’ll ignore you.  You present me a threat of death or great bodily harm?   That’d be a bad decision.

Everything in between is negotiable.

You want a “conversation about race?”  Talk to me.  Not to the stereotype you’ve been told you’re talking to.  And I’ll try to do the same. 

Problem is, I don’t think the “Kids of Ferguson” are being taught any such thing.

Of No Use Whatsoever

 The BATFE is now collecting racial data when you go to buy a gun:

With little fanfare, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 2012 amended its Form 4473 — the transactional record the government requires gun purchasers and sellers to fill out when buying a firearm — to identify buyers as either Hispanic, Latino or not. Then a buyer must check his or her race: Indian, Asian, black, Pacific Islander or white.

Now, the purpose of the form is supposed to be to collect information needed to screen potential purchasers for criminal background. 

So what’s race got to do with it?  

…“This issue concerns me deeply because, first, it’s offensive, and, secondly, there’s no need for it,” said Evan Nappen, a private practice firearms lawyer in New Jersey. “If there’s no need for an amendment, then there’s usually a political reason for the change. What this indicates is it was done for political reasons, not law enforcement reasons.”

Yet another example of politicized “law enforcement”.

Pondering The Imponderable

I was at a comedy club a few weeks back.

A very angry – and not especially funny, while we’re on the subject – woman who, I kid you not, identified herself as having been a political science major, told a joke (I’ll be generous) about “science”.  She ended with something like “That’s called ‘science’.  Take that, creationists!”

But it started me thinking about the contempt that the left feels for creationists. 

Now, I’m not one of them – if you read the biblical creation story as allegory, there is no conflict between the Bible and the record that is captured in the physical science of the world around us. 

And I wanted to stand up and ask the “comedian” something.

“So if we have to choose between…

Someone who believes the Earth is 6,000 years old, and lives their life accordingly – whatever that means?  A belief for which there may be little empirical basis, and even less empirical impact outside the faith community?  Or…

Someone who believes that:

  • raising taxes during a recession helps the economy,
  • banning firearms for the law-abiding lowers violent crime
  • jacking up regulation on market economies will stop the climate from changing like it’s been doing for between 6,000 and 20,000,000,000 years
  • Unionizing daycare providers will alleviate the scarcity of daycare
  • Raising the minimum wage will alleviate poverty
  • Pouring a bottomless bucket of money into Public Education will ever give us a better-educated populace
  • Mandating increased healthcare services without increasing the supply of caregivers won’t raise the price of healthcare
  • “Racism” is harming black Americans more than the Public Education system, a toxic “urban culture”, fatherless families and voting for Democrats who want to keep them that way are
  • Giving terrorists a “save the date” card for leaving one of their homelands isn’t going to result in an epic surge of bloodshed
  • “Anti-Poverty” programs have alleviated poverty over the past fifty years
  • Barack Obama deserved that Nobel Peace Prize,

…which does more actual harm to the world?”

It wouldn’t have made a great “heckle”, unfortunately.

The Democratic Party Just Isn’t That Into You Anymore

To:  African-America
From: The Democrat Party
Re:  Can We Still Be Friends? (Meaning: Please Keep Voting For Us)

 Dear African-America:

We – the Democrat Party – know, we know, we know:  Fifty years of the “War on Poverty” have left Afro-America poorer, but has immensely enriched the political class.  Fifty years of “Affirmative Action” have left you underrepresented in general society, but been great for transferring wealth to our lawyer friends.  Thirty years of “War on Drugs” have left your neighborhoods scarred and a disproportionate number of your male population in jail.  14 people weren’t killed last weekend in the white parts of Chicago!  Of course, the economy under President Obama has been vastly worse for African-Americans than any other segment of society. 

And now, the current wave of illegal immigration is hurting your corner of the economy worse than anyone else’s. 

Why is this happening? 

Because African-Americans are no longer the biggest minority, and we Democrats have to be planning for the future.  And Latino votes count as much as yours do, except, of course, there’s more of them, so…

…anyway, hope you keep voting Democrat!

Thanks,

The Democrat Party

Everyone’s A Racist!

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!

(And SCENE)