I had the pleasure of interviewing Todd Gramnez, a representative of Black Lives Matter, on my show on Saturday.

To which one of the groups adherents might reply “yeah, he’s not the real Black Live Matter”; Gramnez was the one who took up the Minnesota State Fair on their offer for a booth inside the fairgrounds, when other BLM group that carried out the march on the state fair, led by Rashaad Turner, turned them down.

It was a good discussion.  And, by the way, I’d be more than happy to invite Rashad Turner on my show – provided that he does all of his race baiting on social media before the show, rather than after, as he did after his generally cordial interview with Jack Tomczak on the lesser talk station.  I’d love to have a discussion with all of that on the table, rather than passive-aggressively held off for later.


Takeaways from the weekend:

Agreement: Of course I agree with several of BLM’s points; anyone who cares about civil liberty, the Fourth Amendment, and limited state power should. We have too many no knock raids; the police are too militarized.  Anytime the police, for whatever reason, adopt an “us against them” attitude about the population they police, society fails (not that that is even necessarily always the police’s fault – it takes two to tango.

So, long story short:  I agree with many of BLM’s stated goals.  Not all of them – and neither do a fair number of African-Americans; BLM’s desire to end “broken windows” policing flies in the face of most inner-city residents of all skin colors, who have to live with the consequences of unchecked petty crime.  And I think some of their local leadership – Rashad Taylor and Nekima Levy-Pounds – do their cause more harm than good.  But of course, my approval is not what they’re after.  And that’s just fine.

But there is common ground on many of the stated goals.  And I emphasize  stated  for a reason.

Motives:  Last  Saturday was a gorgeous morning – and as I frequently do I’m gorgeous mornings, I walked from my house to the state fairgrounds to do the show. Since the BLM March was assembling just a few blocks from my house, I thought I would stop by.

There was a major police presence in the Midway, naturally:

And when I got to Midway Park? I can’t say I was surprised to note that the crowd, probably an hour before the rally got underway, was easily 2/3  Caucasian – most of them giving off the usual visual signs of being one variety of Minnesota Liberal or another:

Including many, many union members, acting as traffic marshals. One observer noted that they were wearing AFL-CIO vests, turned inside out.

And yep, there they are:

White Highland Park Liberals will certainly turn out, just for the fun of it, to march in any old parade. No argument there.

But why are the unions turning out people and money – including, reportedly, busing protesters in from other parts of the city – for of an event like BLM?

To paraphrase Fred Thompson in Hunt for Red October, “The unions don’t take a dump without a policy directive from the Democrats”.  And vice versa.

They’re there for the same reason that there protests happened in heavily African-American neighborhoods, rather than in front of the capital or the governors mansion.  Because there’s a presidential election coming up in another year, and for the first time in eight years, the slate of septuagenarian white people is on the Democratic side, and the Dems don’t have a charismatic black man on the ballot, and the Democrat party knows it needs to keep the African-American vote whipped up or it is doomed.

Question:  So I agree with some of Black Live Matters agenda; I also think they are in the process of being co-opted into a Democrat campaign effort, to the extent that they weren’t to begin with.

But let’s forget about the politics and the personalities. Let’s talk about Black Lives.

Freedom is something with which we are endowed by our Creator.  It can’t be taken away (short of some major offense against other people). It can’t even be given away.  It’s not a zero sum equation; the freedom I have, I don’t have because I got it from someone else. In the same way a right cannot interfere with another person’s right, one person’s freedom cannot take away from another person’s freedom.

If freedom, equality and respect or what BLM is after, then I’m with you.

But some BLM activists – I’m not naming names, here – refer  to freedom and equality in the same way  Bernie Sanders refers to earned income; like it is a finite quantity, that they wish to redistribute.  As if some people get freedom, equality and respect by taking it away from other people.

Is it the imprecise phrasing of people driven by emotion?

Or is it a slopover from the organization’s political backgdrop, a natural response from a group – progressivism, not BLM – that regards “equality” as the end result of redistribution, whether it’s money or equality.

And there, they’re wrong – and any American, whatever the color of their skin, needs to tell them so.

“Please Please Please Please Please Send Cameras Please Please Please”

So there’s kind of a theme coming out of  “Black Lives Matter” here in the Twin Cities.

Last week, Rashad Taylor, one of the organizers of Saturday’s protest that’ll be starting a few blocks from my house and proceeding up Snelling – the busiest street in the state during Fair time – to the State Fairgrounds, hinted that there juuuust might be some violence at the protest:

“We’re gonna disrupt [the fair]. There’s nothing they’re gonna be able to do about it…. If we’re met with any resistance or threatened with any resistance, we’ll meet them with that same resistance.”


And on Facebook, Nekima Levy-Pounds – the leader of Black Lives Matter in the Twin Cities, and a woman with a PhD and a lifetime tenure-track job in a make-work academic discipline, who nonetheless complains about “white privilege” – posted:

Friends, Please pray for those brave and courageous souls who will be participating in the ‪#‎BlackFair‬ demonstration outside of the State Fair on Saturday. The level of racial hatred and animus that has come to the surface in Minnesota is appalling. These racist attitudes are typically hidden behind a Minnesota Nice facade. Now, we are able to see the truth of how these folks really feel about blacks and other people of color.

Some have taken these statements as a threat of violence.

Call me a pollyanna if you want; maybe, more accurately, you can accuse me of transposing my own motives on those of others. I read these statements, and I see a couple of people saying “Heeeeey, news media! Make sure you got plenty of cameras lined up on Snelling this Saturday. You wouldn’t wanna miss another…Ferguson or Baltimore, would you?”

Am I wrong?

Today’s Etymology Challenge

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Dayton said:  “I am conscious of the diversity factor. I am also conscious of the fact that when Justice Wright departs there will be only one woman.”


I notice that Hudson is Black and all three are female.  No doubt all three are good Liberal Democrats, too.  For Governor Dayton, plainly, choosing a Supreme Court justice is all about their wisdom, maturity, experience and vision, about the content of their character rather than the color of their skin or their sex.  So we’ll get another marginally qualified Affirmative Action justice to legislate from the bench.


A local lawyer I know, a 50-year-old White male, has applied six times to be a District Court judge but can’t even get an interview, all the appointments go to women and minorities (and a few highly-connected, politically powerful DFLers).


And yet, this lawyer also is convinced DFL policies are the best thing for America because we need to combat centuries of racism and sexism by giving a leg up to women and persons of color.


He doesn’t see the disconnect between the politics he supports and the results he decries, can’t reconcile that Affirmative Action is the exact opposite of Equal Opportunity, can’t accept that when DFL policies prevail, not only will smart White people like him be passed over for barely qualified minorities, his own kids will be passed over, too.  He’s so used to parroting the Liberal Narrative that he can’t engage in logical analysis when it comes to the official doctrine, he believes the consequences are what the liberal elitists tell him they are, not what the actual facts demonstrate.  And he says I’m an extremist for point it out!

Genocide is when one race kills another.  Is there a word for one race committing suicide?


Joe Doakes


Beat The Retreat

I understand the “Heritage” rationale for displaying the Confederate flag.  Southerners wish to commemorate the sacrifice if their fighting men, many of whom died fighting for what they believed was a just cause.

I understand that. I understand the First Amendment protects that view.  And I believe the move to suppress the Confederate flag over “racism” is yet another example of our society – or an intensely privileged, and overprivileged, part of it – seizing on trite, surface- y symbolism to “send a message” about a big, complicated issue.

“Messages” are easy; changing hearts and minds is hard, time-consuming, and usually fruitless in the short term.

So I get why people want to fly the Confederate flag.  And as far as it goes, I support them.

But I’m not going to fly it myself.

Still Smell The Gunpowder:  I’ve heard a few Minnesotans point out that they’d eschew the Confederate flag because of the many Minnesotans who died fighting against the Confederacy – most notably the First Minnesota at Gettysburg.  That’s fine – and not my reason; of my eight great-grandparents’ families, only two had arrived in the US before 1865, and they were from Ohio.  And the war is, in fact, over.

Squandered:  I choose to eschew the Confederate flag because they squandered a vital right and power in defending an evil institution.

The bloody war fought to defend slavery [1] served as the lead-in to the gutting of the 10th amendment, and trashing of one of the most important rights of a civil society – the right to free association. It led to the elevation of the idea that preserving the union was the single most supreme virtue.

Think about it; if the power and intrusiveness of the federal government were at one time  limited by the knowledge that states could pack up and go away, Do  you think the feds would be a lot more restrained than they are? Absolutely – and that would be A very good thing.

For staking these vital – and irreplaceable – liberties on the defense of slavery, alone, it’s time to junk the Confederate flag.

[1] Yes, it was all about slavery.  All the proximate causes of the war traced back to slavery.  The economic war was a war between industrialism and slavery.  The constitutional issue was over the treatment of…slavery.  Lincoln sought to preserve the union, which was splitting up over…causes that all traced back to slavery.  It’s really not even an argument.


As NYC’s mayor Bill DeBlasio notes, they matter a lot less when it’s black people shooting other black people:

“I think it’s clear that what we have primarily here is a gang and crew problem,” the mayor said last week. “You know, for those of us who were here in the bad old days—when we had 2,000 murders or more a year—a lot of everyday citizens were getting caught in those crossfires.” He added it’s “equally troubling when, you know, individual gang members shoot other gang members, but it’s a different reality.”

Translation: If young, largely minority men are killing each other over gang turf, then the violent crime revival is no big deal. It won’t hit the trendier corners of Brooklyn.

So whatever happened to Mr. de Blasio’s campaign that “black lives matter”?

Like every other crisis that “progressives” opt not to waste; they matter when it comes time to manage the public narrative.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A friend has a Facebook page. He linked to this

Immediately, a Black woman responded: “People will stop talking white privilege when society doesn’t provide significant benefits to one group for arbitrary reasons. Until then, we have a problem…unless you’re a white male and you’re the one getting all the privileges at the expense of others.”

From her Facebook page, she went to Howard, then DePaul for a JD/MBA and lives in a giant house in Maryland.

I’m thinking of writing a comment to my friend, saying “Geez, dude, why did you join the military to pay for college? Why didn’t you swing by the Office of Giving Free Stuff To White Men for your college degree? Could have picked up the keys to your Lexus and home in the suburbs while you were at it (the house used to come with a free Mexican to handle the yard work but that program was cut under Bush, the bastard).”

I won’t, because on the off chance that she’s a civil rights lawyer affirmatively actioned into the Justice Department to sue White males for Eric Holder, I don’t want to get my friend in trouble.

Can’t have a dialogue with a person like that. Her “dialogue” assumes facts not in evidence and she’s not interested in hearing them.

Racial tension is worse than any time since the Civil War and yet Blacks have never had it better.

Hmmm, I see there’s a civil rights complaint against Harvard

for discriminating against Asians in favor of Blacks. It seems Harvard has been providing significant benefits to one group at the expense of others, for arbitrary reasons. Can we start that dialogue about privilege now?

Joe Doakes

A leader in the local “Black Lives Matter” movement is fond of invoking “white privilege” when she’s stumped in an argument. Which gives us the fax fascinating juxtaposition of a woman with a tenured academic job for life hectoring people in the private job market about “privilege”.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A former colleague was laid off last year, he’s been struggling. He writes:


Applied for a job with [unit of government name redacted]. Sorry, they needed a person of color to achieve diversity in the workforce.

Applied for a job with [downtown law firm name redacted]. Sorry, they needed a gay person.

Applied for a job with [corporate headquarters name redacted]. Sorry, they needed a woman.

Just once, I’d like to be judged on the content of my character.

I have a dream . . . .


Silly middle-aged White Male; dreams are for kids.

Joe Doakes

That’s so 1963…

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.


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?


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).


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.


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…