Why I’m Done Taking Crap From White Minnesota Liberals About “White Privilege”

I was discussion Black Lives Matter in an online forum over this past week or so.

As happens more often than not, one of the BLM supporters in the forum – inevitably white and twenty-something – sniffed down their nose that I should check my white male privilege before asking questions about BLM.

Leave aside the thuggish undercurrent – I can’t ask questions about what people want when they’re blocking traffic all over the damn place? – I realized something.

I’ve had enough of people evoking “Privilege” as a rhetorical trump card.

Not just because it’s cowardly, ad-hominem debate – although it certainly is.

But because invoking “privilege” fundamentally goes against everything this country – and, in theory, Black Lives Matter – stands for.

Let me explain.

But first, let’s step back to the beginning:

Goals:  BLM sympathizers – especially the smug, outspoken, white liberal ones – are pretty lousy at defining privilege.

But some of them are pretty clear about what they want; to “deconstruct” or “eliminate” or “smash” “privilege”.

So what is it, exactly, they’re trying to deconstruct, eliminate or smash, anyway?

My Tribe:  I’ve asked people to define “privilege” for me.  The answers – or, let’s be honest, “answers” in most cases – have varied.  “If you have to ask, you can’t understand” has popped up more often than not.

In frustration, I came up with my own, over the summer; “Privilege is this; my ancestors came from a patriarchal warrior cult who had zero words for “Hakuna Matata”, but more words for “Kill Them!” than the Inuit have for “snow”.  Between this and their geography, nobody ever enslaved them as a culture, thus bequeathing to me a legacy of freedom that is one of the most precious gifts a culture can give its progeny.  Your ancestors, largely from sub-saharan, matriarchal tribes, were easy pickings for the patriarchal, warlike tribes that conquered them.  How would you like us to address this?”

But that was a little less productive than I’d hoped.

But someone – a young black guy, as I recall – did define it pretty well a while ago.  Privilege is going into a place and not having people visibly trying to figure out if you’re “one of the good ones”, and not “one of the ones who’s going to rob you”, or “one of the deadbeat welfare cheats”.

Let’s run with that.

Baseline:  In other words, “privilege” is, apparently, being treated like a regular human being.

Also known as “equality”, and “being seen as a human, not a label”.

Which is supposed to be what this country is about; it’s what the Revolutionaries, and Martin Luther King, and many in between and beyond, fought for.

And here’s the thing:  equality, like any other freedom or liberty, is not a zero sum equation.  You don’t get more freedom, or justice, or equality by taking them from someone else.  I don’t get more freedom of speech by censoring you; I don’t become more secure in my home and possessions by making your home and possessions a freeway for unscrupulous district attorneys; I don’t get more equal by treating you as less of an equal.

You don’t get more of the “privileges” of equality, justice, and freedom – we call them “rights” –  by “deconstructing, eliminating and/or smashing” my equality, justice and freedom.

You don’t get more equality, justice and freedom by taking them away from other people.

And I don’t think most of the white urban liberals who are jabbering about “privilege” get that.

The Privileged:  And they certainly don’t that that, as we discussed a while ago, “white privilege” is not the only kind of privilege in our society – or even, perhaps, the most pervasive.

Think about it for a moment.  Two people walk into Minnesota Public Radio’s executive office; Nekima Pounds-Levy, Ph. D and tenured, termination-proof professor at Saint Thomas University, and Billy Bob Beauregard, small engine mechanic and owner of a thick Alabama accent.

Who gets taken seriously, regardless of the validity of their respective ideas?

Who’s got the privilege?

Class is every bit the privilege that race is.


Fort Apache, The North Side

Perhaps you’ve heard – it’s been in all the headlines – a “Black Lives Matter” protest at the Fourth precinct police station in Minneapolis yesterday turned into a scuffle between riot police and demonstrators ostensibly angry over the death of Jamar Clark.   Clark was killed in a confrontation with the police; the incident is controversial, and still very much under investigation, and we’re not going to get any reliable news about it for quite some time. However, the police union is doing its best to make the officers involved look like angels walking among us on the earth, while the protesters portray them as dead-eyed executioners, and mayor Betsy Hodges, through her stenographers in the media, splitting the difference (maybe just a little on the side of the protesters).

The story on KARE 11 relates the broad details of the scuffle – which include  incoming bricks and Molotov cocktails, and outgoing bean bag rounds – and also gives us one interesting sidelight:

There was an interesting moment as Jamar Clark’s sister drove up on the scene as protesters were shouting down police. Javille Burns opened her window and addressed protesters, clearly angry, asking them what their goal was. “You’re pissing people off,” she shouted. “These officers can’t do nothing for you… you’re ignorant.” When one protester tried to engage her, Burns jumped out of the car and ran at him. “That’s my brother that got shot… my blood (expletive) brother!”

While the investigation into the actual incident waiting to Mr. Clark’s girl is still very much under investigation, one can feel sympathy for Ms. Burns; her brother, whether an erratic wife beater or an innocent victim, is having his name and demise hijacked by a bunch of people whose interests of little to do with him.

More later.

Whose Privilege, Now?

The protests in Missouri have brought the notion of “Privilege” out in the open with full red-faced screaming anger, and jabbed it straight into our faces.

PC Alert!

Oh, sure – “white privilege”.  Yep, that too.

In seeing the iconic photo of Professor  Click calling in “muscle” to eject a student “journalist” from public space, as he tried to cover a protest about “privilege”, I’m reminded of an episode I had recently with a local “Black Lives Matter” sympathizer/activist.

We were on a neighborhood Facebook page, discussing a BLM rally that’d just happened in my neighborhood.

I asked the woman a simple question; with the stipulation that “white privilege” exists, I asked her “what should we do about it?”

Her answer was the sort of condescension that comes from deep insecurity; “you wouldn’t understand, because of your privilege”.

I bit my tongue and refrained from responding “Ma’am?  You’re a professional in one of the soft sciences; you have an advanced degree, a practice, an upper-middle-class income by Twin Cities standards (which means you’re phenomenally wealthy by world standards), and an entree into upper-middle-class society.  I’m a freelance IT user experience consultant.  Who’s got the “privilege”, here?

It’s like when Nekima Levy-Pounds blows up an interview by pulling the “white privilege” lever; she’s a woman with a PhD in a very soft humanities area, and a tenured, all but unemployment proof job and an upper-middle-class salary and lifestyle, lecturing white roofing and siding contractors, delivery drivers and overnight Target shelf-stockers about their “privilege”.

There is all sorts of “privilege” out there; I was privileged to grow up in a family with married parents that stayed together until I was an adult; I’m privileged that my ancestors came to this country of their own free will, from a society with a history of stabbing and burning anyone who’d tried to enslave them, thus avoiding all the social pathologies that befall people with long histories of brutal persecution (white southern Scots-Irish, Armenians, and yes, even Jews).

And above all, class – a “privilege” that most of the American Left shares.  The essential Victor Davis Hanson notes that the left is harping on “white privilege” to draw attention away from  the “class privilege” that affects so much more of society – but benefits the left pretty handsomely.

Get That Popcorn Ready

“Black Lives Matter” has announced that they intend to protest at, and attempt to block, the Twin Cities Marathon.

Let’s make sure this is clear; after months of protesting at things that the DFL elites in Kenwood and Summit Avenue revile (the Mall of America) or are outside their frame of reference (the State Fair, the Green Line during a Vikings game) or that isn’t part of their lives (or rush hour on I94 in the Midway, I35W in South Minneapolis, or Snelling Avenue), they may have finally gone a bridge too far; they’re not just inconveniencing the proles this time; they’re going to mess with one of those things of which white, upper-middle-class, MPR-listening, St. Olaf-alumniing, Volvo-driving, Whole-Foods-shopping Minnesota is most proud; an institution that is one of the A-list faces of the part of Minnesota that wants to look at the rest of the world and say “yeah, we’re a little like New York!”.

As I started thinking about writing, I got an email from a regular reader:

I’ve been minimally following the BLM plans to protest the marathon.  I know people who run the marathon who have never supported BLM, so their reaction is obviously anger.  However, secretly I kind of like that the group is finally disrupting something other than poor and working class people getting to and from work.  Especially when I read comments on Facebook that suggest the mindset of “why are you protesting us?  We support you.” to which BLM protesters respond with something like “if you support us, what have you done to make real changes?” (not exact quotes, but enough similar sentiments on the Facebook pages that [the operator of a local political discussion listserver] linked to) Liberal types who tend to think they’re helping by voting for all of the stuff that Liberals like probably are scratching their heads at that, which at least makes this protest fun to follow.

It’s more than just Schadenfreude, of course…

…although there’s plenty of that, too.

For example:  what must it be like to be Betsy Hodges or Chris Coleman, right now?  They’ve bent over 90 degrees past backwards for BLM – who, being liberal and (partly) black, they consider their electoral property – allowing them to block city streets numerous times without the protest permit every other group would need to bet, much less blocking interstate highways and mass transit over and over again.  And now – after all those favors – BLM ungratefully wants to screw with one of Hodges and Coleman’s marquee events?

Will either of them decide to “get tough”, as the eyes of the marathon-running world are on them?

But beyond that?  As the emailer pointed out – how will “progressive” Minnesota react to their own hypocrisy being sent up on a world stage?

Clear As Mud

I attended the Black Lives Matter “rally”/demonstration in Saint Paul yesterday.

Or the end of it, anyway; the protesters blocked the Green Line and all traffic on University at Lexigton starting at 9:30 AM, and I got there around 11:30 – in plenty of time for the die-in, a bunch of speeches, and all sorts of chanting.

Uni at Lexington, looking northwest to southeast through spilled coffee. Or maybe a dab of salsa. Or hash brown grease. Not sure. You can sorta make out a cop car on the left; beyond it, the Lexington Avenue Green Line station. The actual protest is out there. Honest.

The bad news?  I brought my camera; I also apperently dripped some coffee on the lens, which coagulated in place, leaving me with really bad photos:

Looking across Uni, cops on the left, protesters behind the crud.

My photos aren’t clear.  I get it.

But they were about as clear as the rationale for the protest.

The stated reason for the protest was to mess with people using the Green Line to get to the Vikings home opener.

But – and let’s leave aside for a moment that Metro Transit routed buses around the stoppage during the entire course of the protest, and had additional buses standing by to carry passengers past the protest – there’s the little matter that…

…no more than a dozen Vikings fans actually park east of Lexington and take the train to downtown Minneapolis.

Speaking of numbers, I counted the following when I was there:

  • Perhaps 75 protesters, including speakers.
  • Of them, 15-18 were African-American. 50-60 were white.
  • There were 14 police squad cars – one state patrol, one Transit cop, the rest Saint Paul.  They blocked University and Lexington a block away on all sides of the protest.
  • There were also four mounted cops and six cops on bike.

The police didn’t outnumber the protesters – but the protesters outnumbered the cops by maybe two or three to one.

So why “protest the NFL” in a place where the NFL and the Vikings will be the absolute last people to notice it?    Why didn’t they hold the protest on the Washington Avenue bridge, blocking the many, many people who take the train up from the Mall of America area from getting to the game, and actually getting the NFL’s attention?

Because – this is my theory, here – the Saint Paul wing of BLM isn’t about protesting power structures.  It’s about 2016, and trying to keep African-Americans fired up to vote in a year where the Democrat party’s entire slate is geriatric white people.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

My cousin from Fridley is smart: National Merit Scholar, scholarship to St. Thomas, worked for the State Department abroad, taught college in Madison, lives near Baltimore – a very smart and thoroughly educated woman.

She’s shocked and appalled at gun violence. Something Must Be Done!  But not if it would offend anyone. Can’t focus our efforts on the 13% of the population who commit 50% of the murders, that’d be racissss.  Besides, who says so, the KKK?  No, the FBI.  It’s not hate speech, it’s the truth but she no longer recognizes it because she’s embraced so many lies from The Left, the truth sounds ridiculous to her.

I wish there were a way to have a reasonable discussion but when the first words out of her mouth are “assault rifle,” I know it’s hopeless –

Joe Doakes

Converting someone from the Madison/Macalester/Berkeley version of America’s left is not much unlike deprogramming a cult member.

“A Cold Mississippi”

One of the Minnesota left’s favorite conceits is that Minnesota is just plain better than The South.  Their favorite imprecation against some conservative budget-cut or program-trimming plan is that conservatives would “turn Minnesota into a cold (fill in a southern state)”.

Perhaps Minnesota’s African-American community would wish that were the case; household income for black people in Minnesota plunged 14% in the past year, dropping black Minnesotans’ incomes below those in Mississippi (I’ve added all emphasis):

From 2013 to 2014, the median income for black households in the state fell 14 percent. In constant dollars, that was a decline from about $31,500 to $27,000 — or $4,500 in a single year.

Meanwhile, the statewide poverty rate for black residents rose from 33 percent to 38 percent, compared to a stable overall state poverty rate of 11 percent.

The median black household in Minnesota is now worse off than its counterpart in Mississippi. Among the 50 states, along with Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., Minnesota ranked 45th in median black household income. Mississippi ranked 44th.

Income and poverty for other racial groups in Minnesota — whites, Hispanics and Asians — remained stable. Only blacks saw a worsening of income and poverty.

“It’s alarming,” said Steven Belton, interim president and CEO of the Minneapolis Urban League. “It’s a deepening of the income disparity, not only across the state but across the nation. When you pair that with the continuing disparities we have in education, health and wealth, it’s disturbing.

“The alleged rising tide has not lifted all boats.”

Of course, the Urban League is a DFL front; of course they’re going to take a whack at classic bit of conservative rhetoric.

But the truth is this; the vast majority of Minnesota’s Afro-Americans vote DFL, and live in DFL-dominated cities.   I don’t have the figures handy, but I don’t think it’s controversial to say that they are disproportionally not heavily represented in the parts of Minnesota’s economy that are prospering – health insurance, medical devices and financial services, all heavily subsidized by the Obama Administration.

They tend to live – again, no stats immediately at hand, but by all means, try to prove me wrong – on the economy that the rest of Minnesota lives on; the one that, for all of the DFL’s boasting and bragging, just isn’t doing all that well.

Liberal Privilege

Just to reset the stage:  last Saturday’s “Black Lives Matter” demonstration (and its union benefactors), without bothering to get a city permit to block a street or use a city park, used a city park to organize a parade that went on to block traffic on the Midway’s busiest street for 3-4 hours, on one of Saint Paul’s highest-traffic days on one of the ten days a year when the Midway gets any outside traffic at all, escorted and guarded by an impressive array of Saint Paul Police and the rest of the city’s DFL-run bureaucracy.

And after all that?  The biggest controversy about last weekend’s “Black Live Matter” March at the Minnesota State fair, at this remove, is the chant that the crowd broken into at one point during the March; “Pigs in a blanket/fry’em like bacon”.

The St. Paul police union criticized the chant.

To which parade organizer Rashad Turn replied:

“It definitely wasn’t a threat. I don’t know if they would have received it differently if we would have said on a stick. We’re there chanting, using our voices,” Turner said.
“It definitely wasn’t a threat. I don’t know if they would have received it differently if we would have said on a stick. We’re there chanting, using our voices,” Turner said.

And I’m sure if a group of white people walked up Snelling chanting…

Save our cities, cut our losses

 line their lawns with blazing crosses” 

…or called a blazing cross “campfire on a stick”, Rashad Turner would be calling it “just words”, too.

I’ll take bets on that.


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.

PC Alert!

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.