Frequently Asked Questions, Part X

“What do you think about the beating of Ray Widstrand?”:  I don’t. 

“What are you talking about?  It was a horrible episode!  And it’s getting international attention” – Of course it was.  And not only did it happen in my city, but it was like four blocks from where I used to live, out on the East Side.  It was a crappy neighborhood 24 years ago, and if anything I think it’s gotten worse.  An episode at a gas station out on East Minnehaha three years ago – not far from my old house, in a neighborhood which has decayed immensely since I lived and worked there over 20 years ago – may have been one of the scarier nights of my life (and I’ve had some scary ones). 

“Is that a commentary on Saint Paul?” – Yep.  When I first moved to Saint Paul in 1987 – the end of George Latimer’s reign, the beginning of Jim Scheibel’s single term – the city felt depressed, in a malaise.  Tired. 

Afterwards came 12 years of relative “can do!” under Norm Coleman and Randy Kelly – years, when the city grew (some), prospered (by our standards), spent too much but had somethingto show for it. 

But since Kelly left?  Taxes have boomed.  Housing values have plummeted.  Crime has risen (not to Minneapolis levels, and it’s fairly concentrated, but it’s worse than it was).  The city feels tired, bored, and in a rut – the standard stuff you get from cities with one-party government.  The government’s stakeholders get the gold mine, and the rest of us get the shaft. 

“Back to the Widstrand case.  50 youths from at least two east-side gangs brawling in the street.  At least four people accosting a passerby and stomping him into a coma, with a swelling brain and a minimal chance of survival.  Certainly you have an opinion” – Of course I do.  I pray he recovers, and experiences a miracle among people with these sorts of awful brain injuries. 

“But isn’t this a racial incident?” – Apparently not.  No media outlet has mentioned race, so apparently nobody involved in the assault was in any way ethnic. 

“You’re wimping out, Merg!  It’s time for a Dialog about Race!” – Cut the crap.  Race, along with gender and gender orientation, is a subject where “dialog” is nonexistent; where Minnesota’s dominant culture – the radical left – has imposed a structure where the “Dialog” is always between Good (their side) and Evil.  Academia, the media, government and government’s influential stakeholders all uphold that framework at every turn. 

In other words, the “dialog” about race is the rhetorical equivalent of the “dialog” between Mr. Widstrand and his attackers.   It’s a monologue; hell, it’s really more of a rant.  And it destroys reason and civil discourse just as surely as mob beat-downs destroy peoples’ lives. 

So I’ll leave the “dialog about race” to the ranters and the masochists.  I’ll continue as I always have – treating people as individuals rather than labels, and defending myself and mine from those who don’t. 

“Speaking of defense – did you say on the radio that you’d take your gun and charge at those 50 people?” – Good God, no.  The only people who could possibly take that away from what I said on the air Saturday must have spirochaetal paresis, or have had a massive stroke. 

Nope – I said pretty much the opposite.  The way Minnesota law is set up, even though the law says you can use lethal force to defend yourself or others from death or great bodily harm, it’s a bad idea.  Partly because it’s incredibly dangerous; it’s incumbent on the “good samaritan” to only engage with the people providing the immediate threat of death or great bodily harm, and the danger of shooting someone who may well be involved, but isn’t providing an immediate threat – to say nothing of having a shot pass by and hit a completely innocent person – is just too great.  And the county attorney will pick over your response in the most pointillistic detail imaginable.  And that’s just the legal danger; there’s also the literal physical danger; while one is dealing with an immediate threat, there’s no telling how many other people will turn into immediate threats to your life and health. 

And that doesn’t even get into “Stand your Ground” issues.  In Minnesota, outside your house, you have a duty to retreat if reasonably possible to avoid using lethal force.  Even if someone’s getting kicked to death?  Well, that’s a question that the county attorney will be happy to argue over, and over, and over with your attorney, at $250 an hour, with your freedom and entire future on the line.  Will you win?  No.  Even if you win in court, you’re still going to be $50,000 or more poorer, and that’s even before the civil suits get started, and don’t get us started on the psychological impact. 

So no.  Assuming adrenaline doesn’t trigger a flight response, I’d hope for the presence of mind to call the police, and to videotape things on my phone if possible. 

Now – if Mr. Widstrand had had a gun…

…but he didn’t. 

And cases like this are among the reasons people do get their permits and carry firearms with them. 


“How about them Twins?”- Shut up.

18 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions, Part X

  1. But, if 30 white dudes randomnly attack and attempt to murder (via beating) a black guy, would that be racial?

  2. Simply by asking that question, Chuck, you reveal that you are . . .
    . . . a racist.

  3. Definitely don’t charge a mob like that, but it is worth noting that even a numerically impossibly superior force will sober up when it’s clear that a number of them will likely die in their attack.

    I’m torn on the “racial issue” thing here. Sometimes it seems as if the MSM find a crime that is indeed very, very racial in its nature, but they quietly downplay that. Don’t know if that applies here, but if they downplay this often, what they’re actually doing is preventing the wake-up call to the “favored” minority communities, and in the process getting a lot of minority people killed.

    With friends like that, who needs enemies?

  4. Joe Doakes-
    Derb’s writing became racist after he publicly renounced religion and assumed an entirely scientific materialist worldview.
    The English church seems to foster atheism.

  5. Powhatan Mingo: what does his religion have to do with mathmatics? I would think that either the statistics he cites are correct or they are not.

    If you have evidence his math is actually wrong, trot it out. I haven’t see any hard science rebuttal, only emotional screeching.

    Insurance companies base rates on statistical probabilities and we accept that as reasonable and prudent. Why not use correct statistics on racial behavior as a guide to prudent living?

  6. It isn’t that Derb’s numbers are wrong, Joe Doakes, it is that people aren’t reducible to numbers. Well, mostly his numbers aren’t wrong. His point 8 is bizarre and is not backed up by his link. The plural of anecdote is not fact.
    At some point, I reckon, Derb decided that he trusted stats more than he trusted God.
    Derb talks about the ‘Law of Large Numbers’. That is his way of justifying the application of group characteristics to individuals. This is something conservatives should abhor.

  7. How does MSM control the national debate? Think about the wise Latino George Zimmerman. How MSM became obsessed with him (against him). Or the rodeo clown with the Barry mask in MO.

    Yet we don’t hear about this racial attack in east St Paul.

    Same with abortion or gay marriage.

  8. Sadly, events like this further widen the divide between races. The Paula Deen situation could make non-Black people in positions to interact professionally and socially with Black people disinclined to do so. If a 30-year-old derogatory comment can destroy a successful (like her or not) woman’s career, some people with no preconcieved racial animosity may choose to avoid Black people altogether for fear of what’s on their conscience from years past; no hard feelings, but better safe than sorry …

    Those who choose to take responsibility for their personal safety in public might now choose to avoid areas where White is not a predominate skin color, even those regions deemed “safe,” not out of prejudice, just out of fear of the odds that you may need to defend yourself from someone who doesn’t look like you, and get “Zimmermaned.”

    Finally, those who might otherwise choose to work, do business, or provide services to a Black community might choose another group to help since by most news and media accounts, “they” do not like “us,” “we” in turn had better not dislike “them,” and any manifistation of negativity on “our” part will attract a tangled web of inescapable governmental negative attention, and the attachment of the “R” word to your name.

    Consequently, this hoped-for dialogue will likely have to be held via long distance.

  9. PM, treating group members according to the group’s dominant characteristics is a ship that has sailed, and for good reason.

    My doctor prescribes a baby aspirin every day, not because I have any present heart trouble but because statistically, I’m in a group that is likely to have it. My kid’s car insurance rates are higher than mine not because he has ever had an accident but because statistically, he’s in a group more likely to have one. White people don’t want to live in predominantly Black neighborhoods not because every Black person is violent or a criminal, but because statistically . . . .

    We know damned well that ordinary people believe this; it’s the underlying basis for White Flight that Liberals condemn and Conservatives can’t admit without sounding irrational and therefore racist. Derbyshire provides a rational basis to justify prudent living.

    Anybody who thinks otherwise is welcome to move to the 400 block of Charles Avenue in Frogtown. I’m sure there are some nice people there. Not all your neighbors will hate you. Your kids will be fine on that bus.

  10. Actually, I just went through Derbyshire’s post, and he’s more or less ignoring the elephant in the corner of the room; unwed parenting. Any group of “children of unwed parents” is going to show the same kind of pathologies one sees with poor, urban blacks, who are….surprise!….all too often either unwed parents, the children of unwed parents, or both. I won’t go through it point by point here, but the fact of the matter is that his “talk” is a statistical and logical mess.

  11. Bubbasan, you might want to glance at Ron Unz’ work on race and crime:
    to see how it relates to the points Derb is making.

    Tim the Enchanter tried to warn King Arthur and his knights about the rabbit (“Look at the bones, man!”) but they ignored the anecdotal and statistical evidence. It didn’t fit their worldview. It didn’t prove causation. It just wasn’t sensible. Turned out for them as it did for the victim in Mitch’s post.

    Derb isn’t saying all Black people are bad. He’s not even saying all groups of Black males between the ages of 12 and 35 are violent criminals. He’s saying the odds favor it so prudent people should adjust their activities accordingly, just as they do in response to statistical evidence in the medical and financial areas of their lives. Why is that so bad?

  12. Bubbasan’s correlation of un-wed procreation with negative social behaviors makes a great deal of sense. Since the issue is now widespread across many racial and socioeconomic groups who traditionally did not engage in that behavior, perhaps showing it in a negative light made too many uncomfortable.

    This also supports Emery’s prior comment in a similar previous post correlating crime rate with an increasing percentage of “unattached young males.” The lack of emotional or societal attachment to a spouse, or to an offspring, or to parents, certainly can result in no positve attachments to lesser-known others, those who are the potential victims of the “unnattached young males.” That is, if I don’t care for those closest to me, why should I care enough for you to not victimize you?

    It’s just the new normal … I see a similar lack of attachment and behaviors consistant with it in the day-to-day interactions of most of our kennel-raised kids, particularly those who have recently reached young adulthood.

  13. I think that it is morally perilous to make ‘black’ a stand-in for ‘uneducated, violent, not worth the effort of saving’.

  14. Joe; Derbyshire’s work is bad because it ignores what’s really causing the problem, and thus will actually make things more dangerous for his son as (a) his son ticks off black people by avoiding them for no good reason and (b) his son ignores the signs that do matter.

    Or, what Powhatan says.

  15. Powhatan – you’re right, there’s a definite danger of engaging in the soft bigotry of low expectations. And Bubbasan, you’re also right that Derb bases his advice on symptoms, not causes. But I still don’t expect White people to start moving to Frogtown, or Detroit, or East St. Louis anytime soon.

    Correlation may not be causation, but respecting statistics is a good way to avoid becoming one.

  16. Joe; my take is that you can find all the reasons not to live in, or even visit, Detroit or other nasty cities simply by looking at a couple of pictures without ever seeing anyone’s face or hands. Overgrown lots, graffiti on every possible surface, bars on windows and doors, etc..

    Put differently, another way to become a statistic is to pay attention to the wrong statistics, and that’s what Derbyshire is doing.

  17. Ahhh… the Soci@list Utopia that is Urban living. A couple of weeks ago I commented that for the first time in 20 years I have lived here, I felt compelled to lock the doors while driving along newly “gentrified” Unversity corridor. Today my wife found herself in that same area again and said for the first time ever she felt like she wished she had a PTC. Progress indeed!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.