In Brooklyn Center, where the destruction was visible firsthand, respondents (nearly all black men of various ages) overwhelmingly opposed rioting. An African-American man in an “Army Veteran” hat commented: “We’re human, and we want to be treated with respect,” but we also need to show “respect.”
A man in construction gear remarked: “I guarantee you the people that were looting, nine times out of 10, weren’t from this area. . . . If you feel the need to lash out, then don’t get mad when people, you know, address you as a looter or a rioter.”
A woman in a Black Lives Matter mask agreed: “These are two different things: We have protesters, and then we have rioters.”
The people of Brooklyn Center seemed to hold a pretty nuanced view about the difference between protest and destruction.
On the streets of Washington, on the other hand, support for riots among the capital’s bourgeoisie was almost universal. One young woman said that “if change needs to be made, and it’s not getting done in the traditional avenues, then rioting is a good option.”
All the Democrats had to do to get the black working class that voted for Trump in two-generationi-high numbers back in the fold was not be crazy.
Erin Maye Quade – who, you may recall, came within an epic suck up to the progressive movement of being Minnesota’s lieutenant governor – had this to say about Tim Scott’s rebuttal to the presidents… whatever that was Wednesday night:
This, on top of Ryan WInkler’s “Uncle Tom” jape at one of the most accomplished jurists of any race in US history, and of course the “Uncle Tim” slur earlier this week, is enough to make any moral creature ask…
…what is the Democratic Party going to do about its racism problem?
UPDATE: I’ve “cloned” this post from yesterday. You’ll see why in a moment.
Around the time of the Chauvin verdict, and in the wake of the Brooklyn Center shooting, a group of students at posh Creti\-Derham Hall – a private Catholic school in Saint Paul – held a walkout.
Now, that’s fine. It’s a foreign concept to me, of course – in my day, at my high school, with its principal who’d served as a Marine fighter pilot in World War 2, it was pretty well understood a student’s place was in his damn desk. I honestly think both approaches have their merits.
Now, with Cretin-Derham Hall (henceforth CDH) which charges $14,765 a year in tuition (which, even after adjusting for inflation, is about 40% more than I spent for undergrad college at a private four-year institution), there’s the added imperative with one suspects at least a few parents, to spend more time on learning and less on the social-justice chatter one sees being substituted for “Education” in the public system.
They Doth Protest Too Much
So – was it OK for the students at CDH to walk out? That’s between the students, the faculty and the ATM machines. Er, parents.
As the group gathered back at the school, a student organizer used a school megaphone to lead an anti-police, “F— 12” chant, which administrators quickly sought to shut down.
Meanwhile, a group of girls recorded a video taunting a police officer’s son, who stayed home from school on Monday.
Students told the Pioneer Press that at least six students of various ethnicities were suspended.
Into the fray steps a woman – a “Chicano Studies” professor at the U of M, and not only a CDH graduate, but a second generation alum – with an open letter to CDH’s administration (and, of course, all the social media) with the social justice verdict on the subject. Here’s the letter – I’ll leave it to you to read it, if you want. I’ll pullquote it in case it disappears, not that the professor (who I won’t name, because why?) wijll face any consequences for writing it.
She repeats, several times, that she was a “student of color” at CDH -but also mentions that her father also graduated from CDH, that she’s gone onto an academic career including a PhD from UC Santa Barbara and a position at the U of M teaching in a discipline ending with “…Studies”, which I present with no further comment, other than to say that if she was oppressed (as she claims repeatedly in the letter, although generally in the form of “microaggressions”), it’s not apparent from her implied curriculum vitae. Not only did someone spend an awful lot of money to send her to school – implying at least one generation cared about her education pretty profoundly – but someone did the same for her father, somehow.
Failure To Communicate
Her letter is…
…well, about what you’d expect from someone who’s a professor of anything ending in “studies”. But there are a couple of bits that:
Show the parlous state of higher educations today
Given the amount of cheerleading support the professor got on social media, show the dismal state of logic in society today.
The first part:
Your call to understand “BOTH” sides, and that “we can be politically conservative or liberal or somewhere on the broad continuum of thought AND coexist in a respectful environment built on common values,” [Bold is original] fails to understand what is currently happening in our city, state, and nation. This is not a matter of hearing each other out. This is a matter of life and death. Black people are killed by police at alarming rates
Have you noticed how often sentences that says a statement “…fails to understand” something almost inevitably deflect someone’s perfect understanding of a situation?
And what actions, that the public knows about, crossed any sort of ideological line? The protests?
No. It was the six kids that allegedly bullied the cop’s kid.
While CDH wouldn’t specifically comment on the nature of the six suspensions, the school confirmed to me that no students were suspended for protesting legitimately. Who does thjat leave? There are only so many possibilities.
So – not only is she saying there are not multiple sides of this issue, and there is not room for multiple perspectives, but that if you think there are you clearly favor killing black people; accusing people of racism for supporting a dialog about issues is bad enough.
But she’s bringing that accusation to bear to support six alleged bullies. Criticizing, not the protests, but the bullying that sprang from them, is racist!
As Dennis Prager points out, it takes an elite education something something something. I forget thje rest.
Speaking of Consequences
Later, apparently criticizing the suspension of (I’ll say it again) six kids who made a video harassing someone for being the son of a policeman, she writes (and I add empjasis):
As educators we must impede the school to prison pipeline. Taking this type of disciplinary action as opposed to teaching, listening, and engaging with these young people is not only a missed opportunity, but continues the same punitive action that this present moment is fighting against.
The professor apparently would have you believe that suspending students at a posh private schoolfor allegedly bullying a fellow student is:
Going on the students criminal records
On a moral par with not only being killed by the police, but killed for no cause whatsoever.
The galling part about this is not that someone who teaches our kids is writing this sort of stuff with a straight face. This sort of thought would appear to be the water in which PhDs in anything ending in “…Studies” swim.
The galling part was, when someone posted the letter on a neighborhood social media page, watching the locals – it was in Highland Park – tripping over each other to compliment the writer’s wisdom. And when questioned in any way, how many of them reverted immediately to…
Moral vacuity is a barrel that has no bottom to scrape in Saint Paul.
Quick Note: Any commenter that asks “So, you’re ok withj black people being summarily executed” will be blocked, forever, and urged to go pay penance for being the moral plaque on societies arteries that you are.
Another Quick Note: “What, Berg – you’re a conservative, riffing on private schools? ”
No. I’m riffing on Cretin-Derham Hall. What the Ivies are to the nation, CDH is to Saint Paul, and I don’t entirely mean that in a good way. There’s a CDH. mafia ijn this town. Which makes the professor’s letter doubly ironic; if CDH grads are “oppressed” in the Twin CIties, it’s because they’ve worked hard to feel oppressed.
“Thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice,” Pelosi said Tuesday outside the Capitol where she was joined by the Congressional Black Caucus.
“Because of you and because of millions of people around the world who came out for justice, your name will always be synonymous with justice. And now we have to make sure justice prevails in the sentencing.”
Has there ever been a more perfect symbol of what black people really mean to the Democrat party?
Here, in one of the most “progressive” cities in the country:
The “achievement gap” is the biggest in the nation, and getting worse even as the districts get more “woke” every year (not that those are in any way contradictory
In cities controlled by Democrats for generations, the wealth gap is among the highest in the nation
“Black” neighborhoods (we don’t really have them in the sense they exist elsewhere – which actually reinforces the point) are basically social service warehouses. Compare this with places like Atlanta or Jacksonville – Minneapolis doesn’t come across very well at all.
These same patterns are true across all of “blue” America. Quick – think of a “blue” city where that’s not the case? Atlanta is an arguable exception.
Indeed, the decline of the black middle class and the black family coincided – and, let’s be honest, were caused by – the Democrat Party’s ongoing campaign to bring all of black society under its social wing.
So yeah. Nancy Pelosi thanked George Floyd for doing the one thing she expects of any black man – providing her a crisis to not waste.
Former North Dakota Senator and current useless mouth Heidi Heitkamp calls Gina Carano a “Nazi”. Plain and simple, full stop.
I’ll chalk this up to the (utterly true) idea that any Democrat can parrot any narrative twaddle, no matter how moronic, without fear, knowing that their audience hasn’t the critical thinking skills to call them on it. Or anything.
…that DFL politicians have is that they can say anything, no matter how illogical, preposterous and risible, anything at all , knowing that not only will the media never call them out on it, but that “their” voters, of all races, classes and education levels, having as they do zero critical thinking skills, will gobble it up.
The good news: After hearing Ben Shapiro roasting Rupar last week on his radio show, I have to say it’s been amazing seeing that more people nationwide are learning what we in the Twin Cities have known for most of a decade: that City Pages alum and Vox “writer” Aaron Rupar is a really terrible “journalist” and not an especially bright man (read the whole thread):
The bad news: these days, competence and discernment are less important than ideological purity and loyalty.
And, Rupar being simultaneously a definer and beneficiary of Urban Progressive Privilege, he’ll never be held to account for it any more than Jim Acosta or Esme Murphy.
…of constant violence that he encouraged not only with as many words but with as many actions, Portland, Oregon mayor Ted Wheeler says people are “sick of” the constant sturm und drang that has made parts of the city unlivable:
Portland became a hotbed of civil unrest last summer during demonstrations protesting the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man in Minneapolis. Similar demonstrations in cities across the country were largely peaceful. But in Portland, some of the demonstrations have deteriorated into widespread arson, looting and assaults. ADVERTISEMENT
Rioters in the city, who have called for the defunding of the local police department along with other measures, have on several occasions targeted a federal courthouse, spraying it with graffiti, setting fires and destroying nearby storefronts and other property.
“The people who work here support the voices of racial and social justice and will not be intimidated from doing our jobs by the ugly graffiti or broken windows,” Scott Erik Asphaug, a U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon, said during the press conference, the AP reported. “We do not confuse the voices of the many with the shouts of the few who hope to hold our city hostage by petty crime and violence.”
The first two things that jumped to my mind?
After ten months of Wheeler all but setting Portland up as an “Anti”-Fa staging area, I wonder what powerful “progressive” constituency finally figured it was time to rein the party in?
Reading Asphaug’s quote, am I the only one who thinks it sounds like they’re trying to pin the violence on…”the right”?
Do any of those people look like they live in Hawthorne or Phillips? Any of them look like they’ll be affected when cops stop patrolling dangerous neighborhoods?
Looks more like White people from affluent neighborhoods telling the city council what’s good for Black people living in desperate neighborhoods. “Pull the cops out of those bad neighborhoods, leave the Black people to die.”
In the olden days, instead of wearing backpacks and carrying signs, they’d have been wearing sheets and carrying torches.
Big Left always sells class conflict as cultural conflict. Today’s cultural conflict is racial. But behind it, always, is affluent honkeys with (at best) white liberal guilt and, otherwise, the kind of cynicism that is dripping from every pore of the American ruling class.
Urban Progressive Privilege includes being reasonably certain that none of the policies you promote for other people will ever really affect you.
Yes, the trial, and the attendant protests, could be the end of Minneapolis. There is no political strength in place to save it. The council even exudes a vibe that suggests they are more concerned about the safety and convenience of protesters than their own citizenry.
The council cannot open an intersection because of their apparent fealty to those who occupy it. What are they going to do if rioters decide that they are going to take over six or seven square blocks of downtown, maybe the Nicollet Mall? This city let a police station burn. This is a city that called for help too late back in May 2020.
Minneapolis city council president Lisa Bender famously said that expecting public safety is a “privilege” – to which every taxpayer in that city should be saying “Yes. It Is. A ‘privilege’ I, whatever my race, creed or belief, pay through the nose for. Now provide it, stat, or get out of office and quite wasting our time”.
A far-left progressive representative relates the “emotional toll” of having black female politicians’ “violent” rhetoric (if we’re using Trump’s rhetoric on January as the standard) in Trump’s defense:
“The defense council put a lot of videos out in their defense, playing clip after clip of Black women talking about fighting for a cause or an issue or a policy. It was not lost on me as so many of them were people of color, and women, Black women. Black women like myself who are sick and tired of being sick and tired for our children. Your children,” Plaskett said.
Earlier in the day on Friday, Trump’s defense attorneys spent a great deal of their closing arguments accusing Democrats of hypocrisy over their support of last summer’s protests for racial justice. In doing so, his team played video footage from the summer protests, zeroing in on the relatively rare instances of violence and looting that occurred during the demonstrations.
TL:dr – Orange Man Bad, for the children.
So either using the term “fight” is aggressive rhetoric, or it’s “incitement”. End of story.
Keep your triggers off my – our, Western Civilization’s – logic, laws and reasoning.
After a hearing last Friday and conversations with the city attorney, the employment of part-time Library Specialist Cameron Dequintez Williams was terminated on Wednesday.
He was charged with burning books from the library written by conservative authors.
Library officials said, “The city of Chattanooga Human Resources Department completed its investigation of an allegation that books were removed from the Chattanooga Public Library’s Main Branch on Dec.https://w.chattanoogan.com/photo.aspx?a=8&t=11, 2020.
“The investigation determined that part-time Library Specialist Cameron Williams violated city and Library policies by improperly removing items from the Library’s collections.”
As one wag remarked:
Now, it remains to be seen if the real reason was that the library board wants to do all of that themselves.
Modern American “progressivism”, like all its many forebears in the past 200 years, has been all about rallying people against boogeymen. From “monarchists” in the French Revolution, to “Wreckers” in Stalin’s USSR to the Wobbly’s “Bosses”, up through “the patriarchy” and “the man” and “counterrevolutionaries” in Red China and San Francisco in the sixties and seventies, and if you have a hard time distinguishing between ’em, join the club.
Today, the boogeymen…er, boogiepeople on the left are pretty much all the things that people who are included are told to be “anti”. “Anti-Racism” “Anti-Misogyny” (not just sexism, anymore – it’s the more active, more malevolent noun these days), “Anti-Fascism”, “Anti-Transphobia”, and on and on – all of which sounds like good things to be “anti”…
…and, unsurprisingly, when you dig into the “Root Causes” of all those nouns, all things trace back to “Western Civilization” in all its particulars: the Judeo-Christian value on the individual and their worth, value, rights and responsibilities and potential of each and every person, as a person with a mind, a point of view, and at the end of the day an indivisible soul of personal, societal, political, intellectual and metaphysical worth.
Those aspects of humanity are anathema to progressivism in all its flavors. The focus is on the group – the Marxists “classes”, the Nazi’s irreducible focus on race, the modern academic Left’s obsession with a byzantine network of intersectional identity groups. The individual is nothing but a vote (for now), an appetite, a widget to be moved through the production line of life (like Obamacare’s awful caricature of Progressive humanity, “Julia”). Progressivism is “Materialist”. Souls, individual intellects and thoughts and reams, all are ephemeral; humans are widgets that consume and produce, and whose worth and value (to those in power) is expressed via their membership in the collective.
Those widgets have a term. “Bodies”. Not people. Not brains. Not souls.
She’s “a gun owner herself” – which might be seen in several ways. Is “P”M moderating? Are they realizing that the culture war has slipped far enough away from them, especially over this past year, that they have to start speaking to people who need to be convinced?
And she’s apparently incredibly famous, since she apparently just goes by “Rashmi”. I’ve turned “Protect” Minnesota’s website, Facebook feed and other social media upside down, and not been able to find any reference to a last name, which is Seneviratne, by the way.
But even during the reign of the serial fabulist the Reverend Nord Bence, “Protect” MN wasn’t nearly extreme enough in its hatred of guns and (law-abiding) gun owners, enough for some people.
“P”M spawned a breakway group, “Survivors Lead” – basically a woman, Rachel Joseph, with a long history of progressive activism and a story; an aunt who was murdered, according to Ms. Joseph’s story, by a gun.
Quick aside: I don’t minimize anyone’s trauma over having a loved one murdered. But in the many times I’ve heard Ms. Joseph’s story, she’s never once mentioned a perpetrator, someone actually holding and using the gun that killed her aunt; that persons evil motivation, the legal fallout from the murder, whether that person was sentenced or not. It’d be wrong to crack wise – “what, did the gun animate itself?” – but omitting a perpetrator, his/her motives and the like from the conversation is incredibly intellectually dishonest.
Anyway – “Rashmi” and her apparent moderation are not going over well with “Survivors Lead”:
The extreme heckling the not-as-extreme about getting less extreme. That qualifies as “dog bites man”, at the very most.
Rather less so? There followed some more, er, ethnically pointed traffic on one social media feed (from which I’ve long been blocked) or another.
After which “P”M – operating through its usual social media persona, the omniscient third person that used to be Martens and Nord Bence – responded:
On the one hand, watching the agents of Big Left eating each other is one of my favorite spectator sports.
And if the biggest semi-organic anti-gun group in MInnesota (shaddap about Moms Want Action already) is pivoting from pushing Linda Slocum’s gun grab bill to highlighting the inequity of gun control (“Race, class and geography all play into who gets to have a gun and who doesn’t” – which is something every Second Amendment activist has known for 50 years) and speaking in the first “person” to the prudence of victims of violence to arm up, then in culture war terms that’s the sound of the first tank crossing the pontoon bridge at Remagen.
But…”white bodied privilege?”
What the flaming hootie hoo?
I thought for a moment – is this a shot back at the Rachel Dolezals and Elizabeth Warrens of the world, with their flip-flopping identities, by “actual” “people of color”, reinforcing the idea that while you might “identify” with one degree melanin or another, your apparent appearance still wins out in the great privilege lottery (which will, I suspect, get pilloried hard by the Trans crowd, for whom perceived identity is everything? I’ll let the fight that one out).
But no. It’s much less hilarious than that.
It’s “inclusion language” – slang or argot that one class of people use to track who is in, and who is “out” – to be sure. That’s part of it, and people are noticing:
Referring to people as bodies is a reminder, writer Elizabeth Barnes says in an interview, that “racism isn’t just about the ideas that you have in your head.” Barnes is the author of “The Minority Body: A Theory of Disability, The Girl Behind the Wall.” In intellectual discussions, theories about social oppression sound almost disembodied; “we talk about prejudice,” Barnes says, “like it’s just a matter of ideas.” The point is to emphasize the physical violence done to black people through slavery, lynching, and police brutality. In the case of women, the term “bodies” highlights “what happens to women’s bodies in health care contexts, in sexual contexts, in reproductive contexts.”
But behond that?
It’s a nod to the materialism of the left – that the mind, the thoughts, the indivisible soul of the indivisual human being is not merely irrelevant, but inconvenient to the obsession with identity.
Your melanin defines you.
In some ways its a cheap ad hominem – “of course you’d think that, you are (add a reference to your target’s melanin, or lack thereof)”. But pointing logical fallacies out to the foot soldiers of Big Left is a little like arguing salinity with sharks; it’s just part of the water they swim in.
So – gun groups eating each other? Good.
The debate contributing to the ongoing hijacking of the language? Bad.
The whole thing participating, in its own little way, in the further erosion of one of the ideals that’s made Western Civilization the most successful, and humane , civilization in human history?
Kind of a good news, bad news situation here. But maybe not in the way you think.
A teachers union president in Washington State refers to reopening schools as a “white supremacist” initiative.
The good – or “good” – news: this is an example of the type of rhetorical, social and policy overreach one can expect when “progressives” – in this case invariably white, middle-class, and visibly “progressive” – find themselves in power. This statement – literally, “wanting your kids back in schools, and wanting some sense of stability and normalcy for their mental health, at a time when teenage suicide is exploding all over the country, is racist” is the very definition of “2+2=5” – mental health is mental illness, concern for kids is a pathology, truth is lies. (And the ability to say it without having ones own peers pelt one with rocks and garbage is Urban Progressive Privilege).
ut another way, evil – no scare quotes. Inverting moral truth and moral falsehood is as textbook a definition of venial evil as exists.
That’s the “good” news.
The bad news? About half the country, as this is written, doesn’t know any better, or just doesn’t want to think about it that hard.
…”Peak ‘Urban Progressive Privilege” – 100+ overschooled/badly educated, middle-on-up class, likely 20/30-something junior members of “the elite” media who have experienced so little struggle and dissonance in their lives that they consider publishing a Ben Shapiro column a mortal threat, and feel entitled enough to whine about it in public.
Is it “peak”?
If I say so, there will be another, worse example tomorrow.
This next two years, at the minimum, are going to be for Urban Progressive Privilege what 1977 was to white polyester suits and mens necklaces.
To: The above-mentioned Swath From: Mitch Berg, irascible, deplorable peasant Re: Your Offensive
I couldn’t help but notice this from (where else) NPR the other day:
Oh, I can help.
For starters, you can beg for forgiveness for having appropriated a bit of culture – the term “Resistance” – you never earned.
For starters, you were a bunch of entitled, white, upper-middle-class plush-bottom yoonoos whose “resistance” involved posting irate Instagram selfies while running between your morning frappuccino and your Pilates class, appropriating a term that people who fought against real Nazis, who risked their lives and those of their families and friends during a war in which millions like them vanished without a trace. My contempt for y our self-aggrandizing drama should be apparent on this count alone – but if you’d like, I can be clearer.
Beyond that? Calling yourself a “resistance” is a little like Colin Kaepernick pleading “oppression” between meeting with his financial planner and running to a CNN interview. You people are part of the class that controlled much of the most powerful parts of society – the media, the bureaucracy, the educational-industrial complex…NPR, for that matter.
Democracy can’t survive if we can’t trust our institutions.
We’ll come back to that.
In Tom Wolfe’s 1987 satire Bonfire of the Vanities, a young black man is run over by a car driven y a millionaire bond trader. A Bronx DA and couple of New York cops investigate.
In one part of the story, a huckster minister, clearly modeled after Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or some such, explains his role in the community to the investigators.
In his metaphor, community anger is “steam”, building inexorably as the heat rises, ready to blow the boiler sky high if something isn’t done. That “something”, naturally, is the good reverend plying his services, as a “steam valve”.
For a price.
The book was head, shoulders and ankles better than the movie – a box office bomb that nearly ended Tom Hanks as an A-lister, thirty years back – but this scene more or less gets the point across:
But remember – they’re the ones that cover the newsto the highest of standards.
We’ll come back to that.
Answering Their Master
Republicans since Richard Nixon have known that the media was biased to the left. Over this past twenty years, it’s been almost beyond parody. Over the past five years, literally, parody has been more accurate than journalism.
But there’s a level of parody beyond which even The Onion or The Babylon Bee would feel awkward going. Our “elite” media has no such limits:
And there was nary a peep from the establishment media. “Law enforcement” under the Obama administration did nothing at all. The agent of the scandal, Lois Lerner, retired with her full government pension and the tacit thanks of the Obama regime.
More recently, there’ve been two episodes that show how very, very unequal we are in this country, depending on your politics.
And how did the justice system in Ramsey County work? Like a fraternity hazing. Without the hazing. The defendants – including the son of Hillary Clinton’s VP nominee, weren’t so much prosectuted as féted. Had John Choi done otherwise, he’d have never done lunch at the Lex again.
This, of course, after a series of citywide riots for whichi justice was slow, dilatory and diverted by stories of “white supremacists with umbrellas” doing improbable feats of mischief.
And, behind it all, a long trail of elaborate rationalizations for the rioting: after centuries of (checks notes) systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, economic and environmental racism and mansplaining, a riot was a positive public health good, to deal with all that built up “steam”.
But only the correct rioting.
Because if Pro-Life Action tried to block a freeway, Jacob Frey would have water cannon and attack dogs out there before the protesters got over the fence. And everyone involved knows it.
As re protesting, there are Two Americas.
But only one America gets to release its “steam” in polite company.
I’ve mentioned this to others in the past week.
Some have said “mind the ‘whataboutism'”.
This isn’t whataboutism.
This is pointing out that when sides perceive, correctly, that the deck is stacked against them, they will find coloring outside the lines more and more acceptable.
Which is the exact rationalization the left uses for BLM’s shenanigans; inequality begets rage!
The piece is an object lesson on how American education has failed society in completely abrogating the teaching of critical thinking. How can we tell?
The gaping irony of this bit, for starters, responding to people who “reduce” Orwell to “tyranny bad, liberty good”:
But Orwell’s book is much more sophisticated. Orwell was interested not just in communicating the badness of totalitarian regimes but also dissecting how they succeed through the manipulation of language.
And in comparing the fascists Orwell fought in the Spanish Civil War (on the side of the doomed communists) with Trump supporters, the writer and USAToday participate in the reduction of the language to a tool of political coercion.