HuffPo: If you don’t take a knee, you’re a white supremacist

This article just in from the “Everyone’s a Nazi” wing of the Authoritarian Left, as reported (of course) by PuffHo. Click on the screenshot to see the article.

 

The author, Jesse Benn, who describes himself as an “engaged citizen”, is better characterized as an “enraged citizen”—or, better yet, a Woke Person.  His HuffPo posts, which you can see here, are uniformly against bigotry, which is good, but also go to ludicrous extremes, as in his approbation of political violence from the Left: “Sorry Liberals, a violent response to Trump is as good as any.” (I believe the comma missing after ‘sorry’ is an error, not a double-entendre). He’s always banging on about “privilege,” and here’s what he says about the error of condemning violence against Trumpies:

Last, I want to briefly note the problematic nature of people with privilege condemning violent resistance to Trump as an absolute moral failing, or denying its logic. Whether you would personally engage in violent conduct matters little to your ability to understand where it comes from. Some people have the privilege to consider the implications of Trump’s rise in the abstract and negotiate which means are necessary. That’s not true for everyone. And when those who hold that privilege dismiss the potential validity or logic of violent resistance, it’s effectively an effort to dictate the rules under which oppressed peoples respond to existential threats, and to silence forms of resistance disagreeable to privileged sensibilities. Don’t be that liberal.

I’m not really sure what he means by the “privilege to consider the implication of Trump’s rise in the abstract.” It’s not a “privilege” to figure out what Trump stands for and what he’s doing; it’s a simple matter of being aware and rational: “woke” in the genuine sense.  But what he says after that is, translated into English, seems to be this: “Some people who can’t change the Trump administration but also also aren’t aware enough to figure out what’s going on should be able to commit violence. It’s a good substitute for being rational and logical.”

Benn’s latest post on football players who, last Sunday, stood up during the playing of the National Anthem, takes a similar tack, but accuses the non-kneeling athletes of “standing for white supremacy.” Remember that the original protests by Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, involving their own kneeling during the National Anthem, were meant to show their opposition to “systemic oppression against people of color, police brutality and the criminal justice system.” That was set off by the killing of unarmed blacks by police, in particular Alton Sterling in New Orleans (Sterling actually did have a gun, but wasn’t brandishing it).  The protests spread, and then many other players, managers, and football officials got involved after Trump began accusing the protestors of being unpatriotic and “disrespectful” toward the American flag and Anthem. Many of them joined in last Sunday’s protests, and many did not, but it was a rare show of political protest on the part of the National Football League.

But to Jesse Benn, that wasn’t good enough. Those players who remained standing, he says, weren’t woke enough to sympathize with those who didn’t appear on the field, or who went down on one knee in protest.

The absence of white athletes kneeling for the anthem Sunday was a particularly illustrative moment in white privilege.

See, for white athletes the anthem and American flag do represent freedom, liberty and whatever other amorphous American values one might ascribe these symbols. So, from their view, kneeling would be disrespectful to the privileges a white supremacist nation affords them.

. . . Now, I’m not going to spend much time with the most obvious counter, but it’s worth stating. In the fairytale we Americans tell ourselves where soldiers fight wars for freedom and not imperial conquests, the story says they’re fighting for someone’s right to protest, not the opposite. So using the troops as a cudgel against protest wholly misunderstands even our own national fairytale.

So, that’s obvious enough, but what I’m talking about is this. If white athletes can’t fathom kneeling because they feel soldiers fought for their rights and blah blah blah patriotism, it’s because they are treated as full citizens and afforded those rights they imagine soldiers fought for. Interpreting their own experience as something more universal, they struggle to understand why anyone should kneel. Indeed, for them, the anthem and American flag represent promises fulfilled. [JAC: this is really bad writing.]

This is the problem of privilege. It skews our ability to grasp what the world looks like outside our view.

(Note that in his article “Blacks” is capitalized and “whites” is not, which, according to Coyne’s Rule of Social Justice Lexicon, means we’re dealing with a True Authoritarian.)

Benn’s article exemplifies the issue and the problem of the fracturing Left.  Nobody would deny that there’s racism in our society, though I would question whether it should be called systemic—that is, whether unequal rights and treatments of black Americans are actually codified in the machinery and rules of the government.  There are racist cops, but not all cops are racists, and I doubt that any police department systematically tells its officers to kill unarmed blacks. In government, it’s hard to find codification of racism in laws and regulations. The racism that remains in society is largely individual racism, not “systemic” racism, but people like Benn like to call it “systemic” if it happens several times. It’s like saying that murder is systemic in males because most murderers are men and murder is not vanishingly rare.

Regardless, the Left needs to continue its work dismantling the inequities that remain for minorities, whatever their source. What we don’t need to do is call those who agree with us in general—but aren’t as extreme as someone like Benn—”white supremacists”. Many of the players who didn’t kneel down on Sunday were surely sympathetic with moral inequalities in society, but at the same time were in general proud of what America has become, and what in principle and often in practice, it stands for. (Freedom of speech is one of those things, which is why we shouldn’t punish those who kneeled.) I am one of those people glad to be an American: perfectly aware of our country’s problems (electing Trump was a big one), but still glad that I’m an American rather than, say, a Saudi or a North Korean. I am not Noam Chomsky.

You can deal with this issue by working against racism and voting for progressive candidates without “taking a knee”. And if you don’t “take a knee”, that doesn’t make you a white supremacist, for crying out loud. In fact, some of those who didn’t “take a knee”, but did link arms with their teammates were black football players. According to ABC, only one in eight players (about 200) didn’t stand for the National Anthem—out of 1696 players on the rosters. Surely many of the non-demonstrators, including those who neither kneeled nor linked arms, were black, though I don’t have a count.  But how on Earth can you call a non-demonstrating black person a white supremacist? Here’s a photo of an NFL game from Sunday, showing a black white supremacist not only standing up, but actually putting his hand over his heart. 

There are lots of reasons why people might choose to stand, including the fact that (as some of them did), they were in the military and were showing respect for America, or a form of patriotism. Or they simply weighed the effect of such a demonstration against their own feelings about America and decided a public demonstration was ineffectual or personally harmful. Do those considerations mean that you’re also a white supremacist? Only mushbrains like Benn think so. He’s the equivalent of the black Antifa woman who harangued a white Antifa man for not punching Nazis.

If the Left is going to get any political power back, we need to stop calling people “racists” or “white supremacists” when they don’t feel exactly the way we do, or act exactly as we do.

 

 

73 Comments

  1. Robert Ryder
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I read an article in Slate that helps explain why some might not kneel even if they are sympathetic to the cause. Here’s the link: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/09/what_gen_dempsey_understands_about_patriotism_and_trump_doesn_t.html

    I agree the position of this guy writing in HuffPo is ridiculous, although with an absurd, anti-democratic buffoon in the White House we’re just going to see more and more of this kind of extreme reaction.

    • BJ
      Posted September 27, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      I wish I could believe that so much of the behavior we’ve been seeing from wide swaths of the left is due to Trump, but this all started several years before the election. Trump’s election has merely accelerated the process that was already long underway.

      • Craw
        Posted September 27, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        Trump is a symptom.

        • Posted September 27, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

          Bingo.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

          Trump’s a symptom, alright — of the bat-shit craziness that’s overtaken the Republican Party. Maybe you noticed who the GOP nominated yesterday for the US senate seat formerly held by Jeff Sessions? The Ten-Commandment-humping, gay-hating bigot twice tossed out of his job as Alabama chief justice for pissing all over the rule of law?

          Decades ago, responsible conservatives (William F. Buckley, Jr., chief among them) made a concerted effort to run the John Birch Society and other right-wing crazies out of the conservative movement. But the GOP has welcomed them back with open arms, in ever greater numbers since the election of Barack Obama. The barbarians broke down the gates back then, and now — with Donald Trump and Roy Moore and the Freedom Caucus and the alt-right — they’re running amok and shitting on the floor of the GOP palace.

          I agree, the Left bears a share of the responsibility for the election of Donald Trump, by alienating the working-class white population that was a mainstay of the old Democrat<bic Party coalition. But no way does it deserve the bulk of the blame.

          • Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

            Yep. Trump is a symptom of the rot at the core of our culture and society – right and left. That he comes from the right is evidence of how very deep it is there.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted September 27, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

            Well said Ken.

            Before Moore even won the nomination Trump was openly saying, in front of Strange, that maybe he picked the wrong side and that if Moore won he would campaign enthusiastically for him.

            It’s shocking that someone who shows such contempt for the rule of law has a very strong chance of becoming a US senator. By rights, it should see Alabama go to the Democrats, but I won’t be holding my breath.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted September 27, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

              I think there’s a serious question now, Heather, whether there’s anyone too crazy, too extreme, or otherwise too ill-suited for a position of public trust to be nominated by today’s Republican Party for national or statewide office.

              Should Trump survive the Mueller investigation to finish his first term and decide to seek a second, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him dump Mike Pence from the ticket and pick Roy Moore as his second-term running-mate (especially if Trump’s still in hot water with Russiagate, as a hedge against impeachment.)

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted September 27, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

                The normalization of someone like Trump is a major problem for democracy.

                As an outsider I feel like it’s not losing the election that’s the biggest issue for Dems, it’s who they lost to.

                The idea that someone like Trump is sitting in the Oval Office is a concern for the whole world though. Whether or not you agree with Republican policies is not as big a problem as the fact that he’s simply not up to the job, and not capable of growing into it.

                The North Korea crisis is almost entirely of his making, much as he tries to blame Kim Jong Un. That leaves the rest of us in the situation where we’ve got to rely on a psychopath (Kim) to not start anything. I don’t think he will for various reasons, but it’s telling that many of us around the world are relying more on Kim of all people than the president of the United States.

            • Mark R.
              Posted September 27, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

              Ditto re. Ken.

              I saw a couple news blurbs (CNN and MSNBC) and they were whooping up the Moore win. Strange was mentioned, but Jones wasn’t mentioned once. And Jones is far and away the most qualified; there’s no comparison. The media is already choosing the election for Alabama. Way to go msm!

          • Historian
            Posted September 27, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

            For all those so eager to blame liberals and Democrats for the “regressive” left and everything that is wrong in this country, I say Congratulations! Your savior will soon be in the Senate – Judge Roy Moore of Alabama, an arch conservative and off-the-map” religious fanatic. You can expect more of this type to win Republican nominations and the general elections. And as you see statues of the Ten Commandments and other religious symbols become ubiquitous in village squares, as the separation of church and state disappears, you can take solace that you’ll soon be home, on your computer, hunting for another snowflake to attack. Who cares that as Professor Coyne and many others have noted that the far left is just that: “far” and hardly representative of the left as a whole? Let the good times roll!

            • Posted September 27, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

              But the left does share some of the blame for Trump and the rise of the alt-right. Everything from identity politics to baskets full of deplorables. Pretending the left didn’t have role in this -or that it should now disavow those tactics before the problem gets further compounded- is whistling past the graveyard.

              BTW (for clarity), Judge Moore has yet to be elected to the Senate. He won the Republican primary.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted September 27, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

                Correctamundo. Then again, Alabama hasn’t had a Democratic senator since Howell Heflin retired, and the GOP currently holds all seven elected statewide executive-branch offices (including the governorship), all nine state supreme court justice seats, and all 10 state appellate court judgeships.

                So Democratic nominee Doug Jones might not wanna hold his breath waiting to get sworn into the U.S. senate next January (although he certainly has my support, for all that’s worth). 🙂

              • Historian
                Posted September 27, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

                I know that Moore just won the Republican primary, but as Ken Kukec has pointed out, the chances of the Democrat defeating him is slight at best, although I would be overjoyed should this happen.

                The important point is that so-called “moderate” (in the relative sense) Republicans will now be challenged in primaries by Moore-like extremists and will stand good chances of winning the nomination. Those that win the general election and get to the Senate will do great harm, even worse than Ted Cruz of Texas.

                Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee and relative moderate, has just announced that he will not run for re-election in 2018. The extremists will certainly try to make a run for his seat.

          • Diane G.
            Posted September 28, 2017 at 3:26 am | Permalink

            “I agree, the Left bears a share of the responsibility for the election of Donald Trump, by alienating the working-class white population that was a mainstay of the old Democrat<bic Party coalition. But no way does it deserve the bulk of the blame."

            The working-class white Democratic-mainstay population existed when unions were strong and labor relations a critical part of politics. Once corporations went international the unions lost their power and working conditions deteriorated. Don't you think the GOP with its clamor for deregulation and against trade pacts played the bigger part in destroying the economic security of the working-class? The Dems are still out there seeking union endorsements where there are any unions left but there's really very little organized labor to stand up for these days. I blame the R's for the policies that led to the economic deterioration of the working class, not the Dems.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted September 28, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

              I agree 100%, DG. My only point is that they haven’t communicated those problems well enough, letting some of the cultural issues that can alienate the working class dominate their discussions.

    • biz
      Posted September 27, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Nah, all this “woke” crap really took off long before Trump was even a thing. The extreme Left was extreme before Trump.

  2. MKray
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Einstein switched from V to c for the speed of light in 1907. Lower case c was used by others before that and may refer to the latin celeritas.

  3. TJR
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I thought being a Kneeler was a bad thing? Ask any wildling.

    I don’t even kneel for the karate Dojo Kun. I’ve got a bad back and very dodgy knees so have to stand.

    • Mark Reaume
      Posted September 27, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      I had a similar thought. Kneeling is a sign of submission or reverence. Standing is an act of defiance; Stand your ground, stand and be counted. Stand on guard.

      Maybe this is a football thing, taking the knee to run out the clock because you will win.

  4. Posted September 27, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    The purity tests will become increasingly strict and arbitrary. The purging must continue!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      You wanna talk “purity test,” how about Donald Trump’s proposal that the NFL adopt a rule requiring that players and coaches (and fans, why not?) be made to stand for the National Anthem? Maybe they should make ’em all sing aloud and salute, too.

      Harkens back to the loyalty oaths of the McCarthy era, you ask me. Demagoguery repeats itself, I suppose.

      • Brian salkas
        Posted September 27, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        “You wanna talk “purity test,” how about Donald Trump’s proposal that…”

        I hope you are not implying that the left (or anyone) should compare themselves to trump. If we cannot criticize one group without pointing out that trump is worse, then we will spent way too much time talking about trump.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 27, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

          Only implying that the comparison be made when appropriate — viz., when Trump has instigated the issue and taken the opposite side.

          I’ll leave the “but what about Benghazi?!” style non-sequiturs to the Right.

      • Harrison
        Posted September 27, 2017 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        Trump himself has no authority to mandate such rules, but if the NFL decided to institute such, liberals who have recently defended the right of large organizations such as Google to treat their employees however they wish because they’ve apparently adopted a Libertarian view of rights will either have to accept that ugly situation or rethink their position.

        I am personally of the opinion that what football players do outside of the game doesn’t matter either way.

  5. BJ
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    “Last, I want to briefly note the problematic nature of people with privilege condemning violent resistance to Trump as an absolute moral failing, or denying its logic”

    These people aren’t “resisting Trump” through violence, they’re “resisting” the idea that anyone who disagrees with them should have the right to express their views or congregate or protest peacefully.

    “I’m not really sure what he means by the “privilege to consider the implication of Trump’s rise in the abstract.” It’s not a “privilege” to figure out what Trump stands for and what he’s doing; it’s a simple matter of being aware and rational…”

    I’ve seen it written many times in social justice circles that logic is just privileged thinking and, alternatively, that logic is a white supremacist/male construct used to shut down the lived experiences of the marginalized. The idea is that when you counter baseless or even outright erroneous arguments or statements by using logic, you’re really just using a privileged rhetorical device in an attempt to shut out any views that challenge the patriarchy or white supremacy.

    As for the rest of the article, this is the new argument from the authoritarian wing of the left: if you do not act and say exactly as we act and say, you are a white supremacist. By extension, it is permissible to commit violence against you, as violence is a proper response to white supremacy.

    I also feel like a lot of this “you must be ashamed of your country or you condone everything wrong with it” is an outgrowth of a specific school of thought: anti-Western, anti-Enlightenment thought. The authoritarian left, which is always against anything Western, wishes to force anyone who doesn’t want to be branded a racist (or sexist, or homophobe, or transphobe, etc. etc.) to denounce their country in all forms, or be pilloried, shamed, and shunned.

  6. Posted September 27, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Why do they play your national anthem at these events anyway? It seems a bit pointless, but then so do all national anthems.

    • Posted September 27, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Roman Catholics get on their knees to their god, others stand to pray… I wonder if national anthems & patriotism are not some sort of religion substitute?! Seriously, patriotism like religion is surely out-dated 7 should be consigned to history. Why should I feel pride just because someone is born within a certain area with the same imaginary boundaries as me?

      • Posted September 27, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        …the 7 should be ‘&’! Apologies for the Dom rant…

    • Posted September 27, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Here’s an interesting piece on the history: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/sep/25/short-history-national-anthem-and-sports/

      The mixing of the US national anthem with honouring the military really came into vogue after 9/11.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Yes, I recall about that time, when I could stand to watch a NASCAR race, they were dragging out more and more military and staging these events with military people all over the place. This was all a planned commercial performance or recruiting ploy, if you will. They had the military sponsoring cars, so you had Army car, Marine car and so on. The DOD was doing what they are good at, spending money. I think they finally wore that trick out. It costs a hell of a lot of money to put your name all over the car.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      What was it ol’ Doc Johnson said about the last refuge of scoundrels again?

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 27, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        Beat me to it…

        😉

        cr

    • Mark Reaume
      Posted September 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      When I was kid growing up in Ontario they used to play the Anthem before movies in the theater. When they finally stopped doing it everyone thought it was weird that we ever did it in the first place.

      I agree, it is a silly thing.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted September 27, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        I recall years ago, living in the U.K. they use to do it in theaters. Of course, in the theaters on U.S. military bases you get the stars and strips.

        • Posted September 28, 2017 at 3:18 am | Permalink

          Yes – if fact the British national anthem was a Georgian thing – I think it was started in theatres, now I recall a project i did on national anthems at school. possibly the Garrick – would have to check. It became a habit & at one time other countries just used the same dirge – possibly written by Thomas Arne – with different words.

  7. Vaal
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Benn’s article exemplifies the issue and the problem of the fracturing Left. Nobody would deny that there’s racism in our society, though I would question whether it should be called systemic—that is, whether unequal rights and treatments of black Americans are actually codified in the machinery and rules of the government. There are racist cops, but not all cops are racists, and I doubt that any police department systematically tells its officers to kill unarmed blacks. In government, it’s hard to find codification of racism in laws and regulations. The racism that remains in society is largely individual racism, not “systemic” racism, but people like Benn like to call it “systemic” if it happens several times. It’s like saying that murder is systemic in males because most murderers are men and murder is not vanishingly rare.

    Thank you for that, Jerry. You put into ver well expressed words something that has always nagged at me about the ubiquitous use of the phrase of “systematic racism.”

  8. Posted September 27, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    What is forbidden by the right is compulsory by the regressive left, and vice versa.

  9. johnw
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Things like mortgage redlining or job application name discrimination are realities for African American that still have huge repercussions. They undoubtedly are examples of systemic biases that have contributed to the approximately 10 fold difference in wealth in the US between white and black families. The whole social landscape for African American is skewed and expectations as well as opportunities for young people are vastly different.

    • Posted September 27, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      So if I don’t take a knee I’m a white supremacist?

      • darrelle
        Posted September 27, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        It seems really obvious to me that johnw’s comment was in regards to “systemic racism,” as in the OP, rather than the “players not kneeling are white supremacists” claim of the huffpo article. Why the smartass comment?

        • Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

          You’re right it was smartass. I was trying for a bitter kind of irony but I guess it didn’t go over well did it?

          • darrelle
            Posted September 27, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

            Apologies. I should know better than to post when I’m at 36 hours with no sleep + caffeine.

    • BJ
      Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      But in order to call this country somehow white supremacist or purposefully enacting racism, one would have to explain away the various attempts, which have been undertaken for several decades now, of remedying such situations as job application bias. Affirmative action, encouragement of using blind application and hiring processes, etc. We, as a country, have and do try to remedy these situations. The fact that it hasn’t proved easy or entirely successful does not mean we aren’t trying. The racism you’re talking about is taking place on an individual level: individual people in charge of hiring in some places acting on their own racism. And there will always be racist individuals. In Germany, for example, an applicant with a German-sounding name is 14% more likely to be called in for an interview.

      Thus, the racism you describe is not systemic, but individual, and continues to be worked on and taken seriously as a problem.

      • johnw
        Posted September 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        I disagree and think you’re making a distinction without a difference. Resume discrimination has been demonstrated in large randomly selected sample sizes (5000 companies in a study), and the effect is true of the entire job market in places like Chicago and Boston. It applies to the whole (i.e., is systemic) and not just parts, regardless of at what levels individual judgement is involved. And that leaves out the 25% salary gap for equivalent positions between blacks and whites once they do manage to get hired. Mortgage redlining was until recently codified by FHA policies (!) as well as common bank lending practices and has been the single largest hurdle to accumulating family wealth for African Americans, an inequality that ultimately affects families for generations. Past examples of codified, by law discrimination can have cascading effects. And I didn’t even get into things like racial gerrymandering, voting IDS, or legal representation practices. My point is that the deck is still in many ways stacked against African Americans, which btw is not to say that problems do not arise from within their own communities, or silly things like not kneeling for the NA is white supremacist. I just think that we shouldn’t fool ourselves that we’re living in some post-segregation equal opportunity US as the right wing media loves to claim, while vilifying African Americans whenever they can.

        • Posted September 27, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

          “And that leaves out the 25% salary gap for equivalent positions between blacks and whites once they do manage to get hired.”

          That’s a high number! So I googlated it. You’re right there is a 25% difference in the wages earned by black men vs white men. That is surprising (to me) and a clear symptom of a serious problem.

          HOWever, that number is for blacks and whites as a whole. That is, black men doing the same job at the same level are not earning 25% less than their white colleagues. Black men in general are earning 25% less on average than white men. Black women earn about 80% of white women.

          Here’s my source (of course it may not be definitive and I welcome yours in rebuttal);

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-growing-black-white-wage-gap-is-unexplained–and-scary/2017/09/13/7a296914-9899-11e7-b569-3360011663b4_story.html?utm_term=.ae88d9bd8d94.

          • johnw
            Posted September 27, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

            Yes I think you’re right there. I got that figure from the original NEBR study (the resume study) and misread it. However from a recent EPI report -[http://www.epi.org/publication/black-white-wage-gaps-expand-with-rising-wage-inequality/], which states: “As of 2015, relative to the average hourly wages of white men with the same education, experience, metro status, and region of residence, black men make 22.0 percent less, and black women make 34.2 percent less”, in terms of qualifications 20-25% less seems about right.

            More broadly, my point is that the path to economic stability and prosperity in what seems to me to be an historic binary zero-sum relationship between white and black in the US is not the same, and that that inequality is the continuing basis of much of the social and racial discord (thing like black distrust of police, or white victimology) that exists. And I think the effect is devastating and a huge constraint on our society

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    The racism that remains in society is largely individual racism, not “systemic” racism …

    Oh, I think racism can still be “systemic,” even if no longer codified in expressly racial terms. Let me offer a couple examples: the “stop & frisk” policy of the NYPD under Rudy Giuliani, and the 100-to-1 crack-to-powder-cocaine disparity under the federal sentencing guidelines (since reduced to 18-to-1 in 2010). Such examples are by no means exhaustive; our criminal justice system remains riddled with such tacitly racial systemic disparities.

    • Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Oftentimes “legalize it!” advocates wrt marijuana make the argument that it was made illegal *because* it was a drug of black people. However, it is difficult to judge intent. But I understand there is precedent to allow “disproportionate impact” be one way to judge (constitutional) merit of law, no?

      • BJ
        Posted September 27, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        marijuana was made illegal largely because of a concerted and long-term effort by William Randolph Hearst to demonize the drug in an effort to have it banned. The corporate Barons of the time, from Hearst to Mellon, were severely threatened by the prospect of hemp being a replacement material in the production of various goods, such as paper. Lumber mills, petroleum-based and other chemical processes, and other methods of production for various goods were threatened by the ease of growing hemp and the greater yield hemp provided in raw production materials. Thus, an effort to ban marijuana (and, by extension, hemp and its farming, which was also made illegal) was undertaken to preclude the replacement of other materials being produced and sold by the corporate barons.

        However, Hearst’s media empire did, in part, use racial hostilities as one method of promoting the banning of marijuana and hemp.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 27, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          Hey, all it took for me was one viewing of Reefer Madness at the midnight movies in college, and I swore off the demon weed for good. Unlike Bill Clinton, however, I chose never to exhale.

    • Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      I agree.

      For instance I think – contra BLM – that the conflict between black people and the police is systemic and not just down to racist cops.

      SJWs decry systemic racism (which is a socio-economic phenomena) when they want to sound clever but they still believe it is all down to racists (a psychological phenomena).

    • Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      One note; some of controversy around enforcement of laws dealing with crack v cocaine -which of course are the same active drug- sometimes misses, or glosses over, the very real differences to society between them. Crack is different from it’s powder form as anyone who lived in areas hit by the epidemic can tell you. I saw entire communities, who had survived more or less intact through the pot, heroin and cocaine eras, reduced to near ruin by crack cocaine. Entire blocks of what looked like bombed out houses where addicts got high. Family friends lost their children -literally- to the drug.

      There was a real difference in both the human wreckage and the criminal activity associated with the drugs.

      No argument that, like the rest of the idiotic War on Drugs, blacks suffered disproportionally from both the drugs and the enforcement.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        There’s also a racial component to the urban crack problem’s solution having been ever-increasing minimum-mandatory prison sentences, yet the (largely suburban and rural) opioid epidemic being seen as a medical crisis requiring government-subsidized treatment.

        • Posted September 27, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          Yes. To me the racism in this comes from pretending that there isn’t a difference between the way crimes committed by blacks are adjudicated and the way crimes by whites are. The legal attention to crack over its powder form reflected society’s alarm at that form’s devastation but we added a soupçon of racism to the outcome.

  11. Warren Bailey
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    During the campaign David Bannon explicitedly stated that it was his goal to keep the left talking about identity politics

  12. Andrew
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    But what he says after that is, translated into English, seems to be this: “Some people who can’t change the Trump administration but also also aren’t aware enough to figure out what’s going on should be able to commit violence. It’s a good substitute for being rational and logical.”

    I think a better translation would be:

    The existence of you privileged white people isn’t under threat. What right do you have to tell members of , who’s existence is under threat, to not use violence? You don’t have a target on your back.

    Not saying the sentiment is correct or justified. Just saying I think that’s where it’s coming from.

    • Andrew
      Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      HTML formatting edited my post.

      It should read as follows.

      The existence of you privileged white people isn’t under threat. What right do you have to tell members of (insert your favorite oppressed group here), who’s existence is under threat, to not use violence? You don’t have a target on your back.

  13. Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I largely agree, but this (IMO incorrect) part is unfortunate and a distraction:

    “I am one of those people glad to be an American: perfectly aware of our country’s problems (electing Trump was a big one), but still glad that I’m an American rather than, say, a Saudi or a North Korean. I am not Noam Chomsky.”

    • danstarfish
      Posted September 27, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think the quoted part is unfortunate or a distraction at all. Some people who live in free first world societies take far too much for granted. These societies are not typical or a given. Attaining that level is very very difficult.

      Just because these societies are imperfect doesn’t mean you should not be grateful for what they have given to you or appreciate the efforts that built them. We should strive to make things better, but I think there is some danger in not recognizing the unusually good situation we have relative to the rest of humanity and the progress we have already made.

      • Posted September 28, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        It was the bit about Chomsky I had in mind – who says all the time he is glad to be an American.

  14. Jonathan Dore
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Trump tells you you gotta stand or you’re worthless. This guy says you gotta kneel or you’re worthless. I think the correct response to both of them is: “Fuck off. I’ll make my own decisions, thanks, and don’t need permission, or approbation, from either one of you.”

    • Posted September 27, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      ^This

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 27, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Exactly, a pox on both their houses. (Unfortunately, the House one of them lives at is White and sits at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., so they’re not quite equivalent).

  15. Randy schenck
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    There are probably more than a dozen things about the NFL worth noting and close to criminal but standing or sitting for a song is not one of them. The corrupt farm leagues they create across the country called colleges is one that comes to mine. And just yesterday we learn that several college coaches in the NBA have be involved in corruption and bribery in their little business. Does anyone really give a damn…no. Just keep putting the games on TV and let the betting begin.

  16. Brian salkas
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    (I believe the comma missing after ‘sorry’ is an error, not a double-entendre)

    That made me laugh…

  17. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    And here is a white athlete kneeling during the anthem.

  18. Old_ones
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Jerry Coyne:
    “I’m not really sure what he means by the ‘privilege to consider the implication of Trump’s rise in the abstract.'”

    I’ve spend enough time in the non-science departments of universities to be fluent in regressive left, so I’ll translate. The operative phrase in that paragraph was “existential threat”. He is basically arguing that the bad (“privileged”) people are sitting around pontificating and passing judgement on the good people (“oppressed”) who are responding to Trump with violence because their lives are literally in danger.

    It has the typical feature of a lot of regressive left arguments, where it begs the question of how much danger people are actually in or whether violence is actually justified by asserting that detractors just don’t “get it”. Don’t think violence is justified? That means you aren’t oppressed enough to understand why violence is justified. Go sit in the corner and think about your privilege mister.

  19. Brian Salkas
    Posted September 28, 2017 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    the huff post article is bizarre. I cannot beleive they could actually think like that.

  20. News Puddle
    Posted November 2, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Jesse Benn seems to have a unique view of the world and he’s entitled to it but, advocating that violence is the solution to any problem is never a good thing.

    https://newspuddle.com/in-rare-interview-justice-thomas-denounces-anthem-protests/


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