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The new old normal

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Here’s North Carolina Congressman Robert Pittenger on the BBC, explaining to his bemused host why people in Charlotte are protesting:

A few things:

(1)A key feature of the racist frame of mind is to adopt an absurd, utterly counter-factual caricature of entire ethnic group, and then apply that caricature to every single individual in that group, while using it as an explanatory mechanism for any issue involving that group.

For this guy (again, a member of the US Congress, not a guy with a sign somewhere) black people are poor people on welfare, and white people are not. Now if you pressed him on it he would admit that there are blah people who aren’t on welfare and white people that are, and he might even admit, when presented with the liberally-biased facts, that there are quite a few more white people on welfare than black people, that the vast majority of black people aren’t actually welfare queens driving Caddylacks and strapping young bucks using food stamps to buy dependency-addicting t-bone steaks etc. (Or maybe not, since you can use statistics to prove anything you know).

(2) I guarantee you Pittenger is genuinely appalled and outraged by claims that he’s a racist. Of course he’s not a racist: he’s just not PC, or a race realist, or a speaker of hard truths, or the true keeper of the spirit of Martin Luther King (He actually starts the interview with a paean to MLK; here’s the longer version if you have five minutes — it’s well worth watching for its sociological interest). Six years ago Chris Rock asked, what do you have to do now to be considered a racist by a mainline Republican, shoot Medgar Evers? That’s not even a joke any more.

(3) This is the Trump effect in action, although of course to a great extent Trump is a symptom not a cause. Open racism in national politics is back in a big way, and it’s having all sorts of social effects. Would law professor Glenn Reynolds have tweeted what he tweeted yesterday a year or two ago? I doubt it. But now that really open racism is off the leash again a lot of “respectable” people are really loving it.

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  • tylerf

    Your only racist if you’re the one holding the noose.

    • Nobdy

      Even then, only if you have racist intent. If you lynch someone for some perceived crime or social faux pas that’s fine, it’s only if you do it explicitly and only BECAUSE they’re black that it’s racist.

      Let’s not look at the statistics as to who gets lynched for whistling at white women. Remember, disparate impact cannot show racism. Racism can only be demonstrated by someone putting their hand to their heart and saying “I am a racist.”

      Yes those hooded men burned crosses. Yes, many of those crosses were in the yards of African Americans. But who is to say this was due to racism? Not you or I.

      • rea

        Yes those hooded men burned crosses. Yes, many of those crosses were in the yards of African Americans. But who is to say this was due to racism? Not you or I.

        I can prove they weren’t racist! Why, my parents once had a cross burned on their lawn, and they were white!

        • twbb

          “Yes those hooded men burned crosses. Yes, many of those crosses were in the yards of African Americans. But who is to say this was due to racism? Not you or I”

          He could have just quoted David Hume, the Brits would have loved that.

      • Cheap Wino

        To keep order in a structured society, that’s all the KKK is about. It would be a rush to judgement to say otherwise.

      • Probably just economic anxiety.

        • libarbarian

          Times are tough for congressmen these days. The black elite have shipped legislative jobs overseas and these guys are seeing their livelihood disappear and they are angry and they are lashing out.

          I disapprove of course, but I understand their anger.

      • Murc

        Let’s not look at the statistics as to who gets lynched for whistling at white women. Remember, disparate impact cannot show racism. Racism can only be demonstrated by someone putting their hand to their heart and saying “I am a racist.”

        The truly depressing thing is that even by this standard, there would still be way, way too many racists.

        • NonyNony

          As a white guy who started getting a little grey in his hair around 35 – holy crap I did not know exactly how many racists there were out there until I got a little grey in my hair and they came out of the woodwork.

          Just random older white people who will out of the blue turn the conversation to “those people” because they figure you must agree with them! Also deeply horrible misogyny that I was never exposed to before. Something about being an older white guy seems to make them think that I’m “safe” to just ramble about horrible racist/sexist shit in front of.

          Of course this could also be because that was roughly also when Obama was elected. So maybe it isn’t old man syndrome as much as it is the crazy rightwingers decided to let their ugliness all hang out around the same time I turned 35…

          • UncleEbeneezer

            Yup. No gray here yet (because I shave my head) but it’s amazing/depressing how many times complete strangers have dropped racist/sexist sentiments into conversation with me. They just assume that everyone must feel that way. Sadly I’m beginning to think this is because this is the core of what Whiteness is (nothing more than “at least we’re not them.”)

            • Nobdy

              A personal favorite was when I was talking to someone I didn’t know well and he went off on an antisemitic rant. I said that I was Jewish and my whole family was Jewish. He told me I looked Italian, then went right back to attacking the Jews, and even told me I couldn’t trust my family and should consider cutting ties.

              Points for consistency there.

              • UncleEbeneezer

                Wow. That’s incredible.

                I had a stranger at a Steeler bar in Manhattan Beach confide in me that he was so excited that after Kordell Stewart, we would finally have a White QB again.

                • TroubleMaker13

                  Wait a minute…like an entire bar in Manhattan Beach, CA dedicated to the Pittsburgh Steelers??? I’m strangely fascinated by that.

                • efgoldman

                  an entire bar in Manhattan Beach, CA dedicated to the Pittsburgh Steelers???

                  There’s at least one Red Sox bar in Manhattan.

              • patrick II

                I had a similar experience. I was at a small airport in Florida waiting for my daughter’s flight. My wife had gone to check to see if the flight was on time. I sat next to a lady in her 50’s while we both watched a golf tournament on tv. She struck up a conversation and told me how much she loved golf — she spent most afternoons playing the game. Then she continued on she was waiting for her daughter who lived in Arizona but who had a job that called for her to spend time doing business in China. Then, she continued, saying that the Chinese were a terribly dishonest people, always cheating and never to be trusted. Just then my Chinese wife walked up, this lady looked up and stopped talking while my wife informed me she would be in the coffee shop (she doesn’t like watching golf). I said fine. The lady said nothing. After my wife walked away the lady changed the subject — if you could call it that. She said that since her daughter had moved to Arizona she had found out how lazy Indians are. They do nothing, they do no work, live in trailers and off of the dole. This from a lady who spent her afternoons on the golf course.
                Anyway, thank god, my daughter’s flight came in before we could move on the shortcomings of other races, and I said goodbye.

                • dgh

                  I really was waiting for “and then my Native American daughter walked up…”.

                • UncleEbeneezer

                  I was playing doubles (tennis) with my Chinese friend and two White friends and one of the White friends made a remark about how another Asian guy he plays with can’t be trusted to call balls in/out honestly because those Asians are “sneaky.” I tried to diffuse the situation by noting that most of the dishonest calls I’ve ever witnessed were made by White dudes, but man talk about an absolute facepalm (plus a racquet) moment.

              • patrick II

                Me again.
                I was at a night-before the wedding dinner for my nephew in a town just south of Atlanta. My nephew is half Chinese. There were about 50 people at the dinner. One of the brides brothers got up to give a toast — raised his glass to the bride and groom and said that now he had met the groom he was glad that at least his sister wasn’t marrying one of the mud people. That was his toast.
                I only lived one year in the South, but it was more than long enough for me.

              • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

                Another goyische-looking Jew here (with a non-“Jewish” last name) and yes, this happens so much.

                • Solar System Wolf

                  I do have a Jewish last name. It hasn’t stopped people much.

              • Pat

                It’s like all you guys talk to my relatives!

            • it’s amazing/depressing how many times complete strangers have dropped racist/sexist sentiments into conversation with me.

              For some reason, complete strangers rarely drop any kind of sentiments into conversation with me. Maybe it’s the way I keep my eyes kind of, I dunno, unfocused? Or the slight twitch.

          • mnuba

            The alt-right has really brought out a lot of open ugliness among younger Americans, too. As a younger white male millennial I’ve had to cut off a number of friends and acquaintances over the last few years as people around me come out of the woodwork as racists, sexists, homophobes, etc.

            Granted there had been a slow trickle of “suburban white kid reveals himself as racist, film at 11” essentially since Obama took office but it has really accelerated in the last couple of years as the memes and internet subcultures have penetrated the mainstream.

            Breitbart/chan culture/etc. have done a hell of a job inculcating the next generation of white supremacists. It’s all masked in layers of irony and “just joking!!!!!” and edge and provocation and shock value, but then all of a sudden, it isn’t.

          • efgoldman

            Something about being an older white guy seems to make them think that I’m “safe” to just ramble about horrible racist/sexist shit in front of.

            Thank goodness I (a genuine old white guy) haven’t run into that, but I don’t know where you live.

            • efgoldman

              Thank goodness I (a genuine old white guy) haven’t run into that

              I take it back, a little. My SIL is from NC (went to Wake). I know for a fact he doesn’t have a racist or sexist molecule in his body (daughter wouldn’t have married him otherwise).
              At the wedding rehearsal dinner, his grandfather started telling an ethnic joke. Because I don’t have a real good filter I said “we don’t find things like that funny in our family.” He stayed cordial, but shut the piehole.

              • Jhoosier

                Good on ya. That’s the way we get people to see that sort of behavior isn’t acceptable.

                I don’t see my family often enough, but the first time I met my brother’s wife, she spent a good 10 minutes telling me how black people she meets are racist to her (she’s from Georgia, so maybe that’s it?)

          • Three years ago I spent a few days in Moab, Utah during that last government shutdown, and wandered into one of the many retail establishments in that tourist town. The proprietress was probably about fifteen years my senior, which is to say, in her mid- to late-seventies, but as I am a greybeard with white sidewalls she apparently felt safe in oversharing: the shutdown, which had closed the nearby national monuments, was all Obama’s fault, and it was killing business. Worst president ever! He’s a Muslim, you know, et cetera. I’m a conflict-averse kinda guy, and confined my end of the conversation to noncommittal soft grunts. This was not satisfactory. “Don’t you think he’s a terrible president?” she demanded. “Actually, ma’am, I’m a registered Democrat from out San Francisco way, and I think he’s doing a pretty good job.” She looked stunned. “Well,” she sputtered, “I’m glad you live there and not here! “That’s a win-win, then, ma’am,” I replied lightly as I left the store.

          • MyNameIsZweig

            Oh yeah, I had the same experience when I got a bit of gray in my hair. Then I shaved it all off and nobody bothers me anymore, with racism or with pretty much anything else, ever.

      • CP

        Let’s not look at the statistics as to who gets lynched for whistling at white women. Remember, disparate impact cannot show racism. Racism can only be demonstrated by someone putting their hand to their heart and saying “I am a racist.”

        Even then they’ll find a way to argue otherwise, as likely as not. They like to grab the mike away from the unpolished rednecks when they say something racist, chuckle, and go “what he meant to say was…” Like when an ultra-sexist shooter kills some women and leaves a note basically saying “I did this because I hate women” and people fall all over themselves to explain that it’s really about mental illness.

      • Unemployed_Northeastern

        *Fun* fact: Charles Murray, author of the execrable, thoroughly dismantled (but still a holy text of the alt-right) Bell Curve* burned crosses when he was a teenager. Who woulda thunk it??

        *EDIT: the linked NYT piece really gives the best possible description of Bell Curve: “a scabrous piece of racial pornography masquerading as serious scholarship” and “his book is just a genteel way of calling somebody a ******.” [the NYT does not censor that word; you can take a guess what it is]

        • Karen24

          Murray’s racism has gotten the most attention, but he doesn’t like women at all, either. No women made it into his list of people who mattered in history and he wrote a magazine article stating that since women have babies we don’t need any creative outlets. He’s a perfect patron demon for the 8chan crowd.

          • addicted44

            There’s an 8 chan now?

            • NBarnes

              Yeah. It’s where you go if you’re too heinous for 4chan to tolerate you and they kick you out.

              I’m not kidding.

              • skate

                I’m so cynical, I’m wondering if there’s a 16chan for the people who got kicked out of 8chan.

                • Richard Gadsden

                  On that basis, I’m starting to worry about 2048chan.

    • What noose? Why that’s nothing but a harmless lasso.

      • Lasso? Not at all; that was a bootstrap. Poor fella just didn’t know how to use it (they’re slow that way; pity, but that’s how it is).

  • Nobdy

    I would love for just ONE journalist to try to unpack a statement like “blacks are jealous of whites because blacks are not as successful.”

    Well why aren’t they as successful? You really only have two options:

    1) They’re inferior (CONGRATULATIONS! You’re a racist. YAY!)
    2) They’ve been oppressed.

    (I guess you could also go with “I don’t know” or “Random luck” but I don’t think those will hold water.)

    Once you’ve picked “They’ve been oppressed” you have two further options.

    1) We should do something to try to address this injustice!
    2) We should let this injustice stand! (Congratulations! You’re at the very least condoning and perpetuating the racism of the past.)

    It’s a very short walk from “blacks aren’t doing as well as whites” to some pretty explicitly racist positions for these people, and journalists should force them down that path. At least force them to look like idiots by claiming that they have no idea why blacks are, as a group, less “successful” than whites.

    Now I know that some will try to squirm out of it with “It’s not that they’re genetically inferior, it’s that they have an inferior culture.” But you can press through that pretty easily. Why is it that they have this “culture?” Where did this “culture” come from?

    The veneer of respectability is easily broken paper mache and more journalists need to do the work from hammering through it and exposing the obvious truth.

    • Mac the Knife

      You’re overlooking the role of the Democrat Plantation™ in all of this

      • Paul Campos

        AKA people who support the welfare state are the Real Racists. That was Pittenger’s whole schtick during the longer interview, and the host couldn’t get him off it of course.

        • geniecoefficient

          [deleted for editing]

      • Rob in CT

        Yes. This is how they square the circle.

        “See, it’s not that Those People are inferior, it’s that they’re in a situation that robs them of the motivation to succeed. And liberals are at fault for that. If only we gave ’em a little tough love, things would work out. And if they don’t, well, maybe that proves certain politically incorrect things that I’m not saying I believe…”

        • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

          “It’s amazing what you can accomplish once you know your place.”

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      You clearly haven’t been paying attention. It’s because Democrats have made them lazy by brainwashing them with free stuff. Why, it’s worse than slavery, what Dems have done to them.

      Of course, the solution is for them to become Republicans. As proof, look at how well-paid the Republican Black politicians and commentators are.

      /s

      • They should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps like Armstrong Williams.

    • I once had a research scientist friend of mine (and who I consider to be quite liberal otherwise) try to float the idea that blacks seemed less whatever because of breeding during slavery times. My response was:

      1. Blacks are not inferior,

      2. People are not fruit flies,

      3. Even if intelligence could be genetically controlled through a multigenerational selective breeding program spanning hundreds of years, you would have to assume that blacks are still being bred that way despite slavery ending 150 years ago,

      4. Even during slavery, blacks did not procreate in a vacuum. There was a steady supply of new slaves being added to the mix that would have negated any kind of selective breeding.

      Just shows you how insidious and deeply ingrained racism is.

      • Linnaeus

        Yes, even fine, educated liberal white people can harbor racist beliefs too.

        • It just amazed me that, in his thinking, a system of multigenerational selective breeding involving millions of people over hundreds of years was more plausible than good old-fashioned racial bias.

          • Linnaeus

            Perhaps he preferred that explanation (or at least thought it had some credibility) because it seemed more “scientific” to him? That’s one way to rationalize the racism.

      • JR in WV

        Not to mention the non-zero proportion of “white” ownership rape blood being added to the slave population – which way would that shift the genetics of the breeding work?

        Paler slaves brighter than pure black slaves? Or just more familiar with white people’s ways?

        Yech, it makes me feel slimy just commenting on these thoughts.

        • Nobdy

          I think this was basically a commonly accepted classification system during slave times. Lighter skinned slaves were often treated better and assumed to be smarter than darker skinned slaves.

          It took me until my twenties to really understand how evil and Nazi-like the slave states were. There really still is an enormous amount of propaganda, even in the liberal North, protecting us from the harsh reality of what slavery actually was.

          • It took me until my twenties to really understand how evil and Nazi-like the slave states were are.

            Fixed it for you :-)

        • Zamfir

          Say, I have often seen this lined pushed to its logical conclusion: black Americans are inferior to white Americans , but superior to black Africans because of the white blood mixed in. They have graphs with IQ tests from Sierra Leone or wherever to ‘prove’ it.

          • Linnaeus

            What’s funny is that many of the same people will make the claim that Asians are the “smartest”. By their line of reasoning, however, that means Asians are better and should be running everything. Of course, when you ask why that isn’t the case (and why these “race realists” aren’t advocating this), you get “uh…” and a lot of arglebargle.

            • Karen24

              I occasionally get this, and I always ask them to define “Asian.” Does it include people from the Indian subcontinent? Arabs? Siberians who look like other white people? How, exactly does that work?

              • (((Hogan)))

                But when they say “Oriental” everybody gets all mad. It’s hard out there for a cracker.

        • Gee Suss

          This times 1000.

      • NonyNony

        My memory is hazy, but wasn’t there some sports commentator who got in some trouble for basically making that argument for why black athletes were so good at certain posiitons and not others? That slaves were bred for strength and therefore something something black athletes? Possibly this was in the context of supporting a claim for why black athletes were great at various positions but there were no great black quarterbacks (at the time at least)?

        I’m thinking it might have been Jimmy the Greek – a name I haven’t thought of in years. But maybe it was actually Limbaugh when he was trying his hand at football commentary. (I will admit, I don’t have the stomach to go try to google for it).

        • I’m pretty sure it was Jimmy the Greek. But his comments no doubt resonated with the intellectually lazy out there.

          • John Revolta

            I believe, at the time, Cosby backed him up on it.

        • Linnaeus

          You might be blending the two. Jimmy the Greek said, IIRC, that black people were better “natural” athletes than white people because they were bred to be that way. Limbaugh said that Donovan McNabb was being overrated as a quarterback because the NFL and sports media wanted to see a black quarterback do well.

        • Randy

          It was Jimmy the Greek. He said that black athletes were stronger because of selective breeding of slaves.

          • Also that African-Americans don’t have the “necessaries” to be quarterbacks. Whatever that means

            • N__B

              Partially-deflated balls?

            • FlipYrWhig

              There was Al Campanis.

              Campanis’ remarks took place on the late-night ABC News program Nightline, during the run-up to the 40th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s Major League Baseball debut (April 15, 1947). Campanis, who had played alongside Robinson and was known for being close to him, was being interviewed about the subject. Nightline anchorman Ted Koppel asked him why, at the time, there had been few black managers and no black general managers in Major League Baseball. Campanis’ reply was that blacks “may not have some of the necessities to be, let’s say, a field manager, or, perhaps, a general manager” for these positions. Elsewhere in the interview he said that blacks are often poor swimmers “because they don’t have the buoyancy.” Koppel says he gave Campanis several opportunities to clarify, (“Do you really believe that?”) or back down from his remarks, but Campanis confirmed his views with his replies. Campanis resigned less than 48 hours later.

            • Randy

              I recall hearing on the TV miniseries “Of Black America” that African American runners did not do as well at long-distance running, because of some peculiarity in their respiratory system.

        • addicted44

          When the reality is the lack of black quarterbacks is probably most attributable to the fact that school coaches usually give white kids a better chance at becoming QBs even though may be inferior athletes than a black friend, and are more willing to work with them on their shorcomings because they look more like QBs.

          And the same idea perpetuates through college.

          • BiloSagdiyev

            Sounds like “looks presidential”, don’t it?

      • jehrler

        And, in this theory, I wonder how he would account for the “Tree of Slave Geneticism” getting weak when it was frequently watered by sperm from white slave owners?

        Edited to add: Totally ninja’d

      • 2. People are not fruit flies

        Is it a coincidence that those fruit flies are Melanogasters? I think not.

      • efgoldman

        Even during slavery, blacks did not procreate in a vacuum.

        Exactly. And a lot of said procreation was with white men, because what else is a young female slave good for?

    • (((Hogan)))

      Well why aren’t they as successful? You really only have two options:

      1) They’re inferior (CONGRATULATIONS! You’re a racist. YAY!)
      2) They’ve been oppressed.

      He went for Door Number Three: gummint has sapped their initiative by giving them stuff like money, food stamps, emancipation, the vote, their very own ghettos neighborhoods, and schooling of a kind. But are they grateful? No, they’re spiteful and they’re hateful. Just like furriners.

      • Nobdy

        This seems easily pushed through too.

        Welfare benefits are not granted on the basis of race. Why have they sapped black initiative but not white initiative?

        It’s all paper mache!

        • postmodulator

          Didn’t some National Review writer go ahead and say that poor white people were also lazy garbage?

          • Linnaeus

            I’d be surprised if said writer hadn’t written that. Classism and racism are two great tastes that taste great together for those folks.

          • Paul Campos

            Yeah that was his reaction to the Case/Deaton study showing decreasing life expectancy among working class whites.

            See it’s not racism if you hate everybody.

            • postmodulator

              Bah. These people don’t know a thing about misanthropy. Poseurs.

          • Rob in CT

            Yeah. Go that route and they’ll happily say that it saps white people’s work ethic too.

          • (((Hogan)))

            That sounds like Kevin Williamson.

          • JKTH

            Lazy worthless garbage at that.

      • kped

        There was an Adam Carolla rant a few years back, he was yelling at Gavin Newsom, saying that other oppressed races had trouble in the past but aren’t doing as bad as blacks and hispanics today…lot’s of “what’s wrong with them?”, but he went with “family, no fathers” bullshit in the end.

        It was all very nakedly racist, he was yelling and ranting that these groups have something fundamentally wrong with them. Awful (you can look it up on youtube, I don’t even want to link to it).

      • lhartmann

        they don’t respect us, so let’s surprise them…

    • Cheap Wino

      Exactly. And this goes right along with 3), that the Trump effect is, in large part, what allows this guy to feel comfortable saying this garbage openly, on a video recorded interview without even the thought that he might be seen in a bad light (he has no idea).

      The rise of social media is, in the long run, going to be a net positive. It has exposed the bigoted, racist underbelly of our culture and led to the rise of social justice movements like BLM. Slowly but inevitably those things will move our society in a progressive direction.

      In the meantime social media has also allowed that ugly underbelly to coalesce into Donald Trump as presidential candidate and assholes like Pittenger to feel comfortable expressing more and more blatantly racist attitudes as if that is okay and normal. It’s great that there are so many avenues out there to call him out, but it would be nice if a major media outlet other than the Guardian would do journalism instead of passive enabling.

      • It’s like ripping a band aid off or maybe it’s more like resetting a broken arm that has healed the wrong way, we have to rebreak the bone and set it right. Without anesthesia.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      “Well why aren’t they as successful?”

      You forgot the Personal Responsibility Dodge! This is the moment when the clever (I Am Not a) racist hops to his other foot, stops talking about groups of people, and starts talking about individuals, who could each have been successful if he or she didn’t happen to have made lazy choices. Who even sees color?

      • Nobdy

        So a group of people who up until 50 years ago were legally discriminated against, and have been socially discriminated against since then, just happen, as individuals, to have made a bunch of bad choices like being born to poorer families and attending underfunded schools, and being arrested in huge numbers for crimes that other ethnicities also commit but aren’t arrested for.

        I like this theory! Is there a newsletter I could subscribe to?

        • postmodulator

          Is there a newsletter I could subscribe to?

          Several. The SPLC curates a list.

    • Marlowe

      Well, actually there is a third option–the one that this racist jackass actually used. Blacks are not as successful as white people because the “welfare” state has enslaved them to the gummint plantation and this modern day Tara has prevented them from enjoying the great American freedoms. You know, the freedom to starve to death, the freedom to die from exposure, the freedom to die from illness. (Yes, trite, but can’t be repeated often enough.)

  • The legitimization of the ‘alt-right’ is one of the most disgusting things about this election cycle, and it will not go away if Trump loses the election. It is truly sickening.

    • Karen24

      So very much this. Clinton’s speech on this was not well-received by the press, which is, in my opinion, the low point in their Valley of Derp for this election.

    • Rob in CT

      No, no, no, see the most disgusting thing about this cycle is liberals calling people racists. That’s the WORST.

    • Wapiti

      Yup. One of the candidates’ adult sons seems to be spending more time on Stormfront sites than his duties as a director of the family foundation.

  • CP

    For this guy (again, a member of the US Congress, not a guy with a sign somewhere) black people are poor people on welfare, and white people are not. Now if you pressed him on it he would admit that there are blah people who aren’t on welfare and white people that are, and he might even admit, when presented with the liberally-biased facts, that there are quite a few more white people on welfare than black people, that the vast majority of black people aren’t actually welfare queens driving Caddylacks and strapping young bucks using food stamps to buy dependency-addicting t-bone steaks etc. (Or maybe not, since you can use statistics to prove anything you know).

    I suspect that if this topic arose in conversation at all, he’d actually use it as vindication. See? We’re not against black people, we’re against welfare! Even though there are white people on welfare! We can’t help it if it just so happens that most of them are black.

  • (((Malaclypse)))

    If Medgar Evans were shot today, by this evening it would be widely accepted by a large swath of white America that he was a thug who shouldn’t have been doing something to piss off the white dude who shot him.

    • Nobdy

      “The former Trump campaign staffer who shot Medgar Evans and shouted ‘I did this for the benefit of Donald Trump’ as the police gingerly handcuffed him and took him to jail, with a stop at Burger King along the way. Donald Trump has said that the campaign staffer, who was listed on the Trump campaign website even several days after his arrest, was always a Clinton supporter, and even if he wasn’t, Clinton and Evans pushed him to his violent act with their divisiveness. So there you have it folks, both sides blaming each other for this murder. What a crazy election season. Meanwhile, in other news, Hillary Clinton kissed a baby at a campaign rally. Known genocidal maniac Adolph Hitler was also once a baby. This raises troubling questions. Does Hillary Clinton love Adolph Hitler? Many people, including Donald Trump, say yes.”

      • NonyNony

        Actually I think it would be more like: “Meanwhile, in other news, Hillary Clinton kissed a baby at a campaign rally. With her health status a complete unknown should she really be doing that? We’ll have Dr. Oz on to discuss the ramifications of this. Also coming up – Dr. Drew Pinsky to discuss whether this “baby kissing” points to some latent sexual deviancy on Clinton’s part.”

    • CP

      To be fair, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how a large part of white America reacted at the time, too.

    • (((Hogan)))

       Giuliani authorized the release of [Patrick] Dorismond’s sealed juvenile arrest record, which contained nothing more serious than a violation punishable by a summons, to discredit him. Juvenile arrest records are supposed to be kept confidential, and Giuliani violated legal ethics by breaking the seal without getting a court order. Dorismond was 13 at the time his arrest was entered into a police computer. At a press conference Giuliani argued that the dead man’s conduct at age 13 was “highly relevant.” Dorismond, he sneered, was “no altar boy.” But Dorismond had actually been an altar boy. He had even attended the same elite Catholic high school as the Mayor-–Bishop Loughlin in Brooklyn.

      • efgoldman

        He had even attended the same elite Catholic high school as the Mayor-–Bishop Loughlin in Brooklyn.

        Where, clearly, the good christian religious that teach need to do better imparting basic ethics.
        Christ, what an asshole.

    • Marlowe

      That’s Medgar Evers, not Evans. Sorry to be pedantic, but I’m an old history major and facts matter. (Not that this is old history, it happened in my lifetime.) See Bob Dylan’s song, Only a Pawn in their Game, which is not only politically astute but more relevant in 2016 than in the last couple of decades.

      A bullet from the back of a bush took Medgar Evers’ blood
      A finger fired the trigger to his name
      A handle hid out in the dark
      A hand set the spark
      Two eyes took the aim
      Behind a man’s brain
      But he can’t be blamed
      He’s only a pawn in their game.
      A South politician preaches to the poor white man
      “You got more than blacks, don’t complain
      You’re better than them, you been born with white skin” they explain
      And the Negro’s name
      Is used it is plain
      For the politician’s gain
      As he rises to fame
      And the poor white remains
      On the caboose of the train
      But it ain’t him to blame
      He’s only a pawn in their game.
      The deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid
      And the marshals and cops get the same
      But the poor white man’s used in the hands of them all like a tool
      He’s taught in his school
      From the start by the rule
      That the laws are with him
      To protect his white skin
      To keep up his hate
      So he never thinks straight
      ‘Bout the shape that he’s in
      But it ain’t him to blame
      He’s only a pawn in their game.
      From the powerty shacks, he looks from the cracks to the tracks
      And the hoof beats pound in his brain
      And he’s taught how to walk in a pack
      Shoot in the back
      With his fist in a clinch
      To hang and to lynch
      To hide ‘neath the hood
      To kill with no pain
      Like a dog on a chain
      He ain’t got no name
      But it ain’t him to blame
      He’s only a pawn in their game.
      Today, Medgar Evers was buried from the bullet he caught
      They lowered him down as a king
      But when the shadowy sun sets on the one
      That fired the gun
      He’ll see by his grave
      On the stone that remains
      Carved next to his name
      His epitaph plain:
      Only a pawn in their game.

    • Matt McIrvin

      “Mr. Evers appeared to be reaching for desegregation in a threatening manner.”

  • Peterr

    From central Kansas comes this story in the Salina Journal last Sunday . . .

    The president of Bethany College has received hundreds of messages of support since writing in a Facebook post Friday that he is struggling with how to respond to racially offensive messages written in chalk on sidewalks in the center of the campus of the Lindsborg college.

    William Jones, who became Bethany’s 14th president in May, said that he received a phone call a few days after the messages — which included a chalk outline of a dead body with “rest in peace my friend” and “make Lindsborg white again” — appeared Sept. 3.

    Jones did not identify the man who called but said that he was not a Bethany student and does not live in Lindsborg. Jones wrote that the man said he and four other people, whom he refused to identify, wrote the messages because Jones has two adopted, biracial children, because Bethany recruits students of color and because of media and online accounts about Jones’ work. . . .

    But this was more than racism aimed at a family with biracial children, or a college president who supports the continued multicultural emphasis of a college in the middle of Kansas.

    [Bethany’s Director of Communications and Marketing Tina] Goodwin said students and staff arrived on campus on the morning of Sept. 3 to find that 10 racially offensive messages had been written in chalk on a pedestrian mall leading through the center of campus. The walking area, leading to a welcome pavilion on the east, adjoins Swensson Street on either side of campus.

    “We had campus personnel cleaning them up just as soon as they were reported,” she said.

    Goodwin said in addition to the racially offensive messages, there were political ones expressing support for Republican nominee Donald Trump for president. She said the college strongly supports free speech, and the political messages were not washed away.

    Which brings us back to Paul’s point #3 . . .

    I’m glad they left these Trump messages in place, so that folks can be reminded of the candidate embraced by racists.

    • They may be racist, but you better not call them deplorable. No siree. Racism is not deplorable in 2016.

      • kped

        Trump supporters: “Down with PC! We need to be able to tell it like it is”

        HC: “Many of you are deplorable”

        TS: “How dare you! That was rude”
        Donald Trump: “How dare you malign my supporters, I demand an apology! BTW, those blacks live in a warzone and have terrible lives”.

        • Rob in CT

          I’d love to see this turned around on them.

          Hey, Hillz was just tellin’ it like it is. Speakin’ her mind! No PC for her!

    • brewmn

      It seems to me they did remove alot of the political content of those messages. They just left the parts that inure to Trump’s benefit.

  • JR in WV

    According to the Washington Post work on police shootings, there were 990 people shot by Police in 2015, and so far in 2016, the best they can tell, 707. But Police Departments don’t always provide any information about these shootings, even after Freedom of Information requests are filed.

    In 2015, 494 Whites were shot, 258 Blacks, 172 Hispanics and 66 other/unknown. If similar numbers on average ran for 50 years, that would be 24,700 Whites and 12,900 Blacks. This is obviously just an off-hand estimate, but it isn’t based on zero data or pulled out of thin air either. In the WaPo graph the lines for 2015 and 2016 lay right on top of one another. And, honestly, some of these people needed to be shot, because they were in the middle of a killing spree, but obviously not all of them fit in that group.

    The lynching report ran for 88 years and only got to 4,000 people murdered in terrorist racist attacks from about 1888 up through 1968.

    So today we are 3 or 4 times worse in terms of death toll counts. That’s pretty grim, isn’t it? And the President can’t seem to do anything significant about it, so far, after 7 years and 8 months. Maybe Hillary will look into this.

    It is certainly more likely than expecting Trump to give a rat’s ass about it. He would probably say, “You guys get to work, this isn’t getting us where we need to be!”

    At least these victims mostly die quickly, laying on the pavement, or in their yard or porch. They aren’t tortured, burned alive, chopped up alive for souvenirs. I’m not sure if there are collectable postcards, there are sure a lot of internet photos, so it would still be easy for a racist to collect them for fun and entertainment.

    There are archives of these postcards out there, by the way. I do NOT recommend you do Google images, I… trust me, just don’t go there.

    Sorry to be a downer. But this shit is real, and we have to do something about it if we want to be able to call ourselves a civilized nation. The cops are killing us, more than any other group of people committing crimes per capita. They are more dangerous than Radical Islamic Terrorists, who manage to kill 2 or 3 people in the US annually, unless you count that one day when no one was president to take responsibility, that day in 2001, the day George W Bush was NOT the President of the United States. Just ask Rudy Giuliani, who also NOT mayor of New York City on 9/11/2001.

    But the Islamic Terrorists would have to knock down skyscrapers over and over every few years to catch up with the murder rate of our own police. That’s pretty bad.

    • postmodulator

      I’m not sure if there are collectable postcards, there are sure a lot of internet photos, so it would still be easy for a racist to collect them for fun and entertainment.

      I have read a white supremacist forum where people post examples of police killings of African-Americans, even those that do not make the national news, and react with glee. There are a lot of disgusting details I’m not sharing.

      • Bruce B.

        I see some pretty astonishing things in Facebook image macros. I think that kind of thing is serving precisely the same role as the postcards.

    • N__B

      As has been said elsewhere, it’s funny how as soon as everybody started walking around with a high-res camera in their pocket that (a) UFOs stopped visiting and (b) cops started killing black people without cause. A remarkable coincidence.

    • cs

      As best as I can tell from a quick Googling, there are about 15,000 murders per year in the USA, which means that there is one person killed by police for every 15 or so people murdered by “criminals”.

    • IM

      Numbers are just out for german police forces in the year 2015.

      Persons killed by police:

      10 (ten)

      situations where guns were used:

      44.

      • efgoldman

        Numbers are just out for german police forces in the year 2015.

        I bet the numbers are proportionally similar for most of Europe.

        • IM

          I think so. There are claims that the UK polive hasn’t killed somebody in years.

          • Richard Gadsden

            I don’t think there has been one shot since Mark Duggan in 2011, which provoked a riot.

            Lots are killed in police cells, though.

    • bender

      The State of California just enacted a law requiring every police department in the state to keep electronic records of every police use of force that results in serious injury or death to a civilian, and to send a report of the data to the state government once a year. The law specifies what information has to be included in the records, which includes how the incident started and a bunch of other stuff (I don’t have the article in front of me and don’t remember all the details).

      The article didn’t say, but I suppose the intent is to make it easier to identify the worst departments and intervene.

  • DrDick

    Race baiting has been central to the GOP political strategy since Nixon. The only real difference is that it is out in the open now and not hidden behind dog whistles, not that Reagan’s “welfare queens” and “strapping young bucks” was much of a cover.

  • BobOso

    Open racism in national politics is back in a big way

    I really doubt the personal views of Justice Roberts are all that much different. He is just sounds oh so reasonable and intelligent when he shoe-horns those views in his opinions.

  • Kurzleg

    I’m not surprised that a guy like Pittenger has a skewed perception of race and its impact on people of color. That’s par for the course. What’s amazing to me is that he trots it out in response to a question about why people in Charlotte are protesting. Is anyone that dumb? Maybe he is, but I have to believe this is yet another example of Republicans trying to capitalize on a tragedy to advance their own agendas. Brazenly ignore the obvious issue and try to shift focus away from it and toward their “unique” view of things.

    ETA: Am I giving this guy and his ilk too much credit?

    • (((Hogan)))

      Apparently he finally listened to himself, or more likely had someone do it for him.

      He later apologized on Twitter, saying his answer “doesn’t reflect who I am. I was quoting statements made by angry protesters last night on national TV. My intent was to discuss the lack of economic mobility for African Americans because of failed policies.”

      See also Glenn “When I said ‘run them down,’ I really meant ‘just go around them'” Reynolds

      • Cheap Wino

        Sounds like a non-apology apology to me.

        “I meant to say the exact same thing as I said, just in a less obviously racist way.”

  • LeeEsq

    They aren’t even attempting to hide their racism anymore. Thanks to Trump, they are letting their freak flag fly. The press is being very irresponsible by not challenging them hard on this. They need push back at every step.

  • georgekaplan

    It shouldn’t be surprising to me, but I am somewhat taken aback by how completely the façade of enlightenment has fallen away. Truly astronomical numbers of Americans have plainly never really accepted the validity of civil rights movements, except in the most grudging and passive-aggressive way, and now finally they see their big chance to stamp their feet and pitch the loudest of all hissy-fits and declare that they’re tired of their mommy—I mean, their society—telling them what slurs they can’t use. It’s really depressing.

  • royko

    What really struck me about the “Mow ’em down” tweet was how unnecessary it was. I mean, he could have easily tut-tutted about how they were protesting wrong, endangering the public, blah blah blah. It would have been easy to be plenty derpy about the whole thing without, you know, advocating killing people.

    So having absorbed all of the news about police shootings and the protests that ensued, the thing that made him snap was seeing traffic patterns disrupted. That’s just all kinds of sick.

  • MAJeff

    Such positive particularism.

  • Casey

    Would law professor Glenn Reynolds have tweeted what he tweeted yesterday a year or two ago?”

    Considering he’s the “more rubble, less trouble” guy, yeah, why not? We’re surprised a guy who was a vocal supporter of carpet bombing the middle east is OK with vehicular homicide? If he’s OK with killing millions of innocent people overseas, why not a few people domestically he considers guilty?

  • KadeKo

    Of note is the date on that poster at the top: This movie was made in the 19-teens (maybe 1913?) and the poster is from a re-release in the 1920s.

  • Gregor Sansa

    Loosely related.

    This week, I was in a statistics class discussing another student’s survey on sexism in the Harvard math department. The professor used the example of transexual lesbians as a joke. As in, “these days you can’t even ask for gender on a survey, there are 14 different categories. Like a man who’s transexual and also a lesbian. If he wants to be with women, isn’t that just normal?” Students laughed nervously at the awkwardness of his ignorance, he took it as laughing at his joke, and nobody called him on it.

    Am I a bad person for letting this powerful curmudgeon be bigoted without calling him on it?

    • Gregor Sansa

      Now that I tell the story out loud, I think the answer is: horrible person no, a bit of a coward yes.

    • Hob

      It’s a tough call because you don’t want to derail the class and have it become all about him defending his dumbass remark, but then it gets subtly derailed anyway as that nervous laughter just hangs in the air. One approach I know people sometimes take (people who are way more confident and quicker-thinking than me) is to say something like “I have to say, I think that example is misguided because it’s based on misconceptions about transgender people. If this might be getting too far off topic though, I’d be glad to talk more about it after class.” Then the teacher gets to choose between 1. saying it’s not off topic at all, and then having to lead a serious discussion without being able to complain that overly sensitive students are sidetracking him, 2. taking the hint that that didn’t go over well, moving on, and maybe even learning something after class, or 3. doubling down and making it crystal clear that he was deliberately being an asshole.

    • Jhoosier

      Oddly enough, one of my former students posted an informal survey on public display of affection (she’s a young Japanese girl studying abroad for the first time and was appalled to witness a middle-aged Kiwi couple — with children — expression affection for each other). To start off, she wanted to know, what is your gender: Male, Female, LBGT, Other(please specify).

      I’ll go with bit of a coward for you, if you do for me. Although I’ve had a light go at her for other retrograde views before.

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