Monday, September 12, 2016

One world, radically different world views - and death waits in the wings


The tragedy of violent crime is once again making itself painfully obvious on American streets.  What's often not obvious are the radically different, diametrically opposed attitudes driving the problem to new heights.  They're exemplified in two articles I've read this morning.

The first article, in the Wall Street Journal, is headlined 'The Black Body Count Rises as Chicago Police Step Back'.  In it, Heather MacDonald talks about anti-cop attitudes and the 'Ferguson Effect'.  Here's an excerpt.

Chicago is the country’s most-glaring example of what I have called the “Ferguson effect.” Chicago officers have cut back drastically on proactive policing under the onslaught of criticism from the Black Lives Matter movement and its political and media enablers.

In October 2015, Mayor Rahm Emanuel told U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch during a crime meeting in Washington, D.C., that the Chicago police had gone “fetal,” and were less likely to interdict criminal behavior. That pull-back worsened in 2016, with pedestrian stops dropping 82% from January through July 20, 2016, compared with the same period in 2015, according to the Chicago police department. The cops are just “driving by people on the corners,” Mr. Angelo says, rather than checking out known drug dealers and others who raise suspicions. Criminals are back in control and black lives are being lost at a rate not seen for two decades.

Chicago’s cops are responding to political signals from the most powerful segments of society. President Obama takes every opportunity to accuse police of racially profiling blacks and Hispanics. The media, activists and academics routinely denounce pedestrian stops and public-order enforcement—such as dispersing crowds of unruly teens—as racial oppression intended to “control African-American and poor communities,” in the words of Columbia law professor Bernard Harcourt. Never mind that it is the law-abiding residents of high-crime areas who beg the police to clear their corners of loiterers and trespassers.

Further discouraging proactive policing in Chicago is a misguided agreement between the Illinois American Civil Liberties Union and the city that allows the ACLU to review every police stop.

. . .

The media blame poverty, racism and a lack of government services for the growing mayhem. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson blames lenient prison sentences for releasing Chicago’s gun criminals onto the streets too soon. The Illinois Legislature’s Black Caucus, however, blocks any effort to mandate stricter sentences for gun-toting felons—in a sub rosa acknowledgment that the vast majority (80%) of Chicago’s gun criminals are black.

There's more at the link.

That's the pro-cop perspective.  In sharp contrast is an article in the Atlantic by Ta-Nehisi Coates titled 'What O. J. Simpson Means to Me'.

... the Simpson story turned out to be intimately enmeshed with the story of black Los Angeles and its relationship with the police. This was the community the Simpson jury was drawn from, and ultimately the one that held his life in the balance. For years, much of the country has wondered how Simpson could possibly have been found innocent. An unspoken assumption underlies this conjecture—that the jury understood the legal system to be credible. What the film makes clear in piecing together a parade of victims beaten, killed, and harassed by the LAPD is that the predominantly black jury—quite rightfully—understood no such thing.

Even I, college radical that I was, grasped the LAPD’s brutality only abstractly. The officers were brutal because my own politics, and my own experiences with the police, suggested they would be so. But brutality understates what the LAPD did in those years: It didn’t just brutalize black communities; it terrorized them. The terror emanated directly from the top. Police Chief Daryl Gates was a drug warrior who once said at a Senate hearing that casual drug users “ought to be taken out and shot.” In 1982, after numerous deaths of black people had resulted from police use of choke holds, Gates commented, “In some blacks when it is applied, the veins or arteries do not open up as fast as they do in normal people.” The intensifying sense of constant injustice came to a head when four officers were videotaped ruthlessly beating Rodney King in 1991, only to be acquitted when they went on trial. Two weeks after King’s beating, a Korean American grocer shot a black customer, 15-year-old Latasha Harlins, in the back of the head. The grocer, convicted of voluntary manslaughter, received probation, a fine, and community service, but didn’t go to jail.

By the time Simpson came to trial, most of the black community in Los Angeles had ample reason to view law enforcement as lacking not just credibility but basic legitimacy. Victimization fed a loss of respect for law enforcement, and that loss of respect in turn transformed victims into victimizers. The footage of the protracted beating of a white man, Reginald Denny, who was pulled from his truck during the Los Angeles riots, is chilling. But when law enforcement becomes capricious, citizens are apt to resort to their own law, rooted in ancient impulses, tribal loyalties, and vengeance.

The beating of Reginald Denny was vengeance for the beating of Rodney King. And vengeance for King played a role in Simpson’s acquittal, according to one of the jurors, Carrie Bess.

. . .

Whether I saw Simpson as black or not, racism pervaded his case. The role it played went beyond the evidence on display. Racism was not just blatantly revealed in the tapes of the LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman bragging about, among other things, beating black suspects, whom he identified as “niggers,” and explaining how he disregarded their constitutional rights. (“You don’t need probable cause,” Fuhrman said. “You’re God.”) And racism was not just confirmed by Fuhrman’s exposure as a perjurer who was then maneuvered into pleading the Fifth in response to grilling by the defense—including the pivotal question of whether he’d planted any evidence. Racism formed the substrate of the defense’s case: The notion that the LAPD might frame a black man was completely within the realm of possibility for black people in Los Angeles.

. . .

Four years after Simpson was acquitted, an elite antigang unit of the LAPD’s Rampart division was implicated in a campaign of terror that ranged from torture and planting evidence to drug theft and bank robbery—“the worst corruption scandal in LAPD history,” according to the Los Angeles Times. The city was forced to vacate more than 100 convictions and pay out $78 million in settlements.

The Simpson jury, as it turned out, understood the LAPD all too well. And its conclusions about the department’s inept handling of evidence were confirmed not long after the trial, when the city’s crime lab was overhauled. “If your mission is to sweep the streets of bad people ... and you can’t prosecute them successfully because you’re incompetent,” Mike Williamson, a retired LAPD officer, remarked years later about the trial, “you’ve defeated your primary mission.”

Again, more at the link.

There's no possible point of contact between the world views expressed in those two articles.  Those in favor of the rule of law can point out until they're blue in the face the fact - the undeniable, empirical, verifiable fact - that black Americans commit far more crimes per capita, relative to their proportion of the US population, than do whites.  However, black Americans and their sympathizers and apologists simply don't care.  That's irrelevant, as far as they're concerned.  They, in turn, can point out until they're blue in the face the undeniable, verifiable fact that racism has been a major factor in the way their community has been treated by police in many states and cities for decades.  That's true - but the pro-law-and-order faction tend to discount or disregard it, insisting that only facts matter, not what they prefer to think of as 'perceptions'.  They aren't perceptions at all - the evidence proving institutionalized racism is so overwhelming as to be beyond contention - yet that reality is ignored.

So where do we go from here?  I honestly don't know.  Sadly, I believe the real explosion of conflict has yet to come.  Radicals - and radicalized criminals - in the black community are building up a head of steam that must inevitably find release sooner or later.  Similarly, those in favor of the rule of law - and I include myself in the latter group - are simply not prepared to allow others to ride roughshod over the standards of civilization - embodied in the constitution and laws of this country - that we hold dear, no matter how provoked they may feel or perceive themselves to be.  The irresistible force is on track to run headlong into the immovable object . . . and the outcome is very, very likely to be bloody, because neither side is about to back down.

Is there any way to avoid the coming clash?  If you know, please tell us, because I can't see it.

Peter

11 comments:

JohninMd.(HELP?!??) said...

I don't believe there is any way to avoid it. We may see Matt Bracken's "CW-2" senario of a "dirty civil war" play out, unless cooler heads come from the black community, and convince folks they are hurting us all by lashing out. But the anger has been growing, legit or not, for a long time. The radicals won't listen to the likes of Larry Elders, or Alveda King, so the explosion seems inevitable. People are gonna die, and there's no obvious way to stop it. The scars of the Civil War and slavery were well on the mend, until Barry and his ilk ripped it open for political gain, and will never be held accountable for it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's probably going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Partly because this isn't a single problem with a neat linear solution, but a system of problems. We do have a police problem. There are many good cops, but there seem to be more and more instances of rotten apples showing. I think this happens in part due to city policies, particularly those that come from the same place that insists officers receive sensitivity training when dealing with criminals. We have a race problem. Instead of allowing everyone the same rights and responsibilities, we've created communities that rely on welfare and hand outs. All the while fostering a victim mentality that reassures them they have no other choices and options other than to extort (politically and by the power of the state) what they would have had if only that evil white patriarchy (the very people they plunder) weren't keeping them down. We have an entitlement problem where people of certain types are no longer held accountable for their decisions or for providing lawfully for themselves. Our legal system is beyond broken, and all those rehabilitation efforts are rainbow band aids that exist so people can pat themselves on the back and feel good for Doing Something.

To turn society before we hit serious bloodshed would require a level of maturity that hasn't been required in so long that it would be nearly impossible to get enough people on board now. Human nature is a wonderful thing, but it is also often a shortsighted and forgetful thing that believes it can escape the monsters hiding under its bed if we just huddle beneath a blanket and don't allow our limbs to hang over the side.

It doesn't help that society vilifies and punishes those who see the coming bloodshed and are warning against it because they don't want to see it happen. I hope it is possible to avoid major loss of life and a second civil war, but if we do, it will be because pe enough people get tired enough by the lawlessness in the streets and all the murders to stand up and put a stop to them.

Aesop said...

Let's be fair (something the linked writer was not): Latasha Harlins was shot in the back of the head by the female grocer after little Miss Dindu Nuffin was caught on store surveillance tape viciously beating the crap out of said female grocer, after being caught and attemptedly apprehended by same while in the act stealing from the store.

The store owner should have gotten a medal, not probation, and a check from the taxpayers for all the future welfare babies she unwittingly prevented.

None of that discounts the LAPD's long-standing official policy of institutional corruption and cruelty, not simply or solely to blacks, but to everyone with whom they came into contact as it suits them, going back only to about 1850, but most particularly to blacks in L.A. from 1950-present.

Two riots in L.A. didn't happen in a vacuum, and neither will the next ones.

Of course, if the govt. would stop subsidizing the shiftless members of the F.S.A., and end paying welfare subsidy protection money to stop riots, the next generation's rioters wouldn't get bred in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Well, I can agree with this sentence, anyway :

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson blames lenient prison sentences for releasing Chicago’s gun criminals onto the streets too soon.

- Charlie

Richard Blaine said...

This whole thing bares a striking similarity to the history of revolution - everywhere. Good intentions leading to bad actions. Power abused, trust violated. The biggest difference seems to be that all the politicians and all of the mainstream media are pushing for the worst possible outcome. And they'll get it.

It seems unlikely to me that you can have good cops in a corrupt department - if you know it's going on and you let it, then by action you are saying cops are above the law. Even if you believe it's a bad thing, you apparently don't believe it enough. You're letting it happen. When power get's abused - sooner or later the serfs will rise up - it takes a long time. They need to get sufficently uncomfortable and sufficiently angry. The problem is - when they get to that point - it's too late for any kind of peaceful outcome.

Larry said...

And good cops in bad departments who speak out can find themselves dead all too easily.

Anonymous said...

The only hope of avoiding violence and bloodshed the likes of which we haven't seen in America since the civil war is some sort of amicable separation. Blacks are given a separate and autonomous state in the US or be given some sort of token reparation and perhaps a genetic test that allows them to be repatriated to the area of Africa their ancestors were from. Repatriation was considered the most fair and desirable resolution after the civil war by many white and black leaders at the time and both races would've been better off had it been carried out then.

If one is paying attention you can see the beginnings of the conflict bubbling to the surface now. The media is having difficulty covering up the epidemic of black on white and black on asian crime. If you're white and in the position to have to deal with blacks on a daily basis, the seething hatred and contempt of whites by blacks that is openly shown by in public settings is shocking to the uninitiated especially in majority black areas. The hatred may have always been there but the white teacher, doctor, policeman, emt, social worker, store employee or white person on the street wasn't called a "white motherfucker" to their face generally nor were they informed that they'd be killed or raped and killed "when black folks take over". You rarely heard such things outside correctional settings 20 years ago but you'll hear it today if you're around blacks and they get the least bit agitated or upset. Maybe not so much in upper and upper middle class areas with smaller black populations but down the socioeconomic ladder and with larger black populations you damn sure see it.

I've heard for years that "Diversity + Proximity = War" but never really believed it until the past 20 years or so. Now I'm sadly convinced of it beyond a shadow of a doubt. I don't like or want it but it's coming whether I want it or not. Whether I've got a black best friend or racially mixed family members or not, whether they're my brothers in Christ or not. Many Yugoslavians had Serb, Bosnian Muslim or Croatian friends, neighbors and even family when the war started. One could probably say the same for Hutus and Tutsi in Rwanda. It doesn't stop what's coming.

Glen Filthie said...

Good grief. You could dispense with the sanctimony and do everyone a favour, Pastor.

When the misdeeds of crooked cops come to light, I want to see them punished. Most white people do. If some white turd brained white gang banger, mugger, junky or other low life gets killed resisting arrest, or during the commission of a crime - I have no problem with it as long as the cops are justified.

The friggin blacks close ranks around the perp and defend them and blame Whitey and white society for his crimes and untimely death. Good grief - who's the racist, again?

I think it starts at the top, with that black baboon in the Oval Office. Like it or not, blacks have embraced and defended gang and drug culture, and entire communities and generations have thrown work ethics and family values under the bus.

If they are going to act like animals I want my law enforcement to treat them that way - and that goes for people of any colour.

I'm sorry Pete - but the blacks bring this on themselves and that is one guilt trip I am going to pass on.

Joe Mama said...

When speaking of addiction or chemical dependencies, many people claim that nothing will happen until the user hits "rock bottom".

This is, of course, BS. Most people try drugs, if only alcohol. Most people over indulge. Most people learn to moderate without having to hit "rock bottom."

Some people, however, perceive more benefit to abusing than the cost.

Stopping addictions is not rocket science. BUT THE ABUSER MUST WANT TO STOP.

In a similar way, addressing the issues confronting inner cities is not rocket science. But the major stakeholders are all ferociously defending their own rice bowls.

This patient is one who will need to hit "rock bottom" before they will WANT to be cured.

Since people make decisions, not systems....that means that many people will have to experience "rock bottom."
That includes the Social Workers who are little more than pimps for Welfare Queens.
That includes clergy, teachers and college professors.
That includes politicians, race apologists and rank-and-file government workers.

They will have their "rock bottom" moments when their houses are invaded, their daughters are raped and their cars set on fire in their, supposedly, safe suburbs.

Only then will they be able to set aside their self-serving ideology, set aside their rice bowls and consider "tough love."

Fixing the problems is not rocket science. Getting people to WANT to fix the problems is hard.

RHJunior said...

For fifty years black people have been blaming white people for all their problems even as the culture, the society and even the law are reengineered to show favoritism to anyone with a dark skin. There's a racism problem in the inner cities all right, and it's not white-on-black. You got a black man with no qualifications elected to PRESIDENT solely because he was a black man. Your race card has lapsed!

Tal Hartsfeld said...

When it comes to one's relationship with authorities and those-in-charge a basic rule-of-thumb is:

If those-in-charge show favor towards you, and the rules seem reasonable enough, your opinions of the in-charge will be positive.

If, on the other hand, those-in-charge act against you (especially on behalf of someone else), and the rules are too strict and inflexible, you're sure to develop animosity and contempt for the in-charge.