Racism by the Numbers

The trouble with racism today is mostly in the averages. Specific instances add up over a population but are not evidence in and of themselves. Back in the day I took the Chinese view living day-to-day: expect the worst and hope for the best. Take the cops. I’ve had cops let me go when technically driving recklessly and I’ve had them follow for me for driving while black. I’ve had them give me a break on a speeding ticket because I was clearly distraught over a breakup and I’ve had them disrespect me and my wife in the street just to be a$$holes with power. These instance prove little unless you can see how they fit into the larger picture. 

Conservative racism deniers hate looking at the larger picture because a) it bucks their narrative and b) they refuse to take personal responsibility for the world they live in. (Ironic coming from the personal responsibility crowd.) They focus on instances saying they prove nothing. True. Halfway. Half truths are whole lies. That’s the game you have to play in when pushing for racial justice. Which is why I point to polls and studies. Evidence of the larger picture, reproduced PATTERNS, that put these instances in context. I’m a numbers guy by nature so this keeps me confident and grounded in reality.

So I get versed on the numbers. Understand the studies. Don’t get into shouting matches with falsely equivalent counterclaims. Answer myths with facts. Meet belief with morals. Crush stupidity with evidence based knowledge.

One Time

Young, Black and Frisked by the N.Y.P.D. – NYTimes.com:

For young people in my neighborhood, getting stopped and frisked is a rite of passage. We expect the police to jump us at any moment. We know the rules: don’t run and don’t try to explain, because speaking up for yourself might get you arrested or worse. And we all feel the same way — degraded, harassed, violated and criminalized because we’re black or Latino. Have I been stopped more than the average young black person? I don’t know, but I look like a zillion other people on the street. And we’re all just trying to live our lives.

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates :: The Atlantic)

Just about all of my black male friends know what this kind of racial attack is from personal experience. I am no exception.

It Wasn’t Me

Ron Paul’s Shaggy Defense:

Racism, like all forms of bigotry, is what it claims to oppose–victimology. The bigot is never to blame. Always is he besieged–by gays and their radical agenda, by women and their miniskirts, by fleet-footed blacks. It is an ideology of “not my fault.” It is not Ron Paul’s fault that people with an NAACP view of the world would twist his words. It is not Ron Paul’s fault that his newsletter trafficked in racism. It is not Ron Paul’s fault that he allowed people to author that racism in his name. It is anonymous political aids and writers, who now cowardly refuse to own their words. There’s always someone else to blame–as long as it isn’t Ron Paul, if only because it never was Ron Paul.

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates :: The Atlantic)

Ron Paul was quite the racist and still is since he hasn’t the integrity to apologize for it written in his name.  Only repentance brings redemption.

The Problem is Ignorance

 

If I Were A Poor Black Kid – Forbes:

“President Obama was right in his speech last week.  The division between rich and poor is a national problem.  But the biggest challenge we face isn’t inequality.   It’s ignorance.  So many kids from West Philadelphia don’t even know these opportunities exist for them.  Many come from single-parent families whose mom or dad (or in many cases their grand mom) is working two jobs to survive and are just (understandably) too plain tired to do anything else in the few short hours they’re home.  Many have teachers who are overburdened and too stressed to find the time to help every kid that needs it.  Many of these kids don’t have the brains to figure this out themselves – like my kids.  Except that my kids are just lucky enough to have parents and a well-funded school system around to push them in the right direction.

Technology can help these kids.  But only if the kids want to be helped.  Yes, there is much inequality.  But the opportunity is still there in this country for those that are smart enough to go for it.”

(Via Forbes.)

Mr. Marks is exactly right the problem is ignorance.  His.  Its willfulness especially.  I don’t doubt his heart is somewhere near the right place, but seriously.  His entire argument boils down to this:  Poor black kids “don’t have the brains to figure this out for themselves” just like his presumably white middle class kids.  Further, they don’t have adults with the resources to help them.  So even when the odds are stacked against them, and like all children, are ill equipped to face these challenges alone, it’s still their fault they struggle.  You gotta love conservative ideology for it’s ability to engender doublethink.  Orwell would be impressed.

 

New York’s Foulest

New York’s Foulest:

It’s very difficult for us to grasp the notion that cops are human beings, subject to the same racial biases and flaws of other human beings. This is not a plea for mercy on their behalf. It’s a plea for understanding that abuse will happen. A gun and a badge do not confer a “great soul.”

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates :: The Atlantic)

Amen.  If they didn’t try to squeeze over two million people on a road that can safely handle half that, we would have most of the real issues in the first place.

I Feel Like A Black Republican, Too

TNC, quotes a commenter named David White who must have been channeling me.

I Feel Like A Black Republican:

You know, normally something this stupid wouldn’t bother me, but this story really gets under my skin. If they can try to paint Common as a ‘dangerous black man,’ what black man is immune? If they think Common is vile, then I know they have no use for my black ass. Common is beyond the pale, Michelle Obama hates whitey, Eric Holder is protecting the New Black Panther Party, Shirley Sherrod is discriminating against white farmers, Barack Obama is giving reparations to black people? Conservatives, do you realize how stupid this sounds to black people?

…But shit like this is what prevents me from even getting to the point where I’d give their policies a fair hearing. And I know there are some Republicans and conservatives here, and I say that you have no chance of getting any kind of support from black voters as long as the leaders of your party are pulling these kinds of stunts.

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates :: The Atlantic.)

Faux News is Complete Bull!@#$

Jon Stewart ethers Faux News:

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