Top of the Slide

Forty years after the fact is a fine time to wonder if that murderous freak Charles Manson had a point, after all. This is a savage disappointment to me, having been carefully schooled in racial tolerance since about the time that my mother nearly kicked off an epic family fracture when she requested that my paternal grandfather please tone down his expressions of racial denigration in front of us kiddies. She might also have asked the same of Dad, back in the day – he was, after all, raised by Grandpa Al, who – by his talk – couldn’t abide Negro-Black-African-Americans, or whatever the current socially correct term is – and Grandma Dodie, who couldn’t stand Jews. That their favorite entertainer of all time was Sammy Davis, Jr., was just one of those amusing ironies – that and the fact that they were always perfectly cordial to those of my parent’s friends and mine who were Jewish, and/or not by any stretch of imagination white Anglo-Saxon protestants was another one.

I optimistically assumed that more than half a century of civil rights being the law of the land had put an end to Charlie Manson’s sweaty fantasies of racial war. I honestly did … in spite of knowing that there were neighborhoods in most large American cities where a person of Anglo pallor like myself did not want to be caught, alive or dead, in broad daylight or the dark of night. I also knew at a remove of the existence of a university sub-culture of grievance studies and residual pools of racial resentment lovingly maintained like rare orchids by professional race-mongers (yes, I am looking at YOU, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson). My generally optimistic assumptions regarding race relations were based on personal experience and first-hand observation in academia and the armed forces, despite the occasional lapse – say, after the OJ verdict and the riots after the Rodney King beating. I served with commanders and first sergeants who were black – and finer, more decent and patriotic people could hardly be found. I served alongside others, some who were close enough and good enough friends that we could speak honestly about black/white relations and the general history of race relations in America. I also had friends who were partners in interracial couples – in all possible combinations and variants. Indeed, some of my own daughter’s regular dates would have had Grandpa Al revolving in his grave like a Black and Decker drill. This is supposed to be the ne plus ultra when it comes to judging racial tolerance – in that “Would you want your daughter to marry one?” Content of character came way ahead of race for me, every time.

And then there came election of The First Black President Evah! Such was my happy state of innocence in 2008 that I assumed that a page had been turned; the one positive development leading from the election of a completely inexperienced local community organizer was that we might confidently expect to have heard the very last of the USA being the most raaaaacist nation ever! Alas, even that small hope has been cruelly squashed over the six years since – chiefly because this administration’s public affairs branch, or the traditional print and broadcast news outlets as we used to call them – mostly insist on attributing any objection or doubt regarding Obama’s legislative or administrative goals as being motivated by racism. This is as tiresome as it is untrue, but the absolute and unvarying insistence has taken a toll. What is even more dispiriting is the knowledge that black racism is more overt, more in-your-face and more threatening – witness the ongoing riots in St. Louis; it’s as if the election of Obama unleashed something malign, rather than putting it away like an outworn security object. Discuss.

37 thoughts on “Top of the Slide”

  1. I happen to be of the age that I can remember MLK’s campaign on the newsreels: an obviously noble cause, I thought. (Lots of ignoble people would support it, naturally, but that didn’t detract from its nobility.) I was unaware of Lincoln’s view that although slavery had to be abolished it was most unlikely that black and white could live amicably side-by-side. I gather that he favoured what we’d now call ethnic cleansing, specifically that the blacks be deported to Africa – presumably a wildly impractical idea at the time.

    Just as I would never have the cheek to advise Australians what to do about the Aboriginal Question, I wouldn’t advise Americans what to do about the Negro Question. Except in one regard: ruthless censorship of free speech, and particularly free thought, on the subject is probably (I suggest) unhelpful.

  2. I’ve only ever talked to three American blacks, Sgt M; one was a labouring man who generously did me a favour; one was a clever physicist who seemed a thoroughly pleasant chap; the third was a small, elderly minister of religion who was perturbed that a large, young, white man should sit down next to him on a Greyhound bus and attempt to engage him in conversation. I don’t think I’d be wise to extrapolate from that sample.

    I’ll tell you one thing about the Aboriginal Question though; as far as I can see good-hearted white Australians have tried all sorts of measures over a couple of hundred years, motivated by decency and fellow-feeling, to deal with the problems involved. They have been rewarded with little success and a good deal of slander. Meanwhile the Aborigines remain, on the whole, a pitiful sight.

  3. > specifically that the blacks be deported to Africa – presumably a wildly impractical idea at the time.<

    please see the history of liberia

  4. it’s as if the election of Obama unleashed something malign

    Back when Obama was elected, Callimachus at the now defunct Done With Mirrors asked what effect Obama’s election would have on race relations. My prediction was that in the short term, they would get worse, but in the long term people would just get tired of the whole damn subject. I was right about the short term, but the long term hasn’t arrived. I hope it doesn’t take forever.

  5. I won’t say that race relations are the worst I’ve seen in my adult lifetime, because I was alive during Howard Beach, Crown Heights, Bensonhurst, Rodney King and all that. But this is pretty dismaying.

  6. The most dismaying discussion I have heard since the Ferguson MO incident is the interview today by Hugh Hewitt, of a black minister friend of his. Interestingly enough, the transcript does not seem to be posted on his site. The good minister said that the policeman could not have any set of facts that would justify the shooting. His talk was all about grievance and assumed that, for example, Trayvon Martin was another example of an innocent black boy killed by a white “would-be policemen.”

    Hugh then opened the phone lines and was startled and dismayed by a series of calls that absolutely did not agree with the minister or with Hewitt’s rather weak defense of him. Hewitt tried to say that the minister was correct but the callers were having none of it.

    Now, Holder has 50 FBI agents in Ferguson, no doubt to intimidate the whites and the police. The inconvenient information keeps seeping out that the policeman had a blowout fracture of the orbit, that the gunshot wounds were all in the front and that the arm wounds did not support the myth that Brown had his hands in the air. The robbery video should have shut up the protests.

    Inconvenient facts are hard to stop leaking out . Holder will certainly try.

    The worst of it for me is that I had a genuine case of excessive force by the LAPD in the instance of a patient of mine in 1971. I cared for him for years after and testified at the trial of his suit against the LAPD and Los Angeles. He lost and his life had been ruined. He drifted away and I don;t know what finally became of him. About ten years later, Rodney King got millions for an incident that did not cause him serious injury and which was his fault.

  7. some quotes from Fred Reed–

    What actually happened in Ferguson? God only knows. Of course we are hearing from talking heads with bargain-basement IQs that a policeman, from racial motives, shot an unarmed black kid because he refused to stop walking in the street. Did it happen? Possibly. I wasn’t there. But the story smells.

    Reflect: Every white cop short of the orbit of Neptune knows that if he shoots a black, he faces dismemberment in the media, loss of job and pension, probable criminal charges locally by a publicity-seeking prosecutor, a well-funded civil suit that he can’t afford filed by surviving family members, and trumped-up federal civil-rights charges from an attorney general who doesn’t like whites.

    All this because he wants to shoot a black kid for jaywalking?

    But let us ignore mere totalitarian fascism on the march. To this we are inured. Let us focus instead on the disastrous failure of racial policy. For over half a century we have had many Fergusons, mini-Fergusons, mega-Fergusons (Los Angles, among many others), and the Knockout Game ( micro-Fergusons). We will have more, and worse. Racial hostility is not subsiding. The races are not assimilating. If they were going to, they would have. The danger is that one of the serial Fergusons could go parallel.

    The country could blow.

    The media, Democrats, and race industry stoke the fires by telling blacks that they are victims, and some seem actually to be looking for a fight. Jesse Jackson is quoted as threatening, “There is a Ferguson near you.” True. Wherever blacks and whites come into contact, there is trouble.

    With the encouragement of the various Jesses, blacks could make a bad miscalculation. Angry, poorly educated, and living in concentrations that make them seem more numerous than they are, they may miss some important points. They are only thirteen percent of America. Food does not come from Safeway, but from remote farms owned by whites in truck driven by whites. If Jesse and Al and the Black Panthers got their race war, blacks would lose it hugely. The country would not recover.

    I doubt that our televised commentators have any idea what they are dealing with. Nor do academics. Whites with university educations, who read five books at once, who have never been in a police car, cannot know who the rioters are, cannot imagine how the world seems to them. Black physicists d not loot shoe stores. Those who do tend strongly to be functionally illiterate. The rest have probably never read a book in their lives. They live in a mental world unknown to most whites. They will never live amicably with white cops.

    The feds have turned police into low-brow SS, but racial conflict would exist even if this weren’t true. As long as white policemen work in black neighborhoods, Fergusons will continue.

  8. Almost always, when the races do not have to mingle, they don’t. In Washington, blacks fleeing the crime of the city go to the heavily-black Prince George’s County, whites to Arlington, Fairfax, and Bethesda. Within Arlington, blacks cluster together in mini-barrios. So what? It’s their business.

    I tend to agree a bit but what is the explanation for Reverend Wright building his large retirement home in white suburban Hinsdale ?

    Los Angeles went on a minority recruitment spree about 20 years ago and ended up with a criminal gang culture in the LAPD, It became The Rampart Scandal

    More than 70 police officers either assigned to or associated with the Rampart CRASH unit were implicated in some form of misconduct, making it one of the most widespread cases of documented police misconduct in United States history. The convicted offenses include unprovoked shootings, unprovoked beatings, planting of false evidence, framing of suspects, stealing and dealing narcotics, bank robbery, perjury, and the covering up of evidence of these activities.[1]

    Ferguson is welcome to its black police force but there are lots of people who want peace and quiet. Maybe Rev Wright is one.

  9. “please see the history of liberia”: it’s familiar to me. (It became even more familiar when I got to know the twin sons of President Tubman). But it’s irrelevant to Lincoln’s musings on deporting the whole black population.

  10. Mike, Rev Wright’s big mansion is actually in Tinley Park just next to the First Midwest Amphitheater.
    There are a lot of black middle class families down there now in Matteson, Country Club Hills, and Flossmoor.

    Although, up north we did have an incident with some rapper named Chief Keef, so maybe the kids are more interested in branching out.

  11. Thanks, Grurray. I know Tinley Park and did not consider it as upscale as Hinsdale. I’m sure I read Hinsdale in the past when it was being built.

    You’re right, of course but there is this

    In the 2000 census, just two per cent of Tinley Park’s 48,400 residents were black and 93 per cent were white.

  12. Dearieme, how did you wind up meeting Tubman’s sons? I’ve a nodding acquaintance with Tolbert’s, but that was because my parents worked with his father from time to time.

  13. Hey, so keeping in mind that one is always reluctant to make a positive observation in the fear that it could be refuted 24 hours later…

    Am I wrong in noticing that, while Ferguson is a big media story (how ’bout those pix and vids, huh?), I really am not seeing it resonate much outside of that community. At all. I live in DC, so I am not in some white bubble somewhere. I seem to remember that the Trayvon story saw marches and rallies and the like all over the country, certainly in our so-called universities, and beyond. But, as of AM Wed, 8/20, I see none of this outside of Ferguson, MO ….. and on our op-ed pages, blogs, and punditry studios.

    I read elsewhere that, of 78 arrests there this week, three…… three…. were Ferguson residents. The rest were outside vultures, flocking to feast on a violence orgy of Michael Brown’s flesh.

    IS this almost entirely a media created and furthered event? Are a great many more people, black and white, still waiting for the facts before being prepared to act, than any of us realize?

    If anyone thinks I have it wrong, let me know. DC is a bubble all it’s own, but it just seems that this event is very deep in its effect on Ferguson, MO. but very narrow to that community, whereas the Trayvon incident seemed shallower to central Florida, but miles wide across the country. An odd dichotomy, one that speaks to the fickleness of reaction to both.

  14. IS this almost entirely a media created and furthered event?

    Do you really need to ask? The more chaos they create, the more they benefit from people watching the “news”, the more papers they sell, the more important they look. Also, to the degree it helps solidify blacks as Democrats, it advances their political goals. So for the media, racial tension and violence is win-win. That society as a whole suffers is a who-cares irrelevancy. They benefit, that’s all that matters.

  15. “Dearieme, how did you wind up meeting Tubman’s sons?” At university, a million years ago.

    Me: What’s your dad’s political party called?

    Him: Man, we’s de True Whigs.

    Me: Goodness, you’ve still got Whigs and Tories?

    Him: No man, jus’ Whigs.

    That was the most instructive conversation on African politics I’ve ever had.

  16. Ferguson is just Martin/Zimmerman Manufactured Theater of Outrage, Mark II … but happening at warp-speed as far as the national news establishment is concerned, so the initial narrative of Innocent and Promising Young Lad Brutally Gunned Down by Racist White Cop is being countered in real time. Although the presence of many of the same parties to the first are also present in the second.

    One of the curious things I have long noted is that the Theater of Outrage is so very,very selective. There were how many young black citizens killed by other young black citizens last week in Chicago, Detroit, Newark and LA? Just to pull locations and a recent period out of the air. And in the last couple of weeks or months – how many white, Asian or Hispanic citizens badly injured in flash-mob violence, killed in the knock-out game, being straight-out robbed in their homes or shot down in the street by young black males? It makes for a day or two of local headlines, and then the stories vanish down the memory hole. It’s almost as if the major news outlets are afraid to give more than the bare minimum of consideration at all.

    If a young black man is shot in the ‘hood … is he really dead if the shooter wasn’t a white man?

  17. Evidence of shenanigans with the Michael Brown autopsy .

    The “family autopsy” was not done by Michael Baden or even by an MD pathologist. The autopsy was “performed” by this man who is not an MD .

    Shawn Parcells bills himself as a medical investigator, an expert in forensic medicine and a consultant on child abuse.
    He has testified at murder trials, taught at universities and conducted lectures for lawyers and police officers.

    Parcells, 33, runs Kansas Forensics, a company based in Leawood, Kan., that provides medical examiner services for county coroners in Missouri and Kansas, and private autopsies for families across the country. He says he has observed or helped with more than 1,000 autopsies, and he’s trained in gunshot wounds, strangulation and drug deaths.

    But some coroners and medical examiners in Missouri say Parcells has inflated his qualifications and performed autopsies without a medical license. Others allege that doctors whose signatures were on some autopsy reports were not present at the autopsies, did not review the work or never actually signed the documents. Meanwhile, Parcells’ online work profile is filled with inaccurate information.

    When the case goes off into space, I turn to the The conservative treehouse site They had the best coverage of the Trayvon Martin case. I spent a whole day reading their material and it was worth it.

  18. I would say that it’s quite unrealistic to posit one black community and therefore one state of racial relations. For an illustration see:

    It’s not my call to rate the intramurals in a group I don’t belong to but I don’t see anything particularly inauthentic about this black’s man’s opinion. I find it encouraging in fact and believe that there’s a significant number of blacks who are of this opinion. It would be helpful if the major polling firms would poll this sort of question as a regular set of questions. This could, in fact, be the opinion of a supermajority among blacks. How would we know? This sort of black man doesn’t get much air time.

    I believe that white america does not have a very good window into the soul of black america and vice versa. Between the two are distorting filters and not all of them are named Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, though they and their buddies form a good chunk of the problem. These distorting filters are dangerous and need to be replaced by actual knowledge confirmed to be accurate by rigorous cross checks that can be trusted.

  19. I have often thought that Obama had a tremendous opportunity – to bridge the gap between black and white. Just do what he campaigned on. But then he promised a lot of things.

    The gap has narrowed between MLK’s time but it still exists. But seeing how Holder handled the case of the Black Panthers outside the polling booth with clubs (just reverse the situation – imagine they were whites – can you imagine the uproar?) – Holder dismissed this with no prosecution, the case of the Harvard Professor and the cop – It was too easy to see things superficially and give a knee-jerk reaction.

    And you are correct Sgt Mom – there are many middle class blacks with whom there is no gap – or virtually no gap.

    Obama seems to have exacerbated the gap – even capitalized on it.

    It helped him in the short term but irrevocably damaged him in the long term.

  20. What happened? A “gentle giant” robbed a South Asian (who are held to a similar level of contempt as Koreans, Chinese, Jews and Whites within the community) of fifty dollars worth of cheap cigars. A report was filed, and the suspect was apprehended. Already irritated that the clerk did not respect his “duty to retreat”, said giant was in no mood to be trifled with by no cracker cop. Cop did not retreat when assaulted. Giant lost his life over fifty bucks worth of cheap cigars.

    There’s little daylight between the shadowy 44th, his AG, the NOI, Black Bloc, OWS, and the rest of the imported actors in this race game. When I saw an image of his smirking visage with Malik Zulu in Selma ’07 I knew what was up. I cannot fathom how others did not.

  21. Human beings are highly prone to group conflict. This is not only apparent in regard to racial relations in the US but of course evident all over the world – look at Iraq, Syria, Israel, or Libya. Or for that matter the Ukraine or India or Pakistan or Nigeria. Look at the situation that existed in the former Yugoslavia not very long ago or look at the Holocaust.

    “Can we all get along”. The verdict of history is “Not a chance”.

  22. Mr. Lutas,

    White people and Black People in America are not strangers to each other, we’ve been together for centuries.

    Academics may need more data with rigorous cross checks, but the rest of us have to simply accept reality.

    Now if you subsidize a slum, policy for 50+ years you will get more slum. If there are racial divides and the divisions are subsidized you will get more division. That’s an economic argument perhaps academics can understand.

    Blacks best chance is to Discover America, those that do thrive. Like all Americans under normal circumstances.

    As for the Community, like the Palestinians they are running out of opportunities to throw away.

  23. Ferguson is a Diversion.

    And Diversion is Our Strength.

    If you can think back to misty memories of yore, the Border is still being opened, Obama gathers with his power friends to assume more of the nation by Executive Order, and for those who care [I don’t] about the overseas situation it’s not improving.


  24. Vxxc2014 – Please don’t tell me in the comments of a post on the inevitable US race war coming up between black and white america that we understand each other just fine and at the same time posit the existence of a section of black america that is doing just fine because it’s discovered America. If you’re doing just fine, you’re generally not up for starting a racial war.

    I think that racial war talk is misjudging black america profoundly because I too believe that black america is differentiated into different factions, very much like white america is.

    I think that the Obama administration is not covering itself with glory in a significant number of areas:

    Syria, Iraq, Kurdish policy, Gaza, Turkey, Crimea, the ACA (Obamacare), India, Ebola, Afghanistan war, Russia policy, Cuba policy, Fast & Furious, regulating coal, Keystone XL, natural resources permits, managing federal lands, wild horse policy, and a number of issues that I’ve no doubt temporarily forgotten.

    So which is the real crisis and which are the various distractions?

  25. >Me: Goodness, you’ve still got Whigs and Tories?

    Him: No man, jus’ Whigs.<

    the baracky mo to a tee

  26. Who would utter Lincoln’s words today?

    The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

    It’s only been 150 years. I remember the last civil war veteran dying. I remember the admonition to save your Confederate money, the South will rise again. Don’t hear that any more. I suspect it will be 250 years until this is truly resolved. The creation of new generations with different resources, different experiences and different attitudes is critical to the healing and forgetting processes. And so is the disappearance of generations with obsolete resources, experience and attitudes.

  27. “The creation of new generations with different resources, different experiences and different attitudes is critical to the healing and forgetting processes. And so is the disappearance of generations with obsolete resources, experience and attitudes.”

    This seems to be limited to the US. My experience with West Indians is not the same. One big difference is that they grew up in majority black societies. No hope for reparations. Too poor to support the race hustlers.

  28. What surprised me was the almost complete lack of response to the story a couple of weeks ago about a young black man shot to death in a WalMart holding a toy gun. I thought for sure we were looking at another Trayvon. What happened? Was the policeman black or something? I never heard.

  29. Don’t know what to tell you, T99 – but I’m beginning to think that if a black man is shot in the ghetto, unless the shooter was a white man, he’s not really dead.

  30. Indeed. Al Sharpton would have to live on an airplane if he was to attend all the shootings of young unarmed black men. Crimes are generally not acknowledged in the community unless they can somehow be attributed to an “interloper” or some other “outside” force. Having spent a good deal of time living and working in his old playground of Brooklyn, I can attest first hand to this phenomenon. Yes, the losses are felt, and the murals go up, but the guys in the dashikis, dark glasses and bullhorns don’t really get going until there is a white cop or Jew involved.

  31. Will: You’ve just identified a structural weakness in the race hustler crowd. The black community has a pain point and their current solutions are leaving a lot of the problem on the table. There’s room for a different crowd to move in and take over because the current crowd can’t scale their solutions to address the whole problem. To do that a different approach is needed.

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