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  • Outsized Perceptions – At Twice Normal Size

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on December 21st, 2014 (All posts by )

    When I first read of the survey (one story on it linked here) of how members of the public consistently overestimate the percentage of gays in the general population, I was not terribly surprised. Dismayed, yes – as it appeared that the younger cohort estimated the proportion of gay to straight at almost a third, which I thought would have run slap up against that cohort’s observation of the world around them. The actual percentage is round and about two percent, which tracks with my own real-world observation – but I can hardly blame the kids for assuming a much higher figure, knowing how many media creations prominently feature gay characters. Looking at TV shows, movies, books, games, the celebrity culture … one might very well assume that ‘gay’ constitutes a much larger portion of public space than they actually occupy, on a strictly numerical basis. The various media reflect ‘gay’ at several times their normal size. Like my neighbor’s basset hounds; it’s not that there are many, but the bassets are so very loud, a casual observer might assume that there are many more, based on the racket.

    Anyway, I was briefly amused by the whole matter at the time – of media-cultural perception at odds with observed reality. But in the last few weeks, what with the continuing protests regarding the deaths of black men in altercations with police officers, I’ve begun to wonder if there isn’t a whole ‘nother cultural perception at odds with reality, only this time it is the reality that isn’t observed, just the perception covering it over it in a particularly opaque veil.

    I ought to start off on this particular thought-train by noting that I have lived in South Texas now for a little less than twenty years; likely I am affected by the same kind of cultural veiling, in that I don’t really see ‘Hispanic’ as the ‘other’ when I look at a crowd of people here; I’m not mentally breaking down that crowd into racial/cultural components. Spoken Spanish and Spanish surnames, conjunto music and bright colors, hot pepper salsa and the Virgin of Guadalupe are all just a part of the background white noise as it were; comfortable, appreciated, and expected. Even going up into the Hill Country, where the common surnames tend to be Germanic and Anglo rather than Hispanic – it still appears pretty homogenous – and also pretty pale to medium-tan colored to me. The occasional doom-laden and/or gloating-at-the-prospect forecast that ‘white’ people will be a minority in these here United States which appears now and again in discussions of racial categories seems pretty laughable, when I look around where I live. Not saying it wouldn’t happen, of course; but consciously or unconsciously, as humans we tend to base assumptions about the relative unknown on what we do know and observe around us in real-life, real-time.

    And I wonder, when considering the near-riots in Ferguson, and the principally black protests – especially in cities with a large black population – I’ve begun to wonder if the urban black population doesn’t see themselves at several times their normal size. A combination of self- or economic isolation in particular neighborhoods, media saturation, the results of affirmative action in hiring for everything from federal jobs to high-profile media personalities, half a century of media, intellectual and political stroking … has all this and more given African-Americans an unconscious self-visualization of themselves at several times natural size? When the average African-American thinks of themselves as part of the American public, are they thinking of themselves as a much larger and more influential part of it then they really are? Discuss.

     

    39 Responses to “Outsized Perceptions – At Twice Normal Size”

    1. Mike K Says:

      “but the bassets are so very loud, a casual observer might assume that there are many more, based on the racket.”

      I didn’t let Winston read this as his feelings might be hurt.

      I do think they might be deluded at the reality of their political power since the Democrats pander so obviously to them. A large proportion do not do math well.

    2. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Hah – our houses are only about fifteen feet apart (zero lot line) and they are all very nice dogs (as is their owner) but the racket they will strike up when there is another dog in the green belt behind our houses or an opossum or squirrel rummaging around in the trees is tremendous. The good side is – that no one will ever be able to come over the fence from the green belt without attention being paid. And also, when we admonish the dogs out of our windows … they will pay attention.

      As to the other point – yes, I do think that our AA citizens might just be a titch deluded as to their actual political power in all but the most gerrymandered or overwhelmingly AA-populated districts.

    3. fnn Says:

      ‘Hispanic’

      Based on the VDH columns, polarization is apparently significant in California. And VDH’s extended family is partly Hispanic. But a really crazy place is South Florida-I’d read Tom Wolfe’s book about it, but the excerpts I’ve seen are too depressing.

    4. Ginny Says:

      First, I’m sure of it. Facts have never influenced crowds led by demagogues, but they are also not a part of more and more arguments from academics. My sense is that few African Americans but also few journalists, students, mention the street know the % of blacks in the population, the % of blacks killed by blacks (or whites by whites or blacks by whites or whites by blacks) each year. (Not that they know how many women are raped each year, what the percentage of women versus men are in college each year, etc.) When I took a homophile course (one of the 1st in the nation) in 1971, the 5% number was used. My impression was that our teacher was using Kinsey more than a truly objective source. In his defense, although he was an advocate, he was also a scholar. I suspect there wasn’t as clear stats as there are now. But that it would have moved up to 33% in students’ estimation is a bit. , . well strange,

      I think that a booming economy, work ethic and the altruism (perhaps not a heart-felt religious altruism ad much as a capitalistic small businessman desire to please the customer) makes Texas not just ore hospitable to immigrants but also where assimilation works (well, somewhat). California has the same average salary as (I believe) Nebraska – but when you look at real estate, food, etc., it is clearly a bi-polar state. In Texas Perry proudly points out that the new jobs are across the range and many are solid middle class ones. So much for the state that wants to help the oppressed and minimalized. Texas values may not be perfect but they feed a set of values that bring out some of our better instincts. So those like Smith and Adams thought in their different ways and so it is,

      I think you have a point about isolation. And groups that are outer directed (it isn’t my fault, it is his) aren’t really ever going to be happy or accept responsibility. And our society has enabled that vision for far too long

      I’m also pretty sure that isolation has led to a skewed set of values that sees getting around the system, gaming it, as the main goal. Not working almost necessarily means staying with the group, the tribe – instead of going out in the world made up of all kinds of people.

      And thus the “other” is the “man” – the society that supports and impinges on aimless lives. It is also an agency or person to be gotten around – a goal higher than the truth, justice, honesty, fairness. I guess this is what tribalism is – one of our basic instincts but one that I thought the rule of law twined with assimilation attenuated. I guess not. I guess I was a fool.

      This summer I was on a jury in what was a horrible trial – the truth was pretty impossible to discover as testimony after contradictory testimony piled on. Only afterwards, when the DA and the defense attorney talked to us (it was a hung jury) did what we had begun to suspect come out. Confessions by someone not responsible muddied the water almost immediately and from then on everything was chaos. A child had been run over by someone (who had the steering wheel?) after a crowd had stood along a street, throwing bottles and swearing at one another all day. The only people who appeared to have jobs were the policeman who had come to a near-riot, the emergency room doctor where the toddler had been admitted, with injuries he described with care but also with what appeared suppressed emotion, and one witness. This was no black/white incident – the doctor and the policeman were the only white witnesses. Witnesses from multiple sides with multiple familial allegiances took the stand, giving us multiple perspectives. If you don’t want the rule of law applied to someone who did permanent harm to a toddler and see the court system as something to be “gamed” to that end, I despair of any solution – what is there to work with? Care, fairness didn’t seem to apply; personal gain and subversion of authority seem the only shared goals. (As it turned out, it is probable that a mother confessed to save her daughter time in jail – but only after the daughter had gotten a friend to lie and place the blame at her mother’s feet. It’s hard to respect anyone involved.)

      Sorry I went off on other tangents, but yes, I think when its the water we swim in, that we think we are the majority – ethnically, religiously, politically, about everything. And one of the worst consequences of the last fifty years’ policies is that all of us to some extent have lived in ponds that are getting a bit stagnant. That is the consequence not of poverty but of misunderstanding and appreciating the virtues and pleasures as well as consequences of the work place, of meeting customers and working with others, of community churches and community groups.

    5. Mike K Says:

      In my time, I have spent many hours testifying in court on both criminal and medical malpractice cases. At one time, I was flying across the country to do so and saw many interesting places, such as the Bronx Supreme Court described in “Bonfire of the Vanities.”

      I have many stories but the distilled truth is that people lie. It is so hard to decide who is telling the truth and I was a witness, not a juror. I was on one jury the past 30 years and we were dismissed for a mistrial during voir dire. The plaintiff and defendant were obviously colluding to defraud the insurance company.

      I am very pessimistic about the future and relieved somewhat by the assumption that I will not have to deal with it. I have a lawyer son who is a leftist and blames me for everything bad that has happened in his life. Fortunately, I have four other children but it is still hard to accept that one of them is so unhappy and, in spite of quite good success, is angry and negative.

      Life is what happens when you are making plans.

    6. Xennady Says:

      As to the other point – yes, I do think that our AA citizens might just be a titch deluded as to their actual political power in all but the most gerrymandered or overwhelmingly AA-populated districts.

      Hmmm. Well, I’m not sure I can agree with this.

      It seems to me that a huge fraction of the national discourse- far exceeding what is warranted by their actual proportion of the population- is devoted to apparently futile attempts to appease black grievances. For example, I note the article by Ta-Nehisi Coates that appeared in the Atlantic magazine arguing for reparations to be paid to blacks, because grievance-mongering. This insane demand appears to have been taken seriously by the usual people. Meanwhile, no one suggests reparations be paid to Hmong-Americans, who ended up in the United States because the government abandoned them to be murdered by the communists after they had assisted the US war effort in Vietnam. Eventually the country decided to save some of them, so now they live their lives here without complaint, or at least without demands for endless cash payments. Of course if blacks actually were to be paid reparations I expect immediately demands would appear for even moar money, because whatever sum given would not be enough.

      So considering just how much political influence blacks actually have, I’m not surprised that they believe their power is endless and infinite, sufficient to obtain for them immunity from myriad laws. With Barry Obama and Eric Holder in charge I see no reason why they should believe any differently. And the GOP seems completely unwilling to offer any resistance or complaint.

      That said, influence now does mean influence into the future, forever. Interesting times, as the saying goes…

    7. Sgt. Mom Says:

      “…I’m not surprised that they believe their power is endless and infinite, sufficient to obtain for them immunity from myriad laws. With Barry Obama and Eric Holder in charge I see no reason why they should believe any differently…”

      That does seem to be what Holder’s Department of Just Us seems to want now, doesn’t it? That feral inner city yutes be able to prey upon whomever they feel like preying upon without fear of resistance, or punishment because raaaaacism. Meanwhile our media establishment carefully ignores the actual black-on-black and black-on-white violent crime stats, and our intellectual establishment is rabbiting on about checking white privilege and micro-aggression.

      Another commenter who has lost patience and long ago lost any politically-correct inhibitions is Fred Reed – here commenting on modern-day black power. He used to have a column in the military Times weekly newspapers, as a sort of down-market PJ O’Rorke. He didn’t last at that for more than a couple of years, to practically no one’s surprise.

    8. Grurray Says:

      I’ve had jury duty at the Chicago south side circuit court. Total hellhole.

      There may be problems with excessive police force or “broken windows” law enforcement in America, but you don’t see it in the Chicago court system. Here the problem is starkly evident. There’s a large contingent of misanthropes intent on destroying the community, operating with the implicit approval of the welfare state and media. They vastly outnumber the police with something like 70,000 gangbangers vs about 12,000 cops.

    9. Ginny Says:

      As Jason Riley repeatedly points out with through gritted teeth: what he feared when he was a young black man were young black men: it wasn’t the police, who might be irritating but seldom deadly. This “Lives Matter” crap is crap – first for the hypocrisy (the administrator’s “all lives matter” seen as inappropriate; blacks killed by whites – a statistically smaller percentage – arousing ire when whites killed by blacks or blacks killed by blacks don’t). Anarchy in a society so other-defined is always perilously near. Police states are welcomed in low trust and high criminality communities (it is then, as Melville said of the 1863 riots, that people cheer Draco rolling in). Those who testified in favor of Wilson’s version had seen Michael Brown enough to know which of these people was a danger to their children and their way of life. A president who informally deputizes Al Sharpton is not one who cares about black lives – or any other’s.

    10. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Xennady Says:
      December 22nd, 2014 at 6:49 am

      Xennady notes the outsized influence of urban blacks in our political discourse compared to their population. And I agree that it is outsized. But that influence is neither power nor does it have any permanence. For all the discussion, and disruption, they cause; they are not only on the downhill slide, but they are inexorably taking those blacks who have adjusted to mainstream society with them. The application of affirmative action to them in all ways [and their own expectation that it will always rightly be applied to them] means that they will always be viewed as “the other”.

      That has … implications.

      There is a parody on Twitter, going by the handle of Pajama Boy. One of his posts was cited on the sidebar at INSTAPUNDIT:

      Pajama Boy
      Racial progress begins with accepting that whites can’t understand the black experience ever. Their thoughts and feelings are totally alien.
      Retweeted by Instapundit.com

      What is interesting is that the claimed inability of whites to ever understand blacks and their special experience is not a one off, but has been a thread for the last several decades. And it seems to be growing amongst urban blacks.

      What they do not realize, is that there is a growing agreement by whites that they cannot understand what blacks want, please them, or find a modus vivendi. And that blacks reject totally the white mainstream culture.

      One of the main drivers of the outsized attention blacks get from whites in the culture is the claimed desire to integrate them successfully into mainstream culture, just as other immigrant [noting that for the first wave of blacks the immigration was not voluntary] groups have. While Leftists, including Democrats, really want them separate and dependent; they play on the guilt of mainstream white culture and desire to have blacks join them in their relative success.

      What happens when blacks convince whites that their two experiences of life are mutually unintelligible and the barrier cannot be crossed? At that point, the black minority becomes nothing but a threat. A threat that is only 13% of the population and is largely restricted to a limited number of failed urban areas.

      Absent the sympathy and desire to bring blacks into the mainstream, after spending literally trillions of dollars and overturning the concept of merit in our society; the reaction is not going to go well for blacks.

      It is their assertion of both outsized power in society and of separation being the only proper course for them that will lead to whites giving up on them.

      Organic waste, meet rotating airfoil.

    11. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Well, SB – as my daughter says – If the blacks think that whites have treated them badly … wait until they get a load of what Hispanics have in store.

    12. Mike K Says:

      What is so sad is that I knew many blacks in Chicago in the 40s and 50s. Some were servants, yes, but some were guys in a bar where we used to hang out when I was 18. We operated on the theory that blacks can no more tell our age than we can tell theirs (racist). Anyway, my best friend had gotten to know the bar owner when he worked on a beer truck the previous summer.

      We would go in there very Friday night and play bumper pool. We got to be very old at bumper pool and would win every game. We played for beers which were a quarter. We were the only white guys in there and playing and drinking. Other guys would one up to play us and we usually won. I never felt any risk or hostility. Jesse Jackson might say that was racist but we had a good time and so did they.

      I would not dream of going into a black bar today.

    13. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Police states are welcomed in low trust and high criminality communities (it is then, as Melville said of the 1863 riots, that people cheer Draco rolling in).

      Who knows, that may be the end game the Democratic Party has in mind. Let loose enough chaos and people will demand greater government authority. Then they’ve both the thugs and those victimized by the thugs voting for them.

    14. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      I would not dream of going into a black bar today.

      We have the Left to thank for that.

    15. Tyouth Says:

      Who knows, that may be the end game the Democratic Party has in mind. Let loose enough chaos and people will demand greater government authority. Then they’ve both the thugs and those victimized by the thugs voting for them.

      Hmmm, gee, ya think?

    16. Mike K Says:

      Good=”old.”

    17. Xennady Says:

      That does seem to be what Holder’s Department of Just Us seems to want now, doesn’t it? That feral inner city yutes be able to prey upon whomever they feel like preying upon without fear of resistance, or punishment because raaaaacism. Meanwhile our media establishment carefully ignores the actual black-on-black and black-on-white violent crime stats, and our intellectual establishment is rabbiting on about checking white privilege and micro-aggression.

      Another commenter who has lost patience and long ago lost any politically-correct inhibitions is Fred Reed – here commenting on modern-day black power. He used to have a column in the military Times weekly newspapers, as a sort of down-market PJ O’Rorke. He didn’t last at that for more than a couple of years, to practically no one’s surprise.

      Alas, I think Fred Reed is spot on with that column. Ugh.

      But it seems to me that the leftist schemes to disarm the public and leave people at the mercy of violent felons have developed not necessarily to their advantage.

      I note that the full-court press to repeal stand-your-ground laws after Trayvon Martin earned his reward was a miserable failure. And in the Ferguson matter it doesn’t appear they’ve been able to railroad the officer involved into prison although they’ve worked hard to wreck his life by other means. Even in the tragic death of Eric Garner they’ve managed to erase any sympathy their cause may have gained by inspiring the vile murder of two uninvolved police.

      My guess is that the public at large is thoroughly fed up with the yutes and their relentless criminality, and the lectures about raaaacism have grown tiresome. In the 1960s I suspect Americans of African descent were blessed by a certain amount of goodwill. People knew they’d been screwed over, and were willing to make allowances.

      Not now.

    18. Xennady Says:

      What happens when blacks convince whites that their two experiences of life are mutually unintelligible and the barrier cannot be crossed? At that point, the black minority becomes nothing but a threat. A threat that is only 13% of the population and is largely restricted to a limited number of failed urban areas.

      I’ve lived most of my life near Detroit. I’ve accumulated a rather long list of unpleasant anecdotes involving blacks, alas. I’ve even heard of someone murdered because they stopped to assist a black motorist, which I wouldn’t have believed if I’d only read about it in that rather famous John Derbyshire article.

      To be blunt, I’m tired of hearing about these people and their endless, insoluble grievances. Since I am unwilling to voluntarily live my life as a merely a servant to them, forever expected to feel guilty because of my “white privilege,” always on call to do moar, moar, moar- I’m done.

      The country has more pressing issues than the relentless inability of a fraction of 13% percent of the population to pay their own grocery bill, or even to accept that they should pay their grocery bill.

      Let the organic waste hit the rotating airfoil. It may as well hit it now, because it will sooner or later anyway. Alas, again.

    19. Xennady Says:

      Who knows, that may be the end game the Democratic Party has in mind. Let loose enough chaos and people will demand greater government authority. Then they’ve both the thugs and those victimized by the thugs voting for them.

      Perhaps, but it doesn’t seem to be working out well for them.

      Despite the general feckless ineptitude of the Republican party at the national level, the GOP hasn’t been stronger locally since the 1920s.

      My guess- based upon my reading of events, history, and with special insight from my magic 8 ball- is that the democrat, leftist-dominated political order that has been in place since FDR is collapsing.

      If the GOP could only find competent leadership it could rather easily replace the feeble, incompetent leftists who are busily misgoverning the United States into oblivion.

      While I have no actual faith in the party, it seems to me much more likely that the GOP will find competent leadership than that the democrats will be able to keep their feeble grip upon power.

    20. VictorWhatsYourVector Says:

      The current racially charged narrative is classic “community organizing”.

      What to do when one constituency has unemployment rates double that of others and you want to legitimize the taking of jobs by individuals that belong to another constituency that you are attempting to build?

      Wave something grotesque and shiny! Reinforce tribal thought patterns (cold, calculating manipulation of our inherent, groupish tendencies).

      Keep us balkanized. No e pluribus unum here!

    21. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >>it seems to me much more likely that the GOP will find competent leadership than that the democrats will be able to keep their feeble grip upon power.

      And the problem is MUCH deeper than current political leadership. It’s The Deep State: The civil service bureaucrats, the police unions, the teachers unions, the university staff, the public schools staff. It all needs to be taken out, root and branch.

    22. Mike K Says:

      ” It’s The Deep State: The civil service bureaucrats, the police unions, the teachers unions, the university staff, the public schools staff.”

      Amen.

      The riots and police attacks have been by university professors and allies of the de Blasio administration.

      But the action that turned off cops most of all was his defense of City Hall staffer Rachel Noerdlinger, a longtime Sharpton aide whose son and boyfriend posted anti-police messages on their Facebook accounts. The boyfriend allegedly tried to drive a cop off the road in Edgewater, New Jersey, and later pleaded to a lesser offense, according to the New York Post. The mayor stood behind Noerdlinger for weeks until her son was arrested for trespassing — and even then he didn’t fire her. When she left her job, City Hall officials said she was on leave.

      This is a preview of coming events next summer.

    23. tomw Says:

      Seems that ‘well meaning do-gooders’ have created quite a mess. Destruction of family, increased dropout rate, heightened joblessnes, increased incarceration rates for YBM.
      Thank you LBJ and the Democratic party. It is only now that the last gasps of the ‘FDR liberalism’ See:PPACA have not been adjudged failures yet. Yet.
      I propose that LEO’s assigned to non-white areas, be of the same ‘dash’ as the majority of the area. Ferguson must get to having 63% Black LEO. (made up %)
      Same for the ‘what do we want?’ crowds. All non-people-of-color can apply in the neighborhoods where the melanin match is good.
      You don’t like Hispanic or Chinese police? Fine. Get Abalatha Mersheem to apply. Yeah, I know he can’t spell nor do math, nor write {ticket revenue on ‘loosies’ drops?}
      But he must be ‘better’ because he is of the same ethnic grouping.
      Excuse me, but I’m tired of being called racisss for stating provable facts.
      Eat your own dogfood, Ferguson. If you don’t like it, move, or buy a weapon and some armored wall coverings…
      I’m done. Scruem.
      tom
      p.s. does “transparent administration == blown up cities & villages”?

    24. Mike K Says:

      “You don’t like Hispanic or Chinese police? Fine. Get Abalatha Mersheem to apply.”

      The LAPD did this some years ago and ended up with 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.

      Affirmative action policing. What’s not to like ?

    25. RonaldF Says:

      Over the years, I have noticed that it is only the children of the wealthy that want to cause riots in the street. I live in an area that consists of ethnic groups of every shape and form. There are no parades or riots here for one simple reason – we can’t afford it. This is an upper-class struggle that makes the papers and changes nothing. The people here know the score – local and county politics corrupt – can’t change this for the near future – pray. How is it that the lower middle-class get along so well, while the wealthy cook up schemes to tear everybody apart?

    26. Sgt. Mom Says:

      I surmise from what I have read about this, RonaldF, that these events are the result of two Dem constituencies uniting for a single purpose: the well-heeled dilettante revolutionaries are finding useful (and disposable) allies within the urban underclass. It’s cranking ‘mau-mauing the flak-catchers’ up to a whole new level. The dilettante revolutionaries get to feel all righteous and smug (perhaps expiating some of their own guilt at being well-heeled) by acting out ostensibly on behalf of the urban underclass… who now have the privilege of having their neighborhoods trashed, their small businesses driven away or destroyed, and the urban underclass themselves being viewed by outsiders as violent, feral, dumb-as-a-box-of-hammers untermenschen.

      Much as Southern slave-owners were reputed to view their human cattle as being. Curious as how that worked out, historically – the Dems being the slave-party and the post-war KKK being their militant enforcement arm.

    27. Mike K Says:

      “Over the years, I have noticed that it is only the children of the wealthy that want to cause riots in the street”

      It is interesting. After Reading “Citizens” by Schama, I realized that many young aristocrats supported the Revolution, possibly out of the same misguided sentiments we see in Bill Ayres. They did not survive to see how it went for long.

    28. Mike K Says:

      “What happens when blacks convince whites that their two experiences of life are mutually unintelligible and the barrier cannot be crossed? ”

      One small reason for optimism is the presence of several black families on my street in what is the quintessentially middle class community of Mission Viejo. This town was planned in the late 1950s as a bedroom community for Los Angeles. Th planners missed the huge shift in employment from Los Angeles to the suburbs. I have watched this the past 40 years since I moved here. In 1972, the traffic pattern was north in the morning on the I-5 to Los Angeles and south in the afternoon back to Mission Viejo and Irvine, both new planned Orange County communities that were far from the city center.

      The Irvine Company, in the person of Donald Bren who ran the Irvine Company for the heirs and became a billionaire in the process, did a better job of planning. He is the son of the actress Claire Trevor and is the single best argument that not all Hollywood children are idiots.

      The Irvine Company did several brilliant things. They donated land for a new UC campus that became a big research center. Second, they built light industrial parks so residents could commute to jobs near their homes. Irvine has become a huge employer center so that the commuter traffic not only reversed but new bedroom communities were built in inland Riverside County to commute to Irvine. The traffic patterns tell the story.There is a huge traffic flow from Los Angeles and Riverside to Irvine in the morning and back in the afternoon.

      The population of blacks in Orange County, especially down here in the south County is small. A few years ago, we had a nasty black anesthesiologist who hd a nasty nurse wife but it turned out he was gay and wanted to be near Laguna Beach so her nastiness was explained. My street, since I moved back to Mission Viejo, has several black families who look to me like they want to “act white” and raise their kids in a safe neighborhood. I can’t think of a safer one.

      If the opportunity presents its self, I will try to let them know they are welcome and appreciated. I think they probably don’t care. This is safe and a good place to raise kids. When Mission Viejo was first built, it was a kind of lower middle class community but the pressures of urban life have made it very expensive. Most homes are close to million dollars and many are more.This is ridiculous but safety and calm have become precious assets as Los Angeles becomes a third World city.

    29. Sgt. Mom Says:

      There is some cause for optimism, MikeK – there are those small businesses run by small businesspersons like the cake-shop Natalie in Ferguson; she had a Tiny Bidness, making specialty cakes, which she had worked and striven for, and which was her means of support for her family, apparently – it was trashed by the rioters, but a GoFundMe campaign (Which I would guess was supported by Teeny Bidness owners nationwide) was the means of her being able to reopen and carry on.

      There is Colonel West, Thomas Sowell – and more. There are my next-door neighbors’ sons, and the family diagonally across the street from me. Middle-class, married, gainfully-employed … appreciative of safety and calm.

      Interesting times, indeed.

    30. Xennady Says:

      There is some cause for optimism, MikeK – there are those small businesses run by small businesspersons like the cake-shop Natalie in Ferguson; she had a Tiny Bidness, making specialty cakes, which she had worked and striven for, and which was her means of support for her family, apparently – it was trashed by the rioters, but a GoFundMe campaign (Which I would guess was supported by Teeny Bidness owners nationwide) was the means of her being able to reopen and carry on.

      There is Colonel West, Thomas Sowell – and more. There are my next-door neighbors’ sons, and the family diagonally across the street from me. Middle-class, married, gainfully-employed … appreciative of safety and calm.

      Interesting times, indeed.

      I wish I felt more optimism on all this. To be blunt, I’m rather disgusted with myself about how pessimistic I feel.

      But I’m a big fan of Allen West and contributed to his campaign, yet I have to note that he was apparently deliberately redistricted out of Congress by the Florida GOP. Meanwhile, that same party had nothing at all to say when George Zimmerman was hounded after he was guiltily defended himself against an attack by a murderous thug. And I think I hardly need mention the groveling obsequious that Al. Sharpton gets almost everywhere, instead of the withering contempt he deserves.

      As Glen Reynolds writes, we have the worst political class in our history, and our present difficulties are a fruit of their endless incompetence.

      Unless these fine folks can be shown the door- and soon- my optimism will remain thin.

    31. Mike K Says:

      I didn’t know that the GOP had a hand in the redistricting. That is too bad.

    32. RonaldF Says:

      I live in an unchanging part of the Universe, a democrat county in a Republican State. Even Bobby Kennedy declared the situation hopeless. Every dollar sent to us by the State, or Federal Government is stolen or wasted.(The fricking head of the library was sent to prison). I only wish for the rest of the country to look at us and see the horrible consequences of good intentions devoured by good old greed, bigotry, ignorance, and all the other vices of regular human beings. There is still a surprising amount of hope and goodness on every corner, though one must look hard. It is possible for all to share and find happiness. We just have to give up on LBJ’s dream. Money is not the source of happiness unless it is earned.

    33. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Xennady Says:
      December 24th, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      I share your pessimism, and wonder what will happen when Natalie in Ferguson gets burned out again in round two. The sympathy of others to help rebuild after Leftist idiocy has its limits.

      As far as the Institutional Republicans, they are as much the enemy as the Democrats. Here in Colorado we finally ousted one of our two Democrat Senators; but our situation of having two Democrat Senators and a Democrat governor came about purely because the Colorado Republican Party preferred to let Democrats be elected rather than allow the nomination, or support the nomination of Conservatives. One Senator because they blatantly cheated at the vote count at the State Convention, and the other and the governor because Conservatives won the nomination fair and square so the party worked to elect the Democrat.

      We need a SECOND party if we are going to have electoral politics. Right now, we don’t have one.

    34. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >>It is interesting. After Reading “Citizens” by Schama, I realized that many young aristocrats supported the Revolution, possibly out of the same misguided sentiments we see in Bill Ayres. They did not survive to see how it went for long.

      I suspect that, do their history of rabble rousing, they’d be viewed as dangerous and would be among the first to have their heads put on pikes.

    35. Xennady Says:

      I share your pessimism, and wonder what will happen when Natalie in Ferguson gets burned out again in round two. The sympathy of others to help rebuild after Leftist idiocy has its limits.

      As far as the Institutional Republicans, they are as much the enemy as the Democrats. Here in Colorado we finally ousted one of our two Democrat Senators; but our situation of having two Democrat Senators and a Democrat governor came about purely because the Colorado Republican Party preferred to let Democrats be elected rather than allow the nomination, or support the nomination of Conservatives. One Senator because they blatantly cheated at the vote count at the State Convention, and the other and the governor because Conservatives won the nomination fair and square so the party worked to elect the Democrat.

      We need a SECOND party if we are going to have electoral politics. Right now, we don’t have one.

      I agree, alas.

      About Natalie in Ferguson- I said above that I had a long list of unpleasant anecdotes about blacks, but I also have plenty about Americans of African descent who were left twisting in the wind by our vile self-serving political class, which seems to care nothing about the rule of law or the fate of the vast majority of the citizens of the United States. My guess is that she will be abandoned again, to be burned out, while the political class busies itself sucking up to Al Sharpton.

      But I hardly need characterize that as a guess, because it seems to me that the abandoning civilized people to be murdered has been a long standing practice of the present American regime. I noted the fate of Hmong above, and the people of South Vietnam were abandoned to roughly the same fate. So have been the Christians in the Middle East, and even the people of Iran.

      My evaluation is that the governing philosophy of the present political class descends directly from that of the Slavocracy- as Abraham Lincoln called it- that ruled the United States prior to the Civil War. The institutional Republicans, as you call them, are very much a part of that problem.

      So yes, we need a second political party if we want to oppose the left, and yes, we lack such.

      My hope, perhaps forlorn, is that the present feckless leadership of the Republican Party will eventually fail so thoroughly that it will be replaced by people who will actually represent the people who voted for them, instead of people who strive to stab us in the back.

      We’ll see.

    36. Jim Miller Says:

      Sgt. Mom – In answer to your question, yes, Americans do over-estimate the proportion of the population that is black — and blacks are especially error prone on that subject.

      It’s been a while since I looked at polls which covered that question, so I don’t have specific polls to point to for you, but here’s an abstract that will get you started. (The actual paper is behind a pay wall.)

      (I seem to recall both Pew an Gallup asking those questions, but could be wrong.)

    37. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Thanks, Jim – the link does rather back up my original point!

    38. William Newman Says:

      “That feral inner city yutes be able to prey upon whomever they feel like preying upon without fear of resistance”

      Since I haven’t heard of them looting or destroying various of the targets that would naturally occur to a predatory or vengeful mob — banks, police stations, property of politicians and government employees who played prominent roles in the controversy — I suspect “whomever they feel like” might be more accurately described as “whatever victims the mob ringleaders and formal authorities can reach a working agreement on”.

    39. Kirk Parker Says:

      Mike K.,

      You make me want to fly down to SoCal and buy you a ${beverage_of_your_choice} just for the chance to say how much I appreciate your input here. Your take on life reminds me of my brother-in-law the ER doc (my wife’s oldest brother) who has seen a lot, and — mirabile dictu! — so much of it is NOT pretty.

      But d*mn you regarding Bonfire of the Vanities! My reading list is long enough, but I can’t endure not having read this classic… so onto my Kindle reading list it goes! Darn you…. ;-)

      And now later in the thread you reference the interesting-sounding and thus must-read Citizen? Dude, I’m seriously reconsidering my plan to buy you a beer…

      Xennady,

      If you need more hate for the GOP, I can send you my portion! Here in WA state, there a some great GOP state reps and senators (and even a few great Democrat ones… though I object to their choice of associates!) But on the state and especially national level the party leaders are toxic or worse.