No excuses: the criminals do it to themselves

Our good friend Wagonwheel wrote:

And then we have voter suppression which is clearly race based, as discussed right here regarding the New Jim Crow, quite appropriate to be aired today on our Martin Luther King Jr’s life celebration day.

The link refers to an article on his site, Bridging the Gap:

“The New Jim Crow”

Posted on January 16, 2012 by Perry

Michelle Alexander is a civil rights advocate and the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, which has just been re-released in paperback.

Appropriate for our Martin Luther King Jr day of remembrance, read what she had to say in a recent interview:

Welcome to Democracy Now!, Michelle Alexander.

Michelle Alexander: Thank you.

Amy Goodman: As you join with Randall Robinson in this discussion, it’s also the hundredth anniversary of the ANC in South Africa. And you have talked about how there are more African Americans percentage-wise imprisoned in the United States, more black people, than were at the height of apartheid South Africa.

Michelle Alexander: Yes, yes. You know, I think we’ve become blind in this country to the ways in which we’ve managed to reinvent a caste-like system here in the United States, one that functions in a manner that is as oppressive, in many respects, as the one that existed in South Africa under apartheid and that existed under Jim Crow here in the United States. Although our rules and laws are now officially colorblind, they operate to discriminate in a grossly disproportionate fashion. Through the war on drugs and the “get tough” movement, millions of poor people, overwhelmingly poor people of color, have been swept into our nation’s prisons and jails, branded criminals and felons, primarily for nonviolent and drug-related crimes-the very sorts of crimes that occur with roughly equal frequency in middle-class white neighborhoods and on college campuses but go largely ignored-branded criminals and felons, and then are ushered into a permanent second-class status, where they’re stripped of the many rights supposedly won in the civil rights movement, like the right to vote, the right to serve on juries, and the right to be free of legal discrimination in employment, housing, access to education and public benefits.

I’ll omit some of the middle, but suggest that you can read the whole thing if you follow the link . . . and Wagonwheel could sure use the traffic! But I will quote his concluding paragraph for you:

I question whether this “New Jim Crow” is in the consciousness of most white Americans. I personally am aware of it, but not of all the ramifications. We have another American Tragedy on our hands here, again, so we must work together to rid ourselves of it!!!

WW’s article reminded me of another one on the same subject, that I read yesterday, Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline on the far-left site truth-out.org.

“Every man in my family has been locked up. Most days I feel like it doesn’t matter what I do, how hard I try – that’s my fate, too.”
–11th-grade African American student, Berkeley, California

This young man isn’t being cynical or melodramatic; he’s articulating a terrifying reality for many of the children and youth sitting in our classrooms—a reality that is often invisible or misunderstood. Some have seen the growing numbers of security guards and police in our schools as unfortunate but necessary responses to the behavior of children from poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods. But what if something more ominous is happening? What if many of our students—particularly our African American, Latina/o, Native American, and Southeast Asian children—are being channeled toward prison and a lifetime of second-class status?

Much more at the link, Now, being the hard-hearted soul that I am, I left the following comment:1

Sorry, but this whole article is just whining. I grew up dirt poor, too, but I managed to avoid going to prison by not breaking the law.

The kids in our schools know what the law is, in its basic form: they know that if they steal, if they knock over a convenience store, if they buy or sell drugs, they are committing crimes and can go to jail for them.

Getting locked up isn’t anyone’s “fate;” getting locked up is a person’s own decision, own choice. You don’t want to go to jail? It’s real simple: don’t break the law!

Now, why is that so difficult to understand? Wagonwheel wishes for us to believe that disenfranchisement due to felony conviction is “clearly race based,” but what it really is is self-selection. You want to knock over a liquor store? If you get caught, you’re going to jail, you’re going to have a criminal record, and all of the disadvantages that come with being a convicted felon, and it’s all your own damned fault.

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:


Life full of promise and charisma cut short

By Darran Simon, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

Kevin Kless had been back in Philadelphia for about six weeks, closer to his college buddies, no longer feeling isolated in Harrisburg.

The 2010 Temple graduate had just started a new job at an insurance firm in the city, and his family said he couldn’t have been happier.

He was a jokester, his mother said. Once for a Halloween party, he donned an Indian headdress, threw a cardboard box over his head, cut out flaps for the cupboards, and went as the Indian in the cupboard from the children’s book.

Last holiday season, when friends wore Santa hats during a night of bar-hopping, he took the festive feeling one step further: He also took a five-foot pine tree with him into the bars, his mother said.

Kless’ life was cut short Saturday when, police said, three men beat him to death on the steps of the historic Second Bank of the United States on Chestnut Street. His assailants smashed his head against a low granite wall in front of the bank building.

More at the link. And why did three assailants beat Mr Kless to death? Mr Kless had apparently tried to hail a taxi, which had it’s “available” light on; the taxi didn’t stop, because the driver already had a passenger. According to the Philadelphia Police, Mr Kless then yelled something along the lines of “Turn off your (fornicating) lights” at the taxi. Three men in a maroon Mazda traveling behind the taxi apparently thought that Mr Kless was yelling at them, had “disrespected” them, so they stopped, got out, and beat him to death.

I would like Wagonwheel, or any of the apologists for such savagery, any of the bleeding hearts who think it’s somehow someone else’s fault but the criminals that they went to jail, just what kind of upbringing, what kind of environment, somehow excuses what those three men did? Those three thugs should spend the rest of their miserable lives in prison, and the fact that the poor dears won’t get to vote does not bother me in the slightest.

They knew that attacking and beating someone was wrong, and they knew that it was against the law. They knew full well that, if they got caught, they’d go to jail for it. It is possible that they didn’t intend or expect the assault to lead to Mr Kless death, though beating the man’s head against a stone wall can certainly be interpreted as an attempt to kill, but they didn’t have to think that he would die to know that they were committing a crime, committing a serious felony.

So, absolutely the last argument that I want to hear, or will ever take seriously, is that voter disenfranchisement for felony convictions is somehow racially biased: felons choose their own actions, themselves, and if most of them are stupid, they aren’t so ignorant as to not know what they are doing is wrong and criminal.
______________________________

  1. Individual comments on truth-out.org do not separately link.

148 Comments

  1. It seems it matters to you, koolo, which of us is more racist!

    But you know what, koolo, your childish taunting/demeanor is exactly the kind of behavior that I understand our editor does not want on here. It diminishes the quality of an otherwise very interesting blog.

  2. DNW says:

    January 18, 2012 at 16:44

    “And finally, my comments on SC’s political demography:

    * Population: 71% white, 25% black

    * Republican primary voters 2008: 96% white, 2% black

    * General Election Results: 54% McCain, 45% Obama

    * General Election White Voter Results: 73% McCain, 26% Obama

    I will leave it up to the reader to draw the conclusions.”

    Hi Perry. Something seems as though it might be missing from your figures. Oh yeah! Before anyone draws any conclusions, moral or otherwise, from your figures, could you please also include the relative percentage of “black” voters directing their votes to McCain, and to Obama?

    Wagonwheel then says:
    January 18, 2012 at 16:52

    “Those are reasonable questions, DNW. Sorry, I don’t have that information. However, I believe that we both can speculate on the answer. Racism is not a one way street, is my point, yours too I would guess.”

    No Perry that’s not my point.

    I can’t figure out the reason why you would deny you have that information, given that you have and presented the other. I am mystified as to how you, self-proclaimedly a sincere truth seeker, would have been able to gather these statistical figures for all the permutations you did, while neither noticing that one significant combination was missing from your presentation, nor asking yourself why.

    You claim not to have had the information. Perhaps you just missed it in your source?

    Please cite and link to the exact source you used for the material in your presentation.

  3. WW writes

    It seems it matters to you, koolo, which of us is more racist!

    Not really.

    But you know what, koolo, your childish taunting/demeanor is exactly the kind of behavior that I understand our editor does not want on here. It diminishes the quality of an otherwise very interesting blog.

    Right. Like labeling everyone “racist” with whom you disagree, then actually (with a straight face) telling us that Al Sharpton is NOT a racist? Childish like that?

    You’ve a hell of a nerve lecturing us on what the Editor wants here when you’re one of the biggest violator of his rules.

  4. “I can’t figure out the reason why you would deny you have that information, given that you have and presented the other. I am mystified as to how you, self-proclaimedly a sincere truth seeker, would have been able to gather these statistical figures for all the permutations you did, while neither noticing that one significant combination was missing from your presentation, nor asking yourself why.

    You claim not to have had the information. Perhaps you just missed it in your source?

    Please cite and link to the exact source you used for the material in your presentation.”

    DNW, the source of my information was the Rachel Maddow show on Tuesday. I took notes, then relayed them in my post. She did not present the information you are after. So I withheld nothing, contrary to what I believe you are intimating.

  5. Perry invites us to reflect on reality, through the following illustration:

    “Therefore, answering your question is more complex than coming up with a simple answer to your question, a difficult concept, I know, for an absolutist to understand. I am not citing this as an excuse, but it is an explanation based on reality. A man of your intelligence might consider dealing drugs in order to heat your home for your wife and two young daughters in the dead of winter, or to get needed medical care for a sick family member, or for whatever dire need might exist for your family in poverty, when there are no jobs to be found”

    So Perry, you insinuate that a reality based and rational explanation for some significant portion of the “drug” related criminality in this country, would be covered by your example of a married man with children being compelled to engage in drug related criminality in order to afford food and medicine.

    Checking on how attached to reality you actually are should be relatively easy.

    Please get back to us with the data on the percentage of married men with dependents who – despite various social programs – have entered the criminal justice system as result of being economically compelled to deal drugs in an attempt to feed their families or buy medicine or afford a doctor’s appointment after a job loss.

    What percentage of drug crime convictions, in your “based on reality” example, does that amount to, Perry?

  6. “WW writes

    It seems it matters to you, koolo, which of us is more racist!

    Not really.

    But you know what, koolo, your childish taunting/demeanor is exactly the kind of behavior that I understand our editor does not want on here. It diminishes the quality of an otherwise very interesting blog.

    Right. Like labeling everyone “racist” with whom you disagree, then actually (with a straight face) telling us that Al Sharpton is NOT a racist? Childish like that?

    You’ve a hell of a nerve lecturing us on what the Editor wants here when you’re one of the biggest violator of his rules.”

    Koolo, you continue with your games, thus contaminating this blog. But I am compelled to push back, because I simply cannot let your childish accusations go by unchallenged.

    Now show me where I “labelled everyone “racist” with whom I disagree”, koolo!

    I believe I actually did say said that I believe everyone is racist to some degree, I included. But when we see blatant racism, like Newt’s, it must be called out.

    And again, I never said that Al Sharpton is not a racist. Where is this going, koolo?

    Since according to you I am the biggest violator, list 20 times which I have been one. I ask that, because I know how easy it would be for me to rattle off 20 of your violations.

    I ask you once again to cut out this silliness and get back to some intelligent discourse.

  7. Wagonwheel says:

    January 19, 2012 at 13:46

    “I can’t figure out the reason why you would deny you have that information, given that you have and presented the other. I am mystified as to how you, self-proclaimedly a sincere truth seeker, would have been able to gather these statistical figures for all the permutations you did, while neither noticing that one significant combination was missing from your presentation, nor asking yourself why.

    You claim not to have had the information. Perhaps you just missed it in your source?

    Please cite and link to the exact source you used for the material in your presentation.”

    DNW, the source of my information was the Rachel Maddow show on Tuesday. I took notes, then relayed them in my post. She did not present the information you are after. So I withheld nothing, contrary to what I believe you are intimating.”

    What I was implying was that it was reasonable to assume that: 1, you did the research yourself in pursuit of some conclusion that was neither pre-ordained, nor spoon-fed to you as a “talking point”; and 2, that in having done such research, you could not have failed to have come across a more complete data set; and 3, that if you had not come across such additional data, that you could not have failed to have realized (given your claims regarding your “science” background) that the evidence you were presenting was incomplete, and that therefore, any argument or implication you were attempting to draw from such defectively incomplete data, would be fatally skewed or even worthless.

    But then you were doing no such honorable thing. You were just regurgitating out Maddow’s talking points and insinuations and hoping it would leave people reeling from the stench.

    You might have said so in the first place, Perry; and saved me the trouble of (at least formally) taking you seriously this one least time.

  8. Wagonwheel says:

    January 19, 2012 at 13:46

    “I can’t figure out the reason why you would deny you have that information, given that you have and presented the other. I am mystified as to how you, self-proclaimedly a sincere truth seeker, would have been able to gather these statistical figures for all the permutations you did, while neither noticing that one significant combination was missing from your presentation, nor asking yourself why.

    You claim not to have had the information. Perhaps you just missed it in your source?

    Please cite and link to the exact source you used for the material in your presentation.”

    DNW, the source of my information was the Rachel Maddow show on Tuesday. I took notes, then relayed them in my post. She did not present the information you are after. So I withheld nothing, contrary to what I believe you are intimating.”

    What I was implying was that it was reasonable to assume that: 1, you did the research yourself in pursuit of some conclusion that was neither pre-ordained, nor spoon-fed to you as a “talking point”; and 2, that in having done such research, you could not have failed to have come across a more complete data set; and 3, that if you had not come across such additional data, that you could not have failed to have realized (given your claims regarding your “science” background) that the evidence you were presenting was incomplete, and that therefore, any argument or implication you were attempting to draw from such defectively incomplete data, would be fatally skewed or even worthless.

    But then you were doing no such honorable thing. You were just regurgitating out Maddow’s talking points and insinuations and hoping it would leave people reeling from the stench.

    You might have said so in the first place, Perry; and saved me the trouble of (at least formally) taking you seriously this one last time.

  9. “So Perry, you insinuate that a reality based and rational explanation for some significant portion of the “drug” related criminality in this country, would be covered by your example of a married man with children being compelled to engage in drug related criminality in order to afford food and medicine.”

    Not an insinuation, DNW, but a supposition based on a person’s basic desire to provide for a starving family with no heat, and the basic instinct to go on living.

  10. Looks like I double posted after trying to halt the first one in order to make a letter deletion …

    Perry says:

    “I ask you once again to cut out this silliness and get back to some intelligent discourse.”

    Perry,

    In aid of realizing that goal, please post your “based on reality” statistics covering the percentage of those who have fallen afoul of the criminal justice system who were both husbands and fathers and living with their dependents at the time they were forced by economic circumstances to deal drugs in order to heat their homes during the winter, or to obtain medical attention or treatment for a family member. What percentage of those being processed through the criminal justice system fit the married family man description you offered as part of your “based on reality” explanation paradigm?

  11. Perry writes:
    “Not an insinuation, DNW, but a supposition based on a person’s basic desire to provide for a starving family with no heat, and the basic instinct to go on living.”

    So let’s get this clear: You deny that your based on reality example set, which was intended to provide an explanation, was actually populated by any significant percentage of persons who had actually behaved according to your “explanation”?

  12. WW writes

    Now show me where I “labelled everyone “racist” with whom I disagree”, koolo!

    You called Newt racist b/c of his comments. You label me racist b/c I offered an alternative explanation to the reaction of Newt’s remarks (and Newt’s remarks). You label people who believe in voter ID racist. Game over.

    Since according to you I am the biggest violator, list 20 times which I have been one. I ask that, because I know how easy it would be for me to rattle off 20 of your violations.

    That’s easy. But I don’t have time now. And since you offered, you go ahead and do it (for me).

    I ask you once again to cut out this silliness and get back to some intelligent discourse.

    This precisely what I am doing. When you say what you do above actually means “I hate that you’re making me look foolish, so I’d better attempt to act like I’m taking the high road.” It’s laughable. Everyone sees through your transparent nonsense. With ease.

  13. WW writes

    Koolo, I’m done with you!

    Translation: “I hate that you’re making me look foolish, so I’d better attempt to act like I’m taking the high road.”

  14. “In aid of realizing that goal, please post your “based on reality” statistics covering the percentage of those who have fallen afoul of the criminal justice system who were both husbands and fathers and living with their dependents at the time they were forced by economic circumstances to deal drugs in order to heat their homes during the winter, or to obtain medical attention or treatment for a family member. What percentage of those being processed through the criminal justice system fit the married family man description you offered as part of your “based on reality” explanation paradigm?”

    I have no statistics. Like I said, it was a supposition, which obviously you don’t buy. I tried to imagine what I would do as a last resort to be able to provide for my family. What would you do, DNW?

  15. WW writes

    Example please, ropelight!

    You really do like playing games, don’t you, WW? It’s right above you — you make excuses for the racist Al Sharpton, but think the sky is falling because of Newt’s comments. Sharpton is 100x the racist bigot that Newt is, and you CITED Sharpton as a legitimate critic of Gingrich.

    It’s beyond parody.

  16. The problem, WW, is that your illustration is false. It isn’t the dedicated black fathers, with no heat in the house and no food on the table, who are out selling drugs as a last resort to support their families, but the single men who see selling drugs as a quick way to big money, flashy cars, and unlimited girls. They start out as punk kids, 16 or 17, and either rise in the trade or get swept aside, if not killed.

    I could understand the guys you described, maybe getting desperate and trying to knock over a convenience store, but they really aren’t the problem. The problem you have is that you are seeking ways to somehow justify crime, because you are full of sympathy for people you see as downtrodden, and unwilling to see them as full human beings who are responsible for their own actions.

  17. “The problem you have is that you are seeking ways to somehow justify crime, because you are full of sympathy for people you see as downtrodden, and unwilling to see them as full human beings who are responsible for their own actions.” (my italics)

    I would be more inclined to think the italicized phrase describes your view; mine, no. My view is that black culture has not generally fully recovered from the tri-centenial racism they have experienced here, and continue to experience to some degree. This environment has played tricks, so to speak, on their self-esteem. But I do view blacks as full members of the human race, fully capable and responsible for their actions. Nevertheless, still entrenched racism has put some blacks into extremely desperate straights, which are the ones to whom I referred.

    I suspect that neither of us fully understands or fully empathizes with the impact that race has had on our black citizens.

    When I see blatant racism, like that exhibited by Newt the other night, a leader and possible President of our nation, it really makes my blood boil, Mr Editor.

  18. WW writes

    When I see blatant racism, like that exhibited by Newt the other night, a leader and possible President of our nation, it really makes my blood boil, Mr Editor.

    Of course it does. But when a light-year’s worse racist like Al Sharpton runs for president, it leaves you completely unaffected. This is why your comments remain laugh-inducing, WW.

  19. Perry wrote regarding his “explanation based on reality” for some crime that:

    ” … answering your question is more complex than coming up with a simple answer to your question, a difficult concept, I know, for an absolutist to understand. I am not citing this as an excuse, but it is an explanation based on reality. A man of your intelligence might consider dealing drugs in order to heat your home for your wife and two young daughters in the dead of winter, or to get needed medical care for a sick family member, or for whatever dire need might exist for your family in poverty, when there are no jobs to be found, especially if you were also black. “

    This clearly implies at the least, a valid analogy between a supposedly comfortable reader here and some comparably obligated but less privileged man from another socioeconomic group elsewhere, whose own causal motivations and actions this analogy is supposed to grant insight into. Perry is arguing in effect: ‘Here is how like-situated men to you, who differ in only one or two socially critical but morally irrelevant attributes, act when they are forced by the exigent circumstances to provide heat for their shivering children and medicine for their wasting wives.’

    However, when Perry is asked for instances of the “reality” that makes his “explanation” anything like an explanation that explains anything real, Perry says he was not explaining facts but providing:

    “… a supposition based on a person’s basic desire to provide for a starving family with no heat, and the basic instinct to go on living.” and that ” I have no statistics. Like I said, it was a supposition, which obviously you don’t buy.”

    So obviously what Perry called his “explanation based on reality” for drug dealing, is not based on any data set derived from reality and from which a presumably sound analogy can be drawn; nor even on any real anecdotal instances he can enumerate. His so-called “explanation based on reality” is instead based on his, as he explicitly admits, imagination.

    I think that we have two clearly developed cases in this very thread of Perry’s actual method of argument.

    Although Perry has a long established history of demanding citations and data set evidence, of demanding that contrary evidence be included in arguments subject to his perusal, and of dismissing individual cases or examples as “anecdotes”, he has himself in this very thread twice attempted to pass off false implications by means of either selective citation from an initially unattributed source, or a by a polemical presentation of an imaginary and hypothetical event as a “explanation based on reality”.

    What “reality” is this? It’s the reality of Perry’s imaginary world.

    Perry’s amiability aside, what anyone could hope to gain thorough a “dialog” with a man like this, is well beyond my own imagining …

  20. DNW writes

    What “reality” is this? It’s the reality of Perry’s imaginary world.

    Perry’s amiability aside, what anyone could hope to gain thorough a “dialog” with a man like this, is well beyond my own imagining …

    Well stated.

  21. “What “reality” is this? It’s the reality of Perry’s imaginary world.”

    Fair enough, DNW.

    My understanding of a blog like this is that folks express opinions. These are become more convincing when pertinent documentation can be provided.

    Obviously, you reject my opinion, which is fine, perhaps because you cannot relate to it, or perhaps because you are simply unconvinced, or perhaps because I did a poor job in representing it.

    As a child of the Great Depression and WWII (b. 1934), living in poverty during those times, I was fortunate enough not to have ever had to go hungry. And we were fortunate enough to be able to keep warm in the kitchen, doors closed, heated by the stove, wearing the same unwashed clothes day in and day out. Extrapolating from this to my being both hungry and cold, just a half a step down from where we were, I can easily imagine what I could have done as a child, or what my parents might have had to do against their principles. That’s really all I am saying.

  22. Wagonwheel says:
    January 20, 2012 at 14:30

    “What “reality” is this? It’s the reality of Perry’s imaginary world.”

    Fair enough, DNW.

    My understanding of a blog like this is that folks express opinions. These are become more convincing when pertinent documentation can be provided.

    Obviously, you reject my opinion, which is fine, perhaps because you cannot relate to it, or perhaps because you are simply unconvinced, or perhaps because I did a poor job in representing it. ”

    I reject your “explanation based on reality” using the same standards of evidence which you demand of others when they express their opinions.

    If you wish to partly characterize that to be the result of your “poor job of representation” feel free. But the question remains open as to why, after repeatedly haranguing others for literally years on Dana’s other site, demanding citations, and demanding balanced evidence, you would calculate that you could live by another standard yourself.

  23. Oh, Wagonwheel’s M.O. is very everpresent:

    “If you say anything, you must fully document it while I ignore your documentation. If I say anything you disagree with, you must fully document why your disagreement is valid while I ignore your doumentation. I do not have to document anything and you should just believe me because, well, because.”

  24. WW wrote:

    I would be more inclined to think the italicized phrase describes your view; mine, no. My view is that black culture has not generally fully recovered from the tri-centenial racism they have experienced here, and continue to experience to some degree. This environment has played tricks, so to speak, on their self-esteem. But I do view blacks as full members of the human race, fully capable and responsible for their actions. Nevertheless, still entrenched racism has put some blacks into extremely desperate straights, which are the ones to whom I referred.

    I suspect that neither of us fully understands or fully empathizes with the impact that race has had on our black citizens.

    One has to wonder: if you believe that American blacks, not one of whom was ever an American slave, and only the most elderly could have even been the child of a slave, as well as the vast majority of whom were born after Brown v Board of Education, and after Jim Crow was abolished, are still wounded in their self-esteem, just how many more centuries do you think it will take them to recover?

    WW, let me be blunt here: whether you see American blacks “as full members of the human race, fully capable and responsible for their actions,” you don’t treat them as such; you advocate treating them as disadvantaged, as children, as something other than ordinary members of our society. You advocate the continuance of Affirmative Action, you want to somehow forgive or understand the crimes committed by some members of the black community, you want to do everything but treat them as adults!

    Well, we have other minorities in the United States, groups of people who weren’t always treated all that well. We locked up the Japanese-Americans in internment camps during World War II; some of them are still alive today, yet Japanese-Americans do just fine in our society. We have many Vietnamese-Americans, who fled a burning country when the Communists took over, often arriving here with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They are thriving in the United States. We have Jewish-Americans here; need I really tell you what the Jews have suffered throughout history? We have Cuban-Americans, who fled here after the Communist takeover of that unfortunate island; they have prospered.

    Well, there is a deadline looming. In Grutter v Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003), the Supreme Court approved a narrowly tailored Affirmative Action program. Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, writing for the majority, concluded:

    We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.

    Well, Mr Wheel, a third of that 25 years has already elapsed.

    When I see blatant racism, like that exhibited by Newt the other night, a leader and possible President of our nation, it really makes my blood boil, Mr Editor.

    As opposed to the subtle racism that you are displaying?

    Oh, I know: you don’t see yourself as having a racist bone in your body. But the fact is that, at least by your words — we can’t see how you actually behave in real life — you want to see American blacks treated differently, and held to s different standard, because their ancestors were enslaved and many of them have lived in poverty, because you do not seem to believe that they can have overcome these terrible things.

  25. I said that before. Wagonwheel is a racist. He, like most “enlightened” leftists thinks no one can live without the help of those racists who believe blacks can’t do it on their own. They can. Ask Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, J.C. Watts, Clarence Thomas and a million others. Ask Ben, my friend who is a dentist, black and as conservative as I. Hate to tell yo Wagonwheel, but they don’t need you. They don’t need me and they don’t need the government treating them like children. They need what all men need: Freedom and Opportunity. Not a hand out.

  26. The soft bigotry of low expectations is the most insidious and most destructive of all the forms of racism. And it is the form of racism that all radical Leftists (such as Wagonwheel and the leadership of the DNC) espouse.

  27. Let me be blunt: The new Jim Crow is alive and well, as evidenced by the above spinners and twisters, like the way you have upended the meaning of the term ‘racist’. You people make assumptions about the motivations and beliefs of others, like me, because you have to in order to fulfill the requirements of your sick and stilted absolutist ideology, which actually is a religion, that is, based on myth, that is, made up stuff. And then you insist that we all accept it, because it represents your truth, because your truth is THE truth. You people are mentally dysfunctional regarding your obvious racism, in my view.

    The “soft bigotry of low expectations” is no more than a self-deception, otherwise how is it that you people are so full of hatred for the ideas and people with whom you disagree?

    If my standards are different from yours, then by your definition I have no standards. That is what DNW is saying, and the rest of you implying. What kind of an attitude is this? The answer is: an intolerant attitude, because this is the way you absolutists think and act. You have proven this point with your comments above.

    So I stand by my earlier comment: “But I do view blacks as full members of the human race, fully capable and responsible for their actions. Nevertheless, still entrenched racism has put some blacks into extremely desperate straights, which are the ones to whom I referred.”

    And I reject your new Jim Crowism as your being out of touch with the reality of the impact of three centuries of blatant racism. And I note, not a one of you, just like your candidates on the stage the other night, have spoken one damn word against Newt’s blatant racism exhibited in his two remarks. On this issue, you people, everyone of you, are racists, the new Jim Crow.

    Shall I send you the book, Mr Editor?

  28. Wagonwheel, when you are ready to have an adult discussion instead of throwing your temper tantrums and using every known fallacy in the book (and a few hitherto unknown ones), do let us know. It’ll be a first for you, but it is still possible for an old dog to learn new tricks.

  29. The Editor very clearly showed in this thread how Wagonwheel is very obviously showing his ‘soft bigotry of low expectations’ racism, by listing off various groups of people who came here with nothing and succeeded while Wagonwheel wants to treat a very specific group of people like helpless children. I’ll add another to the Editor’s list: that of the Irish. My great-grandfather was an American-born son of one Irish-born parent and one not. He was born in 1901. Wagonwheel, do you know how 19th Century Americans treated Irish immigrants? How about I get a check in the mail from you for reparations for the acts your ancestors did to mine? Or better yet, how about you stop with your clearly racist (and sexist, I might add) bigotry?

  30. WW writes

    Let me be blunt: The new Jim Crow is alive and well, as evidenced by the above spinners and twisters, like the way you have upended the meaning of the term ‘racist’.

    Let me be blunt: Progressives NEED racism to be alive and well so that they can maintain a compliant constituency. There is NOTHING in the above dissenters’ (from WW, that is) posts that claims racism does not continue to exist today in America. However, it does NOT exist to the degree in which WW believes. Far from it. If WW truly believes that we dissenters do not recognize that 300+ years of slavery hasn’t been adequately addressed, then WW needs to grasp that liberals such as himself have perpetuated it at least as much as us supposed “old school racists,” by making every excuse in the book for African-Americans, from not being able to get a photo ID, to labeling any criticism of AAs as “racist.” IOW, “blacks NEED white progressives’ help” — which is actually every bit as philosophically racist as the KKK’s doctrine.

    Not to mention that utilizing a rampant racist/anti-Semite like Al Sharpton to denounce a supposed racist statement like that uttered by Newt Gingrich demonstrates that WW truly does not comprehend what “racist” actually means.

  31. WW wrote:

    Let me be blunt: The new Jim Crow is alive and well, as evidenced by the above spinners and twisters, like the way you have upended the meaning of the term ‘racist’. You people make assumptions about the motivations and beliefs of others, like me, because you have to in order to fulfill the requirements of your sick and stilted absolutist ideology, which actually is a religion, that is, based on myth, that is, made up stuff. And then you insist that we all accept it, because it represents your truth, because your truth is THE truth. You people are mentally dysfunctional regarding your obvious racism, in my view.

    Actually, what we “insist” upon is that the law treat everybody the same, and that every citizen is equally responsible for his own actions. We do not want laws which penalize one group based on race or ethnicity or religion, nor promote one group based on race or ethnicity or religion. For some reason, you define that as racism, while concomitantly holding that treating different groups differently is not racism. I freely admit: I find your position baffling.

    The notion that having lowered expectations for a particular group constitutes racism seems baffling to you, but please, tell us how:

    My view is that black culture has not generally fully recovered from the tri-centenial racism they have experienced here, and continue to experience to some degree. This environment has played tricks, so to speak, on their self-esteem. But I do view blacks as full members of the human race, fully capable and responsible for their actions. Nevertheless, still entrenched racism has put some blacks into extremely desperate straights, which are the ones to whom I referred.

    I suspect that neither of us fully understands or fully empathizes with the impact that race has had on our black citizens,

    does not constitute lowered expectations, does not constitute the making of excuses and asking for blacks to be treated differently.

    Now, I am absolutely certain that you do not see yourself as having a racist bone in your body, but when you advocate treating one group differently, based on the color of their skin, when you advocate judging one group differently, based on the color of their skin, how is that not racism?

    I would suggest that you look at the best example we have, the United States Army. President Truman ordered the desegregation of the military, and that was controversial when he issued Executive Order 9981 back in 1948, but look how it has worked out: all soldiers are judged by the same standards,¹ and we see black soldiers and white soldiers being treated the same, having the same opportunities for promotion, everything. When people are expected to perform to a standard, they can, and do! When you set the standards lower for one group, because you have great sympathy for the travails their ancestors suffered, you are asking the to perform to the lower standard; you should not be surprised when they do.

    __________________________
    ¹ – There are different physical standards for males and females.

  32. Newt Gingrich called out Barack Obama as The Food-Stamp President and he did it on national TV. So, for the the great crime of telling the truth and exposing Obama for the miserable failure his record conclusively proves he is, Perry has been reduced to finger pointing and name calling.

    According to Perry (and Sharpton), telling inconvenient truths about the shortcomings of blacks (Obama and Brawley) has now become a presumptive expression of racism. Truly, Jim Crow is alive and well in the hearts and minds of would-be leftist character assassins as they obsessively project their own malignant prejudices onto the unafflicted.

  33. “The notion that having lowered expectations for a particular group constitutes racism seems baffling to you, but please, tell us how:

    My view is that black culture has not generally fully recovered from the tri-centenial racism they have experienced here, and continue to experience to some degree. This environment has played tricks, so to speak, on their self-esteem. But I do view blacks as full members of the human race, fully capable and responsible for their actions. Nevertheless, still entrenched racism has put some blacks into extremely desperate straights, which are the ones to whom I referred.

    I suspect that neither of us fully understands or fully empathizes with the impact that race has had on our black citizens,

    does not constitute lowered expectations, does not constitute the making of excuses and asking for blacks to be treated differently.”

    To you, Mr Editor, to try to understand the impact of racist history on the victims is tantamount to making excuses. I couldn’t disagree with you more.

    This is a question of compassion based on first hand knowledge of American racism as it was practiced in my own lifetime. To deny this is what I would call ideological blindness with a good dose of hard-heartedness thrown into the mix.

    Because you insist on characterizing this view as having low expectations is patently false. Moreover, focusing educational resources on these children whose close relatives have not yet been able to escape from the ghetto and poverty, has nothing whatsoever to do with low expectations, in fact the opposite. And I will tell you point blank, I do not come at this issue with an attitude of low expectations, as I demonstrated earlier with my classroom encouragement.

    No, Mr Editor, this is all about refusing to face up to our residual racism, then opposing efforts to assist the victims.

    When you have prominent black folks like Melissa Harris-Perry (Political Science Professor at Tulane University), Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow, Law Professor at Ohio State University), Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson, just to name a few, articulating this residual racism and its impact, I hardly think your spinning and denials can convincingly refute their observations. In fact, with your attitude expressed on here on this issue, you are hardly in a position to credibly criticize black people who are struggling yet have not yet been able to break out of the ghetto. It was much easier for you, you’re white, but now you chose to overlook your advantages by virtue of your being born white in a predominantly white country with a white power structure.

  34. ” I hardly think your spinning and denials can convincingly refute their observations.”

    Nobody’s refuting anything. The people you choose to listen to are race hustler’s and race baiters who stand to gain and maintain their positions by promoting this nonsense. They make their living on the backs of those they convince are “oppressed”. They are frauds. That’s why each and every one of them is a Democrat. They know the party they must cowtow to in order to be viewed as victims, completely incapable of fending for themselves. You don’t hear Sowell or Williams cring like children do you?

  35. In a related matter, speaking of voting and IDs:

    Barack Obama’s 2008 Iowa New Media Director was arrested Friday for attempting to use the identities of Secretary of State Matt Schultz, and/or his brother Thomas, with the intent to falsely implicate the Secretary Schultz in illegal or unethical behavior. Zach Edwards, 29, of Des Moines, currently works for Link Strategies, a Democrat-affiliated organization with ties to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. Edwards is the Director of New Media for Link Strategies.

    The Secretary of State’s office discovered the alleged crime and reported it to authorities. Edwards turned himself in to the Iowa DCI agents Friday afternoon. He was charged with identity theft, a misdemeanor, and booked into the Polk County jail. Edwards posted $2,000 bail and was released later on Friday. He faces up to two years in prison.

    http://theiowarepublican.com/2012/breaking-former-obama-staffer-busted-for-stealing-iowa-secretary-of-state%E2%80%99s-identity/

  36. Gingrich’s “food stamp President” was another low blow and possibly racist as well, because it ignores the conditions which produced the need for food stamps in the first place, which was the Great Recession created by Republicans and racism. Let us then state the truth: The Republicans are the food stamp creators. When we whites think of food stamps, we think of black people, when in fact there are more whites than blacks using food stamps.

  37. And now we have whitie Hoagie coming on here with his own unique brand of racism.

    “The people you choose to listen to are race hustler’s and race baiters who stand to gain and maintain their positions by promoting this nonsense. They make their living on the backs of those they convince are “oppressed”. They are frauds.”

    You have no clue, Hoagie. Moreover, I gave four names. What happened to the other two. Do you similarly discount them.

    Racism is a form of hatred. There certainly is plenty of that around here!

  38. WW writes

    When we whites think of food stamps, we think of black people, when in fact there are more whites than blacks using food stamps.

    We do? You now speak for the whole white race?

    Yes, there are more whites than blacks on food stamps. But not when you look at percentages (when compared to overall population figures) nor overall, as page 73 shows in this link: http://www.fns.usda.gov/ora/MENU/Published/snap/FILES/Participation/2010Characteristics.pdf

    Racism is a form of hatred. There certainly is plenty of that around here!

    There’d be a lot less of it if you stopped hanging around!

  39. WW wrote:

    Gingrich’s “food stamp President” was another low blow and possibly racist as well, because it ignores the conditions which produced the need for food stamps in the first place, which was the Great Recession created by Republicans and racism. Let us then state the truth: The Republicans are the food stamp creators. When we whites think of food stamps, we think of black people, when in fact there are more whites than blacks using food stamps.

    Well, I have just learned something new! Apparently, no one was on food stamps prior to the Bush Administration!

    From Wikipedia:

    Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination.

    Who here is advocating discrimination based on race other than you? The rest of us here believe that people ought to be treated the same, regardless of their race.

  40. WW wrote:

    It was much easier for you, you’re white, but now you chose to overlook your advantages by virtue of your being born white in a predominantly white country with a white power structure.

    I told you the secret to my success, WW: I went to work, on time, every day, and I did my job to the best of my ability. I survived layoffs when others did not because there was never any question that as to whether I would show up for work or do the work. And anybody can do that!

  41. And anybody can do that!

    You need a job first, Mr Editor, so the when you are denied one because of your race or gender, people get desperate, which was my earlier point.

    “Well, I have just learned something new! Apparently, no one was on food stamps prior to the Bush Administration!”

    We had fewer, because we had a surplus which the Bush Administration promptly ended, we had had many more jobs created, and we had the welfare to work program. Then what happened?

    And most amazingly, you Republicans want us to return to the deregulated environment which produced the Wall Street excesses that have done us in economically. This is not going to happen.

    We will be reelecting a visionary, made yet easier by the caliber of the opposition who are busy destroying the reputations of each other!

    Krauthammer, in his most recent column, calls them “self-destructive tactics which could end up helping Obama”. Well yes!

    And then we have Newt Gingrich shooting the messenger instead of standing up to his character issues regarding his affairs, his divorces, and his desire for open marriages. Why have not you social conservatives come on here to discus this? This man with a corrosive mindset, we want him to be our next President?

    And we have Mitt Romney, paying 15% in taxes on investments that sit there and earn him millions, while a working man earning the millions in salary pays 30%, like Newt. And then he tells us that $374K is “not much”. This man is in touch? And then he says that he WILL take care of Iran’s nuclear capability. How, Mr Romney? This mysterious man is who we want to be our next President?

    Thanks, Repubs, for your help, which we really didn’t need anyway, because of your failed policies during Bush that gave us this mess, which has created so much sadness for a sizable number of Americans.

    Nominate the Stephen Colbert/Herman Cain ticket!!!

  42. Newt, Newt, Newt, give Obama the boot, send him back to Chitown where he can no longer grind America down. Do the nation a favor and put Obama out to pasture (where he can play golf and go on vacations for ever after).

    Obama’s a loser, he’s a liar, he talks out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, clearly he can’t be trusted. He’s a racist bastard who’s out to kill Uncle Sam. So, Newt, win the race and send Obama home to Chicago in disgrace.

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