Monday, June 8, 2020

What do they really want?

Dear H,

Imani Bashir, writing for the New York Times, says that Living abroad is my way of prolonging my black son's life.   It's actually the title of the article.  She says she's been living abroad for years now, in places like Cairo and Poland and Malaysia and Wuhan (yes, that Wuhan), and that the bills are piling up and they're eating at her soul.  Still she won't move back to America.  She sees her son's face in every black person the police kill*.  She's stuck in Florida for the moment, and waiting for the borders to ease up so she can go anywhere else.

Her husband, from Buffalo, New York, is traveling with her, coaching American football where he can.  She says before he turned 25, 30 of his friends had been killed.  They never talked about white picket fences when they got married.  They said if they were going to make it, if their son was going to make it, they had to go anywhere but here.  

But notice they didn't go anywhere.  They went to Poland, noted for its strict (and some say "bigoted") stances on immigration and gay rights; Cairo, a place that just blew up a few years ago, is looking to blow up again, and is known for its horrible treatment of women; and China, a communist country known for locking up Christians and Muslims and honest reporters, for not having habeas corpus, for selling the organs of political prisoners, and for grinding its workers into the dust.  It's a firm supporter of the most oppressive, volatile states in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.  It has a domestic surveillance system seen only in our most harrowing classics of science fiction.  1984 came almost to life, and Amani Bashir moved there instead of Schenectady.  

I mention these things because of where she didn't go.  For instance, if she can scratch out a living on the fly, why not anywhere in black Africa?  Why not the Sub-Saharan, where, as Howard French reports in China's Second Continent, 10 of the 20 fastest growing economies exist?  Why not somewhere the cost of living is cheaper, and where, since she says racism exists everywhere, there could be little-to-no racism against her son? 

These questions deserve a solid answer -- especially if it's anything other than "I don't want to live around black people."  It should also be asked of all the other famous black people who don't want to live around black people.  And beyond this I think it's questionable that 30 of her husband's friends died at the hands of the police.  She never said it was the police, by the way (she casually refused, in an article about police killings, to place the blame anywhere); and we know it wasn't because the police killed about 19 unarmed black males in 2017, and black people killed about 2627.  A difference of over a hundred times.  In fact, in 2018 black people killed about 2600 black people, and whites in general -- all of us, despite being 60% of the populace -- killed only 234: more than ten times less.  The greatest danger to black people in America today is always other black people.  Black lives only matter to Black Lives Matter when it gives them an excuse to attack white people.

My theory is that she doesn't go to black Africa because she doesn't feel safe around black people.  And she doesn't want to be confused for them.  And her husband doesn't either.  It's what they call a hidden bias.  They know that a fraction of their 13% of Americans is responsible for 50% of the crime, and they're profiling.  The fact is they can't say it.  Once they admit it the whole anti-racism scam is up.  It means white parents, whose children, according to the FBI, are killed twice as often by black people than the other way around, have more of an excuse to move their kids to Poland.  It means they have a reason to stop busing black kids to white schools, and going soft on crime, and beating their chests, and being hard on police.  But Amani says she's scared of us -- and because she's afraid, people are rioting.  I remind you that racism means being afraid of people for things they don't do.  
   
The question is, what does she want?  The New York Times reports that Minneapolis, like all the other places on fire, is one of the most liberal cities in the nation.  Surpassing even Seattle, Minneapolis has black people on the City Council.  Two of these black council members are transgender.  None of them are Republicans.  Juneteenth gets a yearly parade, and the police chief, until this week, was a black man.  They're so devoted to fighting racism** that you can't zone for single-family housing anymore -- ostensibly to make the housing cheaper for blacks, and to keep richer whites from having better neighborhoods to move to.  

This means that Minneapolis and all the other left-wing cities on fire already do everything they can to police the police -- and if they go any further they'll have to get rid of them altogether.  The main job of the police officer, after all, is not to stop crimes in progress (since there are too few of them to see everything), but to show up after the fact, and then sniff out a suspect.  This means everyone who fits a criminal's description in the area will be tracked down, picked up, tied up, and locked up -- and if he refuses, probably beaten up.  If he refuses too manfully, possibly killed.  In a country of 330 million people there are going to be a few dozen murders by cop***.  But you get rid of this right-to-track and you've gotten rid of the police.  You get rid of profiling and you get rid of the concept of policing.  You get rid of the police and you get rid of society.  And Minneapolis, where the violent crime rate
The results of last time's riots
was already horrible -- this year, before the riots, twice the national average, and last year three -- is already too dangerous.  Thanks to Black Lives Matter blowing up the police stations, it is about to get worse.     

I ask you again -- what does she want?   What they all want and can't say: to live somewhere her son can't theoretically be mistaken for a black criminal.  A totally legitimate want.  We want it for all good black people too.  But Black Lives Matter isn't finding ways to stop the criminals.  They're instead finding ways to hog-tie innocents.  Amani profiles and runs and barricades herself and she's a "victim of racism."  I just wish that she, and the Black Lives Matter movement, and The New York Times, would defend us when we do it too.  And they won't.

Your father,
-J

*A woman gives birth and the child becomes her life.  We thought, for a while, that herein was an answer to fighting -- that oxytocin, the thing that bound mothers to children and lovers to lovers would bind humanity to humanity.  What we found, best described in Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind, was the opposite.  So far from making us love humanity, we had people huff it in labs and it made us more exclusive.  It intensified our love for the group and cheapened our affections for outsiders.  We became more prejudiced, not less.  We found what we always knew but wanted to forget -- that love is always exclusive, and once you have a target for your affections, you effectively choose to miss others.  We're hardwired to be altruistic within groups.  Even Christ said you can't serve two masters -- and if you love one, you'll end up hating the other.
   
The PEW Research Center says that all people likewise have a racial consciousness, and that when we see a member of our own race getting hurt we feel it affects us personally.  Black people are the most likely to feel this way (I certainly do with my own race); and I think any group that doesn't is on its way to the garbage bin.  Whites are the only group that trains ourselves to fight this feeling like a hard-on for a good friend's wife, and because of this we're infested with traitors.  We allow our likenesses to get brutalized, day by day, until the Hun is creeping at the front door.  And then we appeal to the universal good-sense of the other races -- a sense we have squashed in them, on purpose, in an attempt to raise them from the ghetto.  And it has backfired.       

**Almost hilariously, NPR reports that black families in Minneapolis, despite living in a place prejudiced overtly in their favor, earn half the median income of whites, have an unemployment rate precisely double ours, a poverty rate quadruple it, and are incarcerated 11 times more frequently than whites.  I almost want to say if they can't hack it there, they can't hack it anywhere; but then I consider what leftism is -- a placing the blame on anyone but yourself.  A leftist, at bottom, is a spiritual cripple.  Yes, the system has been oppressive -- but can the habitual blamer ever really be free?  He has no engine for self-growth.  We opened the cage and we smashed in his knees.

***Black Lives Matter's ostensible aim is to make "every" black life sacred (at least to white people) -- that no black man, innocent or guilty, should ever be executed without a fair trial.  A goal worth aiming for, if you can do it without endangering an officer.  But is this possible in a bad neighborhood?  Is it possible in all good neighborhoods?  In a country of 330 million people?  With varying qualities of police forces?  Where not every trial of a guilty man ends in conviction?  Where the Wall Street Journal reports, in The Myth of Systemic Police Racism, that 13% of the people commit 53% of the murders and 60% of all armed robberies?  Where we can't even keep teachers and priests and Boy Scout leaders from molesting children?  In other words where even the tamest professions and hobbies have monsters?

I've been hard on black people in this essay, but there's lots to be said for Black Lives Matter, as well.  Or at least in their partial defense.  For instance, that it's a knee-jerk reaction to hundreds of years of oppression, and that 50 years of civil rights movements can't fix knowing your grandpa was beaten for no reason, or locked up for a bad reason, or chased out of good neighborhoods and called the n-word by people who were supposed to protect him.  It can't erase this fear being passed down from generation to generation, almost genetically at this point, and seeing right across neighborhood lines at people who talk about how all men are created equal, except you, and how Christ came to save everybody, but he couldn't save you from them.

I'm not saying Black Lives Matter is right, but imagine living in a neighborhood where 13% of the populace commits over 50% of the violent crime, and looking more like that 13% than anyone else.  You're going to wonder, every time you get pulled over, not even whether the cop is racist, but whether someone's just done something horrible and you're about to pay for it.  It's not as dangerous as your "brothers" but it's the law.  The one thing, in a democracy, that you're supposed to have a say in.  The thing that's supposed to protect you.  An insult not to your race, but to justice in general.  I suppose this would make you think even reason was against you.  So why are we surprised when BLM's demands are all irrational?       

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