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AvatarComments by Stillwater in reply to Em Carpenter*

On “From Freddie deBoer: Ending the Charade

OK, so now that we’ve got a definition, what evidence is there that this censoriousness is more prevalent today than in previous eras?

Not sure I have the brain power to understand how cops writing stuff on a Starbuck's coffee cup is a form of canceling, but ...

if canceling is an expression of power to silence folks from expressing unwanted (not even necessarily uncomfortable) ideas, then it probably happens less today than in previous eras when women and blacks were silenced before they even spoke, shamed/scolded/shunned after.

On “Do All Lives Matter?

Swami, you're argument is, and has been since we first started discussing this issue, that BLM has politicized policing to the extent where cops *won't* police the inner city. If that's the case, then we need to fire the cops, not give them a free pass. I'm baffled that you think you have a coherent response to the pro-police reform proposals on the table since - again - all it consists of is *not* pissing off cops to the extent they unilaterally refuse to perform their tax-payer funded duties.

I apologize if that sounds a bit exasperated, but I guess that's where I'm at.


Actually, that last bit isn't quite right. Rather, I'm asking you to see what you concede you do not see despite having *chosen* to live in a low-crime/good school neighborhood.


I’m pointing out that I don’t see it, experience it, and can live perfectly fine without changing anything.

Exactly. Hence my asking you if the dysfunctional culture youi refer to isn't the *dominant* culture which ... has the highest incarceration rate in the world, has a legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, etc etc.

I'm asking you to *see* what you concede you do not see.

On “From Elizabeth Picciuto: The Real Free Speech Violations

I’m confused on what you think I’m defending. I was pointing out that we don’t, and shouldn’t excuse someone’s illegal behavior because of their culture.

*Ergo*, the only problem with inner city black culture, and the solution, is that those people need to obey *our* laws. QED.

On “Do All Lives Matter?

I'm super happy for you but that doesn't answer the question.

On “From NBC New York: Jeffrey Epstein Confidante Ghislaine Maxwell Arrested, Sources Say

"Since I was on the tightly controlled guest list I thought it improper to say anything at the time, but now that she's been arrested, and can't show up at any parties I'm invited to, I have some things to say."

On “From Elizabeth Picciuto: The Real Free Speech Violations

Free speech is how we determine what is toxic to the body as a whole.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean here (I mean, beyond the surface language) but this strikes me as wrong. Instead, it seems to me that free speech protections are historically and conventionally viewed as a mechanism to *prevent* toxicity from taking hold in the body.


Dark, our criminal justice system is tasked with *this very thing*, yet you appear to defend it as legitimate as is, going so far as to say (on another thread) that "it’s on their culture to change to fit modern norms" or they get locked up.

On “Do All Lives Matter?

Yet another is we have some dysfunctional cultures in the inner city and don’t really know what to do about it.

Dark, is it possible that the dysfunctional culture is the one with a legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, the one which tolerates (celebrates?) that the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world, the one in which cop violence is glorified on TV and movie screens and permeates cop culture in obviously bad ways, etc etc?


We have a chicken and egg issue. We over-police these areas because they are where most of the real crime is

Right. Do you think black people are more predisposed to violence and violent crime than white people are? If yes, then more cops is the only answer, right? But if not, then addressing the underlying causes of that higher crime rate makes sense, especially if the role of over-policing (and other racist aspects of the CJ system) contributes to it.


When I see ‘All Lives Matter’, I just translate it in my head to ‘Blue Lives Matter More’.

Not me. When I hear "all lives matter" said in response to phrase "black lives matter" I translate it as "black lives don't matter more than white lives". Which is, as people have been expressing in the thread, a willful misinterpretation of what the phrase "black lives matter" means, revealing either those folks inherent racism OR their (idiotic) culture-war partisanship-ism. :)


July 2, 2020:

"I'm concerned about voter registration in Mississippi," the Mississippi election commissioner wrote. "The blacks are having lots (of) events for voter registration. People in Mississippi have to get involved, too."

On “Don’t Forget: Black Lives Matter

Cops have been fired for assaulting protestors. That's new.


We're seeing change which goes beyond rebranding pancake mixes.


So, what is the big problem with removing a statue or two? Isn’t that a good thing?

It can be a good thing, but most times it doesn’t make an actual difference in the lives of African Americans.

Here's the thing though. Any *single* act or proposal won't be sufficient to "make an actual difference in the lives of African Americans". And that's the problem with micro-analysis of individual acts or proposals: each one can be dismissed is misguided, or counterproductive, or self-serving, or whatever because it doesn't - because it cannot - achieve the desired goal. Only a collection of such actions, with sufficient cumulative weight, will get the job done.

Regarding statues removals specifically, this much seems pretty obvious to me despite the very real possibility I'm wrong: insofar as black people want (to use Al Sharpton's phrase) the knee of society taken off their collective necks, then white people are an essential part of the solution because they're (we're) an essential part of the cause. And removing statues celebrating racism and Jim Crow is not only a good first step, but - in my mind - a necessary part of the process of re-defining American culture, and by that I mean *white* American culture, so that it doesn't include monuments honoring a morally repugnant institution.

On “Hollow Rights & Hollow Points

And we don't need to go further back in the timeline than the recent protests to see this very thing happening.

Cops violate protestors civil liberties by assaulting them; city managers fire/suspend the guilty officers; the rest of the force goes on strike/stops policing.

The behavior we Americans tolerate from our cops is truly something to behold!


I get your point but I'd phrase it a bit differently:

Cops murder a black man; BLM gets riled up; city managers (like Bill De Blasio) say they're going to institute mild and non-controversial police reforms; police go on strike/stop policing.

BLM is the messenger. Don't shoot the messenger!


Do certain policies contribute to the inner violence you worry will escalate? Can changes be made which would reduce the incentives for that type of violence? Seems to me you're running a hypothetical in your head where only one variuable is changed - the politicization of how black communities are policed - and concluding that change will have a negative impact on those communities. But is anyone advocating reform limiting their proposals in such an arbitrary and restrictive way?

On “Do All Lives Matter?


On “Hollow Rights & Hollow Points

If you still believe that anti-public union views are foolish, then I regret to inform you that we are not in agreement.


Do you mean the proposal Jaybird offered to you a few weeks ago? The person you think holds foolish views about police unions?


That's not the question Chip. It's the converse: can you imagine that sme people think total abolition of police unions isn't foolish?

Sure you can. You just refuse to admit it.


Your contention is that elevating the racial aspect of the police brutality will undermine black people's interests because cops will be less likely to police inner city violence due to the elevat3ed risk of making mistakes caught on video.

My response was that cops refuse to police at the merest criticism from anyone* who demands reforms to their practices and culture, which - and this is the point - fundamentally undermines community trust in police, leading to an escalation of bad policing/increased crime.

The more succinct way to say it is that your belief that BLM, or any reform movement for that matter, must take into account *the feelings* of the police when advocating reform measures requires those reformists to drink the poison which already infects the well. If the cops don't want to do what the community, as stipulated by the political PTB, demand, then the community should be willing to write the entire police force off and start over.

As an aside, part of the reason I hold this view is that I believe that on balance the big city cop shops and the rest of the CJ apparatus, on balance, do more harm than good right now such that being cop-free for a short period of time would actually be an improvement over the status quo even if less than ideal.


Chip, here's what you said upthread to Jaybird;s question about whether you understand why people oppose police unions:

That's your big beef? That I can’t understand why someone might hold a foolish view?

In your view, opposing police unions is a "foolish" view. So I'd say that no, you're not having a serious discussion about the topic. What's even more interesting is that you've conceded that police unions will likely *not* agree to substantive reform and force an either/or choice on the public. Yet you seem to *still* think that opposing cop unions is "foolish".

*Comment archive for non-registered commenters assembled by email address as provided.