As everyone surely knows, on Thursday evening citizens of Dallas, Texas were holding a demonstration in that city's downtown, good-naturedly chanting "Pigs in a blanket!" and "F— the police!" while the city's police department was out in force to keep order.
Suddenly there was shooting from a high building nearby, targeted at the cops. By the time it was over, five officers had died and seven others were wounded. A gunman, identified as Micah X. Johnson, a black man aged 25, was also dead, killed by police. We still don't know if there were other shooters.
What to say about this? Let's start with the original demonstration. What were those citizens demonstrating about?
Black people being shot by cops. There were three cases in recent days
We have video on this one but it hasn't been released as we go to tape. The cop's name is Wayne Isaacs. I assume he's white, but I haven't seen that confirmed anywhere and can't find an image.
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There were of course been protests, demonstrations, candle-light vigils, and the rest in other locations. The Black Lives Matter organizers were working overtime. Al Sharpton was on the move … you know the script.
My instinct, so far as these three shootings are concerned: Let's wait and see what investigations turn up.
On the sketchy information we have, it's possible that all three shootings were justified; and it's also possible that none of them was, or that some were but not others.
You don't know, and neither do I. Neither does Al Sharpton—and neither did the demonstrators in Dallas on Thursday.
The specter of Narrative Collapse hovers over all these kinds of incidents now. The Narrative favored and promoted by black race activists and Main Stream Media Goodwhites is of heartless white authority figures doing violence against helpless, harmless blacks. The MSM do everything they can to reinforce that narrative. That's why the most-publicized photograph of Trayvon Martin, who was 17 years old when George Zimmerman shot him in 2012, was one taken when he was twelve years old.
In all too many cases, that initial MSM Narrative collapses when all the details come in.
Of the three dead black guys here, two were clearly not harmless. Delrawn Small had a long rap sheet listing 19 arrests. He served three prison terms between 1996 and 2010, for attempted robbery, attempted drug sale to an undercover cop, and a stabbing. Not harmless.
Alton Sterling likewise had a rap sheet showing felony arrests. His court-appearance history across the last 21 years includes battery both simple and aggravated, public intimidation, carnal knowledge of a juvenile, domestic violence, burglary, receiving stolen goods, robbery, theft, drug possession, resisting arrest, possession of stolen firearm, sound reproduction without consent, and failure to register as a sex offender. [Sterling shooting: Protests continue as FBI takes over investigation, WTVM.com, July 7, 2016]
The third shootee, Philando Castile, may have been harmless: His only criminal offenses have been low-level traffic misdemeanors. Of all three cases, this is the one you'd have to say is least likely to suffer Narrative Collapse, although on the knowledge we have so far, it's not impossible the shooting was justified.
The underlying issue here: the very high levels of violence and criminality among blacks.
The differences are really enormous. But government and the MSM do their best to play them down, for fear we Badwhite peasants will march on the ghetto with pitchforks and flaming brands. So ordinary citizens are startled, even disbelieving, when you show them the numbers.
In a society where blacks are living among non-blacks, it's natural and reasonable for blacks to be regarded by the rest of us as dangerous. This isn't as much a factor for us middle-class types moving among well-socialized middle-class blacks. But for cops, who have to deal with the underclass, it's got to be on their minds in every encounter.
No wonder they're on a hair-trigger in arrest and traffic stop situations.
There isn't much to be done about this. Black populations have, on the average, lower intelligence, lower impulse control, and higher levels of interpersonal violence than nonblack populations. Cops have to cope with that, way more than the rest of us do.
In particular cases, might a cop do a dumb thing or act incompetently? I'm sure it happens. There are a third of a billion of us in the U.S.A., close to a million of whom are in law enforcement. It would be astounding if there was not an on-the-job screw-up now and again.
If the screw-up is white cop on black perp, of course all hell breaks loose because of our national neurosis about race. Plenty of screw-ups go the other way, though, with nobody much noticing.
You can figure that by scaling up from ordinary everyday encounters with cops. Some cops are jerks; and the majority of cops who aren't jerks occasionally act jerkish, just as the rest of us do.
When this happens to a white citizen, he thinks: "This cop's a jerk. Better act meek and polite or I'll never get home in time for dinner."
But a black citizen thinks: "Here's Whitey, still trying to keep the black man down!" It makes him mad, on a scale that doesn't happen with a white citizen.
The idea that the cop's just being jerkish doesn't cross his mind. The Narrative he's been fed all his life, from kindergarten on up, through movies and TV, all the institutions and media, is one of white racism. That's how he sees it.
So overall, I have to say, cops have my sympathy, even when they're being jerkish.
So what's to be done? Is there anything to be done?
There darn well better be. I don't want my kids to have to live in a society this divided.
Here are a couple of things not to do.
Would this had happened if those passengers were white? I don't think it would've. So I'm forced to confront, and I think all of us in Minnesota are forced to confront, [that] this kind of racism exists.The Governor is surely right: If Philando Castile had been white, he would most likely not have been shot. Listen to the cop's voice on the post-shooting video. He's scared. Probably he was scared when he looked in and saw he'd pulled over a young black guy.
[Minnesota Governor On Philando Castile’s Death: He’d Still Be Alive Had He Been White, ThinkProgress, July 7, 2016]
He was right to be scared: Young black guys are far more dangerous than any other kind of driver—more impulsive, more aggressive, more likely to be armed. Again, just look at the crime stats.
Cops live with those stats. They know them. They know to be scared of young black men.
Governor Dayton calls that "racism." Use any word you like, Gov. But for a cop to be extra scared, extra nervous, and yes, extra error-prone when confronting a young black man is ordinary common sense and self-preservation.
You would be too if you were a cop…which of course you're not. You're a career politician.
Here's another Establishment pol. Friday morning on Fox and Friends they had Newt Gingrich to comment.
Newt has a reputation as being smarter than the average congresscritter on the grounds that 1) he taught college, and 2) he was instrumental in Republicans getting control of the House of Representatives in 1994, for the first time in decades.
Sorry, no sale. Newt's assistant professorship was in History and Geography, which (with absolutely no offense to anyone) registers on my academic respect-o-meter as a tick or two above Media Studies. His reputation as a political genius crashed and burned shortly after takeoff, in the government shutdown of 1995, when Bill Clinton obliged Newt to bend over and squeal like a pig.
I must have spent an aggregate couple of dozen hours across the decades listening to Newt opining on something or other on some TV show or other. I have no recollection of him saying anything that made sense.
The one time I was across a table from him asking him questions about immigration, I got back nothing but empty flapdoodle.
Newt's glib, I'll allow that. There just isn't anything there.
So it was on Fox and Friends. Newt blamed the current situation on "policies that have kept too many black Americans in poverty." What policies, exactly? "Big bureaucracy, big government, big spending …"
Hey, I'm a small-government guy. The federal government especially is way too big and bossy. Should we cut back the size of government and privatize lots of its functions? Yes we should. Where the race problem is concerned, would it help?
No it wouldn't.
Blacks didn't get dependent because government got big. If anything, the arrow of causation goes the other way. A lot of government bloat is necessary to keep a lid on the boiling black pot: make-work government jobs, welfare programs, feelgood social and educational initiatives, and of course law enforcement and incarceration.
Newt's an idiot. And he's by no means the worst of the political bunch. Listening to these pols won't help.
Another thing that won't help:
So instead we get lectures from licensed hacks on how white Americans need to improve their attitude. I'll take today’s New York Times as illustrative.
Here's Michael Eric Dyson, [Email him] professor of sociology at Georgetown University—the needle on my academic respect-o-meter just barely twitched there—and, says the NYT, "one of the nation's most visible public intellectuals.
Dyson's written a shelf full of books, and you can see them all on his Amazon.com page. First few subjects listed: the politics of race in America, Tupac Shakur (some kind of black pop singer), Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Hip-Hop (some kind of black pop music), Marvin Gaye (another black pop singer), Martin Luther King again…etc., etc.
Executive summary, just to save you the trouble of reading any of the books: Blackety-blackety-blackety-black, black black black black black black black black blackety-black, blackety-blackety-blackety-black. This is a full-time professional black guy.
Nice gig if you can get it … which I, of course, can't … not until transracialism really takes off.
So what's he got to tell us?
Title: What White America Fails to See. JULY 7, 2016 It's all our fault, you see? But you knew that, unless you've been fast asleep the past forty years.
Sample quote—Dyson is addressing white people at large here:
At birth, you are given a pair of binoculars that see black life from a distance, never with the texture of intimacy. Those binoculars are privilege; they are status, regardless of your class. In fact the greatest privilege that exists is for white folk to get stopped by a cop and not end up dead when the encounter is over.What a crock of poop. White people get shot by cops all the time. Here's one from June 25th: white guy Dylan Noble, 19 years old, shot and killed by cops in Fresno, California. [New video shows portion of deadly Fresno police shooting of Dylan Noble, ABC7News.com, July 6, 2016]
Proportional to their numbers, do blacks get killed by cops more than whites? Yes, but that's because—go back to the crime stats again—blacks are more lawless than whites.
Cops go after lawlessness. That's what we pay them for.
Another sample from Professor Dr. the Reverend Michael Eric Dyson, Jr.:
You demand the Supreme Court give you back what was taken from you: more space in college classrooms that you dominate; better access to jobs in fire departments and police forces that you control. All the while your resentment builds, and your slow hate gathers steam. Your whiteness has become a burden too heavy for you to carry, so you outsource it to a vile political figure who amplifies your most detestable private thoughts.Just look at the logic there, the implications of agency. Stuff was taken from us whites: college places, cop and firefighter jobs.
Who did the taking, though? It was our fellow whites—liberal white judges, politicians, college administrators. Those are the people we resent. Nobody much resents blacks, that I'm aware of. Nobody much thinks about them at all, though blacks—the world's greatest solipsists—find this impossible to believe.
This is the Cold Civil War, Goodwhites against Badwhites. Blacks are mostly hors de combat. Blacks don't make anything happen. Whites make everything happen. All whites, on both sides, know this. Nobody's killing blacks out of "resentment."
So what will help?
For the first 180 years or so of our republic, common opinion in most of the U.S.A. assumed that races do not have precisely the same statistical distributions on all human traits of behavior, intelligence, and personality. We further thought that law and administration need not treat all citizens equally without regard to race.
There was of course a high-level commitment to due process, security of property, and so on. But at the ground level, legal segregation, exclusion from office, voting rules, et cetera were commonly accepted over big regions of the country.
After WW2 we switched—not all at once, and not with equal speed everywhere—to a different national ideology. We assumed that races were the same. But we still didn’t treat them equally. Affirmative Action, Disparate Impact, contract set-asides, all kept inequality alive, although now of course the inequality favored blacks.
In fact, this form of inequality got more intense into the 21st century. Having performed all kinds of judicial conjuring to twist the laws and rules in favor of blacks, the fact of continuing black failure could only be explained by assuming that we hadn't taken preferences far enough. There needed to be more Affirmative Action, more Disparate Impact rulings, more racial set-asides, more diversity quotas.
It's not working out very well, though, is it? And if the races really are the same, continuing poor outcomes for blacks can only be interpreted as the fault of America at large. We're not doing enough!
Read this weekend's broadsheet editorials and Op-Eds; listen to the politicians. We must try harder!
And, of course, blacks hate whites more than ever, since their collective failures can only be our fault. Knowing that they hate us, and how impulsively violent too many of them are, we fear them more than ever.
And the whole rotten cycle goes on.
My suggestion: Let's flip the state ideology right round, into a configuration we have never tried before. Let's dump the idea that there's some way to get all races showing identical outcomes—and then also dump the idea that laws and rules have to be twisted to favor one race over another.
Let's make our legislators and jurists and administrators treat all citizens equally. Bring back competitive written examinations for Civil Service jobs. Let's have meritocratic promotions in our agencies and corporations. Forbid public colleges accepting students by any other than academic criteria.
Let's start treating people equally—a thing we have never done before.
And let's accept unequal group outcomes as a natural feature of the world, which they surely are.
If we flipped the ideology once, why couldn't we flip it again?
Would it help? It might.
John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He's had two books published by VDARE.com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and From the Dissident Right II: Essays 2013. His writings are archived at JohnDerbyshire.com.
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