Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

America: The 98-Pound Weakling on Race

Charlie Pierce gets to the heart of what ails our country:  The inability for some people to have an adult conversation about race.  By some people I mean those whose brains have matured beyond 10 years; by some people I do not mean people who believe our first blah President Obama is a racist and the worst divider of the races in the history of this country.  No, and I don't mean those addle-brained adolescents who comment on conservative blogs that habitually link to racist photo-shopped images of the First Family as gorillas and/or images of black men raping women.  

Those people are unreachable, permanently brain damaged from a lifetime of willful ignorance and because the stars in their intellectual firmament are people like Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Ann Coulter. You can't reason with people who learn about anything from that group of treacherous worms.

Charlie Pierce writing in Esquire:

"The country doesn't want a conversation on race, especially one led by the blah president whose simple legitimacy has been under assault since the moment his hand came off the Bible. The country doesn't want a conversation on race unless it is sure from the outset that white people will "win" it. The idea that the president could jump-start this conversation, let alone "give voice" to black people's complaints about (largely) white policemen who are killing them, and not be greeted with the shitstorm sharknado of all time, is so fantastical that it makes me wonder whether I even read Milbank correctly. Jon Stewart put together a helpful survey of the shitstorm already raging on the right, and that's while the president is only stroking his chin on the topic. If the president actually did what Milbank is suggesting, any conversation on race that might begin would quickly be drowned out by the din of the thousands of tiny hammers that fashion the ideas in Sean Hannity's skull. We're not having a serious conversation about race because, as a nation, we're a bunch of chickenshits who aren't interested in being citizens ourselves, let alone extending that title to people whom we consider less than we are. 

There's one thing about the president that took me a long time to understand, and it has been invaluable to my thinking as the Leadership (!)tm trope has gained what now appears to be irresistible momentum. (Apparently, my man Chuck Todd has produced a book-like object about the president in which said trope is its central theme. I hope to be reading it shortly.) It didn't become clear to me until I heard the president accept his nomination for the second time. He referred to "the hard and necessary work of self-government." Put simply, in so many areas, the president is putting the responsibility of governing -- of Leadership (!)tm -- on us, which is where it should be. We shouldn't need a president to start a conversation on race. We should start it ourselves, in thousands of town halls and church basements and radio talk-shows. But, as a self-governing democracy, we are too cowardly to do it honestly, because it rubs up against the comfortable myth of American exceptionalism. We should make him do things, not the other way around. That's been the fundamental challenge of him from the outset. He's left the hard and necessary work of self-government to a country that simply is no longer up to the job. If all Barack Obama's administration has done is to become the mirror in which we see that basic fact about ourselves, that's all the Leadership (!)tm we should expect from any president. He's not the 98-pound weakling. America is.

Other reading:

You Want A Dialogue On Racism? These Black Teens Are Living It

 And this:


Anonymous said...

These compilations by the FBI show who commits most crimes in the U.S.

Hint: Pay attention to the percentage distribution in the FBI's chart.

Anonymous said...

pretty high statistics for 13% of the population

Anonymous said...

A summary of the tables in the above link:

Arrests, by Race, 2011

In 2011, 69.2 percent of all individuals arrested were white,

28.4 percent were black,

and 2.4 percent were of other races.

Of all juveniles (individuals under the age of 18) arrested in 2011 in the nation, 65.7 percent were white,

32.0 percent were black,

and 2.3 percent were of other races.

Nearly 70 percent (69.7) of all adults (18 years of age and over) arrested in 2011 were white,

27.9 percent were black,

and 2.3 percent were of other races.

White individuals were arrested more often for violent crimes than individuals of any other race, accounting for 59.4 percent of those arrests.

The percentages of white adults and black adults arrested for murder were similar, with 48.2 percent being white, and 49.4 percent being black.

Juveniles who were black accounted for 51.4 percent of juvenile arrests for violent crimes.

Juveniles who were white accounted for 62.4 percent of juvenile arrests for property crimes.

Of the juveniles arrested for driving under the influence, 91.6 percent were white.

Juveniles who were white accounted for 72.9 percent of the persons under 18 who were arrested for arson in 2011.

Free Twinkies said...

I find it just incredibly dangerous that you have members of Congress on the floor of Congress holding up their hands in the “hands up, don’t shoot” position, as if to say that somehow that is going to get you shot.

Anonymous said...

Well what else would we expect from the party of victims?

Flying Junior said...

Pharisees to Jesus, "Hey Libtard..."

Hee hee hee

Shaw Kenawe said...

Flying Junior, Yeah. The Pee-Tardys have no idea, do they.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Anon @2:30,

True. The Gee-Oh-Pee-ers always claim victimhood.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Free Twinkies (funny name),

I don't think a yellow creme-filled sponge cake would understand.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Dear self-described stupid idiot,

You are. Your stupidity is epic.

who sent you here?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the answer is that only black officers interact with blacks that way it is not a race issue.
With thousands murdered in Somalia and Isis running wild the US is being focused on two deaths. Seems to show that the current leadership is more interested in diverting attention away from their lack of competent leadership and foreign leadership

Dave Miller said...

So Eric Garner dies in a choke hold at the hand of an NYPD cop and the Grand Jury decides not to indict, as they did in the Ferguson case.

When libs and minorities complained that maybe the Grand Jury in MO made a mistake, the right howled, saying we were race baiting and how Gould we know anything because we did not see all the evidence.

Yet in the Eric Garner case, this time the right is incensed and they believe an I justice has been done.

How is it possible that a lefty who questions a grand jury decision is an idiot libturd and a conservative who does do, like the folks at Red State, are not?

Sheesh... how does someone keep up with constantly moving targets?

While I think Pierce is sometimes over the top in his expression, his sentiment is pretty accurate.

Shaw Kenawe said...

No, Anonymous @7:20, maybe the answer is to make justice equitable in dealing with all Americans.

When fully armed white supremacists showed up at Cliven Bundy's ranch and aimed fully loaded automatic weapons at federal law enforcement agents, nothing happened to those white supremacists.

The last two notorious cases: Michael Brown and Eric Garner, were incidents of UNARMED black men. And let's see the right wing racist excuse the killing of a 12-year old boy playing with a toy gun, while white men brandishing fully armed automatic weapons freely walk in restaurants and shopping malls, unmolested by police.

You don't see the injustice in any of this?

You, Anon, are an idiot. And probably a racist.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Dave, I can't understand any of this any more. The racists are dancing on the graves of unarmed black men, laughing and enjoying their deaths.

What do you think will happen in the investigation of Tamir Rice's killing?

Have you seen the video? It took the police exactly TWO SECONDS to kill him.

Anonymous said...

Of course when anyone disagrees they are racist, you really believe that?
Garner was a 300 lb convicted felon who was on a rage. I guess the answer was to just let him run loose.
Do you really believe the LEO meant for him to die? I doubt it.
What about the police who stalked the immigrant in Boston and murdered him, some how that was OK.

Dave Miller said...

Shaw... the Stupid idiot quote was actually what Lisa had to say... seriously...

He was quoting her...

Dave Miller said...

Speaking of race, you just can't make this stuff up...

A leader of the tea party wing of the house GOP, besides wanting to disinvite Pres Obama from giving the SOTU speech is also calling for his party to defund Air Force One...

Yessir... both sides do it. Why I remember when the Dems proposed defunding a recent GOP president's ability to travel like a President...

Oh nevermind... that never happened. What was i thinking?

I'm in Mexico now and people here are laughing at us for how our Pres is being treated.

Shaw Kenawe said...


We seem to have tricksters all around us. Someone saying "hello" to Thersites left a comment here yesterday. The one from "I'm a stupid idiot," did seem weird but I let it through. I don't like to eliminate all the comments, so I let the ones that don't attack my other visitors through.

Re: The defunding threat of Air Force One: Can the GOP get any more ridiculous and petty?

Shaw Kenawe said...

PS. Dave, check your email.