Reconciliation and BLM

By June 10, 2020Other

This essay was originally to be about Reconciliation Day, which appeared in the ACT a week ago, but since then the issue has morphed into worldwide protest about the extent to which black lives matter (BLM). No matter, I’ll combine them. What has fascinated me is the way in which large crowds were organised in Australia, almost overnight, with printed signs and all the rest. Here the demonstrators were combining protest over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis with protest over the deaths of Aboriginal prisoners in custody. Where did all this suddenly come from?

One possible answer is that the tensions produced by the lockdowns and job losses caused by the COVID-19 restrictions have found release in the opportunity to demonstrate about something thought to be more important. It seems to me allied to the much more aggressive and noisy driving I see every day on my walks. That is not to cheapen the issue, only to offer help in explanation. What happened in Minneapolis was one of an almost countless number of actions in which US police used their power to subdue, to the point of death, someone they suspected of being involved in something illegal. The numbers in which the victim is black are great, which has been the case for a long time.

To say that the situation in Australia is the same is to cheapen the American case. Nonetheless, we do have our own problems, and they aren’t going away quickly. I spent some ten years in a Canberra group organised by Reconciliation Australia whose purpose was to prevent young Aboriginal men from finding themselves in court and then in prison. Our group was modestly successful in its first few years, but its existence faded over time. Why? One reason was that we whiteys took the business of meetings more seriously than the Aboriginal members who finally didn’t turn up. Another was that no one much seemed to have control within the Aboriginal community, so that sending the boys back to their parents or guardians or family often seemed to have little effect. 

The police who were involved, I thought, took it all seriously. They had no wish to lock up young people who had been skylarking, of whatever skin colour, and it would be great if someone else could take responsibility for them. But if the same young people were apprehended too many times, it was plain to the police that the worthy aims of our group were not being realised, and they still had a job to do. 

The number of 432 deaths in custody since 1991 has been bruited about. I don’t know where it comes from, other than from The Guardian, which seems to have a ‘Deaths Inside project’. There have been annual official statistics about deaths in custody, but alas they don’t allow me to construct much of a trend, for those annual ones seem to have stopped a decade ago. The best detailed figures, ten years old, come from the Australian Institute of Criminology. In 2011-2012 some 42 died in prison, and a year later that number was 53. Of the 42 six were indigenous, and a year later, they were nine of 53. The 42 were all men, while the 53 included one woman. What were the causes of death? One in five hanged himself, seven out of ten died of natural causes, and external trauma (being beaten up) accounted for eight per cent. Heart disease and cancer were the principal ‘natural’ causes of death.

A much more recent paper published by the Institute does show some trends. You can read it at: https://aic.gov.au/publications/sr/sr21. I don’t seem to be able to embed the link. It seems that the rate of death has more than halved since the mid 1990s, and that natural causes are still the major factor in death. More, the rate of death has been much the same over time for indigenous and non-indigenous prisoners. More still, a lot of deaths occur in hospitals: of the 1753 deaths from 1979-80 to 2017-18, 551 occurred in public hospitals and a further 204 in prison hospitals. As you’d expect, older prisoners are more likely to die of natural causes.

I mention all of these figures because there seems to be a tendency in the media, and certainly within the demonstrations, to suggest that all 432 deaths have been caused in some way by police and prison-officer brutality. That cannot be the case, if the official statistics are close to correct, and I think they are.

Having dealt with all that, what are we to do about the rates of incarceration? They do show that Aboriginal men are much more likely to be in prison than non-indigenous men, indeed, providing just over a quarter of the total Australian prisoner population, though making only about three per cent of the Australian population. Ninety per cent of the Aboriginal prisoners are men. Very generally, an Aboriginal man is twelve times more likely to be in prison than a non-indigenous man, and their average age is rather younger, too.

What are they there for? About 35 per cent had committed acts intended to cause injury, and not quite fifteen per cent had committed ‘unlawful entry with intent’, with a further ten per cent into robbery and extortion. They were less like than the non-indigenous to kill, to be involved in sexual assault, or to be into illicit drugs. Ten per cent were there because of what are described as ‘offences against justice’, which can be anything from not doing what police asked them to do, to trying to get out of jail.

When you start looking into these details the scene becomes much more clouded than what is offered by the placards in the demonstrations. What we have is a cultural problem of serious dimensions, not, at least as the official statistics tell us, the result of a massive amount of police brutality. That is not to say there is none, only that focusing on the actions of police is not the effective way to improve things.

What is? I don’t know. My guess is that most non-indigenous Australians would like the Aboriginal protesters to get on with their lives. Some may feel Sorry that it has to be like this. I am not particularly of that persuasion. The notion that Australia would be left alone from the colonial expansion of the European powers in the 18thand 19thcenturies is just fatuous. The Aboriginal peoples  (not ‘First Nations’, for heaven’s sake) had no say in the matter, but there were other possibilities than the British, like the Dutch, the French and the German, though the Germans left their run a bit late. By and large, the British were probably a better bet in the long run than the others. The Australian continent was going to be colonised, and the Aboriginal peoples who lived there would have to get used to new human beings with a greatly superior technology. Their own languages, customs, religions and cultures would soon be of little consequence. That some of their descendants want to protest about this change is understandable. But what is being sought instead? I’ve written about ‘respect’ and ‘identity politics’ before, and don’t want to rehash that discussion here. In the long run, and it may be a very long run, there won’t be much difference between the indigenous and the non-indigenous. For perhaps half of them, there isn’t all that much difference now.

About seventy per cent of our present Aboriginal people live in cities, and work in the same sort of jobs that non-indigenous people occupy. There are increasing numbers of Aboriginal professionals, and of course it is often difficult to know at once whether or not a particular person is of Aboriginal descent. What we have is a muddle. It is a muddle that is getting clearer and more civilised as time passes. Government actions, where they work at all, take a lot of time to be effective. 

What works best is useful action at the local level. I’ve been part of that. If you want to be really Sorry, you do something yourself to show your sorrow and your idea of recompense. You don’t just demonstrate, say you’re angry, and insist that governments do this or that. That’s just too easy, and is yet another example of virtue-signalling.

Join the discussion 79 Comments

  • Alice Thermopolis says:

    DA: “The notion that Australia would be left alone from the colonial expansion of the European powers in the 18thand 19thcenturies is just fatuous…. By and large, the British were probably a better bet in the long run than the others. ”

    The female/male convicts on Sarah Island (1823-1833), Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania, and elsewhere, doubtless thought otherwise during their short and wretched lives.

    Example: Margaret Morgan, aged 16, was sentenced to 7 years at Antrim in August 1817 for picking pockets. She arrived in New South Wales on the Elizabeth in 1818, and in Hobart on the Princess Charlotte in 1820.

    From her conduct record she was to sit in the stocks for 6 hours for neglect of duty at the hospital in February 1821. In May 1822 she was sentenced to wear an iron collar for 7 days on 7 May 1822, for raising a scandalous false report prejudicial to the character of John Anderson, Overseer, at M.H. (Macquarie Harbour). By May 1823 she was back in Hobart and continued to commit all sorts of crimes, even breaching the Dog Licensing Act by having a dog without a licence. Poor Margaret died at the Female House of Correction in 1832, aged 31 years.

    When Port Arthur closed in the late nineteenth century, there were more people in the asylum than the prison.

    • spangled drongo says:

      But, but, but Alice, how does that make the Brits worse than other Euros?

      Life was tough [read more realistic] in those days and prisoners had to get smart and reform or suffer.

      But as Don is actually discussing Aboriginals, you could be right in that case.

      Other Euros may not have been as foolish as we have been in over-indulging them to the point where, on their settlements, they no longer have to bring themselves into the 21st C as they are not required to produce a thing. They get everything they need handed to them on a plate.

      Also, agreeing with them and being “sorry” for their “stolen generations” which no one has been able to find, is something that other “occupiers” may not have been so indulgent with, too.

      Aboriginals were smart, capable people, quite able to survive in their original culture and thus could handle modern culture given half a chance.

      We have not done them any favours in those respects.

    • Boambee John says:

      Alice

      “The female/male convicts on Sarah Island (1823-1833), Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania, and elsewhere, doubtless thought otherwise during their short and wretched lives.”

      I wonder how Macquarie Island compared to Devil’s Island under the French? I wonder how the treatment of aboriginals compared to the German treatment of indigenes in SW Africa?

      Need I go on? Don makes a very good point about being colonised by the British rather than others,

    • Chris Warren says:

      Most European powers perpetrated crimes against humanity as they struggled for trade and empire. The British were exceptionally cruel whether in India (Black Hole of Calcutta etc) or in Africa (concentration camps and slave trade). There are few regions of the world that were not invaded by violent Europeans.

      In Australia local Aborigines were forced to work in chains, and property owners such as Benjamin Boyd brought Pacific Islanders to work on his properties throughout NSW. Similar cases occurred in Queensland.

      The wanton killing of local tribes by settlers and native police were a crime against humanity that, but for a technical legal requirement, could amount to genocide. Some settlers thought that removing one lot of primitive people would be beneficial as it would allow better people to occupy and utilise the land. They thought they had the right to do this.

      It is not possible to rank European powers in terms of which was better for indigenous peoples as many crimes were hidden and deliberately misrepresented in the official record and in victors’ folklore although some researchers are starting to lift the veil.

      • Aert Driessen says:

        Chris, you should apply your powers of perception and analytical skills on examining how the Peoples Republic of China deals with its minorities.

      • Boambee John says:

        Chris

        “. The British were exceptionally cruel whether in India (Black Hole of Calcutta etc)”

        The Black hole of Calcutta was used by the Nawab of Bengal to imprison British and British Indian soldiers and Indian civilian prisoners. About 80% of them died from heat exhaustion and suffocation. Is the rest of your “history” any more reliable?

  • Aynsley Kellow says:

    A thoughtful essay and a difficult topic, Don.

    Alice’s tragic vignette aside, I think you are correct in your assessment of British colonialism – in the long run, as you say. There was much worse.

    Your observation from your experience that ‘no one much seemed to have control within the Aboriginal community’ drew to mind a problem with the nature of that colonialism in Australia that persists today.

    It is often said that it is a pity that there was no treaty in Australia, like the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand. But with whom would such treaty be concluded? And with whom might a treaty today be concluded? Who has such control within the Aboriginal communities today (there is not just one) to commit them all to the terms of any treaty that might be negotiated.

    The New Zealand Maori were organised into tribes with discernible political structures with identifiable leaders who signed the treaty. The numerous Aboriginal groups had (and have) no such structure.

    That is not to say some kind of statement is not possible, but I fear the notion of a treaty will always prove elusive.

    Race relations must take into account such cultural factors. One problem with the adoption of the BLM meme in Australia is that it falsely (as your statistics show) masks some issues on the Aboriginal side, such as violence within communities – especially against women. This is not something that has been imposed upon them.

    There is a similar issue with African American culture in the US, and it is almost impossible to discuss and therefore remedy. I had the pleasure of reading in manuscript the new book by James R Flynn, A Book Too Risky To Publish: Free Speech and Universities, published last December by Academic Press. Flynn has spent much of his academic life both defending humane ideals and the need for dealing with racist theories of intelligence. He points out that the poor educational achievement of African Americans is not genetic, but cultural. Blacks who have more recently come from West Africa perform on a par with whites, for example. But Black American culture has many features, especially absentee fathers, that hamper the development of kids. It’s not just that fathers don’t commit; there is a shortage black males, as a result of incarceration, premature death (often at the hands of those incarcerated), etc. George Floyd had a 6 year-old daughter in Minneapolis and a 27 year-old son in Houston, to different mothers, and was quite typical of the problem.

    Flynn points out that discussion of such matters is effectively taboo in US universities. The reaction to his tragic death simply reinforces this – and masks the root of problems. As someone pointed out on your last thread, the murder by a black policeman in Minneapolis of white Australian Justine Damond was also tragic and both officers are receiving their just desserts and due process. The Mob is rarely the answer to such complex problems. Indeed, it perpetuates them.

  • Alice Thermopolis says:

    SD: As you may be aware, the ‘stolen generations’ myth – like the Dark Emu and Young Dark Emu myths – has been embraced by the Academy:

    From: Vice-Chancellor
    Sent: Thursday, 28 May 2020 6:28 PM
    To: All Staff
    Subject: National Reconciliation Week 2020

    Dear UWA Staff

    “This Tuesday was National Sorry Day and I am sure many of you can still recall that glorious sunny day in 2008 when the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd stood in the Australian Parliament and, on our collective behalf, said “We say sorry”. It is the day on which we respectfully acknowledge the thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children taken from their families.” etc

    Professor Jane den Hollander AO
    Vice-Chancellor

    “Thousands” taken from their families?” Fact-check, please.

    Keith Windschuttle: https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2010/01-02/why-there-were-no-stolen-generations/

    “My conclusion is that not only is the charge of genocide unwarranted, but so is the term “Stolen Generations”. Aboriginal children were never removed from their families in order to put an end to Aboriginality or, indeed, to serve any improper government policy or program. The small numbers of Aboriginal child removals in the twentieth century were almost all based on traditional grounds of child welfare. Most children affected had been orphaned, abandoned, des¬titute,neglected or subject to various forms of domestic violence, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.”

    • spangled drongo says:

      Yes Alice, so true. When I was out west working and living with Aboriginals, I saw one 14 year old girl who had been heavily pregnant suddenly not pregnant and asked her how the baby was. “Baby? What baby?” she asked. So a few of us started looking and found the baby and placenta being consumed by meat ants. We got the Flying Doctor to attend to things and the baby was promptly “stolen” and eventually fostered out.

    • JMO says:

      Dark Emu? Chariots of the Gods? Worlds in Collision? Etc etc, yes just like the Truman Show. It is all true! Not.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Let’s just rewrite history to suit these morons:

    “On Tuesday, Black Lives Matter supporters chanted “Rhodes, you’re next’’ after gathering outside Oriel college at Oxford University to demand the Cecil Rhodes monument be removed.

    Others on the Topple The Racists hitlist includes monuments of Sir Francis Drake at Plymouth, Sir Robert Peel, Christopher Columbus, Horatio Nelson, William Gladstone and Oliver Cromwell.”

  • Chris Warren says:

    Don

    The Black Lives Matter upsurge, as it relates to Australia, is a symptom of deep disquiet over all aspects of our relationship with aboriginal people and the failure of all attempts to reconcile most of them to their predicament. Lang Hancock’s call for aboriginals to be surreptitiously sterilised hardly helped.

    Despite Elliott Johnston’s Deaths in Custody report in 1991, the Mabo decision and Prime Minister Keating’s Redfern Speech in 1992, nothing substantial has changed over 20 years. Not only that, but for a period, violent history wars were launched that rendered reconciliation all but hopeless. Howard’s NT intervention and the Basics Card added to the grief. WEH Stanner presented his Boyer Lecture in 1969 and the Aboriginal Embassy was set up outside parliament in 1972. So obviously people are becoming frustrated now – 50 years later. Their calls now are NOT “virtue-signalling” – a typical political slander that is all too often used.

    In fact it is hard to find much to congratulate Australia for within indigenous affairs except for Whitlam’s establishing land rights which has helped a considerable number of aboriginal communities and some programs funding Aboriginal health and legal services etc. These are gains at the margin.

    From an aboriginal point of view – there is no difference between any original European coloniser for the 18thC British were as murderous as any other and squatters and settlers through the 1800’s were all as bad as each other irrespective of nationality. From the British point of view, of course they were “a better bet” – but they would say that wouldn’t they. There is no progress in any of this by implying – ‘It could have been worse’.

    If you read the AIC Report (pg3) an obvious question arises; why do aboriginal people represent 28% of the prison population? This is the reality.

    • Boambee John says:

      Chris

      Check the statistics for domestic violence, particularly the high proportion of aboriginal women among those treated in hospital. One sample

      “An Aboriginal woman is 45 times more likely to experience domestic violence than a white woman. Violence patterns are passed on from parents to their children.”

      Another figure, from the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse, puts the rate of hospitalisation of indigenous women from domestic violence at 32 times the rate for non-aboriginal women.

      The incarceration problem could be solved by ignoring aboriginal domestic violence, but that also would be unacceptable to BLM campaigners.

      What is your proposed solution?

  • BB says:

    I am tired of this argument but I am still appreciative of your comments Don. I am certain that it really is a problem brought on by the nature of many in the white community. I suggest watching this https://youtu.be/l9eZzN_CEso she lives in Alice Springs as a full blood mother and is in the aboriginal community most activists really don’t know what the life of the aboriginal particularly the female is. It is a life of violence of abuse and death perpetrated by their own kind. Not for all but a fair number who don’t live in the major cities that is their life. When you look at those involved in the demonstrations you see the organisations of Antifa, Communist Party et cetera. I look at the crowds and those I see are mainly white. I do not think these demonstrations are about what they claim. They are about attacking our political systems and as usual aboriginals are being used. Our mainstream media has much to answer for particularly the ABC by perpetuating an ideological agenda rather than an honest appraisal of the problems of those that live as aboriginals. Much is not reported we have a friend in Alice Springs. She went there when a husband was transferred there is a Commonwealth employee. It is an armed camp the streets are not safe at night. She lives in a gated community and even though it is a three minute walk to work she uses a car. Child marriage, murder of your spouse is tolerated cultural law you know! Until our media is honest and reports what happens under the pretext of culture there will be no change. The idea of the stolen generation, reconciliation, deaths in custody and so on and so on are not honest and merely points of leverage which will not improve anything.

    • Aynsley Kellow says:

      Nailed it BB. There are aspects of traditional culture that are toxic, and if we do not talk about them and address them we have no hope. There are some brave souls like Jacinta Price who do. There are people like Noel Pearson who are working on remedies to educational disadvantage. But they are easily howled down by the activists who have no solutions to offer.

      We can’t do it for them – it must come from within.

      Incidentally, you are correct about the takeover of the cause. The Trots are a kind of retrovirus that infects other causes to hasten the demise of capitalism. Many years ago I helped organise anti-war demos, including the 1971 National Party Conference in Dunedin NZ that turned violence, not by design, but through the actions of the Trots. They discredit any cause!

  • spangled drongo says:

    We are being bullied into changing our regard of history but the philosophy responsible for the greatest number of deaths ever, gets off scot free.

    Karl Marx’s statue isn’t even on the list.

  • There’s an opinion Australia would’ve been better off environmentally if settled by the Portuguese as a colonial power. That way we wouldn’t be fixated on oaks, elms and green lawns!

  • Neville says:

    We’re very fortunate to have Jacinta Price to help us understand the horrendous nature of the treatment of Aboriginal women and kids, throughout Australia.
    The so called black lives matter mob are stupid and deceptive and we never hear this mob talk about the the endless assaults, rapes, abuse, murders etc of black women and kids at the hands of black men.
    We know these gutless cowards who repeatedly carry out
    this carnage get a free pass from most of our clueless media and the blame is passed onto the rest of Australia, who also have to try and make a difference every year.
    Jacinta is a courageous woman and works hard to try and make a difference, although she also has to suffer ongoing personal abuse from these cowards and parts of the media for exposing their lies and deception.
    Here’s an interview from 2 GB and just a portion of the data and evidence available to prove her case. Jacinta is correct and these cowards should be exposed and condemned at every opportunity.

    https://www.2gb.com/podcast/indigenous-activist-jacinta-price-slams-virtue-signalling-protesters/

    • spangled drongo says:

      Thanks for that, Neville. The practice of women and child abuse has been going on for the 50,000 years they have been here but before the 1967 referendum [which was supported by over 90 % of the country] they had to provide for themselves a lot more so it probably was not much different from the rest of the world although infanticide has always been a common practice.

      Since 1967, through our stupid legislating, they have increasingly been deprived of the ability to be self supporting and the resulting idleness has caused this practice of abuse to get out of control.

      Jacinta Price and her mother Bess before her have tried to rectify these and many other problems but all they get is abuse.

      Even from people like our ABC.

      Who’d ‘a’ thought?

  • spangled drongo says:

    Milo Yiannopoulos explains why black lives don’t matter to Black Lives Matter:

  • Neville says:

    This BLM lunacy is absurd and their ideas like defunding police forces etc should be condemned by any reasonable person and all groups across the political divide.
    All lives should matter way beyond race or skin colour and we should never surrender our freedoms to the hatred and violence of the mob.
    Here Jo Nova presents the case and includes the Tucker Carlson video from FOX news outlining what these idiots really believe and how the DEMs in the USA have fallen for this madness, hook, line and sinker.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2020/06/tucker-black-lives-matter-is-now-a-political-party/#comments

  • Aynsley Kellow says:

    There is an interesting and excellent anonymous letter written by a member of the History Department at University of California Berkeley that reinforces my remarks about the problems of African American culture.

    The full letter is at: https://pastebin.com/WBzAFDgA

    The writer makes a similar point to that of Flynn: if the police and the justice system is racist and victimises Blacks, and this is the reason why the Black incarceration rate is higher than that of Whites, how do we explain the fact that the incarceration rates of Asian, Middle Eastern and Jewish people are lower than those of Whites?

    The writer identifies themselves as a person of colour whose family has been the victims of people like George Floyd, whom they describe as ‘a violent misogynist.’ To wit:
    ‘Floyd was a multiple felon who once held a pregnant black woman at gunpoint. He broke into her home with a gang of men and pointed a gun at her pregnant stomach. He terrorized the women in his community. He sired and abandoned multiple children, playing no part in their support or upbringing, failing one of the most basic tests of decency for a human being. He was a drug-addict and sometime drug-dealer, a swindler who preyed upon his honest and hard-working neighbors.’

    The writer does not pull their punches, and this para is particularly interesting:
    ‘Most troublingly, our department appears to have been entirely captured by the interests of the Democratic National Convention,and the Democratic Party more broadly. To explain what I mean, consider what happens if you choose to donate to Black Lives Matter, an organization UCB History has explicitly promoted in its recent mailers. All donations to the official BLM website are immediately redirected to ActBlue Charities, an organization primarily concerned with bankrolling election campaigns for Democrat candidates. Donating to BLM today is to indirectly donate to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. This is grotesque given the fact that the American cities with the worst rates of black-on-black violence and police-on-black violence are overwhelmingly Democrat-run. Minneapolis itself has been entirely in the hands of Democrats for over five decades; the ‘systemic racism’ there was built by successive Democrat administrations.’

    Please read the whole letter.

    • Aynsley Kellow says:

      Apologies. I omitted to mention the fact that the incarceration rate for Nigerian Americans (very close genetically to those whose forebears were enslaved) is also lower than Whites, and (as Flynn pointed out) their educational achievement is on a par with White Americans.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Aynsley, your link now says:

      “This page has been removed!

      This page is no longer available. It has either expired, been removed by its creator, or removed by one of the Pastebin staff.”

      The truth obviously hurts to the point where it must not be uttered.

      • Aynsley Kellow says:

        Curious! I don’t know Pastebin, but Google told be it was a site where people could store things temporarily. I didn’t imagine it was THAT temporary!

        I have a PDF and will copy and paste it here in three tranches with Don’s indulgence.

  • Aynsley Kellow says:

    First tranche:
    UC Berkeley History Professor’s Open Letter Against BLM, Police Brutality and Cultural Orthodoxy
    2. ————————————————————————————————
    3.
    4. Dear profs X, Y, Z
    5.
    6. I am one of your colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. I have met you both personally but do not know you
    closely, and am contacting you anonymously, with apologies. I am worried that writing this email publicly might lead to me losing
    my job, and likely all future jobs in my field.
    7.
    8. In your recent departmental emails you mentioned our pledge to diversity, but I am increasingly alarmed by the absence of
    diversity of opinion on the topic of the recent protests and our community response to them.
    9.
    10. In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or
    alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system. The explanation provided in your documentation, to the near exclusion of all others, is univariate: the problems of the black community are caused by whites, or, when whites are not physically present, by the infiltration of white supremacy and white systemic racism into American brains, souls, and institutions.
    11.
    12. Many cogent objections to this thesis have been raised by sober voices, including from within the black community itself, such as
    Thomas Sowell and Wilfred Reilly. These people are not racists or ‘Uncle Toms’. They are intelligent scholars who reject a narrative that strips black people of agency and systematically externalizes the problems of the black community onto outsiders. Their view is entirely absent from the departmental and UCB-wide communiques.
    13.
    14. The claim that the difficulties that the black community faces are entirely causally explained by exogenous factors in the form
    of white systemic racism, white supremacy, and other forms of white discrimination remains a problematic hypothesis that should be vigorously challenged by historians. Instead, it is being treated as an axiomatic and actionable truth without serious consideration of its profound flaws, or its worrying implication of total black impotence. This hypothesis is transforming our institution and our culture, without any space for dissent outside of a tightly policed, narrow discourse.
    15.
    16. A counternarrative exists. If you have time, please consider examining some of the documents I attach at the end of this email. 17.
    18. Overwhelmingly, the reasoning provided by BLM and allies is either primarily anecdotal (as in the case with the bulk of Ta-Nehisi
    Coates’ undeniably moving article) or it is transparently motivated. As an example of the latter problem, consider the proportion of black incarcerated Americans. This proportion is often used to characterize the criminal justice system as anti-black. However, if we use the precise same methodology, we would have to conclude that the criminal justice system is even more anti- male than it is anti-black. Would we characterize criminal justice as a systemically misandrist conspiracy against innocent American men? I hope you see that this type of reasoning is flawed, and requires a significant suspension of our rational faculties. Black people are not incarcerated at higher rates than their involvement in violent crime would predict. This fact has been demonstrated multiple times across multiple jurisdictions in multiple countries. And yet, I see my department uncritically reproducing a narrative that diminishes black agency in favor of a white-centric explanation that appeals to the department’s apparent desire to shoulder the ‘white man’s burden’ and to promote a narrative of white guilt.
    19.
    20. If we claim that the criminal justice system is white-supremacist, why is it that Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian
    Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans? This is a funny sort of white supremacy. Even Jewish Americans are incarcerated less than gentile whites. I think it’s fair to say that your average white supremacist disapproves of Jews. And yet, these alleged white supremacists incarcerate gentiles at vastly higher rates than Jews. None of this is addressed in your literature. None of this is explained, beyond hand-waving and ad hominems. “Those are racist dogwhistles”. “The model minority myth is white supremacist”. “Only fascists talk about black-on-black crime”, ad nauseam. These types of statements do

  • Aynsley Kellow says:

    Second tranche:
    not amount to counterarguments: they are simply arbitrary offensive classifications, intended to silence and oppress discourse. Any serious historian will recognize these for the silencing orthodoxy tactics they are, common to suppressive regimes, doctrines, and religions throughout time and space. They are intended to crush real diversity and permanently exile the culture of robust criticism from our department.
    21.
    22. Increasingly, we are being called upon to comply and subscribe to BLM’s problematic view of history, and the department is being
    presented as unified on the matter. In particular, ethnic minorities are being aggressively marshaled into a single position. Any apparent unity is surely a function of the fact that dissent could almost certainly lead to expulsion or cancellation for those of us in a precarious position, which is no small number.
    23.
    24. I personally don’t dare speak out against the BLM narrative, and with this barrage of alleged unity being mass-produced by the
    administration, tenured professoriat, the UC administration, corporate America, and the media, the punishment for dissent is a clear danger at a time of widespread economic vulnerability. I am certain that if my name were attached to this email, I would lose my job and all future jobs, even though I believe in and can justify every word I type.
    25.
    26. The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people. There are virtually no marches for
    these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution. Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is.
    27.
    28. No discussion is permitted for nonblack victims of black violence, who proportionally outnumber black victims of nonblack
    violence. This is especially bitter in the Bay Area, where Asian victimization by black assailants has reached epidemic proportions, to the point that the SF police chief has advised Asians to stop hanging good-luck charms on their doors, as this attracts the attention of (overwhelmingly black) home invaders. Home invaders like George Floyd. For this actual, lived, physically experienced reality of violence in the USA, there are no marches, no tearful emails from departmental heads, no support from McDonald’s and Wal-Mart. For the History department, our silence is not a mere abrogation of our duty to shed light on the truth: it is a rejection of it.
    29.
    30. The claim that black intraracial violence is the product of redlining, slavery, and other injustices is a largely historical
    claim. It is for historians, therefore, to explain why Japanese internment or the massacre of European Jewry hasn’t led to equivalent rates of dysfunction and low SES performance among Japanese and Jewish Americans respectively. Arab Americans have been viciously demonized since 9/11, as have Chinese Americans more recently. However, both groups outperform white Americans on nearly all SES indices – as do Nigerian Americans, who incidentally have black skin. It is for historians to point out and discuss these anomalies. However, no real discussion is possible in the current climate at our department. The explanation is provided to us, disagreement with it is racist, and the job of historians is to further explore additional ways in which the explanation is additionally correct. This is a mockery of the historical profession.
    31.
    32. Most troublingly, our department appears to have been entirely captured by the interests of the Democratic National Convention,
    and the Democratic Party more broadly. To explain what I mean, consider what happens if you choose to donate to Black Lives Matter, an organization UCB History has explicitly promoted in its recent mailers. All donations to the official BLM website are immediately redirected to ActBlue Charities, an organization primarily concerned with bankrolling election campaigns for Democrat
    candidates. Donating to BLM today is American cities with the worst rates Minneapolis itself has been entirely successive Democrat administrations.
    to indirectly donate to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. This is grotesque given the fact that the of black-on-black violence and police-on-black violence are overwhelmingly Democrat-run.
    in the hands of Democrats for over five decades; the ‘systemic racism’ there was built by
    33.
    34. The patronizing and condescending attitudes of Democrat leaders towards the black community, exemplified by nearly every Biden
    statement on the black race, all but guarantee a perpetual state of misery, resentment, poverty, and the attendant grievance politics which are simultaneously annihilating American political discourse and black lives. And yet, donating to BLM is bankrolling the election campaigns of men like Mayor Frey, who saw their cities devolve into violence. This is a grotesque capture of a good-faith movement for necessary police reform, and of our department, by a political party. Even worse, there are virtually no avenues for dissent in academic circles. I refuse to serve the Party, and so should you. The total alliance of major corporations involved in human exploitation with BLM should be a warning flag to us, and yet this damning evidence goes unnoticed, purposefully ignored, or perversely celebrated. We are the useful idiots of the wealthiest classes, carrying water for Jeff Bezos and other actual, real, modern-day slavers. Starbucks, an organisation using literal black slaves in its coffee plantation suppliers, is in favor of BLM. Sony, an organisation using cobalt mined by yet more literal black slaves, many of whom are children, is in favor of BLM. And so, apparently, are we. The absence of counter-narrative enables this obscenity. Fiat lux, indeed.
    35.
    36. There also exists a large constituency of what can only be called ‘race hustlers’: hucksters of all colors who benefit from
    stoking the fires of racial conflict to secure administrative jobs, charity management positions, academic jobs and advancement,

  • Aynsley Kellow says:

    Third tranche:
    or personal political entrepreneurship.
    37.
    38. Given the direction our history department appears to be taking far from any commitment to truth, we can regard ourselves as a
    formative training institution for this brand of snake-oil salespeople. Their activities are corrosive, demolishing any hope at harmonious racial coexistence in our nation and colonizing our political and institutional life. Many of their voices are unironically segregationist. MLK would likely be called an Uncle Tom if he spoke on our campus today. We are training leaders who intend, explicitly, to destroy one of the only truly successful ethnically diverse societies in modern history. As the PRC, an ethnonationalist and aggressively racially chauvinist national polity with null immigration and no concept of jus solis increasingly presents itself as the global political alternative to the US, I ask you: Is this wise? Are we really doing the right thing?
    39.
    40. As a final point, our university and department has made multiple statements celebrating and eulogizing George Floyd. Floyd was a
    multiple felon who once held a pregnant black woman at gunpoint. He broke into her home with a gang of men and pointed a gun at her pregnant stomach. He terrorized the women in his community. He sired and abandoned multiple children, playing no part in their support or upbringing, failing one of the most basic tests of decency for a human being. He was a drug-addict and sometime drug-dealer, a swindler who preyed upon his honest and hard-working neighbors.
    41.
    42. And yet, the regents of UC and the historians of the UCB History department are celebrating this violent criminal, elevating his
    name to virtual sainthood. A man who hurt women. A man who hurt black women. With the full collaboration of the UCB history department, corporate America, most mainstream media outlets, and some of the wealthiest and most privileged opinion-shaping elites of the USA, he has become a culture hero, buried in a golden casket, his (recognized) family showered with gifts and praise. Americans are being socially pressured into kneeling for this violent, abusive misogynist. A generation of black men are being coerced into identifying with George Floyd, the absolute worst specimen of our race and species. I’m ashamed of my department. I would say that I’m ashamed of both of you, but perhaps you agree with me, and are simply afraid, as I am, of the backlash of speaking the truth. It’s hard to know what kneeling means, when you have to kneel to keep your job.
    43.
    44. It shouldn’t affect the strength of my argument above, but for the record, I write as a person of color. My family have been
    personally victimized by men like Floyd. We are aware of the condescending depredations of the Democrat party against our race. The humiliating assumption that we are too stupid to do STEM, that we need special help and lower requirements to get ahead in life, is richly familiar to us. I sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to deal with open fascists, who at least would be straightforward in calling me a subhuman, and who are unlikely to share my race.
    45.
    46. The ever-present soft bigotry of low expectations and the permanent claim that the solutions to the plight of my people rest
    exclusively on the goodwill of whites rather than on our own hard work is psychologically devastating. No other group in America is systematically demoralized in this way by its alleged allies. A whole generation of black children are being taught that only by begging and weeping and screaming will they get handouts from guilt-ridden whites. No message will more surely devastate their futures, especially if whites run out of guilt, or indeed if America runs out of whites. If this had been done to Japanese Americans, or Jewish Americans, or Chinese Americans, then Chinatown and Japantown would surely be no different to the roughest parts of Baltimore and East St. Louis today. The History department of UCB is now an integral institutional promulgator of a destructive and denigrating fallacy about the black race.
    47.
    48. I hope you appreciate the frustration behind this message. I do not support BLM. I do not support the Democrat grievance agenda
    and the Party’s uncontested capture of our department. I do not support the Party co-opting my race, as Biden recently did in his disturbing interview, claiming that voting Democrat and being black are isomorphic. I condemn the manner of George Floyd’s death and join you in calling for greater police accountability and police reform. However, I will not pretend that George Floyd was anything other than a violent misogynist, a brutal man who met a predictably brutal end.
    49.
    50. I also want to protect the practice of history. Cleo is no grovelling handmaiden to politicians and corporations. Like us, she is
    free.

  • Aynsley Kellow says:

    SD – it has gone viral.
    A Google search found a reference on Reddit that included a comment that someone had reposted it:
    https://pastebin.com/AcHnHhRL
    There seems to be wide discussion of it on various sites.

  • Boxer says:

    Assuming that the letter posted above is authentic, it has brought to mind an observation made by Jesse Jackson some time ago. He expressed his anger that he felt nervous if he realised he was being followed along the street by a fellow African American.

    Where have the Martin Luther Kings of the past gone? Perhaps this anonymous African American academic is one. And he must hide when he gives his opinion.

    The 1960s and 70s were disappointing when I look back at them. However in general, as I recall, the middle class revolutionaries of that time where certainly naive and mostly wrong, but at least we weren’t facist.

    • Aynsley Kellow says:

      The interesting thing is, it doesn’t really matter if the letter was actually written by an historian from Berkeley – the arguments are devastating. It doesn’t really matter who mounted them.

      • Chris Warren says:

        Yes a, self serving sanctimonious winge – it shows why BLM movement has sprung-up spontaneously. If that is all the well paid can say – BLM will last for a very long time to come.

        No real academic would construct such arguments with out evidence – all missing. You get better arguments than this in church or mosque. It has all the signs of a deliberate fake post by rightwing social media kitchens.

        https://web.archive.org/web/20200611111027/https://pastebin.com/WBzAFDgA

        • Aynsley Kellow says:

          Chris, your response is embarrassing. It confirms the view to be gathered from your previous posts that you are beyond the usual standards of debate, based on reason and evidence.

          I started my discussion of the importance of culture in all this by quoting James R Flynn, who has spent his life arguing for humane ideals. He is a socialist and a strong opponent of racism who was arrested back in the civil rights era. His scholarship criticising racist theories of intelligence is exemplary in its insistence on treating opposing arguments seriously and relying on reason and evidence. He provides clear evidence to support the points the anonymous letter writer makes about Black American culture: that it is responsible for most of the ills described, and that it is not a racist justice system that is primarily responsible for Black men (about 7% of the US population) committing about half the murders and serious crimes.

          Not only are they over-represented in these figures, Asian, Jewish, Middle Eastern and Nigerian Americans are under-represented compared with White Americans. This last category is important. Nigerians are just as black in appearance as African Americans (more so than many), so racist police would be discriminating against them just as much.

          Until this is recognised (and BLM simply masks it) there is no hope of improvement. These violent crimes, like those of George Floyd, have Blacks overwhelmingly as their victims. (Boxer’s comment about Jesse Jackson (above) is germane). Look at what happened last weekend in Chicago when the police basically abandoned Black districts: 18 deaths, with overwhelmingly Black perpetrators and Black victims.

          Do you seriously think BLM is the answer to anything? Thankfully, it will likely peter out as most such mob movements do. Despite Biden’s attempt to exploit it, it will probably help to re-elect Trump, as the middle class (especially in the ‘flyover’ states quietly express their fears at the ballot box).

          Incidentally, why do you think the South voted solidly Democrat for 120 years after the Civil War? Lincoln was a Republican, and racists in the Democratic Party like George Wallace dominated politics. (A realignment occurred in the 1980s). If the heirs of a racist past are to be criticised, why not them?

          • Chris Warren says:

            Aynsley Kellow

            Your response is embarrassing. It confirms the view to be gathered from your previous posts that you are beyond the usual standards of debate, based on reason and evidence. If the post was real and truely received by honest people, it would attached to some email address.

            As pastebin does not normally delete posts and the original post was set to expire “never”, given it was deleted, it seems the original has been found to be fake and action has been taken similar to facebook and twitter. There is no other explanation – the post was deleted in contradiction to the settings from the anonymous poster and in contradiction to Pastebin’s normal practice.

            The author was not a real academic as there are too many statements such as; ” The claim that the difficulties that the black community faces are entirely causally explained by exogenous factors in the form of white systemic racism, white supremacy, ”

            No one claims that difficulties are entirely explained by exogenous white racism etc.

            No academic would launch irrelevant attacks against George Floyd when the issue is his death-by-cop. You do not lessen murder by describing the victim as “a violent misogynist, a brutal man” who somehow was expected to be killed. This constant blame the victim could only increase the ire of BLMers.

            Most people understand that the BLM surge has less to do with George Floyd but the long history of similar events going back centuries.

            If you want to cry for evidence try a little bit harder. Start here:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_incidents_of_civil_unrest_in_the_United_States

            If you want to deal seriously with these issues – you need to work a lot harder on trying to understand all the different factors.

  • Boambee John says:

    Chris

    Like your argument above on the evils of the British Empire? No references, and your first example of “British” cruelty actually completely back to front? Does it show signs of a deliberate fake post by left wing social media kitchens?

  • Aynsley Kellow says:

    Strangely, Chris Warren’s post does not have a ‘Reply’ button, so I will reply here.

    Remarkably, he states: ‘If the post was real and truely [sic] received by honest people, it would attached to some email address.’ This at a time when people are losing their jobs for even within to discuss the concept pf ‘White Privilege.’

    I pointed out above that it doesn’t matter who wrote the letter, because it should be judged by the quality of its arguments. That should mean people like Chris cannot commit the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem, but he manages anyway, by stating it must have been ‘a deliberate fake post by rightwing social media kitchens’, and could not possibly be by an academic. ‘No academic would launch irrelevant attacks against George Floyd when the issue is his death-by-cop.’ Floyd’s death was a tragedy that should and will be dealt with by the process of the law. But his history as a violent misogynistic criminal who has fathered multiple children and then deserted them and their mother whom he did not marry is entirely relevant to the problem of Black culture

    And if he is going to throw Wikipedia lists of the long and multitudinous history of civil disorder into the ring, he should perhaps try the list of race riots. There he might note that many have resulted from the outcomes of judicial processes that the Mob did not like – spurred on, as currently, by operators like Al Sharpton. Note his role in the Crown Heights riot when, after he told the Mob “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house”, Australian student Yankel Rosenbaum was fatally stabbed.

    I have no wish to continue to debate Chris Warren and will not do so. As an American friend once said to me, ‘Never get in a pissing match with a polecat’. Especially one with well developed cognitive dissonance.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Aynsley Kellow

    Yes with such a performance, you should write yourself out.

    If you want to use concepts such as argumentum ad hominem or cognitive dissonance, please learn how to use them appropriately in future.

    It would also help that when evidence is presented, read it. If you had managed to do this you would have found that the Crown Heights riots were included in the list.

    • Aynsley Kellow says:

      As I said, I will not debate Chris Warren. I have confidence in the ability of the readers here to draw their own conclusions as to the merits of our respective arguments.

    • Boambee John says:

      Chris

      “It would also help that when evidence is presented, read it.”

      You make a good point about the need to justify statements.

      When might we expect to see the evidence to support your allegation about the “exceptionally cruel … (Black Hole of Calcutta …)” atrocity perpetrated by that evil British imperialist member of the House of Lords, the Nawab of Bengal? I’m sure you have evidence to have posted your allegation, we would all like to read it.

      Or is the requirement for evidence only for the little people, not for pompous pontificating prats like you?

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    I have watched the video of the killing. I distinctly heard him say “I can’t breathe”. Really? When you’re being strangled?

    • Chris Warren says:

      Bryan Roberts – demonstrating why BLM has taken off.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Hey blith, ever tried to talk when you can’t breathe?

        Or are you pointing out that BLM really is fakery?

    • Aynsley Kellow says:

      Bryan, without reading the post-mortem reports and going only by the media reports, the pressure on his neck was clearly a factor and contributed to a heart attack. The fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system were a factor, but the pressure was on the side of his neck and would have placed considerable pressure on his carotid artery and probably the carotid sinus, the nerves to which play an important part in regulating the heart and blood pressure. The false signal that his blood pressure was too high would have resulted in a physiological response that would have severely reduced his blood pressure to the point where he was not receiving sufficient oxygen – hence the sensation of not being able to breath. The pressure was not on his larynx or oesophagus.

      One can understand the need to subdue Floyd, at least initially. He was a big man (193cm, 101 kg) who was uncooperative. But why the knee was applied for almost nine minutes is the key point. Were they waiting for assistance? Chauvin was looking directly at the camera recording the scene, so would he be stupid enough to deliberately kill Floyd on camera?

      All this will come out in the trial, no doubt.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    Aynsley, the autopsy report is available online. Given the contributing factors, I suspect the verdict will be involuntary manslaughter, which will set off a new chain of riots. The mob will not be satisfied with anything less than murder.

    • Aynsley Kellow says:

      Agreed Bryan. Many of the worst race riots in American history have followed acquittal or failure to charge officers (eg Rodney King), In the old days, that was often because of corrupt and/or racist police, but there is little evidence of this these days. Culpable police mostly suffer the consequences.

      Much of the concern in New York, of course, is because of the policing there dating from the days of Guiliani, but the costs of police wrongdoing have to be balanced against the reduction in murders that was an order of magnitude – a reduction from 2,000+ annually to 300+. Many of those lives saved were Black – and they mattered!

    • Boxer says:

      I think you are right. A conviction of murder will be the only acceptable verdict for the lynch mob on social media, who will then spill onto the streets.

      Policing in the USA seems to be in an impossible position. The police appear to overreact in some circumstances, when people are shot while running away, or when someone walks up to the side of a patrol car in the dark. The latest schimozzle in Atlanta may be an example, but I have read that the guy who was shot was running away, and in the same article it is said that he ran away at first, then turned and came back at the police with a tazer he had wrenched from the police. Facts are hard to identify.

      The police seem to be hypervigilant, which I imagine comes from the problem of an armed society. Many cops are shot, and if I worked in such an environment, I would have my own weapon at the front of my mind at all times, and I would only socialise with other police.

      There is an interesting article on Quillette … https://quillette.com/2020/06/11/racist-police-violence-reconsidered/
      which presents useful data and gives some rational perspective to the issue.

      • Aynsley Kellow says:

        Yes, I think the Second Amendment has a lot to do with it – as does the size of some of the people they are dealing with. The Atlanta guy broke free from two police officers, taking the taser of one. He ran away and then turned, and pointed the taser at the police officer, who had to decide (adrenaline pumping after the struggle) whether it was the taser or a gun he might have had. In the dark, mind you. Why he did not just allow himself to be arrested after testing positive for alcohol (he was asleep and blocking the drive through at a Wendy’s) we will never know. One can only assume a total disrespect for the law – which is set-fulfilling.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Aynsley Kellow

    Are you making stuff up? What evidence is there that;

    “the police officer, who had to decide (adrenaline pumping after the struggle) whether it was the taser or a gun he might have had.”

    Is this just fake news?

    • Boambee John says:

      Pathetic, pettifogging, pusillanimous comment made by someone who seems to have lived a life of perfect safety, protected by those he despises.

      • Boambee John says:

        PS, Chris

        Stil waiting for your perfectly referenced evidence from recognised historians and august refereed journals of the evil British locking themselves and their Indian allies in the Black Hole of Calcutta, where 80% of them died. The survivors were presumably rescued by the noble Nawab of Bengal.

      • Aynsley Kellow says:

        Thanks for the defence, BJ.

        As I have said above, I will not dignify Chris Warren’s rantings with a response to him, and this reply shows why that is futile.

        I was describing what is documented by the body cam of the police officer and the security camera, which show the whole encounter. What does he dispute? That the attempt to escape from handcuffing when he was being placed under arrest for drink driving would not have resulted in elevated adrenaline levels on the part of the officer? That is the only element in my statement not provided by the video footage – but then there’s only about a century of physiological evidence to suggest that would have happened.

        But this is a guy that attributes an anonymous letter to a right wing nut job so that he can ignore its compelling arguments, and then doesn’t’t recognise that this is argumentum ad hominem, and that such is possible even if the putative right winger he invokes is not named. Classic cognitive dissonance – and, yes, I have read my Festinger, including his earlier work from which the theory derives: When Prophecy Fails. Given Chris’s constant attempts to explain away contrary evidence that suggests his prophesies of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change might be wrong, he would do well to read it.

        • Chris Warren says:

          So denial of cop murder goes hand-in-hand with climate denial?

          Why do zealots always try to reduce any theme into their climate-denial fantasy?

          There is a simple question:

          What evidence is there that:

          “the police officer, who had to decide (adrenaline pumping after the struggle) whether it was the taser or a gun he might have had.”

          If you look at the footage – it is clear that it was only a taser.

          So what is the source of the gun theory ???????

          • Boambee John says:

            Chris

            Silly even by your standards.

            Easy to look at the footage at leisure, not so easy under for someone a clear threat (tasers are weapons too) with a requirement for a near instantaneous decision.

            As I noted above, second guessing by “someone who seems to have lived a life of perfect safety, protected by those he despises.”

            How are you going with those Black Hole of Calcutta references? Surely you have them to hand, to have made your slanderous allegation.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Aynsley, our blithering friend here screams “denier” at all who, for rational reasons cannot help but refute his twaddle, yet his own argument and debate is not only evidence-free and dripping with denial but he is too obtuse to even see it.

          He is beyond redemption and you are very wise to treat him as you do.

          • Aynsley Kellow says:

            SD, yes – he seems oblivious to the fact that he is his own worst enemy. (And I will not add, as I think Aneurin Bevan once did, ‘Not while there is breath in my body.’ That would simply be a waste of breath).

    • Neville says:

      Give up you pathetic donkey and leave the comments for rational people to discuss. BTW, how’s your co2 emissions + levels panning out over the last 5 years and even the last 3 to 4 months?
      Starting to wake up are we?

  • Neville says:

    Just to prove how mad, woke and dense the left wing media+ DEMS have become in the US. This extract is from the Rolling Stone magazine who are frustrated at the intolerance shown by the Marxists and other extreme leftie loons to any other more tolerant US point of view across their country. Just check out how these left wing cultist extremists have isolated themselves from the majority US polling point of view.

    via Matt Taibbi):

    “On the other side of the political aisle, among self-described liberals, we’re watching an intellectual revolution. It feels liberating to say after years of tiptoeing around the fact, but the American left has lost its mind. It’s become a cowardly mob of upper-class social media addicts, Twitter Robespierres who move from discipline to discipline torching reputations and jobs with breathtaking casualness.

    The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation. They are counting on the guilt-ridden, self-flagellating nature of traditional American progressives, who will not stand up for themselves, and will walk to the Razor voluntarily.

    They’ve conned organization after organization into empowering panels to search out thoughtcrime, and it’s established now that anything can be an offense, from a UCLA professor placed under investigation for reading Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” out loud to a data scientist fired* from a research firm for — get this — retweeting an academic study suggesting nonviolent protests may be more politically effective than violent ones!

    Now, this madness is coming for journalism.

    […]

    …the Philadelphia Inquirer’s editor, Stan Wischowski, was forced out after approving a headline, “Buildings matter, too.”

    In the most discussed incident, Times editorial page editor James Bennet was ousted for green-lighting an anti-protest editorial by Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton entitled, “Send in the troops.”

    I’m no fan of Cotton, but as was the case with Michael Moore’s documentary and many other controversial speech episodes, it’s not clear that many of the people angriest about the piece in question even read it. In classic Times fashion, the paper has already scrubbed a mistake they made misreporting what their own editorial said…

    […]

    Cotton did not call for “military force against protesters in American cities.” He spoke of a “show of force,” to rectify a situation a significant portion of the country saw as spiraling out of control. It’s an important distinction. Cotton was presenting one side of the most important question on the most important issue of a critically important day in American history.

    As Cotton points out in the piece, he was advancing a view arguably held by a majority of the country. A Morning Consult poll showed 58% of Americans either strongly or somewhat supported the idea of “calling in the U.S. military to supplement city police forces.” That survey included 40% of self-described “liberals” and 37% of African-Americans. To declare a point of view held by that many people not only not worthy of discussion, but so toxic that publication of it without even necessarily agreeing requires dismissal, is a dramatic reversal for a newspaper that long cast itself as the national paper of record.

    Incidentally, that same poll cited by Cotton showed that 73% of Americans described protecting property as “very important,” while an additional 16% considered it “somewhat important.” This means the Philadelphia Inquirer editor was fired for running a headline – “Buildings matter, too” – that the poll said expressed a view held by 89% of the population, including 64% of African-Americans.

    […]

    After the 2016 election, we began to see staff uprisings. In one case, publishers at the Nation faced a revolt – from the Editor-in-Chief on down – after an articles by Aaron Mate and Patrick Lawrence questioning the evidentiary basis for Russiagate claims was run. Subsequent events, including the recent declassification of congressional testimony, revealed that Mate especially was right to point out that officials had no evidence for a Trump-Russia collusion case. It’s precisely because such unpopular views often turn out to be valid that we stress publishing and debating them in the press”.

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2020/06/13/rolling-stone-editor-the-american-left-has-lost-its-mind-n2570592?utm_source=thdailypm&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl_pm&newsletterad=&bcid=a63c9f128880c428497bc7f0c41aa23b&recip=24606317

    • Aynsley Kellow says:

      The state of the US media is sad. The distortion of liberalism in the US has been around for some time, largely with an emphasis in ‘freedom from’ and a neglect of ‘freedom to.’ The current state of affairs has exposed how bad they have become, with the NY Times revolt confirming the demise of a once great newspaper the has become a partisan pamphlet. The electronic media are perhaps even worse. They have beclowned themselves with classics such as the guy filing a report on MSNBC in front of a burning building stating ‘it’s a mostly peaceful protest.’ Ditto the BBC in London reporting on a demo where a couple of dozen of police were injured.

  • Neville says:

    Here’s another honest coverage of their BLM idiocy from Andrew Bolt.
    Why do otherwise intelligent people fall for this delusional nonsense and stupidly drop a knee and why didn’t many of them think for themselves?
    Of course BLM and so do all lives throughout OZ and the world. So why would anyone react to these fraudulent claims in this way?

  • Aynsley Kellow says:

    Wrong thread, but I have posted on the Expertise thread – but that is likely to go unread. My Quadrant essay on offical science and COVID is now available on line at:
    https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2020/06/covid-19-and-the-problem-with-official-science/

    • spangled drongo says:

      Congratulations on a great article, AK.

      I hope our blith reads it.

      • Aynsley Kellow says:

        Thanks SD. It was written about 6 May, but I think it holds up well – nothing since has given me cause to reconsider the argument. Don’s Popper quote on the masthead says it more parsimoniously!
        The release of the SAGE minutes in the UK are perhaps the most interesting. They didn’t recommend Lockdown – the politicians basically took that step in reaction to the modelling from Ferguson and his team – and he now has the temerity to suggest that they were too late to react, and they would have saved more lives if they had gone a week earlier.
        The big distinction is the faith put in the modellers compared with the little given to the evidence based medicine epidemiologists.

  • Chris Warren says:

    It is clear from the video that the US cops knew George Floyd had only taken a taser. Anyone suggesting any possibility of a gun are making deliberate falsifications and represent why BLM movement is so potent at the moment.

    Why do people make up denialist stuff like this?

    • Boambee John says:

      The pathetic pusillanimous pompous pontificating prat again takes advantage of hindsight to judge people on actions taken in the heat of the moment. The use of tasers regularly comes under review, with accusations by civil libertarians that they are weapons.

      Has he ever had to take a decision under pressure? Soy latte or long black perhaps?

  • Boambee John says:

    The revolution is now eating its own. From The Sun via Instapundit.

    “THE GUARDIAN is facing calls to “shut down” for hypocrisy after backing BLM protests when it branded Abraham Lincoln “abhorrent” in the US Civil War.

    Originally called the Manchester Guardian, the paper was founded in 1821 by John Edward Taylor using profits from a cotton plantation that used slaves.”

    Once “cancel culture” takes hold, no-one and nothing will be safe. First Churchill, now the Grauniad.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Thanks to silly sympathisers like our blith, BLM has turned the logical world completely upside down.

    Gordon Klein, an accounting professor in the Anderson School of Business has taught at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) for almost 40 years. He is now suspended and under police protection in his home. The reason? Klein refused to exempt black students from his final exam:

    https://jonathanturley.org/2020/06/10/ucla-professor-suspended-and-under-police-protection-after-refusing-to-exempt-black-students-from-final-exam/comment-page-3/#comments

  • Chris Warren says:

    i think we should reject Aynsley Kellow’s faith in vague so-called models that show:

    “Modelling in Australia suggests a human cost of 750 extra suicides as a result of the 10 per cent unemployment levels already reached, and double that if unemployment reaches 16 per cent.”

    An evidence-based approach would be better but this would falsify and undermine the Quadrant project overall.

    • Boambee John says:

      Chris

      You are quite correct.

      All models (climate, epidemiological, projected death rates) are simply reflections of the assumptions/prejudices of the modeller.

      Any model that does not quote its error margins and assumptions in detail has no value.

      Equally, the tendency in some quarters to adjust or “homogenise” empirical measurements is a clear sign of incompetence and no projections based on models or adjusted data have any real value.

      • Aynsley Kellow says:

        Thank you BJ. I would have thought the point that some model results were accepted while others ignored (Bastiat’s point about the seen and the unseen) would have been obvious enough for all the grasp it, but I was wrong, it seems.

  • […] I argued in my last essay that the COVID-19 restrictions have produced a kind of tension within the body politic that has led to these BLM protests, to further gatherings of the same kind about refugees, in my view to much more aggressive driving, and to bad temper generally. Yes, there have been notable acts of kindness and toleration as well, but the recent defacement of statues seems to me examples of angry political acts, carried out when there are other angry acts going on. Imitation is the name of the game. […]

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      There are so few people affected, either directly or indirectly, by black deaths at the hands of the police, that the national and international outrage strains credulity. I suspect that the vast numbers involved reflect more a deep and abiding dissatisfaction with current society, leading to child-like tantrums, and smashing the offending toy. The offence is made even more grave because most of the ‘progressive’ wish lists have been granted, and the remaining toys are losing their appeal.

  • Aynsley Kellow says:

    Readers might have moved on from this thread, but this is an interesting take:

    Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams said Monday that the use of deadly force by a police officer in Friday’s fatal shooting in Atlanta was justified and has been made political by the city’s mayor and police department.

    “I think it was a justified shooting based on the limited information that has been presented on the video and what I’ve seen on television,” he said. “It was completely justified, it follows all use-of-force policy guidelines and it just appears to me more of a politicization of the situation, which I think it’s very harmful to law enforcement.”

    And:

    “I think it was a justified shooting based on the limited information that has been presented on the video and what I’ve seen on television,” he said. “It was completely justified, it follows all use-of-force policy guidelines and it just appears to me more of a politicization of the situation, which I think it’s very harmful to law enforcement.”

    https://www.augustachronicle.com/news/20200615/burke-county-sheriff-believes-use-of-force-in-atlanta-shooting-justified

    The take home message that has been masked by the BLM riots and the actions of Antifa* is: don’t resist arrest.

    Note that a peaceful Black protester filmed the White woman setting fire to the Wendy’s, saying he didn’t want the media to blame them ‘for this shit.’

    Someone has also described the Antifa autonomous zone as a running advertisement for Trump’s re-election.

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