By: Frank Salvato
One Baltimore protester exclaimed to FOX News’ Geraldo Rivera, “I want to tell White America to stop not giving a damn about Black people.” And there you have it in a nutshell, the underlying sentiment trying to be vocalized by a violent, frustrated Black urban demographic that has taken to the streets in cities areas across America. There is just one thing wrong with that narrative. It is based in obliviousness of a cultural reality that has been prevalent for the last two to three generations. And it is truly sad.
I grew up in the 1960s. I remember full well the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The 1960s and the 1970s were decades of true and real change; change that reshaped and redefined American culture in many ways, some for the better, some for the worse. Those years gave way to the Civil Rights movement and the understanding of a need for gender equality, to name but a few of the good things that came from that era. But it also gave way to a degradation of the importance of personal responsibility, civility and a need to be a productive and positive member of a community.
During those years, children were taught to be painstakingly aware of what today would be referred to as racial privilege. In our schools and in our homes, Americans of all racial backgrounds began to understand, fully, the brilliance of the words of Civil Rights movement leaders, especially Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We were brought up – taught in our schools and by our parents – that we were to form our judgments of other people not on the color of their skin but on the conduct of their character. It made sense. And for at least two to three generations now that is the way White American children have been raised, the first of those generations now in their mid- to late-50s.
But where in the 1960s and 1970s, there was a real issue with racial disparity and discrimination, today we face a moment in time when an entire faction of American society – urban “Black America” – either won’t acknowledge or is incapable of acknowledging the fact that racial disparity and discrimination – societally and systemically, as history accurately recalls – has ceased to exist in the form they have been led to believe.
That sounds like a denial that racism exists in today’s culture. It is not. Rather, it is an observation – based in reality – that systemic racism and discrimination against Black Americans does not exist today, not in the form in which they are led to believe. Are there racists among us? Yes. That intellectually stunted way of thinking, sadly, will always be with us. It is human nature, and humans – no matter how dedicated Progressives are to perfecting the human race (even going so far as to practice eugenics, which is intrinsically detrimental to Black Americans) – will never reach perfection. But that societal malady is not systemic. It is a malady that affects individuals, not the entirety of cultures. Three generations of White Americans have been taught and conditioned to see past race; to see past the color of a person’s skin. Three generations have learned and benefited from a simple idea, that people should form opinions of other people based on their character, the actions, their deeds and the way they interact with others, not their skin color. But, evidently, sadly, urban “Black America” doesn’t seem to get this fact.
“I want to tell White America to stop not giving a damn about Black people.”
I don’t doubt that the person who made that statement truly believes in what he says. In fact, I am certain that he does. I am certain that he believes that every single White American that he passes on the street sees a difference between them. But that is a perception issue based on assumption, not a racial issue. And therein lays the crux of the problem we are facing today in Baltimore, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Ferguson and elsewhere. Entire urban Black American communities are judging the entirety of “White America” by the sins of eras past (even though over 600,000 men, mostly White, died in pursuit of eradicating slavery in the US Civil War) and by the intellectually stunted actions of individuals today. The sad irony in all of this is that Black America is judging White America by the color of their skin and not the content of its character. Black America – especially urban Black America – is being racist against White America. Where post-Civil Rights Movement White America has learned from the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it appears urban Black America has jettisoned his wisdom in preference to special interest racial privilege, at least in a macro sense.
“I want to tell White America to stop not giving a damn about Black people.”
Logic mandates that there is no possible way that one person can ever truly know what is in another person’s heart – regardless of their race – unless they engage them one-on-one. I would suggest that the man who made that comment has never taken the time to actually talk to the average “White American” about the issue; that he has never had an honest “conversation” about the issue outside of his own like-minded community. Instead, the person who made this statement has been conditioned by the opportunistic politicians and the permanently disgruntled to believe a false narrative, one that divides the nation along racial lines for the purposes of acquiring and maintaining power, and one that will be hard to remove from society unless we all – not just White Americans – start looking past skin color and more towards the character of all Americans, individually.
As for me, I will not be bullied back into the false narrative. I do not judge anyone on the color of their skin, nor do I know anyone, anywhere who does. It is an antiquated thought process that serves no good thing. Instead, I judge people on their actions, their deeds; the way they interact with others, whether they are kind and supportive or jaded, uncaring and indignant, whether they live by the rule of law, working to affect change through a peaceful process, or use violence to destroy, to bully, to intimidate and coerce…I judge them on their character.
Today, as I watch Baltimore burn, I can’t say much for the character of the urban Black American community. Their actions speak for themselves. They are, sadly, disappointingly, trapped in the death-cycle false narrative that institutional racism still exists in the United States…blind to the fact that they could, alternatively, truly be “free at last.”
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director of BasicsProject.org a grassroots, non-partisan, research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy, and internal and external threats facing Western Civilization. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His opinion and analysis have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, The Jewish World Review, Accuracy in Media, Human Events, Townhall.com and are syndicated nationally. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and is the author of six books examining Islamofascism and Progressivism, including “Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam”. Mr. Salvato’s personal writing can be found at FrankJSalvato.com.
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
The reaction among responsible black and white law-abiding citizens to the black thugs rioting in Baltimore was captured by Toya Graham, the black mother who smacked her son around when she found him on the streets joining the attacks on police. Even liberals in the major media applauded her efforts.
“I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray,” she told CBS News, referring to her son and the black youth who died under mysterious circumstances while in police custody.
CBS reported, “Graham, a single mom with six children, denounced the vandalism and violence against police officers. She said rioting in Baltimore is no way to go about getting justice for Freddie Gray and that she doesn’t want that life for her son.”
Graham then appeared on the CBS This Morning Show to discuss the incident and the struggle to raise her children.
The important teaching moment represented by this dramatic incident, a brief moment of sanity in the media, undercut the left-wing effort to somehow blame the police for the riots. As a result, the “progressives” had to go on the attack against the black mother.
Over at Think Progress, the blog of the pro-Obama Center for American Progress, Graham was attacked as a “misguided” mother who exercised bad judgment in holding her son accountable. Writer Kira Lerner said the issue was alleged police violence, not rioting in the streets by black youth.
She quoted a woman with a group opposed to “police brutality” as saying that “While she doesn’t condone the looting that was highlighted by the media in Baltimore Monday night, she said she understands where the violent protesters are coming from.”
Meanwhile, over at Hot Air, a piece by Noah Rothman ran under the headline, “Don’t let urban unrest derail conservative criminal justice reform.” While the riots were underway, he insisted that “a consensus opinion” had emerged on both the left and the right in favor of getting soft on criminals and letting more of them out of prison.
In the wake of what has happened in Baltimore and Ferguson, the Republican primary electorate might be tempted to embrace a “tough on crime” candidate, but “That would be a mistake,” Rothman informed Hot Air readers.
What’s more, he lectured them, the war on drugs has “failed” and there is no alternative to letting “non-violent offenders” out of prison.
In fact, the war on drugs did not fail. David Evans, a special advisor to the Drug Free America Foundation, notes that marijuana use went down among young people by 25 percent from the advent of the Reagan administration’s “Just Say No” campaign to the inauguration of President Obama. “If we had had a reduction in any other health problem in the U.S. of 25 percent, we would consider it an outstanding success,” he said.
Being “tough on crime” is precisely what many observers, including that courageous Baltimore mom, have concluded needs to be done in the inner cities.
Going soft was precisely what the Baltimore mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, had done, accounting for the weak police response to the riots. Former police officer Michael Tremoglie points out that the Baltimore police knew that the mayor had said she wanted “protesters” protected and room furnished for them to “destroy,” and that “They knew that the DOJ [Department of Justice] was ‘monitoring’ what was occurring during the riots.”
Before he came to Hot Air, a site owned by Salem Communications, a Christian firm, Rothman had sung the praises of the pro-marijuana voices in the media such as MSNBC’s Touré. On another occasion, he had highlighted how comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Ice Cube had attacked commentator Nancy Grace’s anti-marijuana comments.
Hot Air, which claims to be the most heavily-trafficked conservative blog on the Internet, has emerged as a forum for pro-marijuana and soft-on-crime viewpoints, most of them articulated by Rothman, a former libertarian writer for Mediaite.
It is certainly true that the Rothman perspective on “criminal justice reform” has been embraced on the left.
As Accuracy in Media noted recently, in an article about a “criminal justice reform” conference held in Washington, D.C., there is a White House-directed effort to enlist conservatives to join with various progressive organizations to weaken laws against a series of violent and non-violent crimes.
Hillary Clinton joined the campaign on Wednesday, saying that “It’s time to end the era of mass incarceration.”
Some readers at Hot Air were astounded by the advice given by Rothman, who cited the Obama Justice Department as a reliable source of information on criminal justice issues, including alleged police violence.
One said, “Isn’t it great when we can come to Hot Air to read some halfwit ‘conservative’ columnist agree with Eric Holder about root causes?”
Another said, “I don’t think this is a very timely post. At least not whilst the animals are burning, looting, robbing, raping, killing each other and forming alliances with opposing gang bangers to destabilize the structure of society.”
Still another called attention to Heather MacDonald’s piece in the New York Post, “The Perilous New Push to Excuse Lawlessness,” as being “a hundred times better than Noah’s.” The writer said, “She’s an actual conservative who lived through the times when ‘law and order’ were questionable values, and conservatives had to fight hard to implement them.”
MacDonald had referred to “a wide-ranging movement [which] is already under way to transform the criminal justice system in order to avoid a disparate impact on blacks.” But since blacks commit a disproportionate amount of the crime, she said that fulfilling this promise “would require gutting murder statutes, and most other criminal laws,” and that the country’s two-decade-long crime drop would be in jeopardy.
Despite cities like Ferguson and Baltimore going up in flames and the rare story of a mother like Toya Graham making a plea for law-and-order, the liberal media are going to make sure that the movement for criminals’ rights that now operates under the goal of achieving “criminal justice reform” will get the lion’s share of the publicity.
Indeed, Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” just ran a favorable story about the “Coalition for Public Safety,” which is trying to make the ACLU sound like a reasonable organization conservatives can work with. Based on what was reported, it looks like some conservative groups are taking the bait.
Yes, once again, It’s time to present this week’s statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!
Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week’s nominees were all spectacularly disgusting, but the votes are in and we have our winner winner… the envelope please…
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie ‘Let ‘Em Riot’ Rawlings-Blake!
Virginia Right!: This week the clear choice for Weasel of the Week is Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Her statement to the potential looters and rioters was a green light to rape, pillage and burn the city. This was both irresponsible and reprehensible. And as we sat there in front of the television watching the police try to block the stones and bricks being thrown, obviously forbidden to respond, it left most with a sick feeling in their stomach.
She said she wanted to “give space to those who wished to destroy.” One can only hope that her career is also destroyed by that stupid statement.
The Independent Sentinel: The Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, is my selection for two weasel statements in one press conference. First, she thanked the anti-white, anti-Jewish, anti-American Nation of Islam for maintaining order, and second she said she “gave those who wish to destroy space to do that as well”.
Go to 01:42:
Don Surber: Mustela Baltimoron mayorus Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for giving rioters, arsonists and looters a space of their own. Her actual words:
“I made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate.”
Oberlin graduate! Need we say more? It takes a certain kind of cowardice to stand up to a crowd of lawless outlaws and say, “Do what you want to the girl, but leave me alone.”
Nice Deb: The Mayor of Baltimore,Stephanie Rawlings-Blake gets my vote for dumbest quote of the week:
“It was a very delicate balancing act because while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on — um — we also gave those who wished to destroy, space to do that, as well,” Rawlings-Blake said in all seriousness during a press conference, Sunday.
The weaseliness came during the obligatory walk-back, Monday afternoon:
“I’ll say the very blatant mischaracterization of my words was not helpful, today. I was asked a question about the property damage that was done, and in answering that question, I made it very clear that we — balanced a very fine line between giving protesters – peaceful protesters – space to protest. What I said, was, in doing so – people can hijack that and use that space for bad. I did not say that we were accepting of it. I did say that we were passive to it. I was just explaining how property damage can happen during a peaceful protest. It is very unfortunate that members of your industry decided to mischaracterize my words and try to use it as a way to say we are inciting violence.”
Because she didn’t want to admit that she made a mistake or misspoke, she blamed the media for “mischaracterizing” what she clearly said. This makes Stephanie Rawlings Blake is the very personification of the word, weasel.
She certainly is! What strikes me as most interesting is that, for all the nonsense from the mayor, most of the Baltimore city council and even the police commissioner (all of whom are black, along with a majority of the police force and 68% of Baltimore’s population) went on about the need to ‘protect the community,’ their stupidity actually victimized it.
It was the ‘community’ that saw stores and even homes looted and burned to the ground and who will suffer the damage. It’s their jobs that will disappear and their property values that will plummet. They’re the ones who will have to travel longer distances to find a grocery store, a decent restaurant or a pharmacy. Does anyone really think CVS is going to rebuild after this? Why would they? And the small businesses? Faggedaboudit.
Baltimore has gone to some trouble and expense to promote itself as a tourist city and a great place to hold conferences and conventions. Half a dozen have already cancelled, and those people who work in the hospitality industry are going to have to find some way to eke out the coming month with the loss of a week’s wages and tips.
I was particularly amused to see the rage from ‘the community’ directed at Whole Foods for daring to provide sandwiches and other simple meals to the National Guard when they finally got to Baltimore. To summarize their remarks, they won’t be shopping at Whole foods anymore because ‘they’re feeding the oppressors’… here’s a typical comment:
I wonder… did they even think about those kids before deciding to burn down the city over the death of a drug dealer with a rap sheet as long as your arm?
As the ringmaster of this circus, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings – Blake has already shown us that the next Detroit is already in the making… where racial politics and the public employee unions are combining to create another Democrat-ruled bankrupt urban wilderness. She’s not stupid in the least. She simply understands where her votes are coming from. It’s an established pattern, but she and her fellow pols are certainly performing with zest and vigor, and the Golden Weasel was designed to recognize that kind of achievement, was it not?
Ms. Mayor, please step to the podium for your Weasel!
A little scorched? Why, yes! You see, we wanted to give something back to the Community too, something that would be a memory of this fine occasion for years to come, something symbolic you know…
Check back next Tuesday to see who next week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week are!
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.
It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.