Segregation now, segregation tomorrow...

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 2021

At the Times, segregation forever! Kevin Drum may have solved the riddle of the Sphinx.

We refer to his work on blood lead levels which, he reported for Mother Jones, were massively higher in past decades than they ever were for the children of Flint.

He reported that the children of Flint may have lost an IQ point or two due to their city's water crisis. (No, that isn't desirable.) But he further reported that most Americans growing up a few decades earlier had much higher levels of lead exposure.

This seems to suggest that all us unlucky duckies may have lost quite a few IQ points. We think about this more and more when we read the work of our nation's upper-end press corps.

Consider the latest addled report from the New York Times. It leads this morning's National section, eating all of page A14. In print editions, the headline reads like this:

Few Charges, Fewer Convictions: A Grim History of Police Violence

"Police violence" is a slightly loaded term, but it's also an important topic. But when the actual report begins, that actually isn't what the report is actually about:

GARDINER AND HALLECK (4/21/21): For many observers, the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death, has felt like the culmination of years of outrage and grief over police killings of Black people in America. Video of the arrest that led to Mr. Floyd’s death inspired demonstrations that touched every corner of the country last summer, with protesters demanding justice for Mr. Floyd.

The Times reviewed dozens of similar cases in which encounters between Black people and police ended fatally. Though many cases prompted public outrage, that did not always translate to criminal indictments. In some cases, police officers were shown to have responded lawfully. In others, charges were dropped or plea agreements were reached. Some have resulted in civil settlements. But very few have resulted in convictions at trial.

These cases offer valuable points of comparison about what issues—video evidence, drug use, whether the person who died was armed—proved decisive in each outcome and what consequences, if any, officers faced. Even as the trial has unfolded, several events, including the killing of Daunte Wright just a few miles from Minneapolis, have provided a grim reminder that Mr. Floyd’s death is one in a decades-long history of fatal encounters.

As it turns out, the report is about "police violence"—but only if the police violence has been directed at people the Times scores as "black." No "whites," Hispanics, Asian-Americans, Native Americans or others need apply!

This has become an amazingly standard way of approaching such topics. It disappears the large volumes of "police violence" which are directed, on an annual basis, at people the Times doesn't score as "black." 

This now familiar journalistic practice is deeply misleading. It's misleading in ginormous ways. 

It's also deeply divisive. How many IQ points did you have to lose to make this your standard approach?

Governor Wallace said it first and best: "Segregation forever!"

This turns out to be the motto the modern New York Times runs by! Are there three IQ points to bang together in the the whole of this dimwitted rag?

This is the way this dimwitted paper seeks to display its vast moral concern. Borrowing from Governor Wallace, we'll offer this motto to the modern-day Times:

Performative now, performative tomorrow. Performative forever!


61 comments:

  1. "It's also deeply divisive."

    But that's the purpose, dear Bob. The only purpose of your liberal-hitlerian cult.

    Divide and rule: to make every liberal-hitlerian bullshit "identity" hate other liberal-hitlerian bullshit "identities". And it's working, somewhat. So far. But it won't work forever. This too shall pass.

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  2. Somerby refers to Drum's article on lead, but not to his much more recent article on lethal traffic stops, which links to data showing the disproportionate number of stops ending in death of black motorists compared to white or hispanic drivers. Current concern in the NY Times over lethal policing focuses on black deaths because these are disproportionate compared to other groups. It is that disparity that is the focus, not the violence or the police.

    https://jabberwocking.com/routine-traffic-stops/

    Somerby complains about this focus on negative outcomes for black people because he has been promoting his own narrative that racism, because it is a social construct, doesn't exist and therefore there can be no racist acts in society worth our concern. The reasoning is obviously absurd. Somerby advances this idea because it is a conservative meme asserted to counter liberal attempts to remedy racist imbalances and protect white supremacy. Somerby is a bigot pretending to be liberal so that he can attack liberal thinking. This is conservative propaganda masquerading as the left criticizing itself.

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    1. Somerby is a racist scumbag

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    2. Somerby's mouth should be sewn shut and his hands cut off.

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  3. Somerby's argument today is like the people who complained about curb-cuts for wheelchair occupants, saying "what about all of us able-bodied people, don't we use sidewalks too?"

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    Replies
    1. So other non-white/non-black ethnicities are as privileged as the Court of Louis XVI too?

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    2. I’m going to embroider that on a tablet cover.

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    3. Yes, go do that right now.

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    4. Cecelia,
      I look forward to counting the misspellings.

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  4. Somerby misunderstands Drum's lead thesis. First, he didn't say that most people encountered much higher levels of lead. That wasn't true. Some people did, perhaps many, but not most. Second, this lead theory is not proven. It is a hypothesis. Drum's suggested explanation fits the data but he hasn't dealt with potential alternative explanations that also fit the data. Third, using lead to disparage people's ideas and essentially call them stupid isn't the purpose of Drum's theory either. Somerby doesn't seem to understand that these diagnoses and labels apply to people with unfortunate health issues. It isn't right to apply them to non-disabled people as disparaging terms, name-calling, just because you disagree with something they may have said.

    Did no one in Somerby's schooling ever tell him it isn't nice to call the other kids retards? That behavior in children is wrong, but it is truly deplorable in an adult of Somerby's age.

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  5. We should try to find a way to take away Somerby's right to free speech. He hates blacks.

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  6. Somerby seems to be disappointed that policemen aren't getting away with killing blacks.

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  7. Somerby would be out killing blacks if he wasn't so lazy.

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  8. Bob, you've just got to trust the for-profit mass media when they decided we don't need to know that half the people killed by cops are white.

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  9. I have really, really high morals. Somerby's racism just illuminates them all the more.

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  10. Here is what was said on Tucker Carlson's FOX News show last night:

    "Tucker asked her if we've already "given up civilization," to which Owens replied that it was "mob justice," and claimed the media had "create[d] a simulation," complaining that everybody was judging what happened based on cell phone video of a cop murdering somebody. "The media was lying," Owens said. She insisted that "Democrats are happy" because this shows that "Democrats can get whatever they want, because they can create a narrative, and then they can treat people like pawns and get them to basically say 'If we don't get what we want, we will riot, we will loot, we will send these people out like soldiers to destroy your neighborhoods.'"

    You must admit that this sounds a lot like Somerby's schtick here, complete with the term "narrative" and the complaint about the press lying and spreading misinformation.

    If you don't think Somerby is repeating conservative memes, you probably don't watch Fox enough to recognize them when they are being spread on this supposedly liberal blog.

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    Replies
    1. The meme you speak of is that the press lies and spreads misinformation with "narratives"? Is that meme wrong?

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    2. Yes, in the instances that Somerby chooses.

      As I have explained several times before, all human beings think in narratives because that is how we organize time, cognitively speaking. We tell stories with a beginning (once upon a time), middle, and end (happily ever after) because we organize events chronologically, because that is how we experience our lives. Flashbacks and jumbled time sequences annoy people. We also tend to believe that whatever comes first causes whatever comes after. So narratives naturally emerge no matter who is doing the writing.

      When you call such "narratives" wrong, you are not just ignorant, but engaging in conservative propaganda, because it is the right who considers narrative a bad thing, not the left.

      And then there is the subject of truth vs lies. People make mistakes, but that doesn't mean they are lying. There is a definite association of science and facts with the left and conspiracy theories and misinformation, propaganda, with the right. This is objectively true because conservatives do poorly on factual tests of knowledge, tend to be less well educated, and do not value science or scientific ways of accumulating knowledge. They do not value higher education and they do not respect expertise. So the right has no basis for calling the beliefs of those on the left "lies" or misinformation, without some form of evidence, which they generally do not have. That includes Somerby.

      Then there is the matter of the press. The press is neither liberal nor conservative independent of individual members. It does hold values that are inconsistent with spreading misinformation and lies and I believe that most members of the press are doing their best. The same cannot be said of propaganda outlets such as Fox News, OANN, Newsmax, Russia Today and similar conservative media. I do not consider them part of the mainstream press and I believe they do tell lies and spread misinformation.

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    3. OK - thank you for explaining. Narratives are natural and unavoidable. Media narratives should not be questioned or challenged or even mentioned because of their deterministic nature. If one does, it makes them a conservative propagandist. Makes sense. We should meet in the quad after class and have a root beer sometime.

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    4. Anonymouse 9:09pm, you not only told us about narrative-making, you illustrated the anti-intellectual,assumption-laden, and formulaic nature of such efforts when they are premeditated and propagandistic.

      Thanks for the show and tell!

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    5. @9:27, you missed the point. You do not criticize something because it is expressed in a narrative structure. You criticize the content of the narrative. That is not what Somerby has been doing.

      Propaganda is about the truth value of that content.

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    6. We don't need the media to tell us conservatives don't argue in good faith.

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    7. "You criticize the content of the narrative. That is not what Somerby has been doing."

      I guess that's why he never posts transcriptions of the content he is criticizing.

      Are you going to the freshman dance on Saturday?

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    8. “You missed the point. You do not criticize something because it is expressed in a narrative structure. You criticize the content of the narrative. That is not what Somerby has been doing.”

      Anonymouse 10:22pm, that’s a strawman.

      Somerby hasn’t criticized narrative-making from the standpoint of relaying a sequence of events or even an analysis of the influence stemming such phenomena. Somerby has specifically talked of the media crafting novelized narratives from a predetermined plot/script.

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    9. "definite association of science and facts with the left" Not really. Look how dumb you are. But that is why Somerby is so passionate about the groupthink and misuse of facts in the liberal media. And our inability to see the ways "our conduct resembles theirs". You don't even see the way our conduct resembles theirs or how conspiracy theories, misinformation and propaganda is practically all you get on liberal cable news. You should be as pissed off as he is if you are concerned with liberals being smarter than conservatives.

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    10. @10:06, saying so doesn't make it true

      There are studies showing that the left is better informed and more consistent with science and reality. The right is the party of Q-Anon and conspiracy theories.

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    11. 10:06,

      Extra! Extra!
      Bob Somerby discovers corporations can't be trusted!

      Wait until he finds out they aren't "job creators".

      Delete
  11. "Performative now, performative tomorrow. Performative forever!"

    This is how Somerby gives himself away as a closet conservative. Liberals don't use the word "performative" and they certainly don't apply it to themselves. Not even Bernie bros call non-progressives that. Only conservatives use that term and they are the ones applying it to liberals.

    Why? Because conservatives do not share the same values as liberals and they don't feel empathy either, so they believe that when liberals talk about doing good or express sympathy for those who are struggling, Republicans think they must be faking it, or pretending, because that would be true if they themselves ever expressed such feelings.

    And that's how you can tell Somerby is a conservative. His lack of empathy and his tendency to identify with the wrong guys is one huge clue, but this use of conservative language (while labeling himself a liberal) is the biggest give away.

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  12. Bob, our billionaire-owned mass media are trying to cure our racism problem once and for all, and you're gumming up the works with your impertinent questioning. We can't tell people that half of all people who get killed by cops are white. Our multi-millionaire pundits would then have to explain why each of the 1,683 whites, the 654 Hispanics, and the 147 others killed by cops over the last four years were all of no concern to us. Plus, they would have to include some far-fetched explanation that the whites were all killed with loving care compared to the others. It would make them look silly, and it would spoil their fun.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Glaucon X.
      Your numbers explain perfectly why the police should be de-funded.
      More like this please.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. You should demand that your favorite multi-millionaire pundits report these numbers. Why do you think they refuse to do so?

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    4. I demand we de-fund the police. With or without the propaganda arm of corporations.

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    5. Meh. Parroting "de-fund the police" is conspicuously zombie-idiotic.

      Suburbs and towns will fund their police departments with or without your bosses' permission, thank you very much.

      And turning the inner cities into no-go favelas would be unfortunate, but if that's what the inner-city folk really want, hell, why not? Live and let die, as they say.

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    6. "Suburbs and towns will fund their police departments with or without your bosses' permission, thank you very much."

      Says you. They may find de-funding the police is a compromise they can accept.

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    7. "And turning the inner cities into no-go favelas would be unfortunate.'

      Meh. As if Right-wingers feared that more than black peoples votes being counted in elections.

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    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    9. As far as I've heard Minneapolis defunded more than any other city. It didn't do Daunte Wright any good did it? Under every defund plan I've heard cops are still called out to deal with violent offenders like Wright. What you really mean when you say "defund" is disarm. You want a disarmed police in a country with 300,000,000 guns. That's never going to happen. Even the most liberal cities like Portland OR have rejected defund candidates for mayor.

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    10. "De-fund the police"?

      They don't have a 2nd Amendment where you people live?

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    11. Anon 12:47 is parroting what he's been told to parrot. These types are radical police haters. They want the cops to use squirt guns against proven violent armed thugs like Wright.

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    12. If you give the cops squirt guns, they'll use them. Teach them to de-escalate tense situations without violence instead. If social workers at homeless shelters can do it, cops can too.

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    13. Gloucon, police are unarmed in many countries around the world and manage to keep order as well as we do.

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    14. There are 1,200,000 violent crimes per, year many of these arrests are tense situations yet 99% do not end in violence because the perp doesn't escalate the situation violently. No social workers are involved in these arrests. Your just parroting cop-hater ignorance.

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    15. 11:08,
      Glaucon X is one of those radical police haters, who thinks cops are violent animals without critical thinking skills.

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    16. Glaucon X,

      True. Because the police would never lie.

      https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/21/us/minneapolis-police-george-floyd-death/index.html

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    17. Glaucon X,
      If you ignore ALL the videos of cops escalating tense situations, you can argue that cops don't escalate tense situations.

      I get it. I hate the Boston Red Sox, so I ignore their 4 recent World Series titles to laugh at their inability to win the big one.

      Delete
  13. Somerby has said this:
    “the (largely imagined) intersections of "race" and crime and punishment.” [http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2020/09/how-and-why-do-unarmed-women-get-shot.html]

    He likes to tell his readers how the Justice Department exonerated the officer in the Michael Brown shooting, but he never mentions the racism the Justice Department found in the Ferguson police department:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/2015/5/31/17937860/justice-department-ferguson-police-michael-brown-shooting

    Or here for the original report:
    https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/04/ferguson_police_department_report.pdf

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  14. The fundamental meme in the media and in the black community is that it is outrageous when blacks are killed by the police but acceptable if blacks are killed by blacks, which is the cause of 90% of the fatalities of black people. But there is no outrage, no marches, or rioting when this happens.

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    Replies
    1. "...but acceptable if blacks are killed by blacks"

      Meh. Not just acceptable: desirable. What do you think "de-fund the police" is for?

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    2. Cops kill more white people than black people, but white people don't complain like black people do.
      White people can live with cops killing white people, because cops also kill black people.

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    3. 'What do you think "de-fund the police" is for?"

      Bringing the police to the table to negotiate. The best way to get someone's attention in a capitalist society, is to hit them in their wallet.

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    4. Cops killing a white person is only worth a point to Right-wingers. It's worth 10 points if the cop kills a black person.

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    5. "What do you think "de-fund the police" is for?""

      In case they take our 2nd Amendment rights away.

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    6. Somerby apparently thinks it is OK when cops kill white people, since they probably threatened the cops in some way. He only objects when the press gives white deaths lower billing than black ones.

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