Interesting Links: May 3, 2015
Here are links to some interesting news articles that I came across today. They are about the widespread and persistent nature of racist mindset among whites in the USA.
That comment, and Rand Paul’s boast that “I am sympathetic to the plight of the police [in Baltimore],” prompted me to look back at his father and “hero,” Ron Paul, and how he reacted the last time urban blacks rose up in outrage against police brutality in a major city—the Los Angeles riots of 1992. In the newsletter, bylined by Ron Paul himself, black people were described as “terrorists,” “animals” and worse. A few months later Paul’s newsletter also passed along this advice on how to get away with shooting black teenagers.
Link 2: Baltimore & The Walking Dead
Hillary Clinton is one obvious example of this: Her husband’s mass incarceration policies, which she supported, are policies she’s just now decided to campaign against. In her book “It Takes A Village,” Hillary 1.0 boasted about her husband’s tough on crime policies as if they were her own (h/t Zaid Jilani). Her replacement as Secretary of State, John Kerry, had caused some controversy just weeks before the LA riots with a speech he gave to Yale denouncing affirmative action and welfare programs, and defending resentful whites accused of racism. Kerry described inner city neighborhoods as “ruled not simply by poverty but by savagery.” And another up-and-coming New Democrat at the time, Bill Bradley, also scolded blacks to blame themselves after over a decade of Reagan-Bush mass incarceration policies.
As for Jeb Bush’s father—President Bush blamed the 1992 LA riots on liberal social welfare programs in the 1960s and 70s, and the breakdown of the family structure in black communities. While for Vice President Dan Quayle, the LA riots were his moment to shine. And shine he did, blaming the uprising on a popular TV character Murphy Brown, and single mothers everywhere (not too different from Rand Paul’s latest analysis, come to think of it). Quayle produced some startling insights into the causes of the Los Angeles uprising, such as:“Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it.”
What’s vexing actually predates the riots: It is movement conservatism’s general, longstanding blindness to massive rights violations by police. The myopia has somehow persisted even in an era when an hour on YouTube provides incontrovertible evidence of egregious brutality by scores of thuggish cops. Per usual, let us acknowledge the many U.S. police officers who serve their communities with honor, courage, empathy, and restraint. One needn’t disrespect them to see that bad policing is common. It is more than “a few bad apples”.
Many conservatives show no evidence of caring. And many are complicit in abusive policing. (Conservative voters keep reelecting Sheriff Joe Arpaio, for example, despite his presiding over civil rights violations costing tens of millions of dollars, prisoners zapped with stun guns while strapped in restraint chairs,and the hiring of a private investigator to tail the wife of a federal judge, among many other sins).
What do you think? Comments?