Posts Tagged ‘police brutality’

Theory about Why White Protesters Discovered Police Brutality in 2020

June 10, 2020 17 comments

One of the most interesting feature of current nationwide protests against police brutality in this country concerns their racial demography. Many of you might have noticed that the majority (in many cases over 90%) of people protesting against police brutality in cities all over this country are.. well.. white. To be clear, I am not claiming that all previous protests against police brutality in this country have been overwhelmingly black. We do know, for example, that similar protests in the 2012-2017 had a significant minority of white protesters. But the widespread protests we are seeing all over this country now is the first time that the overwhelming majority of protesters at most locations are white. So what has changed between the last time we saw such protests? How did so many young white people suddenly reach the conclusion that “legalized” lynching of black people in this country by police was wrong and unacceptable?

As it turns out, I am not the only person to have noticed this unusual trend- especially given the peculiar history of race and racism in this country. As late as mid-1990s, the parents of most white people who are now protesting against police brutality towards black people were highly enthusiastic supporters of laws and regulations that dehumanized black people and saw them as irredeemable “feral animals” and “super-predators”. Even as late as 2012-13, protests against instances of “legalized” lynching of black people in USA were an almost exclusively black affair. Even multiple instances of similar videotaped instances of police brutality such as the murder of Eric Garner by NYPD, Philando Castile by MPD, Shooting of Ahmaud Arbery by GCPD and many more did not elicit such a large, strong and nationwide response. Isn’t it odd that it took until late-May 2020 for a similar incident to finally cause the appropriate reaction.

So.. what is going on? How did a significant minority or maybe even majority of younger white people suddenly develop the firm conviction that systemic racism and “legalized” lunching of black people by cops was unacceptable? Many presstitutes on Twitter have put forth a range of theories to explain the sudden interest in racial equality among younger white people. One of the most popular suggests that this has something to do with the COVID-19 lockdown which cooped up too many people in their homes for almost two months.. aka ‘cabin fever’. Perhaps.. by why did it manifest itself as an newfound interest in racial equality rather than say people flouting the stupid lockdown orders on a large scale? As many of you know, people were already flouting lockdown orders all over the country and more than a few of the previous cycle of protests to open the economy had a pretty decent numbers in attendance.

Another popular theory suggests that this newfound interest in racial equality has something to do with ‘virtue display’ under late-capitalism. While it is true that the willingness of corporations to go along with these protests has everything to do with empty virtue signalling- it is equally clear that majority of people who are protesting are not there because some corporation paid them. Even if we accept that some protesters are there to show off their liberal and progressive credentials, it is equally clear that the majority aren’t in it for virtue display. Some others have compared these protests to a new religious movement often humorously referred to as the “great aWOKEning”. While many mass movements do have quasi-religious overtones, these arise after the movement has become big rather than cause its growth and popularity.

Here is my theory. Regular readers might remember that I repeatedly alluded to the possibility of the widespread civil unrest due to gross mishandling of COVID-19 crisis by the governments of many countries- but especially in USA. If you have read those posts, you might also remember that I said something about the governments bailing out large corporations while throwing just a few crumbs to average people and small business will very likely be what precipitates such a reaction. Well.. as we know now the unemployment and underemployment numbers in this country are through the roof- even if Trump tried to massage them. It is also noteworthy that rates of unemployment and underemployment are especially high among those under 40-45, which is the same group that also suffered the maximum long-term damage from the 2008 GFC.

To put it another way, the majority of people under 40-45 (regardless of race) have seen a continual decline in the material quality of their lives and experienced little advantage of being white- unlike boomers of older- Gen-Xers. AS I said in a previous post, there was a lot of dry tinder on the ground before the perfect spark of George Floyds’ lynching by the MPD. The point I was trying to make is the fuel for this fire was created over a long time by continually declining living standards for people under a certain age. But there is more.. the COVID-19 pandemic was the proverbial straw which broke the camel’s back by exposing the sheer incompetence of many supposedly respectable institutions both national (CDC, FDA etc) and international (WHO). It also exposed the inability and unwillingness of political leadership in this country, at all levels, to help the very people who they were supposed to represent and voted them into power.

What we are seeing now is the manifestation of people expressing widespread, and potentially irreversible, loss of faith in the institutions and systems of governance under which they currently live. But how does this get transformed into protests against racism and police brutality? Well.. because the police along with those involved in taxation are the two most visible enforcers of the coercive state authority. In other words, police are the most visible public face of a failed system in which a lot of people have now lost all trust and hope. Given these connections between the police and authority of a system that is rapidly losing popular legitimacy, it is no wonder that so many white people under 40-45 have suddenly discovered racism and police brutality against black people. It also does not help the overpaid, militarized and arrogant losers who populate police departments thought USA do not cut a sympathetic figures among those who have either lost their job or have seen substantial reduction in their income stream.

What do you think? Comments?

Some Older Posts about the Problem of Police Murdering Black People

June 1, 2020 30 comments

As some readers will remember, I have been writing for many years about what state-approved lynching of black people, especially men, by cops says about american society. Needless to say, my observations about this phenomenon go beyond blaming the cops (who are guilty, of course) to issues such as the intersection of racism and capitalism in a rapidly declining empire. And yes.. what we are seeing now (in post-1965 era) has a much more to do with maintaining the cosmetic appearance of a terminally declining order than actually achieving anything substantive. Think of it as the cosplay accompanying the ongoing final decline of an empire- and read the above-linked short series if you interested in my reasoning for that specific conclusion.

In the past, I have also addressed issues such as why police are much more likely to kill unarmed black men than say arab or somali men. Long story short, the second worst thing to happen to black people in this country was Christianity which ensured their mind was as enslaved as their bodies. Therefore they do not react to the lynching of other black people with the same deadly ferocity as say arabs, somalis or any other ethno-linguistic group. Here is a quote..

It is very likely that police murdering Muslims from the ME at even a fraction of rate of Blacks in USA would severely compromise the personal safety of themselves and their families. In contrast to that, police murdering black people in USA will at most result in more marches, prayers at some church and tearful interview with relatives on TV. European whites did not get kicked out for good out of Asian and African countries after WW2 because they feared peaceful marches, prayer assemblies and tearful testimonies. American whites did not get kicked out of North Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan because of nonviolent resistance by the local population.

Belief in Christianity and consequent self-hatred is also why many older and even some young black people seeking respectability are unwilling to openly say that cops are murderers even when the evidence for that assertion is very clear. Here is a quote from that post..

At the risk of being even more controversial, it is fair to say that the effect of Christianity and its institutions on black people in USA has been largely negative. Religions with their focus on the “next life”, false “morality” and victim-blaming have always been the opiate of the masses. It is telling that black people are among the most devout followers of Christianity in USA. Moreover, their strong belief in Christianity is an important part of why so many in the older generation believe in bullshit concepts such as “respectability” and “acceptance” by whites.

There is also the problem of most black “leaders” still coming from the background of organized religion. It also does not help that most all them are scam artists who are too happy to play the house slave for monetary rewards. To put it another way, the religious convictions of black people and the type of people who end up becoming their “leaders” has a lot to do with why there has not been progress in the field of civil rights since the 1970s. It is also why the black community has been unable to respond to problems such as mass incarceration, continued systemic racial discrimination and frequent state-sanctioned murders of its members.

As mentioned in previous paragraph, there is also the issue of the ‘black mis-leadership class‘. To make another long story short, the vast majority of black political leadership since the 1970s is made up of frauds and hucksters who will throw their supporters under the bus at the slightest chance of personal profit. These CONmen and CONwomen have no real interest in the betterment or upliftment of the people who vote them into office. Here is a quote from that post..

Over the past few years, I noticed something interesting about the response of almost all of the so-called ‘black leadership’ types to large protests about police brutality against black people. To make a long story short, even though they acknowledged the existence of this problem almost every single one of them did nothing beyond push for a few cosmetic measures and make long speeches. And this includes that black neoliberal president aka Obama.

In other words, they took great care not to upset the status quo while using those events to cynically get more black people to vote for them in elections. When I looked at this issue in more detail, it became obvious that we have not gone past the level of change achieved by the civil rights moment of 1950s-60s. Which is a nice way of saying that black ‘leadership’ since the 1970s has largely been about pretending to fight for equality for their constituency while simultaneously supporting the status quo and getting rich.

Finally there is the issue of ‘black respectability politics’, which is regrettably still a thing among older black people– especially older black women. There is a reason why aneoliberal CONman such as Obama, whose policies as a president did a lot of damage to his own group, still has high approval ratings among older black people- even though he is the political equivalent of Bill Cosby. In summary, this is much deeper problem than many would like to believe.

What do you think? Comments?

Quick Thoughts on Why the Summer of 2020 Will be Full of Discontent

May 31, 2020 26 comments

Regular readers might remember that a couple of my posts on the topic of COVID-19 (link 1, link 2) explicitly mention the likelihood of serious and lasting social unrest – especially in USA. Some of you might also remember another post (link 3) on that topic on which I talked about collapse of public trust in the old establishment after WW1 and during the great depression of early 1930s was responsible for the rise of fascists and strongmen and military types all over the world- from Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Poland to Japan. Many years ago, I wrote yet another short post (link 4) about how the Nazi Party was a fringe party in Germany (receiving no more than 5% of votes for many years) until the economic crash of 1929 caused in a huge rise in unemployment which was made worse by the austerity policies of Heinrich Brüning.

To make a long story short, there is enough historical data from previous one hundred years that actual unemployment rates over 20% consistently produce interesting and “unexpected” political outcomes. As many of you might have heard, the unemployment rates in this country (massaged as they are) have now exceeded 25%. Let me also remind you that the unemployment benefit system in this country is designed to exclude people from receiving benefits. Therefore the real unemployment rate is probably closer to 35-40%. The last time we saw such high rates in our country was in the early 1930s- almost 90 years ago. To make matters a bit more interesting, the rates of unemployment among the healthy young are much higher than those of in older age groups. In other words almost everybody under 40 or 45 is screwed.

But why does it matter and what is the relevance of any of this to my predictions of widespread social unrest for the past two months? Well.. let me ask you a few simple questions. Firstly, how did all that talk of social-distancing and COVID-19 dissolve into thin air within the past 2-3 days? Isn’t it odd that the country went from pretending to shame people who violated all those stupid guidelines to burning down social unrest at multiple places in at least 25 cities (thus far) all over this country. Also, how come so many young white people have decided to protest the public murder and lynching of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. What is going on? Surely, all these young white people could not have suddenly developed so much empathy for black people within the past couple of months.. could they?

More than a few “hip” journalists are trying to spin a theory that this is all the result of people spending too much time indoors in past two months. Perhaps.. but why aren’t we seeing the same sorts of protests in other western countries yet? What is so exceptional about this country? Well.. have you ever considered the possibility that one of the biggest difference between USA and other developed country is the quality of the social safety net? Also, USA is an empire in an accelerating phase of its decline. Furthermore, you might have noticed that the age range of protesters skews heavily towards the younger end. In case you haven’t figure what I am getting at by now, let me say it clearly. It is not so much about about race and policing as much as it is about a collapse of belief in the ability of existing status quo to continue providing even the previous bare minimum of living standards.

However, this does not mean that race and policing are not an issue for most people protesting. It is just that they matter in ways not readily obvious to conventional thinkers. Let me explain.. white muricans of previous generations (upto middle of Gen-X) benefited from racial inequality and disparate policing of minorities. That is why for example, shitholes such as Reagan, Clinton, Bush41 and 43 got elected and why that whole “tough of crime” bullshit flourished from mid-1970s to 2008. However due to neoliberal globalization etc, almost everybody born in late 1970s and after has, to put it mildly, been fucked over by the system- regardless or race. Sure.. black people have been screwed over the most but, unlike in previous eras, so have whites below a certain age- albeit to a lesser degree. Long story short, whites people below a certain age have little to no loyalty for system. Then there is the issue of racial demography.

It is no secret that a rapidly increasing percentage of the younger age groups are non-white and therefore have even less of an attachment to the old status quo. It also does not help that those under 40 have been disproportionately affected by negative socio-economic changes from loss of job security, ever increasing costs for housing, higher education and healthcare, multiple asset bubbles whose bursting transferred wealth in this country upwards, the global financial crisis of 2008, stagnant or declining wages for all their working lives. In other words, they have been served a massive shit-sandwich in the name of american exceptionalism and all that associated bullshit for the past twenty years. To make matters worse, if that is possible, the militarization of police throughout this country which began in earnest during 1990s has made them even less accountable and far more willing to harass and abuse white people than they used to in the past.

To make another long story short, majority of those under 40 are far more likely to take the side of a black guy murdered by police than their parents generation. It does not help that the police no longer have popular legitimacy among the younger age groups as they are now seen as as occupying force elusively protecting the interest of hyper-parasitic plutocrats. While this sor of discontent had been openly brewing since 2008, a series of events in past few months have pushed things into overdrive. The small-scale riots you are seeing right now all over this country are just the beginning of an interesting period on the history of this country- assuming there is a functional one left by the time this phase is over. And yes.. that particular outcome is much more likely than most people are willing to admit.

The thing is.. the very public lynching of George Floyd was the perfect spark which set fire to a lot of dry tinder and fuel that had been accumulating (at an increasingly accelerating rate) for past few years. Most dumb conventional thinkers pay too much attention to the spark but ignore the tinder and fuel- at their own peril. These idiots think that all these riots will be self-limiting or follow patterns from the past- such as those from the late 1960s. Here is my prediction.. they won’t follow previous patterns and here is why. The late 1960s or any other period in american history after 1938 did not have prolonged 20% + unemployment. Nor were the unemployment rates so peculiarly distributed by age. If you think that close to 50% unemployment + severe underemployment rates for those under 40-45 won’t cause more and larger social problems in a country without an effective social safety net, you are delusional.

And no.. the economy is not going to come back to “normal” within a few months. In fact, it is much more likely to get worse before it can get better. Problem is that most of those under a certain age do not have the financial resources to stay afloat till then without a job that pays the same as before. It is no coincidence that the rioting started close to the time (almost two months into COVID-19 shutdown) when most people under 40 would start running out of money and credit to maintain their previous lifestyles and in many cases afford the essentials. If you think whatever happened all over this country on this weekend was bad.. just wait a few more weeks. Also the type of rioting, violence and civil disturbances you have see untill now are just a teaser trailer of what might occur within next 2-3 months.

To make matters worse, if that is still possible, the elites from both political parties in this country are out of touch with reality. These dumbfucks appear to think that all of this unpleasantness will just go away if they double down or pretend that these protests are only about race and policing. We are already seeing idiots on both side of approved political spectrum pretend that these riots were caused by “foreign interference” and “out of state professional agitators” etc. By basing their next actions on such delusional thinking, they are going to choose paths of action which will further inflame the situation. I, for one, do not find this surprising- since almost every single empire in its terminal phase is ruled by elites who have lost touch with reality and hence fail to appreciate the real-life limitations of their rapidly declining power.

What do you think? Comments?