Black Lives Matter

I wasn’t going to write about this. I truly wasn’t. I just took this #blacklivesmatter movement as another occupy Wall Street style movement that would fizzle out in much the same way. That is most likely exactly what it is, but there is a very small chance that it is something more. I will always sympathize with individuals over the government, even ones I disagree with. Having said that, I have some major problems with this movement along with a few points of agreement. I guess my real problem with #blacklivesmatter, is that I really have no idea what they want other than some vague policy generalizations. Oh, and apparently they want lots of cops to die, and they only care about police brutality when it happens to non-white people. Come to think of it, they really hate it when you counter “black lives matter” with “all lives matter”. Don’t worry, I won’t say that, but everything I say here can and does apply to every ethnic group of people including whites.

The truth is, what really got me to write this blog was the black lives matter response to the Democratic Party’s support. You can read an article about it here. What caught my eye, and gave me hope about this movement was this quote:

“We do not now, nor have we ever, endorsed or affiliated with the Democratic Party, or with any party. The Democratic Party, like the Republican and all political parties, have historically attempted to control or contain Black people’s efforts to liberate ourselves,” the statement continues. “True change requires real struggle, and that struggle will be in the streets and led by the people, not by a political party.”

Couldn’t agree more. I particularly liked the part about “liberating ourselves”. It shows a yearning for self-determination. Freedom. An inherent need to be able to live in a free society without fear. It is very true to say that political parties, both of them, have historically attempted to control black people. I would argue that the Democratic Party has been drastically worse to black people that the republicans have, but by and large they agreed on the big, modern stuff, like the war on drugs, militarization of the police forces and mandatory minimums.

The real problems have been caused by black people themselves, demanding that  the government control them through things like welfare, public housing and all the entitlement programs that the government offers. Of course, they didn’t see demanding welfare in the 1960’s as giving their freedom away, but that’s what it was. President Johnson knew it, and so did most of the others in charge. In fact, after it passed president Johnson said, “we’ll have those n*****s voting democrat for the next 200 years”. Welfare has done a very good job with the goals of destroying families, creating dependence, tearing down the self-worth of the recipient and creating a never ending, ever expanding voting block for democrats. They herd you into houses in close proximity to keep a better eye on you. They pass laws that make it hard for you to live without them, but easy to try. Whey they catch you trying to live without them, they arrest you. You can’t argue with the results when black people vote democrat about 96% of the time.

It was also the NAACP in the 1980’s who demanded harsher prison sentences for crack cocaine than for powder cocaine. Even though they are essentially the same drug. White people used powder and black people used crack. Black people got harsher sentences than their white counterparts. Did they do that because they wanted more black young men in jail? No, they thought they could use the government to modify behavior they deemed unsavory. When government steals your freedom, it’s always for a good reason. It’s always compassionate, and for fairness. When prisons started filling up with non-violent drug offenses, they thought they must be doing something right. What they were actually doing was making it impossible for millions of young black men to get jobs because of the resulting criminal records. The government does not care about results. The government cares about intentions. I’m glad the leaders of #blacklivesmatter have finally realized this.

This brings me to the part of the response that bothered me:

“Resolutions without concrete change are just business as usual,” the network’s statement reads. “Promises are not policies.”

So what are these changes they seek? I looked pretty hard and couldn’t find a decent description of any changes in policy that they advocate for. Create a list of laws you would change and how you would change them. How is anything supposed to get changed if nobody knows what to change? If you refuse to deal with the people who make policy, how do you expect to get a change made? Apparently, they think killing cops and shouting down Bernie Sanders will magically make lives better for black people. It doesn’t work that way. I have news for you, police men and women are not your problem. The laws they enforce are your problem. Demonstrations are nice, but if you don’t use them as a way to sway public opinion, you are doing it wrong. When your leaders say things like they won’t be happy until cops start killing more white people, and people chant about killing police at rallies, you turn off regular people. You rile up young black people making them more prone to police violence. A climate scientist would call that a “positive feedback loop”, I would call it a vicious circle.

Black lives matter supporters, I know it sounds like I’m being hard on you. If I am, it’s because I think there is a chance you could do something great for black people. In the process, you could help do something great for everyone. You need support, real support from outside the black community. You are on the fence right now. On one side of the fence is more governmental solutions, on the other side are solutions demanding less government. When the time comes to finally figure out what you want, I would just ask you to consider solutions to your problems that include repealing laws, not adding new ones. Let me give you an example: Don’t advocate for laws that reduce sentences for non-violent drug offenses, but do advocate for repealing drug laws. It sounds like a small difference, I know, but it would have huge implications in the long run. Remember, every law that gets passed takes a little more of your freedom away even if you think it helps you. You are a movement of mostly young people, please know that there are people who have advocated for the very things you want to change since before most of you were born. It’s a movement called libertarianism, or the freedom movement. There are books, YouTube videos, websites and social media sites dedicated to freedom from government. Yes, these sites are race neutral, but if what helps you also helps everyone is it so bad to look at another perspective? There are libertarian people currently running for office who support ending the war on drugs, police militarization and mandatory minimums, not because of your cause, but simply because they are wrong. Try to meet with those people. Exchange ideas. Grow into something worth supporting and you will find support. Choose wisely my friends.

Post-Debate Butthurt

I watched the first republican nominee debate last night. I thought I would document my impressions of the debate, but I find that the 24 hours after the debate are much more interesting than the event itself. I mean, really, who cares about a debate on a friendly network over a year before the election? What I learned after watching the main card debate about the prospective candidates, if quantified into a number, would be hovering around zero. I mean, I did my civic duty. I downloaded the fox news app so I could score the debates in real time. I decided to hit thumbs up if the person gave an answer with actual substance, or a semi-specific plan of action, regardless of whether I agreed with the plan or not. I gave a thumbs down if they addressed the issue in generalities and platitudes. I scored a dodge if they couldn’t even muster that much and just spoke without even addressing the question at all. By this measure, my very unscientific scorecard only had 3 candidates in the positive at the end. Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker. I couldn’t tell you any specifics about what I scored them on, it doesn’t matter. I have learned a few things in the last 24 hours though. 1. I don’t have my thumb on the pulse of the American people, or republicans specifically. 2. Debates don’t matter. What a candidate says matters less than how he says it.

I have mentioned several times in the past that people look at politicians in a similar way that they view professional sports teams or professional wrestlers. The butthurt following this debate proves that point in no uncertain terms. I’ve read things that I can hardly believe. People are blaming the moderators for asking tough questions of the candidate they like, not giving their candidate enough talk time, giving some candidates preferential treatment and who knows what else. To be clear, I think the moderators did a pretty good job. I think they knew that being the first debate it had to be both fun and informative. They asked every person on the stage a hard question. People were even upset at the post-debate analysis because Debbie Wasserman Schultz was allowed to give the democrat response. As if Megyn Kelly was in charge of booking guests. When I say upset, I mean upset to the point of unfollowing her on social media. To be fair, they started hating her when she asked Donald Trump a question about his feelings on women after citing several quotes that make it apparent he does not respect them. At this point Trump threatens Megyn Kelly by saying something to the effect, I could be really mean to you if I wanted, but I won’t right now. Now, for some reason, she’s the bad guy! During the debate, Trump openly admits to bribing officials to get what he wants, both republicans and democrats, using the government as an enforcer to get out of debts and I kid you not, when asked about what he would do differently than the current administration with, blah, blah, blah… gave the answer “I would do it so differently!” You’re waiting for more, no, that was his answer, I swear…the whole answer. This is the guy that according to The Drudge Report, won the debate. By a landslide. On the other side, Rand Paul, who was the only one who gave several real answers, was the big loser, because people didn’t like his tone. I’m not defending Rand Paul, just pointing out that it is quite apparent that substance does not matter.

When I say that debates don’t matter, it’s not entirely true. I don’t know a whole lot about a bunch of candidates and maybe I could learn something about them from this format, but I doubt it. A debate a year before the elections however, literally does not matter. They could have answered the questions with mouths full of Fruit Loops and the outcome would have been the same. People tuned in by the millions to watch Donald Trump speak. In 8 months half the field will be gone. No one will remember any of the debates in a year and a half. There is never any new information to be discovered during a debate. Everything you need to know about anybody running is common knowledge well before they go on stage. What people react to during debates are things like likability, looks and a good speaking voice. They must seem “presidential”. A good example of this is Ben Carson’s closing address. He spoke of being the only candidate to separate conjoined twins, operate on a fetus in the womb but hoped he wasn’t the only one picking up the mantle of freedom. This was proclaimed to have been a brilliant close, a master stroke, saved his debate! I’m sorry, but what about any of that has to do with any semblance of a plan to reduce the size of government? Isn’t that a republican ideal? It made him likeable. It sounded great. It proves he is a good doctor. What does that have to do with being a good president? Campaign for Surgeon General! I’m not hating on Dr. Carson, I’m not. He seems like a really good guy. He actually cares, but results matter more than intentions.

Are we as a nation are we so far gone into reality TV, pop culture and celebrity game shows that we can’t separate real life from fiction? We can’t separate real answers from gibberish? We are judging presidential candidates by the same criteria that we judge a contestant on America’s Got Talent. It’s sickening. On the other hand, what do I know? I’m probably crazy.

I would hate to offend anyone, so if I didn’t mention your favorite candidate by name, I’m sorry. I wasn’t intentionally giving him/her less print time. I promise not to ask a democrat what he thinks. I don’t use focus groups. I shoot from the hip, say it like it is, not PC. Enter buzzword here.

Crony Capitalism:

Crony capitalism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, or other forms of state interventionism.

Fascism:

A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, a capitalist economy subject to stringent governmental controls, violent suppression of the opposition, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.