G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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One of the more subtle racial angles in the
Regina Renisha McBride case involve the “accusation” that the shooting occurred in a predominantly white neighborhood. People like Toure like to play dumb when it is pointed out to them that McBride probably had alcohol in her system when she allegedly tried to get into another person’s home, but they’ll run with the pointless statement that the shooting occurred in a “predominantly white neighborhood”.
@ChuckGLP Yes it appears there was alcohol in McBride’s system. Does that justify killing her?
— Touré (@Toure) November 13, 2013
Take this from Jezebel on 11/6/13. Laura Beck wrote:
Last Saturday morning at around 2:30am 19-year-old Renisha McBride got into a car accident in Dearborn Heights, a predominately white Detroit suburb. Because her cell phone battery was dead, she went to nearby home for assistance. That might seem like the reasonable and understandable thing to do, but it was the biggest mistake of McBride’s short life.
It is true that Dearborn Heights itself is predominantly white. But it just so happens that the neighborhood in which McBride was shot is predominantly unwhite. Here are some of the first names of people who live on the street on which McBride was killed: Ahsan, Ridwar, Salame, and Saif.
AP, via ABC News, offers more:
The northeast section of Dearborn Heights neighbors Detroit’s far west side and is a diverse area that’s home to white, black and Arab-American residents. The neighborhood where the shooting took place consists mostly of well-kept bungalows and small ranches, and is near a community college branch campus and a mosque.
Salam Salame, who lives next door to the house where McBride was killed, said she and her family were sleeping and didn’t know what had happened. She said police had been out on Tuesday canvassing the neighborhood.
Salame described her neighbor as a good man who lives alone.
“He never did anything to bother anybody,” she said.
One thing I marvel at is that Detroit local papers never called that neighborhood or that city predominantly white. This exposes an always interesting divide in how local outlets are typically concerned with facts while national outlets are typically concerned with “nationalizable” issues like race. There is a tipping point with these kinds of stories. If a local crime story can attract just enough attention from the national press – and any case where a white or white-looking person kills a black person will reach this threshold – the case will automatically be spun around and checked out for any and every possible racial angle. Every piece of evidence will be interpreted with a bias towards a racially-motivated white killer. All of that being said, this case won’t make it to the big leagues as the Trayvon Martin case did because there just isn’t the same marketing push and also because a large enough percentage of the population still respect castle doctrine (even as plenty of people are erroneously claiming that this is a ‘stand your ground’ case).
Compare the similarities in the presentation of some of the arguments in both the McBride case and the Martin case. “He was carrying Skittles and iced tea” = “She was looking for help after a car wreck.” “What does it matter if he had THC in his system?” = “What does it matter if she was drunk?” “She was shot in the back of the head” = “Zimmerman fired two shots”/”Martin was trying to get home”/the entire now-ridiculous theory that Zimmerman was beating up Martin. “This is a ‘stand your ground’ case” = “This is a ‘stand your ground’ case”.
In all of the liberal jerking of knees yesterday in response to Richard Cohen’s article Slate’s J. Bryan Lowder was, to an extent, one voice of reason. Lowder wrote:
Let me be clear here—I am not interested in defending Richard Cohen generally against the larger criticisms I mentioned up top. I am definitely not a fan. But I’m also not a fan of a willful-seeming, mob-like misreading of a piece of writing in the service of self-satisfied smugness, especially when the piece—as confusingly written as it is—is worth serious consideration for what it reveals about the troublingly different ways people identify and conceptualize racism in this country.
But the mightily angry Ta-Nehisi Coates doesn’t buy Lowder’s argument. As a side note to Coates’s two pieces on Cohen yesterday, Coates repeatedly said that he understood that Cohen wasn’t saying that he gagged at the sight of interracial couples like Bill de Blasio and his wife. I don’t happen to believe Coates. I think he actually did think at first that Cohen gags when he sees miscegenation or that he is sympathetic to people who do gag at the sight. I don’t know whether or not Coates writes his own subheadings, but the one attached to his first blog post about Cohen’s article read “Richard Cohen says the interracial de Blasio marriage makes him “gag.”" And Coates’s response in his post reads like he’s taking Cohen at face value. But then, poor phrasing and misreading are central to this whole argument.
Coates lays out a litany of grievances against Cohen. In 1986 the WaPo columnist wrote a column in which he said he supported some luxury store owners’ who banned black youth from their stores because they were more likely to steal. Cohen wrote about Trayvon Martin calling his hoodie “the uniform of crime”. Cohen also recently watched “12 Years a Slave” which caused him to reflect on how he had been indoctrinated in his childhood to think that slaves were grateful for their benevolent slaveowners.
But there are differences between those positions and the position which knee-jerkers attribute to Cohen.
Take the nuances that Cohen tackled with his columns on black youth in jewelry stores, Trayvon Martin’s hoodie, and stop-and-frisk. Now, compare the issues contained in those stories to miscegenation. Is being OK with shopkeepers making business decisions in their own private shops or homeowners being suspicious of a certain type of person in a certain type of clothing style the same as becoming nauseous at the sight of an interracial couple? No, they aren’t. Opposition to interracial relationships is opposition to something that two other people decide to do for themselves. Accepting the reasoning of a shopkeeper or a neighbor to keep an eye on a certain person because of their own personal knowledge and about crime and their own experiences is not abstract in the way that opposition to interracial relationships is. The shopkeeper is adopting a policy that he thinks – rightly or wrongly – decreases his chances of getting robbed or beaten.
Liberals paint anyone who holds any of these positions with the broad brush of “racist”. But, as a starting point to a more nuanced and fruitful discussion, they should be able to recognize that there are different motivations for such ideas and actions.
Liberals are up in arms about Richard Cohen’s article on Chris Cristie and the Tea Party. Cohen wrote:
Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all. (emphasis added)
Confusion ensued because of the use of the word “conventional” which can mean either normal or traditional. In this case, since it is very clear that Cohen is shitting on conservatives he
clearly means “traditional views”.
Conservatives should have the grievance with Cohen on this column, but for some reason liberals have circled around and made it about themselves. They’re casting the article not as yet another attack on the perceived bigotry of conservatives but as a guy with conservative ideas “gagging” at the sight of an interracial couple. I haven’t seen a liberal yet step out to offer an unqualified defense of conservatives against such attacks (not that I think conservatives need liberal defenders).
At Business Insider, Josh Barro came close when he went with the mushy-mouthed headline “Richard Cohen May Have a Problem With Interracial Marriage, But Few Conservatives Do”. But Barro still failed to pick up on Cohen’s point. Ta-Nehisi Coates seems to have misread Cohen as well. HuffPo thinks Cohen wrote a racist column. There are a bunch of others, and there are more from liberals who do understand what Cohen meant but who still have issue to take with him. Except, those liberal columnists don’t really try to counter the argument that Cohen shat upon “conventional” people i.e. conservatives. They’re upset he even broached the topic of Bill de Blasio’s interracial marriage.
Cohen has gone in on conservatives before in this manner. Here’s a column from New Year’s Eve 2012:
It is conservatism that is both intellectually exhausted and nearly indefensible. It is the movement of the ideologically ossified, of gun zealots and homophobes, of the immigrant-phobic and the adamantly selfish. It insists that government must be small (an impossibility!), education must be local (a stupidity) and that debt, no matter what the reason, is immoral and reckless. The movement has lost its reliable monster. Godless communists have been replaced by the church ladies of Planned Parenthood. History giggles.
It is rare that so many pundits misinterpret the same column in the same way. But when you consider the choices — either having to defend yet another prestige press columnist calling conservatives bigots without much evidence or misreading the columnist and calling him a bigot — then we gain more understanding into why this colossal misinterpretation might have happened. The truth is that conventional liberals — pundits and the public alike — do actually think that most conservatives gag at the sight of interracial couples. Some, like The Nation’s Greg Mitchell and WaPo’s Ezra Klein, say that opposition to interracial marriage was conventional back in 1957. But don’t a lot of liberals think that conservatives pine for 1957? Funny then that Cohen is getting grief for stating the conventional liberal opinion.
1. Lori Gottlieb, author of “Marry Him!” got bamboozled by Obamacare. (h/t James Taranto)
2. Yasha Levine who is Mark Ames’ Robin has a post at NSFWCorp about the libertarian influence on hatred for the TSA hate which, Levine argues, is responsible for the LAX shooting. Just leaving aside the argument about the causes of the shooting, Levine pulls quotes from a blogger named Steven Frischling who claimed to have interviewed a bunch of TSA agents who said they had been called Nazis, fascists, rapists, etc. by people at the airport. HuffPo put up an article in 2010 using those exact same quotes from Frischling. But HuffPo editors pulled that piece completely because they had issues with Frischling’s sourcing. At the least, this shows that even HuffPo has higher journalistic standards than NSFWCorp.
But going back to Levine’s argument – he might not want to cherry pick which ideologies or political stances to blame for criminal outcomes. Many more murders and maimings have been carried out based upon justifications provided by leftism which either tacitly and sometimes directly support violent redistribution. What comes about if you scream to people through a bullhorn that this group over here – the 1%, white people, etc. – has taken resources from that group over there?
3. NYT Room for Debate, “The Cost of Being an Artist“. One contributor named Nisha Asnani wrote:
More structured organizations that empower artists and teach them about fund-raising and business skills like The Field, where I work as communications manager, are also vital for our creative culture. The Field is the kind of place that endeavors to make New York a more friendly and supportive city for artists and those who love artists.
After that, we need someone to work to make Las Vegas more friendly and supportive of sex workers and people who love them.
4. I got into a heated discussion on Facebook with someone about the Renisha McBride case out of Dearborn Heights, Michigan. McBride was the 19 year-old black woman who got into a car wreck at about 1:30 in the morning and allegedly went up to a man’s house looking for help a few hours later. My interlocuter said something like “omg this black woman was shot in the back of the head just because she was asking for help after a car accident.” I then pointed out that the reports that McBride wasn’t shot in the back of the head but rather in the face, but my interlocuters came back with “that doesn’t even matter why does this happen to black people”. There’s a pattern here. The back of the head shooting narrative was inserted by McBride’s family (see: Trayvon Martin), but then when the narrative turned that aspect of the case never mattered anyway. I waffle between being depressed and amused by these things.
By the way, Cenk Uygar of The Young Turks was one of the first to circulate the lie that George Zimmerman said “fucking coons” on the non-emergency phone call back on Feb 26, 2012.
The general lack of outrage within the NFL to Richie Incognito’s racially-charged comment to Jonathan Martin did seem strange, and now we have an explanation:
One of the most curious aspects of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin story is how race has become very much a part of it outside the Dolphins locker room — in the media and among fans and observers — but not at all so far within the Dolphins locker room.
Think of this:
Richie Incognito left Jonathan Martin a voice mail that, among other things, called Martin a “half-n—-r.” And Dolphins players of color, knowing of the voicemail, have expressed no problems with Incognito.
“I don’t have a problem with Richie,” Mike Wallace said. “I love Richie.”
“I don’t think Richie is a racist,” cornerback Brent Grimes said.
“Richie Incognito isn’t a racist,” tight end Michael Egnew said.
ESPN analyst and former Dolphins wide receiver Cris Carter has know Mike Pouncey since the player’s childhood. Today Carter said on air he recently spoke to Mike Pouncey and the center, who is Incognito’s friend, addressed race.
“They don’t feel as if he’s a racist, they don’t feel as if he picked on Jonathan repeatedly and bullied him, but if they could do it all over again there would be situations that they might change but they’re very, very comfortable with Richie,” Carter said.
“They think it’s sad, not only that Jonathan’s not on the football team, but also that Richie is being depicted as a bigot and as a racist.”
How is this possible?
Well, I’ve spoken to multiple people today about this and the explanation from all of them is that in the Dolphins locker room, Richie Incognito was considered a black guy. He was accepted by the black players. He was an honorary black man.
And Jonathan Martin, who is bi-racial, was not. Indeed, Martin was considered less black than Incognito.
“Richie is honarary,” one player who left the Dolphins this offseason told me today. “I don’t expect you to understand because you’re not black. But being a black guy, being a brother is more than just about skin color. It’s about how you carry yourself. How you play. Where you come from. What you’ve experienced. A lot of things.”
Another former Dolphins employee told me Martin is considered “soft” by his teammates and that’s a reason he’s not readily accepted by some of the players, particularly the black players. His background — Stanford educated and the son of highly educated people — was not necessarily seen as a strength or a positive by some players and it perpetuated in the way Martin carried himself.
And so — agree with it or not, comprehend it or not — this is a reason the Dolphins haven’t turned on Incognito as a racist.
1. Yet another case in which Benjamin Crump is involved that is starting to look more and more like a lie. A former leader of the Valdosta, Georgia NAACP decided to investigate the death of Kendrick Johnson, the kid found rolled up in a wrestling mat at Valdosta High School. At the very least, the woman independently investigating this found that the complaints from the kid’s parents, their lawyer and Ben Crump that police and the school were “stonewalling” were unfounded. From the article:
Web addresses to donation sites were given during the call and people were urged to send money to the family so they could fund the legal fights, but as far as Touchton is concerned, the information they were asking for had already been released.
The investigator said she’s received threats for not playing for her pre-assigned team. If the allegations of falsehoods are true, this now makes Ben Crump an accomplice to four civil rights case lies: Martin Lee Anderson, Trayvon Martin, Marco McMillian, and Kendrick Johnson. When will he ever be right, and why is he always wrong?
2. We’re at the point where it’s OK to openly talk about how the President has direct influence on columns written by opinion journalists. This is a taunt – the powers that be are showing us their incestuousness and telling us that we’re not going to do anything about it.
3. An article praising retired basketball player Allen Iverson for his countercultural heroism.
Taken together, our findings suggest the generous extensions to paid leave were costly, had no measurable effect on outcomes and regressive redistribution properties. In a time of harsh budget realities, our findings have important implications for countries that are considering future expansions or contractions in the duration of paid leave.
5. Woman conducts experiment to show how scared people are to offend Muslims. (h/t JayMan)
6. Interesting article on the family structure of NBA players. The average black NBA player is less likely to have been born to a single mother and in poverty than the average black person. Noncognitive skills and height are two explanations for this difference.
7. A true feminist argument: Let men choose whether or not to be fathers both emotionally and financially.
For the morning crowd, our effort to get to the bottom of the Red Lobster receipt ordeal has come to fruition. Even though handwriting analysis isn’t smoking gun proof, having two analyses of handwriting samples from both parties involved is more data than we’d otherwise have. Take these pieces of information along with Devin Barnes’s denial that he wrote “nigger” on Toni Jenkins’s receipt and also factor in that Jenkins is saying that she now believes Barnes when he says he didn’t write the word, and we have a pretty solid idea of what’s going on.
Jenkins said she felt bad for Barnes since he’s now received threats and such. When I asked her if she’d then offer up half of her $11,000 cash gift to Barnes since he didn’t do anything wrong she said that she wished she could split the money but that she’d spent it all on a car. I didn’t follow up and ask her about selling the vehicle.
I really took interest in the Zimmerman case after an article published at the Orlando Sentinel cited two voice forensics experts who claimed that George Zimmerman was not the person screaming on the infamous 911 phone call. Besides my (and many others’) immediate skepticism that it’s hard to compare a scream to a normal voice, I also thought that comparing only one normal voice sample from Zimmerman — and not one from Martin because there was no known normal voice sample from him at the time — that a crappy piece of software like the one used in the voice analysis would only naturally reject Zimmerman’s voice as a match. A crappy piece of software would probably incorrectly reject a lot of voices, but there would be a lot of doofuses who wouldn’t think about that limitation of the inquiry. What I’m getting as is that it’s good to at least try to analyze two normal exemplars — such as the ‘normal’ handwriting of both Jenkins and Barnes — rather than just compare that of Barnes to the receipt. I’m not making this argument to defend my article — it is what it is; as mentioned, there’s still some very slight room to doubt that Jenkins wrote “nigger” — but rather because I’m still fascinated by the limitations of that Orlando Sentinel article.
In my opinion, the worst player in this saga is, without a doubt, Red Lobster. I hold back from saying that Jenkins is the worst player without a doubt because of that tiny possibility that she’s not lying either. But Red Lobster is a different type of player here. They should have doubt of some sort too — they don’t have to believe Barnes all the way, but they shouldn’t automatically believe Jenkins all the way. But they clearly support Jenkins all the way and therefore blame Barnes entirely which would be a huge error if consumers actually cared.
1. Anatomy of the Hoax, a piece I wrote for the new site ‘The Federalist’. It focuses heavily on an article from Stephanie Mencimer written for Washington Monthly about the false rape claim made by Jamie Leigh Jones. Jones made the media rounds for several years trying to sell her story that she was gang-raped in Iraq while working as a contractor for the infamous Kellogg, Brown, and Root. I remember watching a documentary which featured her story. But it was made up. Mencimer’s piece is interesting because, as a Mother Jones writer, she came from the side that usually won’t admit when it is snookered by these types of stories. Compare Mencimer to Amanda Marcotte for instance. More enlightening than Mencimer’s documentation of Jones’s lies is emphasis on how the mainstream media was much like a turtle shrinking back into its shell when the Jones story became inconvenient for them. Mencimer mentions ABC News’s Brian Ross – the guy who first blamed the Tea Party for the Aurora theater shooting.
Brian Ross, who scored the first on-air interview with Jones back in 2007, and whose exposé prompted Congress to act, referred my requests for an interview to a flack for ABC News, who called to ask what I was writing about and then never answered a single question. Rachel Maddow, who essentially used Jones’s story to accuse thirty Republican senators of being rape apologists, never responded to repeated requests for comment. Only the Houston Chronicle, which failed to cover more than a day or two of the sensational trial in its own backyard, went back a few months later to revisit the verdict with a serious story.
Without extensive media scrutiny of what came out during the trial, Jones’s version of her story has retained significant staying power.
Check out the piece at ‘The Federalist’ and ‘like’ and ‘tweet’ it if you care to. And read Mencimer’s piece as well.
2. Obama’s boredom.
3. Photographs a woman took of her street harassers. One sentence: “Price moved to Philadelphia in 2009 from Colorado and noticed for the first time that she was getting catcalled.”
Update II: I hit the needed amount. Some regular and generous supporters and some new ones. Thank you as always, and look for a story soon.
Update: We’re getting pretty close to the goal for this mini-project. I’ve also obtained some useful commentary from Jenkins if and when a piece is able to be put together.
Here’s a mini-Kickstarter project some of you might be interested in. I’ve contacted a forensic handwriting expert who says that for $295 he will analyze and compare the handwriting of Toni Jenkins to the Red Lobster receipt.
I’m putting up the Donate button, and if I can raise $200, I’ll pay for the rest myself. If I get donations up to the $295 mark I’ll use that to pay for the analysis, but I won’t take any more than that. In the name of transparency I’ll take screenshots (with donor information redacted) of my PayPal account to show that I’m not using this as a way to earn extra dough.
I don’t think that a handwriting analysis is the end-all-be-all of this story. Whatever the analyst determines is not definitive proof of who wrote what, but it does give us something to work on. It’s a he-said-she-said so every other piece of analyzed evidence is gravy – it’s something we didn’t have before.
An Obamacare ‘navigator’ who works for a community organizing outfit and is also very active in pro-immigration rallies who also was part of a massive group of community organizers who stormed the property of the Kansas Secretary of State earlier this year. One has to wonder who she’ll help her ‘customers’ navigate the Obamacare system.