Look at all the white people

Once again, the timer has run out on the ongoing discussion of American racism, so here’s a fresh thread for you all. I thought you might appreciate the magnitude of the Black Problem: black people get gunned down by the police. The police are far less trigger-happy when it’s a mob of hundreds of heavily armed white people shooting each other.

A composite image of handout booking images made available on 19 May 2015 by the McLennan County Sheriff's Department showing scores of men and women arrested and charged with crimes stemming from a large shootout and fight between biker gangs outside the Twin Peaks bar and restaurant at the Central Texas Marketplace in Waco, Texas, USA, 17 May 2015. Reports indicate that nine bikers were shot and killed and 18 other wounded. Police have announced that 192 people face charges of engaging in organized crime.  EPA/MCLENNAN COUNTY SHERIFF  HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY

epa04757409 A composite image of handout booking images made available on 19 May 2015 by the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department showing scores of men and women arrested and charged with crimes stemming from a large shootout and fight between biker gangs outside the Twin Peaks bar and restaurant at the Central Texas Marketplace in Waco, Texas, USA, 17 May 2015. Reports indicate that nine bikers were shot and killed and 18 other wounded. Police have announced that 192 people face charges of engaging in organized crime.

I think this suggests an easy solution to the problem of police brutality. Instead of 40 acres and a mule, give every black person in the country a black leather jacket and a shotgun.

Don’t worry, though. The Waco incident was completely thug-free.

“Offensive” doesn’t begin to cover it

womanhaters

Soraya Chemaly describes the fraternity scene on college campuses.

Feminists United, a group at the University of Mary Washington, has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education asserting that their school did little or nothing to address death and rape threats made on Yik Yak [an anonymous social media app] after they protested a rugby team’s sexist chant and argued that there was a connection between Greek culture and sexual assault. Sexual assault ranks second in fraternity insurance claims, men in fraternities are three times more likely to rape than their non-fraternity peers, they consume more objectifying content and are more accepting of rape myths. The connection is entirely valid and well-documented; it’s just that no one likes the information.

Oh, those feminists. Complaining about a song? About idle chatter on social media? It’s harmless! They’re just venting! Free speech! Get a thicker skin!

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“Urban” is more than just a synonym for “black”

phillyrubble

The following is a fragment of the story of a white Ph.D. working at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, but it’s probably universal for any of us who worked at an urban university on the East coast — many of them are located in poorer neighborhoods, where property values are low, and we work there in a little artificial bubble of privilege.

The narratives that students and faculty told about Baltimore were stories of fear. There is almost a hazing of new arrivals. You’re told where not to walk, where not to go. You’re told where is not safe after dark. You’re told of all the muggings and the murders (even if, when you finally look up the statistics, you realise that affluent whites are not at all the victims of Baltimore’s crime problem). And it seeps into your skin.

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All that needs to be said

baltimorecops

The people now calling for nonviolence are not prepared to answer these questions. Many of them are charged with enforcing the very policies that led to Gray’s death, and yet they can offer no rational justification for Gray’s death and so they appeal for calm. But there was no official appeal for calm when Gray was being arrested. There was no appeal for calm when Jerriel Lyles was assaulted. (“The blow was so heavy. My eyes swelled up. Blood was dripping down my nose and out my eye.”) There was no claim for nonviolence on behalf of Venus Green. (“Bitch, you ain’t no better than any of the other old black bitches I have locked up.”) There was no plea for peace on behalf of Starr Brown. (“They slammed me down on my face,” Brown added, her voice cracking. “The skin was gone on my face.”)

When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con. And none of this can mean that rioting or violence is “correct” or “wise,” any more than a forest fire can be “correct” or “wise.” Wisdom isn’t the point tonight. Disrespect is. In this case, disrespect for the hollow law and failed order that so regularly disrespects the community.

Ta-Nehisi Coates

The right wing responds to Baltimore

baltimore-flyer

If you want to get the temper of the right on the Baltimore situation, all you have to do is open up the pages of the National Review, that money-losing magazine founded by a racist, for racists, and propped up by a constant stream of money from far right liars, like the Heritage Foundation. I did. I was unsurprised.

Whenever this kind of unforgivable idiocy occurs, some chin-stroking media wise man assures us that rioting is an expression of anger from oppressed communities, a cry for justice from those who feel every other avenue of protest has been unfairly blocked, blah blah blah.

It’s all nonsense. The last “riot” that achieved anything useful was the Boston Tea Party. If everyone in the United States swore a pledge declaring, “I will never riot,” there would be less injustice in this world, not more.

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What country would like to adopt Katie Hopkins?

liberty

Desperate people are swarming out of Africa and struggling to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe — many are dying in the hazardous crossing. The Italians have been over-extended, trying to rescue these people, and now the UK has decided not to support search and rescue operations in the area.

The British refusal comes as the official Italian sea and rescue operation, Mare Nostrum, is due to end this week after contributing over the past 12 months to the rescue of an estimated 150,000 people since the Lampedusa tragedies in which 500 migrants died in October 2013.

The Italian operation will now end without a similar European search and rescue operation to replace it. The Italian authorities have said their operation, which involves a significant part of the Italian navy, is unsustainable. Despite its best efforts, more than 2,500 people are known to have drowned or gone missing in the Mediterranean since the start of the year.

This is tragic. These are human beings — desperate, ambitious human beings who aspire to a better life. Yet apparently some people want to treat them as cockroaches.

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The things you learn about the SF community…

hugoaward

I have to hand it to those goons who made up a slate of ‘conservative’ science fiction and slammed it into the Hugo nominations: I’d had this vague assumption that science fiction fans would be generally progressive and tolerant and even enthusiastic about different ideas. The Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies have enlightened and disillusioned me.

Well, actually, it’s been the other side that has brought me awareness. While slapping down the misconceptions of the Vox Day ilk, I’ve been taught so much. For instance, Jeet Heer reveals the dark side of SF professionals. I did not know this about John Campbell; he had an interesting reason for rejecting Samuel Delany’s story, Nova.

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