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2015 Baltimore Riots

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I will say, it is pretty damning when the only people this country will listen to when they have something to say are largely disinterested in this whole thing.

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I will say, it is pretty damning when the only people this country will listen to when they have something to say are largely disinterested in this whole thing.

That goes beyond race, though.

While people as a whole can be expected to be good, at the end of the day everyone is primarily concerned with their self-interest. We'll give a small chunk of our money to charity to make ourselves feel better, but we keep the bulk for ourselves.

When a person downplays racism, it might very well be a cover for a subconscious, "Yeah that's sad, but I'm not black/Hispanic/Indian/whatever."

What is key is trying to tame that subconscious apathy we have for groups besides our own, and I'd say that's where the visionaries usually come from.

Of course, I stand by my longstanding idea that the stupider you assume the masses to be, the less disappointed you'll be. There is great merit in making them feel that they benefit from any proposed changes. As I always mention, a lot moderate whites didn't really care about civil rights until they saw white kids getting beaten. While there was an obvious racial element here (the whites were marching in Civil Rights demonstrations), the main focus was on police excess.

That's why I'm so adamant about the common ground, "downplay racism" approach. I want to actually get things done, and the nature of politics is compromise. Until a white person is emotionally invested in the issues facing the black community (either through a really good black friend, or a black partner, etc.), they are unlikely to care much. One has to make them care, and sadly altruistic ideals like equality aren't going to do it.

It doesn't help that the term racism has lost credibility with a lot of whites due to its frequent use. No matter how real it is, it is basically the new "freedom" or "socialism." And just as white people deny racism, a lot of non-whites deny the existence of the "race card." That further alienates the white population, because it creates this idea of racial minorities as entitled.

I believe a member here once implied a violent uprising against whites to bypass the need for compromise. Yeah no. You think violence against the black community is bad now with a riot here or there, picture what will happen if there was an actual violent rebellion. Turning black citizens into enemy soldiers gives the police the blank check they always dreamed of to shoot first and ask questions later. At least under the current system, as the ruling in this case shows, there is some standard of care expected of officers, no matter how flimsy and poorly-enforced it is.

Yes, MLK was assassinated. Lots of bad things have happened to peaceful leaders. But peaceful change is the only way that will work in the long run. We're stuck together at the end of the day, so we need to find solutions that can secure the support of the whole.

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Sooo how long are we supposed to be peaceful here?

 

Because it's been about over a century and still nothing. That's pretty long. You can only try something for so many times before it becomes apparent that it's not working.

 

At this point, I'm ready to just say "do whatever it takes to make people listen". If they don't have ears to hear, pin them down to the ground and staple some on. I know it may sound radical, but I'd argue we're out of options.

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I'm sorry, but the onus shouldn't be on me to make a racist white person see me as an equal. Proving my humanity is a waste of the time I've got left and a batshit insane burden to carry in general. We are peaceful, mindful, if not outright passive more often than not, and like Dizcrybe said, being mindful of the feelings of white people hasn't actually worked for not one but about four centuries. The majority of this job, now, involves white people taking responsibility for the systems in play and also taking the debate to other white people, because empathy is easiest to transfer that way. You can claim talking to people is hard and doesn't work; I'd simply argue you're not eloquent enough.

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Because it's been about over a century and still nothing.

Is your situation really comparable to that of a black person a century or two ago?

Slavery was abolished. Explicit segregation is dead. Miscegenation law has been overturned.

The wheels of progress are always turning, but there's no guarantee that this vehicle gets good gas mileage.

Every minority in history has to be patient and take what it can. That sucks, but it's how it is. I'd like nothing more than be able to marry my boyfriend, but some old farts in the halls of government say that's immoral and this idea's only just now being challenged openly after thousands of years of complacency.

Can violence bring change faster? Absolutely. But it's probably not a good idea if you're planning to live together with whoever you use it against.

 

I'm sorry, but the onus shouldn't be on me to make a racist white person see me as an equal.

Of course it shouldn't be.

But it's no surprise that young people, Asians, blacks, women, etc. all share a quality of being recognized as deserving of more rights only after a major war effort that they took a huge part in.

 

The majority of this job, now, involves white people taking responsibility for the systems in play and also taking the debate to other white people, because empathy is easiest to transfer that way. You can claim talking to people is hard and doesn't work; I'd simply argue you're not eloquent enough.

We've tried that. All it does is get one labelled an America hater. We are dealing with the lowest common denominator when public policy is in play.

Unfortunately, most people do not care about broad programs of human rights barring graphic imagery being shoved in their faces, and even that's not always effective. When they do take up a cause, they also show cognitive dissonance and will not support another similar cause. Polygamists and gays both struggle against the specter of "traditional" marriage, but I don't see many arguing for the latter also arguing for the former. This cognitive dissonance is good for the continuance of hierarchy in our society, however; if we all realized how little race, sex, etc. have to mean in our daily interactions, there'd only be one last thing to judge: class. But I digress, my main idea here is that rather than convincing people who don't care about x to care about it, it's more effective to make them care about issue y, which they have a stake in, and by proxy alleviate issue x.

Democratic politics is all about compromise. You don't get everything you want as a general rule. Sure it would be cool if we could address issues of race head on, but that's not going to get far because most people are sick of hearing about it from the media, unscrupulous lawyers, and people who are too quick to label something as racially-motivated. We can absolutely convince white citizens of the benefits of less police, a smaller military, less harsh sentences, equal spending per pupil, easier access to the ballot box, etc. and reap the racial benefits thereof, all without mentioning the r-word even once. When sitcoms like The Office satirize mention of race as a motivator of harm, it's obvious the majority don't see it as a serious issue, and the majority is what we need to work with.

Similar to what pollsters have noticed when they change around the wording of questions, the way you frame an issue makes all of the difference with results.

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Fuck it then, I'm out of here. I'm the problem, so I'll leave you guys to solve it. Have fun.

 

So in this thread, the white guy died first.

 

 

 

 

 

Look, dude, it's not some sort of leftist conspiracy to claim that Southern States, especially (but not exclusively) Bible Belt ones, are one of the main continuing causes of institutionalized racism being accepted so quickly everywhere; so taking potshots when things like this happen are pretty fairly deserved.

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Is your situation really comparable to that of a black person a century or two ago?

Slavery was abolished. Explicit segregation is dead. Miscegenation law has been overturned.

 

Just because my situation is better doesn't make it desirable.

 

We've tried that. All it does is get one labelled an America hater. We are dealing with the lowest common denominator when public policy is in play.

 

So you want us to just keep being peaceful and patient, saying we'll get result eventually if we keep it up, but you've given up in trying to get through to disinterested white people? So what, you're saying black people pleading nicely to white people for racism to stop is more effective than white people telling other white people racism needs to stop and why? No, I don't buy that. If we should have to keep being peaceful, you should have to keep explaining why this is such as issue. If not, what are we supposed to do other than take matters into our own hands?

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Just because my situation is better doesn't make it desirable.

 

 

So you want us to just keep being peaceful and patient, saying we'll get result eventually if we keep it up, but you've given up in trying to get through to disinterested white people? So what, you're saying black people pleading nicely to white people for racism to stop is more effective than white people telling other white people racism needs to stop and why? No, I don't buy that. If we should have to keep being peaceful, you should have to keep explaining why this is such as issue. If not, what are we supposed to do other than take matters into our own hands?

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Or to sum up what Ogilive is saying: mask the real goals with a fake one until your aims are achieved.

 

Your real goal in this case would be to end or deter examples of systemic racism such as police brutality. As this seems to be held back by a disinterested majority demographic, to convince that demographic to take action against it you need to hide that real goal with a fake goal - the fake goal in this case being to end police brutality in general by way of watching and deterring them from getting away with abuse of power so that way not only can the minority demographic feel safer but the majority does too.

 

Because the majority is basically going "well it doesn't affect me, so I don't care that much," which is even sadder when talking to them about it hasn't and still isn't getting any further. I mean, it sucks really, because basically the people affected by the majority are having to take action on something the majority should easily be able to see and take care of. But they're not, because they see no motivation to do so unless it directly hurts them as well. It's like they're demanding sympathy, but refusing to give it in return.

 

It's understandable that people are sick of the systemic racism that's still inherent and being as alarmingly pronounced while white people don't seem to realize that or are apathetic. And with all these cases of police brutality surging around, it makes me fearful whenever I see a cop anywhere in my proximity nowadays should this shit happen to me. But unfortunately for us who want to see it stopped dead in its tracks, attacking it head on seems to have the opposite affect by annoying the whites who are indifferent and maybe even setting them against us. It's stupid as hell, but that just seems to be the reality of it, and every direct action seems to get met with a ridiculous roadblock and no justice.

 

That being said, from where I stand, this strategy can only work so far and for certain areas than others, and it still doesn't address other areas of abuse in power. For instance, there are cases of white people themselves using their phones to record the police only for the police to try and take that away to hide their actions that they know are against their policy or even straight up criminal, so this is definitely something that needs to be tackled fiercely and directly. And unless I'm missing something, that doesn't seem to affect other areas of indifference or blatant elements of systemic racism - while I can understand how it can keeping the police brutality low, I can't see how this will stop cases such as police profiling and making disproportionate arrests and high sentencing of blacks compared to whites over the same crime. Now this is something I think the direct approach needs to be applied, because the way I see it being indirect will either let slip by or worsen these areas despite fixing others. It still says a lot that there was video footage of Eric Gardner being illegally choked by a police officer and that evidence alone should have held serious weight in court - yet the officer who did the chokehold still got away with a slap on the wrist. Like, racism or not, that just defies all logic no matter what you say.

 

Basically, we're still gonna have cracks that need fixing.

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Police brutality? Change it so that police are more regulated and carefully screened so that bigots by proxy can't get into the force as easily. People getting weapons they shouldn't be getting? Have them undergo the necessary tests, screening, gun training (and safety) and psychological profile checks so that the dangerous don't get the weapons, ensure that people do understand how dangerous weapons are, and by proxy ensure that those down on their luck don't get gunned down by some nutjob. Economic disparity? Improve wages and living conditions so that by proxy the minorities who are struggling to get by won't have to resort to crime to make ends meet. Ignorance? Educate people so they become more informed.

 

There's probably a bunch of other stuff I'm not thinking of at the moment, but I think you get the general point. Bigots are going to exist as long as humanity has the free will to do so, but we can limit their means to hurt people by changing things that they cannot simply ignore like police brutality and poor living conditions and increasing economic disparity so that they have fewer tools to use against the target of their hatred. Is it the best way to go about things? Probably not. But it's a flawed solution for a flawed world.

 

I see what you're saying, but to be honest, I don't think this can happen in an environment where so many people believe there's nothing wrong, and therefore, nothing that needs to be fixed. Those old, uncaring white guys Og was talking about? Much of them are not only running the cities and states this is happening in, but the entire country. They're not going to fix a system they can't see is broken. They're the ones pointing the finger at us to deflect blame off themselves.

 

And as for federal authority, what have they been doing this whole time while innocent black people were getting shot? Because as far as I know, they've done piss all at large. Where were they when Darren Wilson only got off with a paid leave (IIRC)? I don't even know if Eric Garner's killer was reprimanded in any way. And these cases were huge. You'd think it would catch the ear of these federal authorities. So why aren't they getting involved? Is police brutality just not that high of a priority to them? Have they just somehow not heard about it? What the hell's going on?

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You'd think it would catch the ear of these federal authorities. So why aren't they getting involved? Is police brutality just not that high of a priority to them? Have they just somehow not heard about it? What the hell's going on?

Because it is rare for federal authority to actually have legal justification to get involved, nor is there any capability for the federal government to get involved in every police brutality case. That's why only the really grievous examples (such as Rodney King) attract federal ire.

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Let's not forget the moment the federal government gets involved, the states' rights advocates go nuts on the issue.

They won't even entertain the idea a state government can be incorrect in its actions, and this is a cancerous ideology that's permeated our politics.

All a state government is is a government with authority over a smaller area. I'm all for local governments having some autonomy since they will probably know their needs best, but local and state governments shouldn't be the alpha and omega of politics.

The states' rights movement ultimately is another face of the political scene that consciously or unconsciously contributes to racial disparity. Every time a federal official wants to make sure schooling, income, etc. are more equitable, he is called a tyrant for daring to infringe on the glorious state of Mississippi's right to pay people half as much as Oregon or spend half as much on students.

As for the old, uncaring white guys running cities, they absolutely can be made to change if the masses find reason to protest. If they see a broader trend of police abuse that can affect them as much as any minority, they might very well become concerned. There have been cases of whites being brutalized as well as non-whites, and even if it's smaller in number, bringing attention to those cases would probably do wonders to convince people that maybe the police should be reined in.

Or as I mentioned, the Kansas City Experiment. While simple logic would dictate that more or less cops would impact crime... the data says otherwise. Most people can be trusted to be good most of the time. It's the assholes in society who necessitate a police department at all.

I don't know about anyone else, but when I'm angry at someone, I refrain from murdering or assaulting them not because I'm thinking I'd go to jail, but because I personally consider that behavior immoral.

What I'm basically getting at is there's a myriad of ways we could convince people that we don't need anywhere near as many cops, or even that they need to be as heavily armed. Our American values tell us that we should always be skeptical of the state. Why do police, being agents of the state, get a blank check? Seriously, it's ridiculous. Obama mandates insurance to make sure that nobody has to pay for someone else's irresponsibility? Holy shit he's a dictator. Reagan, Bush, et. al. increase funding for the police, give them more weapons, etc.? They're protectors of liberty. What the actual fuck.

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Because it is rare for federal authority to actually have legal justification to get involved, nor is there any capability for the federal government to get involved in every police brutality case. That's why only the really grievous examples (such as Rodney King) attract federal ire.

Plus - if they could get involved in every police brutality case - the moment that happened so frequently, I wouldn't find it too farfetched the same people disinterested in this whole thing would be turning around screaming "our country is a dictatorship" to set it back.

 

Plus that whole checks and balances thing...

 

EDIT: Oh shit...talk about not paying attention to the next post. Ogilive just said what I did in detail. :lol:

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