To Keep Russiagate Alive ‘Officials’ Make New Claims Without Providing Evidence

On June 27, 2020, the German journalist “b” of the Moon of Alabama reported:

There were allegations about emails that someone exfiltrated from the DNC and provided to Wikileaks. Russia must have done it. The FBI and other intelligence services were all over it. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

There were allegations that Trump did not really win the elections. Russia must have done it. The various U.S. intelligence service, together with their British friends, provided all kinds of sinister leaks about the alleged case. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

A British double agent, Sergej Skirpal, was allegedly injured in a Russian attack on him. The intelligence services told all kind of contradicting nonsense about the case. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

All three cases had two points in common. The were based on sources near to the U.S. and British intelligence community. They were designed to increase hostility against Russia. The last point was then used to sabotage Donald Trump’s original plans for better relations with Russia.

Now the intelligence services make another claim that fits right into the above scheme.

Reporters from the New York Times and the Washington Post were called up by unnamed ‘officials’ and told to write that Russia pays some Afghans to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. There is zero evidence that the claim is true. The Taliban spokesman denies it. The numbers of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan is minimal. The alleged sources of the claims are criminals the U.S. has taken as prisoners in Afghanistan.

All that nonsense is again used to press against Trump’s wish for better relations with Russia. Imagine – Trump was told about these nonsensical claims and he did nothing about it!

The same intelligence services and ‘officials’ previously paid bounties to bring innocent prisoners to Guantanamo Bay, tortured them until they made false confessions and lied about it. The same intelligence services and ‘officials’ lied about WMD in Iraq. The same ‘intelligence officials’ paid and pay Jihadis disguised as ‘Syrian rebels’ to kill Russian and Syrian troops which defend their countries.

The journalistic standards at the New York Times and Washington Post must be below zero to publish such nonsense without requesting real evidence. The press release like stories below from anti-Trump/anti-Russian sources have nothing to do with ‘great reporting’ but are pure stenography.

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As is so often the case since the fall of Communism, allegations against the Russian leadership are often made in the US media anonymously, without attribution. This form of disinformation is one of the marks of propaganda directed at the masses to advance a hidden agenda for what Chomsky called the manufacture of consent.

From Lefticon:

Official – someone in a position of authority.

The term official(s) is widely used by the corporate media more or less interchangeably with experts, authorities, sources, and persons familiar to give credence to hearsay when reporting news from unverified or unverifiable sources or simply when transmitting disinformation to the masses.

Usually used in the plural for increased impact, and modified by several. Other acceptable modifiers are senior, highra­nking, and admi­n­istration, preferably in combination.

Example: “Several senior high-ranking administration officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly.” Anticipated response: “Wow! Several officials! It must be true.”

A few and few are not acceptable, unless reflecting another viewpoint:

Example: “A few senior high-ranking administration officials…” Anticipated response: “Only a few?”

When projecting an image of impartiality by reporting another viewpoint, officials is preceded by whereas, while, and/or only, without the need for other qualifiers:

Example: “While only a few officials…” Anticipated response: “As we would expect.”

Note:  The same general rules apply to the use of authorities, sources, experts, and persons familiar.

Disinformation – deliberately false information.

Disinformation differs from misinformation, which is mistakenly false and not deliberate.

The Russian version, known as dezinformatsiya, was perfected in the former USSR by propagandists of the KGB. During the Cold War, Soviet agents spread disinformation through the Comintern and a network of collaborators and fellow travelers whom Lenin famously described as “useful idiots.”

Disinformation is an important component of propaganda. The media propagandize disinformation (fake news) to manufacture the consent of the masses.

Manufactured consent – agreement of the masses with the agenda of the ruling class, achieved through propaganda widely disseminated by the corporate media.

In their landmark exposé, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky described how the corporate media changed from seekers of objective truth to a propaganda model, generating popular support for the agendas of the government and corporate elites.

Published in 1988, their observations are still valid today if not more so.

Operation Mockingbird – a project of the CIA to control the content of the news media in the United States.

This operation took place during the Cold War in the 1950s to the early 1970s, ostensibly as a reaction to similar Soviet efforts. It involved all the techniques of propaganda including disinformation, censorship, front organizations, and the clandestine involvement of over 400 accredited reporters of major news publications such as the NY Times, the Washington Post, and Time/Life. It was said to have ended after exposure by the Church Committee and other investigative agencies.

There are reasons to believe that Mockingbird never ended but continues to this day to use the corporate media to shape the opinions of the masses.

Confronting Anti-Blackness at Princeton University’s Policy School – Graduate Program Petition

This letter was posted on June 23, 2010. At that time, it had the signatures of more than 450 students and alumni of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

TO: President Christopher Eisgruber, Acting Dean Mark Watson, and Deans Cecilia Rouse, Miguel Centeno, Karen McGuinness, and Elisabeth Donahue
FROM: Graduate students and alumni of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, with the consultation and centering of Black students and alumni

In this moment, we are seeing both the slow and sudden violence that robs Black people of life. This premature death is at the hands of the police, healthcare system, economy, and every system that fails to fight for justice. Activists are joining calls to fundamentally dismantle an American system of policing, incarceration, and white supremacy that oppresses Black and other peoples far beyond our borders. As individuals—Black and brown, LGBTQ, allies, and all those in solidarity —we are hurting, and we are angry. As students, we look to our institution’s leaders for clarion calls for justice and action. Once again, we find ourselves deeply disappointed.

For many years, students and alumni of this program have decried its lack of attention to anti-Black racism in favor of multiculturalism and the many ways public policies—both domestic and international—have been built upon a foundation of white supremacy. Now, more than ever, we ask ourselves: Does this school prepare its students to dismantle racist and oppressive systems? And, is this institution truly inclusive for Black students, faculty, and staff?

Without hesitation, the answer to both questions is still a resounding no.

It is one thing for University leaders to speak in vague terms or equivocate in the face of student demands. It may be unsurprising to Black, Indigenous, and people of color at this school when we face the same discrimination, marginalization, or microaggressions here that we have encountered elsewhere in our lives. But it is unacceptable that courses and faculty at this program fail to equip students with tools to abolish racist structures and advance racial equity—the very reason many of us returned to school. We are tired of taking classes (or avoiding classes) with professors who deem these issues as unimportant or ‘not rigorous.’ Moreover, we are furious that leadership, senior faculty, and classmates often dismiss or gaslight students who rightfully raise concerns.

It is no big mystery why Princeton, like many institutions, has failed to resolve its longstanding history of anti-Blackness. Although it has yet to financially atone for it, much of Princeton’s early development was funded through the labor of enslaved people. While Princeton has made strides to move past its extensive history of exclusion, several pillars of its oppressive past stubbornly remain, whether in its underlying funding, faculty composition, or wider institutional culture.

Fortunately, the solutions toward educational equity and community justice are not a mystery either. They have been created and proposed by Black organizers, scholars, and student activists, long before institutions like Princeton were willing to take their ideas seriously. Below, we lay out the following seven demands, which are grounded by their efforts:

Demands of the Graduate Students of Princeton University’s Policy School | June 2020

1. Pay Reparations | Princeton University participated in and profited from slavery for over 100 years. The university’s first nine Presidents were all active or former enslavers and 16 out of 23 of Princeton’s founding trustees bought, sold, traded, or inherited enslaved people at some point in their lives. We demand that the University commit 5% of its $26 billion endowment to reparations for the descendants of every enslaved person owned by the University’s Presidents and Board of Trustees.

2. Divest from the Prison Industrial Complex | The prison industrial complex feeds on and maintains oppression and inequality through disproportionate criminalization, punishment, violence towards, and control of Black Americans. It is fundamentally immoral to finance an educational institution through profits from carceral industries. We demand that the university verify its divestment from all private prisons and permanently divest from all levels of the prison industrial complex.

3. Abolish the Police | American policing was designed to oppress Black communities and continues to do so today. The Princeton Police Department and Campus Public Safety have actively engaged in these injustices, impacting students, faculty, staff, and visitors. We demand Princeton University cut ties with the Princeton Police Department, defund Campus Public Safety, and shift funding to mental health, de-escalation, and other campus services that holistically deliver public safety.

4. Implement an Anti-Racist Curriculum | Our policy school fails to provide students with the tools to dismantle racism and oppression. We demand the school undergo an anti-racist transformation of the curriculum by Fall 2021. We demand anti-racist frameworks be incorporated as core components to policymaking in our courses. We demand the implementation of the widely-supported DEI core requirement for all MPA students beginning Fall 2021. We also demand inclusion of adjunct faculty and lecturers in the Masters Committee curriculum approval process, which is dominated by white men.

5. Increase Black faculty, lecturers, and practitioners | Less than 5% of faculty are Black. We demand that the School ensure 25% or more of its affiliated professors are Black by the end of 2022. The School must expand the number of departments it is affiliated with to include the African American Studies department. All privileges of joint appointments must be extended to AAS faculty, including positions on the Master’s Committee. The School must also name an Anti-Racist Policy Fellow each year.

6. Establish a Center for Anti-Racist Policy | The school lauds itself for partnering with 21 centers on campus to fuel cutting-edge thinking and research, yet there is no center focused on dismantling racism. We demand the school establish and generously fund a Center for Anti-Racist Policy, invite post-docs and fellows to foster collaboration among anti-racism scholars, and create a pipeline for faculty who specialize in anti-racist policymaking.

7. Increase Black Student Enrollment | We demand that Princeton strengthen pipelines and relationships to increase Black student enrollment and disaggregate admission demographics to account for the range of experiences among Black communities. Admissions must reimagine its evaluation and selection process by requiring applicants to complete a diversity statement, banning the box in applications, and eliminating the GRE requirement, a racist and sexist assessment that unreliably indicates graduate school success.

Simultaneously, we stand in solidarity with the undergraduate class of 2020, which shares our calls for substantive change at this institution. Our colleagues are once again demanding the removal of the Woodrow Wilson name from our School. It is embarrassing that the School has yet to renounce the celebration of its namesake and his well-documented legacy of white supremacy. However, we want to be clear: **changing the name, though long overdue, cannot and will not be enough to address the significant issues we raise here.**

As a graduate student community, we want this School to prepare us for the challenges of today and tomorrow. We want to attend an institution whose funding scheme accounts for past and ongoing injustices, and reside in a place where social challenges are elevated and addressed through community resources, not stifled and subdued by officers. We want to believe that engaging in anti-racism, dismantling structural racism, and achieving racial equity are things a policy school can and must teach us—not just as niche topics, but as core tenets and fundamental practices in our field of public policy. We believe that an institution that firstly focuses on the needs, aspirations, and identities of Black students and faculty is one that elevates all of us. Moreover, we believe it is our duty “to work vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people.”

Black Lives Matter. And it’s time this School did something concrete to prove it.

The signatories to this petition are listed, as well as a link to their expanded demands.

These are bourgeois revolutionaries who are students or alumni(ae) of an elite, expensive, and exclusive private university, and have obviously not themselves suffered very much marginalization or financial deprivation. The planners and funders of their revolution have covered all the bases except one: deprivation and exploitation of the proletariat. Systemic racism and wide scale pervasive police brutality could be worthy issues if they actually existed and were not obviously contrived.

The revolutionary spirit of the New Left which pervaded the campuses in the 1950s and 1960s also failed for the same reason.

From Lefticon:

Revolution – the overthrow and replacement of a government.

Revolutions are most often described as sudden, open, and violent, as in the American and French revolutions. Even coups described as popular revolutions have some violence at the onset and further violence during the lustration period that follows.

Successful revolutions require planning and leadership by a dedicated cadre. Popular uprisings without planning and leadership are destined to fail. Effective planning and leadership require intelligent planners and leaders who, alas, are rare among the proletariat. For that reason, successful revolutions, even those of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, are always incited and led by thinkers, scholars, and philosophers from the bourgeoisie. Based on their superior intelligence and education, these intellectuals are most qualified to know what is best for the people and to provide them with selfless leadership during a revolution and expert management in the post-revolutionary period.

Successful revolutions also require a system of political beliefs called an ideology. In the American revolution, it was constitutional republicanism and independence. In the French revolution, it was egalitarian populist liberation. In the Bolshevik revolution, it was collectivism and the abolition of class.

An ideology must be clearly defined before and during a revolution; it can be modified afterwards if need be. Ideological abstractions are preferably distilled into a single word or a simple phrase able to trigger the emotions and become a common cause. The cause must be understandable by the masses, appealing to them, tailored to the oppression of the time and place, invoking liberation from the oppression, and adaptable to slogans. Ideology is what holds revolutionaries together and empowers them to convince others to become true believers willing to sacrifice and die for the cause. From these vanguards of early recruits comes the multi-level leadership that makes the revolution sustainable.

Every revolution, just as every justifiable war, also needs an identifiable enemy. The enemy can be an opposing ideology, a system, a nation, a people, or a person. The leader of the opposition, if not genuinely evil, can be demonized and dehumanized through effective disinformation. Early control of the media for this purpose is essential.

Successful revolutions also require funding, especially if they result in a revolutionary war. Like all warring factions, revolutionaries consume expensive armaments and human capital. Since they have neither a national treasury nor the power to issue bonds or create money, they need outside funds. Sources of funding must be secured prior to a revolution and remain hidden at least in the planning stage. Financial institutions profit from war and will support both sides of any conflict. Funding can also come from charitable foundations, NGOs, and treasonous elements within a country, or covertly from the security apparatus or foreign ministry of another country.

Finally, successful revolutions need the support of the people, a manufactured consent which is best achieved through control of the media. The propaganda function of the corporate media has been well documented and was instrumental in the postmodern cultural revolutions in Western Europe and North America.

Note:  A cultural revolution can bring regime change just as effectively as a revolutionary war. Cultural transformation preserves valuable infrastructure and is less expensive and messy than a violent revolution. Nonviolent change, on the other hand, impacts the profitability of the capitalist industries that manufacture and sell the instruments of war, the banks that loan the money to pay for them, and the construction industries that rebuild what the weapons of war destroy. Postwar reconstruction contracts can be highly lucrative and depend on residential, commercial, industrial, and infrastructure destruction. It is apparent that traditional Marxist-Leninists who favor violent revolution, former-Trotskyist neoconservatives, and neoliberals who incite regime change for human rights violations are, in effect, supporting the industrial and financial capitalism of the war profiteers.

New Left – a term applied to the counterculture activist movements in Western Europe and North America from the late 1950s through the 1960s.

These movements were led by university students who formed organizations across many campuses. Some were open and peaceful, like the Students for a Democratic Society, while others were covert and violent, such as the Weather Underground, the Black Liberation Army, FALN, and the Symbionese Liberation Army. Their direct actions ranged from relatively peaceful protests to mass demonstrations, forceful occupation of administrative offices, provocation of the police, civil disobedience, and acts of terrorism like the bombing of police stations and public buildings. They demonstrated against the Viet Nam War and for civil rights, against cultural oppression and for feminine sexual liberation. They were feminist and environmentalist, anti-government, anti-authority, anti-war, anti-military, anti-nuclear, anti-imperial, anti-establishment, and anti-American. Their academic mentors were neo-Marxist Critical Theorists, Freudians, Trotskyites, Maoists, Gramscians, and an assortment of nihilists, anarchists, deconstructionists, and existentialists.

The New Left was not a revolution of the proletariat. In the archetypical Marxist socio-political class struggle, bourgeois activists incite an oppressed proletariat to a revolution against bourgeois oppressors. The bourgeois activists, of course, remain the leaders in a movement ostensibly against themselves. In the case of the New Left, bourgeois student activists staged a revolution against their own class without the involvement of a proletariat that they hardly knew. “Secretaries, cafeteria workers, and janitors of the world unite!” could never be the call-to-arms of a successful revolution. As a result, they demanded and achieved cultural changes, as planned by their Marxist academic mentors, but no political transformation to full-blown socialism or Communism.

Museum of Natural History to Take Down Theodore Roosevelt Statue

This was published/updated by NBC News on June 22, 2020:

A statue of Theodore Roosevelt positioned on the front steps of the American Museum of Natural History is coming down, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed Sunday evening, saying the museum made the request.

The bronze statue that has stood at the museum’s Central Park West entrance since 1940 depicts Roosevelt on horseback with a Native American man and an African man standing next to the horse.

“As we strive to advance our institution’s, our City’s, and our country’s passionate quest for racial justice, we believe that removing the Statue will be a symbol of progress and of our commitment to build and sustain an inclusive and equitable Museum community and broader society,” President of the American Museum of Natural History Ellen Futter said in a statement. …

In 2017, protesters splashed red liquid on the statue’s base to represent blood and published a statement calling for its removal as an emblem of “patriarchy, white supremacy and settler-colonialism.”

The mayor said the city supports the museum’s request and that “It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”

Countless statues have been removed or damaged in the past couple weeks amid nationwide protests. New York City Council members wrote a letter Thursday to de Blasio demanding a Thomas Jefferson statue be removed from City Hall.

De Blasio did not provide a direct answer to the council’s letter on Friday, but said a newly formed Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission would be tasked with examining the Jefferson statue. …

This is just another episode in the cultural revolution taking place in the US since the 1960s but accelerating as a reaction to the Presidency of Donald Trump, with the latest phase mirroring the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution in the People’s Republic of China. The BLM and antifa vanguards of our revolution have copied the techniques of Mao’s Red Guards, who believed that to move forward, all problematic traces of the past must be obliterated. Note the precise use of the word problematic by the mayor of New York.

From Lefticon:

Cultural revolution – the subversion of all elements of a culture—art, literature, music, religion, work ethic, family values—to bring about transformative political and ideological change.

Unlike the violent revolution of the proletariat against the privileged classes, as advocated by Karl Marx, the cultural revolution devised by his neo-Marxist followers is more gradual and covert. Its forerunners in Western Europe and North America were the Frankfurt School, the Fabian Society, and the followers of Antonio Gramsci, all of which were supported by the Comintern (Communist International). The seeds planted by these early neo-Marxists (and neo-Freudians) germinated and now flourish in all levels of education, pop culture, art, music, the media, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, the deep-state bureaucracy, and the Democratic Party.

Note:  A neo-Marxist cultural revolution is not to be confused with the Maoist Cultural Revolution (usually capitalized).

Cultural Revolution – an ideological revival movement, 1966-76, in the People’s Republic of China under Chairman Mao; also called the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

The Cultural Revolution was a ten-year period of violent class struggle against the bourgeoisie, academia, suspected capitalists, and counter-revolutionaries. Assisted by loyal, patriotic students who formed revolutionary vanguards called Red Guards, Mao purged all societal structures of disloyal elements and other enemies of the people.

Mobs of students rooted out and destroyed artifacts of ancient Chinese art and culture. During struggle sessions, they forced their teachers and university professors to demonstrate their ideological purity in the conflict of the classes.

Vanguard – the Marxist term for elite, militant groups of industrial workers of the proletariat who are the most committed to the conflict of the classes and actively participate in the revolutionary struggle. Also called revolutionary cadres.

In the strategy conceptualized by Marx and Lenin, vanguards infiltrate and subvert existing political parties to create a popular front. These parties finally coalesce into a single vanguard party, which then becomes the only legitimate political party (Communist) in a one-party system. Vanguards were instrumental in the success of the October Revolution.

The Comintern (Third International) applied this strategy internationally. Communist parties were established in countries which were still in the stage of social and cultural change, but they remained under the control of the central party in Soviet Russia. Their members infiltrated other progressive or left-leaning political parties to form a popular front of “fellow travelers.”

Mao adapted the same strategy in his revolutionary struggle against the Kuomintang (Nationalists). China was an agrarian country at that time, with relatively few proletarians but a lot of peasants. His cadres would travel to remote areas as community organizers among the peasants, promising them land reform. They would join local political parties to subvert and control them for their version of a popular front.

Trotsky’s Fourth International and his Socialist Worker’s Party (SWP) also used the same technique but with a new name, “entryism,” whereby its members would join (enter) other socialist parties, worker’s unions, and movements such as civil rights and anti-war, in order to take over their leadership.

Note:  Community organizers, social justice warriors, Black Lives Matter, and antifa are our vanguards in the ongoing ideologic struggle for racial, economic, and social justice. They have infiltrated and taken leadership positions in the Democratic Party in the United States.

Problematic – perceived as a problem in the sense of being an obstacle to the acceptance of a socio-political or ideologic truth.

Problematic is a word that began as an adjective but also took hold as a noun. For example:

Jill: We have a problem with Will. He told me he doesn’t believe that racism is systemic anymore, that we’re moving into a post-racist era.

Jack: Wow, that is problematic! Did you set him straight?

Jill: Yes. I told him he was still our dear comrade, but any more problematics would be themselves problematic.

Often, problematic is also used to mean illustrative of an irrefutable but inconvenient truth. For example, the statue of Theodore Roosevelt at the NY Museum of Natural History was considered problematic because it showed President Roosevelt on horseback and also showed a black and an indigenous American standing on each side of the horse rather than also mounted on horses themselves. This was clearly an illustration of racial inequality, white supremacy, and systemic racism.



Pennsylvania health official moved mother from nursing home as deaths skyrocketed

This was reported by Ben Feuerherd in the New York Post on May 13, 2020:

The health official responsible for overseeing nursing homes in Pennsylvania — where nearly 70 percent of the state’s coronavirus-related deaths have occurred — has reportedly moved her elderly mother out of a facility as deaths skyrocketed.

Health Secretary Dr. Rachel ­Levine said Tuesday that her 95-year-old mother requested to be moved out of a personal-care home, the ABC affiliate in Harrisburg ­reported.

“My mother requested, and my sister and I as her children complied, to move her to another location during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Levine, ­according to ABC27.

“My mother is 95 years old. She is very intelligent and more than competent to make her own decisions,” Levine added.

After criticism from some state lawmakers for the move, Levine argued she’s working to ensure the health and safety of all state residents, according to the report.

In March, Levine ordered long-term care facilities in the state to continue to accept coronavirus patients who had been discharged from hospitals but un­able to return to their homes, the Bucks County Courier Times reported.

Of the state’s 3,806 coronavirus deaths, 2,611 had occurred in nursing homes and long-term-care ­facilities, according to ABC27.

The Pennsylvania attorney general has reportedly opened a criminal investigation of several ­facilities in the wake of the rising death toll.

“While we salute and appreciate nursing-home staff on the front lines during this pandemic, we will not tolerate those who mistreat our seniors and break the law,” state Attorney General Josh Shapiro told NBC News.

In this case, the Secretary of Health of Pennsylvania exercised her authority when she “ordered long-term care facilities in the state to continue to accept coronavirus patients who had been discharged from hospitals but un­able to return to their homes,” but she understandably did the opposite for her own mother.

Doctor Levine, a highly qualified physician and pediatrician who is also a transgender woman, was only doing what she thought was best for any patient, who just happened to be her very intelligent mother. There is a difference, as Doctor Levine would attest, between a doctor as a professional dealing with a patient individually and a physician/official as a bureaucrat dealing with patients collectively.

This was reported over a month ago, but nothing has been reported since then regarding state Attorney General Shapiro’s criminal investigation of the transfer of virus-infected patients from hospital to nursing home under state mandate.

From Lefticon:

Authoritarianism – a belief in the coercive power of government to control the people and suppress individual rights.

All governments are authoritarian to the extent necessary to enforce laws, collect taxes, defend against enemies, and maintain internal stability. A fully authoritarian, totalitarian government does all that and more, through the unopposed and uncontrolled power of a monarch, dictator, or the central committee of a single political party. In such a government, there is minimal tolerance, if any, for political opposition or dissent.

Even in the developed countries of North America and Western Europe, which virtue-signal their liberty, individual freedom, and human rights, there is a particularly intrusive form of authoritarianism that goes with large bureaucracies empowered by the state to write regulations and enforce them coercively with penalties, fines, asset confiscation, and even incarceration. In the US, the Internal Revenue Service is a case in point.

During the 2019-2020 coronavirus pandemic, the governors of many States in the US and heads of state of many countries throughout the world revealed their authoritarian credentials by imposing draconian restrictions on the freedom of their citizens disproportionate to the medical necessity.

Note:  Some countries, especially those based on ideology, religion, or ethnocentrism, need a strong authoritarian government to suppress reactionary or counter-revolutionary elements.


Truck Drivers Say They Won’t Deliver To Cities with Defunded Police Departments

This was reported by Summer Smith on June 12, 2020 on the CDL Life trucking news website. (CDL stands for Commercial Driver’s License.)

As cities across the country are discussing defunding or disbanding their police departments, truck drivers are voicing concerns of safety. Seventy-seven percent of truck drivers say they will refuse to deliver freight to cities with defunded police departments.

Truck driving is historically ranked as one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. In 2018, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic reported truck driving as the most deadly job in the country.

Truck drivers have spent the last year on the front line of a global pandemic and protests. Now many are fearful of what might happen if police departments disband or are defunded.

Truck drivers have been voicing their concerns on the CDLLife App. After reading about their concerns, CDLLife posted a poll on the app.

We asked drivers on the app, “Would you pick up/deliver to cities with defunded or disbanded police departments? Why or why not?”

As of June 13, 2020, we’ve had over 1,283 respondents and 79% say they will refuse loads to cities with disbanded or defunded police departments.

Here are some of their responses:

“…if something was to happen and you have to take matters into your own hands, and then you risk being prosecuted for protecting yourself.”

“This is not an area you need to act fearless and think you you’d look like a fool for saying no…Imagine what kind of fool you look like for driving into a hot spot and putting your life in danger.”

“I will not deliver to an area with a disbanded police department. My life matter and I do this for my family. We are already at the mercy of these towns and cities with laws and hate against us for parking, getting a meal or even using a restroom.”

“Simple. We may not like it all the time, but laws and order is necessary.”

“Most places we go already can be dicy an about only time you see a cop is when lights is on behind you.”

“For my own safety and security of my customers’ loads, I have already informed my dispatcher that I will refuse all loads to cities that have defunded their police departments.”

Read more:

Anarchism has its unintended consequences.

From Lefticon:

Anarchism – a political philosophy that advocates a stateless society.

Anarchism is egalitarian and voluntary, anti-authority, anti-hierarchy, and anti-state. It is not to be confused with anarchy, which is the total collapse of civil society and failure of law and order.

Anarchists believe that all governments are oppressive and can be replaced by voluntary cooperation. They allow that laws can exist but only if compliance is voluntary. Under anarchism, law enforcement is unnecessary and, since there are no police, police brutality is only an abstraction.

Some forms of anarchism emphasize individualism, while others are collective. Anarcho-communism, for example, is a theoretical version of communism that retains collectivism but is non-authoritarian. Anarchocapitalism, also called laissezfaire capitalism, is capitalism unrestrained by governmental regulation.

Unintended consequences – unexpected effects of human actions.

There is a “law of unintended consequences” that holds that everything we do always has unintended consequences. The unintended consequences can be good or bad, though usually bad. Perhaps the bad ones are those that grab our attention.

Note:  The Scottish poet, Robert Burns, described unintended consequences when he wrote, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley (often go astray).”

Open letter advocating for an anti-racist public health response

This letter was released during the height of the Black Lives Matter and antifa protests following the martyrdom of George Floyd, which occurred during the coronavirus pandemic. It explained the decision of the public health community to release the protesters and looters from the measures in effect to combat the pandemic, such as social distancing and shelter-in-place, but not the face masks which had a dual purpose of concealing their identity. It was evident to these highly qualified experts that white supremacy and systemic racism are a far greater public health hazard than the coronavirus. It should be noted that this letter is entirely serious and not a parody.

Open letter advocating for an anti-racist public health response to demonstrations against systemic injustice occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 30, heavily armed and predominantly white protesters entered the State Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, protesting stay-home orders and calls for widespread public masking to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Infectious disease physicians and public health officials publicly condemned these actions and privately mourned the widening rift between leaders in science and a subset of the communities that they serve. As of May 30, we are witnessing continuing demonstrations in response to ongoing, pervasive, and lethal institutional racism set off by the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among many other Black lives taken by police. A public health response to these demonstrations is also warranted, but this message must be wholly different from the response to white protesters resisting stay-home orders. Infectious disease and public health narratives adjacent to demonstrations against racism must be consciously anti-racist, and infectious disease experts must be clear and consistent in prioritizing an anti-racist message.

White supremacy is a lethal public health issue that predates and contributes to COVID-19. Black people are twice as likely to be killed by police compared to white people, but the effects of racism are far more pervasive. Black people suffer from dramatic health disparities in life expectancy, maternal and infant mortality, chronic medical conditions, and outcomes from acute illnesses like myocardial infarction and sepsis. Biological determinants are insufficient to explain these disparities. They result from long-standing systems of oppression and bias which have subjected people of color to discrimination in the healthcare setting, decreased access to medical care and healthy food, unsafe working conditions, mass incarceration, exposure to pollution and noise, and the toxic effects of stress. Black people are also more likely to develop COVID-19. Black people with COVID-19 are diagnosed later in the disease course and have a higher rate of hospitalization, mechanical ventilation, and death. COVID-19 among Black patients is yet another lethal manifestation of white supremacy. In addressing demonstrations against white supremacy, our first statement must be one of unwavering support for those who would dismantle, uproot, or reform racist institutions.

Staying at home, social distancing, and public masking are effective at minimizing the spread of COVID-19. To the extent possible, we support the application of these public health best practices during demonstrations that call attention to the pervasive lethal force of white supremacy. However, as public health advocates, we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national public health and to the threatened health specifically of Black people in the United States. We can show that support by facilitating safest protesting practices without detracting from demonstrators’ ability to gather and demand change. This should not be confused with a permissive stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay-home orders. Those actions not only oppose public health interventions, but are also rooted in white nationalism and run contrary to respect for Black lives. Protests against systemic racism, which fosters the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on Black communities and also perpetuates police violence, must be supported.

Therefore, we propose the following guidance to support public health:

        • Support local and state governments in upholding the right to protest and allow protesters to gather.
        • Do not disband protests under the guise of maintaining public health for COVID-19 restrictions.
        • Advocate that protesters not be arrested or held in confined spaces, including jails or police vans, which are some of the highest-risk areas for COVID-19 transmission.
        • Oppose any use of tear gas, smoke, or other respiratory irritants, which could increase risk for COVID- 19 by making the respiratory tract more susceptible to infection, exacerbating existing inflammation, and inducing coughing.
        • Demand that law enforcement officials also respect infection prevention recommendations by maintaining distance from protesters and wearing masks.
        • Reject messaging that face coverings are motivated by concealment and instead celebrate face coverings as protective of the public’s health in the context of COVID-19.
          • Prepare for an increased number of infections in the days following a protest. Provide increased access to testing and care for people in the affected communities, especially when they or their family members put themselves at risk by attending protests.
        • Support the health of protesters by encouraging the following:

○ Use of face coverings.

○ Distance of at least 6 feet between protesters, where possible.

○ Demonstrating consistently alongside close contacts and moving together as a group, rather than extensively intermingling with multiple groups.

○ Staying at home when sick, and using other platforms to oppose racism for high-risk individuals, and those unable or uncomfortable to attend in person.

        • Encourage allies who may wish to facilitate safe demonstrations through the following:

○ Providing masks, hand-washing stations, or hand sanitizer to demonstrators.

○ Providing eye protection, such as face shields or goggles, for protection against COVID-19 and chemical irritants used to disperse crowds.

○ Bringing wrapped, single-serving food or beverages to sustain people protesting.

○ Providing chalk markings or other designations to encourage appropriate distancing between protesters.

○ Supplying ropes, which can be knotted at 6-foot intervals, to allow people to march together while maintaining spacing.

○ Donating to bail funds for protesters

        • Listen, and prioritize the needs of Black people as expressed by Black voices.

These are strategies for harm reduction. It is our sincere hope that all participants will be able to follow these suggestions for safer public demonstrations, assisted by allies where possible and necessary, but we recognize that this may not always be the case. Even so, we continue to support demonstrators who are tackling the paramount public health problem of pervasive racism. We express solidarity and gratitude toward

demonstrators who have already taken on enormous personal risk to advocate for their own health, the health of their communities, and the public health of the United States. We pledge our services as allies who share this goal.

This letter is signed by 1,288 public health professionals, infectious diseases professionals, and community stakeholders.

From Lefticon:

Anti-racism – the active movement against racism by blacks and their white progressive allies.

Anti-racism saw the abolition of slavery and segregation and has moved into a post-Civil-Rights phase which is psychological, a psy-op so to speak. It is now focused on individual blacks repetitively displaying their victimhood; discovering new forms of oppression like internalized racism and implicit bias; identifying invisible affronts, as with microaggression; demonstrating empathy and allyship with all other marginalized and minoritized groups; virtue signaling their devotion to the entire progressive agenda; promoting white guilt for slavery; and provoking police brutality.

Non-black anti-racists can be recognized by their pervasive sense of guilt and their support of the Black Lives Matter movement with all their hearts. They know it is not enough to be non-racist, which is a passive position. White and Asian anti-racists are proactive in their constant struggle to elevate and empower blacks; to encourage their entry into science, technology, engineering, mathematics, virology, and epidemiology; and to facilitate their promotion to corporate leadership roles as influencers, decision makers, project managers, and executives. Non-black anti-racists willingly relinquish their hegemony for the greater good and higher goal of racial justice.

White guilt – a feeling of guilt, shame, and remorse for being white.

Upon awareness of the history of white imperialism, colonialism, slave-ownership, slave-trading, racism, hegemony, patriarchy, and privilege, white guilt is inevitable. It is much like the internalized racism of a minority person against their own minority group, except that it affects a majority person against their own majority.

In some cases, white guilt is a motivation for social justice activism. On the other hand, it can be the result of the same activism. A social-justice warrior who is white, and who is motivated by empathy for oppressed brothers and sisters of color, can have an epiphany and realize that “Hey, I’m also white! I’m one of the oppressors!” This realization can trigger an intense emotional response, a tsunami of self-hatred and anger. As is well known, anger turned inward becomes depression, which in this case is situational and, by the way, fully deserved. The depression, then, can be relieved by drugs, suicide, the support of other whites similarly afflicted, or (preferably) reconciliation to the re-energized pursuit of anti-white social activism.


Nancy Pelosi kneels and calls George Floyd a ‘martyr’

As reported by Katelyn Caralle in the Daily Mail on June 8, 2020:

Nancy Pelosi claimed Monday morning that George Floyd is a ‘martyr’ of police brutality as Democrats kneeled for a moment of silence before unveiling a massive police reform bill.

‘The martyrdom of George Floyd gave American experience a moment of national anguish as we grieve for the black Americans killed by police brutality,’ the House Speaker said at the podium. ‘Today this movement of national anguish is being transformed into a movement of national action as Americans from across the country peacefully protest to demand an end to injustice.’

‘The martyrdom of George Floyd,’ she said later in the briefing, ‘has made a change in the world.’ 

Pelosi said Democrats in Congress are ‘standing with those fighting for justice and action,’ and mentioned other black Americans she say are ‘martyrs’ who have died at the hands of police brutality.

‘Let us, my colleagues, just go over some of those names of martyrdom,’ she said, before listing names like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and several others.

A team of Democrats, all wearing kente cloths to either honor or stand in solidarity with those with African heritage, gathered for a press conference to reveal details of the bill, claiming the piece of legislation will combat police brutality, especially with the black community.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus memorably did not boycott Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in 2018, and instead wore brightly colored yellow, green, black and red kente cloths around their shoulders after the president infamously referred to Haiti and some African nations as ‘s***hole counties.’

The unveiling of the proposed legislation follows two weeks of protests across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Ahead of the press conference, Democrats held a moment of silence at the Capitol for eight minute and 46 seconds – the same amount of time former cop Derek Chauvin had his knee lodged on the back of Floyd’s neck.

‘We were there for eight minutes and 46 seconds on our knees. My members will attest it’s a very long time,’ Pelosi said. ‘It’s a very long time, and I graciously led them in falling over when it was over so that they could do the same thing, but here we are.’

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This is an example of virtue signaling by the Democratic politicians to curry favor with the black minority for political gain. Nonetheless, some members of the black community took to the social media to denounce them for insensitivity and the offense of cultural appropriation—the wearing of kente cloth African scarfs by the white politicians—when in reality the politicians were signaling their appreciation of black culture. Note also the religious metaphors: the kneeling, the invocation of martyrhood, the period of silent prayer. As previously noted, ideologies parallel religions in many ways.

From Lefticon:

Cultural appropriation – the adoption or exploitation of cultural elements of an oppressed minority by a member or members of a dominant majority, without the approval and consent of the minority.

Examples: a white rapper with dreadlocks; a white female twerking; a white musician playing jazz; a white actress playing the role of a geisha; a non-Asian with tattoos of Chinese calligraphy; a sport team with the name of a Native American tribe; cheerleaders of said team, performing “tribal” dances; white children dressed like Native Americans in a school play.

Some examples from the past were white minstrels in blackface, British colonials in India wearing jodhpurs, and Lawrence of Arabia dressing like an Arab and trying to live like one. From the progressive point of view, the foregoing examples of cultural appropriation are highly offensive.

Sometimes a fine line of distinction between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation exists in individual situations, as when a person of hybrid identity with intersecting elements of oppressor and oppressed is accused of cultural appropriation but claims cultural appreciation. A case in point was when a white, female, high school senior, accompanied by her white, cisgender, heterosexual, male, prom date, wore a traditional Chinese dress (cheongsam) to her senior prom and was accused of cultural appropriation on the Internet social media by Asian females. She, of course, claimed cultural appreciation. In cases such as this, the adjudication must be by the appropriated (or appreciated) minority. In her case, other Asian females came to her defense, but doubts remained. If she were a black, transgender, female lesbian, this conflict could not have occurred, since non-hybrid minorities are not capable of cultural appropriation.

Note:  Only members of a dominant majority are capable of cultural appropriation. When a minority adopts elements of the culture of the majority, it is called acculturation and is acceptable unless they also adopt repressive elements of the dominant culture.

Cultural appreciation – approval, admiration, and enjoyment of elements of a culture that is not one’s own.

Progressives and postmodern liberals have long led the struggle for appreciation of minority cultures oppressed by white imperialism, colonialism, and slavery in the past, and still oppressed by the systemic racism of the white-male dominant majority. Diversity, inclusivity, and multiculturalism have always been embraced by the left and resisted by the right. Cultural appreciation is, therefore, an exclusively progressive norm, and any claim to it by the right is refutable by the historical record. It is, in fact, a major focus of diversity training.

Cultural appreciation can coexist with acculturation but not with cultural appropriation, which is a form of exploitation of a minority by the dominant majority.

Top Philadelphia Inquirer editor resigns after ‘Buildings Matter, Too’ headline

As reported by Justin Wise in The Hill on June 7, 2020:

The top editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer has resigned after a “Buildings Matter, Too” headline spurred dozens of journalists of color inside the newsroom to skip work and demand the newspaper tackle diversity problems. 

The Inquirer’s publisher, Lisa Hughes, announced in a memo to staff on Saturday that Executive Editor Stan Wischnowski would formally step down from his post on June 12, according to reports. 

Hughes thanked Wischnowski for his service leading the paper but noted that leadership would use the incident to “evaluate the organizational structure and processes of the newsroom, assess what we need, and look both internally and externally for a seasoned leader who embodies our values, embraces our shared strategy, and understands the diversity of the communities we serve,” the Inquirer reported. 

Wischnowski’s exit comes just days after the headline accompanied a column from an architecture critic about the protests in response to the death of George Floyd and the destruction of property that had resulted in some pockets of Philadelphia. 

The headline, which served as a play on the phrase “Black Lives Matter,” prompted accusations that the Inquirer was suggesting an equivalence between property damage and the police killings of African Americans. Ernest Owens, vice president of print for the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, said in a statement that it “antagonized an already intense national conversation on race.” 

Three editors, including Wischnowski, signed a public apology published on the Inquirer’s website Wednesday. The note acknowledged that the title “offensively riffed on the Black Lives Matter movement” and said it was “unacceptable.”

The note also said that an editor had devised the headline and that another had reviewed it. The editors added that the incident showcased a need to change some editing and headline-writing processes. 

But for many employees at the Inquirer, the apology was not enough. Forty-four journalists of color signed an open letter to leadership arguing that their carelessness made it harder for them to do their jobs and “at worst, puts our lives at risk.” They demanded the newspaper create a transparent plan to address diversity problems.

“On June 4, we’re calling in sick and tired,” the letter said. “Sick and tired of pretending things are OK. Sick and tired of not being heard.”

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This was an unacceptable headline which caused intolerable suffering in the minoritized black reporters of the Inquirer staff. The punishment of the editors, which began with a humble confession, apology, and termination of employment, was appropriate and necessary. Under no circumstances should such insensitivity go unpunished to the fullest extent possible under the precept of zero tolerance.

From Lefticon:

Zero tolerance – a policy of total intolerance applied to certain crimes, misdemeanors, behaviors, words, or symbols, resulting in a disconnect between the gravity of the offense and the severity, certainty, and inflexibility of the punishment.

Such policies pre-existed political correctness, but they multiplied in the postmodern era, a time of enhanced awareness of the rights and sensitivities of oppressed but politically powerful minorities. Inherently authoritarian, they are either acceptable or unacceptable based on one’s socio-political orientation. Many are a subjugation of individual rights for a higher collective good. Some examples follow:

Law enforcement. Unpunished minor crimes like littering, drinking in public, jaywalking, unsolicited windshield washing, “jumping the turnstiles,” and public urination had become common in pre-Giuliani New York City. During his tenure as mayor (1994-2001), Rudolph Giuliani eliminated those crimes using a policy of zero-tolerance policing, under the theory that enforcing the law at the misdemeanor level would reduce crime at all levels, which it did. New York City became cleaner and safer, a lingering effect which persisted despite relaxation of his policies by subsequent administrations. His methods were criticized for their disparate impact on the homeless and blacks, but they were offset by his record of equal treatment of white-collar, white criminals.

Hate crime. Any crime against a protected minority is prima facie a hate crime and deserves zero tolerance, unless it is committed by the same protected minority, such as black on black, or gay on gay. This exemption includes those who themselves are victims of internalized oppression and hate their own minority, e.g., self-hating blacks, unless the self-hating minority is also a police officer. Hate crimes are prosecutable by Federal law (Civil Rights Act of 1964) and the protection of double jeopardy does not apply. A defendant can be found not guilty of a criminal act in a state court and still be prosecuted for the same act as a separate hate crime in federal court and sued by the victim(s) in civil court. Hatred of a minority is so loathsome that extraordinary judicial and punitive measures are obviously necessary.

Hate speech. Any speech that shows hate, dislike, or disapproval of a minority individual or group is unacceptable and subject to zero tolerance, as is the failure to denounce hate speech committed by another. An acceptable denunciation must be immediate, vigorous, and repeated. A delayed denunciation is unacceptable. There is no possibility of forgiveness or redemption for use of the despicable N-word—or for that matter any racial slur or its equivalent—even when used in the distant past. Appropriate punishment, upon accusation, is termination of employment or expulsion from school, followed by blacklisting, ostracization, and otherization.

Sexual harassment and assault. Any offensive and unwelcome sexual behavior of an individual or group toward another (harassment), or nonconsensual physical contact with a person of the opposite gender (assault or abuse), is addressed with policies of zero tolerance in any setting, but especially in the workplace, school, or military. Appropriate punishment is termination of employment, expulsion from school, discharge from military service, blacklisting, ostracization, otherization, and criminal prosecution (for assault).

Drug crimes. The ongoing “War on Drugs” primarily targets the use of illegal drugs over their possession, transportation, importation, and sale. Zero tolerance policies, both state and federal, have resulted in non-discretionary, mandatory prosecution and mandatory-minimum sentences under judicial sentencing guidelines. Those most affected are low-level users and first-offenders, with an unintended consequence of disparate impact on racial minorities and a marked increase in our prison population.

Firearms and knives. Since firearms are a major cause of serial killings, mass shootings, suicides, murders, and accidental deaths, a zero tolerance of gun ownership in the general population is appropriate except for police and the SWAT teams of government agencies. The ideal solution would be gun confiscation, but because of conflicts with the Second Amendment of the Constitution, this is not possible. Accordingly, there is a need to bring about an aversion to the prevailing “gun culture” through gradual indoctrination of children, beginning in pre-school and continued K-12. Any child who plays war games, the game of “cowboys and Indians” (which is also racist), brings a toy gun or real gun to school, draws an image of a gun, or points his forefinger like a gun at a teacher or classmate, must be physically subdued and disciplined, with the assistance of law enforcement when necessary. Because knives can take the place of guns when the latter are unavailable, the same zero tolerance policies are also applied to knives.

Climate change denial. Anthropogenic climate change due to atmospheric pollution by carbon dioxide emissions due to industrialization in developed nations is a fact proven by computer modeling and the consensus of 97% of climate scientists. Global warming will inevitably lead to melting glaciers and polar icecaps, rising sea levels, the submerging of islands and coastal cities, the desertification of arable land, and the extinction of polar bears and penguins. The survival of the planet requires zero tolerance for any denial or questioning of these established facts and projections. Any doubt or denial could delay the required countermeasures that must be taken in whatever time is left.

Swastikas and the Nazi salute. The swastika is a geometric symbol widely used by many cultures and religions throughout the world since antiquity. It was also used as the emblem of the National Socialists in Germany (Nazis) and has become a symbol of anti-Semitism, for which there is zero tolerance. For that reason, any intentional display (as in graffiti) or inadvertent (such as doodling) of the detestable swastika is prima facie evidence of anti-Semitism and treated as hate crime or hate speech to the fullest extent of the law. The Nazi salute, with the right arm extended forward at a 45 degree angle, even when in jest, is equally offensive and unacceptable.

Holocaust denial or questioning. The twentieth century had many genocides, including the Armenian genocide, the Holodomor in Ukraine, dekulakization in Soviet Russia, the killing fields of Cambodia, the firebombing and nuclear bombing of major cities in Japan and Germany, and the Holocaust (Shoah), all of which have been certified by accredited historians. Of these, the only one questioned, by clearly anti-Semitic revisionist historians, is the Nazi murder of 6,000,000 Jews, known as the Holocaust. Clearly, a zero tolerance policy against Holocaust denial, or questioning the proven number of victims, became necessary. In some Western European countries, Holocaust denial or questioning became a criminal offense, punishable by imprisonment. This approach is not possible in the United States because of the freedom of speech guarantees of the First Amendment, though other remedies are available via the usual hate-speech countermeasures.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot denounces vigilantism in Chicago after white men patrol neighborhood streets with bats

As reported by Gregory Pratt and Morgan Greene in Microsoft News (MSN) on June 5, 2020:

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city will not tolerate vigilantism after groups of mostly white men patrolled the streets of the Bridgeport neighborhood on Wednesday night in response to a nearby city protest.

Multiple streets were blocked in the Bridgeport neighborhood Wednesday night as nearby protests dispersed. Near West Pershing Road, water gushed from an open fire hydrant as small groups gathered on corners. Some of the men held bats. One wore a shirt that said “All Lives Matter,” one sipped a beer and another waved at an officer as he drove by. Additional groups of people, some armed with bats, lined West 31st Street.

Asked about the situation in Bridgeport, a diversifying neighborhood that served as an Irish American power base for the Daley political family, Lightfoot said, “It is absolutely not appropriate for people to take up arms, bats, pipes, whatever in patrolling neighborhoods.”

“We’ve seen that end with tragic results across the country and we’re not about to allow that practice to happen here in Chicago. If there’s an issue, call 911,” Lightfoot said. “I absolutely support neighbors being vigilant as to what’s going on on the streets and in their blocks but taking up arms, that leads to chaos and we’re not supporting vigilantism in the city of Chicago under any circumstances.”

The situation in Bridgeport frightened and angered many residents and activists who expressed concerns about racism and violence.

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These racist vigilantes were obviously triggered by some recent episodes of arson and looting during otherwise-peaceful protests by Black Lives Matter and antifa.

From Lefticon:

Vigilantism ­– the application of unauthorized extralegal measures to punish or deter criminal activity, or to protect from the perceived threat thereof. An individual who practices vigilantism is called a vigilante.

Vigilantes “take the law into their own hands.” They often work together in informal, spontaneous, ad hoc groups sometimes called “lynch mobs,” and are commonly a response to failure of law enforcement on a local level, or a more widespread governmental collapse known as anarchy. When the criminal activity is largely by another racial group, the vigilantism is deemed to be racist, a result of the institutionalized racism that is systemic in any white hegemonic culture. By that criterion, neighborhood watch groups and neighborhood patrols composed of white vigilantes are largely racist.

Note:  The Ku Klux Klan as it existed in the segregationist South was an example of vigilantism based on white hegemony and systemic racism.


Why you can’t be ‘colorblind’ if black lives really matter

Written by Liz DeBetta in the Deseret News on June 4, 2020:

Does this sound familiar? “You see a black man killed by a white cop, I see an innocent man killed by a corrupt cop.” Both are true, yet this statement is dangerously underscored by the refusal to see color, or racism, as the systemic issue. Adhering to colorblind thinking sustains white fragility and privilege. It allows white folks to maintain distance from any discomfort they might feel if they looked the issue, and themselves, in the face to recognize that white supremacy is as unconscious as breathing in the United States.

White fragility is “a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves” (Robin DiAngelo, page 54). The defensive move here is the quickness to say, “Oh, but I don’t see color. We are all the same inside.” Such statements deflect any responsibility the speaker has to address the issue, make it a nonissue, and maintain the comfort and privilege the speaker is accustomed to. It’s time to check that privilege. If black lives truly matter, do the work of understanding yourself, your privilege and the reasons why we cannot ignore the pandemic of racism in our country.

Ask yourself:

        • Do I have access to reliable medical care if I need it and do I feel safe going to a doctor or hospital?
        • Is there a grocery store in my neighborhood where I can purchase fresh, healthy food options? Do I have to worry that my children/spouse/parent/relative will be attacked or killed if they are playing in the street, going for a walk or commuting to work?

If you can say yes, you may benefit from white privilege. This doesn’t mean that you haven’t had struggles or difficulties. It means that your struggles or difficulties are not related to the color of your skin; that you benefit from the structural advantage of being a white person in America who does not have to fear for your safety, well-being or security (or that of your loved ones) every day of your life.

This problem has been going on for 400 years and our black friends are sick and tired. According to the LA Times, black men and boys are 2.5 times more likely to die during an encounter with police than white men and boys, an alarming distinction. This is why the death of George Floyd has caused public outrage. It’s not only police brutality but the ongoing presence of racist violence that continues to be overlooked. Put simply, racism is about unequal power dynamics that position white people as the dominant group allowing whiteness to be the norm. As a result, “American racism today operates largely through white normativity.”

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The author, Liz DeBetta, Ph.D., teaches English and Literature at Utah Valley College. This essay is an example of the writing of someone firmly grounded in postmodern social justice theory.

Many of the terms in this essay are covered in Lefticon.

From Lefticon:

Colorblind – unaffected by the consideration of race.

When someone claims to be colorblind, they are in effect denying that race exists and that it is important, which itself is a passive form of racism, together with inappropriate virtue signaling.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) – a movement for racial justice for blacks.

Black Lives Matter started as a Twitter hashtag (#BlackLivesMatter) after the shooting of an unarmed black teen (Trayvon Martin, 2012, in Sanford, Florida) by a white-Hispanic security guard. It gained momentum in 2014 after the police-related deaths of two other blacks (Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City). Michael Brown was shot while attempting to surrender with his hands up, giving rise to the BLM rallying cry of “Hands up, don’t shoot.” Eric Garner died after being held in a choke-hold by a white police officer. His dying words of “I can’t breathe” became another BLM slogan. In 2020, George Floyd also died saying “I can’t breathe” when a white police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes despite being video-recorded by concerned onlookers on their smartphones.

In Ferguson, Missouri, after the shooting of Michael Brown, a direct action by BLM resulted in police confrontations, rioting, vandalism, looting, and arson for two weeks, with intermittent flare-ups over a three-month period. After the failure of a grand jury to indict the presumed-guilty police officer, there was yet another week of looting and arson by the otherwise peace-loving demonstrators.

Since then, BLM has participated in many direct actions, some supporting the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 presidential campaign. It protested the Republican candidate, Donald J. Trump, during his rallies, which resulted in the successful cancellation of one rally because of threatened violence. Its response to the death of George Floyd in 2020 involved pillage, looting, and arson in multiple cities in the United States and mass demonstrations of protest globally.

BLM has expanded its activism to the entire postmodern progressive agenda of diversity, equality, women’s rights, LGBTQI rights, intersectionality, and globalism. It has joined the antifa movement in the struggle against fascism, neo-Nazism, the Ku Klux Klan, white supremacy, the alt-right, nationalism, and President Donald J. Trump.

BLM is funded by the Ford Foundation and the philanthropist George Soros through his Open Society Foundations and related NGOs.

Systemic racism – the maintenance of racism as a cultural norm by a dominant white majority using established systemic and institutional power structures.

Systemic racism is mainly seen as the oppression of blacks and Hispanics, and to a lesser degree Asians.

White fragility – emotional instability of whites when discussing racial issues.

White fragility, as described by progressives who have observed it, is manifested by irrational behavior, including but not limited to fear, rage, hostility, screaming, sulking, sneering, shouting, and silence. It comes from the palpable fear of accepting the reality of racial, cultural, and intellectual equality, and the accomplishments of other races despite centuries of oppression and enslavement by white imperialists and colonialists. It is accompanied by denial, a psychological defense against the admission of white guilt.

White privilege – the superior social, political, and economic status enjoyed by whites and denied to blacks or other people of color, based on the whiteness of their skin.

Whites enjoy a more carefree life than their non-white counterparts, with many perquisites and advantages unavailable to people of color. This racially biased bliss, based solely on pigmentation, is so insidious that it also occurs within the white population as whiteness privilege based on the degree of whiteness. In America, it is manifested by the prejudice of whiter whites from northern Europe against darker whites from southern Europe. Prior to 1965, this was reflected in US immigration policies favoring the former and restricting the latter.

“Check your privilege” is a plea for all whites to set aside their unearned privilege and respect the plight of oppressed racial minorities, whatever their pigmentation.

White supremacy – the concept that whites are superior to nonwhites.

In critical race theory, white supremacy means the special advantages and privileges of whites in a racially mixed society. It includes political and socioeconomic domination by whites and their subordination of nonwhite races and ethnic groups.

Those who believe in white supremacy are called white supremacists. This term has replaced racist as the preferred descriptor of those who oppose diversity, open borders, and the free flow of immigration and voting rights. They are, of course, also racists, but the accusation of racism has become less effective from overuse, and white supremacist suggests  an unsavory alliance with Nazis, neo-Nazis, fascists, skinheads, and the lunatic fringe of the alt-right.

Norm – a standard of acceptable “normal” behavior expected of members of a social group.

Norms are part of the culture of a group, passed on from generation to generation as a cultural meme. They can relate to things like truthfulness, honesty, keeping promises, respect for the elderly, hospitality to strangers, work ethic, etiquette, gender roles, courtship, and vengeance.

Behavioral norms vary from group to group and may differ in their application to others within or outside the group. Lying, stealing, and cheating, for example, can be forbidden for insiders but permitted when dealing with outsiders. The pioneering sociologist Max Weber called this phenomenon internal and external ethics. Ethical principles and standards are based on moral norms and are relative to the specific group as well as time and place.

Unlike rules, regulations, and laws, norms are informal. Some can become codified as rules, such as rules of grammar and codes of conduct.

Normativity – pertaining to a norm or standard of correct behavior common to a cultural group.

Whiteness – a genetically-determined category of skin pigmentation due to a relatively low melanin content which, together with a characteristic bone structure, defines the white (Caucasian) race.

In critical race theory, which reaches beyond biology and genetics to the social sciences for the conceptualization of racial identity as a social construct, whiteness is a state of mind associated with oppression, suppression, and repression of minorities; slavery, colonialism, mercantilism, imperialism, nationalism, and fascism; self-proclaimed superiority in intelligence and creativity; behavioral dominance, hegemony, intolerance, bigotry, bias, discrimination, and hate.