Thursday, August 21, 2014

The security theater

Thabiti Anyabwile continues posting on the Michael Brown shooting. I have a few brief observations:

i) I'm struck by the studied absence of rational persuasion. He doesn't reason with his readers. He doesn't present evidence in support of his operating assumptions. Instead, he resorts to emotional manipulation to shame white evangelicals into submission. 

ii) I'm struck by the retrograde nature of his complaint. It's like he's trapped in a Jim Crow timewarp. 

His complaint is retrograde in another respect. There are black social commentators who are far more candid about some destructive aspects of contemporary black culture. Stanley Crouch and John McWhorter have criticized the influence of Gangsta rap on the social malformation young black men. Thomas Sowell as written extensively about the deleterious effect of the welfare state on the black community. Likewise, compare Thabati's reaction to the Michael Brown shooting with Shelby Steele's analysis of the Trayvon Martin shooting.  

The sad thing is that Thabati is short-changing the black community. His anachronistic blame-shifting does nothing to resolve social problems in the black community or advance their economic situation. Unfortunately, reactionaries like Thabati are enablers who empower the liberal establishment to use blacks a pawns. The liberal establishment doesn't care about black voters–it only cares about black votes. 

iii) One point I briefly made in my previous post is the impact of black juvenile delinquency on the black business community. This ranges along a continuum. Shop-lifting. Armed robbery. The fact that many consumers won't venture into high-crime areas. Not to mention the economic impact of looting and rioting.

I imagine this is economically devastating to black small businessmen. If Thabiti really cared about the black community, he'd be more concerned about juvenile delinquency and its causes, viz. single motherhood, high school drop-outs. 

iv) One of my concerns is the toxic mix of political correctness with the militarization of the police and the evolving police state. We end up with police protecting criminals from citizens rather than vice versa. For instance, why do officers on the scene (Ferguson) allow the looters to act with virtual impunity? I think the obvious reason is that they are afraid of the political repercussions if they crack down on black looters.
White police officers have a built-in incentive not to shoot black criminals. And the Ferguson fiasco is a classic illustration. 

The police are already intimidated by routine charges of "racial profiling" and "disparate impact." If certain protected classes are practically off-limits to law enforcement (e.g. Muslims, illegal immigrants, black juvenile delinquents), then who's left to pick on? The police will increasingly turn their attention to innocuous white and Asian citizens. The police have so much to lose by cracking down on minority perps, with their special interest groups spoiling for a media circus, that it's politically safer for them to harass law-abiding citizens.

This can begin with petty technical infractions like speed traps or expired license tabs. But it quickly escalates to more drastic infringements on our civil liberties, like domestic drones, random checkpoints, sneak-and-peek searches, stop-and-frisk policies, as well as domestic espionage:

In the security theater, everyone is secure, but no one is safe. 


  1. Here's a typical example of your thesis: Just the other day, for the second time this summer, I saw the local police occupy a particular intersection in my town - they had changed the traffic lights at the intersection to flashing red so all drivers would be obligated to stop, and then the cops were checking them for use of seat belts. (I live in one of those goofy states where seat belt use is a "primary enforcement" activity, meaning the cop can pull you over and cite you for not wearing a seat belt, even if you haven't committed any moving violations.) There must have been at least a half dozen squad cars there participating in the crackdown.

    Meanwhile, my town has the unfortunate reputation as being a haven for sex perverts, illegal immigrants, and others of less than desirable character, and consequently there is a lot of criminal activity commensurate with that type of populace - petty thievery, public drunkenness, break-ins, public lewdness (drunks and/or homeless taking a leak whenever they feel like it), drug-related incidents, and so on.

    But no, the police have nothing better to do than write people up for the horrendous crime of driving while not wearing a seat belt. So nice to know they've got all the society-destroying stuff under control. That frees them up to harass ordinary "criminals" like the rest of us ~

  2. Rather than my getting into a point-by-point response to Thabiti Anyabwile's latest, I'll hand it off to conservative commentator Bill Whittle who just released a video today that I'm linking to. The value of this short presentation is that it puts the Brown shooting in its proper context and addresses the larger issue of racial violence in America today. It's only six minutes long and well worth viewing.

    As far as millions of white Americans are concerned who have already had to flee their former neighborhoods to escape ever-encroaching black violence and criminality, any intelligent discussion about violence along racial lines in this country begins with the reality described in that video or it doesn't begin at all.

    Steve wrote:

    "I'm struck by the studied absence of rational persuasion. He doesn't reason with his readers. He doesn't present evidence in support of his operating assumptions. Instead, he resorts to emotional manipulation to shame white evangelicals into submission."

    If Thabiti Anyabwile continues to resort to cultural Marxist oppression/ oppressor rhetoric to describe the current state of race relations in America, if he persists in his emotionally manipulative, blame-shifting, white-shaming, pro-criminal stance, then he is rapidly putting himself outside the pale of rational civil discourse.about this subject.

  3. Shelby Steele on Trayvon Martin. At least one fact is undeniable - there is an "establishment", an establishment of professional and amateur race agitators, as Steele points out in his analysis.