A teachable moment. There are various ways to define this experience. In the classroom it results from the serendipitous confluence of an opportunity to teach a concept with an extrinsic factor sparking student interest driving a heretofore un-manifested desire to learn that concept.1 In short, a lightbulb comes on. What could cause students, generally apathetic toward learning, to suddenly sit up and take notice? For an English class it might be a guest speaker, author J.K. Rowling explaining the secret of her success (Harry Potter) while others failed. Perhaps a notable personage drops in on a socialIST studies class explaining his rise from humble origins to political prominence or, in Phys-Ed, becoming an Olympic athlete. At that moment teachers enjoy rapt attention from their charges hoping it inspires seemingly average students to reach their full potential. How true must this be for science teachers beholding a once in a lifetime celestial event; a solar eclipse. As totality approached, the happy faces of kids conducting experiments under the beaming guidance of science teachers, appeared on television in the Kansas City metropolitan area. A teachable moment. But not so in Lee’s Summit. Alleging concern for student safety, its fearless administrators, shepherds of your children, Henny Penny like shut down the entire district, added an extra day to the end of the school year and…hid.
The pros and cons of writing this series were carefully weighed. On the one hand, racists might distort and misuse research provided herein to promote noxious agendas. Today it seems people in general consider hatred of others based on race irrational and repugnant. But the reality remains; hatred of those not members of one’s “tribe” stretches back to the dawn of mankind. The wrong events at the wrong time might transform ancient animosities into violent action. No reasonable person wants that. But on the other hand, there are those who, for political and personal reasons, have declared any observation reflecting negatively on ethnic, racial, sexual, or religious groups, regardless of how scientific and true, as beyond the bounds of discussion. To do so constitutes unacceptable “hate-speech” the trade of extremist racial supremacists, never to be countenanced.
Discussing race and crime is to enter a metaphorical no-man’s land laced with tripwires, landmines, and booby-traps. Automatic accusations of racism, hatred, and intolerance, regardless of how baseless, are to be assumed. Even for those making good faith attempts at mutual understanding may, if failing to recognize and validate other points of view, find themselves talking past each other leading to hurt feelings, rancor, and confirmation the other person holds racist attitudes. For example, many if not all whites probably reject the idea they are racists. When apprised of the epidemic of young black males killing each other in cities like Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, some respond with indifference. After all, it’s not happening in their neighborhoods and what can they do anyway? Fair enough but lack of concern can be interpreted as stemming from racism toward those not like them. Still others, perhaps desensitized by media coverage of urban bloodbaths and Hollywood’s glamorization of gang violence, shrug their shoulders saying, “that’s what those people do,” or “there’s nothing we can do, it’s a black thing.” For them the film Escape from New York is probably desirably prophetic. Ignorant and callous, the latter attitude can justifiably be interpreted as racist by the black community. No genetic predisposition toward violence exists among any race. It is a learned behavior (think Vikings and modern Swedish males for example). How could anyone calling himself a Christian embrace such attitudes? Who can claim to love God and hate his brother?2
Indifference and ignorance provide no starting point for dialogue. They consign victims of violent crime to ongoing misery. Americans in general are probably familiar with the Jonbenet Ramsey case. She was a six year old blonde haired blue eyed beauty pageant queen, killed sometime on 25 or 26 December 1996. Her case remains unsolved. How many, even in the Kansas City area, know who Machole “Coco” Stewart was? Aged 10, she was sitting on the couch with her family watching the 2014 World Series when a gunman sprayed their house with bullets. Her murder was also unsolved.3 Regardless of the Ramsey case’s celebrity status being driven by Americans obsessed with living vicariously through others, to some degree blacks believe the lives of little white kids, especially Scandinavian in appearance, matter more than those of black children. Blacks to some degree embrace the notion of “white privilege” believing because of their race, whites automatically have a leg up on everyone else when it comes to employment, professional advancement, and especially social acceptance.4 In my last year as a teacher, a black senior, one of the coolest most intelligent kids I ever had the privilege to teach, told me he, his family, and every black person he knew didn’t consider themselves “Americans” because white society rejected and excluded them. My point is not to argue whether any of this is true or to what degree it might or might not be. Instead, it’s to demonstrate races come to the table with uniquely different experiences and perspectives. If we categorically reject each other’s viewpoint from the start, any hope of dialogue, understanding, and reconciliation is lost. Prejudices on all sides become reinforced. This serves no one’s interest.
When I was a young man at the university, J-M, a friend and brilliant student now a prominent Baltimore attorney, postulated the “Axe-to-Grind” theory of historical interpretation. Before reading books on history and politics, he examined their dust jackets. Autobiographical information can unmask biases affecting an author’s historical interpretation or reveal they wrote simply to “deconstruct” another historian’s work hence, “an axe to grind.” No historian is objective, neutral, or unbiased. The collection, sifting and assemblage of historical evidence and data is naturally designed to validate the author’s interpretation shaping final analysis and conclusions. The same holds true for groups defending the police against accusations of profiling and racism and those making the accusations. M’s Postulate requires full disclosure on my part. I was a policeman but I also grew up partly in Baltimore and Philadelphia’s inner cities, attended predominantly black schools, was poor, and have sported a “natural tan” from birth. I may be in a better position to take an objective as possible look at race and crime than lily-white liberal journalists whose only encounter with minorities is the one cleaning their Five-Star hotel room. This brings me to the central question of this series; as claimed by Black Lives Matter (BLM) and certain Leftist professors, do white police officers represent the tip of the majority race’s spear in waging a war to oppress, suppress, and even murder black people? Are police officers the greatest threat to black men in America? Or, is this pure fiction crafted by the radical left and members of the black community who benefit politically from this claim?
According to Black Lives Matter, (BLM) a loud aggressively confrontational organization, white cops are indeed waging a war of terrorism against the black race.5 Their webpage credo under the section titled “We Affirm That All Black Lives Matter” is, “Black lives matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It’s an affirmation of Black folk’s contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.”6 Make no mistake about it, BLM believes cops, assassins for white America, are engaged in a conspiracy to murder innocent black people. Because white America is engaged in genocide, resistance by any means, including preemptive action, is warranted. This begs the question; if BLM believes this genocidal campaign is sanctioned by the U.S. government, how might they ultimately respond?7 Clicking on text-boxes exposes what BLM is really about. Under “Black Villages” it reads; “We are committed to disrupting the Western prescribed nuclear family structure requirement supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another especially ‘our’ children to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”8 These Marxist code-words comprise a root and branch assault on Judeo-Christian values and principles including the family unit as ordained by God. BLM wants to destroy this order, including the biological distinctness of the male and female sexes, in favor of fluid Hermaphrodicity. Children are to belong to the “collective” ultimately meaning the state…like North Korea. Rather than recreating a notional semi-communal African village living in harmony and with the rhythms of nature (descriptive for all peoples at one time), they envision a neo-Marxist female dominated pagan fertility cult.
BLM believes America is ruled by the white race solely for its benefit. Traditional “Western” institutions identified with the white race include: Christianity, the family, law, schools, military, police, and government. They constitute hierarchical structures erected to preserve white rule and suppress challenges to this arrangement. Any institution or belief deemed “Western” is by nature de facto racist, oppressive, and must be overthrown. Don’t scoff or sneer at this idiocy for it’s what they are teaching your kids at the university. Arguing the contrary self-identities and condemns a student as guilty of racism. BLM and Leftist professors believe police and the criminal justice system are the agents of enforcement for the white hierarchy. Because racism is considered inherent in all whites, as if genetic, regardless of what they do in support of “black” causes, it won’t matter. Nothing can purge their “guilt.” BLM and like-minded groups believe to compete with whites in the social, economic, and political arena is a waste of time because, until white dominance is eliminated, there can be no level playing field. Leftist white professors have been teaching this view as contemporary social reality for decades. Is it any wonder young whites graduate from college feeling guilt over their middle and upper class backgrounds? They fail to realize it’s not really about race it’s about seizing political power which is done through inculcating a Leftist world view in the minds of America’s young. Race-guilt renders them impotent to challenge Marxist paradigms.9 They have been taught that to criticize or oppose any aspect of any movement dominated by blacks and other minorities, no matter how extreme their behavior and rhetoric, flows from supremacist colonial white attitudes. How many young Millennials breathed a sigh of relief voting for Obama because it proved they weren’t racist?
Since BLM came to the fore, people from all backgrounds have insisted all lives matter regardless of race. But BLM, the “New” Black Panthers, and their allies reject this claim contending people who say this are typically white, live in predominantly white areas, and associate only with other whites. BLM’s counterattack against universal brotherhood, supported by young white Millennials writing for liberal publications desperate to prove they aren’t racists, claims all lives do not matter because there is “demonstrative evidence that black lives matter less than white lives to the criminal justice system (and the American government as a whole).” This assertion is based on comparisons between white and black incarceration rates as well as grandstanding relatively rare police shootings of black men as routine, the norm.10 Comparisons without context can be used to shape and mold desired narratives. For example during an in-service at Lee’s Summit High school, an assistant principal upbraided teachers for a disparity in office referrals for rules infractions, behavior problems, and classroom disruptions between black and white male students. The inference was, blacks were written up more often than whites due to racism. The message was clear, teacher’s whose office referrals demonstrated a statistical disparity between black and white students, might be considered racist. Teachers faced two options: Find ways to write up way more white kids, or, look the other way with respect to the misconduct of black students. I wanted to ask the administrator, “suppose that, for whatever reason, black males are simply committing infractions and engaging in disruptive behavior at a greater proportion than their white counterparts?” A teacher, who said such was the case, nevertheless told me pointing out the truth would be career suicide.11
BLM claims it is concerned with the plight of the black community and especially those being murdered [by white cops] but completely ignores the thousands of blacks killed each year at the hand of other blacks. This is because their agenda is really political and disingenuous. “Hands up don’t shoot,” is an exemplar of this strategy. White liberals, hostage to a racial “Stockholm Syndrome” implanted in their psyches by liberal public education (should be called “indoctrication”), and the university, work off their shame and guilt through arguments justifying black violence [riots and looting] and hatred of whites. It’s cathartic cleansing of their racist-stained souls. BLM, the New Black Panthers and other Marxist groups see these pathetic liberals as Lenin’s proverbial “useful idiots” doing their bidding and discarded later. Paradoxically, caught in the middle are the many if not most blacks, neither Marxists nor haters of anyone who, manipulated by inflammatory rhetoric, will also be discarded this time by white Marxists once achieving their goals. While living in California’s Bay area, I observed white liberals worked up into hysterical lathers over Rhodesia and South Africa’s system of racial separation known as Apartheid. Palo Alto’s city government (for which I worked) as well as many others including states and corporations, removed investments and contracts in these countries pressuring them to end Apartheid and white minority rule. Once successful, Rhodesia became a Marxist hellhole known as Zimbabwe ruled by murderous thug Robert Mugabe. But white liberals no longer cared. It was wrong for the white minority to imprison and murder several hundred blacks but okay for the black majority government to imprison, rape, and murder hundreds of thousands of blacks through forced starvation, hacked up by machetes, and shot by guns acquired from North Korea and other communist regimes?11 Acceptance of oppression and mass murder by blacks against blacks seems to be a recurring theme among Liberals.
Is BLM a civil rights movement comparable to those of the 1960s? For the most part the latter, led by Martin Luther King, preached passive non-violent protest and resistance to denial of Constitutional rights. Their end goal was not revenge, retribution, or racial separation. It was full inclusion of black people among all the races of the earth as equals under the ideals laid out in the Declaration of Independence. They understood America’s history and Judeo-Christian founding principles were on their side not those wearing bedsheets and strange pointy hats. Their leaders claimed the “equality that belongs to them as human beings by natural and political right.” Who could oppose this? Americans of all races understood that, until blacks enjoyed full inclusion, the principles upon which this nation were founded could not come true.12 How did America go from struggling to bring this dream to fruition, including election of America’s first black president, to accusations of a war against blacks?
Black political activist, author, and filmmaker Taleeb Starkes charges that when a black person is killed by a white person, especially a policeman, certain members of the black community dash to the scene and politicize the tragedy in support of their own agenda. “Their mission is to start racial infernos. In other words, they racialize not harmonize.”13 He notes “calls to action” following police shootings of black men are not spontaneous reactions from a local populace. “They’re calculated maneuvers promoted by an ever present Race Grievance Industry [RGI], whose only product is victimhood and it’s manufactured without pause.” Racial healing does not serve their agenda. Instead the RGI works to convince blacks that they are “permanent victims of racism” and nothing they can do will ever change this.14
Absent blacks to buy-in to the notion of eternal victimhood, the RGI would lose power, influence, and fat checks sent in by blacks, white liberals, and Hollywood celebrities. The same holds true for political parties and organizations who derive support from the same clientele. Therefore it is in the best interests of the RGI to promote the boogeyman theorem that a Klansman lurks beneath the surface of every white skin, that whites are not and can never be their friends, and to enforce and discipline political support rendering blacks immune to calls of racial healing and unity. As long as blacks buy into such notions, liberal white politicians are all too eager to fan the flames of racial animosity knowing it can generate support and buy votes with no regard for what it does to the nation as a whole.
11 This is my own definition. There are many others, certainly better than what I came up with.
22 Editors, New American Standard Bible, The Open Bible Edition (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson, Publishers, 1977), 1 John 4:20, 1202. Check out Matthew 25: 34-46 on one’s Christian duty toward others.
33 Betsy Webster, “1 Year Later, Machole Stewart’s family still searching for answers as police search for killer,” KCTV5 news at http://www.kctv5.com
44 When I was a teacher Black students asked me this on many occasions. I explained that the danger in seeing life through a racial prism was it might short circuit avenues to success by automatically concluding their dreams were unattainable because of their race. However, I didn’t summarily reject the notion either especially in the social spheres of life. In addition, not one white-liberal, who claim to be the champions of civil rights against racist conservatives, in my SocialIST Studies department ever heard of “White Privilege” or “Blonde Privilege” yet I, a conservative have and so did my many of my minority students.
88 IBID. BLM was started not by men, but three black women: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi whose bio is listed under “Herstory…”
1010 Jesse Damiani, “Every Time You Say ‘All Lives Matter’ You are Being An Accidental Racist,” The Huffington Post, at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-damiani/ever. Damiani accuses anyone who says “all lives matter” of being an “ignorant racist.” This claim, incarceration rates proves racism, will be dealt with in subsequent installments.
1111 The beauty of this strategy is it self-validating. Anyone claiming differences in behavior problems based on race will be confronted by school administrators waving handfuls of teacher office referral forms for rule infractions and disruptive behavior “proving” (sic) no statistical difference in behavior problems between white and minority students. But can they really be considered valid when teachers, disciplining students, know to write up, or even “fail” black and minority students will lead to increased scrutiny (and pressure if they are an athlete)? A teacher deemed “racist” by students is in for a very unpleasant career. If considered the same by administration, soon they will be gone.
1111 Martin Meredith, The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence (New York, N.Y., Public Affairs, Perseus Book Group, 2005), 309-344, 617-675.
1212 Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (New York, N.Y., Simon and Schuster 1987), 33.
1313 Taleeb Starkes, Black Lies Matters: Why Lies Matter to the Race Grievance Industry (Lexington, Kentucky, Starkes, 2016), 1.