What to protest Black Lives Matter continued

Following up on yesterday’s discussion, I received this in my email:

I think you protest society (and whatever you think the cause is) on the unconditional probabilities but only protest cops on the conditional probabilities.

That is from a very high quality correspondent.  Since I think BLM is in large part trying to raise consciousness about society at large, and not just complaining about the cops, it is fine for them to protest the large number of bad outcomes for many black people without getting too caught up in the “conditional upon x, y, and z, is a cop more likely to shoot a black or a white person?” sort of question.  Body cameras, reforming/ending the War on Drugs, stronger civil liberties, and other changes make sense for macro reasons, no matter what your view on the conditional probabilities.  So a big chunk of your 300+ comments are simply off the mark.

My response to the correspondent included the following good advice:

Every movement…has a smart version and a stupid version, I try to (almost) always consider the smart version.  The stupid version is always wrong for just about anything.

If you focus on the stupid version, you too will end up as the stupid version of your own movement.


Hands up, don't shoot - courtesy BLM.

The surrender sign, putting police in danger since 2014.

Blatant lies, instantly fallen for by Jan and repeated endlessly to score political points.... making the world stupider since 2014.

I appreciate your unique ability to see through the bullshit, but I most appreciate your good humor and faith in your fellow man.

Look I've had a lot of experience taking in BBC I know what I'm talking about okay?

There have been cases where the stupid version of the police have killed civilians where the shooting was unnecessary and unconstitutional. I think we can all agree on that. But that is the exception 99.999% of police actions are the smart version where they save lives and keep our society polite and safe by enforcing our laws. It is also interesting that blacks and other minority criminals/suspects are not shot/killed by police at a far greater rate than white criminals/suspects. This is completely contrary to the BLM philosophy and their claimed reason for existence. So what is BLM's motive? Clearly it isn't black lives or they would go where they can do the most good (Chicago) and try to have some effect where black lives are most at risk. Further investigation shows that BLM gets funding directly and indirectly from communist organizations and they got support and traing from these organizations. Surely none of us here are naive enough to think that communist organizations are humanitarians and their motive is simply to save black lives. The more obvious motive is that the communist organization in question actively work to dismantle democracy in America and to further the cause of bringing down this country. In this effort they have aligned themselves with BLM and true to the prediction BLM foments riots, violence and police murders. Hmmmmm. It would seem that the stupid side of BLM runs very deep and very deceptive.

'But that is the exception 99.999% of police actions are the smart version where they save lives and keep our society polite and safe by enforcing our laws.'

So, let's use some statistics from NYC - 'The stop-question-and-frisk program, or stop-and-frisk, in New York City, is a practice of the New York City Police Department in which police officers stop and question a pedestrian, then frisk them for weapons and other contraband; this is what is known in other places in the United States as the Terry stop. The rules for stop, question, and frisk are found in the state's criminal procedure law section 140.50, and are based on the decision of the United States Supreme Court in the case of Terry v. Ohio.[1][2] About 685,724 people were stopped in 2011.[1][3][4] However, the number of stops has been reduced dramatically since then, to 22,939 in 2015.[3]

The vast majority of those stopped were African-American or Latino.[1][3][4] According to a 2007 study, this disparity persists even after controlling for "precinct variability and race-specific estimates of crime participation".[5] Over half were aged 14-24. [3] In 2011 police stopped 46,784 women, frisking nearly 16,000. While women represented only 6.9% of stops in 2011, guns were found in only 59 cases; but there were 3,993 arrests of women. Guns were discovered on 0.12% and 0.13% of women and men respectively.'

Unfortunately, the police in NYC did not meet your '99.999%' goal, as this turns out to be the reality - 'In about ninety percent of cases, no evidence of wrongdoing is found and the stopped person is let go.' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop-and-frisk_in_New_York_City And since the excuse for detaining a large number of innocent people was to find weapons, the police are even farther away from your number, as it turns out that the police did not discover weapons in 99.88% or so of the cases.

Strangely, few white Americans in Manhattan, particularly those in the Financial District, are stopped and searched with minimal suspicion. One can be confident that commenters here will be able to come up with a reason why a group of people, many of whom haven been participants in committing massive fraud, should not be included in police stop and frisk measures. Particularly when it involves intrusive measures where 9 out of 10 of the stopped and searched have not committed any crime.

95% gun crime in New York City is committed by Black Or Hispanic men. That is proportionate policing.

99% of theft of property of working class people of all race and origin in dollar value is done by white financial elites, concentrated in NYC.

Unless you believe God intended working class people pay high fees for every dollar that the earn, save, or spend to profit the NYC elites because what Adam Smith wrote was a nice myth to sell rentier and monopoly capital pillage, because workers like butchers, candle stick makers spending what they earn paying each other to work producing stuff is possible only because an elite 1% is directing their actions as the invisible hand taking fees every time goods and money exchange hands.

I grew up when economic efficiency meant zero (economic) profit and (economic) rents.

Since 1980, economics has become more like gdp is ideally 100% to profits and rents and zero to labor (including capital built by labor). Every policy supported by conservatives is to eliminate labor costs, ie wages and benefits, replacing all the money for consumer spending with tax cuts and consumer debt.

True enough, but robbing and shooting people with guns is also not very nice.

Could anyone provide evidence for the smart version of blm existing outside of cowen's mind. Who are it's leaders? Where can I find its positions stated clearly? All I've come across is post modern anti reality nonsense.

Stopping and frisking white men in the financial district would turn up large quantities of stimulants.

It would also be an extremely short-lived policy.

OMG. Thank you so much for picking “stop and frisk” as proof that cops are sooooo bad. And, whoop, whoop, even better point out that most of those who were stopped were blacks or Hispanics. I couldn’t have asked for a better soft ball.

Stop and frisk saved lives, hundreds of lives. It saved black and Hispanic lives, hundreds and hundred of black and Hispanic lives. Oh the horrors! And as you pointed out the cop in the street picked, wait for it, far more black and Hispanic individuals to stop and frisk (in their effort to stop black and Hispanic gang members from shooting other black and Hispanic gang members) But you are outraged and believe that the cops who spend 8 hours a day in these mean streets and know who commits these crimes need to stop and frisk more little old white ladies and white businessmen with briefcases just to make it fair don’tcha know. Why didn’t I think of that??? After all I thought the purpose of stop and frisk was to prevent deaths of blacks and Hispanics while you so wisely pointed out that it should be about proportional (quota) treatment based on race. The hell with those who might get killed by the gang bangers let’s make sure this is a PC program.

I don’t expect to change your mind, simply choosing this program as your proof of police racism tells me you aren’t listening. But my god do you actually prefer that more black and Hispanic youth are killed just to get your PC way???

The reason the police in NY City instituted stop and frisk and the reason it was done mostly in black and Hispanic neighborhoods was that the people who live in these neighborhoods begged the mayor for help with the high crime rates and the needless deaths of their children. It was incredibly effective and saved hundreds and hundreds of lives so therefore it must be ended and it was. I am sure that makes it sooooo much more palatable for the parents of children shot by black and Hispanic gang bangers. Equal opportunity policing. Thank you ACLU for your continued good work.

Not very libertarian.

"the people who live in these neighborhoods begged the mayor for help"

Then why did the cops keep doing it after they begged them to stop?

According to the most recent census, 44% of the population of New York City is white and 25.5% is black. According to the NYPD year end statistics for 2015 (the most recent available), 63% of murder and non-negligent manslaughter victims are black, 62.5% of suspects are black and 59.1% of arrestees are black. The corresponding numbers for white residents are 6%, 5.8% and 6.8%. Do black lives really matter? If so, what conclusions should you draw with respect to the "stop and frisk" program?

prior test notes that the "vast majority" of persons subject to stop and frisk in New York were "black or Latino". If we include "Hispanics" to the murder and manslaughter numbers above we find that 91.3% of victims, 91.7% of suspects, and 90.3% of arrestees are either black or Hispanic. So, by all means, lets get down to Wall Street and start rousting white guys. It's only fair that crime enforcement follows population statistics rather than crime statistics. The only way we can show how much we care about "black lives" by driving the white crime numbers down below 3%.

By the way, the 44% census number for the "white" population of New York includes both "non-Hispanic" and Hispanic whites. The non-Hispanic white share of the population of New York City is approximately 33%.

Felicitations! Soros and his investors have $1 billion less (shorted the Trump market) with which to bankroll astro-turf dastards.

"Body cameras, reforming/ending the War on Drugs, stronger civil liberties, and other changes make sense for macro reasons, no matter what your view on the conditional probabilities."

For sure.

I agree also, but of what use? BLM doesn't except evidence when it's given, so why advocate its collection?

Body cameras improve police interactions. It might be early to expect street politics to reflect that.

I agree with your first statement, but when something goes wrong, and video evidence is presented, it's still ignored. I don't see how that will change by time.

I am not sure I should take "video ignored" as the rule at this point.

I doubt that the primary reason for body cameras is to convince BLM folk to change their views.

And yet, focusing on the smart version is how you let the Jesse Jacksons ride the nuts of Martin Luther King. A movement isn't just expression and introspection. If the movement is at all effective, it opens opportunities for power plays. And so, you have third tier humanities students forcing the resignation of a dean (thereby enabling promotion opportunities), and Seattle BLM leaders attempting to rally around a criminal despite video that contradicts their account. Opportunists abound, and they can certainly crowd out the smart version when/if the movement effects institutional change.

Obviously the answer is to address the actual injustice or lack of one, and not just put them all in a bag to be ignored together.

Fear of encroaching power is one reason someone might refuse to compromise with a movement, despite agreement with components of the movement. You might see the deferment of a cure for an injustice to be a fair price to avoid empowering bad actors (i.e. Obama the candidate on gay marriage). Some historians argue that MLK was more effective due to the violence of extremists like the Black Panthers. And yet MLK provided rhetorical and philosophical differences that were more acceptable to the mainstream. BLM has not succeeded in such a separation.

And yet .. it"s hard.

Tyler tries in this piece to concentrate on the "good things" coming from BLM, and again it is that he sees "bad outcomes for many black people" that attracts most of the energy.

We can try, I try, to be objective about what agree with and what I don't from people who say they are BLM .. but again this page .. Race in America relitigated.

I agree with what you are saying, but isn't it also fair to ask the BLM movement if they are pursuing the best strategy for achieving their objectives, which presumably is having fewer people gunned down by cops?

I heard recently that five unarmed blacks are killed by cops every week in this country.

I also heard recently that five unarmed whites are killed by cops every week in this country.

Some people are offended by even mentioning the second fact (there are a lot more whites than blacks in this country, don't you know?), and other people will splutter about ratios and criminal tendencies or whatever. And so the carousel turns.

To me, these are both horrific facts and, together, they provide an opportunity for people to find common ground on the issue of cops gunning down unarmed people.

It's not at all clear to me that BLM is interested in finding such common ground.

Yes I know you try so hard to avoid calling people racist in bad faith, but you just can't.

Say you and I agree on 80% and differ on 20%. In most social situations we would stick with the 80%. In a policy discussion, high or low, we might be drawn to the 20%. We'd want to iron out where we differ and who is right.

Probably even then the first step is to say explicitly that we agree on the 80%, and then let the chips fall as they may as we move from body cameras to reparations.

Identity politics (BLM) beget identity politics (white racism).

It's a tactical error. Not the way to solve a problem. Definitely a way to get people to throw rocks at each other.

I don't see anybody willing to meet anyone else halfway in such a frame.

Try a different tack, if you're really interested in solving a problem.

How many who shared beliefs with BLM paused to speak them? On this page (and back then, in the wider world) I see people jumping immediately to "what I hate about BLM."

As I've said, ALM was not "agree and redirect," it was counter protest, it was disagreement, it was rejection.

From the beginning.

"ending the war on drugs"

80% of all violent crime including murders is drug related. Most property crime and petty theft is drug related. 30%-40% of all car accidents (possibly higher but we don't know because we don't track it well) is drug related. Most cities in the vast rust belt are being destroyed by drugs. Most prostitution and human trafficking is drug related. Half or more of high school drop out is drug related. Most out of wedlock births are drug related. Most parent's "nightmares" are drug related.

I vote let's make the war on drugs more effective.

If you include alcohol as a drug, the your stats on car accidents may be more or less true. Otherwise, nope.

Prohibition doesn't work. Never has, never will.

"My response to the correspondent included the following good advice:

Every movement…has a smart version and a stupid version, I try to (almost) always consider the smart version. The stupid version is always wrong for just about anything."


Well, to be fair, the stupid can't really be ignored, because sometimes it wins.

In the worst times in history the "smarter" arguments become more cloistered, and separated from public policy.

That raises the larger question of the fairest way to characterize a movement. One could be charitable and dismiss the noisy and stupid cases as unrepresentative hecklers, distracting from the core message. Or one could be critical and notice that the social reality and political dynamics of a movement, its influence on affairs, and leveraging by elite actors, is overwhelmingly or predominantly stupid, with the arguments of a few smart and unrepresentative apologists being not much more than lawyering up an alibi to satisfy the demand from the smart set for mood affiliation justifications.

That's true, and I recognize that it could be read as for-or-against BLM, for-or-against the Alt-Right.

The question is whether it is possible to have any good way to adjudicate favoritism in these claimed determinations - and criticisms thereof - and thus to police mood affiliation, confirmation bias, and guilt-by-association tactics.

Utilitarian review? Someone must be up to more good.

Related, Dietrich Bonhoeffer on stupidity:


There is no smart version of BLM. I don't know anyone who actually opposes body cameras but changes in the war on drugs and "stronger civil rights" are separate issues which depend ENTIRELY on the content of those proposals. What does Tyler actually mean by "stronger civil rights"? More racial preferences? Reparations? Re-education camps for Trump voters? Race-preference get out of jail free cards? The withdrawal of police from black neighborhoods? I get the feeling Tyler doesn't know himself; "stronger civil rights" feels like a placeholder for something Tyler will be in favor of later (once the BLM activists tells Tyler what to think). But regardless of the content of the phrase, to propose "stronger civil rights" on the basis of a demonstratively false narrative (or even an accurate narrative) which is only tangentially connected to the specific proposal is itself a stupid version of BLM.

Police kill innocent white people all the time and nobody has attempted to show that the number of innocent black people killed is in anyway "disproportionate" to the number of innocent whites killed. You can't reach that conclusion by comparing the total number of blacks killed to the total population because, for whatever reason, blacks commit crimes at a much higher rate than whites. But even if we simply assume that the BLM narrative is correct, how does that lead us to whatever racial spoils system goody the BLM activists or Tyler think is appropriate? It's all stupid, it's stupid all the way down.

And yes, the phrase "once the BLM activists tell Tyler what to think" is a trap. It is anticipated that Tyler will object that nobody tells him what to think on any issue. He will then be asked to reflect on whether his readers or Americans in general are entitled to know the contents of whatever "good macro" proposal is hidden in the meaningless "stronger civil rights." Should readers accept that "stronger civil rights" is "good macro" regardless of what BLM/Tyler decide it means?

It's funny how the smart version of a movement resembles my own thoughts.

BL Don't Really M - only those involving police that can be exploited for political purposes.

Bingo. Game over, courtesy of Rich Berger.

And while Tyler would love to dismiss this fact as the "stupid version," it is in fact the Version That The Dems Spent 100% Of Their Time Talking About.

Yeah, that's what all those angry black people are doing. Exploiting the deaths of their fellow humans for political gain.I didn't know that black people were so conniving and diabolical. I'll have to revise my views on HBD.

That's precisely what the BLM movement is doing. If you do not believe that, obviously you haven't kept up with the news.

these days, the news you get is just a reflection of your preconceived ideas. you need to talk to actual humans in real life and get out on the streets to see what movements like blm are about. and then you will see that it as a movement is indeed both stupid and smart, not super cohesive, and just one of many movements led by people of various quality and motivation. i can tell you haven't really done that bc your narrative is too neatly packaged and fits too snugly in an anti-lib/prog perspective, and as you say it's based on keeping up with the news.

Well I have talked to my nephew, who is a Bernie supporter and is up in North Dakota in a teepee protesting the pipeline. It's funny for about 15 minutes.

How on earth is your (presumably white) Bernie supporting Nephew supposed to be representative of the aims of Black Lives Matter?

Actually, yes. A more honest minority would want greater police protection since minorities are by far the most victims.

I'd protest too if there were differences in police action against minorities, but plenty of studies show there is not.
When the evidence is against the criminal, like Michael Brown, and BLM still treats him as a victim, I lose all respect for them.

Tyler: If there were a smart version of BLM it would have embraced Hillary when she said 'All lives matter' instead of vilifying her.
If all they want is equal protection from the police, or for greater attention to bad actor police, this would not have been an issue.

Precisely. While the libs/progs establish their moral bona fides, actual black people are suffering from thugs like Michael Brown. A young criminal who would try to take a police officer's gun from him will hardly have any scruples about robbing or killing a civilian. And who can blame the police for backing away from situations that place their lives and careers in jeopardy. The result is less effective policing and elevated crime rates (Baltimore was a clear example of this).

Critics of BLM focus on the evidence of specific cases and whether the facts support the police or the citizen. Supporters of BLM instead use specific cases as outlets for the less conspicuous but more widespread abuses against them. In Ferguson for example, what we know about how the police and city operated (civil liberties violations, high arrest/citation rates, revenue chasing) is much clearer than what occurred on the day Michael Brown died. It's important to understand the context in which those protests occurred.

I'd suggest watching the ESPN documentary series on OJ. To white people the case was about whether OJ did it or not. To black people it was about getting a win after so many losses (both judicial and non-judicial, like policing tactics etc.). (to name one, the case of the Korean convenience clerk getting probation for shooting a teenage girl)

IMO, the biggest contribution of BLM is the existence (from the Washington Post and The Guardian) of actual searchable data on police shootings. The FBI is going to start collecting comprehensive data on that as well, I think. This plus body cameras will mean that we end up with a lot better data on which to act.

The Washington Post data said that something like a quarter of the people who were shot by police in 2015 were having some kind of mental health crisis. That seems like a place where you might be able to change police procedures somehow to avoid some of those shootings.

Similarly, in something like 15% of these cases, the person who got shot had no weapon. Again, there are probably some of those cases where better procedures would have to fewer people being needlessly shot.

But it seems hard to address this at a national level, because the management of the police is local. If the LAPD gets better about handling crazy people without shooting them, that doesn't do much for the NYPD.

'A more honest minority would want greater police protection'

And what do they end up with? Something like NYC's stop and frisk (see above).

Wouldn't it be interesting to have the American commenters subject to NYC stop and frisk tactics, while hearing it was for their own good?

Not that this would ever happen - why, the idea of the police stopping people such as MR commenters at any time and any place so as to be able to search them is outrageous. Right?

"And what do they end up with? Something like NYC’s stop and frisk (see above)."

Which cut the murder rate significantly, with the black population benefitting the most.

Actually, yes. A more honest minority would want greater police protection

Right, because when your primary complaint is that the police harass and abuse you on a regular basis and shoot innocent people in your community, the first thing you're going to ask for is more cops.

Basically what you are saying is "suck it up black people, until there's no more crime in your community". Because black people don't deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and the presumtion of innocence until they stop commiting crime at a disproportionate rate. Because black people are to be held collective responsible for the crimes of other black people, in a way that white people NEVER are.

Yes they carry some responsibility.. They have responsibility for social norms in their communities. They don’t encourage striving in school, work ethic, responsible fathers, respect for the law, stable families, good nutrition and so on (at least less than other groups, like Asian Americans). They’re culturally at odds with other groups on this. That’s why BLM is such a subterfuge, If you replaced cops with perfect AI cops, their communities would still be violent and impoverished, very little change.

You don't think that Asians are held collectively responsible for the lack of crimes of other Asian people?

They don't need to suck it up, but at least start helping, or least not hindering police. I saw a television interview of a woman who was the sister of a murder victim. There were several victims and protests that because the victims were black the cops did nothing. This women went from blaming the cops to "my sister was an independant woman" in two seconds when the reporter asked how the cos would know she's missing when her own family didn't report it. She thought the police should care more than what the family or community cares.

Until the black community gets their act together this will never go away.

"Black people" are not a lump. Any movement is open to co-option, and BLM is hazy enough to be defined opportunistically.

Opportunistically for whom? It's supporters, or it's opponents?

And what "political purposes" does Rich Berger think black people and libs are seeking through BLM? I think it's "stop shooting, strangling, and beating black people."

But this means you are ignoring the political purposes in having the police shooting, strangling, and beating black people.

It is not exactly a coincidence that rich white people are not being shot, strangled, and beaten by the police, after all.

What do you think white people gain by police “stop shooting, strangling, and beating black people.”?

Nothing but lower crime rates that black people disproportionately benefit from. BLM should be partnering with the police, if they believed Black lives matter.

"We black people are such criminals, it would be better if cops shot strangled and killed more of us until the black crime problem was solved."

Obviously, there's something dishonest about black people for not adopting this clearly morally correct stance.

The problem is that with BLM is that the stupid version is the one the one that sucked up all the news cycles and had the impact, and that impact has been in the opposite of the intended direction -- making Americans more likely to rally behind police rather than to be skeptical of police actions and demand reform.

But to whom do you attribute blame for that? There are many people and groups with the large BLM tent vying for attention and innumerable media outlets, each with their own set of views and incentives, picking and choosing what parts of BLM to cover.

It seems like this comment is confusing the movements efficacy for its views. Both are fair to criticize but be specific.

A movement that has no discipline or control and permits its most militant, polarizing members to become its public face is a bad, ineffective movement. Contrast BLM with the NAACP of the Montgomery bus boycott who smartly, strategically, effectively selected Rosa Parks as their poster woman over Claudette Colvin.

My personal view is that the U.S. has a police problem on several dimensions. Compared to other developed countries, U.S. cops are way too quick to use deadly force against people (and especially against dogs which they seem to shoot almost routinely as an intimidation tactic). They too often overreact violently against people who are merely insufficiently submissive and deferential. And with civil asset forfeiture, some police local departments have really blurred the lines between police forces and legally authorized gangs of armed bandits. There is a racial component to this, but these problems are certainly not limited to minorities. <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2015/06/22/mistake-over-high-beams-ends-with-michigan-cop-killing-teen/?utm_term=.aaa16e043cb7This was a white kids. So was this. With the emphasis on 'was' in both cases.

BLM would have been FAR more effective if they had welcomed 'All Lives Matter' instead of angrily fought it, if they had made police reform a non-racial issue as far as possible, and certainly had not adopted Mike Brown and Ferguson as a cause célèbre. Their grievances are legit, but BLM could hardly have done a worse job of addressing them. They've made police reform harder, increased racial polarization, and may have inadvertently helped elect Donald Trump. But other than that, they've done one heck of a job.

This is a very thoughtful comment. It seems almost impossible that BLM could have controlled its message in the modern media environment, but there is no doubt that they would be more deserving of support if they had show any ability whatsoever to put forward their moderate members.

One could argue that the Republican Party has been valiantly fighting that battle. Only through Fox News immediately co-opting the tea party and loudly promoting the anti-government views did the explicitly racist views get pushed to the back. That worked for a few years, but seemed less effective this last cycle.

The "All Lives Matter" movement you mention has had a fair share of issues with member being intentionally polarizing. Perhaps the movement would have moderated if BLM had immediately welcomed them. The "stupid" version of ALM explicitly claimed to show how wrong BLM was (Blacks commit crimes, so cops SHOULD kill them). It is hard to expect BLM to welcome such people.

The modern media environment makes silencing people much harder, especially when their voices have a innately emotional pull.

The Tea party never had a racist part of it. Black people routinely were part of the movement from the beginning.

I can't find the link, but CNN had a story where the tea part had a number of people open carrying and made it out to be it was to scare black people.
They had a very tight shot of someone carrying a rifle. From local TV footage, it turned out it was a black guy with the rifle while attending the rally.

MSM and Obama have been stirring this crap up for too long. BLM are either part of this or just dupes falling for it. I'll believe their sincerity when they spend as much time reforming from within, like the Baltimore mom who pulled her son from the BLM riot. Kudos to her!

My point is not that it was a main part, or a key part of the movement, but that was the "most militant, polarizing members"

Recently watched "13" on Netflix, and it made this interesting point about BLM:

Is it decentralized, and has no central leadership, specifically because EVERY TIME THERE HAS BEEN A BLM MOVEMENT (in meaning, if not name) IN US HISTORY WITH CENTRALIZED LEADERSHIP, THOSE LEADERS WERE HOUNDED BY THE FEDS AND COPS:

Black Panthers
Malcom X
etc. etc.

So, some of current BLM's problems in the media arise from the fact that some BLM nexuses have smart leadership, others, stupid.

When is the last time you saw the media cover anything smart, when stupid a stupid version was available?

"When is the last time you saw the media cover anything smart, when stupid a stupid version was available?"

Rarely. Which is why an effective movement has to be able to keep the stupid under control. Yes, J Edgar Hoover's FBI went after MLK. But that didn't prevent King from being far more successful than BLM. Unlike BLM, King didn't make the problems he cared about worse, which is what BLM has achieved to date.

Slocum is right smart news does not sell enough ads. Of course that is why we read this blog.

Hoover is long gone from the FBI, though, and notice that the other major protest movement of the last decade, Occupy Wall Street, was a decentralized, leaderless movement, and it didn't go anywhere either. It quickly degenerated into homeless people and drug addicts squatting in public parks.

But "Al Lives Matter" doesn't feed the race hustle.

A mentally ill kid was shot in the chest by a police officer who was called to the scene because he had a screwdriver. Cop said "we don't have time for this" and just shot the kid while his horrified partner was still holding him. Give people a badge and gun and bad things will happen some percentage of the time.

" Cop said “we don’t have time for this” Cops have an unusual concept of time. If the object of their affection doesn't do exactly what they want instantly, it's bullet city. But the aftermath of any crime involves many hours of evidence gathering, statements, yellow tape strung around the neighborhood and stopped or re-routed traffic.

His behavior was extremely unusual. Notably, his partner was extremely upset with him, not least because the shot was apparently close enough to damage hearing.


It's just as unfair to generalize his behavior to police generally as it is to generalize the behavior of black criminals to blacks generally, but we can say that when you give people authority it's often going to be abused.

It's not so clear how you would define a movement's views beyond the impact of a movement. Isn't the clue in the name, "movement"? Beyond your perspective of a movement, you can't bottle it, or freeze it posterity. You can only trace its effects.

"a big chunk of your 300+ comments are simply off the mark."

A large part of the debate in the comments (including where you personally responded to explain we were all wrong) was about whether there is, indeed, systemic unfair targeting of blacks by police.

You made a factual claim about this a rationale for his support of the movement, so I don't see how debate on this point is "off the mark". If you want to support BLM based on a general argument about "bad outcomes for many black people", without considering specific claims about police, then that is a reasonable position to take, but that's not what the words of your original post stated.

I don't really get where you are coming from with this push-back.

The point about supporting the "good version" of a movement is well-taken. We are too quick to consider the worst of our opponents and make that the focal point for attack. Considering the best that the opposing side has to offer would be a lot more productive.

Maybe that was a lesser line that the wrong sort of people saw as red meat.

'systemic unfair targeting of blacks by police'

Well, this does predate BLM, but it can be considered rigorous data concerning systemic unfair targeting of blacks by police - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop-and-frisk_in_New_York_City

No American who is even the littlest bit honest is actually unaware of how police preferences work in daily life. The main discussion is whether it is justifiable or not, not that it doesn't occur.

No American who is even the littlest bit honest is actually unaware of how police preferences work in daily life.

Let's think about this and why it might be so. What is the incentive. Here are some musing on the subject.

My father worked with the police at lot. He said that Barney Miller was the only realistic police show. Police are mostly motivated do get through the day without having to do too much. I would guess that the harsher treatment of blacks by police, when it exists is mostly due to too excessive fear of blacks that most non-blacks feel. (Rage is occasionally the cause of an incident too but it would be to toward whites and blacks.) Another factor that would be a mark against the police would be that they think of blacks as others and so have less respect for their lives, just like most people have less respect for the lives of foreigners (this I think would be the BLM position). It seems to me that the solution to that would more black police.

Fear can cut both ways it can cause you to shoot to soon but it can also cause you to be more careful which the incidents and statistics might be showing.

Years ago I read a story in Argosy that claimed that the murder rate had not really risen but in the past police would not even document murders of blacks. (there is evidence that the article was wrong) but we should at least consider more police interactions with blacks is to reduce the crime rate. Neglect of black crime victims might be a bigger problem than police brutality. Counter intuitively more police in majority black area might help reduce the problem.

It seems unlikely that racism against blacks or even statistical discrimination is at work, since white cops are less likely to shoot black suspects than black cops

Where's the "like" button?

You may be interested in Campaign Zero (https://www.joincampaignzero.org/), which is basically the smart version of BLM distilled.

This is good, thank you for sharing, I hadn't heard of this.

I hadn't either. Which, as far as movements go, leaves the smart version at a distinct disadvantage.

Loud music (especially huge bass) is awful though. Very bad for quality of life.

Also, ending loitering enforcement would probably increase the amount of vigilantism, e.g. by store owners who don't want non-customers hanging out in the parking lot.

I agree. That's a strong signal against their being the sane ones: "I don't give a durn that you have to deal with this." Plus, the usual misconception about, "NYC overdid it, therefore there is no Broken Windows effect."

>Since I think BLM is in large part trying to raise consciousness about society at large, and not just complaining about the cops....

... you are either highly gullible or deeply disingenuous.

And since you apparently believe that declaring this means you are therefore not wrong, and have won the argument, your debating skills are as weak as your perception skills.

The sentence above is WHAT IS BEING CONTESTED. You don't get to say "Well, I believe it, so therefore 300 of you are off the mark."

You wouldn't think this needed to be explained to a professor, but here we are.

Many people highlight confrontations with cops to portrait the movement as anti-police, anarchic and violent. Some unnecessary violence has taken place indeed in some events but how can you spot those moments and manage to ignore the broader message of starting a honest dialogue about racism in America?

The same pattern of behavior was seen when KP used pre-game anthem ceremonies to draw attention to a particular cause but people chose to protest his protesting while failing to acknowledge the issue he wanted to discuss.

Many people highlight confrontations with cops to portrait the movement as anti-police, anarchic and violent. Some unnecessary violence has taken place indeed in some events but how can you spot those moments and manage to ignore the broader message of starting a honest dialogue about racism in America?

Speaking from experience as a Baltimore resident, when the riots began in the wake of Freddie Grays death, which involved random violence against innocent pedestrians, a few dozen cars being burned, the Mondawmin Mall being looted, and a smash-and-grab spree that left a swathe of destruction all the way down Charles Street into downtown, it began to seem to many residents who otherwise might have been sympathetic that an honest dialogue about racism in America was not the goal of a large chunk of people involved in the protests. Call us crazy.

A bunch of white guys discussing Black Lives Matter.

Black Lives Matter, from this white guy's perspective, is, of course, about the issues it raises, but it is also about persons within the black community seeking to establish their own leadership position (outside of traditional organizations like the NAACP in which they would have to get in line to get a leadership position) and is also about youth identity so one can say "I participated in this...etc."

The problem with BLM is that it is ephemeral (incident focused), locally operated (meaning that there is no national leadership that can bring focus to an issue at the national level. Also, because there is no structure leadership (if there is any) is contested within the group.

BLM's success would be to work with, say, the Southern Poverty Law Institute or the ACLU, or traditional civil rights organizations, and local police training organizations (such as community colleges which train police officer candidates)

Good points, but it can also be viewed as a new media, old media, thing. BLM was born as a hashtag. How does a hashtag get a seat at a Law Institute?

They could grow up and stop defending the criminals. Half the protests everyone could get behind, but the other half the 'victim' is clearly in the wrong.

"They" being whoever uses the hashtag on a random day?

It sounds like the worst sort of cat-herding problem .

The old "if you aren't drawing the short straw in the topic of this debate you aren't entitled to an opinion" trick.

It's one of the worst ad hominems there is, and I'm not surprised to see it from Bill the Guilter.

Well, Willi, apparently you did not understand my comment. It doesn't work to paraphrase something that wasn't said, as I did voice my opinion without being black.

Apparently you did not like the comment so you had to make something up.

Your first sentence was "A bunch of white guys discussing Black Lives Matter."

I suppose that was just a statement of fact and not a snide comment about the propriety of white males discussing their opinions on issues of race and sex.

Reforming/ending the War on Drugs:

Marijuana seems to be de facto legal at this point, so long as you're discrete about it. But I don't know any successful people that use it, though that may be just risk-averseness under the current legal regime. To my observation, if you have any underlying pathologies or latent mental disorder, marijuana use won't help any of them and will probably make then worse, like alcohol. But also like alcohol, prohibition no longer seems practical.

My impression of marijuana enforcement is that cops use it if they suspect someone in their sphere is doing other marginal stuff that they can't pin on them similar to how tax laws finally put Capone in prison, where he belonged. We will still have the underlying problem of a system that enables lots of stupid, violent people to continue doing stupid, violent things, stoned or not. We have allowed some very toxic cultures to take root, and they revolve around rap, weed, hoes and guns. If all that's going to be legal, then you're still going to have a large sector of the population marginalized because the lower time-preference majority will have nothing to do with them. So you'll still have well-fed, stylish BLM'ers talking on their iPhones and protesting The Man, while blacks continue to shoot each other in astounding numbers. And that's the heart of the matter: Yes, cops can be corrupt and kill people without justification. Is this happening to blacks disproportionately in light of their 6x propensity for violent crimes? Tyler's an economist and should be able to run the numbers instead of just wringing his hands.

Cocaine, heroin and meth should not be sold or used by anyone, legal or not. And whoever is doing so is socially toxic.

Cocain is great and should absolutely be legal. It would also result in milder versions. MDMA should too.

Marijuana isnt de facto legal when sellers most places still risk jail time and it's therefore fuel gangs and the accompanying violence.

I'm open to being proved wrong. I've known five people who used it and they all wrecked their lives. Four just dropped out of sight. The fifth squandered her youth on it but has managed to substitute alcohol.

What are you relying on to conclude it's "great.?"

Are you talking pot, or cocaine?

Suffice it to say it's a question of perception and your social circles. It's not nearly as uncommon as you suggest, at least among the coastal professional classes.

Also, there are many black markets in marijuana, from the suburbs to universities. Most are non- violent. So something else is going on.

'But I don’t know any successful people that use it'

Don't know anyone in the music industry, huh? Does Willie Nelson's name ring a bell? Or anyone in Hollywood - ever heard of this obscure guy called Harrison Ford (if Carrie Fisher's writing is to be trusted)? Or Woody Harrelson?

'On June 1, 1996, Harrelson was arrested in Lee County, Kentucky, after he symbolically planted four hemp seeds to challenge the state law which did not distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana. Harrelson had arrived in the county with his attorney, former Kentucky Governor Louie B. Nunn, an agent and a camera crew from CNN. While at a local hotel, Harrelson phoned the county sheriff, Junior Kilburn, to advise him of his intentions. Kilburn and deputy sheriff Danny Towsend arrived at the location where Harrelson informed them he would be. With the cameras rolling, Harrelson planted the hemp seeds into the ground. Once planted, Kilburn placed Harrelson under arrest for cultivating marijuana and booked him into the county jail. He was released on $200 bail the same day. He later signed autographs and posed for photos with deputies. He was acquitted of those charges with the help of Nunn after just 25 minutes.


Harrelson is an enthusiast and supporter for the legalization of marijuana and hemp.' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woody_Harrelson

99% of people aren't Willie Nelson or Woody Harrelson. More are like Carrie Fisher, who probably need to limit themselves to wine with meals.

Also Rick Steves, the travel journalist.

He's on the national board of NORML, I believe.

"Every movement…has a smart version and a stupid version, I try to (almost) always consider the smart version. The stupid version is always wrong for just about anything."

I say, kill the stupid.

Thanks, Tyler. I have been out of town so I missed the previous discussion, but I agree.

For some reason many white Americans, including many libertarians, seem to have extreme difficulty accepting the idea that white people are in any way morally responsibile for the situation of black people in America. So much so that when black people get upset about cops shooting black people they respond with extreme defensiveness as if complaining about persecution by cops was ipso-facto an attack on white people. Statistics are immediately trotted out to insist that black people have nothing to complain about and if they are getting shot and killed, it's really all their fault anyway, because they are stupid, criminals, and so forth.

Now, I get the point that many white people have nothing to do with slavery or segregation and shouldn't carry collective guilt. But that's not a reason to jump up and attack a movement that exists simply because black people are angry about their treatment by police. I.e. To anti-BLM whites: If you don't feel responsible, they why do you respond as if BLM was an attack on you?
I don't feel responsible, and I see BLM as a justified and understandable response to decades of mistreatment by police. I don't feel like BLM is attacking me as a white person. I don't feel a need to defend myself or to defend white people, or whiteness, whatever that is supposed to be, when I see black people shouting about cops. I see a bunch of human beings who are angry about injustice. About innocent people who are being killed.

Yes, that's a problem that affects people of all races, and therefore I throw my smypathies in with them. I do not attack them because they are focused on people of their own race. My goal is to show them that we're in this together , not to tell them to shut up because they are stupid criminals who deserve to get shot as their opponents constantly imply.

Here's what BLM actually wants. It can be roughly characterized as full-on communism. Is that what you support? Or do you only support your own perhaps smarter but wholly fictional, sanitized version of BLM? The problem is that the stupid version of BLM is the only one that actually exists as a movement.

Here’s what BLM actually wants. It can be roughly characterized as full-on communism.

See this is the kind of ridiculousness I'm talking about. Everyone knows that BLM is a decentralized, mostly leaderless movement. it is clealr and obviously primarily concerned with police abuse and criminal justice reform. This kind of hallucinatory, mentally ill response is indicative of the cognitive dissonance underlying the anti-BLM response.

This is a perfect example of the stupid version that TC mentions above.

Fair enough. Although I have a hard time finding "smart" anti-BLM arguments.
I think a reasonable case could be made that BLM's tactics and the focus on identity politics are flaws and perhaps counter productive. But there are periously few commenters actually making that argument. At best, the anti-BLM arguments simply insist there's nothing to see here. Blacks commit more crime, police harassment of blacks isn't happening. It's all in their heads. Many of them immediately start deflecting attention to the perennial subject of "what's wrong with black people, lets us white people have a discussion where black people sit down and shut up". At worst they attribute malice to the movement as above. Very very few of the anti-BLM people say they have a worthy goal but are approaching it incorrectly. There is essentially universal rejection of the idea that the police are in any way at fault or that there should be any reform whatsoever of criminal justice system.

LOL. So I'm mentally ill for pointing to an article in The Nation, written by a black leftist activist and describing a detailed program which according to the article makes BLM's "demands clearer than ever". Like I said, the smart, focused BLM that you describe exists only in your own hallucinatory imagination. The real BLM is inexorably intertwined with various far-left and race-based economic and social agendas, which is why it's so toxic to the wider public and why it doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of accomplishing goals like reducing police abuses.

I think your response is bad faith, not mental illness. There is nothing in the article or BLM's platform to indicate that they are demanding "full on communism." If you disagree, I invite you to prove me wrong. The sources are out there. But you either did not read the sources you cite or you don't care what they actually say.

When I said the program can be "roughly characterized as full-on communism", I was being hyperbolic. I doubt that the people involved have read their Marx and Lenin. The point is that their demands are so far to the left of the political mainstream of America that they have no chance of success. A focused program aimed at reducing police abuses might succeed, but the actual BLM agenda is a bundle of racial and economic grievances most of which have little or nothing to do with policing and are unlikely to find supporters outside of the narrow circles that propagate such grievances.

Given your "hyperbole", your generalized assertion that BLM is beyond the pale is not trustworthy. If you want to convince me or anyone on the fence, I suggest you cite the specific elements of their program that you find so objectionable and provide links. If you can't or won't, everyone will know to treat your opinion accordingly.

Sure. There's no shortage of stuff I could quote, but here's a short snippet from the "Invest-divest" section of the website:

The interlinked systems of white supremacy, imperialism, capitalism and patriarchy shape the violence we face. As oppressed people living in the US, the belly of global empire, we are in a critical position to build the necessary connections for a global liberation movement. Until we are able to overturn US imperialism, capitalism and white supremacy, our brothers and sisters around the world will continue to live in chains. Our struggle is strengthened by our connections to the resistance of peoples around the world fighting for their liberation. The Black radical tradition has always been rooted in igniting connection across the global south under the recognition that our liberation is intrinsically tied to the liberation of Black and Brown people around the world.

Isn't it obvious that rhetoric like this is going to turn off most people in America? The reason that BLM isn't and cannot be a tightly focused group with limited and practical policy goals is that the people active in the movement are general-purpose black, leftist activists who cannot and will not separate their broader ideological agenda from their anti-police brutality activism.

It is clearly and obviously primarily concerned with giving political cover to criminals, demonizing law enforcement, seeking money and attention, and thereby pimping the black vote for election day.

Did you even look at the link? The local chapters also have similar ideologies...

Well said

Hazel Meade's comment is well said. My apologies. Maz's comment is dreck.

Agreed w/Hazel & Tyler. Very good points.

Lol a link to the actual stated goals of the movement is dreck? Is this straussian? I never know.

You have to understand that you are trying to use reason with unreasonable people. Inherently futile.

It's dreck because the description of it as "full-on communism" is completely false. Maz is either lazily trying to delegitimize BLM or he does not know what communism is. I understand that people might disagree with BLM, but you can't do that fairly unless you actually engage with what they say.

Nailed it Hazel Meade

I notice this attitude does not apply to Trump supporters, so perhaps you can grok why we are not down with the Michael Brown lovers of the world.

It is an attack on white people. It's taking a non-racial issue, police brutality, and making it explicitly racial, divisive and hyper-partisan, ignoring all evidence and objective reality to do so. BLM says police are disproportionately targeting black people. It is saying the problem is racism against black people. In other words, white victims of police brutality DON'T MATTER. It also is an attack on truth and reality. It's part of the modern progressive movement that is predicated on ignoring science and evidence and just going with what makes you feel good and righteous. The last thing we need is more dishonest discourse on race where facts and science have to be checked at the door.

Telling BLM that we are all in this together is saying ALM, which they explicitly reject. Saying the issue is police brutality is an explicit rejection of BLM.

Telling BLM that we are all in this together is saying ALM, which they explicitly reject.

Except that's not what anyone using #AllLivesMatter is saying. All we hear from #AllLivesMatter is "Black people are disproportionately criminals so there's no problem. Shut up black people and take your medicine (getting killed and abused by police)"

You have two very different sentences sandwiched together there. The latter, I have never heard anyone say. The former goes more like "Black people are disproportionately criminals so there’s no problem with white racism" Which you basically agree with.

Your position is sort of condescending and patronizing. "I know you SAY the problem is white racism, but I know that really what you mean is that the problem is police brutality, and I'm totally right there with you, because people of all races need to fight against police brutality"

I don't agree with that. There clearly is a lot of white racism. I even think it's probably true that black people are disproportionately harassed by police and racially profiled. I just don't think that the MAIN problem with the behavior of police is racism, as opposed to an overly paranoid force protection stance which places officer safety above innocent lives. Plus civil asset forfeiture, plus revenue policing, plus the war on drugs, etc. There are so many problem with cops and their incentives, racism is not the biggest one. But that's no to say it doesn't exist.
It's also not to say that there aren't larger problems with racism in society which puts blacks into a more vulnerable socio-economic position. But I think we could do a great deal to help black people by focusing on criminal justice and police behavior, getting rid of the tools cops use to target blacks for harassment - such as civil asset forfeiture and the war on drugs. If we got rid of those two things, there would be a dramatic drop in imprisonment and unjustified stops, which would be massively beneficial to black communities as well as others.

So you presume to know what we are saying better than we do?

When *I* say "all lives matter", *I* am explicitly holding that "Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children."

I can think of few worse tactics for actually limiting police brutality and misconduct that turn it into a racial issue. I have been against contempt-of-cop, civil forfeiture, de facto police taxation for a over a decade, yet if state that the problem is that the police run roughshod over the rights of the poor and powerless - I am a racist for thinking that police brutality is a class issue.

So no, I do not think anyone should shut up and get abused by police. I think that our response to the police misconduct should not be conditional on race, BLM does and has shouted me down when I asked them about it.

>To anti-BLM whites: If you don’t feel responsible, they why do you respond as if BLM was an attack on you? I don’t feel responsible, and I see BLM as a justified and understandable response to decades of mistreatment by police. I don’t feel like BLM is attacking me as a white person. I don’t feel a need to defend myself or to defend white people, or whiteness, whatever that is supposed to be, when I see black people shouting about cops. I see a bunch of human beings who are angry about injustice. About innocent people who are being killed.

I agree with you on this point Hazel. But whether or not white people are morally justified to react the way they do, they predictably will. That's sort of the tragedy of how ethnic in-group trust is an immutable reality. Unless BLM can also help end ethno-reaction, then how does it make the world better, rather than worse? Even if their grievances are not imagined?

Who do you think has more moral responsibility to overcome ethnic in-group trust and end ethno-reaction? Blacks or whites?
Do keep in mind that it's not white people who have been on the receiving end of centuries of racial animosity and oppression.

BLM: "Too many innocent black people are shot by police!"

ALM: "Well, that's because black people are disproportionately likely to come into contact with cops and therefore experience a mishap."

BLM: "Okay, so-"

ALM: "This is because black people, even those doing well, are more likely to live in poor and/or dangerous areas, and in these areas, cops are naturally more on edge in these situations."

BLM: "Right, so-"

ALM: "And besides, black are more likely to die from violence across the board. This is just another example."

BLM: "Exactly! And-"

ALM: "So I really don't see what the problem is here."

BLM: *Facepalm*

Nailed it mavery.

+1, in the top 5 for the smartest comments on this thread

If you ignore the disproportionate violent crime as the causal factor at the outset and dont try to address that as the issue, you are ignoring a lot of facepalms on the other side of the argument.

I agree there is a reasonable version of the BLM movement, but you have to dig and basically ignore all popular manifestations of BLM to get to it, and it wouldnt sell anyways. So, hard to mood affiliate with something that is on its face hostile and pushing empirically false talking points, even if you see deeper issues (that are better addressed without it).

I don't understand what is "on its face hostile" about BLM? They want the police to kill fewer African-Americans. Don't we all want that?

And what exactly are these "empirically false talking points?" It is empirically true that African-Americans are killed by police at a far higher rate than white Americans. The dispute is over whether there is something unfair about this state of affairs. You imply that this state of affairs is fair because there is disproportionately higher crime than in African American communities. BLM says its not fair because there is nothing fair about the conditions that cause such higher crime rate to begin with and because its not true that all of the African-Americans killed by police were involved in crime. Indeed, BLM will say that the police are killing unarmed African Americans at far higher rates than whites. And there is empirical backup for this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2015/08/08/black-and-unarmed/?tid=a_inl.

Racist cops having a bias for killing blacks is the empirically false claim at the center of all of this.

The job of the police force is to fight crime, not spray bullets into a perfectly representative rainbow of its citizens. The studies and metastudies referenced all over these threads show scores of peer reviewed evidence that police have no bias toward shooting blacks, conditional on violent crime. This means the police, anecdote-based media narrative aside, are treating people fairly on a racial basis, with regards to shootings.

If you want to get people out of the walks of life that lead to violence, and specifically focus on black communities, that makes sense. If you want to talk about "police brutality" so that all of the other areas where the police treat black people worse can be addressed, thats great! That is just never what BLM is weilded to discuss in my experience, the narrative is always racist cops slaughtering black people. The crime issue is taboo and the movement will never solve anything if its only demanding that black people, based on a lie, de facto not be subject to the law.

The point I was trying to make is that "Racist cops having a bias for killing blacks" is only "at the center of all of this" for the ALM folks. For BLM, its a symptom of deeper issues. Shorten it to "cops killing blacks" and I think you get closer to what BLM would think was at the center.

As an aside, the rates at which cops kill blacks is only part of it. There's also the ways these events are treated after the fact, with the wide-spread belief being the criminal justice system doesn't hold cops to the same level of scrutiny as young black men.

ASDF, I don't think your characterization of BLM survives an encounter with their actual words. If you go to their platform - https://policy.m4bl.org/platform/ - its almost all about improving the macro conditions of African American communities. As far as I could tell, and you can correct me if I missed it, they never once claim that cops killing out of racial animus is a major problem (i.e., racist cops slaughtering people). The critique is that unfair macro conditions created by de facto and de jure discrimination and social isolation have produced the dangerous circumstances and antagonistic community/police relationships that lead to disproportionate police killings. Maybe BLM members have said other things at other times, but their official position seems to echo your thoughts.

I also don't think the idea that disproportionality disappears when you control for crime rates is as well established as you assert. The first page of a google search for "do police disproportionately kill african americans" turns up a Washington Post article linking to studies from reputable seeming scholars and which conclude that such bias does exist even if you control for arrest rates or compare the shooting of unarmed victims:

"The results provide evidence of a significant bias in the killing of unarmed black Americans relative to unarmed white Americans, in that the probability of being {black, unarmed, and shot by police} is about 3.49 times the probability of being {white, unarmed, and shot by police} on average."

". . . [R]acial disparities in police force persist even when controlling for racial distribution of local arrest rates."

If you are aware "scores of peer reviewed evidence" that these results are faulty, please share.

My impression is that when the police wrongly shoot someone, or even just rough them up, it is very difficult for anyone, black or white, to have them held accountable.

Tyler said: "Police in this country kill, beat, arrest, fine, and confiscate the property of black people at unfair and disproportionate rates." I think this is roughly what BLM asserts as well. Commenters are asking: "can you justify your use of the words 'unfair' and 'disproportionate'?"

I interpret your BLM/ALM dialog to imply that BLM is *not* really about police brutality, as per Tyler's post, but rather is concerned about the state of black America more generally (which includes police brutality but also so much more). Is that the assertion?

Commenters are asking: “can you justify your use of the words ‘unfair’ and ‘disproportionate’?”

Doesn't it bother you that many white people's reaction to black people's assertion that the cops treat them unfairly or unjustly is to say that not NOT unfair or disproportionate? It's as if white people were saying "but you deserve it" en masse. Instead of focusing on whether blacks are arrested or stopped at disproportionate rates, try focusing on whether it's just or unjust for the people to treat ANYONE the way black people complain about being treated.

Personally, I believe we have a general problem with police rules of engagement that affects both black people and white people. Talking about whether black people get disproportionately stopped or not distracts attention from the general question of how cops out to treat ALL the people they stop, of presumption of innocence, of the rules of engagement and force protection philosophy. I see black people complaining that the police are mistreating them, and for various reasons they think that it's because of racial bias, and instead of saying "hey, it happens to us too", you have white people saying "no, it's not racial, black people commit more crime (so let's just ignore this problem)"

BLM has provided ZERO evidence that blacks are treated unfairly or disproportionately. Their relatively high rights of being shot is fully explained by their prevalence of violent crime.

If you think the available data is somehow flawed, then present or suggest a better measure. But claiming that the share of blacks in the general population is the proper benchmark is retarded.

I don't think commenters are saying "but you deserve it" so much as "but you can make the entire problem go away by changing your own behavior."

The pro-BLM side sees the problem as 100% exogenous to the black community; the anti-BLM side sees it as 100% endogenous. Surely the truth is somewhere in between.

But what if the answer isn't even ABOUT whether it's endogenous or exogenous. What if the answer is "cops should treat EVERYONE better"? What if the PROBLEM isn't even "why are black people disproportionately arrested?", but "why are cops so trigger happy?"

Everyone focusing on black crime statistics and not on whether it makes sense AT ALL, for police to be killing people because they *might* be a threat.
That might be partly because of the identity politics focus of BLM. But it also might be because white people are getting way way too focused on the racial issue instead of addressing the general question of criminal justice. Is it just for the police to arrest someone just because he runs away from them? Should cops shoot someone just because they think he might have a gun? Is talking back to a cop justification for arrest?

"What if the answer is 'cops should treat EVERYONE better'?"

Then the name of your movement should be All Lives Matter.

Sorry, but that name is taken and it consists of people saying that black people deserve to be shot because they commit more crime.

Ah! Things make more sense now that I realize BLM is about all lives, not black lives, and ALM is about black lives, not all lives.

I don't think I've ever seen a worse straw man than this.

The real version goes.

BLM: Blacks are disproportionately killed by cops.

ALM: No, being killed by a cop is almost entirely a function of your actions. Blacks are killed by cops very closely to the share of violent crime they commit.

BLM: You're a racist.

ALM: Why am I a racist?

BLM: For suggesting Blacks commit more crime than whites.

ALM: they do commit more crime.

BLM: by what measure, arrest records that are the result of blacks being disproportionately arrested.

ALM: what about convictions? Don't they demonstrate that most of the arrests are warranted?

BLM: no, because blacks are more likely to be convicted.

ALM: could it be because they are most likely guilty?

BLM: you are a racist.

ALM: why does that make me a racist?

BLM: because it's obvious that blacks aren't fairly treated in our courts.

ALM: aren't they arrested sometimes by black police?

BLM: uncle toms

ALM: Aren't they prosecuted sometimes by black DAs?

BLM: sell outs.

ALM: don't black witnesses testify against them?

BLM: lying snitches.

ALM: don't black jurors convict them?

BLM: traitors

ALM: does objective evidence such as security cameras lie?

BLM: manufactured evidence. Racists can't tell us apart.

ALM: black prosecutors, witnesses, judges and juries can't tell you apart?

BLM: you are racist. The entire system is the result of systematic oppression of the black man, white hegemony, and destruction of the black man's sense of African identity, stolen from him, and brought to America as slaves and sold as chattel.

ALM: is this excuse ever going to wither in the mind?

BLM: you are racist.

Your ALM statements are not realistic. You are eliding the fact that a much higher % of black people commit violent crimes. Saying "too many innocent black people are shot by police" is a statement that other innocent people do not matter. Can you even imagine the response if WLM went around saying "too many innocent white people are shot by police!" They have exactly as much justification for that statement as BLM. Yet somehow I don't think you would be as sympathetic. Somehow I think you would say it is super racist to include the word "white" in there, am I wrong? I don't think you would be at all surprised by the negative reaction from black people, even though the statement is obviously true.

And is it really surprising that when your argument is "Police unfairly and disproportionately shoot black people due to racism", people will point out that you are mistaken? It's really demanding an unprecedented level of charitable interpretation to expect people to say "Well your point is objectively wrong, but I agree with your other, unspoken point that black people generally have a harder time in the U.S. than other racial groups and maybe something should be done about it." If they want to make that argument then let's see them do it and let's see what their suggestions are.

"... your argument is “Police unfairly and disproportionately shoot black people due to racism”"

I think that when you read that, you interpret it as meaning that the specific, proximate cause of "prolice unfairly and disproportionately shoot black people" is racism. My view, at least, is that racism (historical, institutional, unconscious, and in some cases explicit) are the causes of many of the underlying conditions that lead to police shooting a lot of black people. Cycles of poverty, housing discrimination, etc. There are other causes, too, but at least some of it is fairly characterized as "racism". To me, that's the "smart" version of that statement. I think you've missed that by focusing on the "stupid" version and acting like it's the only one.

This seems like a deeply uncharitable summary of his argument. Mavery never said the words you "quote" and the thrust of his point is obviously that (1) BLM is aware that the disproportionate crime affects African American communities, (2) BLM understands that there is a connection between this higher crime rate and the higher rate of police killings, and (3) BLM does not think this make the situation "not-racist" because they believe the disproportionate crime in African American communities is a result of decades of discrimination and marginalization that is itself racist. As I mentioned to another commenter, if you look at BLM's official platform, it is a structural critique of American society. It does not attack the character of individual police officers. At most it says that the structure that police officers find themselves in pushes them to take actions that have racially disparate outcomes.

I don't think your argument is quite a straw man because people do argue that cops kills African Americans because they are racist (or at least, their racism is sufficient to make them not care enough to hold off from killing African Americans). And some of these people are fellow travelers of BLM if not members. But the argument is misleading because that is not BLM's position. The problem is not racist cops. The problem is the racist effects of the system.

I wonder what percentage of 10+ year MR readers would vote that you close the comment section and stop giving a platform to the same five or six idiots on practically every post. Is the number over 90%? Would you continue with a book contract where Lyndon LaRouche got to append a 30 page concluding chapter to every manuscript you write? Are you sure you aren't still committed to the norms of a 2003 world of web discourse that is long, long gone?

Close my Kingdom?! Which "idiots" are you talking about?

A very low number. If you don't like the comments then.. don't read the comments.

I guess he's upset that the comments section is starting to drive what Tyler is posting - or has done so for the past couple of days. Anyway as King of the Komments I must say that demanding the closure of the comments section is tantamount to treason. I should bop him on the head with my royal sceptre.

"A bunch of white guys discussing Black Lives Matter."

Indeed. However, no one exemplifies that more than Tyler. I don't see much evidence that he does more than occasionally frequent a soul food restaurant. Hell, I live in an area where black people are basically disappearing, while Tyler is in a state with one of the larger black populations, but if I had to bet who actually knows and interacts with more blacks other than giving them orders in a restaurant, the odds would probably be on my side. If that's indeed the case, it's certainly sensible of him to virtue signal, but what difference does it make?

"BLM’s success would be to work with, say, the Southern Poverty Law Institute or the ACLU, or traditional civil rights organizations, and local police training organizations (such as community colleges which train police officer candidates)"

It's Southern Poverty Law Center, I thought, and that's just a foolish suggestion. The same people who mock BLM think SPLC is a joke although the circles don't overlap entirely. I suspect (and hope) that media organizations are a year or so away from being challenged on their cites of SPLC as some sort of neutral organization.

No, BLM is as successful as it could want to be. The elites and the media take them seriously, their egos are assuaged. Wait--you think they're actually going to accomplish anything meaningful? Hahahahaha. Good one.

I mean, BLM is at the top of the list for the meme: Why Trump Won. It won't do a thing helpful for a real problem. Instead, progress will be made when the people like Tyler realize that his version *is* the stupid version.

MR is a place where you can reliably get the argument that "antiracism is bad." Anyone who cannot read that as "racism is good" needs to revisit Boolean logic.

Now I understand that you have written a nuanced comment, but I think you should look again at "BLM is at the top of the list for the meme: Why Trump Won" in that light.

I have no idea what you are saying here, despite a reasonable familiarity with Boolean logic. I would not say that MR is a place to find the argument "anti-racism is bad". I do not personally adhere to the idea that anti-racism is bad.

BLM is not a group promoting anti-racism, though, so I don't see your point.

From yesterday: Do you ever notice a link between “antiracist” and “I hate white people”?

BLM is the "antiracist" in that question, and the demanded implication is that they "hate white people."

And so when you say BLM motivated Trump voters, in that way?

Spit it out. They are racists.

I said yesterday that anyone who falls back on that old trope should be driven from the conversation because they have nothing to contribute.

Let me say it very clearly. Your question indicates an ignorance and just plain determined blindness that you should be ashamed of.

Black Lives Matter and the events surrounding it; the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore, the police shootings in Dallas and other places brought to mind a time that isn't that far in the past where crime was the prime concern of normal people. You chose where to live, what jobs to take. The value of the most expensive asset you possess was determined by crime levels. The fate of cities was, and still is to a lesser extent determined by crime levels. The hollowing out of inner cities, the growth of suburbs, I would posit even the social inequality where there is an almost green zone structure to some places came from the levels of crime. That time is gone for many reasons, one of them effective policing, another is demographics. Whatever. The de-policing that has happened in some places has had a very clear effect of making these places more dangerous.

At the time to even consider it to be a problem was considered racist. People voted with their feet, with their pocketbooks and in the ballot box that it wasn't an acceptable circumstance.

And they did again.

Black Lives Matter and their message of police procedures and violence were lost, too soft of a word, were buried under mounds of rubble by the countenancing of lawlessness by that group and it's acolytes. These ideas were devastatingly wrong 40-50 years ago and are still wrong.

I do not think all Trump voters are racist.

I do not think all racists voted for Trump.

Clear enough?

I also think resurgent White Nationalism was a factor in the last election.

There is not a conflict in these statements.

(I thought you were talking about Tyler yesterday, because he is actually more forceful about "disproportionate" outcomes than I am.)

What % of people do you think are "white nationalists" (by which I assume you mean they think all non-whites should be removed from the country)? 0.01%?

You manufactured the "antiracist" position, quotes and all, and I responded. It is true that many of the people crowing most loudly about racism are indeed just peddling their own version of it.

I see that I conveniently became the exact sort of monster your imagination conjures. Alas, I cannot force you to doff your race-colored goggles.

And what if the solution to systemic racism is the repeal of the Great Society and instituting school choice? What if that were true? Would any BLM activist, any Democrat, or any Leftist support the end of systemic racism if it came at the expense of housing, ebt, tanf, and teacher unions?

I believe that blacks are unfairly targetted (as a result of rational prejudice), I believe that blacks are held down by a host of issues that could be called systemic racism, and I believe in white privilege. But, to the idiots, and that includes all the leftists I am responding to, I am a racist because I don't think the solution is to create animous toward white men and increase government race-based preferences - which are fundamentally inspired by marxism regardless. Similarly, I believe in global warming, but I am a denier because I don't support global marxism (see: transfers to global south, ending capitalism, strict regulation over all energy use, median poverty in first world nations).

These issues must actually be about pushing marxism, because the solutions proposed by the left do nothing to fix the issue but all coincidentally move us toward global state-communism.

Let's go back 216 years, to 1801, and the political movement that came to be known as Jeffersonian Republicanism. Today, the descendants of the movement define it as a philosophy based on a limited national government and reduced federal spending. That's nice. But in 1801 the movement was animated by scurrilous claims that Federalists (including President Adams and Alexander Hamilton) were traitors determined to undermine the new nation and return America to the British. That's not nice. I suppose the Jeffersonians might defend their movement with this : Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. And so too might supporters of Black Lives Matter.

Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples - while judging ourselves by our best intentions. And this has strained our bonds of understanding and common purpose.

But Americans, I think, have a great advantage. To renew our unity, we only need to remember our values. We have never been held together by blood or background. We are bound by things of the spirit – by shared commitments to common ideals.

Who decides what those "common ideals" are? And if someone doesn't share them do we kick them out? Revoke their American card?

Is the problem that BLM increased polarization or that they are trying to operate in a more polarized environment.

I recall a story about Obama taking pains to always praise police whenever discussing the issue of police abuse. Yet invariably the feedback he gets is always "you talk about police abuse but you never say anything positive about the many police who do a good job and put their lives on the line". It got to the point where his staff assembled a reference list showing every time he did in fact do this, but to no avail. Anyone so inclined thinks Obama cares only about police abuse and never about police.

IMO BLM is a lot less polarizing than previous protest movements around race. For example, they are nothing like Al Sharpton was in the 80's and 90's. But what good will that do if all it takes is a Facebook photo of some black person throwing a rock with a headline "cut all welfare benefits for anyone who riots!"?

And I'm also getting tired of being told the problem here is the left is not sensitive enough to the concerns of the right. Does the right ever worry that they fail in making the environment too polarizing? Any discussion of police brutality must be begin and end with long songs of praise for brave cops....yet if someone spends 19 minutes condemning a single act of Islamic terrorism and quickly mentions "of course most Muslim Americans are good citizens who are not terrorists" the cries of political correctness erupt. When Trump, for example, declared that the infamous Central Park rapists were still guilty, despite being acquitted by DNA and well documented false confessions, did anyone worry that this might be polarizing? Why not concentrate on criticizing the BLM protest that bashed a cop for what appeared to be a justifiable shooting?

Claims that a movement is "polarizing", "divisive", etc. are not a useful contribution to the debate. The correctness of a position is not measured by the response it elicits from the other side. Also, this is a criticism that tends to be applied in a very tendentious manner, with most people seeing only their opponents as polarizing.

A movement that claims racism is broadly influential in American society is, of course, going to be polarizing. But the question is whether it is right.

Here is a test. Who can talk about BLM and the Alt-Right at the same time, as two insurgent fringe movements, both opposing each other, and feeding off each other?

If you can only oppose the extremes of one, you fail.

If you can only SEE the extremes of one, you fail worse.

I call this the bipartisan fallacy. The assumption that the sins on one side of the political spectrum must always be mirrored by exactly the opposite sins on the other side. If the Alt-right is noxious, then BLM must be equally noxious.

The Alt-Right wasn't really on the radar until maybe 6-12 months ago. Was BLM less extreme but then became more extreme once the Alt-Right got famous? Or does it make sense to judge each group by its claims on their merits without assuming they must be linked in some type of dance of opposites unless you can illustrate a connection.

There can be a fallacy, but in this case, when I see the arguments circling, the outrage of one actually cited as the motivation of the other ..

Do you remember Milo Yiannopoulos?


While he lasted he motivated #blacktwitter and #altrighttwitter both.

"While he lasted he motivated #blacktwitter and #altrighttwitter both."

Should we consider things people actually do in the street...mass protests, questionable shootings etc. equal to twitter handles?

If you would like a direct Breitbart -> Yiannopoulos -> BLM link:



Could you explain this? I recall the popular "don't get too carried away by Trump" link from November where the author really tried to dig out what the 'alt-right' consists of and it amounts to maybe 8000 people....and 'amounts' means playing games on the computer or cell phone. Individual BLM protests have well exceeded 8000.

Why should they be taken equally seriously? Why is an article about someone getting banned from an online community important in this context (I recall no one coming to my defense when supposedly 'liberty loving' blogs struck down my comments and blocked me).

Thought leaders. Mavens. Social contagion. New media. Disruption.

It ends with Bannon at Trump's elbow and effects TBD.

Where can you show me where the 'Alt-Right', whoever that is, has rioted and looted as ways of communicating?

We have the attempt to close down an innocent pizza shop in DC which culminated in a disturbed man briefly taking the place hostage with a gun.

Where can you show me where ‘BLM’, whoever that is, has doxxed and swatted as ways of communicating?

So you're saying the 'Alt-right' is in fact worse.

Look, I think accusing falsely a businessman of running a child sex ring because you're bored is slander and deplorable. If you motivate someone to walk in there with a gun, that starts crossing the line but ultimately you are not responsible unless your speech is an immediate proximity to the act (if you are in a heated mob and point at the pizzaman and scream "he's the child molester get him!" that's criminal)

So likewise if you can show me BLM recruited and wanted people to riot and loot that would be one thing but if some rioting and looting happened in a large protest....well that happens. People get drunk, get into fights, and rob people at football games yet the NFL is not a criminal organization.

Being able to see that both of those movements are extreme is a factual observation: they are groups of people who are far from the political mainstream. Not seeing this is a failure.

Opposing both forms of extremism is a value judgement, however. It's possible for a movement to be extreme and also correct. I'm not a fan of either of those movements, but it's because of their particular positions, not because they both meet some measure of "extremism".

Above you talk about claims of what is is “polarizing”, “divisive”, etc.

I think the Breitbart -> Yiannopoulos -> BLM link demonstrates that in the wild, and in one of the organizations that arguably "won power" in the last election.

I recall a story about Obama taking pains to always praise police whenever discussing the issue of police abuse

When Skip Gates was arrested for creating a public disturbance (his neighbors called the police), Obama immediately said the police "acted stupidly" before even learning the facts of the arrest. Sure, he said some nice things about police too, but this is like Milhouse complaining that no one ever talks about the days he didn't wear culottes to school.

The problem is that the left is determined to make political hay out of anything that might upset their client base, fairly or not, because that's been de rigeur for Democratic politics since Reconstruction -- whether they sell the race hustle to poor whites or struggling blacks, the con remains the same: you need us to protect you from THEM. BLM has a lot more in common with Father Coughlin's Social Justice and Woodrow Wilson than they realize.

Granted the Gates comment was jumping the gun, although it was pretty stupid. As a white person I could imagine losing my key and 'forcing' my way into my own house. I could imagine police coming because they don't know I'm not robbing the place. But I would also imagine the moment I told them I live here and prove it when they check my license the incident would be over. That I would end up at the police station under arrest for creating a 'public disturbance' would in fact be, dare I say, stupid.

Why would it be stupid to arrest someone for creating a public disturbance? Would you want people creating a public disturbance next door to you?

If having some guy be grouchy about having to break into his house, those neighbors have lived a charmed life. I'd be embarrassed to call the police in those circumstances.

The 911 caller notified the police because some guy was breaking into a house, and mentioned he might live there but maybe they should check it out. Totally reasonable.

Gates was arrested because he flipped out when they showed up.

Gates was arrested for yelling at the cop, not for breaking into his own house. Yes, if you shout abuse at the cops long enough in a residential neighborhood, they will usually arrest you. And your neighbors will cheer.

Crowley's report states that he believed Gates was lawfully in the residence, but that he was surprised and confused by Gates' behavior, which included a threat that Crowley did not know who he was "messing with." Crowley then asked Gates for a photo ID so as to verify he was the resident of the house; Gates initially refused, but then did supply his Harvard University identification card. Crowley wrote that Gates repeatedly shouted requests for his identification. Crowley then told Gates that he was leaving his residence and that if Gates wanted to continue discussing the matter, he would speak to him outside. Gates replied, "Yeah, I'll speak with your mama outside."[1] On the 9-1-1 dispatcher audio recordings, a man's loud voice is heard in the background at several points during Sgt. Crowley's transmissions.[13]

Gates stepped onto his front porch and continued to yell at him, accusing him of racial bias and saying he had not heard the last of him. Faced with this tumultuous behavior from Gates, even though he was still standing on his own front porch, Crowley warned Gates that he was becoming disorderly. When Gates ignored this warning and persisted in his behavior, and likewise ignored a second warning from Crowley, Crowley informed him that he was under arrest.

Lese majeste, even of the police, should not be a crime.

Disturbing the peace in a residential neighborhood is not lese majesty, and even if it was, they arrest non-blacks for it too.

To give him credit Obama did have both men sit down with him and I believe he did acknowledge both sides had a valid perspective. Neither of us were there, 'Public Disturbance' can mean you went over the top yelling at the cop or it can also mean the cop wanted to be a dick and wrote you up for 'disturbance' which really means you annoy him (people have been arrested for 'disturbance' simply for taping an encounter between police and a person from a distance).

Unfortunately the Gates incident was a long time ago and pretty minor compared to the worse cases that many BLM protests have been about. Still even assuming Obama was wrong to jump too quickly to a conclusion, I think the opportunity for criticism ended with Trump's election. Let me remind you Trump disregards blacks proven innocent by DNA. If Obama was unfair in assuming the cop is always wrong (which is not what he did during his 8 yrs even if he did jump to that conclusion in one early case), then the remedy would be to take the neutral position of wanting to get the facts and call the cases as they stand.

Again, this is like Milhouse complaining that no one ever talks about the days he didn’t wear culottes to school.

Protesting police abuses is a fine idea, protesting an imaginary conspiracy against blacks is counterproductive.

Who exactly is protesting a conspiracy? Cite please. Every BLM orientated commentator I've heard has argued the opposite. That racism more often than not is a bias, most unconscious and not a purposeful decision to 'just jam up black people'.

Unconscious conspiracies, even better.

Please cite anyone whose proposed conspiracy as the problem.

"Rooted in the experiences of Black people in this country who actively resist our dehumanization, #BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society."

From their own website. They are protesting a deliberate systemic conspiracy in America to dehumanize and murder blacks, not an unconscious tic in well-meaning people.

"#BlackLivesMatter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise."

Fortunately, we already live in that world, unfortunately paranoid conspiracies are popular.

"How Black folks living with disabilities and different abilities bear the burden of state sponsored Darwinian experiments that attempt to squeeze us into boxes of normality defined by white supremacy, and that is state violence."

I find their views intriguing and wish to subscribe to their newsletter.

Central park 5:

"New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly commissioned a panel of three lawyers in 2002 to review the case.[67] The panel was made up of two prominent lawyers, Michael F. Armstrong, the former chief counsel to the Knapp Commission which had investigated New York City police corruption in the 1970s, and Jules Martin, a New York University Vice President, as well as Stephen Hammerman, deputy police commissioner for legal affairs.[42][67][68][69][70] The panel issued a 43-page report in January 2003.[67]

The panel disputed Reyes's claim that he alone had raped the jogger.[42][67][68] It insisted there was "nothing but his uncorroborated word" that he acted alone.[67] Armstrong said the panel believed "the word of a serial rapist killer is not something to be heavily relied upon."[67]

The report concluded that the five men whose convictions had been vacated had "most likely" participated in the beating and rape of the jogger and that the "most likely scenario" was that "both the defendants and Reyes assaulted her, perhaps successively."[42][67] The report said Reyes had most likely "either joined in the attack as it was ending or waited until the defendants had moved on to their next victims before descending upon her himself, raping her and inflicting upon her the brutal injuries that almost caused her death."[42][67]

As to the five defendants, the report said:

"We believe the inconsistencies contained in the various statements were not such as to destroy their reliability. On the other hand, there was a general consistency that ran through the defendants' descriptions of the attack on the female jogger: she was knocked down on the road, dragged into the woods, hit and molested by several defendants, sexually abused by some while others held her arms and legs, and left semiconscious in a state of undress."[67][68]

"It seems impossible to say that they weren't there at all, because they knew too much," Armstrong said in an interview.[71]"

What luck, 5 teenage kids just happen upon a woman who had been attacked by a demented serial rapist and decided to rape her too....although only the rapist left DNA.

“It seems impossible to say that they weren’t there at all, because they knew too much,”

One of the nice things about it becoming super cheap to record everything is we've had a revolution in understanding about the dangers of interrogations....esp how easy it is to plant information into an interrogation to then produce a confession that aligns with the known evidence.

Regardless Trump's defense wasn't along your lines but that DNA can't be trusted.

FYI the conclusion was the opposite, that the demented serial rapist decided to rape a woman he happened upon after she was assaulted by the kids

Again what luck, serial rapist happens upon unconscious woman assaulted by teens who left behind no DNA and then proceeds to rape the injured woman leaving his DNA all over. Not that it would have mattered, the rapist had been convicted of raping 4 other women and killing one so it's not like he didn't have it in him to brutalize the woman himself if he had too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Park_jogger_case seems to cast doubt on the assertion that the 5 knew things they couldn't have known if they didn't do it. The statements all contradicted each other, shifting the sequence of events and who did what with what. They also would lead one to believe these 5 attacked the woman, stripped her but left her behind for someone else to rape (otherwise they would have had DNA on the scene too)...someone else who had no known connection to them who just happened to come along?! Also the 'evidence' that they participated seems pretty speculative. For example, asserting that her injuries were too severe for one person to do it himself. What objective scientific method allows one to prove that 1 person couldn't injure a person as badly as 5 people if that one person had sufficient time and motivation?


It's the race card meets white guilt, which is not a recipe for intelligent discourse. And dismissing the fact that relative numbers of crimes committed and other interations with police wont affect statisitics is simply anti-science and a huge example of back-to-the-seventies mood affiliation. If Black Lives are being preferentially profiled and hassled by police, maybe the correct place to assign the blame is on the other Black Lives that commit crimes at such a high rate and create an almost impossible to police environment. Sorry, I forgot that was the white mans fault, excuse me.

Black Lives don't seem to matter much to other Black Lives if you look at homicide and other violent crime statistics. Lets discuss that. It's a way bigger problem. Maybe some of the Black Lives being produced are not of very high moral or spiritual quality? Whose fault is that? I know, white people. Or white men. I mean, straight white men. I forgot to check my privelege.

Another example of what I'm talking about.

What, Black people complaining about their treatment by police? That's an attack on white people!!!! It's all the white man's fault, isn't it? ISN'T It? ADMIT YOU HATE WHITE PEOPLE!!!!! Blargh!!!!! Black people commit more crime , so there! Let's have a discussion about everything that's wrong with black people now. I am so NOT RACIST! Stop calling me racist!

Dose(s) of reality for you my friend. All from the BLM website:

"When we deploy “All Lives Matter” as to correct an intervention specifically created to address anti-blackness,, we lose the ways in which the state apparatus has built a program of genocide and repression mostly on the backs of Black people—beginning with the theft of millions of people for free labor—and then adapted it to control, murder, and profit off of other communities of color and immigrant communities. We perpetuate a level of White supremacist domination by reproducing a tired trope that we are all the same, rather than acknowledging that non-Black oppressed people in this country are both impacted by racism and domination, and simultaneously, BENEFIT from anti-black racism."

Is it the stupid version or the smart version that riots, loots, and shuts down highways before any facts are in? Only to be proven wrong once the facts do come in.

See Charlotte

Of course that's the stupid version.

You seem to be implying that this somehow refutes Tyler, but I'm not sure how...as long as only a minority of BLM does such things, which is surely the case.

You are correct that my comment probably does not fairly address Tyler. It is certainly true that the rioters and looter are a minority and a stupid one at that.

But a majority of BLM do create an environment where it is assumed something was done wrong before anywhere close to the facts are in. They then raise and outrage which prompts a stupid minority to act out in very bad ways. At least that was my view from what happened in Charlotte. Instant outrage followed by protest which included shutting down highways and looting. Based entirely on one sided evidence.

I also am not sure that I buy the smart/stupid dichotomy. It seems a ripe for motte and baily type arguments. "That's not the real BLM" similar to "That's not real communism".

I prefer to look at movements holistically. If communism leads to millions dead or BLM leads to riots and looting before the facts are in (or even after they are in) I don't want to just focus on the high ideals of its smart faction.

I suppose it could become a "no true Scotsman" thing that is used to deflect any criticism. If a movement produces large amounts of stupid, at some point the movement has to be considered responsible, even if not everyone agrees with the stupid stuff. But on the other hand, any significant movement will have some idiots, and they should not automatically be taken as representative, nor is it fair to use them to discredit the whole movement.

When does a movement become responsible for the unsavory actions of some its members? This is a tough question, especially with a decentralized 21st century phenomenon like BLM. It's also very hard to answer this question without ideological bias.

I'm not sure how BLM becomes responsible for 'unsavory actions' of some of its members but at the same time police departments, who have a lot more power and organizational authority can hand wave away abuse of authority as 'isolated incidents' or 'a bad apple'?

They can't. Both institutions should be looked at holistically including their best and worst attributes.

Its dumb to only look at the motives and behaviors of the smartest and best members of a movement or institution. Just as it is dumb to look at only the dumbest and worst.

My personal adding up across the entire spectrum from good to bad has BLM coming in at a net negative and has the police coming in at net positive but with a lot of room to improve.

BLM is a private, loose association of free citizens. Police are law enforcement officers who are sworn to uphold the law and given permission to use violence for that purpose. At the end of the day the protest is over, BLM disbands and its members go home. It's anyone's guess whether the same members will show up tomorrow or whether it's all forgotten about.

If someone here is proposing giving BLM police powers, I'd favor a huge amount of scrutiny and 'improvement'....but I think you're making a false equivalence here. Nor is it a question of who is better. No one proposes swapping police departments with BLM (sort of like what the Black Panther's presented in the 70's). Imperfection with BLM is part of the political process, imperfection on the part of police is unacceptable. One is a Professional Organization remember.

"facts are in?"

What facts are important here? The issue I think that drives BLM is not so much individual shootings. Most blacks will never get shot, the few blacks who do get shot will almost never be shot by police. Most police will never shoot anyone.

But the real issue is day to day relations with police and there the issue is less about being shot without justification but being stopped, searched, sometimes weekly for some people. An automatic assumption of hostility and wrong doing, etc. etc.

When a questionable shooting happens this serves as a rallying point but in the end the shooting is not really the solution. If there was a choice to make general interaction between police and minority citizens positive *but* every year there would still be X number of questionable shootings OR ensure there's never a questionable shooting but nothing else will change...the former is the better choice.

The facts I am thinking about are the Keith Lamont Scott case but also the Michael Brown case.

In the Scott case folks protested and rioted almost immediately and those riots lead to the death of one person and large scale property damage and theft.

Once the facts of the case were in it turned out Scott had a gun that he did not drop when police asked him to. Is that really what BLM was protesting about? That you might get shot if you don't drop a gun when the police ask? Also the police initially did not approach Scott even though they thought they saw him rolling a blunt, but only approached him when they saw him with a gun after also seeing what they thought was drugs.

Again the facts that I think are more relevant are:

1. Equating protesting with rioting

2. The over the top response by police (randomly pointing guns at crowds, arresting a reporter at McDonald's for apparently no reason)

3. These are symptoms of the underlying bad relations which results in neither side willing to even assume a benefit of the doubt to the other side.

None of that would have happened if BLM had not kicked up the outrage machine and started protesting.

Protest sometimes lead to riots like campfires sometimes lead to forest fires. Given the environment and recent history starting a protest was akin to starting a campfire during a drought.

And it would have been one thing if the protest were warranted. They were not. But BLM did not even wait to find out all of the details. They just assumed the police had acted wrongly started up the outrage machine and started protesting (leading to some people shutting down highways and later looting and the death of one person).

The CLT authorities did give benefit of the doubt. They investigated the case. They did not proclaim the police innocent until the facts were in.

BTW I was initially very sympathetic to BLM as I think the cops are often too heavy handed.

"None of that would have happened if BLM had not kicked up the outrage machine and started protesting."

None of what would have happened? Equating protesting with rioting? Responding with excessive force, provocative displays of aggression? Professionalism by police is not an option or nice to have but a requirement regardless of whether or not a protest is seen as 'premature' or not.

Highways would have not been blocked
Stores would have not been looted
A person would have not been killed
Streets would have not been blocked
Police would have not been called into action to control protest and riots
Police would not have been attacked
Police would have not acted badly towards protesters and reporters. (you are correct that they should act better regardless of validity of protest)

Actually the difference between Houston, where BLM protestors worked well with police and the police dept. twitter feed even put pictures of everything working well (until it was ruined by what appeared to be a lone nutcase who started snipering off cops) and Ferguson shows that some communities are better at this relationship stuff.

This also leads me to think the protest was NOT premature even if the facts of the case ultimately came down on the side of the cop. Whether or not that one cop was right or wrong is a small issue with the fact that that community and that police department did not have a healthy relationship and ultimately that is the issue that needed to come out, be protested and may if we are lucky in the long run resolved.

If your message is that "the police just killed one of our own for no reason and this happens all the time because our lives don't matter" you are going to incite a lot of nutcases or generally bad people to do bad things.

You don't get to ramp up the rhetoric and then accept no blame when the predictable happens whether you are BLM or Donald Trump. Particularly when you were wrong about the event you were protesting about.

"If your message is that “the police just killed one of our own for no reason and this happens all the time because our lives don’t matter” you are going to incite a lot of nutcases or generally bad people to do bad things."

I disagree. "No one cares that we are dying unnecessarily and we need to protest" is not an incitement to a lynch mob or 'nutcases'.

The impression I get from many BLM spokespeople, organizers etc. is that they do not want violence at protests. Looting, breaking things, fighting etc. just gives ammunition to those who want to dismiss it. However a protest is a protest and as I pointed out elsewhere at NFL games you have people who get drunk get into fights, get robbed despite the fact that stadiums 'filter' the crowd by making them pay hundreds for tickets, and almost as much for beer and are filled with security.

You also have purposeful provocateurs. It just came out that a person holding a 'rape Melania' sign at a Trump event was in fact an alt-right plant who was hoping to create a viral storm. I also heard some complain cops at some protests allowed a small group to start looting while keeping organizers from trying to stop looters from hijacking a protest thereby serving the purpose of discrediting the larger protest while doing a 'see so now you need us!' type of counter protest....

Lets just look at what actually happened.

Several BLM protest have involved property damage and looting and a few have involved people getting killed. I truly believe the "smart" faction does not want violence, but if that is the case they need to take a look at their methods and the methods of their fellow travelers, cause they ain't working.

Again several NFL games had spectators get into fights, property damage, robbery.

It is rather puzzling to me how many people brush off frequent police assassinations as being of no consequence.

I don't. To date the 'assassinations' had the suspects captured or killed and no connection between any of them has been established.

What do you suggest be done then? Already every discussion of police brutality seems to begin and end with the 'bad apple/brave service' fair balance ("of course most police are good, brave people doing a tough job etc etc"). Will more 'fair balance' ensure nutcases won't be nutcases? Are we just supposed to not discuss the issue because we can't be sure someone somewhere won't go nuts?

For years right wingers railed against the BATF. Did they have to shut up because a Tim McVeigh might pop out of the woodwork again and blow something up?

But the real issue is day to day relations with police and there the issue is less about being shot without justification but being stopped, searched, sometimes weekly for some people.

But it's mainly other blacks demanding these measures as the good and logical response to the high crime levels in their neighborhoods. BLM is making these problems worse by protesting those measures as some sort of racist conspiracy against blacks.

Actually no it isn't.

There was no set of 'other blacks' demanding stop and frisk, for example.

And again it isn't even 'measures' but how they are enforced. "Stopping someone who seems suspect" can mean a professional cop who uses his judgment to stop people but acts respectful and polite and doesn't presume any guilt unless it comes out or it can mean someone who acts like a jerk and then uses the angry citizen as a pretext to escalate an encounter into something that it shouldn't be.

Many black communities suffer from both over and under policing. There's a real sense serious crimes are not taken seriously but walk outside your door with a parking ticket you let go or perhaps jaywalk when no cars are coming and you can be sure you'll end up in jail

Again, these policies are generally enacted in high crime neighborhoods, in response to the high levels of 911 calls from those neighborhoods.

BLM is a disaster and the Dems accrue no benefit from being closely associated with it. BLM and Black politics in general will continue to be undermined by the behavior of blacks themselves at schools, in public and on the local news.

An example can be found in the NYT today in a story about Iowa Trump voters. In it one voter says welfare needs to be reformed because "Chicago people" are coming up there to take advantage of generous benefits & they bring crime. Doubtful he's and many others will be inclined to be supporters of BLM OT a party that supports them.

Every movement has a smart version and a stupid version. Yes, but this is denying the responsibility of the people trying to convey the message. Successful communication is 50% the speaker and 50% the listener. We can discuss about what % of the work should be done by the speaker or the listener but you need the two subjects.

Anyone that has been in a position of leadership knows that you have to carefully choose words to avoid being misunderstood. Anyway, you're going to be eventually misunderstood and you need to clarify a few things. BLM is not an organized group and the the messages are too raw. A professor can see legitimate concerns in BLM messages but this professor is doing 95% of the communication job while most of people is used to the 50/50 communication model. Perhaps Tyler is too good to differentiate signal from noise in communication, but he fails to acknowledge he's making an extra effort to listen and should accept that there's people that will not do the extra effort......and those people not making the extra effort to listen are not wrong or bad people, they just have other things to worry about in life.

The Pew Research survey of 8,000 police officers (http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2017/01/11/behind-the-badge/) they were talking about on NPR yesterday seems relevant. I thought the most interesting (predictable, but interesting) piece is that police seem to believe recent shooting of police officers are part of a larger movement that society should be concerned about,whereas recent shootings by police are isolated events that have no larger meaning. The gulf between black officers and white officers on race relations and policing tactics also seems noteworthy.

Data? Are you mad? This is an ECONOMICS blerg!

Black people are dumb, racist and crime-prone. My phrenologist told me so.

"white men are inherently evil"

That seems hard to contest. Police shootings are relatively constant over time, while assassinations of police have spiked in the last couple of years, right?


In 2010 161 officers killed in the line of duty. 2014 was 126, 2015 129, 2016 140.

Strictly speaking that isn't 'assassinations' because that includes accidents and what one thinks of as a 'normal' killed in duty case.

Does it make sense to speak of 'spikes' when we are talking about perps who number less than 10?

http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/killed-in-the-line-of-duty/ has firearm deaths of police officers by year. Again this doesn't divide out assassinations from 'normal' killing (and I suppose there are some deaths that are firearm accidents too). The numbers do not seem to show a spike and the numbers are also low so a single act (such as Houston sniper or 9/11) can easily generate an artificial 'spike'.

Admittedly I have not seen statistics on it, but I never recall hearing about people ambushing and murdering police officers for no reason other than that they were police officers until maybe last year. Yes the numbers are low but they do seem connected to the larger BLM movement.

The 'connection' being what exactly?

I mean if you ran BLM from, say, 2013 to today what statements/actions would you have taken to have ensured either no police assassinations happen or there'd be no 'connection' to BLM?

The smart version would be focusing on the family disintegration and cultural decay that underlie the growing problems in some black communities. These problems - crime, single motherhood, antipathy to education etc - occur not in interactions with whites, but inside the black community.

Yes, racism exists, but as an explanation for these fundamental issues it's mostly just a distaction. After all, many poor immigrants arrive in the US every year and quickly esscape the poverty trap. Muslims do well for example. Do they face less suspicion from white America than blacks? Name a Muslim who's favourably popularised in mainstream American culture. There aren't any. But for blacks the list comes easy. In politics, sports, science and economics.

How does a society plagued by institutional racism destroy a black family in a community where there are no whites, but worship black icons from Denzel Washington to Thomas Sowell, Neil Degrasse Tyson and President Obama, who retains very good personal approval ratings despite widespread discontent with his policies and the direction of the country.

Sorry, racism as an explanation doesn't make any sense today. It's the stupid version and BLM encapsulates it.

See, this is what I'm talking about. Let's all deflect attention from the fact that innocent people are getting shot and start talking about everything that's wrong with black people. It's all their fault, white people got nothing to do with it. Move along, nothing to see here.

Preventing every innocent shooting would save, what, a dozen people a year?

And yet THIS is where the focus is.

The black community is some cities is experiencing complete cultural breakdown. And these are cities where the government and police have been run for decades by the same political party that agrees with you, that believes racism is the problem.

When the racists don't live there or have any influence over their political and social decisions.

'Preventing every innocent shooting would save, what, a dozen people a year?'

Ah, 'innocent.' Because in America, cops are seemingly allowed to execute anyone who isn't innocent, and really, what's the problem with that?

And innocent can easily be replaced by unarmed, and suddenly the number jumps into the hundreds.

And as noted yesterday, when a German police officer (with other officers around) was confronted with a knife wielding assailant, the German police officer shot him in the leg while the assailant was still several yards away. When the same situation arose in NYC, the assailant was shot dead.

To throw out some data - 'According to the Washington Post's database of fatal police shootings, 990 people were killed in 2015. In Germany, ten people were killed by police last year, according to a report on Thursday by publishing group Funke Mediengruppe, citing figures from the German Police University.

That means that while the population of the US is roughly four times that of Germany, the number of fatal police shootings there is about 100 times greater.

So far this year, 706 people have been killed by police in the US, according to the Washington Post. And by just January 5th of this year, more people (13) had been killed by police in the US than Germany's total for all of last year.

The Funke Mediengruppe did note that the number of people killed by police had risen by three people in 2015 over 2014.

But the number of people injured by German police had dropped from 30 people in 2014 to 22 in 2015.

Germany's largest state, North-Rhine Westphalia with a population of nearly 18 million, saw three police-caused deaths, while the city-state of Hamburg saw none.' https://www.thelocal.de/20160922/nearly-1000-killed-by-police-in-2015-10-in-germany

And yet, when a group like BLM points out that police in America really kill a lot of people, regardless of whether they meet someone's standard of innocence, obviously, the real problem is BLM.

Innocent people are NOT largely getting shot.

Michael Brown robbed a store, charged a police officer and beat him. Black witnesses said he never had his hands up.

Alton Sterling was a multiple time felon with priors of illegal gun possession. Police received a report he was brandishing a gun and threatening people. Police responded. They talked several minutes with Sterling who refused to be searched. Police moved do search and detain. Sterling resisted arrest. Police contend he reached for a gun in his front pocket. No video evidence contradicts any of this.

Eric Garner was being arrested for selling cigarettes. He had prior convictions for doing this. He resisted arrest. Several police officers attempted to take him into custody, but he was too large to handle. One police officer jumped onto his back and grabbed him around the neck in a choke hold. Garner died. The officer was arraigned. A grand jury found the officer had not committed a criminal act.

Terrence Crutcher was stopped by police. He resisted arrest. He disobeyed commands. He walked toward his vehicle and reached inside of it. A police officer apparently fired an unlawful shot. She has been arrested and charged.

A white cop in Charleston shot a fleeing suspect in the back. The officer was arrested, charged, and is on trial for murder.

A white cop stopped a black man in Minnesota. His girlfriend took a video AFTER he was shot, and claimed her boyfriend obeyed orders and did nothing wrong. The shooting was thoroughly investigated and the officer was cleared. There was never any video of the actual shooting.

Freddie Gray died in police custody. Six police officers were arrested and charged. Several of the officers were black. They were all acquitted, mostly due to prosecutorial incompetence on the part of the black DA.

Trayvon Martin was walking home minding his own business. He was apparently profiled by Zimmerman. At some point the two came face to face. Martin attacked Zimmerman, was on top of him, and was beating Zimmerman's head into the sidewalk. Zimmerman shot Martin, as he was legally allowed to do.

Police officers responded to reports of fights on a BART train. They detained several persons including Oscar grant. Arguably, grant resisted arrest. An officer mistakenly drew his pistol instead of his taser and shot grant once in the back in front of a crowd of hundreds of people, several of whom had cameras out. The cop was arrested, charged and convicted of manslaughter.

So where again are all these purported videos of cops murdering black men? I've seen only one, and that cop is on trial for murder.

Re: Michael Brown robbed a store

Minor quibble, but he shoplifted from a store. A robbery would have involved cleaning out the cash register.

No. Michael Brown used force against a person to obtain goods from the store. He did this when he shoved the cashier out of his way at the door. If force or the threat of force is used against a person to obtain goods, that makes it a robbery.

No, Michael Brown choked the shopkeeper who caught him taking unpaid goods. It was a robbery, not shoplifting.

It's astounding the amount of effort some people put into systematically explaining away or dismissing every single instance in which an unarmed black man gets killed by someone. It's almost like some people don't really give a crap about black lives.

No , it's an unremarkable ability of us to believe what evidence tells us, and your extraordinary ability to believe things unsupported by evidence.

Hazel Meade: Go fuck yourself.

Was Michael Brown an innocent person? How about Trayvon? How come every poster child for your side turns out to have gotten what was coming to him? I sincerely hope you fall victim to a violent crime.

Exactly how much time do you spend in the black community or looking at black politics and social groups?

Do you think there is no focus about family support? Raising children, challenging violence?

Let's use a specific example. Stop and frisk. In 2002 there were about 97K stop and frisks in NYC and there were 587 homicides. In 2014 that had ballooned to 686K stops but homicides were 532. So even if we assume all 55 fewer homicides were caused by the program, a tiny reduction in homicides were 'paid for' nearly 3/4 of a million intrusive searches per year.

Let's imagine Obama instituted 'Redneck stop and frisk' where BATF agents would randomly pull white guys in the south off the road and search their pickup trucks for the purpose of finding illegally sold guns.

Now I think you would agree we'd have a near 2nd Civil War in this country. But wait, whites in the south have a higher divorce rate and higher single parenthood rate than whites in the north! They have higher levels of dependency on the gov't and rates of violence. Why should they complain? They only get to complain if they are perfect people. if they are drinking too much on Friday night, getting divorced too much, having too many affairs, eating too much junk food they have to fix all that before they get to speak!

So crime fell and black satisfaction with their neighbourhoods rose when stop and frisk was scaled back?

This is just another pointless distraction. Stop and frisk doesn't cause over 70% of kids to grow up without dads.

How about Redneck stop and frisk then? There's plenty of dads not in those families. No right to complain least your perfect!

How many times have you bee stopped by police, searched even handcuffed in the middle of the street? I myself had this experience just once. It was wrong place wrong time, a once in a blue moon fluke but for some it became an almost monthly or weekly occurrence.... but people aren't supposed to complain unless everyone who lives there is 100% up to date on child support payments, paying parking tickets, not getting divorced?

"How many times have you bee stopped by police, searched even handcuffed in the middle of the street? I myself had this experience just once. It was wrong place wrong time, a once in a blue moon fluke but for some it became an almost monthly or weekly occurrence…. but people aren’t supposed to complain unless everyone who lives there is 100% up to date on child support payments, paying parking tickets, not getting divorced?"

Well said. Does nobody on this board have any empathy for blacks who have to deal with this on a regular basis?

Hard to imagine there's any smart version of Black Lives Matter, as the foundational idea of a systemic racial conspiracy against blacks is just silly. There are real problems with police brutality, but actual crime is a much bigger problem for these communities -- more than 90% of the time, the 911 caller is also black, and quite often the police are too.

People are going to make bad life choices. Their skin color doesn't really enter into it.

it is fine for them to protest the large number of bad outcomes for many black people

That would be a fine thing for them to protest, but "study harder and take better care of your kids!" isn't as catchy as "hands up don't shoot!" and doesn't feed the race hustle that drives Democrat politics. That's why Obama spent the last eight years inflaming racial tensions at every opportunity: it's just good politics. And Donald Trump's campaign was the logical response.

There's racism everywhere in the world, no country is anywhere close to the platonic ideal of a race-blind society, and being in the minority is always going to be a challenge. But America's a lot better than most, as evidenced by the several groups of minorities who enjoy better outcomes than majority whites.

There are real problems with police brutality, but actual crime is a much bigger problem for these communities — more than 90% of the time, the 911 caller is also black, and quite often the police are too.

But most people most of the time have no need to call 911. Even in a 'high crime community'.

Detroit has probably the highest crime rate in the US. It is about 2K per 100K people. If you lived in Detroit, 98% of the time you are NOT the victim of violent crime. You probably are quite aware of crime, though, and take various precautions so while crime is a concern to you, fact is in your day to day life you are not in need to call 911 because someone is trying to rob you.

But many people in the black community do have day to day interaction with the police and it isn't just in response to 911 calls because they are being robbed. Most people in the white community do NOT have day to da interaction with the police unless there is a 911 emergency.

If I lived in a high crime community I would feel even more annoyed if on a weekly or monthly basis I'm stopped, spoken to rudely and then sometimes issued minor tickets (perhaps to justify the initial stop) which if I'm lower income could themselves become massive problems that cause me to end up a 'criminal' (it's far too easy for a parking ticket to turn into a suspended license which turns into driving without a license which ends up in perpetual warrants for unpaid fines in the thousands). The fact that I express frustration with this is not inconsistent with, at the same time, wanting the police to push the drug dealers off the corner

I agree it would be annoying, but these communities have to look inward to the cause of the problems.

Again if I'm getting stopped frequently without basis, treated rudely during those stops and getting jammed up with what are essentially BS tickets that lead to problems, then the problem is not 'looking inward'.

Unless you show me that all these problems are somehow causing fewer broken families, fewer illegitimate children and stronger family and community structures, this is a problem and the fact that other problems also demand solutions doesn't change that.

So, I lose my civil rights because of the behavior of my neighbors?

Which civil rights? The rights to not be shot or robbed, or the right to not be stopped and frisked because your neighbors are tired of being shot and robbed all the time?

Except such policies seem not to have lowered crime so what is their purpose again? Why take stop and frisk from 100K per year to 700K per year if it results in no change to crime rates and doesn't fix any of those other problems you cite as more worthy of attention (family structure, etc.)?

Again, the residents are asking for more police presence. It's true police can do little to prevent crimes once someone decides to commit them, but when someone gets shot on your street three times in a week, you probably still ask for them. Is it the best solution? No. Is it a racist conspiracy? No.

There is no "black community," that's just a racist categorization.

Most blacks do not live in high-crime areas and are mainly unaffected by these policies.

Of course these tactics are annoying. They're not meant to brighten your day, they're meant to prevent rampant murder and armed robbery.

No one "ends up" being a criminal. People make choices.

Actual communities are what matter, not racist constructs. Some communities have better local institutions than others, irrespective of race.

Unfortunately locally and globally, it's really hard to build good institutions. Obama's work as a community organizer is a great example of that -- he only managed to get some asbestos removed, expand some make-work summer jobs for teens, and push some marginally useful job retraining programs. Many of those neighborhoods are still incredibly awful and not getting any better decades later.

I'm not clear why you think the term 'black community' is a racist categorization? You go on to say "blacks do not live in high-crime areas..." so clearly you think black people exist, where they lived can be measured so it isn't like you're objecting to using race as a category to study society.

Are you saying that there are blacks but no 'black communities'. Like left-handed people they are scattered pretty much throughout society so there's no areas of significant concentration geographically? Or are you just making the mundane observation that there's multiple communities and while they have overlapping interests in some areas in others they have their own unique perspectives?

Blacks live in real communities.

I'm totally on board with your complaint, but it doesn't seem to me that aspect of the problem is being pushed by BLM much at all. And I still think it would be more constructive if framed in a race-neutral way. Police are abusive in some communities, but I think the jury is out about whether it's motivated by racism.

Tyler's argument proves too much because it applies equally to any "consciousness raising" campaign. Compared with a campaign to raise awareness about driving safety, BLM loses. When taking into account the side effects of BLM - the rise in the murder rate - BLM fails miserably.

Body cameras, reforming/ending the War on Drugs, Makes me think of this where Dale Brown contends that criminals in fear cameras more than guns, see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2IbjhV00as

Legalizing all drugs is not a cure all but it seems to me worth a try.

After the end of prohibition alcohol use rose sharply but then started a long downward trend. I would expect the same if all drugs were legalized and it might save medical users money.

BTW IMO only antibiotics should require a prescription from someone trained to not overuse them.

BTW people being what they are, more separation of blacks and whites might be a way to reduce the problem. Atlanta GA seems to be a great city for black Americans, it has had black mayors and they have done well even as the city has.

Re: smart vs. dumb versions.

The problem isn't that BLM makes important points that are diluted at the margin by awful identity politics.

The problem is that BLM is the platonic ideal of awful identity politics, which just happens to be tangentially related to legitimate issues (as all sweeping statements about society inevitably are).

We complain when people like Krugman criticize the stupid versions of libertarianism or market monetarism.

Let's not make the same mistake.

Stupid versions of libertarianism or market monetarism are 50%

+1 Tyler, keep knocking them out of the park.

According to neoreaction, activism is an instrument of the liberal politics and the state. In the words of one author

"Activism works when it is service to power because the power is already there to implement the changes. It does not work when it is not serving power."

Thus Black Lives Matter, as an activist movement aimed against (state/police) power will fail. The right inherently recognizes BLM can only succeed through the instruments of identity politics, and elevating left wing politicians and goals - at the expense of their coalition. None of those will result in reducing police violence against minorities. It was obvious from day one. The justness of the cause (and it is just) is irrelevant. Yes, police power and the justice system disproportionately affect blacks in this country: because they're poor, they have little power, and what political power they have is concentrated in one party and in urban areas, so there's no political reason for it to change.

The solution to the problem is do something to make black lives matter. That requires long term work and effort, with no guarantee of payoff. Going out in the streets isn't going to accomplish anything.

That's actually a bit harsh, if you want political solutions to the problem:

1: End the war on Drugs - the benefits of the war fall to middle class white people, at a massive expense of everyone poorer and less white. It is a waste of the justice system's limited resources, it creates a market where criminality is the suppliers competitive advantage, and addiction is poorly treated through criminal justice.
2: Parole Reform
3: More money for (in this order) judges and courts, public defenders, and cops.

Do these three things, and criminogenicy in America's poorest regions will begin to equalize with Western norms, and as crime falls it'll be easier to make the case that police should be less armed and greater focus on non-violent solutions to criminal problems. What part of "hands up don't shoot" gets you there? What part of voting for Hillary gets you there? None. Go home, and rethink how you do politics. Everything else is just an excuse to be on television.

"the benefits of the war fall to middle class white people"


Does parole reform mean "let people out earlier?" Will more money for judges and courts lead to more people getting off on technicalities? That will reduce incarceration. It won't reduce actual crime, but it seems like incarceration, not crime, is what really bothers people.

I disagree that Black lives matter is totally ineffective. I think it's been quite effective, and the people are getting what they want. Just look at Baltimore's homicide rate.

"That is from a very high quality correspondent. Since I think BLM is in large part trying to raise consciousness about society at large, and not just complaining about the cops, it is fine for them to protest the large number of bad outcomes for many black people without getting too caught up in the “conditional upon x, y, and z, is a cop more likely to shoot a black or a white person?” sort of question. Body cameras, reforming/ending the War on Drugs, stronger civil liberties, and other changes make sense for macro reasons, no matter what your view on the conditional probabilities. So a big chunk of your 300+ comments are simply off the mark."

Tyler's being disingenuous. He knows the facts lie with us, but he wants to virtue-signal without going full "reality is a social construct." And that won't work with us. We understand that the conditional probabilities are the whole point of the protests, it's not a libertarian argument about "stronger civil liberties."* It's about people supposedly being targeted and murdered because of their race. Tyler is the one who is "off the mark." This will be a black mark on Tyler's reputation.

*There's a high chance that Tyler doesn't have anything in particular in mind when he says it. It just sounds kind of good.

Every movement…has a smart version and a stupid version, I try to (almost) always consider the smart version. The stupid version is always wrong for just about anything.

I disagree with the first sentence. Every movement has a stupid version, probably, but not necessarily a smart one.

And where there is a smart version it is important to ask which part dominates, because if it's the stupid part then the smart part doesn't matter.

Wouldn't the smart version of BLM be men lives matter seeing as that's where the real cleavage of police violence occurs? And isn't the fact that status-cowardly Cowen wouldn't in a million years defend MLM a pretty good example of how support for BLM is 90% about social signalling from white liberals.

Something tells me Mr. Cowen is the kind of guy who would have survived Stalin's purges in the 1930s, and even de-Stalinization, in the 50s, ending up as a high but non-conspicuous apparatchik with a nice dacha in the Black Sea, dying of old age, being forgotten forever 6 months after a praising obituary in Pravd.a

In contrast, children will be singing songs about the great warrior-poet "spandrell" for generations

To understand Professor Cowen and his views on BLM, you ought to read Radical Chic by Tom Wolfe.

Seems like when we talk about race and statistics the important logical distinction between the population and the individual is overlooked. For the purpose of the discussion, let's assume that black people are more likely to be violent criminals than white people. Given that, it is rational and natural for a police officer to use that statistical information as they do their job, for example in making the decision to draw their weapon or not.

However, as a society, we have decided that it is not ok to use statistical information about race when dealing with individuals. The reason is clear enough. It is grossly unfair to individuals. An individual cannot control their skin color or the statistical behavior of those that share their skin color.

So while it is may be rational and natural...and even effective to use racial probably distributions when dealing with individuals, we must not. As a society, we have decided fairness to individuals is more important.

"As a society, we have decided fairness to individuals is more important."

It seems like we're still figuring this out and that it isn't quite as important as many think.

Yes but parameters of a population are derived from individual elements. If we are looking at summary statistics, then we will always be gaining clarity at the expense of field of view.

Yesterday I described the most notable cop shootings in recent years. In those videos where the cop clearly violated the law, they were arrested and (soon will be) convicted. In all other cases where the camera discerned no unlawful behavior by cops, the situation resolved in their favor. Justice is not an average. Justice is getting it right in the most cases possible. I'm not at all concerned by the Black-Cop batting average in political gamesmanship. I'm concerned about getting the result legally right as far as all evidence supports.

I have a strong sense that guilty people were aquitted in the Freddie Gray case, but rather than an unjust system, I blame prosecutorial incompetence.

I agree with you though that there is some endogeneity in racism and the number of police shootings. Prejudice causes unwarranted fears. But you must also admit that police officers have a much better sense of the true group parameter of black crime, and likely incorporate that "what you know" into their decision making. Well founded prejudice has likely saved a lot of cop and civilian lives. I'm not talking about the ethics or morality of prejudice, but rather that prejudice can cut two ways: toward wrong conclusions and toward right conclusions. The racial profiling by NJ state troopers was highly successful. Profiling of soldiers arriving at Air Force bases by plane, such as wearing a marijuana leaf T-shirt, were highly effective at catching illegal drug dealers.

"The reason is clear enough. It is grossly unfair to individuals. An individual cannot control their skin color or the statistical behavior of those that share their skin color."

Is the same true of gender?

There is no smart version. "Black Lives Matter" is the most fraudulent, asinine, and potentially destructive load of humbug to have hit the town in the last 40-odd years. No serious student of social relations would fall for it.

Translation - anyone saying black lives matter is an idiot, and no one should ever fall for such a fraudulent, asinine, and potentially destructive load of humbug.

BLM begs the question that anyone believes black lives don't matter. It is an unsupported assertion, attempting to get people to accept it by being disruptive.

The predominant victims of black crime are blacks - more than 90%. Arresting and, when necessary, shooting black criminals is the best way we can show we care about black lives. Their self predation and self exploitation has got to stop.

That's the really awful thing about BLM, it actually makes the problem its protesting worse -- it's really no different than the KKK and Democrats from Reconstruction through the 1960s telling poor whites their problems weren't caused by their own ignorance or laziness, but by those darned colored folks who need to be taught that White Lives Matter.

"load of humbug"

Okay! Now tell us why it was good Tiny Tim didn't have health insurance.

The 1843 health insurance market didn't have a lot of options.

What a cop out!

There are two competing narratives here, both of which are true to a certain extent:

1. Historically bad treatment of Blacks in American society, and especially by law enforcement, has continuing and reverberating impacts in Blacks in the measurable areas of economics, social interactions, health, and justice.

2. While Blacks have certainly been mistreated in the past, this country has come a long way toward correcting those problems with anti discrimination laws, anti poverty programs, free education, affirmative action, and a plethora of sympathetic consideration. To the extent that Blacks still suffer from crime, poverty, and social degradation, it is largely the result of their poor choices.

No one, in supporting law and justice, is either defending racism or denying it exists. There is some parameter A between 1 and 2 above such that A x 1 + (1-A) x 2 represents the current state of Black existence. We can honestly argue about the magnitude of A. We can posit alternatives to 1 and 2, but then there is some parameters A and B with A + B = 1 that describes the situation. Or perhaps the relationship is non linear.

BLM posits that A is close to 1. It has provided little to no evidence that is the case. All statistics available and what we know from our system of jurisprudence tells us that Blacks commit violent crime FAR above their share of the population. The idea that they commit crime equal to whites, are merely targeted more for arrest, and fail to have their innocence maintained in a court of law is simply preposterous. Even if you provided anecdotes, there are tens of thousands of counterexamples of Blacks killing Blacks, being identified by Blacks, being arrested by Blacks, being prosecuted by Blacks, having Black judges, and being convicted by predominantly Black juries. I submit that to claim otherwise is RACIST. You are claiming that Blacks won't even treat their own kind fairly.

Whether or not available evidence shows disparate impact of police action on Blacks is CRUCIALLY determined by the conduct of Blacks. Police do not shoot random people in the street. They shoot people who draw weapons on them. If Blacks draw weapons at a higher rate than Blacks, then a careful, objective observer would EXPECT to see more Blacks shot than whites.

This post by Tyler is really embarrassing. After having been caught yesterday of making a statement that is clearly wrong from an objective analytical standpoint, today he tries to wiggle out of criticism by justifying a different frame of reference.

It is certainly alarming if we see Blacks being disproportionately shot by police. However, when we do not know if this outcome is caused by racism or reckless behavior by Blacks, identifying an effective policy is difficult. Suppose that ALL police shootings were motivated by racism. This might lead us to selecting police by virtue of their race and attitudes toward race. But we already have Black cops who are involved in perpetrator deaths. We wouldn't expect to see complete relief from such a plan. Now suppose ALL police shootings are the result of violent, reckless behavior by Blacks. Then any policy prescription that targets racism by cops will NOT stop shooting. Sure, they could lower the number of Blacks shot by cops, but the trade-off are more dead cops, more dead civilians, and more escaped felons.

Dogmatically sticking to ones tribe doesn't solve this problem. There is an actual parameter A that we all should be seeking rather than just taking a poll of what A is. We discover A by having body cameras and robust investigations. These things will not only help us observe A, but will also move A and reduce the number of dead humans (Black, cop, civilian).

Tyler's posts though make the convenient and craven position that A is small. My own views do not rely on A being close to 1.

My mistake. Last paragraph should read:

Tyler’s posts though make the convenient and craven position that A is large. My own views do not rely on A being close to 0.

You can make the "poor choices" argument without using the word "black," and it is stronger when you do.

Yiannopoulos was right (link above) when he said obesity kills more people than cops, but for some reason he said "black people" and ruined the whole thing.


When people of an identifiable group make more bad choices than other groups, it explains different outcomes on a group basis.

When whites pull guns on cops, they get shot. They should get shot. We should teach white and black kids alike to not draw guns or what looks like guns on cops.

80% of Black women are obese. This statistic doesn't distract us from the problem of obesity, it better INFORMS us. We now know which audience we should target more in prevention. Your squeamish attitude toward discussions of race and social ills is going to lead to the downfall of society. Your attitude is why people in the Midwest voted for Trump. Whites are tired of all the BS.

Would you feel justified making the same statements about "poor people?"

That calls to mind a Doonesbury cartoon involving Pat Buchanan running for president, and being at a press conference in New Hampshire, talking about how personally disturbing it was to discover that white people could be poor too.

It helps when one remembers how Buchanan was alt right before it was fashionable, of course.

No. Because black problems are not definitively an effect of poverty. There are poor black, white, and mixed communities all over the US that do not have high crime rates or police shootings. In large cities, the share of the black population is a significant explanatory variable for many social ills, even though there is collinearity with measures of economic disadvantage. Population density, which is often a proxy for opportunities for crime, is almost always the leading explanator for social ills.

The best thing we could do is thin out our cities. Allow rents to rise, provide no regulated low income housing. Improve periphery to city center transportation. Move the unemployed and homeless to low cost areas. And above all remove all the structural incentives for cities.

You misunderstand, or avoid.

One equally could say "poor people should get off drugs, lose some weight, stay out of trouble, get an education, and get a job."

One could say that, because those bad things are correlated with being poor. One doesn't say those things because we know some poor are "good people." We feel a connection to them. We don't want to be unfair.

On the other hand you call "squeamish" people who won't say those things about blacks. You say "Whites are tired of all the BS."

You are a live one.

'Police do not shoot random people in the street.'

You are of course right - they shoot people on the side of the road after receiving a stalled vehicle report - 'A US police department in Oklahoma has released video of an encounter in which an unarmed black man was shot dead by a white officer while his hands were up.

Video recorded by a police helicopter and a patrol car's dashboard camera were released by the Tulsa police department on Monday show 40-year-old Terence Crutcher being shocked with a stun gun and then shot dead.

In the encounter, which happened at about 7:40pm on Friday, Betty Shelby, a Tulsa police officer since 2011, shoots once and kills Crutcher while responding to a stalled vehicle report, according to the police department.

A man in the helicopter above the scene can be heard saying during the incident: "Time for a Taser," and "That looks like a bad dude, too. Probably on something."

When a second police car arrived as back-up, Crutcher had his hands up as he walked away from Shelby, who was following him with her gun pointed at his back. She was soon joined by three more officers, according to the dashboard video of the second squad car.

Crutcher was shot less than 30 seconds after the second car arrived, US media reported.' http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/09/video-shows-police-shoot-kill-unarmed-black-man-160920042318546.html

And then let them bleed - 'Initial police briefings indicated Crutcher was not obeying officers’ commands, but MacKenzie said Monday she didn’t know what Crutcher was doing that prompted police to shoot. Two 911 calls described an SUV that had been abandoned in the middle of the road. One unidentified caller said the driver was acting strangely, adding: “I think he’s smoking something.”

After the shooting, Crutcher could be seen lying on the side of the road, blood pooling around his body, for nearly two minutes before anyone checked on him. When asked why police did not provide immediate assistance once Crutcher was down, MacKenzie said: “I don’t know that we have protocol on how to render aid to people.”

Police say Tulsa officer Betty Shelby fired the fatal shot, while officer Tyler Turnbough used a stun gun on Crutcher. Both officers are white, MacKenzie said Monday. Shelby, who was placed on paid leave, was hired in December 2011, while Turnbough was hired in January 2009, police said.' https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/19/tulsa-oklahoma-terence-crutcher-police-shooting

Of course, this is the same city where this happened - 'The shooting comes just four months after former Tulsa County volunteer deputy Robert Bates was sentenced to four years in prison on a second-degree manslaughter conviction in the 2015 death of an unarmed black man.'

You do remember that one, right? Just another one of those mistakes - 'A jury found a sheriff's deputy guilty of second-degree manslaughter Wednesday in the fatal shooting of an unarmed suspect.
Robert Bates, who was a volunteer reserve sheriff deputy for the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office last year at the time of the shooting, never denied shooting Eric Courtney Harris.

Bates, 74, said he meant to use his Taser stun gun, not his revolver, on the suspect, who had been tackled by other deputies and was being held on the ground.' http://edition.cnn.com/2016/04/27/us/tulsa-deputy-manslaughter-trial/

You needn't bother. I'm very familiar with the story, and it is an uninteresting anecdote. He had his hands up BEFORE he disobeyed commands, walked to his car, and reached inside of it.

The officer made a mistake and she is being prosecuted for it. Sounds like the right outcome to me. It Crutcher had obeyed commands he likely would be alive today.

Police do not shoot random people in the street. They shoot people who draw weapons on them.

What if this assumption is false?

There are approximately 900,000 law enforcement officers in the US.

There are approximately 900 officer involved shootings each year.

Assuming each shooting is committed by a different officer, about 1/10 of one percent of officers shoot someone in any given year.

Blacks make up only 30% of these shootings. So fewer than 1/30 of one percent of cops shoot a black man.

Not all of these shootings are unjustified. Suppose NONE of them are justified.

Multiply 0.0003 times the number of police contacts with blacks. I have no idea what number this is, but I assume it is large. Let's say a million. This would give us 300 cop-shot black men per year which is approximately correct.

If 900,000 cops shot people at random in the streets, the number of officer involved shootings would be orders of magnitude higher than they are now, for both blacks and whites.

If even 1% of cops committed a murder, of anyone, and the murders were continuously distributed and reported with certainty, we would have 9000 such murders per year. This would be reported in the news every hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

But we actually have about 10% of that. This means we have 2.4 officer involved shootings every day. But only 30% of those are black, or 0.072 every day. But now we can relax our assumption that they are all unjustified. We end up with a MINUSCULE number of innocent black men being killed in any given year. This number cannot be statistically distinguished from no murders at all. And if your hypothesis were correct, we would hear about dozens of such killings every day.

The simplest and most likely explanation and description is that very few people of any race are unjustly killed by cops. Most people who are killed by cops deserved it through their own behavior. Those who were murdered by cops are exceedingly rare. And cops that do murder people are often prosecuted.

"We end up with a MINUSCULE number"

The size of the number doesn't mean anything to the person represented by that number. His number is the only one that counts for him. You must be saying that since the number of individuals killed by police gunfire is small, it's OK. How big would the number have to be before it would be a matter of concern?

Yes, and do keep in mind it's not *just* about actual deaths but about all sorts of interactions with cops that aren't necessarily fatal, but may be harmful or humiliating. Are there a miniscule number of unjust and humilating and harmful interactions with police? Uh, probably not.

Quite unconvincing post. I am and always have been in favor of the end of the war of drugs, a tighter control of the police, and emptying the prisons to about one quarter of their current population by changing the laws into allowing much less harsh punishment. If BLM shares these opinions and aims, it is completely unreadable in their larger political message, which is about race.

The problem is BLM puts it in a racial context when "Body cameras, reforming/ending the War on Drugs, stronger civil liberties, and other changes" make sense (to the extent one believes they make sense) completely independent of a racial context. So why support a movement that needlessly makes race a central issue (or the central issue), when doing so will likely prevent those desired ends from being achieved?

Saying "Black Lives Matter" isn't just a positive statement of what should be. It is a statement of blame. It is blaming someone for the fact that black people are being killed because their lives don't matter to someone. Who is it blaming? I think a lot of white people, reasonably, think they are being blamed. People get defensive when they are blamed for something. Here, I think that defensiveness is well-warranted, because the relevance of the conditional probabilities mentioned in your post suggests that black lives are not being killed by police, or by white people generally, at a rate disproportionate to what one would expect given various conditional probability discussed at length in the prior comments section.

If your goal is to actually achieve positive change (and to attempt to have a society not deeply divided along racial lines), a movement centered around racial identity, and seemingly blaming one race for problems, is an absolutely terrible route to take.

Saying “Black Lives Matter” isn’t just a positive statement of what should be. It is a statement of blame. It is blaming someone for the fact that black people are being killed because their lives don’t matter to someone. Who is it blaming? I think a lot of white people

Case in point #3.
I mean, really it requires a certain kind of paranoid, defensive attitude to jump that quickly from "Black Lives Matter" to "It's White People Fault. Bad, Evil White People".

I think that defensiveness is well-warranted, because the relevance of the conditional probabilities mentioned in your post suggests that black lives are not being killed by police, or by white people generally, at a rate disproportionate to what one would expect given various conditional probability discussed at length in the prior comments section

Why does the proportionality matter, rather than the justice or injustice of the actual instances? Maybe BLM is incorrectly attributing the problem to racism, but is the right response to that to change the subject to black crime rates instead of talking about how the problem affects people of all races?
In my opinion the mistake is being made by the anti-BLM position in getting all defensive about race, instead of focusing on the central problem of police abuse. Instead of reacting in a unifying way, the reaction is to deny that there's a problem at all, to insist that all those police shootings are justified because they aren't "disproportionate". Instead of looking at the situation objectively and thinking about whether this ought to have happened in a world where the police behave universally justly. That is, if the anti-BLM is even motivated at all by any desire to "solve" the problem of police abuse or address injustice in the criminal injustice system. Because the disproportionate, defensive and antagonistic response of the anti-BLM crowd suggests to me that they very much do not care about those issues at all.

"Case in point #3. I mean, really it requires a certain kind of paranoid, defensive attitude to jump that quickly from “Black Lives Matter” to “It’s White People Fault. Bad, Evil White People”. "

Nah. There is no other meaning. Rallying around "Black Lives Matter" requires believing that Black Lives are not adequately Mattering at present. Who is it that they are failing to adequately matter to? Other black people? I don't see much evidence that that is the thrust of the movement. The thrust is that they don't matter to white people. That white people are failing to properly care about black lives. It is inescapable.

"In my opinion the mistake is being made by the anti-BLM position in getting all defensive about race, instead of focusing on the central problem of police abuse."

This is happening because the movement itself is focused on race! The twitter-hashtag rallying cry is race-specific. If you want a movement against police abuse, make a broad-based movement against all police abuse against any victim. "Black Lives Matter" does not have that connotation.

"Instead of looking at the situation objectively and thinking about whether this ought to have happened in a world where the police behave universally justly. That is, if the anti-BLM is even motivated at all by any desire to “solve” the problem of police abuse or address injustice in the criminal injustice system. Because the disproportionate, defensive and antagonistic response of the anti-BLM crowd suggests to me that they very much do not care about those issues at all."

I think any racially-focused movement is going to create racial tensions and defensive and antagonistic responses. You may think those responses are racist or improper or whatever, but they exist all the same. If you care about achieving desired change rather than just being "right," you won't discount people's feelings just because you think they are morally wrong.

So I support a very simple alternative: whenever possible, if you have the option between a race-focused movement and a race-blind movement to achieve a desired end, go with the race-blind movement. It is much more likely to achieve your desired end without stoking racial division in the process.

Does it give you any pause that you are apparently the only one who is not receiving the message that BLM is about white racism? How many "cases in point" does it take before you consider that maybe there is something to it. Would you have exactly the same reaction to a WLM movement as you do to BLM?

Also, I don't see how people's comments on the conditional probabilities are "off the mark." They are very relevant to whether attempting to make the changes you posit as desirable through a racially-focused movement makes sense. Your off-hand rejection of them here just seems like defensiveness on your part to having a poorly-thought-out position.

I favor an end to the War on Drugs, a demilitarization of our domestic police forces, and efforts to claw back some of the civil liberties that have fallen victim to the War on Drugs. I don't see how BLM is likely to move us any closer to achieving those ends (nor am I aware of substantial evidence that most of the people involved in the movement care that much about those particular ends), and I see it needlessly producing heightened racial awareness and discord. I don't think anything Tyler Cowen has said on the subject in these two posts has provided any support for the idea that BLM is a good means to achieve these ends.

If black people feel that they are being persecuted because of race, maybe the correct response is not to tell them that black people somehow deserve that persecution because of their high crime rates. Maybe we should be willing to accept a certain level of race-centric reasoning from them, because of you know historical reasons, and understand that, instead of getting all defensive and rallying around our whiteness and how we're not to blame. Maybe if we did that and started talking about how police should treat all people they interact with in a more dignified matter with greater presumption of innocence we could take the focus off of race. Maybe the reason this issue is racially divisive is not because of BLM, but because of how white people are reacting to it.

Not sure what you're arguing. The way to get people to not focus on race is not to focus on race. Say "All Lives Matter," that police are unjustifiably killing people, and that their race doesn't matter. Don't blame one race over another. Seems simple.

The term "All Lives Matter" was poisoned from the get go because it was used as a reaction *against* Black Lives Matter.

The central idea behind the phrase "Black Lives Matter" isn't that it's all about race, but that when black people get shot and killed, or when they are imprisoned or mistreated that it *affects people*. It *matters*. Because our society so often ignores the impact of injustice on black people. Because we treat the crime and the shootings and death and imprisonment as a matter of routine, something that *doesn't* matter, that doesn't affect us. It doesn't ultimately matter whether it's true that blacks are disproportionately killed by cops, because it IS true that when it happens it is soon forgotten. It's a protest that is as much about the fact that white people don't seem to *care* as it is about racism.

"Maybe we should be willing to accept a certain level of race-centric reasoning from them, because of you know historical reasons, and understand that, instead of getting all defensive and rallying around our whiteness and how we’re not to blame."

I think race-centric reasoning by one group will naturally lead other groups to do the same. I think if you want a unified-but-racially-diverse society, you need to make all possible efforts to avoid race-centric reasoning. I think your statement here sets different standards for different races (blacks can't help but think in a racially-centric way, while you expect whites to be able to avoid doing so for some reason, I guess due to their greater racial enlightenment). I think people of different races should be held to the same standards.

"If black people feel that they are being persecuted because of race, maybe the correct response is not to tell them that black people somehow deserve that persecution because of their high crime rates."

Who has said that?

This is why it's a mistake to get drawn into the trap where you bring up black crime statistics. The whole aim of the race hustlers is to pit blacks against American society. They win, everyone else loses. Neighborhoods are what matter.

Races don't have crime rates. Places do.

Nobody has said it explicitly, but the whole aim of that line of argument is to claim that police treatment of blacks is generally justified, that there's no problem, and black people have nothing to complain of.
It's not hard to see how, from the perspective of the average black person, that sounds a lot like "you deserve it".

Because their race-centric reasoning is wrong. I can think of few instances where misdiagnosing a problem leads to effective treatment. But that's where the medical analogy begins to diverge. In reality the "wrong treatment" involves HARMING an otherwise healthy person for the sake of helping the sick person. Clearly this is both counterproductive and unfair to the healthy.

Why is it so difficult to believe that not breaking the law, obeying and respecting police officers, and doing nothing stupid is a winning strategy?

I drive around strapped from time to time and have been stopped by police. Why should I believe that the reason I wasn't shot was because I'm not white instead of keeping my hands where the officer could see them, notifying him of my concealed weapon, showing him my permit, and being respectful to him?

How much do you have to debase your intellect to believe otherwise?

How many non-shootings of black motorists, some with concealed weapons, does it take before you will realize it's how they behave, not how they look, that matters.

I dealt with the dregs of humanity for years in the South side of Chicago. I'll place my own experience of who commits crime ahead of your craven race pandering.

Here's something from the top of this page:

MARGINAL REVOLUTION Small steps toward a much better world

And then Tyler suggests some "small steps" that he thinks would lessen the pattern of "bad outcomes for many black people" :
"Body cameras, reforming/ending the War on Drugs, stronger civil liberties, and other changes make sense for macro reasons, no matter what your view on the conditional probabilities."

But let's consider how far "small steps toward a much better world" might take us with respect to "bad outcomes for many black people".

If the members of a population are mostly intelligent and well-behaved, then it's sometimes possible to arrange matters so that there aren't too many "bad outcomes".

If a population has too many people who are stupid and badly-behaved, then there will usually be a lot of "bad outcomes".


Among European whites, the portion that is dumb, feckless, anti-social, and inclined to violence—call them the DFASIVs—is 10-15 percent. This is small enough that the rest can “carry” the DFASIVs, given a modest collective investment in social welfare, law enforcement, and feelgood make-work.
Among blacks, the DFASIV portion is much larger, 40-50 percent. The good news there is that most blacks—50-60 percent—can function perfectly well as useful, law-abiding citizens of a stable nation. The bad news is that the DFASIV portion is too big for the majority to “carry.” That’s why all-black polities are failures.

Of course being "DFASIV" is not a binary characteristic, but there is clearly a much larger amount of DFASIV behavior among blacks than among whites.

Maybe there are things we can do to make blacks less DFASIV, but those things will take a long time to work. And maybe there's a genetic component to black DFASIVness. In any case, sensible individuals will take patterns of black behavior into account when making choices in their own lives, as explained here:

The Talk: Nonblack Version

Finally, a "Male Lives Matter" movement would speak to a much larger segment of the population, and a much larger portion of those harmed by the War on Drugs, police shootings, etc. than a "Black Lives Matter" movement. Maybe I am wrong and Tyler would support said movement. But I am skeptical. Which makes me think his BLM support is based not in seeing it as a second or third or fourth-best means of achieving his desired policy ends, but for reasons of mood affiliation and status signaling. Of course, he can show me up by making his third post on this topic a genuine (nothing Straussian allowed) call for a broader "Male Lives Matter" movement to achieve the ends he says he desires.

There's not a smart version of every movement. There's no smart version of communism. It's an inherently stupid movement. There is not a smart version and a dumb version of Black lives matter. There's Black lives matter and then there's a group of aging cuckservatives and libertardians who try to assange their white guilt by pretending to agree with the movement but who wouldn't be caught dead actually attending a protest. Out of fear of "the police," of course. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

"My response to the correspondent included the following good advice:

Every movement…has a smart version and a stupid version, I try to (almost) always consider the smart version. The stupid version is always wrong for just about anything.

If you focus on the stupid version, you too will end up as the stupid version of your own movement."

This is either a non sequitur or terrible advice. The issue raised in both your posts isn't just about considering the arguments of BLM. It is about the movement itself, its very existence. If the vast majority of a movement is stupid, why the hell would you consider the "smart version" of that movement, and then say "I support X movement" on the basis of the smart version, when the movement itself is predominately composed of people espousing the stupid version?

The smart version of communism has some good points, I think. The smart version of most any ideology has some good points, potentially even convincing points. That wouldn't have made me a proponent of Soviet Communism or its many friends. But your advice is apparently to consider the smart version and decide my support for the mass movement accordingly? That is truly nonsense.

Interesting point. Not sure if I agree, in balance, for this case, but well worth keeping in mind ...

"Every movement…has a smart version and a stupid version, I try to (almost) always consider the smart version.  The stupid version is always wrong for just about anything".

Maybe I am a stupid version, but I am stumped. It all depends, doesn't it? If I am analyzing Nazi ideology or doctrine, then there is no point in refuting the stupid version of it.

But if the shop windows of Jewish merchants are being smashed by the stupid version of Nazism, then I have to consider the stupid version.

Stupid parts of nazi movement: mass slaughter and military conquest of others.

Smart parts of nazi movement: To improve the well being of German and maybe Japanese ethnic groups.

Important for the smart version of any movement to understand the first policy response will be to the stupid version. E.g., police union response to BLM has been/will be to not police those communities; USG response to backlash against enhanced interrogation is to kill suspected enemy combatants instead of capturing and interrogating them. A more nuanced response to the smart version of the movement then follows after years/decades of policy discussion and is often generational.

as non American I don't understand why BLM is such an hot topic between the MR's readers, with Trump the movement will have 0 influence and for democrats is the last way to regain white blue collar votes.

I said this above but I think it is an important point that Tyler and others are missing on the issue: the rallying cry of "Black Lives Matter" inescapably carries with it an indictment. And most people aren't going to interpret it as just a general indictment of the system or society. They are (I think reasonably) going to interpret it as an indictment of white people (and white society and the system created by white people). So I think it angers a lot of white people because they feel unjustifiably blamed for something. It also raises racial awareness among white and black people. For those reasons, I think it will have no positive effect on the issues that Tyler seems to care about (the War on Drugs, etc.), but think it will have the negative effect of increasing racial divisions and hostility within society.

"...but [I] think it will have the negative effect of increasing racial divisions and hostility within society."

I think it's obvious that an organization that riots when violent thugs get killed by the police will have effects that most people consider very negative.

But maybe people like Soros who fund BLM want to produce those effects. I don't know why Soros would want that, but he appears to be a very smart guy who likes to be destructive.

"They are (I think reasonably) going to interpret it as an indictment of white people (and white society and the system created by white people)."

So defensive.

"with Trump the movement will have 0 influence"

And we want to keep it that way. We know why we won the election, and we're not going to let our voters forget it!

"and for democrats is the last way to regain white blue collar votes."

They don't want white blue collar votes. The whole goal is to displace whites.

Because it is disruptive.
Because it is whining.
Because it has led directly to police murders.
Because it ignores the real problems.
Because it is deliberately insulting.
Because it is noise.

"Every movement…has a smart version and a stupid version, I try to (almost) always consider the smart version. The stupid version is always wrong for just about anything."

But all "movements" are not equally good ideas. Some movements encourage the stupid version (communism, the confederacy), and others encourage the smart version (the non-violent civil rights movement, the american revolution)

The basic premise of BLM as a protest movement is laced with political trickery and dishonesty.

BLM claims to protest the police, yet the nation's attorney general, the official "top cop" of the nation supports BLM. President Obama is a passionate vocal supporter of BLM and loudly criticizes those that speak against it. The university system punishes professors and students who speak against BLM and promotes those that support it.

What kind of bizarre protest movement gets such formal praise and status and privilege from the elite leaders of the very culture they are protesting?

So if the nation's attorney general supports a movement-- a movement that protests the situation that unarmed blacks get killed unjustly by police due to racial bias-- then that solves their problem? Even if large numbers of unarmed black people are still getting killed by police?

Would you like to be the one to go and explain to the widows and children of the deceased how this attorney general approval of BLM, solves their problem? Does it bring the husband and father back to life? Or what?

"Even if large numbers of unarmed black people are still getting killed by police? "

Keep saying this. No honest person believes it, because it isn't true.

Having institutions on your side doesn't solve your problem.

For example, cancer. Cancer causes huge amounts of suffering and death among otherwise healthy people and their families. But efforts to develop better preventions and treatments aren't "protests". Maybe you can consider them protests against nature and against the disease but it's not protests against the many groups who share the same goals.

If the senior leaders of the nation and leaders of law enforcement are passionate and supportive of BLM, then it can't really be a protest. It kind of is a protest against the low level police, but coordinated with the federal government which is a weird combination.

Also, BLM participants are angry or interested in protest for a variety of reasons and the stated purpose of police mistreatment is just a socially sanctioned justification. If BLM protesters were honest and said they were just dissatisfied with their mundane lives for a myriad of reasons and didn't necessarily think law enforcement was a genuine problem, the movement would lose any power or legitimacy.

From the BLM website. Embarrassing that Tyler doesn't have the stones to reject this type of hateful crap:

When we deploy “All Lives Matter” as to correct an intervention specifically created to address anti-blackness,, we lose the ways in which the state apparatus has built a program of genocide and repression mostly on the backs of Black people—beginning with the theft of millions of people for free labor—and then adapted it to control, murder, and profit off of other communities of color and immigrant communities. We perpetuate a level of White supremacist domination by reproducing a tired trope that we are all the same, rather than acknowledging that non-Black oppressed people in this country are both impacted by racism and domination, and simultaneously, BENEFIT from anti-black racism.

You'd have to be crazy to see any indictment of white people in this movement.

The website is just the stupid part of the movement. Tyler supports the movement because supporting the stupid movement will magically lead the smart version of the movement to succeed.

Their official website and stated goals are "just the stupid part of the movement". Wow.

Here's an article by someone who attended Day 4 of a five-day course (April 25-29 ,2016) “Black Lives Matter 101: A Comprehensive Course in Black Social Movements” sponsored by the New School in New York City.

“Blackness” Matters

There are almost 10 hours of video from this course here:


I read the article but did not watch any videos. My conclusion from the article is that BLM is just a pack of fools who enjoy being stupid and obnoxious.

"Body cameras, reforming/ending the War on Drugs, stronger civil liberties, and other changes make sense for macro reasons, no matter what your view on the conditional probabilities. So a big chunk of your 300+ comments are simply off the mark."

Or BLM's race-focused framing is off the mark and counter-productive. The commenters were only responding on those same terms. The "smart version" of the argument isn't really racial at all.

"Body cameras, reforming/ending the War on Drugs, stronger civil liberties, and other changes make sense for macro reasons, no matter what your view on the conditional probabilities."

Do they make sense for macro reasons?

I don't think BLM changes the evidence for/against drug laws, and here your own self assurance may not be warranted. "Stronger civil liberties" is pretty vague. Body cameras seems like another where I haven't seen conclusive evidence they are good.

Does BLM make policy or opinion more likely to change on these things?

The opposite seems to be true. BLM doesn't add any evidence that might sway opinion on these issues, but it does call everyone that disagrees racist. That immediately turns off any chance that they might be persuaded otherwise. "I'm against drug laws" becomes "I think cops are racist". So if you don't think cops are racist (which the evidence shows), maybe the other side are wrong about drug laws too.

P.S. The biggest drug epidemic today is completely legal. When the BLM riots happened in Baltimore the most famous incident was the looting and burning down of a CVS, which was done primarily to get the "perfectly legal" pain meds inside.

Pot is mostly legal and very few people get arrested for pot if they aren't a problem in other ways. So its really only hard drugs, with obvious side effects, many of them already legal, that are the problem. Not clear the law is the problem there.

As for black economic and social dysfunction some is genetic and some is cultural, but the cultural stuff isn't related to white racism. Tyler wouldn't support the kind of economic and social reforms that might actually help.

In some states, the question before long will be, do Black Lives Matter to Hispanics? I think, if you're black, the answer is probably: move heaven and earth to get yourself in a position where you don't have to ask.

The underlying disagreement that few are willing to state openly seems fairly obvious: BLM believes the root cause of all the trouble is racism; ALM (more accurately, those objecting to Tyler's characterization of disproportionate and/or unfair) believes the root cause is a black culture of violence, lawlessness, etc. And that disagreement seems not only impossible to resolve, but one that can't even be discussed in any productive way.

If it weren't for people who enter such conversations with agendas to tar the other group as inferior, it would be a lot easier to have frank and productive discussion on the subject.

This is the U.S. Political discussions here are usually done for the express purpose of bashing the other political side.

One group is inferior in the sense that they have traits that are generally considered undesirable. We could all agree to ignore this for politeness sake, but it shows up in statistics as "disparate impact", and then disparate impact is used to achieve unfair or ineffective policy ends.

The problem is that many folk can't distinguish between objective measurements of crime, education, etc., and the completely different issue of whether that might lead to some sort of judgment regarding inferiority (you weigh what you weigh, whether that's fat or skinny is a completely different issue).

No, I don't think that is a plausible interpretation of Black Lives Matter. It is a reasonable position for some other hypothetical movement to take but it isn't this one.

First, both the choice to organize around the race aspect and the racial justice rhetoric commonly used is best explained if the core claim of BLM is: RACIAL BIAS causes blacks to be unjustly shot at too great a rate. Secondly, the fact that BLM supporters see responses of "All Lives Matter" to be in tension with their cause doesn't make sense if their core message is 'merely' too many blacks are unjustly shot. In contrast it makes perfect sense on the racial bias interpretation as it is a refusal to acknowledge the existence of that bias.

The problem with the "smart version" of BLM is that we'll end up discussing why only about 1 in 10 blacks has an IQ above average, how genetic variation between ancestral populations is the probable cause of this difference, and how this little fact may have some roundabout causal relation to the general failure of blacks to thrive and succeed. But that discussion is one that cannot be had under any circumstances. The "stupid version" of BLM is the only politically acceptable version.

Don't think I like this. I'd much prefer it weren't true, but the universe likes to mock.

It's really not a general failure, it's really just particular areas.with poor institutions. It probably has as little to do with racial genetics as the vast gulf between North and South Korean outcomes.

"Every movement…has a smart version and a stupid version, I try to (almost) always consider the smart version. The stupid version is always wrong for just about anything."

Can you apply the same thinking to political correctness?

I just started reading this blog. It is surprising to me how many really weak thinkers are attracted to a blog run by a couple of guys who have obviously spent a lot of time trying to be good thinkers.

Umm.. yeah, and I am focusing on the smart, thoughtful people in National Front/Hamas/ISIS/RSS. Yeah, they're only a few and they don't have any power yet but they have good ideas.

To spell out the obvious: the size of the lunatic fringe in your movement matters.

The problem is, if you don't accept the relevance of conditional probabilities and as long as policing resources are not infinite, then you get the homicide rate in Chicago spiking by over 50%. Largely to the detriment of black lives.

No excuse for police abuses. And absolutely agree about body cameras and, especially, ending the war of drugs, which is the source of most of the police-community frictions over things like loitering. But even after this, there will likely be some conditional probability that cannot be ignored. BLM ignores this basic math.

*war on drugs* not *war of drugs*

Everyone on the internet is an amateur scientist but I am amused by this pious lust for DATA! and the casual disregard for the implications of 9th grade history. Mere decades ago much of the country was governed according to an ideology of violent white supremacy. Black men were turned to ashes for glancing at white women. But we need stacks of peer reviewed research to even contemplate that American policing might still be fundamentally racist.

Also, the focus on lethal killings is understandable but unfortunate. I suspect routine nonlethal violence is where the nut lies.

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