The Racial Double Standard

Coleman Hughes, a black student at Columbia, goes there. His essay begins like this:

In the fall of 2016, I was hired to play in Rihanna’s back-up band at the MTV Video Music Awards. To my pleasant surprise, several of my friends had also gotten the call. We felt that this would be the gig of a lifetime: beautiful music, primetime TV, plus, if we were lucky, a chance to schmooze with celebrities backstage.

But as the date approached, I learned that one of my friends had been fired and replaced. The reason? He was a white Hispanic, and Rihanna’s artistic team had decided to go for an all-black aesthetic—aside from Rihanna’s steady guitarist, there would be no non-blacks on stage. Though I was disappointed on my friend’s behalf, I didn’t consider his firing as unjust at the time—and maybe it wasn’t. Is it unethical for an artist to curate the racial composition of a racially-themed performance? Perhaps; perhaps not. My personal bias leads me to favor artistic freedom, but as a society, we have yet to answer this question definitively.

One thing, however, is clear. If the races were reversed—if a black musician had been fired in order to achieve an all-white aesthetic—it would have made front page headlines. It would have been seen as an unambiguous moral infraction. The usual suspects would be outraged, calling for this event to be viewed in the context of the long history of slavery and Jim Crow in this country, and their reaction would widely be seen as justified. Public-shaming would be in order and heartfelt apologies would be made. MTV might even enact anti-bias trainings as a corrective.

Though the question seems naïve to some, it is in fact perfectly valid to ask why black people can get away with behavior that white people can’t. The progressive response to this question invariably contains some reference to history: blacks were taken from their homeland in chains, forced to work as chattel for 250 years, and then subjected to redlining, segregation, and lynchings for another century. In the face of such a brutal past, many would argue, it is simply ignorant to complain about what modern-day blacks can get away with.

Yet there we were—young black men born decades after anything that could rightly be called ‘oppression’ had ended—benefitting from a social license bequeathed to us by a history that we have only experienced through textbooks and folklore. And my white Hispanic friend (who could have had a tougher life than all of us, for all I know) paid the price. The underlying logic of using the past to justify racial double-standards in the present is rarely interrogated. What do slavery and Jim Crow have to do with modern-day blacks, who experienced neither? Do all black people have P.T.S.D from racism, as the Grammy and Emmy award-winning artist Donald Glover recently claimed? Is ancestral suffering actually transmitted to descendants? If so, how? What exactly are historical ‘ties’ made of?

Hughes goes on to lament the double standard the public applies to famous black writers. For example:

The celebrated journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates provides another example of the lower ethical standard to which black writers are held. In his #1 New York Times bestseller, Between the World and Me, Coates explained that the policemen and firemen who died on 9/11 “were not human to me,” but “menaces of nature.”1 This, it turned out, was because a friend of Coates had been killed by a black cop a few months earlier. In his recent essay collection, he doubled down on this pitiless sentiment: “When 9/11 happened, I wanted nothing to do with any kind of patriotism, with the broad national ceremony of mourning. I had no sympathy for the firefighters, and something bordering on hatred for the police officers who had died.”2 Meanwhile, New York Times columnist Bari Weiss—a young Jewish woman—was recently raked over the coals for tweeting, “Immigrants: They get the job done,” in praise of the Olympic ice-skater Mirai Nagasu, a second-generation Japanese-American. Accused of ‘othering’ an American citizen, Weiss came under so much fire that The Atlantic ran twoseparate pieces defending her. That The Atlantic saw it necessary to vigorously defend Weiss, but hasn’t had to lift a finger to defend Coates, whom they employ, evidences the racial double-standard at play. From a white writer, an innocuous tweet provokes histrionic invective. From a black writer, repeated expressions of unapologetic contempt for public servants who died trying to save the lives of others on September 11 are met with fawningpraise from leftwing periodicals, plus a National Book Award and a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant.

Hughes says this double standard is common in society:

But we make an exception for blacks. Indeed, what George Orwell wrote in 1945seems more apt today: “Almost any English intellectual would be scandalised by the claim that the white races are superior to the coloured, whereas the opposite claim would seem to him unexceptionable even if he disagreed with it.” Only a black intellectual, for instance, could write an op-ed arguing that black children should not befriend white children because “[h]istory has provided little reason for people of color to trust white people,” and get it published in the New York Times in 2017. An identical piece with the races reversed would rightly be relegated to fringe white supremacist forums. In defense of such racist drivel, it won’t suffice to repeat the platitude that ‘black people can’t be racist,’ as if redefining a word changes the ethical status of the thing that the word signifies. Progressives ought not dodge the question: Why are blacks the only ethnic group routinely and openly encouraged to nurse stale grievances back to life?

Read the whole thing. It’s very, very brave. Hughes is a black undergraduate at an Ivy League university, yet he has no been afraid to say what has been unsayable. That man has guts.

By the way, his essay is not merely an exercise in whataboutism. He addresses real philosophical and moral concerns in it. He focuses on blacks, but as a general matter, if you read the mainstream press, you’ll find there’s a tendency to treat gays and other minority groups favored by liberals with kid gloves — as if they were symbols, not real people, with the same virtues and vices that everybody else has. For example, in a previous job, I observed that some liberals in the newsroom viewed local Muslims through the lens of the culture war between liberals and conservatives, and did not want to hold them to the same standard with regard to extremist rhetoric, apparently because doing so might encourage conservatives in their own biases.

Another personal example: last year, I wrote several posts about Tommy Curry, a radical black nationalist who teaches philosophy at Texas A&M (see here and here). In his written work and spoken advocacy, Curry advocates what can only be described as anti-white hatred. Don’t take my word for it; go read the blogs I wrote, which quote generously from, and link to, Curry’s own work. A white man who spoke the same way about any racial minority would never have been hired by a university — A&M hired him knowing exactly what they were getting, because he had published — and would never be retained by one after his racism became known. I linked in one of the blogs to a podcast (subtitled, “White People Are The Problem”) on which Curry was a regular guest; on that particular episode, this philosophy professor argued that white people cannot be reasonable, because they are white.

Imagine being a white student in that man’s class.

But there is a different standard for bigots from the left. The Chronicle of Higher Education wrote a long piece about the fallout from my blogs, and positioned it as Curry having suffered because he wanted to “force a conversation about race and violence” — a conversation that people didn’t want to hear. The writer — no doubt reflecting the biases of his own professional class — could not seem to grasp why people would be really offended by the unapologetic racism of Tommy Curry’s writing and speaking. This is precisely the double standard that Coleman Hughes decries. It is lucrative for radicals like Curry, Coates, and others, but a just society should hold us all to the same standard of discourse and morality. This is one aspect of the Enlightenment that I am eager to defend. It’s not only morally right, but practically, observing it it is the only way we will be able to keep the peace in a pluralistic country.

I found Hughes’s essay via Prufrock, a free daily digest that comes to you in e-mail, to which you can and should subscribe by clicking here. 

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Hidden Camera Catches What Happens When This Officer Approaches A Weary Homeless Man

Police officers are charged with keeping Americans safe and sound. Our communities safety is their number one priority, no matter what else is going on. But too often police officers end up in situations far out of their control and they lose the fundamental sense of duty that is so important. Mesa, Arizona officer Kent Green hasn’t forgotten that sense of duty, not one bit.

He recently spotted a tired, thinning man searching through the trash – presumably looking for something to eat. Kent knew he needed to help this man at a time when so many others would have kept walking.

“We had some deaths from people either falling asleep or camping out in a dumpster, or behind, and then a garbage vehicle comes out and it can end really badly,” he told Runner’s World.

Green, is a runner himself and he noticed the man’s raggedy and hole-filled sneakers. They weren’t in good shape at all and Green had a few pairs lying around his car that he knew he didn’t need.

He grabbed a few pairs, got out of his car and headed over to hand the man some sneakers to warm up his feet. He was doing a kind deed for a resident of the neighborhood without expecting anything in return.

But he didn’t know that Jenny Crider, a local resident was filming his entire good deed on camera! Police officers and cameras have had a bad relationship at times, but this time he couldn’t have been happier.

Good deeds often inspire others to do the same, and Crider managed to share Officer Green’s amazing generosity first-hand. She then shared it online where it went viral and caught the attention of many media outlets.

“This man comes by our complex a few times a week collecting cans to earn money from recycling them. When I went to grab our mail, a police officer drove up and got out to talk to him. I honestly thought he was going to ask him to leave and stop going through the trash,” she wrote in a post.

“When I came back home from getting the mail, the officer had brought out a nice, new pair of shoes to give to the man. It’s the simple, Christlike acts like this that give me hope in this world. Thank you Mesa Police for having such wonderful officers patrol the area!”

Green had no idea anyone saw him until the next day. His friends and family started calling him off the hook and he was totally blown away by all of the attention.

“I had no idea about that until I started getting text messages and messages from dispatch in the days after,” he said in an interview with AZ Family. “We don’t do this, for gratification. We’re not looking for the recognition… We’re looking to do the right thing – the human thing.”

Green also said that he isn’t the only generous officer in the Mesa department. Other officers also donate items like clothing, hygienic products and food for those who need help. Do you feel that the police officers in your community would have your back in a time of need?

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Five New Jersey Police Officers Charged With Official Misconduct and Theft

Five New Jersey police officers have been charged with official misconduct and theft, prosecutors announced Friday. An investigation revealed that between Nov. 14, 2016 and May 1, 2018 the police officers of the Edison Police Department allegedly were …

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Texas: Armed vets, retired cops to guard schools

Florida school shooting sceneGov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) unleashed plans to post armed United States military veterans and retired police officers on Texas school campuses to defend students and teachers – a strategy devised in order to increase security following the Santa Fe High School shooting massacre killing 10.

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Mayor says he was asked to leave gun store after having words with owner. Store says mayor is lying.

Mayor John Ditslear of Noblesville, Indiana — where a seventh-grader opened fire in a classroom last week and injured two people before a teacher tackled him — is a Republican and told WTTV-TV he considers himself “a Second Amendment guy.”

Image source: WTTV-TV video screenshot

But all the same he didn’t like what was happening at a new gun store in town, which held its grand opening the day after the shooting, the station said.

You see, Hoosier Armory also had a National Rifle Association tent set up outside its new store Saturday, and Ditslear thought that was going too far. So he had a little chat with the owner, WTTV reported.

Image source: WTTV-TV video screenshot

“I did approach the owner, and I just told him that, ‘No one expected this, but you’re hurting your business in my opinion, strongly, and you’re hurting our city,’ and I asked them to maybe just think about it and take the tent down,” the mayor told the station.

And then Ditslear added, “I was asked to leave,” WTTV noted.

“The NRA needs to realize that they have a place in this to protect gun owners, but they also have to make sure that gun owners are responsible,” Ditslear added to the station. “I was not happy that I was asked to leave.”

Ditslear told WTTV he hopes Hoosier Armory “learned a lesson” but that he hasn’t “talked to them. Again, I was asked to leave, so I won’t go in there until I’m asked to come back.”

The NRA will hold its 2019 national convention in Indianapolis, WTTV said.

What did the gun store have to say?

Ralph Ripple, Hoosier Armory’s managing partner, said in a statement that the mayor “literally lied” about being asked to leave, the station reported:

Hello everyone. I am a partner at Hoosier Armory. Firearms are our passion and this business lets my partners and I share that passion with fellow shooters.

After the school shooting, my partners and I had a long, heartfelt discussion about what to do about our grand opening on Saturday. If anyone thinks we made the decision to continue with something we had been planning for months without a lot of concern and anxiety, you are mistaken. This was a hard decision for us. We feel horrible for those injured in the shooting. We thank God for the fact that no one was killed. At the same time, we are getting tired of gun owners and the NRA being blamed for every shooting that occurs in this country. For this reason, we decided to continue with our plans.

Some members of the team from the NRA had flown in the night before to attend our grand opening. They had time and money invested in the visit and it had been planned months ago. They offered to stand down but we asked them to set up anyways. They made an offer to not accept new registrations at their booth and to only answer questions about what the NRA does and we accepted that offer. No new NRA members were registered that day.

This has been a painful few days for us here at Hoosier Armory. The mayor of Noblesville literally lied about his visit to the shop. He was never asked to leave and he ended the conversation mid-stream and left without allowing us to plead our case. In other words, he told us his feelings about the situation and then left to join the protesters because the news media had arrived.

We know we will take a hit on this, our facebook page is already lighting up with bad reviews from people who have never been in the shop and don’t know what we are all about. No news media has mentioned any of our charitable activities involving helping injured police officers and helping with firearm suicide prevention.

I want you all to know, we are devastated every time there is a shooting like the one in Noblesville. My partners have kids and grandkids so we know the concerns of parents everywhere. However, we also see the black eyes given to legal law-abiding gun owners everytime something like this happens, We all know that in reality, gun owners are the most law-abiding group of people out there. We see the NRA villainized for school shootings when they offer more ideas to prevent them than our politicians ever do.

I will say that the majority of gun owners have supported us so far through this. I hope we can count on all of you.

Many thanks and God bless.

What did a protesting student have to say?

Clara Lawson — a junior at Noblesville High School where middle school students were reunited with their parents after the shooting — helped organize a protest outside the Hoosier Armory and spent four hours carrying signs with friends, WTTV said.

Image source: WTTV-TV video screenshot

“We’re not trying to take away your guns. We understand that’s a right, and I understand that, too,” the 17-year-old told the station. “I was protesting the NRA booth, not the Hoosier Armory, because I understand that’s their store, they’re fine if they’re there, that’s their right. But I thought it was really inappropriate that the NRA booth would be there when they saw what had happened the day before — but they still set up, and they continued what they were doing right across the town from a tragedy.”

Image source: WTTV-TV video screenshot

Lawson added to the station the she believes “gun control shouldn’t be a conservative versus liberal idea. I think it’s kind of a common sense thing because it’s all of us. We’re all involved. We can be safe and people can keep their guns.”

(H/T: Bearing Arms)

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Why Police Have Problems Returning Stolen Guns

Guns get stolen, unfortunately. While most of us try to secure our weapons as best we can; unless you have an actual safe, that doesn’t necessarily keep your guns safe from a determined thief. And as a result, the guns law-abiding citizens bought and paid for end up on the streets in the hands of criminals.

And while police often arrest people with those guns, they appear to be having problems returning them to the rightful owners, according to a spokesperson with the police in Saint Louis.

Every year, Louisville police officers take hundreds of guns off the streets. Some of them were purchased legally, but were being used illegally. Some were confiscated during arrests or drug searches. Some were owned by felons.

And some were stolen — though only a small percentage of those were likely reported as stolen.

Louisville Metro Police Department Officer Tyler Blissett said it’s likely more weapons are stolen than what’s reported.

Blissett has helped LMPD to recover more than 100 firearms so far this year, and said many guns are stolen from people who don’t remember their weapons’ serial numbers.

When gun-owners can’t report those serial numbers, it’s nearly impossible to return a stolen gun to its owner.

“There’s a chance that half of these guns that we’ve recovered are potentially stolen, but people just don’t have the serial numbers so we don’t know if they are stolen or not,” Blissett said. “A lot of these reports that have been going for stolen handguns — [gun owners] don’t have serial numbers. So potentially, that gun never gets recovered.”

It’s a real problem, and I get it. So many people purchase their guns and then never look at the serial number. It’s not something they think about, in part because they’ll never need it unless it gets stolen. Since the vast majority of guns are never taken by a criminal, a lot of people never bother to think about it again.

However, if something does happen and your guns are stolen, it’s too late to gather serial numbers for the police.

Luckily, there are things you can do.

The most obvious option is to just write them down on a piece of paper and stick it somewhere you’ll be able to find it. A good place would be anywhere you keep your important documents such as in a fireproof safe or in a safety deposit box.

However, if you’re like a lot of people these days, you don’t do paper so much anymore, and that’s fine too. Keeping a digital file of serial numbers can work just fine too, but you have to be smart about it. Unless a thief is only targeting your guns, there’s a good chance your computer will get jacked as well. Leaving those serial numbers there and there alone may end up being just as bad as not recording them at all.

Instead, consider uploading the file to a cloud service like Google Drive. Then you can access that information from any computer and forward the information to police so they can list the serial numbers in their report. If you’re uncomfortable storing data on a cloud service, there are options.

One is to keep a USB drive with the relevant information handy. As the drives are cheap, they’re not likely to attract a thieves attention. However, they’re also small, so if you’re not an organized sort, this might not be the best idea.

Another option is to use a web-based email service like Gmail or Yahoo and upload your file to an email draft, then never send it. The system will store it indefinitely as a draft, but it will be somewhere that no one would generally even think of looking for such information.

Now, some might want to keep the data on their phone, and that has an allure, but I recommend against it. Phones can be stolen themselves and the last thing you want is thieves to know what kind of guns you have. A smart criminal may be able to use the information on the phone to find out where you live. I can think of a couple of ways, though I’ll opt not to list them lest I give someone ideas.

Folks, keep your serial numbers handy. If God forbid, your guns get stolen, I’d much rather the police have the opportunity to return them to you rather than destroy them because they don’t know whose they are.

 

The post Why Police Have Problems Returning Stolen Guns appeared first on Bearing Arms.

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Liege killings terrorist murders – Belgian magistrate

The Liege attacks which left three people dead are being considered “terrorist murders”, and the investigation now centres on whether the attacker acted alone, a Belgian federal magistrate said. The attacker, identified as Benjamin Herman, shouted “Allahu akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great”, several times during spree before he was shot down by a group of police officers, magistrate Wenke Roggen said.

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Belgium shooting rampage was terrorist act, prosecutors say

Benjamin Herman, an inmate released on a two-day prison furlough, attacked two female police officers with a knife from behind, stabbing them repeatedly, before stealing their weapons and shooting them as they lay on the ground, officials said. Crossing the road, he fired several shots at a 22-year-old man who was a passenger in a car, killing him.

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Belgian Terrorist Kills Two Police Officers, Teacher With Officers’ Guns

Europe is known for having much tighter gun control laws than the United States. This is an established fact. It’s also one that the media loves to hold up to try and paint us as backward hicks clinging to our guns and whatever else they want to blast this week.

However, as we’ve pointed out, laws will not stop bad people from doing bad things. A recent example comes to us from Belgium where a terrorist released from prison just hours earlier where he was radicalized, murdered two police officers with their own guns.

This is the moment Belgian special forces took down a gunman who shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he shot and killed two policewomen and a 22-year-old trainee teacher.

After carrying out three brutal murders this morning, the attacker took a female cleaner hostage in a nearby high school.

The footage shows him running out of the school with two guns blazing before he was shot dead in the street. Several officers were injured in the gun battle.

The man, who is understood to have been on a day release from a nearby prison, had approached the female officers at around 10.30am, slashed their throats and stabbed them several times from behind, before disarming them.

He has been named as 36-year-old Benjamin Herman. His victims have been named as police officers Lucile Garcia, 45, and Soraya Belkacemi, 53, and 22-year-old Cyril Vangriecken, who was shot dead sitting in a parked car with his mother.

Tonight Liège police paid tribute to their two fallen colleagues on Facebook, calling them ‘wonderful’ mothers and officers.

A lawmaker revealed Belgian national Herman was on an anti-terror police watchlist after being radicalised in jail. He appeared indirectly in security reports on radicalised people and was a multiple repeat offender incarcerated since 2003 who was on day release when he attacked.

And, of course, no one could have helped these officers because the entire population is effectively disarmed.

However, let’s think for a moment. The killer murdered the two officers and got their guns, but what if he’d just disappeared only to pop up in some crowd where he could have reeked havoc. People are lucky this only claimed three lives, truth be told.

Yet through that, we see once again the reality that bad people will do everything they can to get their hands on guns so they can do bad things. This terrorist sure as hell did, and you’re an idiot if you don’t think someone else is watching this and thinking, “That’s how I’ll get a gun.”

Gun laws will never stop this kind of person. Laws mean nothing to these people, so going around them to get a gun means nothing to them. They’ll kill to get guns, after all. If they’ll do that, what else will they do?

Instead, all that happens is that regular folks who might be willing to step in and try and stop such an attack are disarmed. They’re prevented from acting to help their fellow man or woman because the law wants to treat them like criminals.

It’s a shame. It really is.

The post Belgian Terrorist Kills Two Police Officers, Teacher With Officers’ Guns appeared first on Bearing Arms.

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