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March 21, 2008

I Have Obviously Lost My Mind

Whilst slicing vegetables early this morning, the editorial staff reflected that it's been far too long since we regaled the assembled villainry with the pithy rhetoric of the Obamessiah. As we lovingly packed the finished Spousal Repast into a pinniped choking, Gaia-raping receptacle, we firmly resolved to heed the words of America's savior and eschew further delay. After all (we pondered snidely) me we are the change that me we seek:

We were watching the Obama speech, but at some point, we got tired of listening.

Its the old Eminem defense: Rev. Wright is only giving you things you joke around with your friends inside your living room, the only difference is he’s crazy enough to say it out loud. Fabulous. Additionally, white people may vote for John McCain because they resent black people. Also, its okay that some people like to say things we generally condemn people for because they’ve had hard lives and America does bad stuff, and Obama condemns some of the weird things that have been said that caused the controversy, but he doesn’t want to say which bad things he condemns, just that he unequivocally condemns things. And contrary to earlier statements, Obama was present when Rev. Wright was saying these things, and came back. But he condemns them. Or something.

Never mind that most people don’t think in terms of race, you should think in terms of race because only when you think in terms of race can you overcome thinking in terms of race. Also, we are supposed to feel bad for thinking in terms of race, but of course, we are supposed to think in terms of race. But feel bad. And not think in terms of race. Maybe, we’re supposed to think of it only when it involves Obama? But then not? And we may have forgo all of our qualms about his ability to lead, positions on the issues, and interpretation of his leadership merit and vote for Obama to prove we don’t think in terms of race even though we’re supposed to and then not.

The important distinction here is that though it was really, really bad for Obama's Grandmomma to endorse narrow-minded racial stereotypes, the unifyingly transformational dialectic of the authentically black multiracial candidate from Illinois makes it perfectly acceptable for him to endorse narrow-minded racial stereotypes:

Obama clarifies about Grandma: it’s not that she’s a racist, per se — it’s that white people are typically racist. Think I’m making it up? Audio is here, and here is the relevant quote:

The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn’t. But she is a typical white person who, uh, you know, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know there’s a reaction that’s been been bred into, uh, our experiences that don’t go away and that sometimes come out in the wrong way and that’s just the nature of race in our society. We have to break through it.

Because, you know, such narrow minded stereotyping can only be a legacy of decades of entrenched racism, reinforced by America's shameful history of persecuting minorities:

...let’s jump over to today’s ‘real’ world. Any American who is not afraid of black men on some level is simply not thinking straight. Also, remember that fear is an emotional response, so do not think about it too much, it is what it is. I’m afraid, and I AM a tall-ass black man, and one who studied the martial arts for fun. I am afraid for me, my family, my friends, my acquaintances, and lastly for anyone, male or female, white, black or green, who might statistically find themselves in the presence of a black male at the ‘wrong place and wrong time’. Call me whatever you like, I don’t give a Freak, I’m talking about life and death!

So when people make distinctions about blacks and crime, especially violent crime and murder, I no longer immediately jump onto the offensive. Yes, these comments sound racist to me, and piss me off if I think about them too much. But the real question is if the behavior behind them resembles me in it's prudence, and too often it does. I avoid unfamiliar gatherings of black males. I check out how black men present themselves and avoid those that feel dangerous. I also judge black men by their dress and manner, especially those wearing inmate clothing, all in an attempt to keep my life. This method is far from perfect, but it’s all I have, so I use it. If this profiling makes me racist in some way, and I believe it does, so be it. Better to err on the side of staying alive.

For me today’s racism is not about inferiority, but also about mortality. If black males do not want to be racially profiled as life threatening, they need to stop being a danger. And I need to see this in the stats, not out of somebody's mouth. It is as simple as that. In the meantime, I watch myself - it’s not right, but you need to understand.

Interestingly enough, the Editorial Staff downloaded the undeniably compelling graphs Mr. Collier displays in his post a week or two ago. After much thought we concluded, not that it would be unwise to post them, but that it would be unwise to post them without the kind of thoughtful analysis that would hopefully preclude knee-jerk reactions from those on both sides of the racial divide. [Ed. Clarification: as we had not seen Mr. Collier's post at that time, by no means was this intended as a back-hand slam on his post, which we rather enjoyed.]

Homicide+Offenders+by+Race+1976-2005.bmp.jpg Homicide+by+Race+of+Offender+&+Victim+1976-2005.bmp.jpg

Homicide data pose a particularly interesting scenario, because murder is an offense which (unlike, say, speeding) is uniformly taken seriously by both police departments and district attorneys, making it arguably less vulnerable to the influence of uneven prosecution/enforcement. So the question of the day becomes, were we acting like "a typical white person" when we opted not to post potentially inflammatory data absent thorough and carefully-worded analytical context? Or a typical black person?

We're so confused. Perhaps Obama could tell us. The key points to take away from the DOJ graphs are these:

- Statistically speaking, the proportion of blacks who commit homicide is far larger than the proportion of whites who do so (25 per 100K vs. 5 per 100K makes it roughly 5 times higher).

Regarding Obama's grandmother,

- The data suggest that (at least statistically speaking) blacks are far more dangerous to each other than they are to whites (40+% vs. approx. 10%)

- But this is hardly surprising: the vast majority of homicides are intra-racial (i.e., black on black or white on white)

- Blacks about twice as dangerous (again, statistically and hypothetically speaking) to Obama's white grandmother as whites are to blacks. (10+ % vs. <5%)

The important points here are that correlation does not imply causation and that racial groups don't commit crimes; individuals do.

At the same time, if you know absolutely nothing about an individual (the 'random black male on the street' vs. that job candidate who has submitted a resume and can be interviewed) it is perhaps not unreasonable to substitute empirically verifiable observations of the real world for the far more comforting pablum that one should completely ignore race unless it explains behavior we would otherwise find completely unacceptable by any objectively and consistently applied moral standard.

Viewed through the lens of what we know about homicide in America, the fears of both Mr. Collier and Obama's Grandmother begin to look less unreasonable. Final point?

Not everything that makes us instinctively cringe is racism, but the facts are often more complex than most of us have the time or attention to take in. Maybe part of that honest dialog Barack Obama wants us to have on race ought to include thoughtful consideration of the proposition that a refusal to endorse the refusal to think sometimes leads to uncomfortable conclusions.

** i.e., not all the data pertain to the 'random male on the street' scenario

Update: The title of this post has been changed per Grim's comments.

Also I don't have time right now to check on the probability of a random black male vs. random white male committing homicide against a white person. So I am going to take that down for now, because I'm more comfortable doing that than having something up there I can't check. Interestingly (re: Grim's point about my being unfair) the deleted material is more favorable to Obama (and frankly I put it in in an attempt to look at this issue as fairly as possible). But until I can check it, I think it needs to come out.

Posted by Cassandra at March 21, 2008 07:44 AM

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Yes... I already know I've gotten the wording backwards on one bullet (perils of posting before work!)

Have clarified and am working on further clarification.

Posted by: Cass at March 21, 2008 09:37 AM

Let me put this into another perspective. I am male... been so my whole life. I have to walk about a block from my office to get to my car to go home. I leave the office around 6pm. Sometimes it's light out, sometimes it's dark (oh how I hate daylight savings). Occasionally, I find there is a woman walking along the same block towards her car.

Now, I know I am not some ravening rapist monster, but I am a fairly large imposing kinda guy. I realize that she can hear my footsteps, and she may or may not get nervous about the fact. I immediately feel GUILTY about the fact that I might make her nervous to be walking alone down the street. So I generally cross to the opposite side of the road, or slow down (to increase the distance between us), or stop and tie my shoe, or anything in order to increase the comfort margin for that woman.

Do I hold it against her that my presence on the same road in the dark makes her nervous? Does it make her a misandrist? NO! So of course I take no offense at her being nervous, and even go so far as to try and alleviate her fears.

Posted by: MikeD at March 21, 2008 10:15 AM

Yeah, my husband does the same thing routinely. He's also noticed that civilian women glare at him for no reason in parking lots when he's in his uniform, which always kind of freaks him out.

But what are you going to do? Yanno... Marines. Psychopathic killer rapists, every last one of them...

Whatever :p

FWIW, I've noticed that a lot of young black males go out of their way to act non-threatening (to the point that it's noticeable, and furthermore without any apparent resentment or ill feeling) if I find myself in a situation like the one you describe. So it would seem that chivalry is not entirely dead.

Posted by: Cass at March 21, 2008 10:28 AM


I pretty said all I wanted to on the this subject of objective reality vs a constructed reality at the end of that thread.

The weird thing about the graphs is that just when white on white rates go down, black on black rates go on. What is up with that?

It's like someone personally goes out to peruse the number of crimes against blacks, and then goes out and purposefully fills in the void if the white men won't do it for them. The void of keeping a sense of oppression on blacks that is, making their life experiences contain nothing but chaos and crime. Whether from whites or blacks doesn't matter.

And what is up with that low dip during the Reagan years around the time of welfare reforms signed by Clinton under Republicans.

If this profiling makes me racist in some way, and I believe it does, so be it. Better to err on the side of staying alive.

They used to call this common sense. When you have gotten hit in the head with a baseball bat from a Chinamen every week, sooner or later you might want to avoid Chinamen regardless of what anyone else thinks of them.

That doesn't justify people going out and lynching foreigners with different skin colors, but it does justify the exercise of common sense and self-preservation.

However, in our day and age the very act of preserving your own life is now a crime. Something that is unethical and anti-social. Look at Columbine and those "gun free zones" in addition to what Canada and Britain has done concerning disarming their citizens.

This is a result of the winter stage of the cyclic history of civilization. We go up and down. At the bottom, we have the tribal mind. Concerned solely with blood and land, the immediate economic benefits to family and self, the tribal mind is peculiarly fecund and expansive. Then as the primitive tribal mind develops, we get civilization, which is decadent, technologically advanced, and specialized in abstract thought like communism, socialism, nationalism, etc.

The parochial mind of the tribe in which everything to them is just a mirror reflection of themselves or something totally alien and threatening, is of course not a positive thing. It results in massacres and misunderstandings. The civilized mind, however, is not notably or intrinsically superior. It is just better on average. It is better on average that the US solved the problem of slavery through war, even on the individual level you still had good and bad people in tribes and good and bad people in civilized cities.

This is because individuals can freely choose, to a certain extent, how tribal/barbarian or civilized their minds. It's a spectrum. On one end you have the savage and on the other end, you have people that believe in noble savages.

You choose how much or where on the spectrum your thinking and behavior lies.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at March 21, 2008 10:32 AM

Actually, your analysis presumes that blacks and whites are present in equal numbers and distributions. Run them again, paying attention to proportion of the population and you'll find that white people have excellent reason to be disproportionately afraid of blacks.

For instance, where you say "44% of white murder victims are killed by whites
17% of white murder victims are killed by blacks" the issue is that whites are about 82% of the population, while blacks are about 13%. So, that 13% is half as likely to kill you than the 82%. Seems to me this means the odds of a member of the 13% trying to kill me is considerably higher than the odds of a member of the 82%.

Posted by: Graves at March 21, 2008 10:38 AM

Well, I can put one inflammatory construction on that:

The only place where the 'line crossing' occurs in a 20+ year timeline is during the Clinton years. So one might ask, what happened in law enforcement during that time period? Then again, it could also be the economy or any other number of explanations that have nothing to do with law enforcement. It could even be that the Clinton DOJ changed counting methods for any number of reasons. Who knows?

I work with numbers and one thing I know is that over a long timeline, the likelihood that the numbers were derived using a completely consistent method (i.e., baseline) is remote. So often it makes more sense to pull your head out of the weeds and look at the overall timeline (I might want to look at the 20 year avg, for instance, in combination with the latest snapshot and the graph - so I could see the pattern over time).

Posted by: Cass at March 21, 2008 10:43 AM

But you are ignoring (to Graves) the fact that those numbers are saying, in effect, "If you become the victim of a murder..."

Which is, after all, what you are worried about on that dark street, no? Admittedly we're using homicides as a proxy for violent crime in general (murder, rape, robbery, battery) (a point I noted to myself but didn't address in my post, and one of my other reasons for not posting this data several weeks ago).

Posted by: Cass at March 21, 2008 10:46 AM

What I'm saying is that I'd want to spend a LOT of time with these graphs before drawing any hard and fast (heh... she said 'hard and fast') conclusions.

And I didn't have that time, therefore I didn't use them. And I'm still fairly uncomfortable about this b/c I was rushed this morning, but on the otter heiny this is interesting and if I screwed up, someone will undoubtedly point out my errors :p

Posted by: Cass at March 21, 2008 10:49 AM

He's also noticed that civilian women glare at him for no reason in parking lots when he's in his uniform, which always kind of freaks him out.

Are you sure they are glaring or are they just staring and checking him out?

As to what Mike said, it is a matter of personal strength and ethics how you react to others that fear you. People that aren't comfortable with themselves or feel guilty about their wealth or skin color, won't react with integrity when they know others fear their strength or appearance. It troubles them just like it would trouble anyone else to know that they are hated and feared instead of welcomed with optimism and warmth. The difference is in how you act based upon this outside stimuli. Do you try to make others more afraid of you, because you don't like them being afraid of you when you didn't intend them to be? Do you try to protect others from their own fears by making them feel safer? Do you try to get those people to learn how to protect themselves, so that they will become strong enough not to have to fear you or any other?

It all depends on your ethics and integrity. How far are you along on the path of enlightenment, and whether you can reach out your hand to help another not of your blood.

People with a strong and integral belief in a consistent system of ethics, like the man who helped the white guy getting bricked to death, will treat others the way he treats himself. If he finds a problem with himself, like his hand, his solution is not to curse it out and shatter his hand with a hammer just cause he didn't like how his hand acted. That's exactly what minorities that feel oppressed do against their oppressors. Instead of seeking a solution, they seek to eliminate the problem itself through violence. Look at the Palestinians and then tell me this is rare. The reason is simple. These minorities don't accept a system of consistent and integral ethics. Where things are right regardless of who did it and things are wrong regardless of whether a Jew or a Palestinian did it. What matters is the action and the consequences there of, not the skin color or nationality of the person who acted.

When you uphold that kind of system of ethics, you gain strength through your core identity. This barricades and protects you from shrinking into parochialism and defensiveness and bitterness when you feel the fear and hatred of others. Instead of seeing the problem and trying to smash the white woman with a hammer, cause her actions annoyed you, you instead try to become stronger yourself and to act as a protector.

It would make no sense for human beings to dismember their limbs just because they disliked how their limbs behaved. If my hands miss grabbing hold of a ball, thus causing me embarrassment, should my solution be to cut my hand off?

Most sane people would answer in the negative. But those manipulated by race war and "liberation" theology would answer in the affirmative.

The sane and healthy response would be to practice working with your hand and eye in order to do better. Not to blame your hand or somebody else for your failures. This is a work ethic as well as a system of ethics.

If people really believe that "we are all Americans", then why would they act differently against white people and the "institution of racism" created by white people, when they wouldn't act that way towards parts of their own body? After all, isn't their body technically part of themselves? And if they are Americans and all Americans are part of America, then shouldn't we treat other Americans as members of the team, rather than enemies? If we can work together in harmony, why would smashing each other be a more optimum solution?

Unless, of course, the optimum solution is not intended to solve problems but to create more of them for power via race wars and exploitation of grievances.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at March 21, 2008 10:49 AM

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 03/21/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Posted by: David M at March 21, 2008 10:56 AM

One explanation I just thought of concerning the migrating curves of white on white and black on black rates is demographic shifts. Depending on how they collated that "100,000" or what methodology they used to distill the statistics and data into "rate per 100,000", things such as black urban populations could really have changed the stats over the years. Urban populations notoriously have higher crime rates, and if that 100,000 included disproportionately urban blacks or whites, then the crime rate would shoot up automatically, with necessarily no connections to actual jumps or decreases.

While the rate per 100,000 strategy is nice statistically speaking, it is also flawed because we know population centers are equal to other population centers. Especially as the density increases.

Also the race riots, an artificial creation or spontaneous rebellion depending on how you look at it, would also skew the results.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at March 21, 2008 11:01 AM

population centers are equal

Not equal.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at March 21, 2008 11:02 AM

I would be extremely surprised if the DOJ came up with those rates per 100K by (for example) attempting to average individual rates per 100K by city.

I think it's more likely they added up the overall numbers (offenders/victims/general population) and then did the rate per 100K calculation, which spread-loads things.

In 1993 the DOJ changed their year-based calculation. However, the numbers were already on their way up before they did that (i.e., the graphs were already trending the same way)

Posted by: Cass at March 21, 2008 11:15 AM

Another good reason to wear a proper hat is so that you have one to tip to a lady. The ritual courtesy does more to dispel fear than crossing the street, for crossing the street may leave her wondering if you just weren't hungry. Tipping your hat shows her that you're on her side.

Posted by: Grim at March 21, 2008 11:37 AM

Now that I've said that, let me say another thing: I don't think that terming Obama's talk as "race-baiting" is fair play. "Baiting" is about trying to draw a response -- that's why you're laying out bait.

What Obama is trying desperately to do is to get people to let him stop talking about race. He may be playing loose with the facts or the statistics; I'll leave that to someone with more time to think through. But he's not trying to bait you. He just wants to find the right way to talk about this so everyone will say, "OK, that's all right, let's let the Wright business drop and talk about something else -- Iraq, health care, the economy." (Not, however, immigration -- I notice that none of the candidates remaining in the race really want to say too much about immigration.) What he wants is to say just enough to get out of having to say anything more on the subject.

He's not, that is, trying to bait a trap. He's trying to get out of a trap.

Posted by: Grim at March 21, 2008 11:44 AM

Cassandra, you know you are only saying that because you're a "typical white person" http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=65704

Posted by: Frodo at March 21, 2008 11:50 AM

"He's not, that is, trying to bait a trap. He's trying to get out of a trap."
Indeed... and as is often said, he should stop digging.

Posted by: bthun at March 21, 2008 11:56 AM

"But you are ignoring (to Graves) the fact that those numbers are saying, in effect, "If you become the victim of a murder..." "

While you are confusing the population which has been victim of a murder with population as a whole, who might be the hypothetical murderer.

The percentage of all murders in the US, committed by blacks against whites is considerably higher in your first table than murders of blacks by whites. Now, whites are many times the percentage of the population than blacks. Any disagreements so far?

This means the smaller population of blacks commits murders against whites at a rate many times that of murders by the white population against blacks. After all, the minority blacks commit more total murders of whites than the majority whites commit murders of blacks.

Obama's Grandmother would thus have a statistically much higher chance of being murdered by a random black man than of being murdered by a random white man, because there are more random white men out there amoung which to distribute the crimes.

To put it another way, you are treating the set of those who commit murders as if it were the same as the set of those who are in the total population, and those aren't the same set, mathematically speaking. One is a subset of the other.

Posted by: Graves at March 21, 2008 11:59 AM

You mean, as in 'he's trying to get out of a trap by invoking race', when he told us that it's wrong to use race in that fashion, unless of course we're vocalizing authentic racial anger?

I will definitely concede the point, Grim, that this may not be deliberately provocative (though it's hard for me to see how he could reasonably think that equating his Grandmother's fear - which arguably has at least *some* objective basis in fact, though I believe it to be less than she might think, with Rev. Wright's completely unsupported accusations would not be provocative, if indeed everything we hear and experience is perceived through the selective prism of race).

I may have been unfair here, partially because I had originally intended to make another point and ended up leaving that out entirely due to time constraints. I think the title might have made more sense, had that material been included.

I think the response he's trying to elicit here is 'How can you ask me to condemn Wright when you guys - including Granny!- do the same thing all the time?' (IOW, you're being a hypocrite if you ask me to repudiate Wright). And my answer to that would be: his grandmother was wrong to use racially offensive language around him (THAT'S THE REAL OFFENSE NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT - FOR PETE'S SAKE, WHAT KIND OF GRANDMA USES RACIAL SLURS AROUND HER MIXED-RACE GRANDCHILD?)

And Wright is wrong to say some of the things he said.

Posted by: Cass at March 21, 2008 12:12 PM

There is nothing "typical" about Cassandra here.

I recommend people read this

"The mindset that one is "owed" something in life has not only affected black mobility in business but black mobility in education as well. Remember Ward Churchill? About fifteen years ago he was my boss. After leaving the fishing boats, I attended graduate school at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I managed to get a job on campus teaching expository writing to minority students who had been accepted provisionally into the university on an affirmative action program. And although I never met him, Ward Churchill, in addition to teaching in the ethnic studies department, helped to develop and organize the minority writing program.

The job paid most of my bills, but what I witnessed there was absolutely horrifying. The students were encouraged to write essays attacking the white establishment from every conceivable angle and in addition to defend affirmative action and other government programs. Of the hundreds of papers that I read, there was not one original contribution to the problem of black mobility that strayed from the party line.

The irony of it all however is that the "white establishment" managed to get them into the college and pay their entire tuition. Instead of being encouraged to study international affairs, classical or modern languages, philosophy or art, most of these students became ethnic studies or sociology majors because it allowed them to remain in disciplines whose orientation justified their existence at the university. In short, it became a vicious cycle.

There was a student there I'll never forget. He was plucked out of the projects in Denver and given a free ride to the university. One day in my office he told me that his mother had said the following to him: "M.J., they owe you this. White people at that university owe you this." M.J.'s experience at the university was a glorious fulfillment of his mother's angst.

There were black student organizations and other clubs that "facilitated" the minority student's experience on the majority white and "racist" campus, in addition to a plethora of faculty members, both white and black, who encouraged the same animus toward the white establishment. While adding to their own bona fides as part of the trendy Left, these "facilitators" supplied M.J. with everything he needed to quench his and his mother's anger, but nothing in the way of advice about how to succeed in college. No one, in short, had told M.J. that he needed to study. But since he was "owed" everything, why put out any effort on his own?"

Posted by: Ymarsakar at March 21, 2008 12:21 PM

As for Breitbart, you would tend to get the same reaction if you had lived in Iraq and seen Uday/Qusay grab people off the streets. You might then start avoiding Saddam's thugs too, if you knew what was good for you.

Obama recognizes that it is part of "life experiences", what he doesn't recognize is that this has nothing to do with "being bred" to hate or fear blacks. This isn't about blacks at all. This is about common sense, which is part of human nature, not just black or white nature.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at March 21, 2008 12:27 PM

Whoa Obama you know that ain't Wright, yes chickens are coming home to roost. Obama is that straw I see sticking to you?


Posted by: laree at March 21, 2008 01:14 PM

Over lunch I had an idea. So, in 2005, according to the FBI, there were 16,692 murders in the US. The CIA says that in July 2007 there were 301,139,947 in the US, with 81.7% white and 12.9% black. That gives us 246 million whites and 31.7 million blacks. Using percentages that 44% of those murders were white murderers of whites, and 17% were black murderers of whites, we get 7344.48 whites murdered by blacks, rounded to 7,344, and 2837.64 whites murdered by blacks. So, the odds of a random black being a potential murderer of a random white victim are 8.94x10E-05, while the odds of a random white being a potential murderer of a random white victim are 2.98x10E-05. Closer than I expected, but still a couple of times more likely for a black than a white to be a potential murderer. Note that this has lots of simplificiations, such as the assumption that each murderer has precisely one victim, there are no sex or age distinctions, all people are exactly as likely to meet blacks and whites in ratios the same as they exist in the population as a whole and such. Trying to solve those is more than I can tackle in an afternoon. The bottom line is that Obama's Grandmother would be justified in being more concerned about a random black murdering her than a random white, but both are pretty unlikely. She probably should be more worried about each car she meets.

Posted by: Graves at March 21, 2008 01:15 PM

Doubtless Wright is wrong. And Obama may also be wrong, about certain things; but, please, be careful to be fair to him.

He's going to lose over this business -- may, in fact, have already lost because of it. The numbers from his speech are terrible, which means he has to address it again; and the more he talks about it, the more it will drag him down.

Clinton will carry Pennsylvania by twenty to thirty points; Obama will have to address race again, and again, and numbers will continue to get worse because the real magic he had was not talking about race. That is broken now, and he is doomed. The superdelegates will have to rethink him, and soon there will be a cautious shift away from him in certain quarters; and then more; and then a flood.

It's going to be ugly when he collapses, because he likely would otherwise have won, and many people's hopes, especially in the black community, were very high. He is going to collapse because of the most treacherous faultline in our nation's fabric. It is already time to be careful to treat him fairly and even generously in this matter, so that no one will have cause to say: "You, you made it worse: you used this, this evil power, to destroy him."

He has spoken better than many, calling the Left to remember the best principles of our nation. Let us treat him honorably, and even generously, and take special pains to be fair.

Posted by: Grim at March 21, 2008 01:23 PM

Grim, Graves:

I can't address either of your points now. Sorry. I've got too much going on at work to even stop and think about it. Please see the update to the post :)

Posted by: Cass at March 21, 2008 02:17 PM

Having lived through (Barely) two watts riots, I fear we are being set up for a third. Once again we will face the "Angry Black Man" syndrome, whether street theater or the real thing.

Posted by: vet66 at March 21, 2008 02:24 PM

I would like to think that people will be better than that. Certainly there are some people (as there always have been throughout history) who may leverage this for the drama value.

I am not so sure we should count Obama out, however. He is very smart and very personable. And IMO, this doesn't sink his candidacy. What?

We're surprised a politician is looking a tad disingenuous? Especially on a hot button issue like race?

What is new about this? But I could be wrong.

Posted by: Cass at March 21, 2008 02:35 PM

She probably should be more worried about each car she meets.

I agree :p

I tried something similar to what you did earlier and got slightly different results (but I was using different totals and a diff. method). Same idea though. I just don't feel like I ought to post anything I haven't thoroughly checked out.

Thanks so much for the input - will try to get to this when I can.

Posted by: Cass at March 21, 2008 02:57 PM

My take is that if you don't know how to use the tools of violence or aren't willing to do so, your chances of being murdered are astronomically higher regardless of what else is going on.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at March 21, 2008 09:40 PM

Forgive me if I turn previously-plowed ground.

I believe that this fatal logic crystallized long before the current flap.

Some time back, the MSM engaged the exciting notion that America could establish its "post-racist" bonafides by electing its next president on racial grounds; of course, they attempted some subtlety in presenting this, but I think it would be almost impossible to deceive any reasonably intelligent observer.

While doubtless unintentional, the crucial linking of this offensive notion to Senator Obama's campaign was established when Mrs. Obama made her "proud of America" gaffe. Damage control was applied, but memory persists.

The current brouhaha (not Don) re-animates the earlier offense and joins with it to reinforce the difficulty in escaping the maelstrom.

Thus, Grim's prediction seems eminently plausible.

Meaning, milady, that the "hot button issue like race" was never as hot as it is now, when its avoidance was so obviously instrumental in the prior success of the senator's campaign and so vital to his survival now.

Posted by: socialism_is_error at March 21, 2008 10:40 PM

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