Ex-Baltimore Cop Michael Wood Exposes Police Culture Of Corruption & Abuse (Interview w/ Cenk Uygur) – YouTube

via Ex-Baltimore Cop Michael Wood Exposes Police Culture Of Corruption & Abuse (Interview w/ Cenk Uygur) – YouTube.

TYT Interviews

Published on 10 Jul 2015

Former U.S. Marine and Baltimore police officer Michael A. Wood, Jr. made headlines when he Tweeted about the abuses he witnessed fellow Baltimore police officers perpetrating. In this interview with The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur Wood reveals the truth behind the “us vs. them” siege mentality pervading urban police forces that leads to a culture of corruption, racism and abuse, and what can be done to bring change for the better to policing in the United States.

Follow Michael A. Wood Jr. on Twitter: @MichaelAWoodJr

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…And that’s the real reason.

via LiberalEffects.com, eviltessmacher: dancingwalnuttree: ….




America’s overdose rate is 140 per 1 million people. Portugal’s is 3 per 1 million. Figure it out, America. #EndTheDrugWar

Portugal at all time low: http://bit.ly/1IxbPAR

America at all time high: http://ti.me/1vQc33R

But very rich politicians, CEOs, very rich people are making money.

If you make drugs legal you will cut into their profits.


The Murdoch Effect and the Continuing Bankster Crime Wave – New Economic Perspectives

via The Murdoch Effect and the Continuing Bankster Crime Wave – New Economic Perspectives.

William Black

Quito: May 30, 2015

One of common characteristics of the two epicenters of the elite banking fraud epidemics – the City of London and Wall Street – is Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers’ repeated efforts to create a criminogenic environment in both financial centers by cheerleading the regulatory race to the bottom. Murdoch’s papers also act as apologists for the resultant epidemic of elite banksters’ crimes.

One of the bit players that the Wall Street Journal has deployed as part of this apologia is particularly interesting for white-collar criminologists. The setting, as always on the WSJ’s editorial pages, is that the writers are overwhelmingly the most extreme right wing ideologues. The only criminological theory that the right wing loves is “broken windows.” The WSJ presented an op ed by Heather Mac Donald of the hard-right Manhattan Institute. The title gives a good feel of the extreme claim she is making: “The New Nationwide Crime Wave: The consequences of the ‘Ferguson effect’ are already appearing.”

It turns out that she has no nationwide data supporting the existence of a “new nationwide crime wave,” no basis for establishing the existence of a “Ferguson effect,” and no basis for demonstrating that the purported effect that a notorious police chief invented caused the “nationwide crime wave” that she cannot demonstrate exists. Instead, she quotes mostly figures on one month rates of some crimes in some cities or portions of cities. No social scientist would consider this approach reliable, but then she is not a social scientist but a “non-practicing lawyer.”

It also turns out that the invented “Ferguson effect” is the label of one of the police chiefs most criticized for his force’s cultivation of terrible relationships with the black community and his embrace of militarized policing. Mac Donald complains that blacks complain when white police shoot unarmed blacks:

This incessant drumbeat against the police has resulted in what St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson last November called the “Ferguson effect.” Cops are disengaging from discretionary enforcement activity and the “criminal element is feeling empowered,”

Mac Donald misstates what Dotson was saying. Dotson said that because of the protests against the Ferguson killing the police were stretched thin because they assigned so many officers to monitor the protestors rather than conduct their normal patrols. He thought criminals would take advantage of the diminished patrols. This is a localized, temporary “effect,” not something that can cause a “new nationwide crime wave.” The issue was neither criticism of the police nor officers being unwilling to arrest criminals. Dotson said the issue was the recurrent, substantial physical protests that Dotson believed required him to reassign officers away from normal patrol duties.

But what kind of “moral panic” is the WSJ trying to generate through this non-scientific invention of a “new nationwide crime wave?” It turns out that the non-practicing lawyer has long been trying to get the world to understand that there is no racism (or sexism, or virtually any rape) and that the problem with our legal system is that it ignores the fact that blacks are far more likely than whites to be criminals. Therefore, it follows that when blacks are stopped for “driving while black,” or subjected to “stop and frisk” at much higher rates than whites, or when shopkeepers are criticized for following black customers as they move through the store to ensure that they do not steal items this constitutes the best in law enforcement policies and the criticism is all wrong. Blacks should be treated by the police and merchants as presumptively criminal because they are so much more likely to be criminals. Racism is a “phantom” invented to excuse blacks’ criminal behavior and try to block the police from arresting black criminals who richly deserve to be imprisoned.

The non-practicing lawyer is a big believer in “broken windows” and the disproportionate arrest of blacks and Latinos for minor status offenses. But she argues that there is nothing disproportionate about police behavior – they simply arrest criminals and blacks and Latinos are disproportionately criminals so they get arrested far more often than whites who are far more law abiding.

“Broken Windows”

As I will show, she is only a big believer in “broken windows” enforcement when it leads to arresting primarily blacks and Latinos. When “broken windows” enforcement would arrest white elites she ignores broken windows enforcement and complains that the criminal white elites are persecuted unjustly as part of a “liberal” war on “capitalism.” Even though no banksters are arrested pursuant to our failure to apply “broken windows” (or any) enforcement to the elite bank frauds, she is appalled that liberals even dare criticize these elite felons. I term this hypocritical apologia for elite criminals “the Murdoch effect.”

As I researched Mac Donald’s views I discovered two things. One, she is 100% predictable – take the ultra-right wing position on any issue and she champions that position. Two, even for the WSJ editorial pages she stands out as a loon. Here is a smorgasbord of Mac Donald’s outlandish claims. This is how your op ed ends up being featured in a fully Murdoched paper. Since she is obviously the right wing’s go-to “expert” on a host of subjects in which she has no expertise but enormous animus I offer this compendium as a resource to those who have to evaluate her future claims.

Marriage Equality Threatens Fathers

Only three months ago, not back in the “good old days” when homophobia was next to godliness, Mac Donald was an “expert” on the family at CPAC (where no real expert would ever be caught dead). Here is how CPAC described her panel’s discussion: “Father’s Day as Hate Speech? Feminism, Gay Rights Contribute to Fatherlessness, Experts Say at CPAC.” So much hate and delusion packed into a title! Feminists hate fathers! Especially their own, and the ones they marry and have kids with.

Oh well, on to gays. Gay males hate fathers, especially their own? And how about the gays who are eager to be fathers? Don’t let logic get into this, we’re on a fantasy tour of the ultra-right when it is talking to itself at CPAC and has no restraints from adult supervision.

Yes, celebrating “Father’s Day” will be denounced by feminists and gays as “hate speech” because Mac Donald says so. No citation to even some obscure “feminist,” but some things are so obvious they require no proof from “experts on the family.”

Mac Donald’s “logic” was that because lesbian couples have no father for their children, and because the children of lesbian couples turn out fine, their experience refuted the claim that fathers were important. Therefore, we must stop lesbians from marrying and raising their children because they do such a good job of parenting that it refutes our claims that only a household with a father can raise healthy children. The proof of Mac Donald’s claim is left to the reader!

Marriage Equality Threatens Black Families

Mac Donald reaches new levels of malice in her blog warning of “Gay marriage and unintended consequences” – well, at least it isn’t a deliberate gay plot to destroy black marriages. Her first paragraph sums up Mac Donald’s approach to race.

The biggest social problem in the U.S. today is the crime and academic achievement gap between blacks and whites. The academic achievement gap (several grade levels and 200 SAT points (old system)) distorts our pedagogy, academic hiring and admissions, and employment standards in the public and private sectors (see the recent New Haven firefighters reverse discrimination case); it triggers huge and to date wholly ineffective government programs to try to close the gap (e.g., Head Start, No Child Left Behind). Black males commit homicide at ten times the rate of white males; in New York City, a representative locality, any violent crime is 13 times more likely to be committed by a black perp than by a white one. This crime gap results in depressed urban economies, huge incarceration costs, and the unjust demonization of the police as racist for merely going after criminals and of inner-city employers who worry about black thieves coming into their stores.

So when white cops stop blacks for “driving while black,” that isn’t “racist” that is “merely going after criminals” (ditto for store clerks who follow black customers around the store because they “worry about black thieves.”). Note the word “black” in that last quotation in the parenthetical – and the fact that Mac Donald plainly thinks that its usage poses no concerns. When I ran a retail operation, part of my job was to “worry about [all] thieves.”

Mac Donald claims that racism is a myth and that when the police stop a black person for the (non) crime of driving while black or the store clerks follow the black customer around the store because they “worry about black thieves” the police and merchants don’t see “blacks” – they see “criminals.” That effort to defend racism explains why Mac Donald made an excellent choice in ceasing to practice law. Her “defense” constitutes an indictment of the police and the merchants that she describes.

So, as Mac Donald sees the world, blacks are inferior to whites in education and morals and nothing America has done eradicates that fact of nature. That sums up Mac Donald’s take on race, crime, and law enforcement. We are screwing up our teaching of whites and our employment of the best (white) workers because we foolishly try to compensate for blacks’ inferior abilities.

But that’s just her intro – we haven’t gotten to the perfidious gays yet. But it turns out that the “logic” behind her attack on gays is actually a further explication of how screwed up blacks are.

One overpowering cause of black social failure is the breakdown of marriage in the black community. Nationally, the black illegitimacy rate is 71%; in some inner city areas, it is closer to 90%. When boys grow up without any expectation that they will have to marry the mother of their children, they fail to learn the most basic lesson of personal responsibility. A community without the marriage norm is teetering on the edge of civilizational collapse, if it has not already fallen into the abyss. Fatherless black boys, who themselves experience no pressure to become marriageable mates as they grow up, end up joining gangs, dropping out of school, and embracing a “street” lifestyle in the absence of any male authority in the home.

So, blacks are overwhelmingly not civilized – and the entire black “community” “is teetering on the edge of civilizational collapse” (or, more likely, “already fallen into the abyss”). Blacks are reverting to being savages in Mac Donald’s framing of the problems of poor blacks. And yes, she is sufficiently educated that her recycling of these historic racist tropes is deliberate.

Note the sweeping generalization – no father in the home means you join a gang and are not “pressure[d] to become marriageable mates.” Is that what dads do? When I was growing up it was Mom who tried to civilize the boys. Dads often encouraged their sons to “play the field.” How exactly do fathers “pressure [their sons] to become marriageable mates?”

I encourage readers interested in this subject to read real experts on this subject, including my spouse June Carbone and her co-author Naomi Cahn (see their book Marriage Markets). This subject is enormously important and it is one that real conservative experts on the family find a great deal of common ground with progressive experts. The first problem is jobs, particularly for males with relatively low skills. The second, related, problem is that the drug wars and broken windows have given so many blacks and Latinos criminal records that it screws up their ability to get a job and creates pernicious “sex ratios” (described at length in Carbone & Cahn’s new book).

But Mac Donald is about to get to the perfidious gays – watch for the double-invented “concern” and the reversal of the burden of persuasion for someone trying to manufacture a multiple moral panic against gays and blacks.

If the black illegitimacy rate were not nearly three times the rate of whites’, I would have few qualms about gay marriage. Or if someone can guarantee that widespread gay marriage would not further erode the expectation among blacks that marriage is the proper context for raising children, I would also not worry. But no one can make that guarantee.

Why might it further depress the black marriage rate? There is a logical reason and a visceral reason. First, it sends the signal that marriage is simply about numbers: it is an institution that binds two (for the moment) people who are in love. It erases completely the significance that marriage is THE context in which the children of biological parents should be raised. And there are undoubtedly many other subtle meanings and effects of gay marriage that we cannot even imagine at the moment—which institutional shift is something that conservatives should be most attuned to.

As for the visceral reason: It is no secret that resistance to homosexuality is highest among the black population (though probably other ethnic minorities are close contenders). I fear that it will be harder than usual to persuade black men of the obligation to marry the mother of their children if the inevitable media saturation coverage associates marriage with homosexuals. Is the availability of homosexual marriage a valid reason to shun the institution? No, but that doesn’t make the reaction any less likely.

Wow! Fabulous! So, I like the concept that other people should not be allowed to marry because fewer black couples are marrying. Of course, we’ll only tell one group they cannot marry under this “logic” – gays/lesbians.

Now, if we’re going to deny over ten million people the right to marry, a right we justly consider to be among the most precious in life, because of a claim that it might affect some other group’s marriage rates one would think that the person making that claim would bear a powerful burden of proof of this alleged harm. But Mac Donald reverses that burden – the people being denied the right to marry (gays) cannot obtain that right unless they can “guarantee” to her satisfaction that if they get married no black male will decide not to get married to a black female. It is, of course, impossible to “guarantee” such a thing, so Mac Donald has simply stacked the deck.

Then, however, she tries to support her claim that allowing gays and lesbians to marry will harm black families. She divides her argument into one she calls “logical” and one she calls “visceral.” Mac Donald isn’t big on logic, so both of the arguments are risible. Here again is her self-described “logical” reason why marriage equality will cause black males to refuse to marry black females. “First, it sends the signal that marriage is simply about numbers: it is an institution that binds two (for the moment) people who are in love.” And that means that the black man, who is in love with the black woman, will not marry her because gays can marry each other? One can search forever for the “logic” in her self-described “logic” with no hope of finding any.

So, on to the visceral, which is her forte. “I fear that it will be harder than usual to persuade black men of the obligation to marry the mother of their children if the inevitable media saturation coverage associates marriage with homosexuals.” I fear that the play “No Exit” actually describes hell and that I will find myself locked in a room for all eternity with Mac Donald. So, her admittedly illogical and delusional fears should lead to forbidding gays to marry lest some black male declare to a black woman: “I love you but I no longer want to marry you because gays can marry.” “Visceral” here is simply Mac Donald’s euphemism for her visceral hostility toward gays and her inability to construct even a vaguely logical argument against marriage equality despite her years of efforts.

Mac Donald Echoes Peggy Noonan & George Will’s Disgust for Coeds Who Were Raped

Like Noonan and Will, Mac Donald has reached the cranky stage of life. When she isn’t writing about her disgust for blacks, Latinos, and gays, she rants at “kids these days.” She savors a special rage against coeds, and within that group she wants the world to know how much she despises coeds who have been raped or sexually assaulted. Again, I don’t get it. Yes, Mac Donald is a loon, but there is something beyond deranged in the hard-right’s repeated attacks on rape victims.

Mac Donald is convinced that college is one giant drunken orgy.

Society has no interest in preserving the collegiate bacchanal. Should college fornication become a rare event preceded by contract signing and notarization, maybe students would actually do some studying instead. At present, many students drink through the entire weekend without worrying about any academic repercussions.

But she writes primarily to mock coeds that complain about being raped and sexually assaulted as “rape hysterics.”

It is impossible to overstate the growing weirdness of the college sex scene. Campus feminists are reimporting selective portions of a traditional sexual code that they have long scorned, in the name of ending what they preposterously call an epidemic of campus rape. They are once again making males the guardians of female safety and are portraying females as fainting, helpless victims of the untrammeled male libido.

So we know immediately that Mac Donald is not a criminologist and knows nothing about rape. The “tell” is her use of the word “libido.” She propounds the classic rape myth that rape occurs because guys are compelled by their hormones to have sex. Guys can have sex without rape. Rape is a sexual crime, but it is a crime of violence, dominance, and humiliation of the victim. Rape, sexual assault, and attempted assaults begin to occur before college and become even more common in college.

Mac Donald has no need to consult the criminology literature, she knows that rape isn’t happening, it’s just a bunch of drunken coed sluts.

But isn’t this bureaucratic and legislative ferment, however ham-handed, being driven by an epidemic of campus rape? There is no such epidemic. There is, however, a squalid hook-up scene, the result of jettisoning all normative checks on promiscuous behavior.


Girls are drinking themselves blotto precisely in order to lower their inhibitions for casual sex, then regretting it afterwards.

(If you’re counting, that’s two more classic rape myths.) Yes, and they dress like loose women and they’re not virgins, so they cannot really be raped because they actually want to have sex any male – they are all “promiscuous.”

While there are thankfully few actual rape victims on college campuses, there are thousands of girls feeling taken advantage of by partners who walk away from casual sex with no apparent sense of thwarted attachment.

The word “actual” is the “tell” in this sentence. It means that Mac Donald gets to disregard all the data because in her vision “actual” rape in college (by which she means some unstated but tiny subset of rape as defined by the criminal laws) must be rare (a fourth classic rape myth).

But Mac Donald is about to get nastier in a way that even a non-practicing attorney should never sink to.

Very few alleged campus rape cases are brought to the police because the accuser and her counselors know that most cases wouldn’t stand a chance in court.

Mac Donald presents that sentence as if it demonstrated that the coeds were not “actual[ly]” raped or subjected to sexual assaults or attempted rapes and assaults. Her point actually constitutes one of the unique horrors of rape. Everyone who has studied law knows that Mac Donald’s presentation is deliberately dishonest. Yes, there is frequently no outside witness to the rape. Yes, the women was frequently dating the guy. Yes, she thought of the guy, until he began to assault her, as attractive. Yes, she dressed up for him. Yes, she may have had intimate relations, even intercourse with him previously. She, she had drunk alcohol with him on the date. Yes, she kissed him passionately.

In these circumstances, particularly with the number of people on the jury pool who may share Mac Donald’s view that coeds are sluts that deserve whatever happens to him and who “know” that “actual” rape is rare (because they do not consider a broad range of what is, at law, rape to be “actual” rape), the chances of a successful prosecution are poor. Further, the victim knows that she will dragged through the worst moments of her life repeatedly in excruciating and embarrassing detail. She will have to testify in public to every aspect of the encounter. She knows that the defense counsel will attack her as a slut who simply regretted having sex with a guy that dumped her.

The two factors combine, of course. The victim of the rape knows that after she puts herself through these many repetitions of the horror the result is very likely to be a not guilty verdict – which will be read as proof that she is a slut who “wanted it.”

In these circumstances, criminal complaints are rarely filed by the victim. But the criminology literature makes it clear that the rapes “actually” did occur – because in surveys the guys admit to large numbers of rapes and sexual assaults. The same guys would not, of course, admit that on the witness stand. They would instead perjure themselves.

The data show that rape is exceptionally common on campus. The reality is that rather than there being only a “few” rapes, sexual assaults, and attempts on campus there are very large numbers annually. Here is the link to one of the classic studies entitled “The Scope of Rape: Incidence and Prevalence of Sexual Aggression and Victimization in a National Sample of Higher Education Students.” The authors are Mary P. Koss, Christine A. Gidycz, and Nadine Wisniewski. Please read the study to get a feel for the care with which such a study is conducted and to read the research findings yourself.

Mac Donald ignores the top criminology and psychology studies, preferring to trash a Ms. Magazine non-study. She commits a host of analytical errors, most of them deliberate.

The Obama White House asserts that campus rape “survivors” suffer a lifetime of psychological and physical trauma, yet females are graduating from college in ever more disproportionate numbers, after which they go on to have lucrative careers, with no evidence of crippling mental injury. The bogus statistics thrown around by the feminist-industrial complex—a one-in-four to one-in-five incidence of sexual assault among undergraduate girls—dwarf any known crime rate, even in the most brutal African ethnic wars. In 2012, Newark, New Jersey’s rate for all violent crimes—murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault—was 1.1 percent; its rape rate was under .02 percent. Activist researchers attain their 20-25 percent rape incidence statistic by the strategic phrasing of questions and the exquisite parsing of definitions.


The campus rape crisis, in other words, requires ignoring females’ own characterization of their experience. There is simply no reason to concede any factual legitimacy to the rape hysterics, even as a debating tactic, since doing so only prolongs the life of the campus rape myth.

Mac Donald’s use of the term “rape myth” is a revealing example of unintentional irony. There is a considerable literature on “rape myths,” and Mac Donald, as I have noted, is a classic example of someone who propagates a series of rape myths. These myths are used to attack the victims of rapes. People with greater empathy are less likely to believe these rape myths. I quote Mac Donald below emphasizing that she has zero sympathy for the victims of rape – as that term is defined by the criminal laws. For an excellent introduction to this subject I recommend the article “Rape Myth Acceptance: Exploration of Its Structure and Its Measurement Using the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale” by Diana L. Payne, Kimberly A. Lonsway, and Louise F. Fitzgerald. One of the authors’ findings is that women were roughly as likely as men to believe rape myths.

I address Mac Donald’s errors in the passage quoted above in the order she presents them. The fact that more women graduate from college than men does not prove that rape is rare or has few negative consequences. Indeed, her argument is so specious that she had to know she was constructing a lie. I trust the reader to see through this one. Injury comes in myriad degrees. Mac Donald wants to stack the deck and claim that rape is no big deal unless it causes such “crippling mental injury” that the woman becomes unable to function. Mac Donald would never mock veterans with PTSD on the basis that it cannot really be a concern if they were able to get a degree and a job.

Her claim that rape levels in localities where soldiers and ethnic militias were engaged in conquest of rival ethnic groups never came close to being as high as 25% is a flat out lie. The incidence of rape of younger women in such situations, and not just in Africa, is commonly very close to 100% of the younger women who were found by the hostile soldiers and militia. But Mac Donald makes an even more preposterous claim – that the overall “crime rate” in cases of a hostile ethnic militia taking control never approaches 25 percent. Watch your television sets. See what happens when ISIS captures a town or when the Serbs capture a primarily Muslim town in Bosnia. The overall “crime rate” in such circumstances is far closer to 100% than “less than 25 percent.”

The roughly 25% figure for coeds being subjected to rape, unlawful sexual assault, and attempted rape or unlawful sexual assault is the best available data we have, see, e.g., the Koss study. Mac Donald’s attacks on the studies demonstrating roughly this incidence are indirect and evidence her lack of understanding of psychology, criminology, and rape victims. First, she cites a reported crime rate figure for rape and then asserts that it represents the actual rate of rape.

In 2012, Newark, New Jersey’s rate for all violent crimes—murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault—was 1.1 percent; its rape rate was under .02 percent.

No one who invested even a half hour of research would take the reported rate of rape to the police and claim that it measured the actual “rape rate.” For the reasons I have explained, rape is the most underreported crime of violence. Mac Donald is not so dumb as to believe her claim that the reported rape figure represents the actual “rape rate.” She crafted it to deceive, which makes her next assertion particularly ironic.

Activist researchers attain their 20-25 percent rape incidence statistic by the strategic phrasing of questions and the exquisite parsing of definitions.

Actually, real criminology/psychology researchers who documented the 20-25% incidence do the opposite of what Mac Donald asserts. What they actually do (read the Koss study) is ask about actions. The questions are phrased in plain English. The definitions of rape, sexual assault, and attempted rape or sexual assault that the researchers use are the legal definitions of those crimes. They then apply the facts reported to the legal standard and code the event. This is, by far, the soundest study design possible to use in surveys designed to estimate the incidence of these crimes.

Mac Donald then makes a factual statement that is partially true, but indicates her deliberate mischaracterization of the crime of rape and the response of its victims. “The campus rape crisis, in other words, requires ignoring females’ own characterization of their experience.” It is true that women who have been raped, sexually assaulted, or the victim of attempted rape or assault as defined by the law, will often state that they were not raped. In part, this indicates they do not know the rape laws. But in greater part it is a coping mechanism that many victims of a particularly embarrassing crime are likely to employ precisely because of people like Mac Donald who mock and attack rape victims as drunken sluts who asked for it. It is simply another outrage that people like Mac Donald’s make these vicious attacks on rape victims that push them into denial which Mac Donald then uses to assert that while you were in fact raped as defined by the statutes you were not “actual[ly]” raped according to Mac Donald’s rape myths.

The literature on the rape of collegiate women makes these points clear. This passage is taken from the “Foreword” to the Fisher study funded by the Department of Justice.

Fisher also found that many women do not characterize their sexual victimizations as a crime for a number of reasons (such as embarrassment, not clearly understanding the legal definition of rape, or not wanting to define someone they know who victimized them as a rapist) or because they blame themselves for their sexual assault. The study reinforces the importance of many organizations’ efforts to improve education and knowledge about sexual assault.

Mac Donald ends her attack on coeds who have been raped with a related deception and an attack on feminism as the cause of rape.

There are no sympathetic victims in the campus sex wars. While few boys are guilty of what most people understand as rape, many are guilty of acting as boorishly as they can get away with. Sexual liberation and radical feminism unleashed the current mess by misunderstanding male and female nature.

I’ll treat the ritual attack on feminization as the cause of widespread rape on campus as self-refuting and a further demonstration that Mac Donald does not inhabit the fact-based universe. It is revealing that she was willing to openly emphasize her total lack of “sympathy[y]” for rape victims.

The “tell” in this quoted paragraph is the phrase “what most people understand as rape.” In other words, it is rape according to the law, but Mac Donald is stressing her belief that “most people” share her view that women who are in fact raped are sluts if the rapist was their boyfriend and that it isn’t rape to force yourself on someone you are dating and it certainly isn’t rape if you get her drunk first. Note that this refutes Mac Donald’s argument that it must not be “actual” rape if a jury will rarely convict where there are no witnesses other than the man and woman. She is now admitting, indeed boasting, that “most” jurors are primed to refuse to convict men who have committed rape in the boyfriend/girlfriend context. The victims, of course, understand that reality, which is part of the explanation of why so few report the crime and why denial is so common among rape victims. In sum, Mac Donald has inadvertently and unknowingly destroyed her own argument in her conclusion.

What about Using “Broken Windows” Enforcement v. Banksters?

Unlike Mac Donald’s faux “nationwide crime wave” supposedly led by “empowered” black criminals encouraged by the fact that there are protests against the police killing unarmed black men, there is a real global crime wave by banksters and one of the two epicenters is Manhattan, where Mac Donald hangs out denouncing blacks and gays and rape victims – but not banksters. Broken windows is very controversial as a blue-collar crime strategy, but it is a brilliant concept in white-collar crime. We have, however, used the opposite of what a “broken windows” enforcement strategy would call for against the banksters – failing to prosecute even the most egregious frauds and creating faux guilty pleas even for recidivist banks. As I have often explained in exhaustive detail, the three epidemics of “accounting control fraud” led by the banksters drove our financial crisis and the Great Recession. So Mac Donald must be demanding the wholescale imprisonment of a vast array of banksters. After all, she is enraged because she claims (incorrectly) that when it comes to petty property theft:

“There are no real consequences for committing property crimes anymore,” Los Angeles Police Lt. Armando Munoz told Downtown News earlier this month, “and the criminals know this.”

Well, no, actually – Mac Donald is instead enraged that anyone would dare criticize – much less prosecute – elite, overwhelmingly white criminals who commit property crimes that rig the pricing of hundreds of trillions of dollars in transactions. On December 26, 2009 – after the banksters’ frauds blew up the global economy – she demanded in a blog posting that no one criticize them

If I hear one more Democrat (and occasional Republican) in the House or Senate condescend to business, I am going to throw up.  Today it’s insurance and drug companies, tomorrow it’s oil producers, toy companies, banks, chemical manufacturers, or any number of other enterprises that offer necessary or simply life-enhancing products and services.

Well, her standard is clear, if the bank offers a product you cannot criticize it or its controlling officers for defrauding the bank’s customers, shareholders, or creditors. Squeegee men offer a product too, but like the banksters’ fraudulent loans and loan sales they are not “life-enhancing” so Mac Donald should be demanding the prosecution of tens of thousands of bank officers.

Mac Donald wrote a column attacking Karl Rove for supporting a compromise on immigration. Mac Donald, of course, is apoplectic about the threat to American posed by more Latinos becoming citizens. Part of Rove’s package was a requirement for those who were to become citizens to have no felony convictions. Mac Donald brought special scorn to this idea.

Among the allegedly tough “penalties and hurdles” that he claims take it out of the amnesty category is the requirement to prove “good moral character” by possessing a criminal record of “no more than three misdemeanors and no felonies.” That a Republican now views three misdemeanor convictions as proof of “good moral character” is a sign either of desperate political expediency or of a far more worrisome moral relativism.

So, we know that having no felony record, but a misdemeanor is beyond the pale for becoming a U.S. citizen from Mac Donald’s perspective. But we have domestic – and foreign – banks whose officers led them to commit over 100,000 felonies, including busting sanctions on nations that are trying to develop weapons of mass destruction, launder a billion dollars for Mexico’s most violent drug cartel, commit genocide, and knowingly aid and abet massive tax evasion by the wealthiest Americans. Surely someone like Mac Donald who believes a single misdemeanor as a young man should bar an immigrant from becoming a U.S. citizen and is rapturous at the thought of arresting tens of thousands of black people for minor status violations that may not even be misdemeanors should react to banks and banksters that commit over 100,000 felonies with an ear-shattering demand for vigorous prosecutions. Well, no.

Mac Donald also purports to be a big friend of our troops. Well, the biggest banks rip them off too. The latest massive bank to cut a deal (again, with no prosecutions) is Bank of America, which violated the law when it came to up to 73,000 military service members. Meanwhile, the Republicans leadership in Congress is trying hard to repeal protections for military service members against abuse by banks. Mac Donald is probably leading the opposition to that effort. Just kidding.

A “Modest Proposal” to Target all the Ethnic Groups with Greater Crime Rates

We know that the elite banksters that led the three great fraud epidemics were disproportionately white. White-collar criminologists rarely study religion as a variable, but the one famous study by Wheeler, et al. found that Jews were much more likely to commit elite white-collar crimes. The authors, appropriately, rushed to explain that they were likely only finding that Jews were disproportionately likely to hold senior corporate positions and that senior officers have far greater ability to commit huge frauds. For understandable reasons, we (white-collar criminologists) do not write about that much, particularly to general audiences because we do not wish to feed baseless anti-Semitism.

But the facts allow a useful check on Mac Donald’s claim that if a group commits crime at a higher frequency it is desirable for law enforcement, businesses, and regulators to treat that group as presumptive criminals and take special steps whenever possible to disrupt their ability to commit crimes. For blacks, this crime disruption strategy means the police stop them for “driving while black,” subject them far more often to “stop and frisk,” and arrest or cite them for minor status offenses. Merchants prevent theft by following black customers around the store to ensure they do not steal.

So what would be the analogs to these strategies for preventing crimes by elite, white-collar whites and Jews if we applied Mac Donald’s “logic?” We could give special scrutiny to any regulatory application from a white person and the most intense scrutiny to any application from a Jew. Because it is hard to identify Jews we could require them to identify themselves as Jews in any application to work in the field of finance. We should have internal auditors trail them throughout the bank to minimize their chance to steal. Because it is difficult to spot Jews by their appearance we could require them to wear some bright identifying religious symbol on their shirts or coats so that shareholders and creditors can take special measures to protect themselves from theft whenever they see a Jew near a computer or a T-account.

The IRS should declare that if the taxpayer is white his or her race constitutes a special risk factor that calls for more frequent audit. Every Jew should be subject to an annual, intensive IRS audit. We’ll explain if they complain that it isn’t bigotry, but rather a recognition of the reality that so many Jews are elite white-collar criminals. Once we explain the reason I’m sure “good” Jews will see that these restrictions are for their own good so that they can distinguish themselves from the all-too-common “bad” Jews that would otherwise lead business people and FBI agents to treat all Jews as presumptive criminals. Since Jews are often the principal victims of elite Jewish white-collar criminals, it is really for their own collective good that we treat Jews as presumptive criminals. Indeed, every news article about white-collar crime should denounce Jew-on-Jew crime.

Anyone listening to – or G-d forbid – being a klezmer musician will, of course, be arrested immediately on some pretext. Any klezmer musician playing a clarinet will, like English longbow archers captured by the French, have the fingers on his dominant hand amputated. Clarinets are a “gateway drug” for Jews. As the saying goes, “The only thing worse than a clarinet is two clarinets.” Klezmer music incites depravity. It is highly associated with morally degenerate same-sex dancing (which Mac Donald doubtless has a “visceral” belief must, somehow, reduce black marriage rates).

Anyone speaking more than eight words of Yiddish – and pronouncing them properly – will be put immediately on the “no fly” list. Anyone who can read classic poetry in Ladino will (given its “Moorish” influences) immediately be sent to Gitmo. The key skill and “weapon” of elite white-collar criminals is accounting, so Jews will be forbidden to become CPAs.

The madness of Mac Donald’s claims about how desirable it is that the police, merchants, and society as a whole treat blacks as presumptive criminals becomes obvious as soon as we change the variety of crime we are considering. It is often the variety of crime that we choose to focus on that determines the ethnic group that disproportionately commits that crime. Indeed, ethnic groups that form part of my ancestry (the Scots and Scots-Irish) have been identified in the research as unusually prone to violence, particularly murder. So let’s train the police to be looking for Americans with our distinctive “morgue pallor” (hey, we are optimized through evolution to be epic Vitamin D solar collectors). I don’t know whether Mac Donald is her original family name or one she took after marriage, but we can all agree that it is a highly suspicious name indicating either genetic or romantic ties to a notoriously violent ethnic group.

Given the proclivity of Scots and Jews to be criminals we can gain efficiencies in police training by teaching them to arrest on sight (well, on hearing, actually) anyone that pronounces the “voiceless velar fricative” (just nod knowingly) “ch” properly. This is a trait common to Jews and Scots (think, respectively, of chutzpah and lach). Of course, anyone caught speaking Scots-Yiddish in America (there actually was such a dialect) will immediately be deported.

And don’t get me started on Americans of Italian descent like my wife. They always pose a high risk of corruption, organized crime, and compulsive over-feeding of guests, particularly those of us with a morgue pallor who they assume are on death’s door. Let’s go whole hog and simply have the police stop and frisk anyone whose family name ends in a vowel. We can order this class of presumptive criminals to wear the vowel that ends their family name in a brightly colored fabric to make sure the police can pick out the presumptive criminals and not have to bother the law abiding WASPs by asking to see their IDs.

The same famous criminology study that found that Jews were much more likely to commit white-collar crimes found that Protestants were significantly less likely than the norm to commit white-collar crimes. Catholics were average. So, you can see that none of my proposals for ethnic-based policing constitutes bias. I am simply urging an extension of what Mac Donald praises as “fact” or “data” based policing.

Mac Donald often writes about how appalled she is that so many blacks object to blacks being treated by the police as presumptive criminals. Indeed, she views their objection as further evidence of the irrationality of blacks and regularly denounces blacks for “demonizing” the police who are trained to treat them as presumptive criminals. Yep, blacks are inexplicably cray cray about a little thing like being stopped for driving while black. (Oh, and it is an unforgivable “slander” for the parents of black and mixed-race teens to teach them to respond to such an act of police harassment in a manner that will minimize the risk of being arrested or roughed up. I’m talking about you Mayor!)

I’m sure that whites, Scots, the Scots-Irish, and Jews will have a far more mature reaction and welcome being treated by the police, the IRS, the SEC and the CFTC, and the banking regulators (and merchants) as presumptive criminals. I know I can’t wait for the police to pull me over for DWS (driving while a Scot). I also promise to denounce Jew-on-Jew and Scot-on-Scot crime at every opportunity.


The Mayor Who Cracked Down on Baltimore | Jacobin

via All Power to the People — The Mayor Who Cracked Down on Baltimore | Jacobin.


The recent uprising in Baltimore has put Martin O’Malley in a difficult spot. While preparing to launch a bid for president, the city’s former mayor has successfully cast himself as one of the most liberal contenders in the Democratic field — to the left of Hillary Clinton on issues both social and economic.

As Maryland’s governor, from 2007–15, he signed bills legalizing gay marriage, ending the death penalty, raising the minimum wage, and funding education at a record level, partially with tax increases for top earners and corporations. But his chief credential — the foundation of his political career — is his claim that he made Baltimore’s crime rate plummet during his tenure as mayor, from 1999–2007.

The trouble is, his strategy involved “zero-tolerance” policing tactics that are both draconian and increasingly unpopular across the political spectrum. Nearly all his opponents in the 2016 race, from Clinton to Ted Cruz, have been scurrying to show support for policing and corrections reform.

And though O’Malley has hedged — recently writing in the Huffington Post that the US should “expand drug treatment and find smarter ways to protect society from repeat violent offenders while incarcerating fewer of our citizens” — his record shows that if there’s one thing he believes in, irrespective of the political tide, it’s an iron-fisted approach to criminal justice.

From bribing, to money laundering, to rigging Libor, to mass fraud in the subprime mortgage markets and now the forex markets — it’s one mass crime after another, and there are no consequences… | Democracy Now!

via From bribing, to money laundering, to rigging… | Democracy Now!.

Matt Taibbi, award-winning journalist with Rolling Stone magazine. Watch his interview on Democracy Now! today on the five banks that plead guilty to massive financial crimes.



Underground Tunnels of Los Angeles – StumbleUpon

Underground Tunnels of Los Angeles – StumbleUpon.

CONTRIBUTOR:Rachel (Admin)

While the rest of the country was forced to go dry, underneath Downtown Los Angeles the party never stopped.

Despite prohibition laws, 11 miles of service tunnels became passageways to basement speakeasies with innocuous fronts above ground. Patrons were able to move about under the city, boozing it up without a care in the world, while the Mayor’s office ran the supply of hootch.

King Eddy Saloon, an establishment that has been alive and kicking on 5th and Main since the 1900s, hid in plain sight fronting as a piano store. Luckily, local officials took no issue with King Eddy’s sudden interest in music, and the business not only survived, but prospered. Now an official saloon once more, its basement still remains part of the tunnel system, littered with crumbling brick lines and graffiti murals.

Aside from the service tunnels, there are also abandoned subway and equestrian tunnels from the days before personal vehicles began clogging up LA’s city streets. There are stories of these tunnels being used by police to transport prisoners, bank security to move large sums of cash safely, and both coroners and mobsters to store bodies. Now they are mostly closed off, but some are still accessible and are used as film locations, easy shortcuts by city employees between buildings, and a place for runners to train on the rare occasion of bad weather.

To explore the former highway of the LA underground, you must slip behind the Hall of Records on Temple Street and locate an easy-to-miss elevator. You’ll be transported down into a subterranean passage filled with mysterious street art, rusted machinery, and iron gates that limit your exploration to areas deemed earthquake safe. Officially, the tunnels are closed to the public.


White America’s racial amnesia: The sobering truth about our country’s “race riots” – Salon.com

via White America’s racial amnesia: The sobering truth about our country’s “race riots” – Salon.com.

FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2015

White pogroms against blacks are a fixture of American history. Someone please inform our major news networks


White America's racial amnesia: The sobering truth about our country's "race riots"

A police officer walks by a blaze, Monday, April 27, 2015. (Credit: AP/Matt Rourke)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.


Baltimore’s young people responded to the police theft of Freddie Gray’s life with protests that eventually grew into a spasm of violence. While the direct motivator, Gray’s death is not the only direct cause of the uprising. The protests and violent exhalations by Baltimore’s black youth (and others) are the result of a long pattern of police abuse, harassment and violence toward that city’s African-American community in the context of systemic class inequality, custodial citizenship and mass incarceration.

 The causes of black urban unrest in the United States are not “unknown unknowns.” Rather, they were described in great and compelling detail by the 1968 Kerner Commission, which was tasked by President Johnson with determining the causes of the urban riots during the 1960s.

The reasons young people in Baltimore and other parts of the United States have been moved to street protests in response to police violence are only mysteries to those American policymakers and members of the public who choose to live in a state of denial.

(White) America is a country with a limited historical perspective and a very short-term memory. As Gore Vidal famously said, “We live here in the United States of Amnesia. No one remembers anything before Monday morning. Everything is a blank. They have no history.”

Thus, the American people are robbed of any meaningful social or historical context for the police abuse in Baltimore, Ferguson, and the many other locales where police thuggery and state violence are routinely visited upon black and brown Americans, as well as the poor and the mentally ill, with relative impunity.

White riots and pogroms against Black Americans are a fixture of American history. But the corporate news media enables many white Americans’ intentional forgetting and mass amnesia.

Here, the uprising and righteous anger of black young people in Baltimore (and elsewhere) is almost by default described as a riot. Deeper questions about class inequality and racism are removed from the dominant media frame and replaced by tired, trite and profoundly unsophisticated claims that the uprising in Baltimore was caused by absent black fathers, broken homes and an urban culture of poverty and violence. In everything but name, Baltimore’s black youth have been branded by the news media and American opinion leaders as feral street urchins: this is the language of racialization and dehumanization.

Many Americans in the news media and elsewhere are reluctant to acknowledge how the angry and violent response by Baltimore’s young people against the illegitimate, cruel and repeated acts of police brutality and killings in their community could be logical and wholly reasonable—and solidly within the American political tradition.

The White Racial Frame—a system of belief that legitimizes and normalizes white dominance and privilege in North American society—has produced the language of “riots,” “black pathology,” “thugs,” and “criminals” that is commonly used to describe the Baltimore uprising. The White Racial Frame does the work of white supremacy and helps to maintain political, social and economic systems of white privilege and unearned advantages. The White Racial Frame also distorts historical fact by erasing America’s long tradition of white-on-black violence across the colorline.

The language of “riots” to describe “urban unrest” as something unique to black Americans is a relatively recent phenomenon, one that can be traced back to iconic images of burning cities in the aftermath of Dr. King’s assassination and the tumult of the 1960s. But the use of phrases such as “riot” or “mob” can also be seen in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries to legitimize mass white racial violence against black Americans during the era of Jim and Jane Crow. Newspapers such as the New York Times featured headlines such as “Mobs of Blacks Retaliate for Riots”; “Negro Mob Terrorizing the Citizens of Jacksonville”; “Negro Mob in South Shouts for Lynching”; and “Negro Mob Killed Sheriff.”

The racist news narrative continues in the present, where the urban uprising against police violence and brutality in Baltimore has been described by right-wing propaganda sites such as the Drudge Report and other media outlets as a “race war” and/or “anti-white” violence.

In fact, in the United States, “rioting” and “race wars” against people of color are almost exclusively the domain of white Americans.

During the 1863 New York City draft riots, white people ran amok, killing black Americans and destroying the African-American community’s churches, orphanages, businesses and schools.

In 1921, over a 24-hour time period, whites destroyed the prosperous black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma. White rioters used machine guns and dropped bombs (in what may be one of the first recorded uses of a plane for that purpose) on the black community. Conservative estimates suggest that at least several hundred black people were killed.

In East Saint Louis, whites engaged in a pogrom against the black community. Like Chicago, this was part of the “Red Summers” in which whites attempted to reassert their control and dominance over the black community in the aftermath of World War I.

Scholars such as James Loewen estimate that as many as 3,000 black communities were “ethnically cleansed” by white violence and other means of intimidation

Historian Gregory Downs has suggested that as many as 50,000 black Americans were killed by white racial terrorism in the 30 years following the end of the American Civil War. This total may not even include at least 4,000 blacks who were victims of lynchings by whites across the South and other parts of the United States.

As the late Joel Olsen described in The Abolition of White Democracy, white riots against black Americans and other people of color were a way of creating a sense of communal identity across lines of class and ethnicity. Thus, “whiteness” was nurtured and in many ways created by white violence against non-whites generally, and African Americans in particular.

White riots and other types of mass violence against the black community enriched white Americans through land theft, the destruction of black businesses and as a way of enforcing a regime of racial terrorism that economically and politically oppressed the black community in such as a way as to directly (and indirectly) fill white America’s coffers.

By most empirical measures (land taken, people killed and number of occurrences—there were 26 white-on-black race riots during the year 1919 alone) white Americans are the country’s most successful, adept and skilled rioters. White America is an expert on rioting and race wars; black America is a neophyte amateur with little to no experience in such matters by comparison.

Nevertheless, the corporate news media has recycled Ronald Reagan’s and the Republican Party’s language of “law and order” and “black pathology,” and obsess over images of black young people “rioting” against the Baltimore police. Many in the corporate news media will also emphasize what they believe is wrong with the “black family,” “black culture,” and the black community’s supposed inability to “control” young black people in the aftermath of the Baltimore uprising.

The right-wing media and its politicians will heavily emphasize this narrative. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly told his viewers that:

 “The facts then dictate that racial persecution really isn’t the problem in Baltimore. Something else is in play. And that something else is personal behavior…These idiotic thugs who are rioting and looting are hurting their own people, and because the entire world sees pictures of blacks rampaging, all African Americans are affected…It is long past time for police agencies in America to have a no tolerance policy towards brutality on the part of officers…But it is also long past time for African-American communities across America to begin to police themselves.”

Republican 2016 presidential candidate Rand Paul suggested that the Baltimore uprising was caused by absent black fathers:

“The thing is that really there’s so many things we can talk about, it’s something we talk about not in the immediate aftermath but over time: the breakdown of the family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack of sort of a moral code in our society. And this isn’t just a racial thing, it goes across racial boundaries, but we do have problems in our country.”

Paul’s and O’Reilly’s comments are part of what is known as the Southern strategy, which was created by the Republican Party in the aftermath of the civil rights movement with the goal of using white racial resentment and anti-black and brown bias to win over white working- and middle-class voters.

However, much more important questions will not be asked by pundits and politicians.

How are America’s police pathological in their violence, racism and brutal killings of black people?

Are America’s police deranged in how they imagine unarmed black and brown people as some type of imminent threat to be dispatched with due haste and extreme prejudice?

Is America’s police culture sick and pathological in how citizens have been tortured to death, sexually assaulted and otherwise violated and abused by police officers?

If there are only a few bad apples in America’s police departments, why don’t the good cops throw them out en masse?

Are America’s police more like a street gang than public servants?

It is easy for the mainstream news media to opine and lecture about “pathological” black communities that are supposedly plagued by “bad culture.” It is far more difficult to talk about America’s broken police and its culture of violence and disrespect toward non-whites and poor people that led to the killing of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, and so many other black men and women across the United States of America.


Chauncey DeVega is editor and founder of the blog We Are Respectable Negroes, whose work has been featured by the NY Times, Alternet, the BBC, the New York Daily News, the Utne Reader, the Week, and The Atlantic Monthly. Chauncey DeVega is also a regular guest on Ring of Fire Radio and TV. He can be followed on Twitter and Facebook.

…and we don’t want to see either

Randall Crater – Marijuana & Altcoin Investor.

“The law is the enemy”: What RFK can remind America about police brutality – Salon.com

via “The law is the enemy”: What RFK can remind America about police brutality – Salon.com.


Amid all the hand-wringing about riots in Baltimore, we lose sight of the horrendous treatment that caused them


"The law is the enemy": What RFK can remind America about police brutality

Robert F. Kennedy, Barack Obama (Credit: AP/Dave Pickoff/Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

President Obama offered some notable thoughts on the events in Baltimore yesterday. After issuing the standard disclaimers about criminals being held accountable, and the need to respect the police, he concluded with the following:

“If we are serious about solving this problem, then we are going to not only have to help the police, we are going to have to think about what can we do, the rest of us, to make sure that we are providing early education to these kids. To make sure that we are reforming our criminal justice system so it’s not just a pipeline from schools to prisons. So that we are not rendering men in these communities unemployable because of a felony record for a nonviolent drug offense. We are making investments so they can get the training they need to find jobs. That’s hard. That requires more than just the occasional news report or task force.

“If our society really wanted to solve the problem, we could. It’s just it would require everybody saying this is important. This is significant and that we don’t just pay attention to these communities when a CVS burns. We don’t just pay attention when a young man gets shot or has his spine snapped. We are paying attention all the time because we consider those kids, our kids, and we think they are important and they shouldn’t be living in poverty and violence. That’s how I feel.”

That’s actually a bit of a dodge. Yes, it’s important to deal with poverty and lack of education and opportunity. But this is an issue that relates to a very specific problem: police brutality. It’s not a matter of building better streets and schools. Those things are important, of course. And they contribute to the atmosphere of crime and violence that characterizes many urban neighborhoods. But there is no excuse for authorities to brutalize and kill suspects in their custody. Such outrageous conduct under color of law is a matter first and foremost of official racism and personal sadism. Fixing poverty will not alone fix this problem.

For a historical contrast, look to Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.’s 1978 biography of Robert F. Kennedy, in which Schlesinger recalls a dispute between Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower, first reported in the New York Post in 1965, over riots that had broken out in Los Angeles.

Schlesinger writes:

In August 1965 violence broke out in Watts, the black ghetto in Los Angeles. Beating, looting, burning, sniping, bombing, went on for six days, leaving 34 people dead, more than 1,000 injured. The Watts riot, said Dwight D. Eisenhower sternly, “did not occur in a vacuum. I believe the U.S. as a whole has been becoming atmosphered, you might say, in a policy of lawlessness.” The former President’s solution was “greater respect for the law.” Kennedy lashed back. “There is no point in telling Negroes to obey the law,” he said. “To many Negroes the law is the enemy. In Harlem, In Bedford-Stuyvesant it has almost always been used against them.”

Rick Perlstein mentioned that RFK quote in this fine piece in In These Times last September, in which he did a historical survey of the urban upheaval “from Watts to Ferguson.” Leaving aside for a moment the antiquated and cringeworthy language, it’s nonetheless hard to imagine a Democratic leader, much less a senator and former attorney general, making such a pointed statement about injustice to black Americans today. Such clear observations are left for writers like Ta-Nehisi Coates, while liberal politicians twist themselves into pretzels trying to be supportive of police while still finding a way to explain such eruptions of anger from African-Americans.

Lest anyone think that such comments by RFK 50 years ago were the commonly held views of the liberal mainstream, note this editorial about the Watts riots from Life magazine, which could sadly almost pass for something written yesterday:

To many, the Los Angeles violence seems strangely timed, so soon after the great Negro achievement of the voting bill. But it is the nature of revolutions (and Negro equality is a revolution) to discover new demands after the the first ones are achieved. The remaining grievances of the Negro are social and personal and will be satisfied only by personal conquest, in black and white individuals and neighborhoods, of suspicion, fear and hate. White people do not bridge this gap by treating Negroes as an undifferentiated and underprivileged mass, nor yet by indulging them like children out of a misplaced sense of inherited guilt.

It was an irresponsible Negro who said to a rally that led to 22 arrests in Hartford last week, “Every cop is your enemy whether he’s black or white.” But it is a former US Attorney General who allowed his sympathy with slum-dwellers problems to lead him to say something almost as mischievous.”There is no point in telling Negroes to obey the law. To many Negroes, the law is the enemy,” said Senator Robert F. Kennedy…

Then, as now, everyone seemed to miss the point RFK was making. Of course poverty and alienation and all the rest are problems that must be addressed. But the Watts riots started with an altercation at a traffic stop in a community that had been brutalized for decadesby the police. As Perlstein pointed out in his In These Times piece:

Los Angeles cops were led by William H. Parker, who coined the phrase “thin blue line”—as in, the cops were a thin blue line between chaos and civilization. Parker liked to recruit white officers from the Mississippi Delta. Parker explained the origin of the Watts riots to an investigating commission: “One person threw a rock and then, like monkeys in a zoo, others started throwing rocks.” His patrolmen, meanwhile, would begin tours of the ghetto with a ritual cry taken from a cigarette commercial, “LSMFT”—“Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco.” Only, for them, the letters stood for “Let’s Shoot a Motherfucker Tonight.”

Perlstein points out that this blatant racist violence was characteristic of many big-city police departments across the nation. This was not about African-American poverty or lack of education. It was about the police.

You’ll no doubt recall that the Rodney King riots 25 years later were also in reaction to a not-guilty verdict in favor of police, despite civilian videotape telling the tale of violent misconduct by the side of the road. (Sound familiar?) That video was shocking at the time, and many Americans undoubtedly assumed it was an anomaly. But the black community knew it wasn’t. And now that we’ve seen cellphone video after cellphone video of police violence against African-Americans, it’s impossible to deny what the community was saying then and what they’re still saying now.

We don’t know what police were saying or doing to Freddie Gray in that police van. But we do know that he emerged from it with a severed spine. Calling this a problem of poverty is a non sequitur. Kennedy had it right 50 years ago and we still haven’t grappled effectively with this problem

The question is whether we’ll move forward this time in a more positive way than we have in the past. Unfortunately, our current political moment is not a favorable one. Liberals are offering the usual bromides about opportunity and education, while the right is issuing hysterical terror warnings about every corner of the globe. From our Southern border to the Middle East to our inner cities to our Christian bakeries in Indiana, the right is telling paranoid Americans that the “other” is working to destroy our way of life.

Hawkish positions on national security are always a big winner, but let’s not forget that it has traditionally gone hand in hand with the domestic version: law and order. As crime rates fell over the past couple of decades, conservatives were unable to keep up the illusion of urban anarchy. But from the sound of the right-wing howling about Ferguson and Baltimore, it’s making a comeback. In an email newsletter, the National Review approvingly quoted Stephen Crowder, channeling the right-wing id with this comment:

You are animals. If you are able to destroy the home or business of your neighbor, you’ve lost your humanity. If you are able to harm your fellow man, to scare their children, to do so with a clean conscience, merely because of something that some cop may or may not have done, which has nothing to do with you . . . you are a horrible human being. You disgust me, as you should anyone who wishes to be a part of civilized society.

That is perhaps a bit cruder than what we heard from the National Review of 50 years ago, but the sentiment remains the same, although they took the gratuitous step of blaming civil rights leaders for the unrest:

For years now, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his associates have been deliberately undermining the foundations of internal order in this country. With their rabble-rousing demagoguery, they have been cracking the “cake of custom” that holds us together. With their doctrine of “civil disobedience,” they have been teaching hundreds of thousands of Negroes – particularly the adolescents and the children – that it is perfectly all right to break the law and defy constituted authority if you are a Negro-with-a-grievance; in protest against injustice. And they have done more than talk. They have on occasion after occasion, in almost every part of the country, called out their mobs on the streets, promoted “school strikes,” sit-ins, lie-ins, in explicit violation of the law and in explicit defiance of the public authority. They have taught anarchy and chaos by word and deed – and, no doubt, with the best intentions – and they have found apt pupils everywhere, with intentions not of the best. Sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind. But it is not they alone who reap it, but we as well; the entire nation. [National Review via The American Spirit: U.S. History as Seen by Contemporaries, Volume II, p. 523]

Republican presidential candidates are still formulating their responses to the events in Baltimore. Jeb Bush called for a restoration of law and order. The allegedly anti-authoritarian Rand Paul said the unrest was about the lack of “a moral code.” But you can bet that this reboot of Law and Order, as a major part of the fear-based GOP agenda, will get plenty of play over the next few months. If they hope to win, they’ll have to rally their base and pull as many white voters as they can from the Democrats. Fear-mongering about anarchy in the streets is an evergreen strategy.

However, these days there are videotapes of precipitating incidents and social media to disseminate them. We aren’t just watching riots in the streets anymore. The entire nation is also witnessing police brutalize and murder African-American citizens. And that, finally, hopefully, will tip the balance and we’ll start to address the long-standing, great festering problem of police violence in the African-American community.


Heather Digby PartonHeather Digby Parton, also known as “Digby,” is a contributing writer to Salon. She was the winner of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism.