White conservative bloggers and Twitter users – and Rudy Giuliani – trade lies to defend their house of cards. (More)
“When you say black lives matter, that’s inherently racist”
“When you say black lives matter, that’s inherently racist,” Mr. Giuliani said in an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation. “Black lives matter. White lives matter. Asian lives matter. Hispanic lives matter. That’s anti-American, and it’s racist.”
“I think the reason that the organizers used the phrase “black lives matter” was not because they were suggesting nobody else’s lives matter,” he said. “What they were suggesting was, there is a specific problem that is happening in the African-American community that’s not happening in other communities. And that is a legitimate issue that we’ve got to address.”
If you’re sincerely trying to understand why the Black Lives Matter movement chose that name, it’s really not that difficult.
“Saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem”
Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.” Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment – indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any!
The problem is that the statement “I should get my fair share” had an implicit “too” at the end: “I should get my fair share, too, just like everyone else.” But your dad’s response treated your statement as though you meant “only I should get my fair share”, which clearly was not your intention. As a result, his statement that “everyone should get their fair share,” while true, only served to ignore the problem you were trying to point out.
That’s the situation of the “black lives matter” movement. Culture, laws, the arts, religion, and everyone else repeatedly suggest that all lives should matter. Clearly, that message already abounds in our society.
The problem is that, in practice, the world doesn’t work the way. You see the film Nightcrawler? You know the part where Renee Russo tells Jake Gyllenhal that she doesn’t want footage of a black or latino person dying, she wants news stories about affluent white people being killed? That’s not made up out of whole cloth – there is a news bias toward stories that the majority of the audience (who are white) can identify with. So when a young black man gets killed (prior to the recent police shootings), it’s generally not considered “news”, while a middle-aged white woman being killed is treated as news. And to a large degree, that is accurate – young black men are killed in significantly disproportionate numbers, which is why we don’t treat it as anything new. But the result is that, societally, we don’t pay as much attention to certain people’s deaths as we do to others. So, currently, we don’t treat all lives as though they matter equally.
Just like asking dad for your fair share, the phrase “black lives matter” also has an implicit “too” at the end: it’s saying that black lives should also matter. But responding to this by saying “all lives matter” is willfully going back to ignoring the problem. It’s a way of dismissing the statement by falsely suggesting that it means “only black lives matter,” when that is obviously not the case. And so saying “all lives matter” as a direct response to “black lives matter” is essentially saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem.
And that last line is precisely the point. Giuliani and other conservatives don’t misunderstand the meaning of Black Lives Matter. He and they disagree that Black Lives Matter. As we discussed Saturday, Giuliani and other conservatives care only about whites’ feelings of racial comfort … because they live in Fragile White World.
“Our own government in a nation within a nation”
For example, in Fragile White World it’s perfectly plausible to hype an interview with the leader of a tiny political movement as representing a threat to the United States:
Babu Omowale, the so-called national minister of defense for the People’s New Black Panther Party, says his group and allied organizations have their sights set on establishing “our own government in a nation within a nation.”
That’s in huge, bold, black type under a picture of three women wearing black berets with their arms raised in the 1960s-era Black Power salute. You have to read to the bottom of the article to discover that Omowale – unlike many conservatives in Texas – is not suggesting secession:
We just need to start migrating back to those states and taking control of the economics in those states. If black people move in, most definitely white people will move out. So it’s not a hard process for us to have our own country within a country.
There is no way that we can totally separate ourselves in the United States of America and we are aware of that. We know that we are owed land, we are owed monies, we are owed restitutions and we are owed reparations. That’s going to be a continuing process. What we are saying right now is we want to control the economics in our community. We want to control the black dollars. The money that goes in, the money that goes out.
We want to control the politics in our community. If a politician is not bringing anything to the table for the betterment of that community, we are not going to vote for these particular people. And we most definitely want to control the education. What our people are learning in what we call the public fool system, not school system, where they are teaching and misrepresenting the true history of the black man here in the United States.
In short, Omowale proposes the ‘radical’ idea that people of color should relocate to form economic and political majorities in a few southern U.S. states, and then use their economic and political clout to address problems in their community. Oh, the horror!
And how many people does Omowale represent? Maybe a few thousand, and more likely a few hundred, in the U.S. and France combined. But in Fragile White World, that’s enough to howl “Man the barricades!”
“A political prisoner in Multnomah County”
Reports from the left and media to the contrary notwithstanding, Strickland’s not a nut or a kook. He’s a serious young man who is fulfilling a calling to expose the manipulations of the left and the media that proliferate and quite literally shout down the voices of opposing points of view in Portland and Oregon. There are probably several things with which I disagree with Mike, Ron Paul fandom comes to mind, but he’s no ‘winger.’
The author then offers her take on a video that shows Strickland taunting Black Lives Matter protesters, pulling a gun when they confront him, being ordered to holster his weapon, and then being arrested for the crime of menacing.
But in Fragile White World, a white man is legally entitled to bring a weapon to a rally, taunt the protesters, and then draw his weapon when they confront him … because Second Amendment!
Meanwhile blacks being shot by cops for doing what white gun fetishists insist is an inalienable right is irrelevant to NRA leaders. As Michael Eric Dyson put it in an MSNBC interview a few years ago, “For white people, self-defense is a sacrament. For black people, it’s an oxymoron.”
“Thank a white person today”
Fragile White World is perfectly crystallized in this post from a trending Twitter hashtag #WhiteInventions:
— Faustian (@Perennialism) July 11, 2016
Never mind that the tweeter had nothing to do with that, or any of the accomplishments cited in the #WhiteInventions hashtag. People of color should bow in gratitude to every white person they see … because Aristotle, Shakespeare, Jefferson, Einstein….
Such reactions expose the simple truth: Fragile White World is fragile because it’s built on ignoring people of color. That’s why white conservatives have spent the last eight years in a state of apoplexy. That’s why Donald Trump’s unvarnished racism won the GOP nomination. And that’s why Rudy Giuliana says it’s “racist” for people of color to declare “Black Lives Matter.”
They don’t misunderstand the phrase. Rather, the people who live in Fragile White World don’t want black lives – or any lives but their own – to matter … to anyone. Ever.
Photo Credit: Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Good day and good nuts