Race Relations

Multiculturalism and America’s Broken Body

By the time it reached St. Paul, the metaphor of a body and its members had become a well-worn proverb. From its Aesopian origins to its later use by Menenius Agrippa, the essential theme had always been the same and still remains clear enough today: “a house divided . . .” to invoke the words of Jesus. And how could it be otherwise? It’s hard to believe that anyone could seriously question the theoretical basis of this statement, and yet the mass of multicultural fanatics seems bent on ignoring such a fundamental tenet of political theory. For sure, the old fable assumes a measure of diversity in its use of various limbs and organs, though never so much as to undermine the ultimate unity coming about through this diversity. E pluribus unum. Now, however, we have imbecilic leftists touting the virtues of their steroidal pluralism, striving not only to further the coexistence of various cultures and belief systems (an ideal as American as apple pie), but to convince the general populace that all of these cultures and belief systems are equally valid and true. Is it any wonder that Donald Trump has secured the Republican constituency?

Not a day goes by in which some version of this rancid filth doesn’t permeate the news outlets, usually with regard to gender identity or sexual orientation in some manner, though very often in relation to heritage and nationality: quite possibly the more dangerous of the two. Far from it being acceptable any longer simply to live and let these individuals exist in peace, standing equally before the law as they should, we’re progressively being forced into embracing their proclivities and worldviews as virtually no different from the more traditional values and frameworks which have so far defined this country. Leaving us with a mongrel bastard of their own peculiar ideology mixed with civil rights legislation, the philosophically-minded activists who ended up raping our college humanities departments have turned the political left away from all semblance of reason and have constructed a reality in which an infinite number of realities exists. Thus, it is not any more simply a matter of treating the human and his religion or ancestral customs with the dignity and impartiality they deserve in a free land, but a matter of coercing universal assent to those religions and customs with a stern caution that to do otherwise is “hateful.”

The problem with this radicalized relativism is that in the absence of a dominant culture society becomes little more than a weak confederation of only semi-unified groups that neither trust nor support each other, which isn’t far off from the well-publicized observations of Robert Putnam. But more to the point, when assimilation is discouraged, the people suffer and a country disintegrates. Shouldn’t this be obvious? Yet evidently it is too difficult for a large segment of our population to grasp, despite the tragic drama playing out before their own eyes. What’s worse is that they continue to spew forth their horrific nonsense by proposing more diversity training and more legal action in a misguided attempt at fostering unity when they are, in fact, doing nothing more than dislodging the very rational and Enlightened foundations on which the United States stands. Some have suggested that the collapse of America’s so-called “first city,” Cahokia came, not from environmental assaults or shortages of food, but from the internal strife which was a product of mass immigration and presumably a failure of these immigrants to acculturate themselves with Mississippian society. If such was our beginning, just imagine the end.

Thoughts in the Wake of Eric Harris’s Death

If I were to imagine a police sting gone wrong, an operation wherein the victim was accidentally killed by one of the officers on duty, it would probably unfold in a manner almost identical to what we’ve seen in the Eric Harris footage that’s been in the news lately and making rounds on social media. You might speculate that racial motivations lay behind the execution of Walter Scott or, to invoke namesakes, the strangling of Eric Garner, no matter how much and how deeply I hope to the contrary; but as far as I can tell, everything in this most recent travesty points to an unfortunate, though honest, mistake, plain and simple, albeit the kind of mistake one would expect to see when some geriatric rent-a-cop (actually, I think it’s called “pay-to-play”) is given permission to handle a deadly weapon that looks all too much like a taser.

Perhaps I should be a bit kinder to Mr. Bates as the immediate disposal of the still smoking gun and concomitant apology strikes my eyes and ears as nothing less than a sincere expression of shock and disbelief at what had just happened, while the aggression, brutality, and callous disregard exhibited by the accompanying patrolmen bring to mind a passage from Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink.

David Grossman, a former army lieutenant colonel and the author of On Killing, argues that the optimal state of “arousal” — the range in which stress improves performance — is when our heart rate is between 115 and 145 beats per minute . . .

“After 145,” Grossman says, “bad things begin to happen. Complex motor skills start to break down. Doing something with one hand and not the other becomes very difficult . . . At 175, we being to see an absolute breakdown of cognitive processing . . . The forebrain shuts down, and the mid-brain — the part of your brain that is the same as your dog’s (all mammals have that part of the brain) — reaches up and hijacks the forebrain. Have you ever tried to have a discussion with an angry or frightened human being? You can’t do it . . . You might as well try to argue with your dog.” Vision becomes even more restricted. Behavior becomes inappropriately aggressive . . . [emphasis mine]

This is precisely the reason that many police departments in recent years have banned high-speed chases. It’s not just because of the dangers of hitting some innocent bystander during the chase, although that is clearly part of the worry, since about three hundred Americans are killed accidentally every year during chases. It’s also because of what happens after the chase, since pursuing a suspect at high speed is precisely the kind of activity that pushes police officers into this dangerous high arousal. “The L.A. riot was started by what cops did to Rodney King at the end of the high-speed chase,” says James Fyfe, head of training for the NYPD, who has testified in many brutality cases.

However one feels about the previous law enforcement encounters that have made headlines over the past couple years (and weeks), I find it remarkably difficult to interpret this one as anything more than a mishap of the most tragic kind, fueled by the incompetence and poor judgement of whoever decided it would be a good idea to send an elderly reserve officer into a high pressure and volatile situation. Robert Bates deserves the conviction of second-degree manslaughter since “culpable negligence” is precisely how his behavior ought to be defined. The real responsibility, though, lies with the Tulsa County Police Department who should have never allowed this situation to happen and should have been far more diligent in assessing the type of work Officer Bates was being assigned.

We Can Only Know So Much About Zimmerman and His Intentions

Why don’t we wait to see where the pending civil rights investigation takes us before we start making any more judgements on George Zimmerman’s racial motivations, eh? The FBI found virtually no evidence that Martin’s color served as a catalyst for the events that transpired; and though there may be some kind of subconscious racial bias lying within Zimmerman’s psyche which will never be uncovered, that can never justify the overwhelming desire for a flagrant miscarriage of justice that was seen, and still is being seen, around the nation. Even Johnny McCray – a black lawyer I might add – agreed that acquittal was the only way to go in this case, despite his emotional desire to see a conviction.

Don’t be ashamed. The system worked perfectly fine here and did its job. There have been times when it hasn’t; but it is those instances for which we should be ashamed, not this one.

Does Anyone Actually Understand the American Legal System?

A part of me wanted to wax high and mighty in my diatribe against those who keep talking as if George Zimmerman should have been convicted of murder, but then I realized that such a maneuver would have been wee bit disingenuous of me since I really don’t know a whole lot either, however much I’d like to tell myself that I do.

The fact of the matter is, however, that the verdict was appropriate given the amount and quality of the data presented at the trial. Whether or not George Zimmerman actually murdered Trayvon Martin is irrelevant unless the evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that such was the case, since the accused is always presumed innocent, while the accuser is faced with the burden to prove his or her claims. Even if these claims make sense and seem to be probable, a conviction cannot happen if the evidence doesn’t substantiate them to a satisfactory degree. This has nothing to do with race. It’s a basic principle that applied to O.J. Simpson as much as it does to George Zimmerman, and it’s a principle meant to protect the innocent from being wrongfully imprisoned.

Now, it’s hard to deny that something really bad happened back in February. There’s no ignoring it: a young man is dead, and everyone involved will have to live with that reality in one way or another, which is tragic from any perspective. A family will never see their little boy again, and I can’t really blame them for whatever rage and sadness they feel at this point in time, since I’d most likely be the same way. To make matters worse, the ever-present feeling that the color of their skin played a role in Trayvon’s demise no doubt adds an extra sensation of injustice to the already-existing sting of having lost a child. But let’s not forget George Zimmerman. If we give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that the the whole thing was an accident (or even if we don’t), then he’s faced with a future in which he bears the responsibility for another man’s death, all the while being hated by not only the black community but a substantial portion of the white. He may have come out alive, but I dare say that there have been times already where he wished the opposite were true.

The way I see it, George Zimmerman committed no actual crime. Did he do something stupid? Maybe; but there isn’t any hard evidence that he broke the law (and again, he can’t be convicted just because people think he’s guilty). Instead of arguing about what appears to some a miscarriage of justice, then, maybe what we should really be focusing on is the underlying cause of racial bias that has tainted both blacks and whites for years, regardless of how this case squares with the formal books of jurisprudence. Zimmerman was suspicious of a man, possibly at least in part, because he was black, while Martin felt he was being followed by a “creepy-ass cracker”; and while one can’t really blame him, his choice of nomenclature may be illustrative of a failure in certain circles of the black community to assuage the already-existing prejudice found among some whites, who become only more aggravated when they feel that everything they do and say is offensive and racist.

Maybe, instead of yelling at each other and crying “foul” each time a racial conflict arises, we could look to those communities and organizations in which blacks and whites exist peacefully side-by-side, taking a page from their book and learning what ingredients are necessary and beneficial for a good and wholesome relationship between the two races and among all. Pointing the finger only makes things worse, and that’s the real injustice because that just strengthens and exacerbates the fundamental condition that got us here in the first place.