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« An update, or amendment, to my NetRoots-Sanders post | Main | The limits of GOP crazy »

July 26, 2015


Peter G

Couldn't have said it better. I will now and forever after be burdened with the knowledge and the shame of believing that all lives matter.


Since we're being more personal today I'll mention that I too am part native American; one eighth Cherokee to be exact. Mendelian outcomes have made it noticeable to certain people, especially native Americans. Once, after an older native man gave me a good looking over, he called me "brother." I have never been more touched, and it's only one reason I can't buy the Marxist theory that character is determined by economics. Economic considerations are merely indicators of how we relate to each other as humans. The more respect we have for one another the more equitable economics will become. This is not a new idea and is a recurring theme in speculative fiction.

It's an unfortunate political truth that some groups demand to be decoded. Perhaps they feel a special privilege in having an inside, semi-secret language they develop much the way some very young siblings do. In some cases they might see it as the only privilege available. It's counter-productive to support the behavior by trying to chant along, which only invites ridicule, but it can't hurt to understand and respect it for what it is.

Like him or not, one of our current political geniuses intuitively identified an important characteristic of our tribe:

Anne J

Well, all I can say is that, it is this sense of realism that has kept me reading your blog for the last decade+. Even if you are a brutish white with some red man.


The BLM people arent advocating to end racism; suggesting they are is just changing the subject. I'm pretty sure they know racism has no legislative cure. They would like the police to stop harassing and often killing unarmed black people. I'm white, and I'll never understand why white people who claim to be liberal, progressive, social democrats or simply decent human beings aren't outraged by this. Aggressive policing in this country is not an economic issue for blacks. The downside of that policy visits itself on every socio- economic group in the black community. Chris Rock keeps a video log of his encounters with police who frequently pull him over as he drives to his home in an affluent New Jersey suburb. The sad irony is that the wife and children of Eric Garner will receive economic justice to the tune of 5.4 million, but the cops who killed him are still "serving and protecting" the public. They pay no price. There are things we could do to address this if we truly gave a damn about it, and black people understand that oh too well.

Peter G

Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to what they are advocating for. I'd like to know and so, I suspect, would every other person attending a public event to hear how a candidate plans to address a broad range of problems and concerns. As near as I can tell they are advocating for the right to stop anyone saying anything but what they themselves want to hear.


re: She was a Gloria Steinem, only prettier (and yes I know that's sexist).

Why do you say that? It's just a statement of your opinion. You are just making an observation comparing the relative attractiveness (to you) between two women.

If you said something like: "she was smart for a woman;" then I would agree that that would be sexist.


Sam3 said..."They would like the police to stop harassing and often killing unarmed black people." That's where #BLM started. If you cannot see that PG, there is no hope in the liberal white world for change as that has been the group of people who have brought about social justice in the USA for Black people.


Agreed with what Sam3 said, and your feminist spokesmodel sounds like a twit.

Awareness of one problem is not our cue to lock out all other people's problems, even those unrelated to us.

We do reserve the right to eyeroll when some well-meaning interlocutor insists on changing the subject, or generalizing it into meaninglessness.

If your companion has cancer, and says cancer is the worst disease known to's not exactly responsive to say, "But ALL diseases suck, and I've heard terrible things about Ebola."

If you got that answer I'm pretty sure you'd end that conversation, too.

David & Son of Duff

Brace yourself, Mr. Carpenter, and ensure that the bourbon is to hand - I agree with you!

But, er, the really, really important but delicate question is, did you get your leg over?


Blm is an angry protest movement engaging in a lot of ineffective sloganeering and bullying. They're not the first group to to disrupt Netroots Nation. It happens every year. I an no more interested in listening to BLM that I was in listening to Code Pink. However, my indifference to Code Pink didn't mean I didn't want to hear what the 2008 candidate were proposing to do about Iraq. Ditto with the issue of over aggressive policing in minority communities. I couldn't care less what BLM's proposals are , or even if they have any proposals. I care what the candidates running for my party's nomination propose to do.

Peter G

I think I got the point. I also appreciate the irony of complaining about changing the subject by people who claim the right to change the subject exclusively to their subject. And before I can permit you to speak again I'm afraid I must insist you tweet the names Ramos and Liu to #alllivesmatter. Say their names. If you can't see that then there is no hope of having your own concerns taken seriously.

Since it is apparently impossible for a non-black person to hold the proper beliefs and there seems to be a paucity of black democratic presidential candidates I fear that leaves but one option, support Carson. I am immune to most accusations of bias and just so you know I think Code Pink are idiots too. In fact I'll make that general. I think any group that shouts down public speakers other people came to hear are jerks.

Peter G

I'm surprised David. I was sure you were going to ask, salaciously, whether PM had gotten a good caning out of the affair.

Peter G

You may have picked the most inappropriate person in the world to present with that analogy. Of course a different way of phrasing that would be to insist that only Ebola could be discussed in a group of people who had lost loved ones to many different causes because Ebola is your chief concern. And anyone else who dared to speak to their own grief had to be shouted down with cries of Ebola matters!

The Raven

The thing that is missing from this discussion is that (mostly) black people are dying at hands of (mostly) white police. In any sane country, stopping this would be a top policy priority. They aren't wrong in this: it is racist to treat this as one of many issues of moderate priority: it is literal life and death for 13% of the USA.

There is another compelling reason to act on this for everyone, white or black: first the bad cops do it *for* you, then they do it *to* you. White folk aren't immune.

I question, though, shouting down Bernie Sanders, who has been a reliable ally of blacks for decades. Martin O'Malley, on the other hand, may have been a major contributor to the Baltimore policing policies that led to the death of Freddie Gray—if that is true, as far as I am concerned black activists can get in his face as much as they want. (David Simon, creator of the television show *The Wire*, on the subject:

The Raven

And, not be able to recognize when a URL ends, mangled by David Simon link. Sorry. It was intended to be


PG you say you got the point, but what I responded to in your comment was the query "Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to what they are advocating for." So were you being dramatic for drama's sake ? If so I apologise for missing your point. It is impossible for anyone to list all the people who have been wronged in some way or other, and that is the point of movements like #BLM. And I have said before that all issues need to be addressed that need addressing, not just the subject that is "my" subject. And I have stated that African Americans' biggest ally in social change has been the liberal white person and no one has said that non-black people cannot hold "proper beliefs" - that's like saying a straight person cannot understand or empathise with a gay person. And supporting a crazy like Carson because of colour - is exactly the problem that leads to a #BLM....we're all smarter than that these days !! And yes, I agree and have said previously that the intent may have been right, but the way they went about it was have done that was negate their message.


Summed up nicely...

Another Matt

I did see one coherent and fairly convincing note saying why blm should not be changed to alm, for reasons of taste:

David & Son of Duff

Also, have a care, Mr. Carpenter, if you are still in touch with that rather fierce-sounding lady because I don't think she would be too impressed by the ad for, er, Russian ladies in your side-bar! I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked!

Peter G

The real question is who are you making the point to? Bernie's been around a long time and has been an ally of the civil rights movement just about as long as he has been an adult. Bernie doesn't get it? If the message is that your race prevents you from understanding issues of race then there really isn't much point of discussing it is there? Ditto for gender or gender identity or any other identity you care to identify with. What exactly do they expect to achieve by shouting down people like Bernie? I think we all agree on that.

Speaking of Carson was a poor attempt to make a point that I would like to clarify. Every time a candidate is selected for the office of president they represent a bag of identities that include gender and race and, economic class and culture (which varies in the US quite a lot regionally)and I see little point in going after candidates for what they are not and cannot change. Especially when they have given every indication of understanding, insofar as that is possible,what the interests of the coalition they wish to lead needs and wants. There never will be a demographically ideal candidate.

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