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A Flawed Indictment of White America

In 2016, Donald Trump’s margin among white voters was actually 1 percentage point greater than Ronald Reagan’s in his 1984 landslide over Walter Mondale. At the same time, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.86 million—nearly the magnitude of victory enjoyed by George W. Bush in 2004. These factoids crystalize the limits of both Trump’s appeal and the power of the Democrats’ Coalition of the Ascendant. Combined with Trump’s clenched-fisted inaugural address [1] the next day’s nationwide demonstrations, and last weekend’s immigration protests, America looks like it is in the midst of a semi-civil civil war [2].

Michael Eric Dyson’s Tears We Cannot Stop does not go there. Instead, it is an emotional indictment of White America—a jeremiad and a primal scream from a man who is both an ordained minister and a chaired Georgetown University professor. Tears We Cannot Stop catalogs a litany of measures that should be embraced by white Americans, including reparations for the descendants of slaves in the form of Individual Reparations Accounts (IRAs) and a black tax, that is, payment by whites of a surcharge for work performed by black Americans. Suffice it to say, neither will happen any time soon.

Tears is also notable for what it is not. It is not a guide to how the Democrats can regain power, and it is not a salve for white liberals. Rather, Tears is really Dyson’s own J’accuse. Dyson is raw and unfiltered. He targets white liberals and acidly refers to his readers as “beloved,” acridly infusing that word—a word repeatedly found in Solomon’s Song of Songs, the Bible’s own love poem—with vinegar, bile, and guilt.

So as to obliterate any possibility of ambiguity, Dyson unloads on Mark Lilla, a Columbia University history professor who had warned against the excesses of identity politics and blamed them, in part, for Hillary Clinton’s defeat. As Lilla jarringly framed things in the New York Times [3], “liberals should bear in mind that the first identity movement in American politics was the Ku Klux Klan, which still exists,” and that “those who play the identity game should be prepared to lose it.”  Unfortunately, Dyson has no patience for Lilla’s critique and instead lashes out, characterizing Lilla’s views as those of an amnesiac with a “fang, an exposed snarl, and inconvenient messiness of real history.”

Dyson would do better to digest Lilla’s political postmortem and pay greater attention to the numbers. The fact is that Barack Obama, an African-American, significantly outpolled Hillary Clinton with the white working class. Other key statistics that bear upon America today are that white life expectancy is in decline [4], even with Obamacare as the law of the land, and that the economic recovery has been real but uneven.

Whites lost more than 700,000 jobs [5] between November 2007 and late 2016. On a personal level that is a disaster, and on the political plane, that spelled Election Day doom for the Clinton campaign, a reminder that life in rural Pennsylvania is far from a weekend in Larchmont, and not just as a matter of geographic distance. Charles Murray’s blighted Fishtown is real, and for the Blue America’s elites way too remote.

Although Dyson’s “sermon” is born of harsh personal experiences and encounters, he unrealistically expects the reader to embrace his crusade. Dyson tells of how, as a teenager, he was stopped by a policeman on the suspicion of driving a stolen car (which actually belonged to Dyson’s father), and after Dyson had reached into his pocket to retrieve the car’s registration papers, the officer bellowed, “N*****, if you move again without telling me to I’ll put a bullet through your f***ing head.” There is no reason to doubt Tyson’s recollection here.

Dyson also writes of how he was asked to step out of his car by the police, after Dyson had hit his son three times as an act of paternal discipline. Apparently, Dyson then identified himself as an academic to the policeman, who shot back, in front of Dyson’s wife and son, “And I’m John Wayne,” but then let Dyson go after a pat-down and Dyson being encircled by other police cars. In addition, Dyson informs the reader that his own brother was convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Make no mistake, all of this is tragic.

But Dyson’s narrative does not end there. Instead, Dyson launches into a head-on attack on America’s police in a chapter titled “Coptopia.” He also tries to explain away the premeditated murder of police in Baton Rouge, La., and Dallas, Texas, during the summer of 2016, all which coincided with the political convention season.

The bottom line is that personal grievance does not necessarily make for good politics or sound public policy, particularly when it comes to police. At a time when America’s institutions are ever more distrusted, the three exceptions [6] to the trend are the military, small business, and the police. While less than a quarter of Americans have confidence in the criminal-justice system and only two in five trust organized religion, a majority have faith in the police. Indeed, by October 2016, the polls showed that 76 percent [7] of Americans had a “great deal of respect for police,” a number not seen since a deadly and riotous 1968.

All this encapsulates the Democrats’ dilemma and the shortcoming of having become overly reliant upon the Coalition of the Ascendant, the amalgam of minority and younger voters. Black lives matter, but white votes do too. And yes, politicians with a focused eye on the prize get it.

Two-term president Bill Clinton repeatedly pleaded [8] with his wife’s campaign to spend more time in the Rust Belt, but was ignored. Bill de Blasio, New York City’s ethically addled mayor, has increased the size of New York Police Department [9] and touts the fact that in 2016 murder was at a record low [10]—this after de Blasio first rode into office castigating the cops.

Dyson possesses the dual advantages of the ivory tower and the pulpit. He also carries his personal pain and is free to focus as he so chooses. But with Chicago neighborhoods having turned into killing fields, and with the Obama presidency having hollowed out the Democratic Party, Dyson’s time may have been better spent on a book that was less indictment and more panorama, one that translated Dyson’s grievances and ideals into something practical and embracing, one that acknowledged that 2017 is not 1860, or even 1964.

Lloyd Green, an attorney in New York, was opposition research counsel to George H.W. Bush’s 1988 campaign, and served in the Department of Justice between 1990 and 1992.

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20 Comments To "A Flawed Indictment of White America"

#1 Comment By M_Young On February 2, 2017 @ 5:25 am

““liberals should bear in mind that the first identity movement in American politics was the Ku Klux Klan, which still exists,” ”

No, the first identity movement was the Founders. Check out Federalist 2.

“With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people–a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence.”

#2 Comment By Nyte On February 2, 2017 @ 5:59 am

I am going to ave several responses here. I first read Rev/Dr. Dyson’s material in the mid-1990’s. It’s a rhetorical tour de force and his lectures in person are even more so.

As I recall he is clearly aware of the numbers. But more to the point, the issue of color in nationally historic in which both parties have played against or to blackness to their parties’ benefit and by that it’s to the benefit of whites at both ends of the contends.

Here’s what the numbers tell us. That the last Pres, appeal comes as the result of feeling the pain of the income gap as to consequence of the policies over the last thirty years, more likely a bit more. A consequence that blacks have had to wade through up to their shoulders as a result of policy and intent of the dominant society to deny them what they as people and even as citizens were entitled and yet denied to cause of skin color. That h need to baby sit whites through the historical realities and consequence repeatedly might be a tad tiring.

It’s really very simple, thos 700,000 jobs lost did not go to blacks. In fact, it’s likely that if whites lost nearly a million jobs, blacks lost more at the very least a higher percentage of the same Excuse my not toddlng one through the numbers though, a favorite academic ploy sometimes used to avoid the obvious and more to the point an indictment of black intellectual integrity. As much an indictment as the aside about Dr./Rev Dyson’s memory, subtle but the point is made.

Now I haven’t read Dr. Dyson’s book. So I have no idea if he is trying to explain anything away. But I seriously doubt it. I have never known Dr./Rev Dyson to press for a lack of taking responsibility as individuals. He has made great strides in explicating why construct exists. That is not the same as excusing, condoning or unlawful or even human unethical behavior.
Tragic as it may be that police officer’s were targeted, the incident was played to feed a false narrative that there was or is a war on police. Let’s play with the numbers. The number of officers who lost their lives in the line of duty as the result of homicide was some 40-47%. That number was repeatedly used By then Mr. Trump and others. The rhetoric was there is a war on police. Associated with the rhetoric of Black Lives, and playing on those of the ‘supposed’ radicals of the 1960’s, the public was then treated to the individual lives of the slain officers as a bid for sympathy and a demand to respect for the dangerous lives police officers lead.

The reality of the numbers tell a completely different story. Even here the “Ferguson Effect” was touted out to be labor the personal narrative of the hard life the police lead on dangerous streets. But in reality looking beyond the small sample size
of the cites examined to a much larger sample, there is no Ferguson effect just as there is no evidence of a war against police. The numbers, indicate that the overall crime rate is still in decline, despite an apparent uptick. Which has yet to be measured as a trend as opposed to a spike. And that spike cannot be linked to events of Ferguson. As for the war on police as indicted by the number of police homicides, the increase represents a total increase of that amounts to less than 0.008% of officers on duty. And of those motive, being an officer can be ascribed to about seven officers of the nearly 700,000 on duty. I am unclear what constitutes a war, but I’m sure anyone making that would need a substantially higher number with the officers as target. Even being generously, gratuitously so, say 107 seven officers were killed in the line of duty last year because they were officers that war would be 0.015% effective. But that is not the number ad there is no war of any consequence n police, despite the tragic loss of life.

And yet the game of numbers to make the case namely to press against blacks making complaint about police use of excessive force ha gone on unabated and given white control over all things communication, it has been quite effective. But it is entirely false, misleading and coercive, if subtle to undermine not only the case against the police, but black credibility en large. But the most powerful play was the use of personal lives of the officers to make the case for not only respect, but authority, even when said authority is abusive. Oh there’s a unique historical construct, whites abusing stats, enhanced by personal narrative to keep blacks in place and of course wrapped in the sacred cow of respect for police. Law and order is a two way street, with a heavier burden on those officers of the state to adhere to the rules, not merely their ability to use force for order. As a conservative, trust for police is not as essential as the integrity of government which is increasingly in short supply. Polic are an important tool, but the reaon the system doesn’t fall apart is because most blacks along with whites are ‘law biding citizens.’ I say that knowing full well that powerful and effective narratives no small number of them personal in nature have been utilized to criminalize blacks as a color and thereby as individuals.

I think it’s quite interesting that numbers have been used to make a case against affirmative action. Unless of course it’s to avoid the reality that despite all of the attacks against affirmative action, white women own the largest share of its intent, by far of the system, but blacks are the target of its failure. I think the number remains at the 60% plus threshold of benefit for white women. Interesting that the country was all too eager to export quota systems to countries she invaded. Failure, indeed.

The next suggestion that whites vote is almost laugh out funny. No kidding, whites vote. And no kidding that whites come together to vote in what they perceive to be white interest to the detriment of blacks. I am sure, without having read the book that Dr./Rev Dyson is keenly aware of the political manifestations, that white voting supersedes integrity, truth and the slippery and malleable idea of justice.

There is an indictment of Dr./Rev Dyson, that I will make. He is categorically incorrect when he cites the beginnings of the relational color dynamic mess in the country to the KKK. In fact, I am surprised. The mess was carved into an ethic and law prior to the country’s founding. But for the US its core rests in the comprises of bot the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. The fate of what it meant to be black lies in the weakness of intellectual, and ethical cowardice of the founders. And the country’s inheritance of the same.

I fully understand that my comment make me an enemy. But I came to understand my status in this country long before today.

#3 Comment By Dave B. On February 2, 2017 @ 10:24 am

Hello, I am a causation male, 58 years old. I am in fact first generation in this country. Both my parents came to this country, by ship in 1958. That being said, and our family lineage being working class, never slave owners! How would slave owners of two hundred years to the civil war, then the civil rights movement be vetted. My family took no part in slavery, why then would I be held accountable? I am a born again Christian. I hold no discrimination in my heart, we love all of mankind. The color of ones skin is blind in Gods eyes, and so I believe the same as my Lord.

#4 Comment By Kurt Gayle On February 2, 2017 @ 11:18 am

Even as “Dyson launches into a head-on attack on America’s police in a chapter titled ‘Coptopia’…[and] tries to explain away the premeditated murder of police in Baton Rouge, La., and Dallas, Texas, during the summer of 2016…the bottom line is that personal grievance does not necessarily make for good politics or sound public policy, particularly when it comes to police…Indeed, by October 2016, the polls showed that 76 percent of Americans had a ‘great deal of respect for police,’ a number not seen since a deadly and riotous 1968…[The same Gallup poll also showed that 67% of non-white Americans had a ‘great deal of respect for police’] All this encapsulates the Democrats’ dilemma…”

A fine analysis, Lloyd Green, but as a Trump supporter my reaction is:

“Shhhhhh!!!! Don’t say another word! Let Dyson and the Democrats keep pushing their war on cops! It looks good on them!”

#5 Comment By John Lord On February 2, 2017 @ 2:35 pm

The problem with (minority) identity politics is that if certain groups are given favoured identity status, then other groups will look for same, including the majority, because,believe it or not, identity is not just a function of minority status.

#6 Comment By JessicaR On February 2, 2017 @ 9:58 pm

“Dyson also writes of how he was asked to step out of his car by the police, after Dyson had hit his son three times as an act of paternal discipline.”

I doubt that this cop stops everyone who strikes a child. I’ll bet this “paternal discipline” was more than a swat and that he whaled on the kid. Now Dyson wants to play the race card. Good for the cop.

#7 Comment By Lee On February 3, 2017 @ 5:47 am

It seems rationally fair to consider the notion of Dyson, as “opportunistic racist.”

#8 Comment By Donald On February 3, 2017 @ 10:13 am

The article here tries to be nuanced. I don’t think it completely succeeds, but it does a much better job than the commenters I read praising it.

M Young thinks he is making a devastating point citing the Founders. Of course for most of America’s history anyone who wasn’t Anglo Saxon was at best regarded with disdain by many and at worst enslaved. We shouldn’t judge the founders by out standards, but they are not a model for us.

Kurt Gayle makes it all about partisan politics. He isn’t alone. People in both parties are using the worst behavior on the other side to double down on their own form of stupidity.

John Lord– good point.

Jessica R makes a decent point. Hitting the son three times– I might have stopped him myself.. On the other hand, if Dyson is telling the truth about the cop’s behavior he should have been fired and probably brought up on charges.

#9 Comment By EliteCommInc. On February 3, 2017 @ 11:27 am

I am going to take a look at this chapter that has some of you so betwixt.

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“It seems rationally fair to consider the notion of Dyson, as “opportunistic racist.”

There is nothing about Dr. Dyson that indicates he supports that blacks are superior because of their skin color. Nor is there anything that suggests he support such a model if blacks were the majority society. It might be good idea to examine body of Dr. Dysons works as opposed to a single review of one book.
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The larger sense of comments here is an objection to identity politics — problem – the country was born on identity politics. Second is the warped view that Dr. Dyson’s politics is formed by his supposed “outrage” and “emotion” as opposed to most likely be that his understanding of the political, social reality presses the anger(the angry black man motif is as old as the existence of blacks in the country – never mind the fear mongering that accompanied it shaping both, cultural, financial, political and personal relations between blacks and whites to this day.)
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As for reparations, when I was attending to this issue, where most blacks (that I knew) stood on the question was noncommittal. I am not sure they could grasp how it would work. But the case unfortunately is pretty clear. Did the US engage in a systematic discrimination against blacks that impacted their financial fortunes. Oddly enough, amongst all the prognostications about how the personal narrative is bad policy, the common response is tat it is not my fault. This of course based on the articles position a bad means for making policy. Here’s a worked for you. It’s not about you. It’s about the nation. It’s a claim against the estate. That estate includes black citizens. This is not a new issue among historians and what they will tell you is that there is an extensive record of slavery and slaves. There are troubling questions, does a suit include “jim crow; north south west and east despite its various guises around the country, there’s a fairly clear record that the country engaged in discrimination beyond social all across the country that had long term consequences or should reparations be to the descendants of slaves only. But most importantly to remember, it’s not about you or me as persons, regardless of how how kindly, fair, just, and wonderful we see ourselves.

#10 Comment By Matt On February 3, 2017 @ 12:29 pm

Law and order always wins, as it is one of the most basic functions of the state. Even much of the “coalition of the ascendant” is not going to dive headfirst into this anti-police agenda that’s been showing up on the social justice left. BLM failed because most people, rightly or wrongly, see restricting the police as enabling criminals. They also dismissed crime statistics as unimportant red herrings.

#11 Comment By Art Deco On February 4, 2017 @ 2:37 am

More kvetching from pampered pets.

Dyson’s time may have been better spent on a book that was less indictment and more panorama, one that translated Dyson’s grievances and ideals into something practical and embracing, one that acknowledged that 2017 is not 1860, or even 1964

Dyson’s time might better be spent on writing about comparative religion, a subject in which he has actual graduate training. He lacks the competence to offer much of a scholarly perspective on social relations in this country and it’s a reasonable wager he lacks the insight to offer a humanistic one.

#12 Comment By Art Deco On February 4, 2017 @ 2:40 am

It’s a rhetorical tour de force

So what? People talented at word play offer nothing if what they value is cockeyed and what they fancy they know is not grounded in observable social reality.

#13 Comment By Art Deco On February 4, 2017 @ 2:46 am

But Dyson’s narrative does not end there. Instead, Dyson launches into a head-on attack on America’s police in a chapter titled “Coptopia.”

Someone whose concern for the welfare of blacks was anything other than spurious would not do that. The social circumstances which blacks face are most distinct in the realm of public order. Understaffed forces and otiose policing mean a homicide rate of 35 per 100,000 in the slums juxtaposed to a rate of 3 per 100,000 in the suburbs. Blacks would benefit greatly from vigorous policing. Smearing police officers is not a means of obtaining that.

#14 Comment By KekisHalol On February 5, 2017 @ 3:00 am

Keep the tears comin, Leftist hatemongers.
Hopefully there will be enough to put out all the fires started at Leftie riots.
Just love the tears from hateful commie crybullies.
MAGA

#15 Comment By Nick On February 5, 2017 @ 8:14 am

James Dyson made a fortune off of things that suck. Ta-Nehisi Coates made a fortune off of a book that plays the heart strings of white liberals. Michael Eric Dyson seeks to capitalize on both models. This assumes that the people who bought Coates’ book haven’t maxed out their credit cards buying fill-in-the-blank protest placards and anti-anxiety herbal remedies, since the white people they and Dyson feel entitled to publicly hate voted for Trump.

#16 Comment By jb On February 5, 2017 @ 11:09 am

The world is filled with ethnic nationalists who seethe with hatred for those they see as their enemies. In Iraq, Sunnis nationalists hate the Shiites, and Shiite nationalists hate the Sunnis. In Sri Lanka, Sinhalese nationalists hate the Tamils, and Tamil nationalist hate the Sinhalese. In America, black nationalists like Mr. Dyson hate the whites, and white nationalists …, well, actually, despite what we are constantly being told, there aren’t any white nationalists of any consequence in America.

The fact that whites in America (and in the West in general) are unwilling to stand up for their own interests is what makes ethnic conflict here so different from the rest of the world. But I think it’s important to realize that it’s the whites who are different, not the blacks! If white people were to begin to understand that blacks like Mr. Dyson (and Ta-Nehisi Coates, and so on) are really just American versions of the enraged ethnic nationalists you find in so much of the rest of the world, and that they are just as susceptible to self-serving delusion as those other nationalists, then they would stop giving them automatic respect, and maybe we could actually begin to make some progress.

#17 Comment By Winston On February 6, 2017 @ 3:45 am

You may want to heck this out:
[11]
Drawing Lessons From a Segregated History

Harvard urban planning professor Daniel D’Oca took his design grad students to Ferguson to see the impacts of racial zoning ordinances. They came back with some novel solutions.

While Africans slaves in US, they were even rulers and respected govt servants in India.

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[13]
Africans in India: Pictures that Speak of a Forgotten History

#18 Comment By EliteCommInc. On February 6, 2017 @ 11:30 am

Here’s my long windy response.

There are plenty of problems with Dr Dyson’s liberal views, but the case concerning blacks in the country s not on of them. In general he makes a case that is supported by the record of history. And it’s a very tough case to defeat

I think the first of order of business is to put to rest the contend that there’s any manner of war on police that is generalizable to the black population.

I did listen to an oral interview of Dr. Dyson’s book.

He does make a case that the police based on very specific behaviors are as ISIS in some, if not a lot of black communities. This isn’t a stretch for me. The tales of police tactics among black communities from new York to San Francisco has a very detailed record. It’s record that stretches in very direction of the country across the US. In the new main the general public only knows the stories in which death results of a camera is near by. But the material on the subject is not unknown among sociologists and members of the law profession. Further, Dr. Dyson is not so much justifying it as to a choice. He is explaining why some number of people might want to target the police because of certain abusive tactics. His position is more akin to understanding as opposed to advocacy. Those who characterize his position as a war on police are taking liberties with his intent.
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I found the responses to the police issue interesting. The author chose to lean on numbers of the percentage of people who respect the police.

First whether or not people respect the police is not indicative of whether they think the police in abusive manner. I have no idea where that polling data came from. but I did take the time to examine some data sets from the Pew Research firm. The poll data examined various attitudes about police among the follow groups:

Police officers: black and white
Public; black and white

And the data sets are very telling. They reveal some clear divides between the public and police. Key among them are clearly indicate that the majority of the public think that there is a need for changes in their behavior and the public believes there is a need to hold police accountable. Those numbers are substantial.

The data set I found most useful was that indicating that the public thinks or ‘feels’ that the issues between police officers (shootings) is a sign of a much broader problem.

The public doesn’t think there’s a need for more police. That was an interesting number given the hype about a war on police.

While the public does think that there is antipolice bias that contributes to protests, they also believe that the protests are motivated by a desire to hold police accountable.

And there a general even split as whether or not there needs to be changes to ensure equal treatment among blacks.

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more data sets from pew very informative

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There is not a lot of evidence that the democrats or anyone else of any color is making war on the police. Not one that is generalizable. There may be some small number who advocate taking action against the police because they are police. When I say war I mean verbal incitement to or actual violence. There may be a growing undercurrent that that existed among some small number of groups in the late 60’s for the purpose of self defense. I think this is what Dr. Dyson is alluding to on the matter of the police. It’s hard to think of one needing protection from the police, that is not a unique staple historically for some black neighborhoods.

If one counts the calls for more police scrutiny and accountability as a war. Then there is clearly a war on police. But using the term war for what is essentially criticism and calls for change is again taking liberties that have little support.

The police have generally been “sacred cows”. In the age of instaphones, cell phones, viral internet feeds, there is more light on their behavior, and attitudes. The level of scrutiny as has never been known by the police. So it may ‘feel’ they are under attack, but there’s little evidence that that there is a general war, even a verbal one against the police.

I think this article is accurate.

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In complete contrast to a primary contention by the author, the personal narrative has been a powerful for in building a political base. And no groups have use this as successfully as white women and those that engage in same sex relations. Since the late sixties these two groups have consistently and universally used anger, sympathy and rage to

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“The problem with (minority) identity politics is that if certain groups are given favoured identity status, then other groups will look for same, including the majority, because,believe it or not, identity is not just a function of minority status.”

Blacks are a minority. Their status as a result of being a minority was by design of law and practice to ensure they did not have access to what should been by right of birth and maintenance in the country their right.

The point of said discrimination was a benign biological trait. Their struggle has been for emotional support but the fundamental fairness due every citizen. Black color is not culture. We label “black culture’ but its a peculiar mix that could hardly really be a foundational monolith of belief or practice, save on but a few corners. Minority status means nothing without the structural barriers based on tat benign trait.

The founders are judged by their own standard. That all men (human beings) are created equal. They then proceeded to launch a war for said equality while mandating a lesser standard for themselves by condoning slavery, all the while aware of its contradiction. That is a hypocrisy. And the debates that surrounded the issue of slavery make that perfectly clear that they were violating their own standard.

But I would agree that numerous groups have managed to climb on the history of blacks to gain advantage and have done so all the while leaving blacks behind.

You do realize that the KKK was a nationalist movement embraced by millions of citizens across the country. Until it’s founder was found guilty of rape and murder, the organization white rage from to to sea.

While black rage targeted structural barriers to their citizenship. White rage was to the privilege of having all white accommodations, whether whites were rioting pillaging and burning because a black walked on the beach, dared to open a restaurant in the neighborhood a contention that anger fueled identity politics doesn’t advance policy is defeated by the evidence. The entire death of reconstruction in which blacks would treated fairly and judiciously according to the laws of the US Constitution collapsed under the white rage of the south and the north. In NYC the distribution of New Deal proposals went to whites because they were angered that blacks be considered their equals. White rage and policy are hardly unique.

In the 1960’s when blacks were fighting what they believed were abusive tactics, tactics right out the southern modalities of treating blacks before and after slavery. White kids were rioting is support of communists, or their course work in class. The tragic end of civil rights began the day Dr. King signed onto their silly notions about universalist themes oppression. Dr. King’s worst mistake that ended years of hard work. It is the same error made by Dr. Dyson. And it here where white college students enraged about everything except their fellow blacks in Mississippi, and Detroit hijacked the issue of structural issues for blacks into some very bizarre notions. One of those notions was of course homosexual conduct being of the same place and history as blacks. The reclassification of homosexual conduct is born of white rage at the APA 1973 conference, not considered research data. The conference was literally held hostage as a narrative was read, personal experience tear laced rendition of the woes of being a homosexual practitioner. The classification changed and whites, mostly whites have been about dismantling traditional life since that day. The war on God and family is a white rage fueled special privilege game. The list is endless of whites raging to create policies, that largely benefit them. Whether white women crying rape, crying unfairness at work or in sports. The evidence slaps the contend down with numerous examples on record and practice.

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“So what? People talented at word play offer nothing if what they value is cockeyed and what they fancy they know is not grounded in observable social reality.”

I am unclear what you think is cockeyed, abusive police tactics or responding to the same. It’s clear that the record indicates no small number of disparity in how blacks experience the country as opposed to whites. In this the rhetoric matches the and informs what is on record with or without the accompanying emotions.
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Since blacks populations occupy the worst of the nations social circumstances, clearly they would also experience it’s worst of pathologies, but your comment as do so many belie the failing. It’s not blackness that these pathologies exist. They exist everywhere among said conditions and populations. Unfortunately the record indicates that they have been denied the mechanisms that help ameliorate, and decrease the said conditions. In other words, probably a bad idea to force blacks into educational systems that while segregated were not equal and provided no equal networks to work out upward or sideways mobility to a different life. The history of policing in black communities is very trouble. In almost every city in which blacks lived, when they called for police assistance it was not provided. I am concerned that most of you seem to have no clue of the black socialization process in the country. You live as though you have on blinders to the social structuration and how it came about. So blacks as they have throughout US history learned to fend for themselves with the resources they had. And that meant, having to do without a police presence, leaving entire swaths of neighborhood to the control of criminal elements. It doesn’t take long for the patterns to become all but permanent. When the police did respond they tended to see blackness as criminal as opposed to individuals. Hence the long standing historical issues between African American Blacks and police officers. The polling data reflects that history in clear detail. I find it interesting that neither whites or blacks based on the polling data from Pew want more police on the streets. It never fails that someone attempts the lacks are more criminal than whites. It’s not because of skin color.
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I would put my conservative beliefs and practices against anyone and stand in good stead as more conservative than the lot. And being conservative means, embracing hard data that is uncomfortable, not merely dismissing it’s convenient realities. And on the issue of black and white, the data is just overwhelmingly against anyone who attempts to claim all thins are equal and angry lacks or blacks in general are delusional. If you have evidence that either Mr. Coates or Dr, Dyson are smearing the police, have at it. Neither one would be classified as “black nationalists, that would be akin to the Black Muslims, and Rev Farrakhan has endorsed Pres. Trump. that alone shoots volumes and volumes of holes into any contention about black nationalists position on the country.

The anger that either Dr. Dyson or Mr. Coates expresses in any manner akin to the groups referenced in the comments. There is no call for armed insurrection. The anger is purely restricted to expressing how they feel juxtaposed the promise of citizenship, the progress and where they believe the country is. And no one seems to have grasped Dr. Dyson’s larger argument here. He makes the overall case that as the income gaps and power gas increase, it should be patently obvious that millions and millions of whites are getting the point that as they find themselves in the same boat as blacks in increasing numbers they too should be angry, not at blacks, but a white power structure of elites who take advantage of their skin color for their own advantage.

Overall, the call is for a unity amongst whites and blacks to common cause. That as they find themselves on the fringe in increasing numbers, they get what blacks have endured as a group in majority numbers. They are more in line with Sen Sanders.
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” . . . well, actually, despite what we are constantly being told, there aren’t any white nationalists of any consequence in America.”

Then you are unaware of one of the driving forces behind the election of Mr. Trump. Whether it is Miss Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Miss Laura Ingraham, Mr. O’Rielly or others: Shepherd Smith, Sean Hannity or conservative talk radio in general subtle and overt discussions about white anger were pressed into the political discussion. While liberals certainly overplayed the matter, it was and is an unmistakable staple.

Here’s one of my favorite Hollywood lines that is an accurate understanding of what it means o be a US citizen for most people,

“I’m free, white and twenty one.”

For most of the country being a US citizen is akin to being white — despite its dissipation, that expression is white nationalism and inhabits all parties, though one may take it for granted.
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And to the possibility of self deception, Dr. Dyson makes it very clear — that it is entirely possible. And he must and does engage in self reflection against the data and ideas. He states that openly. That is called intellectual integrity.

#19 Comment By Art Deco On February 6, 2017 @ 8:13 pm

Michael Eric Dyson was awarded a doctoral degree in comparative religion on the strength of a dissertation on Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. None of his monographs are on the subject of comparative religion, and most of his scholarly articles are not either. His last university press volume was published in 1997. All of his scholarly articles were published over the years running from 1988 to 1995 and half of them were published in Social Text, the publication successfully pranked by Alan Sokal.

IOW, he hasn’t been an active researcher in 20 years and all of his published work then was in low-rent venues in the humanities. Yet, he’s taught at a string of research universities and has tenure at Georgetown. The man’s an institutional mascot.

#20 Comment By Rick On February 7, 2017 @ 3:57 am

Reparations for slavery are untenable. it won’t work for a variety of reasons already discussed.

However, reparations based on FHA housing policy are another matter entirely, and if anything justifies a setting aside of trillions in lost equity that’s it.

#21 Comment By EliteCommInc. On February 13, 2017 @ 9:57 am

The fact that one gets a doctorate in one field and focuses their research, writings, commentary on another is not unusual. And unless one can demonstrate how that is choice is a detriment it doesn’t hurt the arguments they are advancing.

I have great respect for Dr Noam Chomsky, but its quite some time since the linguist has done actual work in the field. Mst his advocacy has surrounded the use of rhetoric which is akin to linguistics, but linguistics. Given the expertise I think both men are more than qualified to use their training in other arenas.

I have found plenty of room to disagree with both without having to challenge their credentials.
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I am unclear what form reparations should take, if at all. I only acknowledge that I think there’s clear case. The problem with making a claim it feasibility issues, is that it doesn’t have much weight of the case for. Redress is a constitutional right. The redress to Japanese and angry white women (the largest beneficiaries of AA policies) have little complaint — two of the least deserving groups.

Skin color is benign and unless one makes it a part of identity or culture – it has no role. As I read the original statement on identity – it’s clear that blacks of european or western descent arriving to the country fit into that category of similar identity and those brought as slaves would adopt the identity as other immigrants had some peculiar had not been forced on them.

At every turn and in every way — blackness as distinction to US inheritance was a fatal flaw. There are political and reasoned arguments to challenge Dr. Dyson, but his anger about the progress of the issues involved is not one of them. He is not asking for what white women have interjected into the discussion on every issue.

He not asking for a safe space to brood, pout or spit up.