Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

White privilege is not the nail

Jerry Stratton, June 17, 2020

The chance of getting killed by cops if you’re black is only disparate in cities dominated by the left—Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Houston, Los Angeles, etc., in order by danger to blacks. So of course the left complains about white privilege instead. But it isn’t white privilege. It’s not dominated by the left privilege. Anyone of any skin tone can benefit from this privilege.

If you live in an area where police are fired when they commit crimes that fall short of murder, you don’t have to worry about being murdered by a police officer. Just as, if you live in an area that fires teachers who abuse children, your kids will get a better and safer education.

Everyone can enjoy not dominated by the left privilege, by not being dominated by the left. But pointing that out tends to elicit a retreat to generic complaints about feeling uncomfortable. I do not want to belittle complaints about anxiety, but used in this context they divert attention away from fixing the problem, that people are being killed under color of law.

It begins to sound a lot like the it’s not about the nail video. It’s a question of whether we want to solve a problem or merely commiserate about it.

If we want to solve the problem, it’s not about the white privilege.

Attributing something to white privilege that is not caused by white privilege means that we will never be able to fix this particular nail. And I think we do want to fix it, because this nail is killing people. That means we need to understand where this happens and where it doesn’t happen, what polices cause it to happen and not happen, and so what we can do to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Invoking “white privilege” when people talk about real solutions seems to me a lot like asserting that “it’s not about the nail!”

In this case, it is very much about the nail. There is a very obvious nail here that protects bad cops and drives away good cops—or kills them. It has to be about the nail, or murders like this will continue to happen—and may even spread.

The nail you can solve. White privilege, you can’t solve, you can only acknowledge it, commiserate about it, and let it keep happening. The legitimate concerns of blacks, especially blacks in vulnerable communities, are being co-opted by the white left who don’t want the problem solved.

Democrats, and the left, are cowards about race. They have a long history of deflecting blame to everyone except themselves. Democrats fought for slavery in the United States. So they blame slavery on the United States. Jim Crow was a policy of Democrats. So they blame it on America. And now leftist policies result in murders of blacks, so the left blames it on systemic racism and white privilege.

It is systemic racism. Systemic in the institutions of the left. Leftist unions are the reason bad cops can’t be fired and prosecuted. Leftist administrators hire cops based on criteria irrelevant to their fitness to be cops. Leftist policies trap poor blacks in left-dominated hellholes. The same government unions that protect dangerous teachers also protect dangerous cops.

It is not a demotion when a predatory public school teacher or police officer is shifted to a vulnerable community. Predators love vulnerable communities.

When police unions become tools of a particular party, this is what happens. Murderers aren’t built overnight. Criminal cops are just like any other criminal: they don’t start with murder. But when an officer can’t be fired after committing crimes that stop short of murder, not only is that officer more likely to graduate to murder, but the good officers who might have been able to stop that cop will gravitate to other departments and other communities. The bad cop will no longer be surrounded by cops who would have stopped him.

And when rioters destroy those communities, and destroy the community members working to build those communities up, it is the left that cheers the rioters on. I’ve forgotten who recently said that the white left is a horrible ally, but whoever it was was spot on. The left is a horrible ally. Another person wrote on a blog I follow, that:

I’ve known this for a long time just by observation. But this is the worst black people as tools/pawns I have seen in a while, and everyone seems to be going along with it—mass delusion.

Or, more succinctly and louder, this local woman telling the (white) rioters that “you’re not here for me”.

They cheer the destruction of local groceries, cheer the rioters terrorizing the grocers, and then complain about food deserts as if it was something that just happens because of white privilege. Food deserts don’t have a generic cause. They have a specific cause: crime facilitated by the left, rioting by the left, and rioting cheered by the left that drives out those members of the community that produce food, transport food, and sell or provide food.

And much of this happens every day in communities run by the left. But anyone who tries to draw attention to it, to do something about it, is called racist; the left doesn’t care about black lives, to paraphrase the same writer, until they are taken by white people.1 That’s because the left sees these deaths as a tool, and that’s it. Lives that can’t be used to divert blame from their own culpability do not matter to them.2

That’s another privilege of the white left: knowing that when they cheer on rioting, it will not be their food supply destroyed.

The destruction of black communities will never be solved unless we face the real people who are causing it. That means the left’s policies that cause violence in inner city communities, and the union policies that protect bad police officers everywhere, but especially in Democratic strongholds.

You want white privilege? If you oppose these policies, if you oppose the destruction of black communities and black businesses, you are called racist. But if you’re also black, you’re an Uncle Tom, a race traitor.

The biggest remaining white privilege in this country is probably the ability to call out the insane policies of the left without being attacked, sometimes literally, as a race traitor by the left.

If we keep pretending that bad cops are a generic problem with a generic source, we will never solve the problem of bad cops, and people will continue to die. If every time we bring up specific policies that can be changed to remove bad cops and reward good cops we are met with “it’s not about the nail”, then we will never remove the nail.

And people are dying because we refuse to acknowledge this nail. We right now have violent, deadly riots sparked by this nail. If we want to stop the murder of blacks by police, and the black deaths that result from the rioting after those murders—if we want to stop the murders and deaths of anyone because of this nail—then we must address the nail.

Attributing these deaths to ”white privilege” lets the bad cops off the hook yet again, by maintaining the policies that reward bad cops and drive away good ones.

This is important, because besides the not-dominated-by-the-left privilege that many Americans benefit from, most Americans also benefit from not-born-somewhere-else privilege.

I have a co-worker who grew up in Czech during Communism and said the place turned into the Wild West after the Soviet Union collapse. His first commercial diving job (that’s what we do) was searching under bridges and docks for oil drums with bodies stuffed inside that the mafia had dumped.

He came to the US in the mid nineties, and finally saved up enough to buy a car. Because he was a fairly poor immigrant living in a fairly shit neighborhood, it got stolen. A cop showed up to take a statement, and my friend said he was absolutely terrified because Czech cops do not have customer service as their first priority.

The cop found his car… And gave it back to him without demanding payment, which absolutely blew his mind. I’ve talked to him during this unpleasantness and he basically always says “Americans have no fucking idea what bad police are.”

A commenter named Vanya wrote the above, a few days after the riots started. America is an exceptional nation. But if we want to keep it exceptional, we must work at it. Too much of the left wants to import even the corruption of other countries as long as it brings their party more power. George Floyd’s murder is absolutely about the nail. So are David Dorn’s and Dave Patrick Underwood’s. And that nail is the left’s policies that reward criminals—whether criminals on the streets or among the police—and denigrate the good people in every community as racists and race traitors for making that point.

In response to Vicious intimidation by the extreme left: And by “extreme”, I mean anyone who is trying to blame a peaceful conservative protest movement for the actions of a deranged madman. If you’re doing that, you’re extreme.

  1. I’m pretty sure that the commenter and the Hodge twins quoted above arrived at this separately; it’s a fairly obvious point.

  2. At my most cynical, I think that that riots are partly because the COVID-19 shutdown didn’t destroy urban communities enough for the left’s purposes. The riots came just as communities began to recover from the shutdown, and just as we discovered that communities were recovering faster than expected.