Posts Tagged ‘anti’
I have a few issues that came up today. I was going to talk about what Robert Reich put on his blog on Saturday. (link here) Then I got annoyed at people trying to demean Professor Reich, when they really have no ground other than a “gut feeling” – to argue a person who has spent decades doing research on a subject. I also read some excepts from Glenn Beck’s new book, and if you get a chance, check it out… just the excerpts, at least. It is almost written better than Twilight. (The twelve pages of Twilight that I read only had 3 spelling errors and one poorly constructed sentence.)
Then I came across the website for Constituting America. I decided to discuss Reich’s comments about the pending recession tomorrow. Also, I’m concerned that Glenn Beck makes $32 million a year to write and speak so poorly, and I have made $3.03 so far this year.
This Constituting America website struck a chord with me. It is really interesting. It is run partly by Janine Turner, who most probably know from Northern Exposure – and not from her appearance on the 700 Club or publicity to help Sarah Palin fight the “Liberal Media Bias.” (I would put a link to her webpage, but it automatically loads music and things that move around and stuff fitting for a 12 year old girl’s MySpace page, but you can Google it if you are inclined. Hopefully, your browser won’t crash and you can come back.)
The mission statement of Constituting America states:
The American Constitution, signed on September 17, 1787, is as great a miracle as the ultimate victory from the British in 1782. Providence prevailed in both theatres. It was a monumental feat to beat the British in the Revolutionary War. Equally as awesome was the accomplishment of finding common ground amongst the varied American beliefs in writing the Constitution. Though our forefathers differed, they united in their mission, their vision: A republic; a democracy; America, the beautiful; America, the hope.
“Providence prevailed” it actually states… and then, goes on to state:
The American Constitution was the work of brilliant men with a vast knowledge of history and a thirst for righteousness. They believed that in order for American liberty to survive, her people must be educated. To quote John Adams, “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge of the people.”
But then, it states:
Thus, the mission of Constituting America is based upon this principle: America will not and cannot survive unless her citizens, her children, and her students, are educated about the validity, necessity and Providential Divinity of the Constitution.
So here we have a mission statement that starts out with praise for the “Founding” of the United States, with overtures of divinity that are almost poetic. Then a quote from John Adams and a claim to the benefits of “education.” Then there is a claim, that “God wrote the Constitution.”
It is quite often claimed that Black Americans or Chicano Americans are more prone to be criminals in the United States. Usually this claim is accompanied by statistics. I often wonder if people really just pick and choose statistics to support what they “want” to prove, or if they look at statistics and make a conclusion from gathering the evidence. I think we all know that the prior is much more common than the latter.
First, Let us look at the statistics.
From the US Census Bureau (2008):
The American population is 304,059,724.
257,116,111 people are not Hispanic or Latino.
199,491,458 people are White.
37,171,750 people are Black Americans/African Americans/Negro (was on the 2010 Census)
2,328,982 people are Native American
13,237,698 people are Asian
434,561 people are Hawaiian
4,451,662 people are “two or more races”
46,943,613 are Latino or Hispanic (and are broken up among various other races)
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics: “In 2008, over 7.3 million people were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole at year-end — 3.2% of all U.S. adult residents or 1 in every 31 adults.” and “In 1997, 9% of the black population in the U.S. was under some form of correctional supervision compared to 2% of the white population and over 1% of other races. “
What does this say? Well, it does say that Black Americans are disproportionally arrested in the United States. It doesn’t quite clearly say much else. You can infer that it means that Black people are criminals. You can also infer that it means a racist society will tend to prosecute those at the receiving end of the racism.
After a few hours of combing through statistics at the Bureau of Justice Statistics, I remembered again why I hate numbers. They give me a headache. I can reprint a ton of information, but I really don’t want to. A bunch of it can be found here: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=1743
It basically says that Whites are more often the victims of crimes, overwhelmingly. What does that say? Well, for once, it says that crimes are reported by whites much more frequently than by anyone else. Does that mean they aren’t more often the victims of crimes? Not at all. Does it mean they are? Not at all. There are a lot of things you can infer from statistics, but it doesn’t always make them legitimate until you can correlate them and provide farther evidence.
So, yeah, I got really tired of those pages and pages of charts and numbers. Then I found the National Crime Victimization Survey that was started under President Nixon. “A key finding of the survey was the realization that many crimes were not reported to the police.”
The survey also found that ‘in the period 1992-2000, significantly less than half (43%) of all criminal acts reported through victimization surveys were also reported to police.‘ Hart & Rennison (2003:3)
So, when you look at the DOJ statistics, it states that 4,176,440 Whites were the victims of crimes in 2007 and 794,220 Blacks were the victims of crimes in the same year. With a “rate per 1,000 persons age 12 and over” of 20.5 for Whites and 26.1 for Blacks.
Again, what do we conclude by this? When 43% of crimes are not even reported, does this give an accurate picture? The Uniform Crime Report has numbers very similar to the National Crime Victimization Survey, but the UCR is only reported by police.
I’m getting tired, so I’m just going to rip this line from Wikipedia, but it is a summary of the FBI Expanded Homicide Data – Crime in the United States 2008. Link here.
African Americans were arrested more than any other race for murder in 2008, making up 36% of all arrests. African Americans, constituting approximately 12% of the general population, were significantly overrepresented in the total arrests made. African Americans were also significantly overrepresented in victimization, representing 47% of all murder victims. White Americans and individuals of Other race were significantly underrepresented in cases of murder and non-negligible homicide in 2008. Murder in White American and African American populations were overwhelmingly intraracial, with 83% of all White victims and 90% of all Black victims having been murdered by individuals of the same race. The same was true, though to a lesser degree, for individuals of Other race, with 52% having been murdered by individuals also of Other race.
So, what did we learn? So far we learned that our prisons are filling up with Blacks more than Whites, that half of all crimes go unreported, and that most people are murdered by people with the same skin color as themselves.
Finally, I want to turn to a non-government source of information. If you have never heard of the Innocence Project, it is a noble organization that does wonderful things. Anyone who talks bad about them is an asshole. And this is why: 254 EXONERATED
Here is information from the Innocence Project:
- Seventeen people had been sentenced to death before DNA proved their innocence and led to their release.
- The average sentence served by DNA exonerees has been 13 years.
- About 70 percent of those exonerated by DNA testing are members of minority groups.
- In almost 40 percent of the cases profiled here, the actual perpetrator has been identified by DNA testing.
- Exonerations have been won in 34 states and Washington, D.C.
HERE IS A BIG FAT LINK TO THE INNOCENCE PROJECT.
70 PERCENT OF THOSE EXONERATED BY DNA TESTING ARE MEMBERS OF MINORITY GROUPS!
Anyway. This could really go on for quite a while. There are so many moderating and intervening variables that need to be examined. Even IF there was concrete evidence that Black Americans were 90 times more likely to commit a violent crime, you need to isolate that to provide proof that it is due to them being Black Americans and not the social environment, class situation, environment, nutrition, prenatal care, neonatal care, et cetera. (There is a lot of evidence that people from low-income communities were more prone to violence in the past due to children ingesting large amounts of lead paint. We DO know that lead causes violent behavior.) I still see no evidence at all that links skin color to violence or criminal behavior. These tendencies have not been proven to be clustered, or linked, to skin color in any way.
Oh, nevermind. There are several books written about it. Like America behind bars: trends in imprisonment, 1950 to 2000 by Rick Ruddell. (You can look it up on Google Books for free, or you can come back when I update this page and click on the link to buy it from Amazon and give me a percentage of the sale.)
I really don’t like maths.
And I really get tired of using statistics to prove a point in such detail.
I guess we could all just go to Lawrence Auster’s website and read the selected incidents and news articles that he has cherry picked to prove his point and avoid doing ANY actual research. Hell, if Sarah Palin’s research involves having someone else write her biography and give a speech about the notes on her hand, and make $12 million a year, who needs to actually look up statistical data and analyze studies? Compiling data? Isn’t that for the Elite? “We don’t need no book learnin’ and ‘rithmatic!”
Especially when 99% of all statistics are wrong.
“Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything. 14% of people know that.” – Homer Simpson
There are a lot of terms flying around today, especially in the political sphere. They include, but are not limited to: Socialist, Communist, Racist, Nazi, Fascist, Lib, Liberal, Teabagger, and Thug. These terms are seemingly used by any, and everyone, with reckless abandon. The problem is, that when you actually have a reason to use one of these terms, it gets dismissed. I have noticed a lot of attention on Goodwin’s Law. The concept that, “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.“ This is quite humorous. At the same time, this does not mean the comparisons are not valid. I find a strong correlation between Fascism and the New Right. (The Conservatives of today, be they Tea Party, Tories, or National Front.)
Sometimes the Left does propose Socialist ideals, or at least borderline socialist ideals. “Universal healthcare” could be considered more Socialist than Capitalist. There is no secret that I think they should stop pretending. I personally think they should say, “We aren’t concerned with who developed this idea. We are concerned with something that works. This isn’t a new concept, and the countries that use it are doing quite well with it.” Farther, they should point out, “As Americans, we should be trying to do it better than other nations, not avoiding it.” On the same hand, while I am not a big fan of Fascism, I do not contend to use “Fascist” in this entry as an epithet. The New Right has Fascist ideology and Fascist goals. Fascism is also not democratic. So, in some way, I am claiming the New Right are anti-democratic.
I want to reiterate, that I am not claiming the New Right are Fascist to drive a farther wedge. The goal here is to really examine what is going on.
There are a few things that strike me as odd with the rise of the New Right in the past year or so. When Barack Obama was elected President, a new wave of protest swept through the nation. There are tangible threads that weave through this new tapestry that seriously concern me. Especially as the numbers are growing. Just last night, the Tories in England got back a large portion of British Parliament. So, let’s look at Fascism and see how it relates to American Conservativism. (Fascism is quite complex as an ideology. This is not an academic journal, so I am just using Wikipedia as my reference for any information on Fascism that are listed here. I do not believe that Wikipedia is the absolute authority on the subject, or even the best authority, but I’m trying to keep this as short as possible, so… I accept that flaw for the time being.)
First we have the basic ideology of Fascism:
- Fascism is a “radical and authoritarian, nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to organize a nation on corporatist perspectives, values, and systems such as a political system and the economy.“
If you were to go to a Tea Party website, such as the Tea Party Patroits‘ website, you would see, their “Core values” are “Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government, and Free Markets.” – “organize the nation on corporatist perspectives, values and systems such as political system and the economy.”
Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong. . . . They claim that culture is created by collective national society and its state, that cultural ideas are what give individuals identity, and thus rejects individualism. In viewing the nation as an integrated collective community, they claim that pluralism is a dysfunctional aspect of society, and justify a totalitarian state as a means to represent the nation in its entirety. They advocate the creation of a single-party state. . . . Fascists reject and resist autonomy of cultural or ethnic groups who are not considered part of the fascists’ nation and who refuse to assimilate or are unable to be assimilated. They consider attempts to create such autonomy as an affront and threat to the nation.
That’s a long block, I know. I felt it was spelled out better than I could reword it.
The Tea Party and their cohorts have been extolling the virtues of “What makes America great” and that the “Liberal Elite” want to destroy them and make the US culture a multi-cultural, pluralist society that will lead the nation into ruin. Arizona just passed a law that will fundamentally restrict autonomy of cultural or ethnic groups that are not considered part of the nation. It will also penalize anyone who refuses to assimilate or are unable to be assimilated. They definitely find immigrants with foreign customs to be an “affront and threat to the nation.“
“Fascism is strongly opposed to core aspects of the Enlightenment and is an opponent of liberalism, Marxism, and mainstream socialism for being associated with failures that fascists claim are inherent in the Enlightenment.”
I was just looking at Al-Sonja Schmidt (who I have much to say about in a future time) and there were a lot of references to Marx, Socialism, Black Nationalism and such. To get the whole trifecta, she said that President Obama was influenced by Marx and is a tyrant. (He has a foreign sounding name, is pluralistic, and a product of the Enlightenment.)
I don’t think it is really worth spending much time on how the New Right feels everyone should stay in the Cold War and we need to start the Red Scare back up. I have spent enough time on this ridiculous garbage.
THE CORE TENANTS OF FASCISM:
Nationalism is probably one of the most obvious core tenants of Fascism. I also highly doubt any Conservative would decry that Nationalism is not a massive “core value” of their ideology. Is it even worth examining farther? The real question is if people truly understand the true meaning of Nationalism.
Fascists saw the struggle of nation and race as fundamental in society, in opposition to communism’s perception of class struggle. The fascist view of nation is as a single organic entity which binds people together by their ancestry and is a natural unifying force of people. Fascism seeks to solve economic, political, and social problems by achieving a millenarian national rebirth, exalting the nation or race above all else, and promoting cults of unity, strength and purity.
Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, too.
Well, the whole nation is abuzz about what Arizona did recently. I guess I have no choice but to discuss it.
The whole issue is actually pretty complex. On the surface, it does not seem to be. It appears to just be a fascist attempt of fascist state control. (Yes, I used fascist twice.) If anyone is living in a cave or hole somewhere, and has not heard, the lawmakers in the State of Arizona have approved an anti-immigration bill that goes much farther than any previous attempts. It makes it illegal to be illegal by state laws, imposed by fines and prison time. It also penalizes anyone who employs an illegal immigrant. It sounds pretty ridiculous to oppose a law to make something illegal to actually be illegal, but the way this law is stated makes it reminiscent of Apartheid South Africa or Nazi Germany.
The Economist stated that this law was “Hysterical nativism,” and claimed Arizona is on the path to becoming a police state. I completely agree. The problem with this type of law is the enforcement of the law. How does law enforcement determine who “looks illegal”? Do all Chicano Americans need to have verification that they are citizens at all times? What about other Latino Americans? “Latino” isn’t even a specific appearance. There are white, black, brown, etc. Latinos. What about Black Americans? They could be African or Haitian immigrants. A white person with a funny accent? Someone with “strange clothing”? Where does it stop? Does it mean everyone non-white has to carry an ID card or birth certificate on them at all times? A person could obtain a driver’s license with a work visa, which can expire before the driver’s license. So a driver’s license is not proof of citizenship.
It all reminds me of Born in East L.A. with Cheech Marin, where he gets deported by an immigration raid in which he has no papers because he is from Los Angeles. But it isn’t funny. It also brings to mind the events in South Africa, where Black South Africans were gunned down in the streets for not having a Pass Book. Or in Philadelphia where Black Americans were strip searched on street corners. Or even Nazi Germany, where Jews were forced to register with the government. I hate the “slippery slope” argument, but it really does work.
NO DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY HAS EVER ENACTED THESE LAWS AND STAYED A DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC!
The problem with “illegal immigration” is a valid issue. It becomes a wedge issue for a variety of reasons, but I want to look at the real situation.
The United States has two bordering neighbors. The United States only has a problem with illegal movement across the border from one of its neighbors. Why is this? Is it as simple as race? It is true that most Canadians are White. I honestly do not believe this is the key to the issue, though. I think that race is a great scapegoat on both sides of the argument, and ignores the nature of the real issue: Mexico is not doing well.
What’s going on in Mexico? Hell if I know. Well, I do have some idea, honestly. But it does not make sense that the place on the border of the United States could be doing so poorly. Let’s look at the numbers:
(I pulled these numbers from the CIA World Factbook for 2009. I did not factcheck them, but if they are off, it is by minor discrepancies.)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $14.26 trillion (2009 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP): $46,400 (2009 est.)
Labor Force: 154.1 million (includes unemployed)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $1.285 trillion (2009 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP): $38,400 (2009 est.)
Labor Force: 18.4 million (2009 est.)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $1.482 trillion (2009 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP): $13,500 (2009 est.)
Labor Force: 47 million (2009 est.)
Mexico has a higher national GDP than Canada, but the per capita GDP is less than 1/3 of Canada’s, and 1/4 that of the United States. I could go into the Gini coefficient and all of that… but I’ll lose all but 1% of my readership… and I need all four of you that read this site.
This is also from the CIA Factbook:
major drug-producing nation; cultivation of opium poppy in 2007 rose to 6,900 hectares yielding a potential production of 18 metric tons of pure heroin, or 50 metric tons of “black tar” heroin, the dominant form of Mexican heroin in the western United States; marijuana cultivation increased to 8,900 hectares in 2007 and yielded a potential production of 15,800 metric tons; government conducts the largest independent illicit-crop eradication program in the world; continues as the primary transshipment country for US-bound cocaine from South America, with an estimated 90% of annual cocaine movements toward the US stopping in Mexico; major drug syndicates control the majority of drug trafficking throughout the country; producer and distributor of ecstasy; significant money-laundering center; major supplier of heroin and largest foreign supplier of marijuana and methamphetamine to the US market (2007)
So, What’s going on in Mexico? It appears there is a lot of money in drug production and distribution and a lack of distribution of wealth. Why do people from Mexico come to the United States illegally and people from Canada do not? I think economic factors are reasonable. Also, don’t we pretty much know what life around drug cartels is like? The government of Mexico has tried to fight back against the drug cartels, and the result has been assassinations of officials, included a decapitated police chief. A mayor recently left his home in Mexico and is not staying in Florida. Civil violence and strife are counterproductive to democracy and economic progress. Basically, it seems to me like what happened in Sierra Leone is happening in Mexico. Who can blame people for wanting to leave? They want a better life.
Farther, if you try to flea the cartels, they have to chase you. I’m sure the cartels do not want to take on the United States military, but out of principle, they cannot send a message that if you go to the US, you are safe from them.
The UN and England went into Sierra Leone and forced political stability long enough for a democratic process to re-emerge. This has happened several times in recent history. But when it comes to Mexico, the American government proposes solutions ranging from putting more guards on the border or building a wall. I always think that the People’s Republic of China finds this greatly amusing. “You want to build a wall on your border? We tried that.”
How long do we expect these issues to continue south of our border and, yet, not have any spillover? I mean, that is the American way. Violence and drug epidemics occur in minority communities, and the general public could care less… until some white, suburban child gets caught up in it. HIV/AIDS spread rampantly through gay and minority communities, until it effected white heterosexuals, the national concern was limited.
The United States has just sat around while Mexico has struggled with its emergence into the Developed World. (lacking a better term.) I would argue, that the U.S. has done more than just sit around, but has been complicit in this destabilizing process. Multi-national corporations, American corporations and wealthy elite have been profiting from the situation in Mexico for quite some time. If an international force were to enter Mexico and put an end to the disparities, how would companies, such as WalMart, be able to turn such a huge profit there? And where would we get our nannies and manual laborers that we pay below minimum wage? How would corporations circumvent labor unions? Produce cheap products without safety standards, equal employment, fair employment, etc… ?
The problem of “illegal immigrants” in Arizona is a by product of the wealthy people in America, and the world, becoming more wealthy on the back of countries like Mexico. Until we are ready to help the nation of Mexico, every other solution is a band-aid on a broken leg.
I don’t really have a good solution, but turning the United States into an Apartheid regime is definitely not a positive solution. (Ok, I have a solution, but everyone would label me a neo-marxist lunatic and call me a “commie” and threaten to eat my babies.)
What really terrifies me is how this country is following the path towards fascism more and more every day. This is not just an issue about Mexico, or illegal immigrants, or racism, or discrimination – it is an issue of this new brand of Brown Shirts: the emergence of the Tea Party, of hate speech, platforms of white supremacy, Sarah Palin (I had to mention her) and her “reload” and “we want our country back” comments. Back to 1810? These people are trying to slide the United States back 2 centuries and move it forward into a state of Apartheid fascism.