Tuesday, April 20, 2021

In the fight against racism, do we want purity or progress? Justice or revenge?

Cannon here. I have not said anything about the George Floyd trial because I've not said anything about anything for quite a while. But right now, I will say this: The accusation that Biden "inflamed tensions" with his statement about the verdict strikes me as silly. 

On the other hand, Maxine Waters was ill-advised to say what she said. I can understand why she said it. I can sympathize. But if she had given any thought to the atrocious events of January 6, she would have re-phrased.

Look, we've been trying to make the case that Trump incited violence on January 6 even though he did not specifically ask for violence. Making that case against Trump gets even harder when Maxine Waters -- whom I usually admire -- does more or less the same thing. Both sent "GO" signals under the cover of plausible deniability.

Trump did not actually say "I want you to kill Nancy Pelosi." But that's what he meant and everyone knows it.

Waters did not actually say "I want you to riot if we don't get the verdict we want." But that's what she meant and everyone knows it.

Here's D-Jay:

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The Deprogramming Dilemma – 17

In the fight against racism, do we want purity or progress?  Justice or revenge?

By D-Jay

Is racism alive and well in America? 

After four years of Trump, do you really need to ask?

Maybe not, but before we decide that Critical Race Theory (CRT) is the answer to everything and that racism is the critical component of every aspect of American life, there are several other questions that desperately need to be examined.

Let’s take the last one first.

The answer is as simple as it is horrifying. As I outlined in my last Cannonfire post, 2030 or bust, a consensus is emerging among many of the world’s top climate scientists that if we haven’t made a very serious global effort to drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2030, it’s pretty much game over. Critical tipping points will be passed and there will no longer be anything we can do that will save us from the worst effects of climate disruption.

If power in the U.S. returns to the Trumpists and QAnon types again, or even if Mitch McConnell is once again in a position to halt all effective Congressional action, we are literally doomed.

EVERYTHING we do from now needs to be viewed through that lens.

No matter how justified the fury of the African American and other minority communities might be, if the way it is expressed helps put white nationalist climate change deniers into power, the result will be death.

And in the short term, all the current efforts to actually improve the situation of minorities in the U.S. will also be derailed.


What exactly is it?

Marriam Webster defines it as:
1. A belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. 

2. A political or social system founded on racism and designed to execute its principles.

It might be a bit of an oversimplification, but I think it’s fair to say that most adherents of CRT take the position that only Webster’s second definition is valid – that “racism” is only something done by the majority group to minorities and that in the case of America, it permeates and underlies every facet of our society. Something that only applies to how whites treat and feel about blacks and other minorities, never the reverse.

Like many people of every race, however, I’d define it more simply.  For us, the word “racism” means a gut level mistrust and fear of people who don’t share your race or ethnicity. 

Jingoistic tribalism based on your culture or the color of your skin.

Having lived for 30 years in non-white majority parts of the world and having spent time in some 80 countries in my 70 years on the planet, I feel pretty comfortable suggesting that at various points in their lives, to one extent or another, this is something felt by almost everyone, everywhere.

The question, then, is what kind of society do we want?  Do we really want an end to racism?  Do we want a country – and a world – in which “people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” to quote Martin Luther King? 

I do.

The white nationalist crowd clearly doesn’t.

They are just fine with race being the primary factor in just about everything.

And, more-and-more, it seems that people on the “progressive” side of the aisle are mirroring their position.

The question I have is this – can racism be eliminated by putting race at the center of every action, thought and policy?

How well did that work in the 2020 election?  Without calls to “defund the police,” would the Democrats have done much better in Congress?  James Clyburn certainly thinks so and so does Barak Obama.  

Would the Democrats have picked up even one or two more seats in the Senate if Black Lives Matter organizers and supporters had taken a much stronger stand against the rioting and looting that sometimes followed their demonstrations?  If so, Joe Manchin wouldn’t have the deciding vote on filibuster reform and we would have a much better shot at passing meaningful voting rights and police reform legislation.

Has the time come for people who like to call themselves progressives to ask themselves if they are more interested in genuine progress or ideological purity?

And as police officers are brought to trial for the deaths of black Americans, are they really looking for justice…or revenge?

As this article is being written, jury deliberations in Derek Chauvin’s trial for the death of George Floyd are under way. 

Can a good result be expected, regardless of the final verdict?

If he’s convicted on all counts, most BLM supporters will feel satisfied, but Fox News and friends will spin it ad nauseum as a perfect example of left-wing hatred of all police and everything good and holy about America.

If he’s found innocent or convicted only of manslaughter, large-scale demonstrations can be expected, at least a few of which will eventually dissolve into rioting and looting. Fox News and friends will spin it ad nauseum as a perfect example of left-wing hatred of all police and everything good and holy about America.

Either way, racial animus will only increase and the Trumpist / QAnon / white nationalist movement will strengthen.

Heads they win, tails we lose.

If the goal is real progress towards a color-blind society with equal opportunities and justice for all, sometimes we need to examine our own biases and deprogram ourselves.



Contributing factors to our democratic decline:

From the Right

Truth Decay – Destruction of the Ability to Distinguish Fantasy from Reality

Ever Worsening Demonization of the Media

Manufactured Distrust of Science and Expertise

The Iron Bubble of Disinformation

The Dark Money Conspiracy

Information Warfare Aimed at Us

Domestic Terrorism

Emergence of a Full-blown Cult of Personality

Ongoing Voter Suppression and Gerrymandering

Election Security

Continued Weaponization of Social Media

Toxic Right-wing Pseudo-Christianity


Sexism and a Pseudo-Macho Mentality

Putinism and the International Neo-Fascist Movement

Lack of Education in Civics and Critical Thinking Skills

Destruction of Crucial Democratic Norms

The Collapse of Good Manners and Propriety



From the Left (and Sometimes the Center)

OTT PC (Over-The-Top Political Correctness)

Inept Messaging

Lack of Media Investment


Surrender of Rural America Without a Fight

Failure to Call Out and Counteract Toxic Right-Wing Christianity

Failure to Call Out Right-Wing Racism, Sexism and Fascism for what it is, and Counteract it in Time

Framing Too Many Issues as Being Rooted in Race Rather than Economics and Class

Failure to Recognize Just How Bad Things Can Really Get

Forever Bringing Beanbags to a Knife Fight

Failure to Protect Critical Norms



Gulp! A strongly reasoned reaction to Merrick Garland's announcement about investigating the Minneapolis Police Department on Althouse. After all is said and done, Hennepin County which includes the Twin Cities is 63% DFL, so who is punching who? The political power starts and ends therein. Nothing but Democrats as mayor in Minneapolis since 1968.
Joe, how are you
Are you following what's happening to the Palestinians now in Jerusalem?
Are you OK Joseph?
Fair question, anon. Truth is, I don't know.

The battle against Trump is over, yet I have a strange feeling that an even greater battle looms ahead. And I don't know if I have the heart for it. I really like Biden and of course I wish him well, but there are so many signs of disaster. The deficit. The economy. The horrid situation in Israel -- where any defense of the beleaguered Palestinians will only be construed as an embrace of anti-Semitism.

Most of all, there is the menace (and that is NOT too strong a word) of Woke-ism.

Just today, I flew into a rage when I learned that the UC schools will no longer consider SAT scores. The new thinking is that white people who manage to score well on those tests are "privileged." Bullshit! I got into UCLA based on good SAT scores, and my family subsisted on Social Security benefits for widows. THAT is not "privilege," no matter how you define the word.

This new ruling is an intolerable insult. It's also a deep insult to the not-inconsiderable number of black students at UCLA who were there at the same time I was.

Wokeism is going to kill the Democratic party. It may kill the country. Wokeism is a machine that creates racism and fascism.

So...should I continue to write a blog? Or should I concentrate on my book?

Seems to me that any comments I make about current events will only piss people off. I hate Trumpism and I hate wokeism. There may not be a place for someone who hates BOTH.
Actually, I'm coming to the belief that hating both is a very common point of view. The strange thing is that there aren't more places for those of us who feel that way to sound off.
Anyway, I've just put another two cents into the debate with another article on the subject...and am too old to give a shit who gets pissed off about it.
Like you, Joseph, I'm profoundly worried about the growing threat from the truly insane death cult that the GOP has become. Not sure this is the time to hold our tongues.
Society is becoming more tribal. There are two big drivers of public discontent: (i) politicians forced to promise instant solutions to all groups and all perceived problems, and (ii) the ubiquity of social media and mass communications. On any public transport people are glued to their I-phones as proof of their public identity, their relevance and their global centrality. Every event is uploaded instantly to the web. It provides proof to every citizen of their grievances and the rightness of their cause. Politicians have no choice but to respond, usually with promises they can never fulfill. If you are black, disabled, a woman, a refugee -- a member of any identifiable group with a grievance to make -- then this can be promoted as the sole or primary social justice issue of society merely because the advocates live in their own echo chamber. That these persons don't have a job or are underpaid does not enter into their reasoning. Everything becomes tribal with no common public allegiances or acknowledgement of the competing rights of others. Those other voices simply cease to exist. This polarizing social dynamic will only be stopped by forceful external events such as war or natural catastrophes.
Glad you are ok Joe! I would hope you keep going with the blog. It's not only your opinion and insights that are interesting but also your unique writing style that I for one certainly enjoy! Take care -Rick
Democrats are going to get CLOBBERED next year if they don't ditch the Sanders cultists nonsense of wokeism. James Carville warned Democrats about it, and he is right. The signs are there apart from gerrymandering and the census figures. They are going to get it, big time. The big bone of contention in the real world is the blatant stripping of women's rights to accommodate crossdressing/transvestite males (misnamed "trans women" or "trans gender"). This "transgenderism," backed by billionaire crossdressers like Jennifer Pritzker and billionaire gays with clearly depraved attitudes like Jon Stryker, is the most brazen movement of woman-hating that has come down the pike in decades, not to mention this movement is destroying children and the mentally ill. It is evil, right out of the Mengele experiments. State legislatures, especially in red states, are working to try and stop the insanity that is coming from the Biden administration over this, notably in preserving women's sports and banning quack surgeries and hormone treatments for children under 18. He has NO clue what this is really about (which is the destruction of women's rights, especially their right to say "no" to male infringement on their sex-based sports and spaces). He, like so many of the Democrats, think this is another type of gay when in fact transgenderism is also blatantly homophobic. It is blatantly anti-child. There is massive opposition in the real world and all across the political spectrum. This is why the Equality Act as currently written will NEVER, ever pass Congress. Joe Manchin came out against it as he noted opposition was running a thousand to one against the legislation. Mark my words, Democrats are fucked if they don't abandon this crap. This is even more pernicious than BLM or critical race theory. This is about the "right" of males to predate on women and children without consequence. Once the general voting public gets wind of it, and more of the public is, it is over for the Democrats who stubbornly refuse to see the truth about this. Then this country is as good as done if the GOP gets control.
Joe, fuck 'em all, I say. Do your thing and who cares what people think. It's not like you ever wanted a large readership, right? I'm serious about this. There has never been a time where critical perspectives like yours have been more sorely needed. Please keep blogging.
I see singer Demi Lovato has come out as non-binary and is demanding to be referred to as 'they' or 'them' rather than he or she. I would have thought 'it' might have been easier. My astral charts have defined that I am male on Mondays and Fridays, non-determinate on Tuesdays and female otherwise. I am insisting that I be referred to as 'shit'.
LOL xyz!

Joseph - Did you get my emails re the latest...?

- D-Jay
As horrible as Trump and the Trumpers were, the now-revealed plans and policies of "Patriot Act prime author (self-proclaimed)" Biden and his controllers are rolling us down pretty much the same police-state road to American Ruin ---- and this ghastly realization is probably what has accelerated Joe's demise.

May God have mercy on Joe's eternal soul!
Why is it everyday Trump in the news. I thought once he is out we will never hear his name again. Aren't America ashamed enough of his presidency they needed to be reminded of it everyday.
Australia is so fucked. QAnon is everywhere. Our PM Scott Morrison has kept friendship with Tim Stewart for over thirty years. Tim's wife, Lynelle, is a close friend of the PM's wife, Jenny, and is taxpayer employed at the PM's official Sydney residence of Kirribilli House. Our leading government news service, the ABC, recently sought to air a major investigative piece on the PM and his friend Tim but pulled the story after pressure from the PM's office. Apparently it's something to do with the fact that Tim Stewart is the leading QAnon leader in Australia and runs our 8Chan outlet where he brags about how he has the PM's ear and is working to convince him of the true nature of the world. Bet you didn't know that the Christchurch massacre of 51 Muslims was actually a false flag incident run by NZ's PM Jacinda Adern out of her cabinet office -- or so says Tim Stewart. The full range of QAnon conspiracies are on display at Tim's website. We are so incredibly fucked.

Tim Stewart’s sister, Karen Stewart, told one media agency Crikey that the Stewart family was so worried that it had reported its concerns to “the authorities”. The concern was driven by a series of tweets supporting the violent storming of Capitol Hill in January after Donald Trump lost the presidency. The Stewarts believed Tim had tweeted under the since-deleted Twitter account Spies Like Us (@RealStealthSpy). Crikey also published evidence of Tim and his 22-year-old son, Jesse, in discussion with US QAnon figures during the height of the Trump-induced madness. The 90-minute discussion was via a QAnon online channel, the Patriot Voice, with the Stewarts given special billing as Australian guests under their Twitter names Burn Notice and Negan_HQ, respectively. And this is the Aussie PM's long-standing close friend!
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