Gangbangers Unbound

Rafael Ramos and Wenjin Liu died because of the campaign to vilify police. Even as the events of Ferguson begin to fade, the campaign it helped engender rolls on, with new reports of demonstrations and protests appearing almost daily. Last week Carol Jackson, a federal judge, restricted police tactics against protestors.  (This is kind of odd in and of itself. The last thing people want to hear about during the holidays is some hood getting his comeuppance. The same can be said about Sen. Feinstein’s “torture report” -- waterboarding is not likely to play well during the sleigh bell season. Is the left beginning to lose its customary excellent timing?)

What remains to be said -- and what has been widely overlooked -- is what lies behind this campaign, what exact role Ferguson -- and Staten Island, and Cleveland, all the way back to Sanford, Florida -- play in the agenda of the American left.

That there is an agenda is not in question. Presidents, attorneys general, sports and entertainment celebrities, and the media sphere as a whole do not get involved in small local disturbances for no reason. Stepping back, we can see a consistent thread of deliberately aggravated racial incidents throughout the Obama presidency, from the Gates incident through the Trayvon Martin controversy on to Ferguson. All featured intervention from Obama, and most from Eric Holder as well. You can search all you like among previous presidencies for comparable actions, but you will do so in vain.

To understand what’s happening here, we need to go back to the collapse of the civil rights movement in the late 60s. In exchange for control of the newly-ratified black vote, Democrats dramatically expanded government welfare both through ADC and Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” programs. As has often been pointed out, this led to the deterioration of the urban black family, with young single black women with children “marrying” Uncle Sam in preference to their hapless male opposite numbers, unwilling to complete their educations and unable to obtain decent employment. The result was generations of young black men deprived of any sexual or social purpose. These lost generations comprised a kind of bonus to the left, with black male drifters viewed as an urban proletariat that could be exploited for revolutionary purposes. (There has never been an actual “proletariat” in the European sense in the U.S.  The history of the American left can be viewed as a search for one, first among American workers in the late 19th century, then among foreign-born immigrant workers in the ensuing decades, devolving at last to rogue urban minority males.)

But instead of diligently studying their Lenin and Gramsci and doing what community activists told them, young blacks preferred loafing, dressing in outré styles, involving themselves in petty crime and sexual escapades, and boasting about both. There’s nothing new about this -- it has recurred throughout modern history. In Renaissance England and Italy, it involved the sons of the nouveau riche middle class, who in their satin and lace passed their time in drinking bouts and crime sprees in which quickness with the dirk or rapier (the 9mm of the era) played a large role. The only difference is that today it’s the government rather than merchant prince fathers paying the bills.

This new class of gangsters was a large factor in the crime explosion that racked the country from 1965 to 1995. Soaring crime rates were sharply curtailed by a return to traditional sentencing and crime control methods that had been put in abeyance thirty years previously. As a matter of course, this involved putting many black males into some type of controlled setting, ranging from juvenile detention to prison to parole. This led to cries of victimization on racial grounds from the elite and the media, along with claims that the United States had the largest prison population in either “history” or “the world”. Both claims are asinine -- the bulk of these “victims” are under parole and not behind bars.

This contention has set the agenda for the past twenty years of the racial debate. Measures taken to control crime are presented as ipso facto evidence of “systemic” or “institutional” racism. Both Obama and Holder, along with the vast majority of their contemporaries in both government and media, are true believers in this ideological construct.

This can be clearly seen in both serious racial incidents exploited by the administration, the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown shootings. (The Cleveland and Staten Island cases, both of which involve truly egregious police activity -- it’s impossible to watch the Cleveland video without feeling sick disgust -- feature minority officers as major players and are thus unsuitable for racial exploitation). Both have been boosted to iconic status in hopes of sparking a mass response. Both adhere to near-identical narrative templates: Martin and Moore were simply making their way down public thoroughfares minding their own business when they were set upon by whites in positions of authority and mowed down due not to wrongdoing but simply the inherent viciousness and bigotry of the Caucasian race.

In the Martin case, this involved a cheerful, bright-eyed twelve-year-old waylaid and assassinated while trudging through a storm by an obese, Jewish-sounding wannabe cop. With Brown, it was an authority-crazed white cop confronting a skylarking “gentle giant”.

Both narratives disintegrated upon examination. Not only was George Zimmermann not Jewish (depriving the media of the opportunity of exploiting latent black anti-Semitism), he was of mixed black and Hispanic ancestry. Trayvon Martin was no whimsical early teen but a muscular eighteen-year-old obsessed by mixed martial arts.

The media did succeed in burying elements of the story, Martin’s criminal history in particular. Sundance, a blogger for Conservative Treehouse, solved a burglary in Sanford by means of Internet search engines alone, demonstrating not only that Martin had committed the crime, but that the local “school police force” (which is all you need to know about the Florida educational system) had suppressed the evidence.  (This was a factor in the resignation of Charles Hurley, chief of the “school police.”) By the time that Martin encountered Zimmermann, he was an experienced professional criminal.

Similarly, media reports swept aside the fact that Michael Brown had ransacked a local convenience store, attacked a clerk, and then waltzed off with his loot, a handful of cigarillos. It was this, and not rampant white bigotry, that led Darren Wilson to confront him.

Both media and the authorities must be aware of these facts -- plenty of effort was put into suppressing the first; the second is available to be seen on You Tube. This being the case, it follows that leftists in government are not concerned with the welfare of urban blacks in general, but one particular class of blacks, distinct and separate from all others -- black criminals.

Activists, both in government and media, desire to decriminalize black lawlessness. They wish to put black criminals beyond the reach of the law. They seek gangbangers unbound.

When this occurs, the left will once again have its black proletariat to manipulate as it sees fit. We’ve had a taste of the potential outcome in the response to the Ferguson grand jury announcement, with mobs clogging highways at various spots around the country. Since the 1960s, black riots have generally been limited to mass tantrums which burn their own neighborhoods, and destroy their own businesses. This is what occurred in Ferguson. But the next step will be to take the violence and destruction to white neighborhoods. This will come once the police are disarmed, with officers fleeing or hiding in their vehicles, overcome by thoughts of George Zimmermann and Darren Wilson. Throw in a few Jay Nixons unable to bring themselves to order the National Guard into action (reportedly on the advice of one Barack Obama), and you have a formula for the type of social cataclysm the left has been yearning after for a century or more.

Except for one thing: the United States does not have roots in peasant culture. In such cultures, attacks by outside forces -- Cossacks, dragoons, bandits -- are met with flight and whimpering of the “if the czar/doge/elector only knew, he’d surely do something” variety.

But the United States derives from the English yeomanry culture. Yeomen are not peasants. They are independent smallholders jealous of their rights and protective of their property. When pressed, yeomen tend to strike back, as a number of English monarchs learned to their dismay.

While diluted by the peasant cultures of southern and eastern Europe and more recently by Mexican and Central American immigrants, this yeomanry cultural mindset remains dominant in the United States. The sheer opportunity available here leads to generational progress, which breeds entrepreneurship.  Historically, the culture is expressed in times of emergency by the committee of vigilance. When law enforcement becomes corrupt or incapable, leading citizens and businessmen band together to form their own law enforcement organizations comprised of law-abiding citizen volunteers. The justice meted out by these groups is usually swifter and harsher than that of the conventional criminal justice establishment. They invariably step aside when a working legal structure is re-established. This pattern can be found in San Francisco in 1856 and 1877, in Montana in 1864, in New Orleans in 1901, and in Athens, Tennessee as recently as 1946. 

This is the American method. It’s misunderstood by the left, but what ability have they ever shown to truly understand anything? It may well turn out that American democracy can adapt itself even to most extreme products.

Of course, a price will be paid by urban American blacks. But when has the left ever cared about them?

Rafael Ramos and Wenjin Liu died because of the campaign to vilify police. Even as the events of Ferguson begin to fade, the campaign it helped engender rolls on, with new reports of demonstrations and protests appearing almost daily. Last week Carol Jackson, a federal judge, restricted police tactics against protestors.  (This is kind of odd in and of itself. The last thing people want to hear about during the holidays is some hood getting his comeuppance. The same can be said about Sen. Feinstein’s “torture report” -- waterboarding is not likely to play well during the sleigh bell season. Is the left beginning to lose its customary excellent timing?)

What remains to be said -- and what has been widely overlooked -- is what lies behind this campaign, what exact role Ferguson -- and Staten Island, and Cleveland, all the way back to Sanford, Florida -- play in the agenda of the American left.

That there is an agenda is not in question. Presidents, attorneys general, sports and entertainment celebrities, and the media sphere as a whole do not get involved in small local disturbances for no reason. Stepping back, we can see a consistent thread of deliberately aggravated racial incidents throughout the Obama presidency, from the Gates incident through the Trayvon Martin controversy on to Ferguson. All featured intervention from Obama, and most from Eric Holder as well. You can search all you like among previous presidencies for comparable actions, but you will do so in vain.

To understand what’s happening here, we need to go back to the collapse of the civil rights movement in the late 60s. In exchange for control of the newly-ratified black vote, Democrats dramatically expanded government welfare both through ADC and Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” programs. As has often been pointed out, this led to the deterioration of the urban black family, with young single black women with children “marrying” Uncle Sam in preference to their hapless male opposite numbers, unwilling to complete their educations and unable to obtain decent employment. The result was generations of young black men deprived of any sexual or social purpose. These lost generations comprised a kind of bonus to the left, with black male drifters viewed as an urban proletariat that could be exploited for revolutionary purposes. (There has never been an actual “proletariat” in the European sense in the U.S.  The history of the American left can be viewed as a search for one, first among American workers in the late 19th century, then among foreign-born immigrant workers in the ensuing decades, devolving at last to rogue urban minority males.)

But instead of diligently studying their Lenin and Gramsci and doing what community activists told them, young blacks preferred loafing, dressing in outré styles, involving themselves in petty crime and sexual escapades, and boasting about both. There’s nothing new about this -- it has recurred throughout modern history. In Renaissance England and Italy, it involved the sons of the nouveau riche middle class, who in their satin and lace passed their time in drinking bouts and crime sprees in which quickness with the dirk or rapier (the 9mm of the era) played a large role. The only difference is that today it’s the government rather than merchant prince fathers paying the bills.

This new class of gangsters was a large factor in the crime explosion that racked the country from 1965 to 1995. Soaring crime rates were sharply curtailed by a return to traditional sentencing and crime control methods that had been put in abeyance thirty years previously. As a matter of course, this involved putting many black males into some type of controlled setting, ranging from juvenile detention to prison to parole. This led to cries of victimization on racial grounds from the elite and the media, along with claims that the United States had the largest prison population in either “history” or “the world”. Both claims are asinine -- the bulk of these “victims” are under parole and not behind bars.

This contention has set the agenda for the past twenty years of the racial debate. Measures taken to control crime are presented as ipso facto evidence of “systemic” or “institutional” racism. Both Obama and Holder, along with the vast majority of their contemporaries in both government and media, are true believers in this ideological construct.

This can be clearly seen in both serious racial incidents exploited by the administration, the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown shootings. (The Cleveland and Staten Island cases, both of which involve truly egregious police activity -- it’s impossible to watch the Cleveland video without feeling sick disgust -- feature minority officers as major players and are thus unsuitable for racial exploitation). Both have been boosted to iconic status in hopes of sparking a mass response. Both adhere to near-identical narrative templates: Martin and Moore were simply making their way down public thoroughfares minding their own business when they were set upon by whites in positions of authority and mowed down due not to wrongdoing but simply the inherent viciousness and bigotry of the Caucasian race.

In the Martin case, this involved a cheerful, bright-eyed twelve-year-old waylaid and assassinated while trudging through a storm by an obese, Jewish-sounding wannabe cop. With Brown, it was an authority-crazed white cop confronting a skylarking “gentle giant”.

Both narratives disintegrated upon examination. Not only was George Zimmermann not Jewish (depriving the media of the opportunity of exploiting latent black anti-Semitism), he was of mixed black and Hispanic ancestry. Trayvon Martin was no whimsical early teen but a muscular eighteen-year-old obsessed by mixed martial arts.

The media did succeed in burying elements of the story, Martin’s criminal history in particular. Sundance, a blogger for Conservative Treehouse, solved a burglary in Sanford by means of Internet search engines alone, demonstrating not only that Martin had committed the crime, but that the local “school police force” (which is all you need to know about the Florida educational system) had suppressed the evidence.  (This was a factor in the resignation of Charles Hurley, chief of the “school police.”) By the time that Martin encountered Zimmermann, he was an experienced professional criminal.

Similarly, media reports swept aside the fact that Michael Brown had ransacked a local convenience store, attacked a clerk, and then waltzed off with his loot, a handful of cigarillos. It was this, and not rampant white bigotry, that led Darren Wilson to confront him.

Both media and the authorities must be aware of these facts -- plenty of effort was put into suppressing the first; the second is available to be seen on You Tube. This being the case, it follows that leftists in government are not concerned with the welfare of urban blacks in general, but one particular class of blacks, distinct and separate from all others -- black criminals.

Activists, both in government and media, desire to decriminalize black lawlessness. They wish to put black criminals beyond the reach of the law. They seek gangbangers unbound.

When this occurs, the left will once again have its black proletariat to manipulate as it sees fit. We’ve had a taste of the potential outcome in the response to the Ferguson grand jury announcement, with mobs clogging highways at various spots around the country. Since the 1960s, black riots have generally been limited to mass tantrums which burn their own neighborhoods, and destroy their own businesses. This is what occurred in Ferguson. But the next step will be to take the violence and destruction to white neighborhoods. This will come once the police are disarmed, with officers fleeing or hiding in their vehicles, overcome by thoughts of George Zimmermann and Darren Wilson. Throw in a few Jay Nixons unable to bring themselves to order the National Guard into action (reportedly on the advice of one Barack Obama), and you have a formula for the type of social cataclysm the left has been yearning after for a century or more.

Except for one thing: the United States does not have roots in peasant culture. In such cultures, attacks by outside forces -- Cossacks, dragoons, bandits -- are met with flight and whimpering of the “if the czar/doge/elector only knew, he’d surely do something” variety.

But the United States derives from the English yeomanry culture. Yeomen are not peasants. They are independent smallholders jealous of their rights and protective of their property. When pressed, yeomen tend to strike back, as a number of English monarchs learned to their dismay.

While diluted by the peasant cultures of southern and eastern Europe and more recently by Mexican and Central American immigrants, this yeomanry cultural mindset remains dominant in the United States. The sheer opportunity available here leads to generational progress, which breeds entrepreneurship.  Historically, the culture is expressed in times of emergency by the committee of vigilance. When law enforcement becomes corrupt or incapable, leading citizens and businessmen band together to form their own law enforcement organizations comprised of law-abiding citizen volunteers. The justice meted out by these groups is usually swifter and harsher than that of the conventional criminal justice establishment. They invariably step aside when a working legal structure is re-established. This pattern can be found in San Francisco in 1856 and 1877, in Montana in 1864, in New Orleans in 1901, and in Athens, Tennessee as recently as 1946. 

This is the American method. It’s misunderstood by the left, but what ability have they ever shown to truly understand anything? It may well turn out that American democracy can adapt itself even to most extreme products.

Of course, a price will be paid by urban American blacks. But when has the left ever cared about them?