Sunday, September 01, 2019

How Important Is Today's Racial Discrimination?
There is discrimination of all sorts, and that includes racial discrimination. Thus, it’s somewhat foolhardy to debate the existence of racial discrimination yesteryear or today. From a policy point of view, a far more useful question to ask is: How much of the plight of many blacks can be explained by current racial discrimination? Let’s examine some of today’s most devastating problems of many black people with an eye toward addressing discrimination of the past and present.

At the root of most of the problems black people face is the breakdown of the family structure. Slightly over 70% of black children are raised in female-headed households. According to statistics about fatherless homes, 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes; 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father figure; 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes; 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes; and 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions have no father. Furthermore, fatherless boys and girls are twice as likely to drop out of high school and twice as likely to end up in jail.

One might say, “Williams, one cannot ignore the legacy of slavery and the gross racism and denial of civil rights in yesteryear!” Let’s look at whether black fatherless homes are a result of a “legacy of slavery” and racial discrimination. In the late 1800s, depending on the city, 70% to 80% of black households were two-parent. Dr. Thomas Sowell has argued, “The black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and discrimination, began rapidly disintegrating in the liberal welfare state that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life.”

As late as 1950, only 18% of black households were single parent. From 1890 to 1940, a slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than white adults. In 1938, black illegitimacy was about 11% instead of today’s 75%. In 1925, 85% of black households in New York City were two-parent. Today, the black family is a mere shadow of its past.

Let’s ask a couple of questions about crime and education and racial discrimination. It turns out that each year more than 7,000 blacks are victims of homicide. That’s slightly over 50% of U.S. homicide victims. Ninety-four percent of the time, the perpetrator is another black person. Along with being most of the nation’s homicide victims, blacks are most of the victims of violent personal crimes such as assault and robbery. At many predominantly black schools, chaos is the order of the day. There is a high rate of assaults on students and teachers. Youngsters who are hostile to the educational process are permitted to make education impossible for those who are prepared to learn. As a result, overall black educational achievement is a disaster.

Here are my questions to those who blame racial discrimination for the problems of black people: Is it necessary for us to await some kind of moral rejuvenation among white people before measures can be taken to end or at least reduce the kind of behavior that spells socioeconomic disaster in so many black communities? Is it a requirement that we await moral rejuvenation among white people before we stop permitting some black youngsters from making education impossible for other black youngsters? Blacks were not the only people discriminated against in America. While Jews and Asians were not enslaved, they encountered gross discrimination. Nonetheless, neither Jews nor Asians felt that they had to await the end of discrimination before they took measures to gain upward mobility.

Intellectuals and political hustlers who blame the plight of so many blacks on poverty, racial discrimination and the “legacy of slavery” are complicit in the socioeconomic and moral decay. Black people must ignore the liberal agenda that suggests that we must await government money before measures can be taken to improve the tragic living conditions in so many of our urban communities. Black and white intellectuals and politicians suggesting that black people await government solutions wouldn’t begin to live in the same high-crime, dangerous communities and send their children to the dangerous schools that so many black children attend.


Hasbro Has a New 'Monopoly: Socialism' Game and Socialists Are Not Happy

A few weeks ago, my wife and I took a deep breath and then reluctantly replied "sure" to our kids' request that we play Monopoly for family game night. As most of us can attest, Monopoly requires a level of commitment that no family game night should require, and it's not really that fun to begin with. Hasbro's new "Monopoly: Socialism," though, sounds like a hoot and a great way to continue to teach my kids why socialism is for the math-, economics-, and history-challenged among us.

Sadly, I have been completely unaware of this new game that mocks socialism as only a brilliant capitalist company can. It was only after stumbling across a Twitter thread composed by a deeply offended socialist that "Monopoly: Socialism" entered my consciousness. So, thank you, Twitter and upset socialist dude.

Since I apparently harbor some socialist tendencies in my own heart, I want to share this with you. Of course, the capitalist in me recognizes that I will be helping a business make money on the free market. Maybe I should submit Hasbro a bill for my advertising services. Frankly, I would settle for nothing more than a free copy of "Monopoly: Socialism," because, as I'm sure you'll agree after reading the unintentionally funny tweets below, the game sounds awesome!

Twitter user Nick Kapur — who "only tweet[s] extremely interesting things," according to his bio — "bought a copy of Hasbro's mean-spirited and woefully ill-informed MONOPOLY: SOCIALISM board game so you don't have to."

So I "don't have to," Nick? Why, I wanted to buy the game from the moment I read your tweet, "From the tagline 'Winning is for capitalists' we can see right away that this game is not going to be friendly to whatever it deems 'socialism' to be." So, again, thank you.

If your second tweet wasn't enough to piqued my interest in "Monopoly: Socialism," your comment deep into your Twitter rant—that "There are also tons of references to health food and veganism, despite the lack of any clear connection to socialism, apparently because what they share in common is that they are odious things that are fun to mock" — would have sealed the deal for me. Because I agree that health food and veganism have nothing in common with socialism except providing great targets for much mockery. I do love mocking vegans. And socialists, as I'm sure is evident by now.

Although, now that I think about it, veganism and socialism probably do have a connection. I mean, once socialism bankrupts our society and reduces everyone but Comrade Bernie and AOC to subsistence living, all we'll be eating will be whatever shriveled roots we can pull out of the dirt. I'm sure that a study somewhere proves that socialism leads to veganism. There's the connection. Hasbro, am I right?

And, Nick, by the time I read, "when you pass go, you get a $50 'living wage,' which was presumably reduced from the usual $200 to emphasize that 'socialism makes everyone poorer' or somesuch," I knew that I would be making a patriarchal rule that the only game played in my house on game night henceforth will be Hasbro's Monopoly: Socialism. Thanks to your Twitter meltdown, I get to incorporate both fun and education into family game night.


Men Beware: Following the Billy Graham Rule Could Get You Fired. It Happened to a N.C. Sheriff

A former sheriff's deputy in Lee County, N.C., says he was fired from his job for following the so-called Billy Graham rule and asking to be excused from spending a significant amount of time alone with a female trainee. Late last month, Manuel Torres filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S  District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division, claiming his firing was the result of religious discrimination.

Torres, who worked for the Lee County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) from 2012 until he was fired in 2017, filed a complaint on July 31 accusing Sheriff Tracy Lynn Carter of discriminating against him by terminating his employment after he requested a reasonable religious accommodation based on his Christian beliefs — namely, Torres asked that he not be forced to spend time alone with a female coworker whom he was assigned to train. Torres is seeking "equitable and monetary relief in the form of present and future lost wages and benefits, compensatory damages for emotional distress and other injuries, and punitive and/or liquidated damages, as provided by law."

The Billy Graham rule dates back to the 1940s, when Southern Baptist evangelist Billy Graham, who was spending long stretches of time on the road away from his family, made a pact with several other men involved in ministry, called the Modesto Manifesto, vowing to "avoid any situation that would have even the appearance of compromise or suspicion," according to Graham's autobiography. The idea behind the rule was to obey the Bible's command to "abstain from every form of evil" (sometimes translated "abstain from all appearance of evil"). Graham's desire was that no one should be able to accuse him of sexual misconduct as a result of being spotted alone with a woman. Vice President Mike Pence also follows a variation of the rule and has been the object of much scorn and mockery for his "antiquated" religious beliefs.

Torres, 51, filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions (EEOC) in 2017, alleging that the sheriff's office had "engaged in unlawful religious discrimination and retaliation against him in denying his requests for religious accommodations." The EEOC issued a Notice of Right to Sue notice earlier this year, paving the way for Torres' federal lawsuit.

According to the complaint, Torres "holds to Christian religious beliefs and regularly attends and serves as a deacon at East Sanford Baptist Church in Sanford, North Carolina" and "holds the strong and sincere religious belief that the Holy Bible prohibits him, as a married man, from being alone for extended periods with a female who is not his wife."

During the course of his employment with the LCSO, Torres was "ordered to train a female deputy, which would include the requirement that he spend significant periods of time alone in his patrol car with the female officer trainee," according to the complaint. "The job duty of training female deputies, in such a manner, violates Plaintiff’s religious beliefs against being alone for periods of time with female(s) who is/are not his wife and leaving the appearance of sinful conduct on his part."

Torres' request for a reasonable religious accommodation from his employer was at first granted, but subsequently denied, and he was later terminated.

Before his termination, the former deputy claims that he was retaliated against as the result of his decision to take his request to his superiors. Torres claims — and this is terrifying — that his sergeant "failed to respond to Torres’s call for backup during Torres’s covering of a multi-vehicle accident in an unsafe area in which Torres had to tase two fighting suspects, and a gun was present on the scene." When the LCSO  "refused or neglected" backup for nearly 30 minutes,  an officer from a neighboring jurisdiction had to step in to assist Torres at the scene.

But it didn't end there. Torres claims that the LCSO "provided false and negative referrals to prospective employers" in Siler City and Apex, N.C., which are also named as defendants in the suit. Torres alleges that both those cities offered him positions, but rescinded them after the LCSO made false and derogatory comments about his job performance to his prospective employers.

Torres claims that he has suffered "a loss of income and benefits; loss of quality and enjoyment of life; loss of reputation; and other damages."

The complaint notes that it is the public policy of the State of North Carolina "that all persons shall be able to seek, obtain, and hold employment without discrimination or abridgment on account of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, or handicap by employers" and that Torres' religion "is a protected category in North Carolina." The former deputy is seeking $300,000 in compensatory damages for the loss of income and benefits and the emotional distress he's suffered, along with $15,000 in punitive damages.

While many have accused proponents of the Billy Graham rule — and this is especially true of the vice president — of being misogynist or discriminating against women by refusing to be alone with them, such a decision seems like a no-brainer in the era of #MeToo. After all, we've been lectured constantly over the last few years that we must believe all women -- whether or not the facts back up the accusations. As we saw with the hearings to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, there's a movement afoot (actually, it's in full swing) to discard due process in favor of a system that gives the word of a woman more credibility than that of a man, whether or not the evidence substantiates her claims. (PJM's Megan Fox wrote a whole book about it, called Believe Evidence. I highly recommend it.)

In the current climate, men who spend time alone with women risk being falsely accused and having their reputations and careers destroyed and their lives turned upside down based on little or no evidence. Who could blame a man for being terrified to spend time alone with women when they've seen what can happen to a man like Kavanaugh at the highest levels of government? Maybe that does put women at a disadvantage in the workplace, but this is the bed feminists have made for themselves and now they're complaining about being forced to lie in it. When you treat men as if they're all predators and make them the enemy, don't be surprised if they return the favor.


Ignore the Straight Pride Parade or fight it? LGBTQ community divided over how to respond

Despite marriage equality, LGBTQ Americans in 2019 still face many challenges, including higher rates of teen suicide and the prospect of being denied homes or losing jobs over their sexual orientation.

But to Samson Racioppi and fellow organizers of a Straight Pride Parade on Saturday in Boston — an event expected to draw dozens of supporters and perhaps 800 counterprotesters — heterosexuals are victims, too.

Straight people have “been disregarded, and that’s a form of attack,” Racioppi said, citing a Netflix show about drag queens and his friend’s preteen daughter questioning her gender. “People need to be reassured that even though there’s all this mixed messaging, it’s still perfectly natural to identify as a heterosexual.”

LGBTQ leaders, however, say that the parade — despite organizers’ insistence that they seek to celebrate straight people, not tear down others — is led by radical bigots and predicated on an insidious, inaccurate idea: that LGBTQ Americans already enjoy full equality, and that attempts to celebrate them or end discrimination somehow come at the expense of straight Americans.

“We’re not there yet,” said Logan Casey, of the LGBTQ policy and research group Movement Advancement Project. “In many places across the country, it remains perfectly legal for LGBTQ people to be discriminated against in housing, in employment, in public places and businesses, in health care, in education, and many other contexts.”

The LGBTQ community, though, appears split on how to respond to the event, which has been skewered by many public figures, from comedian Stephen Colbert to US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Some groups — including Boston Pride, which organizes the city’s massive annual LGBTQ pride parade — are trying to ignore the provocation.

“It has become increasingly clear that the Straight Pride Parade is organized by a group of white supremacists and is an attempt to bait the Boston LGBTQ community,” the organization said. “It’s a trolling event, designed to get a rise out of vulnerable communities.”

Others insist Boston-area residents must stand up against hatred. “These people are fascists and Nazis,” said Elvin Mackelston, of the group Solidarity Against Hate-Boston, which is organizing a counterprotest. “We will be getting together the biggest, proudest group we can.”

Super Happy Fun America , the group behind the parade, denies that the parade or its organizers are bigoted, pointing to their inclusion of black and gay speakers. Yet its members have close ties to the far right.

One of the parade’s scheduled speakers is the leader of the Proud Boys, which the Anti-Defamation League describes as violent extremists who attended the August 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Parade organizer Mark Sahady is part of Resist Marxism, a group founded by an alt-right leader with a history of violence. That group helped organize the Boston “free speech” rally in 2017 that critics said attracted white nationalists. Sahady said he is Arab and condemns racism.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh has said his administration couldn’t deny a permit based on the views of an event’s organizers, but added that Boston values “respect, diversity, and acceptance of all.” Boston police said they planned “a large presence of both uniformed and undercover officers.”

The parade, happening amid the chaos of Boston’s busy college move-in weekend, will include a pro-Trump vehicle and floats. It will proceed from Copley Square to City Hall Plaza, where participants plan to raise their pink-and-blue “straight pride” flag, conduct a costume contest, and showcase speakers including Milo Yiannopoulos, a former editor at Breitbart, the alt-right website, who has been banned from Facebook and Twitter for hate speech.

Organizers estimated Saturday’s parade would draw 2,000 participants, but only about 90 people said on Facebook they would attend. The 2017 “free speech” event attracted a few dozen supporters — but tens of thousands of counterprotesters.

Emerson College, located by the parade route, said it would postpone an orientation event and ban visitors from campus buildings until 3 p.m.

The idea for the parade began in April, when Sahady, 44, of Malden, and John Hugo, 56, of Woburn, decided to test whether Boston City Hall would fly their “straight pride” flag. The city often grants requests to feature different flags, but rejected the group, citing officials’ sole discretion over “government speech.”

In response, Sahady, Hugo, and Racioppi — a 37-year-old law student and Army veteran from Salisbury — decided to plan a parade to further test the city’s treatment of people with views that differed from the mayor’s.

The group’s website says heterosexuals are “an oppressed majority” that have “languished in the shadows for decades,” and that until the letter “S” is added to the acronym, “LGBTQ pride will continue to be a system of oppression designed to systematically erase straight people.”

That unwarranted feeling of exclusion is the same impulse behind the white supremacist movement and other hateful ideologies, said Casey, who serves as a policy researcher for the Movement Advancement Project.

“There’s a sense of ‘us versus them,’ no matter what the issue is,” he said. “It’s like, ‘If they’re getting a rainbow logo, how come I’m not getting a straight logo?’ ”

A majority of LGBTQ Americans have suffered violence, threats, or harassment, according to a 2017 poll released by NPR. Transgender people, meanwhile, face record levels of violence and frequently report being denied health care.

Casey and other critics believe “straight pride” events are simply the latest manifestation of anti-LGBTQ bigotry, in which overt slurs and attacks have been replaced with insinuations inspired by Internet trolls. They observe that “straight pride” supporters rarely debate the substance of issues facing LGBTQ people, and instead obsess over such superficial concerns as positive portrayals of LGBTQ characters in TV shows or growing corporate support for pride events.

In mocking LGBTQ events and organizations, Casey added, “straight pride” supporters are ignoring the history of anti-LGBTQ violence and of gay pride events. They also falsely insinuate that LGBTQ people desire special privileges or to be celebrated simply for existing, he said.

“Pride parades have been an incredibly important space and practice to build community and strength in the face of adversity,” Casey said. “These so-called straight pride parades . . . pose the hypothetical question, ‘What do [LGBTQ people] have to complain about?’ Well, actually, objectively, quite a bit.”

Following a widespread backlash to the parade’s announcement in June, organizers said the event’s purpose has shifted to fighting what they call “liberal groupthink,” identity politics, and a perceived lack of tolerance for conservative ideas.

As evidence that they are being targeted, the group’s members pointed to a series of setbacks: police confiscated Sahady’s three guns after his license expired; PayPal shut down their fund-raiser; their website has been suspended; their employers and parents have received phone calls; and the organizers were mailed envelopes of powder — which turned out to be glitter — prompting bomb squad calls.

“As soon as I opened my mouth about it, there he is — he’s Hitler,” Hugo said, adding that while he supports gay rights, he disagrees with the way schools, workplaces, and sports leagues have handled transgender issues. “The pendulum has swung too far.”

Critics say the free-speech rhetoric is just rebranding bigotry. Emerson College president Lee Pelton told students Wednesday that the parade was really “meant to objectify the ‘other’ as unworthy, as deformed, as disfigured and, most horribly, as something other than human.”

Racioppi was recently forced to resign as the board chairman of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, or MassCann, after directors, volunteers, and vendors quit the group’s annual pro-marijuana “Freedom Rally” over his involvement.

Some MassCann members sympathized with Racioppi, seeing his events as somewhat tongue-in-cheek affairs with a tinge of civil disobedience. But others, including former MassCann director Shannon Jones, found his views objectionable.

“It definitely weakened the group,” said Jones, who resigned over concerns about the organization’s direction. “I consider him a friend, but people from the community — especially other black people — have come up to me and said, ‘What’s up with this guy? How can you defend him?’”

Though the parade has yet to take place, Jones believes Racioppi has already “won” by generating media coverage.  “He talked to me a lot about how their cause was just to show how the media can take one little thing and just explode it,” she said.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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