|14A062 A Winter of Black Discontent? by Jim Davies, 12/8/2014
Crowds protesting in the streets against government are good news, even if they get it a bit wrong; and those angry about the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner have got the Establishment all twitchy, and that's fine by me. They are focusing on only one or two of its ugly aspects: the grand-jury process, and police propensity to kill. Connecting the dots and going for the jugular of the whole institution is still beyond them, but it's a start.
Soon, I hope to see anger on the streets over the wanton killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a couple of Cleveland thugs in government costumes. And no doubt more cases, alas, as time passes.
They do, all the same, have it wrong in some respects. First, the protesters are joined by thugs not in government costume, whose main aim is to loot and burn local businesses that have no responsibility at all for what police did - except perhaps that the owners voted. Granted, it's not easy to exclude those thugs, especially before the parade begins. But their presence certainly takes the edge off their demand for "justice."
Second, they have not distinguished between two quite different police killings, Brown's and Garner's. The evidence and testimony now available in the Brown case shows that without any serious provocation he attacked Wilson through his car window, tried to wrest from him the gun he had pulled in self-defense, and subsequently charged at him with superior weight and an obvious intent to kill. Wilson's actions were defensive, and I would have tried to do the same. The nature of his job and uniform were incidental.
Garner, in contrast, attacked nobody even though he was certainly being harassed and provoked. He tried to push four cops away when they moved to arrest him for failing to pay protection money to the New York Mob, and cried out when one of them began to strangle him that he "could not breathe." This was murder, done in plain sight and, happily, on the camera of Ramsey Orta who quickly published his images.
Third, the protesters have characterized these killings as being racist, and that's a mistake. It's not a problem of race, it's a problem of police. Cops kill white folk with impunity also; last month in A Squirrel's Tale I related the sad case of Samantha Ramsey, a white on white murder in which a grand jury gave the cop a free pass, and Gilbert Collar, a white youth in Alabama, was shot and killed by black policeman Trevis Austin without consequence, even though Collar was not only unarmed but actually undressed.
That said, I've little doubt that most victims of police violence are black. Conservatives may respond by pointing out that the crime rate by blacks is far higher too, so this ought not to be surprising; and that's true, the rate of murder by blacks is eight times higher than by whites, and the incarceration rate is six times higher. However, those data fail to account for the underlying causes.
Those causes go right back to the bedrock of what this ZGBlog is all about: self ownership. The premise that each human being has the right to own and operate his own life exclusively underlies everything written here, and since there is no way to refute it explicitly without assuming its truth implicitly, it's an axiom. It's certain.
The self-ownership of Africans was grossly violated two and three centuries ago when they were kidnapped, loaded like cattle aboard ships and sold here in the marketplace as if they were chattels - to be owned by someone else in the prevailing legal system - which was enforced exclusively by government, without which enforcement it would have all been impossible. The whole institution of slavery, which underlies all black resentment to this day, was therefore caused by government and its flagrant rejection of the self ownership axiom.
During the War to Prevent Secession, Lincoln found it expedient to declare slaves freed (without liberating a single slave in reality, in either North or South) so subsequently they flooded the fragile labor market in the South and the voting, majority white working class had vicious restrictions enacted upon them; again, by law, enforced by government, in outright violation of their right to operate their lives any way they wished. The resentment grew.
In the 1960s government forced integration in its schools, against the wishes of many white residents, violating their right to run their own family lives; a century earlier it had forced everyone to attend its schools or at least pay for them. So they upped and quit to the suburbs, leaving the inner cities to blacks, and took their money with them. Hence urban slums, and yet more black resentment.
Most blacks therefore now live in ghettoes, and are sustained by government handouts so making them a dependent class; meanwhile few able teachers wish to work in such places so schools are of poor quality, hence graduates are ill prepared for work. Under Union pressure government raises the minimum wage (violating the self-ownership rights of employers) which makes it doubly difficult for those graduates to find work. In all that environment, it's no surprise at all that they turn to theft and violence instead of "honest labor." The governing class, predominantly white, has enslaved them again while loudly pretending to set them free. It's damnably clever.
That is the history that precedes police harassment of blacks. It's hardly surprising that the protesters don't always show the patience they should, to pause and examine all the details. There is only one fix for it all, and that is to remove the cause of it all: government, with its inherent, universal and inevitable denial of self ownership.