As Mayor of Minneapolis, I Saw How White Liberals Block Change Reply

During the 1990s and 2000s, I was involved in local activism at the municipal level around a range of issues, mostly pertaining to housing, zoning, business development and licensing, policing, etc. What I found is that bourgie, professional class, predominantly white liberals (plus some affluent minorities) essentially wanted to turn cities into totalitarian yuppievilles. “Yes, give us art galleries, pubs with high-priced imported beer, and ethnic restaurants, but keep those icky homeless people and low-income workers away.” In fact, I often found that “conservative Republican” types were less bad than these liberal-gentrifiers, because the former were at least interested in economic development, while the latter just wanted government protection for their lifestyle preferences.

By Betsy Hodges

New York Times

Democrats have largely led big and midsize cities for much of the past half-century. Yet the gaps in socioeconomic outcomes between white people and people of color are by several measures at their worst in the richest, bluest cities of the United States.

How could this be? Because high-profile cultural conservatives ask this question so disingenuously, white liberals have generally brushed aside this reality rather than grappled with its urgency. There’s now a danger that this sidestepping will continue, even after a national evaluation of racism since the brutal police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.


U.S. Supreme Court deems half of Oklahoma a Native American reservation Reply

On the surface-level at least, this seems like a major victory for native rights and may actually be, even if the overarching presence of the federal regime remains. If the lumpenproletariat (the most oppressed social class) is the class vanguard in the struggle against the state, Native American tribes (the most oppressed ethnic communities) would have to be the ethnic vanguard.

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday recognized about half of Oklahoma as Native American reservation land and overturned a tribe member’s rape conviction because the location where the crime was committed should have been considered outside the reach of state criminal law.

The justices ruled 5-4 in favor of a man named Jimcy McGirt and agreed that the site of the rape should have been recognized as part of a reservation based on the historical claim of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation – beyond the jurisdiction of state authorities.

The decision means that for the first time much of eastern Oklahoma is legally considered reservation land. More than 1.8 million people live in the land at issue, including roughly 400,000 in Tulsa, Oklahoma’s second-largest city.

Conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the ruling, joining the court’s four liberals in the majority.

Gorsuch referenced the complex historical record that started with the forced relocation by the U.S. government of Native Americans, including the Creek Nation, to Oklahoma in a traumatic 19th century event known as the “trail of tears.” At the time, the U.S. government pledged that the new land would be theirs in perpetuity.

“Today we are asked whether the land these treaties promised remains an Indian reservation for purposes of federal criminal law. Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word,” Gorsuch wrote.

Gorsuch rejected the state’s arguments, which he said would require turning a “blind eye” to the federal government’s past promises.

In a joint statement, the state, the Creek Nation and the other four of what is known as the “Five Tribes” of Oklahoma said they were making “substantial progress” toward an agreement on shared jurisdiction that they would present to the federal government. The other tribes are the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole.


What Happened In Bethel, Ohio? Reply

When BLM came to Mayberry.

By Anne Helen Petersen


Lois Dennis started teaching second grade in the village of Bethel, Ohio — official population just under 2,800 — back in 1976. People in town call her Mrs. Dennis. And that’s the name people used online when they started denouncing what happened that Sunday afternoon in June when Bethel made national news for an explosion of violence on its streets: I can’t believe they did that to Mrs. Dennis.


What If Black America Were a Country? 2

This is some interesting data. If “Black America” were a country, it would be the 31st largest nation in the world per population size, roughly comparable to England, Canada, Mexico, Japan, or Iraq. “Black America” would be 46th in income per capita, between Italy, the UAE, Russia, and Mexico. The United States as a whole is number two per capita (behind only Qatar) and number three in population size behind China and India.

The Atlantic

In a recent debate with a CNN contributor, the conservative radio talk-show host Larry Elder declared that “if black America were a country, it would be the 15th-wealthiest country in the world.” His math proved incorrect, and his invocation of “black America” was followed by a refutation of the concept by a fellow black conservative. Shortly after Elder’s remarks, the Republican strategist Ron Christie argued that there is no such thing as “black America” and, further, that the very notion of it is antithetical “to our national motto of E Pluribus Unum.”


Racist Police Violence Reconsidered Reply

By John McWhorter


Tony Timpa was 32 years old when he died at the hands of the Dallas police in August 2016. He suffered from mental health difficulties and was unarmed. He wasn’t resisting arrest. He had called the cops from a parking lot while intoxicated because he thought he might be a danger to himself. By the time law enforcement arrived, he had already been handcuffed by the security guards of a store nearby. Even so, the police officers made him lie face down on the grass, and one of them pressed a knee into his back. He remained in this position for 13 minutes until he suffocated. During the harrowing recording of his final moments, he can be heard pleading for his life. A grand jury indictment of the officers involved was overturned.


Almost half of BLM protesters are white; a plurality are suburbanites Reply

I’ve noticed this as well. But unlike most commentators on the uprising, I would make a sharp distinction between the mainstream protest movement, conventional activism like BLM, the far-left/Antifa, the far-right/Boogaloo, statue vandalizers, and exaggerated sports rioters on one hand, and the actual uprising of the lumenproletariat on the other hand.


Do American Indians Celebrate the 4th of July? Reply

Some do, some don’t.  Stereotypes, while sometimes rooted in fact, also contain many, many variations. My maternal grandmother’s father was Cherokee, and their family was Methodist. I’ve personally known Native Americans whose politics ranged from far-left anarchist to conservative Republican, to admiration for George Lincoln Rockwell’s American Nazi Party.

By Dennis Zotigh

Smithsonian Magazine

How do Native Americans observe the 4th of July? This year, many people’s plans reflect their concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. But the answer has always been as complicated as America’s history.


Hispanic Republicans? Yep, and they’re here to stay Reply

Are Hispanic the new Italians? In recent years, I’ve noticed an increased number of prominent minority conservatives/Republicans. An Iraqi immigrant woman wants to challenge Ilhan Omar. A Jamaican immigrant woman planned to challenge Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez and dropped out. A Hispanic woman running for Congress in Florida bills herself as an anti-AOC. Gay married Dave Rubin and atheist Somali immigrant Ayaan Hirsi Ali are now becoming conservative icons. Many other examples. I know a lot of Republican-voting, FOX New-watching “conservatives” and most of them seem to not have any real problem with ethnic minorities, women, immigrants, or even gays as long as they get the politics “right” (literally speaking). Some on the alt-right are now embracing Islam and/or Communism. Many people would be surprised by the number of minorities found in supposed “white nationalist” circles. And many leftists express utter hatred for minority conservatives.


UC Berkeley History Professor’s Open Letter Against BLM, Police Brutality and Cultural Orthodoxy Reply

I agree with some points made in this article and disagree with others. But I’d say many of the arguments made are beside the point. Whether one believes George Floyd was personally a nice guy or not, whether one thinks systemic racism is the sole explanation for the overrepresentation of blacks in the “criminal justice system,” whether one agrees with the ideology of BLM (to the degree it has an ideology), or whether one likes the political Left or PC culture, is beside the point. The American police state is about much, much more than race, ideology, crime, individual cases, political correctness, cultural patterns in particular communities, or even social class.


A Statue of Hatuey Reply

By Don Fitz

If you look at a US $20 bill, you might notice Andrew Jackson nervously watching statues of Columbus and Robert E. Lee coming down and wondering if his face is going to disappear from currency.  As Democrats ponder which militarist they wish to glorify in the next round of monuments, it is critical to realize that statues which go up are at least as important as the ones that come down.  Perhaps the best nominee for a new statue is Hatuey.

A few years ago, while visiting my daughter and grandson in Havana, I learned that his favorite playmate was Hatuey.  “I recognize a lot of Spanish names,” I told my daughter. “But I’ve never heard that one.”


Colonialism, Explained 1

Colonialism is actually much older than what this author discusses. To trace the history of colonialism, you have to go back to at least the Roman era. Roman colonialism had an impact on indigenous cultures across the Eurasian landmass that was similar to the impact of Western colonialism between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries.

By Jamila Osman

Teen Vogue

Colonialism is defined as “control by one power over a dependent area or people.” In practice, colonialism is when one country violently invades and takes control of another country, claims the land as its own, and sends people — “settlers” — to live on that land.


Getting the Police Issue Right Reply

The main limitation of most liberal and left critiques of the police state is that these are primarily limited to dubious killings of civilians, racial disparities, and official forms of “police misconduct” as conventionally defined. And usually, these critiques are limited to the municipal police. That’s a start but nowhere near enough. Some further left critics also include the class dynamics that are inherent in the police state. That’s an advancement to the next level but still not nearly enough. We need a critique of the police state that is more in line with the kind of critique we might have of the Third Reich, the USSR, or perhaps contemporary China. I don’t think the US is presently as bad as any of those three but that’s the direction things are headed, not the other direction.


Asian Americans Are Still Caught in the Trap of the ‘Model Minority’ Stereotype. And It Creates Inequality for All Reply

As an Asian friend of mine once said, “Hey, we can be fuckups, too!”

By Viet Thanh Nguyen

The face of Tou Thao haunts me. The Hmong-American police officer stood with his back turned to Derek Chauvin, his partner, as Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds and murdered him.

In the video that I saw, Tou Thao is in the foreground and Chauvin is partly visible in the background, George Floyd’s head pressed to the ground. Bystanders beg Tou Thao to do something, because George Floyd was not moving, and as he himself said, he could not breathe.

The face of Tou Thao is like mine and not like mine, although the face of George Floyd is like mine and not like mine too.


‘Master’ bedroom name to change due to overarching theme Reply

As Krystal Ball recently said, “Capitalists are going to capitalist.”

And what are these virtue-signaling realtors going to do to make housing more available or affordable to the poor communities of Houston, some of whom are actually black? Are they going to lower rents, reduce real estate sale prices, advocate for the repeal of zoning, land use, and housing regulations that constrict the supply of low-income housing, or push for more multi-unit housing developments? Are they going to push for more homeless shelters, ending police harassment of the homeless, allowing squatting, or repeal regulations against living in vehicles? Uh, probably not. LOL.

I would also point out that most municipal and county governments are oligarchies controlled by the largest employers, local branches of major banks and corporations, and dominant real estate interests in the area.

By Raven Ambers

ABC 13 News/Houston


After weeks of protests, meaningful police reform appears unlikely Reply

You don’t say? Imagine that.

Analysis by Josh Campbell, CNN Security Correspondent

The dramatic images rocked the nation — hundreds of thousands of people from all races taking to the streets across the United States, demanding an end to excessive police force against people of color.

What began as local outrage in response to George Floyd’s death following an encounter with Minneapolis police officers soon spread throughout the country.


“The New Jim Crow” Michelle Alexander VS. Jesse Lee Peterson on Mass Incarceration Reply

An interesting debate between a black leftist and a black conservative.

I would generally agree with Michelle Alexander’s thesis that the police/carceral state and prison-industrial complex is merely the modern version of American black slavery or Jim Crow. But where I would disagree is that I think her analysis is too limited to the race issue in a way that ignores the context of state and class,

The US ruling class response to the black insurgency of the 1950s and 1960s was the standard strategy: co-optation with the left-hand, repression with the right-hand. The creation of the civil rights paradigm, the expansion of the welfare state, race-based policy initiatives, and the “diversity” ideology were intended to co-opt the black middle class, expand its size, and incorporate it into the wider system.


Glenn Loury: ‘We’re Being Swept Along by Hysteria’ About Racism in America Reply

A somewhat interesting interview with a leading black conservative.

I would be inclined to argue that, at present, substantial sectors of the capitalist class (including some major capitalist entities) along with their allies in the new clerisy/new class that dominates the “ideas industries” are fueling anti-racism hysteria in order to deflect attention away from the class-based nature of the insurrection. They do this because a race war is less antithetical to their interests than a class war. However, contra the Marxists and left-anarchists, it doesn’t stop at class either. Even a class war is more co-optable than a direct war against the state itself.

All of this follows an easily identifiable pattern in US history.