Henry Rollins is wrong about two Americas

LA Weekly published an article written by former Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins where he engages in virtue signalling on race in America, claiming that there is a white America and a black America.

From the article:

If white America experienced a fraction of what black America deals with regarding law enforcement, incarceration, the court system, employment and countless other facts of life, they would immediately and collectively lose their minds.

There are at least two different Americas. They have existed in an environment of almost unbroken mutual exclusivity. That’s over now.

No. That’s wrong. There isn’t a white America. There isn’t a black America. There’s just America. We fought a civil war over two Americas, one entrenched in the concept of slavery, the other one not. The dying embers of that concept were finally curb stomped into oblivion with the passing of the civil rights acts in the 1960’s.

Anyone today who’s talking about two Americas either doesn’t understand the concept of linear time or they’re being willfully dishonest. Henry Rollins was born too late to hold the line against Picket’s Charge. Henry Rollins was born too late to travel to Mississippi in the summer of 1964 and register black people to vote. How then does he fight against the idea of racial superiority and inequality? He either has to travel back in time, or he has to pretend things are the same as they were a long time ago.

He continues:

I’m an educated, Caucasian, heterosexual male. Does this ensure I will have success and live the American Dream? Obviously it doesn’t, but it damn sure drops me on second base with a great opportunity to steal third.

How interesting that Henry Rollins conflated education with the fallacy of white male privilege. Education isn’t something you’re born with. It’s something you must work for. You can go to a prestigious university, and if you don’t work and apply yourself, you’ll leave the school in worse shape than when you started.

Anyone who’s educated and benefits from that education isn’t lucky or privileged.

Speaking as a white male, I can attest that I’ve never benefited because of my skin color or my gender. Instead of giving people a baseball metaphor usually reserved for those born to wealth, Henry Rollins should provide a list of the privileges he’s enjoyed because he’s a white man.

I’d love to hear them.

When people like Henry Rollins say something stupid about the inherent advantage of being a white male, it makes some people think that if you aren’t a member of the exclusive white guy club, you’re getting screwed. That’s wrong.

Has it always been this way? No, of course not. Over time things have thankfully changed. It wasn’t easy. People sacrificed their lives to ensure all people would have equally. In the present day America, white males don’t enjoy any rights or privileges that other Americans don’t enjoy. To assert anything otherwise is both regressive and dishonest.

If one person believes the crap Henry Rollins is spewing about two Americas, it’s one person too many.

We have a police incompetence problem

On July 5th, two Baton Rouge police officers shot and killed Alton Sterling who was selling dvds in front of a convenience store. Cellphone video captured the incident. Mr. Sterling was black. The two officers who killed him seem to be white.

It’s pretty clear from watching the videos that the two cops aren’t good police officers. They looked incompetent while trying to subdue Alton Sterling, especially considering that he didn’t seem to be resisting. When one of the officers discovered that Mr. Sterling had a gun in his pocket, he sounded panicked.

The following day, a police officer in Minnesota shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop over a broken tail light. Mr. Castile was black while the cop who killed him appears to be white.

The horrific incident’s aftermath was recorded on video by Mr. Castile’s fiancé and posted live on Facebook. It’s clear from watching the video that Mr. Castile did nothing to call for getting shot. The officer asked for Mr. Castile’s license and registration. As he was reaching for his wallet, he told the officer he had a gun, but had a license to carry. Upon hearing this the officer ordered him to put his hands up. As Mr. Castile tried to comply follow this order, the cop shot him three times.

Much like the Alton Sterling shooting the previous day, this looked to be an example of gross police incompetence.

When the cop thought Mr. Castile might be a threat because of the fact he told the officer he had a gun, instead of ordering him out of the car with his hands up, he pumped three rounds into him as he sat behind the wheel. Next to Mr. Castile was his fiancé and in the backseat was his fiancé’s four-year old daughter.

Immediately after the shootings, activists began proclaiming that these two killings happened because of racism on the part of the cops. Marches and protests were held demanding justice, even though there was no evidence justice would not be served. Immediately after both shootings, it was announced the U.S. Justice Department would conduct the investigations, not the local police departments.

Thursday evening at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, Micah X. Johnson shot 14 people including 12 police officers, killing five.

Racist terrorist Micah X Johnson.
Racist terrorist Micah X Johnson.

Before killing Mr. Johnson with a robot, the police say he told them he was upset about Black Lives Matter and wanted to kill white people, especially white cops.

Mr. Johnson’s Facebook page showed that not only was he a supporter of Black Lives Matter, but also the New Black Panther Party.

Although it’s impossible to know at this point if the cops who killed Mr. Sterling and Mr. Castile are racists, it’s obvious Micah X. Johnson was. With that said, the Black Lives Matter group is still organizing marches and protests demanding justice, as though justice is like a microwave pizza, something quick and cheap.

Police brutality isn’t a black problem, it’s a people problem. Contrary to the statements made by a guy who pretends to be a doctor on Grey’s Anatomy, more white people are killed every year by police than black people.

The real problem isn’t race, it’s police incompetence. We have the largest police force in the world. Our police are becoming more and more militarized. Too many people are becoming cops who shouldn’t be mall security guards, let alone police officers sworn to serve and to protect. Each individual police force has its own training program not based on national guidance or procedures. Whether officers are even remembering any of their training, let alone employing it properly in the field, is really a mystery.

The cops who killed Alton Sterling and Philando Castile sure didn’t look like they were following any type of proper police procedure. They looked like idiots who have no business being cops.

If you have a problem with the Redskins' name or mascot, I have some advice for you

The Washington Redskins went to Minnesota to play the Vikings this past Sunday and they did what they do best: they lost. The final score was 29 to 26.

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III made his triumphant return in the losing effort and played fairly well, considering the amount of rust he has acquired sitting on the bench, eating Subway sandwiches, and recuperating the his various injuries. What was even more remarkable than RGIII playing in an actual NFL game, were the thousands of people protesting outside the stadium against the Washington Redskins.

Some claim the team’s name is a racial slur against Native Americans and should be changed to something else. Many of the protesters on Sunday were reportedly of Native American descent. Some were protesting against the name, while others were protesting against the team’s mascot.

The mascot? What’s wrong with the mascot?
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Although I understand how some can argue that the name is a racial slur – I don’t agree with them, but I see how they can come to that conclusion – I don’t understand how anyone can argue the mascot is disrespectful or insulting. The Redskins’ mascot is one of the more nicer looking mascots in the NFL.

The Redskins’ porous defense is insulting, not the mascot.

norseman-article-compThe ironic thing about the Redskins’ mascot is that it’s very similar to the Vikings’ mascot. The Redskins’s mascot is a man of Native American ancestry. The Vikings mascot is a cartoonish man of white European ancestry with an overgrown 1970’s porn mustache. Of the two mascots, the Redskins’ mascot is much more respectful, mostly because it doesn’t include a stupid looking mustache.

My advice to anyone who doesn’t like the Washington Redskins’ name or mascot, is to pick another team to support. There are 32 teams in the NFL. Chances are, there’s at least one or two other teams in the league with names or mascots that you won’t find offensive or insulting to your delicate sensibilities.

Photo: by Jeff Wheeler / StarTribune

'The Daily Show' confronts 4 Redskins fans with 8 Native Americans, hilarity does not ensue

The Daily Show ran a segment this week that tackled the issue involving the name of the Washington Redskins, a name some people claim to find offensive and on the wrong side of history, whatever that means.

In the heavily edited segment, fake-correspondent Jason Jones sat down with four self-described Washington Redskins fans; Kelli O’Dell, Brian Dortch, Maurice Hawkins, and Charles Barr. He asked them questions about the team name and then brought in eight activists of Native American decent to confront the four Redskins fans.

The eight activists stood as they confronted the four fans. There were no chairs for them to sit. Not only were there twice as many activists as fans, the fact that they were standing while the fans were sitting, made the confrontation that more uncomfortable to watch.

The seven minute segment can be seen here.

Needless to say, the four fans never should have agreed to appear on The Daily Show. My guess is that these four people were the only Redskins fans the producer for the segment could find, reportedly on Twitter, who would agree to appear. I think the fact that there were twice as many activists as fans, indicates this.

Evidently the four fans tried to revoke their consent before the segment appeared on The Daily Show, but they were clearly unsuccessful.

Why I changed my mind about the Redskins controversy

With football season fast approaching, I’ve been thinking more about the controversy surrounding the name of the Washington Redskins. I’ve changed my mind. I no longer think the name should be changed.

What made me change my mind? This photo, for one:

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The r-word? Anyone who wants to equate the n-word to the word Redskins is stupid and doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Nothing equals the n-word. It’s the apex predator of all racial slurs. If someone wants to argue that the word Redskins is a negative racial slur, then I’m more than happy to listen to the evidence proving this. On the other hand, if someone wants to declare that not only is the word Redskins a negative racial slur, but that it’s equal to the word nigger, then I’m out.

Don’t get me wrong. If you were going to create a professional sports team today in 2014, I don’t think it would be a good idea to name it after a minority group or a term referring to skin color. The thing is, the team has been called Redskins for so long, that any real or perceived racial insensitivity connected to the word, was mitigated a long time ago. The word Redskins has been in the public lexicon for decades, not as a racial slur, but as the name of a professional football team.

Words change. Language is an ever evolving thing. Even if the word Redskins began as a negative slur, and the experts can’t seem to agree if it did or not, it’s not one now.

It’s the name of a professional football team in the National Football League that plays its home games here in Maryland. People should stop burning so many calories trying to make it something that it’s not.

My ignorance of Memorial Boulevard

An anonymous person here in Hagerstown responded to my letter to the Herald-Mail about the naming of Memorial Boulevard. The response was published in the Herald-Mail newspaper. This anonymous person, instead of actually writing a real letter and signing it, chose to respond to my letter by phoning it in.

Seriously, they just phoned it in.

The Herald-Mail has something they call “Mail Call.” People can call a telephone number and leave a message. They don’t have to identify themselves. All they have to do it say where they’re from and leave a message. Newspaper staff then sort through these messages and attempt to find ones worthy of publishing.

Here it is:

“This is about Memorial Boulevard. Virginia Magruder, a retired teacher from North Hagerstown High School – many of us had her for English -came in to Council to carefully delineate the history of Memorial Boulevard, and she had researched it. I wouldn’t presume to say what she gave in the way of information that evening, because it obviously is not going to be believed by the writer of the letter about Memorial Boulevard, but to overcome his ignorance on the subject of Memorial Boulevard and what it was to memorialize, and what it means to many of us out here, as the only thing that genuinely honors veterans in this whole community, I would like to suggest that he go to the Washington County library and avail himself of the many materials that are there on the history of Washington County. He gets to believe whatever he wants to believe, but to suggest that Memorial Boulevard doesn’t have any connection with honoring veterans is ridiculous.” – Hagerstown

If I had a chance to speak with this anonymous person from Hagerstown, I would tell them that I did research on the origin of Memorial Stadium. I would tell them that although some in Hagerstown wanted to erect an actual Memorial to World War One veterans, they just never quite got around to doing it.

It’s like calling a road Elm Street and then never quite getting around to planting elm trees on it.

Why would I want to go do research at the Washington County library? I can sit here at home drinking coffee and taking advantage of Internet sites such as Google and Ask Jeeves. I guess I could do the same thing at the Washington County library, but I would have to do it sitting next to a smelly hobo looking for porn.