“Diet, injections and injunctions will combine from a very early age to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible. Even if all are miserable all will believe themselves happy because the government will tell them that they are so.” Bertrand Russel 1953
On this page I have combined (and will continue to add) as many ideas as I reasonably could to help act as a reservoir of possible approaches, none of which are the all to be all. Take what feels right for you and integrate it within your ways of being and doing. In other words, get educated, and live and treat others as by informed consent.
Our health and every day health freedoms are fast disappearing or we, due to the prescription drug industry and banking cartel, never had many that we thought we had in the first place. Natural safe, effective non pharmaceutical approaches are being rampantly censored by Google, Youtube, Facebook and Vimeo. But we can restore them if we get and stay healthy and educated. Divided we fall, together we stand.
SIMILAR BUT ARGUABLY FAR WORSE (so far) THAN THE PLANDEMIC THAT HAS BEEN BREWING FOR 100 YEARS AND SLOWLY ERODING OUR MEDICAL FREEDOMS, BLACK FREEDOMS HAVE BEEN GREATLY COMPROMISED ACROSS THE BOARD FOR OVER 400 YEARS.
FOR NON AFRICAN AMERICANS, AND I AVOID THE USE OF "WHITE" AS IT TO ME, A CAUCASION, NEGATIVELY STEREOTYPING SIMILARLY TO USING THE "N" WORD, WHITENESS FOR EXAMPLE, IS THE UNCLEAR PHRASE USED IN THE PREMISE OF EVERY ARGUMENT THAT SAYS RACIAL DISPARITY IS THE RESULT OF WHITENESS. PLUS THERE ARE MANY OTHER "COLORS" THAT NEED TO BE INCLUDED AND ARE TOO OFTEN BUSY SURVIVING OR LIVING THEIR DAY TO DAY "'CLOSED CIRCUIT" LIVES, TO REALIZE MANY OTHERS DO NOT HAVE THE FREEDOMS THEY HAVE, NOR DO THEY VERY OFTEN INVESTIGATE THE HIDDEN HORRORS THAT ARE OFTEN GOING ON RIGHT UNDER THEIR NOSES.
HOPEFULLY, THAT TIME IS OVER FOR THE ONES THAT TAKE THE TIME AND BE OPEN TO LEARNING, AND TRULY CARE.
This woman skillfully brings out some truths that these men, who may never have been properly fathered, if at all, may never have considered. Did they think that fathering fatherless children would give their moms a job ala welfare. Hopefully they learned something.
SELF DISCIPLINE - WILL SMITH
"Enough with the ANTI WHITE NARRATIVE" Brandon Tatum
From Mike. My father was a cop. I happen to believe that a lot of police are using too much force. I just don't like the "white" connections stuff. It's too easy for those with guns, authority and power over others to abuse them, whatever their skin color is. Watch "The Way They See Us" on Netflix to get a real good example of that. I am all for hidden cameras with instant transmission so if the camera is discovered at the location of incident, it is too late to hide what it showed. The camera tech exists so it is just a matter of time until we see "visual" reports.
BTW, IT'S BY FAR MOSTLY BLACK PEOPLE THAT KILL OTHER BLACK PEOPLE
THE RISE OF LEFT WING MOBS IN AMERICA Watch the below video and wonder WHY are they "'left"'. How does he know? Not that left is intrinsically good or bad. Just WHY do you label them "'left". It seems manipulative or stereotyping. An unclear phrase with multiple definitions is used within the argument. Like implying "left" is entirely bad which it is not. Some good some bad. There must be a better way to say that other then left or right. I am conservative in some things and liberal in others. Does "left"' imply excessive freedoms without taking personal responsibility? That I can go for, sometimes. But the "right' does the same thing with corporate biased economics. "Left" and "right" seems to me like the press is using extreme position/emotion based words to manipulate.
Wisconsin Sheriff On Attacking the Police
DAVE CHAPELL JUNE 11, 2020 8:46 I LOVE THIS GUY. EVEN WHEN HE ATTACKS ME DUE TO MY SKIN COLOR. I KNOW HE IS JUST JOKING, BUT A PART OF HIM ISN'T, AND IT NEEDN'T BE JUST JOKING. But what does that humor do to impressionable children Dave?
"Why should black people who’ve been raised to speak one type of English, their own dialect, be forced to adopt the American Standard English of white Americans?”
But second off, why should an employer — white, black, red, green, orange, or yellow — whose clients and customers speak and understand Standard American English — be forced to hire someone who will not (or cannot) speak the lingua franca of the U.S.A. (i.e., Standard American English)? And why should such an employer suffer verbal abuse from those on the left practicing their usual virtue signaling by being accused of racism, when in fact, he’s just trying to get along and do business?"
My (mike) opinion is that we speak to hopefully be understood. I much prefer what I refer to as the California or west coast accent. I am hearing impaired and the clarity really helps. Many are hearing impaired and do not realize it. Why do newscasters and preachers speak so clearly? I suspect they want to be heard.
Wearing masks is dangerous to your health and to be forced to wear them is illegal.
WHEN THEY SEE US. 4 PART SERIES.A MUST SEE. NETFLIX. OPRAH HAS A DEEPLY MOVING INTRODUCTION.
Your publication has long been one of my favorites. My comments to you on your feedback page.""White supremacy." I am sick to death of the stereotype "white supremacy." It makes my breath go shallow. It is as bigoted as the "'N" word. The Jews had the Egyptians. African tribes had other tribes enslaving one another then selling their prisoners to white or black slavers. Indians had and still have their skin color issues. Ancient Turks ala Mehmed took slaves and raised them to become warriors. Native Americans enslaved their prisoners. I often read that the Rockefellers and Rothchilds are fast working on worldwide economic slavery. Bill Gates wants to vaccinate and microchip all of us. Well, at least they aren't prejudiced, LOL. Or is this a way toward "natural selection"?
YES much of the fear mongering agenda based press is a HUGE part of the problem and are often owned by suppressive opportunists.
"Some of what has always felt immovable may be starting to move"' AMEN.
See below what Andrew Yang, and Alex Johnson say. Add that to your already excellent writings sans "white supremacy". There has to be better two words to capture "'sociopathic personalities running roughshod over others." "suppressive personality" is a good one. Authoritarian maybe. "Suppressive racist". "Suppressive opportunist". "Sociopathic bigot". "Religious extremist" "Confused and fearful" sometimes.
It is never about skin color, rather control and or fear. Keep using "white" and you condemn via skin color just like the racist bigots and suppressive opportunists and sociopathic bigots or just plain slavers have been doing for centuries. Is that your purpose MOTHER JONES MAGAZINE? Or is it to educate and bring people together. What happened to MLKs "I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character" Black can be beautiful and ugly. Same for white or any other color. Maybe it's time you put more thought into breathing free.
David J. Harris, Jr.
LET'S LEARN WHAT ALEX JOHNSON and ANDREW YANG, HAVE TO SAY ABOUT ALL THIS.
COPIED FROM THE GUARDIAN.
"To be Black is to suffer perpetual wounds. Here's how you can make a difference." Alex Johnson
"I grew up facing attack after attack on myself and others. Today each of us has a role in the fight for Black lives
Alex M Johnson
I was nine when I was first called a n---- while walking to my mom’s car after school.
Ten when I watched the savage beating of Rodney King by the Los Angeles police department on television. Eleven when I saw the flames and ashes of a city burning after four police officers were found not guilty.
When I was 17, Abner Louima was sodomized with a broomstick and the police department attempted to cover up the crime. A few months later I was handcuffed for the first time. The probable cause: too many Black kids in a car.
An unarmed Amadou Diallo was shot and killed by the New York City police department a few months before my 19th birthday; he did not make it to his 23rd. Forty-one shots and all four officers were found not guilty.
When I was 21, an officer from the Atlanta police department raced up the street to stop me in my car as I was driving back to my dorm. By the time I was let go, three more patrol cars were on the scene because I was “verbally aggressive”.
I was three years older than Sean Bell when, at 23 and the night before his wedding, he was killed by police officers, who fired 50 shots into his vehicle. All three of the officers who were indicted were found not guilty.
In my 30s, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Atatiana Jefferson, Alton Sterling, Botham Jean, Aiyana Jones, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott.
It has been grace, and grace alone, that has spared me from the violent deaths perpetrated against my brothers and sisters. But like Black people across this nation, I continue to ask the question, “Am I next?”
This fear is not new. Nor is it misplaced. The trauma caused by the abusive anti-Black relationship with America is generational and historical. We are bonded by ancestry and the collective pain of a people who have been brutalized and summarily ignored. From the middle passage to Minnesota. The deep wounds of racial violence permeate our bloodlines, our communities, and how we as Black people navigate through life.
In these moments where Black people are killed by police for being Black, and the response to peaceful protests of police brutality is often met by more police brutality, I have struggled to move beyond the paralyzing emotions of rage, fear, trauma and grief. Like those who have taken to the streets to demand change, pained by the perpetual wounds of systemic racism and oppression, I am overwhelmed and triggered.
But silence is complicity, and my living will not be in vain. Retreating to the safe harbor of comfort during crisis is nothing more than cowardice. Radical change will not result with the acquiescence of passive progressives and the placating politics of patience and incrementalism. In a land where “freedom” and “liberty” are excuses for exclusion, the aesthetic of justice that allows the assault on Black lives to continue unabated and that is protected by white supremacy must be dismantled and rebuilt. Justice is a false pretense if the constitution fails to be consistently, fairly, and justly applied to Black people.
We are our brother’s and sister’s keeper and each of us has a role in this fight for Black lives
We are our brother’s and sister’s keeper and each of us has a role in this fight for Black lives. Here are a few ideas for what you can do to join the fight:
Demilitarize the police. Decrease law enforcement budgets and reinvest those resources to fund schools, libraries, quality healthcare, parks, childcare, jobs, interventionists and a youth development system. Community safety does not come from cops – strong institutions ensure communities can thrive.
Support organizations led by, serving and in service to Black people. Support those who organize, agitate, resist, disrupt, demonstrate and advocate to ensure that Black lives are not expendable. The people have the power – fund organized action.
Interrogate what being an ally truly means. Use your voice. Be bold and take a stand: equivocation fuels inequity. If you have privilege, use it, leverage it. There is nothing revolutionary about recognizing your power and doing nothing with it to advance social change and end systemic racism.
You are either for Black lives or you are not. Systemic racism permeates every system – law enforcement, education, health, transportation, housing, the economy, the environment and even philanthropy, the system in which I work. Are you hiring Black people? Are they tokenized or in leadership positions? It’s not complicated. Oppression is operational. Disassemble it and undo the status quo.
Stop tiptoeing around race, slavery, racial injustice, racial bias, systemic racism, white supremacy, nationalism, anti-Blackness or racial equity. It’s real. We’ve studied and debated it long enough. Act. End of discussion.
Vote for an agenda at the local, state and federal levels that prioritizes Black lives and demolishes the insidious pillars of white supremacy in every form. For those whose electoral existence is predicated upon the domination of Black lives, we must dominate the ballot box. If you are registered to vote and someone you know is not, help them register. Vote. Vote. Vote.
Over the past few days my thoughts have centered around family. The families of those who have been killed by police. The mothers and fathers who are worried about their Black sons and Black daughters. And I keep thinking about my family.
In late February, my wife came to me with exciting news: she is pregnant with our second child. A few weeks later, as the pandemic raged and the frailty of our systems of care was reaffirmed by the disproportionate impact of the virus, we received more news: we will be having a baby boy. I was beyond elated. Literally jumped and shouted, tears of joy welling up in my eyes. And for a brief period, perhaps a few days – no more than a week – we, my wife and I, felt the pure joy of this good news.
We are tired. We are angry.
We want to breathe. We want to live. We want our children to live. We want to be safe.
We need accountability. We need this trauma to end and the wounds to heal.
DO NOT MISS "'WHEN THEY SEE US" as OPRAH WINFREY HOSTS ON NETFLIX
ANDREW YANG ON GEORGE FLOYD'S DEATH
"George Floyd’s tragic death has set off historic protests around the country. I attended a vigil for his death in upstate New York, and it was very touching and peaceful.
I decided to research the best approaches to addressing police brutality borne out by evidence and research, measures of the extent of the problem, the legal standard for officers, and effective policy recommendations. Here is what I found. Warning - this is quite long for an email.
I knew from my time running for president how big a problem police brutality is around the country and how little we have done about it. In 1994, Congress passed a law in response to the Rodney King riots requiring police departments to document how many people they kill or die in custody every year. Very few police departments actually did so. Similarly, the Death in Custody Reporting Act, which was reauthorized by Congress in 2014, requires states receiving federal funding for law enforcement to report all killings by police officers on a quarterly basis. Many states have ignored this law without penalty.
The estimates we have of the number of police shootings per year come from compiling local news reports. The most commonly cited source is from The Guardian, a British newspaper that started cataloguing deaths and sending questionnaires years ago. The FBI started to use the Guardian’s reporting as a baseline, which significantly increased their previous reported number. James Comey, the head of the FBI at the time, called it “unacceptable” and “embarrassing and ridiculous” that the FBI relied upon the Guardian and similar reporting in The Washington Post to determine how many police violence deaths there were each year.
These reports say that more than 1,000 people are killed by police officers or in custody each year. From 2015 to 2019 the numbers were 1,146, 1,092, 987, 992, and 1,004 respectively. That’s about 3 Americans a day.
There is another significant indicator of the extent of the police brutality problem: lawsuits. Across the country, cities are spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year paying victims of police misconduct. New York City spent a staggering $710 million a year on payouts for police-related lawsuits in recent years - the entire NYPD’s budget is $6 billion. Chicago spent $153 million per year on payouts. Police brutality is incredibly expensive, not just in human life and public trust, but in monetary costs that drain public money that could go to schools, health care, or infrastructure. Total payouts to plaintiffs cost communities over a billion dollars a year, and that doesn’t include litigation costs and insurance premiums, which cost hundreds of millions more.
In some cases, these costs have actually bankrupted communities. In 2018, a jury returned a $15 million verdict for the death of Leonard Thomas in Lakewood, Washington, who was unarmed when a police sniper shot him. The damages, after insurance, were the equivalent of 18 percent of the city’s annual budget. In Sorrento, Louisiana, the police department was disbanded when a lawsuit against an overzealous officer resulted in the town’s insurance company declining to cover the town further.
These costs are even more shocking given the legal barriers citizens have to overcome to successfully sue police departments and cities. There is a very high threshold to successfully sue a police officer or department. A plaintiff has to sue officers in civil court for violating constitutional rights. The legal doctrine of Qualified Immunity shields government officials from liability for damages as long as they did not violate “clearly established” law. According to the Supreme Court, law is “clearly established” only when a prior court has held that an officer violated the Constitution under virtually identical circumstances. This turns out to be trickier than you might think. In one case, Nashville police officers released their dog on Alexander Baxter, a burglary suspect, who had surrendered and was sitting with his hands raised. A prior court had held that officers violated a suspect’s rights when they released a police dog on him after he had surrendered by lying down. But the appeals court in the Baxter case ruled that there was a difference between a suspect who had surrendered lying prone versus one who was sitting with his hands raised. Another case distinguished between a woman walking away from an officer who had ordered her to come back - she was slammed to the ground, suffering a broken clavicle - and another who had walked away from an officer who did not give such an order.
In 2014, the US Supreme Court found in Plumhoff v. Rickard that even egregious police conduct may not be enough to violate a citizen’s constitutional rights. In that case, the police in Arkansas shot and killed the driver and passenger of a car speeding away from them with 15 shots into the car. The Supreme Court said that the police were justified in shooting at the car to stop it because it posed a threat to public safety - despite the fact that law enforcement agencies discourage shooting at a moving vehicle. The standard the Supreme Court has offered is that ‘every reasonable official’ would have to know that the conduct is unlawful. The Supreme Court has similarly held that a municipality cannot be held liable for the act of an official unless the city’s policy violates the Constitution - the act of the official is by itself not enough.
Aside from the legal standard, the average plaintiff may not have much in the way of access to legal help or savings to be able to back a lawsuit for months; though plaintiff lawyers generally work on commission, lawsuits take time and energy. On the other side, the city will have a team of lawyers on staff who may be backed up by insurance lawyers looking to lower their potential liability; it’s not a fair fight.
On the criminal action side, district attorneys work with law enforcement officers every day. Said attorney and activist Bakari Sellers, “the relationship between law enforcement and prosecutors is incestuous because every prosecutor relies on law enforcement to make their cases, and so it’s kind of hard for you to then go in the family and ask that same prosecutor to prosecute somebody who’s been helping them make cases.” It’s unrealistic to expect district attorneys to turn on their partners in law enforcement unless there are extraordinary circumstances and public pressure. Mayors and local officials are similarly loathe to antagonize law enforcement members that are often among their most powerful and unified constituents - antagonizing local law enforcement is essentially political suicide.
Against this backdrop and facing such a high set of standards, the fact that citizens have won over $1 billion in civil judgments against police departments across the country per year in recent years is staggering and evidence that the true scope of police damages against citizens is some multiple billions of dollars more per year.
In 2018 there were 686,665 police officers in 18,000 local police departments across the country, from the tiniest police department in rural America to the NYPD. How can one meaningfully reform behaviors nationwide?
Samuel Sinyangwe, co-founder of Campaign Zero, is a data scientist who has been researching police violence data and different policy responses for years. He has identified a number of changes that correspond to lower loss of life in encounters with police.
The first is direct and obvious - more restrictive rules and laws governing use of force. Police departments have rules and guidelines as to what techniques they can use in different situations. Banning chokeholds, requiring a warning before shooting, requiring de-escalation and a continuum of force, requiring exhaustion of non-lethal alternatives, and banning firing at moving vehicles can all reduce deadly encounters. So can having a duty to intervene if another officer uses excessive force. Campaign Zero estimates that adopting these measures and reporting could reduce deaths by police violence by as much as 72%.
This would dramatically change the sort of training officers receive. One survey of 280 different law enforcement organizations reported that new recruits received an average of 58 hours on shooting a gun and using deadly force and only 8 hours on de-escalating violence. De-escalation is a set of actions to slow down an incident that allows officers more time and distance to peacefully resolve a conflict. Unfortunately, many officers right now are trained to speed up and escalate rather than slow down and de-escalate.
Tracking complaints about officers’ excessive use of force would also reduce violent behaviors in other ways. Prior complaints indicate a higher chance for future complaints. So does being around other police officers who receive a high level of complaints for excessive force. Researchers studied more than 8,000 Chicago police officers named in multiple complaints between 2005 and 2017. Their analysis found that the more officers with histories of excessive force were in a group, the higher the risk that other officers in that group would have complaints lodged against them.
This makes perfect sense; if I’m a new cop and I’m around a bunch of guys who frequently use excessive force on suspects, I’m more likely to also use force in situations it may not be warranted. Said one of the study’s authors, Andrew Papachristos, “How we pair and assign officers matters - a lot. Officers with a history of abuse have a pretty strong influence on subsequent behavior of other officers.” Tracking behavior and separating officers can reduce the frequency that others develop similar practices. So can tracking disciplined or fired officers so that, if they are fired, they can’t simply get a job in a new town.
The third method is eliminating language in police union contracts that restricts officer accountability. Police unions naturally seek to limit liability for the officers they represent. Common provisions in union contracts include restrictions on officers being interrogated after the fact, disqualification of certain complaints, officer access to privileged information while being investigated, erasing records of misconduct over time, and an appeal for reinstatement. One investigation found that 24% of officers, 451 out of 1,881, who were fired for misconduct between 2006 and 2017 got their jobs back through appeal, in some cases over the objection of the police chief. For example, Sergeant Brian Miller in Florida was fired for hiding behind his car during the Parkland school shooting instead of intervening. He was given his job back on a technicality and reinstated with back pay due to union rules.
Another data-driven approach is to scale up other organizations to respond to emergency calls instead of the police. According to the Treatment Advocacy Center, one in every four people killed by police has a serious mental illness. One can easily imagine police officers giving orders that are ignored due to someone’s mental incapacity. Many police calls involve domestic disturbances, substance abuse, or homelessness that could be addressed by crisis workers or social workers.
In Eugene, Oregon, an organization called CAHOOTS - Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Street - consists of medics and mental health crisis managers who respond to nearly 20% of public safety call volume. “They don’t need jail. What they need is to be de-escalated from their crisis, they need a ride to a mental-health facility or to a medical-care facility or wrapped around with services,” said Eugene Police Chief Chris Skinner. CAHOOTS is now expanding to Denver and other cities due to its success. The more non-police organizations respond to different types of calls, the lower the chances of an encounter that goes wrong. Ideally, more resources would go to these kinds of interventions within communities to diminish the need for police responses.
The fifth approach to alleviating police violence that has worked is federal oversight. Departments that went through federal investigations led by the Department of Justice and subsequently adopted new policies saw police shootings fall by between 27 and 35%. Increased federal oversight and investigation are crucial given the incentives running against local district attorneys and officials confronting bad cops. If you’re a local DA, you would love to have the Feds available to handle an investigation free of local pressure. The standards for federal investigation should change from systemic patterns and practices to triggers for elevated rates of police violence, and increased resources should be dedicated to rooting out troubled officers and departments. In deeply troubled departments, as with Minneapolis and Camden, disbanding a police force and reconstituting it from the ground up may be the best approach to reforming practices.
The sixth evidence-backed approach is demilitarization. Since 1997, 8,000 police departments have received more than $5.1 billion in surplus military equipment from the Department of Defense under Program 1033. This includes clothing and computers all the way up to armored vehicles and grenade launchers. One study showed that receiving more military equipment increased police-related deaths in a district - officially, any received equipment must be used within a year or be returned. So if you have an armored vehicle and grenade launchers, you want to use them occasionally. The equipment is free of charge to the police department beyond shipping and upkeep.
President Obama reined in the program in 2015 and barred certain types of equipment, but this was reversed by Trump two years later. Restricting transfers of high-impact weapons would reduce civilian deaths and weaken the culture of militarization that has swept many police departments.
If you’ve made it this far, you are a very thorough reader. The TLDR: police violence is an enormous issue, we are doing too little about it, and there are things we can do that would help. There are at least 6 data-driven policies that also mesh with common sense.
We will continue to learn and grow in what the right things to do are based on activists and those who are most impacted by police violence in their communities. They will know best what the right approaches will be in their daily lives. I've learned a lot each day.
As I write this, the Democrats are introducing a police reform bill that addresses many of these issues. It would ban chokeholds, limit qualified immunity, create a national misconduct registry, reduce transfers of military gear, and lower the standard for federal oversight. From what I have seen, these are all moves in the right direction. Let’s help them pass it and do the right thing.
I hope that George Floyd’s death results in real change that will make it so that the next person’s daughter doesn’t have to ask why and how her father died. We owe him and ourselves at least that much. Let’s fight for it. "
GREAT OVERVIEW ANDREW AND A GUIDE FOR THE FUTURE BUT MY MORE IMMEDIATE ANSWER IS MORE CELL PHONE CAMERAS. In this way we make the police more accountable for their actions. Invent lapel buttons and eyeglasses that are cameras tied to pocketed cell phones that transmit the video elsewhere in real time. AND, like many medical doctors who are bought and sold by BIG PARMA, many policemen and policewomen will just have to die first and be replaced by those who wish to serve instead of suppress.
On Being White, Poor and Privileged (worth a read)
"Knowing I’m privileged is the first step toward change.
Nothing underlines my white privilege more than a trip to my local laundromat. The laundromat is ugly, its windows streaked with dirt. A garish yellow sign says “fluff and fold” in red print, taped haphazardly to the door.
One business over is a liquor store that attracts loitering alcoholics. As I lug my dirty laundry inside the laundromat, these alcoholics always ask me for spare change.
I was taught by my Republican family never to give spare change to men drinking from cans hidden inside paper bags. In this case the advice has stuck.
And yet I’ve dropped most of my family’s other teachings. I’ve chosen a different path.
I’ve chosen to follow my creative dreams. I’m a freelance writer and for years I lived in Europe and then I didn’t work while I was married. I was a housewife and my husband earned the money. Until he didn’t.
Still, I’m privileged.
I didn’t grow up going to laundromats like this one. I didn’t grow up in towns like the one I now call home. I grew up in a place like the next town over — the one known for its horse trails and good schools and big houses with swimming pools in the backyards.
Like I actually grew up in that town.
My children go to school there. My ex-in-laws still live there.
I will never lose that. I will never lose my education either.
My education is a privilege (and a privilege of my whiteness). That alone puts me ahead of most of the people who patronize my local laundromat. Yes, I’m on food stamps and I have welfare health insurance, but I can still pass as a member of the wealthy community where my kids go to school.
I have the language down. When I drop my children at school no one ever questions whether I belong there. I smell of the place. The town was created for people like me. This entire country was organized around the guarantee that people like me would succeed in it.
But I’ve fallen on hard times.
When I left my husband, I left with nothing. I became a single mother. I became a member of the working poor.
And yet I’m still privileged.
My credit is bad. My ex gives me very little money in child support. My kids are on the free lunch program at school.
But still, I’m privileged.
My whiteness and my education guarantee that.
I receive government benefits but I still don’t really belong in laundromats like the one where I do my wash.
It’s always a culture shock to do my wash at my local laundromat. That in itself is evidence of my privilege.
The laundromat is located on a gritty, urban strip. A homeless woman howls obscenities in front of the dollar store across the street. The projects are a mile away. Exhaust from a nearby refinery forms a constant plume in the sky.
When I arrive at the laundromat, other people are also washing their dirty laundry. Brown people. Black people. These people live in the projects or the modest homes nearby.
I live in an apartment in the historic downtown area of town that’s been struggling to gentrify for years. It hasn’t so the rents are still affordable for people like me.
When I first pull up at the laundromat I’m always reminded that I’m poor. Once inside, though, that sense disappears. I’m different there. I’m the only white person. I’m tall, slender, with dark-blond hair. I look like a woman from the next town over — the wealthy, white one — because I am.
I will always have that. I can’t lose it. That makes me privileged. Yes, I’m still digging myself out of debt but in the past few months, I’m closer to getting back on my feet. This month I’ll lose my food stamps because I no longer qualify — but that’s a good thing. I’m making too much money.
But I’ll also never deny that to an extent, my poverty has been a choice. Had I wanted to, I could have taken the corporate route. I could have made more money, say in marketing or some other white-collar career, thanks to the education my parents paid for.
Choosing poverty is a privilege. Choosing writing as a career is one as well. It’s a privilege to say that I could have pursued any career I wanted.
I speak the language of the dominant mainstream. I have the looks of the dominant mainstream. My cultural understanding is that of the dominant mainstream. That alone opens doors for me.
I can receive government benefits, but I still don’t really belong in laundromats like the one where I do my wash. Another reality is my true one.
I recognize that privilege. I don’t pretend it doesn’t exist.
When white people acknowledge their white privilege, it’s the first step toward change.
Most white people are completely clueless about their privilege. They never move out of their bubble. Why would they want to? It’s not very comfortable outside of it.
Living outside of your bubble means life in a poorer neighborhood. It means living amidst crime and industrial pollution. Refineries near where I live pump god knows what into the sky all day and night. We’re not told because we have no power because we have no money.
When I was married, our circle of friends consisted of other denizens of the dominant culture. It was a world where it was a given that you had a certain amount of money in your bank account and that your children were attending good schools. Of course, your kids would go on to college just like you did.
It was the world of the privileged.
I didn’t realize how privileged I was because I’d never lived outside of that bubble. It took for me to actually become poor for me to realize my privilege.
I can use the machines at my local laundromat to wash my clothes but I’m still an aberration there.
When white people acknowledge their privilege, it’s the first step toward change."
My View of Looters This is a great, great country. by BEN STEIN June 4, 2020, 12:17 AM Now for a few words about the criminal looters, arsonists, and murderers — and the good people — of today: 1. Yes, of course black lives matter. But 99.9 percent of the blacks killed violently in this country are killed by other blacks. Very few are killed by the police. Let’s see the college boys and sexy upper-class white girls in their shorts demonstrate against the Crips and the Bloods. Let’s see the absolute idiot commentators on the news shows lambaste the gang-bangers. Of course they don’t because they’re chickens–t. They only march against people they know won’t harm them. 2. If black lives matter, let’s shut down the abortion mills, where the great plurality of human beings killed are black babies. Of course no one does that, because the abortionists and the Democrat party and the judges are all in bed with each other. No one hates black life more than the Democrat leadership, in my humble opinion, if we are to judge honestly by the numbers. Why isn’t anyone protesting against them and their abortuary pals? 3. Isn’t it interesting that the first stores the looters went after were super-high-end clothing and jewelry stores, shops far too expensive for me or my wife to go to, except for presents for close friends? Aren’t the looters supposed to be with the working class? Why didn’t they loot JCPenney or stores that sold work boots? Of course they want to look rich. They aspire to do that by stealing. 4. Have you noticed that the overwhelming mass of the looters shown on TV are black? The overwhelming mass of the protesters against “racial injustice” are white prosperous-looking young people. Who is missing? Asians. They don’t loot. They don’t riot. They study and they work. And they get ahead, and they live in nice houses and buy at the stores the looters steal from. Why is that? Could there be some Asian mystery gene that does that? If so, when the Asians take over here, as my late pal Bob Bartley told me, they will not show the kindness to looters and killers of other races that we guilty, stupid whites do. They will crack down like Lee Kuan Yew and like the South Koreans. 5. My favorite TV commentator is Tucker Carlson. He’s a genius. But even he got it wrong recently when he, a brilliant man, talked about “the system” trying to hoodwink the people by stirring up race hatred. That way, said Tucker, “the people” won’t notice how much the bosses are stealing from them. He’s partly right. The top bosses of public companies are wildly overpaid by us pitiful small stockholders. But that’s a tiny sum in the context of this economy. And who is stirring up race hatred? Not the bosses. The media commentators, Tucker. I have never seen or heard of a CEO stirring up race hatred. It’s the media that’s in the race hatred derby. 6. There is nothing systemically wrong with the USA. Not racial injustice. That was gone long ago. Not class warfare. That’s ancient history. This is a super great country. It’s good to anyone who is willing to acquire human capital in the form of education as lawyer, doctor, plumber, or electrician. If there is a problem, it’s the looters, murderers, and arsonists, and their pals in the media. This is a great, great country, and if the media tells you different, they are lying. And the cops, 99 percent of them, are great people. Let’s thank them — not kick them for protecting us.