31 Comments
Feb 23Liked by Leighton Woodhouse, Michael Shellenberger

Damn it feels great to read an article without the creeping suspicion I’m being lied to! Thank you Leighton and Michael. And I’m encouraged that common sense seems to be pervading in Oakland. As Ayn Rand pointed out, you can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality (paraphrased). Oakland residents are bright enough to know this. God bless.

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Feb 23·edited Feb 23

On top of all the other reasons why it's hard to be black in America, another one is that black people don't exist to most white people as flesh-and-blood fallible mammals like the rest of us, but as symbols (and this is even more pronounced for "activists" or the people who run media and entertainment businesses).

For your politically engaged white liberal aka SJW, black people are righteous victims, symbols of America's evils (past & present), symbols of the supposed illegitimacy of our country, or symbols of some imaginary revolution that will come and deliver us all to Equality. And probably most importantly: symbols that allow them to display their moral superiority and intellectual sophistication over white conservatives.

For white liberals buying into the Black Victimhood narrative serves as a social and class marker, and also gives them a handy tool to use whenever they need to denounce some aspect of America and/or win a political argument. Performative antiracism has now become a status symbol among urban elites, a marker similar to how wearing a cross used to mean you were a good Christian.

This is why the policies supported by white liberals are often counterproductive when applied to actual problems in poor black neighborhoods: these policies (most esp around policing) aren't designed to help black people, but to meet the social, political, psychological and emotional needs of the white liberals who fund and implement them.

White saviors treat black people like fetish objects, and it degrades everyone involved. They need to go search for sacred meaning and purpose elsewhere, and leave black people out of it.

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Black Lies Matter

The Trayvon Martin hoax was really the beginning of the new race wars promoted and agitated by our then "historic" first Black president, who regressed race relations in this country by a half century before his first term was even over.

"If I had a son, he'd look like that."

Martin was a violent thug, recently moving in with his ex-con father after being expelled from school while living with his mother. He had a backpack full of stolen items and a cell phone full of angry, racist, anti-white texts which were deleted by the police department before they could be used as evidence for the defense. A mixed race jury acquitted Zimmerman on all charges, yet the lie that Martin was "murdered in cold blood" is still promulgated by the race baiters on the Left and in the media.

Why? Because the lies work.

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After a series of burglaries (8 in two days), my community organized a meeting to have the lead officers from our area talk about what can be done. All nationalities, all races, all ages came out to support the police and to hear what they had to say about increasing crime and what to do. It was a very positive meeting.

You never hear in the media about anything good the police do-- only the bad. The morale in LA among officers is low and more people are leaving the force. It would be most beneficial to our society if we heard/read about all that police officers do to keep our community safe. And-- to thank them once in a while.

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It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. That's what our parents used to tell us.

Racism does exist, but racism (rather than say classism) has for several decades been the least of our problems. But it's profitable and it allows a range of people to avoid facing accountability, so we've suffered through years of "everything's racist," yes, including "public safety."

So three things here:

(1) They're still voting these people in? Seriously?

(2) BLM was always monetized. It didn't become monetized; it started out that way. It was nakedly exploitative. Those who headed it up used it to make themselves millionaires and many on the ground used it as an excuse to loot and destroy. But because the people doing the exploiting had the right color skin and their own wouldn't call them out and their actions were politically advantageous to one party, here we are.

(3) As for constantly pointing out that the anti-cop people are "white" and "not from there." Well, I don't know what to tell you. The Democrats have been not so closeted racists for nearly a decade now. However, those of us even left of center who pointed out the racist nature of lowering standards, easing up on punishments for violent offenders because of "racial equity," worrying about how many black people are killed by cops but ignoring how many black people are killed by other black people, and constantly casting everything as "white supremacist" that is just basic humanity (look after yourself and your own, don't make the world a harder place especially for those right around you, understand that taking on the label of victim is not a badge of honor but a sign of weakness), we have been cast as racists and shouted down. We told you this wouldn't end well.

In other words, these people created the problem they are now facing. I feel for them, because that's true of most of us (the problems we face we create), but I doubt they will learn much from it. Until it became problematic, they were buying into every thing those "white saviors" had to say and they're still framing the problem as one of race. Until we let go of the idea of race as a defining feature of society today, we're not going anywhere.

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Most white people (progressive do-gooders) don't realize that the Black community is as subtle as any group, filled with inconsistencies and a lot of secrets. I know church-going Black families that house illegal, military grade weapons in their basement -- mostly to protect themselves while drug dealing. You can't paint anyone with a broad brush, which is what the social justice warriors always do, and why they fail in their mission, although they will blame some other entity than their own myopia. It's tragic that the Police Chief was fired because Black folks need an authentic leader to whom they can hitch their wagons.

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Kudos to Leighton and Michael. This is not a story you could expect to find in most American newspapers. A key observation in the discussion was to point out that many of the "white savior" anti-police instigators are not from Oakland at all. This is standard progressive politics, but these people should be ashamed of their overreach and of their ignorance of what it's like to live where crime is rampant. They just go back to their Marin County mansions and turn on the alarm.

And a telling subtext, both encouraging and sad all at once, is that it is regular people on the street who are confronting these issues and leading change. The elected officials who got there by riding the prior populist wave and whose job it is to lead have become the reactionary force holding their communities back. Great article!

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One thing seems to be missing here “.. is 22% black, 27% Latino, 16% Asian, and 29% white.” If Latinos are the most populous minority in town, why aren’t they in the discussion? Or did you miss it in your reporting? Is it not as big an issue to them? Why?

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Okay. Oakland California is a clusterfuck. I get it. When has it not been a clusterfuck? And when will it ever be not a clusterfuck for a prolonged period of time? I mean we are talking about one of the most mismanaged cities in the most mismanaged state in the nation. Why all the attention ofnan ongoing, constant disaster? Are there no other cities in the clusterfuck of California that have a better chance of redemption? Why not focus on them?

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Can someone from the area provide an explanation as to how such people get elected in Oakland? Are there just poor candidates run each time? Low voter turnout? The f-word?

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Michael ...How deep (Criminal) are most intercity police forces with the drug trades? Seems like allowing an open drug market must require police protection?

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The mayor and city prosecutor were elected by the residents. It is the same sad story up and down the cities of the west coast. ...I never met a BIPOC either and will be borrowing the term, racecraft.

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Police reform should consist of criminally charging those who commit crimes within the department. That’s the reform. Anything beyond that is judicial, and needs to be changed at the legislative level (and yes there are real-time consequences for these actions). Modern day reform unfortunately, at the legislative level, has become mainly anti-victim and pro-defendant.

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Forget it, Jake. It’s Oakland.

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