Heed them.

March 25, 2012

Heart Of Whiteness

The killing of Trayvon Martin and the Failure to Arrest George Zimmerman is a mammoth miscarriage of justice.

What people do afterwards is another thing entirely. I'm supportive of the 'No Justice, No Peace' sentiment, 'Fuck The Police,' and the efforts by activists to take our forever-unjust racist 'criminal justice' system to task. However I read what some strangers are saying now, about 2 months after Trayvon Martin's killing, and have to cringe.

George Zimmerman is a Hispanic white male. His mother is Peruvian and people who associated with him are alternately white or hispanic white. This means that they(and he) have pale skin and some history of spanish-speaking in their households. Here's how this racially motivated murder has been rendered by some people:


I just have to invoke white privilege here while I've still got a little bit of it. Have I ever personally donned a white hood/hoodie, broken into a black families house in the cover of night and strangled a black baby to death? Is there any current lynching campaign that the KKK or another racist terrorist group is waging while the authorities do nothing? Is Zimmerman a part of any covert or overt racist groups? No...since Zimmerman wasn't a police officer yet.

 Who is killing the most Black People(or, rhetorically 'babies) in America? Black People. It's not because Black People are inherently violent or wired differently- it's because the greatest proportion of violence is intra-racial. White on White, Black on Black, on and on. As a broke White Male, I've been the victim of property crime 4 times at the hands of Black People, but I didn't say BLACK AMERIQUA STOP TAKING MY STUFF! Well, I did, but only in my head for like 10 minutes.

None of this changes that our police state, prison population and justice system are fundamentally racist and unjust.  I'm not denying that Zimmerman is a racist Goon who probably would've ended up doing this to another Black Person even if he had spared Martin.  What I am weary of, is framing matters in an 'Us vs. Them' way, leading ultimately to Yakub.

I'm not a White devil. A Black scientist didn't graft White People from Black People as a 'warrior race' that got out of control. You know that. This is clearly stupid bullshit whether or not it helped or helps empower certain Black People. Casting all Whites as devils is just as stupid as asserting that a White Person like me is helping 'perpetuate the systems that lead to white supremacy and racial profiling and ultimately to an Hispanic-American authority-loving goon to 'identify' as White and go around hunting Blacks.' Or whatever.

The 'We Are All Trayvon Martin' campaign and the 1,000,000 Hoodies campaign is brilliant Activism on Trayvon Martin's behalf. Claiming that every single white person is inherently, unavoidably evil, hateful of blacks and conspiring against them is bad science and bad policy. It leads, in it's worst moments, to race riots. Which are much less fun to be in than they are to watch on YouTube. Arrest Zimmerman. I just live here.

Monkeys Wearing Clothes

Atheism is a hell of a drug. Maybe that's why I decided to attend the Reason Rally yesterday in D.C.

As early as 9 years old, Atheism was already shaping my identity, rather inadvertently. My parents were smart enough to not indoctrinate me with religion, and to stop attending church services themselves, though they still hold their own self-styled folk-belief of whatever god they would like to have. Me and my brother, consequently, don't believe in god. Because it's clearly a myth and a lie.

 Imagine the emotions that surged when my first major conflict between me and my peers was over religion. Being told I'm going to suffer this torturous 1-130 year existence called "Life" is bad enough. Being told I'm going to suffer a torturous existence forever because of rules and supernatural bullies and what grown-ups say is worth rebelling against. My first argument was likely me explaining to a Christian child that they're just going to die at the end and their body will be put in the ground.

Me and my arguments have only become slightly more sophisticated since then. I camouflaged myself as a college student to debate Christians on the UMBC campus while I was working for minimum wage. I thought it was that important. 2005. You had to be there.

Evangelical Christians were one of the largest voting blocks in the country, having elected George W. Bush legitimately in one election; which was way too many. The efforts to teach the non-science of Creationism in Public schools and promote the alleged illegitimacy of Scientifically proven Global Climate Change was at an all time high. The stakes were high. I started to think like a Christian. I had to convert the believers.

I may or may not have succeeded but Atheist activism had certainly faded in my mind since then. I softened my position pretty radically when I saw religious people participating in street-level activism for other causes I believe in. Besides blogging some loose-ends, I hadn't been interested much in anti-theism since then, but ultimately decided to go to the Reason Rally to see some friends in D.C., and see if my Atheistic fervor could be re-awakened.

The Rally was everything it ought to be. Accomplished Atheist public figures recited impassioned speeches. Activists displayed good humor and individuality through the signs and t-shirts they wore. For once in my life besides while being in a room with good friends, I felt like I could talk about the nonsense of religion and many other things, without fear of being called hateful or hated myself. If I spoke too proudly, or loudly, others would overhear me and start to collaborate on and elaborate my point. There was an unusual feeling of security and being "home" that was empowering and invigorating. I left in very high spirits.

We thought ahead and walked to the D.C. Metro station that would be the least crowded close-by. As we arrived at the first block, a Christian missionary(or whatever) was street-preaching about pride and hubris. Mostly the Atheists, standing together in rare form, kept silent or quietly responded "Proud Atheist." I was just as irritated at the Christian as I was proud of my fellow countrymen and humans. It was the very unusual feeling(among atheists) of having been indoctrinated with truth and inoculated against religion rather than the other way around. And possessing power in numbers.

A block later was the strange twist. As we came to the intersection a man was busking; playing homemade drums of paint-buckets. Many people dropped dollar bills in his collection bin. Then, about 4 white guys to my right started wrestling in some manner that seemed reminiscent- it looked like a fight was about to happen. I stopped and stared on with about 10 other people. In only a few short moments it became obvious that 3 men were teaming up on one. And they ran him, all together, into the corner of a stone wall. As soon as those 3 men walked off(not even bothering to run,) 5 of the 10 people who were watching started walking away.

Me, my girlfriend, and about 3 other people(all 3 black people, if that means anything) stayed. Me and another man walked slowly towards a motionless body, whereupon we noticed the man was conscious and bleeding from the head. 2 people called 911 when they heard of the blood. I mostly watched which is my tendency in crises. One girl stayed close to the man who was bleeding and kept him from getting up. He appeared dazed, kept swearing revenge on the other men, and at one point said 'I just need my vodka.' So he might've been drunk, concussed, or both. He had a James Randi Educational Foundation lanyard on his neck and mumbled about being at the rally.

 The police showed up fairly quickly- the Ambulance a little later. Whereupon I identified myself as a witness and told police all that I had seen. I don't like police, and it wasn't an easy decision, but I figured if I stayed to witness the event it was the least I could do. I left after the policeman who took my witness account said that he suspected that all the men knew each other since the victim was trying to downplay his injury and the need for help. That made sense to me. I walked away as the events replayed in my mind.

I had spent the entire day in the company of friends, listening to appeals for humanity and compassion of a decidedly(and necessarily) human variety, and believed it. I left high and mighty. Several things were suggested to the crowd to further the cause of secularism after we left. And as we left, in a secularist crowd, I witnessed human beings behaving like the great apes we are. Stirring conflict, fleeing from conflict, warring unconsciously even amongst allies. I would like to believe differently, but I think the future will be much less a reason and rationality ruled Utopia, and rather more of the same.

March 03, 2012

The Heart Of Andrew Breitbart

I write this at the risk of it reading like a culturally-christian 'love your enemies' type crocodile-crying session for an asshole. And let me stress that- Andrew Breitbart was an asshole. But there's a proper way to hate, and a proper way to dance on a grave, and in the wake of Breitbart's early death- everyone's doing it wrong.

Pictured Above: Long-Haired Hippie

I learned of Andrew Breitbart's death 2 days ago from National Public Radio(what he might call a 'liberal' source); they reported that he died at 43 of natural causes. Isn't that something? Well, it's actually piss-poor reporting, since 'natural causes' is only alleged by his coffee-boy Joel Pollack. The media should've identified that as speculation until the autopsy is performed, at which point we will be able to differentiate 'natural causes' such as a heart attack, from Cocaine and Pharmaceutical abuse(my personal guess.) Naturally those answers won't satisfy the worst scum of the earth: Conspiracy Theorists.

The half-baked conspiracy centers on the fact that Andrew Breitbart told a crowd a few weeks ago that he had 'video of Obama from his college years' that he was going to release 'this election season.' If you're a Breitbart fan, you're already prone to believing nonsense stories of collusion and secret government activity(which actually exists, but not as he describes it) and so it's CASE CLOSED. Barrack Hussein Obama bludgeoned Andrew Breitbart with a Candlestick in the Conservatory. Or whatever. I personally don't believe Obama is carrying out political assassinations(except Osama Bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and his underage son[hmm])- but it doesn't mean Andrew Breitbart didn't have something worth seeing that makes Obama look bad.

 I wouldn't have even known who Breitbart was if he didn't brag about how he was going to 'destroy' one of my favorite journalists, Mark Ames, and then had his coffee-boy write one poorly-conceived hit piece before backing off. Ames and Breitbart had many things in common(and I suspect more mutual respect than they may have admitted to) in that they loved making enemies; doing hit pieces and take downs. They both practice the only honest form of journalism- Biased journalism. They also both have some successful investigative journalism credentials. The only difference is that one self-describes as conservative and the other as 'left.'

 It's queer that Andrew Breitbart allegedly experienced an 'epiphany' that caused him to convert to conservatism. Whenever you're dealing with journalists, it's possible their picking their politics in bad faith- only to be the most entertaining, spectacular or successful. In Breitbart's case it's painfully clear to me that he was first and foremost an opportunist who could taste blood in the water- or as a conservative would say 'a pioneer.' The more skeptical among us are now guessing that he didn't believe much of what he peddled and are calling him 'a performance artist.' If one thinks what's good for business is all that counts, Breitbart was a brilliant businessman and entrepreneur. He saw a void and filled it. He built an empire. There were casualties. Ruined lives. This is The Heart of Whiteness and the American Dream.

Liberals, happy to see any right-wing talking head die, danced on his grave. I, unlike others, am not going to pretend to have a problem with that; Hate your enemy. Call him whatever profanities you want. Just don't lie. It's when people say "Andrew Breitbart is a liar!" that I have to take exception. "Liar" is a serious accusation. George W. Bush is a liar. Henry Kissinger is a liar.(both alive and in good health, I might add.) Andrew Breitbart didn't lie. He told the truth that he saw and wrote the truth as he wanted it to be. He took things out of context, he ignored his own sides folly, and he tried to undermine his enemy with words and actions. That's what a decent, entertaining journalist does. He picked out the Sacred Cows of the left(Occupy, 'liberal' media bias) and attacked them with any dirt he could sling and muck he could rake.

 In the free information age(while it's still allowed to exist) we all get to chose our own news sources, journalists, and ultimately, truth. Stephen Colbert was way ahead of the curve with his "Truthiness" coinage. There is no absolute 'truth' or 'common sense' or 'sanity' in politics that both Daily-Show-Democrats and 'Tellin-It-Like-It-Is' conservative AM Radio Hucksters allege. In an alternate universe... I chose to be(or was told I was) conservative and Brietbart is my martyr. Ultimately there's no Right or Left. There's only talking heads screaming at each other on a sinking ship. And Andrew Brietbart could scream.