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White University Newspaper Columnist's Call for Private "Retributive Correction" of Black Criminals:

A white North Carolina columnist at a student university paper — and the son of a city council member — wrote a remarkable column two weeks ago:

So upon whose shoulders should the responsibility of retributive correction fall?

Black people still murder us with impunity. Black people still beat us with impunity. Black people still rape us and get away with it.

The only deterrent to these legally, socially and economically validated supremacist actions is the fear of physical retribution.

White men, stand up. White women, stand up. White children, stand up. We have been at war here with these same black people for 500 years.

The time to fight, whether intellectually, artistically or physically, has always been now.

Predictably and properly, this has generated massive outrage.

Whoops, got one detail slightly wrong: It's actually a black North Carolina columnist at a student university paper (who is indeed the son of a city council member), complaining about various supposed failings of the criminal justice system — specifically the Duke case, where "The 'facts' of the case should not matter to us because even if we are unsure of sexual assault, these supremacists have admitted to sexually, racially and politically denigrating these women. Strippers or not, this must be addressed." Here is the excerpt:

So upon whose shoulders should the responsibility of retributive correction fall?

White people still murder us with impunity. White people still beat us with impunity. White people still rape us and get away with it.

The only deterrent to these legally, socially and economically validated supremacist actions is the fear of physical retribution.

Black men, stand up. Black women, stand up. Black children, stand up. We have been at war here with these same white people for 500 years.

The time to fight, whether intellectually, artistically or physically, has always been now.

I should say that there is of course a history of justice system racism against blacks, and doubtless a considerable amount of that remains. There is also a considerable amount of black crime against whites, at what credible sources report is a higher rate than white crime against blacks for murder, robbery, and in most years rape (though not for assault). The question is whether we deal with this by calling for honest law enforcement and reform, or by descending into claims of racial guilt and racial retribution, as the writer seems to suggest. (Had the columnist just been calling for self-defense by the victims against rapists and other criminals, I would entirely support that, whatever the race of the victims or the criminals; but the reference to retributive correction, supported by the tenor of the rest of the piece, strongly suggests something far beyond lawful self-defense.)

I should also note that the speech in the column is clearly constitutionally protected — even to the extent that it is trying to incite violence, it is not trying to and likely to incite imminent violence, which is what's required for it to lose constitutional protection (see Brandenburg v. Ohio, a 1969 Supreme Court case involving advocacy by white racists). I am simply saying that the speech merits condemnation, which I'm glad to say the university chancellor provided.

Finally, the News & Observer reports,

In 2000 and 2001, [the column's author] served a 13-month prison sentence after pleading no contest to charges of robbing two Duke students at gunpoint and then violating the terms of his probation.

UPDATE: Some commenters suggest that the color shift device with which I start the post is pointless, because they are equally outraged by both stories, and would have been outraged by the actual incident even without the earlier one. I'm glad to hear that this is the commenter's view; my suspicion is that the hypothetical (white call for race war) incident would have drawn much more public outrage than the actual (black call for race war) incident, because quite a few people wrongly cut slack to some black racists when they (rightly) would not cut slack to white racists — but if that's not so, and both incidents would have been treated comparably, that's excellent.

FURTHER UPDATE: On the other hand, other commenters argue that the white and black columns would indeed be different, which suggests that the color shift device was useful, in that it prompted the commenters to enunciate their position. Read the comments and decide for yourself which view is the more persuasive.

Adeez (mail):
OK, as the resident liberal, I'll be the first to state that I was outraged when I first read the post--the beginning. Then, when I saw that the real column had "white" and "black" reversed, I was--surprise surprise--outraged!

I don't get it. Yes, colleges contain people with some very radical views. That being said, I find it difficult to believe that Prof. Volokh's sole purpose in printing this was that he was "simply saying that the speech merits condemnation." Why give the writer more press? I could just as easily cite prominent talk radio voices who are more worthy of condemnation and have far more influence on the populace. Is it, perhaps, so everyone could fall over eachother lambasting all things Left. Is that the "conspiracy" part of this site's name?
4.30.2007 5:43pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Maybe the editor told the columnist not to censor or judge himself, but just to write whatever he felt?
4.30.2007 5:50pm
JohnO (mail):
Of course the column deserves condemnation, though I must say that I don't think you can just take invective and neatly switch "black" and "white" given our nation's history of race discrimuination.

But to me, the most interesting fact in the post is that the author had served 13 months in jail for robbing two Duke students at gunpoint. I'm all for rehabilitation and all, but does UNC Central really want to admit students who had been in jail a few years back for robbing students at gunpoint?
4.30.2007 5:51pm
arthur (mail):
Eugene, you're overusing the "oops, I reversed two key words" conceit. It's neither funny nore surprising the 50th or so time you do it.

I read the excerpt as advocating self defense by blacks against white murderers and rapists, somewhat confused by possible misuse of the word "retribution." Aren't you in favor of that? Would you be more favorable if he specifically advocated self defense using guns?
4.30.2007 5:56pm
BobNSF (mail):
Yes, yes, EV, there's a white-black double-standard when it comes to race.

yawn


Switching the race or gender of a speaker seems to have become quite a habit of late. I agree that it's sometimes illustrative. But is the first version really "outrageous" for the same reason that the second is?
4.30.2007 5:58pm
taney71:
Is this what passes for intellectual op-eds on important public issues in our University's student-run newspapers?

Also, if black people want to be taken seriously by others then they should collectively condemn this type of thinking from one of their intellectual elites (yes, he is that seeing this young man goes to college and takes the time to write for a student newspaper). They fail to do that time and time again. Whether it is a Sharpton, Jackson, or this guy black leadership needs to be more restrained in what it says because they come across looking like jackasses.
4.30.2007 6:04pm
ATL (mail) (www):
I'm confused. Was I supposed to have a different reaction to the first passage than I did to the second?
4.30.2007 6:04pm
John Bambenek (mail) (www):
I find it enraging that whenever someone runs off his mouth and generates controversy by suggesting, say, a race war, immediately we burn incense to the First Amendment.

The First Amendment is meant to protect against government censorship ONLY. When Don Imus was fired by MSNBC, it wasn't a free speech issue because MSNBC doesn't have to respect the speech of any employee (or contractor or whatever relationship he had with them). Free speech does not mean a guarantee that society needs to keep paying you to run off your mouth (see also the Dixie Chicks).

If this paper is run by the University, perhaps we can talk about censorship, but we all know if the races were reversed a column like that would never run and the response would be widely different.

Let's just stop running around saying "First Amendment" every time a private person has a qualm about what another private person says.
4.30.2007 6:05pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Here's a copy of his criminal record - robbery, possession of stolen goods, pot, and forgery. There was another news story about him punching his own mother in the face when he was eighteen.
4.30.2007 6:08pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
I'm all for rehabilitation and all, but does UNC Central really want to admit students who had been in jail a few years back for robbing students at gunpoint?


Good question, I wonder if in the future this latest hate screed from a racist felon with a history of violence is going be one of the "dots" that someone was supposed to connect.
4.30.2007 6:15pm
Houston Lawyer:
I was pleased to see that he wasn't admitted at Duke after robbing a couple of its students at gunpoint. He's probably aiming for law school though.
4.30.2007 6:15pm
Jim Rhoads (mail):
Interesting reactions to the word reversal exercise.

As in mathematics, sometimes in rhetoric it is instructive to test a hypothesis by reversing components of a formula.

Why is it not instructive here?

Some seem to be uncomfortable with this teaching tool.

They seem content to express their discomfort without explaining why.

I am less curious about the fact of discomfort than about the reasons for it.
4.30.2007 6:21pm
Spartacus (www):
Just to weigh in, I enjoy the "oops" trick every time. Keep it up!

And mistakingly using the word retribution to mean self-defense is as likely an interpretation as semantically failing to understand the difference between the two concepts, thus thinking that the former is justified as a form of the latter.
4.30.2007 6:29pm
frankcross (mail):
Jim Rhoads, I think the exception to the word reversal game is that it implies that people will react differently to the two scenarios, when I suspect very few would.

I don't care for it because it implies a certain white person defensiveness, i.e., "blacks can get away with anything . . ."
4.30.2007 6:32pm
elChato (mail):
"There is also a considerable amount of black crime against whites, at what credible sources report is a higher rate than white crime against blacks for murder, robbery, and in most years rape (though not for assault)."
--but since black people are a much smaller percentage of the population, we would expect that if they were indifferent to who their victims were, they commit crimes against whites more often, simply because there are more whites. I guess the issue could be looked at in a statistically rigorous manner.
4.30.2007 6:35pm
BobNSF (mail):
Read the piece again. Slowly. "Retributive", so ominously italicized by EV, vis-a-vis what? Rape, murder, beating. Not to "the man" in general.

The writer is calling fellow black students to fight intellectually and artistically against racial oppression and, in cases when physical violence is done to blacks, to respond with physical "retribution" because the system itself cannot be trusted. This is hardly new and hardly a call to general mayhem (unless one is wary of being jazzed to death or something). I don't agree with the author -- that the system is so broken -- but is his argument that different from that of many of the concealed weapon advocates?
4.30.2007 6:42pm
Justin (mail):
Though I hardly agree with the actual article, the reason your "alternative" is outrageous is completely different. Your update fails to catch that distinction, which has now been made by a substantial number of posters.
4.30.2007 6:42pm
Spartacus (www):
but since black people are a much smaller percentage of the population, we would expect that if they were indifferent to who their victims were, they commit crimes against whites more often, simply because there are more whites.

see http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/race.htm for soem interesting stats.
4.30.2007 6:43pm
elChato (mail):
BobNSF, do you think that "many of the concealed weapon advocates" would argue that "the 'facts'" don't matter in deciding whom to shoot?

It's amusing to see the pretzel-like logic some have employed here rationalizing the racist rant of this convicted violent felon. I'm sure if the facts were as posed by EV in his first couple of paragraphs, they'd be saying the exact same thing.
4.30.2007 6:50pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
I was pleased to see that he wasn't admitted at Duke after robbing a couple of its students at gunpoint. He's probably aiming for law school though.


Or hoping to be invited back to delivery a commencement address.
4.30.2007 6:56pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
He got one year for armed robbery with a couple of felony priors? In AZ, I think he'd get more like 15-20 years, with 2/3 of it hard time.
4.30.2007 7:05pm
JohnO (mail):
Jim Rhoads:

The reason I am uncomfortable with the "oops" methodology here is that the column (offensive as it may be) is discussing the historical treatment of one race by another race. The history of white treatment of blacks in this country is simply diferent than black treatment of whites. That whole slavery and Jim Crow thing. Because of that, it's just not a neat fit to switch "white" and "black" when discussing the history of race relations in this country.

Like Spartacus, I also like reading the "oops" posts every time, I just think that the comparison works less well here than in other posts.
4.30.2007 7:08pm
VFBVFB (mail):
I am against censorship of all types. Thus, while I greatly disagree with the content of this article, I believe that articles like this serve a constructive function.

The United States has a great racial divide. The author of this article represents a viewpoint that is more common than many people realize. People are not aware of this, because this viewpoint is predominantly held by blacks of a lower socioeconomic status. Thus, they are not having their opinions represented in op-ed pieces in the New York Times. In trying to determine whether the racial divide can or should be bridged, understanding the vast differences between the way that many whites and blacks view the nature of the society that we live in is helpful.
4.30.2007 7:09pm
JunkYardLawDog (mail):
Same racist rant written by a white student about blacks wouldn't have ever been published in any student newspaper. It would have been censored a priori. Next the white student would have been expelled/suspended/forced to take african american sensitivity classes from a teacher who in his heart agrees with the black racist in this story, and forced to write a letter of apology to the entire student body, deliver the apology to all local black churches, and have the most negative inferences about his character made a permanent part of his transcript for the rest of his/her life.

What did this black racist get? A statement that the university doesn't agree with his views (not even calling it hate speech as you know would be applied to a similarly situated white racist), but he has the right to express his views.

I was quite entertained by all the liberal apologists diverting the focus of the discussion here from the violent hate speech offered up by this racist chikenshit in North Carolina that is the real issue.

Says the "Dog"
4.30.2007 7:17pm
tarheel:
Further information for those who don't read the links -- the columnist is at NC Central, which is historically black and, notably, the school the accuser in the Duke case attended. Not sure what that adds to the discussion, but anyway...carry on.
4.30.2007 7:19pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
Cmon. ONE student's opinion. Badly thought out, and not apparently supported by anyone else willing to go on record. Does anyone really need to worry about this?

There are a *lot* of aspects of the Duke Lacrosse incident that merit deep thought. This blog raised a lot of them. But warmed-over 1970s Black Pantherism isn't really news.

As a straight WASP male, I have a lot more sympathy for black discrimination paranoia than I do for any of the many other groups who look so zealously for signs of being put down. This is the one group (along with Native Americans) that has a real, legitimate historical beef.

The "oops" trick certainly highlights situations in which a silly sense of PCness has taken over. I don't see that as having happened in response to this article (however much it happended within the Duke faculty last year). On the other hand, those of you who think you are free of racial bias (as I did) might find it instructive to take the test at https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/
4.30.2007 7:24pm
tarheel:
Those interested might check out Joyner v. Whiting, 477 F.2d 456 (4th Cir. 1973), which held that the president of NC Central could not withdraw school support for the school newspaper even though he thought the blacks-only policy the paper advocated for the school would be illegal.

The more things change...
4.30.2007 7:29pm
Constantin:
I am not persuaded that I have to read Professor Volokh's alternative in a different light because of historical context. Violent racism is bad, regardless. How can that not be the rule?
4.30.2007 7:31pm
Joe McDermott (mail):
This boy needs a good horsewhipping. Might save having to lynch him later.
4.30.2007 7:36pm
Adeez (mail):
"Same racist rant written by a white student about blacks wouldn't have ever been published in any student newspaper. It would have been censored a priori. Next the white student would have been expelled/suspended/forced to take african american sensitivity classes from a teacher who in his heart agrees with the black racist in this story, and forced to write a letter of apology to the entire student body, deliver the apology to all local black churches, and have the most negative inferences about his character made a permanent part of his transcript for the rest of his/her life."

Well, actually, I went to a university in NY and a white student in his 30's did exactly that. It was published and widely disseminated. He was a well-known (in upstate NY) militia member. Yeah, most hated him, but most were also scared of his crazy ass.

Surpisingly, I don't believe that any of those things you listed actually occurred. It just made people talk about racism more.

But thanks for proving my initial point.
4.30.2007 8:03pm
whit:
for pete's sake, universities have tried to ban "affirmative action bake sales" (which are about as nonthreatening political speech as you can get, while this kind of hateful screed gets mild disapproval at best.

clearly, there is a double standard and clearly it is wrong.

i applaud the "oops trick" because it shows peoples' hypocrisy and bias. most (as apparent here) try to brush it off, but one of the posters was absolutely correct that the white version (the first one) would never have even made it into the pages of the student newspaper, and the author would have been forced into "diversity" and "sensitivity" classes under threat of expulsion, etc.
4.30.2007 8:05pm
Viscus (mail) (www):
EV,

I think that there is a reason that it seems more harsh when violence is threatened against blacks than against whites. The fact is, you can't just ignore this country's long history of slavery. When mention is made of using violence against blacks to keep them in line, it just sounds more "real." Why? Because there is a history of this sort of thing actually happening. In contrast, when the same language is used to suggest violence against whites, it sounds less real. Why? Because there really is not a history of systematic black on white oppression (although surely individual blacks have in fact oppressed individual whites in particular circumstances. It just sounds less real.

The same words uttered by a black person sound like frustrated hyperbole. However, when uttered by a white person in light of the history of slavery and white-on-black oppression, it sounds all too real and sinister.

Think about this. If a woman say's that men are inferior savages, we would likely think it hyperbole. But if a man says the same of women, it is taken more seriously. Again, this has to do with the history of men oppressing women. There is no similar history of women oppressing men.

I think the statement made by the black student is both unwise and racist. But I am not suprised that people react to it differently. Different reactions are justified in light of history, which is not something that can be shrugged away, as much as some would like to. This country is a product of its history, and we still have a price to pay for our legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

You know, context is important. It is not just what words are uttered, but the context in which they are uttered. I seriously hope that your post is not aimed at suggesting that the history of slavery should not matter, by suggesting that the words should be interpreted identically regardless of context.
4.30.2007 8:08pm
frankcross (mail):
Sure, and there's a more straightforward reason for the difference in interpretation. Whites have a much larger population and far vaster resources, which would make a "white race war" against blacks far more threatening to blacks than a "black race war" would threaten whites. Indeed, the latter would presumably be deterred by the former.

But the notion of any such race war is pretty implausible. I would count this as a sad by trivial youthful rant. Hardly very threatening, whether voiced by whites or blacks.
4.30.2007 8:14pm
TomHynes (mail):
Suppose this guy's resume is sitting on your desk and you Google his name. Would reading the article (and the facts of his criminal record posted here) affect your hiring decision?
4.30.2007 8:19pm
Viscus (mail) (www):
TomHynes,

Depends on the position.

You know, this is a really interesting point. This guy's life is going to be a whole lot harder now that he wrote this article. 10 years from now, he might still be screened out from getting a job due to this incident.

I guess that is the way the cookie crumbles when you have Google. I guess that those who were arguing earlier that this guy shouldn't be allowed to get a college education because of his criminal background will likely get exactly what they want. A bitter black man with bad economic prospects.

Then again, he can just legally change his name, I guess. That might throw a wrench into Google.
4.30.2007 8:31pm
Viscus (mail) (www):
whit,

Selling food is not speech. Hence, charging discriminatory prices at an "affirmative action bake sale" is not speech. If I charge black families $250,000 for my house, but white people only $150,000, that isn't free speech, that is race discrimination.

That one is engaging in race discrimination to communicate a political point doesn't make it okay.

Banning affirmative action bake sales is thus not a sign of a double standard.
4.30.2007 8:35pm
Federal Dog:
"I don't care for it because it implies a certain white person defensiveness, i.e., "blacks can get away with anything . . ."


It does nothing of the sort. Rather, it leads the reader to predict popular reaction to the statement, which will radically differ, depending on the race mentioned. It therefore stresses the vast hypocrisy of race baiters and their effect on society.
4.30.2007 8:38pm
Viscus (mail) (www):
Federal Dog writes:

"It therefore stresses the vast hypocrisy"

Of course. What could be more hypocritical than imagining that something as trivial as history actually matters.

But you know, if Federal Dog thinks we should actually follow the Constitution, I think he is a hypocrite. Because he would be saying that history matters in that context, but not in this context? What is your position Federal Dog? Does history matter or does it not?
4.30.2007 8:40pm
Federal Dog:
History does not change hypocrisy.
4.30.2007 8:43pm
Viscus (mail) (www):
So is your position that history matters or does not?
4.30.2007 8:44pm
Zyzzogeton:
If the anti-white writing that Eugene had posted had been published, this would have been top headline news in ALL media outlets, with pundits weeping, beating their chests, screaming, and rending their clothes for weeks. That no one is barely paying any attention to vicious anti-white racism shows how acceptable it is.

White guilt uber alles.
4.30.2007 9:01pm
Zyzzogeton:
OOPS! I meant "anti-black writing that Eugene had posted".

Mea culpa!
4.30.2007 9:03pm
Mark Field (mail):

This boy needs a good horsewhipping. Might save having to lynch him later.


Was this supposed to be funny? It wasn't.
4.30.2007 9:03pm
whit:
history should not matter when regarding an individual's actions. certainly not ancient history.

the fact that whites enslaved blacks many years ago (as did blacks, i might add- in many other countries) does not make this article any less atrocious because it was written by a black guy.
4.30.2007 9:07pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Suppose this guy's resume is sitting on your desk and you Google his name. Would reading the article (and the facts of his criminal record posted here) affect your hiring decision?


Well let's see, we know that Solomon Burnette is violent, steals stuff, and hates about 80% of the American people who are White. What's not to love?
4.30.2007 9:18pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> but since black people are a much smaller percentage of the population, we would expect that if they were indifferent to who their victims were, they commit crimes against whites more often, simply because there are more whites.

Opportunity/access matters. (If it didn't, we'd look at the number of Chinese and Indian attackers and victims.)

So does "acquaintance" because most attacks involve people who know one another, which is more than "family and friends", as it includes rivals, enemies, and "just know".

I don't know how the numbers work out when these factors are taken into account, but they should be.
4.30.2007 9:22pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Viscus:

"Selling food is not speech. Hence, charging discriminatory prices at an "affirmative action bake sale" is not speech."

It is speech when you look at the context. The bake sale in question was not done for economic reasons, but for expressive reasons. The idea of some kind of behavior (like burning a flag) is essentially an expressive communication is settled law.
4.30.2007 9:28pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Adeez:

"I could just as easily cite prominent talk radio voices who are more worthy of condemnation and have far more influence on the populace."

Tell me (by name) which radio voice show host says, "the facts don't matter?" Or makes out and out call for a race war?
4.30.2007 9:38pm
tom@office:
Just in case someone decides to take the implicit racism test mentioned above, the last SPSP conference had an entire session dedicated to debating the validity of that whole association-based approach to racism. It's kinda interesting to take the 'test', but don't take it seriously. There's way too many psychologists who say it's not measuring what it purports to measure.
4.30.2007 9:39pm
whit:
viscus

1) the bake sales are SYMBOLIC. duh
2) they were ruled (correctly) protected political speech AFTER *FIRE* got involved.

the disturbing thing was that it took threatened court action to get university leftist speech-police to submit to the first amendment
4.30.2007 9:54pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Viscus:

"Because there really is not a history of systematic black on white oppression (although surely individual blacks …"

Have you ever lived in a black neighborhood? The probability that a white person will be the victim of a violent crime in a neighborhood that is 90% is over 50% per year. That amounts to a virtual certainty in 5 years. That sure sounds like an oppressive environment to me. Tell me do you think it's more dangerous for a black to live in a white neighborhood than the reverse? Before you say "yes," I suggest you read the 2005 crime victimization survey (provided here by EV) and do a little analysis.

In 1968 when New York City decentralized its public school system, and the radical black administrators in the Ocean Hill Brownsville school district proceeded (with overwhelming community support) to fire white teachers with good records for no other reason than their race. This event triggered a citywide school strike that lasted for two months.
4.30.2007 9:55pm
Richard Nieporent (mail):
Selling food is not speech.

And burning a flag is not speech. Oh wait it is. I would hope that anyone who posts on this site would understand what symbolic speech is.

Hence, charging discriminatory prices at an "affirmative action bake sale" is not speech. If I charge black families $250,000 for my house, but white people only $150,000, that isn't free speech, that is race discrimination.

The problem is that you got it backwards, Viscus. Blacks are charged less at the bake sale. It you take it literally it is whites who are being discriminated against which of course is the point that is being made. You don't have to agree with their point of view to understand that they are engaging in speech.
4.30.2007 9:57pm
Bleepless (mail):
The reason this animal has a forum is because black liberals are raging hypocrites and white ones are cowardly ferrets.
4.30.2007 10:08pm
BobNSF (mail):
The reason this animal has a forum is because black liberals are raging hypocrites and white ones are cowardly ferrets.


Actually, if you Google the author and "retribution", you'll find that the coverage he has received is courtesy of -- you guessed it (or maybe you didn't) -- the right-wing blogosphere.

Knock me over with a feather...
4.30.2007 10:19pm
Dan28 (mail):
I mostly agree with this post, although I also vaguely disagree with the device used. Our society has double standards. That's life. It shouldn't surprise us or shock us when we see those double standards in play.

The degree of moral outrage double standard that is central to this post seems like a particularly trivial example of these double standards. For one thing, I think the double standard makes some sense in the comparison between hypothetical article #1 and actual article #2. I'm not black, but if I were, I think I'd be pretty pissed off about the history of racism against black people. That doesn't make the NC student's editorial in any way praiseworthy; it's just somewhat more understandable. Recognizing that the article, while inappropriate, nevertheless expresses some legitimate anger at the historical treatment of blacks in this country does blunt my sense of outrage. I'm not convinced that blunting effect is a mistake. I think the difference makes a fair amount of sense.
4.30.2007 10:22pm
frankcross (mail):
Well, in response to the further update, I would just say it's not so simplistic. There is in fact a material difference in the threats. However, it does not follow that this in any way legitimizes the black author. The difference doesn't make it ok. Has anyone said it's a legitimate position?

Of course, the thread has produced this pearl

black liberals are raging hypocrites and white ones are cowardly ferrets.

I suppose that will now be making the national news
4.30.2007 10:44pm
frankcross (mail):
And here's another student newspaper report from this month.

Summer Moore pulled up to her house after a long day of classes in early April. As she walked up the driveway, she noticed some papers rolled up and assumed it was a newspaper.

Moore discovered that it was an Aryan newsletter that included information about preserving the white race. Folded inside was a poster that read "Snipers Wanted for the Race War" printed above a WWII-style soldier wearing a helmet with a swastika.
4.30.2007 10:58pm
tarheel:
For what it's worth, Prof. Volokh's first scenario did happen last school year just up the road from NC Central at Chapel Hill. The result...she was fired, though purportedly not for her actual opinions (in this case about Arabs). Not totally analogous, but close enough to be relevant.
4.30.2007 11:07pm
tarheel:
Sorry, link:

4.30.2007 11:08pm
tarheel:
One last try:

http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=45&aid=89036
4.30.2007 11:08pm
Russ (mail):
I am a little disturbed by some on here who seem to say that the author's blatant racism and outrageous calls for what amounts to race war is understandable because of slavery and discrimination in the past.

What I'm about to say will likely get me condemned, but here goes:

I am not a slave.

I have never owned a slave

I refuse to accept any responsibility for actions committed for crimes committed by other people, whether they had some blood relation to me or not. In this country, we are supposed to judge you for who you are, not for who your father was.

I'm amazed that there are so many apologists on here. Some people come on and sputter, "Yeah...well...this other person is just as bad." You know what? Grow up. Stop trying to play both sides to feel better about yourself just b/c you're afraid to give any comfort to the other side by agreeing with those you normally detest.

There are some moral absolutes. That the author of this column is wrong to try to incite such ignorant hate is one of them.
5.1.2007 12:40am
Mark Field (mail):

I refuse to accept any responsibility for actions committed for crimes committed by other people, whether they had some blood relation to me or not. In this country, we are supposed to judge you for who you are, not for who your father was.


Of course, you also have no problem taking full advantage of the various benefits your ancestors secured for themselves and you as a result of their discrimination. How very morally rigorous of you.

I personally don't understand the point of this post. It was an obscure piece by a deservedly obscure author. Similar rants can be found all over the political spectrum, especially on the hate sites. Are we supposed to disavow each of them individually? Why is this one deserving of particular condemnation while others aren't?
5.1.2007 12:49am
Dan28 (mail):
Russ,

I'm not going to "condemn" you for your position, but just to clarify mine: I'm not saying that the real editorial isn't offensive, I think it's very offensive. I'd probably have a similar double standard if I were asked to compare a modern Jewish person saying "kill all the Germans" with a modern German person saying "kill all the Jews". The former is wrong, and offensive, but the latter is utterly vile.

(Note: I don't mean to violate Godwin's law here; my point isn't that my example is comparable. That is, I'm trying to use an extreme example to demonstrate why I think it sometimes makes sense to have double standards with this kind of stuff).
5.1.2007 1:35am
A. Zarkov (mail):
The student author says: "White people still rape us and get away with it."

Let's look at the rape statistics from the National Victimization Survey Table 42. The numbers are of course estimates from the survey not the actual number of incidents. In 2005, 36,620 black women suffered rape/sexual assault with the zero percent coming from whites and 100% coming from blacks. Looking at the footnotes one sees that the sample actually had 10 incidents of white rape/sexual assault against black women by white men. This is too few to make a scale up to get an estimate, so they put zero percent. Clearly the student author has no knowledge of actual white rapes against black women. So where does he get this notion? Answer: from the culture of victimization promulgated by race hustlers like Sharpton, and the hate mongering from liberal whites who seem to hate their own race and their own country.

If anyone should be outraged it should be white women, and they should be outraged against black men. Returning to Table 42, we see that an estimated 37,461 white women were raped by black men. Or black men committed about a third of the rapes against white women despite being only 6% of the population. In other words, black men are 5 times more likely to rape a white woman.
5.1.2007 1:38am
Guest12345:
That is, I'm trying to use an extreme example to demonstrate why I think it sometimes makes sense to have double standards with this kind of stuff.


Unless you feel there is some possibility that whites as a whole will return to the practice of slavery it makes no sense to bring the historical practice of slavery under consideration in your moral and ethical decision making. Given that it was whites who abolished slavery in the US this seems unlikely. The only thing that is gained by that consideration is to offset the baseline, to give a particular group different standards of behavior and conduct.

The best thing about history is you can always find a date after which the other guy is unjust and you were victimized. Or to go to a ridiculous extreme.... the black slaves were only getting their just desserts for their ancestors driving the ancestors of modern Europeans off of the African continent.
5.1.2007 2:06am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Thought I posted this earlier, but it doesn't seem to have stuck...

Jim Rhoads, I think the exception to the word reversal game is that it implies that people will react differently to the two scenarios, when I suspect very few would.
Frank, you may suspect that few people would react differently, but ask yourself this: would a newspaper have printed the first column?
5.1.2007 2:53am
SlimAndSlam:
Experiment, part 3:


So upon whose shoulders should the responsibility of retributive correction fall?

Men still murder us with impunity. Men still beat us with impunity. Men still rape us and get away with it.

The only deterrent to these legally, socially and economically validated sexist actions is the fear of physical retribution.

White women, stand up. Black women, stand up. Girls, stand up. We have been at war here with these same men for 5000 years.

The time to fight, whether intellectually, artistically or physically, has always been now.
5.1.2007 6:24am
veteran:
As mentioned above in another form:

Blaming, demonizing and punishing the living for real or perceived crimes committed by the dead against the dead is not good for the human psyche. It is also not good in promoting civility and civil discourse.


Curently a 13 year old child, roughly 40 years removed from the civil rights movement and the unequal treatment of blacks, enters middle school to find themselves blamed, demonized and penalized for acts they never committed from a time in which they did not live nor experienced.

Perhaps we should spend more time looking at the good we do before it is interred in our bones.
5.1.2007 9:18am
RKV (mail):
Mark, Thomas Sowell has written about you and your type of [il]logic in "The Quest for Cosmic Justice." 1) It ain't gonna' happen and 2) If it did, it would cause more injustice than what it was attempting to correct. As to "white privilege" I'd say the 600,000 whites dead in the War Between the States pretty well evened the score.
5.1.2007 10:05am
Joel Rosenberg (mail) (www):
Largely, it seems to me, the reason that such black-against-white rants are tolerated while equivalent white-against-black rants aren't (or are less tolerated) is the infantilization -- including self-infantilization -- of the African-American community, and that phenomenon shows up all over the place.
5.1.2007 10:17am
frankcross (mail):
David Nieporent, I suspect the newspaper would have printed it but then probably been sanctioned after the fact, as was the case with the anti-Arab rant discussed above.

I hope something similar will occur here but am not too confident of that. And there may be a couple of colleges where the first column may have gotten by.
5.1.2007 11:29am
pete (mail) (www):

Tell me (by name) which radio voice show host says, "the facts don't matter?" Or makes out and out call for a race war?


Al Sharpton.
5.1.2007 11:56am
tarheel:

I suspect the newspaper would have printed it but then probably been sanctioned after the fact, as was the case with the anti-Arab rant discussed above.

Just to be clear, the newspaper was not sanctioned in any way, which is as it should be. The columnist was sanctioned by the paper. The question I would ask in both cases is where the editors were on the front end. Once they shirk their responsibility to properly edit columnists pre-publication, the columnists should not be sanctioned after the fact simply because they raised a ruckus.
5.1.2007 12:18pm
Mark Field (mail):

Mark, Thomas Sowell has written about you and your type of [il]logic in "The Quest for Cosmic Justice." 1) It ain't gonna' happen and 2) If it did, it would cause more injustice than what it was attempting to correct. As to "white privilege" I'd say the 600,000 whites dead in the War Between the States pretty well evened the score.


I didn't call for anything to happen, I merely noted the hypocrisy of Russ's denial of responsibility while at the same time accepting all the benefits.

The 600,000 dead in the Civil War includes Southerners fighting to preserve slavery. I don't think that gets to count in the scales. It also includes blacks who fought and died for the Union, so you can't count them either.

In any case, your argument is absurdly lacking in historical perspective. Millions of blacks died as a result of the slave trade. Millions of others lived their entire lives as slaves for 250 years. For a hundred years thereafter, segregation denied millions more blacks the basic human dignity and rights you and I take for granted every day. The 280,000 or so Northern whites who died in the Civil War don't even come close to balancing the scales. "Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, 'The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'"

My g'g'g'father fought for the Union in the Civil War. I'm very proud of his service, but it would be fatuous of me to pretend that his service restored the balance even for me personally.
5.1.2007 12:30pm
Federal Dog:
"Of course, you also have no problem taking full advantage of the various benefits your ancestors secured for themselves and you as a result of their discrimination."


What proof do you have that his/her ancestors were even in America when slavery existed? Stop trying to justify racist attacks on others based on obvious ignorance about your target's background.
5.1.2007 1:16pm
DeezRightWingNutz:

As a straight WASP male, I have a lot more sympathy for black discrimination paranoia than I do for any of the many other groups who look so zealously for signs of being put down. This is the one group (along with Native Americans) that has a real, legitimate historical beef.


I think the Chinese, Irish, and others might disagree with you. Even if you have a legitimate grievance, it's counter-productive to wallow in your victimhood.
5.1.2007 1:35pm
whit:
the blacks that tend to be most successful in this country (not to mention the racial groups in general that tend to be the most successful) are the ones that don't play into this victimology rubbish, and take advantage of the opportunities.

is it any wonder that immigrant blacks from east indies (who haven't been inundated their whole lives with the vicitm thang) have higher income, lower crime rates, etc. than native born blacks?

is it any wonder that asian americans (that don't have a victimization industry a la al sharpton) do far better than whites or blacks ?

no

sure, blacks used to be enslaved. sure, racism exists (also exists against every race by various others, not just white on black).

that doesn't excuse or mitigate the wrongness of this editorial, and it does not make it any more acceptable than if a white guy wrote it
5.1.2007 1:45pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Mark Field:

"but it would be fatuous of me to pretend that his service restored the balance even for me personally."

Is it your position that the sins of the father shall be visited on the son? You should consider the consequences of such a philosophy on both an individual and group level. On a personal level, we should deport the entire Cho family because their son committed mass murder. After all, they gave birth to him passing on their genes. They raised him passing along their values, and they brought him here. If they had never been allowed to immigrate those particular murders would never have happened. Since Korea itself absolutely refuses to accept immigrants, such a policy would be justified on the basis of symmetry alone. On a group level, shall we hold blacks as group responsible for their ultra high crime rate? After World War II we held all Germans as a group responsible for the crimes of Germans in one country. We took away the property and expelled ethnic Germans from their homelands all over Europe. The Allies sent 800,000 ethnic Germans to the Soviet Union as slave labor and 40% died. Such are things that can happen when you play the blame game on both an individual and group level.

Do you really want to open up that Pandora's box with this idea of "you owe us because our ancestors were slaves?" There are many consequences to that kind of thinking that you might not like.
5.1.2007 3:17pm
Russ (mail):
That's right, Mark Field - I took advantage of all the benefits to pay for my own college and join the Army. I had a hard time deciding which plate of gold to accept b/c they were both just so danged heavy.

I took advantage of nothing "handed down" - and that's where the flawed part of your argument lies. Hvae Asians taken advantage of historically good academic rates to get into good universities? Have Blacks taken advantage of mostly balck sports to take advantage of getting on teams?

You make generalizations and try to point out hypocrisy that doesn't exist. I haven't landed in the lap of "white privilege" any more than you have(or whatever ethnicity you happen to be a part of).

By what you seem to declare, every white person in the US should immediately go live under a bridge and subject themselves to five years of mass starvation, for only then would they be "moral enough" to take part in the great benefits of America.

Be careful how you post, Mark Field - your bigotry is showing through.
5.1.2007 5:04pm
JunkYardLawDog (mail):

the black slaves were only getting their just desserts for their ancestors driving the ancestors of modern Europeans off of the African continent.



They weren't driven out. They voluntarily moved because of falling real estate prices and rising crime rates. Once they were threatened with losses on their caves the die was cast.

Says the "Dog"
5.1.2007 5:11pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
I didn't call for anything to happen, I merely noted the hypocrisy of Russ's denial of responsibility while at the same time accepting all the benefits.
What "benefits," Mark?
5.1.2007 6:41pm
Russ (mail):
David,

I'm also part Cherokee. Maybe I should use part of my ancestry, although an admittedly small part, to grab a larger share.

Mark Field has shown himself to be narrow minded and given to making generalizations about people he doesn't know and how they've accrued "benefits" that he won't describe. He seems to think that the living have responsibility for what the dead, in some cases many centuries dead, have done.

No one should have to accept guilt for the crimes of others, but that's exactly what Mark Field wants.
5.1.2007 6:54pm
LM (mail):
EV,

My complaint with the switcheroo is that you've done it so often, we can see it coming a mile away. Come up with some new tricks, or at least lay off this one long enough to lull us back into our credulous stupor.
5.1.2007 11:41pm