Michigan Clusterpeck
January 21, 2015

I do not tell myself "stories . . . about racial progress." I also realize that watching a movie does not make one an "authentic witness" to anything other than the screening of a film. I'm not sure what the movie Selma "visages" the return of, but I doubt it is "stark truth-telling" that Detroit Free Press editorial page editor Stephen Henderson thinks "has the potential to reinvigorate the discussion about unfulfilled equality in America." (This MLK Day framed by stark contrasts, Detroit Free Press, January 18, 2014, p. 15A.)

Or maybe it is. Maybe its disappointing box office returns are a stark reminder that after five months of Ferguson riots and other instancs of racial idiocy like "Black Brunch" and outright abomination like the murders of cops in New York City, it's hard to make American white people feel guilty. We were not the ones stealing cigars. Don't shoot my cheroot! No justice, no quiche!

Henderson writes:

The stark violence experienced by black people at the hands of police is an enraging throwback, to a time that we now see vilified on the screen.
That might be waving the bloody shirt, it might be propaganda, it might be psychotic delusion, but it is not "truth-telling." Henderson is furthering a falsehood that has already resulted in the deaths of innocent people and is sure to result in more such deaths. The truth is, while the average black person is a decent individual, a substantial part of the black population comprises violent men who can justly expect to receive some violence in return from police, from other criminals and from victims.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of black on white murders for the year 2014. The count was 360-something when last I checked. That is a stark fact Stephen Henderson will never discuss.

*

In the spring of last year, the race-realist web site American Renaissance (a.k.a. AmRen) published an article by a public defender where he describes his experiences and offers his observations on the differences among black, white, Asian and Hispanic defendants. His conclusions are not flattering:

blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate as well. They cannot control their impulses as well. They are a threat to all who cross their paths, black and non-black alike.
I want to assure my own readers that I do not endorse that statement. It is an insulting, broad generality. If the author meant those words to apply only to the people he encountered in the course of his defender duties, then they might contain a grain of truth.

The article is the basis for a blog post by former Congressman Allen West: Quite possibly the most racist article you will ever read. Michigan Republican National Committee member Dave Agema read the Allen West article and linked to it or reposted it or he linked to the AmRen article from his Facebook page or he reposted the AmRen article. Anyway, the AmRen article was the basis for a week long orgy of denunciation and "anti-racist" posturing by "mainstream" establishment figures in the Republican Party.

Paul Welday, "chairman of the Michigan Republican Party's 14th District committee" got the action going with an idiotically pompous op-ed piece: Agema does more damage to the GOP than any Dem could / Official's posts go to far, so he must go (Detroit Free Press, Jan. 11, 2015, p. 19A.)

Agema became a big story. More press coverage followed:

Agema a thorn again in Republicans' side
Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, January 13, 2015.

RNC's top officers vote to censure Dave Agema
Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, January 14, 2015.

GOP's Agema has right to post hateful things
Detroit Free Press, January 15, 2015.

Nobody wants Dave Agema
Nolan Finley, The Detroit News January 15, 2015.

GOP committee censures Agema over comments
The Detroit News, January 14, 2015

GOP lawmakers, Virginia leader ask RNC to oust Agema
Chad Livengood, Detroit News Lansing Bureau, January 14, 2015

Mitchell: Michigan GOP no place for a bigot
Paul Mitchell, former finance chairman, Michigan Republican Party, The Detroit News, January 15, 2015.

It was a real Michigan Clusterpeck.

Some of the invective directed against Agema is quite funny. Welday asserts, without irony, "Agema weakens and divides the Republican Party while reinforcing ridiculous stereotypes spread by its opponents." (Free Press, Jan 11.)

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof took the denunciations up a notch:

When the ignorance and stupidity of one individual overshadows the good work done by so many other Republicans, it is incumbent upon those of us who know better to speak up and demand accountability. Dave Agema clearly has no shame, otherwise he would have already resigned. (Livingwook, The Detroit News, Jan 14)
The prize for Best Denunciation of the Week goes to Republican National Party Chairman Reince Priebus:
Agema's history of harmful and offensive rhetoric has no place in our party, which is why the RNC Executive Committee acted in the swiftest way possible to avoid giving him a platform. (Spangler, Jan 15)
Oh, these clusterpeckers do not like Dave Agema. But note how highly they think of themselves! Such arrogant little shits have no place -- that's right, NO PLACE -- in MY Republican Party.

*

I mentioned I don't endorse the conclusion of the public defender's article. I wasn't super-offended by it either. It was an honest account of his experiences and the opinions he drew from them. I admire people with the courage to do that, even when they overstate their conclusions.

Another reason for my lack of visceral offendedness is I've learned not to be as offended by things as I used to be. "Be slow to take offense!" is great advice.

The main reason I am not offended is: for every public defender giving an honest account of his or her experiences with black clients, there are 100 Stephen Hendersons writing about "the stark violence experienced by black people at the hands of police" as if it were an every-day experience for the average law-abiding black citizen. There are 100 Leonard Pittses complaining about "the bitter sense of siege that lives in African-American men." (Why good people should pay attention to Ferguson riots, Leonard Pitts Jr., Detroit Free Press, August 14, 2014.) There are 100 Barak Obamas offering moral support to rioters. There are 100 Al Sharptons.

Members of the Michigan Republican Party establishment can't talk or even think about the realities of race. They can't face the realities of contemporary racial politics. They live in a fantasy world where if you say a few nice things, people will like you or at least leave you alone. Where if you denounce even the most innocuous deviation from stark racial rectitude, you will be seen as wise and courageous, even by your enemies.
 

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