A Theory About Conspiracy Theories

I theorize that the most ingenious and evil scheme ever launched by tyrant wannabes was to convince the vast majority of Americans that not only is every theory concerning undisclosed collective actions by people in government automatically false, but it is also something that could only be dreamed up by a lunatic. Let’s sort out what is so brilliant about this scheme.

Let’s first dispel the idea that people in government never conspire to advance their own interests at the expense of others. While I would hope that stating the proposition as I just did would lay bare the obvious fact that people in government do that, let’s take this step by step.

According to Dictionary.com, a definition of conspiracy is: “an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.”

Hopefully, everyone would agree that 1) some people conspire, 2) a government official, i.e., a “public servant,” who puts her interests ahead of the interests of the public when formulating, implementing, or carrying out policy is committing a wrongful act.

Let’s also hope that no one is so naïve as to think that never happens. At a minimum, the very fact that so much government information is classified and closed congressional hearings and agency meetings are commonplace reveals that people in government have no compunction about keeping information secreted from the public. What are they doing in there? No doubt, many of those meetings are benign. The idea that all of them are is daft.

Some people, including government employees, conspire.[i] By definition, conspirators endeavor to conceal their wrongdoing. Good governance requires reasonable efforts to ferret out and prosecute governmental wrongdoing. Because many conspirators are experts at keeping their secrets, a systematic, scientific approach to uncovering their secrets is usually required to bring the wrongdoers to justice. Let’s examine the standard way that is done.

The scientific method is the standard process by which truth is found. The scientific method starts with a hypothesis, proceeds to a theory, and hopefully, finds a truth. Merriam-Webster puts it this way:

In scientific reasoning, a hypothesis is an assumption made before any research has been completed for the sake of testing. A theory on the other hand is a principle set to explain phenomena already supported by data. Theories will pull together experimental results to provide full explanations such as “The Big Bang Theory.” Outside of scientific reasoning, “theory” and “hypothesis” are often used interchangeably, and “theory’ can unfortunately be interpreted to mean “less sound” or “lightly speculated.”[ii]

BTW: When a theory is proven, it becomes a “law,” something nearly universally considered to be the truth.

Note that “The Big Bang Theory” is very widely, though not universally, accepted among scientists as the best explanation of what happened. A careful scientist would not claim that theory describes a fact because there is no way to prove it. On the other hand, some theories are more likely to be correct than others. Compare Copernicus’s to Galileo’s. Do all the scientists who accept “The Big Bang Theory” to be very likely real wear tin hats? I think not.

The point is that both hypotheses and theories (both of which are called “theories” in common parlance) are a necessity in the process of discovering non-obvious truths.

Most theories prove to be incorrect. As Thomas Edison vividly illustrated with, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10, 000 ways that won’t work,” discovering what is incorrect is extremely valuable in the search for truth. Such discoveries enable scientists to quit wasting time on flawed theories and develop a new one that might be good. Unless one knows that a thesis contains a fallacy, to dismiss, much less shout down a plausible theory before it is tested is not only unscientific, it is idiotic.

Yet, here we are. Some nefarious geniuses have convinced the public that every theory concerning a conspiracy involving the government must be dismissed out of hand. It’s nuts.

In science, most theories prove to be invalid. The same is likely true of theories concerning the conspiracies among powerful people. Nevertheless, some powerful people do conspire to advance their interests at the expense of everyone else. Unless one of the conspirators spills the beans, the only way to reduce government corruption is to develop a plausible theory about the possible crime, investigate, and to continue to theorize about things that seem awry until the theory that uncovers the truth proves out. Hopefully, that scientific process reveals that the government is not as corrupt as it appears to be. However, because the automatic dismissals of conspiracy theories have protected criminals, I fear that the more likely outcome of pursuing conspiracy theories will be the discovery of much government corruption.

So whenever someone dismisses a hypothesis or theory about government corruption by saying, “I smell a conspiracy theory,” she is rewarding the nefarious geniuses who launched that evil meme and is aiding and abetting conspirators.


[i] List of federal political scandals in the United States

[ii] This is the Difference Between a Hypothesis and a Theory

Silencing of the Lambs and Wolves

I just saw a comment on a Facebook post about Amazon deciding not to continue hosting Parler on Amazon servers, i.e., shut Parler down. [For those who don’t know, Parler is the place many people being banned or hassled by Facebook and Twitter fled to exercise their right to speak freely.]

The comment said, “Business move, not political.”

My response to this question is: What difference does it make why Amazon and other businesses facilitate/implement the government’s desire to infringe on American’s freedom of speech?  When the powers-that-be (the government, Big Tech, MSM, the Intelligencia, and others) honor people’s petitions to silence other people because the petitioners do not like what those “other people” say, more and more petitions will be made, and more and more speech will be banned. As if the tyranny of that is not bad enough, keeping up with the continually changing rules as to what is mandatory and what is forbidden can become impossible. At that point, officials can say with certainty, “Show me the man, and I will show you the crime.” Lavrentiy Beria, head of Joseph Stalin’s secret police.

That process can quickly devolve to the stage where loyalty oaths are mandatory (“silence is violence”), and those who do not deliver the pledge with vigor and apparent conviction are doomed. Examples of this kind of tyranny are many, but I doubt anyone has described the end of this process better than Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. See the webpage linked below.

Of course, this outcome is not inevitable, but I can’t figure out what can stop the process. If unstopped, neither lambs nor wolves who do not comply will have a chance.

SOME CHILLING PUBLIC SPEAKING HISTORY

We Have A Problem

Last night I could not log into Parler with either Chrome or Edge. Having heard about the widespread banning of people and organizations by lots of Big Tech platforms, I suspected the browsers were blocking access to Parler. Then I learned that the problem was that Parler was overwhelmed with web traffic. I was relieved — for a moment.

Then I saw that Apple had sent a message to Parler: “Moderate violent threats or face ban.” Whatever Apple meant by the term “threat” is entirely within Apple’s discretion, i.e., Parler is at the mercy of doing what Apple tells Parler it must do.

This morning I’ve learned that Google beat Apple to the punch by removing Parler from its Play Store. Google and other browsers can be programmed not to present any website they choose. Who knows what all they can do to users who enter a verboten web address? If Big Tech does what the deep state wants them to do, history suggests that the deep state will smile in satisfaction with the power afforded by its political arm controlling all three branches and proceed to gain more power.

If you are watching what is going on, you can see an illustration of Lord Acton’s observation, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I doubt, however, that anyone in Lord Acton’s age could have imagined just how much power could be accumulated.

I’m reminded of astronaut John Swigert’s immortal words, “Houston, we have a problem.” The difference is that no one was against America solving the problem the Apollo 13 spacecraft experienced.

Was Supporting Trump A Mistake?

A Facebook friend replied to a comment on one of my posts saying this:

“I was thinking just this morning about a conversation I had with a co-worker at Carrizo during the campaign. Like so many, I was in amazement that Trump was getting so much support. His comment to me was ‘maybe we need to toss a monkey wrench in the machine and see what happens’. Talk about being careful for what one wishes for. Honestly, I would like to remind him of his statement and see if he still thinks that the events of the past 18 months was worth it.”

I guess that his co-worker would say that it was worth it. Let’s sort that out.

The last 18 months were awful, and much of that awfulness is attributable to the left’s hatred of Trump by many Americans, especially deep state Americans. [Of course, things would have been much less awful had the Democrat politicians and bureaucrats treated Trump as their Republican counterparts treated Obama. That, however, is a different subject.] So, things would not have been so awful had a Republican swamp creature been elected, but not likely by much. [See below for a discussion of how awful things would have been had Americans elected Hillary.]

While Trump had too many faults for me to go gaga over him, I get why so many people did and still do. Foremost, he is a genius when it comes to relating to those Americans who several prior presidents, president wannabes, and others in power had ignored, ridiculed, or considered deplorable as they pursued policies that Trump supporters believed to be ruinous. Before his election, they had suffered through “the swamp” becoming larger, stronger, and more expensive, intrusive, and corrupt.  Adding insult to injury, the swamp creatures exempted themselves from the rules they imposed on everyone else and came after everyone who opposed them, e.g., religious people and the Tea Party Patriots.

Adding to the discontent, the MSM became more fake, political correctness and cancel culture became more oppressive; the left’s claims about “our values” (which are antithetical to American values) gained traction; disclosures of corruption by Democrats was suppressed by Big Tech and the MSM and imaginary corruption by Republicans was hotly pursued; district attorneys and state attorney generals were not enforcing the law against favored felons and self-declared “sanctuary” cities and states (and getting away with it); growing welfare rolls and benefits, veterans being ignored and the military being downsized; and no Republicans effectively fighting any of it. [The foregoing is an abbreviated list of grievances.]

As bad as the above items were for the people who became Trump supporters, with the notable exceptions of Reagan and Gingrich, hardly any federal politician noticeably tried to slow the acceleration of Democrats’ hotrod rumbling down the road to serfdom. Many Trump supporters had always suspected that federal-level Republicans played the role “opposition” similar to the Washington Generals feigning steal attempts as the Democrat Globetrotters ran up and down the court, slam-dunking on them.  Trump supporters presumed that the Republicans played that role because they were either Republican in name only or were in on the corruption’s booty.  Because the Republicans did almost nothing when they held all three government branches during Trump’s first two years in office, those suspicions turned into beliefs.

Trump came down the escalator and started denouncing villainy and villains in the story above, i.e., he was saying what the people who became Trump supporters had been pining to hear from politicians for decades. By doing that, Trump easily and quickly dispensed with all the other Republican presidential candidates who were too busy trying to look presidential instead of taking the fight to the opposition. Trump handily beat Hillary because he was NOT Hillary. In so doing, he became a hero to many because he was saying the right things, appeared to be a doer, and had promised to drain the swamp. His victory over Hillary validated their beliefs about him, thereby creating a personal connection between himself and his supporters.

Many, perhaps the vast majority of Trump supporters, thought that Obama had fundamentally transformed America into a crippled giant that would finish the slide into totalitarian socialism, i.e., a world in which only the wealthy and powerful of the world could thrive. For the non-rich and wealthy, a course reversal was necessary for Americans. They saw proof of the transformation in the constant bashing of American values in schools, on TV and in film. Many of them were worried about China buying US companies, funding its news organizations, co-opting sports leagues, and curating the content of Hollywood films. They saw the Democrats doing nothing effective to stop the rising threat from China and even seemed to encourage it. A smaller but noticeable percentage of them believed that much of this was going on because Washington Politicians were selling America’s interests to line their own pockets and gain power.

While in office, Trump (unlike the Bushes and the vast majority of other Washington politicians) fought earnestly for what his supporters believed needed to be done. His defeat of Hillary was seen as giving the country four years to attempt to save the country. Vanquishing the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats in Washington was a necessary step to getting the country back on track, and Trump pledged to do that. As flawed as Trump was, Trump supporters viewed Trump as the only person who might be able to give the country a chance of getting the nation off the road to ruination, a path they believed the country was on.

Trump has failed to drain the swamp. The swamp drained him. With the inauguration of Biden, the swamp will continue to siphon the country’s wealth and power away from the people and to itself. (Many of them believe that Trump still has plans to drain the swamp. I doubt that he does, but who knows?)

So, while the above take on Trump supporters may not apply to my Facebook friend’s co-worker, many, perhaps most Trump supporters believe that because Trump was the only shot the country had to save itself from a brisk jog to the end of the road of serfdom, “it was worth it” to take a chance on him. My guess is that they will give him credit for trying and continue to disdain the swamp. BTW: While there are several things I like about Trump, I’ve never been a Trump supporter. On the other hand, I too believe that he was the only person in the country that could beat Hillary. Because a Hillary administration would have been so bad for the country, I agree with the Trump supporters who believe that taking a chance on Trump was worth it.

What’s Going On? – Part X Black Lives Do Matter, BLM Misdiagnosis — Disparity Delusions

Black Lives Matters claims that disparities in outcomes between Blacks and other racial groups is evidence of oppression. Kevin Cokley, an opinion contributor for USA Today put it this way:

“The Black Lives Matter phrase is intended to affirm the humanity of all Black people in the midst of deadly oppression in a country where long-standing racial disparities would suggest that Black lives really have not mattered.”[i]

American Blacks suffered great oppression by Whites throughout most of America’s history. For example, in the 1940s, my parents and their families were appalled by signs on all the roads leading into their hometown, “Nigger, Don’t Let the Sun Set on You In Blackwell.” Those signs and other anti-Black signs and deeds were common in many places.[ii] During that period, oppression was responsible for many, if not most, of the disparities between Blacks and people of other hues.

As noted in PART IV of this series, even as that kind of oppression was suppressed, the income gap between Blacks and Whites was closing rapidly. In fact, “… Black Americans have made the greatest gains, over some of the highest hurdles, and in a shorter span of time than any other racial group in history.”[iii] While the “do-gooder” attempts to reverse oppression were counterproductive, their intent was the opposite of oppression, the “unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power.”[iv]

With that in mind, let’s sort out some BLM claims that cannot withstand scrutiny.

Disparities Are Evidence of Oppression

Identical twins raised in the same household have disparate outcomes[v] and first-born children out-perform their siblings.[vi] Given that, the idea that large groups of people who are different from each other on multiple dimensions could have equal outcomes is untenable. Thomas Sowell crystalized the situation in the preamble to Chapter 1 of “Discrimination and Disparities”:

“… Yet the disparities in outcomes found in economic and other endeavors need not be due to either comparable disparities in innate capabilities or comparable disparities in the way people are treated by other people.

The disparities can also reflect the plain fact that success in many kinds of endeavors depends on prerequisites peculiar to each endeavor—and a relatively small difference in meeting those prerequisites can mean a very large difference in outcomes.” Sowell, Thomas. Discrimination and Disparities (p. 1). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.

To illustrate Sowell’s observation, in the “Battle Rounds” of The Voice TV series, the difference between the two battling singers is often slight and the loser is typically excellent. Yet, the careers of those who are booted are likely to be much less successful than those who remain and get additional national TV exposure. However, the careers of the average battle round winner will likely be vastly less successful than the career of the show’s season winner. Similarly, one of the world’s greatest thinkers observed, “If a [Broadway] show had been running for three days, one’s best bet would be that it would run another three days. And if it had run for 30 years, the best bet is that it would run for another 30.”[vii]

The above is not to say that oppression plays no part in disparities between Blacks and people with other skin hues. It is to say that, given how much has been done in America to eliminate oppression and to create disproportionate advantages for Blacks, oppression is a minor factor in the disparities that exist and disparities between groups of people are the norm.

Disparities in Outcomes Are Due to Racism

We sorted out in Part IV how programs like Affirmative Action prevented Blacks from achieving as much as they otherwise could have. Perversely, those programs, which were promoted by anti-racists, account for much of the disparities in outcomes that Blacks have suffered. Racism, i.e., animosity or ill will toward Blacks, like oppression, plays a minor role in the disparities that exist. Having been marginalized in America, racist have very little power to deny anyone of anything.

If racism was a major factor in Black outcomes, then one would expect Black immigrants to have fewer employment opportunities than other immigrants. The opposite is true. [viii] For example, “Overall, African-born immigrants aged 16 and over have a higher rate of employment (69.2%) relative to the foreign-born population (63.1%) and the general US population (59.9%).”[ix] Moreover, that more educated Black immigrants fare better than less educated Black immigrants[x] shows that disparities are attributable to things other than race.

Ta-Nehisi Coates cites differential ambition as the cause of foreign-born Blacks outperforming native Blacks:[xi] “[It’s] like comparing the most ambitious members of one team with the entirety of another team.” Fair enough, but that reason is not racism (although, weirdly, he attempts to turn it into racism at the end of the article).

A Johns Hopkins University research paper[xii] concerning the foreign-born/native performance differential found:

  • “… immigrant Blacks do not value education more, and they are not outperforming native Blacks academically…” and
  • “…selective colleges enroll nearly four times as many Black immigrants, at 9.2 percent, than native-born Blacks, at 2.4 percent, and Whites, at 7.3 percent…”

So, even though foreign-born and native-born Blacks value education equally and foreign-born Blacks do not out-perform native Blacks academically, selective colleges (leftist, supposedly empathetic toward poor Black Americans) select foreign-born Blacks over both native Blacks and foreign Whites. A high percentage of the people who run the country’s largest companies attended those selective colleges and have been indoctrinated into the ideologies that produce these results. These facts belie the notion that racism against Blacks by White supremacists explains these kinds of disparities.

Moreover, Black immigrants typically reject the idea that Americans are racist out of hand.[xiii]

Note also that there are huge disparities in outcomes among native-born Blacks. As noted in PART III, only about 20% of American Blacks live in poverty and, as noted in Biden’s Bigotry, there are 35,000 Black millionaires in America many multiples of that among America’s upper income population. That could not have happened if White supremacists had considerable power.

Those who still believe that racism is the cause of disparities in employment for Blacks should answer Thomas Sowell’s piercing question:

The poverty rate of married blacks is not only lower than that of blacks as a whole, but in some years has also been lower than that of whites as a whole. In 2016, for example, the poverty rate for blacks was 22 percent, for whites was 11 percent, and for black married couples was 7.5 percent.

Do racists care whether someone black is married or unmarried? If not, then why do married blacks escape poverty so much more often than other blacks, if racism is the main reason for black poverty? If the continuing effects of past evils such as slavery play a major causal role today, were the ancestors of today’s black married couples exempt from slavery and other injustices?

Sowell, Thomas. Discrimination and Disparities (p. 116). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.

Disparate COVID-19 Death Rates

Compared to Whites, Blacks disproportionately become ill and die of COVID-19[xiv] (and some other diseases, e.g., sickle cell anemia), and Blacks have shorter life expectancies than Hispanics, Whites, and Asians[xv] (a gap that is expected to widen significantly due to COVID-19). BLM would have us believe that all of those differences are attributable to Blacks disproportionately having to go to work during a pandemic, living in prisons, poor education, and poor healthcare.[xvi] Those things could account for some of that disparity. On the other hand, other things are more likely the cause, and choices by Blacks contribute to the situations that BLM claims are the cause of the disparity.

Note also that the BLM’s explanation does not explain why other groups have worse results than Blacks concerning COVID-19. For example, a study of the 213 nurses who had died of COVID-19’s as of September 13, 2020 found:

A total of 67 nurses, or 31.5%, are Filipino, even though the demographic makes up just 4% of registered nurses in the US… Thirty-eight, or 17.8%, were black when black RNs account for a total of just 12.4% of nurses nationwide…[xvii]

Although a smaller percentage of Filipinos live in poverty or prisons and have a higher rate of college graduates[xviii] than Whites, Blacks have massively disproportionately fewer COVID-19 deaths than do Filipino nurses.

A person’s genetics can significantly impact her health outcomes.[xix] For example, obese “women have a greater risk of all-cause mortality… and breast cancer-specific mortality.” But, “These associations were observed among white, … but not among black women.”[xx] Obese White women are more likely to die than obese Black women. Conversely, Blacks are more susceptible to COVID-19 than Whites. If White supremacists could affect health outcomes, why haven’t they spared White women of this disparate outcome?

Consider these statistics about Somali Blacks in Sweden (which has a universal healthcare system). While Somali’s are less than 1% of Sweden’s population:

“… 40 percent of the reported COVID-19 related deaths occurring in Stockholm involve the Somali diaspora communities. Other Swedish medical experts estimate 18 percent of the COVID-19 deaths country-wide are from the Somali community.”[xxi]

Some Swedes attribute that disparity to language barriers, larger families living together, anti-authority attitudes, ignorance, religion, etc. Those things surely play some role. Some portion of Black Americans exhibit similar characteristics are, as a group, more similar to Swedish Somalis than is true of people of other skin hues, as a group, in America.[xxii]

Those attitudinal or cultural traits, however, are not due to racism or oppression. Neither do they account for a genetic difference between people whose skin is the color of people who live in tropical climates where, if they had lighter skin, their bodies could produce lethal levels of vitamin D. Conversely, light skin enables people to produce healthy levels of Vitamin D outside of tropical zones. Dark skinned people living outside of tropical zones are far more likely to be Vitamin D deficient — a significant COVID-19 risk factor.[xxiii]

Consider also: “Having obesity puts people at risk for many other serious chronic diseases and increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19,”[xxiv] and “non-Hispanic black adults had the highest prevalence of obesity (38.4%) overall, followed by Hispanic adults (32.6%) and non-Hispanic white adults (28.6%),”[xxv] i.e., Blacks have 1.34 times the prevalence of obesity as Whites. While other factors can be at play, obesity often is mostly about decisions made as to what and how much to put in one’s mouth.

All of the above contribute to worse health outcomes concerning many other diseases. Whatever part racism or oppression plays in disparate health outcomes, they likely pale in comparison to the kinds of factors described above.

Other Disparities Discussed in Previous Parts of This Series and Earlier Posts Include:

In short, many of the claims BLM makes about disparities are delusions. For real progress about real problems confronting Blacks, people must focus on the reality of the situation. Policies based on delusions will make matters worse.


[i] We need leaders to affirm that Black Lives Matter, not exploit the phrase to divide us

[ii]  “The Roots of Route 66” and “‘Right to refuse service’ signs are legal.”

[iii] WALTER WILLIAMS: Insults to Black History

[iv] Merriam-Webster’s definition of “oppression.”

[v] Identical Twins Hint at How Environments Change Gene Expression

[vi] Oldest children are the smartest, research shows

[vii] UNDER THE SKIN, an article on the thinking of Nasim Taleb.

[viii] Why Do Black Immigrants Do Better Than Native Blacks?

[ix] STUDY SHOWS AFRICAN IMMIGRANTS IN US DO WELL, DESPITE DIFFERENCES AMONG THEM

[x] Id.

[xi] Why Do Black Immigrants Do Better Than Native Blacks?

[xii] New Study Reveals Immigrant Blacks Outpace Native Blacks and Whites in Selective College Enrollment

[xiii] The Candace Owens Show: Melissa Tate

[xiv] Black Lives Matter Global Network Responses to COVID-19 Ethnicity Data

[xv] The Racial Life Expectancy Gap in the U.S.

[xvi] Black Lives Matter Global Network Responses to COVID-19 Ethnicity Data

[xvii] Here’s how many health care workers have died from COVID-19

[xviii] Filipinos in the U.S. Fact Sheet

[xix] How Your Ancestry and Ethnicity Affect Your Health

[xx] Obesity and survival among black women and white women 35 to 64 years of age at diagnosis with invasive breast cancer

[xxi] When Religion and Culture Kill: COVID-19 in the Somali Diaspora Communities in Sweden

[xxii] Black Americans face higher COVID-19 risks, are more hesitant to trust medical scientists, get vaccinated and Study Suggests Racial Gap in Speeding in New Jersey

[xxiii] Vitamin D Can Help Reduce COVID-19 Risks: Here’s How “Vitamin D is a well-known immune booster… Now, a series of recently published studies say the supplement can also protect you from contracting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that can cause COVID-19. And vitamin D may reduce the severity of illness if you do test positive for COVID-19.” See also, Low Vitamin D Levels Don’t Affect All Races the Same, Study Says

[xxiv] Obesity, Race/Ethnicity, and COVID-19

[xxv] Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Adult Obesity in the United States: CDC’s Tracking to Inform State and Local Action

What’s Going On? – Part IX Black Lives Do Matter, BLM Misdiagnosis — Police Are The Problem

As discussed in Parts I – VII,[i] most of the Democrats’ well-intended attempts to address the legitimate and serious obstacles facing Blacks in America failed because Democrats misdiagnosed the causes of those obstacles. In many instances, Democrat policies created new obstacles or exacerbated old obstacles. BLM has incorporated those misdiagnoses and added some of their own. Let’s start with BLM’s complaint that gets the lion’s share of attention: The police are the problem.

Disproportion. BLM was founded in 2013 after George Zimmerman, a non-policeman, was acquitted in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin.  At this point, the impetus for BLM outrage was about injustice in the judicial system, not with the police. Nevertheless, BLM soon focused much attention on policing. As I noted in Nike’ Mistake—Supporting a Counterproductive Cause Against Police, by 2018, BLM’s Black Lives Matter’s Platform included “END THE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE.”[ii] In July 2020, BLM’s website said, “Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.”[iii] Sadly, the percentage of America’s Black population killed by police is higher than the percentage of the White population. That fact, however, would validate a “War On Black People” only if the percentage the Blacks who commit violent crimes were comparable to the percentage of Whites who commit crimes. Vastly more Blacks commit such crimes. [See more on this point below

Rather than intentionally targeting Blacks for demise, crime statistics tell us the following:

  • Police kill more Whites per encounter than Blacks.[iv]
  • Armed or unarmed Blacks who resist arrest are less likely to be killed than armed or unarmed whites who resist arrest.[v]
  • According to the Washington Post database (which uses an expansive definition of “unarmed”), police officers in the US in 2019 killed nine “unarmed” black men.[vi]

Every life matters, but nine out of 47.8 million is not exactly an epidemic. 

As to disproportion, police in the US fatally shoot about 1,000 people per year. Just under 50% of the killings are of Whites, and about 25% are of Blacks.[vii] Given that Whites are 63% of the population and Blacks are 13%, Blacks are disproportionately killed based on population. Population, however, would be a relevant metric only if the incidence of interaction between police and resisting suspects were the same for both Whites and Blacks. They are not. Interactions between cops and suspects are a function of crimes, not population. Blacks ages 10 – 43 die of homicides at 13 times the rates of whites, and those homicides are overwhelmingly committed by Blacks.[viii] In the 75 largest counties, Blacks commit roughly 60% of all murders and robberies, while Blacks represent 15% of those counties’ population.[ix] As long as Blacks commit disproportionately more crimes, and given that cops are dispatched to where 911 callers report crimes taking place, there will naturally be disproportionately more interactions between Blacks and the police. (Unless, of course, the police are abolished. In that case, criminals of all skin hues will do a lot more violence. There is no reason, however, to believe that would reduce the disproportionate victimization of Black people.[x])

By intensely reporting on a national level every police killing of a Black person and reporting police killings of Whites only locally with little fanfare, the media creates a wildly false narrative in the minds of Americans.[xi] Whereas throughout most of America’s history there has been a robust anti-Black bias, that is no longer the case. As Coleman Hughes put it, “America only cares when the victim [of police killings] is Black now.”[xii] Contrary to BLM’s diagnosis of the current state of affairs, Black lives do matter to the vast majority of Americans today — especially American police.

Police Brutality. Following the invidious video of George Floyd dying, BLM amped up its emphasis on “police brutality and all racially motivated violence against Black people.”[xiii]

Let’s first observe that, though terrible and real, police brutality is neither a racial issue nor the relevant issue. Consider this hypothetical: A court issues a murder warrant to arrest a Black ex-con rapist; a cop finds the suspect attempting to drag a Black trans woman into his car and orders him to stop. The suspect ignores the order and continues to push the woman into his vehicle. The cop uses a stun gun on the suspect, but the suspect is unfazed, and the suspect grabs a baseball bat from the car and threatens to beat the cop with it. The cop has only two options:  Let the suspect (prey in toe) go or use sufficient force to stop him. Something short of brutality might not be significant. If the Black trans woman was the daughter of a BLM activist, surely even BLM activists would agree that brutality is permissible if there is no other way to stop the brutality that the ex-con would likely inflict on the trans woman.

The relevant issue is whether a cop has used excessive force. BLM could legitimately protest excessive (more than necessary) force by police against a Black person. BLM, however, typically labels any force used by police that harms the suspect as “brutality,” even when the force used was necessary to detain the suspect. That labeling is almost always illegitimate and deceptive. Sadly, however, such labeling is politically useful. Talking about “excessive force” instead of “brutality” would implicitly concede that some force was appropriate. Making that concession would lead to a conversation about the suspect’s conduct. That conversation won’t fit on a placard and cannot be chanted. Even in instances in which excessive force was a possibility, having to talk about the conduct of the person under arrest detracts from the more compelling “What do we want? Dead Cops! When do we want them? Now!”[xiv] and “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon”[xv] messaging. Also, if the suspect resisted arrest, the amount of force that would be necessary to subdue the suspect is unknowable and, therefore, debatable. BLM discards these ambiguities because a  grassroots movement that is propelled by emotions will die absent simple messages.

The George Floyd Narrative. The incident that triggered the current BLM-lead uprising arose from the video of “the two faces, Officer Chauvin on top, George Floyd on the bottom, having Officer Chauvin’s knee on his neck. And the image of face — the expression on Officer Chauvin’s anger, dominating position, just in total control of the situation,”[xvi] as Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart (Ret.) described it. That description of the event and others like it underlie BLM’s outrage over the death of George Floyd. The characterization projected on Officer Chauvin (an angry dominator) may be accurate, but only Chauvin knows which of the many attitudes cast on him is correct. A projected attitude that cannot be disproven is that Officer Chauvin was calmly and professionally following his department’s protocol for dealing with a detainee suffering from positional asphyxia, i.e., Chauvin was not angry or domineering, but attempting to save the life “suffering the effects of a self-administered toxic overdose of fentanyl, a dangerously powerful synthetic painkiller signs of which ‘include severe respiratory depression, seizures, hypotension, coma and death.’ According to his toxicology report, Floyd had over three times the potentially lethal amount of fentanyl in his blood when he expired.”[xvii] The latest BLM uprising appears to have been predicated on a misdiagnosis of what happened when George Floyd died.


[i] What’s Going On? – Part I The Mess, What’s Going On? – Part II Black Lives Do Matter, Problems Aplenty, What’s Going On? – Part III Black Lives Do Matter, The “Do-Gooders’” Slate, What’s Going On? – Part IV Black Lives Do Matter, Do-Gooders’ War On Poverty, What’s Going On? – Part V Black Lives Do Matter, Unfair Discriminatory Structures, What’s Going On? – Part VI Black Lives Do Matter, The Stereotyping Problem, and What’s Going On? – Part VII Black Lives Do Matter, Dashed Hopes

[ii] Black Lives Matter Releases Policy Agenda (Like so many other BLM webpages, the page that included that claim is no longer available.)

[iii]  What is BLM?

[iv] Heather Mac Donald: The Truth About Crime, Race, and Policing in America and Radio host Larry Elder contrasts numbers on white and black Americans ‘killed by cops’ last year “How many unarmed blacks were killed by cops last year? 9. How many unarmed whites were killed by cops last year? 19,” [Larry Elder] tweeted Tuesday. “More officers are killed every year than are unarmed blacks…”

[v] ‘America is not racist’ Heather Mac Donald breaks down BLM, cancel culture & wokeness – BQ #29 @1:20

[vi] Id. @13:00

[vii] Heather Mac Donald: The Truth About Crime, Race, and Policing in America @7:45 and

[viii] Id. @9:00

[ix] Id. @9:45 and Police Go Where the Crime Is

[x]  Heather Mac Donald calls Black Lives Matter movement ‘extraordinarily reckless,’ based on ‘utter hypocrisy’

[xi] How Many Unarmed Black Americans Are Killed By Police?

[xii] Coleman Hughes: The moral case against Black Lives Matter @21:55

[xiii] ‘Black Lives Matter’ Is Not Helping Blacks

[xiv] FLASHBACK: Al Sharpton’s Marchers in New York City Chant “What Do We Want? Dead Cops!”

[xv] “Pigs in a blanket fry em like bacon!” This was July 2016 before last election!

[xvi] “Please, Take Your Knee Off Our Necks So We Can Breathe”

[xvii] Chauvin, Lane, Kueng, and Thao: The George Floyd Fall Guys

What’s Going On? – Part VIII Black Lives Do Matter, BLM Misdirection

Because Black lives do matter so much, a movement to deal with Blacks’ many valid grievances is necessary and overdue. Let’s sort out why BLM is not that movement.

BLM focuses its attention, time, resources, and efforts on (1) a wide array of issues that are not unique to Blacks,[i] and (2) the grievances of “marginalized” people, the majority of whom are not Black,[ii] e.g., LGBTQIA+. Regardless of those other grievances’ merit, such focus will likely improve the lives of non-Blacks more than the lives of Blacks.

BLM once listed those extraneous grievances on its “What We Believe” webpage. While the page was sweepingly revised, the information is still findable.[iii]) Perhaps it dawned on BLM that publicizing its support of extraneous movements revealed how much of BLM’s agenda is not about Blacks. However, all the off-topic groups are still part of the movement and integral to BLM.

Directing BLM resources to non-Black matters leaves fewer resources to address Black matters, i.e., Black lives will improve less than BLM’s power, reach, and resources could produce if BLM focused on issues that mostly affect Blacks. Worse, many of BLM’s initiatives harm Blacks.

According to Wikipedia, “Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a decentralized movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against Black people… an organization known simply as Black Lives Matter exists as a decentralized network with about 16 chapters in the United States and Canada.” So, BLM does not speak with one voice. Some things about BLM, however, are certain.

BLM’s current “What Matters” webpage says, “BLM’s #WhatMatters2020 will focus on issues concerning racial injustice, police brutality, criminal justice reform, Black immigration, economic injustice, LGBTQIA+ and human rights, environmental injustice, access to healthcare, access to quality education, and voting rights and suppression.” Also, “to continue to pressure ICE, and to draw attention to the need for immigration reform.”

Many of the issues on the list disproportionately help non-Blacks:

Liberals, Conservatives,[iv] and Libertarians[v] support some BLM criminal justice reforms, e.g., reducting unnecessary police brutality, independent investigations of officer-involved shootings, police body cameras, hiring more minority officers, and more mental-healthcare funding.[vi] BLM, Conservatives, and Libertarians support attenuating the power of police unions to protect bad cops.

On the other hand, BLM supports criminal reform that would cause Black crime to be less risky and more profitable.[vii] Crime already pays so much that too many people (disproportionately Black people) find it worthwhile. Reducing the costs of crime and reducing the likelihood of getting arrested will increase the number of criminals on the streets. Because the streets of poor Black communities are where a disproportion of criminals hang out, Black people will disproportionately bear the brunt of more criminals on the street.

“Police Brutality” that is unnecessary to prevent harm to innocent Blacks is opposed by almost everyone. BLM, however, condemns all police brutality, which includes brutality that is required to arrest someone who is committing or has committed a violent crime. When a person brutally resists arrest, brutality on the part of the police may be required to get the violent criminal to stop or get off the streets. Stopping violent crimes and keeping violent criminals out of Black communities is best for the vast majority of Blacks.

The “Black immigration” initiative includes the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).[viii] “Abolish ICE” would benefit far more Hispanics than Blacks. While lawful immigration benefits Americans, most people entering the country without authorization (ICE’s primary focus) disproportionately drive down low- and middle-income wages, which disproportionately hurts the earnings and job opportunities of impoverished Blacks. Also, the inevitable disproportionate increases in Hispanic voters will decrease Blacks’ political power.

BLM places a high priority on LGBTQIA+ matters.[ix] However, a higher percentage of Hispanics claim to be LGBT than Blacks, and the rate of LGBT growth by Blacks has been slower than the rate of LGBT growth by Hispanics, Asians, and Whites.[x]

BLM is anti-religion.[xi] Blacks are more religious than Whites, Hispanics, and most “Others.”

Destroying institutions that Blacks disproportionately value and rely on to improve their lives would not be part of an organization whose primary goal was to improve Black lives.

BLM proposes “defunding the police”[xii] or “abolition of the police.”[xiii] However, 80% of Blacks want the same or more policing, and “Black respondents were more likely to want more police presence than white, Asian, and all adults overall… The overwhelming support for current levels of policing even holds among black respondents who say they see the police often or very often. Two in three of those say they would like to see the police the same amount or more…”[xiv] Why? Because violent criminality disproportionately torments Black neighborhoods.

As I sorted out in “Slowing the “School-to-Prison Pipeline”—At What Cost?,” BLM’s ban[xv] on “zero tolerance” discipline in schools[xvi] has been devastating for Blacks. Making those policies more widespread would make things worse for Blacks.

BLM supports ending[xvii] and circumventing[xviii] cash bail. Michel Foucault fulminations[xix] to the contrary notwithstanding, societies must have a reasonably functional justice system. At a minimum, just and civil societies must convict and punish criminals to an extent sufficient to keep criminality at reasonable levels. Fair convictions of criminals require the presence of the accused. Jailing everyone charged with a crime to ensure attendance would be infeasible and unjust to the innocent people.

To strike a balance between jailing the innocent and ensuring attendance at trial, courts often “release on bail” defendants who are too dangerous or likely to flee. Bail is the primary means by which courts allow defendants to avoid languishing in jail before trial. (It is the worst possible system, except for all the others conceived ones.) Without the bail system, far more criminals would be on the streets disproportionately hurting or killing innocent people in poor Black communities.

Lawlessness is exceptionally harmful in Black communities. The problems caused by violent crimes are apparent. The issues with non-violent criminality are less obvious, but might be more problematic. Living where one can trust neighbors is vastly nicer than the alternative. People who live with rampant lawlessness rarely thrive. Running a business in lawless communities is much more hazardous, risky, and expensive than elsewhere — all of which raise the cost of doing business. Higher costs result in higher prices to customers and fewer businesses — thereby inflicting on neighbors higher costs and the inconvenience and expense of traveling farther to shop or work. Many of the businesses in black neighborhoods are Black-owned and employ Blacks. Kids having nearby job opportunities and seeing neighbors succeed in business provide positive role models and instills the morals and work habits necessary to thrive. With too much shoplifting, looting, rioting, or arson, businesses cannot survive, and Black kids are more likely to believe that trying to succeed is a sucker’s game after all.

If Black lives matter to BLM as much as BLM would have us believe, BLM would care more about the Blacks that will be harmed by subverting or eliminating cash bail. An organization that believes Black lives matter would work to fix[xx] the problems with cash bail, not add its elimination to the long list of BLM proposals that would incentivize criminality in Black neighborhoods.

While much of BLM’s agenda concerns criminal justice, nothing in BLM’s agenda aims to close the disproportionately high rate of crimes committed by Blacks.[xxi] On the contrary, BLM’s rhetoric causes more Blacks to believe the police are “hunting them down.”[xxii] Whether or not BLM’s claims about police targeting Blacks are true, the message increases the indignation of Blacks when they are detained by police. As a consequence of that message, Blacks disproportionately become understandingly indignant when detained by police and resist arrests.[xxiii] That conduct results in the rate of Black arrests for resisting arrest being many multiples of the rate for Whites.[xxiv] The resulting disproportionate confrontations far too often wind up with Blacks being killed by police.   Dismantle patriarchal practices? How could doing that disproportionately help Blacks? There are plenty of “studies” and articles that tout the benefits to women of having the freedom to scrap men from their family life (and plenty about the resulting harm to children). I am aware of only one compelling argument that jettisoning men from families disproportionately benefits Black families. That argument is that Black men are more violent or otherwise problematic for Black families than men of other races. If that is true, it is likely because government welfare programs have disproportionately made the presence of Black men in the home an economic burden on the family — the opposite of the situation in Black families before the War on Poverty type programs began — which BLM supports.

Disrupt Western culture? It was Western culture that brought about the end of slavery being acceptable in the world. People who adhere to Western cultural norms fare better than people who do not.

In par, Whites fare better in American than most other races because they accept Western Values and the cultural aspects and assumptions that go with them. Is there something about Blacks that would prevent them from adopting those advantageous aspects and assumptions? I certainly think and hope not. BLM claims that Blacks are disadvantaged. There is some truth to that. One of their disadvantages is being encouraged to reject Western culture.

None of the above excuses systemic or police wrongdoing against Blacks. I condemn those.  Nor does it suggest that reform is unneeded. It is. However, projects/movements to reduce mistreatments and deaths of Blacks that do the opposite are perverse.[xxv] Yet, that is what BLM’s proposals do. Perhaps reducing mistreatments and deaths of Black is not BLM agenda.

All of the above could cause one to suspect that BLM is primarily about things other than fixing what matters to Blacks. Let’s sort out what those other things might be in the next post in this series.


[i] Zuby – The Problem with Black Lives Matter, and The Complex Funding and Ideology of Black Lives Matter, BLM Leaders in Their Own Words,

[ii] 24 Ways to Donate in Support of the Black Lives Matter Movement Right Now

[iii] After being unmasked BLM removes ‘What We Believe’ from website

  Examples from BLM’s What We Believe page:

  • “We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.
  • We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.
  • We engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.
  • We dismantle the patriarchal practice…
  • We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure
  • We foster a queer‐affirming network…”

[iv] Criminal justice reform on display at GOP convention, in panel with Ohioans

[v] The Libertarian: Law, Policing, And Criminal Justice Reform

[vi] A House Committee Should Stand Up for Mental Health and CAMPAIGN ZERO

[vii] Top 10 Reasons I Won’t Support the #BlackLivesMatter Movement

[viii] Black Lives Matter Founder: DNC Platform Must Call for Defunding Police, Abolishing ICE

[ix] From the start, Black Lives Matter has been about LGBTQ lives

[x] In U.S., Estimate of LGBT Population Rises to 4.5%

[xi] Why Supporting Black Lives Matter Is Anti-Christian And Anti-Life

[xii] #DefundThePolice

[xiii] Black Lives Matter Philadelphia organizer proposes five-year plan to abolish police

[xiv] Gallup: 80 Percent of Black Americans Want the Same or More Police in Their Neighborhoods, The Left Wants to Abolish the Police. Does the Black Community?, Tyler Perry: “I think we need more police” 

[xv] BLM AT SCHOOL

[xvi] Zero tolerance

[xvii] Black Lives Matter Recruiting Court Watchers For Bailout Program, Bail reform laws let alleged criminals back on the streets within hours, threatening public security

[xviii] The Best Places to Donate to Help Black Lives Matter Protestors

[xix] Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison

[xx] How Cash Bail Works “The cash bail system is unfair to low-income people and people of color, but there are ways to fix it.”

[xxi] Heather Mac Donald And Glenn Loury On Policing, Race, And Ideological Conformity

[xxii] LeBron James on Ahmaud Arbery shooting: ‘We’re literally hunted everyday’

[xxiii] African-Americans Arrested for Resisting Arrest at a Larger Rate in San Diego

[xxiv] Id.

[xxv] BLM Has No Interest in Helping Black People , ‘Black Lives Matter’ Is Not Helping Blacks

The Truth Is Still Hard For The New York Times.

The New York Times published another crock of fear this morning. It came on the heels of Trump leaving the hospital with COVID-19 and several comorbidities, climbing a tall flight of stairs, and his urging Americans not to live in fear of COVID-19. The “Rational Fear” story was at the top of NYTs morning email feed.

The piece said, “Most other rich countries have been much more successful in fighting the virus than the U.S,” and presented a chart which was allegedly the “simplest way to see this.” The chart allegedly illustrates the deaths per million for Europe, Canada, and the U.S. (It did not present the numbers for Africa, a continent where hydroxychloroquine is an over-the-counter drug and taken by almost everyone because it is cheap and reduces the risk of malaria.) The U.S. allegedly has just over 600 deaths per million (0.06% of the population), while Europe and Canada have just over 300 and 200, respectively (while Africa has about 30).

Those numbers would be both shocking and damning of America’s handling of the pandemic if the numbers were comparable. The numbers are gibberish if they are not comparable.

Dr. Birx announced during a task force meeting that the U.S. numbers are not comparable to the numbers reported by other countries. (See linked video.) Moreover, the CDC guidance on COVID-19 reporting says, “In cases where a definite diagnosis of COVID–19 cannot be made, but it is suspected or likely (e.g., the circumstances are compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty), it is acceptable to report COVID–19 on a death certificate as ‘probable’ or ‘presumed’.” A confirming test for COVID-19 is not required. Surely, Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, Fins, Danes… would neither contaminate their scientific data as the U.S. has nor want to put their county in a bad light with overstated COVID-19 death.

Whether or not you believe Democrat politicians have fear mongered to defeat Trump, many people, including doctors and nurses who report COVID-19 deaths, believe that putting Trump’s handling of the pandemic in as bad a light as possible helps achieve what is best for the country. Some of those reporters erred on the side of reporting COVID-19 or lied about their “presumptions.”

In short, the New York Times used incomparable data to produce fake news.

Biden, who knows what jubilates his base, went so far as to blame all 200,000+ deaths on Trump’s handling of the pandemic. (If he believes that, his mental condition is worse than many fear.) Biden must believe that absurdity works on Democrats as much as Democrats think absurdity works on Republicans.

This is another example of how “The Truth Is Hard For the New York Times.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkbc7eO2T94

What’s Going On? – Part VII Black Lives Do Matter, Dashed Hopes

Parts I – VI[i] of this series described mostly well-intended policies that harmed Blacks and produced valid grievances. Let’s now sort out perhaps the single most debilitating and confounding consequence of the serial failures of multiple attempts to address problems unique to Blacks in America. Before the War on Poverty, Blacks were making great strides legally, politically, socially, and economically (closing the income gap with Whites[ii]). A primary reason for that progress was that Blacks had vastly higher hopes then than now.[iii] Let’s sort out how the combination of serial broken policy promises and accompanying messaging has made addressing Black problems so hard to alleviate.

Humans are “loss averse.”[iv] Loss aversion causes the sadness from a broken promise to be more impactful than the happiness and hopes the promise induced. Hope is essential to setting and achieving goals, e.g., escaping generational poverty. Dashed hopes also increase pessimism. Pessimism saps motivation to pursue goals, and it takes “a toll on [people’s] mental health, their physical health may take a beating, too. While it may be useful in isolation or moderation, pessimism is associated with anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, hostility, high blood pressure, and heart disease”[v] — thereby physically reducing one’s ability to pursue goals.

The serial dashing of Black hopes and happiness created tragic results in inner-city communities. Without hope that progress is possible, many Blacks to believe that education is for suckers.[vi] (Fortunately, there are extraordinary exceptions, but the norm is clear.) Sadly, that hopelessness is not baseless.[vii] Far too many inner-city kids do not desire to learn, and the schools available to them are not conducive to learning.

Black leaders know how debilitating those beliefs are.[viii] Sadly, most Black leaders try to address problems by doubling down on the policies that cause debilitating thoughts. Perhaps the most momentous dashed hope suffered by Blacks was President Obama’s failure to deliver on his promises to Blacks.[ix] So, the cycle continues and convincing inner-city Black students to work hard at school becomes progressively harder.

Part of “What’s Going On” is that Americans are reaping the whirlwind of decades of dashed dreams produced by flawed analyses, terrible messaging, and repeated doubling down on policies that dashed dreams.[x] Describing what is awful about the messaging reveals why doubling down will make matters worse.

“Racism Stacks the Deck Against Blacks

Continually reminding Blacks that the deck is stacked against them is demotivating. Directing attention to racism rather than what stacked the deck keeps Blacks ill-informed and supporting policies that hurt them. That messaging also creates a worse problem.

Consider the following messages:

  1. Nice people, who wished nothing but the best for Blacks, built structures that unintentionally disadvantaged Blacks. Those people now want to fix those structures; or
  2. Anti-Black racists built structures that intentionally disadvantage Blacks. As long as those racists are around, a democratic process will not fix the problems.

Despite Message A being closer to the truth,[xi] Blacks hear messages similar to the false and hope-killing Message B.

Let’s expand on how Message B. hurts Blacks:

  • Students hearing Message A. will likely believe the people who built the structures will fix them. Students hearing Message B. are more likely to think that the structures will remain — absent major change.  Many believe that justice requires burning down the structures. (Sound familiar?[xii])
  • Message B. causes many Blacks to feel education is for suckers. Peer pressure not to “act white” is high and often violent.[xiii] Kids who do not want to learn won’t. No amount of money poured into schools can make kids willing to be a bullying victim.[xiv]
  • Thankfully, there are paths out of generational poverty for highly talented Blacks without a good education and a typical black person. About half of Black American households are in the middle to upper classes.[xv] The other half, however, need an education to succeed anywhere in the modern world.
  • Jobs that do not require an education, e.g., robbery, theft, drug trafficking, pimping, prostitution, are dangerous, unhealthy, and high-stress paths to dead-ends, prison, or death. Maintaining a wholesome family life or gaining the dignity[xvi] of providing income and security for one’s family with a dead-end job is unlikely. As if that were not bad enough, being unhealthy causes Blacks to be more susceptible to diseases, e.g., COVID-19.
  • Convincing Blacks that racism is causing their problems ignites outrage based on falsehoods[xvii] (e.g., a Black cop killing a Black man = racism). Baseless anger and falsely blaming others helps no one and prevents focus on what would help.

Everyone has troubles and blessings. No matter one’s grievances/blessings ratio, one can choose to count blessings or woes. Counting one’s blessings is essential to living a good life.[xviii] It’s no wonder that counting one’s blessings is emphasized in at least five of the six primary religions. Consequently, urging Blacks to focus on the things stacked against them typically dooms them to unhappiness, perpetual grievances, and misbehavior. Misbehavior spawns even more troubles.[xix]

“Systemic Racism Is Holding Blacks Back”

The messaging that “systemic racism” holds Blacks back has the same flaws as “Racism Stacks the Deck Against Blacks,” and more:

Disproportion Does Not Equal Racism.  Some non-racist[xx] government “structures” heavily subsidize things Whites care more about, e.g., ballet, symphony, and opera, and lightly subsidize art forms of other cultures. Unlike the unconstitutional laws of seventy years ago, anti-Black preferential structures are virtually non-existent today.[xxi] (Those remaining should go.) Conversely, many more pro-Black “structures” exist today.[xxii]

Evidence that structural racism is insignificant is that the ACLU and others have been suing and eliminating racist laws and practices for over seventy years. Courts have struck down consistently struck down structural racism. If BLM or anyone else could list anti-Black structures, the list would be used for political purposes. Those lists do not exist.

Nevertheless, in terms of wealth, income, and other metrics under existing structures, Whites and Asians fare far better than Blacks.[xxiii] While lingering effects of past racist systems remain, contrary to what many leftists would have us believe, those disproportional effects are hardly evidence of racism now. [Sorting out all the problems created by conflating the effects of past racism with imagined racism today is critical but beyond the scope of this post.]

As an example, consider infrastructure. Roads are structures essential to the economy. Whites might disproportionately use or generate income from roads. But everyone is free to use them as much as they like — despite Whites paying disproportionately more of the taxes that fund their construction and maintenance.

Everything would be more expensive without maintained roads — which would disproportionately hurt poor people (and Whites are not disproportionately poor). Ambulances use roads to rush people of all colors to hospitals, and roads are required to stock stores patronized by everyone. Infrastructure cannot be legitimately be characterized as a “racist structure.” Yet Blacks hear otherwise and are understandably inflamed.

Illusory Enemy. Political strategists in countries that despise racism know that characterizing a project as a fight against racism helps the cause. In those countries, however, finding significant racism is nearly impossible.[xxiv]

So, strategists attempt to redefine[xxv] “racism” so that actual racism is optional. Disproportion will do.[xxvi] For a growing number of people, the resulting definition is functionally equivalent to “anything that non-Whites believe doesn’t help them.” Things Blacks believe don’t help them are not just bad; they are evil. This strategy instills unjustified and counterproductive outrage among Blacks. Worse, it stretches “racism” to include things mildly bad or even benign.[xxvii] “Racist” becomes so ambiguous that it is nearly meaningless.[xxviii] To be socially useful, being called a racist must sting when it hits the mark. Being called a racist when the target merely believes that a BLM proposal will hurt Blacks has no sting. If the target’s analysis is correct, being a “racist” could be a badge of bravery and honor. Taking the sting out of being called a “racist” harms Blacks.

To encourage Blacks to add imaginary troubles to their counts of woes is perhaps the saddest of the left’s messaging.

If the BLM’s goals were to alleviate legitimate Black grievances, it would live up to its name. Let’s sort out what BLM is up to in the next post in this series.


[i] What’s Going On? – Part I The Mess, What’s Going On? – Part II Black Lives Do Matter, Problems Aplenty, What’s Going On? – Part III Black Lives Do Matter, The “Do-Gooders’” Slate, What’s Going On? – Part IV Black Lives Do Matter, Do-Gooders’ War On Poverty, What’s Going On? – Part V Black Lives Do Matter, Unfair Discriminatory Structures, and What’s Going On? – Part VI Black Lives Do Matter, The Stereotyping Problem

[ii] What’s Going On? – Part IV Black Lives Do Matter, Do-Gooders’ War On Poverty

[iii] Condoleezza Rice: Director of the Hoover Institution | Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson @37:14

[iv] Loss aversion

[v] Pessimism

[vi] If Beale Street Could Talk; Would There Be Any Black Men Around To Listen My Friend?

[vii] Miss Virginia

[viii] OBAMA:NOTION OF ‘ACTING WHITE’ HAS TO GO

[ix] After the Obama disappointment, black voters want more than empty symbolism

[x][x]  Wealth, Poverty, and Politics @ 23:07 “Those who have promoted the prevailling social vision, in which lags, gaps or disparities to the deteriment of black people are the fault of white people are trapped in the corrollary that these lags, gaps or disparities should disapear, once those other people are constrtined by civil rights laws and policies. But nothing of the sort has happened.”

[xi] What’s Holding Blacks Back? “[False claim:] Most black people are poor (and middle-class blacks are statistical noise). Almost half of the blacks surveyed in a Gallup poll supposed that three out of four black people live in inner cities. Yet in 2001 most black people are neither poor nor even close to it: by any estimation, middle-class blacks outnumber poor ones. And at last count, only one in five blacks lived in the inner city.

[xii] BLM leader: If change doesn’t happen, then ‘we will burn down this system’ and UNHINGED: CNN’s Don Lemon: “We’re Going To Have To Blow Up The Entire System”

[xiii] Miss Virginia

[xiv]  AN ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF ‘ACTING WHITE’  “Gaining a better understanding of peer e§ects which contribute to black underachievement is of paramount importance in forming public policy and the subject of this paper… Individuals exposed to these social interactions have disincentives to invest in particular behaviors (i.e. education, ballet, proper speech) due to the fact that they may be rejected by their social peer group.”

In America; A Nation of Nitwits “Some African-American students, unable to extricate themselves from the quicksand of self-defeat, have adopted the incredibly stupid tactic of harassing fellow blacks who have the temerity to take their studies seriously. According to the poisonous logic of the harassers, any attempt at acquiring knowledge is a form of “acting white,” and that, of course, is to be shunned at all costs.”

[xv] African-American middle class

[xvi] The Benefits of Work to the Worker—A Timeless Issue

[xvii] What’s Going On? – Part VI Black Lives Do Matter, The Stereotyping Problem, What’s Going On? – Part V Black Lives Do Matter, Unfair Discriminatory Structures, and 7 Statistics That Show That ‘Systemic Racism’ Doesn’t Exist In Policing:

[xviii] Gratitude and the Good Life and 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude

[xix]  African Americans cited for resisting arrest at high rate in S.F. “African Americans in San Francisco are cited for resisting arrest at a rate eight times greater than whites even when serious crimes are not involved, according to statistics drawn from court records.”

[xx] What’s Going On? – Part V Black Lives Do Matter, Unfair Discriminatory Structures

[xxi] Taking Racism Seriously—And Literally and BLACKOUT: HOW BLACK AMERICA CAN FIGHT BACK AGAINST THE DEMOCRAT PARTY’S LONG HISTORY OF RACISM @17:35

[xxii] See endnote i.

[xxiii] One Does Not Know Where an Insight Will Come From” | People I (Mostly) Admire: Kerwin Charles

[xxiv] From the Left: Bret and Heather 47th DarkHorse Podcast Livestream: Butler Did It @56:30 and from the Right:  Ben Shapiro DEBUNKS Viral ‘Systemic Racism Explained’ Video

[xxv] ‘Racism has been redefined’ Bret Weinstein on woke science & how humans succeed – BQ #31, The problem with the left’s attempts to redefine racism, and Stop redefining racism: “Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know/like it or not.”

[xxvi] The Myth of Systemic Racism

[xxvii] Wanting to secure the border is labeled “racist.” Most unauthorized crossings are by low-skilled workers who flood that labor market, which drives down the job opportunities and pay the labor market in which low-skilled Blacks compete. See endnote xx and DEAR LIBERALS: NO, THERE’S NOTHING RACIST ABOUT SECURING BORDERS…

[xxviii] Thomas Sowell: Claims of ‘Systemic Racism’ Have ‘No Meaning,’ Resemble Nazi Propaganda

/The Social Dilemma – A Review

Netflix’s /The Social Dilemma, an exposé on social media, is informative and important. [It does not, however, absolve Netflix of its public disservice entitled “Cuties” (which I have not watched).] It describes the magnitude of a serious dilemma: Social media bestows unfathomable benefits on humanity/society, but humans are gravely harmed by it, and societies cannot survive social media its current incarnation.

About a year ago, I wrote a six-part blog series on “Free Speech and Big Tech.” The third installment discussed “Free Speech and Big Tech – The Conundrum.” The gist was that we couldn’t live with or without social media. /The Social Dilemma’s riff on the subject adds observations, explanations, and insights by mostly former executives and key developers of the big social media platforms, many of whom were very impressive.

The flick convincingly explained just how addictive and effective social media has become at manipulating users. With fascinating details, they also explain how and why social platforms (1) became so dominant and influential, (2) are addictive, and (3) are harmful, especially for kids under 16.

While quite a bit of time was devoted to pointing out that users are not Big Tech’s customers, the information users give to Big Tech is the product. (The adage, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu,” comes to mind.) While true, dwelling on this relatively insignificant point added little to the thesis. Perhaps it was necessary to stir emotions.

The cast absolved the social media company founders of intentions to build a human-consuming monster, i.e., none believed that Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, etc. intended or expected the problems their platforms have created. (I do not doubt that.)

However well-intended the founders were, they built a human-consuming, tyrannical monster that is growing more powerful by the nanosecond. If anyone doubts that action is required to mitigate the harm and retain the benefits of social media, that there is no doubt should be evident to everyone, except possibly those who have not learned history’s lessons about tyranny.

The movie’s riff on Big Tech’s “fact-checking” being a farse (Big Tech cannot know or find out what is and is true) is a public service. However, it would have been better had they beefed this segment up a bit. For example, they could have added that the expertise of social media companies’ experts concerns social media platform development and operation. Those people cannot also be the top experts in art, science, law, medicine, philosophy, history, current events… So, they cannot have the expertise to determine the validity of a fact they want “fact-checked.” Facts needing a check typically concern matters about which there is controversy. That the platform needs to outsource the fact-checking means the platform lacks the expertise to declare a winner in debates between qualified scientists, economists, political philosophers, etc.

But the situation is worse than that. Everyone is biased, especially people involved in “fact-checking.” The impact of bias starts with the decision to check a fact. To check or not to check depends on whether the reviewing employee suspects a claim to be sufficiently false and harmful to warrant an intervention. Unavoidably, the decision to “fact-check” depends on the employee’s values, political persuasions, the interests of the company, and the employee’s self-interest. A highly biased or politically motivated employee is less likely to suspect a false claim that confirms her biases and more likely to doubt a valid claim contrary to her prejudices. Bias also affects which biased “fact-checker” will “fact-check.” That process has no chance of consistently finding the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. See also, “The Truth Is Hard For The New York Times.”

Back to the review: Social media’s power to manipulate the user’s actions and beliefs is tremendous, and As noted above, A.I. is increasing that power every nanosecond. A social media platform’s profit is a function of how much it can cause users to believe and do what the platform’s customers (advertisers and tyrants) want them to believe or do. The more time a user spends on a social media platform, the more power the platform has to manipulate the user. So, Big Tech developers make their platforms as addictive as possible. With the help of A.I., they have gotten very good at it (as their trillions in revenue attest). The data presented about the manipulative power of platforms and the resulting negative consequences on humans, especially those under 16, are shocking.


I take exception to a few of the pictures’ points, but only one was egregious enough to discuss. Sadly, the egregious point was its conclusion.

The conclusion argued that the solution to the dilemma (heaving the bathwater without the baby might be impossible) is to cede the power to regulate social media to the government. All that preceded the conclusion lays bare the danger of the proposed solution.

Before the conclusion, the flick advanced the sound proposition that social media is too powerful. Although not in the movie, a good case can be made that the handful of executives at the top of the top social media companies have greater power to influence politicians and bureaucrats than the country’s many million voters.

In general, those with power have the means to arrogate more power. The Constitution mitigated those means with a system of limited powers and “checks and balances.” While the Constitution was more respected and defended than it has been for the last 120 years, it was reasonably able to impede the aggregation of power by checking the power of the powerful.  Sadly, politicians who whittle on the Constitution’s checks and balances have been repeatedly elected and reelected. The resulting undermining of the Constitution is a large contributor to the mess we are in today.

The current arrangement between politicians/the Deep State and Big Tech (You don’t tread on me, and I’ll not tread on you) enables each side to check the other to some degree. Unfortunately, they are checking each other to advance their interests at the expense of the public. While the corrupt and destructive arrangement is deplorable, having some checks it better than having no checks. Therein lies the flaw of the film’s conclusory policy prescription.

If the power to regulate Big Tech were ceded to politicians, politicians could dictate to Big Tech what it must be banned and what the public will to see. As is being demonstrated in China, a government with that much power will use its political and technological monopolies for its benefit, with little regard for human rights or the public interest. To its credit, Google shut down its cites in China to protest China’s tyrannical censorship of its people,[i] but that was after it had greatly expanded China’s ability to manipulate, control, and oppress its citizens. It has used that power to harass and influence its neighbors as well. Not all Big Tech companies similarly put ethics ahead of profits. For example, “Microsoft-owned properties such as Xbox, Bing, Outlook, and LinkedIn have generally been allowed to operate in China…”[ii]

For more on how bad ceding that much power to the government would be, see “Free Speech and Big Tech – The Problem,” “Free Speech and Big Tech – The Most Negative Consequence,” “Free Speech and Big Tech – How To Make Things Worse,” and “Free Speech and Big Tech – The Legislative Betrayal.”

Allowing the government to regulate Big Tech would (1) remove checks on U.S. politicians, and (2) grant politicians far more power than was imaginable by the founders.  Checks on government power need to be re-established and fortified. Some checks on Big Tech are needed as well. Combining the powers of both in the hands of politicians would be a disaster. Regulation is not the only way to check power. For example, the content of news outlets is barely regulated. However, it is mightily checked by court-enforced violations of other people’s rights. Such is not the case with Big Tech.

As discussed in more detail in Free Speech and Big Tech – What To Do, 47 U.S. Code § 230 granted to “interactive computer services,” e.g., social media platforms, an exemption from being sued liable, slander, and other torts for which newspapers, magazines, and other publishers are liable.[iii]  The exemption was predicated on the following finding:

(3) The Internet and other interactive computer services offer a forum for a true diversity of political discourse, unique opportunities for cultural development, and myriad avenues for intellectual activity.

The rationale for exemption was that the forums (“platforms”) should not be treated as publishers because the platforms would be places where users posted “truly diverse” political discourse.

Now that interactive computer services are curating content and stifling true diversity and selectively “fact-checking.” They are selectively taking down any opinions adverse to platform’s preferred memes. Consequently, the justification for the exemption has no longer exists.

I described what should be done about Big Tech’s abuse of power in Free Speech and Big Tech – What To Do. In light of the cases made by /The Social Dilemma, I am now more open to the possibility that imposing some limited and carefully crafted limitations on what interactive computer services can do with personal data collected from users could do more good than harm.


[i] Google Shuts China Site in Dispute Over Censorship

[ii] A short history of Microsoft in China

[iii] Nick Sandmann’s lawyer targets 5 media giants in new round of lawsuits, Nicholas Sandmann announces settlement with Washington Post in defamation lawsuit, and CNN settlement with Covington student Nick Sandmann a win for the ‘little guy,’ expert says