Your Lying Eyes

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04 October 2005

Back In Service!

I spent a few days in the hospital - everything's just ducky - and thought I missed all the fun with the Bill Bennett controversy. But I was watching O'Reilly last night and he has on some young (articulate, as the sportswriters say) black guy arguing that blacks actually commit crimes less frequently than whites, while O'Reilly insists that it's poverty that causes crime, not race. So there's still some life in this story. And this is the best part - the fun part - about these controversies - you get to see all kinds of different people get to demonstrate that they are either stupid or liars.
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Now admittedly Bill Bennett is a bit of a buffoon. I say this based entirely on his recent outing as a gambling addict. I wouldn't begrudge anyone his addiction - but do it in style. That's what was wrong with Clinton's sex addiction - he seemed to indulge it without any standards. When JFK bedded (we desperately want to believe) Marilyn Monroe, that was a sin befitting the man's stature. But taking a guick bj off the oval office with a chubby 20 year old intern - that was an offence that just deserved no quarter. So how did Bennett indulge his gaming impulses? Betting the hard way at a craps table? Growling "hit me" showing 16 in blackjack? Inside betting at roulette? Sadly, Big Bill preferred to blow his millions playing slots in private rooms in the casino, like some old farts on a bus trip to Atlantic City. But that's neither here nor there, because the hoardes of buffoons attacking Bennett are the story here.
For the record, here's Bennett's remarks:
But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.
At first the outrage centered on Bennett's alleged call for genocide, which of course he didn't do and so the focus shifted to the implication that blacks have higher crime rates than the country as a whole. Ok, so that might not quite be like implying that the sky is blue, but I would have thought that if there was any statement you could make about race and not be pilloried, it would be that blacks have higher rates of crime than whites. But truth has little to do with race rhetoric. So you get the young black man on O'Reilly and various white liberals insisting that blacks don't really commit more crime than whites: Who ya gonna believe, my pious, pusillanimous platitudes or Your Lying Eyes?

The idea of dividing whites into "racists" and "non-racists" is itself an interesting game. The word "racism" could import some meaning if it weren't perverted over the last 40 years into essentially meaning "observant and honest." I don't know any white people who do not believe that blacks are a greater crime threat than whites. How can I be sure what others think? Because I don't know any whites who have chosen to live in black neighborhoods (and thus save tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process). Actually, I did meet a white woman who lives with her husband in Harlem (precisely to find affordable NYC housing), but she was under no delusions regarding the danger around them. But almost without exception, no white people will live among blacks. And it's not like white folk find black folk dislikable - in fact whites fill their virtual worlds with black entertainment. No, the reason for the actual segregation that exists can only be explained by fear. So if there is any outrage that Bennett's remarks should engender, it should be this: Why are so many whites so blatanly dishonest about the way they actually feel about race? Why this need to lie to yourself and others?


Blogger Glaivester said...

The supposed higher crime rate of blacks is due to false reporting. For example, we all heard about the riots in L.A. after the Rodney King verdict, but we never heard of the riots that nearly destroyed Portland Oregon after the O.J. verdict.

I mean, did you hear about the week-long blackout? Or about having to rebuild half the city? Or about the massive looting of coffee shops and Abercrombie & Fitch stores?

See? It's the racist media.

October 05, 2005 11:23 AM  
Anonymous jimbo said...

Ziel, the truth is that everyone, you and I included, plays the race card one way or another. The only way it will ever go away is to stop making an issue of it. Yes, I know, why can´t every day be christmas?

Still if blowhards would stop crying "racial-hate crime against immigrants," if former first lady- turned- presidential mother/Marie Antoinette would stop saying the NO refugees should be grateful to Katrina for their better life in the Houston Astrodome and if "moral authorities" like your buffoon Bennett would stop making idiotic comments (and stick to the slots), we´d have a better chance.

Then, what will we blame?

October 07, 2005 10:47 AM  
Anonymous Harlem said...

Bennett's comment was simply idiotic and the result of live radio and talking off the top of your head without thinking through the ramifications of what you are saying. We've all done it (more alligators than people?) but not to a national (albeit pretty small) radio audience.
As usual, the proper course of action for Bennett to take "That may be the stupidest thing I've ever said", "That Sudafed has quite a kick when downed with a Bloody Mary" or something similar was not the way he went.
Those trying to defend him look equally stupid. It was a purely stupid, insensitive comment. If we euthanized (sp?) everyone at age 70, we could fix our health care problem. Is it true? It doesn't matter.
Is Bennett still on the air? To think of the trouble Jimmy the Greek got into for saying blacks run faster is mind boggling in comparison to this. When you do something really stupid, you have to pay for it. Believe me, I know.

October 07, 2005 6:44 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Harlem, exactly what was wrong with what Bennett said? He was not advocating abortion - I know you understand that - he was saying that you can't argue against abortion on practical grounds because you could just as well argue that abortion could have positive effects - and to do this he employed a reductio ad absurdum.
So, again, exactly what was wrong with what he said?

October 07, 2005 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Harlem said...

First, I wasn't in the f*cking Latin Club so don't rub it in.
Next, there are just certain things you don't say. From a technical standpoint, I don't know that there was anything wrong, as in incorrect, with what he said (I wasn't in the Math/Stat Club either)but I can't believe that you don't think it was a foolish thing to say publicly. Are we at that place in our society where we just speak our mind on public airwaves without consideration to the ramifications? If so, here I go:
If we gave half as much a shit about black people as we do oil, we'd have troops in Africa instead of Iraq.
If we'd require immigrants to pass a test before entry rather than applying for citizenship later, we'd have a much stronger economy and school system.
If we'd give convicted murderers and child molesters 15 minutes alone in room with a loaded pistol, we'd have more room in our prisons.
If we legalized suicide, we'd have a much less crowded mental health system.
And my previos entry about wiping out old people.
These entries may or may not be true. I believe completely in freedom of speech so Bennett was free to say what he said. It may be true. Does that make it smart? What was "wrong" is that it was incredibly insensitive.

October 07, 2005 7:42 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Insensitive? That's another way of saying "Don't tell the truth, lie instead"
You still seem to be not getting what Bennett was saying. He wasn't recommending aborting black babies, he was pointing out what an absurd argument it would be to suggest that abortion is bad because some future Albert Schweitzer could be aborted. He pointed out you could just as easily argue that aborting black babies reduces crime - a reprehensible suggestion.
Some of what you indicate as extreme statements I don't find extreme at all. For example:
We SHOULD care more about oil than Africans or any other foreign population. If we cared more for oil and ourselves we wouldn't be in Iraq or Africa.
We SHOULD give immigrants a test so that we only accept immigrants who will make a net contribution to our society.
Giving convicted murderers and child molesters guns to kill themselves I object to because I don't believe we should encougage suicide, generally. I certainly don't find the suggestion worthy of condemnation.
I don't think that the legal status of suicide has any practical impact on whether people choose that option or not.
The basic thing you're missing here is the context behind the outrageous statement. Are you making the outrageous statement for the purpose of ridiculing another argument, or for its own sake? Bennett made the outrageous statement in order to ridicule another argument. Do you get this???

October 07, 2005 8:43 PM  
Anonymous Harlem said...

Apparently, I don't.
I never heard the initial, actual exchange so I acknowlege I might be taking it out of context. If it was designed as an "ironic approach", it clearly didn't fly.
What's your problem with suicide?
Seems to me to be just another "self expression" that is so highly revered in our open, self determination society. Why can you be "anything you want to be" except if it's dead? What obligation does an individual have to continue living? Religion? I reject it.
At this point, I think I have to say that a personaaly find suicide distasteful and a weak persons' way out of a troubled life. And I say that with all respect to one of my very best friends who has lost beloved family members to suicide. I'm not in any way condoning or promoting suicide, but I do wonder why it is such an unacceptable alternative for those who select it. To suggest that they are all mentally ill is way too simplistic.
I'm guessing I've gotten way off the track of this initial Blog but this is where it led me. Sorry for that. Let's get back to talking about the "Book of Virtues" and "Sure Slots in Tahoe" author.

October 07, 2005 9:18 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

I'm guessing I've gotten way off the track of this initial Blog...
Ya think?!

October 07, 2005 9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think. Let's let it die, or should we kill it....?

October 07, 2005 10:41 PM  
Blogger Glaivester said...

It was a purely stupid, insensitive comment. If we euthanized (sp?) everyone at age 70, we could fix our health care problem. Is it true? It doesn't matter.

Excuse me, Harlem, are you saying that you want to euthanize my father, who is over 70. What a despicable ageist you are.

October 10, 2005 12:26 PM  
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