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Monday, June 1, 2020

Blighting Our Cities

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The murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Officer (and psycho?) Derek Chavin while three other police officers stood by should sadden and outrage any human being with a conscience.

So should what's been happening in United States cities in the days and nights following the murder sadden and outrage us: violence, vehicles set on fire, stores looted.

I well remember the consequences of the 1968 riots in Washington, D.C.  An entire section of downtown Washington remained a blight for years upon years:
The property loss caused by the riots was extensive and included damage to 1,199 buildings, including 283 residential and 1,590 commercial units. Losses to at least partially insured properties in the concentrated area of looting and destruction were estimated at $25 million. Insurance covered only 29% of the total loss suffered by these businesses. As a result of the riot damage, an estimated 2,900 insurance policies were cancelled and 500 businesses suffered inflated insurance rates. The Board of Trade estimated a loss of $40 million in tourist trade during April and May including those due to the cancellation of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

The riots devastated Washington's inner city economy. With the destruction or closing of businesses, thousands of jobs were lost, and insurance rates soared. Made uneasy by the violence, white flight from the city accelerated, depressing property values. Crime in the burned out neighborhoods rose sharply, further discouraging investment.

On some blocks, only rubble remained for decades. Columbia Heights and the U Street Corridor did not begin to recover economically until the opening of metro (subway) stations at U Street in 1991 and Columbia Heights stations in 1999, which in turn assisted the areas' gentrification in the 2010s.
The same will happen to these cities being ravaged today.

The destruction of property is no way to grieve — and serves only to perpetuate a particular racial stereotype, thus setting back race relations for years to come.

I weep for our republic and can barely watch the news during these terrible days.

67 comments:

  1. Oh, Lord!

    St. Patrick’s Cathedral desecrated with protest graffiti!

    Something similar has happened to St. John's Church in Washington, D.C.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This time those involved in genuine protest have agitators without noble intentions. They can fuel millions unemployed who have been locked up for months. Both with cash and promises of loot. Only a matter if time until real violence starts. Pray for our country.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Antifa went too far. This is a different DOJ.
    The left is exposing themselves to people who couldn't/wouldn't believe or understand before.
    "Why do I/you need an AR-15?" is not gonna play so well now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or you could prosecute cops and not turn them into a psycho militarized force for a better start.

      Delete
    2. There has never been any actual evidence that Antifa (which is not a real organization) has played a roll in the riots. Accusations of white supremacist groups instigating has also come up but again, without evidence.

      By guess is that it's simply a lot of people are pissed and have had enough.

      Delete
    3. Duck,
      I don't believe that police forces turn officers into psychos. I believe that psychos are drawn to becoming part of the police forces.

      Psychos are also drawn to becoming politicians, too. And other professions as well.

      See The Sociopath Next Door. At least read the Amazon blurb at the link. The link also provides a follow-up book, published this year.

      There are many of the unremoseless among us!

      Delete
    4. Duck: If the rioters weren't militarized (molotov's, masks, marches), maybe we wouldn't need a militarized police force.
      I'd be good with that.

      Ron, If Antifa is not a real organization, who was that group I saw marching in a parade with an Antifa flag last year?

      AOW +1

      Delete
    5. AOW, often we hear that the officer involved has been the object of several abuse complaints as was the case here but was not prosecuted.
      The police as a protected class easily harbor monsters.

      Delete
    6. Ed, from what's being discovered now, it could have been a white supremacists group.

      Delete
    7. Not really. Unless you consider Antifa as such.

      Delete
  4. Between this and COVID, the renaissance of the US city is over.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I believe there is more at work here than the death of George Floyd. Whether the economic shutdown was justified, necessary, or not, millions of people are out of work, uncertain whether or not they will be able to keep a roof over their heads of food on the table for their families.

    Leadership is not assuring them that jobs will come back and that life will return to normal. Leadership is doing the opposite; they are assuring people that those things will not happen soon and adding "if at all."

    The media is stoking the fear, not telling us that 99.97% of us have so far not been killed by the virus, but rather screaming dire headlines that "the death toll has now passed the 100,000 milestone."

    Leadership and the media have been sowing a whole lot of fear for three years; fear of the Russians, fear of the current administration, fear (for the last three months) of "the deadliest virus since the Spanish Flu."

    Fear very easily turns, in a heartbeat, into anger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually believe it might ahve been better not to restart those sports that have been restarted. Those empty stands are a deadly sight. Throwing in our faces what has been taken away from up either by, depending on your point of view, the virus or our government.

      Delete
    2. All the typos and misspellings are what happens when you have Parkinson's and your fingers just don't go where you are pointing them. Usally I take the time to go back and make corrections, but sometimes I'm a little hot under the collar and hit the publish button too quick.

      Delete
    3. Jayhawk... I get a few of those "hot under the collar" typos sometimes too...

      You wrote... "Leadership is not assuring them that jobs will come back and that life will return to normal. Leadership is doing the opposite; they are assuring people that those things will not happen soon and adding 'if at all.'"

      What if what leadership is telling people about those jobs, or that life will not return to the "normal" that once was, is in fact true? Should leadership tell them otherwise?

      Delete
    4. Jayhawk wrote... "Leadership and the media have been sowing a whole lot of fear for three years; fear of the Russians, fear of the current administration, fear (for the last three months) of "the deadliest virus since the Spanish Flu."

      Hasn't this the MO of the Admin for three years? Fear of immigrants, fear of outsiders, fear of other cultures, etc...

      Delete
    5. Jayhawk,
      Fear very easily turns, in a heartbeat, into anger.

      Only too true!

      BTW, I understand what you meant by this as I watched recent NASCAR and other races/sporting events/concerts:

      I actually believe it might ahve been better not to restart those sports that have been restarted. Those empty stands are a deadly sight. Throwing in our faces what has been taken away from up either by, depending on your point of view, the virus or our government. .

      Delete
    6. PS to Jayhawk: Don't worry about those typos.

      Delete
    7. Dave: "Hasn't this the MO of the Admin for three years? Fear of immigrants, fear of outsiders, fear of other cultures, etc..."
      Really? That's not what they've been pushing.
      That's what the left has ACCUSED them of pushing.

      Delete
    8. Well Ed... I'm sure you know that communication is a two way enterprise. Person A says one thing and Person B hears another. Communications experts and missiologists around the globe put the onus on Person A to learn how to communicate in a way that Person B hears the desired message.

      We've found that is the only effective way of communicating the Gospel to different cultures. Why should that be any different here, especially with the wide chasm between the culture of Donald Trump, and quite a few Americans?

      From Hudson Taylor to Don Richardson, we've seen this is THE key to effective communication. What's the difference now?

      Delete
    9. the wide chasm between the culture of Donald Trump, and those media and political hacks with TDS, twisting what he says for profit.
      That's the difference.

      Delete
  6. They're not grieving, they're protesting. I don't agree with riots either, but I don't have a good alternative to recommend they do instead. Don't know what I would do, when strongly-worded letters and peaceful demonstrations don't seem to get the job done. Not saying I would loot, but we can't say that direct action is never justified.
    AFAICT their demands are perfectly reasonable: the same protection under law as white people enjoy; full recourse against police assault or victimization; ideally fair treatment from police in the first place. None of these is extravagent. How long should they be expected to wait for them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @AoW: I also can barely watch the news. I was already avoiding it; I found out about this through friends. It's truly heart-breaking.

      Delete
    2. Jez,
      Don't know what I would do, when strongly-worded letters and peaceful demonstrations don't seem to get the job done. Not saying I would loot, but we can't say that direct action is never justified.

      And if anarchy results, who wins? Nobody!

      As I said in the body of the blog post:

      The destruction of property is no way to grieve — and serves only to perpetuate a particular racial stereotype, thus setting back race relations for years to come.

      Delete
    3. I am always sort of stunned by statements of the "I don't agree with riots either, but I don't have a good alternative to recommend they do instead," nature. I am angry at my neighbor, and I don't like violence, but he won't change his ways so I dynamited his house and that solved the problem. Really?

      There are things called elections. They happen at all levels, not just for president. They happen in cities as well. And we don't have to vote for someone just because they have a cretain letter after their name on the ballot. We can vote for them because they are espousing solutions that make sense.

      Delete
    4. I don't like the elected officials in California. I think what they are doing is utterly stupid and economically destructive. I don't go out and bur things down.

      Delete
    5. That's the bit I'm replying to! - what would you suggest they do instead?

      "who wins? Nobody!"
      Not necessarily. All over the world, USA included, advances in civil rights have often been accompanied by violence. I'm not expressing any approval of what's happening now with that statement (naturally, I would much rather America's police crisis be cleared up without the riots), just making the historical observation.

      Delete
    6. @jayhawk: what you should be stunned about is how long the intolerable policing situation has been allowed to persist.

      Could be that voting can't fix the "tyranny of the majority." (btw current Gov's majority is slightly larger than the entire black population of Minnesota). If that doesn't work, what should they try next?

      If your neighbour is truly intolerable, presumably you would move or, if he's acting illegally, you would go to the police. This is a good example of how necessary it is to have a police force you can have confidence in.
      On the other hand, if the California state government is truly intolerable and you have no other recourse available, violence is an option: the DoI is very clear on that.

      Delete
    7. The "tyranny of the majority" is called DEMOCRACY jez. Your argument makes no sense. You suggest that if I don't like the way I'm treated I should move, but if the minority doesn't like the way the majority treats them they should burn the state down. Really?

      Delete
    8. Jez,
      @jayhawk: what you should be stunned about is how long the intolerable policing situation has been allowed to persist

      You make it sound as if every time a police officer has interaction with an African American, the intolerable ensues.

      That is simply not the case!

      The police have many, many interactions with "suspects" and the like, and only a very, very small percentage end badly -- and certainly whites are not immune from those bad interactions.

      Delete
    9. @Jayhawk: "The "tyranny of the majority" is called DEMOCRACY jez."

      America is a Republic: reread the federalist papers.
      Anyway, it looks like your advice to the black protestors is to shut up and vote, even though you acknowledge that voting won't help because they're a minority. Is there anything else they should try?

      @AoW: "You make it sound as if every time a police officer has interaction with an African American, the intolerable ensues."
      That's not what I meant to say; I don't think it has to happen most of the time for it to be intolerable. However
      "only a very, very small percentage end badly"
      What percentage, and how badly? How are you measuring this? What is the threshold of acceptability?

      "whites are not immune from those bad interactions" acknowledged.

      Delete
    10. I keep forgetting that they don’t teach civics in school any more. The United States is a federal republic, but the states within that republic are democracies. Governance federally is determined by the voices of the states, but the voice of each state is determined by the voices of the people within that state. That means that, while the form of federal government is republican, the underlying principle is democracy.

      As a citizen of California (and of the United States, both apply) I have several choices when faced with the fact that I disagree with the way this state is being governed.

      California being a democracy, I can accept the basic principle of democracy, which is that ”the majority rules,” which you prefer to phrase as ”the tyranny of the majority.” I prefer not to think of democracy as a form of tyranny, but…

      Or I can stand on a soap box and change people’s minds and get California governed by principles more to my liking. Unfortunately, that is still your ” tyranny of the majority,” but that’s okay because I am now part of the majority. Tyranny is fine when it is conducted along lines with which I agree.

      Or I can move to another state which is governed in a manner more to my liking. Unfortunately, all I do in that case is move from a ” tyranny of a majority” that I don’t like to a ” tyranny of a majority” that I do like. More comfortable, but in principle no better.

      What I cannot do is BURN THE STATE TO THE GROUND because I don’t like the way it is governed. Basic Civics 101.

      Delete
    11. I notice that you're still not making any other suggestions to the disgruntled black community. Maybe you think they should just put up with an antagonistic police force and justice system. Maybe you haven't thought very hard about what that would be like.

      "tyranny of majority" is not my own phrase. When I use it I'm cnoscious of echoing John Adams, James Madison, and John Stuart Mill. Have you heard democracy described as two wolves and a lamb voting over what to eat for lunch? Can you supply the next sentence?

      I'm British, we don't learn civics at school at all. You may be comfortable with democracy's known flaws and dangers, but your founding fathers were not and some of the most admired features of your government were designed specifically to mitigate them, including the co-equal branches and two-chamber legislature, both of which are also instituted at the state level in California, presumably for the same reason.

      Does Civics 101 cover the Declaration of Independence? From paragraph 2:

      "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ... whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..."

      Remember what action this was written in order to justify. If I understand correctly, the protestors aren't demanding anything that isn't enumerated in that text. Democratic or not, the complaint is that government has been falling short in the "all men created equal," "life" and "liberty" departments. What would the founding fathers have done?

      Delete
    12. Jez et al,

      It is easy to see this as a black-white thing, but an important factor in this is that most people of color live under Democrat (sometimes progressive) governments they voted for. I'm not blaming the people of color, but pointing out that this probably increases their frustration. They vote for people who promise an alternative to Bull Connor, but nothing changes.

      Delete
    13. Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, “that Religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.” The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, who enters into any subordinate Association, must always do it with a reservation of his duty to the General Authority; much more must every man who becomes a member of any particular Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign. We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no mans right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. True it is, that no other rule exists, by which any question which may divide a Society, can be ultimately determined, but the will of the majority; but it is also true that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority.

      James Madison, "Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments, [ca. 20 June] 1785"

      Delete
    14. We have "Negative Liberty" in the US. Government's powers are LIMITED. And putting your foot on my neck is a violation of those limits.

      Delete
    15. SF,

      It is easy to see this as a black-white thing, but an important factor in this is that most people of color live under Democrat (sometimes progressive) governments they voted for.


      Excellent point!

      Delete
    16. What are those governments' most damaging policies or ommissions?

      Delete
  7. This is crazy...You have members of Joe Biden's staff, celebrities, and others paying the bail for the rioters that have been arrested so they can be released. They are encouraging more violence

    ReplyDelete
  8. In my youth, I was harassed more than once by the police, once because, in the officer’s words, “I don’t like the way you look.”

    I was in college at the time: long, straight hair, bell bottom jeans, fringed black leather jacket — and, again in the officer’s words, “And you have a college sticker on your car.”

    Setting fires, destroying property, and looting — a bridge too far.

    Worse, all this destruction desecrates the memory of George Floyd, IMO.

    Even worse, race relations are being set back in one of the worst ways as these rioters and looters perpetuate a racial stereotype and blight our cities, even as our cities struggle to recover from COVID-19. 😥

    I feel as if I’m caught up in a time warp and transported back to 1968.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comes on the heels of the jogger being gunned down in Georgia and the women in Kentucky being blown away by the SWAT team serving a no-knock warrant.
      You aren't in a time warp. Nothing's changed.

      Delete
    2. Worth remembering that the 1968 civil rights act was passed after (because of? despite?) the MLK assassination riots.

      I'm sure there are some white guys rioting, and plenty of black guys who aren't. And historically, rioting is not the preserve of any one race.

      Delete
    3. Jez,
      The 1968 Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress before the riots. An amendment was agreed to during the riots. Yes, LBJ signed the bill into law during the riots -- symbolic move, IMO.

      Regardless on the 1968 Civil Rights Act, the impact of the riots was horrendously negative, as I cited in the body of the blog post. I did not include all the many negative consequences of the riots.

      Delete
    4. Duck,
      Nothing's changed.

      I disagree! Remember that I live in the South and that I personally have witnessed the changes for the better.

      I well remember all the separate water fountain and bathroom facilities. "Whites only here." "Coloreds here."

      And the segregated lunch counters.

      And much more.

      I'm sure that you know to what I'm referring.

      Delete
    5. But not the senate. I disagree it was symbolic, I think the presidency and legislative houses alike were spurred on by civil unrest (not just the MLK riots).
      That's not to absolve the riots of all their other consequences, nor even to say that the Act is a perfect piece of legislation. Would it have been better if it was less hurried? Would it realistically have passed both houses if the race rioters had confined themselves to the ballot box?

      Delete
    6. From Wikipedia:

      Passed the House on August 16, 1967

      Passed the Senate on March 11, 1968 with amendment

      House agreed to Senate amendment on April 10, 1968


      You can find the many convolutions that this bill took over a period of some 11 months. Quite something -- but not all that unusual for our Congress.

      Delete
    7. Jez,
      Would it realistically have passed both houses if the race rioters had confined themselves to the ballot box?

      I'm not sure. I'm not sure that anyone can be sure. That was such a disrupted and disruptive time. Vietnam, too -- remember?

      Delete
    8. This particular Act got passed in less than a year, but it wasn't the first such bill. This was an unusually contentious piece of legislation.

      Delete
    9. "I was in college at the time: long, straight hair, bell bottom jeans, fringed black leather jacket..."

      Sounds like how I dressed, but I wore a poncho rather than a jacket in SoCal :-) I am guessing you also wore beads. To my credit, I didn't agree with and I was not there when they burned down the Bank of America in Isla Vista near UCSB.

      Delete
    10. "Many attribute the spark at the BoA to a speech earlier in the afternoon by William Kunstler, a radical lawyer and civil rights activist who defended the “Chicago Seven.”

      "At one point in the speech, he said, “I have never thought that breaking windows and sporadic violence is a good tactic. But on the other hand, I can not bring myself to become bitter and condemn young people who engage in it.”

      The bank was a symbol of capitalism and “the establishment.”

      The circle of life …

      Delete
    11. KP,
      Sometimes I did wear a poncho. I rarely wore beads, however.

      What caused many to presume that I was stoned: my dilated pupils, caused by incipient cataracts. I had my first cataract surgery at age 32. I've had eye trouble for most of my life.

      Delete
  9. KIPLING'S LITTLE MAN

    ________~ or ~ ________

    _Bolshevism Revisited_

    A Leftist caught in doubt
    Lifts up his head to shout:

    Your treatment is unfair,
    You bully! How you dare
    To question my veracity
    With cruel, hard-eyed tenacity
    I do not know. My views
    Which boldly you accuse
    Of being falsely ranked
    In truth are sacrosanct.

    My thoughts are Holy Writ.
    Your thoughts are quite unfit;
    Based on selfish fears
    They inspire tears
    And dare to say the blame
    Lies squarely in the frame
    Of those whose failing lives
    Look to him who thrives
    And say: Your gold is mine,
    You greedy, bloated swine.
    You have more than you need.
    It's up to you to feed
    Me, the ill and weak,
    Else Heaven that you seek
    Will ever be denied.

    And I will see your hide
    Shredded, tanned and dried.
    And hung outside the gates
    Of each neighborhood that hates
    The needy and the poor,
    Who soon will storm your door
    And drag you from your bed
    And then lop off your head.
    While the masses you denied
    Will ever take great pride
    Your ignominious demise
    Was effected in the guise
    Of condign righteous wrath
    Giving Bourgeois digs a bath.

    With stolen food and goods
    We'll raze your neighborhoods
    And laugh to see you hurt
    Dying in the dirt

    .
    WE DO NOT CARE TO RISE:

    We live for your demise.
    We thrive on righteous hate.
    It is by now too late
    To make a plan to stop us
    End the Founder's opus.
    Our Marx destroyed your God.
    He's in - not on - the sod
    Feeding nematodes
    In their dark abodes.

    With mockery and shrill
    Sarcastic gibes we kill.
    We drool with sheer delight
    At the thought of endless night.
    Where everything that's witty,
    Charming, gracious, pretty
    Slumps to the nitty gritty,
    As we revel in the dung
    Corrupting all your young.

    For 'we are the little folk, we
    Too little to love or to hate.
    Leave us alone, and you'll see
    How quickly we'll drag down the state.'*


    ~ FreeThinke
    –––––––––––––––––
    * Rudyard Kipling

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And there –– whether you know, or choose to recognize, it or not –– you have it.

      Delete
    2. FT,
      Oh, I fully recognize what you're talking about.

      Delete
  10. Independent autopsy finds George Floyd's death a homicide due to 'asphyxiation from sustained pressure'

    THIS CONTRADICTION IS NOT GOOD!

    Coverup on the part of Minnesota's "official" autopsy? Looks that way to me!

    ReplyDelete
  11. AOW... in fairness, the "official autopsy" was only the preliminary report and not the official, final conclusions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, hold on to that thought as long as you can. Look up the word "official" in the dictionary. It does not mean, "temporary, preliminary and pending further review."

      Delete
    2. Jayhawk,
      Still, it is strange that Dr. Baden came to his conclusions in such an expeditious manner while the preliminary one came to such a different conclusion and a different conclusion which seems to be more in the police officer's favor.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, really strange that an "expert hired by George Floyd's family found..." Give me a break.

      Delete
    4. Jayhawk,
      Dr. Baden is considered a definitive expert, isn't he?

      Now the Minneapolis medical examiner has agreed with Dr. Baden in an official statement.

      Delete
    5. An expert for hire finds what he is paid to find. If he does not do so he does not continue to get hired. If I get hired to find that my client's opponent cooked the books and I report that my client's opponent did not cook the books, no client will ever hire me again because the word goes out that I don't report what clients want me to report.

      The Minneapolic medical examiner is afraid for his life and the lives of his family. The truth endangered those lives, and so now he will say whatever is necessary to keep them safe.

      Delete
    6. Jayhawk,
      An expert for hire finds what he is paid to find.

      Typically, yes. But not always. It all depends on the integrity of the expert. What is Dr. Baden's record in that regard?

      Two more questions...
      1) You disbelieve what you have seen and heard on the video of the officer grinding his knee into George Floyd's neck?

      Floyd was unable to be revived at the scene after those long moments (8 minutes and 46 seconds, despite another officer's comment "That's enough.").

      2) You believe that the Minneapolis medical examiner is now falsifying the examination's findings?

      BTW, another pathologist was present with Dr. Baden. See Dr. Allecia Wilson.

      Delete
    7. Jayhawk,
      I doubt that anything I say will change your mind. We are at loggerheads on this matter. Oh, well....

      Delete
    8. The issue is moot, as it has served its purpose and the riots have begun.

      And for what it's worth, the concept of "the integrity of a paid expert" is an oxymoron.

      Delete
    9. Jayhawk,
      the concept of "the integrity of a paid expert" is an oxymoron

      Um, I suppose that I myself am "a paid expert," but I don't hand out A's like candy, that's for sure. Students get the grades they earn. Period. Full stop.

      Now, back to the topic at hand....

      I doubt that any medical examiner's findings started these riots.

      The constant playing of the video? That, on the other hand, clearly sparked a lot of what we see going on.

      The officer was clearly way over the line, and George Floyd is dead. Would you argue otherwise?

      Delete

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