There’s No White Privilege for Prostitutes in Minnesota

The FBI recently released its crime statistics report of 2016. In contains a breakdown of Human Trafficking by state which includes “commercial sex acts” and “involuntary servitude.” One state stood out from all of the others regarding human trafficking: Minnesota.

State Population Sex Offenses, 2016 Offenses per MM
Massachusetts 6,873,018 3          0.44
Tennessee 6,705,339 55          8.20
Indiana 6,663,280 4          0.60
Missouri 6,123,362 16          2.61
Maryland 6,068,511 17          2.80
Wisconsin 5,795,147 35          6.04
Colorado 5,658,546 34          6.01
Minnesota 5,554,532 235        42.31
South Carolina 5,030,118 22          4.37
Alabama 4,884,115 NA
Louisiana 4,714,192 123        26.09
Kentucky 4,450,042 NA

Among mid-sized states of 4.5 million to 7 million, only Louisiana and Minnesota had over 100 cases of human trafficking, and Minnesota had almost twice as many as Louisiana. Minnesota had seven times the number of incidents as its neighbor (and similarly sized) Wisconsin.

Are there more women in Minnesota than other states? Greater poverty? More lenient laws about prostitution, whether on the streets or escort services? What could account for such a disparity?

The male/ female breakdown in Minnesota and Wisconsin is identical at 49.6%/50.4%, and the number of people in poverty in Minnesota is among the lowest in the country. Large metropolitan areas like Minneapolis-St. Paul have seen dramatic improvements in poverty, bringing it to the second to lowest of any major city in the United States.

So prostitution is not correlated to the number of women or poverty (terrorism is also not related to poverty, although the United Nations and the Obama administration often argued that it was).

Maybe it has to do with state laws regarding prostitution.

Every state has laws making it illegal to pay for sex (which many believe are completely illogical, including Amnesty International). However, the penalties for prostitution vary significantly by state.

Minnesota has relatively light punishments for the first offense (up to 90 days in jail and/or $1000. Afterwards it jumps to up to 1 year in jail and $3000 per offense. The penalties in Wisconsin are much steeper: up to 9 months in jail and/or fines of $10,000. That is a significant difference and would seem to suggest that penalties – not ubiquity or economic situation – correlate to human trafficking.

However, there is no broad-based correlation. Missouri has even more lenient penalties (30 days to 6 months and/or $500) with only 1/16th the number of arrests. Similarly, South Carolina (first offense 30 days and $200; second offense 6 months and $1000; thereafter 1 year and/or $3000) had 1/10th the number of arrests as Minnesota.

So a large number of prostitution-related arrests does not correlate to laws permitting the practice or the penalties associated with breaking the law.

Then what would account for the difference? How is Minnesota different than every other state that would cause such a disproportionate number of prostitutes?

A deeper look into the FBI tables may yield some clues.

In most states, the number of people arrested were disproportionately black. In Wisconsin, 77% of those arrested were black, in a state that is 80% white. Tennessee had an equal number of whites and blacks arrested (and a few Asians) in a state that is 73% white. South Carolina did not list the race of many of those arrested, but for those that it did, 83% were black in a state where 26% of the residents are black.

But in Minnesota, 69% of the arrests were of white people (in a state that is 80% white). It was the only state which had a somewhat proportionate number of white people arrested as resided in the state. Without the prosecution of white people, the statistics for Minnesota would more closely resemble the rest of the country.

These white people were not recent arrivals to American shores. While Minnesota may have a reputation of being home to Scandinavian immigrants (hence the NFL football team being called the Vikings), the state had 8.3% of the people being foreign-born with only 29.1% of those immigrants being white. That compares to Wisconsin with 44.7% of the foreign-born population being white.

So are there simply more white prostitutes and johns in Minnesota than everywhere else in the country? As the state of Minnesota uses a greater number of undercover cops to catch the buyers and sellers of sex, could they be actively selecting white people for arrests? As the MN police departments have shifted to viewing women as victims, are they more likely to arrest only men?

Quite possibly. It would appear that “white male privilege” in prostitution has hit a wall in Minnesota.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Misogyny of Treating Women like Victims

The Gender Diamonds

Republican Scrutiny and Democratic Empowerment of Muslims in Minnesota

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For the Sins of 5777 of…

… not standing up against libel attacks (such as when left-wing radicals called Ben Shapiro a white supremacist)

… allowing anti-Israel activists to speak in my synagogue (such as members from Jewish Voice for Peace and New Israel Fund)

… being a political coward (for not condemning fellow Democrats that called Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino a “clever Nazi”)

… being a political opportunist tacking to the far left-wing extremists of the Democratic party and throwing Jews under the bus (supporting Linda Sarsour’s tirades against Israel and not backing anti-BDS legislation or the Taylor Force bill)

… subscribing to the New York Times

… saying that Obama is pro-Israel (even after he let UN Security Council Resolution 2334 pass)

… saying with a straight face that the Iranian Nuclear Deal was a “Great Deal”

… labeling those with whom I disagree a “deplorable,” a “racist” and a “misogynist”

… donating to the United Nations

collaborating with international bodies to harm the Jewish State

… being a hypocrite while donating to the most expensive US presidential in history where Clinton outspent Trump by over two times, and then complain that race was all about money

ignoring Israeli victims of Arab terror

ignoring the Jewish people’s historic connection, religious ties, human rights and security needs throughout the holy land

… suggesting that Hamas is not a terrorist organization and calling for its inclusion in the Palestinian Authority leadership

… promoting the notion that America has much more to fear from Republicans than jihadists

… never commenting when Islamic countries say that Israel is committing “ethnic cleansing,” but going ballistic when Israeli Prime Minister used the term for the Palestinian Authority after it demanded a Jew-free state

… not demonstrating for the rights of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount

… not protesting that the US should withhold funds from the Palestinian Authority until it negates its law which makes it a capital offense to sell land to a Jew

…demanding that Israel live with the security and religious compromises that I decide, to satisfy my personal sense of social justice while living thousands of miles away

… purchasing the New Israel Fund Haggadah

… condemning Jews for building homes in Area C of the West Bank, which the Palestinian Authority agreed is Israeli territory

… belittling the intelligence and integrity of Ivanka Trump, just because she’s pretty

… talking big about feminism, but doing nothing for the women in southeast Asia (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan) where 25% of the women of the world live in barbaric conditions

… only talking about refugees when Trump became president, even though Obama did little to nothing to help them during seven years of his presidency

… calling PA acting-President Mahmoud Abbas a “moderate”

… saying that poverty causes terrorism, even when there is no study that supports such claim

… continuing to call Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs) “refugees”

… not celebrating a rabbi giving the blessing at the US president’s inauguration – the first time a rabbi has done so in decades

… for supporting J Street, the organization that lobbied the Obama administration aggressively to abandon Israel at the United Nations

… living in my liberal echo chamber

… liking Jimmy Carter

… going to a Roger Waters concert

… watching Al Jazeera

… condemning Israel for installing security devices after a terrorist attack on the Temple Mount

… defending left-wing extremists that are anti-Semites

… not writing to my alma mater after anti-Israel and anti-Jewish activities occurred on campus

… for comparing a Muslim refugee from Syria to a Holocaust survivor

… for not advocating for any help in Syria throughout Obama’s presidency when 500,000 people were killed

… never understanding how much people hated Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, even while I repeated ad nauseam how much I despised Donald Trump

… the inconsistent logic of telling Trump supporters to be wary because he was supported by the KKK and the KGB, even while I supported the Iranian nuclear deal which was supported by Russia and Iran

… ending friendships with people that voted for Trump

For all these things, please pardon us.

 

We Should Not Pay for Your First Amendment Rights

This past Sunday witnessed various protests during National Football League games with players refusing to stand for the playing of the national anthem. This article does not address whether the protests have merit or do not. The players actions miss a basic point: people shouldn’t have to pay for your first amendment rights.

Americans have various rights under the first amendment, including to free speech. That right enables individuals who want to stand on a street corner and yell about how much they hate America the freedom to do so.

But the football stadium is not a public street.

People pay hundreds of dollars to enter the stadium to watch a football game, not to watch players express their political opinions. Fans at home also spend lots of money for cable and satellite TV to watch their favorite teams. More specifically – to watch their teams play football.

The only way that a player should have a right to express his feelings about politics is with the approval of the team’s owner and the NFL. Should those governing bodies deem it appropriate to sanction certain behavior, then it becomes part of the game like a black bandage on a jersey in memory of a player.


NFL players take a knee during the national anthem
(photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)

If the NFL and team owners approve the actions of the players expressing their political opinions during the game, then the audience can decide whether they want to spend their time and money watching such activity. But until the league and owners approve the players’ actions, it should be banned or fined.

Thomas Jefferson once said:

“To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is both sinful and tyrannical.”

Even if you agree with the sentiments of the protesters, it is “both sinful and tyrannical” to be forced to pay to propagate such expressions.


Related First.One.Through articles:

New York Times Confusion on Free Speech

Selective Speech

The Fault in Our Tent: The Limit of Acceptable Speech

Elie Wiesel on Words

Active and Reactive Provocations: Charlie Hebdo and the Temple Mount

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Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

 

Paying for Preference. The Fallacy of Net Neutrality

Americans have long understood the ecosystem of capitalism.

Money enables people to buy things that they desire and spending greater amounts of money gives a person the opportunity to purchase a superior product.

Consider an item like a car. A car might have a basic sticker price for a base model, and also higher prices for additional features such as leather seats or a sunroof. More money yields a better product.

Such a concept is not limited to products, but to services as well.

An expensive first class airplane seat gives a passenger a better seat on a flight (a product) and also preferential boarding (a service). Similarly, people willing to spend more money at a Disney theme park could purchase a FastPass which enables visitors to bypass the long waiting lines for rides. Those unwilling to shell out for the additional pass need to remain in the slow lane while the FastPass customers pass in front of them.

Businesses also pay premiums to provide better service to their customers.

Consider supermarkets. While a customer may not think about the reason Heinz Baked Beans are at eye level while the competing Bush’s beans are towards the floor, there is a dollars-and-cents backstory. Heinz pays the supermarket extra money – known as a slotting fee – to be at eye level so that consumers see the product right away. Heinz benefits by increased visibility and sales, while the consumer benefits by not having to bend down for the item. The supermarket uses those slotting fees to help manage the costs of running the store.

The ecosystem works. For everybody.

Net Neutrality

The Obama administration pushed forward a regulation through the FCC advancing “net neutrality.” The premise was to regulate companies that provide high-speed internet access (HSIA) to ensure that they do not favor some sites over others.

For example, if a website that offers videos (like Netflix) wants to make sure that it has a smooth viewing experience for its customers, it would spend money to build an ecosystem to have its content distributed effectively. It would have its popular content housed around the country and establish “transit” and “peering relationships” to expedite the flow of content through the web.

Advocates of net neutrality fear that the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) might use their position to manage the content that people see. They fear that large companies like Netflix may be able to pay for a better experience than smaller companies, thus stifling the emergence of newer and smaller companies. In particular, they note that the ISPs that own content would prioritize their own sites in a “fast lane” while relegating everyone else to a slow lane. The net neutrality promoters warn that the ISPs could even shut down competing websites completely.

To advance their “neutrality” goals, the Obama administration’s FCC declared that the Internet would be regulated like a public utility. Damn the billions of dollars spent by ISPs like Verizon and Comcast to lay fiber around the country to access the internet (and the billions of dollars more that are due to be spent), the government sought to control their infrastructure and business model, much like an electric company or public road.

There are many flaws with the net neutrality approach.

Slotting fees: As described above, businesses have always sought a way to improve their service as well as competitive position. Product companies pay slotting fees to gain better visibility and stores accept the fees to help manage their business. The behind-the-scenes relationships are hidden from customers, but it does not mean that there is an anti-competitive conspiracy.

In many supermarkets, there are additional layers of relationships. Many supermarket freezers are owned by third parties which have their own brands of ice cream. The freezer companies likely prioritize their own products on shelves by putting them at eye level. But the freezers also include competing products, as it would undermine the company’s business to have a half full freezer.

Does a supermarket only sell its own brand of iced tea or peanut butter? Of course not. Does Disney only offer rides to those people who pay for FastPass? It couldn’t afford to keep the parks open if they took such an approach.

Similarly, an ISP that owns content would likely make sure that it is delivered on its “fast lane” if it didn’t harm its overall business. But it would certainly make all content accessible.

Not a monopoly: The federal government actively seeks to regulate businesses that are monopolies. For example, there are not a dozen electric plants in a neighborhood that compete to supply a home with electricity. As such, the government regulates the return that the utility can earn for its product (the electricity) and service (delivery of the power).

But there is no monopoly on HSIA. There are many telecom companies competing for your broadband business. There are cable companies and satellite companies that would be happy to supply your content and HSIA too. And wait until 5G – everyone will be surfing the web on their mobile devices and abandon their PCs. There is choice.

If AT&T would own CNN, would it make sure that it was great viewing experience without latency? I would imagine so. Would AT&T also scramble Fox News? Of course not, as doing so would undermine its business model of getting as many customers as possible. The ISPs are not going to divide their business on ideological lines between liberals and conservatives.

Vital service: Electricity and Disney theme parks are not equivalent in terms of their necessity. Someone can live a long fruitful life without going to Magic Mountain. No electricity or gas for heat, hot water, refrigeration… not so much.

Where does broadband sit?

During the early years of broadband, the internet was used by individuals to watch silly entertainment like dancing cats (Jake Paul is the latest incarnation of a dancing cat). But there have been significant changes in the usage of broadband over the past decade:

  • OTT. Many consumers have been dropping their television service and opting to go “over the top,” using HSIA for their television content. Broadband is eating cable TV.
  • Death of newspapers. Advertising dollars have moved out of print into digital, destroying the business model of many media companies. Broadband is controlling the news.
  • IoT. The “Internet of Things” is the movement to connect devices to the internet. Refrigerators, thermostats, cars and other items will be viewable and controlled remotely. Broadband will control all electronic devices.

That is the real story. The ISPs are well on their way to taking over the access to the news and media and they will ultimately control the access to the future of things.

And the government is unwilling to let such power remain unregulated and uncontrolled.

The “net neutrality” sponsors are campaigning about a fake issue of unfair ISP “fast lanes” and that ISPs will block content. The ISPs are as likely to do that as Disney banning Universal Studios employees from its theme Parks. Paying for Preference is ubiquitous in our capitalistic economy. #FakeIssue

This campaign is about the future. On the one hand, how does one make sure that an ISP does not use the information about your driving and shopping habits in illegal or inappropriate ways? On the other, how do we make sure that the government doesn’t read Americans’ emails and review their surfing habits? We have seemingly granted Google and Facebook carte blanche to do so – will there be no end?

Broadband will be an integral part of all our lives, and the companies that provide access to the Internet will have a unique window to all of our activities. Today, net neutrality addresses an irrelevant non-issue while the government fails to focus on the critical issue: managing privacy in an always-on IoT world.

More on that to come.


Related material from First.One.Through:

Are you trying to understand “net neutrality”?

 

The Baker and Government Doth Protest Too Much

On September 7, 2017 the Trump administration’s Department of Justice came out with a ruling that supported a baker that refused to create a cake for the wedding of a same-sex couple. The DOJ filed the motion in response to a pending Supreme Court ruling on religious liberty.

In August 2015, the state of Colorado ruled that the baker, Jack Phillips, broke Colorado law by not making a customized cake for a gay wedding, stating that his refusal to do so went against Colorado’s law that prevented discrimination based on sexual orientation. Phillips argued that baking the cake went against his religious beliefs as a devout Christian. The courts were not swayed and ruled against him.

Many people – including me – believed that the court was wrong, and in June 2017 the Supreme Court agreed to review the case.


Colorado baker Jack Phillips

In advance of a ruling, the DOJ backed up Phillips arguing that the baker’s creations involve his personal artistic talents and expression, and as such, should be protected by his rights to express his beliefs.

But such an argument also falls flat.

The crux of the issue of discrimination versus religious liberty has to do with the willingness to sell a product that is produced to any and all customers.

If the baker has cookies on the shelf for sale, he must sell it to everyone regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation. Similarly, if the baker makes a customized item – say a wedding cake without any couples or comments on it – he should be forced to sell such cake to any willing buyer, gay or straight.

However, neither state nor federal laws should ever be able to force someone to create a unique item. Ever.

The baker should be able to refuse to make a wedding cake with two men on top of it if he never makes such cakes, in the same manner that a vegetarian restaurant refuses to sell any meat items. The vendor need not cater to a client’s unique demands that are outside the universe of items sold.

Should a baker be forced to bake a swastika cake? Of course not. However, were he to make a cake in the shape of a swastika, he should be obligated to sell it to anyone interested in purchasing it. The baker must similarly sell a wedding cake to a gay couple if it is the same kind of cake that he sells to heterosexual couples.

The Department of Justice was right in arguing that the sate of Colorado went too far in fining the baker. However, the DOJ’s rationale for absolving the baker on the basis of his creative talents being a form of expression went in the wrong direction by inserting the baker into the end-product, rather than focusing on the end-product itself.

Whether an item is already on the shelves or is made custom, the threshold of discrimination should be on the willingness of the vendor to sell that product to anyone. However, a product need not be created or customized to a specification that falls outside the vendor’s desires – whether they be for religious reasons or any other.

Thomas Jefferson understood the possible tyranny of government when he said:

“To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

As part of a common community, all Americans should treat each other respectfully, but the government should never be allowed to obligate a person to create a unique, alien and distasteful product to satisfy the desires of others.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Leading Gay Activists Hate Religious Children

Pride. Jewish and Gay

The Gender Diamonds

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Join Facebook group: FirstOne Through  Israel Analysis

Is Calling Someone a ‘Nazi’ Simply a ‘Poor Choice of Words?’ Ask a Westchester Democrat

There have been few moments in history which revealed mankind’s darkest and most evil nature. Nazi Germany of the 1930s and 1940s epitomized that racist, anti-Semitic, sinister and violent corner of hell that occasionally takes control in parts of our planet.

One would imagine that calling anyone a Nazi would be reserved for the most heinous kind of villain – perhaps ISIS today that proudly tortures and beheads men, women and children. Could anyone imagine a current American politician calling out a mild-mannered fellow politician – especially one with particularly strong pro-Israel credentials – a ‘Nazi’?

Welcome to the Democratic party in Westchester, NY in 2017.

Westchester County Board of Legislators Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining) was upset by the action of the Republican County Executive Rob Astorino in regards to an act involving illegal activities among illegal immigrants in the county. In an email slamming Astorino, Borgia wroteIt’s the classic ‘Big Lie’ technique. All clever Nazis use it.

As detailed in the NY Post, the ‘Big Lie’ was a phrase coined by Adolf Hitler about Jews. Borgia said that Astorino was a “clever Nazi” just like Hitler in their attempts to eradicate illegal immigrants/ Jews.

The comparison was outrageous and disgraceful. As was the reaction from fellow Democrats.

State Senator George Latimer is a Democrat running for Astorino’s seat. He opted to barely address the issue and simply said that calling Astorino a Nazi was a “poor choice of words.” He didn’t condemn the statement nor use the opportunity to address anti-Semitism. He tacitly agreed to the underlying sentiment that Astorino is an anti-Semitic, racist, lying devil, but would have preferred that his Democratic colleague not use the term “Nazi.”

At a time when Democrats are up-in-arms about Donald Trump not repudiating neo-Nazis at a protest in Charlottesville, VA, how can Democrats freely call political opponents “Nazis” and then refuse to condemn the remarks?

Astorino rightly said that Borgia’s comment was not simply offensive to him, but to everyone. He asked for her to apologize to all of the people in the county.

People offended by the incident can support Astorino in his upcoming election and distance themselves from both Latimer and Borgia.


Related First.One.through articles:

The Democrats’ Slide on Israel

The Democratic Party is Tacking to the Far Left-Wing Anti-Semitic Fringe

Politicians React to Vile and Vulgar Palestinian Hatred

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

In The Margins

A Country Divided

If you Only Loved Refugees as Much as you Hate Donald Trump

Extreme and Mainstream. Germany 1933; West Bank & Gaza Today

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The Monumental Gap between Nikki Haley and Donald Trump

There were two events that occurred in June 2015 that have defined race relations in the South. One of them has been seized by the media as the root cause of the explosion of racism embodied by the fights in Charlottesville, VA in August 2017. Yet the other is arguably the more clearly identified source of the tension.

June 2015

On June 16, 2015, real estate titan and media personality Donald Trump announced that he would run for president of the United States. The political novice declared that it was time to turn the country around and bring back jobs – good jobs – to America, to “make our country great again.” The Trump tagline was coined “Make America great again,” and he would go one to become the 45th president of the United States.

On June 17, a white supremacist named Dylann Roof walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina and shot and killed nine black worshipers. Roof’s “manifesto” was found in his house which detailed the many reasons he hated blacks and Jews.

Roof’s view of patriotism had nothing to do with Trump’s pride in America, but a pride in being white.

“I hate the sight of the American flag. Modern American patriotism is an absolute joke. People pretending like they have something to be proud while White people are being murdered daily in the streets…. How about we protect the White race and stop fighting for the jews as well.”

One week in June began a process of bringing a political lightweight to the presidency to “make America great again,” while a racist sought to “make America White again.” Each set in motion a series of actions and reactions in America which were deeply felt in August 2017.

Nikki Haley Talks Down Hatred
and Takes Down the Confederate Flag

The Governor of South Carolina was quick to respond to the shooting of the black church-goers. Gov. Nikki Haley spoke to her state and the country on June 22nd in a remarkable speech. She spoke of her pride in her state and gave consolation to the wounded and injured. She was clear in her rejection of hatred and bigotry, while also noting that many people who are proud of their southern heritage have no malice toward minorities. In short, she brought comfort to all sides and stabilized the situation.

And then she addressed the flag. The Confederate flag that flew by the state capital.

“For many people in our state, the flag stands for traditions that are noble. Traditions of history, of heritage, and of ancestry.

The hate filled murderer who massacred our brothers and sisters in Charleston has a sick and twisted view of the flag. In no way does he reflect the people in our state who respect and, in many ways, revere it. Those South Carolinians view the flag as a symbol of respect, integrity, and duty. They also see it as a memorial, a way to honor ancestors who came to the service of their state during time of conflict. That is not hate, nor is it racism…

The evil we saw last Wednesday comes from a place much deeper, much darker. But we are not going to allow this symbol to divide us any longer. The fact that people are choosing to use it as a sign of hate is something we cannot stand. The fact that it causes pain to so many is enough to move it from the Capitol grounds. It is, after all, a Capitol that belongs to all of us.”

Nikki Haley called for taking down the Confederate flag over the government grounds. She did it while noting that most people in the state respect the flag, but there are some that use it as a vehicle to violence. She said that she respects people that chose to keep that flag in their homes; it is a matter of free speech and expression. However, she concluded that in light of the history of pain and suffering in the name of the flag, the Confederate flag no longer should be endorsed by the government.


Gov. Haley after shooting at black church
June 2015

A Republican female minority governor decided it was time for the southern states to remove the emblems of the Civil War fought 150 years earlier. Standing beside two Republican senators from South Carolina she declaredThis flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state.” Mainstream media would barely recognize the fact that it was Republicans – and a female minority Republican – that would shake the south.

Haley’s actions set in motion a rethinking of the various symbols of the Confederacy. In May 2017 several statutes were removed from public spaces in New Orleans. Other southern states were in the process of reviewing the status of their Confederate statues – which is what brought the White supremacists to Charlottesville, VA in August 2017: a protest to stop the removal of the statue of General Robert E. Lee.

Donald Trump Talks Up Division
and the Press Focuses on Trump Instead of Hate

Donald Trump’s road to the presidency from June 2015 was remarkable in many respects. He not only beat out a field of respected Republican politicians to win the nomination, but he did so while alienating many groups along the way.

Muslims were insulted by his call to ban Muslims from entering the country until the country devised a more thorough vetting process. Women were outraged when they heard a recording of his proudly groping women. The Latino community was appalled when he referred to the many immigrants that came to the USA from south of the border as “bad hombres.” The list would go on.

Along the way his colleagues in the Republican party would abandon him. In a remarkable occurrence in American politics, one Republican leader after another would say that they were appalled at Trump’s comments and would not vote for him. The press ate it up. They ridiculed Trump and blamed him as the source for disunity and bigotry in the country.

But he won the presidency anyway.

Trump would not give roles in his cabinet to the Republican politicians that bad-mouthed him. Only Governor Nikki Haley – who distanced herself from Trump’s comments, but not the man – would get a role in his administration, as US Ambassador to the United Nations.

Over the first months of his presidency, Trump would continue to make remarks that angered wide swaths of the country. The media continued to state that Trump was a racist, by not disavowing the support of White supremacists, and making laws alienating minorities – whether a ban on Muslim refugees or edicts to expel illegal immigrants.

By August 2017, when the Charlottesville, VA White supremacy protest came to town, Trump’s comments could be predicted.

Once again, Trump fueled the media’s wrath with his comments. They admonished him for endorsing racism and allowing it to rear its ugly head in the country once again.

The monumental gap between Nikki Haley and Donald Trump was clear. Haley took decisive action to turn back divisive symbols in the country, while Trump called for keeping them in place. Haley calmed the situation with language that reached out to ALL parties, while Trump used language that only appealed to a sliver of the public.

And the media gave Haley little credit for calming the situation while it blamed Trump for everything.

Racism has always existed in the United States; it is not new in the age of Trump. White racism has actually been on the decline for several years according to FBI reports, and it is much less common in the South than liberal northern states like Massachusetts.

It is both unfortunate that Trump aggravates a tense situation, and that his impulse to attack the media – and the media’s impulse to attack him – takes away from the important debate about the symbols of the Confederacy in our country. Haley talked about it clearly and with conviction. But Trump and the media can only talk about each other.


Related First.One.Through articles:

NY Times Discolors Hate Crimes

If a Black Muslim Cop Kills a White Woman, Does it Make a Sound?

New York Times Finds Racism When it Wants

New York Times’ Small Anti-Semitism

Your Father’s Anti-Semitism

“An anti-Semitic Tinge”

“Jews as a Class”

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Fact Check Your Assumptions on American Racism

White nationalists held a rally in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017 claiming that America was throwing out its white, Christian and southern traditions. Counter-protestors showed up in an attempt to rebut their views. Violence ensued. A death.


White Nationalists in Charlottesville, VA August 2017

President Donald Trump issued a statement that condemned hatred and violence, in a statement that was ridiculed by both the right and left-wing for not calling out the white nationalists.

We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides. What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives.

The statement of “many sides” evoked the disgraceful statements of the United Nations condemning “all” acts of violence after Palestinian Arab terrorists slaughter innocent Israelis. “Et tu, Brute?”

The mainstream media has used the Charlottesville incident to foster a narrative that has been building for the past two years: that racism is principally a white-male issue, and that it predominantly stems from the south. These white racists have become emboldened under President Trump, who has done little to stem the violence and vitriol.

It’s worth doing a fact check.

Southerners are Less Racist Than Yanks

The FBI does an analysis of hate crimes every year, the last complete year of data being 2015. The frequency of hate crimes in the South is less than in the Northeast.

Bias Attacks in 2015, Average Incident per Number of People

Frequency of Attack
Massachusetts            13,595
Connecticut            31,767
New York            38,381
New Jersey            25,663
Maryland          139,684
Virginia            45,545
North Carolina            48,277
South Carolina            69,946
Georgia          163,086

Massachusetts – which elected the most left-wing senator in the country – was the most racist state by a far margin. A person in Massachusetts was 3.5 times more likely to suffer a hate crime than an average person in Virginia or North Carolina.

Blacks Commit More Racist Attacks Than Whites

The FBI report also broke down the hate crime statistics by offender. The statistics go against the commonly held narrative.

History of Racist Attacks Broken Down by Race of Offender

White Black
2000 4111 1021
2001 5149 1157
2002 3712 1082
2003 3670 942
2004 4327 1408
2005 4117 1357
2006 4293 1513
2007 4378 1448
2008 4229 1399
2009*
2010 3522 1104
2011 3384 1195
2012 2909 1242
2013 3046 1410
2014 2699 1203
2015 2657 1336

*No data for 2009

The numbers show that white people commit more racist attacks than black people. However, there are approximately 5.75 times more white people than black people in the USA, so the data must be viewed by the likelihood of an average white or black person committing a bias crime.

Bias Attacks, Average Attack per Number of People

Year White Black Difference
2000            54,379      38,129 43%
2001            43,417      33,647 29%
2002            60,224      35,979 67%
2003            60,914      41,326 47%
2004            51,665      27,649 87%
2005            54,300      28,688 89%
2006            52,074      25,730 102%
2007            51,063      26,885 90%
2008            52,862      27,827 90%
2009
2010            63,473      35,262 80%
2011            66,062      32,577 103%
2012            76,849      31,344 145%
2013            73,392      27,609 166%
2014            82,828      32,360 156%
2015            84,137      29,139 189%

In every year, the likelihood of an average black person committing a hate crime was much greater than an average white person.

Bias Trend Related to Leadership

The chart above shows some interesting trend lines. From 2000 to 2003, an average black person was 47% more likely to commit a racist crime than a white person. That likelihood jumped to 92% in the years 2004 to 2011. It escalated yet again in the years 2012 through 2015, when an average black person committed 164% more racial attacks than an average white person.

The trends related both to blacks committing more hate crimes and whites committing fewer.

White people were pretty consistent in the frequency of their attacks in the 2000-2003 and 2004-2011 periods. However, the frequency of black attacks jumped significantly in the 2004-11 span. But in the 2012-2015, it was the sharp decrease in white racism that accounted for the dramatic change, when attacks by blacks were relatively consistent.

If leadership accounted for the difference in bias attacks, why would white people not change their actions during the first Obama term? Why did black people suddenly change the frequency of their bias attacks in 2004, and not earlier in Bush’s term?

Was Trump’s election a cause for a change in the frequency of attacks by both whites and blacks? The FBI hasn’t completed its 2016 report at this time. But the leap to conclusions about the connection also has a leap to the nature of cause-and-effect.

Why would a black president make white people commit fewer hate crimes, but a white president make blacks commit more? There was no particular race riot in 2004 or 2012 that could account for a particular tipping point in race relations. Is it possible that the trends are outside of leadership influence?


The lazy mainstream media will fill you with stories that support your own biases. Consider looking at actual statistics before jumping to incorrect conclusions that white southerners are more racist than black Yankees, and that leadership is responsible for all of the disgraceful actions of racists.


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If a Black Muslim Cop Kills a White Woman, Does it Make a Sound?

On July 15, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN, a black Muslim police officer shot and killed an unarmed white Australian woman. You would have a hard time learning about the ethnicity of the police officer from The New York Times.

On July 22, the NYT ran an article entitled “Minneapolis Police Chief Is Forced Out.” The article relayed a lot of personal background of key players in the story, including that the chief of police was the first woman to serve in that capacity and was openly gay. It spoke of a a civil rights lawyer that argued that the chief of police “needed to be fired” because the chief only decried the recent killing of the Australian woman only because she was white, while she had always defended the police in past shootings when the victims were black.

With all of that background, you would imagine that the Times would highlight that the police officer, Mohamed Noor, that killed the unarmed white woman was black.

And a Muslim.

And from the Somali community.

But the Times decided not to mention any of those points, even while it described particular details of others in the story, as well as protests from back in 2015 following the killing of an unarmed black man.

The Times would similarly not describe Officer Noor’s ethnicity in its July 21 article “Woman Shot by Minneapolis Officer ‘Didn’t Have to Die’ Police Chief Says,” or in the July 19 article called “Officer Said He Heard Loud Noise Before Partner Shot Minneapolis Woman.

When the Times did cover the fact that the police officer was a black man from the Somali community (it never wrote that he was a Muslim), it did so from the perspective of the Somali Community.

The July 20 article heading “Police Shooting Rattles Somalis in Minneapolis” would make a person think that a Somali was the victim, rather than the killer. The article wrote that the Somali immigrant population in Minneapolis “sometimes expressed frustration with law enforcement.” It added that Somalis felt that police officers used excessive force with its community and that “many Somalis have expressed frustration with their portrayals in the news media, saying reporters have unfairly emphasized stories about terrorist recruitment and cultural differences.

As if the issue was purely one of media bias.

As detailed in “Republican Scrutiny and Democratic Empowerment of Muslims in Minnesota,” the US House Committee on Homeland Security released a report in September 2015 flagging the problem of jihadists in Minnesota. Rep. John Kline, a member of the House Armed Services Committee said that “homegrown terrorism remains a serious issue in Minnesota.” Liberal politicians including Senator Al Franken and then presidential-hopeful Hillary Clinton acknowledged the findings of the report, while they argued for increased cooperation between law enforcement and the Somali community to combat terrorism.

The Homeland Security report and acknowledgment by liberal politicians was not mentioned by the New York Times. Just that the Somali community felt vilified unfairly by the press, even as the Times called-out “President Trump’s travel ban.”

When a white police officer shoots an unarmed black man, the New York Times repeats the race of each party over-and-again for days. However, when the attacker is not just black, but a Muslim, the Times reorients the story for its readers.

Another edition of the New York Times #AlternativeFacts.

 


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In The Margins

Bret Stephens had an award-winning career writing columns on the top of the Op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal. His conservative take on politics was thoughtful and balanced, as he appreciated nuance in the topics that he covered. He is continuing that insightful analysis over at The New York Times.

In an article printed on June 15, 2017 entitled “The Indigenous American Berserk Strikes Again,” Stephens wrote about the shooting of a Republican politician at the hands of a liberal wacko. He cautioned both liberals and conservatives to not draw any particular conclusions from the actions of a sole operator from the margins of society. A “one-off” does not mean that all liberals will be out to attack conservatives, any more than the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011 meant that conservatives were out to physically harm liberals. (Liberals made such an argument at that time).

It is a lesson that his new colleague at the NY Times, Thomas Friedman, needs to learn.

As described in “Thomas Friedman thinks Palestinians are Crazy in the Margins, While Israel is Crazy in the Mainstream,” Friedman has a long history of exaggerating marginal Israeli “radicals” and minimizing the mainstream Palestinian “radicals.”

  • Friedman described Israel as having a “right-wing” government, simply because it included a nationalistic party that had just 5% of the seats in the parliament. He neglected to mention that Israelis voted much more for the anti-Zionist Arab Joint List to 14% of the population
  • He described acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas as a “moderate,” while labeling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an extremist, even though it is Abbas that: argues for a country free of Jews; has capital punishment for Arabs that sells land to Jews; has laws that excuse men for the honor killing of their wives; incites violence against Israeli Jews; etc.
  • The vast majority of Israelis favor a peaceful settlement with the Stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs), while 93% of Palestinian Arabs are anti-Semites, more than any other region in the world. The SAPs voted the terrorist group Hamas to 58% of the seats in the Palestinian Authority government.

Stephens argued convincingly that actions of a lone radical should not tarnish the majority: “the fact that events are frightening, bloody and tragic doesn’t necessarily make them especially meaningful…. In 2011 the left wanted to blame millions of Americans for the acts of one crazed man. The indictment served nobody.

Bret Stephens speaking at an event in Westchester, NY July 2015

Meanwhile Friedman – and many liberals – seemingly use an inverted approach, whereby the actions of the PA leadership and majority of SAPs should be ignored, while the opinions of a minority of Israeli Jews should be scrutinized.

Why do liberals exaggerate the fringe while conservatives concentrate on the majority?

Self-Reliance versus Helping Out

Historically, liberals and conservatives could agree to disagree on a particular policy, say abortion. The action was debated about whether it should be legal or banned. Tax policy and welfare were topics to be debated. Climate change. Gun policy. Healthcare.

But the conversation has changed. Today political pundits talk about people. Defining the conservatives/liberals themselves is the focus, not policies.

According to Pew Research. conservatives primarily value responsibility, faith and hard work. In contrast, liberals are more drawn to empathy and helping others. This split in focus helps explain the different approaches to people in the margins of society.

In a conservative mindset, someone’s position in society is a result of actions for which they are responsible. In a traditional bell curve in which the vast majority sit in the middle, everyone – including those in the margins – got there as a result of their own actions. The successful people were the beneficiaries of hard work and risk, while the failures at the other end of the spectrum got there because of poor decisions and/or the lack of determination.

Conservatives study the habits of the successful as they attempt to emulate their path.Those at the top are their focus. When they look at the downtrodden, they are as case studies of actions to avoid.

Meanwhile liberals do not necessarily focus on what actions got a person into their predicament as much as how to get them out. The value of helping others puts liberals into an active mode of assistance. The successful outliers do not need help; they are not part of the liberal orientation. The liberals only attach themselves to the downtrodden – a select segment of those on the margins.

Conservatives and liberals are drawn to opposing ends of the spectrum because of their underlying value system. But conservatives use a common approach to all segments of society and learn from each; liberals end up only relating to a small segment of society. Right-leaning people extract data from both the majority and minority to validate their opinions, while left-leaning people can best apply their values of empathy to a select minority.

Liberal “Progessivism” versus Conservative “Traditionalism”

Not everything that divides conservatives and liberals can be divided between the attractions to the successful and the downtrodden. Sometimes it is the approach to religion and tradition.

Liberals are much less religious than conservatives. Pew polls found that only 36% of liberals found religion as important in their lives, while that figure was almost double – 70% for conservative Americans.

Free from traditional religious constraints, liberals have embraced homosexuality (which has been traditionally viewed as a sin) more than conservatives. Are most people homosexuals? No, they are a minority.

Liberals have also been drawn to the current trend of “self-identity.”

How many truly transgender people are there? It’s infinitesimal. But liberals have taken up this minority as consistent with their credo for empathy and helping others. They have pushed society’s traditional view of gender and advanced that the public must accommodate this new self-identity in matters such as public bathrooms. Conservatives have been appalled at both the new non-binary view of gender, and the demand that the public must adopt to their worldview.

The more religious and traditional conservatives have mostly remained with the majority in these matters of gender and sexual preference, while liberals have loudly campaigned for the minority.

The Parties in the Margin

While the two main political parties have hemmed to the margins, the parties themselves have become marginalized.

Democrats are much more liberal than ever in history, as the liberal wing grew to 44% of the party in 2016 from just 30% in 2000 according to Gallup. Not surprisingly, this liberal Democratic party has rushed to embrace far-left extremists like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. As they have done so, Gallup polls show that the percentage of Americans that identify as Democrats has declined to 30%.

Republicans similarly have become more conservative, and their share of Americans stands at only 26%, even less than Democrats.

The beneficiaries are Independents who now account for 43% of Americans, more than Democrats or Republicans. These independents may share some values of liberals and conservatives, but have a negative feeling about the main policy issues and leadership of the two parties.


Those at the margins are part of our society, but they do not define our society.

As Democrats become more liberal and place an exaggerated focus on the margins, they will continue to marginalize their own political party. It will also continue to benefit Independents and thoughtful writers like Bret Stephens that do not get caught up in trendy thinking that obfuscates truths.


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