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by G. Murphy Donovan
A quintet of unmasked white tweens, oblivious to Covid social distancing, has been plastering our neighborhood with flyers. One reads “You are contributing to killing black people…do something you racist fucks.” Another reads “A man was lynched by police. What are you doing about it?” Another admonishes me to use my “white privilege” for “good.”
The specifics of good are not defined.
The vulgar vigilantes were dressed for virtue signaling, short shorts so tight you could read dimples and pimples. Somehow, the white trash look seems appropriate to the occasion and the lite white guilt. After all, Snowflakes across the land are having a meltdown.
In a more serious realm, Mac Market on MacArthur Blvd a few blocks away was trashed and looted last week too. Maybe that’s the “good” the girls seek. Such small stores are often owned by immigrant Korean families. Rodman’s, on Wisconsin Ave NW, another DC neighborhood institution, was hit too. Rodman’s is owned by a Jewish family.
DC 2020 is now officially a remake of DC 1968.
Ironically, the only major news outlet to editorialize on the Mac Market story was Tucker Carlson at FOX, a report for which he is excoriated right and left. The Washington Post, hometown liberal fish wrap, is largely mute on punks and race riots.
Any truth these days at the Post would be racist.
Tucker Carlson lives in the hood or he too might have ignored the Mac Market travesty too. The personal is inevitably political.
Withal, I was having hot flashes of déjà vu.
During the DC race riots of 1968, I was in Vietnam. History buffs might remember that ‘68 was a bumper year too; a year when Lyndon Johnson (D) resigned from a pyrrhic war that went on killing for another seven years. Whilst I was keeping my head down, and my giblets dry in the jungle, I got my stateside news from AFVN or Stars and Stripes.
I remember hearing or reading something about a joint called Ben’s Chili Bowl in DC that had survived the ’68 fire bombings unscathed because it had a kind of racial immunity, a “black owned” window sign - or an awesome chili dog. When I subsequently, some might say inevitably, came to the Pentagon for another hardship tour, Ben’s was already on my bucket list.
As a pot licker and amateur cook, I had to see what was special about the U street miracle. After three visits to Ben’s, I was certain that it wasn’t the food, a very ordinary selection of fried or grilled everything served with indifferent chili – and a side of diabetes.
The Ben’s legend was political. “Black owned 1968 survivor” was/is the real draw. The rest of DC, Asians and Jews in ’68 and today, were not so lucky.
Back in the day, I thought that the “black owned” sobriquet was ironic, if not inflammatory.
What was the message? If you have to riot, please burn whitey, not black Americans. Of course, we now know arsonists, black or white, are morons. Still, when America goes pyric or suicidal, it’s usually local vigilantes that torch the hood.
Nevertheless, the “black owned” tagging is still alive and well midst the smoke of 2020. Riot and arson have, however, had a rhetorical upgrade to “protest” or “demonstration” since 1968 if you read the Post.
Maybe that’s the “good” those adolescent crusaders are seeking. Hegel once said that “the only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.”
And so it goes in 2020.
Mayor Muriel Bowser and the DC Metro Police have taken a knee before the mob, allowing “protestors” to smash, loot, and burn again. The president had to call in troops to secure the White House.
Slavery, segregation, aparteid, and dependency sponsored by American liberals (nee Democrats), is now replaced by revenge racism, a meme that holds all non-blacks guilty by association, accountable for the historical sins of unspecified ancestors. Would it be impolitic to mention, that our slave-holding antecedents were actually Englishmen, Spaniards, and Frenchmen for the most part.
Snowflakes now tell me that I am a racist too. Actually, I’m Hibernian on both sides. Albeit, the Gaels might be fucks too, to be sure. Irish slavery was upgraded to feudalism in the 12th Century, a great real leap forward according to the English.
The “black-owned” prophylactic of 2020, alas, is of a piece with the “black lives matter” mantra, somehow implying again that the property and lives of others do not matter – or at least, not as much as black property or lives.
American blacks were the victims of nearly a million violent crimes last year, mostly at the hands of blacks.
Fifty percent of American homicide victims nationally are blacks according to the FBI. If black lives mattered to blacks, the black body count (nearly 8,000 in 2018) wouldn’t be five times the rate for whites.
Apparently, BLM doesn’t really matter to other blacks, if crime stats tell us anything.
Do the math. Facts, arithmetic, and reason are terrible things to waste. Excuses are not explanations. Racism is no more an excuse for riot, or black bigotry, than “tough” policing is an excuse for the death of George Floyd.
Forget reparations. Revenge racism is the new structural or “systemic” social cancer. Guilty whites and angry blacks have found common ground. Selective identity morality is the future. Maybe that’s the “good” that snowflakes seek.
In the meantime it’s personal.
Mob justice and virtue signaling is trending and I may indeed be a fuck, but I resent the adjective “racist.” I am not responsible for the behavior of four white cops in Minneapolis any more than all blacks are responsible for Marion Barry, OJ Simpson, or Jussie Smollett.
Collective guilt isn’t any more of an argument than collective punishment. “Defunding” cops is not just stupid. If you live in DC, it might be suicidal – especially for blacks.
I don’t plan to take a knee before any race baiting mob either. I may have privileges, but “white” is not one of them. I was educated in a south Bronx orphanage, a minefield compounded by 18 years of Catholic schooling. I earned any privilege I have today.
Snowflakes are making the same spurious melanin arguments that Klan bigots always made. Grow up. When you get back to school; if you ever do, history, logic, and ethics should be mandatory.
Civic activism which promotes recidivist ideas and Orwellian solutions is the problem, not the solution.
G. Murphy Donovan usually writes about the politics of national security.