Friday, January 6, 2017

Don't Get Your Panties In A Twist, Conservos - NO "Libo" Is Looking The Other Way On Chicago Hate Crime

President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the briefing room of the White HouseObama refers to the Chicago attack as a hate crime - which it was. Contrary to Wing nuts' hysterical rants no liberals are "looking the other way" we just refuse to commit the fallacy of composition.

By now everyone not living under a rock is aware of the horrific attack on a mentally challenged white kid in Chicago by four black assailants. (No, I refuse to call them "apes" like some hysterical, racist commentators!)  If we are to parse and understand what transpired the first order of business is to ensure we aren't dragged down into racial epithets as well as committing logical fallacies. (Fallacy of composition, or attributing to an entire group or race the blame for the violent act of a few)  Contrary to the hysterical inputs of some bloggers President Barack Obama on Thursday delivered a measured response. He called the video showing four African-Americans torturing a white mentally disabled man in Chicago  “despicable", which is what it was.

As I played it back off the news from last night, it evoked the very human evil that I'd written about two days ago. Human evil driven by ignorance, and yes also hate - not too different from that which drives many white racists - and that includes their reptilian brain centers as well. I noted that one of the canards circulated about human evil is that it’s "irrational". If the person only knew better, or reasoned properly, he’d arrive at the generic good, and we'd all be better off.  I cited philosopher John Kekes who disposes of this myth quite forcefully (The Roots of Evil, p. 156.)  

As Kekes observed, abundant historical examples disclose that people often robustly justify their actions on the basis of a good perceived in their minds, but which in retrospect turns out to be evil. Therefore it’s not the lack of reason or rationality that infuses their actions but instead the false beliefs that supported the reasoning!

Thus, those innominate bloggers tempted to use this horrific Chicago hate crime to feed further  hatred of blacks in general are committing human evil.  They are prepared to interject a kind of "evil" based on false reasoning that this single act justifies wholesale disparagement and scapegoating of a race.. Again, "evil" in the sense it harms fellow citizens (innocent blacks not even born yet).

Obama told CBS2 Chicago:

What we have seen as surfacing, I think, are a lot of problems that have been there a long time. Whether it’s tensions between police and communities, hate crimes of the despicable sort that has just now recently surfaced on Facebook.

The Facebook video more generally focused a spotlight on crime in Chicago in advance of Obama’s Tuesday return to his adopted hometown to deliver his farewell address at McCormick Place. But in advance of that homecoming event Obama discussed the vile video beating and Chicago’s soaring murder rate and violence in interviews at the White House with reporters from five Chicago television stations.

Obama told ABC7 Chicago is a “strange exception” to a national crime trend, saying.

Ironically, what you’ve seen across the country is actually historically low rates of violence in our cities,”  which indeed, FBI crime stats support. So that makes Chicago an outlier.

Obama added:

There are a lot of factors around that. But what I intend to do is to build off of some of the work that has been in done in other cities to intervene in violence, provide better support for youth that are at risk, and my presidential center and me personally, this is something where we want to join those who are intent on doing something about this. I want to be a part of the solution.”

Obama told WGN he is “frustrated” about Chicago crime..

Obama told NBC5 Chicago there was no one cause – or one answer to Chicago violence, asking:

What is it about Chicago that has created an increase in homicides that we are just not seeing around the country?”


"Gangs, the way police are allocated, the availability of guns and “pockets of poverty” all contribute," the president said.

Meanwhile, the brutal quartet that televised their savage act on FB will now face the music. The Cook County state’s attorney on Thursday filed hate crime charges against the four for the beating of the 18-year-old mentally disabled white kid.  They also face charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, according to the state’s attorney. In other words, the freaking book will be thrown at these assholes.

But - that should not be a license for racists or the unhinged to go on a crusade to justify more human evil by using this (exceptional) violent attack to smear all the people of color. That is committing the fallacy of composition even as it plays into what I wrote two posts ago: that human evil is often reasoned and rational, but using false logic, false beliefs or fallacies.  A perfect example of committing the fallacy of composition was one wingnut blogger who responded to Obama's remark that the "next generation will be smarter and more thoughtful about race",

By howling: "Newsflash! Ya fuckin' half breed mutt, these thugs ARE your next generation!"

Uh no, they are not. And why the need to hurl the "half breed mutt" epithet at President Obama as well as being a "skunk?. Those racial epithets for sure do not advance one's cause! There is simply NO objective evidence which unimpeachably leads one to extrapolate from the act of these 4 criminals to generalizing that it will be repeated by all future black teens. This is the fallacy of composition in action, attributing to a whole population motives or actions committed by a few. WHO would resort to this? Only a person willing to spread violence, hate and anarchy by ramping up one act - an isolated one- into a de facto epidemic (or predicted epidemic) of a next "generation".

In other words, this is the sort of illiberal false logic that contributes to further hate crimes and human evil - namely white on black assaults. (Of which we've seen thousands of cases over the past 70 years from lynchings of blacks in southern towns for being out at the wrong time, to white rapists going all out on young black women). And let's not forget the worst hate crime of the past several years, committed by one white thug - Dylan Roof. His slaughter of nine innocents in their own black church - after inviting Roof to partake of prayer with them.

But, I would not use Roof's vile hate crime- a mass murder in fact (for which he's expressed no remorse)  as a basis to interject hate against all whites, or even against all garden variety blogger racists, i.e. those who may invoke verbal violence but never carry it out. (Though many on the Left fear once Trump is installed into power the racists will have license to do so - given Steve Bannon will sit in the same Oval Office with Trump)

Let's get one more thing straight: no one on the Left that I know is "overlooking" this cruel act by four misguided youths from Chicago's mean streets or trying to bury it, or ignore it. We are merely skeptical of the motives of the many who DO use it, often to stir up more racial hatred, which is the last thing this nation needs right now.  Going into this new year we ought to be trying our level best to build more racial bridges not chasms. Using this vile attack to foment more hate, from the opposite POV, therefore is inimical to the welfare of our nation.

If the welfare of the nation is an aspiration shared by Trumpies, even those who bandy racist invective, it should lead to common ground and purpose. The alternative, of course, is Civil War,

No comments: