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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, piano version]
01 — Intro. And the Thanksgiving edition of Radio Derb is on the air! This is your gratefully genial host John Derbyshire with news from the last week of November.
We had a quiet Thanksgiving here at the studio. Last week I still had the place under lockdown after the disgraceful shenanigans during my absence at Halloween. I eased up on that, let the girls go down to the village for provisions, and we had a quiet little party here at the studio: goatburgers, washed down with ouzo, and followed by some party games — spin the bottle, kiss the lizard, leapfrog, … you know, the old traditional party games we all love.
Now it's back to work: serious faces on, noses to the grindstone, shoulders to the wheel, hands to the plow. Let's see what's been happening.
02 — Riot fatigue. The week's big news story was the decision out of the grand jury in Clayton, Missouri. After three months of hearing witnesses, examining evidence, and being instructed on the law, the grand jury found no probable cause to indict police officer Darren Wilson for manslaughter or homicide in any degree in the shooting of Michael Brown. Blacks in Ferguson, Missouri vented their feelings by looting and burning stores, trashing cars, and throwing bottles at police.
My instinctive reaction to the decision and its aftermath was a weary sigh. I've been watching TV footage of blacks rioting, looting, and burning since Watts, Detroit, and Newark. That was close to fifty years ago. It just goes on and on. It seems like it will never end. Fifty years: So when my kids are drawing social security in the year 2060-something, I guess it'll still be going on. Weary sigh.
This is not what we expected back in the day. Fifty years ago we all assumed that if segregation laws were struck down and blacks were given an even break, in a few years we'd all be happily dancing round the maypole together, equal citizens with equal outcomes, nothing to separate us but mere skin color. Hey, maybe we might even elect a black President one day!
Things didn't turn out like that at all … well, except for the bit about a black President. In some respects race relations are worse now than they were when I first came to the U.S.A. forty years ago.
These problems are with us for ever. We're stuck with them. Hence my sighs.
Is that "hateful" of me? Maybe; at any rate, I'll confess to some hate here as I followed this Ferguson story.
Not towards blacks, who are just what nature made them, and can't help it any more than the rest of us can. Of course I avoid concentrations of low-class blacks, just as every other prudent nonblack American does; but towards the working- and middle-class blacks I encounter, I'm polite and friendly as a citizen should be. Of course if one is obnoxious to me I'll dislike him; but I don't nurse any generalized dislike, much less "hate."
I'm going to confess, though, that I do harbor a generalized hatred of the white liberals who use blacks as pawns in their game against other whites. I've referred to this game before as the Cold Civil War — one group of whites pitted against another, with blacks enlisted on the liberal side as auxiliaries, digging field latrines and feeding the horses.
It's these white liberals who've kept this story alive the last three months, long after it was clear that Michael Brown was a belligerant scofflaw.
And I'm sighing also at the predictability of the story here, the dull predictability of its trajectory. How many of these hysterias have we seen? They all follow the same pattern.
We hear of some black person killed, raped, or insulted by whites: Tawana Brawley, Rodney King, Crystal Mangum, the Jena Six, Trayvon Martin. The victims are drawn sympathetically — infantilized if possible. The white perps are demonized.
That's the Narrative that media lefties impose on the first sketchy news reports.
Then comes Narrative Collapse. As more facts emerge, it turns out that the course of events was nothing like that portrayed by the media liberals. The innocent baby-faced black victim turns out to be a chronic liar with a rap sheet or a list of school suspensions. The sneering fascist white bully turns out to be an Eagle Scout or a "white Hispanic." The Narrative crumbles.
Instead of apologizing, though, the media doubles down, whipping up more and more hysteria. When it's no longer possible even for the united media lefties to deny the true facts, the whole incident is shoved down the memory hole — just another battle in the Cold Civil War.
It's wearying: the same fool thing, repeated over and over. It's not what I want for my country; it's not what any of my generation hoped for; yet apparently we're stuck with it — for ever. Damn the stinking liberals, damn them all to hell.
03 — Press conference poseurs. St Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced the grand jury's decision at a 43-minute press conference Monday evening. The whole thing is of course on YouTube: search "Michael Brown full press conference."
Prosecutor McCulloch made a bit of a meal of it, I thought: speaking for 25 minutes about the shooting, the investigation, the gathering of evidence and locating of witnesses, the grand jury deliberations, the federal involvement, … every aspect of the case. His point was to show the procedural thoroughness of his department and the very punctilious way the grand jury had arrived at their decision. In that regard, he definitely made his point.
After speaking, Prosecutor McCulloch took questions from the assembled journalists. I counted seventeen questions altogether. The questions on balance didn't reflect well on the journalistic profession.
One question was just stupid. A black female reporter at 37m50s on the YouTube clip asked for a breakdown of the grand jury vote. McCulloch had already dealt with that in detail when responding to the first question ten minutes previously. The lady just hadn't been listening, or hadn't understood. Perhaps they don't teach listening and understanding at journo school nowadays.
Other questions — I counted four in this category — were just moral posturing, not really questions at all. "Why is this justice?" asked a white male reporter rhetorically at 32m49s on the clip, when there were nine whites and only three blacks on the grand jury, and McCulloch is known to be — Oh, Heavens! — "pro-police"?
I bet McCulloch is pro-police. His father was a police officer, killed in the line of duty when McCulloch Junior was twelve years old. I'd be pro-police, too. I didn't see anything in his long presentation, though, to indicate a biased approach to the case; and the grand jury's decision was of course theirs, not his, and based on presentations by McCulloch's assistants, not by him.
County Prosecutor is an elected position, and McCulloch's been elected to it seven consecutive times, starting in 1991. The county is 23 percent black. McCulloch looks to me like a popular and capable public official doing his best for his county.
A white male questioner, or rather posturer, at 34m36s on the YouTube clip, said McCulloch's record has been questioned by, quote, "many members of the community," and wondered, again rhetorically, quote:
What message do you think it sends to the community that says that they have had numerous members of their community — young, predominantly black males — killed by police with impunity, what kind of message do you think this decision sends to them?
Given the fuss that the Michael Brown shooting generated, I have to wonder about that word "numerous." If there have really been "numerous" such cases in "the community," which I suppose means Ferguson, how come I never heard of the place until last August?
As for the message this sends, I should think the clearest message is: Don't assault a police officer who's eighty pounds lighter than you are.
As for McCulloch's record having been questioned: If you can hold a position like that for 23 years without anyone ever questioning something you did, you're more than human.
Another posturer, a black male at 35m43s, said this:
I think people looking at this from around the country are going to be struck by the fact that there is not a single law in the state of Missouri that protects and values the life of this young man … What do you say to people who wonder: Is there something wrong with the laws here? … Is this really justice?
So I guess Missouri needs a law to stipulate that if I'm a cop and someone large and violent assaults me and tries to get my gun, I should on no account shoot him. Over to you, Missouri legislators.
Altogether, not an impressive performance by the press. As McCulloch was on his way out of the room, one of the so-called journalists called after him: "Will you rest well tonight, Sir?"
Personally, I'd rest better at night if I knew that the news is being brought to us by objective reporters with a proper regard for evidence and legal procedure, not by hysterical cop-hating anarchists. But hey, that's me.
04 — Journalists meet gentle giants. Just a follow-up on journalists in the case, a sidebar story that I'm a bit ashamed to say brought a smile to my face.
On Canfield Drive in Ferguson, near the spot where Michael Brown was shot, there is a makeshift memorial to him: a big pile of stuffed toys, flowers, and such, and a portrait of Brown, with the hands-in-the-air symbol the protestors have adopted, of which more in a minute or two.
This is actually the second memorial on the spot. The first burned down in September: an act of malice by white racists, say the protestors, but much more likely a fallen-over candle.
Well, Tuesday evening two journalists, Marcus DiPaola and Emily Molli, went to the memorial site to report on it. They were filming their report when a large group of gentle giants showed up, told them to stop filming, and tried to grab the camera.
The two reporters headed back to their car and got into it. The gentle giants had followed them, though. They were armed with guns and hammers. Quote from Emily Molli:
One guy pulled [the car door] back open, got a gun out of his backpack and pointed it at my head. He tells me to get out of the car and give me the keys. That's what I did.
The gentle giants robbed them, but the reporters got away. The g-g's torched their car. The fleeing reporters encountered a local church group who were in the area delivering Thanksgiving turkeys. The group protected them and took them to a police checkpoint.
I guess they were lucky it was Thanksgiving, not Martin Luther King Day.
I went looking on Google Images for pictures of these two reporters. I couldn't locate one of Ms Molli but I did get several of Marcus DiPaola, a Chris Hayes lookalike.
Shakespeare tells us there is no art to find the mind's construction in the face, but I have to say, five'll get ya eight this guy's a flaming liberal.
Hence my slightly ashamed smile. Look, I don't like to think of anyone being terrorized and assaulted by gentle giants — not police officers, not anyone. If I'm right about these reporters, though, it's possible they got back to their hotel Tuesday night a bit wiser than when they'd ventured forth.
05 — Perjury's a white thing. Just one more on the journalists.
I don't want to leave listeners with the impression that they are all posturing lefty nitwits. Some of them were trying to do honest reporting.
One of the reporters at Prosecutor McCulloch's news conference, for example, asked the following very reasonable question at 27m08s on the YouTube clip, quote:
I heard you describe some very problematic witness statements. Do any rise to the level of you going after perjury charges?
It's a good question. Remember the O.J. Simpson case twenty years ago? Spot quiz: That entire case only resulted in the criminal conviction of one person. What was that person's name?
If you were the first to call in with the name Mark Fuhrman, you win the Radio Derb prize: a basket of figs and a signed photograph of the late Telly Savalas, delivered by donkey to your residence.
Mark Fuhrman was the L.A. police detective who testified to not having used the word "nigger" in many years. When evidence turned up showing this statement false, he was prosecuted, copped a plea, and was thenceforth a convicted felon.
So yes, giving false testimony under oath in a murder case can get you a felony conviction, at any rate if you are a white cop and the suspect is black. (I assume grand jury witnesses testify under oath.) Whether the same applies if you are black and the suspect is a white cop … Well, let's see.
We have a close-up witness to the Michael Brown shooting: Brown's friend Dorian Johnson. Johnson supplied key material from which liberals assembled the original media Narrative. He told TV News reporters — CNN, Fox News — right after the shooting that Officer Wilson had shot Brown in the back as Brown was fleeing; that Brown then turned round with his hands raised, saying, "I don't have a gun, stop shooting!" but that Officer Wilson went ahead and shot him anyway.
That story was the foundation of the initial media Narrative. It is contradicted by all the physical evidence, including autopsy reports, statements from other witnesses, and Officer Wilson.
It also emerged that Dorian Johnson had previous convictions for theft and — wait for it — filing a false police report. Narrative collapse! Watch out there; there's a big loose chunk of masonry right over your head.
So: Will Dorian Johnson be Mark Fuhrmanned? Quote from the news report:
Should Johnson be arrested the charge he would face would be perjury, but it appears to be very unlikely.
Yes, I would say so. Prosecutor McCulloch at his news conference, in response to that question, did a nimble little dance around the issue, making it clear that (a) some of the witnesses were flagrant liars, but (b) he didn't have any perjury prosecutions planned.
Bottom line here, Mark Fuhrman v. Dorian Johnson: Lie under oath about having used a taboo word, you get to spend the rest of your life tagged as a convicted felon. Lie on nationwide TV, and presumably also under oath, in support of a bogus victimization narrative that ended with businesses looted and burned and at least one person killed, and … [Crickets.]
06 — An American family. We've been learning more about Michael Brown and his family.
You'll recall that Radio Derb reported three weeks ago on the activities of Lesley McSpadden, aged 34, Michael Brown's mother. On October 18th McSpadden, in company with 20 or 30 other people, attacked a group of vendors selling Michael Brown T-shirts and other memorabilia. Ms McSpadden herself assaulted 54-year-old Pearlie Gordon, Michael Brown's paternal grandmother, i.e. the mother of McSpadden's baby daddy, and stole her goods.
There has been a strange dearth of news stories about this little dust-up, but I did locate one that said, quote:
The probe of the October 18 attack remains an "active investigation," according to Stephanie Karr, city attorney in Ferguson, Missouri.
Police have classified the incident, in which one person was hospitalized, as a felony armed robbery. I await news of Ms McSpadden's arrest. [Laugh.]
On the paternal side, meanwhile, Michael Brown, Sr., the biological father of Michael Brown, has not been much in view. He has appealed for calm, and so far as I know has not participated in the looting. That doesn't entirely get him off the hook, at least so far as one of the commenters at the American Renaissance site is concerned. Quote:
A real man marries the mother of his son, and he teaches that son to become a man in his turn, and not to rob stores, use illegal drugs, assault convenience store clerks, and grapple with armed policemen. This person did none of those things. To me that proves he didn't love his son, and a lot of the blame for his son's death lands squarely at his doorstep.
Ms McSpadden is listed in news reports as being 34 years old. That means she was most likely born in 1980. Michael Brown was born in May of 1996, so Ms McSpadden was either 15 or 16 when the gentle giant was born, either 14 or 15 when he was conceived. I guess Michael Brown, Sr., discovering that he'd knocked up his young-teen girlfriend, realized he had more important things to do than marry her and help raise the child — studying for his Master's degree in astrophysics, perhaps.
Lesley McSpadden's current boyfriend, though — name of Louis Head, referred to in the press as Michael Brown's "stepfather" — Mr Head seems not to have listened to Mr Brown's pleas for peaceful demonstration. When the news of the grand jury decision came out, Mr Head and Ms McSpadden joined a crowd of protestors outside Ferguson Police HQ. They climbed on top of a car, and Mr Head screamed out to the protestors: "Burn this bitch down! Burn this bitch down!" That's when the serious trouble started.
There's another conviction the County Prosecutor might want to go after: Incitement to Riot. Don't hold your breath.
This kind of behavior may not be totally out of character for Mr Head. There are persistent reports that he is a member of the street gang called The Bloods. I can't nail down an authoritative confirmation of this, but we do have pictures of Michael Brown himself flashing Bloods signs, and I guess he must have learned it from somewhere.
07 — Tragic loss of a creative talent. What about the deceased himself?
Well, when he wasn't roughing up convenience store clerks, flashing gang signs, or assaulting police officers, Michael Brown was husbanding his creative talent. He was, yes, an aspiring rap singer. You can't make this stuff up.
He actually made some recordings in furtherance of his aspiration. Would you like to hear one of Mr Brown's productions? Of course you would!
Here as a teaser is a stimulating snippet from Brown's song titled "Luh Vee K-Loc." That's the name of the song. No, I have no clue what it means. You ready? Here we go. [Clip.]
I know, the words don't come through too clearly. It's not a good recording. It would be a tragedy if the lyrics written and sung by this creative young man should be lost to the world, though, so I've had my sound engineers scrutinize the recording to figure out what Brown is singing. Here's the best we can do:
I'm a count this money
"Whites on the bottom now" — well, he got that right. You could ask Mark Fuhrman, the Duke lacrosse team, George Zimmerman, Steve Pagones, the Central Park rape victim, the relatives of Yankel Rosenbaum or Chris Newsom and Channon Christian or the Wichita victims. Or you could ask … me.
If frank assertions of black supremacism don't grab your attention, let me tell you, I've picked the mild stuff here. Most of the lyrics I heard are too grossly obscene for a family podcast. Go ahead and google them for yourself.
This is the gentle giant of Ferguson, the winsome black child, the innocent victim of a vicious racist cop.
If Michael Brown had taken his 40 caliber Glock out with him that night, we might have been reading a different news story … although much more likely, that story wouldn't have made the newspapers at all.
Yet still, the Narrative goes on. Nothing must contradict it, certainly not mere facts.
08 — The Talk! An essential component of the Narrative in all these race hysterias is anguished, furrowed-brow columns by black journalists about how they have to give their kids The Talk — you know, the one where they warn them about how racists whites can just shoot them down at any time without provocation or excuse, and "with impunity," as one of the journalists at Prosecutor McCulloch's news conference put it.
Someone should write a counter-column pointing out what is indisputably true on the government's own crime statistics: that blacks are at least five times more dangerous to nonblacks than vice versa; and that vice versa includes Hispanic offenders, so the multiplier for non-Hispanic whites is even greater. Yeah, someone should write that counter-column …
There was a prime example of these columns about The Talk in the New York Times, November 26th. This Talk was being given by Michelle Alexander, a card-carrying member of the Ivy League mulatto elite, an affirmative-action law professor, author of a 2012 book titled The New Jim Crow, which I actually have on my self here.
When the book came out, a friend — also a law professor, as it happens — urged me to look into it, as a particularly egregious specimen of victimological academic whining.
The theme of the book is that evil white Americans are for ever seeking new ways to keep the black man down. First they set up slavery. Thanks to the heroic efforts of brave black people, slavery was overthrown. The evil whites bounced back with Jim Crow. After a long and noble struggle, that too was cast down.
There is no end to the malice of the white devils, though. Now they have a system of mass incarceration of blacks, our state and national prison system — the new Jim Crow, you see?
So Ms Alexander, the author of this book, somehow evaded the white lynch mobs to become a law professor at Ohio State University, married to another member of the mulatto nomenklatura, currently a U.S. Attorney in Ohio. Lawyering, the Academy, and government work: the affirmative action fast track.
Well, as I said, Prof. Alexander had an op-ed in the New York Times last week, tugging at our heart-strings about how her ten-year-old son wants reassurance that he won't be shot by a white cop while he is, actual quote, "running away, or even toward them," end quote.
How about she tells her son that you don't run in any direction when a cop addresses you, and you certainly don't punch him in the face or try to wrestle his gun away? No, she doesn't tell her son that.
What does she tell him? You might want to get your hankies out for this. Quote:
I open my mouth to speak, look into my son's eyes, and hear myself begin to lie: "Don't worry, honey, you have nothing to worry about. Nothing like this could ever happen to you." His face brightens as he tells me that he likes the police, and that he always waves at the cops in our neighborhood and they always wave back. His innocence is radiating from him now; he's all lit up with relief and gladness that he lives in a world where he can take for granted that the police can be trusted to serve and protect him with a wave and a smile.
O-K. So what does she actually tell the kid? Quote:
I begin telling him the truth and his face contorts. The glowing innocence is wiped away as his eyes flash first with fear, then anger. "No!," he erupts. "There has to be a trial! If you kill an unarmed man, don't you at least have a trial?"
But of course she doesn't encourage him to riot. The mulatto elites don't engage in anything as course and low-rent as rioting. Heck, that might cause damage to the Whole Foods store. Instead she just gives him a pep talk about the Civil Rights movement, the wonderful young activists organizing in Ferguson, Michael Brown's dignified parents testifying before a United Nations subcommittee in Geneva about, quote, "police militarization and violence."
To judge from that October 18th parking lot incident, Michael Brown's mother certainly knows all about violence; but perhaps Prof. Alexander left that part out.
It's a nice point to ponder which is more vomit-inducing: Micahel Brown's rap lyrics or the sugary victimological whining of a wealthy, pampered, tenured elite pet like Michelle Alexander. It's a tough call, but I'll go for Door Two.
09 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items. Very brief this week, listeners, as I'm way over my time budget.
Imprimis: Chuck Hagel got bounced as Defense Secretary. I'd forgotten he was Defense Secretary. He's been wellnigh invisible this past two years.
Since, to be perfectly frank, I can't think of anything else to say about him, here's my evaluation from two years ago when he was nominated. I think it's stood the test of time pretty well. Quote from me:
[Clip: "Hagel's not an easy guy to place on the usual left-right Republican spectrum, RINO-to-conservative, because he's been too much of an individual — which I rather like, shows some independence of mind — but he's generally ended up left of center of the GOP, which I … don't much like. If you're going to be a maverick, I'd prefer you maverick out to the Right."]
Item: I've introduced Radio Derb listeners to the concept of Victimization Whack-a-Mole. Some designated victim group whines about how some aspect of law or custom is unfair to them; the law or custom gets changed; then they whine about how the new, changed dispensation is unfair in some different way.
You know: Blacks complain that there's a racist plot to fill their neighborhoods with crack cocaine; laws are passed to penalize crack; then blacks complain the law picks on them.
Well, here's another one. Remember the recent fuss about how a woman can't walk the streets of our cities without being insulted and degraded by men whistling and cat-calling at them? The whistlers and cat-callers are now being shamed to silence.
So here is Prue Leith, who is some kind of celebrity chef over in Britain. What's her beef? … or should I ask: What's her Boeuf Bourguignon? Well, she's complaining to the Daily Mail that, quote, "women no longer get whistled at by the opposite sex after they have gone through the menopause," end quote.
Victimization Whack-a-Mole. Not policing black neighborhoods is racist; policing them is also racist. Wolf-whistling at women in the street is sexist; not wolf-whistling is also sexist.
Do you get the impression that a lot of people spend all their time thinking up things to be aggrieved about?
Methane gas from a giant cesspit … exploded, destroying buildings and showering an area the size of a football pitch in human waste.
People who have at some point been blessed with babies are familiar with the phenomenon that was known in the Derb household as a poopquake, when that nice clean diaper you put on the kid half an hour ago is suddenly overflowing on the furniture — or, in one memorable case, on the seat of a British Airways coach section just as the plane was coming in to land.
Well, the citizens of Zhangjiajie suffered a real poopquake there on November 22nd. See? There's always someone worse off than yourself.
10 — Signoff. With that very Derbian image, I like to think, of human waste raining down from the sky, I shall leave you.
Let's hope Officer Darren Wilson gets to resume some kind of normal life after all the lies and hysteria. I think all of us are a tiny bit ambivalent about cops. We've all encountered an obnoxious or arrogant cop, and that memory tends to stick unfairly in the mind. The great majority of cops, the great majority of the time, are doing thankless and sometimes dangerous work with calm professionalism. We should remember that.
Here to help us remember is the policemen's chorus from The Pirates of Penzance.
More from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: D'Oyly Carte Co., "A Policeman's Lot."]