There's a Mobius Loop Going On

“Why should the crime — real or alleged — committed by person X make it okay for person Y to do harm to person(s) Z? No one has ever been able to explain that to me,” Jonah Goldberg writes, regarding the riots in Ferguson. As I mentioned earlier, the video that CNN* ran last night featuring a pregnant woman being helped with her gas mask(!) by her boyfriend/S.O./spouse or perhaps simply a helpful male fellow protester before going back to the barricades was wearing a tie-dyed T-shirt to complete the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago atmosphere.


A recurring topic here at Ed is that paradoxically, for an ideology that calls itself “Progressivism,” the left is stuck in a series of intertwined and seemingly unbreakable Mobius Loops, chief among them the cargo cult of FDR and the New Deal and its enabling mechanism, the Moral Equivalent of War, as a method to circumvent the Constitution and its checks and balances on the power of government. Both of these memes are well over 80 years old, and they show no signs of ending. Whatever the state of the country in early 2017, something will be deemed to be a crisis that requires FDR-level action, if President Hillary or Elizabeth Warren takes office. No matter how old the Single Wing Offense is, it’s just not coming out of the left’s Bronko Nagurski-era playbook.

Almost as old is the American race riot, which Fried Siegel dubs “A Grotesque Pantomime of Repression and Redemption” at City Journal today. “The American understanding of riots and racial violence was shaped a half-century ago, during the insurrections of the 1960s.” As with other “Progressive” cargo cults, “To judge by the responses to the current rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, little has changed since then,” Siegel writes:


Riots bring but one certainty—enormous economic and social costs. Businesses flee, taking jobs and tax revenues with them. Home values decline for all races, but particularly for blacks. Insurance costs rise and civic morale collapses. The black and white middle classes move out. Despite its busy port and enormous geographic assets, Newark, New Jersey has never fully recovered from its 1967 riot. This year, Newark elected as its mayor Ras Baraka, the son and political heir of Amiri Baraka—the intellectual inspiration for the 1967 unrest.

The story is similar in Detroit, which lost half its residents between 1967 and 2000. Civic authority was never restored after the late 1960s riots, which never really ended; they just continued in slow motion. “It got decided a long time ago in Detroit,” explained Adolph Mongo, advisor to the jailed former “hip-hop mayor,” Kwame Kilpatrick, that “the city belongs to the black man. The white man was a convenient target until there were no white men left in Detroit.” The upshot, explained Sam Riddle, an advisor to current congressman John Conyers, first elected in 1965, is that “the only difference between Detroit and the Third World in terms of corruption is that Detroit don’t have no goats in the streets.”


As Kevin Williamson noted in What Doomed Detroit:

The concentration of poverty and related social dysfunction in its inner city, in no small part a legacy of the explosion of the city’s black population during the Great Migration, which saw Detroit’s black population soar from 6,000 in 1910 to 120,000 in 1929, and from 1.2 percent of the population in 1910 to about 30 percent of the population by [1961]. It is one of the great ironies of American history that wherever black Americans go, from the Jim Crow South to the great industrial cities, they are persecuted by the Democratic party, and then help to entrench the power of that party.

More from Siegel:

The grotesque pantomime of repression and redemption, riots and never-quite-achieved rewards, plays out time and again. The chaos in Ferguson is but the latest episode of this long, sad drama of resentment and revenge. The drama persists in part because so many journalists and academics, not to mention black activists, have so much invested in it.

And as with the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman debacle, they won’t let a little thing like facts get in the way of their narrative. But then, as Jim Treacher notes:


* And speaking of Mobius Loops, yes, it’s quite evident that CNN is thrilled that they’re out of the disappearing airplane/Anthony Bourdain travelogue rerun business for the time being.

(Apologies to Sly and the Family Stone for the headline.)


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