Insurgent Action Report

Charles Koch has struck up a partnership with the United Negro College Fund.

He and [UNCF President Michael] Lomax have found common ground over the issue of criminal justice reform, a cause that Koch Industries has taken up. And Koch expressed concern about the recent spate of high-profile incidents in which black men have died at the hands of police officers.

I think we missed an opportunity to reach out to the Occupy Wall Street crowd when that was going on. I think we're also missing an opportunity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. With OWS, we have a shared concern with crony capitalism, and with BLM, it's legal reform.

We don't have to agree with everything they want, and we don't even have to like them. But building relationships and working with the left's own protest movements to achieve our goals would be a twofer in every case.


Anonymous said...

There are always reasonable people of good will attached to every movement. After all, even a fake grass-roots movement like OWS uses a genuine issue to attract interest.

So, recognizing where the radicals have a point and addressing that point, will yield a positive result for all the rest of us.

The commies are very proud that they gave us labor unions, which do serve a useful purpose. Add a right-to-work law, and they stay honest.


Grim said...

I agree that we have much in common with the BLM movement in terms of goals. I'd like to address prison reform, reform of police training and culture, and several other things. There would need to be some form of detente, though, in which we came to an agreement to work together without either side accepting the other's principles. There's a very radical core leading that movement that's all about pushing a vision in which America is structurally white supremacist (as opposed to merely a place where whites happen to be a majority and happen to be a little racist in often unconscious ways). There's a mode of inquiry white people who want to participate are supposed to adhere to that strongly resembles Maoist self-criticism.

I'd like to work with them to achieve mutual goals, and also to forward a society in which black Americans can feel more like they are fully welcomed. On the other hand, I'm not prepared to accept the Maoist aspects of the discourse. If we can come to terms on that, though, I'd be willing to work with them.

jaed said...

I feel... an almost instinctive revulsion at the thought of working with a racist movement. I don't want to get any of that on me, is the emotional tone I feel.

E Hines said...

I think we missed an opportunity to reach out to the Occupy Wall Street crowd when that was going on. I think we're also missing an opportunity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

They have to be willing to listen before there's anyone out to whom to reach. The BLM response to a Democratic Presidential candidate's remark that All Lives Matter, too (never mind his craven apology), is illustrative of the uselessness of bothering with them.

[R]ecognizing where the radicals have a point and addressing that point, will yield a positive result for all the rest of us.

Absolutely. But we don't have to waste time reaching out to those with closed ears, closed minds, and clenched fists to do that. We can simply do that.

There would need to be some form of detente, though....

It's their war, let them offer detente. In the mean time, we can simply do that. As folks like Rick Perry, Rand Paul, and some other Republicans already are doing.

Eric Hines

Tom said...

I think Valerie is right that in any movement of any size, we will find reasonable people, or at least some open-minded people who will listen. We don't need their leaders, per se.

I completely agree with Grim: These are short-term, tribal alliances. Our tribe and theirs have some mutual goals; we call a truce while we achieve them, then go back to fighting each other.

jaed, they feel the same about us. Imagine their surprise if some of us turn out not the be the evil, racist, white supremacists their leaders and media tell them we are. It may open a few doors. Would it be worth doing if we could defeat some of their racism and open some minds?

Eric, I think their turning on the Democrat actually shows the value of working with them. This seems to be a genuine opportunity to split some of them away from their normal alliances.

Additionally, one major reason to at least make a show of listening to and working with them is the shock value. We're insurgents. One of our jobs is to sow chaos and confusion in the enemy ranks, to strike where they're weak, to win victories where they don't expect us to even be. Joining their own protest movements makes it difficult for them to use the big guns on us; too much chance of blue-on-blue casualties.

I think the image of a thousand pasty old Tea Partiers with their Gadsden flags showing up in support of a Black Lives Matter rally would have an impact. If interviewed, we deflect questions about disagreements and hammer home that we really need judicial reform and we're willing to work with BLM to get that.

And we keep doing that for every disaffected lefty group who wants to roll back corruption and government abuse.

E Hines said...

BlackLivesMatter rallies are just stinking racism.

It's enough to take their issues that are serious seriously and push for solutions--that will turn out to look a lot like what they claim to want, only without the sewage. That's more than making a show of listening, that's actually doing alongside them, if not overtly working with them. If that's to subtle for them, and chaos isn't sown in their ranks, I can live with that. The results will be the same.

There's also no reason to believe they're worried about blue-on-blue casualties--they've already turned on their blue, after all. Reaching out to them is only going to get our hands cut off. They can reach out to us, they can offer the truce. I also know what our reaction will be.

Eric Hines

Tom said...

I don't think the results would be the same. I think the spectacle is part of the attack. I think the spectacle of it peels some of the rank-and-file off and makes most folks seeing the pics or video think again, puts a tiny bit of doubt in their minds.

When attacking a world view, you have to present anomalies, things that don't make sense within that world view. That's the only way to get most people to rethink things.

Also, I wasn't saying the BLM folks would worry about blue-on-blue. The MSM and lefty politicians will have to be careful of what they say when they attack the Tea Party so as not to hit their own and come off as racists.

Of course, not all of us would have to participate in these efforts. It would be good to have you and folks like you criticizing us for it.

jaed said...

jaed, they feel the same about us. Imagine their surprise if some of us turn out not the be the evil, racist, white supremacists their leaders and media tell them we are. It may open a few doors. Would it be worth doing if we could defeat some of their racism and open some minds?

Well, see, I don't think unashamed racism falls to direct attack. I think it falls to two things:

- So many people think what you're doing and saying is shameful that you start feeling ashamed of it and want to back away from it. Not likely anytime soon in this case, given the social tolerance for racist thinking (and it's not something one person can do on their own).

- You get to know some of the hate-group as people, and realize that they aren't all evil (the "credit to his race" stage, so to speak). Enough of this and you may start to question your own racism. This is where individuals can make a difference, but I think it's more likely to work in places that are completely divorced from racist politics. Someone reaches something down for you at the store, someone you work with solves a problem for you, a neighbor does something nice... anywhere in the interstices where you can find a fingerhold.

But straightforward arguing that "You shouldn't be racist" is not likely to convince. They know they're racist. They think they should be. That's why they are. We should state it straightforwardly just on general principles, but we shouldn't expect that to change minds.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Tom, I think your idea works in theory, and deserves thought. It should work, it should be reasonable, and it's the decent thing to do.

I do worry that it could be manipulated by people more politically savvy than the decent people who show up to help with protest.

Here is another reason to consider it: the black vote is monolithic, and the strategy of conservatives (Republicans/Libertarians) trying to pick off a few every election has been spectacularly unsuccessful. Yet if we understand that when it changes it will change quickly - perhaps in a decade or so, with little advance warning - then such alliances may not be quixotic.

I don't hope blacks and hispanics become Republican. I hope they become independents. Moving as a block, which is not a White Person strategy, could be enormously powerful for decades. Demilitarisation of the police, school choice, religious conscience, drug decriminalisation, respect for the military, illegal immigration - these are already points of contact. They don't care about other liberal big-ticket items like climate change, gay rights - and foreign policy is 50/50. There are big issues where they don't trust the Right, like education, taxes, medical care. Those can't be switched, but they can be damped down.

Recalculate your route. The entire black vote can change to Somewhere in three presidential cycles, with a lot of screaming and rancor in between. And the country would then be different for another 30 years.

jaed said...

Wait, wait. Are we talking about black and Hispanic people/voters? Or the BLM movement?

Tom said...

Maybe I should drop the military metaphor. I think if the Tea Party and BLM met and focused on mutual goals, it could make some BLM folks rethink their racism in the way that jaed describes.

I am not thinking of a bunch of Tea Partiers walking up to a BLM rally and telling them to stop being racists. Rather, it's much more that we'd show up and make it clear we shared some of their goals and were willing to support them to that extent. That could provide an opportunity for talking across the lines, as it were, and maybe for some of the leaders of each to talk and work out a way to work together to accomplish mutual goals.

However, even if the direct contact was a bust, I think the images and reports of the Tea Party supporting some BLM goals and saying they have some things in common with the BLM movement could provide a shock to people not in either movement but who have generally accepted the MSM narrative that the Tea Party is just a bunch of racists. Just the idea that the Tea Parties approached the BLM with an offer of support could rattle some people's world view. We might see some people changing their attitudes toward the Tea Party and its goals, in the future.

Plus, the establishment progressives don't know what to do with BLM, so imagine their reaction when the Tea Party does this. Chaos provides opportunity, if you're ready to capitalize on it.

So, jaed, in a sense we're talking about both.

Tom said...

I do worry that it could be manipulated by people more politically savvy than the decent people who show up to help with protest.

I think that's probably the biggest danger.

jaed said...

In that case, I think picking a very specific goal is the way to start. A goal, not several, even though there might be several possible candidate goals. If there is something concrete and specific, it is less likely to be co-opted by anyone on any side, and more likely to lead to success.

Something like requiring all police to wear body cameras, or establishing an independent state-level office to investigate substantiated complaints of police brutality. Something specific, limited, and unlikely to lead in bad directions. (One thing I thought of was police-training reform - which is badly needed - but I'm afraid of it ending up as some sort of half-assed mandatory racial-sensitivity training from a radical-racist perspective, which would be worse than useless. It should be something that can't really be twisted that way, both for pragmatic reasons and so success will build trust.)

Grim said...

I would say training reform begins with equipment reform. That's going to vary a bit by community, but we should have a conversation about what an appropriate level of force is for our communities. It may be that a shotgun ordinarily left in the car is all you need for many rural jurisdictions. In those cases when force was likely, you'd have more force than a handgun provides, but mostly you'd deal with people without weapons.

In more dangerous places, we might ask whether Tasers and CS gas are really needed. They don't seem to be very effective against dangerous people. They're just confusing the options and the legal after-game. Maybe the handgun is one option, and the nightstick or other melee weapon the primary choice for training. And that means a lot of training, because melee weapons are much harder to use well. There are lots of rewards to having a well-trained force that can leverage this capacity, though.

I think teams armed with military-grade gear should probably be almost done away with nationwide. We have the National Guard for that. If policing ordinarily requires that level of force in your community, we need to consider martial law until order can be restored. But that's a military problem, not a police problem.

I don't think the BLM people much like to consider that there may be neighborhoods -- even in majority black communities like those in South Chicago -- where martial law is the appropriate answer. But I think we could get to an eventual position in which less force on a day to day basis is required that way. When order is restored, it can be a much better kind of order.

We also need to address the separate issue of using police for revenue collection. That needs to stop. Maybe communities can be forbidden to collect revenue in this way -- all fines have to be donated to charities through a double-blind mechanism to prevent corruption, or something like that.

Tom said...

jaed, I completely agree that what we work together on has to be concrete and specific, but why just one?

For example, would there be a danger in taking up police body cameras, and forbidding communities from collecting revenue through their police forces, and reforms targeting prosecutorial misconduct?

The police training thing is a mess, and I have the same fear you do.

Grim, I would have started training reform with adding a week or two of constitutional law as it relates to police work, but you're right about the rest. One solution I kind of like for fines is that they all go to the state's general fund. It doesn't completely eliminate the incentive, but it diffuses it quite a bit.

jaed said...

Why just one: mostly to keep focus, especially during the beginning of any cooperative effort. (Note this is one at a time, rather than just one, ever.) The idea is that it's easier for all sides to keep a handle on one concrete, very specific effort than on several. Also that way you get fewer arguments about prioritization, etc.

Tom said...

That makes sense.