Masks and BLM activism is NOT about safety and support

We have the eye-roll-inducing misfortune of finding ourselves fully engulfed within a society where there are not one, but two major societal issues both in the headlines and in-your-face literally everywhere you go.  There’s no escape.  It’s 80% or more of every social media feed.  They’re discussed ad nauseam in the workplace, at store counters, with the mailman, your neighbor, everyone…everywhere.  The worst part is that it’s difficult sometimes to interpret the good from the bad; the righteous from the indignant.  To be sure, finding yourself on the “wrong” side of the issue, depending on your company in the moment, will become a contentious exchange of accusations, finger-pointing, or even worse: expulsion from the group.

The (semi) compulsory wearing of masks while in public and White support of the Black Lives Matter movement (not to be confused with the principle that Black lives matter) are not mere points of view or political stances.  Neither, at this point can be if stats and data actually matter..if truth matters.

The medical statistics do not provide the dedication to the universal wearing of masks while in public.  The truth is not all masks provide the same, or even comparable degrees of protection, and some are outright useless!  Moreover, being outside is even safer than any indoor interactions.  UV light has been shown to kill the virus in relatively short order.

The BLM issue is a bit more touchy as it holds significant emotional real estate for many Black Americans.  But emotions aside, the data doesn’t actually bear out the claims of some that Blacks are “hunted” by Whites or by the police.  The data doesn’t support the accusation that Blacks have to constantly be in fear for their lives due to a threat from White police officers or citizens.  It’s worse than unfortunate that the news, once trusted to give the facts and allow us to decide how we feel, now instead editorialize with massive degrees of hype nearly every social event.  Judging by media coverage alone I can understand why the public perception is that Blacks are killed or attacked disproportionately by Whites than vice versa.  As far as the public goes, Blacks are murdered by other Blacks 90% of the time, and are murdered by Whites approximately 7%.  The most common yeahbut is that ‘of course Blacks kill other Blacks more, its population density and where they live you racist!’. I get that, but you’re not actually making your case any better.  The complaint is that Whites are murdering Blacks wholesale, and it’s simply not the case.

What about when it comes to police shootings..the crux of the BLM movement itself.  Many news outlets have “run the numbers” and found a disproportionate number of Blacks being shot and killed by police as well as those who are “unarmed” (for the record, unarmed doesn’t mean not dangerous, or even unarmed. Often a suspect is using a vehicle to drag or drive at an officer; using a found object such as a rock, bottle, or brick; overpowering ana officer and taking or using one of their weapons such as taser, baton, or gun).  I suppose it’s all in the data you use to determine disproportionate.  If you look solely at bottom like numbers, for example: raw number of Blacks/Whites in population compared to numbers of each killed, sure, you can make the case using a raw percentage.

But that paints as misleading a picture as the so called “gender wage gap“.  Those who push the gap only look at bottom line numbers and fail to consider hours worked, profession, education, longevity, etc. So too do those pushing the disproportionate shootings fail to include the fact that the more violent crime you’re involved in, the more likely you are to have a police interaction that also entails some degree of use of force. So, the current Black population in America is roughly 12-13%. And however it is you’d like to explain why, which I’m not speculating, the data shows Blacks commit disproportionate amounts of violent crime according to the FBI:

  • 53.1% of Murder
  • 28.7% of Rape
  • 54.3% of Robberies
  • 33.5% of Aggravated Assaults
  • 30.5% of Motor Vehicle Thefts
  • 43.9% of Illegally Possessing or Carrying Weapons

Naturally once you account for the rates of violent crime, and therefore the higher rates of police interaction that are likely to result in use of force.

I realize data is not enough to overcome a conviction someone holds so deeply it becomes part of how they present themselves in public to others. And this is where the rubber meets the road: public perception.  For the issue of BLM activism, I’m focusing my assessment toward White activists and not Black because that’s precisely who it applies to.

Masks and BLM have morphed from social issues into social currency.  There’s purchasing power in both.  It tells other how good of a person they are. It’s something tangible they can show to their friends and others they want to impress.

The wearing of the mask is to show others how much you care about them.  It screams “I’m doing this for you!” and “look how seriously I’m taking this”.  This is especially true for those who wear masks in their cars while driving alone, or outside.  For the people who believe it’s their duty to shame anyone with the audacity to bandy themselves about nude-faced.  All of the theatrics are for their neighbors and fellow citizens.  It has to be more than ‘better safe than sorry’.

This mindset also applies to the White BLM protesters and activists.  They are putting on full display for onlookers to boast how not racist they are.  It’s a competition even if unto themselves.  Simply in virtue of where I was born and have grown up, I live in a very monochromatic town, although very close proximity to large urban cities.  Every so often you’ll see a small gathering of very white well-to-do suburban men and women, teens, and small children holding homemade BLM signs on the green.  They sit in their lawn chairs in the shade, laughing as they chat with one another and even wave at cars that sound their horn.

It’s social currency which alleviates their White Guilt one chant at a time.  For they don’t find their way to one of the urban protests where things get loud.  Where things may get out of control. Where they’d be surrounded by Blacks.  No.  Sipping their beverage and “making a difference” hoping Jan from down the street drives by.

Of course, nowadays the majority of BLM protesters are white, even in cities.  But again, their mindset is a bit different.  They enjoy the fight, the chaos, the adrenaline.  But make no mistake, they’re purchasing social currency.  It’s all for the observer.  It’s all optics. In fact, it’s more important to be seen than to make change.  Change happens by meeting with community leaders and working together.  It takes patience, it takes maturity and vision for the long term and that’s not present here.

Comments

  1. My primary thought is how nice it is to see you posting again. My secondary though is that I hope it’s the first of many more. As to my thoughts on the context of the post, I don’t have the time at present, but I just had to read what you had to say. Well done, of course, and I’ll be back.

  2. Great article for a come-back!

  3. I meant to get back to this earlier, but…well…you know…

    These issues both reek of peer pressure, and for adults to fall prey to it is shameful and cowardly. While I don’t begrudge anyone from thinking in terms of one’s own safety…and that’s indeed a factor with regard to the BLM terrorists…at some point those for whom truth is proclaimed as something important must take some risk to stand up to the BS.

    With regard to masks and other less than proven restrictions on our liberty, I believe there is far better evidence to reject the mandating of mask wearing by any governmental body. I’ve recently had an FB “discussion” with a doctor, possibly a surgeon, who supports wearing a mask. He condescended quite a bit, telling me to make sure I let whomever performs surgery upon me they aren’t required by me to wear a mask. But that’s not the issue. I don’t support a mandate to deny one’s decision to wear a mask. I’m concerned that those who should know better…especially a surgeon…would not be willing to support a mandate that I must wear one. Since then…and it wasn’t more than a couple of weeks ago that interaction took place…I’ve read yet another article from a medical professional…this one a surgeon of many years experience…who stated categorically that no mask a surgeon wears is meant to or capable of preventing the transmission or intake of any virus given the minute size of a virus. Indeed, he says if he is suffering from some viral affliction, he doesn’t perform any surgeries until he is once again healthy.

    So for those who feel to wear one shows how much one cares for one’s fellow citizen, it truly shows nothing given how little effect wearing a mask has on the transmission of the virus. As you say, “better than nothing” isn’t good enough given the degree to which it is “better” is so close to zero. Instead, those who insist upon the notion of mask wearing effectiveness are more concerned, it appears to me, with how they are regarded by others…particularly others who wear masks. They feel oh so good about themselves as if they’re actually doing something that makes a difference. It’s kinda like those various ribbons worn to increase awareness to one cause or another. It’s absolute effortless support and thus meaningless, fraudulent and lazy.

    With regards BLM, for the black community, they are definitely victims of cultural indoctrination that at least has some basis in historic evidence. Too bad that evidence doesn’t apply today in any way, shape or form. One fellow blogger can’t all for that totally without referring to policies from the FDR administration, but I can’t seem to get him to point to one that still has any true effect any moderately motivated black person can’t overcome. But that part of the narrative that insists blacks are targeted by racist cops is completely fallacious, even allowing for the reality that there exists cops who are racist. (Amongst those, I would think one could place wagers on how many became so after years of dealing with black suspects in black neighborhoods where crime is high.)

    But regardless of who is peddling that myth, I can’t help but wonder why anyone would do so little to determine if there’s any truth in it whatsoever. I can’t determine who I think has the greater responsibility to investigate…blacks or whites! I want to say blacks given they are most impacted by the falsehood being perpetuated. And those that have pointed to recent incidents involving blacks who are…shall we say, “less than model citizens”…are the worst liars of the race-hustlers pushing that narrative.

    These days, I feel compelled to respond differently when I see anyone say, “black lives matter”. Where I used to say “all lives do”, now I want to say, “no they don’t” simply to piss them off. But really, it’s all or nothing. And the fact that those who pretend to buy in are really just the worst marxists exploiting blacks once again as they always have. The whites who believe they’re morally superior for playing that game are simply unworthy of recognition as anything more than panderers, exploiters and purveyors of falsehood.

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