David Bellavia on “Pigment Whores” : Counterpoint

I am a well-off white male with a graduate degree and a professional license. Some of this I owe to hard work, some of it I owe to luck, but almost all of it is due to extremely generous and brave parents who came to this country with nothing but an education. 

Because of who I am, and the America that I experience, I fail to see the need to lecture women or minorities on, for lack of a better term, proper behavior.  I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman in America, or black, or Asian, or American Indian, or anything other than what I am.

100 years ago, women couldn’t vote. 150 years ago, women were considered to be their husband’s property – chattel. Black people were brought to this country against their will to be bought and sold as slaves. For 100+ years after that, they lived, (in many cases, still do), as second-class citizens, and we struggle as a society with issues of race and class to this day. 

I’m sure there’s a great deal of woman-on-woman crime, but we become especially outraged when, for instance, some bemuscled cretin beats his girlfriend to within an inch of her life. It’s upsetting because there’s a long and sordid history of our society condoning male brutality against women. Rape still goes underreported, as victims find themselves subject to withering cross-examination by defense attorneys about their every sexual experience and article of clothing. “She dressed like that, she deserved what she got”. It was a joke when, 50 years ago, Ralph Kramden threatened to send Alice “to the moon”.  

We don’t lecture women about what they should be upset about when, say, a feminist decries abuse and inequality. Well, sometimes we do – for instance, men often tell women to shut it when the idea of equal pay for equal work is raised. Suffice it to say that female-on-female crime and abuse happens all the time, and is reported and prosecuted. But when a man abuses a woman, it calls for a special response, partly because of centuries of male subjugation of females, and because the idea of women being people is relatively new to our society, and not yet adopted by others. It is about power and rights. It’s about liberty. It’s about humanity. 

But for some reason, white males feel perfectly comfortable lecturing black people about how insignificant their concerns are. Somehow, it’s perfectly reasonable to hector black leaders that they should STFU about police brutality or systemic racism because black people hurt black people all the time, and why don’t you talk about that, huh?

Black people have endured centuries of subjugation and racism.  Between Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education – about 60 years – the Supreme Court of the United States (all white males) declared that black Americans could be subjected to “separate but equal” public accommodations. The reality was a postbellum century of two Americas – white and black; the accommodations for black Americans were separate and palpably unequal. The country that, in 1776, declared that “all men are created equal” didn’t just omit women, but the definition of “man” did not include black people. 

It’s 2014 and there’s still a lot of work left to do. 

This country never bothered to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, which stood for the radical notion that women were equal to men, and should be treated thusly. It wasn’t until the mid-1960s that the country codified legal equality for racial minorities. But that didn’t magically make racism and racist attitudes disappear. 

It’s become chic among the contrarian, reactionary American right to dismiss any grievance that blacks or women might have. The most fashionable argument is to dismiss leaders in the black community in part because they supposedly don’t criticize the right things

I’m not a black man in America, so far be it from me to lecture black people about what they should and should not be concerned. 

Batavian conservative commentator and former Congressional candidate, David Bellavia, wrote an article for Michael Caputo’s PoliticsNY entitled, “Say Hello to the Pigment Whores”.  The tl;dr: national leaders and commentators in the black community have no moral authority to comment on what’s up in Ferguson because they don’t say anything about black-on-black crime. 

The issue of white subjugation of black people manifests itself nowadays in many ways. Among them is predominately white police forces made up of non-residents, who patrol black communities in cars as if they’re on safari. That’s not to say I think that black people are animals – that’s simply the optics of what’s going on. This is how it works in Buffalo, too – we don’t have much community policing, we don’t have a residency requirement, and cops drive around instead of walking a beat. This reinforces the notion of “us vs. them”, and that the cops are there to keep the blacks in line – placid and quiet. 

Similarly, Bellavia’s piece is breathtakingly condescending, lecturing black leaders on what they should be thinking and doing, and conveniently concludes that contemporary African-Americans have let Dr. King down. 

… the President can’t take the facts of this case and invent a cause that is noble and just for people to shoot at civilians, police, steal from their neighbors. He also can’t excuse and nullify all the criminality that is occurring every night. 

Ferguson’s Michael Brown, the unarmed black man who was gunned down like a dog in the street by a white cop in a cruiser, was not a thug. He was an American teenager living in a tough neighborhood who was exceeding the expectations that our society settles on for kids like him. He graduated high school. He was going to college. He was creative musically. If every teenager who challenges authority is a thug, then ours is a thug society. 

The cause?  White cops shooting unarmed black kids under questionable circumstances, including (but not limited to) the cop being incommunicado and the department refusing to release the incident report, is something that legitimately outraged people in Ferguson. Theirs is a noble cause. Of course, because there are some violent elements among the peaceful protesters, it’s easiest to simply paint all of the demonstrators with the “looter” brush and dismiss them – and their grievances – as illegitimate and criminal. You could always search Twitter to see images that don’t comport with a media narrative, but don’t question that jerk in your knee, right? 

[Michael Eric] Dyson and Spike Lee are not outraged of the black on black violence in Chicago, Washington and Detroit; why are we all now incensed when a police officer kills a black man? (regardless of the facts that show it was most likely a clean incident)

“Clean incident” is one helluva way to pre-emptively sanitize a homicide. Just like people shouldn’t rush to judgment against the cop and wait for the facts to come out, they shouldn’t rush to judgment in his favor. Any time an unarmed person of any race is shot & killed by law enforcement, there should be an investigation and legal process before any conclusion of purported “cleanliness” is declared. 

And from where do we get the idea that black commentators and pundits do and say nothing about black on black violence? Anyone who says something so ignorant simply isn’t paying attention. Spike Lee focuses on, aptly enough, black male treatment of black females in his films. He has consistently been vocal about “colorism“. The right-wing commentator’s playbook requires equality of outrage in response to unequal and often irrelevant incidents.

Furthermore, what is it about Spike Lee’s alleged silence about black-on-black crime in Chicago that renders invalid his comments about racism? If he argues that black males are victims of government brutality, how about arguing that point with him, rather than pivoting to something completely different. 

Hey! You can’t care about Jim Kelly’s mouth cancer, because you didn’t care about every other mouth cancer, ever!

Michael Eric Dyson is an academic and commentator whose main intellectual focus is on race and class relations in America. You’ll forgive him for not taking career and scholarly advice from conservative WNYers. 

But what about the central thesis here – that black leaders have no right to comment about Ferguson because they’re silent about “black-on-black crime”? 

It’s bullshit. 

Where was Al Sharpton when it comes to Chicago violence? In fucking Chicago

Sharpton made a publicized trip to Chicago in November to focus attention on the city’s chronic violence. Last year, Michelle Obama attended the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old black honor student who was shot, allegedly by a black gang member.

The first lady later returned to Chicago to converse with students at a school that is nearly 100 percent African-American. “In choosing Harper High School for the visit, the White House noted that 29 current or former students there had been shot in the last year, eight of them fatally,” reported the Tribune.

The president also came here, meeting with kids involved in a mentoring program for at-risk adolescent boys, bemoaning gun violence and telling a crowd on the South Side, “Our streets will only be as safe as our schools are strong and our families are sound.”

That’s not to mention the local Chicago-based activists who deal with the crime epidemic on a daily basis. Also, this

It’s no secret that rates of violent crime are far higher among blacks than among whites. What is generally overlooked is that these rates have dropped sharply over the past two decades. The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice reports that violent crime by young blacks has plunged 60 percent. In 1995, the FBI reports, 9,074 blacks were arrested for homicide. In 2012, the number was 4,203 — a decline of 54 percent. But conservatives don’t labor endlessly to publicize that trend.

So, black-on-black crime is declining. Ta-Nehesi Coats expounds on why violence by – and against – police is treated differently, adding: 

I have said this before. It’s almost as if Stop The Violence never happened, or The Interruptors never happened, orKendrick Lamar never happened. The call issued by Erica Ford at the end of this Do The Right Thing retrospective (link here, ff to 16:31) is so common as to be ritual. It is not “black on black crime” that is background noise in America, but the pleas of black people.

Bellavia continues,  

Like the N word, death is apparently acceptable when it comes from the hands of blacks, but outrageous when it comes from whites. Murder is abhorrent. Dehumanizing a race is un-American. We cannot ignore the culture that cannibalizes its own and blame it on racists in a town elected by the same culture.

The homicide of a black person is not acceptable under any circumstances, barring some legal justification like self-defense, and white people should stop whining about who is and isn’t allowed to call someone else a “nigger”. Because, really

We have an African American President. He was elected by white people in the majority – twice. This president has bent over backwards to elevate young people to dream to aspire to be a part of the American Dream. This president has done more to bring the Internet, exercise and free everything to people in the inner city who have little of their own. Still, Dyson wants to remind us “It is simply not enough.” Nothing is ever enough.

I have to say it’s a tough row to hoe for white conservative commentators – are you blind to race, or are you going to bring it up constantly, in order to lecture black people about the insignificance and invalidity of their concerns? Did you catch that patronizing phrase – “free everything”. This black president has showered black America with freebies, and yet they’re still getting pretty uppity! Gah!

No, it isn’t enough. It isn’t enough until a black kid in a hoodie is no more or less threatening to you than a white kid in a hoodie. It isn’t enough until you stop mistaking a fraternity sign for a gang sign. It isn’t enough until you consider as legitimate and valid the grievances of an America with which you’re not especially familiar, and of which you’re not a member. Instead of dismissal, maybe listen.

To turn the hatred on the President at this time just underlines what the agenda of soulless peddlers in the bigotry industry is and has been all along: To stoke the embers of inequality and promote racial tension.

Sure, there are people who do this. For instance, I am by no means a fan of Al Sharpton, whom I can’t forgive for the palpable crime that was the Tawana Brawley hoax. But what this amounts to is a distraction – whenever there is anything of news import, people will parachute into the imbroglio in order to grandstand or self-promote. Focus on that, and you ignore the underlying, real problems. 

Michael Eric Dyson, Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Spike Lee went all in on Michael Brown and lost; you went all in on Trayvon Martin and lost. Double down in your own community. Stop expecting government to save you. The one thing that history has taught us is that we must save ourselves. If you don’t trust the people you elect in St Louis County, elect other people. There’s a process and a schedule for that – it has always been there.

I have no clue what that’s supposed to mean. When it comes to the cherry-picked alleged “pigment whores” (notice the glaring absence of the word “race”) black America is their community, and the treatment it receives by America’s power structure is a valid topic of discussion and, sometimes, agitation.

Bring up Trayvon Martin, and while George Zimmerman was cleared of any crime, the fact remains that he used deadly force against a kid whom Zimmerman was stalking as part of a “neighborhood watch”. 

Bring up Michael Brown, and the fact remains that no one yet knows all the details of what happened, except that Brown was shot six times, with his hands up, and was left to bleed out in the street for hours.

How is outrage over this illegitimate? Martin is dead. Brown is dead. It’s not Jesse Jackson or any other conservative bogeyman who has “lost”. The Martin and Brown families have lost. A strong argument can be made that the Martins did not receive justice, and it’s indisputable that the same is true of the Brown family. 

These men have no problem abandoning the cause when it comes to lining their own pockets, but they now speak to inflame the same people they long left behind. Jackson even tried – and #FAILed – to raise money while fanning Ferguson’s flames.

How many inner city youths attend your Georgetown classes or afford your degrees, Dr. Dyson? How many can afford your racially based films, Spike? How many black community members donate to your coalitions and think tanks, Reverends Jackson and Sharpton?

Talk about missing every available point. 

These men feed at the trough of the rich to remind them of the poor, but what are they doing to save those they claim to represent? They are pigment whores, blinded by a skin color they exploit and agnostic of personal responsibility or character.

Dr. Martin Luther King’s message has been hijacked. And for that, I don’t believe that there is a Hell hot enough for any of them.

Blame the victims. Trayvon Martin deserved to die. He was a thug. He started it.  Michael Brown deserved to die. He was a thug. He may have (but likely didn’t) steal some cigars. He shoved a guy. He was big. Here’s a picture that people spread around that turned out not be him at all. It’s uncomfortable to point out when white people kill black people, because it might mean we need to examine race and class in America again. It’s much easier, and more convenient, to simply treat blacks as, if not inferior, then defective, or congenitally violent – just ask Anthony Cumia.


From the Chicago Tribune: 

There’s another, bigger problem with the preoccupation with “black-on-black crime.” The term suggests race is the only important factor. Most crimes are committed by males, but we don’t refer to “male-on-male crime.” Whites in the South are substantially more prone to homicide than those in New England, but no one laments “Southerner-on-Southerner crime.” Why does crime involving people of African descent deserve its own special category?

The phrase stems from a desire to excuse whites from any role in changing the conditions that breed delinquency in poor black areas. It carries the message that blacks are to blame for the crime that afflicts them — and that only they can eliminate it. Whites are spared any responsibility in the cause or the cure.

Excluding them from complicity is harder to do when the killer is white and the killed is black, as in the shooting in Ferguson. Raising “black-on-black crime” right now is not a sincere attempt to improve the lot of African-Americans. It’s a way to change the subject and a way to blame them.

Just as we blame Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown for their own killings. 

As Ta-Nehesi Coates adds

There is a pattern here, but it isn’t the one Eugene Robinson (for whom I have a great respect) thinks. The pattern is the transmutation of black protest into moral hectoring of black people. Don Imus profanely insults a group of black women. But the real problem is gangsta rap. Trayvon Martin is killed. This becomes a conversation about how black men are bad fathers. Jonathan Martin is bullied mercilessly. This proves that black people have an unfortunate sense of irony.

The politics of respectability are, at their root, the politics of changing the subject—the last resort for those who can not bear the agony of looking their country in the eye. The policy of America has been, for most of its history, white supremacy. The high rates of violence in black neighborhoods do not exist outside of these facts—they evidence them.

This history presents us with a suite of hard choices. We do not like hard choices. Here’s a better idea: Let’s all get together and talk about how Mike Brown would still be alive if Beyoncé would make more wholesome music, followed by a national forum on how the charge of “acting white” contributes to mass incarceration. We can conclude with a keynote lecture on “Kids Today” and a shrug.

White people need to stop the “moral hectoring” of black people. The issues in Ferguson do not exist because of black commentators or “pigment whores”, nor do the occasional outbursts of violence by demonstrators render the underlying grievances invalid. The issues in Ferguson, after all, are not unique to that town.

As an American, I can abhor violence and looting while treating the black community’s anger and frustration as legitimate. As an American, I can demand justice for Michael Brown while simultaneously holding no love for Al Sharpton. As an American, I can recognize that it’s not necessarily my place to lecture black Americans on what they should and shouldn’t worry about, but that it is my place to help identify problems, and fix them. 

There are far more peaceful demonstrators in Ferguson carrying out Dr. King’s ethos of nonviolence than aren’t. 

David Bellavia from rural WNY wants to lecture black America on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? Let’s start with Dr. King’s own words, then: 

The Triple Evils of POVERTY, RACISM and MILITARISM are forms of violence that exist in a vicious cycle. They are interrelated, all-inclusive, and stand as barriers to our living in the Beloved Community. When we work to remedy one evil, we affect all evils. To work against the Triple Evils, you must develop a nonviolent frame of mind as described in the “Six Principles of Nonviolence” and use the Kingian model for social action outlined in the “Six Steps for Nonviolent Social Change.”

Anyone who has been paying attention to Ferguson knows full well that poverty, racism, and militarism still exist as forms of violence, and are now brought to the fore, yet again. As an overwhelmingly white police presence appears in Ferguson with MRAPs and guns aimed at men, women, and children marching, let’s consider maybe that this underscores the marchers’ points, rather than disproving them. 


  • David Bellavia is just another conservative, racist “parrot”, probably unelectable, locally, at this point, but he might find employment at WBEN…..meanwhile the police in St Louis just shot and killed another, UNARMED, black man…and then lied and said he came at them with a knife….look at the video’s ….no knife……

    • I’ve been called far worse – by people unafraid to use their real name. So meh.

      • I think Mike Caputo would have done a much better job with that story than Dave Bellavia, on PoliticsNY.net – but that’s what was published and Alan did a FANTASTIC job commenting on the Bellavia post, and more.

        Seems like Bellavia lifted his comments right from Rush Limbaugh’s show yesterday, and Sandy Beach’s show, too. Pretty much verbatim. And, Rush and Sandy were equally wrong and misleading jerks, in my view.

        Sandy Beach also showed himself to be a “low information voter” yesterday.

        Beach mocked Jessie Jackson for setting up a table to sign up folks who weren’t registered to vote during the daytime protests. Talk about peaceful activism!!! And much-needed activism, to be sure. Voting rights is at the core of the problem in Ferguson. Big time. And, in the greatest Democracy in the world!!!

        Sandy Beach turned Jessie Jackson’s work on voter registration into a Democrat vs. Republican thing. NOT TRUE. But, obviously Jessie is onto one of the most important issues in Ferguson, and probably in many first-ring suburbs in the country. Lots of Black folks are leaving the cities for the suburbs, yet, once moved a lot of these folks don’t realize that their voter record does not follow them into their new community. This is happening right here in Erie County, in places like Cheektowaga, Amherst and Tonawanda.

        Last night on Dr. Drew, there was this woman who was an expert on criminal justice and police tactics. She said that when a police force is pretty much all White, and the residents of the community they serve are pretty much all Black, that such a system is totally against sound police tactics.

        And just as bad, when you have a community that has 13,792 Black residents and 6,577 White residents, with just one Black council member and three Black police officers, such racial disparities are clearly a major problem.
        Talk about the Voting Rights Act, 2014 style.

        God bless Jessie Jackson. Register. Jessie. Register!!!!!

        Heck, you can change your cell phone provider and keep your number, yet you can change your home address but your voter registration doesn’t follow you to your new home. This is something that needs to change!!!!!!!!!

        GREAT job, again, Alan!!!!!

        • We probably disagree on a lot more than just the thought that I could do a better job than Bellavia on the topic. But we agree on one thing: the problem in Ferguson is certainly connected to the fact that a primarily African American community is electing white leadership. They need to get registered and vote. Hell, everybody needs to do it. Everywhere.

      • Sorry I use a “username” Mike but your the one putting the “garbage” out there…..

  • Oh David..you know why there is “Black on Black” crime? Because of segregation, which in St. Louis and other communities was explicitly supported by local government! But let’s not focus on the effects of that 50 years later, let’s talk more about Al Sharpton….what a fucking asshole

    • Yeah, that namecalling is really effective. I guess it’s easier than trying to show your intelligence. Or, in your case, safer.

  • They “went all in on ….and lost”. Hey, maybe that is the problem right there. The black community can never win when whites control every aspect of power in this nation, including the police, courts and the media that reports on it all.

    • Yeah, whitey’s in charge. Except, of course, of the presidency and the Department of Justice – which over-armed the police – and a vast and growing number of other key positions of power. ((smh))

      • Thanks for the reminder. I forgot how everything changed once Obama was elected. I also forgot how every cop, prosecutor and judge suddenly became liberal once that happened as well. I am sure that most inner city blacks would agree that the election of a timid man who generally shies away from frank discussions of race totally tipped the scales in their favor.

  • Alan, the reason why so many whites (and there are many, many) are horrified by Ferguson is that we KNOW racism exists. We sit at the cocktail tables, the networking functions, the ballgames, where race is discussed sometimes in veiled terms — but usually not! We hear WHITE people call them “animals,” “losers,” or projectively ask: “Was the (offender) black?”

    As whites, we are privy to this insider conversation, where it is assumed by some that we are “part of the club.”

    That’s why Ferguson scares us so much — we know racism is so institutionalized that many whites don’t even realize their racism. Likely, they CAN accept an individual of another race – – but it’s how they feel toward the group — or the individual they don’t know. “Joe is great, mysterious big black dude over there is probably trying to kill me.”

    And that is going to make Ferguson a very hard problem to solve.

  • I don’t know about anybody else, but I’d love to see/hear Alan and David Bellavia debate. We’d all be smarter for it.

  • I love how the right wing tries to co-opt and invoke MLK now. Let’s get in the way back machine, shall we?: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/08/28/national-reviews-ugly-civil-rights-history/195638

    I’m sure in 50 years we’ll be hearing about the brave marches in Ferguson from cyborg George Will.

    • George Will doesn’t march. He rises above the masses, floats over their heads effortlessly and pontificates – all while balancing a canape on his champagne glass.

      F George Will.

  • The reason conservatives like to beat the ‘black on black’ crime drum is because it distracts from the larger issue of class conflict.

    The Republican party’s main objective is to protect the upper class from any threat to it’s control over the country. In order to do that, they need to get poor white people to continue to vote against their own self-interest. If they can paint ‘black on black’ crime as the reason ‘black people caused their own problems’, it insulates them from ever having to risk poor whites realizing that poverty drives crime rates, not race.

    It’s not anything new, it’s the same strategy they’ve used since the civil rights movement began. Fan the flames of racism and keep poor white people from ever realizing just how similar their plight is to poor black people and that they share a common enemy in the upper class. As long as the lower class remains divided along racial lines, it’ll never be a threat to them.

  • “Because of who I am, and the America that I experience, I fail to see the need to lecture women or minorities on, for lack of a better term, proper behavior.”

    ” Bellavia’s piece is breathtakingly condescending, lecturing black leaders on what they should be thinking and doing, and conveniently concludes that contemporary African-Americans have let Dr. King down.”
    This column, however, is never shy about lecturing conservatives about “proper behavior”, or “what they should be doing”, whom they should nominate, etc.–despite the blogger’s lack of experience as a conservative thinker. I guess that’s due to the presumed liberal superiority.

    • You get back to me when “conservative” is a protected class.

      • Ah. Blacks and women, as a class, are “protected” from criticism. That must have happened sometime after I studied civil rights. Good to know, though — thanks.

        • You must have missed where Alan noted he wasn’t a fan of Sharpton’s.

          That’s OK, though. The whole article sailed right over your head.

        • I’m not a racial, ethnic, gender, or other minority that’s treated as a protected class under the law. Far be it from me to lecture them on how to behave.

          Conservatives, OTOH, are what they are purely by choice. They are not a protected class for purposes of civil rights legislation or jurisprudence, and I can lecture them all I want.

          • Cool! So your First Amendment right of free speech is suspended if the subject of that speech is a member of a protected class. In other words, Black, female or disabled (oh, almost forgot — elderly!) gang-bangers aren’t subject to criticism of their actions.
            Man this is getting complicated!

          • No. I didn’t say you didn’t have a constitutional right to be a misogynist or racist asshole. I said that it’s bad form.

          • I’m not a racial, ethnic, gender, or other minority that’s treated as a protected class under the law. Far be it from me to lecture them on how to behave.

            The comparison by HWHamlin is apt, even if we limit the scope to people in protected classes. Bellavia’s post didn’t lecture anybody as a group about proper political behaviors; only specific liberal people “Michael Eric Dyson, Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Spike Lee”.

            Despite your comment’s claim above and your post’s claim “I fail to see the need to lecture women or minorities on, for lack of a better term, proper behavior”, you have lectured specific people who are non-liberal women about their behaviors – in very similar political ways Bellavia’s post did – even though you aren’t a woman.

            I’ll link examples in next comment.

          • http://blogs.artvoice.com/avdaily/2014/08/14/gia-arnolds-bizarre-wednesday/

            she should have been more diplomatic about her husband Wednesday … Go run for town board or county legislature. Gain some experience. Build a support base that’s deeper than “guns”. Learn. Teach. Build up your resume. Don’t rely just on ideology, but also on accomplishments. …


            Next time, Ms. Naples – who, along with Joel Giambra, came to personify the epic fail of the budget crisis; who left office in 2005 after it was revealed that she had failed to pay her property taxes, and had funneled county work to a campaign donor – should keep her megacarat ring at home

            It also wouldn’t be surprising if among your blogging about Wepner, Corwin, or Palin, there might also be some lecturing about political behaviors. Even if not, the examples of Gia Arnold and Nancy Naples show – despite your repeated insistence to the contrary – you do feel a need to not always limit your lecturing about political behaviors to only white males.

          • The topic isn’t remotely “political behavior”. So, no. Ward is wrong.

            I don’t tell Gia Arnold whether to worry about equal pay for equal work. I don’t tell Nancy Naples whether male brutality against females is a valid concern.
            I also don’t lecture them that they’re absent when it comes to female-on-female crime.

          • The topic isn’t remotely “political behavior”.

            The topic’s context very much includes political behavior for the Bellavia post’s lecturing/criticizing specific individuals (“Michael Eric Dyson, Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Spike Lee”).

            The link in Bellavia’s third sentence was to this summary of Dyson’s statement criticizing Obama: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/08/19/michael_eric_dyson_obama_failed_us_not_only_as_black_people_but_he_failed_the_nation.html

            MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: I think he has far more latitude than he’s exercised so far. He’s got the bully pulpit. Be a bully in the pulpit but don’t bully black people. Yesterday was a low moment in the Obama presidency because he distracted attention away from the facts of the case. …

            That’s what Bellavia’s post mostly argues against: how Dyson wanted our U.S. President to behave in his official (political) capacity.

            Dyson’s statement was Dyson’s political behavior because it was criticizing Obama’s political behavior.

            So this topic is loaded with debating about political behavior, and the idea that the political arguments from Dyson and those three others should be immune from rebuttal by non-blacks looks as ridiculous as it’d be if anybody ever seriously said you as a white male shouldn’t advocate pro or con on any political topic involving women or racial minorities.

            The topic of black-on-black crime is full of political aspects too, just as white-on-black is, and black-on-white, etc.

            I don’t see how debates about any of those (on any sides) are “not remotely political behavior”.

          • No no. Black people like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Dyson have no business commenting on cop-on-black violence because they’re absent (they’re not) on black-on-black crime.

            Also, black people should STFU about police brutality until they fix every other socioeconomic problem they face anywhere, ever.

          • Black people like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Dyson have no business commenting on cop-on-black violence because they’re absent (they’re not) on black-on-black crime. Also, black people should STFU about police brutality until they fix every other socioeconomic problem they face anywhere, ever.

            That reply is not only irrelevant to what my comments were about (your high horse claim that you never lecture anybody who isn’t a white male about “for lack of a better term, proper behavior”), but it also doesn’t even look like a fair paraphrase of Bellavia’s post.

            He wrote “Dyson and Spike Lee are not outraged of the black on black violence in Chicago, Washington and Detroit”. He wrote no generalizing “Black people like Jesse…” as your paraphrasing begins. He singled out specific people in a few different ways.

            If Dyson or Lee ever did express outrage about b-on-b violence in those cities, then Bellavia was wrong about them not doing it. I don’t know about the accuracy. It’s separate from my point, which is: if he was inaccurate, it isn’t worse because he’s a white male. If factually wrong, he should retract. But it’d be no worse or better than if he were wrong about any other white males, no different than if a black person wrote falsely about another black person, or if a female is wrong about a male or female, etc.

            I also don’t see where he wrote (as you paraphrased) that “black people should STFU about police brutality” when it actually happens. So, that looks like a straw man from you.

            Police brutality might not have happened in Michael Brown’s death.

          • Right. As I pointed out, “for lack of a better term”. I’m not lecturing women as how to behave as women; i.e., I don’t tell women what should and shouldn’t be a legitimate concern for contemporary American females.

            Criticizing someone’s political strategy or belief isn’t what we’re talking about.

          • Criticizing someone’s political strategy or belief isn’t what we’re talking about.

            I disagree; reasoning in other reply below.

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