The Man Who Asks: “Do States Accept Murder as a Means to Reduce Unemployment?” [A Short Story of a Kind]

Questions need to be formed appropriately,

and that is rhetorically and intellectually appropriately,

although too many I talk to have little idea

that there is an appropriateness to questions

other than some topical or situational appropriateness

that panders to emotions in the basest ways.

—A Fragment by an Anonymous Author

“What is really behind DeBlasio’s elimination of stop-and-frisk?” He asks. “We could ask this question in earnest,” he says. “I am now doing such,” he writes in his journal where he says what he says about De Blasio and the currently distressed mayor’s policies that affect certain communities adversely, particularly communities he has seemed intent on helping find justice where there had been none, or so the inferences were set up by the De Blasio campaign. “What is behind this seemingly pro-active support for civil liberty?” He asks again, this time his friends at the bar in in a bar in the East Village. “A genuine question,” he insists against many of the reflexive retorts he has heard when expressing opinions similarly to many of what he calls the pseudo liberal establishment, those so shaped (formed?) by the cliches or received ideas of current American liberalism that they can be nothing if not reflexive in attitudes and behavior, particularly in the slogans they choose to speak in a masquerade of thinking, when in fact they simply parrot.

“I know that most of us did believe and continue to think that Mayor De Blasio’s policy change in the matter of stop-and-frisk was motivated by a need to strike a chord for civil liberty and for equality,” he says in words quite nearly the same, to friends, to others, to his family, to his students, in his journal, in essays written in his review, an on-line literary journal of ideas he sometimes calls it. “It seemed then that he was, and it continues to seem now that he is, fighting endemic racism (De Blasio) because the principal target of his help, by design or in effect, became young African-American males in areas of the highest incidence of civilian shootings, that is, as we correlate, murder. Racism rearing its hideous visage in state policies, most heinously by police forces, was something De Blasio set himself the task of addressing even before he became Mayor,” he wrote, he has written, does write, once more, in these and other words nearly the same in meaning.

“How is it that we miss the fact that all policies are police measures of a kind, and that all police actions are themselves policies of the state, is another essay. But De Blasio’s motive is the question now, although pin-pointing that motive will be next to impossible. What then do we ask? How then do we see his measures–his new policies aimed at relieving tension and stress in African-American communities, especially with respect toward the policy of stop-and -frisk, has resulted, many believe, including the Manhattan Institute, in a rise in the city’s murder rate.” What then should we say when facts do not meet either our intentions or our received ideas? We turn away from the truths again and again and look inside ourselves for other lies to tell ourselves; ostriches, all of us. I know I would not like stop-and-frisk if it were implemented in my neighborhood, but what would the justification be except in some adolescent notion of equality–and excess in our social desires, one where the demand is so excessive that no one’s opinion is any better expressed than any other’s opinion; no one’s opinion is is of greater quality or rhetorical strength or of higher merit in how it addresses any social problem it sets its sites–we have abandoned truth and doubt has become the highest wisdom. So, where no opinion is any better or stronger or more efficiently expressed or of any higher acumen in its exposition and/or explication than any other opinion, the only way we determine what to do is by numerical advantage.  Thus, ours is either The Will to Power or a Tyranny of the Majority, to the detriment of all minority opinions. But then this is exactly what gave credence to the Nazis, a pure fascist numericalism.

“Were there African-American supporters of stop and frisk? I imagine there were. I also imagine that there were enough who did not want to listen to those who had reasons for understanding stop-and-frisk in areas of a high incidence of gun violence,” he said. What then should he have said? What do you want to hear? Do you want to hear how this does not matter? Would stop-and-frisk be okay if it were also performed on Wall Street CEO’s. “Maybe at airports in the Middle east,” he said, “we should stop singling out Arab Muslim men because that is profiling. But then when you are fighting Islamic terrorism, it makes no sense to profile Arab Muslims in areas of a high incidence of terrorist group activity.  Maybe Israel should only stop white or black Americans. Perhaps if we stopped a complete non-suspicious Chinese man, it would make everyone feel better,” he said.

“What were the rationales used on either side of this?” he asked others from time to time, here and there, after the facts of this. ” I am not naive enough to think that African-Americans can be represented monolithically. Now, if there were African-American supporters of stop-and-frisk, are there African-American detractors of De Blasio’s policies on how to police? I am sure there are. Where are there voices? Do they not fit into the packaged ideas the media wants us to receive and swallow, in this instance, on just what race relations in America, particularly our urban centers, are? Which seem ti flip-flop depending on what is current and what then will sell the most papers or garner the most viewers,” he added, talking with a group of his wife’s friends who have little idea what he is talking about most of the time. I am not in favor of giving the police more power or authority, but neither am I willing to take a common authority they have always had in matters of what is or is not suspicious–and I do know that we do not like saying this because it leaves us opened to using blackness as the prime criteria in the motivation to stop and frisk. I understand that that is and has been a problem perceived by many, or conceived by the media, becoming another African-American received idea received by African Americans no less stereotypical than thinking that a man deserves to be frisked because he is young and African American.

“What was De Blasio’s real motivation behind the elimination of stop-and-frisk? Hasn’t The Manhattan Institute just recently drawn a correlation between the rise in New York City’s murder rate–a rate significantly greater in the arc of its rise in African American communities than for the city as a whole–and the elimination of stop-and-frisk? Is it true that stop-and-frisk had an impact on the decline of murder in the city as a whole and in African American communities specifically? No one seems to be asking,” he says at a bar, in a cafe, at a bistro for dinner, these or other words, words similar, words different, words, words and more words.

So then, “beside naivety, what could have compelled Mayor De Blasio to eliminate stop-and-frisk?” He asked a friend. He got no response other than a shake of the head indicating he did not know, prompted by the simultaneous sipping of his pint. “Could the real reason behind DeBlasio’s elimination of stop-and-frisk be that State’s are always going to be wiling to accept murder as a way to reduce unemployment?” He asked the same friend. His friend just responded incredulously that he must be crazy to think that anyone in government could devise a policy that would increase murder as a means to reduce unemployment. He told his friend that it did not have to be implemented by design, but could have been done and accomplished in effect. In effect on purpose, or so the thinking could be traced.

“Could it be that instead of creating jobs to combat African American unemployment, we create a condition where more young African Americans are murdered? If we can also do this while allowing the efforts, that is the new policies, to parade about in the cause of liberty, especially for minority groups, that is, people of color, all the better. De Blasio uses freshman level introductory sociology and race studies to justify raising murder rates as an acceptable measure in the fight against unemployment, or so it seems to me,” he said as a way to support what he had said about State’s and how they will always accept a rise in murder rates “because this will almost invariably reduce unemployment because the the incidence of murder is higher among the unemployed than it is the employed. Poor people kill poor people at a rate much higher than people with jobs or with money do each other or anyone else for that matter,” he has said.

“The fact that virtually no one sees this as such only means to me how much most of the allegedly educated in our society are ruled by the received ideas disseminated by the media elite at the behest of the power or monied elite. That De Blasio can be hailed as a liberal defender of minority civil liberty at the same time he can employ traditional Statist methods for reducing unemployment by raising murder rates is a trick worthy of Old Scratch Himself,” he writes in his journal, not as a continuation of the above, but in effect the same, a continuation of the argument presented above as presented here from the words he has used in his journal, in his essays, in talks with friends, in his words and words remembered by me, by others to me, by my-self listening to him talk, being present with him I am my-self, his selves, the masks he wears, one such, as he has said, is the commentator, a social and political commentator as he has been on his website that he set up like his friend Jay did with the latter’s own site, The October Revue, which he (the latter) stopped publishing eventually to start up another literary review, dedicated mostly to short fiction, his friend Jay, that is, writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The Commentator is what he has called himself online in his review, a literary webzine called The Literary Social Review, which is dedicated to essays written in critique of our society, our contemporaneity especially, not perpetuating the received ideas of either the Liberal or Conservative establishments, or those of the pseudo-liberal establishment, whose own under education and seriously diminished literacy leave them lumpen. brutish and very very stupid in the defense of liberty and democracy which has lead eventually to them being part of a larger social problem, how the Left has opened the gates to the conservative barbarians.

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Human Humane

How else are you going to see human except by seeing humane? They are contingent as they are one word in French, humaine.

Civilization and Nature

Nature is opposed to civilization. Your centrally heated home, the Lakota Teepee and the Hawaiian thatched roof hut are all civilization, not nature. In our efforts to make things more natural we have also allowed them to become more uncivilized in ways we did not imagine possible, nor in ways we can discern anymore. We neither understand civilization and its limits, nor nature and its boundaries. We mis- or dis-understand because we have also disbanded with categorical thinking, erasing what we imagined were only imaginary boundaries to the categories that embraced us with civilization.

Explanation is not Rationalization

Poor people everywhere are not rich, thereby not affluent, perhaps undereducated, for the most part almost certainly semi-literate, although thoroughly alphabetic. In being poor, certain correlations with crime and violence get disseminated as they have also been proliferated among the affluent and the more highly educated. Correlation has often been confused with causation and this has lead to a number of conclusions or logics that get completed.

If poor, then criminal; if poor, then violent. The fact that these logics are made to be thought, received ideas though they may be, they do get thought, most overtly, it seems, by the poor themselves.  Humans are often times not illogical but hyper-logical, yes, logical to a fault, most often in how logical conclusions are drawn, consciously or unconsciously,  from premises that have nothing to do with either reality or Truth.

We have also confused explanation for justification or rationalization, and for so long that if an explanation for crime is offered it virtually immediately gets thought of in terms of justification, almost to the point where too many need to prove their condition of poverty by being violent or criminal, which is thus another explication of a condition that I do  not offer as a rationalization or justification. Unconsciously though this may be in the mind, the actions are almost as if an internal logic of disorder were the rule.

Herein, the truths are tautological, explanation is explanation, justification is justification, neither the two shall meet.

Con-tempo-centric

Our greatest, most potent, most persistent, centrism is con-tempo-centrism. The temporal myopia resulting from this is our greatest problem politically, as well as socio-economically, as well as in all matters of humanism or in any defense (if any) we muster for humanity. We seriously misunderstand our nature and our nurture through a corrupted understanding of history.