Monday, August 24, 2020

Notes While Observing #17: How Systemic Racism Works

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Rasheed, Muhammad. "How Systemic Racism Works." Cartoon. The Official Website of Cartoonist M. Rasheed 24 Aug 2020. Pen & ink w/Adobe Photoshop color.

Joe Rogan Experience #1512 - Ben Shapiro

1.) In this quote from so-called Intellectual Dark Web talking head Ben Shapiro, he's being disengeneous and ridiculous in how he's trying to frame the definition of "systemic racism." He's trying to give the impression that the concept is a fiction because we've had laws (at least since the Civil Rights Act of 1866) that make race-based discrimination illegal.

"If you have a grandfather who went to prison on a particular charge, that leads to poverty for your parents which led to more poverty for you, right? People have histories, those histories are embedded in their life experiences  and that’s true for societies as well. All of that is for sure true. Then there’s the question as to whether the institutions TODAY are racist. And that’s not quite the same thing. Right? Because history has consequences is not the same thing as saying that the rules of today are racist. Because the rules of today are NOT racist, actually. The rules of today are quite not racist.  […] You fight against the system to make sure that the system has rules that apply to everyone." ~Ben Shapiro

Joe Rogan Experience #1447 - Tom Segura

2.) In this quoted dialogue between Joe Rogan and comedian Tom Segura, Joe inadvertently describes the basic principle behind how systemic racism works in getting around Califormia state animal protection laws in order to get rid of the coyote population in Whitney Cummings' neighborhood.

JOE: “I told her to get a sub-sonic 22 and just start taking them out. ‘PAP!’ It’s like this: ‘PAP! PAP! PAP! PAP!’ Put a little bait out there… [wink wink].”

TOM: “What’s the city rules about taking out a coyote?”

JOE: “The city rules… you keep your fucking mouth shut… yeah. Shoot, shovel and shut up.”

3.) In the film Edge Of Darkness, Mel Gibson's Thomas Craven character is a highly-skilled, tough-as-nails Boston police detective on a single-minded mission to solve a mystery/conspiracy and avenge the murder of his beloved daughter.  One of Craven's biggest powers is the multi-generational cartel of ethnic white men who have monopolized the Boston PD for decades in partnership with local and state political cronies. In the film, Craven only uses this powerful network for good in helping him solve the evil conspiracy, but in real life, exactly such a white male dominated force is used to keep the local Black American populace disenfranchised and locked out of access to the wealth building ownership class.

The Historic Danger of the White Male Gatekeeper

4.) “The average book will pass through a white agent, a white editor, a white publicist, a white sales team, a white cover artist, and white booksellers. And this process is considered natural and objective.” ~Brit Bennet                                        

Racketeering [WIKI]

5.) Systemic racism is no less than the collusion of unscrupulous white racists in partnership with political cronies to enable the group to commit race-based discriminatory crimes against the Black American former slave class. Systemic racist criminal activity is conducted in the structured process commonly referred to as racketeering. A racket, is an organized criminal act or activity in which the criminal act or activity is some form of substantial business, or a way to earn illegal money either regularly, or briefly but repeatedly.

Examples of crimes that may be alleged to be part of a pattern of systemic racist racketeering activity include:

Federal Communications Commission 
6.) In the United States of America, competition law is known as "antitrust." The point of it is to protect the open free markets our capitalist tradition requires to function from the dangers of "bigness." Bigness is the tendency for a business to do better than its competition, and then the owners will start making moves to monopolize the market usually by merging and acquiring other businesses. Antitrust makes that illegal, and it's the government's job to protect the healthy flow of multiple businesses competiing from that 'bigness' company's greed-fueled ambitions. The biggest danger is the tendency for unscrupulous politicians to give in to their own greed and allow themselves to be bribed by the bigness company's owners to look the other way so they can monopolize that market anyway. 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) were specifically created as the enforcement agencies to make sure all US businesses comply with antitrust laws and protect our free open markets. They have both failed abysmally, causing the ushering in of the Second Gilded Age -- a nigh-complete monopolization of the markets of industry by just a handful of mega-corporate entities that hoard 99% of the nation's wealth creating an evil economic imbalance. Today both the FTC and the FCC -- instead of strictly enforcing antitrust to prevent a handful of greedy corporate powers from hoarding all of our wealth -- they contract out antitrust attorneys to corporate to help them figure out flimsy loopholes to get around the law and do whatever they want. 

Antitrust violations function as a major tool of systemic racism. The 1866 Civil Rights Act -- recently receiving public spotlight due to Comcast Corporation's attempt to repeal it to prevent from allowing Byron Allen's media company from entering the wealth-building class of his chosen industry -- is the law that enables the Black American former slave class to do business, make contracts and have all of the exact same wealth-building opportunities that whites enjoy. During Reconstruction, the former slave holder class deliberately fanned the flames of poor white resentments to create domestic terror hate groups designed to discourage the Black American freedmen from doing business and building wealth by actively destroying/stealing everything they were able to create and amass. Then the 1% class began monopolizing industries beginning with John D. Rockefeller's monopolization of the petroleum industry. Because this closing of the markets prevented white companies from building wealth, too, the white populists protested and the first antitrust laws were established in 1890. But the damage had already been done -- the 1% class saw that the rest of the white populace were 100% willing to economically oppress a portion of American citizenry to quench their own selfish greed, so the rich had no qualms about exploiting this hypocrisy and doing whatever they wanted to do. Despite more and more antitrust laws being put in place by a short succession of white populace free market champions, the rich would push back until eventually the greater population of the country would forget how important preventing the markets from closing really was. 

Today, the idea of the American captalist free markets is practically a myth, as the who's who of mega-corporate entities have free monopolist reign to hoard wealth as they like with the very stupid modern population actually applauding them for it: figures like Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, etc., are treated like a modern new gods pantheon instead of the wealth hoarding cartel of villains they really are.

6a.) Comcast Corporation and its outside counsel retained Cornerstone Research to work on regulatory and competition issues related to the $30 billion joint venture between Comcast and NBC Universal (NBCU).

The FCC and DOJ approved the joint venture with certain conditions.

Cornerstone Research provided economic analysis during the regulatory review process at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), which focused on the competitive implications of the combination of NBCU’s content with Comcast’s distribution platforms. We worked with two economic experts, Professor Gregory Rosston of Stanford University and Dr. Michael Topper, a vice president of Cornerstone Research, who submitted reports to the reviewing agencies.

Professor Rosston and Dr. Topper analyzed the implications of the transaction for competition in national and local advertising markets; analyzed the likely procompetitive effects of the transaction on the quantity, quality, and convenience of video viewing by consumers; and responded to theories of competitive harm. Cornerstone Research also contributed to several other submissions to and meetings with the FCC and DOJ, and worked with counsel for Comcast and NBCU to respond to economic issues advanced by parties opposing the transaction or seeking the imposition of conditions. After an extensive review process, the FCC and DOJ approved the joint venture with certain conditions.

Laura Phillips Sawyer

7.) "Rather than viewing the history of American capitalism as the unassailable ascent of large-scale corporations and free competition, American Fair Trade argues that trade associations of independent proprietors lobbied and litigated to reshape competition policy to their benefit. At the turn of the twentieth century, this widespread fair trade movement borrowed from progressive law and economics, demonstrating a persistent concern with market fairness - not only fair prices for consumers but also fair competition among businesses. Proponents of fair trade collaborated with regulators to create codes of fair competition and influenced the administrative state's public-private approach to market regulation. New Deal partnerships in planning borrowed from those efforts to manage competitive markets, yet ultimately discredited the fair trade model by mandating economy-wide trade rules that sharply reduced competition. Laura Phillips Sawyer analyzes how these efforts to reconcile the American tradition of a well-regulated society with the legacy of Gilded Age of laissez-faire capitalism produced the modern American regulatory state." ~Laura Phillips Sawyer; American Fair Trade: Proprietary Capitalism, Corporatism, and the 'New Competition,' 1890–1940

Joe Rogan Experience #1114 - Matt Taibbi


8a.) Joe Rogan: “How the fuck did they get away with giving the CEOs bonuses?" 

Matt Taibbi: “lol During that time?”

Joe Rogan: “Yeah. Giant bonuses during the time when they had to be bailed out by the tax payers.”

Matt Taibbi: “Yeah, that was another scam, like, so there were… if you looked at the fine print of all the bailouts, it basically said that you had to repay the money to us by X time, before you could start paying people exorbitant amounts of money again, but a lot of those conditions were never really followed. And the conditions of repayment were kind of glossed over and… The companies were supposed to be able to pass these things called ‘stress tests,’ which demonstrated that they were back on solid footing again before they paid people, but the stress tests were all fudged. You know, there was crime and corruption and illegality in basically every direction during that whole period and not just in the government, but in all of these companies as well.” 


8b.) Joe Rogan: “What was it feeling like to have very little understanding about finance and then to immerse yourself into it and then realize that this is the underlying structure that our society is run on? That our money is established through… this… this is how we sell houses and loans and… This is what we’re doing?!”

Matt Taibbi: “Yeah, it was fascinating because before that I was mostly covering, like elections. Right? And again if you cover elections it’s incredibly boring and you never hear of anything of substance. It’s not terribly complicated and one… the Democrat says, ‘We want to help the middle class,’ and the Republican says, ‘We want to protect American family values,’ that’s pretty much the extent of the intellectual challenge as far as covering that stuff, And I always thought to myself, politics in America MUST be a lot more complicated than this, right? There must be some other hidden thing where it’s incredibly complex and diabolical and the real machinations of power must be visible somewhere. And I think you find that when you start looking into how Wall Street works, how money works, how central banking works, how the concentration of wealth works. Basically the sub-prime scheme was an effort to pull the remaining savings out of the population. Right? It just wasn’t… In the old days, investment banks made their money by lending money to companies who would build factories and they would make stuff and sell it around the world and everybody would make money and you know, even the population would benefit from it. But that manufacturing economy is all gone. It’s overseas. So you have this financialized economy – they have no normal beneficial way to make money. All they can really do is look to see where is there money and how they can get it and most people had money in their houses, right? Like the accumulated savings of most people – whatever was left after the Internet crash of the ‘90s – was in real estate. And this was the scam by which they took the wealth that was left in the pockets of ordinary people and transferred it to nine people in Manhattan, basically. I mean, that’s why when we talk about wealth inequality now… and how the top 1% of the population owns 90% of the wealth in the country or whatever it is, that’s the consequence of schemes like this where they are finding out where people have a little bit of money and they’re systematically coming up with scams to move it from there to here.”

Joe Rogan: “With no consequence?”

Matt Taibbi: “No. With no consequence.”


8c.) Joe Rogan: “Wow. That had to be depressing.”

Matt Taibbi: “Oh, yeah. Of course. Of course. I mean, lol, most investigative reporting is depressing."

Joe Rogan: “But particularly THAT because, I mean, a lot of it was old people…”

Matt Taibbi: “Oh, my God. Old people. Minorities. I mean, I did one story about a bank in Maryland… well, it’s a national bank. It’s a bank that I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people listening have their accounts at this bank. They had to pay a settlement to the government because they were intentionally targeting elderly Black people to sell sub-prime mortgages to and they called them ‘mud people.’ And there were all these toxic emails going back-n-forth about how stupid they were and how they would buy anything, et cetera, et cetera." 

Joe Rogan: “In the emails they called them ‘mud people?’”

Matt Taibbi: “Yeah… and so they had to pay a settlement to the government. But the racial component of that crash was something that I didn’t really clue into until late, but that was something that was a big part of it, too. It was… a lot of it involved these mortgage lenders going into particularly lower middle class Black neighborhoods and knocking on doors where there would be an elderly person at home and saying, ‘Hey! Would you like to re-fi[nance] your mortgage? And you’ll have a little bit of extra spending money this month.’ Right? And the person won’t know anything about finance and they’ll sign this re-finance deal that allows them to save a little bit of money each month, not knowing that they had just converted their fixed mortgage into a floating mortgage and that as soon as the interest rates change, you know, you’d have people who went from paying $900 a month to $7,000 a month, right? And suddenly they’re out in the street and the company that sold them the loan is long gone by then. They’re not holding it. They… as soon as they got her name on the dotted line they sold it off to a bank in New York who in turn again chopped it up into hamburger and sold it probably to your pension fund or whatever. So there’s nobody she could complain to. And yeah. That stuff was really depressing.”      

See Also:

What is White Supremacy? by M. Rasheed

Notes While Observing #1: Stephen King (Carrie) & Barbra Streisand (Yentl Mendel)                                             

MEDIUM: Scanned pen & ink cartoon drawing w/Adobe Photoshop color.

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