Stats Prove Black Lives Matter Movement is a Lie

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All reasonable and informed people know that the  “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” refrain Is best described as one of the creation myths of the Black Lives Matter movement. What about the argument that has grown the movement to the point at which seemingly every Democrat supports it? Are African Americans being gunned down by police is vastly disproportionate numbers and is the explanation for this white racism? Statistics prove the answer  is no.

The Washington Post maintains an online database of people in America who have been shot and killed by police in 2016. As of the morning on September 23, 2016, 173 of 707 total deaths have been African American. This means that 24% of those who lost their lives are black. African Americans constitute 13% of the U.S. population. The 24% figure therefore cannot be considered vastly disproportionate.

How can we account for the 11% differential. Is white racism to blame? FBI crime statistics prove that African Americans commit well 50% of serious crime in the nation. (Here we have a true vastly disproportionate number.) Since blacks represent only 13% of the populace, it means there is a great deal of per capita criminality in the African American community. Since people who commit crimes have more encounters with police, and therefore a greater chance of being shot by the police, the 24% figure actually seems lower than what one would expect.

Law enforcement is, of course, well aware that crime is rampant in many African American dominated neighborhoods. It is as a consequence that police presence in such neighborhoods is much higher than in many areas in which blacks are in the minority. A large number of police patrolling African American neighborhoods means more interactions between blacks and police and is another reason for there to be an increased chance of blacks being shot by the police. This is another fact that moves one to see the 24% number as surprisingly small.

Another explanation for the 11% is cultural. Even a cursory examination of video evidence available on the Web uncovers the fact that a significant percentage of black Americans do not seem to realize that it is against the law to disobey a lawful order from a police officer. To few African Americans appear to understand that they must comply with any directive issued by a police officer as along as doing so does not force them to break the law and the failure to do so immediately makes them guilty of disorderly conduct and subject to lawful arrest. Rather than comply with police officers instructions, blacks many times adopt a combative attitude in encounters with law enforcement officers. If one goes looking for a fight with a policeman or policewoman she or he is likely to find it. Serious conflicts can easily turn violent and any violent confrontation with law enforcement has the potential to turn into a deadly shooting.

In both total number killed and percentage of the whole, the numbers for African Americans of those shot and killed by police so far this year represents an improvement over last year. Yet Black Lives Matter activists continue to tell  us that blacks are being “hunted down” by police and are justifiably afraid to walk down the street. Rhetoric like that spouted by the Black Lives Matter movement, which reflects the belief erroneous that most police are racists and out to get them, only serves to fuel the hostility African Americans feel and express toward law enforcement and therefore puts blacks at a greater risk of being shot by police. If the members of the Black Lives Matter movement truly cared about black lives, they would be concentrating their efforts on reforming the African American community in such a way as to make it more law abiding, raise public awareness within the community about the legal obligation to comply with the directives of police officers and combat the fallacious narrative that police are the enemies of African Americans.

If you found this post interesting you will also want to read: “A White American’s Response to Actor Jesse Williams’ Racist and Nonsensical Speech About Race at the BET Awards.”

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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A White American’s Response to Actor Jesse Williams’ Racist and Nonsensical Speech About Race at the BET Awards

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In 2016 Americans have become so cowardly that we now largely allow racist and nonsensical comments such as those uttered by Jesse Williams at the 2016 Bet Awards to stand without a response. I am not afraid to call out Williams on his racism and nonsense.

Below is found selected excerpts from his speech in quotes and italics. My comments follow each quoted passage.

“Peace peace. Thank you, Debra. Thank you, BET.”

The Black Entertainment Network is a cable television network created for black people which caters specifically to black people and one assumes it is staffed almost solely by black people. BET was founded and operates on a racist and segregationist premise. The BET awards is a racist and segregationist awards show because only black people are eligible for its awards and it is presumably only black people who vote on the awards. The night he gave his speech, Williams accepted a racist and segregationist award. It was fitting that, as will be shown below, in a number of respects his acceptance speech was racist and segregationist as well. I cannot leave the topic of BET without mentioning that it stands as a prime example of the type of double standard that permeates most every aspect of the view of racism and race held by the typical African American. We can all imagine the reaction of black America to a WET.

“A thank you Nate Parker, Harry ohm and Debbie Allen a for participating in that. Ohm before we get into it, I just want to say you know I brought my parents out tonight. I just want to thank them a for being here, for teaching me ohm to focus on comprehension over career, that they a make sure I learn what the schools were afraid to teach us.”

Mere seconds into his speech, Williams proved that he does not deserve to be looked at as the leader and role model of his people that he obviously desires to be as a consequence of his bad command of the English language.

More important is Williams’ contention that the educational system is apparently involved in some vast right-wing conspiracy to hide the truth from African Americans out of a fear of something or other. It is probably safe to assume that eighty percent of educators in the U.S. are on the Left politically. Therefore for Williams’ to believe that educators are doing anything other than bending over backwards to accommodate African Americans curriculum wise means at least one of two things must be true. He may just be unintelligent. If this is the case he would be far from the first himbo actor who looks like a male model and has acting chops but little brains. Perhaps he is so blinded by his own racialized worldview that he cannot see the truth when it comes to issues connected to race. Maybe both are true.

“Now, this award – this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country – the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do. Alright.”

Was Williams referring to the same “teachers” who work in schools that do not teach the “truth” to African Americans? The system Williams’ refers to as being set up to “keep down” African Americans allowed him, a person of color, to become one of the most beloved and rich actors in the entertainment industry. A majority white nation made him a television star and allows him to live a luxurious lifestyle. It is astonishing that a person could have so little self-awareness that he cannot see that his own life disproves the concept of a system designed to make black people unsuccessful in the U.S.

Could it be possible that when making his speech Williams forgot who has occupied the Oval Office for the last almost eight years? Does he not understand that a majority white electorate gave Barack Obama two election victories not despite but because of his race? The fact that Obama became president itself shows that Williams’ view of the “system” is laughable.

One does not have to look hard to find additional evidence. From the moment an African American child in need is born, she or he benefits from federal, state and local government assistance. An African American child who graduates from high school with just an average grade point average will be handed a full scholarship to most any college or university she or he wishes to attend for no other reason then race. An African American college graduate who completed her or his degree with just an average grade point average will be offered a full scholarship to almost any graduate school one might chose simply do to her or his race.

Once an African American begins her or his working career, she or he will usually find it easy sledding. This is because every entity of a good size that employs people has affirmative action quotas and is desperate to fill them. African Americans will be often hired over more qualified whites because diversity policies demand it.

Once an African American gets her or his foot in the door, she or he will usually quickly become acquainted with two realities. One is that it is almost impossible for an African American to get fired unless she or he does something along the lines of committing a felony or stops showing up to work. Employers are often so terrified of being accused of racism and being sued that African Americans who cannot do their work are many times allowed to continue to collect a pay check and the responsibility for their work falls to others.

An African American who performs as well as the average worker will be many times be quickly promoted even if it means being pushed ahead of more qualified whites. Affirmative action policies are in place for every wrung of the workplace ladder.

It is safe to assume that although educational and workplace affirmative action meets the dictionary definition of racism, Williams supports both because they benefit people of color.

“Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.”

This was one of the few parts of Williams’s remarks that deserves praise. Peer reviewed research has long shown that children who are born to married parents and grow up with a mother and a father in the household are many times more likely to grow up to be productive members of society. Unfortunately, around seventy-five percent of African American children are born out of wedlock. The percentage of African American boys who grow up with no positive male role model in the house is about the same. Although Williams apparently recognizes illegitimacy as a problem in the African American community, what he fails to understand is that it, and not whites or a corrupt racist system, is the most significant problem facing African Americans.

“Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people every day.”

The reason why police officers find it easier “to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people” is because the black community seems to assume that all cops are racists and out to get them. It is no wonder that even a cursory examination of video evidence uncovers the fact that African Americans often adopt a combative attitude in encounters with law enforcement officers. If one goes looking for a fight with a policeman she or he is likely to find it.

Another problem is that a large number of African Americans do not seem to realize that it is against the law to disobey a lawful order from a police officer. To few African Americans appear to understand that they must comply with any directive issued by a police officer as along as doing so does not force them to break the law and the failure to do so immediately makes them guilty of disorderly conduct and subject to lawful arrest.

Rhetoric like that used by Williams in the speech only serves to fuel the problems between African Americans and law enforcement. Williams is a part of the problem.

“So what’s gonna happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.”

I would respond to this if I could figure out what the heck he is talking about.

“Now… I got more y’all…”

By reinforcing the notion that speaking in “black English” is acceptable, Williams is setting back the African American community.

“Yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday so I don’t wanna hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on 12 year old playing alone in the park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich.”

Tamir Rice’s shooting is explained not by race but by the fact that at the time he was shot he was holding a toy gun that was indistinguishable from the real thing. How did he get hold of such an object?  How is it that he was never taught not to wave such a thing around on a city street. Were Rice’s parents married when he was born? Were they married when he was shot?

“Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.”

The Rekia Boyd killing was what is referred to as a “bad shooting” by law enforcement officers. However, there is no evidence to suggest that it had anything to do with race. The fact that Williams thinks otherwise for no reason besides the cop was white and the victim black proves that Williams is a racist.

If Williams really believes that someone stole into Sandra Bland’s cell to murder her and her death was not a suicide by hanging then he truly is a himbo. The Hunt shooting just happened. Williams should reserve judgment until all the facts come out.

The Eric Garner situation deserves in depth comment. It is true if a choke hold had not been placed on Eric Gardner he likely would not have died at the hands of the police that day. However, people like Williams conveniently fail to mention several other facts surrounding the case when speaking on Gardner. If Gardner had not violently resisted arrest after informing the law enforcement officers on the scene that he planned to do so he would still be alive. If he had not been in terrible health he would likely not have lost his life even if a choke hold had been utilized to subdue him. If Gardner had not been illegally selling cigarettes in public, something which had been habitually guilty of, he would not have died while being taken into custody.

This last point brings to mind what is the second biggest problem facing the African American community. This is the penchant for breaking the law. Africans American’s make up about thirteen percent of the population in the U.S. but commit about 50 percent of the serious crimes in the nation. Rather than work to reform the African American community from within and work to make African Americans more law-abiding, people like Williams blame black crime on whites and argue that convicted African Americans should receive less jail time.

Were Boyd, Garner, Bland and Hunt born to parents who were married and remained married until each grew to adulthood?

“Now the thing is, though, all of us in here gettin’ money – that alone isn’t gonna stop this. Alright, now dedicating our lives, dedicating our lives to gettin’ money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies, and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.”

Might he have been drunk when he gave his speech?

“There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t leveed against us – and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so… free.”

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What conditions did Williams have to meet to become beloved, rich and famous that a white entertainer does not have to meet? What conditions did Barack Obama have to meet before he could become president that a white candidate does not have to meet?

Who is “she”? Did he think someone was standing on the stage next to him? Did Williams have a drink in his hand when he accepted his award?

 “Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.”

Churches have made more of a positive contribution to the  lives of African Americans than any other institution. Here Williams runs them down. This is most unfortunate for those African American criminals I wrote of earlier because it would do them well to have religion in their lives.

“And let’s get, let’s get a couple things straight, just a little side note – the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job, alright – stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.”

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Does Williams find himself brutalized when living in his mansion, riding in limos and eating in the finest restaurants?

He is commanding people like me to shut up. This is yet another example of the Left trying to win politically by silencing all those who disagree with them.

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“We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo,…”

A majority white America has given Williams a lifestyle of the rich and famous. He is not owed anything.

“We’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil – black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit.”

Does Williams believe, as does the Nation of Islam, that white people were created in a lab and engineered to be evil?

The last part of this passage touches upon the infuriating concept of cultural appropriation. I have two questions I would love to have answered. Is Williams guilty of cultural appropriation when he wears a business suit or communicates using the English language? Are black people who play classical music, tennis or golf committing cultural appropriation?

“The thing is though… the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real. Thank you.”

I grateful to Williams for disabusing me of the notion that black people were figments of my imagination.

By referring to African Americans as “magic,” Williams is implying that people of other races are non-magical. In other words, he means that by nature of their biology, black people are racially superior to other people.

The victimhood narrative pedaled by Williams is a cancer upon African Americans. Rather than be given a Humanitarian Award, Williams should be viewed as a person who is harming is own race.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

A Review of Episode Five (“Babylon”) of the Return Run of “The X-Files” (Some Spoilers are Revealed Below)

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Episode Five (“Babylon”) of the Return Run of “The X-Files” left me more conflicted than any installment of the series ever has. Read on if you wish to learn why the show pulled me in two different directions.

Islamofascist Terrorists on Television

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I was shocked by the first few scenes that depicted an Islamic fascist terrorist cell, two of its members entering an art gallery, explosions and people catching on fire.  Arabic terrorism being featured on television dramas is not common these days. The belief that such depictions are racist (or in some cases the fear of being labeled racist) has made them few and far between. (The pure insanity of associating a religion-related issue with race is a subject better left to another blog post.) More usual is the fantastical image of a white male terrorist dressed in typical American clothes and carrying himself in a typical American manner that we see in the “See Something Say Something” videos that play on endless loops at every major train station in the United States.

I applaud “The X-Files” for having the courage to show the television viewer Muslim terrorism in all its horror. The show deserves credit for its willingness to accept absurd criticism from individuals such as  Price Peterson, who wrote in his tv.com review that the episode “included some of the hoariest, most stereotypical terrorism imagery of the past 15 years.” How in the heck could the word “stereotypical” apply here when 99% of the terrorist attacks against the U.S. since the year 2000 have been conducted by Muslims? Using the word “stereotypical,” as well as using the word racist in the context of Islamic terrorism, are two prime examples of how the Left tries to win politically by changing the definition of words.

The Politics of The X-Files

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There is also much about the episode that I condemn. Before the terrorist attack one of the terrorist suffers racist and xenophobic insults at the hands of three “red neck” Texans. In the eyes of “The X-Files,” Texans are seen to be as almost hateful as the terrorist and stereotypes are acceptable when they involve white Southerners. (Price Peterson did not feel moved to point out this stereotype in his review.) Another implication behind the behavior of the Texans is that the conduct of the U.S. and its citizens is at least partially responsible for terrorism. This point is further brought home  by a cable news debate several minutes of which are seen and/or heard during the episode. The argument is disgusting.

About half way through “Babylon,” F.B.I. Special Agent Brem (Eric Breker) expresses views about Muslims and terrorism that are only held by a minuscule percentage of the American population and no F.B.I. agents that exist outside of movies and TV shows. The audience is condescended to when Agent Dana Scully, portrayed by Gillian Anderson, responds to his rant with the line: “Not all Muslims are extremists, certainly.” Even a young child knows this. The lesson is repeated when two Homeland Security agents converse in Arabic later on in the show. Are we all grade school students who need to be reminded that some Muslims are working in law enforcement to keep us safe in the U.S.?

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Before Brem exits the episode he explains that he wants a terrorist in a coma, who is actually a “beautiful baby boy,” because he did not activate his suicide vest, to remain alive so he suffers. When Scully says she “witnessed unqualified hate that appears to have no end” later in the episode she is talking not of the “beautiful baby boy” terrorist but of Brem and a nurse.

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This white female nurse (Janet Kidder) in question tries to kill the terrorist by turning off his respirator. When she is interrupted she takes the bizarre step of utilizing the opportunity to express over-the-top opposition to Islamic refuges entering the U.S. I assume “The X-Files” creator and episode writer, Chris Carter feels that consulting the online terrorist membership directory will be enough to vet those refuges and ensure that no terrorists enters the U.S. disguised as refugees. The fact of the matter is that many of those who request asylum either have no paperwork or destroy it before it can be checked. Such people can claim to be anyone and none of their assertions can be verified. Terrorists have already entered the Europe and the United States while pretending to be refuges. Will Carter allow any of the refuges to crash at his mansion until they can get settled?

The nurse, of course, had to be a white person because the Left believes that non-whites can never be prejudiced. I am surprised the nurse was not a man since in the eyes of people like Carter, white males are responsible for all that is bad in the world.

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Moral Equivalency

The overarching theme of the installment was moral equivalency. Carter wants us to come away from the episode with the sense that the average citizen of the U.S. is little better than a Muslin terrorist. This point is touched upon during a discussion that takes place during the final scene in which violent passages in the Koran and the Old Testament (or Tora) are compared. The comparison is flawed for several reasons. The number of Christians or Jews who commit terrorist acts after claiming to be inspired by their respective holy books is so small as to be statistically insignificant. Only a small minority of the world’s Christians and Jews interpret their holy books literally. By contrast, 100% of the planet’s faithful Muslims believe every word of the Koran was dictated by God to Mahomed and therefore believe the Koran is the literal word of God. Keep this last point in mind the next time you hear a terrorist justify terrorism by quoting from the violent rhetoric of the Koran.

Miller and Einstein

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Moving on to more lighthearted criticism, the episode introduced us to F.B.I. Agents Miller and Einstein. Lauren Ambrose brought to life a mildly interesting character in Einstein.  Robbie Amell’s Miller looks more like someone you might see posing outside an Abercrombie and Fitch store with no shirt than an F.B.I. agent.  The concept that the two are meant to be young versions of Agent Fox Mulder (portrayed by David Duchovny) and Scully was just plain silly in a stupid and boring manner of speaking. Is Carter really setting the stage for “The X-Files” to continue on with these new characters after Duchovny and Anderson either quit the show or age out of their roles?

A Major Continuity Error

IMG_0722.JPGThis photograph was taken from my TV and is the best I could do. On both the left and the right sides of the gallery you can see fire balls, smoke and debris from two different bomb detonations.

Before I close I must bring up a whopper of a continuity error made by those who created “Babylon.” It is obvious that, as previously mentioned, the show wants the audience to accept that only one of the two terrorists who walked into the art gallery detonates his suicide vest. However, the viewer is clearly presented with two distinct explosions and two different fireballs during the art gallery scene. This would suggest both vests had to have been detonated. If they were, however, both terrorists would have been blown to smithereens and neither one could have later been seen lying in a hospital bed and in a coma.

Despite the hammering I have given the episode in this review, I nonetheless found it to be fun and thought-provoking TV. Check my blog next week for a review of the season finale.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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A Review of Episode Five (“The Dead Room”) of “Mercy Street” (Some Spoilers Follow)

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For “Mercy Steet” it was another strong episode. I will try to touch on what other writers may have missed.

Dr. Byron Hale

Typically speaking , the only thing those in the entertainment industry know about the military is that they hate everything about it and everyone connected with it. I believe this ignorance and bias is reflected in the character of Dr. Byron Hale who played an important part in this episode. Unlike some individuals featured in “Mercy Street,” Hale is an invention of the show’s writers. The uptight, vain, self-important martinet of a military man became a stale, hackneyed caricature long ago. That Hale is drawn this way makes him a bore to watch.  This is not actor Norbert Leo Butz’s fault. It is the series’ writer’s responsibility.

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Television’s default position is that it must give the viewer simplistic stories of good vs. bad. Hale is clearly intended to be one of the program’s two major villains. Because “Mercy Street” is broadcast on PBS, which does not have to be concerned with ratings, it disappoints me that the series adopted this convention. All of us have the capacity to do good and bad and do both. That all of “Mercy Street’s” characters are not as multifaceted as its audience is to the detriment of the program.

Mercy

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“Mercy” is one of the installments themes. Hannah James (she of the impossibly small waist), who portrays nurse Emma Green, delivers the best acting performance of the cast for the second straight week. From her mouth we learn how the series got its name. “The road they use to bring wounded men up from the [river] barges, I’ve heard them call it ‘Mercy Street.’ Because it leads them here. Where they might be saved. It is a lie. There is no mercy. Not here. Not anywhere.” Nurse Mary Phinney (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) corrects her:” Isn’t there? Isn’t it what we offer every day?” The exchange made for one of the best scenes of the entire “Mercy Street”series.

It was a Racist World

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The show deserves to be commended for depicting the fact that the world of 1862 was a racist world and there were racists in both the North and South. Perhaps it was too much to ask for “Mercy Street” to demonstrate that people of all races have always been both perpetrators and victims of racism.

Subtle Touches

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I noticed a number of subtle touches which add to the historically realistic feel of the series. One was the blood spatters on the wallpaper of a room in the former luxury hotel turned hospital that has been converted into an operating room.

President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln

Near the end of the program we learn that President Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, will be visiting the hospital. The news gave yet another reason to look forward to the season’s climatic instalment next week.

Frank Stringfellow

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Frank Stringfellow, again ably played by Jack Falahee, was a key part of the episode. His lying to Emma, and telling her that Confederate private Tom Fairfax (Cameron Monaghan) was killed while trying to surrender, instead of being honest, and stating that he committed suicide, was the first signal that Stringfellow may turn out to be a second tier villain of the series.

Series Deserves Emmy for Costumes

Tom’s burial scene was another example of the wonderful job those responsible for the customs on the show have done. The ankle-length Victorian black morning dresses, completed with black veils, worn in the scene were eerie in the extreme. If “Mercy Street” does not win an Emmy for costumes the provost marshal should arrest the voters.

John Wilkes Booth

In the installment’s final scene Stringfellow meets with a person who is obviously  John Wilkes Booth. Stringfellow and Booth speak of a plan to assassinate Lincoln by blowing the Mercy Street hospital up. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Although I have previously criticized the show for plots that did not have a whole lot interesting and exciting going on, the same cannot be said for this episode. This week’s show was very busy and entertaining. The season finale should be just as thrilling and a real treat all around!

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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A Review of Episode Three (“The Uniform”) of Mercy Street (Some Spoilers are Revealed Below)

stringfellow 3.jpgThe third episode of the new PBS drama, Mercy Street was by far the best of the three. It was so good, in fact, that I hardly knew where to start this review.

Historically Authentic Feel of Show

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Believable accents, period women’s hairstyles and period women’s dresses were again striking. All once more added to the historically authentic feel of the show. So too did the continuation of the story of Confederate private Tom Fairfax (Cameron Monaghan) suffering from what we know call post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Plot

In my previous reviews of the first two installments I was somewhat critical of the evolving plot. The pace of the developing story lines of this episode was quicker, more exciting and generally much more interesting.

Jedediah Foster

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The depiction of surgeon Jedediah Foster’s ungoing struggle with opiate addition was memorable thanks to the performance of Josh Radnor. A scene that involved an amputation of a soldier’s leg by this very same surgeon was just graphic enough that the viewer could not take his eyes off the television screen but at the same time one had to fight the urge to look away due to the revolting images witnessed.

Freedom

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The most impactful aspect of the installment centered on former slaves who had taken advantage of the war and run away from their owners and into Union lines. The characterization of how such “contrabands,” as they were called, wrestled with what their newfound freedom did, could and should mean was fascinating. Myron Parker, Jr. portrays a household slave who appears to have been subjected to no abuse by his owners besides that which is obviously entailed by being held in bondage. He is brought from Maryland to Alexandria, Virginia where he encounters both African Americans who were born free and contrabands. He ultimately decides to liberate himself and simply walk off. Parker possesses the acting skill of person of a much more advanced age and outshone his fellow cast members.

Frank Stringfellow

A major criticism I made of the shows’ first two episodes was that it was too much like the show “ER” and as a result lacked that which was necessary to interest men as well as women in large numbers. I speculated that the first appearance of the amazing Confederate scout and spy Frank Stringfellow could change the program’s dynamic and give it a more balanced appeal.

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Stringfellow (Jack Falahee) showed and I was not disappointed.  While posing as a dentist’s assistant, he has killed a Union Army Colonel and secured valuable intelligence. More such cloak and dagger activities are sure to follow.  Additional civilian characters have hinted at their own future participation in clandestine actions in support of the South. A meaningful male audience has seemed to have been secured. Enough of what typically draws women remained in place.

Every television show selects one episode per season to submit for Emmy consideration for best series. I am confident episode three will be the one those behind the program will pick. While I doubt any of the remaining three installments could be as good as this one was I am certain each will be very entertaining in their own right.

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Why Everyone Who has Used the #OscarsSoWhite Hashtag is So Racist

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For two consecutive years only white actors have received Oscar nominations for acting awards. Soon after the announcement of this year’s nominees, social justice warriors had a melt down. They took to Twitter and began tweeting the hashtag “#OscarsSoWhite.” Everyone who has used this hashtag is so racist.

Those who have tweeted #OscarsSoWhite believe the reason for the lack of nominations of people of color is that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members whose votes determine which thespians are nominated are overwhelmingly white. Implicit in this argument are three beliefs:

  • White racism is the only possible explanation for all of the nominees being white,
  • White people are inherently racist and so cannot judge the acting talent of people of color fairly, and
  • People of color are never racist and so the voting would be more fair if more of them voted.

It is also true that on a basic level if you use the hashtag you are grouping and distinguishing people by race and declaring that you believe people are different as a result of their race. This fits the classic definition of racism.

It is undeniable then, that if you tweet the hashtag  #OscarsSoWhite you believe that whites are racially inferior to people of color and so you are a racist. If you do not accept this it means that you are so blinded by your own political ideology that you cannot see the double standard you embrace.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog. I blog a lot about the entertainment industry. See my blog’s home page for links to these blog posts.

You can follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I will approve all blog comments. No exceptions. Try me.

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Some Thoughts on The Man in the High Castle (No Major Spoilers are Revealed Below.)

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Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle is the best series on “television.” There is much good that could be said about it. No program is perfect, however. It is because The Man in the High Castle is so good that its flaws are so painful.

An Alternative Reality 1962

The show is set in an alternative reality 1962 in which the Axis powers are ten years removed from triumphing in World War II. Germany occupies the East Coast and Midwest of the former United States. Japan controls the once American states along the Pacific Ocean. A “Neutral Zone” sits precariously in the middle.

The Acting

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To say that there is not a bad performance among the cast that populates this enthralling world turned upside down is not enough.  The series’ acting is actually superb!  Between expert hair, makeup and costumes and losing herself in the role, skilled actress Mayumi Yoshida is unrecognizable as the Crown Princess of Japan. Lee Shorten’s Sergeant Yoshida is very entertaining as a member of the Kempeitai (Japanese secret police). Carsten Norgaard as Nazi officer Rudolph Wegener acts in an extremely powerful scene that calls for him to say goodbye to his child. He moves any parent watching to feel the profound pain his character suffers through when doing so.

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One of The Man in the High Castle’s two main villains is Kempeitai Inspector Kido, played by Joel de la Fuente. He benefits from a brilliant costuming choice. The thick round-rimmed glasses Kido wears connect unconsciously with anyone who has seen these glasses in anti-Japanese propaganda images from the World War II period that depict Japanese soldiers as monsters. That Kido has ice water in his veins is easy for the audience to accept thanks to de la Fuente’s impressive talent.

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Even more chilling is Rufus Sewell’s Obergruppenführer John Smith. Smith is an SS officer one cannot but love to hate.  He is one of the program’s stars.

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Yet the man who steals the show is Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. If he does not win an Emmy for his multilayered and intense performance as Trade Minister Nobusuke Tagomi, the Kempeitai must arrest the voters.

A Different World

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As compelling as The Man in the High Castle’s acting is, what makes the series most intriguing is that it offers us a prospective on what life might have looked like if Germany, Japan and Italy were victorious instead of being defeated in the 1940s. After inventing the A-bomb and dropping it on Washington, D.C., Germany is the only nation who possesses this death-dealing technology and dominates the world as a result. We learn of extermination camps set up within the former United States and witness the gassing of Jewish people in San Francisco. The sick and disabled are killed and cremated at local hospitals. Many religious and ethnic minorities appear to have been banished to the Neutral Zone. Middle class American children are members of the Hitler Youth and their fathers are SS officers. V-A Day (victory over the Allies day) is a national holiday. We are left to assume that similar things can be said of other parts of the world.

It is ironic then, that a hard Left-leaning entertainment industry which typically views America and Americans as the cause of most of what is bad in the world, has produced such a program. After all, the big takeaway from The Man in the High Castle should be that we should feel gratitude for the American system/way of life and the American people since U.S. victory in the Second World War prevented the horrors of The Man in the High Castle from becoming a reality.

Politics

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It would be wrong, however, to assume that the show is a Conservative television series. Unlike the novel of the same name upon which the program is based, the show features a resistance movement that stands in opposition to German and Japanese rule in what had been the United States. An important figure in the resistance, and a character not in the novel, is Lemuel “Lem” Washington (Rick Worthy). We learn, quite awkwardly, that Washington is Muslim.

It is a curious choice. During World War II the Islamic world was an ally of Hitler. Muslim leaders wanted to bring his Final Solution to the Middle East. It was no coincidence that after the fall of Germany some key Nazi’s fled to the region. Such men taught the first wave of Islamic terrorists the terror tactics honed by “elite” German units as the war wined down. Today’s Muslim terrorists are their successors. In 2016 Mein Kampf remains the bestseller it has always been in the Arab world.

Washington’s faith means nothing in terms of plot. Since his religion serves no entertainment or artistic function, one has to assume his identification as Muslim suits a different purpose altogether. The writer[s] of the show presumably do not understand that while I, and other fans of The Man in the High Castle are justifiably fearful of Islamic terrorists, we feel no ill will toward law-abiding, peaceable Muslims. I assume that instead, the writer[s] believes we are bigoted toward and fearful of Muslims in general.  It is easy to imagine the Leftist writer[s] earnestly believing that a portrayal of a heroic Muslim fighting for the resistance will “cure” us of our “prejudice” and “Islamophobia.”

This is a grave insult to the viewer and I take great offense. No one likes to be lectured. That those doing preaching come from an entertainment industry that is often hedonistic and peopled with many who would sell their mother for fame and fortune is particularly irksome.

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Leftist ideology makes its presence felt in the show in another important way–dialog. In graduate school, I read John W. Dower’s, War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War. Dower argues that prevalent notions of racial superiority strongly held by both sides resulted in a conflict in the Pacific Theater which was much more brutal than that in Europe. He falls somewhat short of the mark when discussing the U.S. side. His position on the Japanese conduct of the fight is most convincing.

Nowhere in The Man in the High Castle do we see any evidence of the virulent Japanese racism that is found in the historical record and led to numerous Second World War atrocities and war crimes.  Seemingly every episode is peppered with references to “Nips,” “Japs,” and “Pons” (I am not familiar with this last term, but it is clearly intended to be understood by the viewer to be a racial insult). Yet in the series’ alternate world only white, former citizens of the United States use racial slurs. Even the language of Nazi characters is surprisingly muted. The word “Semite” is spoken as if it were a slur but surely the Nazi’s used additional and much different and more harsh language when referring to Jewish people. The Leftist notion that only whites can be racists and act racist is therefore clearly reflected in the program. (I hold it is a dangerous and irresponsible notion to perpetuate since I firmly believe it results in a much higher incidence of racially motivated crimes against whites.) So too is the Leftist idea that the U.S. and its people are flawed in their character.

I wish to repeat that I think The Man in the High Castle is the best show on television. No fan awaits the coming of the recently announced season two more anxiously than myself. It is because the show is so good that I have been moved to write both in praise and condemnation of it. I want it to be even better. If the writer[s] back off the Leftist politics and strictly aim for producing great art it will be.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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