June 1, 2020

"It is already evident that Trump, who can no longer run for reëlection trumpeting economic achievement, will likely pivot and campaign, like George Wallace and Richard Nixon, in 1968..."

"... on 'law and order': his own autocratic, self-serving version of law and order.... He encourages armed protesters in Michigan who stormed the statehouse because the governor had the temerity to shut down non-essential businesses and require people to wear masks in public. He hints, via Twitter, that his maga supporters should come out on the streets. Four years ago, Trump raised fear in the country by portraying a dystopian world of 'American carnage,' even as crime had been declining for years. Division is his talent. Who, really, is the agitator here?... Urban riots, [Martin Luther King, Jr.] said, using the language of the day, 'may be deplored, but . . . they are not insurrections. The rioters are not seeking to seize territory or to attain control of institutions. They are mainly intended to shock the white community. They are a distorted form of social protest.' Even looting, he insisted, is an act of catharsis, a form of 'shocking' the white community 'by abusing property rights.' Then King quoted Victor Hugo to deepen his point: 'If a soul is left in the darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.'"

Writes David Remnick in "An American Uprising/Who, really, is the agitator here?" (The New Yorker).

There's a lot to talk about there, but let me highlight one thing: Why did Remnick specify that MLK was "using the language of the day"? What is that supposed to mean? Anyone speaking is probably "using the language of the day." One might, alternatively, have your own idiosyncratic style of speech or adopt an old-fashioned form of expression or be on the cutting edge of some emerging new way of speaking. If anything, MLK deployed an old-fashioned form of expression: Biblical. But it's strange to qualify the statement you're about to quote by telling readers it was "the language of the day."

I sift through the quote looking for what could have prompted this speed bump on the way to the big quote Remnick wanted to deliver. Is it something about "deplored"? It catches our attention, perhaps, because Hillary Clinton hurt herself badly by calling various people "deplorable," but MLK didn't call people deplorable. He called the riots deplorable ("may be deplored"). Is it "insurrections"? Is it "rioters"? It seems that Remnick wants to defend MLK over something that will strike readers today as wrong, but I don't know what it is.

There's much more that can be said about the MLK quote and how it can apply today. Is the "white community" supposed to absorb the looting as an educational shock to complacent love of our property rights? Note that "white community" and "catharsis" are paraphrasing by Remnick and not part of the "language of the day" used by King. Here's the verbatim quote by King:
“Urban riots are a special form of violence. They are not insurrections. The rioters are not seeking to seize territory or to attain control of institutions. They are mainly intended to shock the white community. They are a distorted form of social protest. The looting which is their principal feature serves many functions. It enables the most enraged and deprived Negro to take hold of consumer goods with the ease the white man does by using his purse. Often the Negro does not even want what he takes; he wants the experience of taking.”
If the verbatim quote had been used, the qualifier "using the language of the day" would have easily been understood as an explanation for King's use of the word "Negro." Perhaps some editor cut up the quote and used paraphrase to protect New Yorker readers King's word "Negro" and then failed to take out the other protection, the qualifier "using the language of the day," stranding that phrase where it did not belong.

ADDED: I spent some time looking for the Victor Hugo quote. I googled the text — "If a soul is left in the darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness" — and I easily discovered that it's from "Les Miserables," so I got the full English text of the novel — which I'd read in French in high school — and searched for "darkness." There's a lot of "darkness" in that text — 100? 200? — but I did not find the quote in question. I used another method — searching for the quote in "books" and finding a translation that used "darkness" and finding some other words that would get me to the right spot in the full text I wanted to use. In my translation — at Project Gutenberg — the word is translated as "shadow."

The quote appears in near the beginning of the book, and it's spoken by the character the Bishop. The Bishop is hospitable to the hero Jean Valjean, but Valjean steals his silverware. The "he" in this passage is the Bishop. I'll boldface the part that King quoted (in a different translation):
Being, as he described himself with a smile, an ex-sinner, he had none of the asperities of austerity, and he professed, with a good deal of distinctness, and without the frown of the ferociously virtuous, a doctrine which may be summed up as follows:—

“Man has upon him his flesh, which is at once his burden and his temptation. He drags it with him and yields to it. He must watch it, check it, repress it, and obey it only at the last extremity. There may be some fault even in this obedience; but the fault thus committed is venial; it is a fall, but a fall on the knees which may terminate in prayer.

“To be a saint is the exception; to be an upright man is the rule. Err, fall, sin if you will, but be upright.

“The least possible sin is the law of man. No sin at all is the dream of the angel. All which is terrestrial is subject to sin. Sin is a gravitation.”

When he saw everyone exclaiming very loudly, and growing angry very quickly, “Oh! oh!” he said, with a smile; “to all appearance, this is a great crime which all the world commits. These are hypocrisies which have taken fright, and are in haste to make protest and to put themselves under shelter.”

He was indulgent towards women and poor people, on whom the burden of human society rest. He said, “The faults of women, of children, of the feeble, the indigent, and the ignorant, are the fault of the husbands, the fathers, the masters, the strong, the rich, and the wise.”

He said, moreover, “Teach those who are ignorant as many things as possible; society is culpable, in that it does not afford instruction gratis; it is responsible for the night which it produces. This soul is full of shadow; sin is therein committed. The guilty one is not the person who has committed the sin, but the person who has created the shadow.

It will be perceived that he had a peculiar manner of his own of judging things: I suspect that he obtained it from the Gospel.

114 comments:

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Show us the Trump quotes that express what Trump said. More speed bumps for the BS narrative.

The left are all cheats and liars.

Fernandinande said...

"An American Uprising/Who, really, is the agitator here?" (The New Yorker).

It was nice of them to put part of the answer immediately after the question.

mezzrow said...

You can't be too careful. Someone might get offended.

When does the conversation shift to whether the Democrats can hold the House if the rioting continues?

If they do, how long will it take for them to generate the next set of impeachment proceedings?

Next to riots in the streets, impeachment doesn't look so formidable. Interesting times.

wendybar said...

It's already evident, that since Russian Collusion didn't stick, Corona virus is dying out, The murder hornets fizzled....up next?? Money pouring into Antifa from Radical George Soros....bricks being distributed throughout cities all over America, Celebrities shelling out money to the rioters, and he thinks TRUMP is the problem. America is burning because the bitch lost to Donald Trump, and the left is melting down. This is Progressive Utopia!!! Enjoy!!!

Masscon said...

Bizarro world! How is it possible by accident that every position taken by this author is the exact opposite of reality?

YoungHegelian said...

Who, really, is the agitator here?..

Oh, how about the people who are actually looting & burning shit down, David ol' boy?
Who aren't Trump supporters, by the way.

The moderate Left is waking up to discover that they are chained to a maniac, and the maniac is acting up. Trust me when I say, that with the overnight looting in the Friendship Heights neighborhood of DC, that lots of wealthy white liberals in DC are waking up with a new appreciation of why the police kill black people so often. They're never, ever going to say it, but they sure as hell are thinking it.

Fernandinande said...

"Often the Negro does not even want what he takes; he wants the experience of taking."

So King was pretty good at making up fancy ways of saying "The Negro likes to steal stuff."

Rick said...

"It is already evident that Trump, who can no longer run for reëlection trumpeting economic achievement, will likely pivot and campaign, like George Wallace and Richard Nixon, in 1968..."
".


It's not evident at all since the economic disruption (1) was caused by a black swan event and (2) Dems desired to increase the economic disruption while Trump sought to minimize it. A rational person projecting future economic outcomes chooses from the Trump economy pre-virus and Obama's slowest recovery ever from a recession.

So a left wing columnist invents his own fantasy and then projects the same fearmongering that has already repeatedly proven wrong.

CJinPA said...

..his own autocratic, self-serving version of law and order...

So lazy and predictable. First, Trump was an autocrat. Then, during the rise of COVID, he wasn't. Now, with riots, he will be again. Each time, not doing what he should be doing. Lazy argument.

It's easy to see why they didn't use the MLK quote on looting:

The looting which is their principal feature serves many functions. It enables the most enraged and deprived Negro to take hold of consumer goods with the ease the white man does by using his purse.

It's out of place a half-century later. When you loot a Target, you're stealing items which you otherwise could take hold of using your purse because you were shopping there the day before.

Rob said...

The problem is King’s use of the word “riots.” Today the word is avoided, along with “looting.” Better for the rioters to be called protesters or demonstrators, ignoring the illegality. King was so unwoke.

Lucien said...

He said “riots” it’s now racially insensitive to use that word.

Jersey Fled said...

Anyone speaking is probably "using the language of the day"

Except maybe Joe Biden.

Mark O said...

Undoubtedly, Remnick can read Trump's mind. The overwhelming majority of Americans despise racism. They correspondingly reject lawlessness and rioting. Any sentient politician would run against violence in the streets and the failure of cities and states adequately to protect property and lives.

Apparently, only Wallace and Nixon would feel that way.

Dave Begley said...

"his own autocratic, self-serving version of law and order...." Which would be the exact opposite of what the Dems do. The DFL Mayor of Mpls let the police station be taken and burned. That was the tipping point. The Dem Mayor of DC set the curfew at 11 pm. The church was set on fire before 11 pm. The GOP Mayor of Omaha set the curfew at 8 pm and it was enforced. Many arrested.

And why wasn't more tear gas and pepper spray used earlier in the Dem cities?

Widespread looting in Soho in NYC; even in daylight.

The New Yorker can rationalize and explain all it wants, but Trump wins 40 states in November. The Dems lost the election in May.

mccullough said...

Any MLK quotes about the white community looting and rioting? Lot of white people in these crowds.

We should stop looking to MLK for answers and using his fortune cookie wisdom. He’s been dead 60 years.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The rioters are not seeking to seize territory or to attain control of institutions.

Who ever said they were? The rioters are seeking to seize stylish footwear and consumer electronics.

Mad props for "reëlection" though. I might have guessed that the New Yorker would be last to give up the dieresis.

Mike Sylwester said...

Who won the election of 1968?

And then, four years later, who won the election of 1972?

Law and order is a winning issue.

That is why, in 2020, President Trump will win 40 states -- including Minnesota.

Sebastian said...

"But it's strange to qualify the statement you're about to quote by telling readers it was "the language of the day.""

So strange. It's almost as if this MSM propagandist wants nice white liberal women to think that what's happening is not mindless, destructive rioting, but righteous protest, taking it to the "white community" good and hard cuz whites deserve it.

"It seems that Remnick wants to defend MLK over something that will strike readers today as wrong, but I don't know what it is."

I guess this particular propaganda maneuver failed to win you over. But the Althouses of America are one of the targets of this particular offensive. Stand with the "protesters," or be an Amy Cooper. You don't want to be those liberal women from which black men have the most to fear, do you? Now you can prove it.

Of course, as even Gov. Walz has recognized, the riots are to some extent staged, by Antifa insurrectionists. At some point, even Althouse will have to face facts rather than play with words.

Birkel said...

"The rioters are not seeking... to attain control of institutions."
Also, the article presumes, this is how we beat Trump in 2020.

The author wants it both ways.
I hope the riots burn his cul de sac to the ground.
All the better if he is there when they do.

This is what a Democratics want.
They want riots for political gain.
They will lose badly.

Ambrose said...

It is already evident, to coin a phrase, that the media will go into overdrive to convince Americans that the real threat to order is not the anti-Tump, Anitfa-led, rioters, but rather the unseen far right, white supremicists. We have heard so much about this group since the heady days of Obama - membership might be approaching 100 nationwide.

TreeJoe said...

Why can't Trump run on economic achievement? Are we going to keep the country mostly locked down for 5 more months? Are we ignoring the fact that the S&P 500 remains POSITIVE over the past one year despite an unprecedented economic shutdown and multiple industries ravaged? Or that during Trump's tenure, prior to a global pandemic, minorities had the lowest unemployment rate on record?

No, we must maintain narratives and fixed lines of thinking. Trump couldn't be bombastic and harsh AND successful. He couldn't have a base which includes white supremacists AND have one of the most successful tenures for minorities.

We must think in either/or in the way our intellectual superiors tell us.

Michael K said...

It is an insurrection and is especially a sign that the WuFlu hysteria has not worked. This is Impeachment #4 and will continue for a while.

MayBee said...

So the black people who are rioting and looting are speaking for the oppressed.
The Antifa who are rioting and looting are there...I don't know. Kind of ignored.
And the people talking about Boogaloo online are the real problem.

And Remnick steps in to say Trump running against any of this destruction is the racist way to go.

MayBee said...

Show me the looting riot led by Dr MLK, all you MLK quoters.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

The '68 election was close only because Wallace ran as a 3rd party candidate.

Nixon and Wallace combined got 57 percent of the vote. That's with Texas voting Dem.

Birkel said...

Further:

One of the reasons Democratics will lose badly is because Trump fights the MSM every day. All those criticisms of Trump's tweets against the MSM are a recognition by that same MSM that it is effective. The press is now seen - correctly - as partisan Democratic operatives. This reduces their influence.

Therefore the "mostly peaceful" crap cannot work.
That play at Ford Theater was "mostly peaceful" after all.

Jake said...

Crime declining for years while at the same time incarceration rates were going up. How can this be explained?

Xmas said...

The general election doesn't start in earnest until mid-August, when the National Conventions are held.

That's 2 and a half months away, who knows what will be the big issue of the day then and what Trump will be running on.

In the interim, we'll have to see what the DOJ finds in Minneapolis. If Barr comes down hard on the MPD, their union, and/or local elected officials, I suspect that things will get even weirder. I'd love to see the reaction if the Trump-era DOJ Civil Rights division goes after corrupt police forces.

buwaya said...

One big difference vs MLK's day, is that he could say "white community", and mean a single social entity, more or less.

These days one must specify which white community, because what was once one is now bitterly, irrevocably split. Obviously the writer wants to specify that other white community, the one that isn't his.

And then there are various important Hispanic and Asian communities that did not exist in a relevant form in his day.

tim maguire said...

Fascinating how so many people who actively wanted the economic shutdown are now trying to hold Trump accountable for the damaged economy. (The same people, by the way, who touted a 2,000,000 death count to encourage that shutdown and are now blaming Trump for the 100,000 death count.)

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Any writer who begins by trying to whatabout the peaceful armed protesters to the violent looting rioters has signaled their dishonesty to me so strongly I don’t care what else he has to say. The vast difference between how Big Media reacts to peaceable Americans demanding their right to work and violent Americans who burn break and destroy is quite evident to their audience even if Big Media pretends otherwise. So how did 1968 work out last time for Progressives?

wild chicken said...

to protect New Yorker readers King's word "Negro"


Something went wrong there

Mike Sylwester said...

He [Trump] encourages armed protesters in Michigan who stormed the statehouse because the governor had the temerity to shut down non-essential businesses and require people to wear masks in public.

The New Yorker reports current events tendentiously.

However, The New Yorker does have funny cartoons.

rehajm said...

He can still run on economic achievement against the Democrats who have been working to destroy it.

Darrell said...

Having failed to smother the US economy so that no recovery could be had by election day, the Democrats now turn to George Soros to bring in European Leftists with form to burn what remains down. Hear Brit accents and slang? Those are the ones collecting bigger checks from Soros. The useful idiots make $50. Bail and legal representation paid with Democrat donations.

rehajm said...

Is the umlaut in reëlection a typo or a Freudian?

rcocean said...

What's amazing about these riots so far, is the complete lack of information and facts being provided by the Mainstream Media. WHO is organizing the "protests"? What is the racial makeup of the crowds? Who is looting the stores? WHO his organizing these marches and also the nightly burning and destruction? Is it Antifa? Is it black lives matter?

I see a lot of WHITE faces in these marches. When I see video footage, I see a lot of left-wing signs. WHO are these people?

And these marches have ZERO to do with "racial Justice". We have the FBI investigating the police. We have Civil rights laws. Many of these cities (DC, Atlanta, Oakland, Baltimore, etc.) are RUN by black mayors and voters. What does this in 2020 have to do with 1968 and MLK? that was 52 years ago! Its as if someone in 1968 started yammering about Booker T. Washington, The Bull Moose party and riots in 1916.

Remick is a wealthy, powerful, Leftist who hates Trump and sees this as a way to damage him. That's what 90% of the news today consists of.

rcocean said...

The linking of George Wallace with Trump is absurd. Joe Biden knew George Wallace, Wallace was a friend of his, and Mr. Remmick Trump is no George Wallace.

John Christopher said...

It's the use of the word riots vs. protests, a topic hotly debated on twitter all weekend.

MadisonMan said...

A Coastie Publication trying to figure out what's going on in Trump's head. I note how Biden is irrelevant.

John Christopher said...

It's the use of the word riots vs. protests, a semantic choice hotly debated on twitter all weekend.

John henry said...

First time I recall seeing reelection spelled that way wit double dots over the e.

There's a name for that but I don't remember what it is.

More on point, now we see, out loud and proud, what the demmies are trying to do. Destroy the economy with the pandemic then claim pdjt does not have a great economy to run on.

He will, though. He will. And people see through these evil bastards tricks.

John Henry

Brian McKim said...

"Editor?"

rcocean said...

It is already evident, reminds me of the commie stock phrase of the 1930's "It is well known..." that Trotsky and Stalin always used. Usually, it meant the opposite of what it says. As in "It is well known that the Bourgeois use physical torture..."

Professional lady said...

Seems to me this is no longer about protest - it is about destruction.

Wince said...

Remnick's fantastical writing reminds me of that video diorama Spike Jones did for Med Men. He gets to create his own world inside a box.

Andrew said...

I never knew that "Thou shalt not steal" had an exception clause for social justice.

Automatic_Wing said...

Since when does reelection have an umlaut?

Whatever you say said...

I do enjoy the commentary here but it is somewhat of a closed group and outsiders need not bother. So be it there are other platforms that I am welcomed and encouraged to comment. This particular article moved me to bother to sign in. It is such typical elite leftist claptrap that our hostess is so deeply mired in. Not sure if she will even allow this unmoderated comment to stand and it doesn't matter. For the majority of us, we see the left for what it is. They can cover themselves and their feminist anti Trump, he is boorish mantra and yet this destruction is what they actually want.The most distasteful to me is how the hostess is flogging that Amazon portal. Do law professors emeritus really need the pennies that yields? Certainly there are other worthier charities than a retired professor. I would think she would be ashamed. Alas, shame is not in the lib dictionary.

Mike Sylwester said...

The BBC television six-part mini-series -- starring Dominic West as Jean Valjean -- is superb.

chuck said...

David Remnick one of those white supremacists fanning the flames. Or so I've been told.

The article is interesting as an artifact from the bubble, not for its ideas. It is just another velvet painting marketed to our senile intelligentsia.

RK said...

Trump could run on getting rid of police unions and teacher unions. They're both tremendously destructive.

JCann said...

"...Last season's fruit is eaten/And the fulfilled beast shall kick the empty pail/For last year's words belong to last year's language/And next year's words await another voice/But, as the passage now presents no hindrance/To the spirit unappeased and peregrine/Between two worlds become much like each other,/So I find words I never thought to speak/In streets I never thought I should revisit/When I left my body on a distant shore/Since our concern was speech, and speech impelled us/To purify the dialect of the tribe/And urge the mind to after sight and foresight,/Let me disclose the gifts reserved for age/To set a crown upon your lifetime's effort..."

Michael K said...

The DOJ could start by learning who dropped off those pallets of bricks. Surveillance cameras are everywhere. I watch these crime shows about surveillance cameras. The FBI ism useless. I wonder if Barr is using the Marshall's service to investigate now?

Bob Boyd said...

Only a fool would believe there exists a Trump achievement Trump can't trumpet.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

As Insty said earlier: "Looking at lefty takes on social media, it seems that these riots are entirely justified responses to systemic racism, and the only possible way to force social change, and they’re being instigated by white supremacists."

Freder Frederson said...

Democrats now turn to George Soros to bring in European Leftists with form to burn what remains down. Hear Brit accents and slang? Those are the ones collecting bigger checks from Soros. The useful idiots make $50. Bail and legal representation paid with Democrat donations.

Where the hell are you getting this bullshit? From the monkeys flying out of your butt? Unless you can provide some evidence that this is actually happening, you are just full of shit.

n.n said...

I never knew that "Thou shalt not steal" had an exception clause for social justice.

Different faith. Different religious philosophy. Different philosopher. Monotonically divergent ideology. The left follows an ethical (i.e. relativistic religious) philosophy that is Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, politically congruent. Social justice is a relativistic justice.

William said...

Anyone remember the Diana Ross concert in Central Park in 1983. After the concert large groups of youths went on a crime spree. They weren't protesting anything. There was simply a critical mass of lawless young people and they could get away with it....Well, we've come a long way since then. Nowadays the lawless young people are integrated and not just black kids.

pacwest said...

Can't we all just get along?

pacwest said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Two-eyed Jack said...

It's not an umlaut, it's a dieresis.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

First time I recall seeing reelection spelled that way wit double dots over the e.

There's a name for that but I don't remember what it is.


Metal umlaut.

William said...

Anyone remember the Diana Ross concert in Central Park in 1983. After the concert large groups of youths went on a crime spree. They weren't protesting anything. There was simply a critical mass of lawless young people and they could get away with it....Well, we've come a long way since then. Nowadays the lawless young people are integrated and not just black kids.

bagoh20 said...

First off, Trump's economic success was real, and a logical voter would prefer a proven person to do it again over someone who wants to do things very differently than what was working.

But really, what's the point of arguing. It's all the same thing over and over. We hate Trump and his successes will never be admitted to, and we will rise everyday to make up some new reason, or repeat the old ones of why he's terrible. That's all this is, and all the rest of what "journalist" do now.

You often tell us how you are bored with this or that, but how could this shit not bore you by now? Even the new stuff is transparently old with new paint over and over again.

Carol said...

Obviously "pivoting" is the best move for Trump. That's why they're anticipating it.

And the liberals will never "wake up." The more the left riots, the more excuses they make. It's like Stockholm Syndrome. They're entirely captive to their favorite minority pets.

Because we all killed George Floyd, or Floyd George, or Lloyd George, or Boy George, or whoever it was.

Lurker21 said...

This is like Seventies radical talk about how violence would "unmask" the state and force it to show the organized violence that was always the foundation of the state. Only in this case it's not the system but one man who's going to be unmasked to be the autocrat his opponents have always accused him of being. And there's a bonus here, since it puts the right back with Nixon and Wallace, where the left have always accused them of being.

What Remnick's doing is the fantasy writing that some columnists love: events will prove that I have been right about everything all along. It takes rather more discernment to study the current situation and what it might conceivably lead to, rather than assuming that what happens will confirm one's own long-held assumptions.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

"They are mainly intended to shock the white community."

Yeah; careful what you wish for.

I've been arguing from a libertarian-ish position for years now that the militarization of local police forces is a mistake, that cops don't need APCs/military armored vehicles, etc. In the last 2 days my city has had about 2 dozen cop cars torched or otherwise destroyed--NYC has had 5 or 6 dozen likewise destroyed. The riot has made the case that cops do in fact need those vehicles.
So, thanks--shocking the white community really paid off there.

hombre said...

“They are not insurrections. The rioters are not seeking to seize territory or to attain control of institutions. They are mainly intended to shock the white community.”

This is such bullshit. Of course this is insurrection! Race is only the excuse for these riots. Obviously, the usual acquisition of large screen TVs, etc., plays a roll, but this is well-organized, well-funded sedition taken to the streets to support the nonviolent sedition perpetrated by Democrats, their Deep State and the leftmediaswine for 3+ years.

The useful idiots who think they are dealing with the Democrat Party of twenty years ago cluck and rub their hands together and moan about Orangemanbad. Left wingers are doing what leftwingers do, but these clucking assholes are too stupid to be in denial. They are simply oblivious to the damage being wrought to our country by the seditionists.

I used to call my family’s US/New Zealand citizenship “dual citizenship.” Now I call it an “exit strategy.”

Tom T. said...

Remnick is writing to energize the base. He's smart enough to realize that the riots are driving the thin slice of moderate voters over to Trump. He knows that his distortion of King isn't going to bring those voters back, but they're not his audience.

hombre said...

These rioters are to the Democrats what the IRA was to Sinn Fein.

Carol said...

The '68 election was close only because Wallace ran as a 3rd party candidate.

Years later I met people who voted for Wallace. They hated Nixon, too. I was appalled. They were Korea vets, that age group. Construction workers, retired mil, tough minded, with no illusions.

Kinda miss those 'ol boys now.

Mark said...

It should be noted that King -- as he did often -- is deploring the use of riots and violence, not endorsing them or saying that they are acceptable.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Lurker21 said...

What Remnick's doing is the fantasy writing that some columnists love: events will prove that I have been right about everything all along.

Nah, he's using an old Marxist tactic; telling you what the new "reality" is. They seem to believe they can will things into being, but it's more self-comfort than anything else.

Temujin said...

Ugh. David Remnick working for The New Yorker is asking who the real agitator is? Look around ye. Remember the Russia Collusion farce? The Impeachment Farce? The Charlottesville misreporting? Who's agitating? You and your ilk have put the people on pins and needles, then backed the horror stats from bad medical models to keep us all locked down. Now you say Trump is the reason people in LA are pulling their cars up to stores in Santa Monica and stuffing the trunks with clothes?

Remnick is a fraud. Most of our esteemed Journos, who I used to read with respect, now make me laugh. Remnick long ago was eaten up by his own biases.

PhilD said...

"The moderate Left is waking up to discover that they are chained to a maniac, and the maniac is acting up."

That's giving the 'moderate Left' way too much honor. They are the enablers and are guilty as hell. The fact that they are rewriting the story because it is starting to backfire on then doesn't change that.

MayBee said...

I'm going to go out on a limb and say while its true I think many of the looters don't want what they are taking....they surely want to sell them on the black market.
Perhaps we can get liberals to care about that by pointing out all the sales taxes that will go uncollected.

Jupiter said...

"Often the Negro does not even want what he takes; he wants the experience of taking."

How true. In fact, I think that applies to robbery, rape and murder as well.

Yancey Ward said...

Remnick, to his credit, probably fully recognizes the trap the Democrats have sprung on themselves. Rioting and looting are never rewarded at the ballot box- literally never. What Remnick is attempting here is probably the only strategy left open to the Democrats- somehow, someway to convince anyone with an IQ above 90 that the riots are the work of the right side of the political divide. It won't work because you can't find enough such sub 90 IQ voters. People tend to believe their own eyes over any lie you try to tell them.

Democrats like Remnick will try to console themselves that in 1968 Wallace cost Humphrey the election- that the riots and chaos of the Summer in the Democratic cities aren't what cost Humphrey the election, but this a misunderstanding of what happened due to the fact that Wallace was a nominal Democrat. Wallace didn't cost Humphrey to lose a single state in the union- Wallace took more votes from Nixon. Without Wallace in the race, Nixon would have won 400 electoral votes- he would have swept the South including the one state in the South that Humphrey won- Texas.

Lurker21 said...

I saw a clip of Trevor Noah defending the rioters, and it occurred to me that what we have now is a generation or two that doesn't remember the riots of the 1960s and doesn't take rioting seriously. It's a return to the indulgent attitude of some Sixties liberals towards street violence.

Remnick is old enough to have childhood memories of the riots, but the New Yorker is something like a bubble dedicated to preserving those Sixties attitudes and shielding them from contact with the harsh realities outside. There's a sense of security that what happens in the streets won't affect those inside the liberal bubble.

One reason for that sense of security is that the people the New Yorker despises are in power and will try to keep a lid on the upheaval before it reaches the suburbs and neighborhoods where liberals live.

Bruce Hayden said...

“ Where the hell are you getting this bullshit? From the monkeys flying out of your butt? Unless you can provide some evidence that this is actually happening, you are just full of shit.”

If this were any fetishized here besides Freder, I would think that this was their usual spin. But with him, I think it more a function of cognitive dissonance. The difference is in the intent element.

BTW - I was talking with one of my brothers yesterday ad he asked what 3rd Degree Murder in MN was. From LS, he knew 1st and 2nd degree. The answer appears to be that many states combine both Heat of Passion and Depraved Heart/Mind killings as 2nd Degree Murder, but it appears that in MN Heat of Passion is 2nd Degree, and Depraved Heart/Depraved Mind is 3rd Degree Murder. And I think that fits decently well. At Volokh, a lot of people were voting 1st Degree Murder. But I think that the intent element would be hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. It would probably be much easier to prove that he intentionally acted so recklessly that he caused the death than that he intentionally killed their prisoner

Jupiter said...

"Often the Negro does not even want what he takes; he wants the experience of taking."

Really, a remarkable quote. While Western Civilization has long been deeply opposed to public disorder and theft, there is a certain sympathy for the man who smashes a window and steals a loaf of bread because his children are starving. It is the man who smashes a window and steals an iPhone because free shit gives him a thrill who needs shooting. You would think a guy like King would have understood that. Of course, he also appears to have believed that the fact he desired other women excused his being unfaithful to his wife. As if other men were faithful because they had no desires. Maybe we are giving him more credit than he deserves.

Yancey Ward said...

That isn't an umlaut- that is German. It is the equivalent mark you see in the word "naïve".

It indicates that the vowel sound gets its own syllable. In the case at hand, reelection, the second e gets a new syllable, unlike the word "reel", "reem", etc.

Yancey Ward said...

"It's not an umlaut, it's a dieresis."

Ah, so that is what it is called! That is one mystery solved. I don't often use the word naïve, but every time I do, the thought is in my head to find out what the mark is called, but I never have.

Bilwick said...

Shorter version: "Let's get rid of Trump and get some super statist into the White House who can bring about LESS prosperity and liberty! Statism uber alles!"

Kevin said...

Who, really, is the agitator here?

What difference, at this point, does it make?

Char Char Binks said...

ABOLISH THE POLICE!

Bill Peschel said...

Bill Buford wrote a book "Among the Thugs," about the time he spent with English football hooligans. He talked about the fun you can have rioting, on a visceral level. It can override basic decency.

Ann Althouse said...

Since people are hot to learn this word, I’ll step in pedantically to say please spell it right:

Diaeresis

Jupiter said...

"It would probably be much easier to prove that he intentionally acted so recklessly that he caused the death than that he intentionally killed their prisoner."

It has not even been demonstrated that he caused the death. The final report is not in yet, but we know thug was not asphyxiated. He was in bad health, and it seems likely the struggle was too much for his heart. But policemen are not supposed to refrain from arresting thugs because the experience could be too much for their hearts. That video looks ugly, but I have a feeling this one is going to be another huge payout from the City, followed by a not-guilty verdict. That's what Ben Crump does for a living.

Bob Boyd said...

Diaeresis is an affliction of the vowels.

Lazarus said...

True, many Wallace voters would have voted for Nixon if Wallace hadn't been in the race. Others would have stayed home or voted for some other third party candidate. But it's possible now to underestimate the attachment that many White working class voters still had to the Democrats in 1968.

You could draw a parallel between Wallace in 1968 and Perot in 1992. Perot gave a lot of old Reagan voters "permission" to vote against Bush. He gave them a way of expressing their grievances and an alternative that wasn't there before. On election day, most Perot voters polled gave Clinton as their second choice, but had Perot not been in the race, many of them would have voted for Bush.

In the same way, in 1968 Wallace may have pried enough Democrats away from the party of FDR, people who would never consider voting for Nixon, to hurt Humphrey. Even more yellow dog Democrats voted for Nixon in 1972, and that might make us underestimate the hostility that they had towards Republicans even in the Sixties. You could argue that McCarthy and Kennedy in 1968 and Buchanan in 1992 also played a role in spreading discontent with Humphrey or Bush.

rehajm said...

That isn't an umlaut- that is German.

It's an umlaut if you're trying to make a joke about equating New Yorker journalists with Nazis.

Ficta said...

To be even more pedantic: every reference I checked (including the OED and Webster's Unabridged 1913) says "dieresis" is an accepted variant.

Yancey Ward said...

Yeah, more than three vowels in a row tend to cause a fatal blockage- it is like trying to shit out a sequoia.

Two-eyed Jack said...

Dieresis is a perfectly legitimate variant spelling. (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dieresis) You can have your excess vowels, if you like, but they are not to my taste.

Inga said...

“Of course, as even Gov. Walz has recognized, the riots are to some extent staged, by Antifa insurrectionists. At some point, even Althouse will have to face facts rather than play with words.”

Governor Walz spoke of outside agitators, he didn’t say to what group they belonged to or what their affiliation was.

mkduck said...

The "language of the day" word is "urban" when used to mean "black"

Earnest Prole said...

Even the New Yorker knows its umlaut-in-drag punctuation fetish is a dopey affectation:

The Curse of the Diaeresis
Mary Norris, April 26, 2012

The special tool we use here at The New Yorker for punching out the two dots that we then center carefully over the second vowel in such words as “naïve” and “Laocoön” will be getting a workout this year, as the Democrats coöperate to reëlect the President.

Those two dots, often mistaken for an umlaut, are actually a diaeresis (pronounced “die heiresses”; it’s from the Greek for “divide”). The difference is that an umlaut is a German thing that alters the pronunciation of a vowel (Brünnhilde), and often changes the meaning of a word: schon (adv.), already; schön (adj.), beautiful. In the case of a diphthong, the umlaut goes over the first vowel. And it is crucial. A diaeresis goes over the second vowel and indicates that it forms a separate syllable. Most of the English-speaking world finds the diaeresis inessential. Even Fowler, of Fowler’s “Modern English Usage,” says that the diaeresis “is in English an obsolescent symbol.”

It’s actually a lot of trouble, these days, to get the diaeresis to stick over the vowels. The autocorrect on my word-processing program (I was just kidding about the hole punch) automatically whisks it off, and I have to go back, highlight the letter, hold down the option key while pressing the “u,” and then retype the appropriate letter. The question is: Why bother? I am not getting paid by the hour.

The fact is that, absent the two dots, most people would not trip over the “coop” in “cooperate” or the “reel” in “reelect” (though they might pronounce the “zoo” in “zoological,” a potential application of the diaeresis that we get no credit for resisting). And yet we use the diaeresis for the same reason that we use the hyphen: to keep the cow out of co-workers.

Basically, we have three options for these kinds of words: “cooperate,” “co-operate,” and “coöperate.” Back when the magazine was just getting started, someone decided that the first misread and the second was ridiculous, and adopted the diaeresis as the most elegant solution with the broadest application. The diaeresis is the single thing that readers of the letter-writing variety complain about most.

We do change our style from time to time. My predecessor (and the former keeper of the comma shaker) told me that she used to pester the style editor, Hobie Weekes, who had been at the magazine since 1928, to get rid of the diaeresis. She found it fussy. She said that once, in the elevator, he told her he was on the verge of changing that style and would be sending out a memo soon. And then he died.

This was in 1978. No one has had the nerve to raise the subject since.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

the real agitators, burners, thieves, looters, smashers, are not the people doing it, oh no. Your lying eyes.
It's the... wait for it... Russians and the "outsiders"

Kai Akker said...

So the answer is, "Negro."

Over 90 comments, couldn't read through, can't have been the first, but here it is fyi.

Roger Sweeny said...

The looting which is their principal feature serves many functions.

According to Edward Banfield's 1970 The Unheavenly City: The Nature and the Future of Our Urban Crisis, they are "(mainly) for fun and profit".

"...The first time as tragedy...'

Kai Akker said...

Don't know if you added your comments about the word being edited out, which seems most likely explanation. But elsewhere there is this, too: “I think that we’ve got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard. And, what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the economic plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years.”

There is something refreshing in getting this reminder of King's actual diction in the '60s. Maybe it will make a comeback, like colored//people of color.

WR said...

The use of an umlaut in reelection may meant to evoke a fascist tone to "Trump reelection", much as the pejorative spelling "Amerika" is used.

Jim at said...

Can't we all just get along?

No.

I have no interest in 'getting along' with left-wing thugs whose only goal is to destroy this country.

hstad said...

"...[Martin Luther King, Jr.] said, using the language of the day. . . they are not insurrections....They are mainly intended to shock the white community...distorted... 'social protest.' Even looting, he insisted, is an act of catharsis, a form of 'shocking' the white community ..."

I was a great admirer of his father - it is sad that his son has been completely co-oped by the 'Progressive Propaganda' language. Mr. "King, Jr. "...Looting..." in Europe and other so-called "white" countries is that also to "shock the white community"? What a sad human being to actually associate the "King" name with this kind of 'carnival barking'.

Bruce Hayden said...

“In the case of a diphthong, the umlaut goes over the first vowel. And it is crucial. A diaeresis goes over the second vowel and indicates that it forms a separate syllable. Most of the English-speaking world finds the diaeresis inessential. Even Fowler, of Fowler’s “Modern English Usage,” says that the diaeresis “is in English an obsolescent symbol.””

Interesting. My partner’s first name has a diphthong with the double dots over the second character. No wonder she has gone through life with it mispronounced. Her last name has an accent (grave) over the last letter too, which is most often treated as silent. Nope. It’s an accent. In any case, her mother essentially invented her name (only one out of five that she did this with) after reading her charts.

It really isn’t much of an issue under IOS - I just set up the preferences to substitute the correct spellings with the incorrect ones, and like magic, I get the right spellings. Moreover, on my newer iPads, you just hold down the vowel key, and the different versions appear, and you pick the right one - āėïõú, etc.

Carol said...

Trump could run on getting rid of police unions and teacher unions.

Great, the only protection those poor bastards have.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

The "language of the day" word is "urban" when used to mean "black"

Somehow "Urban Fantasy" never got the message..

(Although "Urban Romance" did).

RichardJohnson said...

BTW Freder, what do you think of Susan Rice's claim that the Russians could be funding the rioting?

Lurker21 said...


So New Yorker writers live in buildings with coöp boards?

And if they drive it's always a Citroën?

Do they all have names like Zoë, Noël, Chloë, and Eloïse?

And when the editors order the writers to use the magazine's favorite diacritical mark, do they call it a "diæresis"?

Lurker21 said...


So New Yorker writers live in buildings with coöp boards?

And if they drive it's always a Citroën?

Do they all have names like Zoë, Noël, Chloë, and Eloïse?

And when the editors order the writers to use the magazine's favorite diacritical mark, do they call it a "diæresis"?

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Kirk Parker said...

I quit reading upon seeing the diaeresis on 'reelection'. What a pretentious twit this Remnick is.