July 11, 2020

"We are happy to welcome this block party to Hilldale although would have been grateful to be involved in the organization of it so that we could prepare the site to receive a crowd and work to insure that all COVID-related standards of mass gatherings were met."

Said a spokeswoman for Hilldale Shopping Center (here in Madison), quoted in "Hilldale Shopping Center closes stores ahead of protest" (Wisconsin State Journal).
Organizers in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in Madison and Milwaukee said they came together at the shopping center in an effort to educate patrons on the plight faced by Black people in America. But the normally bustling shopping center was void of customers as businesses shut their doors at about 2:30 p.m., prior to the kickoff of the event....

Organizers said they were told by shopping center management that the stores were closed to accommodate the block party, but organizers were skeptical. They said shopping center security tried to block them from setting up a sound system and grill outside the Apple Store.
Oh! They felt unwelcome. And the customers of the stores didn't work as a captive audience for this proffered "education." They all went home! There was even free food... but who would eat protester-prepared food in the time of social-distancing?!
“We need to learn how to stop ignoring people’s voices and listen to them,” Frank Nitty, a community organizer from Milwaukee]. “People aren’t trying to be violent, they’re trying to be heard.”
Remember yesterday, we were talking about an essay by Damon Young, "You Want to Talk About Racism? Pay Me/And even then, maybe not"? Young, a black author of a book about racism, wanted white people to realize that when he's out and about in his ordinary life — "maybe I’m out walking, shopping or playing with my children" — he doesn't want people using that as an opportunity to talk to him about racism — even if they think they mean well and they're participating in this conversation about race we keep hearing about.

The feeling is mutual, it seems. The shoppers at Hilldale cleared out immediately. Now, part of that was probably concern about potential violence. And, frankly, Nitty's statement that his group isn't "trying to be violent" is not terribly reassuring. We've seen peaceful protests devolve into violence. How did the violence happen? I'm willing to believe the protesters, most of them, were not "trying to be violent," but then windows got broken and chaos happened. It's enough to make anybody who was at Hilldale to buy an iPad at the Apple Store or a flimsy blouse as Anthropologie to get in the car and go home.

But quite aside from the fear of disorder (and the lack of interest in street food in the time of coronavirus), few of us want someone to come up to us when we're "out walking, shopping or playing with [our] children" and force us into a conversation — or an "educational" lecture — about race.

I put the quote from the Hilldale spokesperson in the headline because it's so guarded and bullshitty.

90 comments:

tim in vermont said...

This is why Alinsky said that you have to keep changing tactics, while never changing your goals, stuff gets old, and stuff that is inconvenient for the people you are trying to reach gets old fast.

Whoever they are that think that black lives don’t matter to any measurable portion of the population or voting public are the real bigots. People are tired of it. It’s like having somebody shout at you “The sky is blue!” and if you don’t put up lawn signs and send money to #ActBlue, you are against clear skies or something. Especially after they have vandalized and looted many struggling businesses during a pandemic, land sakes, and those trying to fight the pandemic have deliberately abrogated their moral authority out of fear of these political thugs (Not a racist term because the vast majority of the real damage and breakdown of law and order came from whites who imagined themselves acting on behalf of the black people who owned many of the businesses these brownshirts of the white left vandalized.)

tim in vermont said...

BTW, when is “Black Bloc” going to change their name, as the use of the word “black” is obviously is intended to project an image of danger and intimidation.

RNB said...

Frank Nitty: “People aren’t trying to be violent, they’re trying to be heard.” After the riot: "No! No! We weren't violent! It was all those black-clad, masked Antifa types who showed up -- totally unexpectedly -- and trashed the place and thrashed some crackers..."

GatorNavy said...

Frank Nitty is looking for shakedown money just like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton

Karen of Texas said...

Can you believe the nerve of some people? How dare they refuse to be assaulted by words. Words are violent, you know; of course so is silence. I guess the protesters fail the not trying to be violent regardless, no?

Amadeus 48 said...

Actually, the statement by the Hilldale flack is a masterpiece of irony, if you look at it that way. Not a single idea or sentiment is true, except for the factual statement that Hilldale was not involved in planning the “block party”.

Nothing says fun like a shopping trip involving a suspect food, is a confrontation, perhaps violent, and a Conversation on the Black Experience in America brought to you by people who probably want you to pay them for something you didn’t do and they didn’t experience.

Maybe they could get that Damon guy from Pittsburgh to come in and talk (with an appropriate honorarium) about the Black Experience in America and then take a collection (neither panhandling nor extortion, assuredly) for a reparations fund.

Of course they would have to lock the doors so no one could leave until the Conversation had ended and the collection taken.

Sydney said...

I don't think the mall's spokesperson gave a BS answer. I suspect the mall wants to be involved with any sort of group gathering that happens within their building - Girl Scouts selling cookies, for example, have to work with malls to set up their displays. You can't just walk into a mall and set something up. Heck, you have to get permission from Wal-Mart to put up a cookie table outside their building. I suppose the spokesperson was being tactful in not mentioning the violence that walks hand in hand with Black Lives Matter (which should really be called No Lives Matter because there have been way too many shootings of innocent people by BLM groups, just because they wouldn't recognize their authority. I am thinking especially of the 8 year old girl in Atlanta who happened to be a passenger in a car that tried to turn into a parking lot without BLM permission.)

mezzrow said...

Dispatches from 2040:

"Daddy, what's a mall?"

Amadeus 48 said...

Frank Nitty=Frank Nitti= not his real name.

When activists go underground they always change their names and assume identifies. Either that, or his mama had a sense of humor. Frank Nitti had a certain je ne sais quoi about him.

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't think the mall's spokesperson gave a BS answer. I suspect the mall wants to be involved with any sort of group gathering that happens within their building - Girl Scouts selling cookies, for example, have to work with malls to set up their displays. You can't just walk into a mall and set something up."

I agree that the mall wants to be involved in any activities people want to do on the premises, but I don't think it wanted a Black Lives Matter event because of the fear of disorder and violence. I do, however, think they would have tried to accommodate this group if they were asked.

I wonder what their insurance is, though. They must have some limitations.

Ann Althouse said...

I see the glass front wall of the Apple Store is no longer boarded up.

wendybar said...

Maybe when they stop the hate and violence, people will stick around and listen. Until then, nothing they have said or done has really been peaceful. They are full of hate. I wouldn't hang around and wait to get lectured and talked down to.

Michael K said...

Black Lives Matter has established a brand. Everybody knows what it is.

John Borell said...

BLM protestors plan protest at mall to “educate” shoppers. Get mad when mall closes ahead of time and shoppers flee.

“We need to learn how to stop ignoring people’s voices and listen to them,” Nitty [a BLM protestor] said. “People aren’t trying to be violent, they’re trying to be heard.”

No, violence just breaks out somehow.

Shocking shoppers don’t want to shop in the middle of a BLM protest.

Fernandinande said...

“We need to learn how to stop ignoring people’s voices and listen to them,” Frank Nitty, a community organizer from Milwaukee].

Mr. Community Organizer could set a good example by listening to "the voices" of the people who don't want him around.

Wince said...

Where's Eliot Ness when you need him?

CStanley said...

How did the violence happen? I'm willing to believe the protesters, most of them, were not "trying to be violent," but then windows got broken and chaos happened.

Quite right....Assumptions that violence is likely to occur are the consequence of all of the journalists using passive voice to describe criminal acts that occur during demonstrations.

Howard said...

AT the retail level, hot button politics and business don't mix. You must admire the pluck of the activists to dream up such an idyllic re-education forum, but rightly criticize their hubris that anyone might have the least interest in their vegan lentil pâté. Have you heard the good news, brother?

Howard said...

Over hill, over dale
As we hit the dusty trail,
And those caissons go rolling along.
In and out, hear them shout,
Counter march and right about,
And those caissons go rolling along.

Then it's hi! hi! hee!
In the field artillery,
Shout out your numbers loud and strong,
For where e'er you go,
You will always know
That those caissons go rolling along.

MadisonMan said...

I was thinking of going to Metcalfe's in Hilldale yesterday afternoon but ultimately decided not to. My Spider Sense must've been tingling.
I wonder how many COVID cases will spring out of this abortive learning experience. I know, I know, we've been told at great length that the BLM protests in Dane County are not the cause of the recent spike. People go to great lengths to tell me that.

Chris N said...

In Seattle, we welcomed Raz Simone and his band of social worker/freedom enforcers/change suppliers into our lives, hearts and homes.

This rag tag band of creative artists and disadvantaged youth merely wanted their voices to be heard.

In fact, my voice can be heard chanting from my latest HR seminar over Raz’s track 3 ‘Street Knowledge’ on the Seattle City Council funded ‘Voices Of Change’

Namaste.

-Drake Whiteman——HR Consultant to Manbunz, Teledildonics, Grlpower, and Black Express

Paco Wové said...

Apparently, in Mr. Nitti's ideal America, every Black™ person would be issued a megaphone by the government and get paid to follow a random white person around and hector them.

Inga said...

“I see the glass front wall of the Apple Store is no longer boarded up.”

If one listened to commenters here, one would’ve believed no downtown stores would ever be without the printed plywood fronts. Good for Apple, I hope more follow. Life goes on, Madison may not be ready to die yet.

whitney said...

My business is down 60% and I would not take a black client right now. Venomous snakes. Dangerous, back away, don't engage

Nichevo said...

There was even free food... but who would eat protester-prepared food in the time of social-distancing?!

If by protester you mean people who hate you, want to kill you, but will probably settle for spitting in your food, good point.

Nichevo said...


Ann Althouse said...
I see the glass front wall of the Apple Store is no longer boarded up.

7/11/20, 7:05 AM



That just means the replacement glass from Italy has arrived.

n.n said...

A lesson in diversity (e.g. racism) taught by diversitists (e.g. racists(.

boatbuilder said...

This is why we can't have good things. The assholes ruin it for everybody.

Kai Akker said...

Thanks for the laugh!

I'm Full of Soup said...

Ness was a crossword clue yesterday and I wrote in GMan. Turned out it was the other Ness. Loch - had me stumped for a bit.

iowan2 said...

BLM is not about black lives. It’s funding and demands identity them as Marxist. Blacks are the marxists puppets

No, I do not have to listen. I also don’t care about your feelings.

Feelings are 100% your pervue. I can do nothing to affect your feelings. So I don’t try

Fernandinande said...

Omar: 'We Must Dismantle The Oppressive System That Allowed A Refugee To Get Elected To The Highest Legislative Body In The Land'

n.n said...

I confess to being a diversitist, a rabid diversitist, with Jew... White privilege. Please don't hurt us, occupy our homes, and destroy our possessions.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Obama ruined the meaning of "community organizer" for me. Now I immediately think of an overrated affirmative action race hustler.

Two-eyed Jack said...

This younger generation doesn't seem to understand. You've got to set up camps if you want to re-educate people.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

Khari Sanford’s life matters; Robin Carre’s didn’t.

rcocean said...

Dammit they're "Peaceful Protesters" and if you disagree they'll smash your racist face in.

BTW, could anyone do in the news media EVER tell us who these people are, and give us a demographic breakdown? For example, others have reported that 75% of these "Protesters" so concerned about black folks, are in fact rich white kids. I'd like to know, instead of assuming they're average black folks.

rcocean said...

According to the media they're MOSTLY peaceful. So, why be a scaredy cat?

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

Althousians of a certain age remember SNCC, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, from the '60s. It indeed started out non-violent, but soon morphed into "militancy," playing the bad-cop role to MLK's good cop demonstrators, who remained non-violent, and effective. The SNCC antics resulted in the election of Richard Nixon.
BLM similarly started out as Black Lives Matter, and morphed into Burn, Loot, Murder.
Is there a non-violent option today?

mikee said...

When the violent Antifa rioters, looters and arsonists have used your BLM peaceful protesters as human shields between themselves and the police for this long, even mall security catches on. That the BLM leader fails to acknowledge this implies his complicity in the shenanigans.

Three rows of white women up front, waving umbrellas in cop's faces so they can's see who is throwing the bricks from back in the scrum - this only works until the authorities agree that those in front of the police are complicit in the crime.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Gee?

All that prior looting, vandalism, and Antifa-fascism doesn't make store owners comfortable?

weird.

CWJ said...

Rioters are protesters, and protests are now block parties?

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

I love the photo. Everyone is calm and cool. Yeah - that's not exactly a photo of what went down over several days a few weeks ago. btw- I suspect most of the vandalism, destruction of property, destruction of public statues, burning, tagging, etc... in Madison was accomplished by some BLM, but mostly white-boy-leftwing-Antifa-fascist brats.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Tim in Vermont comment #1. #

Sebastian said...

"I put the quote from the Hilldale spokesperson in the headline because it's so guarded and bullshitty."

Also crafty and just right.

Mike Sylwester said...

'It happened really fast': Audio of call to dispatch details woman's report of being set on fire

This article reports about Althea Bernstein, the dopey young bi-racial woman whose face was burned by lighter fluid at about the same time when a nearby government building in Madison was set on fire by lighter fluid.

The article contains the following passages:

[quote]

.... In the call, the woman tells police she is not able to remember the exact location where the attack happened, but said she was trying to get to University Avenue and was headed to Middleton. She reported being on a cross street near State Street and believes a Mexican restaurant was nearby. ....

Investigators are looking at surveillance images to see if the assault was captured on camera.

During an interview last month, Madison’s interim police Chief Vic Wahl called the case a “high priority” for the department. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has also joined the investigation.

[end quote]

The article does not mention whether Bernstein already has lawyered-up.

traditionalguy said...

Looting in the time of Soros paid guerrilla armies. Victim stores must submit...especially Apple iphone stuff. But all they got was white store supremacy. Arrest the stores for the hate crime of self defense.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

And, frankly, Nitty's statement that his group isn't "trying to be violent" is not terribly reassuring.

Ugh! Horrible, but I'm sure unintentional, pun! But I agree, not too reassuring when the main activist is named after one of Al Capone's lieutenants.

Ray - SoCal said...

So how many actually showed up to this event?

Open air mall.

Picture has under 20 people in it.

JaimeRoberto said...

You don't want to be around when a black block party turns into a Black Bloc party.

Birkel said...

We have seen allegedly peaceful protestors prove that they were not peaceful.

The construction Althouse uses is offensive.
It's a lie.
And it denies the agency of the rioters.

Dumb.

JAORE said...

You will be made to listen, you raycist?

iowan2 said...

If one listened to commenters here, one would’ve believed no downtown stores would ever be without the printed plywood fronts. Good for Apple, I hope more follow.

How many $billions was last years profit? Compared to the minority owned store next door? The one that can only afford minimal insurance, even then the coverage does not cover riots and looting. Yes Apple will limp along.(while they seek safer environs, where city government is not run by dilettantes. ) because white privilege

Black lively hoods don’t matter to BLM either

GingerBeer said...

What if there was a luxury car in the mall's parking lot? Who'd want to take that risk?

Inga said...

Correction, should be painted, not printed @ my 8:17 AM comment.

Jupiter said...

“You’re not going to f*ck with us without causing some motherf*cking retaliation,” says Nitty. “I know how to be peaceful and cause a whole lot of motherf*cking chaos.”

That's what he means by "not trying to be violent".

Jupiter said...

"We've seen peaceful protests devolve into violence."

Yes, and sometimes peaceful rapes get a little rough too.

Ken B said...

Remember when education involved beating those who didn’t learn the lesson?

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“If one listened to commenters here, one would’ve believed no downtown stores would ever be without the printed plywood fronts. Good for Apple, I hope more follow. Life goes on, Madison may not be ready to die yet.”

If one listened to the Leftist commenters here, one would be puzzled as to why the plywood was put up in the first place.

Unless......Booger Boyz!

Michael said...

Progressive definition of "national conversation" - you STFU and listen to us (and agree.)

Rico said...

“People aren’t trying to be violent, they’re trying to be heard.”

First, I cannot believe anybody out there that's reasonably informed doesn't at least have a basic understanding (or least knowledge) of the grievances involved. We've been inundated for several years, to the point that it's now viewed as controversial that our founders might be admired for the country they gave us (imperfections and all).

Second, what if you hear and don't agree with what they have to say? I mean, I still think this is a great country. I also think there's a problem with policing in this country that doesn't have an easy answer.

GingerBeer said...

Hearing that the Madison Apple Store is no longer boarded up with plywood/particle board I'm reminded of an early scene in "The Wedding Crashers." Vince Vaughn's character catches sight of a woman's "tramp stamp" tattoo and wryly comments "Might as well be a bullseye."

loudogblog said...

"I put the quote from the Hilldale spokesperson in the headline because it's so guarded and bullshitty."

There's a lot of that going around these days. It's not just a fear of offending; it's a fear of not looking 100% supportive when trying to address logical and legitimate concerns.

cubanbob said...

The only sane way to deal with these Communist aholes who are demading a "national conversation" is to tell them you must have me confused with someone who gives a crap.

Larry said...

Later, the block party participants "marched" to the state Capitol - mainly in cars.

On the way, "peaceful" Frank Nitty stood in his sunroof brandishing an assault rifle.

Attendance at the Capitol event was relatively small. One speaker complained "our numbers are dwindling."

The percentage of blacks to whites was significantly bigger than usual for Madison BLM protests. Possibly due to the Milwaukee folks who came with Nitty.

PackerBronco said...

Silly Hilldale people. Just pay up for your protection... Errr... make a generous contribution to BLM and all will be well. After all, it's a nice mall you have here, it would be a shame if anything happened to it.

Private property? Don't be silly, BLM doesn't recognize that concept and neither apparently does Madison police or the mayor's office.

RobinGoodfellow said...

"Blogger Wince said...
Where's Eliot Ness when you need him?"

Heh!

Original Mike said...

" I know, I know, we've been told at great length that the BLM protests in Dane County are not the cause of the recent spike. People go to great lengths to tell me that."

Keep a mental list of these people. They are either liars or fools. Good thing to know in future interactions.

Original Mike said...

"If one listened to commenters here, one would’ve believed no downtown stores would ever be without the printed plywood fronts. Good for Apple,"

Hilldale is not downtown, Inga.

ALP said...

I have been saying for some time that urban areas need a Hyde Park Speakers' Corner. A public place meant for soapboxes. Active 24/7. Make getting a slot a lottery - thus a permanent, rotating public display of...whatever people are outraged about at the time.

Wonder if large protests would be less common. Having a Speakers' Corner would be like letting the pressure out of a 2 liter soda bottle little by little.

Big Mike said...

“We need to learn how to stop ignoring people’s voices and listen to them,” Frank Nitty, a community organizer from Milwaukee]. “People aren’t trying to be violent, they’re trying to be heard.”

Any chance Frank Nitty includes him listing to the white middle class when he says “We need to learn how to stop ignoring people’s voices ...”. Just thought I’d ask.

Joanne Jacobs said...

The photo shows unmasked people sitting close together, so they're posing a risk to themselves and anyone who comes close enough to get free food.

They're listening to a woman recite poetry. I believe Hillsdale shoppers, like all Americans, have a constitutional right to not listen to unknown people reciting poetry.

robother said...

The Mall's public statement is BS, but forgivable in an environment where police protection is questionable (at best) or non-existent (if you speak the truth about the risks of BLM to your businesses). If you have a business in any Democrat-dominated city and witness what we've all seen the last 2 months, you're gonna say whatever limits your risk.

Thug culture punishes free speech much more effectively than cancel culture. A businessman having courage to stand up to thugs makes for great Hollywood movies, but in real life, when there are no" Untouchables" Frank Nitti get his protection money.

n.n said...

Unless......Booger Boyz!

Bugaboo!

gilbar said...

rcocean said...
BTW, could anyone do in the news media EVER tell us who these people are, and give us a demographic breakdown? For example, others have reported that 75% of these "Protesters" so concerned about black folks, are in fact rich white kids.


i second the motion. From what i've seen; they're now just rich white kids
they're College 'Educated', FEMALE rich white kids

breakdown, please! how many of the BLM protesters HAVEN'T been to College? how many AREN'T female?

Original Mike said...

"Thug culture punishes free speech much more effectively than cancel culture."

Yeah, after much thought we've decided we can't sign the mayoral recall petition because we are not home to protect our home. Thug culture indeed.

Kirk Parker said...

The fine folks from Skidmore, Missouri could teach Madison a lesson or two.

Tina Trent said...

If it was your mall you would be "guarded and shifty" too.

It falls on those of us who are not at risk of the mob at this moment to stand up.

So thank you for standing up again with this blog.

Caligula said...

Frank Nitty said, "People aren’t trying to be violent, they’re trying to be heard."

Umm, 'Frank', even before we get to your (low credibility) violence disclaimer, you do understand that a right to speak (subject to reasonable restrictions on time, place and manner) does not imply a "right to be heard"?

A right to speak does not obligate anyone to listen. (And, yes, I'd interpret your statement as, "Well, we spoke and they didn't listen so of course some of us got violent!")

So sorry, 'Frank,' but NO ONE has a "right to be heard." Although I suppose you can always say, "well, I tried!." Sure you did, 'Frank.' I'll bet you tried real hard.

Tina Trent said...

Demographically most of the arsonists, all of the shooter, and almist all of looters are black. Much as some of you want to blame annoying white women for everything, the numbers don't fly.

And there is no such thing as a peaceful protest that takes over city streets with no permits. These are not peaceful protests that get unpeaceful: this is a deliberate tactic coordinated by the Unitarian loons and their BLM/Antifa thugs.

Tina Trent said...

OK maybe in Madison it's mostly white.

Krumhorn said...

few of us want someone to come up to us when we're "out walking, shopping or playing with [our] children" and force us into a conversation — or an "educational" lecture — about race.

I can say with confidence that if this is the reaction of our hostess, millions of leftie women voters are reacting in the same way. She's a weather vane for typical leftie women voters. I suspect that the November election will reflect the recoil from the impact of this white privilege/systemic racism bombardment by the BLM Marxists on the rest of us.

The most charitable normal people believe that if black Americans want to improve their lives, they should, as an alternative to calling the rest of us racists:
- stop wearing baggy pants down past the crack of the ass
- end out of wedlock births
- get an education
- address black on black crime
- drop the thug persona

- Krumhorn

n.n said...

Pants On The Ground

Classic.

Unknown said...

Hold a sign saying that “the right to discuss open ideas must be defended” and see how quickly those “peaceful” BLM fascists get violent.

wildswan said...

"they’re trying to be heard"

Interest in the thoughts of a group smashing windows, torching cars and stealing from high-end stores decreases as the square of the distance from Milwaukee City Hall.

If a BLM demonstration takes place in the outer suburbs, does it make a sound?

M said...

I already KNOW what they are saying and know that most of it is BS. Almost no non violent criminals get killed by the police. I don’t care how Buffy and Laquisha FEEL about it. The Rule of Law and private property rights are what Western Civilization was founded on.

If they don’t likeWestern Civ, if that is what they have a problem with and I’m pretty sure it is, they can go die in a hole. All of them. With the TINY exception of the families of the people killed in encounters with police. The rest are spoilt children. Unlikely to grow into anyone who will produce anything of real worth. If they were all sucked into a black hole the world would be a better place for their absence.

steve uhr said...

This is the type of post that leaves me smiling and brings me back to this blog time and time again. Now if I only had the willpower to ignore the comments.

RMc said...

to educate patrons

The kind of education that involves bullhorns and handguns.

Greg the class traitor said...

“We need to learn how to stop ignoring people’s voices and listen to them,” Frank Nitty, a community organizer from Milwaukee]. “People aren’t trying to be violent, they’re trying to be heard.”

Fuck you, asshole.

Are you going to listen to me when I tell you I want nothing to do with your racist bullshit?

Or are you going to try to destroy my life with cancel culture?

I'll listen to you when you're ready to listen to me, and not one second before

Greg the class traitor said...

I'm Full of Soup said...
Obama ruined the meaning of "community organizer" for me. Now I immediately think of an overrated affirmative action race hustler.

You men "Obama taught me what "community organizer" means."