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Racism, Yes, But What About Militarism and Materialism?

Appropriate article Mr. Andrew J. Bacevich. However I think there is a great need to see more emphasis on the materialism of war and the use of war to gain not only from the appropriation of other peoples’ land, water, oil and other elements and minerals but the sale of munitions. We need more emphasis on the riches made by those who profit from production and sales of weapons of mass destruction and then throw into that the amount of pollution caused by those 800 or so us bases around the world and the amount of bombs exploded even in California at the Naval Weapons /Testing Base just the other side of Death Valley National Park.
These themes need to be published frequently in many different venues and maybe someday more than a few people can relate as they are now relating to racism as a full blown aspect of daily life.

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Beautiful piece! Thank you!

Well said, TulsiFan!

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"Racism, extreme materialism, and militarism” are indeed the “giant triplets” bedeviling this country as Dr. King warned, and they are most certainly interconnected and feed upon each other. But it is hardly the place of a self-described “aging middle-class white male” like Dr. Bacevich, the author of this article, to chastise the protesters’ “current preoccupation with race” and to describe their failure to also protest “our post-9/11 military misadventures” as “disheartening.” Racism is America’s original sin, with which we still have not come to grips 155 years after the Civil War and 55 years after legal Jim Crow. These protests were triggered by black men being murdered with impunity in the streets. Don’t presume to tell the protesters what to protest, or how.

They do, as I frequently point out. But one could well subsume that particular form of organization of the economy under “materialism,” a broader term.

Good insights, good recommendations.

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I go along with the article pretty much as is although I have a slightly different figure for the rates of blacks vs whites killed and rate of killing. My numbers are a tad higher in one view and a lot higher in another view. I looked this up in response to someone stating the yearly number as 550 not 1000 and I was certain that right about 1,000 was right. It is. Something else caught my eye, white deaths (in raw numbers) from police were roughly twice as many as black deaths. That actually makes a good example for class because it shows how a number can be accurate but incomplete as stated and therefore not accurate. When you factor in relative numbers of each group in the population the rates of death are hugely more blacks per capita than whites with Latinx in between. The “others” just means not listed on the reports but it would be reasonable to guess that the numbers follow the larger pattern.
What I came up with is that if whites and blacks were in equal percentages in the population then the number of deaths by police would be about 3 times.
More stark, however, is a multiplier for population percentages. There I came up with about 5.7 times the numbers that would result if the 12.6% were killed at 12.6% (I know, I’m cringing as I write that, but I’m trying to make the comparison and I’m not sure how else to word it.)

Here is the breakdown I did, with URL’s to my sources.

Killed in the USA by police in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 (as of June 4th)
Population breakdown by race from ~~tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_ethnicity_in_the_United_States
White 72.4%
Hispanic/Latinx 16.3% Multiplier to compare with Whites: 4.44
Black 12.6% Multiplier to compare with Whites: 5.75
Asian 4.8% Multiplier to compare with Whites: 15.08
Native (continental) 0.9% Multiplier to compare with Whites: 80.44
Other 6.2% Multiplier to compare with Whites: 11.68

~~tps://www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/
2017: (987 total)
White: 457 (2.04 times black deaths in raw numbers or 987/457=2.15 times less than (or 46% of) population representation.)
Black: 223 (adjusted per capita * 5.74 = 1281 or almost 3 times more (2.8) than whites, proportional would be 39 or 223/39=5.7 times population representation)
Hispanic: 179 (adjusted per capita * 4.44 = 795 or 1.7 times more, proportional would be 40)
Other: 44
Unknown: 84
2018: (996 total)
White: 399 (1.91 times black deaths in raw numbers or 996/399=2.49 times less than (or 40% of) population representation.)
Black: 209 (adjusted per capita * 5.74 = 1201 or 3 times more than whites, proportional would be 36 or 209/36=5.8 times population representation)
Hispanic: 148 (adjusted per capita * 4.44 = 657 or 1.6 times more, proportional would be 33)
Other: 36
Unknown: 204
2019: (1,004 total)
White: 370 (1.57 times black deaths in raw numbers or 1004/370=2.7 times less than (or 37% of) population representation)
Black: 235 (adjusted * 5.74 = 1350 or 3.6 times more than whites, proportional would be 41 or 235/41=5.7 times population representation)
Hispanic: 158 (adjusted per capita * 4.44 = 702 or 1.9 times more, proportional would be 36)
Other: 39
Unknown: 202
2020 - (429 so far as of June 4th):
White: 172 (1.95 times black deaths in raw numbers or 429/172=2.49 times less than (or 40% of) population representation)
Black: 88 (adjusted * 5.74 = 506 or 2.9 times more than whites, proportional would be 15 or 88/15=5.9 times population representation)
Hispanic: 57 (adjusted per capita * 4.44 = 253 or 1.5 times more, proportional would be 13)
Other: 14
Unknown: 98

~~tps://www.statista.com/statistics/319246/police-fatal-shootings-england-wales/
By comparison in England and Wales from 2004/5 to 2018/19 the numbers of police killings ranges from 0 to 6 on an up and down chart
3, 5, 1, 5, 3, 2, 2, 2, 0, 0, 1, 3, 6, 4, 3
Population estimates 2019:
USA: 330,150,668
England: 56,286,961
Wales: 3,152,879
England and Wales: 59,439,840
USA has 5.554 times the population of these two parts of the UK
So the England and Wales numbers, if multiplied and rounded to nearest whole number
17, 28, 6, 28, 17, 11, 11, 11, 0, 0, 6, 17, 33, 22, 17
and the USA would still have:
1004/17=59 times more in 2019
996/22=45 times more in 2018
987/33=30 times more in 2017

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“Reason and process and precedent mean nothing to them. They use violence to get what they want immediately. People like this don’t bother to work. They don’t volunteer or pay taxes to help other people. They live for themselves. They do exactly what they feel like doing… On television, hour by hour, we watch these people – criminal mobs – destroy what the rest of us have built…"

Sorry, but this describes the US Corporate Government to a T!
“Reason and process and precedent mean nothing to them.” (Only profit and power means anything.)
“They use violence to get what they want immediately.” (It uses violence both domestically and internationally with impunity, often overthrowing democratically elected governments)
“People like this don’t bother to work.” (They sit in their ivory towers dictating everyones’ lives, pulling in millions and billions of ill-gotten gains, including OUR TAX DOLLARS.)
“They don’t volunteer or pay taxes or help other people.” (Many billionaire corporations pay ZERO TAXES, and volunteering isn’t even in their realm of reality.)
“They live for themselves.” (As the rest of us flounder and die in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world.)
“They do exactly what they feel like doing.” (Again, as the rest of flounder and die.)
“On television, hour by hour, we watch these people – criminal mobs – destroy what the rest of us have built…” (At home and around the world, our criminal government destroys neighborhoods, communities, towns, and whole countries with toxic manufacturing, toxic waste, and bombs. America drops a bomb every 12 minutes. It spends 32 MILLION AN HOUR ON WAR!)

The biggest looters of the nation are the farking bastages in Congress who’ve recently looted OUR tax coffers by sending TEN TRILLION DOLLARS UPWARD to murderous corporations like Boeing, while denying Americans even basic needs of food and healthcare in a CRISIS, leaving tens of millions of hard working Americans to lose their homes and lives. ($1200 is a pittance for most working Americans, who stand to lose everything they’ve worked for while the 1% live in luxury on OUR MONEY!)