Denver Business Caught Engaging in Blatant Racial Discrimination

A Denver business that specializes in HVAC contracting is finding itself in serious legal hot water after a local Fox News station caught them red-handed on video refusing to provide service to homes in a “colored” neighborhood.

A concerned employee at Mile High Heating and Cooling in Westminster, Colorado alerted the “Problem Solvers” at FOX31 Denver to the company’s racist service policies. To investigate the claim, the reporting team sent a producer to apply for an “appointment setter” position Mile High happened to be advertising at the time.

A manager at the company, who FOX31 Denver refers to only as “Andrea,” hired the news producer to book appointments at “Denver’s number one HVAC contractor” almost immediately. Within an hour, Andrea was training the reporter on how to cold call around the region to identify new customers.

Andrea gave the producer a paper schedule of which zip codes to concentrate calls on in the coming days. The producer asked why one certain zip code — the one for Denver’s Montebello neighborhood — had the words “do not call” written under it on the list.

“We call it Mount Ghetto,” Andrea explained. She further elaborated that Montebello is a “colored neighborhood.”

Meanwhile, the reporter she’d just hired was filming the entire conversation…

In cahoots with FOX31 Denver, grandmother and Montebello homeowner Pam Jiner called Mile High and asked the company for help with a broken furnace. An employee asked Jiner for her zip code and informed her they would call her back with details in a few minutes. But no one from the Westminster heating and cooling company ever called Jiner back.

A Problem Solver then called Mile High Heating and Cooling asking for the same service, using the same name, but citing a different zip code. A dispatcher booked her appointment immediately.

Neither the manager nor either of the owners would comment, literally just standing there silent when asked on camera about it. Here’s the video:

Follow Us!
POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Steven

    Sucks for those who live there, but considering the crime rate I can’t blame anyone who doesn’t want to go there.

  • colnago80

    The proprietors of the company did themselves no favors by declining comment, although they were probably following advice from the company’s attorneys. However, I think that further investigation is warranted as it is possible that the company did do business in the area in the past and had some unfortunate interactions with the residents therein. It could be that their employees were reluctant to service homes in that area.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    Black people is scaaaaaaaaarey, amirite Steven?

  • Chiroptera

    steven and colnago80:

    “We call it Mount Ghetto,” Andrea explained. She further elaborated that Montebello is a “colored neighborhood.”

    This statement may be evidence against the company. They didn’t just say, “Well, several of our employees have been threatened in that neighborhood in the past,” or “that neighborhood has a high rate of violent crime and we need to think about our employees safety.”

  • jd142

    @1 and @2 *If* that were the reason, and that’s a big if, then why didn’t they say so? “Three of the last five calls there resulted in muggings, we’ve had tires slashed, and the bad check rate is 90%.” Those would all be verifiable facts upon which to make a not unreasonable decision. [Not saying doing so would right or reasonable, just not unreasonable. There’s a difference.] Even so, that’s not necessarily a reason not to do business in a neighborhood. But that’s not what happened. What happened is that they gave a racist reason. Because the person is racist.

    And you know what? Every time I’ve been somewhere with “do not take checks from these people” photos behind the cash register, they were all white folks, mostly men. But they still took my check. Because they weren’t racially profiling white folks. This company *maybe* had a few problems (again, no proof that was the case) and decided to profile an entire zipcode.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    False Noise did real investigative journalism??!?

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    It was a local Fox station, Pierce. They aren’t as uniformly awful as the parent.

  • NYC atheist

    @6 pierce

    Local fox affiliates are different from the cable channel Fox News. They tend to be (in my experience) run of the mill local news channels. A lot of shootings stories and ‘is X killing you? Story at 11.’

  • Tony! The Queer Shoop

    @1 & @2:

    There are more than enough apologists for racism in the world without you two adding to their ranks. Stop making excuses for blatant racial discrimination.

  • colnago80

    Re Chiroptera @ #4

    That’s a good point and quite possibly nothing of the sort happened. However, at the least, the stations might have questioned police authorities or looked at crime reports to see if the company had had bad experiences in the past. That’s one of the problem with these types of investigative reporting by TV new media (60 Minutes is a textbook example). They don’t do a thorough investigation, possible because of lack of resources.

  • colnago80

    Re Tony @ #9

    So according to ole Tony, if the company did have some bad experiences in the past, tough shit, they should just suck it up and take it. Part of the cost of doing business I presume.

  • http://wordsgood4598.wordpress.com/author/wordsgood4598/ wordsgood

    I still run across people who insist racism is dead. They are convinced that anyone is any colour except white, are actually favoured in society…us whites will be in the minority before long, they cry. Affirmative action is reverse racism, they moan.

    These same people also believe femenism is a dirty word, and misogny is no longer a problem in western societies.

    *Sigh* Hard to believe we’re midway through the 2nd decade of the 21st century.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    To be fair, they don’t have parts for the Urban Americans’ (*wink wink*) “free” ObamaFurnaces.

  • Al Dente

    colnago80 @11

    so according to colnago80, racism is just hunky-dory as long as it’s someone else who’s the victim of it. Part of the cost of living on Earth.

  • comfychair

    So a region is essentially cut off from services necessary for basic civilization, and people are shocked that the residents are uncivilized? Create a problem and then blame the victims!

    Arrest people for no reason, then use that as justification for arresting them even more?

    Banks refuse to lend to certain areas, then the rundown falling apart houses are used as justification for not lending to certain areas?

    USA! USA! USA! [insert Wonkette’s standard photo of the drowned rat in the filthy toilet here]

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    Unfortunately for Steven, Colnag80 and the proprietors of this company, I don’t think that anti-discrimination laws have a “we might get mugged” exclusion. The company engaged in discrimination and no amount of rationalization can get them past the law.

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    @ colnago/slc

    So according to ole Tony, if the company did have some bad experiences in the past, tough shit, they should just suck it up and take it.

    WTF? Beating Tony with a presupposition carp?

    Your bias is showing, sir.

  • colnago80

    Re ArtK @ #16

    If there have been instances in the past, there’s no “might” about it.

    Re Al Dente @ #14

    Apples and oranges.

    By the way, the company, assuming this policy is a reflection of prior bad acts by the residents of the neighborhood (currently unknown), could hire a private security company to provide armed guards to accompany their trucks to destinations in the neighborhood. Of course, if they then charged the cost of providing armed guards in addition to their usual charges for their services to the residents, Al Dente and the other critics on this thread would then holler discrimination against those residents for charging them more then residents of other, presumably safer neighborhoods for the same services.

  • Anne Fenwick

    Nothing about my experience of black neighborhoods in the US, or the statistics concerning them, suggests that you can’t drive a service vehicle in there without getting mugged between the van and the door of the lady who called you. Seriously, you guys need to stop fantasizing, especially racially biased fantasies in public forums. And btw, even when if you do go check a statistical crime rate, you might want to consider what kinds of crimes are involved and whether they’re at all likely to affect maintenance people. My area has a high crime rate composed primarily of pickpockets and shoplifters. I think my electrician and plumber are safe.

  • jonathangray

    colnago80:

    So according to ole Tony, if the company did have some bad experiences in the past, tough shit, they should just suck it up and take it.

    Better get used to it, bigot.

    ArtK:

    Unfortunately for … the proprietors of this company, I don’t think that anti-discrimination laws have a “we might get mugged” exclusion. The company engaged in discrimination and no amount of rationalization can get them past the law.

    If the ethical/legal imperative to be indiscriminate is seen to regularly clash with people’s natural desire to avoid being mugged, do you really think that imperative will not be sustainable?

  • jonathangray

    [” … do you really think that imperative will be sustainable?”]

  • dingojack

    wordsgood (#12) – not sure about femen and femenists*, but I can get fully behind those supporting equal rights for those dwelling in, or around, the Fens — fenmenists.

    :) Dingo

    ————

    * is that an initial ‘Long S’?

  • jonathangray

    “The woman had just left the Babies R Us store on when she noticed a man in a tattered military coat lurking in the parking lot, she told police. The woman told detectives she was worried because the man looked like a thug, but she didn’t want to seem racist.”

    “Connors speculates that she might have run away in the awkward moments before David Francis attacked her had it not been for the fear that she’d appear racist. … it was her desire to not appear to be a bigot that might most be responsible for the decision to go into that theater [where Francis raped her].”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1159674804 robertbaden

    Johnathangray,

    More of my women friends have been raped by men they knew than by strangers.

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    BTW, redlining created “Mount Ghettos” in the first place.

  • Al Dente

    colnago80 @18

    Apples and oranges.

    Bullshit! You’re working on “well, there might maybe perhaps feasibly be a problem with crime, I guess.” When you’re pulling suppositions out of your ass to justify your bigotry then it’s reasonable to call you a fucking bigot.

  • colnago80

    Excuse me, my comment is based on there being criminal activity in the past against employees of this company. We don’t know if this is the case because the TV station didn’t investigate the situation competently and the officials at the company aren’t talking, probably on advise of counsel. Of course, if there is no evidence that any such activity occurred in the past and the management and/or employees are just a bunch of racist bigots, then they don’t have a leg to stand on and should be smacked down hard.

    As I have stated earlier on on this blog in response to Raging Bee, being called names has no effect on me. Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. Bring ’em on.

  • colnago80

    Re ##29

    The comment @ #29 was directed on Al Dente.

  • dingojack

    SLC (@28) – anticipating trouble on all fronts aren’t you. :)

    Dingo

  • http://www.facebook.com/lonny.james lonnyjames

    So….What do you say about pizza delivery places that won’t deliver to certain areas that turn out to be minority prevalent and dangerous? I know that a goodly numbr of the folks who live in those areas are honest and just trying to make their way. But there is a much greater chance of harm coming from the minority of of the minority. I would not be willing to expose myself (or employees) to that risk.

    I’m sure nobody woke up one day and said let’s turn down money because we don’t like the color of the residents.

  • dingojack

    If (and it’s not supported by the meagre evidence available) there was a greater risk to the employees doing a job in that particular area, it would be reasonable for the workers to be paid ‘danger money’ as compensation. But it seems that the criterion for not going to this area is based solely on it being ‘a coloured area’ (otherwise why not say ‘it’s a high crime area’ or some such?)

    Dingo

  • dingojack

    But if it were a high crime area, wouldn’t any losses/damage be covered by insurance?

    Dingo

  • Chiroptera

    lonnyjames, #30: I’m sure nobody woke up one day and said let’s turn down money because we don’t like the color of the residents.

    From the article:

    “We call it Mount Ghetto,” Andrea explained. She further elaborated that Montebello is a “colored neighborhood.”

    Allegedly, they did exactly that.

    And since it’s been on the news lately that bakers and florists and photographers (and auto mechanics and pizzaria owners) have done just that in regards to gay people, I’m not sure why doing this for race would be such a stretch.

  • dingojack

    But I’m sure if the HVAC business sincerely believed that it was the right thing, that’d be perfectly fine! [/snark]

    Dingo

  • http://essaressellwye.tumblr.com Hershele Ostropoler

    Either the problem was that the neighborhood is full of black people, or the problem was that the neighborhood is dangerous and the manager felt saying the neighborhood is full of black people adequately conveyed that. So either way there is a perception that black people are inherently dangerous. So it’s not racism vs crime, it’s racism vs racism and crime.

  • NYC atheist

    @30 lonniejames

    ‘I’m sure nobody woke up one day and said let’s turn down money because we don’t like the color of the residents.’

    Because that’s NEVER happened

  • NYC atheist

    Also what Hershele Ostropoler said @35. I think that sums it up perfectly.

  • dingojack

    I’m having a hard time trying to figure a way this could be any kind of business decision. It seems like good old fashioned racism to me, no matter how you cut it.

    Dingo

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    @ colnago/slc

    Describing you as a bigot is not name calling.

    Nice try at changing the subject, though.

  • comfychair

    I’m sure no restaurants in the south would have ever turned away business by hanging a ‘NO COLOREDS’ sign beside the door either. And anyway, the Free Market would have fixed it in the extremely unlikely event it ever happened. Just ask Rand Paul.

  • Anri

    jonathangray @ 23:

    So, based on this logic, should we teach women to run away from all men, or just the black ones?

    Also, so long as I see you’re posting on this blog again, I just wanted to check in to see if your thoughts are sufficiently gathered to post on the “Wherever Four or More Bigots Gather In His Name…” post, as you said you would?

    Or do we wait in vain?

  • colnago80

    Re Kamaka @ #39

    I love it. Keep ’em coming.

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    Hey, slc, I ignore you mostly, being as you are ignore-ant, but the gross bigotry you express on this thread merits rebuttal.

    further investigation is warranted as it is possible that the company did do business in the area in the past and had some unfortunate interactions

    Citation, please, or bullshit.

  • BobApril

    colnago80, there was nothing in Ed’s post, nor in the video, that even hinted at any problems with violence in the area. What led you to immediately leap to the conclusion that such violence might be a problem sufficient to justify refusing service to the area?

    I mean, seriously. The only thing you knew from the post or the video is that it was (in the opinion of the manager) a predominantly black neighborhood – and you jumped straight to the assumption that it must be a high-crime neighborhood. We can ignore your eager and extended defense of an obvious racist (I mean, did you hear the way she dropped her voice on the word “colored”?). That immediate assumption on your part, all by itself, is enough evidence to suggest that you are a racist.

  • wscott

    This is in no way meant to excuse the company, but just to provide context. In the last couple of months, Montbello has been experiencing a huge surge in gang-related violence, including IIRC 4 or 5 homicides in as many weeks. Denver doesn’t normally see that many gang shootings in a year, so it’s been all over the news. There have been a number of highly-publicised End The Violence marches & events, including several led by Mayor Hancock who grew up there and still lives in the neighborhood. Like I said, not an excuse and I certainly won’t be giving them my business. But a part of me can understand a company being hesitant about sending their people into what the news is portraying as a war zone. The “colored neighborhood” comment is completely indefensible tho, and gives away their midset.

  • colnago80

    Re wscott @ #45

    Have any of these incidents involved people working for the company in question?

    Re Bob April @ #44

    I did not leap to the supposition that the company had had unfortunate experiences in the past while servicing residents in that neighborhood. I criticized the TV station for not investigating the possibility. Maybe there were no such incidents and the managers are just a bunch of racists. Seems to me that those who have leaped to the latter conclusion are the ones jumping the gun and who have reached that conclusion without having all the facts. That’s what dunderheads like Nancy Grace and Wendy Murphy do.

  • jonathangray

    Anri @41:

    So, based on this logic, should we teach women to run away from all men

    Of course not, that would be sexist.

    or just the black ones?

    Of course not, that would be racist.

    The point is merely that it is foolish to let the fear of being perceived as racist, sexist, etc override signs of real and present danger in a given situation.

    I just wanted to check in to see if your thoughts are sufficiently gathered to post on the “Wherever Four or More Bigots Gather In His Name…” post, as you said you would? Or do we wait in vain?

    They’re getting there. It’s a complex subject.

  • jonathangray

    Repent, colnago80. Repent and you may yet be saved.

    ‘What are you in for?’ said Winston.

    ‘Thoughtcrime!’ said Parsons, almost blubbering. The tone of his voice implied at once a complete admission of his guilt and a sort of incredulous horror that such a word could be applied to himself. He paused opposite Winston and began eagerly appealing to him: ‘You don’t think they’ll shoot me, do you, old chap? They don’t shoot you if you haven’t actually done anything — only thoughts, which you can’t help? I know they give you a fair hearing. Oh, I trust them for that! They’ll know my record, won’t they? You know what kind of chap I was. Not a bad chap in my way. Not brainy, of course, but keen. I tried to do my best for the Party, didn’t I? I’ll get off with five years, don’t you think? Or even ten years? A chap like me could make himself pretty useful in a labour-camp. They wouldn’t shoot me for going off the rails just once?’

    ‘Are you guilty?’ said Winston.

    ‘Of course I’m guilty!’ cried Parsons with a servile glance at the telescreen. ‘You don’t think the Party would arrest an innocent man, do you?’ His frog-like face grew calmer, and even took on a slightly sanctimonious expression. ‘Thoughtcrime is a dreadful thing, old man,’ he said sententiously. ‘It’s insidious. It can get hold of you without your even knowing it. Do you know how it got hold of me? In my sleep! Yes, that’s a fact. There I was, working away, trying to do my bit — never knew I had any bad stuff in my mind at all. And then I started talking in my sleep. Do you know what they heard me saying?’

    He sank his voice, like someone who is obliged for medical reasons to utter an obscenity.

    ‘“Down with Big Brother!” Yes, I said that! Said it over and over again, it seems. Between you and me, old man, I’m glad they got me before it went any further. Do you know what I’m going to say to them when I go up before the tribunal? “Thank you,” I’m going to say, “thank you for saving me before it was too late.”’

    ‘Who denounced you?’ said Winston.

    ‘It was my little daughter,’ said Parsons with a sort of doleful pride. ‘She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don’t bear her any grudge for it. In fact I’m proud of her. It shows I brought her up in the right spirit, anyway.’

  • Anri

    jonathangray @ 47:

    The point is merely that it is foolish to let the fear of being perceived as racist, sexist, etc override signs of real and present danger in a given situation.

    …and is anyone here suggesting that that happen?

    Because if not, you’re arguing against a strawman. But I think you know that already.

    Here’s another point to ponder: given that the only reason the business mentioned in the OP gave for not doing business in certain zip codes was that it was a colored neighborhood, would you consider such a neighborhood to be a sign of real and present danger? And if not, what the heck does your post have to do with the thread?

    Apart from the disingenuous attempt at well-poisoning, I mean.

  • comfychair

    So it’s not about racism, it’s really about ethics in journalism?

  • StevoR

    @ ^ comfychair : Seems to be about racism to me!

    Seconding and quoting for truth the comment of Hershele Ostropoler #35 :

    Either the problem was that the neighborhood is full of black people, or the problem was that the neighborhood is dangerous and the manager felt saying the neighborhood is full of black people adequately conveyed that. So either way there is a perception that black people are inherently dangerous. So it’s not racism vs crime, it’s racism vs racism and crime.

    Too. If they think the area is unsafe due to crime why not say it in just that way rather than specify ‘ghetto’ – a word that originally came about because of racist anti-Semitism* against European Jews.

    * “Racist anti-Semitism’ = tautology or not? True and unacceptable either way and here too.

  • caseloweraz

    I’ve had a comment in moderation since yesterday morning (three URLs.)

    It sources the half-hour of research I did to find out that a) Montebello is far from the worst Denver neighborhood for crime (that distinction probably belongs to 5 Points) and b) that it’s not even predominantly occupied by “urban people” but more than 60 percent Mexican-Americans.

  • wscott

    @ colnago80 #46: Of course not; AFAICT it’s all been gang-member-on-gang-member. Like I said, not offering excuses, just context.

    @ caseloweraz #52: I wondered about that, but hadn’t taken the time to look it up – thanks. I have no doubt the owners of the business are privately saying “Hey, we’re not racists, we deliver to Five Points! Some of our best customers are black!” What I’d be interested to hear is how long this policy of theirs has been in place; is it a reaction to the recent spate of highly-publicized shootings, or did it predate them?

    Ironically, I’ve heard speculation that the increased gang violence is partly a result of the increasing gentrification of the neighborhood, which has reduced the territory available to the gangs and pushed them into closer proximity. #unforseenconsequences

  • jonathangray

    Anri:

    given that the only reason the business mentioned in the OP gave for not doing business in certain zip codes was that it was a colored neighborhood, would you consider such a neighborhood to be a sign of real and present danger?

    Not necessarily, no. But the cold hard truth is that people of colour commit proportionately far more violent crime against colourless persons than vice versa. Whatever the causes of this disparity — whether it’s the racist “black people are inherently dangerous” or the SJW “it’s all whitey’s fault somehow” or something else — it’s hardly surprising that some people are going to see a correlation and act accordingly in a spirit of self-preservation (rather than hateful bigotry).

    One might wish the manageress have phrased her concerns more tactfully — but even if she had, you can be sure someone would have noted the ethnic composition of the neighbourhood and accused her of using a racist euphemism.

  • Anri

    jonathangray @ 54:

    Not necessarily, no. But the cold hard truth is that people of colour commit proportionately far more violent crime against colourless persons than vice versa. Whatever the causes of this disparity — whether it’s the racist “black people are inherently dangerous” or the SJW “it’s all whitey’s fault somehow”

    Please, please, I beg of you, show some quotes saying this. Please. It’s difficult, I know, but try, just this once, try to be intellectually honest. You clearly haven’t had much practice at it, but one aspect of this place is that we can see what you write and come back to it later, so godawful howlers like this have a much, much harder time slipping my unnoticed.

    So: quotes or retract and apologize. Or stand exposed as blatantly dishonest and understand why no-one takes you seriously.

    Your call.

    (Also, I’d love to see your source for your stats. I’m not even disputing them, I’d just like to see where you’re getting your info from.)

    or something else — it’s hardly surprising that some people are going to see a correlation and act accordingly in a spirit of self-preservation (rather than hateful bigotry).

    One might wish the manageress have phrased her concerns more tactfully — but even if she had, you can be sure someone would have noted the ethnic composition of the neighbourhood and accused her of using a racist euphemism.

    The only concerns she voiced weren’t about crime. She didn’t mention crime. Really, she didn’t, read the quote again.

    The singular concern she voiced was about race.

    But, ok, let’s put it on the line for you: Do you think white people are inherently less violent than non-whites?

    And, based on your answer, in what way should you alter your treatment of any given individual based on their race?

    Or the race of the people living near them?

    Ones with HVAC problems, for example?

  • KRS

    The only non-racist reason given for avoiding the neighborhood in any of the links I followed from this post was that people in Montbello “don’t pay their bills.” However, the average income in Montbello is only slightly below Denver’s average ($45k vs. $47k), so it’s hard to see how it could be any more financially risky than other neighborhoods.

  • Donnie

    Is anyone else surprised that SLC / colnago80 has yet to suggest nuking ‘those people’ in Colorado yet? It is his preferred option for dealing with those people in the middle east and specifically Iran? I mean, they are all coloured people, criminals, and nothing solves a problem like detonating a thermonuclear device, eh?

  • dingojack

    KRS* – so why don’t they take ’em to court or engage a debt collecting company or … ?

    These dumb-asses deserve to go out of business.

    Dingo

    ———-

    * I’m not suggesting this company’s idiocy has anything to with you specifically, merely giving my thoughts (such as they are) on the information you posted…

  • Anri

    Dear Troll Central:

    Please send better trolls. This last model breaks too easily.

    Yours, etc, Anri.

  • colnago80

    Re Donnie @ #57

    Tsar bombes today, Tsar bombes tomorrow, Tsar bombes to the far horizon, Tsar bombes forever.

  • colnago80

    Hey, here’s the Tsar Bomba in high definition.

    https://goo.gl/pDb4K2

  • StevoR

    Wikipedia says the Tsar Bomba is history – a literal museum piece :

    Only one bomb of this type was ever officially built and it was detonated in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, at Sukhoy Nos.[3][4][5] The remaining bomb casings are located at the Russian Atomic Weapon Museum, Sarov (Arzamas-16), and the Museum of Nuclear Weapons, All-Russian Research Institute of Technical Physics, Snezhinsk (Chelyabinsk-70). Neither of these casings has the same antenna configuration as the device that was tested.

    No one is going to build it or use it again. I think. I hope. I’m pretty sure.

  • StevoR

    @ 60 & 61. Colnago80 : There won’t be any more Tsar Bombas. There aren’t any around now and they won’t make more for many good reasons. I’m glad for that, & think we all should be glad of it.

    Thanks for the dramatic iconic footage too. Its a nightmare of the past which haunted my childhood and scared me badly for many years but I now think with a pretty high confidence, we won’t see any more nuclear weapons fall in our lifetimes and hopefully much longer.

  • jonathangray

    Anri:

    Not necessarily, no. But the cold hard truth is that people of colour commit proportionately far more violent crime against colourless persons than vice versa. Whatever the causes of this disparity — whether it’s the racist “black people are inherently dangerous” or the SJW “it’s all whitey’s fault somehow”

    Please, please, I beg of you, show some quotes saying this. Please. It’s difficult, I know, but try, just this once, try to be intellectually honest. You clearly haven’t had much practice at it, but one aspect of this place is that we can see what you write and come back to it later, so godawful howlers like this have a much, much harder time slipping my unnoticed.

    So: quotes or retract and apologize. Or stand exposed as blatantly dishonest and understand why no-one takes you seriously.

    Your call.

    Don’t be such a pompous ass. You know very well a default assumption that whitey’s to blame is standard SJW operating procedure. (Assuming that’s what your melodramatic ultimatum was referring to.) A cursory glance at most leftist outlets suffices to demonstrate that. Did you know the fall of Detroit was down to white racist mind rays?

  • Anri

    jonathangray # 64:

    From the article you linked to:

    Hang on, you can stop composing that all-caps comment – I don’t actually believe that what happened to Detroit and New Orleans resulted from anyone’s conscious plan.

    That’s your “mind rays”?

    Really?

    Ok, see this is exactly what I was talking about when I was saying intellectual dishonesty. My melodramatic ultimatum was just an attempt to shame you into being honest. So far, it’s failing.

    I said that being intellectually honest would be hard for you, and the you seemed to lack practice. If you were hoping that your utterly ridiculous characterization of that article would change that impression, you’re wrong. It has strengthened it. In the actual reply to me calling you out for misrepresenting other’s views, and asking for some quotes to back up your claim, you engage in vague hand-waving (‘everybody knows that!’), provide no actual quotes, (a real shocker that was), and misrepresent the content of the article you link to. That’s beyond laughable.

    Were you possibly confused by the fact that the author mentions aliens and magic in the article? Those were metaphors. You do know what a metaphor is, right?

    I consider myself something of an SJW myself, in the modern, pejorative use of the word (albeit a not-terribly-active, not-terribly-effective one). Since – according to you – it’s my SOP to blame every ill on ‘whitey’, you should be able to find multiple quotes from me supporting your claim. If not me, certainly others here.

    And yet…

  • jonathangray

    But, ok, let’s put it on the line for you: Do you think white people are inherently less violent than non-whites?

    White history would suggest otherwise. The issue isn’t “inherent” tendencies but the specific circumstances of urban America today. As I said, causes are disputable.

    And, based on your answer, in what way should you alter your treatment of any given individual based on their race? Or the race of the people living near them?

    Where possible, individuals just be judged as individuals. Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible. John Derbyshire’s version of The Talk seems to contain much good sense.

  • jonathangray

    (Also, I’d love to see your source for your stats. I’m not even disputing them, I’d just like to see where you’re getting your info from.)

    You could start with these hatefacts. (Trigger warning for reality failing to show the required liberal bias.)

    or something else — it’s hardly surprising that some people are going to see a correlation and act accordingly in a spirit of self-preservation (rather than hateful bigotry).

    One might wish the manageress have phrased her concerns more tactfully — but even if she had, you can be sure someone would have noted the ethnic composition of the neighbourhood and accused her of using a racist euphemism.

    The only concerns she voiced weren’t about crime. She didn’t mention crime. Really, she didn’t, read the quote again.

    The singular concern she voiced was about race.

    Indeed, but much of this thread has been concerned with speculation that a fear of crime underlay her remarks. Maybe it did, maybe she’s just a racist. Who knows?

  • dingojack

    If it was motivated by a ‘fear of crime’:

    a) why not simply say so?

    b) why fear crime in an area not known as a high crime area?

    c) why not do what other businesses do and find solutions to simple problems?

    Not convincing.

    Dingo

    ———

    Aww look. How cute, Lil’ Jon-Jon’s trying to make a coherent argument. It’s so adorable when they try to mimic the superficial behaviours of adults!

    All right Jon-Jon, run along and play with your toys now, the adults want to talk …

  • Anri

    Sorry, jonathangray, I must have missed it in your last two comments, do you stand by your characterization of that Salon article as being about “white racist mind rays”? Or are you finally ready to break down and admit that was full of crap?

    (Or are you still hoping that ugly bit of awkwardness you made for yourself will just slip silently away?)

    Hmm, let’s see, the Southern Poverty Law Center has an article on the author of your linked book. They’ve helpfully included a quote, I’ll just note it here:

    “Blacks and whites are different. When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.”

    Well, that’s sold me. If I was looking for a fair, reasonable, unbiased account of race relations in the US, someone like that would certainly be my starting point.

    (That’s sarcasm, by the way, in case you’re having the same difficulty with it that you did earlier with metaphor.)

    I’ll keep looking into this, see what else I can find.

    Lastly:

    Indeed, but much of this thread has been concerned with speculation that a fear of crime underlay her remarks. Maybe it did, maybe she’s just a racist. Who knows?

    Who knows (or at least thinks they know?) I dunno, maybe someone who says this:

    Whatever the causes of this disparity — whether it’s the racist “black people are inherently dangerous” or the SJW “it’s all whitey’s fault somehow” or something else — it’s hardly surprising that some people are going to see a correlation and act accordingly in a spirit of self-preservation (rather than hateful bigotry).

    (emphasis added)

    Does that by chance look familiar?

  • jonathangray

    Anri:

    Right after the sentence you quoted, the article goes on:

    I do, however, think that narrative has some validity on a psychological level, and that some right-wingers in America are so delusional, so short-sighted and, frankly, so unpatriotic and culturally backward that they were delighted to see those cities fail and did everything possible to help them along.

    It’s clear to me if not to you — are you mildly autistic? — what this Marxist goon is saying in his nudge-nudge, wink-wink way.

    Since – according to you – it’s my SOP to blame every ill on ‘whitey’, you should be able to find multiple quotes from me supporting your claim. If not me, certainly others here.

    I wouldn’t say “every ill”, but it’s clear that when a confrontation arises with racial overtones, the SJW hivemind reflexively assumes whitey’s guilt because racism. Hilarity ensues.

    (I have to hand it to the SJWs, though — who else could come up with so exquisitely self-parodic a neologism as “riot-shaming”?)

    the Southern Poverty Law Center has an article on the author of your linked book. They’ve helpfully included a quote, I’ll just note it here:

    “Blacks and whites are different. When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.”

    Well, that’s sold me. If I was looking for a fair, reasonable, unbiased account of race relations in the US, someone like that would certainly be my starting point.

    I don’t suppose you see the irony in talking about fairness, reasonableness and lack of bias while taking a notorious leftist smear group like the SPLC as some kind of authority. Whatever the author’s opinions, official statistics are what they are.

    As for the quotation, well, one is constrained to admit that sub-Saharan Africa wasn’t exactly a shining beacon of civilisation prior to the white man’s arrival and is looking pretty ropey in the post-colonial era. (Of course, I would say the decisive factor is the proper application of the Christian religion rather than “whiteness” or something as nebulous as “Western civilisation”.)

    I also note the Salon article mentions in passing that “racial discord and rising crime drove the white middle class into the suburbs”

    Does that by chance look familiar?

    You’re being too elliptical for me, I’m afraid. Perhaps you could spell out what you’re trying to say.

  • Anri

    jonathangray:

    It’s clear to me if not to you — are you mildly autistic? — what this Marxist goon is saying in his nudge-nudge, wink-wink way.

    Do you believe that psychology = “mind rays”? Because that’s how you characterized the article.

    (Yes, I’m mildly autistic, does that matter?)

    I wouldn’t say “every ill”

    Yes, you would. You did. Here’s your quote again:

    or the SJW “it’s all whitey’s fault somehow”

    I bolded the bit that you apparently can’t remember writing.

    I don’t suppose you see the irony in talking about fairness, reasonableness and lack of bias while taking a notorious leftist smear group like the SPLC as some kind of authority.

    Yes, I assumed you would be contemptuous of the SPLC as an authority. That’s why all of the quotes I included from them were…

    Oh, wait, I didn’t actually include any material from them at all, just from your chosen author’s own mouth (pen/word processor). But, then you knew that, too, and were just complaining about my citing them as an authority when I actually didn’t because… well, because…

    Ok, I got nuthin’.

    Whatever the author’s opinions, official statistics are what they are.

    “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” – some white guy.

    As for the quotation, well, one is constrained to admit that sub-Saharan Africa wasn’t exactly a shining beacon of civilisation prior to the white man’s arrival and is looking pretty ropey in the post-colonial era. (Of course, I would say the decisive factor is the proper application of the Christian religion rather than “whiteness” or something as nebulous as “Western civilisation”.)

    Good point, I can’t think of any non-white, non-Christian population that could lay claim to ‘civilization’. Well, except maybe India. Oh, and Egypt. Ok, large sections of pre-Columbian of Central and South America… but, heck other than those few exceptions…

    You’re being too elliptical for me, I’m afraid. Perhaps you could spell out what you’re trying to say.

    Ok, I will be more direct: you stated that the OP’s manager, Andrea, was acting out of a spirit of self-preservation, rather than hateful bigotry. You then went on to say that you didn’t know why she said what she said (after it had been repeatedly pointed out to you that what she said didn’t actually mesh very well with what you were claiming). You didn’t actually walk back what you said, of course, and you’re going to try to weasel out of doing so now, but that’s what happened.

  • StevoR

    @ ^ Anri :

    Good point, I can’t think of any non-white, non-Christian population that could lay claim to ‘civilization’. Well, except maybe India. Oh, and Egypt. Ok, large sections of pre-Columbian of Central and South America… but, heck other than those few exceptions…

    China, the Summerians and Babylonians, Japan admittedly helped by China much as Rome was by Greece, Persia. Think they can all be added to the list plus the ancient (indigenous) African Mali and Songhai empires – see :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mali_Empire

    & also (usual starter then and w/o spaces) / wiki / Songhai_Empire

    There’s also the Ashanti empire for folks to look up along with others. Are you really saying these weren’t civilisations as good as past European and others?

    I will admit these African civilisations and empires are rather obscure and little known – undeservingly so. Time that more folks read about them I reckon, don’t y’all agree?

  • dingojack

    Stevo – don’t forget Great Zimabwe.

    Dingo

  • dingojack
  • jonathangray

    Anri:

    Do you believe that psychology = “mind rays”? Because that’s how you characterized the article.

    (Yes, I’m mildly autistic, does that matter?)

    When the author describes his sinister right-wing conspiracy as ‘psychologically true’, you take it at face value: he’s saying racist right-wingers dearly wished it were true (i.e. they wanted to be able to bring about Detroit’s downfall). My sense is that he’s really describing what he dearly wishes were true and believes to be true in some moral sense. Maybe I’m wrong — or maybe your mild autism makes it hard for you to pick up on the signals, the tone.

    I wouldn’t say “every ill”

    Yes, you would. You did. Here’s your quote again:

    or the SJW “it’s all whitey’s fault somehow”

    The full quote was: … people of colour commit proportionately far more violent crime against colourless persons than vice versa. Whatever the causes of this disparity — whether it’s the racist “black people are inherently dangerous” or the SJW “it’s all whitey’s fault somehow” …

    “All” in this context doesn’t mean “every bad thing ever”; it means “wholly”, in reference to the disparity in crime figures.

    I didn’t actually include any material from [the SPLC] at all, just from your chosen author’s own mouth (pen/word processor). But, then you knew that, too, and were just complaining about my citing them as an authority when I actually didn’t

    Yet you went to the SPLC to locate that particular quote, which suggests you regard that organisation as a trustworthy source of information, i.e. as an authority. The fact that the quote was (I presume) accurate doesn’t alter that.

    “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” – some white guy.

    Shrug. As I said, the causes of the disparity are debatable.

    I can’t think of any non-white, non-Christian population that could lay claim to ‘civilization’. Well, except maybe India. Oh, and Egypt. Ok, large sections of pre-Columbian of Central and South America… but, heck other than those few exceptions…

    What I was trying to say (admittedly not very well) was that “white civilisation” or “Western civilisation” is better described as Christian civilisation, as its essential feature is Christianity rather than skin colour or geography. Obviously there have been pre- and non-Christian cultures that have attained a high level of civilisation.

    you stated that the OP’s manager, Andrea, was acting out of a spirit of self-preservation, rather than hateful bigotry. You then went on to say that you didn’t know why she said what she said (after it had been repeatedly pointed out to you that what she said didn’t actually mesh very well with what you were claiming).

    I didn’t unequivocally “state” that was her motive — it was one possible explanation of her actions.

  • jonathangray

    StevoR:

    the ancient (indigenous) African Mali and Songhai empires … There’s also the Ashanti empire for folks to look up along with others. Are you really saying these weren’t civilisations as good as past European and others?

    My very brief google research suggests the Mali and Songhai cultures only flowered when they fell under the influence of Islam. I would be interested to know if they had written languages prior to the introduction of Arabic. Did the Ashanti empire have a written language?

    dingojack:

    don’t forget Great Zimabwe.

    Did the kingdom of Zimbabwe have a written language?

  • Anri

    jonathangray:

    My sense is that he’s really describing what he dearly wishes were true and believes to be true in some moral sense.

    So “wishes to be true in some moral sense” = “mind rays”?

    I’m really trying to get at what you meant by “mind rays” here. Or is it finally time to walk that one back?

    (I also assume you have a reference for the author being Marxist. No, of course I don’t. I get that what you were doing was good old-fashioned well-poisoning schoolyard name-calling.)

    “All” in this context doesn’t mean “every bad thing ever”; it means “wholly”, in reference to the disparity in crime figures.

    So, to clarify, you would say that it applies in terms of crime statistics?

    Yet you went to the SPLC to locate that particular quote, which suggests you regard that organisation as a trustworthy source of information, i.e. as an authority. The fact that the quote was (I presume) accurate doesn’t alter that.

    Yep, that’s what I did.

    No, wait, it isn’t. What I actually did is Google your book and the author and visit the top three websites, which included his own site, Wikipedia and the SPLC. In that order.

    Y’know, you’re not really very good at telling other people what they did and why. Maybe you better quit it.

    What I was trying to say (admittedly not very well) was that “white civilisation” or “Western civilisation” is better described as Christian civilisation, as its essential feature is Christianity rather than skin colour or geography. Obviously there have been pre- and non-Christian cultures that have attained a high level of civilisation.

    Well, I was referring to your chosen author’s quote, in which he said nothing at all about Christianity and only mentioned skin color. I take it you disagree with his premise? If so, I have to wonder why you’d mention sub-Saharan Africa and not other non-Christian places.

    To put it another way, that argument makes a lot of sense if you’re focusing on skin tone, but a lot less if you’re focusing on religion.

    (Your own question focused not on religion but on geography, which you then immediately turn around and say isn’t important. That seems odd. Of course, by equating Christianity and western civilization, you’ve made the argument that Christianity often doesn’t flourish in non-Christian places, due to the lack of Christianity. Need I point out the issues with such an argument?)

    I didn’t unequivocally “state” that was her motive — it was one possible explanation of her actions.

    One that is not actually supported by what she actually said.

    It might be time to just bite the bullet and admit this.

  • dingojack

    Jon-Jon — here you are Sir, your ass. Oh, just before Sir leaves, would he like it gift-wrapped? There’s only a nominal charge!

    :) Dingo

  • jonathangray

    Anri:

    I’m really trying to get at what you meant by “mind rays” here.

    It was just a tongue-in-cheek way of describing the not actually real (in a crude factual sense) but somehow realler than real (in a psychologico-moral sense) bad racist magic that destroyed Detroit.

    (I also assume you have a reference for the author being Marxist. No, of course I don’t. I get that what you were doing was good old-fashioned well-poisoning schoolyard name-calling.)

    Or maybe it was the fact that he not only used a piece of jargon that has become associated with a significant current of modern Marxian thought, but also straight away archly alluded to his use of it.

    So, to clarify, you would say that it applies in terms of crime statistics?

    Yes, insofar as SJW warriors invariably blame the disparity on ‘institutional racism’ buttressed by ‘white privilege’.

    What I actually did is Google your book and the author and visit the top three websites, which included his own site, Wikipedia and the SPLC. In that order.

    Y’know, you’re not really very good at telling other people what they did and why.

    So why reference the SPLC in particular — particularly as the author’s Wiki entry also features the quote?

    Well, I was referring to your chosen author’s quote, in which he said nothing at all about Christianity and only mentioned skin color. I take it you disagree with his premise? If so, I have to wonder why you’d mention sub-Saharan Africa and not other non-Christian places.

    Because I was referring to your chosen quote by that author, in which he talks about blacks’ capacity for civilisation when left to their own devices. No-one has demonstrated to me that sub-Saharan Africa produced any civilisation of note independently of direct outside influence, whether from white Christians or Arab Mohammedans. I “disagree with his premise” to the extent that I don’t believe this civilisational disparity is due to inherent racial qualities.

    I didn’t unequivocally “state” that was her motive — it was one possible explanation of her actions.

    One that is not actually supported by what she actually said.

    And yet the very first two commentators on this thread seemed to think it was a possible motive.

  • jonathangray

    dingojack –

    How’s the hunt for the Zimbabwean Divina Commedia going?

  • dingojack

    Oh very well sir — but I assure you, it would look so much nicer gift-wrapped.

    Dingo

  • jonathangray

    Anri –

    To hopefully clarify what I’m getting at regarding civilisational disparity and race, consider the following statement:

    The sub-Saharan African tribes were primitive peoples. They were basically savages with a very low level of culture, producing no civilisational achievement worthy of note. They didn’t even have a written language, or at least no significant literature. Not only that, they were sunk in the darkness of the most debased form of paganism, characterised by idolatry, superstitious terror and sinister propitiatory sacrifice. It would take the light of European Christianity to raise them out of barbarism.

    I subscribe to that statement 100%. I am sure a great many people would find that appallingly racist. Do you? Before you answer, consider the following statement, to which I also subscribe 100%:

    The ancient Germanic tribes were primitive peoples. They were basically savages with a very low level of culture, producing no civilisational achievement worthy of note. They didn’t even have a written language, or at least no significant literature. Not only that, they were sunk in the darkness of the most debased form of paganism, characterised by idolatry, superstitious terror and sinister propitiatory sacrifice. It would take the light of Latin Christianity to raise them out of barbarism.

  • jonathangray

    dingo –

    Lest I be thought irredeemably logocentric, I’ll settle for the Zimbabwean Tristan und Isolde.

  • dingojack

    Oh go on — just a little ribbon rosette. (It won’t make you butt look big, promise).

    Dingo

  • colnago80

    RE jonathangray @ #54

    Actually, most of the crime committed by Afro-Americans in the US is committed against other Afro-Americans. Just as most of the terrorists acts committed by Muslims in the Middle East is against other Muslims.

  • Anri

    jonathangray:

    It was just a tongue-in-cheek way of describing the not actually real (in a crude factual sense) but somehow realler than real (in a psychologico-moral sense) bad racist magic that destroyed Detroit.

    I’m having trouble parsing this statement as something other than “Yes, it was bullshit, but I don’t want to admit it was bullshit,” dressed up in pseudo-intellectual jargon.

    Or maybe it was the fact that he not only used a piece of jargon that has become associated with a significant current of modern Marxian thought, but also straight away archly alluded to his use of it.

    OK, as I am that apparently unique SJW not conversant with modern Marxist thought, could you be more specific?

    Yes, insofar as SJW warriors invariably blame the disparity on ‘institutional racism’ buttressed by ‘white privilege’.

    Are you denying that institutional racism exists, or are you denying that it has a significant effect on life for those (allegedly) dealing with it? And if it does exist, how would you set about teasing it out from any inherent criminality based on race? For example, does your chosen author assume that being arrested and convicted more often automatically equate to actually committing more crimes?

    I assume he addresses that point, as it’s obvious even to a non-professional like myself.

    So why reference the SPLC in particular — particularly as the author’s Wiki entry also features the quote?

    Mainly because I’m not a big fan of using Wikipedia as a source on FTB, and you’re not the only one reading my posts. But if the quote is true, why care about where it came from? I’m asking seriously here.

    And yet the very first two commentators on this thread seemed to think it was a possible motive.

    And both were immediately (literally, in the next two comments – you read those, right?) called out for the fact that that’s not what was actually said.

    To hopefully clarify what I’m getting at regarding civilisational disparity and race, consider the following statement:

    So… you would agree with someone who said that barbarity or criminality were not inherent to people of a given race, and were, in fact, determined by outside forces?

    Or would you separate barbarity and criminality in terms of race (making one wonder why you’d bring up barbarity in a thread about modern criminality)?

    Lastly, would you equate criminality with lack of religion? Do crime statistics bear that equation out, on either an individual or a population basis? For instance, are the black or Hispanic communities in the US significantly less Christian that the white community?