Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Review- Black Libertarian Slams "Please Stop Helping Us" Book

Jonathan Blanks, a black Libertarian writer and researcher in Washington, D.C., slams Jason Riley's new book "Please Stop Helping Us" arguing that the book is more about justifying racial resentment than it is about black conservative policies.

Although often painted as a united movement, the black struggle for civil rights and equality has almost always been contentious and acrimonious among those ‘on the same side.’ For decades, this fight was primarily over tactics and rhetoric.

There are differing opinions to how to make lives for black Americans better, and those to the economic right of center—probably due in part to its ties to the South and the small government rhetoric once used to support Jim Crow segregation—get the short end of it, despite their valid critiques of the status quo.

The unintended consequences of social programs still create perverse incentives for the poor. Many public schools trap students in low achieving tiers that stunt their academic growth and lower their chances at becoming successful members of a global economy. Stressing the importance of self-reliance, personal responsibility, and entrepreneurship is not as sexy as “social justice” and communal outrage.

The vastly outnumbered black conservatives are sometimes called “[Uncle] Toms” and “sellouts” for pointing these facts out, as if they do not care about black people. Indeed, such treatment led me to title one piece for my school newspaper, “Angry, Black, and Conservative.”

I don’t self-identify as a conservative anymore, but that’s more about the (d)evolution of the Republican Party since the end of the Cold War than a great shift in my own politics, though there has been some.

Indeed, when I first started learning about politics as a young adult, and to an extent, race, I probably would have enjoyed Jason L. Riley’s Please Stop Helping Us because it completely fit my worldview.

But then I grew up and learned a few things.

Read complete article here

Jackson-Green - Body cameras for police a win for citizens, officers and taxpayers

Bryant Jackson-Green, a libertarian legal researcher and policy analyst with the Liberty Justice Center ask the question: "should Illinois police officers wear body cameras?" 

 What’s a low-cost way to improve police accountability in Illinois while saving taxpayer dollars? Some say body cameras for police officers. After the events in Ferguson, MO, several editorials have encouraged Illinois police officers to wear body cameras as a way to deter misconduct, and some departments have already signed on to the idea. But considering how much taxpayers currently put out to litigate and settle police-misconduct cases, we should also support it as an effective cost-saving measure.

Chicago, for instance, has paid more than half a billion dollars in police settlements, legal fees and associated costs within the last decade, according to a study released by the Better Government Association earlier this year. It’s clear enough that many of the incidents might have been avoided if there was reliable video footage of the incidents in question. At the very least, an objective record of the event would be available.

Here are some examples of payouts from the city of Chicago for police misconduct:

Read complete article here

Black Libertarian Responds to Twitter #YesWeDid Campaign

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Quote of the Day


"State-imposed segregation is the antithesis of what every libertarian theory requires, by imposing legal barriers that make it virtually impossible for individuals to enter freely into voluntary transitions with trading partners of their own choice, white or black. With Jim Crow in the South this set of insidious practices was not accomplished by explicit laws mandating racial segregation. Rather, those inflexible social and economic patterns were supported by four interlocking strategies. First, illicit control of the electoral franchise, which in turn translated into control of the police and the courts. Second, corrupt use over the infrastructure translated into an ability to deny water and electrical hookups to firms that did not toe the segregationist line. Third, private violence to which southern police forces turned a blind eye when they did not actively support it. Fourth, social ostracism to those who spoke up against the system. Sensible people either left, stayed away or remained silent."

 Richard Epstein (Libertarian legal scholar, specializing in the field of law and economics)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

2014 Black Libertarian Candidates

The full list of black Libertarian candidates is as follows:

Martin Moulton is the 2014 candidate for Mayor for the District of Columbia
Texas: Linda Wilbert is running for Justice of the Peace Precinct 4, Texas 

Massachusetts:  Hassan Smith is the Libertarian candidate for Sheriff in Suffolk County
Kansas: Brent Stackhouse to the Kansas House of Representatives, District 14
Georgia: John Monds running in 2014 for Georgia Public Service Commissioner
Alabama: Eric Calhoun is the Libertarian candidate for Jefferson County Commission District 3 IN Alabama
DC: Martin Moulton is the 2014 candidate for Mayor for the District of Columbia

If you know any other candidates, feel free to add them in the comment section! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A libertarian argument for race conscious policing: viewing civil rights like property rights



When American children are taught about the Civil Rights Era, the focus tends to be on laws like Jim Crow, people like Bull Connor and Martin Luther King Jr., and issues like equality and justice. The thinking goes today, to simplify the reasoning on the right and among libertarians, that those times were long ago, the laws are gone, Bull Connor and his ilk are long dead, and we have fairness before the law and everything else is just a matter of applying oneself now.

But the changes from those times have, in fact, been gradual. There’s nothing to indicate, and certainly no defining moment, when racism ceased to be a problem for blacks and other minorities in America. Coming as far as the nation has in a relatively short amount of time is impressive, given the way racism was ingrained in the American culture, politics, and education. But part of that progress was due to the explicit societal and governmental acknowledgement that laws and society made life very unfair for a segment of the population. We’re getting to a point where that recognition is becoming less and less obvious, and the remnants of centuries of racism linger and continue to affect millions of Americans.

You can read the whole thing here.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Jonathan Blanks - Could the New Republic be any more wrong about libertarians and police militarization?

TNR editor Franklin Foer took to his virtual pages today to argue for more federal involvement to protect our civil liberties. In the abstract, I agree with him: I think the federal government is a necessary check against wanton abuse by states and locals against their own people. (We kinda fought a war that settled that.)

 However, when it comes to details, he's about as far afield of correct as you can get: 
But back to the actual issue at hand, Foer cites civil asset forfeiture as the strongest evidence of need for federal intervention. Oh, if this were only the case.

 As this Institute for Justice’s 2010 paper on the subject makes clear, the rise civil asset forfeiture is a direct result of federal involvement in local policing. In what are known as “equitable sharing” agreements, federal law enforcement split forfeiture proceeds with state and local law authorities, supposedly in relation to the amount of work the agencies put into the investigation. While the amount of money is discretionary by statute, all reports indicate that the default split is the maximum allowed: 80 percent to local agencies, 20 percent to the federal government.

You can read the whole thing here.