Patterico's Pontifications

6/7/2014

Is Leaving Your Child in a Car a Crime?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:31 pm

Interesting article by a woman who ran to the store with her four-year-old to grab a pair of headphones for a long plane flight. When she got there, he threw a tantrum because he wanted to stay in the car. She describes what happened next:

I took a deep breath. I looked at the clock. For the next four or five seconds, I did what it sometimes seems I’ve been doing every minute of every day since having children, a constant, never-ending risk-benefit analysis. I noted that it was a mild, overcast, 50-degree day. I noted how close the parking spot was to the front door, and that there were a few other cars nearby. I visualized how quickly, unencumbered by a tantrumming 4-year-old, I would be, running into the store, grabbing a pair of child headphones. And then I did something I’d never done before. I left him. I told him I’d be right back. I cracked the windows and child-locked the doors and double-clicked my keys so that the car alarm was set. And then I left him in the car for about five minutes.

He didn’t die. He wasn’t kidnapped or assaulted or forgotten or dragged across state lines by a carjacker. When I returned to the car, he was still playing his game, smiling, or more likely smirking at having gotten what he wanted from his spineless mama. I tossed the headphones onto the passenger seat and put the keys in the ignition.

Over the past two years, I’ve replayed this moment in my mind again and again, approaching the car, getting in, looking in the rearview mirror, pulling away. I replay it, trying to uncover something in the recollection I hadn’t noticed at the time. A voice. A face. Sometimes I feel like I can hear something. A woman? A man? “Bye now.” Something. But I can’t be sure.

We flew home. My husband was waiting for us beside the baggage claim with this terrible look on his face. “Call your mom,” he said.

I called her, and she was crying. When she’d arrived home from driving us to the airport, there was a police car in her driveway.

It turns out that a citizen had happened upon her car with the child while she was in the store, and called the police. The mother ultimately was prosecuted for “contributing to the delinquency of a minor.” She reached a deal whereby her prosecution would be deferred, and if she completed 100 hours of community service and parenting classes, the case would be dismissed.

However, the episode has now made her son fearful of being left alone even while she goes out front to grab the paper off the lawn — not because he is scared of being hurt, but because he is scared that the police will come.

My wife used to wander the Kentucky countryside on her bicycle for hours. I would ride my bike down at the schoolyard. My friends and I would stalk neighborhoods at night, play on construction sites during the day, crawl through sewer drains and climb trees and do all sorts of things out on our own that parents would never allow these days.

It’s not an easy issue. There comes a time when a parents’ actions may be irresponsible. But doesn’t it seem that we have become far too overprotective compared to the way it was when we were children?

Obama Dinner Parties

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:23 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Yeah, I had a post the other day where I pointed everybody to an awesome take-down of Elizabeth Warren. At the risk of sounding like some sort of shill for NRO, let me urge everyone to read this darn near perfect distillation of effete progressivism in the Age of Obama. Matthew Continetti envisions a dinner party with Obama and some hand-picked liberal cronies, and in a pitch-perfect run-on sentence he imagines the table conversation proceeds as follows:

How can the Republicans be so obstructionist and rude and luddite, what happened to the nice moderate conservatives they used to have in the Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush administrations, have you seen the latest essays by Ezra Klein and Michael Tomasky and Ta-Nehisi Coates, who cares what the media says, E.J. Dionne says you are doing A-Okay, what’s it like to hold the nuclear football, have you been to Eric Ripert’s newest restaurant, weren’t the Afghan and Iraq wars terrible mistakes, people have got to recognize America can’t go its own way in today’s integrated, global, flat world, The Wire is Shakespearean, what are you going to do about the polar bears, we need to appreciate the value of other cultures, America doesn’t have such a clean record itself you know, my son just took a job in Dubai, wasn’t Sheryl Sandberg brilliant in her City Colleges of Chicago commencement speech, let’s touch base on the new youth-outreach project Mark Zuckerberg is standing up, do you watch Mad Men, politics is a relay race and we just have to keep going until we hand the baton to the next person, where do you come up with all of those beautiful words, we leave for Beijing next week, Putin doesn’t understand how we do things in the twenty-first century, God that Bibi is so unreasonable, who are your favorite authors, it’s time for a real conversation about race, is Homeland like real life, this is the sushi place to go to in Los Angeles, you are a real role model for young men not only in this country but all around the world, I watch House of Cards but my wife prefers Orange Is the New Black. . . .

That is one of the best summations of pretentious left-wing blather that I have ever come across. I’ll make you go to the article to read the rest but trust me, it’s worthwhile.

– JVW

Some Nerve!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:58 am

[guest post by Dana]

The United Negro College Fund announced this week that it was the recipient of a $25 million grant from the….. Koch brothers.

As a result of their unmitigated gall, it is anticipated that a large portion of the money will pay for approximately 3,000 merit-based scholarships for African-Americans seeking a college education. The remaining balance (about $6 million) will be split between historically black colleges and universities and UNCF’s own budgetary needs.

UNCF President Michael Lomax expressed his gratitude for the gift:

Criticism is a small price for helping young people get the chance to realize their dream of a college education, and if I’ve got to bear the brunt of someone else’s criticism to ensure that we have the resources to help those students, then I can handle it, and I can take the heat.

Reactions to the gift have been interesting. Of course, this story can’t just be about the goodwill of two men and the grateful recipients.

The Washington Post comments:

Such a highly-publicized gift is unusual for Charles Koch. His foundation routinely gives away lots of money, but typically with little fanfare.

It should be noted that it was the UNCF that made the announcement.

Amusingly, the Daily Kos, perpetually in the throes of a whiny girl’s hissy fit, sneered:

A donation of a measly 25 million dollars to the United Negro College Fund out of their billions and billions.

I know DK is target rich, but what heck, here is the rest of their ridiculously embarrassing tantrum:

I’m wondering if this somehow replaces the damage done by their coal operations alone. It is well established that minority communities bear the brunt of pollution damage.

If they really waned [sic] to help these children get through college then they should stop financing laws that let these same children get gunned down in what amounts to Lynching 2.0.

Because nothing says we rejoice in good fortune reaching those in need like being an all-around jerk.

Harry Reid was unavailable for comment.

–Dana

Article: White People Need to Shut Up About Race and Respect Black People’s Authority

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:49 am

Rebecca Carroll: When We Black People Say Racism Is Real, Please Believe Us:

By now you’ve probably seen the viral video of the racist white woman going ballistic in a parking lot in Cheektowaga, New York (about 300 miles from Manhattan) for nearly four straight minutes, shouting the N-word at a black man in his car because, she says, he had frightened her two young children by, he says, starting his car.

I hadn’t, but I looked it up. Enjoy an idiot acting like an idiot:

Are there racist idiots like that in this country? You betcha. So what?

If you are white, I ask you to imagine for one minute, how you would feel if you were minding your own business, starting up your car in a parking lot when suddenly a stranger starts screaming in your face and repeatedly calling you a name that in this society is synonymous with utter human worthlessness. A word that evokes a cultural ancestry that was shackled, raped, beaten, kicked, lynched and spit upon every single day.

I know you can try to imagine it, but you can’t actually imagine it because it will never, ever happen to you. How could your imagination access such a thing? To be honest, though, I’m less interested in white people trying to imagine what it feels like to be vulnerable to racism or to experience racism, so much as I am interested in white people making a concerted effort at deference to our authority on the matter.

This is the goal of many of the grievance mongers: to get you to agree that, if you’re white, you don’t have a right to an opinion on racial issues. They are a cop black, and you WILL respect their authoritah!

But complete “deference” to Rebecca Carroll’s “authority” on all racial matters becomes difficult in the next paragraph:

Because your liberalism is not empathic, it’s politic. Your belief that racism is bad is not a gamechanger for us. Your self-serving magnanimity regarding those other white people who had slaves 100 years ago does not endear you to those of us black people who were not slaves but continue to live within the confines of and be punished by the systemic racism that found its nascent stronghold in the institution of slavery.

I’m . . . pretty sure Americans didn’t own slaves “100 years ago.” Imagine the shock Ms. Carroll will experience in December 2015, when newspapers around the country announce the 150th anniversary of the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery.

At this point it seems relevant to note some salient publicly available facts about Carroll’s life that suggest that, just maybe, it has not been one giant long slog of constant and unbearable racism at every turn.

In a piece about trying to find a school for her child where he could have a black role model, Carroll says:

I grew up in rural New Hampshire, as an adopted child in a white family. . . . Although my son is mixed and light-skinned, I subscribe to the Halle Berry, “one drop” rule: I’m black, so he’s black. My white husband doesn’t give me a hard time about this. I should also note here that my husband, a sociology professor who specializes in race and social policy . . .

Well of course he does. More:

In an effort to meet both our criteria, we enrolled in the Early Steps program, a New York City-based nonprofit organization that helps to place children of color in independent private schools.

Carroll is a graduate of Hampshire College and the University of New Hampshire, and apparently managed to get degrees from these institutions despite having no clue when slavery ended.

So, I will respect Ms. Carroll’s authoritah concerning the fact that sometimes she thinks people are being racist to her and it hurts her feelings . . . if she will respect my authoritah concerning certain objective facts, such as:

  • This society is not so pervasively racist that it prevented white people from adopting her.
  • This society is not so pervasively racist that it prevented a white man from marrying her.
  • She has access to a program that will help her child get into a private school because of the color of his skin.
  • Slavery ended in this country way more than 100 years ago.

I agree with Ms. Carroll that racism still exists in this country. The attitude of the white woman in the clip above is sickening (even if, as appears possible, she was provoked to some degree) and, while such behavior is rare, it is certainly not unheard of.

I would remind Ms. Carroll that some of that racism in this country comes from black people. I’m not interested in Ms. Carroll’s inevitable dismissal of this so much as I am interested in her making a concerted effort at deference to my authority on the matter.

I would also like to remind Ms. Carroll that many incidents in this country that are alleged to be instances of white on black racism turn out to be hoaxes. From Tawana Brawley to nooses at Columbia to the Oberlin racism hoax of 2013 and the Grand Valley State University racist dorm door — the whole “When We Black People Say Racism Is Real, Please Believe Us” thing gets a little tough when so many black people who say racism is real . . . turn out to be lying about their particular experiences.

It’s obviously a fruitless exercise to try to persuade someone who makes their living magnifying racial grievances that racism is not the greatest problem facing black America these days. A hint of what is can be found in Ms. Carroll’s piece about finding a school for her son:

At one school I visited on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, a group of black teenage boys stood outside, shouting back and forth at each other, “What up, nigga?!” My son would likely feel more isolated at that school than he would at an all-white school.

Well, good. Good for him, and good for you. But please recognize that the horror of that school is not created by white people, but by a culture primarily enabled by Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, in which mothers marry a government rather than a man, and positive male role models are nowhere to be found.

If you want to help eradicate the problems that black people face in this country, stop whining about your relatively privileged life, and start talking about that.


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