The Toughest Travel Question I’ve Ever Been Asked to Answer

At first I thought the toughest questions came from Erich in my request for requests post.

1. Write a post in praise of Tyler Cowen (or another non-points inspiration who made you see things differently)
2. Give a Hansonian take on why Travel is not about vacation
3. How has your hobby modified your job or vice versa?
4. Write a post about how you think a smart but not involved person sees the points game (status chasing all the way down? Coupon clipping dressed in beach vacation dreams?)
5. Write a post on what the credit card game looks like 3 years from now. Don’t post it, but send it to a third party for a scheduled release 3 years hence
6. What are your best travel tips for introverts?
7. Invent a cynical twin, what are the thoughts that leak out of his mind?

Turns out those weren’t even close to toughest.

About a week and a half ago I spoke about travel at Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit.

It was one of the most difficult talks I’ve given because it was scheduled for less than 3 hours after the Asiana crash in San Francisco. All of a sudden the kinds of things I was going to be talking about seemed so utterly mundane. How to save a few dollars on airfare? How to get your rental car for less? At some level, on that day, who cares?

Very few people in the audience were aware of the Asiana crash at the time, they had been holed away in talks and events. People generally put their phones down, they weren’t getting news alerts.

But I felt like it was important to lead off my talk with the news of the crash, acknowledging how so much of what I was planning to talk about seemed small, and then spending a few minutes talking about why I travel, what I get out of it, how saving money or having greater comfort when I travel made it possible and likely that I would travel more, and that the time I spent flying Asiana, the time in South Korea, rather than feeling small because of the subject matter it actually made me feel more connected to the tragedy. There are plenty of terrible things that happen in the world, each and every day, yet this one really affected me.

I was talking about how I approach travel, and the people working for travel companies, and I was asked one of the most difficult, challenging questions I’ve ever gotten from an audience.

I talked about hang up, call back as a strategy to get what you want — to be nice, to ask, to ask someone else if necessary. I talked about simply being nice and connecting with the person at the front desk as a strategy to get hotel upgrades (elite status is just an entry card, there’s still employee discretion, they have their excuse now you want them to use it).

An African American woman, I’m guessing in her early 30’s, asked me “these sounds like great techniques, can you talk about how well they work if you aren’t a white male?”

Wow. Such a great question. And what could I possibly have to add?

I paused. I looked at the ground. And I answered,

I’m pausing because I’m taking your question really seriously. I am not going to pretend that I can speak to the experience of someone that’s not white, that’s female. So all that I can offer you is to think about the conversations I’ve had with people that are familiar with these same basic principles. And none of them have ever told me that they don’t work for them, or that they work differently. But I’d be interested in hearing from folks about their experiences, too.

There’s no question that I’m a moderately successful professional that’s getting close to pushing middle age.

And my experiences may not be typical (although I hope they’re still useful, and I would guess they are useful to folks who are situated similarly).

When I was in my early 20s I was a frequent flyer, I earned elite status, and I was frequently flying up front. This was certainly true for me once I was two and a half years out of college.

There are frequently discussions amongst frequent flyers about the flying experience for someone who is you, many people relate that they don’t get the same level of service and they get lots of assumptions that they don’t belong in the forward cabin.

I never experienced that — When I was barely 24 and flying up front I always felt perfectly at home, and I was never made to feel like less of a customer or someone that didn’t belong. It’s possible my experience is typical, or not, or just that I was oblivious to the social cues that others would have picked up on.

But the techniques I began learning then worked for me, and continued to work. Although of course I have no experience as a female, or as visibly a minority, to say that my experiences would transfer — but I also don’t have reason to believe or expect that they won’t.

For that reason I’d be really interested in hearing about your experiences — what you’ve experienced, or what you’ve witnessed — at the broadest level, are frequent flyer tips and tricks race or gender specific?


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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. @smitty06 – Very interesting and insightful comments. I am curious about techniques you crossed off. Could you give an example or two? Because of race, sex, or equal parts.

  2. I’m not a white male, and I consciously choose to dress comfortably when I travel, even if it means I lower the probability of scoring an upgrade. I actually find some small pleasure when someone wonders if I am in the right line or wants to see my boarding pass. Know that scene in pretty woman?

  3. @travelin2s – I’d like to think it’s not race. I’m a white male, and I’ve had plenty of crappy dinners where we left after ordering drinks. Crappy service from rude wait staff is color blind, at least for me 😉

  4. It’s amusing to see the number of people arguing that racism/sexism does not exist in the one area where the divide is so obvious.

  5. I am a mid-30s white Hispanic female and am usually the only (or the only single) woman in a sea of white guys up front. I have noticed treatment differences but, when they happen, they are about half negative and half positive. As an example of the latter, I basically feel adopted by one of the ladies at ORD AA Flagship Lounge, who always recognizes me when I go through and brings me plates of food and drink that she thinks I should eat. I definitely stand out there.

    When the former happens, my EXP status is my armor. I try to be nice first, but when that doesn’t work, I have no problem pulling a DYWKIA on snooty lounge attendants or GAs acting stupid. Like bluto, I also get some small pleasure from seeing whatever staff realize they are wrong (and I am right). Being polite, assertive and knowledgable usually works.

  6. I guess I feel the same way every time I go to the DMV and feel I’m not being treated equally by the African American staff (no, I’m not white).

  7. I’m a young, black male, and I’ve been traveling a lot in premium cabins recently, in part thanks to what i’ve learned on this blog (thanks Gary). In terms of earning and redeeming miles, there’s never been any issues because the process is pretty much color blind. One issue I’ve had earning miles is at CVS, where some think i’m looking for something to steal when i’m looking for VRs, though now that most are familiar with me, it hasn’t been an issue.

    The main issues i’ve experienced are when flying. When entering certain lounges or flying in J/F, there’s some people who do double takes. I was recently on a LX J flight and while in my seat, I was asked by an FA for my boarding pass to make sure I was in the “right cabin”, even after another FA had checked it and escorted me to my seat, and that was after being told at checkin that I was on the wrong lane because the one I was on was only “for business and first class customers”. While it’s not justified, it’s at some level understandable given the relatively homogenous demographics of most first and business class passengers, but it doesn’t make me feel welcomed at all. At destinations, I feel that i’ve been treated more or less the same as others, but it’s obvious at some places (at least in Africa, where I’ve traveled the most), that there’s preference for white/asian customers because they’re perceived as having more money.

    I think it was a great question to ask, and it should remind us of how we view our experiences and how others may perceive us. As smitty06 mentioned, one of the reasons I love the miles/points community is because we generally embrace and celebrate differences.

  8. I’m as minority as you get (black lesbian with a disability stemming from a malformed leg). I’m happy to report that the only times I’ve felt slighted were when I was mistreated because of my weight or my lisp, not because of anything I was born with. Staff is usually extremely accommodating, and while I’ve had my share of annoyed FAs when I request a kosher meal, I doubt it’s because of who I am.

  9. I agree with CTravlr that it was a great question to ponder, not as a “race card” but regarding any type of biases we may encounter while traveling. If you educate yourself that these issues exist rather than bury your head in the sand, you are better able to cope with them and handle them politely and move on, rather than being blind-sided by it and then overreact.

  10. Excellent thoughts from Steve in posts 47 and 48. I only hope that those who are convinced that the is no prejudice take a step back and read them. And then think about them.

    25 years ago I was refused entry into a hotel lobby because I was wearing jeans, despite the fact that many guests in that hotel were wearing them, and were visible from my vantage point. It was the first time I can remember being singled out for looking like something (or someone) that I couldn’t quickly change. It was humiliating and embarrassing and I have never forgotten it.

    Steve’s empathetic and perceptive posts – from a young, straight, white man, no less – should give us great hope for the future generations. Things won’t change until we understand the problem.

  11. White, tall blonde, female in her forties.

    Yes, I have been told that I was in the wrong line several times. I have also been stopped from entering Business or First Class on a few occasions, because they thought I had the wrong type of ticket. I once had a female FA sneer at me, because I was wearing shorts in International First Class.

    However, I’ve also been treated like a queen – both on flights and at hotels. Sometimes as a result of flirting, but mostly because I try to treat hotel and airline employees with consideration. My mother also taught me to say thank you.

    My partner and I were on a United flight in economy a few years ago and we said thank you and well as using those old UA “thank you coupons”. As we were leaving the plane, we were presented with an unopened bottle of champagne – I would like to believe because we were pleasant and engaging.

    I can only hope it all balances out in the end.

  12. Stating that her question need not be asked – is not a denial that “racism” may exist. WE UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM ALREADY. ENOUGH. Go ahead, bathe in it if you wish. To those who lavish the thought of how we are all so “unequal” I say this – do you look and see Gary Leff as merely a “white male?” Then cast out your own eyes, for you are already blind.

  13. okay I have to chime in on this….

    I am not racisit or prejudice against any race. I am bothered by people in each race with the certain attitudes they carry. first off the zimmerman trial…. it is amazing how the media keeps pushing this as a young sweet kid rather than showing the pictures that are out there flipping off to the camera with tats and gold teeth. he wanted to be a thug, so how do you know he did not act like one till he realized they guy had a gun. we do not know the story other than seeing the bleeding on zimmermans head where there was a fight. I have a carry permit and if someone (white, black, yellow, or any other color) attacked me I would not have a problem shooting them. it is amazing how much the politicians bend to the push of white and black issues.

    the sad thing is what hapened to OJ. the black race did not jump up and complain when a black man got off after killing two white people. we all now he was guilty, but no backlash.

    even sader is trevons parents now getting back together to fight this and sell tshirts. they were seperated and probably did not care about the kid, but now there is money to be made and publicity to get.

    people realy need to examine the circumstances before just jumping onto a bandwagon over equal rights. if you want to support blacks then put more press on africa where they are still abused, dying of hunger and mistratment. not in a country where a black person can open there own business and thrive. even where a black man has become president. even look at other areas like the palestinians who are being mistreated y isreal, but nothing is being do there.

    in my predomantly white meighborhood we have two black neighbors on my block who i am friends with, and they are great. the problem is you get the thugs who come in with thier pants down to thier knees and have been raised to hate white because they/thier parents were so mistreated. I ask you to show me a black person in US who was raised in slavery.

    i have even dated black women in the past. the thing is the world will treat you like you act. if you act like white trash you will be treated like it. if you act like a black thug you will be treated as such. sadly there is still a good deal of reverse discrimination. if you do not believe go to atlanta airport where all homeland security is black. i have seen workers open lines up to let black people through employee screening lines, but not whites right next to them. even when I questioned them they had no comment.

    Sadly there is some prejudice out there but the fighting and media just seem to make it worse. nothing good will come of the zimmerman trial as it just infuriates the blacks. even if they try him again and they find him guilty blacks will think they are right and every issue that comes up will have a riot and civil disobediance until they get what they want.

  14. I play the gay card, where applicable (usually works best in flight).

    Otherwise, being that nice Asian guy, making connection with people, gets me what I want/need. That, and the power of twitter (for certain companies).

  15. MLK wanted a world where children (and presumably travelers) were “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” I certainly want, and expect, the same from the world. So, my advice to that lady would have been to be the type of person who should get good treatment. Be pleasant, be polite, be assertive. But do not go into every situation expecting to be discriminated against. Even if you think you are being perfectly nice, people can tell when someone has a chip on their shoulder. If you display good character, you certainly have a better chance of receiving good treatment. On those few occasions that you run into the crypto-racist clerk or gate agent, getting aggravated won’t help matters any. As George Herbert said, “Living well is the best revenge.” Pity the poor racist as you enjoy your pre-flight champagne. Pray that he or she will find some enlightenment, and you will find your life the better for it.

  16. Gary, good job for you in having some empathy and understanding that obviously your experience isn’t everyone else’s.

    A lot of the commenters in this thread should go read this:

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/17/lowest-difficulty-setting-follow-up/

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/23/final-notes-for-lowest-difficulty-setting/

    Then, go look at comment sections of newspapers where any kind of racial issue is discussed (or even this one) before saying we’re all past racism/sexism/prejudice and have achieved the Nirvana of being perfectly enlightened beings.

  17. I think that it’s sad that people still think in terms of black and white and not just nice and jerks. I’m white and I get my share of people that are jerks both black and white and others. The first thing that comes to mind is that they are jerks not that they are black or white. Some people immediately see that the person is black or white and think it’s the skin color that is the reason. The real reason in most cases is that the person is just a jerk and has no basis in skin color. Just my 2 cents worth. I’m sure there are racists out there on in all colors not just whites.

  18. Steve nailed it in post 47. Don’t think I could have said it better myself (and I am also a white male in his early 30s).

    It’s easy to deny privilege and racism when you are on the beneficial end of it. I can’t help but laugh at whites who are so convinced of their own merit and accomplishments in the USA, who are quick to point out how people of color could do better if they just tried.

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain….

    I think the problem is for some white people they are taught all their lives that they got to where they are on their own merits, and not by taking advantage of a white privilege system (jobs, housing loans, education, non-targeting by law enforcement, etc etc etc). Clearly if there is a downside to the system for some people, there is a relative upside for others. It’s as if they were to admit the system exists, they feel as though all of a sudden their accomplishments and position in life are somehow inherently worthless or less meaningful. It shatters the facade. But in reality, it doesn’t, it just shows that you have enough humanity and empathy to realize that other humans are suffering because of something you benefit from, and that you are willing to acknowledge (and hopefully) do something to change it. That shows more character than anything in my mind.

    Pretending racism and inequality don’t exist won’t make them better. Few problems were ever solved by closing your eyes, putting your fingers in your ears and yelling “lalalalalalala”.

    Kudos to Gary for bringing up this issue and for the mostly civil conversation surrounding it. (Except for the guy who brings up Trayvon and “thug” and gold teeth, as if a teenager who puts in gold fronts or has a tattoo deserves to be racially profiled, stalked and murdered. You my friend, have a lot to learn.)

  19. Ah, Robin Hanson, I missed that reference, since I am post-“post-modern”.

    But if we are going to speak the post-modern dialect, I would have to say that the question Gary was asked of course does not mean at all what it seemed to mean. Rather it clearly was a “signifier” that all White Males in the US are guilty of the Original Sin of racism, regardless of their attitudes and much less their behavior, by the very act of being born White and Male.

    That being the case, they {and in this case Gary} are required to publicly atone for their unfair fact of birth by constantly apologizing for it. If they apologize profusely enough, they can be somewhat forgiven. But if they refuse, they must be vilified.

    You see, the US is clearly unchanged since the days of at least Jim Crow, and probably slavery itself. As Joe said above “25 years ago I was….” So if someone felt slighted 25 years ago, by someone who has probably died of old age by now, that’s all that matters.

    Really, if the US had actually gotten over racism, then a nearly unknown Black man, with a mere 2 years as a State Senator, and no history of having written any legislation during that time, who frequently merely voted “present” on contentious bills, could run for President of the US, and presume he had a chance of winning.

    How pathetic the racist US compared to all of the European countries with Black and other minority Presidents and Prime Ministers. Not to mention all of the majority Black African nations with White Presidents and Prime Ministers. sarc/off

    From the comments above: “When I have attended FTU and Chicago Seminars and hear people talk about certain techniques, I mentally cross them off my list as things that will not work for me”. Its called confirmation bias, in this case not even trying something out somehow “proves” it wouldn’t work. So it must be racism…

    We have a Black President, who was not only elected, but re-elected, despite the worst “recovery” {sic} since the 1940’s, skyrocketing deficits and massive unemployment. Most people don’t even dare to think, much less say in public, that he might be even part of the reason for this deplorable situation, for fear of being labeled a racist.

    Paula Deen admitted to having used a “bad word” after having been held at gun point when working as a bank teller 30 Years Ago, and she became a national pariah, her publisher even refusing to publish her new cookbook. The fact that she had been a strong supported of President Obama was insufficient to atone for her sin of saying one word decades ago. That is how racist the US is {not} today.

    There was an interesting poll out from the highly respected Rasmussen firm a few days ago:

    “More Americans View Blacks As Racist Than Whites, Hispanics” {you can google that title to read the whole thing}

    I thought the most interesting part of the poll was this: “Among black Americans, 31% think most blacks are racist, while 24% consider most whites racist and 15% view most Hispanics that way.”

    Yes, American Blacks see American Blacks as more racist than Whites. I have to wonder how many of the 24% who consider most Whites to be racists have been convinced of that, not by personal experience, but by the ranting of professional race baiters. Nick’s quote from Booker T Washington being a perfect description of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. If you think that’s too harsh, look up the Wikepedia article “Tawana Brawley rape allegations”.

    Race baiting of that sort leads to this sort of thing: “This is for Trayvon!-Gang of Black Men Chase, Beat Hispanic Man in Baltimore”. Is Attorney General Holder investigating this case as a hate crime, and a violation of civil rights? Don’t be silly, of course not, it can’t be a hate crime unless a White person does it.

    So no, I don’t think the mention of the Zimmerman lynch mob {used against white horse thieves in the West far before the Klan was formed}, is inappropriate for this discussion. The Sharptons and the Jacksons whip up a reverse racist frenzy over a so-called “white Hispanic”, who is in fact at least 25% Black due to his Black Grandmother, defending himself from a savage attack by an admitted street fighter who brags to his friends about taking people out with an unexpected “sucker punch”.

    Yet they say not a word about the 200 and counting murders in Chicago so far this year. Nearly all of them young Black males, killed by other young Black males. According to FBI statistics, 93% of young Black murder victims are killed by other Blacks, despite their only being around 12% of the population. It’s a crying shame, but it’s politically incorrect to even talk about it, much less try to do something about it.

    Somehow, it’s far more important for Gary to stand in front of a travel group and have to oh so delicately tiptoe around the “signified” accusation that he is only successful due to his unfair White Male privilege.

  20. Bit late to the game, but…

    Asian, female, late 20s. Commonly get mistaken for a college student. Been told to get into the “right” line a few times, security or boarding. As a Gold, I’ve had a Silver yell at me once, for presumably “cutting” in line. Usually get ignored by FA’s in first class about 50% of the time. It is VERY rare I’m asked if I would like to hang up my coat. Occasionally (very occasionally), I’ve gotten snubbed by a fellow cabin member… could be DYKWIA attitude, who knows. That, or people get very curious about why I’m there and what I do.

    Anyways, I always try to make an extra effort to be nice and courteous regardless. You don’t let it bother you.

  21. I am still waiting for more pretty women to give us their experiences. Only one response so far. You do know who you are.

    See my post number 17.

  22. @Gary S. You want pretty women to give you “experiences?” Take your institutional sexism elsewhere you bigot, you.

  23. Reading these comments today at one sitting is interesting. Stepping back you see people making points- some with strong emotion. There is very little language of trying to reach a compromise or understanding of the other side. It is also interesting that the more we focus on race or stereotypes [ the problem], the bigger the divide seems to grow. When did we lose the focus on what we need to be Americans – the melting pot [the solution].

    Traveling for work brings me in contact with airline, hotel and restaurant people, who are also working. We interact. In each interaction, I am responsible for me. DYKWIA issues are tantrum issues, not part of of a good flight, a decent room, a wholesome meal or living as American people. If someone gets a better room, an upgrade – good for them. I lose nothing of who I am. Who knows what it is to “walk in their shoes”.

    It pays to step back and look at the big picture. At 35,000 ft everyone and everything below gets into perspective.

  24. @andyandy: Interesting that a man responded to my post. I would be more interested in responses from pretty women who agree or disagree with me.

  25. There’s Robert Hanson, right on time with his usual barrage of Rush Limbaugh-infused talking points that get way off the topic at hand.

    No one is asking for white people to apologize for slavery. People are asking white people to acknowledge the obvious white privilege that exists in this country. “Reverse-racism” is an idiotic term that is really far too used on the right. Racism is a force only because the people using it have the levers of power in society. Let me give you an example. “Oh my gawd, he just called me a cracka, what shall I do?” versus “Wow, I didn’t even get an interview because my name is Jamal, or I just got shot during a traffic stop because the police said I was going for something in my waistband, or I just got a subprime mortgage even though I was qualified for a better rate”. But yeah, things are equal and both kinds of racism are equally as bad.

    And being from Baltimore, I think you’re taking the story (I saw it because it’s local news, you probably saw it on the Drudge Report or some other right-wing faux-news site that’s just salivating at what a great talking point it will make in the light of the GZ trial) and running with it before the police have even finished their investigation. Just cause some girl posted on Facebook that they were beating him because he’s “Mexican” doesn’t make it so. And they weren’t men, they were kids. But better luck next time. I hope the story will work out so that it fits your narrative.

    And yes, no one is talking about the murders in Chicago (or Baltimore, for that matter). Except they are. Plenty of people are taking part in marches, activism, etc to bring attention to the issue. The only time I’ve heard anyone on the right talk about it is as a talking point to say that Sharpton and his ilk aren’t talking about it. Well, really inconvenient to your narrative, Sharpton is actually moving to Chicago (http://www.policymic.com/articles/55073/gun-control-debate-2013-sharpton-sets-up-shop-in-chicago). And I’m no Al Sharpton defender, as I have my issues with him too, but what you portray as fact is anything but.

    So back to the talking point drawing board with you.

    And really? “oh so delicately tiptoe around the “signified” accusation that he is only successful due to his unfair White Male privilege.” You’re the only one signifying that. You have no idea what that lady had in her mind, unless you are Ms. flipping Cleo, so why would you put words in her mouth. You’re seriously the epitome of the typical white privilege reactionary. It’s kind of funny actually.

  26. Gary,

    For a “middle-aged” person in a travel forum, you gave a great answer. “Middle-aged” however, can only be defined if you know your day of death. Like a glass with liquid, you can say your life is half-full or half-empty. If your life is always 1/2 full you will find it easier to enjoy life without the stereo-type of being “middle aged”. If it is 1/2 empty, although you have the same as the other, you find it easier to see life almost being over, to be easily angered with life/people and blame others, rather than you look inside yourself and your behavior.

    We are a powerful group of travel people. I would have rather seen these comments focus on behaviors to get good responses from those in the service and hospitality industry than the division evident above.

  27. Majikow, your examples are beyond lame.

    Racism is a force because it’s easier to blame others for your own failures as a person.

    In the interests of accuracy, let me complete some of your sentences. “I got a subprime mortgage even though I was qualified for a better rate due to the fact that I was successfully duped as a result of my own financial ignorance. Looking back, I guess I should have actually gone to school to learn how to read.” Or, “That was a painful lesson. Next time I have an interaction with the police I will remember what every two-year-old knows about abstaining from sudden movements lest an officer take them as threatening or potentially hazardous. After all, I got shot going for something in my waistband which from experience police realize could have been a gun.”

    Now, since my name is not Jamal, I can’t comment on what that triggers in the minds of those who review resumes. However, you conveniently forgot “Wow, I didn’t even get an interview because I’m under 25 / over 50 / graduated from a second-tier university / female / male / my name is Strawberry Pie Snyder or Barak.” Oh, darn, I messed up. Barak did get an interview.

  28. No, JC, my examples are backed up with statistical data, unlike your bigoted statements.

    Really, racism is nothing more than people blaming others for their problems? Let me guess, slavery and Jim Crow weren’t real either, right?

    Names: http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-575685.html

    Subprime mortgages: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/13/business/wells-fargo-to-settle-mortgage-discrimination-charges.html?_r=0
    Decision to shoot: http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=1798&issue_id=52009

    How is someone supposed to know exactly what rate they are going to get from a bank? If they go to 3 banks, and all 3 give them higher rates because they are a minority, what part of financial literacy is going to help them there?

    And notice I said “the police said”. Not he did. It’s easy for the police to say he was reaching for a gun after they shot him 19 times. See the study above where people basically shoot a lot faster if the person is a person of color.

    But again, nice try. Step out of the echo chamber sometime, you might learn something.

    And seriously, what’s up with you right wingers? Can you ever have a conversation about anything without eventually bringing Obama into it? It’s kind of weird.

  29. Ethnic profiling, true story: Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. Three Western twenty-somethings (two male, one female) sharing a cab. Bedouin driver. Driver pulls off the road into a small town, in an attempt to pick up an extra fare or two. Lots of Bedouin waiting by the roadside, luggage and all. Driver swings by, honks, and shouts at the top of his lungs: Any Egyptians or foreigners? Nobody answers. Driver returns to the main road with no extra passengers. I ask the driver why he doesn’t want Bedouin in his cab. His response: The Bedouin, they ride for free.

  30. Ok, Majikow, so either you’re not very intellectual and your reading skills are subpar or honesty and balanced reporting aren’t your forte.

    You conveniently fail to mention that of a number of studies on whether or not names influence success in landing a job, none are conclusive and many reach decidedly different conclusions on the same issue. Apparently you’ve learned in life to cite only what fortifies your agenda.

    As expected, you are being deceitful with your example on home mortgages. The people who ended up with higher interest rates did not go to three different lenders. They went to a mortgage broker. News Flash: a mortgage broker is not employed by any bank. Again, unsurprisingly, you ignore the fact that countless non-minorities also got “sold” on subprime mortgages with abusive terms. Fraud isn’t something that occurs only with minorities. For my part, I did mistakenly imply that financial literacy would have helped many avoid being scammed. What I should have said is that financial literacy coupled with at least high school reading skills would have been beneficial.

    Of course you haven’t consciously noticed, but newspaper articles are dumbed down so that even the barely literate should be able to understand. If I read in the newspaper that typical mortgage rates are, say, 5%, I would be prone to investigate why a mortgage broker quoted me 10%. Don’t take anything on faith is a motto that benefits all.

    “It must be acknowledged that the officers in these studies did show pronounced racial bias in their reaction times. Even with extensive training and experience, police still seem to call stereotypes to mind when they see a black target on the computer screen; however, the officers were ultimately able to override those associations and respond in an unbiased fashion.” Again, your pesky little issue with intellectual dishonesty. Not sure if even dumbing it down will help you, but the end result was that officers do make the correct call. Your chances of getting unduly shot are only in your mind.

    Oh, and how would my comment about Barak vs. Jamal indicate political partisanship? Either you need to really pay attention to that literacy volunteer or seek psychotherapy. Perhaps both. Hopefully one or the other can convince you that your failure really is only YOUR failure.

  31. Man, JC, it seems ad hominem is your style. Citing things to back up your claims isn’t.

    Please show me some of these “number of studies” that are not conclusive and reach different conclusions. I’d say citing research that backs up your claim is better than not citing research at all. But maybe we have different standards for how debates work.

    And call me all the nasty things you want, but you keep bringing up points to try and invalidate claims I never made. For example… did I ever say that non-minorities didn’t get subprime mortgages? Oh, no, I didn’t. Nice straw man. My point was that minorities were targeted more than whites for subprime mortgages and there are lawsuits that were settled based on that fact (look up the Wells Fargo one, a lender, not a mortgage broker).

    So you basically took a study that concretely showed that police showed a racial bias, but since they were ultimately able to overcome it in a non-life-threatening computer simulation, that somehow disproves MY point? Um… yeah… guess I’m just not an “intellectual” enough to understand how that bias couldn’t translate to cops shooting people in real life. I should ask Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, and countless others how I can become more “intellectual” like you. Ooops.

    Ok. Your turn. Or should I just take your turn for you?

    Ad hominem…
    Ad hominem…
    Straw man….
    Ad hominem…
    Ad hominem…
    Smug self-satisfaction… hooray!

  32. I’m wondering what came first with you, Majikow — the intellectual dishonesty or just the amazing lack of total intellect.

    Even for you, this sentence should be not too difficult to understand without help: “. . . officers showed no bias in their ultimate decisions. In other words, the presence of a counterstereotypic target (such as a black man with a cell phone) may have delayed a Denver officer’s response, but it did not cause the officer to make a mistake. Ultimately, officers’ decisions about whether or not to shoot were unaffected by the target’s race.” Looks like your scaremongering can also be labeled pure b.s. Congratulations on achieving so lofty a goal, Einstein.

    You are the one crying about racism behind every corner and how due to racism some folks got suckered into a bad mortgage. With your kindergarten reactionary logic then, those non-minorities that got suckered into subprime mortgages must have been duped by a minority mortgage broker or bank employee. The only thing dumber than that assertion is the person who just doesn’t (want to) get it. Congratulations, again, Einstein.

    Oh, and lying doesn’t help your cause. “The focus of the settlement is Wells Fargo’s failure to police the behavior of its independent loan brokers.” Is it the multi-syllabi words that confuse you? Wells Fargo’s mistake was in trusting their loan brokers. Further, please pull statistics out of your rear to show minorities rather than non-minorities were targeted more. Of course, I must have ESP because I know what you’ll say, but it will still be fun catching you in another regarded statement.

    Learn to read. “Two recent papers from the Cambridge-based National Bureau of Economic Research draw somewhat different conclusions about whether a black name is a burden. One, an analysis of the 16 million births in California between 1960 and 2000, claims it has no significant effect on how someone’s life turns out.” Focus again on those words of more than one syllable: different … conclusions … no … significant … effect. You might ask your literacy volunteer to decipher this sentence for you, too: “Both studies have their shortcomings.”

    Keep up the mindless drivel, Majikow. It’s fun to watch you struggle.

  33. Welp, I guess you proved my point again. If you can’t win an argument on the facts, just call the other person dumb.

    In the case of police officers, I will again point out that the reaction in real life is more important than that in a computer simulation. We’ve already proven the bias is there, and this I believe proves that that bias translates into the real world: “The most recent national analysis from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that Blacks and Latinos were nearly three times as likely as whites to be searched by police—and Blacks were almost four times as likely as whites to be subjected to the use of force.” Damn Bureau of Justice Statistics and its scaremongering of the facts.

    On to the subprime issue. “Those were among the key findings of a study released Wednesday by the Center for Community Change, a non-profit consumer advocacy group.
    The study, entitled “Risk or Race?,” revealed that lower-income African-Americans receive 2.4 times as many subprime loans as lower-income whites, while upper-income African-Americans receive 3 times as many subprime loans as do whites with comparable incomes.

    At the same time, lower-income Hispanics receive 1.4 times as many subprime loans as do lower-income whites, while upper-income Hispanics receive 2.2 times as many.”
    Let me guess… there’s no racial bias in the system there… it’s just because they can’t read at a high school level? Keep floundering there buddy. Or wait, it’s OK that all this happened because Wells Fargo was using INDEPENDENT mortgage brokers. Right… I bet they had no idea what was going on. Wall St, they’re just so inept sometimes.

    And for the job search issue…. you found two studies (that reach DIFFERENT conclusion), one that agrees with your point (well kind of, since my original point was that it affects people of color in their job search, not in their life outcome, which I’m not sure how you would even measure), which you highlight, and one that I’m assuming doesn’t. Yet, I’m the dumb one. Right.

    Well here’s a few for you to chew on: “The 50 percent gap in callback rates is statistically very significant, Bertrand and Mullainathan note in Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination (NBER Working Paper No. 9873). It indicates that a white name yields as many more callbacks as an additional eight years of experience. Race, the authors add, also affects the reward to having a better resume. Whites with higher quality resumes received 30 percent more callbacks than whites with lower quality resumes. But the positive impact of a better resume for those with Africa-American names was much smaller.”

    Or:
    “While the chances for getting the job can change dramatically at the interview stage, the study shows that getting to that stage requires overcoming significant hurdles for African-Americans. (NBER Working Paper No. 9873)”

    The evidence suggests that discrimination is an important factor in why African-Americans do poorly in the labor market as compared to whites, and indicates one possible reason for the persistence in racial inequality over time.”

    Or:
    “Research has shown that applicants with black-sounding names get fewer callbacks than those with white-sounding names, even when they have equivalent credentials. (From NYT)”

    The majority of research in this area (job searching, not the other straw men you’re trying to put up) proves (in a statistically significant manner) that there is racial bias. Again, my original point.

    I think I have thoroughly proven my initial point that indeed, there is still racial bias systemic in America that leads to white privilege (relatively, if not absolutely) and a harder time of it for people of color. You’ve just managed to try and call me dumb a lot while not really disproving any of my original points. That works on the internet, but surely in person you wouldn’t lower yourself to such childish behavior. You must really struggle in the real world when you can’t be a keyboard cowboy, since I doubt you have the gall to challenge people’s intellect when face to face.

  34. @Majikow Still amazed, after all this time, that left-wing ideologues think that merely saying the name Rush Limbaugh or Faux {Fox} news means they have said anything of substance. Fox News has more viewers than all of the other cable news networks combined. Do a little research, and you will find around 40% of their viewers, and 60% of Fox employees are registered Democrats. Not to mention the very liberal Fox commentator Juan Williams, who was purged from the very liberal PBS for ‘being Black and making a moderate comment on air’.

    To yell Faux, or Limbaugh, is essentially to say ‘only my approved sources are even to be mentioned, if you even listen to someone who I disagree with, then just shut up’. This is the typical situation in Socialist states, where only government approved media are allowed to exist, but it is very much not the American way, and I resent the attempt of the far left to delegitimize any news source they don’t agree with.

    “Sharpton is actually moving to Chicago” Read the article you linked to: NO, he isn’t “moving there”, as in buying a house and taking a stake in the community. He is renting an apartment for a few months. And doing some TV programs from a studio there. And why is he only going there now, after all of these years of mass murder of Black youths by Black youths? According to your article it’s because:

    “Sharpton, who led the national effort that resulted in the trial of George Zimmerman for the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, has been under fire by his detractors for not doing more to bring attention to the issue of black-on-black gun violence in Chicago.” So he is trying to salvage what little credibility he retains after his pathetic lynch mob attempts in the Brawley and Trayvon cases while ignoring the thousands of murders of Blacks by other Blacks. The pressure from people like me is forcing him to finally address the issue. Finally after all of these years…

    But there is another reason mentioned in the article:

    “Chicago has some of the most restrictive gun-control laws in the nation. However they seem to be having little effect on the proliferation of illegal handguns in the city. Last week Illinois’ General Assembly overrode an amendatory veto by Democratic Governor Pat Quinn to make Illinois the last state to enact a concealed weapons law….Chances are gun control, the Illinois concealed-carry bill, and the city’s anti-violence policing strategies will be hot-button issues for Sharpton.”

    Strange, no mention at all of actually stopping the nearly endless murders. Just silencing critics, opposing the new concealed weapons law that the Courts forced Illinois to pass, and harassing the police for their no doubt “racist” {sic} law enforcement efforts.

    Reverse racism is a null concept? Hardly ! The only reason the Zimmerman case became a national issue was the Zimmerman was first labeled a “white” person, and with that last name many people wrongly assumed he was Jewish as well. Had the press reports been that a Black person shot a Black person, not only would this not have gotten national press attention, it would have gotten virtually no press attention outside of the town it happened in. Do a Goggle search for George Zimmerman, and you find 1,010,000,000 results, page after page being about “that” George Zimmerman. Now do a Google search for Roderick Scott, and you will find a smattering of results on the Roderick Scott that I’m referring to here.

    Most people reading this will wonder ‘Roderick who’? He’s the Black man found not guilty of murdering a White teen.
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    “YNN Rochester is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week local news service viewed on Time Warner Cable channel 9 in Rochester”: “Jury Finds Roderick Scott Not Guilty”.

    Cervini’s family members say justice wasn’t served. They say Christopher was murdered in cold blood, that he’d never been in trouble and Scott acted as judge, jury and executioner.

    “The message is that we can all go out and get guns and feel anybody that we feel is threatening us and lie about the fact,” said Jim Cervini, Christopher’s father. “My son never threatened anybody. He was a gentle child, his nature was gentle, he was a good person and he was never, ever arrested for anything, and has never been in trouble. He was 16 years and four months old, and he was slaughtered.”

    Scott says he acted in self defense when he confronted Cervini and two others saying they were stealing from neighbors cars. He told them he had a gun and ordered them to freeze and wait for police.

    Scott says he shot Cervini twice when the victim charged toward him yelling he was going to get Scott.

    “How can this happen to a beautiful, sweet child like that?” asked Cervini’s aunt Carol Cervini. “All he wanted to do was go home. And then for them to say, he was saying, ‘Please don’t kill me. I’m just a kid,’ and he just kept on shooting him.”

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Unlike Trayvon, the victim here was not suspended from school for possession of stolen goods and burglary tools, did not have drugs in his system, did not have text messages on his phone talking about street fighting and knocking people out with an unexpected “sucker punch”, and buying and selling illegal handguns. Nor did the shooter not only shoot once in self-defense, he shot the White boy multiple times, and no he did not call the police first the way Zimmerman did. I guess I don’t need to point out the President Obama has not made multiple public comments on the case, Al Sharpton has not organized any rallies about it, and the US Attorney General has not set up a hotline for people to call in tips that might lead to “civil rights and hate crime” violations by the Black shooter.

    But that is mild compared to the shooting of an infant in his stroller by a young Black thug who became angry when the mother either couldn’t or wouldn’t give him money. Google De’Marquise Elkins, and you will find 143K results for the 17 year old Black male who shot the 13 month old baby. And no, he of course does not plead self-defense from the baby. Not only did he not call the police in advance as Zimmerman did, he ran off, and had his mother and aunt hid the murder weapon.

    Even if you think Zimmerman is guilty, and like Charles Barkley and Jimmy Carter I do not, you have to concede that murdering a baby in front of his mother is a far more heinous crime. So then why 143K Google hits for the Black murderer vs 1 Billion, 1 Hundred Million hits for Zimmerman. The answer is obvious, De’Marquise is a Black who killed a White, and thus there can be no possible mention of racism. Whereas Zimmerman was described as a “White Hispanic”, so racism is obviously {sic} involved.

    The last of course is a lie, because Zimmerman has a Black Grandmother, and thus is at least 25% Black, and has many Black cousins. A fact that is almost never mentioned as it is politically inconvenient when you are trying to level false charges of “white rage”.

    “People are asking white people to acknowledge the obvious white privilege that exists in this country” Well, you might want to ask Hillary Clinton, who was at one time, as Al Gore likes to falsely say about himself, “the next President of the United States”. And yet she lost the primaries to a largely unknown Black State Senator with no national political experience.

    “No one is asking for white people to apologize for slavery.” You can say with a straight face that Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Louis Farrakhan are not asking White people to not only apologize for slavery, but make amends for it eternally? “reparations for african americans” gets 544,000 hits on Google. That goes far beyond a mere apology, that means asking White people like myself, whose parents not only did not own slaves, but emigrated here after slavery was abolished, to give our hard earned money to every Black person in this country, many of whom are partial descendants of slave owners, overseers, and trafficers. It’s another dirty secret, that no one is supposed to mention, that the DNA of American “Blacks” turns out to be 30% White.

    And even more racially incorrect is to point out that slaves were not captured in Africa by huge armies of White traders. Au contraire, African Blacks were captured by other African Blacks, and sold by them to the traders who barely even left their boats. It was African Blacks who forced their kinsmen into slavery, the White traders bought people who were already slaves.

    I’d guess a significant amount of the shame Blacks have from slavery is that their ancestors knew that their fellow blacks in Africa singled them out to be “voted off the island” and forced them into slavery. Really tragic it happened, but again, neither I nor any of my ancestors had anything to do with it.

    It’s taken me a while to write this, since I also have a life to attend to, and I notice that in the meantime you have posted the lie that the ‘evil banks’ hoodwinked Blacks into unfair loans. In fact, the Congress passed banking laws that forced the banks to stop so-called “red-lining, which in fact meant not giving home loans to people who couldn’t afford them.

    Banks were blackmailed with the threat of revoking their licenses if they didn’t make increasingly larger percentages of loans in Black areas, whether or not there were that many people living there who could afford them. Finally, in order to stay in business, the banks had to tell their loan officers to just approve people, not even check on the income they claimed to have, nor even see if they were employed. The loan officers, who were paid on commission, of course were happy to comply, since this meant higher commissions for them. But it was the Congress that demanded “equal access” {sic} to home loans that mandated this. A couple of years before the crash, people tried to warn Congress of the upcoming crash, but no one would listen.

    House Financial Services Committee hearings: 2003:

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.): “I worry, frankly, that there’s a tension here. The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see. I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios. . . .”

    Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.), speaking to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez:

    “Secretary Martinez, if it ain’t broke, why do you want to fix it? Have the GSEs [government-sponsored enterprises] ever missed their housing goals?”

    Rep. Frank: “I do think I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness that we have in OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] and OTS [Office of Thrift Supervision]. I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing. . . .”

    WSJ “What They Said About Fan and Fred”
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    So Congress rolled the dice, and sevened out. Then denied all responsibility for what they had caused to happen by blaming the greedy {sic} and racist {sic} bankers.

    Use the slur “right-wingers” all you want, it doesn’t all a thing to your false contentions.

  35. Man, I crack one joke about how the right-wingers can’t not bring up Obama in a conversation, and everyone gets all butt hurt. And how is “right-winger” a slur? What would you have me call you? Man, what is it with “woe is me, us people on the right who’ve been running everything since the beginning of time are the real victims” complex you guys have? It’s just weird.

    Anyways, I still stand by my initial point that systemic racial prejudice and white privilege are a real thing in this country. Nothing you or JC have said disproves that. Nothing. You can talk about the fact that we have a black (well, technically half) president, but that exception does not prove the rule. But hey, at least you got someone besides Oprah to trot out to try and prove your utterly ridiculous points.

    You want to take this one back now since it was proven untrue? “Yet they say not a word about the 200 and counting murders in Chicago so far this year.”

    And I’m not going to go into the Zimmerman thing because that’s the biggest wormhole ever. Especially when you start trying to compare it to every other murder that has ever taken place that involves people of different races. And plus, it has nothing to do with disproving the fact that racism and white privilege are still major issues we face.

    And oh yes… the ol’ CRA fallacy. Glad you brought that one up. You tell me not to bash “talking points”, but seriously… what else do you want me to say? That one is hanging over the mantle of the right wing. It might seriously be one of their top 10 hits of the last 5+ years.
    “The Community Reinvestment Act applies to depository banks. But many of the institutions that spurred the massive growth of the subprime market weren’t regulated banks. They were outfits such as Argent and American Home Mortgage, which were generally not regulated by the Federal Reserve or other entities that monitored compliance with CRA. These institutions worked hand in glove with Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, entities to which the CRA likewise didn’t apply. There’s much more. As Barry Ritholtz notes in this fine rant, the CRA didn’t force mortgage companies to offer loans for no money down, or to throw underwriting standards out the window, or to encourage mortgage brokers to aggressively seek out new markets. Nor did the CRA force the credit-rating agencies to slap high-grade ratings on packages of subprime debt.”

    or

    “University of Michigan law professor Michael Barr testified back in February before the House Committee on Financial Services that 50% of subprime loans were made by mortgage service companies not subject comprehensive federal supervision and another 30% were made by affiliates of banks or thrifts which are not subject to routine supervision or examinations.”

    Toodles.

  36. “What would you have me call you?”

    I’d prefer to be called Conservative Democrat, or JFK Democrat. Because the correct term when JFK was President, “Liberal Democrat”, is too confusing now that Liberal has come to mean socialist.

    And yes, I suppose you can find some “Professor” somewhere, or some liberal think tank, to parse their statements to make it seem that Barney Frank saying he would “prefer to roll the dice” was unimportant.

    Many of the bad loans were of course not sub-prime, because when you are ordered to not verify the applicant’s income, or even employment status, there is no basis for limiting them to a sub-prime loan.

    And to say “30% were made by affiliates of banks or thrifts which are not subject to routine supervision or examinations” is again meaningless, since I was not talking about routine supervision on a daily basis. I was talking about banks being blackmailed with the threat of losing their licenses and/or huge fines, if at each years end they didn’t have an increasing percent of loans issued in areas where very few people could legitimately qualify for a loan. Hence Barny’s “roll the dice” comment.

    I’ve got to move on to other matters now, but Thanks For Sharing. 😀

  37. Man. You’re a Democrat? The spectrum really has shifted to the right further than I thought. Eh, both parties are a stain on our democracy in my opinion, but I’ll try to not hold that against you as most Americans for some reason feel the need to pick a side in the fight for the great pyrrhic victory where one party always wins but the people keep on losing.

    Once again, data is what matters. Statistics is what matters. What Barney Frank said or whatever other anecdote you can come up with doesn’t matter.

    The fact is, that the CRA was not responsible for the financial crisis. No matter how much you will it so. The data is not there to support it. You can’t just say congress blackmailed Wall St. Last time I checked the power relationship didn’t really work that way.

    There are certain loans that fell under the CRA, which is what you are talking about when it comes to “redlining”, and few of them (especially in comparison to other loans not under CRA) went bad during the crisis. And even fewer of them were likely to be resold to other banks through securitization which is what led to much of the “i don’t know what I’m holding and how risky it is” perpetuating itself throughout the financial system.

    Anyway. It’s been fun, but it’s the weekend. Enjoy.

  38. But the fact is, Majikow, you are retarded. If it makes you feel better about yourself, though, let’s call you “unique”.

    I was waiting for you to pull statistics out of your rear on the subprime mortgage issue. Laughable is that the study you quoted by the Center for Community Change could be considered even remotely scientific. Why are you afraid to post the entire study? Oh, it’s a hypothetical question, Einstein. We already know why. Your “unique” view is that only income matters when applying for a loan and the income level determines credit scores. Yes, here’s a one-syllable word you might try grasping: risk. To make it more challenging for you, try two one-syllable words together: credit risk. Reputable studies by HUD and studies conducted for the NY FRB are, in the light most favorable to your “unique” views, a wash. Some state race was a non-event and another state it is inconclusive. You either need to be sharing your crystal ball with NASA or else contemplating the return and eventual graduation from first grade.

    You made the claim that a minority was more likely to get shot for the simple mistake of reaching for their wallet when confronted by police. You came up with a study that, as much as you tried to manipulate the meaning, showed you lied. Now, after that failure, you say the study doesn’t represent real life. Is your issue congenital? In yet another study you are afraid to post, the DoJ states basically the blacks are more prone to search and to police use of force that whites. BFD. Whites are searched and are subject to force more by police than cats. Only if your Earth is flat does that mean anything in and of itself.

    Last, but equally as humorous, is your interpretation of the Bertrand and Mullainathan study. Majikow, have you even read that study instead of relying on the NYT dumbed-down synopsis? A more appropriate question, unfortunately, would be can you even read? Not only do you need to pay closer attention to your literacy volunteer, but a basic Statistics or even Math For Dummies lecture may help you. Excluding concepts involving mileage and credit card rewards, 2 + 2 does not equal 5 on our planet.

    There are holes in the Bertrand and Mullainathan study big enough for Asiana to fly a 777 through. The study has been criticized for not taking into consideration the population base rate or social background. It has been criticized for not taking into account the effects of EEO reverse discrimination. Of course, a tool like you would have a hard time understanding these concepts since the facts would then not fit your opinion. Take heart, though, Majikow! These concepts and the way they may skewer Bertrand and Mullainathan are insignificant. What shows Bertrand and Mullainathan to be a complete crock is simple math. Well, ok, math plus intellectual integrity, but the integrity ship has already sailed for you so let’s concentrate on math for now.

    Common concerns that statisticians have raised are why were the ratios of male to female names manipulated? It wouldn’t be because taken as a whole the study shows little differences between black vs. white callback rates for males, would it? Why were some black female names better than others? I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that Bertrand and Mullainathan conveniently forgot to address the fact that while Aisha wasn’t very lucky at 2.2%, Ebony hit the lottery at 9.6%. Even Mickey Mouse couldn’t have skewered the results as badly. You need to struggle through the actual study. If you need, my son has volunteered to make a crayon depiction that you could find less strain to digest.

    If it makes you feel better, Majikow, Sharpton is going to force planetary authorities to install guard rails at the edges of the Earth so retards like you won’t fall off. Meanwhile, we see you will continue with mindless drivel and repeat it often enough until it becomes dogma.

  39. For those that missed it, not wanting the brouhaha over the racist {sic} self-defense shooting of Trayvon to die down before the next election, President Obama gave another speech about it yesterday. He stated 3 major points:

    1 If I had a son, he would look like Travon

    2 30 years ago, this could have happened to me.

    {Well, he has already admitted in his books that he used “choom” back then. But the part about him being a burglar beating up “Hispanic” neighborhood watch patrollers is in fact news.}

    But here is the money line from his announcement:

    3 “If I had a city, it would be like Detroit” 😀

  40. Bob, perhaps you missed his fourth point:

    4. “If I had a brain, I’d be like the Scarecrow.”

    That lends a little bit of intelligence to his previous drivel.

  41. I wonder if J.C. talks about reading so much because anyone that ever reads what he writes on the internet wishes they never learned to read.

    I think the old Twain adage applies here, “Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

    You’re never going to be able to prove that racial bias doesn’t exist in this country, because pretty much every single shred of independent data (and plain common sense) suggest otherwise, so I’m done wasting time on you. I actually do feel like an idiot now, cause I just wasted my time trying to persuade a troglodyte that the earth isn’t flat.

    Anywho… hopefully one day we cross paths in real life. We can have this conversation again and see how it goes. Bring your spurs keyboard cowboy.

    And RH, seriously? A burglar beating up a neighborhood watch patroller? That’s what you got from that story?

    I swear, anytime I deal with people on the internet I lose my faith in humanity.

  42. Good luck in second grade, Majikow! Come back when you have more drivel to pull out of your rear.

  43. Man… how obsessively were you checking this over the weekend? Did you miss me? Slow news weekend at the “My main jab at everybody for everything is saying they can’t read” ranch, eh?

    J.C., indeed…

  44. … so I’m done wasting time on you.”

    Illiterate and a liar? You know that isn’t surprising, right, Majikow?

    It’s amusing to watch clowns like you.

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