Black and White (Are You Experienced?) - Part I

Column by Mark Davis.

Exclusive to STR


If you can just get your mind together
Then come on across to me
We'll hold hands and then we'll watch the sunrise
From the bottom of the sea
But first, are you experienced?
Have you ever been experienced?
Well, I have
I know, I know you probably scream and cry
That your little world won't let you go
But who in your measly little world
Are you trying to prove that
You're made out of gold and, eh, can't be sold
So, are you experienced?
Have you ever been experienced?
Well, I have
Let me prove it to you...
~ Jimi Hendrix
Part I – The Big Picture
The recent Treyvon Martin shooting death by the hand of George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida hits close to home. A tragedy that has become national news complete with celebrities, the usual race hucksters, cult followers, armchair jurists and topped off with the Supreme Political Leader fueling the fire. Self-righteous indignation by media predators prowling for tragedies to cover as they prop up demagogues while spreading hate and discontent. Most often it is best to tune it out when this type of disgusting hype is promulgated by said forces; but these are my neighbors hurting and I feel compelled to weigh in. Hopefully discussing the matter publicly can help avoid similar tragedies in the future. Praying that it will work itself out and go away is not an option. The mob mentality must be called out by people who believe in individual responsibility and maintaining social peace.
As an individualist, I don’t really think about the collectivist “race issue” very often. I didn’t consider this event a “race issue” until certain attention-crazed racists made it one. Now that they have, it appears that the chicks of this mob mentality have come home to roost (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). These events got my attention. In order to put them in context, I will first look at the big picture and then address what I consider to be the primary areas of contention in this case that need to be discussed in order to promote social harmony.
Humans are social animals. This trait does not preclude the individual sovereignty of each human being. The collective social structures that individual humans develop are part and parcel of our nature. Dogs have packs, cats have prides, birds have flocks and grazers have herds. Humans have organizations that, like other animals, are based first on family and then on geographical proximity. Friends and neighbors learn how to get along through shared experience driven by the desire for fellowship and mutual benefits beyond the immediate and extended family (tribe or clan). Like most animals, humans also appear to innately develop a hierarchical structure, a top down authoritarian system, to formalize the developing collective consciousness (organizing society). But humans have the capacity to rise above this barbaric base social structure using reason. The tribal/clan connections only become a true civilization when society can exhibit and recognize transcendent morals. Humans can know that there are principles and morals fundamental to human civilization, where packs, prides and herds seem to react only on instinct. Instinct is certainly useful for survival, but we must each listen to reason if we are to transcend the tradition of crude individual submission to institutionalized violence.
Violence is inherent in authoritarian vertical social hierarchies. The “leader of the pack,” determined by a physical struggle or a clever consensus builder, will seek to exploit a position of power over others. Whether a wolf is bigger, tougher and meaner than the other wolves or is able to garner popular support from a majority of the pack, when chosen and instilled as Number One, the violence inherent in this type of system must instill fear as its cohesive agent. Eventually, if a wise and benevolent wolf comes to be leader, the level of overt violence needed to keep the pack together diminishes. If these conditions last long enough, the fear-based social cohesion begins to morph into a perverted hybrid of respect. Some even glorify this perversion by stating, “I’d rather be feared than respected!” as if this passes for some sort of enlightenment. While this may appear to be progress in the evolution of social structures, it does not change the violence inherent in the system. Bloody peasants!
No matter how sophisticated humans become at determining how the leader of the pack is chosen, how the edicts of the leader are formulated, executed and enforced, or even if some sort of power-sharing/restricting mechanism is instilled into the ruling machine, it still has at its core the essence of violence and the fear it spawns. Using a fear of violence to compel obedience is thus transitioned into a fear of upsetting the status quo compelling obedience; a subtle shift in the paradigm of social organization promoted by the elite as glorious enlightenment. The pack has grown prosperous and secured a fine territory with abundant resources (food, water, shelter and mating prospects) under this leadership. This material success further masks the underlying violence reinforcing the belief that reliance on the pack is required for survival. Any threat to the pack, from outside and within, is used to justify the trust in violence and fear as benevolent weapons. This is how barbaric acts such as torture, unprovoked attacks and murdering innocents become sanitized through linguistic sophistry into enhanced interrogation, preemptive strikes and collateral damage. Yet our leaders are stunned when their disciples urinate on the bodies offered in human sacrifice to them. Just a “few bad apples,” don’t you know.
Luckily for humans, we have the natural ability to reason at higher levels than wolves, rabbits, birds and sheep. Of course, this is easier said than done, especially when we all have such an emotional vested interest in whatever it is we choose to identify as “us.” The collectives we are connected to through random biological fortune, geographical fate, psychological conditioning and/or shared experiences instill reinforcing mechanisms that thwart our ability to reason clearly. So, first and foremost, if we are to throw off these violent chains forged in our emotions and maintained by the authority of elite-generated training, then we must think for ourselves as individuals. We must each use reason to rise above our internal animal instincts and the external artificial agencies of authority.
At this point most people say, “Sounds great, but how?” The short answer is to stop letting others rule us, to rely on individual conscience and compassion instead of collective authority and rulers. The promises of justice, security and prosperity made by the leaders of the pack are empty at best, but most often outright lies. The elite lever pullers know better than most how what they sell as civilization to those on the lower rungs of the ladder is nothing more than a shadow play reflecting fear and violence as a light dancing methodically on the cave wall while they look down smiling with condescension. Shining a light on the elite along with their ongoing wars, bank fraud, media manipulations and other soulless perversions is certainly useful in exposing the insanity of that paradigm, but looking at how we common folks interact is probably more important. I hope that analyzing how we should treat each other on the street will have a more profound impact in my attempt to crack open a few minds encased in the trappings of collective mysticism. Now, let’s take a look at one of the many ways in which the elite divide and rule us such that we clamor to the authorities to please save us from ourselves: by promoting racial tensions. But first, are you experienced?
Rodney King famously asked 20 years ago, “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?” Sure we can, but likely won’t if we cling to the status quo hierarchical institutions. Moral behavior can transcend violent behavior, but some, even many, will continue to cling to primal dispositions by fighting over a pecking order. So “how do we get along” is the proper question, at least for people that do want to get along. Instituting effective human operating systems is accomplished through custom and tradition. This process, as described above, often results in evolving social order over many generations that culminates in some sort of bureaucratic machine that takes on a life of its own. The bloated machine finally breaks down, crushing the society that it was designed to protect and serve. Humans need to see this artificial matrix enforced by authoritarian violence is what has divided individuals in order to control us; it has failed miserably. It’s time to move on by getting back to the basics of how we get along person to person.
Collectivists judge people by the group(s) they may be identified with. This is the root of the problem to be exposed. Individualists judge people based on personal experience from the past. If there is no previous contact between persons, then individual reputations can be gathered from others who do know them. What is being done together is important when determining the status of a relationship. Picking a mate, business partner or poker buddy requires significantly more background information and shared experiences to build the trust needed for such relationships. Getting in line at the supermarket, driving on crowded roadways and walking by each other on a sidewalk only requires a short time period of cooperation, but that type of interaction is often with strangers. 
Brief, random relationships in which people may be physically vulnerable to predation require customs to develop in order to minimize fear and violence and allow people to go about their lives peacefully. This is easy to do when people know each other, but random encounters lead to a wide range of reactions due to the equally wide range of perceptions individuals may have. That is, we have diverse experiences to reconcile while also, perhaps, being in an alarmed emotional state. So, how should people deal with strangers in a society dedicated to reason when they meet?
Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were recently in town stirring up a mob by claiming that Trayvon Martin “was hunted down and shot like a dog.” I’ve heard the stories from black people feeling that they have been unfairly followed by whites thinking they may be trying to steal something in a store; being pulled over by a cop for “driving while black” and other instances of “racial profiling.” I deeply empathize with blacks who have experienced this kind of ugly collectivism by whites. Where I have a problem with this line of reasoning is when a black person turns around and throws all white people into a homogeneous group. That demagogues can get up in 2012 and shout that it’s always and everywhere 1955 Mississippi and white people are shooting poor young black men for no reason on the streets is absurd. How many stop to think why the media would stoke that fire so long and hard in spite of the obvious advances made by countless individuals of both races who interact, live, marry, work and play together? 
How often do you think that white people shoot, lynch or otherwise kill black people, with good reason (self-defense) or not? There are loads of stats and studies on it, check it out. I believe you will discover, assuming that you want to divide people into racial categories and determine statistically which group should fear the other more, white people do. I don’t want to get too far into the specifics of the Martin-Zimmerman tragedy, because I don’t know what really happened. However, I do want to address three areas concerning human interactions that occur with regularity in our society in an effort to contribute to an open dialogue on cultural differences that appear to run along racial divides in this case. These three areas are fundamental to maintaining a peaceful society: observing suspicious behavior, not initiating violence and avoiding the escalation violence. 


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Mark Davis's picture
Columns on STR: 65

Mark Davis is a husband, father and real estate analyst/investor enjoying the freedoms we still have in Longwood, Florida.


Paul's picture

The Treyvon Martin case brings to mind an old Mencken quote:
"Here (in America) the daily panorama of human existence, of private and communal folly, the unending procession of governmental extortions and chicaneries, of commercial brigandages and throat slittings, of theological buffoneeries, of aesthetic ribaldries, of legal swindles and harlotries, of miscellaneous rogueries, villanies, imbecilities, grotesqueries, and extravagances is so inordinately gross and preposterous, so perfectly brought up to the highest conceivable amperage, so steadily enriched with an almost fabulous daring and originality, that only a person born with a petrified diaphram can fail to laugh himself to sleep every night and wake up with all the eager, unflagging expectation of a Sunday-School superintendent touring the Paris peep-shows."

I suspect the ruling class stirs the pot to distract us from their own machinations. "Divide and Conquer".

Hoping humans rise above a tribal existence is probably futile. And truth be told, not all tribal associations are bad. At the risk of looking at it through rose-colored glasses, it seems there was a lot of freedom in Indian tribes, enough that they attracted a fair amount of Europeans despite the more primitive conditions. It's just that tribal existence does not scale well. What works for 100 people becomes grotesquely wrong for 100 million. The smaller the tribe, the more human and humane we become. Andorra probably has not invaded too many of its neighbors lately.

Samarami's picture
    "Hoping humans rise above a tribal existence is probably futile."

To avoid futility it is important for only two human beings to rise above a tribal existence: thee and me.

    "And truth be told, not all tribal associations are bad."

Many associate (and label) family units as "tribal" in nature, and to a certain extent they are correct, but only in light of "good government". The family unit, in my opinion, is the only legitimate governing unit. I'll weigh in on that when I comment on Mark's essay.

In this vein Robert Ringer refers to the labelers as engaging in "grouping and tagging" -- virtually always for the express purpose of leading the masses away from clear thinking.

As you say, clear thinking among the unwashed masses "does not scale well".


Mark Davis's picture

Great quote from Mencken that I hadn't seen before. His ability to sum up so much in so few words still amazes me.

Once conquered the elite quickly change over to the "divide and rule" mode of administration.

I didn't mean to imply that all tribal associations are bad; just that we can do better, indeed must do better in this increasingly crowded world. The ever expanding division of labor requires it. Alas, I agree that scale is the biggest problem facing growing populations. The tribal chief is an extension of the head of the family matriarch/patriarch. The credibility and effectiveness of this system definitely becomes strained in larger populations. After growing to 100 to 150 people, this primal system begins to fall apart. This is why the neighborhood is still the primary social group that people, especially children, identify with. It’s still on a scale that we can "know everybody" well enough to work out petty differences without violence and accept each other’s foibles with some grace. Authoritarians clinging to the status quo see increasing authority and the resulting enforcement mechanisms as the answer, which is where we are now. Of course, liberty and freedom is the better course so that we can better deal with each other on a more personal basis. As always, the responsibility that comes along with liberty scares so many; these fearful then yearn to be ruled.

Samarami's picture

Well, Mark, I had a lengthy and highly intellectual response to your essay. Then, (stupidly I didn't think to paste it to my clip board) when I hit the "post" button I got the message: " are not authorized to post comments..."

Evidently I was arbitrarily logged out by some unknown spiritual force.

Will try later tonite.


Glock27's picture

I anxiously await your reply. Just take your time. These machines seem to have a mind of their own.

Are you lap topping it from your truck?

Glock27's picture

From an anecdotal point of view, my experiances over these drawn out years there seems to be a greater amount of black on black violance. The main stream (if they exist anymore) media idiots never suggest or hint a color when crimes of violence are reported. In many cases you can tell by the names of the individuals assaulted or assaulted by.

When the event first appeared in the news I did not give it much thought. Eventually, though, I had to go with Trevon. I went with him because as a CCW person I recognize the intense responsibility you are burdened with when you carry. Zimmerman--to me--became the idiot when he hounded Trevon and escalated the situation. I don't believe, however, that Zimmerman really wanted to kill someone but that is exactly the direction [he] took the incident. As a person who carrys a gun shooting is the last thing, the very last thing you want to do. I think Zimmerman put himself into a situation he could not control and he believed he was forced to shoot. In fact, he was forced to shoot because he created the situation that ultimately require shooting.
Zimmerman should have had alternatives to the use of his firearm, something many people who carry firearms do not consider. That would be pepper spray, stun gun, taser if legal in the persons geographic peremiters and back up if possible.

From my point-of-view LEO's are the only individuals who carry firearms that have a moral and ethical obligation to persue and individual who committed a crime. Zimmerman was a "Communit Watchman" with no duty to persue.

I have not followed this event closely because it does not interest me, so, I probably know next to nothing about what has, is and will happen, its just my two cents because I carry and understand the responsibility I have in carrying.