by Reginald E. Butte
Editor’s Note: This article is a response to “One in the Middle.”
To my friend, special guest.
By all means, keep your anonymity. Having a family as well, I very much respect your desire to keep yours safe.
At first glance, I would disagree that you’re in the middle based upon the views you espouse, but after thinking about just how far left the progressive wing swings you may be correct.
As to your paragraph about violence. You say there is too much violence on the right and the left but then you only bring up examples of right-leaning violence. After reading some of these I was confused as to what violence you meant. Violence: “Behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.” Example: Person one physically strikes out with their arm and punches person two… OR Person one pulls out a firearm and shoots person two, or person two’s car. In these cases, violence by definition actually occurs. Person one yelling mean things or erecting degrading symbols that hurt person two’s feelings is not violence. It’s not good behavior, it’s not to be condoned but it’s not by definition violence.
Let’s look at some of your examples:
“Kidnapping State Governors.” Ok, so plural no less. Remind me again which State Governors were actually kidnapped as your verbiage implies. I think I missed that news cycle. If you were going to mention a plot (that was subsequently foiled by the way) there was no actual kidnapping involved, hence this is not an example of violence. Also, plots against government leaders occur all the time and are not just perpetrated by those of right-leaning ideology. If we’re going to discuss actual violent harm against government representatives we can talk about the time the Republican baseball practice was shot up.
“Hanging a noose outside congress” Not by definition violence. Also, me noting that this does not equate to violence doesn’t excuse the action. It’s just not violence. I would counter this with how many times was the 45th president hanged in effigy?
“Storming the capitol with shouts of ‘Kill Pelosi’” The violence in this is the storming of the capitol. There was violence involved there, but also some were let in. “Shouts of ‘Kill Pelosi’”… very ugly indeed and has no place in civil debate. I do not condone it. You fail to mention how many people shouted as bad or worse about the 45th president. Is that somehow better? More tasteful? Kathy Griffin’s photo shoot with Trump’s decapitated head come to mind? “But,” you say, “Trump wasn’t in danger from violence.” How quickly we forget the end of May 2020 when rioters at the White House forced Trump into a bunker and injured 60 secret service members. Remember the definition of violence? That’s when you injure someone.
Disingenuous? Comparing 1/6 to the entire months-long riots? 1/6 was worse?
I’m sorry special guest but perhaps you need to look in the mirror on that one.
Please explain how I’m being disingenuous. In terms of hard numbers which caused more damage? Caused more injuries? Caused more deaths? The answer to those questions is the riots by far and away. Yes, the rioters breached the capitol. Did they kill anyone? Senators? Congressmen and women? Aides? The answer to that is a resounding no. One person and only one person lost their life to direct violence. Her name was Ashli Babbit. So please tell me again, in hard numbers comparing the riots and 1/6 how 1/6 is “a world removed” i.e. far and away worse? If the U.S. government had been overthrown, or the Capitol building occupied for days, weeks, or months on end, I might agree with you. Remind me how many days, or weeks it was for Congress to resume their certification? Hours, you say? Geez if that was an actual insurrection then those conservative tourists sure do suck at it.
Empathy. Yes, I’m mentioning empathy because we need more of it but you bring up general arguments about minorities not receiving equal pay as an excuse to, what? Not have empathy with a conservative in an argument? I’ll address this at the end of my rebuttal to you as I did last time. I respect your point of view. I know how a compassionate person can come to the conclusions that you come to. My own conclusions do not mean that I’m dispassionate, I just have my reasons for my points of view. I completely agree that everybody should be paid the same for the same job with the same amount of experience. I have not seen any conservative literature calling anyone to receive less money based upon race or gender make-up if those candidates have the experience and the skills. Most states have equal pay laws, many explicitly prohibit gender-based compensation discrimination, and some states are more expansive than federal laws.
I completely agree with equal rights. Please state the race that has rights forbidden to them by either U.S. or State law. You see little empathy being extended to marginalized people by the vested majority? I see more and more diverse republicans being elected to the house of representatives. Half of the incoming freshmen of the 2020 election were women or minorities.
To your paragraph on guns, I’m not sure what your point was with that. Without a point of contention, I’ll carry on.
I completely agree that conservatives have news channels, particularly the ones that you’ve stated. This wasn’t my point, nor does the existence of these channels negate the fact that conservatives are being silenced on social media. “For all those taken off Twitter, Facebook, etc. I believe it was for valid reasons.” Yes, the valid reason is that they were espousing conservative viewpoints. Governors and even countries have challenged social media about their censorship, so it’s not just me in this argument.
I’ll put this into perspective, as of the time that I am writing this, the Taliban (which is designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government) is still active on Twitter, yet the company (as you noted) banned a sitting President of the United States. So what is implied by your agreement with “valid” reasons is that you agree with Twitter keeping on the Taliban who commit horrible violence against women and religious minorities?
You bring up the fact that you cannot legally yell “Fire!” In a crowded theater. I would agree with this, however, you throw “hate speech” into the mix as if “hate speech” and yelling “fire!” In a crowded theater are one and the same. The problem that I have with this is that hate speech is being more broadly defined as basically anything that disagrees with the left. I have two questions for you: What IS hate speech? Is hate speech illegal? (i.e. is it legally on par with your “fire!” Example). I’m not a fan of hate speech either, but I’m a huge supporter of FREE speech and the idea of “I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it!”
I think you bringing up Big Tobacco’s pushing their product on the medical profession as very timely. Yes, there were cigarette ads in the AMA journal. Yes, Doctors would recommend smoking. Did money exchange hands? Oh, most definitely. *Looks at Big Pharma*. Nope, absolutely no money exchanging hands here. Nobody is making vast sums of money off of this whatsoever. I just wonder as years pass if we’ll be looking back on this in a similar fashion. Only time will tell.
“Are there statistics proving that the COVID vaccines help? YES.” With this, I’m going to bring up the fact that there were a number of my points in the last article that you completely dropped. The big one is, the existence of countries and territories with near-total or very high rate of covid vaccination yet are still suffering explosive outbreaks… among the vaccinated. If near-total or very high vaccination rate was the golden ticket out of here, then these countries wouldn’t be examples for arguments against. At the end of this article, I’ll go into more depth on dropped points, but I just wanted to bring that up.
To your next point. Yes, there are side effects with other vaccines and there is also a Vaccine Injury reporting system and a Vaccine injury compensation system. Everybody brings up Polio and Smallpox vaccines when arguing this. These were actually vaccines by definition. The Covid-vaccine is not actually a vaccine. It does not introduce a weakened or dead virus into your system. It does not stop you from getting or spreading the disease. Typically vaccines take 5-15 years of testing before they’re approved. Is it any wonder why we’re the least bit skeptical? See also Astra-Zeneca banned in European Countries.
You state that there are not many articles in peer-reviewed medical journals saying that the vaccine is not a good idea. This statement concedes that there ARE peer-reviewed medical journals stating that the vaccine is not a good idea. The existence of such means that there is some evidence to this, which is enough for healthy skepticism. I challenge you to post such skepticism (peer-reviewed) on social media. Heck just post the side effects from the FDA draft and then you can tell me again how conservatives aren’t silenced.
I find it amusing that you are now “calling my cards” (i.e. asking for my evidence when you provided ZERO evidence for ANY of your assertions in your previous essay) concerning health professionals who do not agree. You misquote me by saying “list of professional journals.” That’s not what I said. I said there were a number of health professionals. Would you like a list of every Doctor, Nurse Practitioner, Nurse, etc. that disagrees with your view? Or are you stating that these people don’t exist. A quick list would be: Dr. Charles Hoffe (Lytton, British Columbia), Dr. Michael Yeaon (Former Pfizer VP and Chief Science Officer), Dr. Ryan Cole (Idaho), Dr. Peter McCullough (Authored Merican Journal of Medicine’s most downloaded paper on early Covid treatments), Dr. Dan Stock (McCordsville, Indiana), Dr. Damian Wojcik (New Zealand).
I’m sorry that you find the surge of cases in Texas and Florida worrisome. Florida’s population is 21.6 million. As of today, the seven-day total of new cases is 20,374 or .0009% of their population. The death rate for the week is .0009% of that number. Texas clocks in at 29.1 million. Their seven-day total of new cases is 16,482 or .0005% of their population with the death rate being .0006% of the new cases.
“Should people infected with Ebola be permitted to walk around freely and spread the disease or should there be restrictions for the common good.” My question is do they actually HAVE Ebola or are we just afraid that they do and lock everybody down? Quarantine is where you isolate the infected, however, the standing practice has been to isolate everybody infected or not. And if you’re stating that “Well they COULD spread the disease” remember… being vaccinated DOES NOT MAKE YOU IMMUNE TO COVID NOR DOES IT KEEP YOU FROM SPREADING THE VIRUS. So by your own logic “Should CV-19 vaccinated people be permitted to walk around freely and spread the disease or should there be restrictions for the common good?”
“Bottom line, if getting the vaccine maximizes the health of truckers moving goods and of service people keeping things running smoothly, well then don’t be a wuss, get the vaccine!”
Two points to this:
1) See also the vaccine does not make you immune (e.g. breakout cases, Gibraltar, Israel, etc) nor does it keep you from spreading the virus so in that sense can you actually claim that it maximizes health?
2) “Don’t be a wuss, get the vaccine!” My mother was a smart woman she raised me to not take a drug just because somebody called me names if I didn’t.
Now, we’re finally getting to the point where you actually address in quotes some of the points that I made.
I stated: “Nobody IS (emphasis mine) denied the right to vote etc.” You responded by bringing up things that happened half a century ago. Nobody IS denied the right to vote. Please show me where lynching IS a problem in America. Show me the law, ANY law on the municipal, state, or federal level that denies somebody the right to vote based upon their race! Specifically! They do NOT exist. ALL U.S. citizens over the age of 18 that are eligible can vote.
Your response to my “come in by the front door” point was to state something about “the number“ of recent attacks on mitigated and minority persons. You do not state who is carrying out the attacks or what this “number” is. It would seem that you’re perpetuating the myth that white people are just out to attack others who “don’t look like them.” What do official statistics state? From a December 2020 article on the American Renaissance page: “Race and Crime. Who attacks whom?” The author, Jared Taylor, specifically quotes the National Crime Victimization Survey. The findings?
Victims of white people are: white people 87%, Hispanics 8.2%, African-American 2.8%, Asians 1.7%
African Americans attacked whites 49.5%, African Americans 35.8%, Hispanics 10.2%, Asians 4.5%
Hispanics attacked whites 48.3%, Hispanics 44.1, African Americans 5.9%, Asians 1.7%
Asians attack whites 61.7%, Asians 34.4%, Hispanics 3.5%, African Americans .4%
From the article: “Tables 12 and 13 of the 2018 NCVS report sex differences in violent crime. As expected, men were more violent than women, at a ratio of 4.5 to one. Women were reported as the attackers in just over 1 million incidents of criminal violence, while the figure for men was 4.2 million (The odds rise to 4.5 because the U.S. population is not evenly split between men and women; men are only 48.6 percent of the population. There were 258,000 cases in which both men and women were attackers.)
Both sexes attacked women more often than men. Women chose women as victims 61 percent of the time; men did so 51 percent of the time. A man was 5.8 times more likely to attack a woman than was a woman to attack a man. As noted above, any given non-white was 6.8 times more likely to attack a white.
Therefore, the odds of a non-white attacking a white are greater than the odds of a man attacking a woman. In terms of odds ratios, non-whites were more dangerous to whites than men were to women… Many whites even repeat the slogan, “White silence is violence.” As the NCVS makes clear, actual violence runs very much in the other direction.”
Again, your point is a skewed rebut to me putting forth the idea that the United States does welcome immigrants. We are a nation of immigrants, again most people are pro-immigration, they are anti-illegal immigration.
Finally, I’ll just say this: Of course you’re worried. You see this nation and your conservative neighbors as nothing but seething haters who beat minorities and deny them their rights, spread a disease that’s killing everyone, and want to overthrow the government.
How much fear have you been consuming?
I think Yoda said it best (and I hope I can quote this without Disney breathing down my neck)
“Fear is the path of the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”
Never let the consumption of news dehumanize us, for that is the first step to justify harm to us.
Those are my parting words. I’m no a fan of exercising in a futility gym. I acknowledged that I could see how you came to your viewpoint, I tried to offer empathy. I have agreed with some of your points, I do not feel the same in return. I will let someone else take their turn at the hamster wheel.
I wish you well, special guest.