Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pilarz Leaving: Update

Multiple rumors about current (and soon to be past) Marquette President Scott Pilarz are swirling around campus. Why is he leaving? There must be more to it than has been announced, a lot of people are assuming.

Indeed, we got a rather nasty note in our mailbox at the Political Science Department today accusing us of being “naïve” for writing that we like what we have seen from Pilarz. It then gave a long list of supposed derelictions on Pilarz’ part.

We aren’t going to post about anything we can’t properly source.

And indeed, there are conspiracy theories about who, in the Marquette community, might have a grudge against Pilarz that would lead them to spread nasty rumors.

If anybody actually has any solidly sourced information about any derelictions on Pilarz’ part that might have led to his dismissal, we would like to know about it.  Until then, we aren’t too receptive to “reading between the lines” of statements from Pilzar and the Trustees.   That can be less a sound interpretation of a text than a reaction to a Rorschach test.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Statement From Pilarz On His Resignation

Just in, via an e-mail sent to the entire university community:
Dear members of the Marquette community:

I am writing to provide some further background and information on my decision to resign as president of Marquette. First, I want you to know that I have enjoyed my time here, especially my interaction with students, faculty and staff. The classes I have been privileged to teach stand out in my mind. Marquette students are bright, engaging, thoughtful and genuine. Our faculty and staff are generous and deeply devoted to the university’s mission. Our work together throughout the strategic planning process is also a highlight in my career in higher education. I have never before seen a campus community work so well toward a common purpose. Hopefully the plan will shape the university’s direction for years to come. Additionally, I want to thank the vice presidents and deans for their contributions to the life of the university and to my life.

Given all of these truths, leaving Marquette is a decision that involved a great deal of prayer, thought, and spiritual conversation, a decision that evolved gradually over two years. But once I came to clarity, I decided it was best to act in a timely manner. Both the clarity and timing are entirely mine, despite the efforts of friends and colleagues to convince me to consider remaining at Marquette.

As part of the final stage of my Jesuit formation, called tertianship (which admittedly came later for me than most Jesuits), I made the 30-day silent version of the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. Many of you are familiar with the dynamic of the exercises and its drive toward interior freedom. The exercises can lead to what St. Ignatius calls “an election.” During the retreat I felt initial stirrings that have grown in me over the past two years. I began to consider other apostolic opportunities available to me. As I look forward to my future as a Jesuit priest from the vantage point of being over 50, I realized I had been a university president for more than a decade. That is the longest I have ever done anything in my life and I have always been a restless soul.

Believe me that I will be forever grateful for my work with colleagues and collaborators at Scranton and Marquette. It has been a blessing.

At the same time, I have decided to do more and different things as a Jesuit. For example, I desire to do more pastoral work than I have been able to do as a president. I also want to do more teaching, research and writing. I acknowledge, as well, a couple practical realities that have influenced the timing of my decision. First, I believe that Marquette needs a president who is willing to commit to working wholeheartedly on a comprehensive capital campaign over a five to seven year period. Given my other hopes and desires, I am not in a position to do that now. Also, I want to be more available to my aging parents’ health concerns than I can be in my current role. This is common among people my age. Finally, I want to give the Marquette trustees enough time to conduct a careful search for a new president. I decided it was better to share my thinking with them at the start of the academic year rather than in December or May. I agreed that I would stay at Marquette until the board could find an appropriate interim president.

I’m happy to share that the Board of Trustees has asked my predecessor, Rev. Robert A. Wild, S.J., to serve as interim president. Now that Father Wild has agreed to serve in that capacity during a search, I can confidently take some time to consider my future options during a sabbatical period in the coming months. I will assist Father Wild with the transition, while traveling back and forth to the East coast to care for my ailing father. Father Wild is concluding his duties with the Wisconsin Province and will take over as interim president on Thursday, Oct. 16. I know that Marquette is in great hands, and I look forward to working with Father Wild and the Board of Trustees to ensure a smooth transition and a successful search.

I hope this helps to explain the nature and timing of my decision. Again, this has been a deliberate process in the context of great personal freedom during which I have had the support of friends and colleagues at Marquette and beyond. I am grateful for that and for my time here.

God bless you, God bless Catholic and Jesuit higher education, and God bless Marquette.

Sincerely,

Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J.
President
Marquette University
Note, first, the comments about the capital campaign.
I believe that Marquette needs a president who is willing to commit to working wholeheartedly on a comprehensive capital campaign over a five to seven year period.
This seems to confirm what our sources have suggested: that Pilarz is simply not the sort who wants to glad-hand potential donors incessantly.

Of course, in any case of a “resignation” people are going to ask “was this person fired, or perhaps forced out?” Unfortunately, we don’t have sources who would have a definitive answer. Our tentative conclusion is that he probably wasn’t. When Marquette had a disastrous president (Albert J. DiUlio, S.J.) in the 1990s, it took six years for the Trustees to bounce him. It seems too soon for Trustee dissatisfaction to have reached the point of firing Pilarz.

Thus, we are in an odd situation. We have a statement from a Marquette official that we are inclined to think is actually the (mostly) full and honest story.

We have long maintained that the best kind of university administrator is somebody who does not want to be a university administrator. The best administrators (and they are very rare) are those who care little about building a bureaucratic empire, and who identify with the faculty, and students and (among clergy) long for pastoral work.

Pilarz, it seems, is somebody who did not terribly badly want to be a university president.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Political Correctness About the Name “Redskins”

From ESPN:
Rick Reilly

I guess this is where I’m supposed to fall in line and do what every other American sports writer is doing. I’m supposed to swear I won’t ever write the words “Washington Redskins” anymore because it’s racist and offensive and a slap in the face to all Native Americans who ever lived. Maybe it is.

I just don’t quite know how to tell my father-in-law, a Blackfeet Indian. He owns a steak restaurant on the reservation near Browning, Mont. He has a hard time seeing the slap-in-the-face part.

“The whole issue is so silly to me,” says Bob Burns, my wife’s father and a bundle holder in the Blackfeet tribe. “The name just doesn’t bother me much. It’s an issue that shouldn’t be an issue, not with all the problems we’ve got in this country.”

And I definitely don’t know how I’ll tell the athletes at Wellpinit (Wash.) High School where the student body is 91.2 percent Native American that the “Redskins” name they wear proudly across their chests is insulting them. Because they have no idea.

“I’ve talked to our students, our parents and our community about this and nobody finds any offense at all in it,” says Tim Ames, the superintendent of Wellpinit schools. “‘Redskins’ is not an insult to our kids. ‘Wagon burners’ is an insult. ‘Prairie n-----s’ is an insult. Those are very upsetting to our kids. But ‘Redskins’ is an honorable name we wear with pride. … In fact, I’d like to see somebody come up here and try to change it.”

Boy, you try to help some people …

And it’s not going to be easy telling the Kingston (Okla.) High School (57.7 percent Native American) Redskins that the name they’ve worn on their uniforms for 104 years has been a joke on them this whole time. Because they wear it with honor.

“We have two great tribes here,” says Kingston assistant school superintendent Ron Whipkey, “the Chicasaw and the Choctaw. And not one member of those tribes has ever come to me or our school with a complaint. It is a prideful thing to them.”

“It’s a name that honors the people,” says Kingston English teacher Brett Hayes, who is Choctaw. “The word ‘Oklahoma’ itself is Choctaw for ‘red people.’ The students here don’t want it changed. To them, it seems like it’s just people who have no connection with the Native American culture, people out there trying to draw attention to themselves.

“My kids are really afraid we’re going to lose the Redskin name. They say to me, ‘They’re not going to take it from us, are they, Dad?’”

Too late. White America has spoken. You aren’t offended, so we’ll be offended for you.

Same story with the Red Mesa (Ariz.) High School Redskins. They wear the name with fierce pride. They absolutely don’t see it as an insult. But what do they know? The student body is only 99.3 percent Native American.

And even though an Annenberg Public Policy Center poll found that 90 percent of Native Americans were not offended by the Redskins name, and even though linguists say the “redskins” word was first used by Native Americans themselves, and even though nobody on the Blackfeet side of my wife’s family has ever had someone insult them with the word “redskin,” it doesn’t matter. There’s no stopping a wave of PC-ness when it gets rolling.

I mean, when media stars like USA Today’s Christine Brennan, a white woman from Ohio, and Peter King, a white man from Massachusetts, have jumped on a people’s cause, there’s no going back.

Besides, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that if “even one person is offended” on this issue, we need to “listen.”

One person?

Got it. Guess we need to listen to people who are offended by the Kansas City Chiefs’ name, too. That’s one that offends my father-in-law. “You see some little guy wearing a headdress made of chicken feathers,” he says, “painting his face up, making a mockery of us. I hate that. Those are things you earn.”

One person? I know an atheist who is offended by religious names like the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. There are people who who don’t think Ole Miss should be the Rebels. People who lost family to Hurricanes. There are people who think Wizards promotes paganism. Shall we listen to all of them?

I guess so.

Edmundo Macedo, vice president of ESPN’s Stats & Information group, told ESPN ombudsman Robert Lipsyte that the term Redskins is abhorrent. “We would not accept anything similar as a team nickname if it were associated with any other ethnicity or any other race,” Macedo said.

Oh, yes, we would.

In fact, ESPN and many other media companies cover the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves without a single searing search of their social conscience.

Doesn’t matter. The 81-year-old Washington Redskins name is falling, and everybody better get out of the way. For the majority of Native Americans who don’t care, we’ll care for them. For the Native Americans who haven’t asked for help, we’re glad to give it to them.

Trust us. We know what’s best. We’ll take this away for your own good, and put up barriers that protect you from ever being harmed again.

Kind of like a reservation.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Pilarz Out as Marquette President

The official statement from the University is reproduced below. Marquette President Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., has resigned.

This came as a shock to the campus.

And of course, everybody is asking “what’s the real story behind this?”

We don’t claim any inside sources, but a common assumption seems to be that Pilarz simply wasn’t a good fundraiser. He didn’t have the gregarious personality necessary to glad-hand alumni and others who might write big checks to Marquette.

He has not been around long enough for us to have a distinct impression of him, but we have liked what we have seen. He had the gumption to pull official sponsorship from the salacious FexSem seminar that was being sponsored by the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center last spring.

More importantly, he canned Provost John Pauly after allowing him to serve a “decent interval.” Then he made it clear that, with Pauly’s replacement, there was going to be a fundamental change in how the University is run.

When Albert J. DiUlio, S.J. took over the presidency of Marquette in 1990, he shifted the balance of power in the University away from the “academic side” toward the “business side” of the organization. Where before the bureaucrats running the business affairs of the institution had been rather deferential to deans, department chairs and even individual faculty members, they began to dictate all kinds of decisions.

Pilarz has promised that the new Provost who replaces Pauly will be the “number two person” in the administration. That is, will dominate the business side of the institution.

That’s a massive change for the better. So we wish Pilarz well. And as we always must be at a time like this, we are apprehensive for the future of Marquette.

Official Statement

Dear alumni, parents and friends:

As chair of the Marquette University Board of Trustees, a fellow alumnus and Marquette parent, I’m writing tonight to let you know that Marquette University President Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., has informed the Board of Trustees of his resignation in order to pursue new apostolic work.

Father Pilarz informed the Board of Trustees of his resignation now to allow the university to begin its search to have a new president in place for the 2014-15 academic year. He will stay on as university president through the end of the first semester of the 2013-14 academic year, which ends on Dec. 14. Marquette will begin the search process for a new permanent president immediately.

In a news release sent out tonight, Father Pilarz said, “After 10 years as a university president, I believe the time has come to consider other apostolic opportunities for me as a Jesuit priest. I have made this decision after much prayer, discernment and conversation with religious superiors, my spiritual director and others whose counsel I have sought over the past three years.”

During his tenure as president, Father Pilarz guided Marquette into a newly reconfigured Big East conference, hired a dean for Marquette’s largest college, the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, and collaborated across campus with faculty, staff and students to develop a university-wide strategic plan. He also led significant renovations for the university’s historic core buildings of Johnston Hall, Marquette Hall and Sensenbrenner Hall, as well as an expansion of the School of Dentistry.

The entire Board and I thank Father Pilarz for his accomplishments and dedication to Marquette, our faculty, our students, and our alumni, parents and friends throughout the world. As Chair of the Board and a proud alumnus, I take immense pride and responsibility for ensuring the mission and innovative spirit of our Catholic, Jesuit tradition continues well into the future. The Board of Trustees and I have the utmost confidence in the university leadership currently in place and will work closely with them to map out a transition plan for the future success of this great university.

Sincerely,

Charles M. Swoboda, Eng ‘89
Chair, Marquette University Board of Trustees

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Marquette Honors Program Will Not Sponsor FemSex

We have it from Andy Brodzeller, of the Office of Marketing and Communication: the Honors Program will not be sponsoring the FemSex Program this semester. This reverses an earlier decision of Honors to do exactly that.

Brodzeller explained that “the context from last semester” was “shared with the Honors Program,” by the Office of the Provost, and the Honors Program “decided” not to sponsor FemSex.

Was the “Honors Program” — meaning Director Amelia Zurcher — hiding in a cave last semester, such that the program didn’t know the context?

Or were they flatly ordered by the new Acting Provost, Margaret Faut Callahan, not to sponsor the program.

Last semester, the program was to be sponsored by the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. After an uproar in the local media, and numerous complaints, the Administration canceled the sponsorship by that Center.

Brodzeller said that the women who wanted to mount the program had been in discussions about other ways of getting it on campus, for example, via Student Affairs. Presumably this would mean that a recognized student organization might sponsor it.

[Update]

Andy Brodzeller sends the following response to this post:
I did notice you have a blog post up already, and want to clarify it was academic leadership in the college that met and shared the context from last spring with the Honors Program. – Andy
[Update]

Chris Miller, Vice President for Student Affairs says:
We have received no inquires with regard to this program.
This, of course, does not mean that it won’t happen.

[Update]

The University released the following statement about the decision:
As a Catholic, Jesuit university, Marquette supports the educational and intellectual exploration of issues regarding gender and sexuality. Early this week, a student-led Female Sexuality workshop was promoted on campus with sponsorship from an academic program. Following a discussion with the program about academic sponsorship, including the requirement of faculty presence, the program chose not to continue sponsoring the Female Sexuality workshop.

While it was evident that changes to the workshop outline were made since spring, additional changes were needed to align with Catholic teaching. We understand that our students engage in discussions on gender and sexuality, but when they happen as part of a university-sponsored event, we must address these topics in the context of our Catholic faith. We continue to be confident that we will find mutually respectful ways to engage in these important discussions in a way that is consistent with our mission and identity.
That is quite a good statement, so far as it goes.

The problem is that this program got as far as it did, first getting sponsorship from the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, and then (when that was pulled) from the Honors Program.

So when subject to extreme provocation, and when an attack on the Catholic nature of the University creates enough of an uproar, the Administration will come down on the side of Catholic teaching.

But it remains disturbing that several parts of the University (Honors and the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center are far from the only ones) are flatly opposed to Catholic teaching on sexuality, and will undermine that teaching when they can get away with it.

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FemSex is Back at Marquette

[Updated on September 16 - see below]

But not with the approval of the Marquette Administration.

The bawdy, promisculty-encouraging “workshop” where all sorts of things sexual are concerned, and nobody is supposed to be “judgmental,” will be held on campus this fall.

The version back in the Spring semester was sponsored by the Marquette Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. It was cancelled when an uproar over the program caused the Marquette administration to cancel it.

The program featured activities such as having the participants create a piece of “erotica,” and coloring in the “cunt coloring book.” We discussed the program in detail last spring. According to the course syllabus:
Themes include pleasure, health, gender, consent, boundaries, privilege, power, body image, communication, race, class, orgasms, masturbation, sex, kink, and sexual identities.
The version this fall will be sponsored by the Honors Program (although Honors provides no funding). This supposedly does not represent a reversal of policy by the University. Rather, academic departments are allowed to decide on their own programs (a matter of academic freedom), and sponsorship by a department does not constitute university endorsement.

The Honors Program is controlled by the English and Philosophy departments, two of the most politically correct departments on campus.

[Update]

Brian Farley has challenged one part of the above post, asking:
The Honors Program? Really?

So academic freedom allows departments to do whatever they want, no matter how academically dubious, anti-Catholic, etc.?
Brian has a point here.

None of the traditional norms about academic freedom say that anybody on a university campus has the right to say anything any time they want. And none of them say that a university (or any division thereof, such as the Honors Program) has to sponsor any particular speaker, workshop, or discussion group.

The traditional norms of academic freedom apply to faculty. And they protect faculty only when speaking in their area of professional expertise. Those norms would not protect a math professor who wanted to pop off about how evil the Tea Party movement is. They would mean, for example, that a professor, teaching a course on the Ethics of Sex would have a right to say that homosexual acts are perfectly moral and licit (contradicting Catholic teaching).    They would not require any department, program or division of any university to sponsor a program pushing that point of view.

Those norms do not apply to persons with no appropriate academic credentials giving a course that is not part of the curriculum, gives no academic credit, and doesn’t have any particular academic legitimacy.

In short, the Honors Program sponsored this program because they wanted to. And the University allowed it because they chose to, not because they had to. The Honors Program is run by Amelia Zurcher, a faculty member in English and one of the people who signed a statement supporting the hiring of the aggressively lesbian Dean candidate, Jodi O’Brien.

Marquette has allowed departments to sponsor “The Vagina Monologues,” which it has not allowed recognized student groups to perform with official recognition. That raunchy play has been sponsored by the Honors Program, and Social and Cultural Sciences (Sociology).

One could view Marquette’s acceptance as a principled respect for the autonomy of departments. Saying “the autonomy of departments” is a more precise formulation than “academic freedom.”

But then, one could view this as a cynical policy to distance the Administration from distasteful stuff, while not getting the politically correct crowd on campus too mad. But if this were truly a Catholic university, the Administration would be willing to make the politically correct crowd mad.

And it would not give control of the Honors Program to those folks.

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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Yet More on the $15 Minimum Wage

In the Tribune, a good article on the demands of fast food workers to get a minimum of $15.00 an hour for doing low-skilled or unskilled work.

Our definition of a good article: one that quotes us a lot.

It does quote leftist Law School professor Paul Secunda (we suggested to the writer that she contact Secunda to get an alternative view, and being a good journalist, she did).

According to the article:
Paul Secunda, a Marquette law professor, points to other countries to argue in favor of raising the minimum wage.

“McDonald’s and other restaurants’ fast food workers make closer to $15 per hour by law in other countries, and McDonald’s and these other companies still choose to open restaurants there,” Secunda said in an email. “I am all for the workers striking for fairer wages.”

Secunda said unless protesters act collectively, they won’t receive national attention.
Of course, everybody in a free country has a right to seek attention. But they don’t have a right to be viewed as anything more than representatives of a moocher culture that thinks you get ahead, not by working hard or getting training or education, but by “acting collectively” and demanding free stuff at other people’s expense.

Secunda’s claim about other countries that have high minimum wages fails to mention that he is talking about socialist countries of Europe that have chronically higher unemployment than the U.S. does.

How high minimum wages drive unemployment is vividly illustrated by a 2011 article from MSN Money:
McDonald’s (MCD) is trying to make fast food even faster.

The Financial Times reports that the world’s largest fast-food chain plans to replace many of the cashiers at its 7,000 European restaurants with touch-screen terminals that allow customers to order and pay electronically.

The system is similar to what many consumers experience in supermarkets, retailers and gasoline stations that have opted for self-checkout to save on labor costs. McDonald’s says the move is about making its European restaurants more convenient and efficient. It’s also clearly about keeping down costs. If it succeeds, you can bet the trend will come soon to the U.S.

The decision is being driven by margin concerns. McDonald’s is still growing its sales, reporting a 5.7% increase during its first quarter in Europe compared with a year ago. But margins are being eaten up by higher commodity costs -- beef and dairy in particular. (Mickey D’s recently debuted new chicken menu items to fight beef inflation.)

Outside the restaurant, consumers everywhere are struggling to pay bills under the weight of rising gasoline and food prices, and a Big Mac or McCafe coffee is quickly becoming an expense many folks cannot afford as often as they might once have. That may be even more the case now that McDonald’s has said it will raise menu prices to cover rising food costs.

But while the ordering experience may not change, the labor market could feel an impact. During the Great Recession, many consumers turned to McDonald’s -- one of the few employers still hiring -- for employment. McDonald’s recently held a national hiring day to fill 50,000 jobs. There may be some risk in rolling out a cashier-free system after touting the restaurant’s footprint as an employer. And if there are not enough accessible employees around to complain about when folks use the self-checkout for the first time, that could really give customers the impression that McDonald’s is just looking to cut corners to squeeze out a few more euros.

McDonald’s didn’t mention any immediate plans to make touch-screen ordering and payment more widespread in the United States. But if it’s successful in Europe, it won’t be long before U.S. consumers find themselves reading or talking to a screen.
This has yet to come to the U.S., but any large increase in the minimum wage would guarantee that it does.

Which brings us to the dirty little secret of the leftists who want a much higher minimum wage. They want markets distorted. They want wages, salaries and profits to be distributed on the basis of politics, because they are the kind of people who have little ability to perform in a market, but substantial political power.

They are people like (just for example) law school professors.

When a higher minimum wage creates unemployment, that becomes a reason to demonize businesses that lay off workers, all for “their obscene profits.”

Unemployment increases the demand for social welfare benefits, and makes more people dependent on government. And the liberals and leftists know perfectly well that dependence on government helps them politically.

So when the liberals and leftists claim to be acting with “compassion” and “concern for the workers” they honestly have convinced themselves of that. But underneath is the raw fact that they are promoting their own political welfare at the expense of workers and consumers.

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Monday, September 02, 2013

Black on White Crime in Liberal Portland

In the wake of the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case, conservative media have have been having a field day pointing out that black-on-white crime is far more prevalent than white-on-black crime (leaving aside the fact that what George Zimmerman did was not a crime, but rather self-defense).

This is good. The smug, narrow liberal perspective that insists that blacks are forever and always the victims needs to be challenged early and often.

From FrontPage Mag:
Portland is in the middle of a nasty bout of black mob violence. This time directed at bicyclists.

But Tim Oberlander does not want us to know. Oberlander says he wants to be able to live in a city that does good things for good people.

So what’s wrong with that?

Everything.

Oberlander is a news editor at KGW TV in Portland. His city is under attack from black mob violence centered around Martin Luther King Boulevard. This mob has been attacking bike riders, housewives, students, seniors, you name it. These attacks are part of a long — but quiet — history of racial violence in a liberal enclave that prides itself on racial tolerance and harmony.

But you would never know it from Oberlander.

Oberlander and his station are raising money to fix the teeth of a recent victim of black mob violence. “I want to live in a city where people do good things for other people,” Tim said. “Now we’ve raised money for Andy’s teeth, I can say that we live in a city that does good things for good people.”

Tim might be a good person. But some of his viewers say he is a bad and dangerous and unreliable reporter for leaving out the descriptions of the predators in his news accounts.

Here is what Tim’s station, KGW, had to say about a few recent attacks:
“Police were warning bicyclists in Northeast Portland to be on the lookout after two men were injured during separate attacks along Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.”
Andy Sweeney is a biker who is also the beneficiary of Oberlander’s largesse. He was riding home from the grocery store in August when a “group of teens” threw a traffic cone at him. Knocking him off his bike, leaving him with a concussion and two shattered front teeth in what used to be a winning smile.

“It’s crazy,” Sweeney told KGW. “I don’t really understand their motivation or what they were going for.”

Lots of readers figured it out, even if the KGW was determined to ignore it: “Great job ‘whitewashing’ the story,” said David Klassix at KGW’s reader comment section. “And falling to mention the attackers were black.”

Said another, Chloe Ru “Hey KGW. I will help you do something called REPORTING THE FACTS instead of hiding the truth,” said Ru. Another victim said “her attackers were a group of [AFRICAN AMERICAN aka BLACK] teenage boys and she suspects they didn’t stop with her.”

Sweeney described his attackers on Twitter: “Black kids in hoodies.”

After the sanitized version of the bike attacks became public, other victims of black mob violence in that area stepped forward as well, one at Reddit.com in response to Sweeney’s Tweet:
“Same thing happened to me once except it was a rocks being thrown, and thankfully my teeth are intact. The best you can do is just avoid being around any collection of young black males. It isn’t being racist it’s just being practical.”
Many of the attacks are centered around Martin Luther King Boulevard. Maybe local media thinks everyone already knows this is a black part of town. For the benefit of the out of towners, it is.

Some readers provided a link to the Chris Rock comedy bit:
“You know what’s sad? Martin Luther King stood for non violence,” said Rock. “And I don’t care where you are in America, if you’re on Martin Luther King Boulevard, there’s some violence going down.

It ain’t the safest place to be. You can’t call nobody and tell them you are lost on MLK.” (If you do, will say) RUN! RUN! RUN!.

Sad. Sad. Sad.?
One of the recent victims, middle aged woman, wound up in the emergency room. The other passed around a flier, warning neighbors to be on the lookout. Said KGW:
I heard some noise across the street and apparently one of the guy that was trying to vandalize the car came across the street,” said Amy Wilson. “(He) hit me very, very hard. (He) knocked me out cold. I fell back and hit my head on the sidewalk.

She suffered a concussion and needed 12 stitches to close the wound on the back of her head.

Wilson said her attackers were a group of teenage boys and she suspects they didn’t stop with her. “I’m almost convinced that it’s the same group that we’ve talked about that are going against cyclists,” she said.
Then another victim came forward to OregeonLive.com:
It was at least the second time in less than a week that a group of teenagers had assaulted a bicyclist along MLK.

Last Tuesday night, Bill Lynch, 64, had just crossed MLK as he pedaled home from a garden party when someone in a group of “three to five young people” knocked him off his bicycle on the Northeast Going Street Neighborhood Greenway.

“They were walking down the middle of the street like they owned it,” Lynch said. “I don’t know what hit me. A strong fist? Something in someone hand? It hurt.”

Lynch said he was riding past the group and the blow “came out of nowhere.”

“When I filed a police report the officer said similar nighttime incidents had occurred in the neighborhood recently,” Lynch writes in a flyer that he posted in his neighborhood to encourage people to be more vigilant. “I learned there was another attack on Aug. 19. In a couple of cases, the bicyclists were beaten and had their bikes stolen.”
And another. Chris Freeman wrote:
I was also attacked by a group of about five kids on bikes at NE 7th and Stanton at about 11pm on Aug 17. One of them jumped off his bike and tried to push me over. Luckily I didn’t lose my balance after being pushed and was able to get away.
Still another:
Bummer man. I was riding near SEI in North Portland a few years ago with my 3 year old daughter in a Burley behind me when 5 dudes (yes, they had dark skin) jumped our and threw rocks at us. Amazingly, considering how close they were and how many there were they completely missed and I hightailed it out of there, just feeling really sad about humanity.
Some were willing to point out the obvious: “There’s a lot of black-on-white animosity in NE and N Portland. Especially towards white bicyclists.”

All the suspects in all of these attacks are black.

But others in Portland, like Tim, are eager to say they live in a city without racial tension — or violence. Several commenters at the Reddit.com news site say white people do it all the time too.
“But there are dumbass white kids who dress the same that are capable of doing stupid shit like this, too. The kids in this instance didn’t necessarily have to be black, but it is what it is. Dumbassedness knows no racial bounds.”
But none of these people supplied police reports, links, pictures or even anecdotes of roving bands of caucasian youth creating violence against black people — or anyone else.

Others in Portland grudgingly admit that violence is real. But they plead guilty with an explanation: Said someone at Reddit.com identified as Kounterculture:
“I think that a lot of it has to do with the fact that in the african-american community bicycling isn’t seen as a viable alternative to the automobile. It isn’t mostly racial animosity, although I’m sure some of that goes on.”
Black mob violence against bicyclists and others has been a regular — and unreported — feature of life in Portland since at least 2007. Bike Portland reported six years ago several cases of black mob violence against bikers.

The web site mentioned the race of the attackers, largely to dismiss racial violence as having anything to do with it:
I don’t think these attacks are solely about race, but I also don’t think the conversation is real and honest if we don’t mention it.

And I think any mention of race must also include the realities of gentrification in Northeast Portland. I think there remains resentment in the black community about gentrification…but whether that has to do with bikes and whites is hard to say.

Are bikes somehow symbolic of whites and gentrification to the eyes black community? I’m not sure, but it’s a question I’d like to delve deeper into. It’s certainly obvious that Portland’s cycling population could be more diverse.
For those who require some help with translation, here it is: Black mobs attack bike riders in Portland because they are not diverse enough.

More than a dozen examples of black mob violence in Portland are documented in White Girl Bleed a Lot: The return of racial violence and how the media ignore it. Many of these cases are on video.

The book features QR codes that readers can scan with their smart phones to watch the violence on their smart phones as they read about it. Some recent cases:

Last year, 10 to 15 hoodie wearing black people invaded Nordstrom, stole clothing and raced out of the store. On video.

The locals were far from upset. Said one man who called himself the Crazed Sex Poodle to a local news site:
“I am actually sort of hoping that it happens more, it seems like a trend worth encouraging. Giant corporations like Nordstrom and Chevron steal everyday, taking back is something worth fostering.”
A few days before that, a mob of 20 black people chased a white couple into a convenience store. The local papers described the ensuing assault and robbery as a “fight.” The mob left when one of the employees sprayed them with “bear spray.” This too was on video, but the station has since taken it down.

A few days before that: “A large group of kids stormed” into a convenience store and stole everything they could carry. They came back later to threaten the clerk. On video.

A few months after that, a bigger crowd attacked an Albertson’s grocery store, following the same play book: Theft, destruction, intimidation. And no arrests. Despite the video.

Still, people seemed surprised when in June, a group of 150 black people — described by the newspapers as drunken teenagers — assaulted several people in a Portland park, robbing at least one of them. The newspaper — and the TV broadcast — may have shied away from describing the attackers, but the internet site of a local TV station was a little more revealing:

“Both fights involved groups of black teenagers randomly attacking people in the park.

The following night, a group of 20 to 30 black people, came upon three people on a tennis courts at the same park: “Some of the teens began throwing bottles onto the court and calling out to them. They said the teens then began fighting with them.”

In January of this year, a 14-year old white girl was beat down by three black women while about a dozen other black people took videos, shouted racial epithets, and encouraged the assault. Four people were arrested, including a mother of two of the assailants. The mother was convicted of giving police false information while trying to hide her daughters.

Taleeb Starkes describes many examples of black on white crime in his book: The Uncivil War. “Portland is one of the most liberal cities in the country,” said Starkes. “They are quite proud of that. But this same liberalism is causing them to ignore, condone and excuse black on white crime and black mob violence. People who commit these horrific acts of violence are one thing. But people who condone them by ignoring them or refusing to tell the truth about them only encourage more them to occur. Those folks are sicker than the criminals.”
It’s tempting to say that the liberal yuppies on their bikes deserve to be attacked, given their smug notions of political and cultural superiority, and their willingness to make excuses for black thuggery.

That, however, would be unfair.

But it is fair to suggest that in liberal jurisdictions, where liberal media and liberal community leaders make excuses for black crime, there will be more black crime. Where liberal district attorneys and courts aren’t inclined to punish black criminals, of course there is more black crime.

So Portland, as a community, pretty much deserves the black-on-white crime it has. Unfortunately, not all (and probably not most) of the victims deserve the attacks they face.

And then we have the fact that most black crime is inflicted on other blacks. But that doesn’t fit the narrative of black victimization by whites.

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