A Little Help for You, Mike Pence

Reading time – 4:42  .  .  .

WARNING: Contains extra-crispy snark.

Mike, at the V.P. debate you said lots of things that are – well, let’s not call them lies; this is politics, so let’s just say they’re “creative.” We can’t look at everything, so we’ll pick just one thing to look at. Perhaps I can help you with that.

You said, “This presumption that you hear from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris that America is systemically racist, and as Joe Biden said, he believes that law enforcement has an implicit bias against minorities, it’s a great insult to the men and women who serve in law enforcement.”

On the slim chance that there are some facts (you remember what those are, right?) that somehow have slipped past you, here’s some help for you, Mike – just in case the issue of systemic racism ever comes up again in conversation.

When a White kid – say, your kid – gets busted for marijuana possession, one of two things happens.

  1. You get a call from the police to come down to the station to pick up your dumb kid. Before you leave the station the cop in charge says to your kid, “I don’t want to see you here again.” He turns to you and apologizes for having had to bother you. You take your kid home and ground him for a month. Or,
  2. Your kid gets charged, goes to court and the judge sentences him to 30 days of community service. He tells your kid that if he completes that satisfactorily his record will be expunged.

Here’s what happens when a Black kid from the Englewood neighborhood in Chicago gets busted for marijuana possession.

  1. He gets slammed into the side of a police cruiser, handcuffed and thrown into the back seat. While all that is going on he’s called a lot of cruel and abusive names.
  2. He spends every night in jail until somebody scrapes together enough cash to post bail. Or he just languishes there until his court date, which could be years away.
  3. The judge sentences him to a few years in prison, where he is surrounded by hardened criminals.
  4. He gets out of jail but can’t get a job because he has to check that box on the job application form that says he’s a convicted felon.

That’s how the system works, Mike. That’s why it’s called “systemic racism.” Let’s look at this another way.

Here’s a chart showing the rate of police fatal shootings per million people broken down by race. Review this carefully, Mike, and feel free to click the chart for the source material.

Are you seeing a problem here, Mike? Does any kind of discrimination jump out for you, like that the rate of fatal police killings is way higher for Blacks than for Whites? It’s 2.5 times higher. Does that look systemic to you, Mike? Okay, maybe you’re not seeing it, so let’s look at this yet another way.

Here’s a different chart. This one shows the number of people shot to death by police over a 4-year period and the data is broken down by race. Click the chart if you want to dig into the facts.

Let’s look at 2019, Mike – the gray bars – the last full year represented on the chart. You can see that fewer Black people were killed by police than Whites – about 1/3 fewer. The thing is, Mike, that Blacks are only about 15% of the U.S. population, but they have been killed by cops disproportionately more often. Does that look like a system of racism to you yet, Mike?

Tell you what: Watch this video. I’m recommending it to you because at the debate you deplored, with practiced, plastic passion, the awfulness of violent protests and looting. Oddly enough, though, you failed to deplore the conditions that lead to violence and looting. This video will help you to understand and appreciate those conditions. But I warn you that if you watch this video you’ll be in danger of understanding systemic racism. Your willful ignorance will be at risk, Mike. Still, be brave – watch the video. I think you can handle it.

Oh, and one other thing about violence and looting.

You demand, “Law and order!” and Trump proclaims, “I am the law and order president!” Sounds great, Mike. Works as an election bumper sticker almost magically. And you warn Americans against a Biden-Harris administration, letting us know in no uncertain terms of the carnage that will ensue if they get into office. The suburbs will never again be safe! There will be riots! Violence! Looting!

What’s interesting about that is that the violence and looting you claim to deplore are and have been occurring during your administration, Mike. It’s been stoked by your boss for four years. You remember El Paso, right? And Poway and Tree of Life Synagogue and Parkland and Jersey City and Gilroy? There are lots more. Not a lot of law and order going on there, Mike. And it’s all happened on your watch. Isn’t that fascinating?

Are you sure that Biden and Harris will do worse? Really? Honestly, that doesn’t seem possible, Mike.

Except, of course, that your boss is calling on militias, white nationalist and white supremacist groups to “Stand by.” It’s just the most recent of his barely disguised calls to arms to our thug-right, to whom he’s given cover for four years (Ref: “Good people on both sides.” Trump said that after a white nationalist murdered Heather Heyer with his car.). So, America might become more violent once you and Trump are out of office, as he rage-tweets for the violent minority to attack the rest of us in a civil war. He’ll call them the true patriots.

Important safety tip, Mike: Once you’re out of office and living in your affluent suburban home, you really ought to make sure your security detail is up to standing against Trump’s army of angry delusionals. They might mistake your house for someone else’s.

I feel so bad for you, Mike, because you’re stuck in your comfortable ignorance and I really want to help you. But the thing is, Mike – and there’s no getting around this – nothing I do will help you until you let go of pandering solely to old White guys, far right extremists and the Bible thumping closed-mindeds. Not even your over-practiced syrupy-ness or your God-thing certainties, or your robotic, disingenuousness will help until you at last give up your self-serving self-righteousness and embrace the actual reality out here where the rest of us live.

I’ve done all I can for you, Mike. Now it’s up to you. But in a final gesture of heartfelt support, let me suggest to you that you acquire an urgency for updating your résumé. Good luck to you, Mike, in whatever you do next. It will be here before you know it.


There was another Trump demonstration and counter-demonstration in Northbrook, IL yesterday, October 10. The groups were planted on their own corners of the intersection by the coronavirus death count sign. The vast majority weren’t locals – I know because I asked. They were mostly outside agitators. One proudly announced who he would vote for in South Carolina – clearly not a townie.

About 2 hours into the demonstrations a shaved head, mask-less tough came strutting over to the Biden supporters’ side and got face-to-face with demonstrators. The Biden supporters wore face masks, but the mask-less tough got in the face of some freshman high school girls, yelling and frothing COVID denials at them.

I have tried mightily to understand Trump supporters, to seek middle ground, to simply have a respectful conversation, but all I’ve found is anger, hatred, bluster, reality denying and, worst of all, puffing and posturing to demonize and dominate others, just like that frothing tough tried to do. This is a collection of adult bodies whose development was stunted at age 10, so they act like playground bullies, brats, the kids your mom and dad told you to stay away from. And they feed on the sense of power they get from chanting brainlessly. Their behavior reminds me of Nazi goose-stepping morons.

If they want to be miserable and ruin their own lives, it’s their choice. The truth is that now that they’ve done so much harm to others and they’ve attacked our democracy while cloaking themselves in a false mantle of patriotism, I don’t care about their misery. When they plot to kidnap a state governor, when they surrender all their reasoning to a cult tyrant and when they threaten COVID infection of 14 year old girls, our country is truly in peril and it is critical that we shut these bullies up using our votes.



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5 Responses to A Little Help for You, Mike Pence
  1. Jim Altschuler Reply

    Well expressed but I fear those who need to hear it most — those that We need to hear it — are so utterly unreceptive that none of your valuable information will succeed in permeating their iron-clad ignorance. Excellent try though. Please don’t be dissuaded by this failure. We need folks like yourself in there pitching until you, and we, win on November 3rd. It just must be so.

  2. Mike A. Reply

    Incredibly well written! When Mike or Donald spout lies I sometimes wonder if they know they’re lying. “I’m the law & order president“? Maybe Donald believes it. Maybe he’s just rebelling against an attack regarding violence during his administration. Or maybe it’s just a sales pitch he wants his base and the undecided voters to hear as fact. I can’t decide. And looting and violence? Nobody ever made it more clearly understandable to the Caucasian mind than Kimberly Jones in “Watch this video” in this blog. Put that in your mostly-white high school’s American History class. Please.

  3. Joni Lindgren Reply

    On Sunday, September 27th, about 150 trucks rolled through the main street of downtown Geneva with their horns blaring, huge Trump signs waving along with their arrogant and in-your-face parade. I had two friends call me as they held their phones in the air so I could hear the horns blaring and I asked them what is that noise?! They said it was a Trump parade. They apparently asked the Geneva police for an escort and the police said NO. After the parade, they all headed for the Kane County Fairgrounds where there was ice cream served and speakers. Apparently, they were rallying for Trump and Jim Oberweis who is running AGAIN….and AGAIN!! The ice cream guy who recently scooped up millions of bucks that were meant for SMALL businesses to help the small guys stay afloat. There’s a lot of people in my area who do not like Oberweis for many reasons, but mainly because he votes along party lines and doesn’t vote according to his morals, but then, he doesn’t have morals..
    These Trumpers are in-your-face and must be counting on Trump to pay their fines if they end up in jail!

  4. Anastasia Reply

    Statistics are “ in your face data”and sadly I don’t think MIKE will get it!

    Btw way I counted 19 times you used VP Pence’s first name “Mike”, nice it certainly added – a in your face tone!!! I love it!

    As for the Rally! I had a dream last night that a Trump supporter came up to me making fun of my masked face. He, a white male, attempted to scratch my arm to infect me!!!! Then I read you blog! My heavens how did we get to this point!!! I fear for all of us during this upcoming election!
    We are strong in numbers we all must VOTE! Do not assume anything!!!! Vote

  5. Daniel F. Giallombardo Reply

    Well, Jack, the warning label at the beginning of your article warned of “extra crispy snark.”, but I don’t think you went far enough. Your analysis and writing was, as usual, dead center on target, but through all of the lies and cynicism, through all of the blatant dishonesty of the Trump administration, there is one undeniable truth: neither of these so-called leaders is fit to administer the exact change booth on the tollway. They are patently incompetent not only as administrators but as liars as well. Their lies are transparent, their claims to lead a pathetic joke; sadly the joke is on us. To quote Senator Kamala Harris: “Dude gotta go.”.