Wednesday, September 25, 2013

AIG CEO Robert Benmosche Compares Bonus Criticism to Lynch Mobs

Robert Benmosche
My head did an instant 360 degree turn-- a la Linda Blair in the exorcist -- when I read the following:

AIG CEO Robert Benmosche Compares Bonus Criticism to Lynch Mobs

His words:

The uproar over bonuses "was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that – sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.  source

After being rescued by $182 billion in taxpayer money, this man has the stones of not only giving himself and his cohorts as much as a 24% raise (his salary was increased to 13 million dollars); but, now this lout complains about the Wall Street bonus backlash by comparing it to being lynched in Jim Crow Dixie of lore.

I may have pulled a Linda Blair, but Mr. Benmosche is the one in need of an exorcism from demons. Yea, he issued the obligatory apology -- something along the line of my bad for poor word selection -- but once again the curtain of Wall Street's unfettered greed has been pulled back.

As stated in the Rolling Stones:

In case you forgot
For sheer "Let them eat cake"-ness, this ranks right up there with Lloyd Blankfein's "I'm doing God's work" riff and Berkshire Hathaway billionaire Charlie Munger's line about how it was proper to bail out Wall Street, but people in foreclosure should "suck it in and cope." A few notes:

First of all, any white guy anywhere, rich or poor, who steps out in public wearing the mantle of 400 years of black suffering instantly shoots to the very top of the world asshole pyramid. Most white people grasp this instinctively. If they don't already teach it in kindergarten to make sure the rest get it, they ought to.

But when you're a white guy who just presided over a year of declining across-the-board sales but got a 24% pay raise anyway, to $13 million a year, largely because your company is invested in a market that's overheating due to massive Fed intervention, and you're so grateful for your cosmic good fortune that you immediately go out and publicly nail yourself to the cross of black victimhood – and not while stone drunk and with buddies at a bar, mind you, but sober and sitting in front of a Wall Street Journal reporter – that's like a whole new category of asshole. Try to compute just exactly how obnoxious that is – you'll be doing it until the end of time, like someone trying to figure pi.  Read more


  1. Weren't some bonus recipients stalked at their homes, where angry mobs formed and harassed their families and children? It's not the equivalent of an old-style lynch mob, but it certainly went to the level of lynch mob lite in some instances. So "sort of" seems about spot on to me. If he said "just like," he'd earn a fat "LMFAO, idiot" from me.

    But I don't think he went far enough with it. I mean, at least if he wants to be listened to and thought a victim. We live in an age where if one needs attention for their plight, personal or group cause, one must show one's self to be the biggest victim. We only give attention and guilt-induced cringing looks of sympathy disguised as respect and understanding to those who can claim oppression.

    Being black means one can cite 400 years due to nothing more than outer appearance. That's a hella grievance. A woman can cite everything from misogynistic video games to the obvious--yet conspicuously invisible--patriarchy for just being a chick. Boom -- Insta-Victim3000. "Gay," you say? Well, that's a tremendous burden to shoulder. How hard it must be. We'll listen, our shoulders also lent. Islamic living in America where someone might say mean things to you? That's infinitely worse than theocracies and nutty, backward-ass third-world hell holes where acid is the top-selling facial cleanser. We understand your culture and how difficult this must be. You, my oppressed religious minority, can whine without criticism.

    But how dare someone with money complain. And a white male!? The horror!

    I don't personally think he should be complaining, all sarcasm aside. However, if he truly wants to, he needs to do a much better job at feeling sorry for himself and acting as if the entire world is against him.

    On a side note that's still related, we white guys find it nearly impossible to be seen as anything but racist, sexist, privileged, earth-raping, wealth-stealing hell spawn, lest we castigate ourselves repeatedly for being white guys and decry other white guys who have yet to join the noonday brunch session at the country club where white guys with intelligentsia badges blame the world's collective ills on white guys without them.

    None of the badges are handed out to any women or minorities, of course. They're white-male-owned. Just the "right" kind of white guy: The white guy who flames white guys as too privileged, too insensitive, too sexist, too racist. And I'll assume a white guy wrote that RS piece without bothering to Google.

  2. Josh states: "Being black means one can cite 400 years due to nothing more than outer appearance. That's a hella grievance"

    That is the most uninformed and ignorant statement I have read on your blog by any commenter. Even the KKK is more honest about the horrors and inhumanity of slavery...they say blacks are subhuman, hence their treatment was justified.

    After centuries of legal slavery, blacks endured decades of share cropping (de facto) slavery, Jim Crowism, and American apartheid. American Apartheid did not begin to recede until the 1970's

    Not to even mention the Middle Passage. This is when Africans were cargo in slave ships, it is conservatively estimated that 2 to 5 million may have died during centuries of voyages.

    Currently, times are so much better. But Robert Benmosche and the RS editor were referring to that ugly American history and not some modern day grievance of say a Jesse Jackson type. And shame on you and Benmosche to act like their is an equivalence between AA history and his treatment by some angry folks.

    A much more accurate comparison is his treatment was like a visiting fan or team playing in a Philly arena. And shame on you HGP for letting this type of person have a platform on your blog.

  3. I must say as the editor of HGP, I provide a platform of all opinions when stated with respect. Josh has made some thoughtful contributions to the ongoing conversation. Some I agree with and others I strongly disagree with.

    In this particular case, I strongly disagree with Josh. Although, he can be very thoughtful on many issues: when the conversation mentions race, it seems to cloud his judgment. But he still has a right to respectfully express his opinions.

    I call Josh's position on race as the "white male racial guilt fatigue" As less and less white males enjoy the fruits of white male privilege status; and more white males suffer some of the same economic woes of minorities; as more whites see the unbelievable salaries of black athletes, entertainers, and rappers: many white males exclaim "where's the beef?"

    But I agree with you BJ on this point: Benmosche was bitching about his treatment and comparing it to the African holocaust.

    Read this:

    "Much of the African diaspora was dispersed throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas during the Arab and the Atlantic Slave Trades. Beginning in the 9th century, Arabs took African slaves from the central and eastern portions of the continent (where they were known as the Zanj) and sold them into markets in the Middle East and eastern Asia. Beginning in the 15th century, Europeans captured or bought African slaves from West Africa and brought them to Europe and later to the Americas. Both the Arab and Atlantic slave trades ended in the 19th century.[3] The dispersal through slave trading represents the largest forced migrations in human history. The economic effect on the African continent was devastating. Some communities created by descendants of African slaves in Europe and Asia have survived to the modern day, but in other cases, blacks intermarried with non-blacks, and their descendants blended into the local population."

  4. I said: But I agree with you BJ on this point: Benmosche was bitching about his treatment and comparing it to the African holocaust.

    I meant to state that Benmosche's comparing his suffering to the Black Holocaust is highly offensive; and, anyone that defends his statement needs their moral compass to be re-calibrated.

  5. @ BJ: Where did I go wrong?

    Where am I being dishonest about any of the plight? When did or didn't I mention it? I dropped the "400" only because it was in the article. And where did I say there was equivalence between this idiot's feigned victimhood and that history?

    FYI: If you're keying in on the word "grievance," it's a noun which means "grounds for complaint." You seem to be using it as an already-qualified adjective-noun combination, where "grievance" means "petty grievance." That's not my fault. And if you think "sort of" means "exactly the same," again, that's not my fault.

    If people gather on my lawn in a mob, that's sorta like a lynch mob. What's missing, obviously, is the lynching! So it's not exactly a lynch mob. "Sort of" is a factually accurate statement. It's not emotionally pleasant when speaking about exactly what a lynch mob was and why they were formed. So, try it with something else. Lasagna is sort of like pizza. That is a factual statement. But, no, lasagna is most definitely not pizza.

    A very strange out-of-context attack on one particular sentence out of a much broader point of what one can use to claim one's self as a "victim."

    And giving back with the same tone I received, you should learn to read. Stringing letters together into semi-coherent brain sounds isn't allowing you to grab the meaning, obviously. I never discounted anyone's plight in any shape, form or fashion. If anything, the folks today who use it to earn victim status are insulting the true horrors suffered by those people. But that's another topic.

    It's a matter of fact that all it takes in America to cite that one is personally a victim of that horrid type of brutality and oppression is the color of one's skin. It could be a random guy from a mostly-white suburb who lived an upscale life, yet they can, like you just did, cite those many things which they were not part of and be considered a victim -- a still-moving severed appendage of that body of horror that can still feel the hurt via muscle memory.

    That is a matter of fact.

    Where am I being dishonest?

    My point: We only pay attention to someone in America if they can win the "biggest victim" game. It's what we as society do; it's a matter of fact. So if this guy wants to be seen as a victim, he has a long way to go. In no way was I saying there's any equivalency here. You went off the handle from jump and apparently never tried to read anything beyond the point which your undergarments knotted.

  6. @ healthysouls:

    I can't even begin to understand what "white male racial guilt fatigue" is supposed to mean, nor will I try right now. It sounds incredibly racially insensitive, though. You can't understand from your perch there as a non-white male. And so I'm going to claim offense and say that you're trying to box me in using race. (Joking, obviously. IDGAF. Unlike some.)

    What I'm "fatigued" about are white males who point the finger at other white males as racists while ignoring the state of the black community save throwing some money in there blindly or condescendingly back-patting people they feel to be inferior and too weak-minded to achieve any gains without the white man's help.

    My position on race, which may surprise even BJ: I view black folks as just as strong, intelligent, creative, able-bodied, and proud as anyone else. Yet I feel those owners of the intelligentsia badges view black folks as weak victims unable to handle even everyday criticism, much less their own lives, and so they ignore black people until the screams echo into their high-rise windows, then throw down a few dollars, deflect blame onto other white people, and sleep contently.

    My position on race is that I view no race as a helpless victim needing saving in today's society. I think everyone has the strength to achieve. Some folks just haven't realized it yet.

    But what do I know? I'm worse than the KKK.

    I get my “lulz” from this stuff, not to discount the plight of people who truly suffered in history, but due to the quickness of some people to leap to the worst stuff imaginable to feign victimhood. Like partisans calling Bush or Obama “Hitler” any time the mood strikes. Or this guy who jumped directly into lynch mobs! Or like BJ saying I'm worse than the KKK because somehow I'm pooh-poohing the suffrage of innocent people at the hands of brutal oppressors by not believing black people today are auto-victims because of it.

    You can assume my position on race. Humans are inherently and necessarily assumptive. But you may be surprised at my position on race on many different matters.

    I'm a skeptical naturalist with no religious affiliation who subscribes entirely to evolutionary theory and who carries a firm belief in the strength of people--all people--to individually improve the collective through increased independence, an embracing of a one-race classification, and less reliance on a political body that must sub-categorize people in order to stay in existence.

    You can throw out my position on race, but I think I just have a healthy disdain for white progressives who think so little of minorities yet are so fearful of being labeled as racists themselves that they earn their living pointing the finger at white people yet to reach their “enlightened” state of being.

    That disdain also extends to progressive white privileged feminists who raise millions and waste countless hours every day fighting video game avatars rather than true oppression. It also extends to white progressives so fearful of being thought racist that they'll metaphorically crucify Christians while giving Islam a pass because they view it as a race and a culture and not a religion.

    This affects me personally, as this fringe is taking over the atheist and skeptic communities. That hurts me and future generations of people who appreciate reason over reaction.

    Unlike a lot of them, however, I'm not fearful of tackling racial issues. Probably because I grew up with black folks and I'm not an unintentional soft-bigot who's scared of dark men in dark alleys. Try as my brethren might to be accepting, they're simply not comfortable speaking about race and thus keep things aimed at the religion and feminism aspects of the loony progressive fringe.

  7. @Josh... The biggest issue I had with your response was the failure to deal squarely with the egregiously greedy behavior of Benmosche.

    In particular, as a self-described small government Libertarian, I thought you would be appalled by a huge -- did I say huge -- corp. as AIG receiving taxpayer dollars, corp. welfare or government socialism to bail them out. And in a slap in the face to Main Street America -- many of whom did not receive mortgage bail outs or even mortgage re-negotiation -- these clowns gave themselves huge bonuses.

    Big government and big lobbyist at their very worst. And to add even more insult to injury, this clown plays the race card: like he is the victim and not the American people who got screwed in the you not where without Vaseline!

  8. Well, I also try not to grill my ex-girlfriend anymore. She cheated on me back in 2005 or something like that. Unless I'm missing something and they gave these idiots more money recently?

    What struck my nerve here in this particular post was yet another attempted shaming of someone. Like this line: "Most white people grasp this instinctively. If they don't already teach it in kindergarten to make sure the rest get it, they ought to." Yeah. Get those white people, white person! lmfao

    That's implying some pretty serious stuff to me, which goes beyond rehashing my distaste for corporate welfare. So this rich schmuck wants to play the victim? Nobody takes it seriously. But for some white progressive shaming line which implies that white people should instinctively know black people are victims (which I find to be incredibly insulting on its face), from a strictly emotional standpoint, that is just the type of stuff I'm inundated with regularly in my social circles.

    I find it that appalling because I did not infer from the RS piece that he wanted respect to be paid to the history but rather the aim was to shame the guy for benefit of the race of today. So it's not the atrocity of it so much that I'm reading he's peeved about; it's a pandering, pleading attempt to show some unnecessary level of supreme empathy while simultaneously shaming someone for not doing the same.

    For me, it's like the feminists and anti-capitalists trying to hijack atheist and skeptic movements with rules and regulations and rape allegations if you even speak to a woman, or getting booted out of a building if you're not in lockstep with the progressive flavor of the day. It's the damn-near-neon-white progressives invading the libertarians groups with accusations of racism because we don't believe, by and large, that government should be funding and encouraging debauchery and decline in minority communities. It's the pale-face peons of privilege who attempt to end free speech as we know it out of some twisted attempt not to be seen as racially or culturally insensitive if someone, for example, were to say the words "radical jihad."

    These are all immediate issues for me, which affect me, whereas this rich bozo aggied that mobs formed to harass his ilk is a non-issue to me. Whether or not he compares in passing, somewhat, or directly to, that horrid history remains unchanged. And in terms of the handouts he received, again, that wasn't what struck me immediately. It was the familiar tone I took from the RS fluff.

    But screw this guy and his corporate welfare. In a better, smaller, more efficient, less corrupt government, they'd either be unemployed or in jail.