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His Name Was Seth Smith
“A white kid gets killed and the damn whole world stops… Fuck that white motherfucker," said Seth's killer, who pled down to manslaughter.
I’ve been doing lots of random punditry on Substack lately (Covid, Ukraine, crypto, prediction markets… etc.) and most of my readers are newer readers, so they wouldn’t necessarily know that Karlstack was originally set up to cater to academic economists. This is still an economics themed Substack. So, when I see injustice happening in the economics profession, I feel compelled to cover it.
There is no greater injustice in economics than Seth Smith; just hearing his name makes me boil with anger and depression and nihilism. It is so sad. Now that his killer’s court case came to a conclusion this week, and we have ostensibly obtained some semblance of closure, I am sadder than ever.
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Seth Smith was a double major in economics and history at UC Berkeley. He was only 19 but a third-year student, scheduled to graduate next spring at the age of 20... he must have been very smart. He was a beautiful and brilliant young guy who had everything going for him. His dream was to attend graduate school at the London School of Economics.
At ~10 pm on June 15th, 2020 — almost exactly two years ago — Seth went out for a walk. On this walk he was shot in the back of the head, execution-style. His body was found half an hour later by a man walking his dog, sprawled on his back with one of his earbuds still in his ear, indicating he was listening to music. Here is a picture of the bus stop where Seth’s body was found.
Unfortunately for Seth, nobody cared about his murder, except for his mom, who was tweeting about it. It was not a national news story.
Saddest twitter account I have ever seen.
Here is how Berkeley administrators reacted to Seth’s death, in probably the most evil fashion I could imagine. Let’s linger on this statement for a bit because it deserves a rant of its own.
Many of you may have had a close relationship with Seth and are feeling a sense of loss and disbelief.
Others, like many of us, are experiencing stress, grief and anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic and the recent murders of George Floyd, Riah Milton, and other Black Americans.
Stephen C. Sutton
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Assistant Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students"
First and foremost: they made Seth Smith an “also-ran” in his own obituary… they may as well have acknowledged that people should be grieving over climate change or the plight of indigenous women. This email says nothing about the search for the murderer, about the cooperation with authorities or any important information that may make students feel more secure. Instead they chose to blithely pander to partisan twitter talking points. What a disgrace. When confronted by a producer for Fox News, Berkeley admins sassily doubled down on their virtue signaling.
Im sorry that our desire to acknowledge and empathize with what folks are feeling rubs you the wrong way and didnt realize that there is some sort of rule stating that only one tragedy should be acknowledged in a given campus message.
— Vice Chancellor Mogulof
Next, let’s talk about the wording: who precisely are the “you” and the “us” in this statement? Imagine how tone-deaf you have to be to say “many of you” may have cared about Seth, but “many of us” only care about more important stuff, like a felonious drug-addicted porn star in Minneapolis who OD’d on fentanyl while resisting arrest.
Reminder: George threatened a pregnant woman by holding a gun to her belly. Seth made society better. George made society worse.
George Floyd is buried in a gold casket, while Seth Smith’s family barely reached their $30k GoFundMe goal to establish a scholarship in his name. Please donate.
Which brings me to this Obama tweet from this week.
19 kids were just slaughtered? Better bring up George Floyd!
The Nazis had a word for this: Gleichschaltung. This was the process by which they established a system of total control over all aspects of German society, from the economy and trade associations to the media, culture and education.
Under Gleichschaltung, people were required to greet each other with “Heil Hitler!” instead of “Guten Tag!” Nowadays they are required to put pronouns and BLM in their email signature. If you hadn’t figured this out already — the point of putting pronouns in your email signature isn’t to denote your gender, it is to identify non-compliant enemies of the state.
In July 2020, acting on a tip, Berkeley homicide detectives went to question 60 year old Tony Walker about this murder. Walker made it clear he was annoyed by their questions, “A white kid gets killed and the damn whole world stops… Fuck that white motherfucker.”
Police had not mentioned anything to Walker about any “white kid,” so the fact that he unsolicited brought it up was a huge red flag. Not exactly a criminal mastermind.
Walker would turn out to be the guy who did it, of course. He was arrested a few weeks later, on August 20th, 2020. Walker killed Smith for no reason at all — simply because he was white and walking down the street listening to music — and then had the audacity to complain about "whitey" upon being caught.
I read about Walker’s life… sad story, he never had a chance. Do the details really matter? Another product of a broken family with no father figure. He was first convicted of burglary in 1979 and then he spent the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s, and 10’s in and out of various jails for various burglaries, gun charges, and assaults. Walker described himself as a “washed-up nobody” who probably deserved to die in prison.
In court, nobody attended in the audience on Walker’s behalf.
If the roles were reversed and it was a white 60 year old white guy who shot a black 20 year old university student at the height of the BLM riots, the country would be left in ashes while the lectures on white guilt would be ramped up to 11. But because it was a black man killing a white kid, it was swept under the rug and the media minimized this story at every step of the way.
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By now you may have figured out that Tony Walker wasn’t exactly Jean Valjean stealing bread to feed his family. So what was his motivation? Well, that’s the thing, he didn’t really have any motivation, he didn’t even rob Seth’s corpse. It was a totally senseless crime. It doesn’t make any sense… until you remember that George Floyd fever was in full effect at the time, tearing the country apart. Walker was low-IQ and suggestible, and it is plausible that was prodded to kill Seth by the vitriol of the racebaiting mainstream media.
Again, imagine if in the wake of the George Floyd riots a white guy shot a black guy and said “Fuck that black motherfucker.” That would be a hate crime, right? The media would be obsessing over the case for months and we would never be allowed to forget about it. So why isn’t this one classified as a hate crime? The victim was targeted and executed based upon no other reason than his race.
The answer is pretty simple, that it didn’t fit the media's narrative, which is why in every local news article they shrug their shoulders and calls this a random / senseless / unexplainable tragedy that we will never get to the bottom of. Nobody in the media even attempted to find the real cause. But people can see the truth. If you read any of the comments, tweets, or reddit posts about Seth Smith you will see that the comment section has figured it out.
Seth’s mom hinted that there was more racial animus in this case than the media let on, saying, “Walker had likely suffered a lot in his life and must have harbored so much anger about what’s happening in the world… Nobody should feel anger and hatred toward another human because of what they look like.”
Her words make it seem like she is entertaining the possibility that this was a hate crime. Walker “harbored so much anger about what’s happening in the world.” Why exactly was an angry and resentful black man emboldened to commit violence against a random white student? What was happening in the world at the time? Was there anything that would make a black man angry at white kids? Were there any huge racial riots happening? Perhaps a sort of systematic anger that may be directed at whites? Provoked by the media? The media never explored this angle. Because the media is guilty.
An Unjust Plea Deal Based on Bullshit Allocution
Walker’s murder charges weren’t augmented with hate crime charges as they should have been, rather, they were downgraded from murder to manslaughter. Manslaughter? For shooting Seth in the back of the head out of racial hatred? Mitigating circumstances being… what, exactly?
The probation officer found no mitigating circumstances that would justify a lighter sentence. Walker’s probation officer wrote, “The defendant has demonstrated that he is a danger to the community and needs to be separated for the community’s protection … the defendant has established an entrenched pattern of criminal conduct that probation, prison and parole have been unable to eradicate.”
The main reason for this manslaughter plea, then, had nothing to do with mitigating circumstances. The entire reason for is that Walker initially pled no-guilty to murder, and all the evidence against Walker was circumstantial. There is no DNA linking Walker to the case, just testimony. So the charges were downgraded to ensure a conviction.
Seth’s mom was not thrilled with this. “They basically said that they’re accepting the plea deal and that it was their choice and not ours … If the allocution happens, that will be the only narrative of any kind that I will get as to what ended my son’s life… or me to get closure, I definitely need, kind of, a narrative as to what happened. It’s just a huge mystery in my life right now and very difficult ,I was anticipating time off and to hear the evidence, hear the witnesses and find out more of the story of what happened. And with a plea deal we don’t get that.”
As part of this plea deal, Walker promised to explain his motivation for the killing.
Is this really how courts work? You can get away with murder as long as you pretend to tell people why you did it? Really? Helping the parents find closure (if that can ever be done) would require some deep reflection from the perpetrator. Instead Seth’s parents had to listen to nonsensical babbling from this violent retard who's too retarded to even piece together his own actions in a coherent manner.
“I was feeling alone and isolated due to COVID.”
“I was going through a lot.”
“I never intended to go out and hurt anyone. I wasn’t raised like that. My mother didn’t raise me like that.”
He was unstable because he was in and out of so many institutions.
He was sad his parents had passed away.
His mother died in 1972 and his father in 2007
“I am not a violent person.”
“You got so many innocent people out here dying, and here I am, I’m going out committing murder on innocent people. I don’t have any reason. I don’t have no justification.”
“Before you know it, I shot Seth.”
He knows that admitting he killed Seth because he was mad at white people wouldn’t be enough to get him off the hook for murder, so he repeated empty words fed to him by his lawyer. He "takes responsibility” for his action and apologizes — while at the same time blaming Covid, blames his parents, etc.
Seth’s mom was left with more questions than answers. She said, ”Was it simply, he walked by you randomly and you just saw him as prey? What led him to be outside? He didn’t really explain that. I am trying to wrap my head around this case and it feels like there is something unexplained/missing.”
The Death Penalty
Under the terms of his manslaughter plea, Walker will be eligible for parole in 21 years, when he is in his mid 80’s. According to Google, it costs an average of about $106,000 per year to incarcerate an inmate in prison in California. Multiply that by 21 years, and the pricetag for keeping Walker locked up for the next two decades exceeds 2 million dollars.
What do you with trash? Do you spend 2 million dollars feeding and bathing it for 20+ years while it slowly rots away? Or do you take out the trash? Why not just put a bullet in Walker’s head? That would cost zero dollars. Tony Walker deserves to be put to death.
The Bigger Problem: Libs
In 2020 it was Berkeley student Seth Smith who was taken from the economics community, and in 2021 it was UChicago PhD student Yiran Fan.
Which promising young economist will be slain by a black guy in 2022? And in 2023? And in 2024? It is not a question of “if,” it is a question of “when.”
I hate to be “that guy” who brings up FBI crime statistics, but in 2018 there were about 590,000 violent crimes (assaults, rapes, robbery, and murder) committed between white people and black people, and black people accounted for almost 540,000 of them — 92% of them. The splits for black/asian are even more skewed. This is real system racism, and real systemic violence, but rather than hold this group accountable the liberal media downplays and apologizes for them and paints the perpetrators as victims. A true anti-racist media would ask the hard questions rather than treating a whole race as below agency and above accountability. Stop shooting asian/white people in the head. It’s really not that hard.
Berkeley leftism and liberal media killed Seth Smith. Walker was only free on the street because libs in California for decades have been voting for lib politicians and lib policies. Walker was known to be dangerous and should have been nowhere near vulnerable college kids, but was out from jail on probation and was provided free section 8 housing a block away from Seth’s student housing.
Walker would not have even been caught in the first place if it wasn't for the police conducting a parolee search, which led to evidence that led to the arrest. These probation searches are frequently responsible for finding illegal weapons, stolen property, etc.
Now these probation searches are illegal.
In 2021, Berkeley changed the rules so that the probation searches that helped solve the Walker homicide are now prohibited. This means that Tony Walker would have gotten away with his crime if it had happened just a year later. What a slap in the face to Seth’s memory.
On July 12th of this year, Berkeley will be voting on further changes to the parole search rules. Here is a link to the proposed changes.
These new rules say, “Officers shall not detain and search a person on probation or parole solely because the officer is aware of that person's probation or parole status,” and if they do manage to search a parolee, “officers shall consciously avoid the application of bias.” What does it even mean to “consciously avoid the application of bias” while conducting a parole search? How is that rule in any way enforceable? How can you quantify bias?
The justification given for this new rule is that “Probationers and parolees in California are disproportionately people of color, with 71% of Alameda County probationers either Black or Latinx people… They are therefore disproportionately subject to these searches.”
Again: liberals change the rules because they expect an entire race to be beyond accountability and without agency. The consequences of this bigotry of low expectations are predictable, and can be measured in dead young economists.