I know what she means. Even when I was at my nerdy, sarcastic least popular in school, I remained convinced that, if people got to know the real me, they’d like me.
The more we get contextual information about Cliven Bundy’s comments, the more it’s clear that he was making a valid argument, although doing so in the most painful, inarticulate way, and the way most likely to come back and bite his supporters in the butt. As best as I can tell, what Bundy was saying is that slavery is slavery, whether you’re enslaved to an individual or a nation.
He’s right, too. The difference between now and the antebellum era is that blacks have never been masters of their own destiny. For the vast majority, their status is remarkably indistinguishable from what it once was: marginal existences; dependency (in the past, they weren’t rewarded for their work; in the present, too many don’t work); and children without fathers.
Today, as an extra fillip to their drab dependency, they get the twin scourges of drugs and crime. Oh, and there’s one other big difference: today blacks are directly complicit in their own enslavement. In the past, starting in Africa, it was other blacks who were complicit in the enslavement process. Now they do it to themselves.
I’m done with the subject now. Caleb Howe, however, makes two points worthy of notice: the way that the RNC chair responded to Bundy versus the way the DNC chair didn’t respond to Pat Quinn’s racist tweets. The Right instantly tries to distance itself from anything that could smell of racism; the Left does not.
Incidentally, I’m beginning to think that, rather than looking at the RNC’s conduct as virtuous, it’s a huge problem the way conservatives reflexively distance themselves from these things without first investigating. Having thrown Bundy under the bus, the right cannot resurrect his principled arguments about the way in which government owns people, something antithetical to the principles set out in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Rather than going into stupid panic mode, it would be infinitely better if the right would first stop and think for a minute — and, in the first instance, say something such as, “If Bundy indeed said what he’s accused of saying, and there’s no contextual excuse, we condemn it. However, we’re not going to indict someone without investigation, etc.” As it is, they’re constantly stupidly reactive, instead of intelligently proactive.
Yesterday, Sonia Sotomayor announced that she is absolutely horrified that the 14th Amendment can be used to prevent state government from engaging in race-based discrimination. Some may be a little confused by her argument, given that the 14th Amendment explicitly states that ” No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” In ordinary parlance, that means that all laws must apply equally to all American citizens, regardless of anything that distinguishes one citizen from another (such as race, color, creed, sex, etc.).
For sensible people who believe that all humans are created equal, the 14th Amendment is a good rule. But it’s not good enough for Ms. Sotomayor (and yes, I mean “Ms.” because, really, after what she just did, it seems so wrong to give her the honorific “justice”). What did Sotomayor do? She abandoned legal reasoning in favor of ill-informed, racist navel-gazing, and she used the most august court in the land for her platform in feminist, racist idiocy. (I say “feminist” because, even though the case was about race, Ms. Sotomayor promised from the beginning that, rather than following the law, she’d offer ruminations from a “wise Latina.” So all her stuff is a “girl thing,” you know?)
Anyway, in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Sonia (I’m so disgusted by her right now, I don’t even feel like using the generic honorific of “Ms”), wrote a 52 page pile of touchy feely goop about the fact that minorities are inferior beings. Moreover, she felt so strongly about innate minority inadequacies that she felt compelled to read all 52 pages from the bench — clearly, part of the punishment she wished to impose on dead, or still living, evil white males the world over.
I’m not trying to be mean, or anything, but the woman is a walking, talking argument against affirmative action, which advances women, minorities, and other non-white, non-straight, non-Asian, non-Jewish people simply because they weren’t born white, straight, Asian, or Jewish. Here’s the heart of Sonia’s insanely racist (and non-legal, non-factual, highly navel-based) rant. Sonia starts by attacking the US’s bad history:
For much of its history, our Nation has denied to many of its citizens the right to participate meaningfully and equally in its politics. This is a history we strive to put behind us. But it is a history that still informs the society we live in, and so it is one we must address with candor. Because the political-process doctrine is best understood against the backdrop of this history, I will briefly trace its course.
She’s right, of course. Italians, Irish, Germans, Jews, Russians, Chinese, Japanese, East Asian, etc., all faced horrific discrimination. Peculiarly enough, once the discrimination ended as to these disparate groups, all were able, without any further effort on the government’s part, to ascend to the halls of wealth and power. Sonny’s problem (yeah, I’m at the point where even calling her by the pretty name “Sonia” irks me) is that she firmly believes that what worked for every other minority — just to be left alone — won’t work for blacks and Hispanics.
Before Sonny gets to her conclusion that blacks and Hispanics are inherent deficient (her thoughts, not mine), she takes us on an endlessly boring journey of efforts to discriminate which have all been done away with. Even as she tries to paint America as racially evil, she inadvertently keeps pointing to its self-correct mechanisms.
I sort of fell asleep somewhere when reading her tripe, but when I awoke, I found her claiming that there’s nothing in the 14th amendment that prohibits discriminating on the basis of race, because America’s educational institutions are improved by racial discrimination. No, really. That’s what she said:
Rather, race-sensitive admissions policies further a compelling state interest in achieving a diverse student body precisely because they increase minority enrollment, which necessarily benefits minority groups. In other words, constitutionally permissible race-sensitive admissions policies can both serve the compelling interest of obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body, and inure to the benefit of racial minorities.
The above stunning quotation is followed by a lot more soporific stuff. Considering how plagued I am by insomnia, I really should have a copy of Sonny’s dissent by my bedside. It makes for exhausting reading. The only downside, of course, would be the inevitable nightmares flowing from her racially carved up universe.
So, anyway…. Blah, blah, blah. And then this, the moment at which she states that the only way to make effective the 14th Amendments constitutional guarantee not to discriminate is to . . . wait for it . . . discriminate:
That view [that the 14th amendment means that the law applies equally to everybody] drains the Fourteenth Amendment of one of its core teachings. Contrary to today’s decision, protecting the right to meaningful participation in the political process must mean more than simply removing barriers to participation. It must mean vigilantly policing the political process to ensure that the majority does not use other methods to prevent minority groups from partaking in that process on equal footing. Why?
Did she just end that deconstructionist, magical thinking rant by asking “Why?” Well, I’ve got the answer, so you can ignore Sonny’s new-Age, victim-based, PC bibble-babble version of an answer. The obvious reason Sonny believes that the government must discriminate, world without end, on behalf of blacks and Hispanics is that, in her mind, these two racial groups are congenitally incapable of partaking in the political process without Mommy and Daddy government holding their hands. Unlike all other minorities who pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps, her posse can’t do it. And if that isn’t the most vile racism you ever heard — a Supreme Court justice saying that blacks and Hispanics are defective and will always need government help just to get back — I don’t know what is.
I’m now bored with Sonny. Sonny is pathetically burdened by an unpleasant reality: she got into college and law school and government work and the Supreme Court thanks to affirmative action. She had neither the brains nor the self-discipline to make it on her own (unlike the legions of Jews, Italians, Irish, Asian, and East Asian immigrant kids who looked at their often squalid surroundings and made the decision to be the best and, without either government discrimination or aid, rose to the heights. This painful knowledge goes some way to explaining her embarrassingly self-referential opinion. She knows that she’s inadequate and, rather than admitting to her own mental infirmities, makes herself feel better by telling the American people that all blacks and Hispanics are just as mentally deficient as she is.
Let me say this again: for every other group in America that suffered government sponsored discrimination, after the government stopped discriminating (either against or for them) that group was able to achieve social, economic, and political success within one generation. Sonny is too scared to give blacks and Hispanics that same chance. In order to justify in her own eyes the unfair advantage she got at every stage in her career, she wants to ensure that no black or Hispanic ever has to compete on a level playing field.
Part of Sonny’s decision is her racism, a disdain for blacks and Hispanics that would fit comfortably on a KKK Imperial Wizard’s lips. And the other part of it is her fear that, if they succeed, she’ll have to acknowledge the failure that lies under all the undeserved accolades and professional advancements that came her way.
The Taliban has hit Marin County (indirectly). Marin County is headquarters for Roots of Peace, an admirable charity that seeks to advance agricultural development in poverty-stricken areas. It has an outpost in Afghanistan, where it seeks to enable the Afghani people to feed themselves. The Taliban can’t have that kind of thing happening in its country. It therefore sent off some foot soldiers to attack the Roots of Peace Kabul office, killing a child in the process. If radical Islam had a cable-TV station, it’s motto would be “All war, all the time.” One wonders if this will be a bit of reality that mugs that peaceniks who are so self-centered that they cannot envision cultures that have, as their core value, a desire for perpetual warfare.
David Clarke, Milwaukee’s Sheriff, made a splash when he encouraged Milwaukee’s beleaguered citizens to arm themselves:
I think Clarke may have found a kindred spirit in Detroit Police Chief James Craig. During a press conference in which he discussed the rising numbers of homeowners (successfully) using arms to defend themselves, he had this to say:
Detroit Police Chief James Craig said at a press conference last week that in his 37-year career, he’s never seen as many homeowners defending themselves by shooting intruders. Craig told The News in January he felt the crime rate could be lowered if more “good Americans” were armed, because he said criminals would think twice about attacking.
“It does appear more and more Detroiters are becoming empowered,” Craig said. “More and more Detroiters are getting sick of the violence. I know of no other place where I’ve seen this number of justifiable homicides. It’s interesting that these incidents go across gender lines.”
We want more law enforcement like Clarke and Craig, and less like Marin’s Second Amendment-challenged sheriff.
I also want more of this: An Ebony magazine editor went on a rant against conservative blacks; got called on it; claimed that the person calling her out was a white racist; when she learned that the person calling her out was black apologized for calling him white; and then doubled down on rants that were both anti-conservative black and anti-white. (That’s not want I want to see more of. It’s this next thing I like.) Normally, Republicans would run away screaming from this type of confrontation, leaving the racist Leftist in control of the field. This time, the RNC demanded an apology . . . and got it.
Speaking of the Left’s racial obsessions: Any half-sentient being knows that Stephen Colbert’s shtick is that he created a faux-conservative character who is pathologically dumb, racist, sexist, etc., and that Colbert, a marginally-talented generic Leftist, uses this character to claim that all conservatives are pathologically dumb, racist, sexist, etc. That’s why it’s hysterically funny that, when his show tried to highlight (non-existent) Republican racism by having his character ostensibly tweet out a crude anti-Asian stereotype, the Asian community got riled and demanded that Colbert be fired for being an anti-Asian racist. Asians should stop getting their knickers in a twist about stupid TV shows and should start looking at where their real politic interests lie. (Hint: It’s not the Democrat Party.)
Leland Yee has been around forever as a fixture in Bay Area politics. As his name implies, he’s Asian, he’s hard Left, and he represents San Francisco and parts of San Mateo in the California legislature. Since Sandy Hook, Yee’s been very vocal about being anti-guns. He also just got indicted for gun running, including trying to sell arms to Islamist groups. The MSM has been trying hard to ignore his story, as it’s been trying hard to ignore a bunch of other stories about spectacularly corrupt Democrat figures. Howie Carr therefore serves a useful public service when he calls out the media, the Democrat party, and the crooks.
Speaking of crooks, Harry Reid claims never to have called Republicans liars when it comes to Obamacare, despite footage of him calling Republicans liars because of Obamacare. There’s some debate on the Right about whether Reid’s gone senile or is just trying out his version of The Big Lie. My theory is that we’re seeing malignant narcissism in play. As I’ve said a zillion times before in speaking about Obama, malignant narcissists never “lie” because their needs of the moment always dictate the truth of the moment. That is, if they need to say it, it must be true. (It’s nice to be your own God.)
Keith Koffler identifies the four roots of Obama’s disastrous foreign policy. I agree with him, although I would add a fifth, which is that Obama desperately wants to see America knocked down to size as punishment for her myriad sins. Perhaps Obama should read the DiploMad, as he explains why Russia, the country before which Obama is now weakly doing obeisance, has always been much worse than America could ever be, both as a protector and an enemy.
Adm. Jeremiah Denton, Jr. has died at 89. The public learned about Denton during the Vietnam War when, during one of the forced confessions that the North Vietnamese liked to televise to the world, he blinked out a Morse code message — “T-O-R-T-U-R-E” — thereby providing the first proof America had that the Commies were torturing American POWs. During the same interview, he bravely said he supported his country, a statement that led to more torture. Denton was also America’s longest-held POW, spending almost 8 years in the Hell that was the Hanoi Hilton, and various related prisons. During that entire time, he was brutally and repeatedly tortured and he spent four years in solitary confinement (where he was tortured). My heart bleeds when I read what happened to him. But Denton came home and he got on with a full, rich life, including six years in the U.S. Senate. If anyone deserves to Rest In Peace, it is Adm. Denton.
I don’t think much of Stanford. It’s nothing personal. I think all the big universities (and most of the small ones) have become intellectually corrupt. However, Prof. Michael McConnell, at Stanford Law School, has somewhat restored my faith in Stanford by writing one of the clearest analyses I’ve yet seen of the problems facing the government in the Hobby Lobby case. Of course, law and logic will not sway Ginsberg, Kagan, Sotomayor, and Breyer, all of whom are activists much more concerned with making policy than with applying law. As happens too often, Anthony Kennedy will cast the deciding vote — a reality that places way too much power in the hands of a man who seems too often to blow, not where the Constitution takes him, but wherever his fancy for the day alights.
And to end on a light note, two more ridiculously funny Kid Snippets, offering an inspired combination of kid wisdom lip synched by some remarkably talented adult actors:
Thanks to political correctness and multiculturalism, the vast majority of Americans and Europeans would never dream of saying anything negative about a racial or cultural group, other than straight white males or conservative blacks. As to those last two groups, it’s always open season. The rest of us, as I said, have been cowed. But have we been cowed enough? No!!! A thousand time no.
Having weeded out and duly punished all overt statements regarding race, ethnicity or sexual orientation that could in any way be perceived as racist, sexist, or homophobic, the Left was in the scary position of being without a further crusade against free speech. But really, it underestimates the Left to let something little like that stop them.
The newest crusade is the one against “cultural appropriation” (or “cultural misappropriation”). Here’s the sin: no white people are ever allowed to copy another culture.
Harry Styles, the heartthrob singer of boy group One Direction recently put on a feathered American Indian (no, wait, Native American; no, wait, North American Indigenous Person) headdress and Instagrammed the result. It was quite obvious that he was not ridiculing Native American Indigenous People of North America. He was, instead, admiring himself in a warrior’s headdress. The usual suspects, however, went bonkers, accusing him of the newest evil: “cultural appropriation.”
That story is a few days old, and I’ve been hanging onto it, looking for something else . . . and sure enough, I found it. A theater in Philadelphia thought it would be exciting to stage Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar as a Japanese Bushido spectacle. Makes sense. For decades, producers have been putting Shakespeare in the Old West, the new slums, an imaginary 1930s fascist England, etc. Shakespeare, after all, has the virtue of speaking to universal human things.
The race mongers, though, were not pleased. A Japanese actor was absolutely furious that white actors would dare to misappropriate his culture:
Summed up: You racist pig, you, for daring to copy aspects of my culture without (a) using only people from my culture and (b) doing it perfectly.
The theater organization responded as expected, groveling and calling for dialogue, instead of telling Hirano to take his hypersensitive self and walk away.
My translation shows who the real racist is: You dirty white people, you. You’re not good enough to aspire to my culture. I disrespect you solely based upon your skin color. Who do you think you are to pretend to be like me?
I think that’s about right.
(Sorry for the brevity, but I have to run.)
A small cadre of Dartmouth students threatened violence if the school didn’t invest a great deal more money in “diversity” (skin color and gender diversity, of course, rather than intellectual diversity). Dartmouth caved, diverting funds from actual academics to appease the radicals. The theory on the right is that Dartmouth’s administrators backed down in the face of physical violence.
After all, we know that intellectuals can happily contemplate violence in the abstract but they don’t like it when it shows up on their own doorsteps. We’ve seen that reality play out frequently when the West’s self-styled intelligentsia run afoul of Muslim demands. There’s something about staring in the face of a man who thinks beheading you is a really good idea that makes a lot of people second-guess their values.
You and I know, though, that the violence threatened at Dartmouth wouldn’t include beheading. It would be bomb threats, acts of vandalism, low-grade physical assaults, graffiti, office takeovers, etc. (The diversity cadre, thankfully, hasn’t yet gone full sharia.)
Knowing that we’re not talking the full-sharia press here, is it really possible that the Dartmouth powers-that-be can be pushed around simply because they’re worried that their cars will be keyed? I don’t think so. I think there’s something different going on here. In this context, Shelby Steele’s White Guilt makes for illuminating reading.
Steele was part of the 1960s Civil Rights movement, and was there, on the ground, in an Iowa University president’s office when he saw white guilt kick in, rendering the guilty party completely helpless, anxious only for the faint hope of redemption that acceding to extremist demands could provide:
I know two things about Dr. McCabe that help explain his transformation before our eyes into a modern college president: he was a man of considerable integrity, and he did not deny or minimize the injustice of racism. He had personally contributed money to Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference when this was not typical of college presidents. Thus, on some level—and in a way that may have caught him by surprise—he would have known that behind our outrageous behavior was a far greater American outrage.
And in this intransigent piece of knowledge was the very essence of what I have called white guilt. Dr. McCabe simply came to a place where his own knowledge of American racism—knowledge his personal integrity prevented him from denying—opened a vacuum of moral authority within him. He was not suddenly stricken with pangs of guilt over American racism. He simply found himself without the moral authority to reprimand us for our disruptive behavior. He knew that we had a point, that our behavior was in some way connected to centuries of indisputable injustice. So he was trumped by his knowledge of this, not by his remorse over it, though he may have felt such remorse. Our outrage at racism simply had far greater moral authority than his outrage over our breach of decorum. And had he actually risen to challenge us, I was prepared to say that we would worry about our behavior when he and the college started worrying about the racism we encountered everywhere, including on his campus.
And this is when I first really saw white guilt in action. Now I know it to be something very specific: the vacuum of moral authority that comes from simply knowing that one’s race is associated with racism. Whites (and American institutions) must acknowledge historical racism to show themselves redeemed of it, but once they acknowledge it, they lose moral authority over everything having to do with race, equality, social justice, poverty, and so on. They step into a void of vulnerability. The authority they lose transfers to the “victims” of historical racism and becomes their great power in society. This is why white guilt is quite literally the same thing as black power. (Steele, Shelby, White Guilt [Kindle Locations 370-374]. HarperCollins; emphasis mine.)
It wasn’t physical cowardice that drove the Dartmouth decision — it was moral emptiness. The school’s administrators have been steeped for decades in white guilt. That is the new original sin in America. Moreover, there is no Christ the Redeemer to save the individuals burdened by the knowledge that their melanin-free DNA means that they are marked from conception by this original sin. Each of them is responsible for a never-ending cycle of guilt, remorse, and self-abnegation, with no possibility of redemption in sight.
So no, they’re not that chicken at Dartmouth; they’re that morally empty, unable to stand for anything as it relates to who and what they are — or all the great good their fore-bearers — have done for the world. All that they can do is crouch down in a perpetual mea culpa, acceding to even the most outrageous demands in an effort to excuse their very existence.
Words have always changed their meaning over time. Some of the ones that used to have neutral, descriptive meanings came to be seen as insults because of their association with disfavored people in society. For example, a spinster used to mean a woman (usually single) who spun wool or flax into thread. It came to mean a desiccated, embittered, lonely single woman. A bel dam was the French phrase for a beautiful mother. It eventually devolved into “beldame,” meaning an ugly old hag.
Words for people who originated in non-Northern Africa (notice my carefully non-racial phrasing) have long had a similar problem. Southern whites used to call them “colored” or used the “N-word.” People who were not racist came to reject both those words. The former pretty much vanished; the latter has now become more toxic than the formerly toxic F-word. (While “nice” people once used the “N” word in polite company but not the “F” word, that distinction has been turned upside down.)
The next descriptive word to come along was “Negro” (from the Spanish word for the color black), a word that was considered polite and respectful. It too was eventually seen as being a demeaning insult, so the word “black” cropped up. After that, I kind of lost track. There was African-American, which confused my kids who thought it referred to all people with dark skin. They’d see a Ugandan or Nigerian on television, shown in his home village, and lisp “Look, it’s an African-American.” Then there was the phrase “person of color,” which I’ve always thought is unpleasantly close to the Jim Crow appellation “colored person.” In any event, I avoid it, because it’s too non-specific, applying almost randomly to blacks (my preferred word), Asians, Hispanics, Polynesians, East Indians, etc. As a person of pallor myself, I find that vague appellation confusing.
The one constant in the past when it came to blacks and neutral/respectful appellations, was that, as time went by, blacks, supported by Leftist whites (usually in the media and academia) would tell the rest of us that words once used to describe blacks were verboten, and then offer up a new word they preferred. This cycle played out every ten years or so.
In Obama’s America, however, we’re seeing something new. Blacks are now taking any negative word and saying “You can’t use that word any more, ever, because to the extent it’s a negative word, you must be applying it to us.” The latest example of this involves the kerfuffle about Richard Sherman, who voiced a short, boorish tirade against Michael Crabtree. People looked at Sherman’s behavior and sought adjectives to define it. Words such as “gracious,” “thoughtful,” “kind,” and “clever,” just didn’t seem right. Instead, looking at his foam-flecked, maniacal rant, people who cared enough to comment decided that the noun “thug” and its adjective version “thuggish” were more accurate. I would have used “boorish” (as I did above) or “ill-mannered” if I’d been asked.
By using the words boorish or ill-mannered, I would have been commenting on verbal behavior that was the antithesis of gracious, thoughtful, kind, or clever. The same presumably holds true for those who thought “thuggish” more accurate than “gracious.” I doubt it occurred to any of us — it certainly didn’t occur to me — that, by accurately labeling Sherman’s conduct, we were all engaging in dog whistle racism. It’s amazing that we’re all so naive.
You see, it turns out that all of the people who thought that Sherman, an African-American, verbally misbehaved when he shouted out maddened insults at Michael Crabtree, who is also an African-American, are racist. So, if I get this right, people who reasonably expect a well-paid, professionally successful black man to conform to ordinary social standards, and who therefore express surprise when he doesn’t, are racist. From which one can reasonably conclude the opposite, which is that the non-racist approach is to look at Sherman’s hysterical rant and say, “Yup, that’s totally normal behavior for one of those black-toned people of color.”
I am not making this up. According to everyone from Charles Barkley to Bill Maher, being surprised when blacks behave badly means we’re racists. Well, Messrs. Barkley and Maher, I have news for you: You’re the racists and, to put it bluntly, you’re disgusting, low-down, dirty, thuggish, debased racists. My expectations are that people of all races, color, creeds, countries of national origin, genders, and sexual orientations can behave graciously, even when under pressure. I look at content of character. You revolting race-mongers have made it painfully clear that you believe that color is destiny, and that the darker the skin color the more people are destined to behave badly. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves! There is absolutely nothing to distinguish your views from the views expressed by the mid-19th century trader auctioning slaves off under the broiling Southern sun.
It’s already old news now that Eric Holder has announced that schools must stop disciplining minority students because he feels they are disproportionately the subject of school discipline. Many who read his edict thought, first, that a ukase against discipline based upon skin color, rather than conduct, was just about the most racist thing they’d ever seen; second, that this will be a disaster for minority children who are seeking some structure in their lives; and, third, that it marks the end of any discipline at all in schools, as each school drops to the lowest common denominator of possible behavior.
Robert Arvanitis has suggested that there is a different way to achieve racial parity — a way that would also expose how appalling Holder’s ideas are without turning schools into out-of-control war zones:
Holder now complains that valid, objective standards for school discipline are nonetheless racist if the results fall disproportionately on minorities.
Forget the rational rebuttals — it is unfair to all the other kids who are deprived of education; it ignores the root causes such as fatherless homes, causes engendered in turn by failed left policies.
Time to fight back in a smarter way. Let’s frustrate the left’s feedback mechanisms just as they themselves try to hijack and distort the real metrics of society.
For every “favored-minority” student disciplined for real cause, we report the required multiple of non-favored kids on comparable status. I don’t mean lie, I mean we actually do things like “in-school suspension.” No harm to records, which are all sealed for college applications and recorded in aggregate anyway.
Now if Holder catches on and seeks separate categories like in and out of school suspension, then we refine it a bit. Everyone is on “in-school” suspension,” and held in separate classrooms. We spend some extra for dedicated tutors for such separate classrooms. And when the real troublemakers fail to show up, then hey, they’re marked delinquent as well.
My point is that there is no rigid rule system the statists can impose, that we cannot game. I have long experience with such things as tax, accounting, and regulatory frameworks. They all fall because of the algebra — it’s called “over-determined equations.” When there are more constraints than free variables, there will necessarily be contradictions and inconsistencies in the system for us to exploit.
So rule away Eric; check, and mate.
Because I have a high-energy young dog and a bad knee that precludes more vigorous exercise, I walk a lot. I happen to find this very boring and am grateful for whatever entertainment I can get on my iPhone. A lot of trial and error has revealed that the best app is the one for NPR radio. Using this app, it’s very easy to assign radio segments to a playlist and then to listen to them, one-after-another, on demand. The downside, of course, is that I have to listen to NPR, which I no longer find as entertaining as I did back in my Democrat days. Still, it’s rather fascinating to see from an intellectual distance the Leftist shibboleths that once seemed so normal to me.
The segment that caught my interest today was an interview that Fresh Air’s Terry Gross did with Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, a comedy team on Comedy Central. They are two very talented young men whose entire awareness of self and raison d’etre seems to be race. Both have black fathers and white mothers. Wait! I said that wrong. Terry Gross was oh-so-careful to say “African-American” fathers and “white” mothers. Frankly, I was offended by her skin-color obsession with Key’s and Peele’s mothers. What she should have said if she was going with the skin color was “darkish brown” fathers and “sort of pale peach colored” mothers. And if she was talking continent of origin, of course, she should have extended to the mothers same courtesy she extended to the fathers: “African-American” fathers and “Euro-American” mothers.
Yes, what I just said is totally nonsensical, which is my point. The Left’s racial obsession, as well as the insane racial “sensitivity” Leftist white folks try to show when discussing race, makes all racial interactions uncomfortable. All I could think of was Basil Fawlty, who after being warned not to talk about the war to German guests at his B&B, banged his head and then obsessively (and hilariously) focused on the war. (Imagine my shock when I learned that, in modern Britain, the government almost banned Winston Churchill from a bank note for fear it would offend Germans. The Germans lost that war, but I think even most Germans would agree that, ultimately, if losing wasn’t actually a good thing, Naziism was so foul that they deserved to lose. Churchill helped save them from themselves.)
But back to Key and Peele. . . .
What gave Key and Peele recognition outside of Comedy Central was the first in a series of sketches they did that showed Obama giving a speech in his usual pinched way, with his Luther, his “anger translator” standing behind him saying what he really means. They felt bad for Obama that, because he was black, he couldn’t have a temper tantrum when faced with the slings and arrows of outrageous GOP and Tea Party attacks. This racial view of history ignores pale-peach-colored George Bush handling gracefully the unendingly vicious attacks and lies that came his way. Pale-peach-colored Clinton (aka “the first black president“) was also usually dignified in public, no matter his disgraceful private behavior. To the racially obsessed Key and Peele, though, the black(ish) Obama is the only one who is forced to act dignified when addressing the people of the nation that elected him.
With that horrible handicap in mind, it’s obvious that the following pictures are mere tricks of the camera insofar as they show Obama being anything but dignified and restrained:
Anyway, knowing how Obama suffers in silence, Key and Peele invented Luther, Obama’s “anger translator” (language warning):
Luther is both Obama’s and the Left’s Id. Luther says the truth that the Left dare not say. All Leftists know that when Obama, in his flat, clipped, angry tones is saying bland-ish things, he has a tiger waiting to get out. What’s fascinating about this tiger, as Key and Peele first voiced him in January 2012, is that everything the tiger says is wrong. By that I mean that, when push came to shove, Obama either didn’t have the courage of his alleged anger (the “anger translator” was in error) or he felt free to act upon it himself (the “anger translator” was unnecessary). Need proof? Here:
Obama: First of all, concerning the recent developments in the Middle Eastern region, I just want to reiterate our unquenching support for all people and their right to a democratic process.
Luther: Hey! All y’all dictators out there, keep messing around and see what happens. Just see what happens. Watch!!
Hey, Luther! Obama bowed down before the Muslim Brotherhood, a group open about its goal of denying the “democratic process” to women, Jews, Christians, gays, etc. Obama told Bashir al Assad that he’d drawn a “red line” by gassing his own people. The only problem was that, when Assad essentially said “So what, pretty boy?”, Obama hid behind Vladimir Putin. Put another way, Luther, not only did nothing happen when Obama faced anti-democratic impulses in the Middle East, the reality was that he either sided with the bad guys or ran and hid.
Luther got it wrong about Iran too:
Obama: Also, to the governments of Iran and North Korea, we once again urge you to discontinue your uranium enrichment programs.
Luther: Oh, Mahmoud! Kim Jong! I think I already done told both y’all 86 your sh*t bitches or I’m gonna come over there and do it for y’all. Please test me and see what happens.
Uh, Luther! We’ve got another little problem here. In fact, when Iran tested President Obama, he told them to go right ahead with their enrichment — but to be sure to stop just a few minutes before creating the nuclear warhead with Israel’s name on it. To help this program, Obama un-froze a whole bunch of funds the absence of which had been helping to destabilize the Mullah’s regime. Obama pretty much failed that test. (With regard to North Korea, the whole world is watching in fascinated horror as an allegedly drunk Kim Jong Il nukes his own family.)
Obama didn’t do so well at home, either.
Obama: On the domestic front, I just want to say to my critics, I hear your voices and I’m aware of your concerns.
Luther: So maybe you can chill the Hell out for like a second, and maybe then I can focus on some sh*t, you know?
“I hear your voices.” Really? Does anyone remember January 2009?
After listening to a critique of the nearly nine hundred billion dollars stimulus package from Republican Congressional leaders, along with some helpful suggestions on how to fix it, President Barack Obama had a two word answer.
“I won,” President Obama said, indicating why the Republicans were not going to have any significant input into the bill. President Barack Obama was echoing sentiments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who had explained by the House Democratic leadership version of the stimulus bill was going to pass with or without Republicans.
Funnily enough, Obama’s words don’t sound much like “I hear your voices.” They sound a lot more like “Shut the eff up!!” Luther, Obama lied to you, his beloved anger translator.
But wait, there’s more:
Obama: That goes for everybody, including members of the Tea Party.
Luther: Oh, don’t even get me started on these motherf*ckers. Right here (slamming a fist into his palm).
Obama didn’t need Luther to call the Tea Partiers nasty names. When someone recently wrote Obama a letter complaining about his treatment of a group the author called “Tea Baggers,” the President didn’t blink. Instead, he called them “Tea Baggers” too. For those out of the loop, the MSM’s beloved Anderson Cooper (who told the world about the time he proofread his mother’s ruminations about oral sex) coined the term soon after the Tea Party first appeared on the political scene (although he was only one in a long line of immature gay Leftists sniggering about the Tea Party’s name). Given the giggles with which his words were received, it was clear that Cooper, who is gay, and his fellow TV folks all knew that he was referring to a gay sexual practice involving oral sex and testicles.
And so it goes with the rest of the comedy sketch. You can watch the last minute of the video, which is pretty much more of the same.
As fascinating as the video is the reason that Key and Peele felt compelled to give voice to Obama’s id is just as interesting:
We know we’re frustrated when a person like [Rep.] Joe Wilson had , when he was like, “You lie!” to the president. And we were like, “The president can’t react the way millions of Americans right now are going, ‘Ugh!’ He can’t say anything. He can’t rail at this man, he can’t get upset. What if we had a surrogate who could get upset for him?” And that was the embryonic state of creating Luther [the anger translator].
Peele: The way we’ve described it before is that he couldn’t come off like an angry black man, especially early on, so what Luther says are things that ring true to us, and we felt like we were giving the truth a voice in a lot of ways.
First of all, let me say again that Obama isn’t the only president who has to suffer insults in silence. It’s part of the job. He’s not special. Second of all, to the extent that Key and Peele appear upset that Obama had to stand silent as he was being slandered, they’re a little confused. Joe Wilson called out “You lie” when Obama promised that the monies from Obamacare (which Key and Peele, per Democrat party directive, now call “the ACA”) would never go to illegal aliens. The problem (for Key and Peele, at least) is that, while Wilson was rude, he was also accurate. Obama did lie:
Now [August 11, 2011], Wilson’s indictment seems to have been proven right.
On Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it was awarding a $28.8 million Obamacare grant to 67 community health centers, many of which offer free care to ‘migrant workers,’ in other words…illegal aliens.
HHS spokeswoman Judy Andrews told CNSNews.com that “approximately $8.5 million will be used by 25 New Access Point awardees to target services to migrant and seasonal farm workers.”
Andrews continued: “Health centers do not, as a matter of routine practice, ask about or collect data on citizenship or other matters not related to the treatment needs of the patients seeking health services at the center. The Program’s authorizing statute does not affirmatively address immigration status.”
In other words, while Obamacare ostensibly excludes illegal immigrants, the HHS has already handed out Obamacare money to organizations that serve illegal immigrants. Obama’s lie wasn’t white, so much as dark grey.
Watching Key and Peele perform, it’s obvious that these are two extremely talented men. They’re also one-dimensional. To them, the world is solely about race. That’s why Obama gets a pass. Better to lie about his policies and spin fantasies about his accomplishments than to acknowledge that the man is dishonest and inept. A black (darkish brown) president cannot be seen as less than perfect.
This race-obsessed duo is as boring as my once-dynamic high school friends who, when they came out of the closet, defined themselves solely by sexual practices. All their friends were gay, they only went to gay themed entertainment, their politics boiled down to their bedroom proclivities, etc. It wasn’t “Hi, I’m a dentist, and I have two children, and my hobby is archery.” It was “Hi, I’m gay.” Key and Peele don’t introduce themselves to the world as creative thinkers who are talented mimics, wry observers, and quick-wits. Instead, the Fresh Air segment title says it all: “For Key And Peele, Biracial Roots Bestow Special Comedic ‘Power’.” Gawd, how dull!
In a healthy society, race is an incidental, culture is something interesting, and natural talent and hard work are what count. To the NPR crowd, though, it’s all about a person’s “biracial” African American-Euro American status (or, as linguistic purists should be saying) their “biracial” darkish brown-pale peachy pink status. The way in which two talents have been compressed to do service to a party’s continuing racial obsession proves more clearly than anything I’ve seen that the Democrats have had a straight-line racial continuum from the KKK crowd to the NPR crowd. When all is said and done, they are defined by (and, eventually, one hopes undone by) their unsavory racial obsessions.
We don’t know who HuffPo contributor and Obama apologist Jason Linkins is, but HuffPo had better get rid of him pretty quickly. An online publication with HuffPo’s impressive Progressive credentials can’t afford to have racists on its writing staff, and Linkins’ sin was pretty egregious.
Linkins’ racist attack on Asians comes early in a 1,900 word long article explaining that Obama didn’t really, actually, totally lie when he said 24 times that, if you like your insurance, you can keep it. Given the fact that millions of Americans have already been told that they’ve lost their policies and tens of millions more (both those with individual and those with group coverage) will soon hear the same message, Linkins’ really has to sweat to achieve this equivocal, but still Obama-friendly, conclusion. Ultimately, what Linkins seems to say is that Obama and his minions just sort of lied, rather than really lied, but they did it for your own good, to get you out of that horrible ghetto of people who own cheap plans that contain only provisions they actually want. Talk about being damned with faint praise.
This type of prevarication — which Linkins honestly terms “spin” — is not newsworthy. What’s noteworthy is Linkins’ use of demeaning pidgin English (emphasis added):
Well, the news today is that lots of people aren’t going to keep the plans that they are on, and are receiving notice from their health insurance providers that they will be shunted onto different, perhaps more expensive plans. And they no likey.
Wow! What’s with that dig at Asians? I mean, who can forget 1935′s Charlie Chan in Paris, when the nefarious Max Corday insults the sophisticated Chan by speaking to him in pidgin:
Max Corday: [in a condescending pidgin English/Chinese accent] Me happy know you. Mebbe you likee havee little drinkee?
Charlie Chan: Very happy to make acquaintance of charming gentleman.
Charlie Chan: Me no likeee drinkee now – perhaps later.
Think about that: Even in 1935, when Hollywood was still creating segregated movies and engaging in the worst types of stereotyping regarding blacks, Asians, Hispanics, etc., Hollywood and America understood that the pidgin phrase “me likee” or “you likee” was deeply disrespectful and demeaning.
I think it’s pretty disgusting that Linkins sends out a dog whistle to HuffPo readers tying discontent with Obamacare to Asians. This is especially suspect when one realizes the growing number of Asian Americans practicing medicine and attending medical schools. Is Linkins trying to blame Asian doctors for Obamacare woes? We won’t speculate further, because we can’t pretend to know what Linkins was thinking. All we know is that this kind of despicable subliminal racism taints everything it touches. Linkins needs to be disciplined immediately, both as a punishment and an example.
For those unfamiliar with my sense of humor, the above is, of course, satire. It’s true that Linkins used the phrase “they no likey,” and it’s true that this phrase is associated with the worst kind of anti-Asian racism. I strongly suspect, though, that Linkins’, typical of his political class, is completely oblivious to the linguistic history behind that distasteful phrase. I’m therefore equally certain that Linkins didn’t intend in any way to be racist.
My point in writing this post has nothing to do with Linkins. It is, instead, to heighten awareness of the fact that, for malevolently-minded people, as I just pretended to be, finding and attacking these “dog whistles” in good Alinsky fashion is easy. It’s a cheap, down-and-dirty way to smear ones political opponent. I didn’t have to bother reading what Linkins wrote, so I didn’t need to challenge it on the merits. Instead, I called him a racist and considered my job done. Were I actually to write this way seriously, rather than as satire, my real theory would have been that people who are racists can’t make good arguments and they certainly cannot make arguments that deserve to be considered on their merits. (If you’d like to see an intelligent, substantive challenge on the merits to Linkins’ argument, check out James Taranto.)
When I hear about blacks complaining that Lordes’ The Royals is a racist insult to black people because she talks about “Cristal (champagne) and Maybachs”; or that Blurred Lines is “rapey” (making Robin Thicke a rapey-ist) because it takes a fairly honest look at today’s hypersexualized club scene; or that any negative remarks about Obama’s politics are an unerring indicator that a critic is racist, I can only say that we’ve crossed a line.
Indeed, it’s something of a time line, because we’ve effectively returned ourselves to the Middle Ages, where small cadres of scholars tainted intellectual discourse by wasting their time debating the numbers of angels that could fit on the head of a pin. While these arguments were always reserved to a minority, they bespoke an intellectual narcissism, frivolity, and incestuousness that makes intellectual growth impossible. It’s as if the whole world has fallen prey of Wallace Stanley Sayre’s dictum that “Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low.”
In terms of cries of racism, the stakes are certainly low as to each individual combatant. Linkins doesn’t care about me and I don’t care about him. Were he to call me a “right wing wacko,” I would sneer right back at him that he’s a “delusional Marxist.” We’d then retire to our corners in the proud consciousness of duty done, at least when it comes to the battle of ad hominem attacks. But while we’re congratulating ourselves on the quality of our insults, ordinary Americans are tuning out. They know I’m not a right-wing wacko, but am instead, a nice neighborhood soccer mom, who believes “that government is best that governs least”; just as they know that Linkins is an ordinary working stiff who truly believes that redistribution of wealth, if it’s only done right, could work. Their verdict as to both of us is “They’re mean and stupid, and I’m not going to listen anymore.”
Dog whistles are for dogs. Most people are poor communicators at best, which means that we should give them the benefit of the doubt before rushing to the worst conclusions. Failing that, the marketplace of ideas is effectively dead.