I’m finding some wonderful gems hidden in my inbox. This one goes back to April, but is too good not to share now. It’s a news story about the way in which the Swedish cultural elite — including the Minister of Culture — celebrate. Here’s a hint about what you’ll see at the link: even the KKK might have found this one a little bit over the top.
Despite any actual evidence, Elizabeth Warren sticks resolutely to her claim that she is 1/32 Native American.
This is how crazy people think. Do you know how I know that? Because I just watched Bowfinger with the kids.
Bowfinger, which was made in 1999, when one could still be at least a little bit un-PC, is a very silly movie. The premise is that a down-and-out producer (Steve Martin) puts together an “aliens are attacking” action-adventure film by having his little team of amateurs act around the unwitting Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy), a famous action movie star, who also happens to be ravingly paranoid.
Kit’s manic delusions are established in his very first scene, when he complains that all the great lines (e.g., “Hasta la vista, baby”) go to non black actors, proving a conspiracy. From that start, he counts all the “Ks” in a script, points out that the resulting number is perfectly divisible by three, raves about the “KKK” conspiracy he’s just proven, and transmutes “Shakespeare” into the racist “Spear Chucker.” No surprise, then, that the next step is to Elizabeth Warren-land:
Here’s the key language (starting at 2:00):
Kit: And I suppose Teddy Kennedy ain’t 1/16th black, eh?
Agent: Teddy Kennedy?
Kit: He’s not like the other Kennedys. Look at him. He’s different!
(I toyed with the idea of calling this post “When real life imitates Hollywood,” because Warren’s staunch defense of her minority status came to light in 2012, while Bowfinger dates back to 1999. I decided in favor of “Hollywood imitates real life,” though, because Warren started claiming Native American status long before 1999.)
Ed Driscoll has the best wrap-up I’ve seen of the bombshell report that Barack Obama either told his literary agent that he was born in Kenya or, when she made a mistake to that effect, was happy to let that mistake sit around, uncorrected, until 2007. Ed’s point, like mine, is that this agency squiblet doesn’t actually mean Obama was born in Kenya. As someone pointed out (and I’ll add a link when I remember who did the pointing), if Obama really was born in Kenya, Hillary would have worked that angle back in 2008.
Nevertheless, this 1991 document, one that pre-dates Obama’s political career, establishes more clearly than anything else could two important things. First, it proves beyond all doubt that Obama lies and lies and lies. Jack Cashill and Roger Simon, both published authors, say no agency would ever publish a bio without running it by the author first. Whoever wrote those words, Obama was complicit. Assuming as I do that he’s just a second-rate mind from Hawaii, he actively or passively lied back then. And when he scrambles now to recover from that lie, he’ll be lying again.
Second, this little print publication, which was in active distribution through 2007, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the media is now and has been running interference for Obama. The media should have found this document — and would have found it if it had only stopped searching through Sarah Palin’s garbage cans.
I continue to have a deep, deep desire to see Obama’s grades and job applications. Just as Elizabeth Warren cast herself as “Faux-cahontas” to get affirmative action benefits, I’m willing to bet that Obama, when applying to college and seeking jobs, claimed Kenyan birth in order to cast himself as an “exotic” who would lend even greater diversity cachet to colleges and businesses. If American black is good, African black is even better. The institution manages to get both a person of color and someone who suffered colonial depredations. It’s a double sin expiation for the institution that grabs this person.
I was talking to someone today who claimed that the U.S. is still a deeply racist nation. I suggested that it is no longer possible to call the U.S. racist, because it’s no longer possible to have a non-insane discussion about race. In a world where George Zimmerman, a half-Peruvian, part-black man is a “white-Hispanic;” where lily-white Elizabeth Warren gets one job after another based upon an imaginary, possibly Cherokee ancestor who bequeathed 3 droplets of non-white blood to Warren; and where an American born nonentity makes himself interesting by claiming an African birthplace, who the heck can have a reasonable discussion about either race or American attitudes towards race?
The topic of race in America is so toxic and polluted, it’s time to do what we should have done a long time ago: abandon it altogether. Otherwise, we risk return to a bizarre racial world of quadroons, octaroons, quintroons, and 32nd-roons — and worse, it does so, not even based upon actually genetic lines, but upon made-up histories.
For the MSM, the George Zimmerman thing has turned out to be a bust. With the exception of the fact that Trayvon Martin is still dead, everything the MSM first reported about the case has proven to be untrue. Right about now, you’d think that the media would be engaged in some soul-searching and apologizing, but that assumes that MSM members have souls and consciences. If you’ve made that assumption, you’ve proved, once again, that when you assume, you make an “ass” of “u” and “me.”
Because the media’s first effort at fomenting a race war seems to have failed, with only a few hapless white people suffering mob beat-downs, the MSM has gone back to the drawing board. The first effort in the “if at first you don’t succeed” strategy is a New York Times article about a killing in Georgia. Again, a white man shot a young black man. I hope you appreciate how beautifully the Times uses passive voice in the first paragraph (emphasis mine):
LYONS, Ga. — Norman Neesmith was sleeping in his home on a rural farm road here in onion country when a noise woke him up.
He grabbed the .22-caliber pistol he kept next to his bed and went to investigate. He found two young brothers who had been secretly invited to party with an 18-year-old relative he had raised like a daughter and her younger friend. The young people were paired up in separate bedrooms. There was marijuana and sex.
Over the course of the next confusing minutes on a January morning in 2011, there would be a struggle. The young men would make a terrified run for the door. Mr. Neesmith, who is 62 and white, fired four shots. One of them hit Justin Patterson, who was 22 and black.
The bullet pierced his side, and he died in Mr. Neesmith’s yard. His younger brother, Sha’von, then 18, ran through the onion fields in the dark, frantically trying to call his mother.
The dead boy’s parents are wondering why they didn’t get the full Al Sharpton treatment. Reading through the article, you discover that there are two reasons. First, a year ago, when this tragedy unfolded, Al Sharpton and his cadre hadn’t yet figured out that they could get substantial mileage out of a white on black killing. Second, it’s too late now, because the actual facts are out there, and they don’t leave either the race hustlers or the MSM much with which to work. Even the Times acknowledges that the known facts run counter to the “white people are murderous KKK/Nazi killers” meme:
Still, like so many other crimes where race might be a factor, this one is not so clear-cut. Mr. Neesmith says he felt threatened. He says he aches for the parents but believes none of this would have happened if the young men had not been in his house when they should not have been.
“I think about it every day. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever been through,” Mr. Neesmith said as he stood in the doorway of his home. “In two minutes it just went bad. If you ain’t never shot nobody, you don’t want to do it, I’m telling you.”
In the backyard, a pool was ready for neighborhood kids — both black and white — who he said loved to come over after school for a swim. Mr. Neesmith, a former school bus driver, and his late wife had been foster parents to dozens of children.
They took in a great-niece, who has a black parent, when she was a baby. She is now 19 and admitted to investigators that she invited Justin Patterson to their trailer home that night, timing it so Mr. Neesmith would be asleep. The two had been flirting on Facebook and in texts.
When Mr. Neesmith pulled the young men out of the bedrooms, he threatened to call the younger girl’s grandfather, according to court documents and interviews. He asked the two, who both have young daughters, why they were not home with their children. He ranted and waved the gun around.
So the brothers made a run for it. By all accounts, while the younger one struggled to unlock a side door, the older one shoved Mr. Neesmith.
Let me summarize those unclear facts: Neesmith has raised a half-black child (or would she be white/black?) and his home was a meeting spot for both black and white youngsters. He thought he had a break-in (explaining the gun), then he noticed that the child he was raising was doing sex and illegal drugs in his home (explaining the anger), and then one of the two young men (i.e., not one weeny little guy, but two young men) in his home started pushing him around. Further investigation showed that the other girl was 14, adding statutory rape to the illegal conduct within his house.
Given these facts, why in the world does the Times say, “like so many other crimes where race might be a factor”? (And equally importantly, why doesn’t the Times say, more correctly, “As with some many other crimes in which race might be a factor”?) It turns out that the Times had to do some reaching:
That race played a significant part is not hard to imagine here in a county that was named after Robert Toombs, a general and one of the organizers of the Confederate government. A black woman has never been named Miss Vidalia Onion in the annual festival that begins Thursday. And until last year in neighboring Montgomery County, there were two proms — one for whites and one for blacks.
What!? No black Miss Vidalia Onion? My God! The whole county should be sent to jail. And separate proms? Well, clearly a white person is going to kill a black person. Especially a white person who is raising a black-white person.
With too much time having passed by, and too many facts instantly available in a small Georgia community, Al Sharpton and the MSM race hustlers never had a chance. The bereaved parents will have to mourn their child’s passing without benefit of race riots on his behalf.
Incidentally, I’ve been paying attention over the past couple of weeks to the crime stories in the San Francisco Chronicle. Sadly, they have included several reports tell about people of color who were shot,* one while he was pushing his child’s stroller. Strangely, none of these stories have excited comment in the larger, national media, nor has Al Sharpton dropped by to offer his condolences. I leave you to figure out why the telling silence.
*Oceanview is a primarily minority neighborhood, so I’m making an educated guess that the man who was shot was a minority.
“Facts are stubborn things.”
I love that quotation. John Adams said it back in 1774 when he took on the unpopular job of defending the British troops charged with the killings in the event now known as the Boston Massacre. Arguing off those same stubborn facts, Adams was able to get those troops acquitted.
“Facts are stubborn things.” You can lie about them and you can try to bury them, but they have a bad habit of revealing themselves. Sometimes, these revelations can take decades or even centuries, but sometimes — especially in a modern media age — those stubborn facts demand to be heard within days or weeks of the initial lies.
And so it is with the lies the media told about George Zimmerman.
“He’s a white man.” Wrong, so the media came up the tortured white-Hispanic. Turns out that even that is wrong. Zimmerman is also part black. Brutally Honest has the perfect summation: “In a delicious irony, it is Zimmerman who might actually look more like the son Obama never had.”
He’s a racist. Wrong, because it was revealed that he worked hard on behalf of a young black man he thought was wrongfully accused.
He’s an evil, paranoid man who constantly called the cops because of imaginary terrors in his neighborhood. Wrong. Aside from the fact that he called infrequently, he was the rock of the neighborhood:
George Zimmerman was known as a trusted aid to most of his black neighbours in the gated community of Sanford, Florida that was plagued by a string of burglaries in the weeks leading up to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, according to an investigation by Reuters.
It reveals that the community, previously a family-friendly, first-time homeowner community, had been devastated by the recession that struck Florida, and transient renters began to occupy some of the 263 town houses in the complex.
During that time, it was Zimmerman, who emerged as a sympathetic figure, offering his and his wife’s support to any homeowners who had been robbed or felt fearful.
I don’t know whether George Zimmerman committed a crime. I do know that the American media did. Zimmerman is said to have wept for what he did. I doubt anyone in the media is shedding tears for grossly maligning a good man’s character or for stirring up violent racial animus in America.
Subject to a very few exceptions, I don’t see movies during their first runs in movie theaters. Instead, I see them when they’re released on DVD. That’s why I’m only watching The Help now. (The Help is a movie about black maids in the early 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi.)
Before I go any further with this post, I have to tell you that I was predisposed to dislike it. To begin with, I think most of what comes out of Hollywood nowadays is poorly done, insofar as movies are charmless and heavy-handed. I also looked at the few big names in the cast (Allison Janney, Sissy Spacek, Cicely Tyson, and Mary Steenburgen) and assumed that the movie’s viewpoint would be hostile to some aspect of America. Lastly, I knew that a movie about black and white relations in the 1950s would be in its approach . . . well . . . black and white.
So far, I’ve struggled through the first half of The Help and am bored out of my mind. It’s like being buried knee deep in cliches. In a way, the movie is hampered by a historical truth, which is that the Jim Crow South, especially deep in Mississippi, was a miserable hellhole for blacks. Southern whites had a single-minded focus, which was to maintain a status quo that saw blacks at the bottom of the pecking order. Blacks were dehumanized, physically abused, legally insulted, and whatever else the Dixie-crats could think of to ensure that they didn’t have to look black people in the eye and see their common humanity.
These historic truisms handicap the movie, because the only way it can deal with them is to make the whites horrifically bad and the blacks angelically good. In other words, the characters are one-dimensional and quite boring. The lead “good” white girl is blandly good; while the lead “bad” white girl is a caricature of evil, with a touch of Hannah Arendt-style banality thrown in. The black women are plaster saints, whether heroically working to send their kids to college, heroically suffering after a child dies, or heroically using an indoor bathroom. The single “outsider” is a New York Jewish female editor, who sees the Civil Rights movement as something akin to a fashion trend. (In that, the movie does a disservice to the many Northern Jews who were fanatic in their devotion to the Civil Rights cause. Just as the blacks did, they believed defeating Jim Crow was akin to the Jews’ struggle to escape Pharaoh’s clutches, and that belief added a spiritual element to their approach that overrode mere faddism.)
There’s no room for nuance in this movie. It’s a polemic, pure and simple and, as such, artistically dull. That could change in the movie’s second half, which I’ll watch tonight, but I’m not optimistic.
There is one thing about the movie that does stand out — there are no men. So far, one black man has appeared off screen (we hear only his voice) to beat his wife; while another black man has given a short sermon about Moses’ courage. The white men are equally invisible and ineffectual. They are either hen-pecked or absent altogether. I’ve just reached the point in the movie where the lead white girl (whose name I can’t remember because she’s such a nonentity) charms a blind date by being rude to him. Or at least, I think that’s what she did. One other problem I have with the movie is that the actors got a little carried away with their down-home Southern accents. As often as not, they’re unintelligible. It may add an air of authenticity to the movie, but it makes it hard to follow.
I’ll get back to you tomorrow about part 2 of the movie. So far, I’m not impressed.
UPDATE: Last night turned into homework central, so my TV watching was limited to catching up with Jay Leno doing “Headlines.” Part II of The Help will have to wait another day.
The usual crowd of race hustlers, including Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the New Black Panthers and Barack Obama, have been making as much hay as possible out of Trayvon Martin’s death. Clearly, they think that this episode has ballot potential in November. I can see only one way in which it does have that potential, and I’ll get to that in a minute. But first, a few reasons why I think their ham-handed attempt to paint America as a racist nation will be a bust.
First, in terms of characterizing America as a racist nation, the fact that we have a black president kind of, sort of, a little bit, makes it stupid to try to paint a whole nation with the “racism” brush just because a big Hispanic man in a bad neighborhood pulled a gun on a big black guy in the same neighborhood. That’s true whether the killing was motivated by self-defense, insanity, or racism.
Second, people are beginning to catch on to the media’s games. In a way, it’s useful that the Martin killing followed on the heels of the Toulouse massacre. It’s a reminder that the media has a few templates for murder: When a black person dies at the hands of a non-black person, it’s a front-page racially motivated crime. When a non-black person dies at the hands of black person, it’s a bottom of page 27 story. And when a Muslim kills people while shouting “Allah is great,” Islam has nothing to do with it. Here, the media is sticking to its narrative with regard to both the Martin and Mohammed stories, despite pesky little details that put the lie to the media narratives.
Third, this was a one-person crime. Zimmerman didn’t belong to a White (or Hispanic) Supremacist movement. He wasn’t a corrupt small town sheriff. This wasn’t just another in a long line of racially motivated murders in the same community. It’s awfully hard to make a serious case for institutional American racism based on a sordid neighborhood dispute.
Fourth, crying “racism” is losing its impact. I read the other day (and I can’t remember where) that every time the President dips into the strategic oil reserves, the price of fuel drops. But here’s the kicker: With each successive release of oil from the reserves, the price drop has less staying power than it did during the previous release. Within an ever shorter time, fuel prices return to the price at which they were before the President used the reserves. In other words, the market is getting smarter at recognizing that the sudden influx of oil is a Band-Aid fix that doesn’t repair the deep problems with our oil supplies — so prices remain the same. With the racism cry, there’s a similar phenomenon: Americans are getting smarter at recognizing that the sudden screams of racism have nothing to do with the fact that America is, overall, a non-racist country, something that is true regardless of pockets of racism that may pop out here and there.
There you have it: four very good reasons why the bleats of “racism” are not going to convince Americans that they are still deeply racist and that they must reelect Barack Obama to continue to expiate their sin.
However, I’m not sure directing manifestly false insults at the America people is really going on here. I think the New Black Panthers gave the real game away when the announced a bounty on Zimmerman’s head (dead or alive.) What the race hustlers are telling Americans is that, if they don’t reelect Barack Obama, there’s going to be rioting on the streets, and that those who haven’t gotten with the pro-race program, can expect to have a bounty placed on their heads (dead or alive).
This isn’t about racism; this is about threatening American voters.
UPDATE: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, who has a real knack for connecting the dots, has collected all the dots into a single post and come to pretty much the same conclusion I did.
Sequestered here on the Left Coast I hadn’t paid any attention to the Trayvon Martin murder. Today, though, it forced itself into the forefront of my brain. As the media spins the story, it’s a horrific case of a very wholesome, very young black man cruelly executed in a “safe,” “white” neighborhood by a ferocious non-black man (sold by some as white, admitted by others to be Hispanic), with the man clearly acting in a racial fury.
Here are reports on some other racial fury the story, as the media sold it, has stirred:
What’s missing from all this racial hysteria in Obama’s America is the truth. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that the truth does not involve a wholesome black boy, in a “safe,” “white” neighborhood, randomly killed for being black by a non-black man. Instead, the truth involves a very large black kid on a five day suspension from school, in a dangerous, mixed-race neighborhood, pounding a Hispanic man into the ground. Whether the Hispanic man was sufficiently in fear of his life to justify a self-defense shooting remains to be seen. What’s clear, though, is that the media narrative is a lie.
I leave it to all of you to figure out why this story was the platform for the big lies. Is Obama’s base quietly deserting him? I don’t think the numbers support that. Is the media trying to deflect attention from more significant stories about Obama Administration failures and malfeasance? This seems like a peculiar way to go about it. Were Sharpton and Farrakhan bored and looking to stir things up a little? That, actually, I can believe. These men are increasingly marginalized by the younger generation of agitators. Perhaps these are the last roars of the old lions.
UPDATE: For those who thought I was being reflexively anti-Obama when I made reference to “Obama’s America,” I wasn’t. Right on cue, Obama waded in, with language more temperate than he used when the Henry Louis Gates story broke, but still obviously siding with the race mongers:
“If I had a son he would have looked like Treyvon,” Obama said shortly, addressing the victim’s parents. “I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness that this deserves and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
Obama is now, and always will be, a racist: that is, he views everything through a racial prism, and seems unable to believe or understand that, for most people, race is only one small part of the myriad biological, genetic, and social factors that make them who they are and that guide what they do.
Jerry Brown has nominated Teveia Barnes to be the new commissioner for California’s Department of Financial Institutions. This means that she is the ultimate regulatory authority for more than 300 California-chartered banks and other financial institutions.
Barnes has an impressive resume, including a lengthy stint as associate general counsel and senior vice president at Bank of America. This is a woman who knows banks. Before law, she was a serious academic at Rice, which is a serious school. She graduated in 1975 with a triple undergraduate degree in economics, German studies, and poly sci. She then got her law degree from the New York University Law School. She entered law school in 1975, which was a time when law schools were finally acknowledging that women were part of the legal package. Those women I know who graduated from law schools back then had a tough time. They were not made to feel welcome.
In addition to her solid academic and professional resume, Barnes is also a committed Democrat. Or at least she’s become a committed Democrat since Obama’s rise. From the years 2000 to 2007, she made $500 in donations to Democrat groups. Beginning in 2008, and continuing through to this year, her donations totaled $12,500, all to Obama’s campaign, Obama’s PACs or general Democrat groups. She made herself visible and Jerry Brown responded. That’s fine. That’s how politics works.
The one thing that concerns me is that, for the past 13 years, Barnes’ has committed her life to the diversity industry. She comes to her government job from a long stint as president of Lawyers for One America. In many ways, just as Barnes is exemplary, so too is the organization. One of its major goals is to see that minorities in America get good legal representation, something that is often achieved by encouraging high powered lawyers and law firms to take on pro bono work. The other major goal, however, is simply the usual diversity business:
The lack of meaningful diversity in the legal profession is a grave issue directly related to opportunity. While people of color comprise approximately one-quarter of the American population, just 10 percent of the legal profession consists of people of color. Attorneys of color comprise just 3 percent of attorneys in law firms, traditionally the centers of power in the profession. LFOA assists in increasing the percentage of lawyers of color in the profession. This work helps provide economic opportunity to those to whom it was previously unavailable.
In other words, this is all about affirmative action. What the affirmative action mavens refuse to acknowledge is that affirmative action doesn’t necessarily serve minority communities well. The communities get lawyers but, sadly, they don’t always get good lawyers. Instead, they get lawyers who have been pushed into and through the system because of their race. Some of them end up doing very well, of course. Others, well, not so much. Putting people in over their head means that a few of the strongest will swim, but most will drown.
Despite statistical evidence showing that affirmative action probably ran its course about thirty years ago, Barnes and her group think that professional profiling (Is someone the right race? Is someone the right sex?) is the only thing that matters when it comes to ensuring good lawyering for minorities:
Ms. Barnes said the legal profession in general is behind the times when it comes to promoting women and people of color. She believes the dominance of white men in the legal profession hurts all of society because minority attorneys are not readily available to provide volunteer legal-aide services.
“For women and lawyers of color, it is difficult for them to have that added time to do that pro bono work that I would otherwise hope they want to do, because they’re struggling with their careers,” she said. “They’re working twice as hard to just maintain their career, to just showcase what they can do, and to prove their value to the organization. And so they have to be pretty well established before they’ll risk doing the pro bono work that all lawyers should be doing.”
This obsession with race and gender strikes me as peculiarly antebellum South. It’s as if America’s blacks internalized entirely the old Southern message about white male superiority, and black and female inferiority and then, 150 years later, regurgitated it, only backwards. It was a horrible, limiting, prejudicial attitude back then, and it’s just as bad now, even with the roles reversed.
My concern as a citizen of the once great state of California is that Barnes’ racial and gender blinders, blinders just as thick and distorted as those worn by a Southern planter back in the 1850s, will lead her to make impositions upon and demands of California’s financial institutions that have nothing to do with good financial practices, and everything to do with advancing an antiquated view of humans, one that sees them controlled and limited by their skin color or sex.
I hope that Barnes, with her impressive academic and professional background, will be able to overcome her own prejudices. I’m not sanguine, though, given that the last twelve years of her life have seen her completely submersed in the racial diversity machinery, one that believes that government’s job is to give minorities a helping hand, and to give whites, especially white men, the back of the hand.
When I was growing up, February boasted Lincoln’s birthday (February
16 12) and Washington’s birthday (February 22). When I was no longer a child, those two distinct birthdays — one celebrating America’s first commander in chief and first president, and the other one celebrating the architect of our modern union and the leader of the war against slavery — got merged into one holiday that is celebrated on the Monday closest to Washington’s birthday, and that rejoices under the generation appellation of “President’s Day.” Ostensibly, the day honors both Lincoln and Washington, but that amorphous title leaves one wondering whether Jimmy Carter is parading around his house declaring to Rosalynn “This is my day too.”
As the parent of two school-age children, I can tell you that President’s Day has absolutely nothing to do with any presidents, whether Washington, Lincoln or (thankfully) Carter. Instead, to the extent there’s something out there called “President’s Day,” it’s just a hinge for a weekend’s or week’s worth of skiing. (Or if snow isn’t your thing, Florida is nice at this time of year.)
What February is really about, at least as far as our schools are concerned, is Black History Month. I don’t like Black History Month, but not for the reason those always hunting for racism might assume. I don’t like it because I don’t believe in hyphenating Americans. I don’t believe in allocating a month here or a month there to those who represent our nation’s highest aspirations or to those who demonstrate the greatness of American individualism. I find something creepy about relegating black greatness to the shortest month of the year. If you’re a great American, you’re a great American, irrespective of your skin color. Every single day of the year, our children should be celebrating those Americans who contributed to our nation, contributions that ought not to be bounded by skin-color or relegated to specific months for official recognition.
Black History Month isn’t a celebration of the contributions black people have made to America. Instead, it’s a continuation of segregation in America, only with a pretty gloss.
Although it’s a silly holiday, Black History Month pretty much defines February. That’s why I have something peculiar to relate about a store at my local mall. It’s a children’s clothing store called Peek. As best as I can tell, it’s a very nice clothing store, catering to people who don’t feel the need to dress their children like hoods or rock stars. Don Quixote and I often stroll by it when we have lunch at the mall.
The other day, the first time we passed Peek, something about the window display struck me as being . . . not “off,” but discordant. On our second pass by the store, I figured out what was so unusual: the window display honored Lincoln and Washington. Rather than pictures of the great Booker T. Washington, there were pictures of George Washington. And in place of the ubiquitous Maya Angelou, there was a book about Abe Lincoln. Between the age-appropriate children’s clothes, and the homage to Presidents Washington and Lincoln, the window looked as if it was a temporal escapee from 1970.
I’ll leave you with Allen West’s fascinating homage to Black History Month:
It’s a family stuff day, so blogging has been light, and will continue to be so. Fortunately, I’ve got friends who send me interesting things which I am so happy to pass on to you. In no particular order:
Wolf Howling has written a fascinating, scholarly dissertation examining the adversarial history of faith and socialism, and the way that history quite logically to Obama’s current fight with religious organizations over funding for abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilization.
Samuel Jackson and Barack Obama are two minds with but a single thought: Make voting easy by examining your skin color and, if it’s dark, vote accordingly. Samuel Jackson, in a profanity-laced interview, freely admits that he couldn’t have cared less about the type of governance Obama would bring to the White House. The only thing that mattered was his color. That’s just one person. Our dear (black) leader — and, yes, his color is an important point in this post — has prepared an entire video imploring black people to vote for him because he’s black:x
As the friend who sent me this asked “I wonder what the backlash would be if Mitt Romney started a Mormons for Mitt campaign?”
Rhymes with Right suggests that the Catholic Church go medieval over ObamaCare [link fixed]. I think he’s right. Citizens in America are free to make decisions that implicate their religion — and the religion is free to make decisions right back. What cannot happen in America, however, is precisely what Obama is doing, which is to interject the state into the relationship between the religion and its followers.
Lastly, one of my oldest and dearest blog friends, Patrick O’Hannigan, looks at the Komen versus Planned Parenthood kerfuffle. I say “legitimate,” because they are both private organizations, as opposed to a government organization versus a religion. Within the context of the fight itself, of course, I think Planned Parenthood’s position and strategy are both entirely illegitimate and, as Patrick carefully explains, Komen, before it caved, was in the right.
Duane Lester, whose main blogging home is All American Blogger, has come up with a brilliant idea. He’s set up a site that simply lists all the things that are “racist” in Barack Obama’s America. Here’s a snippet from Now Racist in the U.S.:
Any Political Opposition to President Obama • “Articulate” • Asking Attorney General Eric Holder about Fast & Furious • Asking President Obama to Postpone a Speech • Asking to See President Obama’s College Transcripts • Avoiding Dangerous Neighborhoods • “Black Clouds” • “Black Friday” • “Black Hole” • “Black Sheep of the Family” • “Blah” • “Break” • “Brother” • Calling President Obama the “Entertainer-in-Chief” • Calling Juan Williams “Juan” • Calling President Obama a “Professor” • Colorblind Societies • “Community organizer”
Go check out the list and, if you remember something he hasn’t found yet, contact Duane at Tips -at- NowRacistInThe.US.
Despite the fact that Republicans are currently busy working the circular firing squad, making outside efforts to destroy them somewhat redundant, the Progressives/Democrats/Media/Usual Suspects aren’t taking any chances about the November 2012 election and have already brought out the big gun: They’re crying racism.
The racism claim that got the biggest headline this week is the study that purports to show that conservatism, racism and stupidity are a package deal. If you’re conservative, you must be racist and stupid. If you’re stupid, you must be racist and conservative. And if you’re racist, you must be stupid and conservative.
Hold in your mind for a second that last thought: If you’re racist, you must be stupid and conservative. Racism, of course, means to hold a negative belief about someone, or to insult someone, based solely upon their race (although I’ll have more on that definition in a minute). That being the case, how do the usual suspects account for the fact that Cedric the Entertainer, that noted Progressive, launched a foul mouthed attack against a black woman — which focuses solely, and negatively, upon her race, a race that happens to be African American? And no, as is so often the case when I’m talking about lunacy from the Left, I’m not kidding. As John Nolte says
Crystal Wright is an accomplished commentator and writer who holds a Masters from Georgetown. But she just happens to be black and female and Republican, so therefore …. this gets fired out to nearly a quarter of a million people:
African-Americans, especially African-American women, pay a very high price for stepping off the Progressive plantation.
It’s going to get worse, too, before it gets better, and that’s because the Left is now taking the Orwellian position of remove race from racism entirely, so as to ensure that all conservative words or acts can be properly castigated as racist, justifying ostracism, insults and reeducation. Incidentally, I understand that the preceding sentence makes no sense, but that’s not my fault. When Newspeak controls the discourse, the issue isn’t sense, but censorship or, more specifically, getting conservatives to shut up:
“Color Blind Racism” was the title of a recent article in the Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on-line publication, The Root. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. last appeared on this blog for his outrageous charge of racism against a policeman for following protocol, and The Root was last mentioned on this blog for its list of blacks whom they would like to see erased from history. The list was a who’s who of murders, cannibals and despicable people, and included both Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and right wing black politician Alan Keyes.
So what is “color blind racism?” According to The Root, it is ”a racial ideology that expresses itself in seemingly nonracial terms. As such, it is most practiced by people who never see themselves outside their own myopic worldview. ” What that means in practice is a redefinition of racism from its actual meaning, a belief that a particular race is inherently inferior, into a wholly new arena, where, mirabile dictu, criticism directed towards blacks, and indeed, the mere mention of any inconvenient fact, is inherently racist. The “Orwellian term, ‘color blind racism.’” is, as James Taranto at the WSJ describes it, ”the pithiest summation we’ve ever encountered of the absurdity of contemporary left-liberal racial dogma.”
Read the rest here, so that you can fully understand the brave new world in which you are about to live. George Orwell wouldn’t have been proud — since what he feared has come to pass — but Big Brother would have been very proud indeed.
It’s not only conservatives who have noticed that the waning OWS movement was pretty much whiter than white. Black activist preachers have noticed the same thing and are trying to mobilize their congregants to get out there to camp on sidewalks like homeless people along with the white drug-addicted, violent OWSers:
The Rev. Harold Mayberry stood before his First African Methodist Episcopal Church congregation Sunday morning in Oakland and outlined how it was time for members to connect with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Nationally, many African American leaders have acknowledged a disconnect between the Occupy Wall Street movement and the larger black community.
Mayberry is among nearly two dozen prominent African American Bay Area pastors trying to bridge that gap at the community level through a growing national effort that is ramping up today – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – called Occupy the Dream.
“This is a great leap forward to involve local pastors,” said James Taylor, an associate professor of political science at the University of San Francisco and an expert in African American studies. “The general critique of Occupy is that it has lacked a specific agenda. But this could be a sign of maturity for the movement.”
In February, the pastors will ask their congregants to withdraw a small amount of money – at least $30 – from their bank accounts and deposit it in either a credit union or a minority-owned bank.
If that symbolic move doesn’t get the attention of “Wall Street banks,” as Mayberry described the nation’s largest financial institutions, then in March, Occupy the Dream will ask larger African American-dominated institutions, churches and black professionals to begin transferring greater amounts to credit unions.
“I ain’t got no problem with people becoming millionaires – I wouldn’t mind joining the club myself,” Mayberry told his congregation. “My problem is when you are so insensitive to people who have not been able to raise themselves up to the level where you are – and you snuff out their dreams.”
I just heard from a friend who lives in and functions in the welfare/drug community. (I’m not kidding when I say that I have contacts in all walks of life.) There’s a black market of food stamps there. My friend is dining on roast beef tonight because another friend traded his food stamps with him for weed. All these people have a few things in common: they’re white; they’re drug users (mostly post); they rely heavily on welfare programs because of their drug use, whether we’re talking about impairment from actively using drugs or from decades of past drug use; and they support the OWS movement. They are explicit that they see OWS as a way to ensure a continued flow of welfare benefits.
Is this really the milieu to which black pastors want to sink their congregants?
UPDATE: This video of Valerie Jarrett giving a rousing political speech at a historically black church (after which the church hosted a voter registration guide) seems apropos. At least Michelle Obama limited her black voter drive speech to the BET awards, a venue that doesn’t get the tax benefits extended to a church.
A few years ago, those in the know were telling us in no uncertain terms that the EU model was the future — and that America had better get used to playing second fiddle to the economic giant that a united Europe presented. I found it hard to imagine that Europe would ever be able to overcome rivalries and tribal allegiances that span centuries, even millennia. I also did not believe that the socialist model, which might work in a small, homogenous culture, would be able to sustain a vast economic federalism. Watching what is happening in Europe now tells me that my common sense was infinitely more valuable than anything scholars and economists had to offer.
The whole EU collapse has gotten me thinking about tribalism. One of America’s greatest strengths, right up there with the Constitution and the continent’s natural bounty — is that tribalism didn’t take hold here as it did in Europe. From the beginning, we were too fluid a society. As soon as we got a good hate going against one immigrant group (the Irish, for example), two things happened: First, America’s lack of a class system, economic flexibility, and geographic mobility, resulted in significant numbers of the hated group leveraging themselves up into the middle and working class. Second, a new hated class invariably came on board (e.g., Jews or Italians or Puerto Ricans or Asians), restarting the same cycle.
This malleable system, with hatreds that couldn’t last long enough to become entrenched, was aided by our participation in two popular 20th century World Wars. (I use the word “popular” to distinguish them from the Korean War, which was greeted with exhaustion, and the Vietnam War and Iraq, which the Left used to create social divisions.) As Israel proves daily, boot camp is the best melting pot of them all. During the World Wars, the Brooklyn Jew and the Minnesota Swedish farm boy might not have liked each other, but they came into contact in structured environment, and fought for the same cause.
One of the most poisonous things the Left has done to America in the past 40 years is to create institutional tribalism. Instead of a distant government that kept grinding on, whether old immigrants hated the Irish or the Jews or the Italians or the whatever, the Left got the government involved in designating victims. Suddenly, the government is focusing like a laser on blacks and gays and differently-abled and whoever else is the Leftists’ victim célèbre. We now have a government that doesn’t discriminate against blacks, it discriminate for them (and for all the other designated victim classes, women included), with equally heinous results. Government should be above the tribal fray, not creating it.
Before anyone calls me on it, I know perfectly well that our Constitution, as originally written, did get involved in tribalism by treating Southern blacks as a separate class. I don’t think I need to remind anyone, though, what a horrible outcome that official discrimination had. Both the early Constitution and the Jim Crow era (when the South decided to perpetuate the Founders’ original mistake) are perfect illustrations of the disasters resulting from allowing governments to pick one tribe and discriminate against another.
As an aside, the only reason women haven’t been destroyed by this government discrimination is because of kids. Children have needs that, so far, our government isn’t meeting, so Mom still has to act like a responsible grown-up.
Tribalism is dangerous. Legislated tribalism is disastrous.
I regularly read James Taranto’s Best of the Web and always enjoy his “Life imitates the Onion” or “Life imitates South Park” shticks. Imagine my surprise today, when I realized that, this time around, life is imitating a very silly satire I did at my blog almost exactly one year ago.
In September 2010, Marin conservatives gathered at a “Groupapalooza” to learn about conservative organizations in and near Marin County. (I know it’s hard to believe that there are conservatives and conservative organizations in and around Marin County, but we conservatives are a hardy, if somewhat outnumbered, breed.)
I attended the Groupapalooza and had a great and giddy time mingling with like-minded spirits. This induced such a spirit of frivolity in me that, when I got back to my computer, I wrote my follow-up post from the point of view of a young Progressive journalist. As part of this write-up, I threw in a paragraph in which my imaginary progressive journalist discusses her “friendships” with oppressed people:
Although no one manning these various tables [with information about conservative causes and candidates] was overtly hostile, I could feel them look me over, just as if they actually knew that I have a black friend. Or I had a black friend. Well, to be perfectly honest (because I am nothing if not honest), my mail carrier is black and I always say “hello” to him. I’m also very close to my Hispanic housekeeper, Rosa. (Or is it Flora? I always forget because, to tell the truth — and I always tell the truth — I try to stay away when she cleans ’cause it’s kind of uncomfortable to have to stop and talk to someone who scrubs your toilet, you know?)
Imagine my surprise to learn today that my silly social satire has been on-upped by reality and, funnily enough, it was James Taranto who brought it to my attention. He writes about a spat between two liberals, with the chromatic liberal taking the achromatic liberal to task for having the temerity to call the former a friend in a way that was clearly racially condescending. (Yes, I’m confused too.) Here’s how Taranto sums it up:
Yesterday we noted that The Nation’s Melissa Harris-Perry was accusing white liberals of abandoning President Obama for racially invidious reasons. This prompted a defensive and very long response from one white liberal, Joan Walsh, who began by stipulating that she and Harris-Perry are friends:
When I say Melissa Harris-Perry is my friend, I don’t say that rhetorically, or ironically; we are professional friends, we have socialized together; she has included me on political round tables; I like and respect her enormously. That’s why I think it’s important to engage her argument, and I’ve invited her to reply.
I was taken aback that Walsh emphasized the extent of our friendship. Walsh and I have been professionally friendly. We’ve eaten a few meals. I invited her to speak at Princeton and I introduced her to my literary agent. We are not friends. Friendship is a deep and lasting relationship based on shared sacrifice and joys. We are not intimates in that way.
Take that, Joan! Note that Walsh and Harris-Perry are in agreement about the facts of their association, they disagree only over what to call it.
It seems to us that Walsh merely meant to suggest that she meant her criticisms of Harris-Perry in a spirit of goodwill. But Harris-Perry doesn’t stop at renouncing friendship with Walsh. She accuses Walsh of employing a “common strategy of argument about one’s racial innocence: the ‘I have black friends’ claim.” Harris-Perry has twisted Walsh’s olive branch into a racially invidious provocation. With friends like these . . .
If life is going to imitate art, I wish it would do so in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, rather than merely ridiculous.
UPDATE: And while we’re on the subject of racism, Zombie (or, dare I say it, my friend Zombie, whom I’ve never actually met or spoken with, but still really like and respect) looks at the cupcake kerfuffle in at UC Berkeley, a place that is always agitated about everything but actual learning.
From 2007 through August 2011, daring to question or criticize Obama meant you were a racist. Now, though, liberals are suggesting that Obama is so toxic he should just walk away from the job. Holding them to their own standards, aren’t they being racist? I mean, really, really racist?
Please don’t scold me for pointing out Leftist hypocrisy. I couldn’t leave it unsaid, no matter how obvious it is.
Kidkaroo, in a comment to my earlier post about the federal requirement that I racially classify my children, explains that, in today’s South Africa, racism is still alive and well — it just runs in the opposite direction from the old days:
Down here in the “new” South Africa, we have something similar; I have to classify my children according to their race in order to comply with quotas – if there are too many white kids in a school it loses its government grant. Problem is, my adopted daughter could be either Coloured (a term for all those of mixed race) or African, as her parents are unknown. If she’s classified African, her marks will be increased more than if she were merely Coloured. Her university entrance will be made easier and she’ll benefit more from affirmative action – Coloureds getting lower points on the “previously disadvantaged” rating. My white kids, born well after the demise of Apartheid are actively discriminated against due to their skin colour. Welcome to the “rainbow nation” where Apartheid is, supposedly, a thing of the past.
That opposite direction can quickly become deadly, a risk perfectly exemplified by this tragic account of what happens when people start crossing racial lines in a racially obsessed society.
Hat tip: Ace of Spades
This morning, I read and enjoyed Jeannie DeAngelis’ post about a potential Herman Cain candidacy. From everything I’ve heard, including musings from our own Danny Lemieux, Cain is a person one would like to have in the White House. He may not have a political track record, but he’s still got a lot more under his belt than our current president. The latter had a few years voting “present” in regional and national senates, and a cushioned existence as a lecturer and activist. Cain has lived out in the real world, and made a success of himself. He has a moral center, and the ability to communicate those values. We could do — and are now doing — infinitely worse.
But DeAngelis said one thing that struck me as wrong. She believes that Cain’s race (he’s black for those few who might not have heard of him) would take race off the table in the next election. My instinctive reaction was “No way!” No one inspires a racial frenzy on the Left the way a conservative black person does. The old “Uncle Tom” insult is nothing compared to what the Left dishes out now. Just think of the vicious “Mammy” attacks on Condi Rice.
I didn’t have to wait very long for my instincts to be proven right. AlterNet, a loud and popular Leftist site, just published one of the most vile racist rants I’ve ever seen. Because it doesn’t deserve your links, I’ll reprint the post here (copied from Hot Air):
In the immortal words of Megatron in Transformers: The Movie, Herman Cain’s speech at CPAC really is bad comedy. As you know, I find black garbage pail kids black conservatives fascinating not because of what they believe, but rather because of how they entertain and perform for their White Conservative masters.
When race minstrelsy was America’s most popular form of mass entertainment, black actors would often have to pretend to be white men, who then in turn would put on the cork to play the role of the “black” coon, Sambo, or Jumping Jim Crow. Adding insult to injury, in a truly perverse and twisted example of the power of American white supremacy black vaudevillians would often pretend to be white in order to denigrate black people for the pleasures of the white gaze. …
In total, CPAC is a carnival and a roadshow for reactionary Conservatives. It is only fitting that in the great tradition of the freak show, the human zoo, the boardwalk, and the great midway world’s fairs of the 19th and 20th centuries, that there is a Borneo man, a Venus Hottentot or a tribe of cannibals from deepest darkest Africa or Papua New Guinea on display. For CPAC and the White Conservative imagination, Herman Cain and his black and brown kin are that featured attraction.
We always need a monkey in the window, for he/she reminds us of our humanity while simultaneously reinforcing a sense of our own superiority. Sadly, there are always folks who are willing to play that role because it pays so well.
Believe it or not, there’s a much bigger insult in the above text than the blatant, obvious, KKK-style name-calling. It is the notion that blacks are nothing more than puppets. They don’t bring anything original to the table. Instead, they simply dance for their political masters, with those who dance for the conservatives being the idiot field hands, while those who dance for the Progressive puppeteers are the deserving house slaves. To demean a group that way, to imply that its members are incapable of making rational decisions (whether or not one agrees with those decisions) is more racist than foul language and antiquated imagery AlterNet can strain itself to produce.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News
Clifford May wrote a very interesting article pointing out that modern liberalism means giving a complete pass to utterly offensive behavior — provided that the behavior is practiced by non-Western people:
What do you think about the niqab — sometimes also called a burqa — the veil that leaves only the eyes of a woman uncovered? Critics, not least Muslim critics such as Fadéla Amara, France’s secretary of state for urban policy, suggest that when a woman is forced to wear one it not only deprives her of individuality but is, effectively, a portable prison. France recently moved to ban the niqab, as have several other European countries.
Nevertheless, a recent New York Times review of a Yemeni restaurant in Brooklyn noted in passing that the diners are apparently segregated by sex and that next door is “Paradise Boutique, where mannequins model chic niqabs…”
This liberal pass isn’t always in the form of fawning admiration for the “other” culture. It also involves turning a resolutely blind eye to behaviors that cannot possibly be explained away:
Psychologist Phyllis Chesler recently cited a particularly blatant example of this double standard: Fred Gottheil, a professor of economics at the University of Illinois, tracked down 675 academics who had signed a statement-petition calling for a boycott of Israel as an “apartheid regime.” He asked them also to sign a statement-petition opposing the abuse of women in the Middle East, including “honor-killing, wife-beating, female genital mutilation,” as well as the systematic “discrimination against women, gays and lesbians in the Middle East.” The result of this experiment: Ninety-five percent of those who signed the petition censuring Israel “did not sign a statement concerning discrimination against women and gays and lesbians in the Middle East.”
Forced to give a name to this bizarre phenomenon, which sees our self-styled cultural elite ostentatiously fawn before behaviors that they would never personally tolerate, May cites to Fadéla Amara, a French official, who calls it “neo-colonialism.” I agree with Amara and May, but only up to a point. At that point, as I’ll discuss further below, we discover that many of the old colonialists, when compared to their modern day counterparts, actually had more rather than less decency.
It is absolutely true that the old colonialism looked down on the “brown” people in their charge. A pithy illustration of this point can be found in Ingrid Bergman’s comedic portrayal of a simple Swedish woman in the film Murder on the Orient Express. You need to watch only the first 40 seconds to get my point:
Bergman’s lines were meant to be a knowing 1970s wink back at a less humane time in Western culture, but they nevertheless perfectly encapsulate a certain type of colonial view: the people under colonial control were closer to animals than to humans.
The thing about animals is that we expect much less of them than we do of ourselves. I don’t expect my dog to dine nicely with a knife and fork. She does perfectly well with a bowl on the floor. Her elimination needs do not require a closed door and a flush toilet. The back yard and street, with their singular absence of privacy, are good enough for her. Nor am I surprised that, despite being 9 years old, she’s neither reading nor writing. She’s an animal and her limitations are just fine with me (and with her).
Given this condescending viewpoint towards the “brown” people, if one was a bad colonial culture, being bad gave one a moral pass to treat the brown people like animals, whether that meant bringing people to be slaves abroad or, as in the Belgian Congo, turning them into slaves in their own home. Alternatively, if one was a “good” colonial culture, one approached the “brown” people as children, who could be led to minimal standards of decent human behavior.
Under either of these approaches, though, the colonial ruler did not treat the “others” as fully fledged, responsible, moral adults. We recognize this treatment for what it is: classic racism, which dehumanizes people based on their race.
Modern so-called liberals, of course, would never dream of saying that the brown people of the world are less than fully human because of their race. May’s point, however, is that, when it comes to Muslims, we still manage to treat them that way. (I’ll add that the same holds true for the low, low standards so-called liberals establish for black people.)
Sure, we in the West treat women well, but we certainly can’t expect that level of sophistication from the brown people. And sure, we treat gays well, but we have to understand that the brown people haven’t evolved to that point, and we should therefore just ignore their sins. And sure, we can tolerate free speech (or, at least, if we’re a so-called liberal, we pay lip-service to the notion of free speech), but we’re big enough to recognize that the brown people haven’t matured enough as a race to handle it.
The exceptionally low standards we allow for Muslims and blacks are always phrased in terms of “respect” for the “other” culture. “Respect,” however, is a misnomer. True respect is impossible if we consistently assert that the “others” (who invariably have skin darker than ours) cannot hold themselves to the normative behaviors of which we’re most proud.
But I promised to tell you that the old colonialists were actually better than the neo-colonialists who inhabit our media airways and political space today. Not all of them were, of course. The ones who treated indigenous people with exceptional cruelty were as bad as could be.
Fortunately, though, there were other colonialists who looked at the less savory practices of the indigenous people under their rule, and said, “I don’t care the color of these people’s skin. They are better than those grotesque practices, and I will hold them up to my standards, and not allow them to wallow down in theirs.”
The easiest illustration of this true respect for the native people trapped in the colonial web is Lord William Bentinck’s refusal to accept the common practice of suttee in India. Suttee (or sati), for those of you unfamiliar with the term, is the old Indian practice of requiring a widow to climb onto her husband’s funeral pyre and be burned alive.
In the late 1820s, faced with this barbaric practice, William Bentinck, Governor-General of the East India company, refused to bow to cultural relativism. Instead, he insisted that, under British rule, suttee end. The following passage may be written in the ornate, verbose, polysyllabic style of the 19th century, but the meaning is clear — Indians are people too and it is every moral person’s obligation to steer them away from barbarism:
The first and primary object of my heart is the benefit of the Hindus. I know nothing so important to the improvement of their future condition as the establishment of a purer morality, whatever their belief, and a more just conception of the will of God. The first step to this better understanding will be dissociation of religious belief and practice from blood and murder. They will then, when no longer under this brutalizing excitement, view with more calmness acknowledged truths. They will see that there can be no inconsistency in the ways of Providence, that to the command received as divine by all races of` men, “No innocent blood shall be spilt,” there can be no exception; and when they shall have been convinced of the error of this first and most criminal of their customs, may it not be hoped that others, which stand in the way of their improvement, may likewise pass away, and that, thus emancipated from those chains and shackles upon their minds and actions, they may no longer continue, as they have done, the slaves of every foreign conqueror, but that they may assume their first places among the great families of mankind? I disown in these remarks, or in this measure, any view whatever to conversion to our own faith. I write and feel as a legislator for the Hindus, and as I believe many enlightened Hindus think and feel.
Descending from these higher considerations, it cannot be a dishonest ambition that the Government of which I form a part should have the credit of an act which is to wash out a foul stain upon British rule, and to stay the sacrifice of humanity and justice to a doubtful expediency; and finally, as a branch of the general administration of the Empire, I may be permitted to feel deeply anxious that our course shall be in accordance with the noble example set to us by the British Government at home, and that the adaptation, when practicable to the circumstances of this vast Indian population, of the same enlightened principles, may promote here as well as there the general prosperity, and may exalt the character of our nation.
Call it enlightened colonialism, if you want. In practice, it meant that Bentinck recognized the Indians’ humanity, and demanded the elevation of their conduct.
In this regard, Bentinck was infinitely better than today’s cultural relativists who refuse to speak out for the millions of women around the world brutalized by Islam’s restrictions, whether those restrictions are the forced wearing of imprisoning clothes, the humiliation of polygamy, the limitations on movement, the imprisonment in homes, the denial of education, or the more extreme physical punishments of genital mutilation, beatings, acid burnings, nose and ear removals, stonings, torture, honor killings and hanging — all of which are routine practices against women across the Muslim world, whether meted out by Muslim governments or just by Muslim men.
Nor is Bentinck’s behavior in India the only example of colonialists trying to end barbaric practices amongst indigenous peoples. For example, one of the things our politically correct schools don’t like to teach children is that many of the indigenous peoples in the Americas were big on human sacrifice.
Take the Aztecs (please). They had a civilization of extraordinary sophistication, one that, in many ways, far surpassed the Europeans. Their cities were bigger, they had glorious architecture, and, unlike European cities, these metropolises were immaculate and well run. The Aztec nation boasted enormous wealth and the social structure was highly complex.
Why, then, were the Spaniards unimpressed? Two reasons. One was undoubtedly the inherent racism of the time. The other, though, was the large scale human sacrifice and cannibalism the Aztecs practiced. The Spaniards may have been warlike and had their Inquisition, but even the Spanish were disgusted by a religious structure that demanded the sacrifice of up to 80,000 people in connection with a single king’s coronation. This made it easy for the racists among them to conclude that the Aztecs were inferior, incapable of salvation, and worthy of conquest.
Surrounding Indian tribes, whose citizens, captured in war, made up the bulk of the sacrifices, were also less than thrilled by the visual beauties of the Aztec kingdom. That’s why, contrary to lessons in public school, Cortez didn’t manage to conquer the entire Aztec nation with just his 167 Spaniards and a few horses. Instead, Cortez was swiftly able to gather many allies anxious to hasten the end of a violent, blood-soaked, totalitarian regime. That small pox jumped into the fray was an unexpected benefit from the Spanish point of view, and simply proved who had the “right” god.
While the racists among the conquistadors may have viewed the Aztecs as deserving of slavery, the more enlightened priests in the company saw them, and the other native populations, as humans who could be saved from the scourge of ritual cannibalism. In this regard, as they pushed for Indian conversion, they acted in precisely the same way as did Bentinck when it came to suttee: they insisted that a common humanity requires us to expect the most of people, not to use their skin color or present circumstances as an excuse to justify the least.
I don’t see any of our liberals recognizing in Muslims the common humanity that the more enlightened English and Christians saw in the East Indians or Native Americans. Instead, our cultural relativists glory in their own superiority. Sure, they’ll bad-mouth their own culture left, right and center, but they know that their respect for women, for gays, and for other people who have traditionally been oppressed, makes them better than other cultures that continue to oppress those same people. In other words, cultural relativism is a fancy phrase for what is, in practice, smug racism.
Loretta Sanchez (D – Cal.) was caught bad mouthing both Vietnamese and Republicans:
What’s so funny about the video is the part when Sanchez attacks Van Tran, a Republican, as “anti-immigrant.” Sanchez was born in California; Tran was born in Vietnam, and immigrated to this country in 1975. For you young’uns, that was the year when, thanks to Democratic politics, the U.S. turned tail and ran, leaving hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese citizens at the mercy of the Communists. (And we know how well that turned out in Cambodia.)
This is the worst type of race-baiting and pandering. It appeals to people’s basest emotions, completing by-passing facts and logic. I’d say Sanchez ought to be ashamed of herself, but I think she’s incapable of that emotion.
UPDATE: If you want more in-depth information on this race — plus an example of remarkable prescience — check out Bruce Kesler’s post about this video.
Aside from the LaRouchites who appear at the Tea Party rallies, complete with their posters showing Obama with a Hitler mustache, I am unaware of any significant racist rhetoric or imagery from the Tea Party. Certainly the media’s minions, despite their ugly fulminations and accusations about racism, never point to actual evidence of wide-spread or even narrow-spread racist rhetoric and imagery.
Sure, there may be the occasional individual who says things about Obama that are keyed in to his race, not his politics, but you’re going to find that in any large collection of human beings. Unlike the KKK or the New Black Panthers, to name just two racially charge organizations, the Tea Party’s official platform and rhetoric focus solely on three colorblind things: small government, fiscal responsibility, and strong national security.
Or are those three things really colorblind? Answering this question may explain the chasm between the two Americas opens wide. The Tea Partiers say that they are not racist because: (a) they do not frame their ideas in terms of race; (b) they do not denigrate any race; and (c) they do not wish any race ill. As far as they are concerned, that is the end of the story. The Tea Party is not about race. It’s about using the Constitution’s emphasis on individual rights to restore America to her pre-Progressive economic and social dominance.
The Left, however, asserts that the third statement (“they do not wish any race ill”) is manifestly untrue, thereby putting the lie to the whole Tea Party claim that race is irrelevant and that they offer something to all Americans. What bedevils most conservatives is figuring out the logical leap that allows the Left, in the face of all contrary evidence, to claim that the Tea Partiers wish ill upon the blacks, thereby turning the Tea Party into a racist organization.
If you put on your Leftist thinking cap, however, the answer suddenly becomes clear: The Left firmly believes that blacks can thrive only under tight government control and management. Any group that is arguing for small government is, ipso facto, trying to harm blacks.
Nor are the Tea Partiers absolved of racial sin for asserting their belief that, just as a rising tide lifts all boats, the thriving economy that will result of small government and fiscal responsibility, will benefit all Americans, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, sexuality or country of national origin. Because Leftists are incapable of imagining that anything good can come from trimming back government, they know that Tea Partiers are lying. The Tea Party rhetoric about the Constitution, about individual rights, about personal responsibility, etc., is all an elaborate sham, aimed at hiding the true goal: defunding government programs for black people.
And that is why, to the Left, and to those blacks who take their cues from the Left, the Tea Party is a racist organization, making it a profound insult for Glenn Beck to sully the Lincoln Memorial with his presence.
UPDATE: With perfect timing, this comes along to illustrate my point, albeit with a different identity politics victim group:
As Britain prepares for the deepest budget cuts in generations to tackle a crippling mound of public debt, the government is facing a pressing legal question: Is its austerity plan sexist?
Women, recent studies here show, are far more dependent on the state than men. Women are thus set to bear a disproportionate amount of the pain, prompting a legal challenge that could scuttle the government’s fiscal crusade and raise fairness questions over deficit-cutting campaigns underway from Greece to Spain, and in the United States when it eventually moves to curb spending.
Just random stuff that’s so good you shouldn’t miss it:
Shirley Sherrod’s been on a roller coaster. Thanks to a video snippet that Andrew Breitbart posted, she got pilloried as the face of Leftist/NAACP racial intolerance. When it turned out the snippet was out of context, she got sanctified as the face of true racial harmony. Now, though, that we know who this formerly anonymous government worker is, we’ve learned that she is indeed just another Leftist race-baiter, that she’s been complicit in government fraud, and that she has a long history of much badness. Turns out that Breitbart managed to target precisely the right person to show what the Left is like.
May I recommend to you — no, may I urge upon you — Wolf Howling’s fabulous post regarding the judicial activism on display in Perry v. Schwarzenegger? As a conservative, whether one agrees with gay marriage or not, the true issue is whether judges should be allowed to impose their values, wrapped in an ostensible cloak of legal reasoning, on citizens. Or, as Wolf Howling more eloquently says, “gay marriage is not an issue of Constitutional law for the Courts, but rather one of social policy for the people of the fifty states and their state legislatures to decide.” A nice companion piece is James Taranto on the same subject.
And a simple economics video for you (h/t Danny Lemieux):
Another one to add to your reading list is Michael Totten’s article about the way in which the media, which never steps outside of its small Leftist bubble in Israel, grossly misrepresents that country.
I’ve never liked David Letterman, whom I’ve always found self-centered and mean-spirited. His periodic forays into actual wit could never compensate in my mind for the essential ugliness of his character. According to Ed Driscoll, he’s only gotten worse, attacking conservatives with “sclerotic” glee. (Isn’t “sclerotic” a great word? I fell in love with Ed’s post practically on the basis of that word alone.)
By now, we’re all familiar with the Sherrod story. Andrew Breitbart was sent an edited video that made it look as if Sherrod was boasting to an NAACP gathering about denying government aid to white farmers. The audience laughed complicitly when Sherrod made that confession.
Breitbart held onto that video clip until the NAACP announced that, in the absence of any evidence showing Tea Party racism, it was going to denounce Tea Party racism. In the face of the NAACP’s knee jerk attack to policies with which it disagrees, Breitbart published the video.
It turned out, though, that Breitbart might have been knee jerking it too, since the video turned out to be part of a longer presentation during which Sherrod had confessed that she had abandoned her old racist ways. To the extent that he was trying to highlight NAACP conduct, not Sherrod’s, Breitbart still had a point with that knowing laughter the audience gave during Sherrod’s confession. Be that as it may, it looked as if Breitbart owed Sherrod an apology.
Interestingly, the NAACP was so panicked by the video — despite the fact that it had the entire speech in its possession — that it immediately denounced Sherrod. This was yet another example of knee jerk idiocy, giving the NAACP two knee jerk points, the first for attacking the Tea Party, and the second for trying to disassociate itself from Sherrod before taking 15 minutes to get the facts.
The Obama administration also went into knee jerk mode, explicitly claiming fear of Fox and Glenn Beck. Without bothering to investigate, it humiliated and then fired Sherrod. When the whole video transcript came out, the administration had to engage in a massive belly crawl to Sherrod. No surprise here. Almost two years of Obamaness has shown us that the administration is focused on its goals, but a little hazy on the details.
Obama himself went into knee jerk mode when he castigated Secretary Tom Vilsack for acting “stupidly.” While this was almost certainly true, it was a bad choice of words for Obama who, as you may recall, went into knee jerk mode when, after admitting he knew nothing, he nevertheless castigated Cambridge police officers for acting “stupidly” with regard to the Henry Louis Gates arrest. I’m pretty sure that Obama, if pressed, would describe most people around him as stupid, but that’s another story for another day.
Up until this morning, I would have said that the only person who came out of this little race incident in America was Sherrod. While she has confessed that she was once a racist, she had announced publicly, in a slightly confused but heart-wrenching speech, that she was no longer. For her honesty and remorse, she had wrongly been embarrassed and punished for confessing her sins.
Except that this narrative is not true. It turns out that, remorseful confession notwithstanding, Sherrod is still a race sinner, whose default, knee jerk setting is to cry racism. Check it out. She’s no rose and she’s not repentant. When push comes to shove, Sherrod is every bit as bad as the rest of them.
Race in America is poisonous, not because most Americans are racists, but because the Left believes that most Americans are racists. I am reminded of Maria Van Trapp’s autobiography, which I read decades ago. Before she fell into the hands of the “good” nuns, the ones who achieved Hollywood fame, Maria was sent to a school run by fairly sadistic nuns. These nuns beat the children daily on the principle that children were inherently evil and, whether or not one caught them making mischief, one could assume that they had made mischief, so they should be punished accordingly.
My father had a similar experience with nuns back in Berlin in 1924, when he was 5. His mother, who was not bright, meant to leave him for a week with a Jewish charity while she had to go away. Lord alone knows how, but she managed to leave him with a group of nuns in the same building. They too beat him, and all the other little ones, daily.
Both Maria and my father had the exact same response to the experience of all punishment, no crime: They concluded that, if they were going to be beaten for being bad, whether or not they had, in fact, been bad, they might as well be bad. At least then the beating would have meaning and maybe they’d have some fun along the way.
If you constantly castigate honorable Americans as racists, they will eventually confirm to your standards. That’s all.