The Left is wrong about AZ’s proposed law, but religious freedom supporters might have to boycott the Super Bowl to make that point

Gay marriage wedding cake photo by Giovanni Dall'Orto, 26-1-2008.I’ve mentioned gay marriage once already today as the latest non-issue to roil the left even as the world around us crumbles (a la the 1930s), the American military is reduced (a la the 1930s), and tyrannies are rattling their sabres (a la the 1930s).  Overnight, the same liberal who have been remarkably quiet about the Obamacare debacle, uprisings in Ukraine and Venezuela, the flat economy, etc., have found a new cause:  Arizona, they scream, is poised to enact the next generation of Jim Crow laws, in the form of Senate Bill 1062, an amendment to Arizona’s existing Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

This Jim Crow claim, which gained instant traction amongst America’s Progressive class, is flat-out wrong as a matter of law and fact.  Nevertheless, presumably in the foolish hope that it can appease the Left into backing off from its ongoing effort to destroy football, the Super Bowl committee is using economic blackmail against Gov. Jan Brewer, promising to pull the upcoming Super Bowl from Arizona if she signs the bill.  To the extent that the Left is using the Super Bowl as a cudgel against religious freedom, it may be time for supporters of traditional marriage to use their own economic pressure against the Super Bowl.

Better people than I have examined the proposed law, so I won’t rehash it.  Without addressing the proposed law’s specifics, though, it’s still possible to show the falsity of the Jim Crow comparison.

First, no mainstream American religion has ever had racial discrimination as a core religious doctrine.  All traditional religions, however, have heterosexual marriage as a central tenet of the faith.  To the extent Southern racists claimed Christianity as their justification for separating the races, all that they could point to was their own twisted interpretations of the Bible, a document that never concerned itself with racial discrimination.

Heterosexual marriage, however, is something quite different.  The Catholic Church elevates it to one of the seven sacraments, and all other traditional religions enshrine marriage between a man and a woman (or several women).  What this means is that the Southerners in times past who asserted their right to Jim Crow laws had no protected First Amendment right.  The contrary is true today:  Those people who will benefit from the proposed Arizona law have a strong First Amendment right that cannot simply be thrown aside.

Second, the Jim Crow laws were actual laws, relying on the state’s coercive power.  In other words, they represented government action discriminating against American citizens.  The Arizona law, however, does  not advocate any type of segregation or discrimination.  It simply says that Arizona’s government cannot use economic coercion, not to mention the threat of imprisonment, to force Arizona citizens to engage in religiously offensive activity.  There are also safeguards is the act:  The protesting citizen must show that he is acting consistently with his faith and that he has a track record of being faithful.

Jim Crow laws meant that the government was discriminatory and coercive in a matter that did not implicate religion.  By contrast, the proposed Arizona law narrows the range of situations in which the government can be discriminatory and coercive against people of faith.

Third, the Jim Crow laws mandated that Southern citizens refrain from providing goods, services, or jobs to blacks, or they mandated that those goods, services, or jobs, if provided, must be provided in the most limited, demeaning way possible.  The proposed Arizona law not only does not mandate any conduct, it’s also extremely narrow in scope.  It says only that genuinely religious people cannot be forced to participate actively in a specific event that clashes with their faith.  It’s worth keeping in mind here, as Eidolon so beautifully explained, that up until just a few years ago, every mainstream Democrat politician in America (including Obama and the Clintons) rejected gay marriage, a position consistent with all known human history.

Super Bowl ArizonaI have no doubt that Gov. Brewer is going to cave to Leftist pressure because of the economic risk that the Super Bowl will pull out of Arizona.  That seems to be the ultimate leverage, right?  But supporters of traditional marriage — or supporters of a religious individual’s right not to participate in a ceremony that mocks his beliefs — actually have an even bigger stick than the Super Bowl.  Just as the Super Bowl can boycott Arizona, believers in religious freedom can boycott the Super Bowl.  I mean, it’s a great game, but sometimes we have to subordinate pleasure to principle.

Obamacare: Come join the welfare state

When I read John McWhorter’s superb Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, I learned something I hadn’t known before. Outside of the Jim Crow South, in the years leading up to the Civil Rights movement, black people were very slowly, but still steadily, moving into the middle class. They had stable nuclear families, with working fathers. The Civil Rights movement should have accelerated this trend by removing barriers to black employment.

But something happened at the same time as the Civil Rights movement, and that “something” was Johnson’s Great Society. Burdened by white guilt, and holding welfare checks, well-meaning whites fanned out through black communities and told black men to stop working. Black men had been slaves for too long, they said, and it was time for the government to pay them back. When the men spoke of pride, and manliness, and responsibility, they were told not to let their pride stand in the way of getting what was “owed” them.

The result was inevitable: black men quickly became useful only for sex and procreation. The government stepped in as the family breadwinner. Women with children didn’t have to rely on a man who might do everything from drinking and beating her to leaving the toilet seat up, and men were able to get sex without the burden of fatherhood. Blacks became the only minority group in America that was perpetually mired in the lowest societal echelons. This was not the case for other, equally reviled groups, such as Irish Catholics, Jews, Italians, Asians, or the first generation of Hispanics. (It is somewhat true for the current generation of Hispanics, who have also been seduced into believing that the state should be the pater familias.) Asians who immigrated after the 1960s probably avoided the welfare trap only because they came from Communist countries and had experienced a surfeit of government “largesse.”

If you want to see the end result of the hard-driving government effort to place blacks on welfare, you need only see this video (which I call “All attitude; no gratitude”):

Now that I’ve given you some background into the scourge of a government’s unconstrained push to get citizens onto welfare, you are ready to read Zombie’s article about the advice the San Francisco Comical, er, Chronicle, offers to people trying to figure out how to deal with Obamacare.  It’s time to be very, very afraid for America.

The Democrats’ “Taming of the Shrew” strategy for American blacks

kkk-rally

It’s all good, guys.  I’ve finally figured out what’s been going on.  We’ve just been reading history dead wrong.  The operating historic premise is that the KKK and the Democrat party parted ways during the Civil Rights movement.  When the KKK guys realized that northern Democrats who supported civil rights now owned the Democrat party, they walked out en masse and became Republicans.  That way, they were free to indulge openly in their hateful racism.

What really happened is something much more subtle.  The KKK guys became sleepers in the Democrat party.  Instead of attacking blacks head on with burning crosses and lynchings, they decided to use a mainstream political party as the engine by which they destroyed blacks.  As Petruchio did in The Taming of the Shrew, they set out to kill the blacks with kindness.  The degradation of American blacks under fifty years of ostensibly well-meaning Democrat social and economic policies isn’t a bug, it’s a feature.

(Bear with me here, ’cause I’m on a roll.)

Despite the horrors of the Jim Crow South, not to mention the pervasive racism across America, blacks in America were actually showing steady, albeit slow, upward mobility.  When the government left them alone, blacks started colleges, grew businesses, got married, and had families.  Although they were poorer than whites, had more out-of-wedlock children than whites, and had more run-ins with the law than whites, they were moving towards a middle class model.  Undoubtedly, this trend could have continued and even accelerated with the passage of civil rights laws that banned discrimination.  (And it’s worth remember that the Civil Rights Act didn’t require affirmative federal action; it only banned discrimination.)

Frederick Douglas Do Nothing With Us

Whenever they were left alone, blacks in America proved that Frederick Douglas was right all along when he insisted that the best thing that America could do for blacks would be to leave them alone.

Here’s the interesting thing, though.  The moment that the Civil Rights movement seemed to have defeated Jim Crow, the Democrat party swung into action — and refused to leave blacks alone.  It gave them affirmative action, which meant that, for fifty years, blacks have been placed in jobs and schools where they cannot perform at the same level as other people (both whites and minorities) who achieved those positions on merit.  This gave blacks an inferiority complex, and created in non-blacks the false belief that blacks cannot achieve without a sizable handicap.

The Democrat party also did everything it could to ensure that blacks got government handouts, whether or not they wanted them.  Instead of being free people, blacks became junkies dependent on ostensibly “free” money.  It sapped initiative and pride.

Worse, welfare made men unnecessary.  Black women got a better deal from Uncle Sam, especially if they had lots of children.  Black men were reduced to the status of sperm donors.  (For many women, men who don’t bring in money are burdensome creatures who leave dirty laundry on the floor and forget to put down the toilet seat.)

With the new welfare status quo, sex for black men was easy, but their entire sense of their manhood was reduced to a biological level dependent on a single organ in their bodies.  They were no longer judged by their accomplishments, their earning ability, their status as community role models, or as helpmates and companion.  Black men were denied the opportunity to develop honor, loyalty, and morality.  Instead, instead, in the hierarchical world of men (and all men are, to a greater or lesser extent, hierarchical in how they view the world), the only measurements by which to judge black men was to look for the biggest gun, whether the man carried it gun in a holster or tuck it into his Calvin Klein whitey-tighties.

So we have a generation of black men who have been cheated of an education and a well-fitting job, whose children and family no longer need them as support, and whose lives revolve around their firing power.  It was inevitable that these socially and economically disenfranchised — men disenfranchised by a Democrat-enacted policy — would create a culture centered on themselves and their instant gratification.  The engines for achieving these ends have been alcohol, sex, drugs, and violence.  These are manly pursuits untempered by the steadying influence of women and children or by a culture that values men.

And what did the Democrats do when black men, as a result of Democrat policies, devolved into a lowest-common denominator culture?  They “forgave” them.  Instead of exhorting them to rise up, to embrace morality, decency, family, stability, work, accomplishments, and education, the Democrats assured the black men that what they were doing was okay.  “Oh, black men,” said the Democrats, “you are not masters of your destiny and captains of your fate.  You are the helpless flotsam and jetsam floating about aimlessly on the great ocean of Republican racism.  You can’t do anything about your lives and therefore you are not responsible for the harm you do, whether to yourselves, your families, your children, your community, or your country.”

It is a terrible thing that Democrats have done to blacks — and all ostensibly in the name of love.

And that’s when I realized what’s really been going on for all these decades:  the Democrats have achieved what the KKK set out to do.  Just like Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, they have succeeded in killing American blacks by kindness:

Taming_of_the_shrew

That is, to watch her, as we watch these kites
That bate and beat and will not be obedient.
She ate no meat today, nor none shall eat.
Last night she slept not, nor tonight she shall not.
As with the meat, some undeservèd fault
I’ll find about the making of the bed,
And here I’ll fling the pillow, there the bolster,
This way the coverlet, another way the sheets.
Ay, and amid this hurly I intend
That all is done in reverend care of her.
And, in conclusion, she shall watch all night,
And if she chance to nod I’ll rail and brawl,
And with the clamor keep her still awake.
This is a way to kill a wife with kindness,
And thus I’ll curb her mad and headstrong humor.
He that knows better how to tame a shrew,
Now let him speak; ’tis charity to show.
The Taming of the Shrew is a delightful and witty comedy.  We know that Kate and Petruchio are two headstrong people who must inevitably love one another, and we know too that Kate has lost control of herself and must be brought to heel, not just for her family’s well-being, but for her own.  That’s why we forgive the way Petruchio browbeats her under the guise of love and solicitude.
American blacks, however, are not Kate:  They are not women in the 16th century who must marry to survive and who must therefore be tamed.  It is unforgivable that the Democrat party has sought to kill them by kindness, not to uplift them and bring them to full equality, but instead to degrade and demoralize them.  This is not the act of a political party that welcomes blacks to the brotherhood of man.  This is the act of people who loathe blacks and want to ensure their continued poverty and debasement — which was pretty much the KKK’s plan from the get-go.

 

Elbert Guillory explains why he is a Republican — and they are words that EVERY American should hear

I’ve already admitted to my crush on Elbert Guillory, a crush that formed when he was still a Democrat, although he must already have been planning to leave that party.  My political crush has just deepened into a full-blown, out-and-out case of political passion.  If you haven’t yet watched this short video Guillory made to explain why he switched parties, you must.  I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say it’s one of the most important videos I’ve ever seen.  The only thing that saddens me about it is that it won’t be run on MSNBC, or ABC, or CBS, or NBC, or NPR, or on any other major media outlet.  I think everyone should see this video, no matter their race, creed, country of national origin, or gender identity.  It’s that good:

I don’t know about you, but I’m still cheering.

“The Help” — could there be more cliches in one movie? *UPDATED*

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.

But we stood by them in Selma!

My post title imagines what I bet a lot of the older generation of Jewish Americans will think when they learn about the latest campaign tactics from the party that knows how to do identity politics. Steve Cohen, whose name is a giveaway as to his Jewishness, is running for reelection in Tennessee’s 9th District. His opponent is Nikki Tinker, whose name is not a dead giveaway but who is in fact black. An African-American minister who does not reside in the 9th District has decided to become involved in the campaign. Here’s his campaign poster, a copy of which ended up mailed to Cohen himself:

Truly, I don’t think either Hitler or Torquemada or the Mufti of Jerusalem or Father Coughlin could have done any better than that in terms of sheer, old-fashioned appeals to antisemitism as a way to manipulate the masses. It is a disgusting piece of work. More than that, Tinker, who is clearly no belle, isn’t lifting a finger to disassociate herself from this vile garbage:

What does Nikki Tinker think about anti-Semitic literature being circulated that might help her unseat 9th District Congressman Steve Cohen in the Democratic primary next August?

A fair question, which Tinker declined to answer this week after a flier stating that “Steve Cohen and the Jews Hate Jesus” began circulating in Memphis.

The question goes to the character of the woman who wants to represent the 9th District, and 9th District voters deserve an answer. But Tinker declined to return a phone call about the flier.

“Of course we wouldn’t have anything to do with that,” said Tinker spokesman Cornell Belcher, referring to a flier that has been denounced by the Anti-Defamation League.

” … We’d be interested in denouncing this sort of nonsense as well but, again, we haven’t seen it.”

That’s a great excuse, isn’t it? “I can’t comment on antisemitism as a tool in the political race because I haven’t actually touched the piece of paper on which the antisemitic sentiments are written.” Clearly, this is a woman who takes personal responsibility seriously (and that was meant to be snide, not straight).

This same editorial notes that this is not the first time that Cohen’s not-blackness has been used against him, although it is the first time the antisemitic card has been played in this way:

Inciting tension between African-Americans and Cohen was the aim of several members of the Black Baptist Ministerial Association who took Cohen to task last summer for his support of federal hate crimes legislation. The real motive behind the attack was revealed in later comments by at least one of those involved.

“He’s not black,” said Rev. Robert Poindexter of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, “and he can’t represent me, that’s just the bottom line.”

My first thought when reading this, which is reflected in my post’s title, is that when I was growing up, Jews took very personally the antisemitic sentiments that, I am sorry to say, have long permeated large segments of the African-American community. And they take it very personally for a specific reason, and it’s not because all of us (blacks and Jews alike) are minorities together. It’s because Jews feel that, when blacks began to agitate against Jim Crow, once one got outside of the black Christian communities, it was Jews who took up that banner just about as aggressively as anyone could. Jews threw themselves into the Civil Rights movement and it pains them beyond belief that those whom they view as the beneficiaries of their efforts and sacrifices have turned on them in such an exceptionally nasty way.

Aside from being visible evidence of the black/Jewish schism in American, one that continues to mystify Jews, the flyer also shows the reductio ad absurdem of identity politics. Although we do not live in a theocracy or a race-ocracy, that’s precisely how this Democratic race is being played out. If you’re black, don’t bother your pretty little head with difficult thoughts about Tinker’s politics, beliefs and capabilities, as opposed to Cohen’s. Instead, rest easy and vote for Tinker because she’s black and Christian and against Cohen because he’s white and Jewish.

This type of electioneering tactic is not only disgusting, it’s demeaning to the African-Americans who are the intended recipients of this type of garbage, since it circumvents any appeals to their higher reasoning. It’s also unsurprising and, in that regard, the Captain sums it up about as well as can be said:

Once again, the Democrats find themselves in the position of playing racial, ethnic, and now anti-Semitic politics. We have seen it at the grassroots level now, and at the highest levels of the party, especially from the Clinton campaign. Small wonder that a relatively low-level officeseeker feels comfortable in using these tactics in 2008, given the example Bill Clinton has provided already this year.

We’ve [meaning “conservatives” listened to insults from Democrats for years for far less than this.

What I have to say is that, if you select chickens solely by the color of their feathers, and without regard to their egg-laying capabilities, when those chickens come home to roost, you’re going to end up with a visually impressive coop that produces nothing but chicken poop.