The horrible racism and cruelty of political correctness

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) occurs at the intersection of Africa and Islam — meaning brown people and black people.  It involves taking a little girl and cutting off her clitoris and, perhaps, her labia.  In extreme circumstances, it means sewing together the opening to her vagina.  It’s purpose is a simple one:  to destroy sexual pleasure or even the possibility of sex.  If sex is possible, it’s painful.  Of course, for all these little girls, sex will still be an imperative when they are grown (or, in same cases, almost grown) and forced to marry.

Aside from the horrible mutilation, the process itself is medieval too.  It’s done without anesthetics and using the most primitive instruments, including rusty, dull razor blades.  The notion of sanitation is laughable.

There is absolutely nothing good that can be said about FGM.  Unlike circumcision (which I understand many decry), it is not a covenant with God, it does not provide a sanitary function (whether in the Sinai desert or elsewhere), and it does not help prevent sexually transmitted diseases.  It is solely about control and denying women sexual pleasure as one means of that control.

Every right thinking person in the world should be opposed to it.  It is the modern equivalent of the suttee (or sati) that the English Governor-General of India, William Bentinck brought to an end.  That practice, of course, involved a widowed wife crawling onto her dead husband’s funeral pyre to be burned alive along with his corpse.  Bentinck was fully alive to the risks he ran in challenging an established cultural practice.  He understood that he could put British lives at risk, but he determined in 1829 that moral considerations must outweigh pragmatic concerns:

Prudence and self-interest would counsel me to tread in the footsteps of my predecessors [who allowed suttee]. But in a case of such momentous importance to humanity and civilization, that man must be reckless of all his present or future happiness who could listen to the dictates of so wicked and selfish a policy. With the firm undoubting conviction entertained upon this question, I should be guilty of little short of the crime of multiplied murder, if I could hesitate in the performance of this solemn obligation. I have been already stung with this feeling. Every day’s delay adds a victim to the dreadful list, which might perhaps have been prevented by a more early submission of the present question.

Convinced that respect for another’s culture and fear himself and his countrymen must yield to morality, Bentinck outlawed suttee in December 1829.

Reading Bentinck’s writing on the subject, it’s quite obvious that he never said to himself, “Well, it’s their culture and who am I to judge?”  To the extent that he recognized suttee was part of Indian culture, his calculus was “How much damage will it do to the British to squash this cultural excrescence?”

Nowadays, though, political correctness has left people unable to value the best that their culture has to offer.  We no longer say, “I judge them, but pragmatic considerations demand that I ignore them.”  Instead, multiculturalism has led us to the point where we say, “Well, those black and brown people have their own way of doing things, and it’s clearly good for them.  I wouldn’t do it myself, but who am I to demand that those backward folks meet higher standards of morality and human decency.”

I’m  not throwing around hypotheticals when I say that last sentence.  A British-based campaigner against FGM, who was herself subject to the procedure, was left in tears when 19 people in England cheerfully signed a petition encouraging FGM in Britain.  The phony petition argued that, because FGM is part of African culture, it should be respected.  Over the course of thirty minutes, 19 people thought that it was fine to sign on to barbarism if a non-white culture liked it:

A female genital mutilation (FGM) campaigner was left in tears after an experiment intended to assess the impact of political correctness on the fight against cutting saw 19 people sign a fake pro-FGM petition within 30 minutes.

Leyla Hussein, 32, who suffered female genital mutilation as a child, approached shoppers in Northampton with the petition, which argued that as FGM was part of her culture, it should be protected.

During the 30-minute experiment, 19 people signed the petition and just one refused – a result Hussein blamed on the all-pervading culture of political correctness.

[snip]

Speaking to the Evening Standard following the experiment, Hussein, who also appears in upcoming Channel 4 documentary, The Cruel Cut, said: ‘I kept using the words “it’s just mutilation”. They were like “yes, you are right”. How can anyone think this is OK?’

Warning that politically correct attitudes could hamper the fight against FGM, Hussein added: ‘FGM is not culture, it is violence.

‘Stop using the culture word. This is happening to children. We are human beings, we can’t watch children being cut, I don’t care what culture you belong to.’

‘It is incredible that UK citizens would sign a petition supporting child abuse,’ Efua Dorkenoo, Advocacy Director of Equality Now’s FGM Programme, told MailOnline.

People worry that rather than catching bad guys, the Obama administration will use the info it gathers to create bad guys

One of the things that characterizes the rule of law is that it applies equally to all citizens.  The rich man’s son who vandalizes a shop is prosecuted as vigorously as the poor man’s son who does the same.  That the rich man’s son can afford a good lawyer is the random luck of life.  America can provide equality of opportunity, but nothing, not even socialism, can guarantee equality of outcome.  The important thing for purposes of the rule of law is that the law doesn’t give the rich man’s son a pass.

The rule of law also has to be grounded in common sense and reality.  That’s why Anatole France was being nonsensical when he famously said “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.” The reality is that a rich man, unless crazy, does none of those things — but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the law is unfair if societal good demands that we value property or try to keep streets safe for all citizens. The law is what it is. In the case of theft, vagrancy, and begging, it isn’t the law that should change but, perhaps, the availability of opportunities and, as needed, charity.

Common sense has long-dictated, at least since 9/11, that the best way to stop terrorism directed at Americans is to keep a close eye on people, especially men, who practice a strict form of Islam and on disaffected young men who take psychotropic drugs.  These two categories of people have been responsible for almost all, or maybe all, of the mass killings against Americans over the last decade and more.

When it comes to the mentally ill, we keep talking about monitoring them, but we don’t do it.  Lack of political will, lack of political and social organization, civil rights issues, and the fact that it’s more fun to rail against guns than against insane people (poor things) means that this won’t change any time soon.

Even worse, our government has made the “politically correct” decision to refuse to monitor with extra focus those young men who embrace radical Islam (e.g., the Tsarnaevs or Nidal Hassan).  It’s not fair, we’re told.  Profiling will make law-abiding Muslims (and the vast majority of Muslims in America are law-abiding) uncomfortable.  It’s racist and mean to assume that, because someone is Arab-looking, and sweating, and smelling of rose water, and murmuring “Allahu Akbar” under his breath to think that he’s up to a bit of no good — never mind that, when the bomb goes off or the plane falls from the sky, any Muslims in the area will be just as dead as their non-Muslim compatriots.

Heck, we’ve allowed minority groups to prey on each other for decades for fear of causing offense.  The number one target of violent, young, black and Hispanic males is . . . violent, young, black and Hispanic males, followed closely by all the hapless black and Hispanic children, old people, mothers, and fathers who have to share communities with these monsters of violence.  Because it looks bad for white police to go after these monsters, their communities must suffer.  The Gods of Political Correctness delight in human sacrifices, and the younger, more innocent, and more tender the better.

Americans therefore fully understand that our government, for “diversity,” or “multicultural,” or “politically correct” reasons (all of those terms speak to the same end), absolutely refuses to look first at the obvious suspects (young, radical Muslim men) before casting its net wide to sweep in people who are trying to avoid capture by looking less obvious.  It’s not likely that the Minnesota granny has a bomb in her brassiere, but it’s possible.  A good national security system doesn’t assume that anyone is innocent, but it does concentrate its resources where they make they most sense.

So here’s the deal with the NSA spying:  We know with some certainty that, for Leftist political reasons, the NSA is not making an effort to scrutinize the population most likely to go all “Allahu Akbar” on us.  Instead, for politically correct reasons, it’s spying on everyone.  In essence, it’s creating a haystack of information, with extra paddings of politically correct, multiculturalist hay wrapped around any spot where a needle might hide.

If politics means that the system won’t look for the obvious bad guys, what is it looking for then?  Well, I suspect that what’s going to happen is that the system will be used to look for easy targets.  Things that are neither criminal nor suspicious, but that pop up nevertheless, will suddenly be scrutinized because they’re there.  It will be the surveillance equivalent of “If the mountain won’t come to Mohamed, then Mohamed must come to the mountain.”  Since the NSA can’t focus its efforts on finding real criminals, it will engage in some flexible thinking and criminalize whatever activity it sees.  And — voila! — it will therefore justify its bureaucratic existence and purpose.  That the country will lose its identity and the people their freedom is a small price to pay for bureaucratic immortality.

Newt Gingrich and “the vision thing.”

Back in 1987, when he was campaigning for President, one of George H. W. Bush’s advisers suggested that he back off from spouting minutiae to the electorate and spend some time focusing on the big picture, So that he could better sell himself to Americans.  According to contemporaneous reports, Bush, Sr., was not impressed:

“Oh,” said Bush in clear exasperation, “the vision thing.”

Bush went on to win the 1988 election, despite his failure to articulate a vision for the American people.  He didn’t have to engage in inept abstract fumbling to endear himself to voters.  What he understood, consciously or unconsciously, was that Reagan had articulated “the vision thing” so beautifully that it covered, not only Reagan’s own administration, but Bush’s election efforts as well.

It helped, too, that Reagan passed on to his Vice President a roaring economy and a country that still maintained at least the gloss of an American identity.  Back in those days, even though I was only just out of law school (meaning I’d spent the previous 19 years in academia), I’d never heard of political correctness, community activists, multiculturalism or Howard Zinn.  I called myself a Democrat and had never heard of a Progressive.  Although these ideas were making serious inroads into American education in the 1980s, those of us who cast our votes in 1988 were still relatively untouched by the revamping of America’s self-image.  Nobody needed to tell us who we were, because (probably thanks to Reagan) we already knew.

Things are quite different as we head toward the 2012 election.  America is in a deep economic morass, college students and Communists are rioting in the streets, Europe’s economy is collapsing, China’s economy is shrinking, and the Middle East is a more-seething-than-usual cauldron of antisemitism and anti-Western hatred.  Times such as this would seem to cry out for a strong managerial hand.  It ought to be Mitt Romney’s moment.  After all, he radiates wonkish competence.

And yet Mitt Romney is not the conservative candidate of choice.  Instead, he’s the conservative candidate of “we’ll take him if we can’t find anyone else.”  If you look at the alternatives, the ones who have risen and then fallen, all have one thing in common:  they’ve got “the vision thing.”  Mitt is disciplined, effective, intelligent and decent, but he’s not a visionary — or, if he is, his rhetorical skills are too weak to convey that vision to the American people.

Mitt’s problem is that not all of America’s current wounds can be measured with economic charts and analyses about our friends and enemies abroad.  Both Barack Obama’s presidency and forty years of relentlessly Leftist education and media saturation have severely damaged America’s sense of self.  As a nation, we no longer have a unifying vision.  Our children have been raised to think that we are now and always have been a racist, imperialist, overbearing, heartless, capitalist monster that preys on weak, victim-class individuals and helpless third-world nations.  The fact that readily available facts put the lie to this ideology doesn’t help these children and young adults.  Instead, when the Leftist ideology that dominated their education meets the facts on the ground, that clash creates a paralyzing cognitive dissonance.  The result sees the members of Generation ZZZZZ marching through the streets, grimly clutching their iPhones and computers, whining about student loans incurred at fancy Ivy Leagues, and hysterically protesting against corporations and banks.

America’s impaired sense of self pre-dates Obama’s presidency.  Indeed, it was this pre-existing psychological damage that put Obama on the path to the White House.  He made Americans feel good about themselves, not in traditional terms (individual liberty, melting pot strength, world bastion of freedom, etc.), but in wonderful New Age terms:  we were all going to come together in a giant kumbaya circle, and throw our ill-gotten capitalist gains into a giant, village style collection bin set up in the heart of Washington, D.C..  Then, the Capitol, under Obama’s magical aegis, and with help from a supportive Democrat Congress, would lower the seas, clean the air, cause the lion (and myriad polar bears) to lie down with the lamb, and generally bring about an environmentally perfect socialist utopia.  If you liked fairies and unicorns, Obama was your man.

Back in the 1950s, had a candidate spouted this utopian vision, he would have been laughed off the national stage.  A generation raised on Depression and War was a bit too sophisticated to buy into political fairy tales.  Back then, Americans knew who they were:  tough survivors; a free people who, at the cost much American blood, had brought that freedom overseas; and innovators.  They did not believe in pixie dust.  This latest generation, however, raised on self-loathing, needed a fairy tale, with the kiss of a handsome prince magically making everything better.  To many, Obama was that prince.

The Obama fairy tale, sadly for his followers and sadly for this nation, did not end with the kiss and a formulaic “they lived happily ever after.”  Instead, we’ve had almost three years of utopian reality, which has been remarkably painful.  Obama and his crew have offended our allies, pandered to our enemies, presided over the break-up of a stable (although always ugly) Muslim Middle East, destroyed our gains in Iraq, presided over the longest recession in our history since the Great Depression, increased our debt and deficits to previously unimaginable limits that will burden our children and grandchildren, laid the groundwork for destroying the best medical system in the world (and that’s true despite inequalities in the systems), handed over billions of taxpayer dollars to cronies, killed American citizens with bizarre “crime fighting” plans across our Southern border, increased racial divisiveness to a level not seen since the early 1960s, and generally left Americans prey to a doom and gloom that seemed inconceivable when they elected the magical unicorn man.

What Americans feel now is despair.  Or as Jimmy Carter might have said, malaise.  Democrats are stuck with Obama, but Republicans have the opportunity to select a candidate who will articulate a core American vision.  As our desperate search for the anti-Romney shows, we don’t just want a competent, clean-cut wonk; we want someone who bring to life a unifying vision of this nation, not as some sort of post-American socialist paradise, but as an entirely American bastion of freedom and opportunity.

For all his baggage and, yes, periodic political instability, Newt is that spokesman.  The breadth and depth of his knowledge, his cheery demeanor, his up-beat campaign, his wit and erudition, his scary deep understanding of how Washington works, and, above all, his manifest love for America — all of these things promise voters an alternative vision to Obama’s 2008 “kumbaya world” or his 2011 “everybody is evil and stupid except for me” world.  It helps that Newt’s skeletons, rather than hiding demurely in closets, are out dancing merrily in the streets.  Everything about him will be hashed and re-hashed, but it will all be old news.  To the extent there are “surprises,” they will be mole hills, not mountains.

In this lost and confused time, Americans need a clarion voice.  If Romney is the chosen Republican candidate, I will happily vote for him, as I believe he will be a perfectly decent candidate, able to un-do much of the damage Obama and his cohorts caused at home and abroad.  But Romney is not a clarion voice, and Newt is.  It’s that “vision thing” that explains why I think Newt will win the 2012 Republican nomination — and take the White House too.  America didn’t need it in 1988, but it sure needs it now.

Mike McQueary — poster child for moral relativism?

I had in my car two fourteen year olds and one thirteen year old.  All were familiar with the Sandusky case, so I wasn’t exposing them to sordid information they didn’t already know.  None of them, however, knew about Mike McQueary’s involvement, or lack thereof.  I gave them a simple multiple choice question:

You walk into a room and see a 50 year old man raping a 10 year old boy.  Do you (a) attack the man and try to drag him off the boy or (b) sneak away and, hours later, ask your parents what you should do?

The roar from the back of the car shook the windows:  “I’d rip him apart!”  “Of course I’d attack him!”  “I’d kick him the balls!”  “That’s a really dumb question.”

As the response from these very young people demonstrates, McQueary’s young age (28) is no defense to his action.  Young people can and do know right from wrong, and child rape is wrong.

How to explain McQueary then?  I think the problem isn’t his young age, ’cause he, at 28, was no youngster.  The problem was his old age.  He’d been around long enough to be fully indoctrinated.  All those liberal pundits who are apologizing for McQueary’s behavior by pointing to his youth, his tribal loyalties, and his lukewarm, delayed response are hiding the ball.  For liberals, the uncomfortable truth is that McQueary probably didn’t act because, after a lifetime in America’s public education system, his moral relativism training had completely erased any absolute moral standards that might once have populated his pre-academic brain.

I was starting to compose a post on just that point, when jj saved me the effort.  Let me quote here his astute comment, written in response to an earlier statement I’d made about the law’s “reasonable man” standard for reacting to a situation:

The “reasonable man” standard?  The trouble with that particular fairy-tale is simple, obvious, and the same as it’s always been: who gets to define “reasonable?”

I’m afraid I’ll need to take a little issue with that.  Since the discovery of political correctness — which in my life first reared its head in the 1950s — the law not only expects us to conform to entirely unreasonable behavior, it requires us to, all day every day.

If you’re a rancher within reach of the Mexican border, you’re not allowed to defend your property or, come to that, yourself.  You can, however, be arrested for trying to do so.  “Reasonable?”  You not only can’t guard your property or yourself, you’re supposed to stand quietly by and watch your country be overrun, your way of life be buried and lost, and all that you believe defecated on.  “Reasonable?”

Snookie, or Pookie, or Moochie — or whatever the hell his name was — Williams was a murderer and founder of a collection of organized offal who have spread everywhere, cost society millions, and murdered a good many people.  Flushing him should have been a routine, reflexive act requiring no thought whatever, carried out with the same alacrity you’d flush anything else floating in the toilet.  Of course it wasn’t.  We — or I should properly say “you,” California — went into full coronary angst mode to spare his worthless life.  This was “reasonable?”

In Scotland not long ago the cops pulled over a speeding car.  The driver’s defense was that he was a Muslim, running late getting from wife #1 to wife #2.  The bewigged and ball gown-equipped jackass on the bench (and if he was a High Court jackass, he gets to wear a red ball-gown, woo-woo!) decided that this made it an excusable offense and dismissed him without a stain on his character, or even a speeding ticket — thereby putting paid to a thousand years of Anglo-Scottish law and custom.  “Reasonable?”  Even for a judge?

We are wound about with laws and enmeshed in requirements that are antithetical to our customs, beliefs, way of life, and the way this country was set up to be that I’m afraid I have to find the “reasonable man” standard laughable.  We have our own ball-gowned jackasses making it up as they go along, and referencing Bulgarian law, or Ukrainian law, or maybe Martian law to decide what our Constitution means when it suits them — Ginsberg outstandingly — and this is “reasonable?”

Instead of shunning NAMBLA spokesmen and placing them firmly beyond society’s pale, we invite their opinions on Oprah — because after all, don’t they have a right to be heard?  Dr. Phil engages them earnestly for his (large) audience of the brain-damaged, and sadly regrets that while he cannot agree, he does understand.  “Reasonable?”

So here we are, scrupulously multicultural, transnational, non-judgmental, standing for nothing — and everybody’s shocked when this McQueary kid doesn’t know what the hell to do when confronted by the situation that confronted him.  Everybody here turns into a militant ass-kicker, in no doubt of what we all would have done in the same situation.  (And if we’d done it, Sandusky would have lodged a suit for assault against us, and, win or lose, would have f***ed up our lives forever.)  “Reasonable?”

We won’t — and don’t — defend our culture and way of life.  We won’t — and don’t — defend the fundamental bases on which this nation was founded.  You’re surprised McQueary found himself paralyzed?  Why?  I’m sure he had a nice, politically-correct upbringing — I’m surprised he even reported it.  Who the hell knows what constitutes “reasonable” any more?

If my sampling of three youngsters has any validity at all, it shows that 13 and 14 year olds haven’t yet been infected by moral relativism, while a 28 year old man living in a university environment is utterly incapable of distinguishing right from wrong.  Let’s pray, long and hard, that we regain our cultural balance before the next generation of kids turns into ineffectual, self-doubting amoral McQuearys.

It is (I hope) not futile to resist the Islamic Borg

One of the things the Leftist multiculturalists refuse to acknowledge is that Islam does not assimilate.  Individual practitioners of the faith may, periodically and superficially, espouse the culture in which they live, but the fact remains that Islam, by its nature, is the Borg.

Borg-like, the Islam collective’s motto is “Resistance is futile.  You will be assimilated.”  The Borg/Islam collective does not recognize the possibility that it might be the entity that assimilates.  As with the fictional Borg populating Star Trek : The Next Generation, when the Islamists move in on a territory, they move in to conquer and for no other reason.

I mention this pop culture analogy here, because one of Singapore’s past leaders, Lee Kuan Yew, in an interview to promote his new book, spoke about Islam’s failure to assimilate, and he made a statement that is, I think, full comparable to Churchill’s speech about the Iron Curtain dividing Europe:

In the book, Mr Lee, when asked to assess the progress of multiracialism in Singapore, said: “I have to speak candidly to be of value, but I do not wish to offend the Muslim community.

“I think we were progressing very nicely until the surge of Islam came, and if you asked me for my observations, the other communities have easier integration – friends, intermarriages and so on, Indians with Chinese, Chinese with Indians – than Muslims. That’s the result of the surge from the Arab states.”

He added: “I would say today, we can integrate all religions and races except Islam.”

He also said: “I think the Muslims socially do not cause any trouble, but they are distinct and separate.”

Mr lee then went on to speak of how his own generation of politicians who worked with him had integrated well, including sitting down and eating together. He said: “But now, you go to schools with Malay and Chinese, there’s a halal and non-halal segment and so too, the universities. And they tend to sit separately so as not to be contaminated. All that becomes a social divide.”

He added that the result was a “veil” across peoples. Asked what Muslims in Singapore needed to do to integrate, he replied: “Be less strict on Islamic observances and say ‘Okay, I’ll eat with you.’”  (Emphasis mine.)

Certainly if there’s one image that epitomizes Islam, it’s the veiled face, whether the veil hides women from all civic interactions or masks the men on Western streets who commit violence with impunity as they hide their faces from the authorities.

Yew, who is no longer a power broker, has the luxury of age and retirement to speak of this veil.  It’s interesting, however, that Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has suddenly decided to speak up as well about the Borg in Britain’s midst:

In an attack on Britain’s previous government, Cameron said authorities there had been too hesitant to intervene when some sectors of society espoused abhorrent views.

“We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values,” Cameron said. “We have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream.”

Cameron said a culture of tolerance had allowed both Islamic extremists, and far-right extremists, to build support for their causes. “We’ve been too cautious, frankly even fearful, to stand up to them,” he said.

Some European allies have criticized Britain for harboring hardline Islamic clerics and failing to clamp down on mosques that promote a perverted view of Islam.

Several terrorists involved in attacks or attempted plots in the U.S., Sweden, Denmark and Norway over the last two years have had links to Britain, or British-based clerics.

“If we are to defeat this threat, I believe it’s time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past,” Cameron said. “Instead of ignoring this extremist ideology, we – as governments and societies – have got to confront it, in all its forms.”

I am delighted to see people with bully pulpits begin to speak, although I don’t expect to hear anything intelligent on the subject from the world’s premier bully pulpit until January 2013 (assuming all goes well in the November 2012 elections).  As it is, my only hope now is that the Islamic/Borg invaders haven’t already reached to a tipping point from which there is no return.

Hat tip:  American Thinker

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

If you read only one thing this weekend — read Mark Steyn on Fort Hood and Multiculturalism

In a field rich with excellent conservative writers, I always think Mark Steyn is the best.  The joyful days, though, are the days when he outdoes even himself.  In this week’s column about the fluffy multiculturalism that reared its head both before and after Hasan’s deadly terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Steyn outdoes himself.  Here are a few excerpts, but you have to read the whole thing to get the flavor:

The truth is we’re not prepared to draw a line even after he’s gone ahead and committed mass murder. “What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy,” said Gen. George Casey, the U.S. Army’s Chief of Staff, “but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.” A “greater tragedy” than 14 dead and dozens of wounded? Translating from the original brain-addled multicult-speak, the Army chief of staff is saying that the same fatuous prostration before marshmallow illusions that led to the “tragedy” must remain in place. If it leads to occasional mass murder, well, hopefully it can be held to what cynical British civil servants used to call, during the Northern Irish “Troubles,” “an acceptable level of violence.” Fourteen dead is evidently acceptable. A hundred and forty? Fourteen hundred? I guess we’ll find out.

[snip]

The brain-addled “diversity” of General Casey will get some of us killed, and keep all of us cowed. In the days since the killings, the news reports have seemed increasingly like a satirical novel the author’s not quite deft enough to pull off, with bizarre new Catch 22s multiplying like the windmills of your mind: If you’re openly in favor of pouring boiling oil down the throats of infidels, then the Pentagon will put down your e-mails to foreign jihadists as mere confirmation of your long established “research interests.” If you’re psychotic, the Army will make you a psychiatrist for fear of provoking you. If you gun down a bunch of people, within an hour the FBI will state clearly that we can all relax, there’s no terrorism angle, because, in our over-credentialized society, it doesn’t count unless you’re found to be carrying Permit #57982BQ3a from the relevant State Board of Jihadist Licensing.

Judge not lest you be judged

A few days ago, I posted about the rise in antisemitism around the world. One of my readers, who I know is a good and kind woman, decried this trend, but then said something interesting: “And now many Jews insist that we hate Muslims to support them. [snip.] [E]very anti-Islamic article posted makes it that much harder to side with the Jews. No one should be forced to side with one ethnicity over another.” In other words, if I understand her correctly, by bad-mouthing Muslims, Jews are making themselves look bad and are therefore less sympathetic.

(This statement is not unique to this reader, and I don’t want any of you to pick on her. She’s part of a larger trend, and this trend definitely deserves consideration. Indeed, I am grateful to her for being honest so that we can discuss this matter. Any personal attacks against her are strictly off limits and I will delete them as soon as I can.)

The view my reader expressed seems to be a variation on two Biblical principles: “Judge not lest you be judged” and “turn the other cheek.” I’ve always understood these doctrines to apply to the individual, not to the state, and to mean that, within a civilized society, people have to avoid the sins of hypocrisy and should strive to get along with their neighbors. Multiculturalism, however, elevates these Biblical precepts to national policies that insist that victims of threats or aggression may not defend themselves. As one commentator said, in many circles, it is now worse to judge evil than to do evil. (I’d like to give attribution to that speaker, but I can’t find his name anywhere. He’s a British lecturer, if that helps any of you come up with his name.)

I’m actually happy to judge evil — because I know, with certainty, that I am not evil. That is, I don’t have to worry that, in judging others as evil, I might in turn be judged. I can cast rhetorical stones because, while I have my petty sins (I’m lazy, a bit hot-tempered, and I’m greedy when it comes to chocolate), I am not evil. The same holds true for Jews. As a group, they have the same foibles as the average run of citizens, but they are not, collectively, evil. They do not aim their guns intentionally at children, they do not use children to hide their own guns, and they do not revel in the deaths of children. Jews can judge those Muslims who got what they asked for (Gaza) and then launched more than 5,000 rockets into Israel, with the intent to kill civilians. Jews can judge those Muslims who have as their religious doctrine the requirement that the desired end of days be triggered, in part, by the slaughter of Jews. We are allowed to judge when we see evil.

I actually attribute this naive belief that all people are innately good — a belief that, in the modern era alone, should have given way in the face of the Nazi death camps, in Pol Pots killing fields, in Mao’s Great Leap Forward, in the Soviet Union’s lengthy auto-genocide — to a surprising source: Anne Frank. Since the 1950s, every single reasonably educated American has read Anne Frank’s luminous diary. And most American teachers — certainly mine, when I was in junior high school — spent an inordinate amount of time reiterating to us Anne’s most famous words, written on July 15, 1944, exactly two years after she and her family went into hiding to escape the Nazis:

It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. [Emphasis mine.]

Thanks to those words, just about every Western school child learns that “people are truly good at heart.” I think it was that sweet sentiment that my reader had in the back of her mind when she left her comment. In that world view, if everyone is good, it does indeed lessen the virtue of one group of people if they imply that another group of people may not, in fact, be “truly good at heart.” The problem is that Anne Frank was completely and totally wrong.

Before I get into the global wrongness of Anne’s position, it’s useful to understand the context in which Anne wrote those words, as well as to remember what happened to Anne within days of writing them. As Anne freely admited in the next sentence following her famous thought, she wrote those words because she needed to give meaning to a life spent in hiding and a world that had devolved into sadistic chaos.

Two weeks after writing her homage to human kind’s innate goodness, because of a tip from an informer, the Annex’s residents were rounded up by the Nazis and shipped off. Here’s what happened to them: Mr. Van Daan was gassed immediately on his arrival in Auschwitz. Mrs. Van Daan was shuffled from Auschwitz, to Bergen-Belsen, to Buchenwald, to Theresienstadt, and finally to another unknown camp where she apparently died shortly before war’s end. Peter van Daan survived a death march from Auschwitz to Mauthausen, only to die three days before the camp was liberated. Mr. Dussel, after having spent time in either Buchenwald or Sachenhausen, died in Neuengamme a few months after being arrested. Mrs. Frank died in Auschwitz from starvation and exhaustion. As for Anne and Margot:

Margot and Anne Frank were transported from Auschwitz at the end of October and brought to Bergen-Belsen concentrationton camp near Hanover (Germany). The typhus epidemic that broke out in the winter of 1944-1945, as a result of the horrendous hygienic conditions, killed thousands of prisoners, including Margot and, a few days later, Anne. She must have died in late February or early March. The bodies of both girls were probably dumped in Bergen-Belsen’s mass graves. (From the Afterward to The Diary of a Young Girl : The Definitive Edition, published by Anchor Books Doubleday in 1996)

Anne Frank did not die peacefully or gracefully. Instead, her last days on earth were a nightmare of cold, hunger, loneliness and fear:

Anne was briefly reunited with two friends, Hanneli Goslar (named “Lies” in the diary) and Nanette Blitz, who both survived the war. They said that Anne, naked but for a piece of blanket, explained she was infested with lice and had thrown her clothes away. They described her as bald, emaciated and shivering but although ill herself, she told them that she was more concerned about Margot, whose illness seemed to be more severe. Goslar and Blitz did not see Margot who remained in her bunk, too weak to walk. Anne said they were alone as both of their parents were dead.

Why am I emphasizing all this? Because I want to make it clear that Anne Frank was wrong. People are not innately good. Her words were whistling in the dark, written to give herself faith and courage under terrible circumstances. They cannot and should not be used as a yardstick for measuring human being’s natural state. And for Liberals to cling to this “ideology” moves beyond optimism into self-destruction.

Anyone who has children knows that, while they have a tremendous capacity for love, and have within them the seeds for reason and kindness, their innate state is more Lord of the Flies than anything else. Children are naturally violent, greedy and jealous. What tempers children is a society’s externally imposed value system. And these value systems don’t spring out of whole cloth. They are the results of centuries of give and take, violence, refining, and thought.

In a chauvinistic way that I’m not even going to bother to defend, I think our modern Judeo-Christian value system is one of the best ever created — and it’s not innate, it’s learned. I’ll go even further here: I don’t like the current fundamentalist Islamic value system, with its denigration of women, Jews, and non-Muslims, and its obsession with visiting extreme physical violence (and I include beheading and other slaughters) on those so denigrated.

I don’t think we in the West are innately good, or that those in the fundamentalist Islamic Middle East are inherently bad. I do think, however, that we have the better value system, and that it’s terribly dangerous for people to put their faith in Anne Frank’s touching but misguided words about humans’ innate goodness. Worse, this is not merely the misguided approach of a single good and kind person. Instead, a vast portion of the American population has bought into a teenage girls’ “whistling in the dark” musings and now tries to impose this naive view on American (and Israeli) foreign policy, hampering those countries’ ability to protect themselves against those whose value system calls for its enemies subjugation and death.

British think tank lambasts soggy British multiculturalism as petri dish for terrorism

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for England. I adore British history, especially because I’ve always admired its trajectory towards true enlightenment. It had all the bad qualities of other European nations — serfs, Crusades, slavery, inhumane work conditions, etc. — but it always seemed to shake them off sooner than the others. It created a legal and political system that served as the model for our own, and that created unprecedented rights among citizens. And it held off Hitler all by itself for more than two years before America started to help.  I also spent a delightful year living there, but that sojourn was in a time before England started, not just to go down the drain, but to hurl herself down the drain. In that regard, the title of this post really says it all. Here’s a part of the news story about Britain’s decline and imminent fall:

Britain has become a “soft touch” for home grown terrorists because ministers have failed to tackle immigrant communities that refuse to integrate, warns a report released today.

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a body of the country’s leading military and diplomatic figures, says the loss of British values and national identity caused by “flabby and bogus” Government thinking has made the country vulnerable to attack from Islamic extremists.

Britain has become a ‘soft touch’ for home grown terrorists, a report warns
MI5 estimates that there are currently about 2,000 active terror supporters in Britain

“Misplaced” policies on multiculturalism have failed to “lay down the line” to immigrants, leading to a fragmented society opposed by “implacable” terrorist enemies, the report says.

The stark warning – which comes just days after the Archbishop of Canterbury was plunged into a row over the adoption of sharia, or Islamic law, in Britain – will embarrass the Government.

RUSI, whose patron is the Queen, is one of the most respected and long-established defence research organisations in the world.

Gordon Brown, who is due to unveil his national security policy next week, has described the think-tank as “leading the debate about homeland security and global terrorism”.

[snip]

“The UK presents itself as a target, as a fragmenting, post-Christian society,” the report says, and is “increasingly divided” on its history, national aims, values and political identity.

“That fragmentation is worsened by the firm self-image of those elements within it who refuse to integrate.”

The report places most of the blame for this on a “lack of leadership from the majority, which, in misplaced deference to ‘multiculturalism’, failed to lay down the line to immigrant communities, thus undercutting those within them trying to fight extremism”.

“The country’s lack of self-confidence is in stark contrast to the implacability of its Islamist terrorist enemy, within and without.
“We look like a soft touch. We are indeed a soft touch, from within and without.”

The report also accuses ministers of “flabby and bogus strategic thinking” which has led to public money being spent in “perverse ways”.

“All this has contributed to a more severe erosion of the links of confidence and support between the British people, their government and Britain’s security and defence forces, than for many years,” it says.

You can and should read the whole thing here.