Between Antifa riots, Act II of the Civil War (the famous Battle Against The Statues), and the Arpaio pardon, there’s a lot of good material here.
By popular demand, it’s back — the Bookworm Room illustrated edition! You’ll enjoy these pithy images showing all that’s right or wrong with America.
A dog whistle, by definition, can be heard only by the intended dogs. Progressives claim to hear all of Trump’s dog whistles. Hmmm….
And what about the racist dog whistle that anti-Trumpers tell us only they and racists can hear? Is it not super-awkward that your best criticism involves hearing a secret message that only racists can detect?
I thought the statement needed a quality illustration [click on image to enlarge]:
At Charlottesville, Antifa and Neo-Nazis proved to be birds of a feather; and blacks are right to want to remove Confederate monuments from public spaces.
I’ve been rather conspicuously silent about events in the South. As you know, I like to wait until the hysteria settles and facts emerge to throw in my two cents. Here are those two cents, in no particular order:
1. This needn’t have happened. The Charlottesville police stood down, which is a common tactic in Democrat-run cities when the loony Left is on the prowl.
2. Trump is correct that there were good people attending the event on both sides. The young woman who died, Heather Heyer, was one such person — and one, moreover, who had a truly moral, decent mother. I’ve read that there were others there who were not Richard Spencer supporters, but who were supporting free speech against Antifa’s thugs. Still, it was a stupid thing to say.
3. There were innumerable bad people at Charlottesville, both fascist Antifa thugs and fascist White Supremacist thugs. They’re all foul thinks and the Left is genuinely evil in its efforts to paint Trump and his supporters as fellow travelers of those White Supremacists. As a wise teen I know asked, “If you support me, and I hate you and everything you stand for, does that mean that the media gets to say that I support you just because you support me? I don’t think so.” The same teen, incidentally, said “extremism creates opposite extremists.” He hadn’t even read the Daniel Greenfield article from which I quote below when he said that.
4. There is nothing that Trump could have said about Charlottesville that would have assuaged the media. Nothing. And in talking with his supporters, I see them say that, no matter how inartfully Trump phrased things at his press conference, he was correct in the substance of what he said and they continue to applaud his bold frontal attacks against the media.
5. The media has a consistent double standard: Antifa, which is a burgeoning movement and can be seen as the militant arm of the campus Left (just as the KKK was the militant arm of the Democrat Party), is designated as a freedom fighting movement. White Supremacists, who are a teeny fraction of the American population, far less than the KKK was during its ascendancy in the 1920s and probably less than the Antifa mob, whether on campus or off, is treated not only as evil (which it is) but as representative of all conservatives.
6. When Antifa runs out of White Supremacists to attack (and it will, given the latter’s small numbers), the ground will have been laid for Antifa to attack all conservatives on the ground that they too are White Supremacists.
7. Antifa and the White Supremacists have a few things in common: They’re violent and they hate Jews. IowaHawk nailed it: [Read more…]
HBO is in trouble for producing “Confederate,” an alternate history in which the South won the war. The irony is that HBO and its foes are both wrong.
(Only half of this essay was posted initially. My mistake. I have added the second half below the line. My apologies. [Bookworm here: Wolf Howling is too kind. It was my mistake. Or we’re both to blame. In any event, the whole post is as brilliant as is true for everything WH writes.])
If you study early America, you will find that racism did not pop up overnight during the colonial era. It was a slow process when it came to white racism directed against blacks, one that grew in direct proportion to the moral challenges made against the institution of slavery.
Slavery was the norm throughout history in agricultural societies. In the world before the Enlightenment, slaveholders did not need to justify their acts. There was no moral issue with slavery. That ended with the preachers in the First Great Awakening and the Quakers, the two of whom combined to make slavery a moral issue. As that took hold, those who wanted to maintain slavery for their own profit had to justify their actions. What you will see is the language of racism becoming ever more vile and the tone ever louder and more discordant over the decades as the moral case was built against slavery.
What we are seeing today is that pattern playing out in reverse. We live in a nation where institutionalized racism no longer exists and where racism is not tolerated in the mainstream of this nation. We also live in a nation where slightly more than half of our black population lives in or near poverty. The problems of poverty, single parent families, lack of education, and crime are cyclical in that half of the population and, in 21st century America, that is obscene.
The causes behind these systemic problems are myriad, but not one of them is racism. Yet the Progressive left needs to maintain blacks seeing themselves as permanent victims, so they shout ever louder that the problems in black society are the result of overt white racism, a deep-rooted hatred cooked into our DNA that can never be destroyed, and systemic institutional racism. As that dark fantasy becomes ever more detached from reality, the Progs scream ever louder and their voices grow ever more discordant.
It is ironic indeed that Martin Luther King Jr. issued a clarion call nearly half a century ago for America to become the society promised in the Declaration of Independence, a society where “all men are created equal” and people are judged “by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.” The Progs have taken his civil rights movement and transformed it into one in which the only thing that matters is the color of one’s skin.
Regardless, with that introduction, let’s take a look at a story from The Hollywood Reporter, HBO’s Slavery Drama ‘Confederate’ Faces Minefield of “Fundamentally Problematic” Issues. This was the first I had even heard of the show. [Read more…]
For 150 years, Democrats used the Big Lie about race to justify slavery and Jim Crow, and now they’re using the Big Lie technique to challenge gender norms.
I want to share a thought with you that starts with slavery and ends with transsexuals. To get from one to the other, I have to start with one of the few decent classes I had when I was at UC Berkeley. That senior seminar looked at the history of race relations in America versus those in Brazil.
When I took the class, I had no interest whatsoever in the history of race relations. I was an English history major — the English isle, to be precise — and everything else was a distant second. Still, it became apparent to me very quickly that I was not alone and that I would not get into my preferred seminar. You see, back in the day, when it came time for enrollment in senior seminars, the history teachers would seat themselves at random intervals in the big lecture room at Dwinelle Hall. Students would then approach the teachers as supplicants, begging to get into this or that seminar.
As soon as I walked in the room, I saw that the professors teaching the seminars in which I was interested were besieged. I had no desire to hurl myself into that scrum. Instead, I checked out the teachers who were not surrounded by adoring students.
Only one of the other teachers caught my interest because he was so darn handsome. After I ascertained that he had openings in his seminar and that it worked for my schedule, I signed up, not even caring what he was teaching. And so it was that I ended up learning about the history race relations in the US and Brazil.
Fortunately, for me, that handsome young graduate student was an excellent teacher. It made up for the fact that he was happily married, had a baby, and would in any event not have been interested in me. It also made up for the fact that the reading materials were deadly dull.
Thirty years later, the only takeaway I had from the class is that America was rather unique in its “one drop of blood” approach to racism. In Brazil, there’s a great deal of racism, but it’s on a graduated scale. The darker you are, the more racism you face and the lower your status in society.
Meanwhile, in America, it doesn’t matter what you look like. If you’re known to have even a drop of black blood in you, you’re black. Nor is that a racial view that’s changed since both slavery and Jim Crow ended. After all, Barack Obama, half-black and half-white genetically, was our “first black president.” He wasn’t really, of course. He was our “first half-black president” — but that’s not the way things roll in America.
The stigma against that single drop of blood has been so strong in America that it made for a great subplot in Edna Ferber’s Showboat, which started as a book, made it to Broadway as a groundbreaking musical, and then got made into two Hollywood movie musicals. (The 1936 version of the movie is the one to see.)
If you’re familiar with Showboat’s plot, you know that, when the showboat passes through Mississippi, a vengeful man, furious that the beautiful Julie LaVerne has rebuffed him, reports to the authorities that she is, in fact, a black woman. Given that her husband, Steve, is a white man, they have violated Mississippi’s miscegenation laws and he demands their arrest. The couple avoids arrest when Steve cuts Julie and licks her blood, enabling his friends on the boat to state honestly that he has that “one drop of black blood” in him. [Read more…]
Unquestioning groupthink is a Leftist hallmark, especially for blacks. Antonia Okafor details how she escaped from that intellectual prison.
This Bookworm Beat has all shades of Progressive insanity (fake data, attacks on free speech, Chelseamania), complete with links and my trenchant comments.
Keep circling that drain. Before I get into the meat of this post detailing the worst emanations from the Democrats and their fellow travelers on their Left, I want to lead off with Kurt Schlichter’s article begging the Democrats not to change their current trajectory and tactics:
Look, Democrats, speaking sincerely as your friend, understand that everyone who says you need to take a deep look at yourselves is a racist, sexist, homophobe who won’t even ask about your preferred pronoun. Whatever you do, don’t you ever change.
The problem isn’t you. It’s those stupid idiots who won’t obey you because they’re stupid idiots. How can those idiots be so stupid?
Who knows? But what’s clear is that it’s not your fault. It’s theirs. So when the going gets tough, and you aren’t making progress – in fact, when you’re moving backwards – what’s the smart play? Double down!
Hey, the dealer’s showing an ace in a face-heavy deck and you’ve got a six, what do you do? Double down!
Can I boast? I had the pleasure of meeting Kurt a couple of weeks ago and he’s every bit as smart, funny, and personable as his writing. Lord, but I do envy a brain like that.
Statistically illiterate accusation that Trump voters are racist. You know all about American colleges and universities by now. They’re the places in which self-regard exceeds accomplishments, feelings trump rational thought, antisemitism is great than that found anywhere else in America (except, probably in Dearborn and the DNC), and the First Amendment is subordinate to students’ feelings (provided, of course, that those feelings are consistent with the Democrat Party platform).
Thomas Wood, an assistant professor at Ohio State University, has emerged from this sewer to announce that Trump voters are racists. He thought perhaps they were mere Nazi-style authoritarians but it’s worse — they’re racists. He knows this because he’s got charts.
Why are Trump voters racist? Because Wood specifically defined racism in such a way as to apply to Trump voters. That’s how they do it at universities nowadays:
To test this, I use what is called the “symbolic racism scale” to compare whites who voted for the Democratic presidential candidate with those who voted for the Republican. This scale measures racial attitudes among respondents who know that it’s socially unacceptable to say things perceived as racially prejudiced. Rather than asking overtly prejudiced questions — “do you believe blacks are lazy” — we ask whether racial inequalities today are a result of social bias or personal lack of effort and irresponsibility.
In other words, if you believe that only government can save perpetually hapless and helpless minorities, you’re not a racist. However, if you believe that minorities are rational, sentient beings who respond to incentives and disincentives in the same way as everyone else, and that they therefore deserve to be respected as our equals and not demeaned as perpetual wards of state, you’re racist!
You always win the game if you get to write the rules after the play is already run. Woods is a perfect example of why I keep saying that the best way to get America back on a track dedicated to individual liberty, free enterprise, and constitutional governance is to take every bit of federal money out of American “higher” education.
George Washington’s extraordinary accomplishments set the stage for American liberty — so of course Progressives must reduce him to a racist slave owner.
No figure was more central to the birth of our nation, first in war, then as a Constitutional Republic, than George Washington. In 1776, with the Revolution by all accounts lost and our army in tatters, it was Washington who led a ragged band of men in history’s most audacious, decisive and pivotal raids at Trenton and Princeton. It was Washington who, through 1782, kept the military together under unimaginable adversity and who, at the end of the war, stopped a military coup by his unpaid officers. It was Washington in 1783 who, unlike almost all other military leaders throughout history, laid down his sword at the end of the war and bowed to civilian control of the government.
It was Washington, called from retirement in 1787, who presided over the drafting and passage of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. It was Washington who, in 1789, was unanimously elected to serve as our President. And it was Washington who, eight years later, stepped down as President, establishing a precedent of a peaceful and orderly transfer of power. He was, as Lord Byron later wrote, the Cinncinatus of the West.
Few people in history have succeeded under the adversity Washington faced. Even fewer accomplished so much in both war and peace. None but he accomplished those in the furtherance of freedom from government. He is one of the few historical figures that was truly indispensable. And yet . . .
Enter Drake Univ. Prof. Jennifer Harvey – she a progressive with an exquisitely fine tuned sense of social justice and white guilt. Writing an op-ed at the NYT, she asks “Are We Raising Racists?” It seems that her seven year old daughter came home from school “singing the praises of George Washington.” Ms. Harvey found herself “dismayed” at this “one dimensional” teaching of history. Well, history does indeed have countless dimensions, all of which contribute to the context and understanding of any particular event of note. But Ms. Harvey had only a very selective second dimension in mind:
I’m too young to remember a time when dignity was considered a virtue, not only in individuals, but in entire groups. The other night, I was reminded of what I missed when I watched a 1944 U.S. Army Propaganda film, The Negro Soldier, which Frank Capra directed. The Army commissioned the movie because it was trying to reach out to blacks who were unwilling to enlist in the fight.
The movie qua movie was a resounding success, undoubtedly paving the way for Americans accepting Truman’s executive order integrating the military and, perhaps, moving the American conscience forward towards the Civil Rights movement:
The film began shooting in 1943. The movie crew traveled the United States, visiting over 19 different army posts. The final movie totaled 43 minutes long and received official support in 1944. At first, The Negro Soldier was intended for only African American troops; however, the creators of the film decided that they wanted to distribute the film to a wider military and civil audience. Nobody was certain what the impact of the film would have on viewers, and many people feared that African Americans would have a negative response to the film. However, when the first African American troops saw the film, they insisted that all African American troops should see it. Furthermore, after both African Americans and whites were surveyed about their response to the film, the filmmakers were shocked when over 80% of the white population thought the film should be shown to both black and white troops, as well as white civilians.
Although the Wikipedia article from which I quoted, above, does not say it, TCM stated that blacks did in fact respond to the movie’s message by enlisting in significant numbers. I think you’ll see why if you take the time to watch the movie yourself. Because of it’s importance in American history, the U.S. National Archives restored it and you can see the entire movie here:
There are no people more committed to black inferiority than racist whites who flatter themselves that they’re loving Progressives who are taking care of blacks. I figured out this white racism problem after the Rodney King riots, when the media tried to push the “rapture” defense for Damian Williams, one of the people caught on camera beating the bejesus out of Reginald Denny — that is, that Williams, animal-like, was so caught up in the rapture of the moment that he was unable to control himself. I thought then, and continue to think now, that this was racism of the type that would appeal to every two-bit white supremacist.
My feeling about blacks — indeed, about all other races — has always been that the only primary difference between them and me is skin color. Everything else falls into either the ordinary bell curve of intelligence and competence or under the umbrella of learned behavior, whether it’s learned through community culture or through government incentives and disincentives. Leftists, though, are pretty sure that blacks are congenitally dumb and must be perpetually protected from their own mental handicaps.
I’ve never seen this type of condescending, racist, attitude from the Left more clearly demonstrated than in this short Ami Horowitz video about voter ID laws:
The miserable sexism of Hillary’s supporters. I’ve agreed with myself to disagree with Jonah Goldberg about Donald Trump, while still greatly respecting and deeply appreciating Goldberg’s take on just about everything else. In the wake of Hillary’s 9/11 collapse, followed by her dehydration, followed by the media castigating as sexist anyone who dared suggest the woman is ill, followed by her “oh, it’s just pneumonia,” followed by the entire media admiring Hillary for the strong female way in which she “powered through” things, Goldberg had this to say:
But here’s the thing. After weeks of bleating that it was sexist to raise questions about Hillary’s health, the immediate response from the very same people was an irrefutably sexist argument. Men are just a bunch of Jeb Bushes, low-energy shlubs laid low by a hangnail. But women are the Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Bangas of the species. (For non-longtime readers, this translates from the original Ngbandi, “The warrior who knows no defeat because of his endurance and inflexible will and is all powerful, leaving fire in his wake as he goes from conquest to conquest.”)
This raises a subject of much fascination to “news”letter writers who are fascinated by it. I don’t want to go too far out on a limb, because you never know if you’ll fall into raging torrent of angry weasels, but I gather that the word “sexist” is supposed to have a bad connotation. That was the sense I got taking women’s studies courses at a formerly all-women’s college. I’ve also drawn this conclusion from a fairly close study of routine political argle-bargle.
The problem is we don’t really have a word for observations and statements that simply acknowledge that men and women are . . . different. Not better or worse. Just different. If I said that dogs aren’t the same as cats, no one would shout, “Dogist!” Everyone would simply say, “Duh.” In fact, if I said to about 90 percent of normal people, of either sex, that men and women are different, the response would be “duh” as well.
The frustrating thing is that feminist liberals like to have it both ways (and not in the way that Bill pays extra for). Women are “different” when they think it means women are “better,” but when you say women are different in ways that annoy feminists — for whatever reason — they shout, “Sexist!” Lena Dunham rejects the idea that women should be seen as things of beauty, and then gets mad when she’s not seen as a thing of beauty. Women should be in combat because they can do anything men can do, but when reality proves them wrong, they say the “sexist” standards need to change. And so on.
Hillary Clinton is like a broken Zoltar the Fortune Teller machine shouting all sorts of platitudes about being the first female president, cracking glass ceilings, yada yada yada. She openly says that we need a first female president because a first female president would be so awesome. But she also wants to say criticisms that would be perfectly legitimate if aimed at a man are in fact sexist when directed at a woman. That is a sexist argument.
No campus safe spaces for Jews. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson. I’m happy to report that when it comes to the aggressive special snowflakes on America’s college campuses, consistency is never a problem. You see, it turns out that the whole thing about safe spaces and microaggressions and triggers and political correctness doesn’t apply to Jews:
But little has been said about how the idea of “intersectionality” — the idea that all struggles are connected and must be combated by allies — has created a dubious bond between the progressive movement and pro-Palestinian activists who often engage in the same racist and discriminatory discourse they claim to fight. As a result of this alliance, progressive Jewish students are often subjected to a double standard not applied to their peers — an Israel litmus test to prove their loyalties to social justice.
You and I have been tracking this problem for years, but I’m hoping that Jewish parents will start realizing that there’s a problem on American campuses. As it is, in today’s world, I would have to say that the single biggest reason that American Jews are so hard left is that they are so likely to go to college, which they get exposed to the pernicious disease that is Leftism. This has been going on for at least 40 years — I was exposed in Cal, although I was eventually able to build an immunity — but it’s gotten worse of late.
“Ipse dixit” is one of the more charming Latin phrases you’ll find in legal writing. It translates to “he himself has said it.” (As an aside, Gilbert & Sullivan aficionado’s may recognize that little phrase from H.M.S. Pinafore.) What the phrase means is that the author asserts as authority the fact that he is asserting something as authority. Another way to describe this type of argument is “boot-strapping.” The best way to understand what I’m talking about, though, is to read the incredible love letter that Caroline Siede has written to Hillary Clinton over at Boing-Boing: “To find Hillary Clinton likable, we must learn to view women as complex beings.”
As the title indicates, Siede’s premise is a simple one: Those who don’t like Hillary Clinton are guilty of sexism. Women are complex. Both men and unenlightened women hate complex women. Therefore, because Hillary is a woman, men and unenlightened women hate Hillary. QED.
You can take Siede’s analysis for whatever you think it’s worth. What I found more interesting was what I discovered when I followed up on her innumerable hyperlinks. The hyperlinks, of course, are meant to imply that every statement Siede makes is factually valid. In fact, though, following the hyperlinks more often than not led to people saying “this fact is true because I say it’s true.” I’ve dealt with lawyers who write legal briefs like that. You’ll find a hundred case citations in the brief, none of which are on point. They exist merely to lend heft to an otherwise invalid argument.
To illustrate my point, let me take just the first two paragraphs from Siede’s love letter to Hillary and to all misunderstood, complex women everywhere, and then walk you through the hyperlinks:
Whether you realize it or not, you’ve spent your entire life being trained to empathize with white men. From Odysseus to Walter White, Hamlet to Bruce Wayne, James Bond to the vast majority of biopic protagonists, our art consistently makes the argument that imperfect, even outright villainous, men have an innate core of humanity. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Good art should teach us to empathize with complex people. The problem comes not from the existence of these stories about white men, but from thelack of stories about everyone else.
That’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot during this increasingly insane presidential election season. Particularly as I try to wrap my head around the fact that Hillary Clinton is on one hand the most qualified human being to ever run for president of the United States, and, on the other, one of the most disliked presidential candidates of all time. In fact, Donald Trump is the only candidate who is more disliked than Clinton. And he’s not only overtly racist, sexist, and Islamophobic, but also unfit and unprepared for office. How can these two fundamentally dissimilar politicians possibly be considered bedfellows when it comes to popular opinion?
And here’s a breakdown of the hyperlinked items in the above two paragraphs:
The older of my two dogs is very high-strung and she got so frightened by the wind that carried the fog in tonight that I’ve had to sequester her and me in my home office so that Mr. Bookworm, who needs to get up for work tomorrow, can sleep. She shows no signs of settling, so I’m blogging.
No matter how you slice it, Trump is the less risky gamble. Writing in the Claremont Review of Books, Publius Decius Mus quite graphically presents the issue that I have been arguing all summer:
2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.
Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.
Precisely. Trump, with all his flaws, is better than Hillary. Up until a few months ago, one could argue that Hillary is just another garden-variety Leftist and that the American republic will survive despite her.
That’s all changed now. Knowing as we do of her extraordinary corruption — whether in running the State Department as a Pay-for-Play profit center for herself, her husband, and her daughter, or deliberately exposing all of America’s state secrets to try to hide her gross malfeasance — electing her to the presidency means that America has fully embraced banana republic status.
In the wake of a Hillary victory, thanks to Comey and the American voters (including all those #NeverTrumpers), there will no longer be a rule of law in America that applies equally to all citizens. We will in one fell swoop have destroyed a legal system that goes back 1215 when England first put into writing in the Magna Carta a policy saying that no one, not even a king, is above the law. As of now, Hillary and her cronies are above the law and it will be a disaster if the American people put their imprimatur on that utterly corrupt, anti-democratic principle.
One more thing: As Publius Decius Mus explains, Hillary’s been wrong about every single policy stance she’s ever taken (including the ones where she’s changed her stance repeatedly according to the latest poll data), while Trump, in his fumbling, bumbling way, has been right about all of the most important policy issues facing America. So maybe he’s not so bad after all.
The Prager U video below, narrated by and based upon research from, Heather MacDonald is actually titled “Are The Police Racist?”. However, watch it and you will learn that modern-day Democrats have achieved something that the Social Darwinists of the 19th century, and the eugenicists of the 21st centuries could only dream of:
They’ve put ostensibly “pro-black” systems in place that, in fact, have fostered a culture of auto-genocide amongst blacks. Between encouraging black abortion and putting into place policies that ensure unending black crime (everything from placing the blame on others for black lawlessness, to denying guns to law-abiding citizens, to replacing fathers with welfare, to demonizing police) that keeps the black population violently reduced — at the hands of their fellow blacks.
Now that you have the proper frame of mind, watch this deeply depressing, data-rich video about an incredibly successful Leftist push to get blacks killed: