Never underestimate hate from the Left, especially when it comes to conservative blacks

This morning, I read and enjoyed Jeannie DeAngelis’ post about a potential Herman Cain candidacy.  From everything I’ve heard, including musings from our own Danny Lemieux, Cain is a person one would like to have in the White House.  He may not have a political track record, but he’s still got a lot more under his belt than our current president.  The latter had a few years voting “present” in regional and national senates, and a cushioned existence as a lecturer and activist.  Cain has lived out in the real world, and made a success of himself.  He has a moral center, and the ability to communicate those values.  We could do — and are now doing — infinitely worse.

But DeAngelis said one thing that struck me as wrong.  She believes that Cain’s race (he’s black for those few who might not have heard of him) would take race off the table in the next election.  My instinctive reaction was “No way!”  No one inspires a racial frenzy on the Left the way a conservative black person does.  The old “Uncle Tom” insult is nothing compared to what the Left dishes out now.  Just think of the vicious “Mammy” attacks on Condi Rice.

I didn’t have to wait very long for my instincts to be proven right.  AlterNet, a loud and popular Leftist site, just published one of the most vile racist rants I’ve ever seen.  Because it doesn’t deserve your links, I’ll reprint the post here (copied from Hot Air):

In the immortal words of Megatron in Transformers: The Movie, Herman Cain’s speech at CPAC really is bad comedy. As you know, I find black garbage pail kids black conservatives fascinating not because of what they believe, but rather because of how they entertain and perform for their White Conservative masters.

When race minstrelsy was America’s most popular form of mass entertainment, black actors would often have to pretend to be white men, who then in turn would put on the cork to play the role of the “black” coon, Sambo, or Jumping Jim Crow. Adding insult to injury, in a truly perverse and twisted example of the power of American white supremacy black vaudevillians would often pretend to be white in order to denigrate black people for the pleasures of the white gaze. …

In total, CPAC is a carnival and a roadshow for reactionary Conservatives. It is only fitting that in the great tradition of the freak show, the human zoo, the boardwalk, and the great midway world’s fairs of the 19th and 20th centuries, that there is a Borneo man, a Venus Hottentot or a tribe of cannibals from deepest darkest Africa or Papua New Guinea on display. For CPAC and the White Conservative imagination, Herman Cain and his black and brown kin are that featured attraction.

We always need a monkey in the window, for he/she reminds us of our humanity while simultaneously reinforcing a sense of our own superiority. Sadly, there are always folks who are willing to play that role because it pays so well.

Believe it or not, there’s a much bigger insult in the above text than the blatant, obvious, KKK-style name-calling.  It is the notion that blacks are nothing more than puppets.  They don’t bring anything original to the table.  Instead, they simply dance for their political masters, with those who dance for the conservatives being the idiot field hands, while those who dance for the Progressive puppeteers are the deserving house slaves.  To demean a group that way, to imply that its members are incapable of making rational decisions (whether or not one agrees with those decisions) is more racist than foul language and antiquated imagery AlterNet can strain itself to produce.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

She talks facts; they hurl personal insults at her

Typical liberal/conservative dialog, with the kicker being that the players are black.  The young woman arguing the conservative case has great moral courage, and beautifully handles the insults and misinformation hurled at her:

H/t:  Danny Lemieux

I finally figured out why the Tea Party is racist *UPDATED*

Aside from the LaRouchites who appear at the Tea Party rallies, complete with their posters showing Obama with a Hitler mustache, I am unaware of any significant racist rhetoric or imagery from the Tea Party.  Certainly the media’s minions, despite their ugly fulminations and accusations about racism, never point to actual evidence of wide-spread or even narrow-spread racist rhetoric and imagery.

Sure, there may be the occasional individual who says things about Obama that are keyed in to his race, not his politics, but you’re going to find that in any large collection of human beings.  Unlike the KKK or the New Black Panthers, to name just two racially charge organizations, the Tea Party’s official platform and rhetoric focus solely on three colorblind things:  small government, fiscal responsibility, and strong national security.

Or are those three things really colorblind?  Answering this question may explain the chasm between the two Americas opens wide.  The Tea Partiers say that they are not racist because:  (a) they do not frame their ideas in terms of race; (b) they do not denigrate any race; and (c) they do not wish any race ill.  As far as they are concerned, that is the end of the story.  The Tea Party is not about race.  It’s about using the Constitution’s emphasis on individual rights to restore America to her pre-Progressive economic and social dominance.

The Left, however, asserts that the third statement (“they do not wish any race ill”) is manifestly untrue, thereby putting the lie to the whole Tea Party claim that race is irrelevant and that they offer something to all Americans.  What bedevils most conservatives is figuring out the logical leap that allows the Left, in the face of all contrary evidence, to claim that the Tea Partiers wish ill upon the blacks, thereby turning the Tea Party into a racist organization.

If you put on your Leftist thinking cap, however, the answer suddenly becomes clear:  The Left firmly believes that blacks can thrive only under tight government control and management.  Any group that is arguing for small government is, ipso facto, trying to harm blacks.

Nor are the Tea Partiers absolved of racial sin for asserting their belief that, just as a rising tide lifts all boats, the thriving economy that will result of small government and fiscal responsibility, will benefit all Americans, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, sexuality or country of national origin.  Because Leftists are incapable of imagining that anything good can come from trimming back government, they know that Tea Partiers are lying.  The Tea Party rhetoric about the Constitution, about individual rights, about personal responsibility, etc., is all an elaborate sham, aimed at hiding the true goal:  defunding government programs for black people.

And that is why, to the Left, and to those blacks who take their cues from the Left, the Tea Party is a racist organization, making it a profound insult for Glenn Beck to sully the Lincoln Memorial with his presence.

UPDATE:  With perfect timing, this comes along to illustrate my point, albeit with a different identity politics victim group:

As Britain prepares for the deepest budget cuts in generations to tackle a crippling mound of public debt, the government is facing a pressing legal question: Is its austerity plan sexist?

[snip]

Women, recent studies here show, are far more dependent on the state than men. Women are thus set to bear a disproportionate amount of the pain, prompting a legal challenge that could scuttle the government’s fiscal crusade and raise fairness questions over deficit-cutting campaigns underway from Greece to Spain, and in the United States when it eventually moves to curb spending.

Random wonderful stuff

Just random stuff that’s so good you shouldn’t miss it:

Shirley Sherrod’s been on a roller coaster.  Thanks to a video snippet that Andrew Breitbart posted, she got pilloried as the face of Leftist/NAACP racial intolerance.  When it turned out the snippet was out of context, she got sanctified as the face of true racial harmony.  Now, though, that we know who this formerly anonymous government worker is, we’ve learned that she is indeed just another Leftist race-baiter, that she’s been complicit in government fraud, and that she has a long history of much badness.  Turns out that Breitbart managed to target precisely the right person to show what the Left is like.

May I recommend to you — no, may I urge upon you — Wolf Howling’s fabulous post regarding the judicial activism on display in Perry v. Schwarzenegger?  As a conservative, whether one agrees with gay marriage or not, the true issue is whether judges should be allowed to impose their values, wrapped in an ostensible cloak of legal reasoning, on citizens. Or, as Wolf Howling more eloquently says, “gay marriage is not an issue of Constitutional law for the Courts, but rather one of social policy for the people of the fifty states and their state legislatures to decide.”  A nice companion piece is James Taranto on the same subject.

And a simple economics video for you (h/t Danny Lemieux):

Another one to add to your reading list is Michael Totten’s article about the way in which the media, which never steps outside of its small Leftist bubble in Israel, grossly misrepresents that country.

I’ve never liked David Letterman, whom I’ve always found self-centered and mean-spirited.  His periodic forays into actual wit could never compensate in my mind for the essential ugliness of his character.  According to Ed Driscoll, he’s only gotten worse, attacking conservatives with “sclerotic” glee.  (Isn’t “sclerotic” a great word?  I fell in love with Ed’s post practically on the basis of that word alone.)

Blogging around Comcast limitations

For reasons best known to Comcast, my internet connection today has been either nonexistent or merely spotty.  I’m in a spot right now, so I’m just trying to write up a quick addendum to my earlier short post about the the fact that Shirley Sherrod is no saint.  The Gay Patriot agrees, adding all the details that Comcast denies me.

Knee jerk jerks — or, the current state of racism in America

By now, we’re all familiar with the Sherrod story.  Andrew Breitbart was sent an edited video that made it look as if Sherrod was boasting to an NAACP gathering about denying government aid to white farmers.  The audience laughed complicitly when Sherrod made that confession.

Breitbart held onto that video clip until the NAACP announced that, in the absence of any evidence showing Tea Party racism, it was going to denounce Tea Party racism.  In the face of the NAACP’s knee jerk attack to policies with which it disagrees, Breitbart published the video.

It turned out, though, that Breitbart might have been knee jerking it too, since the video turned out to be part of a longer presentation during which Sherrod had confessed that she had abandoned her old racist ways.  To the extent that he was trying to highlight NAACP conduct, not Sherrod’s, Breitbart still had a point with that knowing laughter the audience gave during Sherrod’s confession.  Be that as it may, it looked as if Breitbart owed Sherrod an apology.

Interestingly, the NAACP was so panicked by the video — despite the fact that it had the entire speech in its possession — that it immediately denounced Sherrod.  This was yet another example of knee jerk idiocy, giving the NAACP two knee jerk points, the first for attacking the Tea Party, and the second for trying to disassociate itself from Sherrod before taking 15 minutes to get the facts.

The Obama administration also went into knee jerk mode, explicitly claiming fear of Fox and Glenn Beck.  Without bothering to investigate, it humiliated and then fired Sherrod.  When the whole video transcript came out, the administration had to engage in a massive belly crawl to Sherrod.  No surprise here.  Almost two years of Obamaness has shown us that the administration is focused on its goals, but a little hazy on the details.

Obama himself went into knee jerk mode when he castigated Secretary Tom Vilsack for acting “stupidly.” While this was almost certainly true, it was a bad choice of words for Obama who, as you may recall, went into knee jerk mode when, after admitting he knew nothing, he nevertheless castigated Cambridge police officers for acting “stupidly” with regard to the Henry Louis Gates arrest.  I’m pretty sure that Obama, if pressed, would describe most people around him as stupid, but that’s another story for another day.

Up until this morning, I would have said that the only person who came out of this little race incident in America was Sherrod.  While she has confessed that she was once a racist, she had announced publicly, in a slightly confused but heart-wrenching speech, that she was no longer.  For her honesty and remorse, she had wrongly been embarrassed and punished for confessing her sins. 

Except that this narrative is not true.  It turns out that, remorseful confession notwithstanding, Sherrod is still a race sinner, whose default, knee jerk setting is to cry racism.  Check it out.  She’s no rose and she’s not repentant.  When push comes to shove, Sherrod is every bit as bad as the rest of them.

Race in America is poisonous, not because most Americans are racists, but because the Left believes that most Americans are racists.  I am reminded of Maria Van Trapp’s autobiography, which I read decades ago.  Before she fell into the hands of the “good” nuns, the ones who achieved Hollywood fame, Maria was sent to a school run by fairly sadistic nuns.  These nuns beat the children daily on the principle that children were inherently evil and, whether or not one caught them making mischief, one could assume that they had made mischief, so they should be punished accordingly.

My father had a similar experience with nuns back in Berlin in 1924, when he was 5.  His mother, who was not bright, meant to leave him for a week with a Jewish charity while she had to go away.  Lord alone knows how, but she managed to leave him with a group of nuns in the same building.  They too beat him, and all the other little ones, daily.

Both Maria and my father had the exact same response to the experience of all punishment, no crime:  They concluded that, if they were going to be beaten for being bad, whether or not they had, in fact, been bad, they might as well be bad.  At least then the beating would have meaning and maybe they’d have some fun along the way.

If you constantly castigate honorable Americans as racists, they will eventually confirm to your standards.  That’s all.

The virulence of race issues in Obama’s post-racial America

I know more than one liberal who voted for Obama, despite conceding his total unpreparedness for the job, solely because he was black.  These liberals were utterly unconcerned that they were elevating to the Presidency of the most powerful nation on earth, during a time of economic chaos and heightened national security concerns (not to mention two wars), a man whose resume showed no accomplishments whatsoever beyond writing a book, teaching some law classes, and getting elected as a Senator (state and federal).   He was black.  That was all they needed to know.

Given their state of mind, I think these liberals would happily have voted Alvin Greene into the White House if there hadn’t been an Obama.  They were sublimely confident that Obama’s mere presence would heal America’s racial problems once and for all.  And if by “healing America’s racial problems” these self-righteous race zealots meant that this would throw race relationships in America into a state of turmoil unknown since the worst years of the Civil Rights movement, they got what they wanted.

Zombie — with photos, of course — looks at the racial meter in America now that we have our first post-racial president.  ‘Cause this is Zombie, it’s fairly amusing, of course, but it sure isn’t pretty.

Having said all that, there is the possibility that Obama’s election will have one expected benefit:  the term “racist,” which is currently suffering from farcical overuse, will be reduced in emotional intensity, until it has the same value as calling someone a “varmint” or a “marroon.”  In other words, to be called a “racist,” rather than galvanizing people into ferociously self-abasing apologies and acts, won’t rise beyond the silly script of an old Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Random fascinating stuff out there, plus a few opinions of my own about the California Academy of Sciences *UPDATED*

Although it’s been open for more than a year now, I went for the first time today to the newly rebuilt California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.  My visit there was an interesting contrast to my first visit, some years ago, to the newly rebuilt De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.

Although I can’t find it now (I think it was on my old Word Press blog), my review of the De Young Museum was that, on the outside, it looks like a series of stacked chicken coops but that, on the inside, it is an exceptionally lovely museum, with beautiful flow and lighting.  And since I go to see the art and not the exterior, it’s basically a very satisfying experience to visit the place.  It makes the art accessible, which is all one can ask for.

I have the exact opposite view of the newly rebuilt Academy of Sciences.  On the outside, the designers managed to create a facade that is both classical and streamlined in a very modern way.  It nestles contently on the eastern side of the Park’s main concourse, and is a chic, appealing visual treat.  Inside, however, it is utterly chaotic.  Various exhibits all seem to struggle to occupy the same space.  There is no flow whatsoever, which is disastrous for a building that is meant to cater, not only to crowds, but to crowds composed, in significant part, of highly kinetic little children.

The underground aquarium, for example, is a maze of short tunnels, each of which has exhibits placed randomly in the center of the walkway, as well as along the sides.  Tossed about by the milling crowds, it is impossible to discern where one is or what one is seeing.  Although I grasped, intermittently, that there was some overarching geographic organization (e.g, fresh water, salt water, tide pools, etc.), everything was so noisy and chaotic, I couldn’t make sense of the exhibits.  The old Academy may have had a pokey rectangular layout, but it sure was easy to move through, to see things, and to understand.

Nor has the Academy improved the food problem that always vexed it.  For as long as I can remember, the old Academy offered vile food at a shabby underground food court dominated by a stuffed grizzly.  The new Academy now has three food venues:  a fancy hot dog stand, a buffet style restaurant, and a very pricey restaurant.  Oh, did I say that only the last named was very pricey?  Forgive me.  They all are.  If you want anything more than a $3.00 pork bun, feeding a family of three in the Academy will run you close to $50.  The prices are justified by the fact that everything is organic this and organic that, but the fact is that the all-organic ham and cheese sandwich tastes remarkably like an ordinary ham and cheese sandwich, only $4.00 more than I usually pay.  Of course, the food prices are consistent with the admission prices.  It cost me almost $50.00 to take my two kids there, which is a pretty hefty price tag for an experience that left me with an eyeball popping headache.

The new Academy also disappointed me for a very personal reason:  they’ve done away entirely with the old gem and mineral collection.  Although not of the scale or caliber of the amazing gem and mineral collection at the New York Museum of Natural History, this was a lovely, little gathering of precious, semi-precious and simply interesting stones.  For me, it was always one of the highlights of a visit to the Academy, and I sorely missed it today.

Speaking of all-powerful centralized government, if you haven’t thought long and hard about the implications of Obama’s appointing a “Food Czar,” you should.

What I also disliked about the Academy (and what I also dislike about the newly, and nicely, refurbished San Francisco Zoo), is the hectoring tone all these places take.  In the old days, the message was, “Aren’t these natural wonders great?”  Nowadays, the relentless message is “These natural wonders are great, but you’re destroying them by your very existence.”  I don’t take kindly to spending massive amounts of money only to be insulted.

The only part of the Academy that I thought was wonderful, although it too had design problems, was the rain forest dome, which was almost, standing alone, worth the price of admission.   It’s a clear plastic dome that has a spiral walkway that takes one up through three levels teaming with trees, plants, birds, butterflies, moths, frogs and lizards.  It’s truly beautiful and really well done.  The only down side is that the only way to get out is to stand in line at the very top, waiting for an elevator.  The lines are long and chaotic.  Additionally, since the elevator is at the very top of a rain forest dome, it’s incredibly hot, steamy and, as with the rest of this echo-y, clamorous place, incredibly noisy.

I will say that what made the trip there a much greater pleasure than it would otherwise have been was the fact that I met up with my brother-in-law and niece there.  My two were delighted in the company of their cousin, and I always feel lucky when I get to spend time with my brother-in-law, no matter where that time is spent.  What a nice man he is.

Whining is finished now.  This is where I put in all the links for the things I read today, many of which readers brought to my notice (thank you!), but that I really didn’t get a chance to think about.

I think I am the last conservative blogger in America to link to it, but link to it I will.  You must read Angelo Codevilla’s America’s Ruling Class — and the Perils of Revolution, which pretty accurately spells out the state of American politics.  You won’t be less worried or frustrated when you’re done reading it, but you will be enlightened.

Did I mention whining a couple of paragraphs above?  That’s actually something important to think about.  Although I do it all the time, I’m aware that whining is not an attractive quality.  A couple of PR and public policy experts have figured out that Israel has been whining lately.  The whines are completely righteous and justified, but they fall into a vacuum of ignorance.  Listeners are not sympathetic.  It turns out that the effective way for Israel to deal with her plight is to do exactly what the Palestinians and their fellow travelers have been doing for so long:  she needs to demonize the opposition.  And what’s so great about this tactic is that, rather than making things up, as her enemies do, all that Israel has to do is broadcast the opposition’s actual words and deeds.  When people see what Israel is up against, as opposed to just hearing how Israel suffers, they become remarkably more sympathetic to Israel’s situation and dire security needs.

By the way, those same Palestinians who have managed to convince just about everyone in the world that the Israelis are worse than Hitler, have managed to hide from the world’s view the fact that, with Israel as their enemy, they are living high on the hog, enjoying standards far in excess of those Arab Muslims in lands that don’t have the good fortune to have Israel as their next door neighbor and enemy.

I loooove Andrew Breitbart.  Seriously.  I’m just crazy about the guy.  I think he is one of the most brilliant political thinkers in America right now.  He’s figured out what the PR folks are talking about:  show the opposition’s ugly side, using real footage of them being really ugly.  And to that end, immediately after the NAACP made waves complaining about unprovable and almost certainly non-existent Tea Party racism, he came out with actual footage of vile racism courtesy of — the NAACP.  Genius.  Sheer genius.  Here’s just one example of the ugly, discriminatory race obsession that characterizes the NAACP and its fellow travelers:

UPDATEAndrew Breitbart jumped the gun.  The snippet he got was taken out of context and, when put back into context, shows Sherrod explaining that, having once been a racist, she’s learned the error of her ways.  It also appears that the NAACP audience, which should have been the real focus of this video, as the video was a counter-attack to the NAACP’s decision to lambaste the Tea Party on racism grounds, murmurs approvingly when Sherrod reveals her new, enlightened views of race.

If you need it, here’s a little more on the Democrats’ entire ugly obsession with race, one that turns on its head Martin Luther King’s vision of an America in which people are judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.  Oh, and here’s one more thing about that race obsession, and how Obama’s administration uses it to consolidate power, while sowing civil dissent.

When I wrote my post about burqas as a weapon, not just a type of clothing, I dragged in discussions of mosques and minarets too.  I entirely forget to mention in that article the mosque that is plotted for Ground Zero.  Pat Condell did not forget:

Even the New York Times periodically recognizes that federalizing school funding with no regard whatsoever for the situation at the ground is unfair, disruptive and damaging.  What staggers me is that these same NYT types are incapable of recognizing an overarching principle, which is that reactive government closer to home is always more understanding than directive central government far away.

Whether you’re in the military or not, don’t believe this administration when it claims to love the military and cries crocodile tears over its sufferings.

It took me almost half a lifetime to figure out that the NRA has always been right:  “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”  I needed to see crime rates soaring in London, in Chicago, and in Washington, D.C., as well as the chaos in post-Katrina New Orleans neighborhoods that did not have gun owners to finally understand this simple principle.  More and more, statistics are revealing the obvious:  a law-abiding, armed citizenry is safer than a law-abiding unarmed citizenry.  Contrary to liberal fears that arms will automatically turn us into Liberia or some equally horrific anarchic society, it’s clear that what effects such a change is leaving arms only to the criminals.

Everything you needed to know about the Dems, run through the Kagan filter

Kim Priestap, who blogs at Up North Mommy, got an impassioned email from the Democratic Party, raving about Elena Kagan.  Does it rave about her brains?  No (although it mentions as an aside that she’s “among the best legal minds this country has to offer,” which is a depressing comment about legal minds in America).  Her legal expertise?  No.  Her judicial experience?  No (because there is none, no matter how one puffs up her limited management experience and some government work).  Her looks?  No, no and no.

Instead, the email is very clear about Kagan’s single most important virtue, along with a little subsidiary fillip to add to the Progressive excitement:  She’s a woman and, even better, she’s almost black because she once worked for a black man.

Read the following and tell me if the whole point of the Democratic euphoria isn’t that, after being the first female Harvard Law School dean, and the first female Solicitor General, she’s poised to become the third female Supreme Court justice sitting on the court, and one who is black by association, thereby raising both the female and black liberal quota on the Supreme Court:

Have you been watching the hearings? The nomination of a Supreme Court justice is a special time in Washington, DC. The air tastes different — it buzzes with an electricity even the humidity can’t conquer — and even more so this time.

Elena Kagan’s nomination is special. It took us almost 200 years as a country to get the first woman on the Supreme Court, but now we’re on a roll! If Elena Kagan is confirmed, for the first time, we’ll have three women serving together. We’re still a far cry from parity, but we cannot allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good. We’re making progress, and Elena Kagan is great progress.

Over the past three days of hearings, she has conducted herself with poise, grace, rigor, and humor. She has won praise from liberals and conservatives — prior to her nomination and since. It’s no easy feat to become the first female dean of Harvard Law School and the first female to serve as solicitor general. Her illustrious resume also includes periods as associate White House counsel and deputy policy director under President Bill Clinton, as a teacher at the University of Chicago Law School, and as a law clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Lend your name to help us show that the American people back Elena Kagan’s nomination.

Let there be no doubt: She earned this nomination. It’s not simply because she’s a woman, or because she’s among the best legal minds this country has to offer. I know firsthand the strength of Elena’s character and am certain she is the best choice.

The Supreme Court nomination process, like almost any political contest, is like a food fight where the nominee does his or her best to stay clean and dry while everyone else in the room slings Sloppy Joes. I’ve watched this before (recently) and there’s nothing the Republicans won’t do to take down a nominee chosen by a president they’ve vowed to obstruct at all costs.

Republicans are attacking her credibility, her credentials, and her character. They’ve become particularly focused on her work as a clerk for Justice Marshall, seemingly maligning his long and respected service to our country. As chief counsel to the NAACP, Justice Marshall argued the case of Brown v Board of Education. Later he would become the first African American to serve as solicitor general and the first African American to serve as a justice of the Supreme Court. We would be better off with more justices like Marshall, and Kagan’s work for him should be a feather in her cap, not a thorn in her side right now.

The other side is grabbing at straws, with nothing to support their groundless accusations, but it doesn’t stop the attacks. The Democratic Party is pushing back to ensure that this incredible woman gets a fair hearing, but we must also show that public support for Kagan is overwhelming.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony are rolling in their graves.  I think Martin Luther King is also starting to wiggle around in there.  This is not what they envisioned when they campaigned for equal rights for women, or demanded that people be measured, not by the color of their skin or bra size, but by the content of their character.  These trailblazers wanted women and blacks to enjoy full inalienable, constitutional, and legal rights in America.  For women and minorities to be valued just as numbers on some quota list is heartbreaking and as dehumanizing in its own way as the ancient status quo.

I have nothing more to say.

Why Obama Wants You to “Turn On, Tune Out, and Drop Out” — by Guest Blogger Robin of Berkeley

To:  American Citizens
From:  Your Government
Date:  Today

It has come to our attention that citizens on your side of the aisle (“WN’s”, aka Wing Nuts) are doing a lot of talking.  What in the world are you gabbing about?

Talk Radio, talking amongst yourselves, chatting on the Internet.   What is with you people?  Haven’t you ever heard of:   “Turn on, Tune in, and Drop Out?”

This government feels that all this talking is in direct violation of the First Amendment.  Regulations Czar Cass Sunstein is working out the details.

In the meantime,  your government is issuing the following directive regarding inappropriate conversation topics.    Because we are the most transparent government in the history of humankind, we will also include a comprehensive list of acceptable topics.

Unacceptable Topics:

1. Radical Islam:

Why are you WN’s making a big fuss about Islam?  Muslims are conservative, religious people with big families.  Aren’t they just like Christians, only their wives aren’t as hot?

President Obama is working night and day to befriend our Muslim neighbors.  In fact, he may or may not be one of them.

Didn’t you people ever listen to Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood?  Remember a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.

Your judging and criticizing our new friends’ lifestyle is not acceptable in any way, shape or form.   Thus, we are requiring the following new terminology, effective immediately:

“Jihad” — instead please use the term, “religious freedom.”

“Honor killings” — “family values”

“Terrorists” — “freedom fighters”

“Clitoridectomies” — “cosmetic surgery”

2.  Undocumented Workers:

Again, you WN’s are a bunch of sourpusses.  What is wrong with having a bunch more pals from South of the Border?  You act like some of them are drug runners, rapists, kidnappers, and thieves.

Didn’t you people learn to share as children?  The Obama Administration has simply embraced what your mom and dad taught.  We want you to share your emergency rooms, wages,  public schools, and health care with these new friends.

3.  President Obama:

Again, all these questions:  Where was Obama born?  Were his parents Communists?  Where are his school records?  Is he a Muslim?  Why doesn’t he like America?  What are his ties to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers?

Blah, blah, blah.  Yada, yada, yada.  All you need to know is this:  He’s black.  He’s cool.  He dances, he parties, and he has amazing pecs.   And, most importantly, he is not George W. Bush.

This information satisfies liberals — why not you?

4.  The Czars:

Yes it’s true that President Obama has appointed over 30 (sorry, we’ve lost count) Czars.  No, they are not vetted by Congress.   Yes, many appear to be card-carrying socialists or recent discharges from a psych ward.

However, this secret cadre of Czars is absolutely essential to this administration’s agenda.  How in the world can the Democrats radically transform America if you busybodies are all up in their business?

5.  Criticism of Congress:

Public approval of Congress keeps reaching new lows.  Why all this distrust?   When there was a Republican government,  any and all attacks,  demonstrations, and ambushes were necessary.

But this is a Democratic government.  We are the good guys.  When the Democrats are in office, the country can relax.  Leave the driving to us, dude, and take a chill pill.

6.The Mainstream Media:

You people have objected loudly to the MSM’s  swooning over Obama.  Aren’t you being a tad unfair?

Yes it’s true that reporters have been head over heels for Barack.  But these reporters are living, breathing human beings.  Don’t they have needs and desires like any other person?

7.  Misogyny on the Left:

Some of you keep criticizing the Left’s bad treatment of women.     Yes, it’s true that it’s been open season on women, like objectifying Sarah Palin and abusing Michelle Malkin.  True, the Left is not known for giving women any respect.

I hate to break the news to you, ladies.  But liberals don’t give a whit about sexism.  The only “ism” that’s making headlines is racism.

Sexism is so 1970’s.

8.  Black on White (and Asian) Crime:

Yes the statistics are alarming.  But that’s only if you actually read them and publicize them.

True, in San Francisco, 85% of the strong arm robberies are blacks against Asians.   And yes, there have been reports that blacks murder whites at 50 times the rate of the reverse.   There were over a million violent black on white crimes in 1992, compared to over 100,000 white on black crimes.

And we’ll concede that the gang culture, enabled by liberalism, glorifies violence toward others, particularly police and women.    Of course, it’s true that liberal attitudes have so infected the schools and the courts that the perps barely get a slap on the wrist.

But let me make one thing perfectly clear:  this is an unacceptable topic.   Why?  I think you know why by now, you racist.

Acceptable Topics

There are many topics that all citizens are free to discuss at will.

George W. Bush — especially his association to the Prince of Darkness.

Sarah Palin — particularly how crazy she is.

Israel — as long as words like “occupier” and “apartheid” are used.

Tea Parties — especially ties to Neo Nazis and the KKK.

Sincerely,

Your Government

Robin is a licensed psychotherapist and a recovering liberal in Berkeley.   She has written numerous articles for American Thinker.  You can send her an email at robinofberkeley@hotmail.com.

Only liberals can get away with crude racial stereotypes

We’ve talked before about the horrible racism of liberals.  They typecast everyone, and then convince each person so typecast that he (or she) is a victim of an all powerful white male cabal.  Here is a perfect example, courtesy of Bill Maher.

I’d like you to imagine the uproar — up to an including riots in the streets — if these words had emanated from a conservative.  Then, try an even more challenging thought experience.  Imagine a conservative actually being so crude, demeaning and racist.  We don’t think that way.  The consistent quality of conservatives utterances shows that conservatives, much more so than liberals, understand MLK’s dream of a world in which his “four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

When will American blacks stop looking at liberals and realize that these profoundly racist people, who envision blacks as perpetual children who carry guns, but need welfare, are not their friends.

The illogical behavior and beliefs of the American Statist

“Logic! Why don’t they teach logic at these schools?” — C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Neither Data nor Mr. Spock, two relentlessly logical creations, could ever be liberals or Democrats or Progressives, or whatever the Hell else they’re calling themselves nowadays.  (For convenience, I’ll just lump them all together under the “Statist” title).  As I realized over the 20 plus years of my political journey from knee-jerk Statist to thinking Individualist, the single greatest difference between the two ideologies is that the former lives in a logic-free world.

Sure, as Statists will always shrilly point out, more Individualists than Statists subscribe to traditional religion — and the belief in God definitely requires a leap of faith — but that’s just about the only leap of faith in their lives.  Their political positions are almost always driven by a solid understanding, not only of human nature, but also of the realities of cause and effect.  Liberals, on the other hand, even as they pride themselves on the logic of their abandoning God (never mind that they cannot satisfactorily prove God’s nonexistence), apply magical thinking to just about everything else.

Here, in no particular order, is a laundry list of illogical policies espoused by Statists (with the understanding that modern statism is driven by identity politics and self-loathing):

Statists believe that America’s out-of-control illegal immigration has nothing to do with the fact that, when illegal immigrants sneak across the border, we provide them with education, health care, welfare, food stamps, and the promise that they will be allowed to remain in the country regardless of their unlawful status.  These same Statists, blind to the laws of cause and effect, are always shocked when temporary crackdowns result in a corollary (and, equally temporary) diminution in the number of illegal aliens.

Statists are wedded to the idea that government creates wealth.  To this end, they are bound and determined to use taxes to consolidate as much money as possible in government hands so that the government can go about its magical wealth creation business.  The fact that those countries that have all or most of their wealth concentrated in government hands have collapsed economically (Eastern Europe, Cuba) or are in the process of collapsing (Western Europe) doesn’t impinge on this belief.  As even my 10 year old and 12 year old understand, the government’s ability to print money is not the same as an ability to create wealth.  The best way for a government to create wealth is to ensure a level playing field with honestly enforced rules — and then to get out of the way.

Statists believe that no-strings-attached welfare has nothing to do with the creation of a welfare culture.  My father, the ex-Communist, figured this one out:  “If you’re going to pay women to have babies (meaning constantly increasing welfare benefits), they’re going to have babies.”  In 1994, a Republican Congress forced Clinton to change “welfare as we know it.”  To the Statists’ chagrin, all their dire predictions about weening Americans off the government teat proved false.  Poor people are not stupid people.  If they’re getting paid to do nothing, they’ll do nothing.  If that money vanishes, they’ll work.  By the way, I’m not arguing here against charity for those who cannot care for themselves.  I’m only railing against a political system that encourages whole classes of people to abandon employment.  This subject is relevant now, in 2010, because there is no doubt but that, Rahm-like, Democrats are using the current economic situation as a backdoor to increase welfare benefits to pre-1994 standards.

During the run-up to the ObamaCare vote, Statists adamantly contended that, even if employers would find it far cheaper to pay fines than to provide insurance coverage for their employees, they would still provide coverage.  Likewise, they refused to acknowledge that, if insurers could no longer refuse coverage for preexisting conditions, and if individual fines were cheaper than insurance, savvy consumers would jettison insurance and wait until they were actively ill before knocking on the insurer’s door.  In both cases, the Statists’ illogical beliefs about human nature and economics were proven absolutely and conclusively wrong.  (Info and examples are here, here and here.)

For decades, Statists have contended that if we can just get guns out of citizens’ hands crime will go away.  To the Statists, the problem isn’t one of culture and policing, it’s that the guns themselves cause crime.  What’s fascinating is that they continue in this belief despite manifest evidence that it is untrue.  The NRA was right all along:  If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

Statists firmly believe that Individualists (a group that includes Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, and other “bitter” Americans), are an angry mob, primed and ready to explode against all non-white, non-straight, non-Christians.  They do so despite hard evidence that angry mobs, as opposed to scattered angry individuals, reside solely on the Left, anti-American side of the political spectrum.

Statist gays, who feel obligated to be Leftists because of identity politics, throw their wholehearted support behind Palestinians, whom they see as the beleaguered victims of evil Israeli imperialism.  They hold to this view despite the fact that Palestinians kills gays, and Palestinian gays regularly try to immigrate to the safe haven of Israel.  In the same way, Statist gays, hewing to their solid Leftist credentials, side with Iran against America, despite the fact that Iran is able to boast about the absence of homosexuals only because it routinely kills them.

Statist blacks, who feel obligated to be Leftists  because of identity politics, are deeply hostile to the police.  While there is absolutely no doubt that, in the past, police routinely harassed, arrested, and killed black people just for being black, we’re not living in the past anymore.  In modern America, the person most likely to kill a black person is another black person.  Blacks need police more than I do, sitting in my comfortable safe, suburbia — yet it’s here, in white suburbia, that our police force, which is largely decorative, is appreciated and admired.

American Statists believe that, if you placate a bully, he will see the error of his ways and become nice.  It didn’t work for Chamberlain in 1938, and I’m pretty damned sure it won’t work for us, whether the bully is Iran, Venezuela, China, Russia or any other totalitarian government intent upon expanding its power beyond its own borders.  I’m not advocating unbridled aggression our part.  That would mean we’re no better than the bullies arrayed against us.  I’m more of a Teddy Roosevelt, in that I’ll allow us to speak softly, as long as we carry a big stick.  Self-defense is not aggression — and sometimes you have to fight to defend a principle, a person, or a nation.

Statist women are silent, absolutely silent, about the condition of women across most of the Muslim world.  I think I’ll rename them “sadist” women, not “statist” women.

Statists tout as a quality Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan, who violated American law to bar the military from her campus because of Clinton’s don’t ask/don’t tell policy, but who cheerfully accepted millions of dollars and a chair from the same Saudis who murder homosexuals and treat women like 32nd class citizens.  There’s logic for you.

I opened this post with a quotation from C.S. Lewis regarding the absence of logic in education.  We can see the profoundly dangerous effect that lack of logic has on real world policies.  I’ll end with Tweedledee and Tweedledum opining on logic in a way that only a Statist could appreciate and understand:

“I know what you’re thinking about,” said Tweedledum: “but it isn’t so, nohow.”

“Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

What if American blacks don’t want to join the club?

“I sent the club a wire stating, ‘PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON’T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER.'” — Groucho Marx, quoting a telegram he sent to the Friar’s Club of Beverly Hills, as recounted in Groucho and Me (1959), p. 321.

The Democratic Establishment is having a hard time playing “the Tea Parties are a violent organization” card because, to the Left’s chagrin, the Tea Parties aren’t violent at all.  In stark contrast to the Bush era protests (or any Leftist protests), with their violent words and imagery, the mountains of trash left behind, the confrontations with police, and the random vandalism that followed in the protests’ wakes, the Tea Parties have been uniformly characterized by shiny, happy people who just happen to have gathered to laud the Constitution and America’s fundamental freedoms.  These aren’t Clockwork Orange protests; instead, they’re straight out of the Leave it to Beaver playbook.

But the violence claim was always the second arrow in the quiver, not the first.  The first was, is now, and will continue to be, racism.  Because the Tea Party protests are aimed against policies espoused by a black president, the Democratic operatives claim that the protests are, by definition, racist.

This makes sense if you’re a Progressive whose world view is inextricably bound up with identity politics.  To me, Obama can be defined myriad ways:  he’s a man who was raised in a Communist milieu, he’s a former drug user, he’s someone whose hostility to Israel and Jews neatly shades into antisemitism, he’s a product of the most liberal faction of the Ivy League schools, he’s a lousy constitutional lawyer, he’s an avid supporter of Euro style (or, maybe, even Chavez/Castro style) Big Government, he’s a very angry person, and — oh, yes — he’s black.

To someone in thrall to identity politics, though, I’ve got it all bass ackwards.  Obama’s skin color isn’t one factor amongst many.  It is, instead, his single defining factor.  Everything else is a mere subset of his blackness.  Because he is black, he was raised with Communists, used drugs, hates Jews and Israel, fell in with Leftists at his Ivy League schools, understands that the constitution is a fraud, loves Big Government, and is angry.

Because the Progressive world view demands that Obama can only be the sum total of his race, anyone opposing the bits and pieces lurking under his skin color must inevitably be opposing, not the bits and pieces, but the color.  Therefore, such opposition is, by definition, racist.  Q.E.D.

Of course, the above is a subtle argument, logical to those steeped in the arcane race theories of the far Left, but a little bit challenging to explain to people who prefer watching American Idol over reading Noam Chomsky.  So, if you’re a Progressive charged with making a convincing argument to a primitive television audience, logic requires that you go for a visual.  That should convince the rubes sacked out on their sofas.  And the perfect visual is the absence of black faces at the various Tea Parties.  It must be because of racism, right?

Charles Blow, a black writer, provides a perfect example of this simplistic line of argument:

On Thursday, I came here outside Dallas for a Tea Party rally.

[snip]

I had specifically come to this rally because it was supposed to be especially diverse. And, on the stage at least, it was. The speakers included a black doctor who bashed Democrats for crying racism, a Hispanic immigrant who said that she had never received a single government entitlement and a Vietnamese immigrant who said that the Tea Party leader was God. It felt like a bizarre spoof of a 1980s Benetton ad.

The juxtaposition was striking: an abundance of diversity on the stage and a dearth of it in the crowd, with the exception of a few minorities like the young black man who carried a sign that read “Quit calling me a racist.”

[snip]

I found the imagery surreal and a bit sad: the minorities trying desperately to prove that they were “one of the good ones”; the organizers trying desperately to resolve any racial guilt among the crowd. The message was clear: How could we be intolerant if these multicolored faces feel the same way we do?

Blow reserves special venom for Alfonzo “Zo” Rachel, who needs no introduction here.  I’ve link to him many times here, ever since I first saw his martial arts/political discussion video.  You and I may see Zo as an independent thinker, who took his life experience and applied it to the political scene, but Blow views Zo as a half ignorant Uncle Tom, half minstrel show:

They saved the best for last, however: Alfonzo “Zo” Rachel. According to his Web site, Zo, who is black and performs skits as “Zo-bama,” allowed drugs to cost him “his graduation.” Before ripping into the president for unconstitutional behavior, he cautioned, “I don’t have the education that our president has, so if I misinterpret some things in the founding documents I kind of have an excuse.” That was the understatement of the evening.

Zo, understandably, has a few things to say on his own behalf in the face of this attack.  I’ll only add that, considering that Blow works for the whiter-than-white New York Times, one has to ask who’s the real token black.  But that’s a discussion for another day, and one best held after Blow has spent some time asking himself why he’s carrying water for a corporation that refuses him, and those like him, access to its highest ranks.

These attacks against whites for racism based on nothing more than pale visuals doesn’t end with political protests.  The whole “no blacks at the party equals racism” approach has invaded the sports world too:

A Boston sports radio host on Friday called Heisman Trophy-winning football star Tim Tebow’s “lily white” NFL draft party a “Nazi rally.”

For those unfamiliar, 98.5 FM “The Sports Hub” in Boston is home to the NFL’s Patriots and the NHL’s Bruins.

The morning drive-time program between 6 and 10 AM is called “Toucher and Rich” as it’s hosted by Fred “Toucher” Toettcher and Rich Shertenlieb.

According to the Boston Herald, Toucher on Friday stuck his foot in his mouth BIG TIME.

[snip]

Fred “Toucher” Toettcher said yesterday on 98.5 The Sports Hub, “It looked like some kind of Nazi rally. . . . So lily-white is what I’m trying to say. Yeah, Stepford Wives.”

Toettcher clearly believes that, if Tebow doesn’t have minorities at his party, it’s because he is a hate-filled, racist, who would cheerfully consign anyone who is neither lily-white nor Christian to the gas chambers.  Right?  That must be what he meant when he compared a draft party to a Nazi gathering.

It doesn’t seem to occur to any of these race baiters that the absence of blacks may have nothing to do with the whites, and everything to do with the blacks.  Story after story about the Tea Party, even those stories written by people oozing hostility and defensiveness, shows that the white Tea Partiers are welcoming to all comers (except for infiltrators, of course).  Nor is there any credible evidence of racism at these events.  (And no, shouting “Kill the Bill” is not the same thing as “Kill the Black person,” no matter how much you wish it was.)

The Tea Partiers are bound together by their love for America, not their hatred for “the other.”  The Tea Parties are part of a constitutionally based movement that embraces all Americans regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexually orientation, or country of origin.  For example, please check out the Mount Vernon Statement, as a perfect example as one can find of the pure American ideology that animates Tea Partiers.

Why, then, if Tea Partiers have a neutral political ideology and welcome all comers are black people conspicuously absent?  There is, of course, the obvious fact that blacks, who are a relatively small percent of the American population, will therefore be a small percent of the Tea Party attendees.  (For more information on black attendance, this is helpful.)  That’s just a numbers thing, though.  The deeper answer may be that American blacks have been encouraged to love their party more than they love their country.

For generations, blacks have been raised to see America, not as a land of opportunity, but as a land of white racial hatred, a land of slavery, and a land which made its fortune with the blood of blacks.  (Thinking about it, it’s a bizarre inversion of the Rogers and Hammerstein song, “You’ve got to be carefully taught.”)  For American blacks, salvation lies in the arms of the Democrats, their only safe haven in a dangerous land.  What’s sad is that this stark Leftist view of history destroys all the nuances that would allow American blacks to approach politics by examining the practical realities of their lives, both at the micro level (their own homes and communities) and the macro level (American politics and national security).

How do you tell people who put their hands over their ears and say “I’m not listening” that, yes, America was complicit in the slave trade, but that she couldn’t have been if it wasn’t for the fact the slaves’ fellow Africans were equally complicit.  (And kudos to Henry Louis Gates for finally acknowledging what every honest historian has always known, a shout out he deserves despite his clinging to the reparations idea.)

How do you explain that, in terms of sheer numbers, America was one of the nations least complicit in the slave trade? That doesn’t remove the stain, of course, but it does make one wonder why the U.S. is singled out for the greatest opprobrium.

How do you explain that America’s wealth was not built on the slavery, which was, in fact, a singularly unprofitable way to run a business, and one that was barely self-sustaining?  Again, that doesn’t remove the stain, but it does rebut the canard that America’s pre-recession, pre-trillion dollar debt wealth was founded on an institution that ended almost 150 years ago.

One also has to ask — doesn’t America get some credit for the fact that she engaged in a savage civil war, with hundreds of thousands of deaths, in significant part to end this ancient institution?

Lastly, shouldn’t American blacks know that, up until the late 1960s, it was the Democratic party that was the slavery, Jim Crow, racist party?  Republicans may historically have been the party of wealth and casual disdain for blacks, but they were never the party that was founded on and dedicated to racial hatred.  Yet is the Republicans who must bear the falsely appended “racist” label for all time.

My questions are obviously rhetorical.  As long as Democrats control the unions that control education, and as long as the black community is in thrall to the Democratic party, American blacks will not know these facts.

As is so often the case, history isn’t what actually happened, it’s what people believe happened.  The truth is irrelevant once the myth is firmly in place.  And the Democratic myth is one that has created a deep schism in America’s psyche.  In 40 plus years, despite Democratic and Progressive denial, the vast majority of white Americans have learned to treat blacks with the trust and equality that Martin Luther King envisioned when he said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”  And in that same time, blacks have been taught to hate and distrust those same ordinary Americans.

And the end result, of course, is that few American blacks can contemplate joining the Tea Parties, a series of clubs nationwide that would happily have blacks as their members.  It’s not that the Tea Partiers don’t want the blacks; it’s that American blacks have been educated to the point in which it is impossible for them to contemplate joining the Tea Parties.

Getting a closer look at why liberals continue to feel that blacks should be held to a different standard

A few days ago, in the wake of a concerted (and almost certainly fraudulent) attack against the Tea Party by claiming its members are racist, I wrote a post in which I said that, if I’m going to be called a racist, I get to define the term to accord with my understanding of race.

I was wordy (so, sue me; so was Charles Dickens), but it boiled down to my firm belief that, while blacks needed a helping hand in the immediate aftermath of first wave of Civil Rights (the mid-1960s), the system has become perverted, encouraging blacks to become dependent on rich white liberals.  I contrasted the black experience with the Asian immigrant experience (or you could contrast it with the Irish immigration experience, or the Jewish, or the Italian…), all of which show groups that had the same handicaps as post-Jim Crow blacks — illiterate, poverty stricken, and ghettoized — but that nevertheless managed to mainstream within a generation.

The problem, I said, does not lie with blacks; it lies, instead, with liberal policies that persist in treating blacks as if they are helpless, intellectually incapable, non-rational beings.  If I’m racist, it’s because I look at blacks and think that, without the smothering influence of white liberal guilt, they are, as a group, every bit as competent, capable and rational as any other group.

In other words, my racism consists in think that blacks are pretty much like me.  So, again, sue me.

My post got picked up at a liberal site (a very liberal site, which is flattering in a weird kind of way) and I got taken to task for failing to understanding black people’s suffering and, therefore, making the racist and condescending demand that blacks should be treated like . . . well, like people.  Or at least, that’s what I think the site is saying.  The writing is bit convoluted, giving the feeling the author went to a liberal arts college and majored in post-modern thinking.  Take this, for example:

It’s a magnum opus of white resentment at underlying racist attitudes, laid out in a series of patronizing missives to the dark ones among us.

What does that mean — “white resentment at underlying racist attitudes?”  I certainly resent being called a racist.  And I resent attitudes and policies that demean blacks by consistently holding them to a lower standard based on the premise that they’re incapable of achieving a higher standard.  Color me racist, but I hate to see people classified and graded by race.  (Incidentally, Martin Luther King did too:  “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”)  As far as I can tell, that sentence is a classic example of the finest modern education can offer — it’s silly.

Or try this sentence, which the blog author offers immediately after quoting me.  (My quoted material was to the effect that we harm the black community tremendously by allowing blacks to prey on each other, because liberals, with a kind of gushing love, believe that blacks are just locked into that type of behavior):

Essentially, believing that white racism has held black people back is terrible and demeaning to blacks, the response to which is to believe that liberal white racism has held black people back.

Again, what in the world does that mean?  Perhaps there’s a word missing, but the writer seems to be saying that it’s really demeaning to believe that white racism harms blacks, and that the appropriate response to this horrible viewpoint is to argue that liberal white racism harms blacks.  Well, I do argue that liberal white racism does harm blacks.  And what’s even worse is that it’s not even an in-your-face racism that you can stand up and fight.

In the horrible Jim Crow days, racists said bluntly “You’re stupid and you’re evil,” statements that all right thinking people could reasonably challenge.  These were ugly, uncomplicated fighting words, and blacks fought back.

In the horrible liberal PC days, well-meaning whites say “I’m sure you’re really smart, but we hurt you so badly you don’t have to prove that you’re smart, and I’m sure you’re essentially honest, but because of all the bad things we’ve done to you, it’s not surprising that you engage in criminal activity at a rate higher than other races in this country, and I know that you’re a very moral people, only it’s all our fault that the nuclear family in the black family has been pretty much destroyed.”  You can dress it up in as many apologies as you like, but the fact remains that after almost 50 years of liberal love, blacks are hurting, because they and their white co-dependents keep giving them a free pass for self-destructive behavior.  (And if I remember correctly, Bill Cosby made pretty much the same point.)

Here’s the next sentence, a lovely example of post-modern thinking that nicely distills into utter meaninglessness:

Reading through this, it becomes clear that this lovely crystallization of conservative thought on race is fundamentally about an underestimation and denigration of the capacities of black Americans to understand their own history and the causes of their problems.  Post-racial conservatism, at its core, presumes that the great bulk of black America is too stupid and too misled to understand its position in the American diaspora; the only forces arrayed against black people are the ones black people depend on and trust in.

Before I get to substance, I want to thank the writer of the above for saying I wrote a “lovely crystallization of conservative thought.”  I appreciate that.  But about that substance….

The paragraph jumbles together three thoughts:  (i) I don’t understand black history or root causes, (ii) I think that blacks are stupid, and (iii) I think the blacks are depending on the wrong people.  The first thought is wrong, and irrelevant.  I’m fully cognizant of black history.  I’m saying, though, that history does not have to be determinative of our future beings.  American blacks are not dealing with the problems of 1770, or 1830, or 1860, or 1877 or 1955.   Instead, they live in 2010.  All humans must adapt.  This writer essentially contends that, because blacks had a bad historic deal, they don’t have to adapt, but may wallow in it forever.  I think that’s an outrageous argument.  Others have had bad deals and have moved forward:

Jews:  2,000 years of persecution at the hands of . . . everyone.  Large scale immigration to America following the Russian and Polish pogroms and the Holocaust.  They adapted.

Irish:  500 years of persecution at British hands.  Large scale immigration to America following the devastating Irish potato famine.  They adapted.

Vietnamese and Cambodians:  Decades of persecution at Communist hands, devastating wars and, in the case of the Cambodians, the Killing Fields, which saw 30% of the population executed.  They adapted.

Chinese:  A feudal society, which was followed by a Revolution, which was followed by the Great Leap Forward (with estimates of 70,000,000 – 100,000,000 killed).  They adapted.

Blacks:  A feudal society (because slavery is feudalism), which was followed by almost a century of gross discrimination, which was followed by 50 years of affirmative action.  They still haven’t adapted.

Why are blacks different?  Well, contrary to the liberal blogger, I don’t think its because they’re stupid or they don’t understand their history.  I do think it’s because they’re depending on the wrong friends.  Tough love doesn’t just work for teenagers.  Humans need to deal with reality, rather than being protected so much that they’re rendered angry at their lack of free will, and dysfunctional because they cannot exercise their core human right to self-determination.

In other words, people, when given freedom of opportunity (even when that freedom is hedged with thorns and obstacles) adapt.  It’s the smothering, guilt-laden love of American liberals that keeps blacks cocooned in a perpetual and dysfunctional state of victimhood.

And here’s that liberal blogger’s last word on the subject, which is a complete inversion of what I said:

The best reading of this list of resentment is that the author views black people as noble savages, people so backwards that the only way we can move forward is to be left alone to figure out things for ourselves.  My reading, however, goes a little bit deeper than that.  The easiest way to excuse racism is to rewrite and reinterpret history so that its effects are divorced from the cause.  If racism causes suffering, you get around it by blaming the suffering on the victims.  Of course, this is in and of itself racist – the reason a persecuted minority was persecuted is because they’re so weak and dumb and persecutable.  But it allows the racist to distance themselves from their own beliefs by saying that they aren’t being racist, they’re just reflecting a reality without racism.  A reality which happens to be racist as fuck.

No, I don’t consider blacks noble savages — you, the liberal, do. I consider them my peers in the human race, and think they ought to be treated as such, and not as a bizarre combination of fragile flower and uncontrolled id.

And no, I haven’t rewritten history. I didn’t actually touch upon history, except the history of liberalism and its deleterious effect on blacks.

And most importantly, I’m not arguing for persecution, which is what that liberal implies I’m saying. Instead, I’m saying in as many ways as I possibly can that we as a nation err (both practically and morally) by treating blacks as a separate species.  Blacks deserve to be treated like everyone else. Funnily enough, the only way to get from what I said to the liberal’s claim that I demand black persecution is for the liberal writer to concede that white Americans are being persecuted.

Is that what you’re saying, oh liberal one?

Andrew Breitbart takes aim at the “N-word” setup

One of the things I love about Andrew Breitbart is that he’s willing to challenge the bluffs and cons emanating from the Left.  While the Republican establishment was apologizing for the alleged claim that Tea Partiers hurled the “n-word,” Breitbart figured out that the absence of footage was significant — especially since the Black Caucus members walked through the crowd carrying their video cameras like weapons.  He therefore upped the ante on the Democrats’ claims:  “You had the cameras; you prove the calumny.”

Well, it’s been weeks now, and no proof.  The Dems (including the complicit media) are trying to sweep the matter under the rug, but Andrew Breitbart is not letting the matter die.  He’s written a really long post at Big Journalism detailing exactly how the con was worked and what he’s doing to expose it.  Please pay for careful attention to what Breitbart’s doing.  He’s figured out the shell game and he’s demanding his money back.  We should all be as aware.

If you have friends who are ill-informed (meaning they listen only to the MSM), but open-minded, you might want to send them the link to Breitbart’s post.  It’s required reading for everyone who wants to understand what is happening in politics today.

Redefining the term racist so that it suits ME *UPDATED*

Horrified by the fact that the American people are not dancing in the streets now that Obama Care is the law of the land, the Left is doing what it does best:  tarring and feathering anyone who stands in its way.  The current libel is that people who oppose Obama Care are racist.  These foaming-at-the-mouth neo-Nazi KKK tea parties, say the Left, hate that Obama Care is the signature initiative of a black(ish) president, and they hate the fact that their money might be used to benefit black people in any way, shape or form.  The Lefties are pushing this meme aggressively, despite the absence of any evidence to show that it is true and despite the fact that the centerpiece of this libel looks to have been both a set-up and a fake.

Since we can’t seem to escape the term “racist,” I suggest that we embrace the term, and let other Americans understand what a conservative racist is:

I’m a racist because I believe that blacks are fully capable human beings who are perpetually demeaned by the liberal theory holding that blacks cannot function without handouts from condescending, rich white people.

I’m a racist because I believe that blacks are just as academically capable as any other people in America, but that they are having their abilities systematically squished when condescending, rich white people assure them that they can’t make it without assistance — a heinous approach predicated on the liberal’s implicit assumption that blacks are inherently stupid, ill-informed and ill-suited for intellectual effort.

I’m a racist because I believe that vigorous (but still constitutional) law enforcement benefits blacks, who are disproportionately the victims of crimes by other blacks.

I’m a racist because I believe that excusing harmful behaviors in the black community (whether academic failures, teen pregnancies, drug use or crime), on the ground that blacks cannot help themselves because whites have essentially ruined them, is the ultimate insult to blacks, reducing them to the level of animals without intelligence, self-discipline, moral fiber, ambition or ordinary human decency.

I’m a racist because I think liberals have sold blacks a bill of goods by convincing them that, because slavery was work, all work is slavery.

I’m a racist because I believe that a rising tide lifts all boats — which means that I believe that social programs that destroy the economy will not raise up minorities, but will ensure that everyone wallows in poverty.

I’m a racist because, in San Francisco in the 1960s and 1970s, I saw non-English speaking Asians fresh from the Killing Fields of Cambodia, the prisons of Vietnam, and the horror of the Great Leap forward all arrive in America and immediately begin working and studying, so that their children could enjoy the American dream — and I believe that only liberal condescension and paralyzing social programs stand in the way of both blacks and Hispanics making the same strides.

I’m a racist because I believe that black men who have a deep commitment to their nuclear families are incredibly important for the health of the black community, but that the combination of government handouts and excuses for black crime erases black men from the picture, to everyone’s detriment.

I’m a racist because I hate the rap music that celebrates crime and demeans women — music that is disseminated by rich white Hollywood types who, vampire-like, feed off and encourage this “artistic” dysfunction, something that doesn’t harm those white music executives, but that perpetuates terrible stereotypes within the black community itself.

I’m a racist because it drives me bonkers that blacks continue to align themselves with the Democratic party, even though that party does not see blacks as sentient, moral, intelligent, self-directed human beings, but instead views them as helpless, immoral, vaguely animal-like creatures who can function only by and through a vast government enterprise that mires them in slums in exchange for their votes.

I’m a racist because, no matter what color Obama is, I’d hate his fierce drive to expand government into every area of our lives, his hostility to Israel, his appeasement approach to radical Islam, and his personal rudeness to his political foes.

I’m a racist because I welcome with open arms any person, black, white, yellow, brown, gay, straight, rich, poor, young, old, abled or disabled, who believes in the fundamental principles of American liberal liberty, principles that I think are set out very beautifully in the Mt. Vernon statement.  These principles do not distinguish human beings by any factors other than their commitment to limited government, freedom and self-determination.  In this, they are completely distinct from the articles of the Left, which routinely seek to slice and dice Americans into ever smaller groups of colors, abilities, races, and religions:

We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding. Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government.

These principles define us as a country and inspire us as a people. They are responsible for a prosperous, just nation unlike any other in the world. They are our highest achievements, serving not only as powerful beacons to all who strive for freedom and seek self-government, but as warnings to tyrants and despots everywhere.

Each one of these founding ideas is presently under sustained attack. In recent decades, America’s principles have been undermined and redefined in our culture, our universities and our politics. The self evident truths of 1776 have been supplanted by the notion that no such truths exist. The federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant.

Some insist that America must change, cast off the old and put on the new. But where would this lead — forward or backward, up or down? Isn’t this idea of change an empty promise or even a dangerous deception?

The change we urgently need, a change consistent with the American ideal, is not movement away from but toward our founding principles. At this important time, we need a restatement of Constitutional conservatism grounded in the priceless principle of ordered liberty articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The conservatism of the Declaration asserts self-evident truths based on the laws of nature and nature’s God. It defends life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It traces authority to the consent of the governed. It recognizes man’s self-interest but also his capacity for virtue.

The conservatism of the Constitution limits government’s powers but ensures that government performs its proper job effectively. It refines popular will through the filter of representation. It provides checks and balances through the several branches of government and a federal republic.

A Constitutional conservatism unites all conservatives through the natural fusion provided by American principles. It reminds economic conservatives that morality is essential to limited government, social conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-government, and national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to America’s safety and leadership role in the world.

A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda.

* It applies the principle of limited government based on the rule of law to every proposal.
* It honors the central place of individual liberty in American politics and life.
* It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and economic reforms grounded in market solutions.
* It supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that end.
* It informs conservatism’s firm defense of family, neighborhood, community, and faith.

If we are to succeed in the critical political and policy battles ahead, we must be certain of our purpose.

We must begin by retaking and resolutely defending the high ground of America’s founding principles.

Damn, but I like being a racist! It feels good when I do it on my terms.

UPDATE:  I just want to throw in here that words can change meaning.  Racist used to mean that one thought other races were inferior.  Now it means one thinks Obama is a bad president.  One day, I hope it means that we believe all races can achieve their full human potential.

I always remind myself that the word “beldam” (old hag) started life out as “belle dam” (beautiful or grand woman, which then became grandmother, which then became old hag).  Language is not static.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

An online magazine you should check out

Okay, folks, I’m going to admit to racism here, by which I mean that I’m advancing a position based on racial considerations.  I just learned through The Corner that there is an online conservative journal on the scene called Freedom’s Journal Magazine.

Aside from the fact that it has one of the coolest online interfaces I’ve seen (a cross between Adobe and a high end web page), it also has the distinction of being a voice for black conservatives.  And yes, I think it’s really cool that black conservatives have a voice, because my impression is that they get shouted down a whole lot by both blacks and whites on the other side of the aisle.  Not only do their ideas get shut down, something all conservatives experience, but they are also subjected to particularly demeaning insults as a way of ensuring that other blacks with inquiring minds are scared even to touch upon the notions of free markets, individualism, personal responsibility, etc.  (Here’s a perfect example of the unusual opprobrium and violence directed at conservative blacks.)

Because I think the black community is profoundly damaged by a liberal mindset that perpetually infantilizes American blacks by convincing them that they cannot function without government aid and oversight, I want a magazine like this to do very well.  I want American blacks to find their strength in family, faith, hard work and personal responsibility because I think they deserve the dignity of those freedoms.  So, check the magazine out and, if you feel up to it and interested, subscribe.

You say African-American; I say colored; we should all say PWCGRTAs.

I can think of a billion reasons to dislike Harry Reid.  The fact that he called Obama a “negro” is not one of them.  It simply shows his age.  (Although I do agree with Lloyd Marcus that it’s fine to be offended by Reid’s assumptions about white Americans.)  The problem, of course, is what we’re supposed to call people with their genetic legacy a few generations closer to Africa than yours and mine (after all, if I understand my prehistory, we all originated in Africa).  Apparently people with close genetic roots to Africa (or “PWCGRTAs”) are having this same debate (h/t Sadie):

The census and the Senate majority leader are the latest to call into question what are and aren’t acceptable terms for black Americans, but the battle has been waged among blacks for decades now. Obviously, “Negro” feels out-of-date, but older blacks say it, so perhaps it’s not that bad. “Afro-American” also sounds dated, but in a less jagged way than “Negro.” African American is the norm among the PC elite, despite the fact that a white person with South African roots should probably be included in the definition, and that, technically, everyone in the whole world has African roots. Black is a fine catchall, I suppose, but it just seems so damn inaccurate (I’ve never seen a truly black person). And what about “nigga”? Who can say it, and in reference to whom?

A sense of identity is an important part of life. It’s the reason gangs, fraternities and political parties are popular, and, among other things, it’s something slavery stole from generations of black Americans. Thanks to detailed records and surnames taken from ancient towns, many white Americans can trace their roots back to villages in Ireland, or find and visit long lost second cousins in Sicily—their lineages are often strong and well-defined.

But for most black Americans, whose undocumented ancestors were ripped from spots throughout the African continent, tracing their origins isn’t so easy. With no records to go by, it’s nearly impossible to tell from what part of Africa one originates without the help of expensive DNA specialists, who can then offer you what basically amounts to a ballpark estimation. So it’s no wonder so many blacks have tried (and failed) to create an all-encompassing nomenclature for an entire people, the thought process being, “If we can’t be Liberian American or Nigerian American, how about just black, right?”

But as I said before, the long list of names blacks have given themselves is full of half-truths and falsehoods, and constantly updating it is silly and distracting from truly important issues. That’s why I propose we settle this once and for all, with a term for blacks that is traditional, well-known and more accurate than any of its counterparts: colored.

This is not a new idea.  One of my favorite cartoons ever was a Bloom County cartoon that showed perennial frat boy Steve Dallas standing with his most un-PC mother when a PWCGRTA youth walked by.  Mom hollered out, “Look at that cute little colored boy.”  Steve writhed.  “Mom!”  She tries again:  “Negro?”  Again, Steve corrects her.  She cycles through Black, African American and Afro-American, all to no effect.  Finally, Steve gives her the bottom line:  “It’s person of color, Mom.”  To which she comes out with the most obvious response:  “Well, that’s what I said.  Look at that cute little colored boy.”  This cartoon, written in the late 80s or early 90s obviously could never be published today without Berkeley Breathed being run out of town on a rail.

In my town, my kids have responded to the confusion by insistently referring to all PWCGRTAs as Africans.  Nothing I can say changes this.  I’m afraid they’re going to get beaten up one day.  Still, their confusion isn’t at all surprising, given all the various terms floating around, and the negative emotions and public opprobrium attached to many of them.

The fact is, if a group is seen as somehow lacking, any terms used to describe it will become degraded with time.  Witness “crippled” (once a perfectly decent term) to “handicapped” to “differently abled.”  No matter how you euphemize it, people understand that it’s not a good thing to be “differently abled.”  PWCGRTAs would do better to focus on their cultural pathologies and to worry less about the PC-ness of the label attached to them.

The Princess and the Frog — Disney’s gift to American blacks

I just returned from seeing Disney’s latest release, The Princess and the Frog. Looked at purely from an entertainment standpoint, the movie is a delight.  The hand drawn animation is imaginative and, at times, exquisitely beautiful.  When the Bayou lights up at sunset with fireflies, every little girl in the audience emits a rapturous “oooooh.”  The music, which Randy Newman composed, is a high energy blend of New Orleans jazz, Cajun zydeco and friendly pop.  You won’t leave the movie theater being able to sing any of the songs (those types of songs seem to have been banished from movies forever), but your brain will definitely be happy with the melodies that zip around, lighting up various synapses.

As for the storyline, that’s where the real magic lies.   But to explain just how magical it is, I need to back up a little bit.  In pre-1960s America, the black community was sorely beaten down.  I don’t need to recite here the insults, indignities and limitations that came with Jim Crow.  Even outside of the South, black opportunities for economic advancement were limited, and blacks were routinely subjected to demeaning treatment.  Unsurprisingly, in the first half of the 20th century, American blacks beat out white Americans in every negative indicator:  compared to whites, black communities had more crime, more illegitimacy, more illiteracy and much, much more poverty.

Despite these severe, externally imposed limitations on the American black community, throughout the early 20th century the story of American blacks was one that showed an upward trajectory.  (Although, thinking about it, maybe that resilience isn’t a surprise.  Just as the body strengthens only when it is exposed to resistance, it may be true that a community often finds strength if it must push back against hardship.)  The Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and the Chicago Renaissance in the 1950s revealed a black community that had a ferocious pride and intellectualism.

Economic opportunities were also opening up.  For example, a job as a Pullman Porter provided an economic pathway to the middle class for those black man able to make the sacrifice of being on the road all the time.  Between decent (for blacks) salaries and good tips, the men who held those jobs could provide for their families.  The same job allowed blacks, formerly blinkered by geographic limitations, to see larger possibilities, both social and economic, in the world around them.  Blacks were also leaving an indelible musical mark on American culture, one that elevated their status amongst young whites, who were the up-and-coming generation.

Looking at the strides blacks were making, in education, in employment, and in culture, it is obvious that the Civil Rights movement didn’t appear out of nowhere.  It was the logical trajectory for an increasingly educated, empowered, sophisticated American black community.

One of the bizarre legacies of the Civil Rights movement, however, wasn’t the continued economic and social ascendancy of American blacks.  Instead, the Civil Rights signaled the reverse, which was the destruction of many sectors of the African American community.  I don’t say this to denigrate the important rights the movement affirmed belong to all Americans or the benefits that flowed to all of America from the recognition of black civil rights.  American law now properly ensures that blacks (and all races) have equal access to every available opportunity America has to offer.  Blacks, rightly, cannot be denied food, shelter, education or employment because of their skin color.  The same movement, however, that affirmed that all men are indeed created equal, also cheated blacks in ways no one anticipated back in 1964.

In the wake of the 1964 Civil Rights bill, well-meaning liberals fanned out throughout black communities and told black people that, rather than working, they should take government handouts.  As they explained it to blacks who had clawed their way up the first few rungs of the economic ladder by relying on self-reliance and community pride, these government funds weren’t really handouts at all.  Instead, they were an appropriate form of retribution for the free labor blacks provided in America for hundreds of years.  By making this pitch to blacks to give up self-reliance and become dependent on the government, blacks were first introduced to, and then embraced, the notion that, since slavery was work, all work is slavery.  Work was no longer the measure of a man’s (or a woman’s) worth.  It was a symbol of oppression, and therefore to be avoided.

The same held true in the world of education.  In an effort to jumpstart the black community on the path to professionalism, the guilt-ridden white middle class skipped the obvious, which was to focus its efforts on family, culture and early childhood education.  Instead, it decided that the best thing to do was to give adult blacks a free-ish path to the best educational institutions in America.  In the short run, it seemed like a brilliant idea, since we all know that a Harvard degree opens doors.  In the long run, it was a disaster.  As I wrote in my post about Barack Obama’s affirmative action presidency:

[I]f you set the standards lower for one racial group than for others, three things will happen:  First, the race that has the lower hurdles will stop trying as hard.  After all, humans are rational creatures, and people working toward a goal are wise to work only as hard as they need, and no harder.  Why expend energy unnecessarily?

Second, those members of the race who are fully capable of competing without a handicap will also behave rationally and conserve their energy, because it’s the smart thing to do.  This means that the lower hurdles will deprive them of the psychological opportunity to stretch and prove themselves.

Third, a lot of people who would not normally have been in the race at all will bob up to the top, thanks to that handicap.  Worse, if there is a critical mass of mediocrity floating along on this tide of affirmative action, those mediocre people will inevitably, through sheer numbers, become representative of the racial group.  In other words, if you give enough mediocre people in a specific racial group a head start so that they win, it looks as if all the winners from that particular racial group are mediocre.

The above realities mean that you end up with two dire situations for the racial group that affirmative action is infantilizing:  First, an enormous number of useless people become very poor representatives of their race.  And second, people who are genuinely good and deserving of recognition end up being thrown in the hopper of useless beneficiaries who achieved high status without ability or effort.

So, in a generation, American blacks went from being a community that was forced at whip’s end to give away its labor for free, to one that was assured that there was true virtue in getting money for nothing. Likewise, the American black community that was for so long denied the opportunity to educate itself, learned that it could now get the degrees without bothering with the education.  Inevitably, America ended up with a black community that, at the thickest part of the bell curve, is averse to expending any effort to make money or learn.  Why bother, after all?  Common sense tells American blacks that money and meaningless degrees will come their way regardless of effort.

The result of post-Civil Rights liberal meddling is 40+ years of learned helplessness in the black community, and the profound sense of inferiority that goes along with that kind of helplessness.  Blacks can talk about “Black pride,” and celebrate Black History month, but the savvy ones know it’s a sham.  Their wings have been clipped.  Pride comes from effort and achievement, not from largesse handed out by guilty white liberals.  (Incidentally, if anyone is getting the wrong idea at about this point, I am not arguing that blacks are inferior.  I believe that blacks are in every respect equal to whites, or any other race.  I am arguing that the legacy of the American Civil Rights movement is a black community that has been trained to be helpless and that therefore views itself as inferior.)

And that’s where The Princess and the Frog comes in.  Early Disney fairy tales assured young girls that if they were very meek and worked hard to serve others, they would succeed.  (Snow White and Cinderella, for example.)  At least one movie emphasized sleep as a useful virtue (that would be Sleeping Beauty).  In recent years, girls have been encouraged to be feisty and to rebel against whatever it is their life happens to be.  (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and Mulan spring to mind.)

While the more recent movies have a much less passive message than the old ones (and I’m not knocking the old ones; I love them), they still don’t offer much in the way of life advice.  Rebellion, pretty much for the sake of rebellion, is not a useful tool.  This is especially true for the black community, which has locked itself in a victim mentality that routinely sees its members cutting off their noses to spite their faces, just to make the point that the white establishment can boss them around.  The relentless push for ebonics education, a sure way to keep blacks mired in the ghetto and out of the money jobs, is a perfect illustration of this reactive, rather than proactive, tendency.

The Princess and the Frog, however, offers an entirely new message:  Find your talent, pick a goal, and work really, really hard.  Oh, and find support in your family values and your community.  And also . . . don’t rely on other people.  You are responsible for your own success.  If obstacles stand in your way, don’t give up.  Keep going . . . and going . . . and going.

It’s rather embarrassing that this obvious life lesson — find a goal, work hard, and stay focused — had to come from a paternalistic white corporation.  Regardless of the source, however, the lesson is an important one for all people.  And, sadly, it’s an especially important one for youngsters in the black community, all of whom have been told for more than forty years that they way to get ahead is to be first in line at the government hand-out center.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

When it comes to education, liberals continue to be invested in affirmative action *UPDATED*

When I was a very little girl, back in the hard drinking 1960s, an expression I frequently heard was that someone or something needed a bit of “the hair of the dog that bit you.”  I used to think that actually meant people would consume dog hair to cure their ills.  It was only later that I learned that one of the best — and, of course, worst — remedies for a hangover is more alcohol.  Even as it cures the original hangover, it sets the drinker up for the next hangover.  It appears to be a cure, but is merely part of the problem.

I think that exactly the same can be said of affirmative action.  Ostensibly meant to provide minorities (read:  African Americans) with a necessary leg up in a fundamentally discriminatory culture, it actually creates a situation in which blacks never have to achieve, and therefore never do achieve.

The problem extends beyond the education world, which sees colleges and universities happy to play this nasty little game to assuage their collective white, liberal consciences.  For many years, it has been creating actual unemployment in the real world, where businesses that are tied to the bottom line cannot afford to play the same affirmative action game that colleges play so effortlessly.  Business, after all, don’t get the government help (read:  taxpayer money) that flows to our institutions of higher education.

I mention this now because of two articles that appeared with two days of each other in two bastions of liberal thinking, the Washington Post and the New York TimesThe WaPo reports on a study showing that minorities continue to fall behind when it comes to American higher education.  First, the problem:

A new report, billed as one of the most comprehensive studies to date of how low-income and minority students fare in college, shows a wide gap in graduation rates at public four-year colleges nationwide and “alarming” disparities in success at community colleges.

The analysis, released Thursday, found that about 45 percent of low-income and underrepresented minority students entering as freshmen in 1999 had received bachelor’s degrees six years later at the colleges studied, compared with 57 percent of other students.

Fewer than one-third of all freshmen entering two-year institutions nationwide attained completion — either through a certificate, an associate’s degree or transfer to a four-year college — within four years, according to the research. The success rate was lower, 24 percent, for underrepresented minorities, identified as blacks, Latinos and Native Americans; it was higher, 38 percent, for other students.

Only 7 percent of minority students who entered community colleges received bachelor’s degrees within 10 years.

If it were up to me, the solution would be to demand that minorities who enter American educational institutions have met the same standards as whites and Asians in those same institutions.  Only a head-in-the-clouds academic (read:  liberal) would think that it is reasonable or fair to tell African Americans that they don’t need to do well in order to enter colleges and universities, only to be surprised that, while actually attending those institutions, these conned minority students continue to do badly.  And only a head-in-the-clouds liberal would think that these same students would be able to, or even want to, stick it out at some fou-fou university, when they are pathetically scraping along at the bottom of the class.  In the real world, people have to hunger to achieve, they have to work hard, and then they get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.  Liberals deny that to blacks, and then they’re surprised when these same blacks neither want to nor are able to perform.

Sadly, the government and our educational institutions are run by these head-in-the-cloud liberal academics, so they’re determining the solutions — and, naturally, the solutions they endorse are the hair of the same dog that has been biting African-American students for the past 30 plus years:  more affirmative action, which is a disincentive to learning and achieving.  The WaPo article, admittedly, is rather coy about the affirmative action solution, but it’s implied between the lines:

The Access to Success Initiative, announced in 2007, predates President Obama’s American Graduation Initiative announced this year, which calls for the United States to regain the global lead in college degrees by 2020. Any progress charted by the 24 college and university systems, which include the University System of Maryland and state university systems in California and New York, will dovetail “very neatly” with the president’s goal, said Haycock, whose organization advocates for disadvantaged students.

[snip]

One bright spot in the research was the Pell Grant, the federal program to help low-income students through college. The study found that Pell recipients at community colleges completed their studies at a rate of 32 percent, the same as other students. Pell students who transferred to four-year colleges also graduated at the same rate, 60 percent, as other students.

A bill pending in Congress would strengthen the Pell program by raising the maximum grant and tying the program to inflation for the first time.

You got that, right?  The solution is to throw more money at institutions that take minorities, not to demand that minorities compete going into the schools, so that they can stick around, and then compete when they come out again.

We Americans have seen for thirty years that more money enriches the politicos and the administration and the unions, without making much difference in the student outcomes.  I figured that out back in the late 1980s, when I learned that the Sausalito school district, which is just north of San Francisco, was both the best funded and the worst performing district in California.  I don’t know if either of those facts still holds true for Sausalito in 2009, but it was an object lesson to me at that time that there comes a point where a system is so dysfunctional that money becomes irrelevant.

As long as public schools have no accountability to anybody (a situation that would change dramatically if we switched to a voucher system), and as long as the educational and political classes are committed to affirmative action, nothing is going to change at the college and university level.  Just as the drunk needs more alcohol to provide the appearance of a temporary cure for a deeper problem, so too do our educational institutions and our poor, deluded African American population demand more money as the solution to a problem that has little to do with money, and everything to do with the subtle racism of low expectations.

Things are different in the business world, and will continue to be so until Barack Obama has successfully “bailed out” the entire capital system, turning the U.S. into a giant, politically correct, bankrupt morass.  In the interim, as the New York Times reports, businesses don’t want blacks, even educated ones.  The Times report, of course, implies racism, with evil white capitalists anxious to depress “uppity blacks.”

Johnny R. Williams, 30, would appear to be an unlikely person to have to fret about the impact of race on his job search, with companies like JPMorgan Chase and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago on his résumé.

But after graduating from business school last year and not having much success garnering interviews, he decided to retool his résumé, scrubbing it of any details that might tip off his skin color. His membership, for instance, in the African-American business students association? Deleted.

[snip]

That race remains a serious obstacle in the job market for African-Americans, even those with degrees from respected colleges, may seem to some people a jarring contrast to decades of progress by blacks, culminating in President Obama’s election.

But there is ample evidence that racial inequities remain when it comes to employment. Black joblessness has long far outstripped that of whites. And strikingly, the disparity for the first 10 months of this year, as the recession has dragged on, has been even more pronounced for those with college degrees, compared with those without. Education, it seems, does not level the playing field — in fact, it appears to have made it more uneven.

[snip]

The discrimination is rarely overt, according to interviews with more than two dozen college-educated black job seekers around the country, many of them out of work for months. Instead, those interviewed told subtler stories, referring to surprised looks and offhand comments, interviews that fell apart almost as soon as they began, and the sudden loss of interest from companies after meetings.

As for me, I reject the Times’ implication that white owned American businesses are trying to sneak Jim Crow in through the back door.  Instead, the problem young, educated blacks have in the employment market arises because businesses have figured out that, because blacks aren’t required to have many skills going into universities, they’re equally unlikely to have when they emerge clutching a degree with the politically correct, affirmative action stamp of approval appended to the bottom.  In other words, affirmative action has so badly corrupted the “brand name” of the college educated black person, even a person who is intelligent and skilled is tainted by that corruption.

When history books are written, affirmative action is going to be recognized for what it is:  a terrible scourge, destroying the upwardly mobile black middle class.  As I said in my post accusing Obama of being the quintessential example of affirmative action, in that he is all college papers and no substance, affirmative action tells blacks that they don’t have to work to succeed.  That’s a powerful and corrupting message.  Even the best and brightest will economize their mental energies and do the bare minimum necessary to get into and get out of colleges and universities.  But as the system passes through more and more blacks who are either unable to achieve from the get-go, or unwilling to achieve because they’ve been assured of a free pass regardless, the black brand is going to be associated, as it was in the Jim Crow era, with people who are unintelligent, ineffective and lazy.  That this is not true for many graduates, or for many who don’t go to school, is irrelevant.  It is enough that the visible blacks have been corrupted by the system for all of them to bear that stigma.

Once again, liberalism, while parading as the blacks’ true friend, is proving itself to be their mortal enemy, destroying them by denying them the incentive and opportunity to be all that they can be.

UPDATE:  This seemed the perfect place to add a video of Congressional candidate Lieutenant Colonel Allen West, because he is the wonderful, marvelous antithesis of our affirmative action president:

The perils of an affirmative action president *UPDATED*

Jennifer Rubin has a very good post today about the reasons that the “smart” Obama may be struggling so mightily to be a good president.  She offers three basic reasons that may explain Obama’s ineptitude, whether it touches economics, diplomacy, or national security:

First, the punditocracy confused credentials with knowledge or smarts.

[snip]

Second, even intelligent and well-schooled people can be poor managers, bad decision makers, and indecisive leaders.

[snip]

And finally, as Ronald Reagan said, “The trouble with our liberal friends isn’t that they are ignorant; it is that they know so much that isn’t so.”

I agree with everything Rubin says about the gross inefficiencies and thinking errors even smart people can display, except for one thing:  I disagree with her fundamental premise.  I don’t think Obama is smart at all.  I think his reputation for smarts is one of the great cons foisted on the American people, greater even than the con that Gore and Kerry, both of whom were undistinguished college students, as their transcripts show, were smarter than Bush, whose transcripts reveal him to  be a slightly better student than those two “men of genius.”

We have absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Obama is smart.  To begin with, we have no evidence at all of his academic abilities.  (And I will concede that, while academic smarts don’t demonstrate functional intelligence, they are still a good yardstick of a brain that operates at a fairly high level.)  We do not know how he did in Indonesia, his high school years are a blur, we do not know what happened during his stint at Occidental, we know nothing about his Columbia years, and the only thing we know about his Harvard years is that he made Law Review.

Liberals like to point to the Columbia and Harvard attendance (let alone the Law Review) as evidence in and of itself that the guy is smart.  After all, only smart people go to those schools.  Au contraire, my friends.  Thanks to the poisonous influence of affirmative action, an influence alive and well during Obama’s entire academic career, only smart whites and Asians go to those schools.  If you’re black and ambitious, you can into and stay in those schools despite less than stellar academic showings.  Columbia and Harvard need black admissions, and neither can afford for those blacks, once they’re in the school, to appear to be failing.

Let me insert here that I very strongly believe that that blacks can qualify for Columbia and Harvard on their own terms.  I am not publishing here a racist disquisition about black intelligence.  Anyone who reads that into what I’m writing here is reading me wrong.

What I am saying, is that if you set the standards lower for one racial group than for others, three things will happen:  First, the race that has the lower hurdles will stop trying as hard.  After all, humans are rational creatures, and people working towards a goal are wise to work only as hard as they need, and no harder.  Why expend energy unnecessarily?

Second, those members of the race who are fully capable of competing without a handicap will also behave rationally and conserve their energy, because it’s the smart thing to do.  This means that the lower hurdles will deprive them of the psychology opportunity stretch and prove themselves.

Third, a lot of people who would not normally have been in the race at all will bob up to the top, thanks to that handicap.  Worse, if there is a critical mass of mediocrity floating along on this tide of affirmative action, those mediocre people will inevitably, through sheer numbers, become representative of the racial group.  In other words, if you give enough mediocre people in a specific racial group a head start so that they win, it looks as if all the winners from that particular racial group are mediocre.

The above realities mean that you end up with two dire situations for the racial group that affirmative action infantilizing:  First, an enormous number of useless people become very poor representatives of their race.  And second, people who are genuinely good and deserving of recognition end up being thrown in the hopper of useless beneficiaries who achieved high status without ability or effort.

My argument is that Barack Obama is one of the number of useless, mediocre people who, thanks to affirmative action, have been elevated to a position far above their natural abilities.  The absence of grades is not the only indication of Obama’s intellectual weakness.  (And believe me, if his grades were good, they’d be published in every paper in America, including the want ads.)

Everything Obama’s turned his hand to — except for using people to advance his career — has failed.  The Annenberg Challenge was a $100 million disaster.  His legal career was, to say that least, undistinguished.  (I should add here that junior associates always have undistinguished careers.  There’s just not that much scope there.)  His tenure as an Illinois State Senator was marked by dithering indecision, coupled with the intelligent strategy, for a stupid person, of simply vanishing when the votes came around.  The same holds true for his career in the United States Senator.  If you examine those two tenures in political office without the gloss of the media love affair, all you’ve got is plenty of nothing.

Obama’s professorship at the U. of Chicago law school was equally undistinguished.  He published nothing.  His disquisitions on the Constitution show he knows nothing.  That is, he doesn’t even have the true intellectual’s excuse of fully understanding, but nevertheless arguing against, the language of the Constitution itself or the standard interpretations of that language.   I pity the students who had his class.

All that the liberals can hang their hat on is that one book:  Dreams.  And even that is proving to be a remarkably weak reed.  Jack Cashill has argued compellingly that Bill Ayers was the book’s principle author.  Cashill has a two pronged attack for this.  He demonstrates first, that Obama’s known prose stylings at the time (wooden, obfuscatory, cant-like), are completely unlike the fluid, artistic prose that gets people so excited about Dreams.  I personally find that argument compelling, because I’ve always been struck by Obama’s ugly language when he’s off a teleprompter.  This is not a man with any love for English.

The stylistic argument is also an easy argument to bat down.  It’s always possible to point to a moment of incredible inspiration, when everything in the brain clicks and things just roll out like magic.  That’s why I have a tab at my blog with an old poem of mine.  I like to have it there because it’s a reminder that when we are inspired, when someone makes incredible demands upon us, we’re all capable of great things.

Cashill, though, is too smart to stop with the “it doesn’t really seem like his writing” argument.  In article after article, he’s demonstrated that, stylistically, the writing is just like Ayers’ writing; that in terms of world view, the writing is just like Ayers’ writing (including all the nautical references that sit so well with Ayers, the former merchant marine); that anecdotally, the narratives precisely track events in Ayers’ life, right down to the description of the lavish mansion in which Ayers’ one-time girlfriend lived.  I won’t summarize everything Cashill writes, but I do urge you to read his whole series of articles on the subject, which you can find here.

Conspiracy theories, of course, are easy.  More than thirty percent of the American public believes that the Bush government brought down the Twin Towers so that Cheney would have an excuse to get government contracts for Halliburton in Iraq.   Never mind the death of 3,000 innocents, never mind the impossibility of keeping such a vast conspiracy absolutely secret, nevermind the fact that Cheney didn’t work for Halliburton, and nevermind that those government contracts were anathema to Halliburton, because it had contracted for them a decade before, in a different economy — to the conspiracy theorists, all of the dots always connect.

For conspiracy theorists, life is always like that scene in the movie A Beautiful Mind, in which the genius gazes at thousands of random newspaper clippings taped to his wall and, in an instant of inspired schizophrenia, sees them all connect in a vast network of relationships.  Except . . . except that Cashill has one weapon in his arsenal that no conspiracy theorist would ever have:  completely independent corroboration of the fact that a panicked Obama, sitting on a $150,000 advance and utterly incapable of writing, high tailed it over to Bill Ayers house, and got all the help he needed.

All of which gets me back to Obama.  None of the apparent indices of brains pan out:  no grades, no job record, no book.  Nothing at all.   His sole talent, and I have to say that it’s a spectacular one, is to be a con man.  He has a deep voice, good looks, and a network of behind the scenes operators who have been deeply invested in his advancement.  The only problem with running a con, as Harold Hill discovered when he had to produce that “boys band,” is that, if you stick around after you’ve run the con, people expect you to perform.  And Obama, who has none of the advertised talents, is utterly trapped.

The great pity for the American people is that, unlike the clever con man in a Broadway show/Hollywood musical, there is no miracle at the end when faith and love suddenly operate to produce the strained tones of the Minuet in G.  All we’re hearing now is silence, a few cricket chirps, and the scary drone of muezzins and nuclear bombers in the background.

UPDATE:  Right on schedule, a link about the genius that is Al Gore.  This is not the only example, of course; just the latest.

Obama is not the first famous black writer to pull the wool over the establishment’s eyes

Jack Cashill tells a story I never knew (no doubt because I grew up on the MSM).  Roots was a fraud, from beginning to end — but what an important fraud, because it managed to remove Muslims from the slave trade.

Poisonous education politics, white shame and President Obama

You must read today’s article from Robin of Berkeley.  End of story.

Must hear radio: the Levin/Smith interview

I’ve had three emails about this audio of Mark Levin’s interview with Stephen A. Smith.  Having listened to it, I understand why:

Will the Black Panthers, encouraged by Eric Holders’ decision to dismiss charges against them, go to new levels of intimidation?

During the November 2008 election, Black Panthers appeared on video standing in front of polling places with billy clubs:

Eric Holder, however, was unconcerned, and dropped the voter intimidation case against the Black Panthers.  Having learned that they get a free pass for egregious behavior antithetical to democratic government gets a free pass, I wonder if, in 2010, the Panthers will take the whole thing to the next level.  In Afghanistan, for example, the Taliban has voter intimidation down to an art:

Lal Mohammad was determined to stand against Taliban threats and exercise his right to vote in Afghanistan’s presidential election.

But he now regrets his defiance.

These horrifying pictures show a fearful Mohammad recovering after he was ambushed by Taliban fighters as he walked to a polling station last week.

The 40-year-old farmer was beaten and mutilated. The Taliban cut off his ears and part of his nose in the shocking attack.

To date, the Panthers have been pikers.  With the Obama wind at their back, though, who knows how far they’ll go?

With regard to bike helments and Obama, it’s do as I say, not as I do

It’s such a little thing, but it’s such a big reminder that Obama, hectorer in chief, really does feel that he is above all the things that he tells the little people to do:

President Obama took a bike ride with his family today in Aquinnah, on Martha’s Vineyard. The First Family cruised along Lobsterville Beach on a gorgeous sunny day but there was one glaring omission in an otherwise picture perfect tableau – the president was not wearing a bike helmet.

White House spokesman Bill Burton said he did not know why the president was not wearing a helmet because he generally does.

“He supports the wearing of bicycle helmets,” Burton said.

Go here to see the accompanying video.

Perhaps Obama was worried that the helmet would mess with his hair.  I learned today at the New York Times that African-Americans are obsessed with their hair, which they see not merely as protein product emerging from their scalp that needs to be groomed, but as a deep political issue.  Thus, they think white people are perpetually judging their hair.  They remind me of the 14 year old who is convinced that everyone is looking at her.  That’s almost never the case.  It’s just that, in the adolescent’s fevered world view, she’s convinced that she is the center of the universe, and that she’s managed to set out from the house with her fly unzipped.

Message to all people about their hair:  everyone is not looking at you.  If you like what you see in the mirror, and you’re not spending more time and money on your hair than you can manage, stop worrying about other people.  (As for Obama, of course, people are looking at him, but he has a wonderfully easy hairstyle.)

By the way, I’m a big fan of bike helmets, something beautifully demonstrated when my daughter, in a spill from her bike, ended up with a small bruise on her forehead, rather than a huge concussion on her brain.

David Patterson turns himself into the punch line of a joke

I guess for the next three and a half years, I’ll keep having to trot out this joke when I link to articles containing ridiculous claims of racism made to cover for incompetence and other personal failings.  First, the joke (which you’ve heard before and I can guarantee you’ll hear again):

Two men met on the street.  One looked very angry.

“What’s the problem?” asked the first man of his friend.

“I’m r-r-really a-a-ngry,” he stuttered.  “I ap-ap-applied for a j-j-job as an a-a-announcer at th-th-the r-r-r-radio s-s-station and they t-t-turned me-me-me d-d-d-down.”

This statement was followed by a long pause, after which the stutter reached his own conclusions about what had happened:

“D-d-d-damned a-a-antisemites!”

Okay, now for a news story about New York Governor David Paterson, in which his self-exculpatory statements for his myriad job troubles read precisely like the joke (okay, not precisely, but substantively):

“And I submit that the same kind of treatment that Deval Patrick is receiving right now in Massachusetts, and I’m receiving; the way in which the New York State Senate was written about, calling them a bunch of people with thick necks — they’re talking about Malcolm Smith and John Sampson — that we’re not in the post-racial period.”

“And the reality is that the next victim on the list and you see it coming is President Barack Obama, who did nothing more than try to reform a health care system that’s not 10 percent of GDP and will be 20 percent of GDP in the next four years only because he’s trying to make change.”

Obama and his White House security *UPDATED*

Being a police or other type of security officer is, by definition, a risky job.  It’s entirely possible to find oneself in a low risk situation, such as the town in which I live.  Crimes here tend to revolve around shoplifting, speeding, vandalism, etc.  I know of several young officers (and fire fighters) who sought assignments elsewhere because it was just too boring.

Other venues provide more excitement.  Being a police officer in South Central LA or the South Side of Chicago, for example, is a wild adrenalin ride, filled with daily threats to the average officer’s health and well being.  You need to be brave, committed, and perhaps a little crazy to take on a job like that willingly.

There’s one job, though, that’s quite unique in the dangers it offers.  That job, of course, is guarding the President of the United States.  You get to travel to exciting places and see amazing things, but you’re also responsible for one of the biggest targets in the world.  The threats come from crazy individuals and whacked-out organizations.  You are constantly on guard.  It is your job to ensure that no one can get near the man at the top.  More than that, if they do get near, you willingly interpose your body between the president and the killer.

A perfect example of the self-sacrifice required for the job is the assassination attempt on President Reagan.  When shots rang out, the President’s secret service agents instantly interposed their bodies — which are just as vulnerable as the President’s — between Reagan and the bullets:

In other words, people on the White House security detail are willing to die to protect their employer.  These are passionate, committed, brave (and maybe a little crazy) individuals.  (Lee Child gives a good insight into the efforts secret service agents make, and the risks they take, in Without Fail.)

Given the caliber of people surrounding the President, and the sacrifices they are willing to make on a daily basis, I cannot come to grips with the insult Obama offered them as part of his foolish decision to wade into the public battle between Henry Louis Gates and the Boston Police Department (emphasis mine):

“I don’t know – not having been there and not seeing all the facts – what role race played in that, but I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two that he Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home,” Obama said in response to a question from the Chicago Sun-Times’s Lynn Sweet.

Gates, Obama allowed, “is a friend, so I may be a little biased here. I don’t know all the facts.”

However Gates, he continued, “jimmied his way to get into [his own] house.”

“There was a report called in to the police station that there might be a burglary taking place – so far so good,” Obama said, reflecting that he’d hope the police were called if he were seen breaking into his own house, then pausing.

“I guess this is my house now,” he remarked of the White House. “Here I’d get shot.”

Let me rephrase that.  What Obama just said is that, if he for some reason was in the wrong place in the White House, or in the right place at the wrong time, White House security would shoot him.  Let me dig down into that a little deeper:  “I, Barack Obama, think it’s funny and self-deprecatory to state that the security people who surround me, the ones who have taken on the job of protecting the world’s biggest targets, are racists who would willingly shoot me because I am a black man in a fancy house.”

And its no use defending that statement by saying that Obama was likening himself to just any homeowner, as opposed to a black one.  Gates made it very clear, and Obama, who was defending Gates, must have understood, that the pressure the police put on Gates was solely because he was black.  Indeed, from the minute the officers arrived, Gates used his race as the justification for refusing to cooperate, thereby escalating the situation.  With this manifest racial context, Obama could only have been saying that a black man in the White House is a natural target for security forces.

Frankly, if I were in the Secret Service, I would have second thoughts about holding a job that requires me to throw myself in front of a bullet to protect an employer who thinks so little of me that, as a joke, he implies that I would casually pull the trigger and shoot him just because he’s black.

UPDATE:  One of my email correspondents thinks that Obama meant that anyone breaking into the White House would get shot, not just a black man.  But I think context is king here.  This whole thing became an issue, not because it was a Harvard professor who was arrested, but because it was a black Harvard professor who was arrested.  Further, this same black Harvard professor cried race from the start, not just at the scene of the incident, but afterward.  The whole media circus was because Gates claimed the cops treated him badly as a black man.

Further, Gates was not shot, nor is there any intimation that he was ever at risk of being shot.  Indeed, I have to wrack my brain and I still can’t think of a situation in which cops got a report of a homeowner trying to get into the house, knocked on the door, talked to the homeowner and then shot him by mistake.

And the last thing is that Obama is defined, in his own eyes, and in the eyes of the public, as a black man in the White House.  He campaigned as a post-racial candidate, but that’s not how he ran the race.  It was all about his being the first black president.  Everything was framed in that light.  That’s why guilt-ridden liberals voted for him, that’s why blacks voted for him, that’s why Europeans liked him, that’s why the press adored him, and that’s how he defined himself (and this last is not unreasonable given that he is, in fact, black).

When he talks about getting shot breaking into his house, Obama, the narcissist, is not talking about the risks to just anyone of breaking into the White House.  He’s talking about himself, Obama, breaking into a house.  It is he who would get shot — and he is black.

UPDATE II:  Just to emphasize my point that, regardless of the subject, in Obama’s mind, it’s always all about himself.

Round-up on the Gates arrest — and Obama’s comments *UPDATED*

By now, you’ve all heard about the Henry Louis Gates incident:  a neighbor reported a possible break-in; cops came; they discovered that it was Gates trying to get in after being locked out; and, when things got heated, the cops arrested Gates.  Gates has cried racism; the cops claim a righteous arrest.  Since it was a “he said/he said” story, I pretty much ignored it, waiting for more information.  On the known facts, it was possible that Gates became obstreperous with those who are on the front line of American crime.  Alternatively, it was possible that some white officer, poorly paid, had it with a black man living “above his station.”  I didn’t know, and neither did you.  Barack Obama, however, was less wise than we are and, in a nationally televised presser, decided to weigh in, strongly criticizing a member of America’s police forces.

The result of Obama’s immature, hasty, impolitic foray is an overwhelming onslaught of newspaper stories and blog links.  I think the whole thing is sufficiently interesting — since it combines race, domestic security, Hah-vahd elitism, and Barack Obama — that I’ve got a fairly comprehensive round-up of links on the subject.  As always, I’m very interested in any comments and insights you might have.

The arrest itself

The arrest report which tells of a very uncooperative Prof. Gates.  He refused to step out onto the porch to identify himself or speak with the police officer (something that would have made the police feel safer); he instantly and repeatedly played the race card (are you investigating this “because I’m a black man in America?”); and then he threatened the offer.  All in all, stupid behavior, regardless of your color.  (The Boston Globe, incidentally, found the report too damning, and scrubbed it.)

Mary Katharine Ham has a good summary of the arrest itself.  As others have noticed, the pattern is this:  officers got a report of a crime in progress; they find a man in the house who refused to identify himself, who refused to come to the safety of the porch, and who then hurled insults and threats at them.  The officers took the bait and arrested him.  Racism?  No.  Human nature?  Yes.

James Taranto’s comment on the whole affair, which he wrote long before Obama weighed in.  It’s especially interesting, because Taranto found himself in the same position once, when he was a guest in a friend’s house, but was mistaken for an intruder. We’ll pick up as the police are trying to enter the house to apprehend a potential burglar:

Apparently a neighbor had seen us in the yard, mistaken us for a strange man, and summoned the police. As we recall, there were two cops. They were not friendly. We remember vividly that one of them had his gun drawn, albeit defensively (that is, it was still pointed into the holster).

We were shocked and offended by the intrusion, but we had the presence of mind not to give voice to those feelings. We explained the situation, showed our identification, and demonstrated that the key in our pocket unlocked the front door. Satisfied that we were not a trespasser or burglar, the policemen left. They did not apologize. The experience left us a bit rattled. But on reflection we realized that although perhaps the policemen’s manner could have used some improvement, they were merely doing their job. It wasn’t their fault the information on which they acted was bad.

Having been through a similar experience, we feel qualified to say that Gates handled the situation poorly. Becoming belligerent with a police officer is almost never a good idea. Not only can it get you arrested, but it can cause a merely uncomfortable situation to escalate into a deadly one. If Gates thought the officer behaved improperly, he should have held his peace, defused the situation, and later taken the matter up with local officials. In addition, if Gates did tell the officer he had “no idea who he was messing with,” he showed a distinct lack of grace.

This is not to say that the police are always right, and it seems to us that arresting Gates was an unwise use of the officer’s authority. Having ascertained that the burglary report was false, the cop had no reason to remain on the scene. This appears to have been a misunderstanding between two stubborn men, both of whom would be better off had one of them exercised some maturity and forbearance.

To be sure, we are a person of pallor, so that our encounter with the cops lacked the racial overtones of Gates’s. We did not enjoy being obsequious to men who were not even polite to us, but to do so was not a racial humiliation, as it evidently would have been to Gates.

Whether or not it is true in 2009 that “this is what happens to black men in America,” it must be an awful burden to be a black man in America and believe that it is true. Gates and his supporters might consider whether their actions in this matter help ease or compound this burden for younger black males who are still forming their ideas of what it is to be a black man in America.

Larry Elder (who is black) also had a similar experience, and discovered that a soft answer turneth away wrath:

OK, the cops overreacted. Cops’ training involves dealing with verbally abusive citizens. They could have walked away, written a report and allowed the prosecutor to determine whether to file charges. But Gates overreacted, too.

Last week, about 2 p.m., while driving a nice car, I got stopped by a police officer about a block from my home in Los Angeles. The officer asked for license and registration. “Yes, sir,” I said, handing him my license. Before I could retrieve the registration, he said, “Mr. Elder, do you still live at this address?” I said I did. He said: “OK. I stopped you because you rolled through a stop sign. Two pedestrians saw you, and they gestured to me, as if saying, ‘Are you going to do something about that?’ So I felt I had to stop you. I’m not looking for area residents. I’m looking for people who don’t live here who might be committing crimes. You’re fine.”

I did roll through the stop sign. He could have ticketed me. Rather, he responded to my politeness with politeness. Besides, don’t we want a proactive police department that, within the law, doesn’t just react to crime but also tries to prevent it?

Cops routinely deal with conflict, angry citizens and quite often the worst of the worst — while going to work every day willing to take a bullet for someone they don’t even know.

Even Henry You-Don’t-Know-Who-You’re-Messing-With Gates should understand that.

Cops are human beings, too.

Chris Rock has practical advice about how a black man (indeed, how any man) should act when the cops approach.

Dr. Boyce Watkins, a black man and the son of a police officer:

I might be kicked out of “The Black scholars club” for saying this, but the truth is that I don’t feel sorry for Henry Louis Gates. America is far more capitalist than it is racist, so a distinguished Harvard University Professor like Gates is likely to get more respect than the average White American. The idea that he is somehow the victim of the same racism that sends poor Black men to prison simply doesn’t fly with me, and Gates should be careful about appearing to exploit the plight of Black men across America to win his battle of egos with the Cambridge Police Department. At worst, Gates has been a victim of racial profiling by the woman who called the police, as well as the officer who may have interpreted his protests as being more belligerent than they actually were. The same thing happens to Black boys in the school system, who are suspended at astronomical rates for bad behavior. The fact that the charges have now been dropped against Gates shows that a mistake has clearly been made.

One can reasonably argue that Professor Gates would not have had this experience if he were a White woman who seemed to “belong” in the neighborhood. I’ve heard officers refer to the “invisible” line in our city, where the rich are protected from the poor, and those who don’t seem to belong are arrested. By being Black, Gates surely crossed the invisible line in his community. However, once Gates proved to the officer that he was the owner of the home, the officer should have simply said “thank you” and left the premises.

One question that can’t be answered is whether or not the officer was being verbally abused by the stereotypical Harvard arrogance of a man who felt that he was above being questioned. Dr. Gates, in all of his frustration, might have been served well to remember that the officer has a gun and that this situation could have been dealt with at a later date. Perhaps telling the officer that he “doesn’t know who he’s messing with” (as the officer alleges) was one way of making sure that the officer knew his place in the “Haaa-vad” (Harvard) pecking order. If that is the case, then I cannot sign off on Dr. Gates’ reaction to the officer who may have been simply trying to do his job.

The man at the center of this firestorm:

But people who know Crowley were skeptical or outright dismissive of allegations of racism. A prominent defense lawyer, a neighbor of Crowley’s, his union, and fellow officers described him yesterday as a respected, and respectful, officer who performs his job well and has led his colleagues in diversity training.

“He’s evenhanded and, in the cases I’ve had with him, he’s been very much in control and very professional,’’ said Joseph W. Monahan III, a criminal defense lawyer in Cambridge and former Middlesex County prosecutor. Monahan has represented several defendants arrested by Crowley for domestic assaults and for drunken driving.

Crowley himself, speaking to the Globe yesterday and again last night in Natick, said he will not apologize and asserted, “I am not a racist.’’

Crowley’s police union issued a statement saying it had reviewed the arrest of Gates and expressed “full and unqualified support’’ for his actions.

Obama’s comments

Barack Obama, weighing in against the police, despite freely admitting his ignorance, and including a joke that, if it was about a bomb at an airport, would get him arrested.  (And as to that joke, it’s in exceptionally bad taste and is an insult to every security person working at the White House.):

Though some facts of the case are still in dispute, Obama showed little doubt about who had been wronged.

“I don’t know – not having been there and not seeing all the facts – what role race played in that, but I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two that he Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home,” Obama said in response to a question from the Chicago Sun-Times’s Lynn Sweet.

Gates, Obama allowed, “is a friend, so I may be a little biased here. I don’t know all the facts.”

However Gates, he continued, “jimmied his way to get into [his own] house.”

“There was a report called in to the police station that there might be a burglary taking place – so far so good,” Obama said, reflecting that he’d hope the police were called if he were seen breaking into his own house, then pausing.

“I guess this is my house now,” he remarked of the White House. “Here I’d get shot.”

Yuval Levin on how peculiar it was for Obama to opine on a police matter (although Brutally Honest thinks that this was par for the course for Obama):

There is much to be said about the astonishing dishonesty of President Obama’s health-care rhetoric tonight, and much (no doubt) will be said. But I have to admit I was actually most struck by his answer to the last question, about the arrest of Henry Louis Gates. It’s the kind of question to which a president would normally reply with something like: “That’s a local police matter, I don’t know the details and I know it will be worked out responsibly,” and move along. Obama gave a lengthy review of the facts, called the police officers involved stupid, and implied they are also liars. Very odd behavior for a president.

Levin wasn’t the only one who realized how improper it was for Obama to opine on an issue about which he knows nothing:

“I support the president of the United States 110 percent. I think he was way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts as he himself stated before he made that comment,” [Sgt. James] Crowley told WBZ-AM. “I guess a friend of mine would support my position, too.”

Michelle Malkin on the reflexive hostility the left has to the police:

Who’s surprised that President Obama trashed police officers as “stupid” on national TV and implied they were racist despite “not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that?”

This is Barack Obama, friend of cop-targeting domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose door sports a picture of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal.

This is Barack Obama, leader of the Democrat Party, which still embraces police-hater Al Sharpton.

“I might be a little biased,” Obama admitted before unleashing on the police.

We know. We know.

Dan Riehl opines about the way in which Obama completely destroyed his post-racial image:

As the occupant of the WH, Obama has a responsibility to speak for all Americans. He appears to be showing a pattern of not doing that, but seeing everything through a lens of racial politics, first. It is as unfortunate as it is dumb.

Not having all

the facts, he should have withheld judgment, perhaps pronouncing the incident as unfortunate. He didn’t term Professor Gates’ alleged reaction to questioning, after apparently breaking into his own home, as ill-considered, let alone stupid, or otherwise dumb. And

the Cambridge police are not the neighbor who summoned them to the scene. We have no way of knowing if they acted “stupidly,” or not. However, that was a conclusion Barack Obama was prepared to jump to based solely upon Race, while admitting not knowing

the facts.

He also displayed a willingness to abandon American police officers in the line of duty without a full hearing of

the facts. It’s impossible to recall any former president doing such a thing, at least before some objective fact finding was done. This may not be a wound he recovers from, and certainly not easily, in terms of his political career.

Meanwhile, any notion of a post-racial era in America due to Obama is likely doomed. That, perhaps, is the biggest shame of all.

Jules Crittendon thinks Obama needs some sensitivity training:

Gates has been demanding sensitivity training, and I’m beginning to think he’s right. Some sensitivity training might be called for in this situation. For the Harvard professors, 24-hour news network ministers and apparently presidents of the United States as well, on how destructive it is to individuals, to race relations and to society in general to level inflammatory accusations of racism or to call people “stupid” and “rogues” without knowing who they are, what they are about, or even what exactly happened.

Thomas Lifson nicely summarizes the facts, and the probable political damage Obama incurred by wading into this.

UPDATE:  Thinking about this, Obama was quick to opine about police stupidity, despite a complete absence of facts, but tried to protect himself by saying, “”I don’t know – not having been there and not seeing all the facts – what role race played in that….”  That was just cover talk, as his indicated by his execrable and offensive joke about White House security.  He does believe this was about race — AND HE’S RIGHT.

Why is Obama right?  Because the police report (which is the only near contemporaneous evidence we have right now) shows that Gates immediately escalated the situation by making it about race.  His first words, after refusing to cooperate, were “Why, because I’m a black man in America?”  He then accused the officer of racism.  He then told unknown third parties that the officer was racist.  And since then, Gates has made it about race.  So yes, this was definitely about race.

Also, I have some more insights about Obama’s involvement in all this.  At Maggie’s Farm, Bruce Kesler weighs in on the whole thing.  He sees this, not as a race fight, even those it’s phrased in those terms, but as yet more class warfare:

In our democracy, the elites are not supposed to be anointed by God or hereditary, nor allowed any special governmental privileges, rights or exceptions from the laws that govern everyone else. Elites in America should earn respect for their character, accomplishments and contributions alone.

Consider how far we’ve gone in another direction, toward self-selected groups flaunting their disregard of common morality and sense, and even the law, as if immune or above the obligations and restrictions necessary to maintaining a society and government of free peoples working in comity and decency toward individual and national advancements above personal benefits and pelf.

And Andy McCarthy, of course, has Obama’s number:

[T]he Gates question smelled like a set-up to me. Obama went out of his way to call on that reporter as the last questioner of the night — even when some confusion about whether he’d called on someone else resulted in his having to go back to her after taking another question.

For a wartime president managing a slew of manufactured “crises” in a reeling economy, he was sure armed with an astonishing level of detail about the arrestee’s side of the story in a local breaking-and-entering case that had resulted in no charges being filed. Obama even had a “spontaneous” joke at the ready about how he himself would probably get “shot” if he ever tried to break into the White House. The joke, of course, fell flat. Trust me on this one (I used to be the guy who decided whether to file federal charges in Westchester County in the first few years after the Clintons moved there): Outside the courtiers of the White House press corps, no one — especially the Secret Service — likes jokes about American presidents getting shot.

And it is just shameful for an American president to describe the police as “stupid” and feed into the racializing of the Gates case.

Taranto, by the way, has now decided that Obama and Gates were in the right, and Crowley was wrong.  He has a point, which is that, although Gates was unbelievably offensive in the beginning, once Gates proved he was the homeowner, Crowley should have backed off.  The problem is, that’s not so easy, once someone has been hurling threats and imprecations at you (and at unknown third parties, over the telephone).

I vividly recall that, after Mel Gibson was arrested, the news was filled with stories of his antisemitic outburst.  One caller to a talk show was a highway patrolman, and he said that drunks, because they lack judgment, frequently try to inflame, rather than conciliate officers, with the inevitable results.  I’m not saying Gates was drunk, but his response to the officers was certainly inflammatory.  Should we then be surprised that the officers, whose lives are at risk every time they report to such a situation, got inflamed?

UPDATE IIBill Cosby too states that Obama’s remarks, given the informational vacuum in which he operated, were completely inappropriate.  This is not about race.  It’s about a President not taking sides in this kind of dog fight.  It’s wrong when the same president who deals in airy-fairy, “I’m always the good guy in the middle” generalities, suddenly takes sides and calls an American police officer stupid.

UPDATE IIIHube also wonders whethering being a complete jerk who practically invites arrest shows that the arresting cops were racists (as opposed to just really, really angry).

The sexualized racism of New York Times women

I have been trying my darndest to ignore Judith Warner’s sleazy New York Times piece detailing the sexual fantasies liberal women are having about Obama.  On the list of things I really don’t want to know, this ranks right up there with the nature of Bill Clinton’s underwear.  These are presidents, for goodness sakes — statesmen!  world leaders!  Not Chippendale dancers.  Ick.

But aside from the ick factor, there’s something profoundly wrong about the whole article, and that is the way in which Warner and her cronies sexualize Obama and Michelle.  This goes beyond the ick-factor I mentioned in the previous paragraph, and moves into the very sick sexual ideas Americans traditionally had about blacks.

Anyone familiar with Southern history knows that black men were viewed as ravenously uncontrolled sexual beings who posed a threat to the purity of all white women with whom they came into contact.  Black men were attacked and even killed for the sin of looking at a white woman, as if their powerful black sexuality could float through the air and cause harm without even the necessity of contact.

Black women, too, were perceived in sexual terms.  The fact that all American blacks who trace their roots to the slave ships also have white forebears is itself a testament to the fact that white men saw black women as freely available to serve their needs.  And to get past the fact that they were raping these women, the white men came up with a story line of the lusty “negress,” hungering for sex at all times.  “I didn’t force her.  The mere fact that she is black meant that she was (and always is) asking for it.”

With those horrible images in mind, let’s revisit one of the nastier passages in Warner’s little opus:

There was some daydreaming too, much of it a collective fantasy about the still-hot Obama marriage. “Barack and Michelle Obama look like they have sex. They look like they like having sex,” a Los Angeles woman wrote to me, summing up the comments of many. “Often. With each other. These days when the sexless marriage is such a big celebrity in America (and when first couples are icons of rigid propriety), that’s one interesting mental drama.”

It may be rarified and envious, but the above passage is nothing more than a reprise of the old American theme about the sexual ravenous black “stud” and his lusty “negress” partner.  That this is true is evidenced by the fact that no other presidential couple — heck, no other political couple or even Hollywood couple — has ever been described in the same way.

In other words, I find this whole article offensive not just because I don’t like Obama, which renders him unattractive to me; and not just because I think it’s inappropriate to the self-proclaimed “paper of record” to chip away at the dignity of the presidency, but also because, no matter how one dresses it up, this whole line of thinking reverts to ugly stereotypical racial ideas about black people’s sexuality.

Why Obama’s European-style socialism is a danger to us all

I’m still developing the same theme I’ve been hammering at for a week, because I think it’s important.  The ideas in this post should be familiar to you, but I’m trying to express them with more factual data and lucidity:

My mother, bless her heart, said something very important the other day. She said that Europeans are much more socially conscious than Americans and that’s why they have all those government programs (i.e., socialism or spreading the wealth). She was clearly trying to say that Americans are mean and selfish, and that’s why they’ve traditionally leaned to keeping their wealth, rather than allowing government redistribution. She’s completely wrong, of course, but wrong in a very interesting way.

What she neglected to consider with her pronouncement is that, traditionally, America and Europe had vastly different social and economic fluidity. While Europe has had an exceptionally rigid class system from which few escape, America has been since its inception a place in which people can “make it.” Every immigrant group (and such is the nature of America that all but the Indigenous Americans are immigrant groups), has managed to assimilate and rise economically.

Census records from the Lower East Side in New York, through which passed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of immigrants from all over Europe, show that within two generations, all of the families that once lived there had moved into the working, middle or wealthy classes. Certainly, individuals may have suffered and failed but, en masse, the immigrants did well. They didn’t need to become the recipients of perpetual government largesse.

In Europe, however, there were no systems by which the lower classes (and that also always meant the poorer classes) could escape their stratum. Whether by accent, education, poverty, or tradition, they stayed there. (And, interestingly, even the educational opportunities socialism provided didn’t much change that. When I lived in England a couple of decades ago, after almost 40 years of free access to college education, most English people did not go on to college and people still gave away their class instantly just by opening their mouths.) Socialism, in other words, was just a totalitarian government substitute for the old noblesse oblige that saw the upper class (or, at least, the socially conscious ones) take care of the poorer orders, all the while ensuring that they stayed in their place.

The intense stratification of that system continues to exist with the new immigrants to Europe. Whether in Germany, Norway, Sweden, England, Italy or France, these new Muslim immigrants are instantly the recipients of government largesse that gives them housing and money — and that essentially tells them to get into their immigrant ghettos, and stay there, preferably feeling grateful to and voting for the government that was so good to them. Its a shock to the ruling class, and one that they can’t seem to understand, that these immigrants, rather than feeling grateful at being stuffed away into ghettos without any opportunities, loath the countries in which they live, and cheerfully envision their bloody overthrows.

My mother agreed with me on all of these points (how could she not?), but then produced her “a-ha!” to prove me wrong: “What about blacks in America (and, she could have added, Native Americans, too)?” To her, they proved I was entirely wrong in describing America’s social and economic fluidity. To me, though, they were just the extra evidence I needed to prove that when, as they do in Europe, a government provides too much for people, it consigns them permanently to poverty and social exile.

As you know, African-Americans (and Native Americans) differed from all other immigrant groups in America because the American system essentially imposed against them, for centuries (and in brutal and horrible ways) a European style stratification that prevented any upward movement. This is true whether one is looking at slavery, relocation, genocidal wars or Jim Crow. I’ll focus from here on out on what happened to blacks when Americans finally wised up to the error of their ways, but you can tell the same story about Native Americans.

Beginning in the 1940s (with the WWII economy) and continuing into the 1950s (with the Civil Rights movement), blacks started the same upward movement as other American groups. That is, once the nation began removing the artificial ceiling it had imposed on them, blacks too made social and economic strides. The strides were slow, because prejudice is slow to die, but they were real, and they created a rising black working and middle class composed of nuclear families. I have no doubt that, had the government continued to educate and police against discrimination, and otherwise left the market to do its work, African Americans would have joined other immigrant groups in realizing the American dream in a generation or two.

The death knell for this laborious, but real, social and economic ascent was the Great Society. The moment comprehensive welfare programs began (around the mid-1960s), government workers fanned out to black communities all over America and made huge efforts to tell blacks to stop working, because the government would pay for them. White guilt was at its apex, and government welfare was its expiation.

Being rational actors, blacks gave up bad, low-paying, often demeaning jobs for free money. And being rational actors, they gave up nuclear families and parental responsibility for even more free money. And so began the terrible slide of the African-American community. Even if you all don’t remember that time, you do remember what finally arrested this slide and helped put African-Americans back on the same, slow upward trajectory that existed before the Great Society: The fact that Clinton, under duress from a real Republican Congress, ended “welfare as we know it.” Once again, African-Americans, being rational actors, were given the incentive to shelter in the strength of the nuclear family and plug into the American Dream.

Obama wants to undo the American Dream and turn us into a European economy, where all benefits flow from the government, rather than individual effort. You can call it “socialism,” or “big government,” or “spreading the wealth,” or whatever else suits you, but the outcome will be the same: People will be locked into government induced poverty in perpetuity, the middle class will become slack, the economy will enter into stagflation, unemployment will rise, and service in every area of American life will fall as people lose their incentive (because they’ve lost the ability) to rise upwards and join in the American Dream.

(I’ve cross-posted this same article at Bloggers for John McCain (aka McCain-Palin 2008), which is a site that I urge you to visit.  It’s committed entirely to advancing McCain to the White House, and has smart, enthusiastic articles about all of the players in the upcoming election.)

Are Americans really racists?

The current “scandal” is that a poll shows that one third of white Democrats harbor racist views towards blacks.  I have two problems with this poll’s approach and two questions about whether its conclusions have any real meaning.

My first problem is the poll’s underlying assumption, one that reveals entirely the pollsters’ bias:  Why the heck isn’t Obama winning because, in pollsters’ minds, he really ought to?

The pollsters set out to determine why Obama is locked in a close race with McCain even as the political landscape seems to favor Democrats. President Bush’s unpopularity, the Iraq war and a national sense of economic hard times cut against GOP candidates, as does that fact that Democratic voters outnumber Republicans.

It doesn’t seem to occur to the pollsters that, as the election draws near, Americans, including Democratic Americans, may actually be looking at issues, not candidates, and may have concluded that Obama’s thin resume is not a helpful antidote to the issues confronting Americans — and that this is true irrespective of either the candidate’s or the voters’ race.

Apparently having dismissed that possibility out of the box, the pollsters, with their assumptions firmly in place about the fundamental abnormality in American’s failure to recognize what a vastly superior candidate Obama is, cheerfully set about using their all new methodology to prove that Americans are racists.

To this end (and herein lies my second problem with the poll results), the pollsters relied on a “unique methodology,” “pioneered” by one company, Knowledge Networks, that thinks it can delve into people’s psyches.  First, they used online interviews, on the assumption that people will be more honest in the anonymity of cyberspace, which may well be true.

However, it may also be untrue.  Once online, people may feel more playful or obstreperous and be less honest.  Who knows?  You can only prove people’s honesty if you have an objective measure of the absolute truth.  And in opinion polls, what the heck is that measure?  We’re in a gray area that sees the pollsters assuming that their own biases about people’s probable beliefs constitute absolute truth, if only the pollsters can arrive at a methodology to prove that fact (in other words, there’s lots of room for bootstrapping and circular reasoning).

If that wasn’t a gray enough area, pollsters delved into an even grayer one, which again uses their own beliefs about people’s biases as the objective truth their psychological evaluation will ultimately prove:

Other techniques used in the poll included recording people’s responses to black or white faces flashed on a computer screen, asking participants to rate how well certain adjectives apply to blacks, measuring whether people believe blacks’ troubles are their own fault, and simply asking people how much they like or dislike blacks.

In other word, they used a technique that many might simply see as a trick.  When a Harvard gal first came up with the idea, which was to prove that people’s first, instinctive responses to imagines of different races inevitably proved them to be racist, I wandered over to check it out.  What you get is a split screen with images of people and different words flashing.  You then have to hit buttons on the right and left side of your keyboard to tie “appropriate” words with equally “appropriate” images.

What I discovered was that, just as I am a word person, I’m very strongly not an image person.  I don’t see pictures very well, and quickly got confused.  I’m also horrible at hand/eye coordination, or even hand/hand coordination.  After randomly hitting buttons a few times, I got bored and stopped.  It was as pointless and frustrating for me as a lot of the Wii games or Nintendo games my kids play.  Rather than delving into the depths of my evil, racist psyche, it proved only that I lack eye/hand coordination.

Still, since I’m not a pollster or a social scientist or a statistician or someone who assumes that racism is the norm, I’m going to assume for purposes of the next part of this post that the poll is so closely attuned to reality that it can actually catch people shlumping at their home computers in acts of vile racism (blacks = lazy, boastful or irresponsible).  Even assuming that, though, I still have my doubts about whether the poll proves that racism will be the problem when/if Democrats turn away from Obama.

To begin with, while the pollsters managed to prove that everybody is a racist (Republican or Democrat), they’ve admitted only that Democrats are so dumb they can’t look beyond their racial preferences, while Republicans are smart enough to be able to examine issues, not race.  (And please tell me if the pollsters or the AP writers really meant to make this point?)

Lots of Republicans harbor prejudices, too, but the survey found they weren’t voting against Obama because of his race. Most Republicans wouldn’t vote for any Democrat for president — white, black or brown.

Second of all — and I know I’m wandering into sensitive territory here — is my suspicion that Americans aren’t racist, they’re “classist” or “value-ist.”  Bear with me here as I try to develop this argument.

Historically, racism actually had to do with the genetics of race.  Prejudiced whites believed that blacks, merely by virtue of the color of their skin, were inherently inferior.  To the mind of the whites who held this attitude, and it’s one with deep roots amongst Europeans and Americans, the mere fact of black skin meant that it was impossible for the person possessing such skin to be intelligent or hard working (and the latter belief was true despite the fact that slavery put those blacks to hard work the likes of which whites never did, unless they were, in turn, unlucky enough to be enslaved by Muslims).

I suspect that things are different nowadays.  Assuming American Democrats (oh!  and, of course, Republicans) really are every bit as prejudiced against blacks as this study seems to show, I doubt that anyone of them would claim that their prejudicial beliefs are tied to blacks’ biology.  That is, unlike your 1850s Southern planter, or 1950s Southern KKK member, no one nowadays would ever say that blacks are, from the womb, lazy or boastful or irresponsible.

What your average American, if taken in a dark closet and promised complete anonymity, might claim is that black culture — which is a learned phenomon — is less appealing to them than white culture.  Is it racism to observe that a culture has values that you think are bad?  I don’t know.

It’s certainly not racism to approve of a culture’s values.  Your average Lefty would be delighted to tell you that the French or Nordic people (Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, etc.) have better cultures than ours.  They wouldn’t say that these people are biologically better; they’d say that the values they hand down to each other and put into law are much better than the embittered guns and God culture that characterizes middle America.

Also, is it wrong to say that blacks have a culture?  Again, I don’t think so.  We’re constantly being bombarded with messages telling us that blacks are a distinct subculture.  The whole point of the political correctness that has permeated the American landscape for the last 30 years is to do away with American commonality.  We no longer believe in a melting pot.  We believe in a chunky (and often inedible) salad, with disparate component parts that, in the PC mind, originate with America’s various “cultures” (racial, religious, sexual, country of origin, etc.), and that cannot be ignored or blended, even in the public square.

The problem, for both blacks and whites, is that black culture (not black biology, but black culture), publicly advances values that are antithetical to middle American values.  In my earlier post about false syllogisms, I pointed out that John McWhorter’s wonderful Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America recognizes that part of the black community’s self-sabotage is the refusal to engage in the “white” work ethic of being reliable.  I noted the probable false syllogism underlying that cultural attitude:  slavery was work, slavery was bad, therefore work is bad.

McWhorter also pointed to the advance Leftist guards of the Civil Rights movement (I guess we’d call them community activists nowadays) who told blacks that, after all their suffering, it was only fair and appropriate that the government should henceforth pay their way. So, while middle and working class America embrace the notion of hard work, substantial segments of the black culture believe (1) that work is a problem, inextricably and negatively entwined with slavery and (2) that it’s only fair that white America should financially compensate them for all the past evils done to blacks.

How about the drug/gang/boasting culture?  Yes, whites use drugs in greater numbers than blacks, but that’s because there are greater numbers of whites.  Even if that were not the case, in the post-psychadelic drug area, it hasn’t been middle and working class whites who developed an influential music form celebrating the drug/gansta life, it’s been black America that’s done this.

Even if, as many will assure us, gangsta rap represents only the smallest subsection of black culture, it is a huge public face.  The complicity of blacks, the music industry (liberal) and Madison Avenue (out of Blue New York) means that whites are deluged with cultural (not biological) images of blacks waving guns, degrading women, and boasting about their prowess, especially when it comes to drugs, violence, and sexual abuse — and they’ve been deluged with these images for more than a decade now.  You can’t profit off selling a violent, demeaning image about your own culture, and then wonder why people start believing the stereotypes you’ve created.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Americans also got some bad images of black culture. Significantly, all of these images came from the liberal media which, in its blind, manic rush to destroy the Bush administration, neglected to realize that it were broadcasting the worst type of stereotypes about blacks.

It was the Bush-hating media that said that blacks were eating each other (after only three days without food).  That same media frantically announced that blacks were murdering each other (after only a couple of very uncomfortable days in the convention center).  The media also shrieked at Bush-loving middle America that, because of Bush, blacks were raping each other (again, after only a couple of days in the convention center).  Media’s talking heads blamed Bush for the fact that Blacks were robbing stores and houses to survive.

With a few minor exceptions, all those hysterical stories, meant to show Bush’s both perfidy and his victims, were untrue.  Nobody was eaten, nobody was murdered, and I don’t think anybody was raped.  The only victims of this mad journalism were the blacks themselves — because a whole lot of white people carried away the message, fed to them by the liberal media, that black culture is so degraded that, in times of crisis, it will turn to rape, murder and cannibalism.

So there are a lot of messages about blacks out there that might lead Americans to view the black culture with suspicion.  As observant black commentators have noted themselves, the twin legacies of slavery and the community activists pushing a nanny state Civil Rights agenda is that many blacks view work with suspicion.  Viewing it with suspicion, they either don’t do it at all, or do it with poor grace.  It’s a cultural thing that may well lead outsiders who haven’t analyzed culture motives to conclude that blacks are lazy.

The perception that blacks are dangerous or boastful also finds probable roots in the modern black culture being sold to white America.  Worse, it’s a sales pitch that originates in two liberal American bastions:  Manhattan and Hollywood.  It’s this liberal America that’s sold us on gangsta rap (boastful and dangerous thugs) and on black violence and helplessness (Hurricane Katrina).  Having sold America on these images of a black culture made up of values antithetical to middle class white culture, these same liberal cadres now castigate us for being racist because some of us bought the garbage they were selling.

So do I think Americans are racist?  Not really.  First, I doubt the value of this novel polling technique, which seems to me to be intended, not to gather information, but to support the pollsters’ own biases.  Second, even if the polls is accurate, I don’t think Americans believe that blacks are biologically inferior.  I do believe, though, that Americans, both black and white, have been on the receiving end of sales pitches and manipulation, originating in liberal white America, aimed at presenting black culture as one hostile to work, and rife with drugs and crime and a very ugly type of boastfulness.

Keep your mouth shut when you talk about Obama

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is now accusing Republicans of speaking “code” to make racist remarks about Obama:

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius accused Republicans on Tuesday of injecting race into the presidential campaign, arguing that they are using “code language” to convince Midwesterners that Democrat Barack Obama is different from them.”Have any of you noticed that Barack Obama is part African-American?” Sebelius asked with sarcasm. “(Republicans) are not going to go lightly into the darkness.”

Sebelius was responding to a question from the audience at the Iowa City Public Library about the tenacity of Democrats and whether they would fight for victory as hard as Republicans in the closing weeks of the election.

She did not elaborate on her comment.

It’s another of those lovely false syllogisms emanating from the Left.  This one is pretty special in that it is not only false in its construction, but also false in its premises.

Here’s how it goes:  Conservatives are racists; conservatives are saying mean things (not racial things, just mean things) about Obama; Obama is black; therefore those means things are implicitly racist, regardless of whether they’re explicitly racist.

End result:  any negative thing Republicans say about Obama — he’s a community organizer, his tax plan will bankrupt the US economy, his ears are big, he tried to sell Iraq and America out to Al Qaeda to win the election, he intentionally used “pig” and “lipstick” in the same sentence knowing that his acolytes would make the connection with Palin — anything like that is ipso facto racist, because any criticism of Obama is racist, because Obama is black and conservatives are racists.

Did you get that?  If you didn’t, believe me, over the next 49 days you’ll have lots of chances to have that lesson in reinforced.  After all,  assuming that Republicans have learned their PC lesson and shy away from any hints of being (God forbid!) racists, they’ll shut up every time that slur is levied against them.

By the way, let me remind you all that I am a racist, and pretty damn proud of it too.  Those words are as true today as they were when I wrote them this past June.