When identity politics attack *UPDATED*

Noemie Emery perfectly summarizes the nightmare the Dems have created for themselves:

Sometime back in the 1990s, when the culture wars were the only ones we thought we had going, a cartoon showed three coworkers viewing each other with narrowed and questioning eyes. “Those whites don’t know how to deal with a competent black man,” the black man is thinking. “Those guys don’t know how to deal with a powerful woman,” the woman is thinking. And what could the only white male have been thinking? “They don’t like me. They know that I’m gay.”

So far as we know, there are no gays in the mixture today, but the cartoon nicely captures what the Democrats face as they try to wage a political war in the age of correctness, which is, they are finding, an impossibility. The Democrats are the party of self-conscious inclusion, of identity politics, of sensitivity training, of hate crimes, hate speech, and of rules to control them. A presidential campaign, on the other hand, is nothing but “hate speech,” as opponents dive deep into opposition research, fling charges true, half-true, and simply made up against one another in an attempt to present their rivals as slimy, dishonest, disreputable, dangerous, and possibly the worst human beings who ever drew breath.

This has been true of this country’s politics since at least 1800, when John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were vilified roundly, and has gone on ever since–an accepted and even a much-loved tradition. Until recently, it went on without murmur, as all the main contestants for president were white Anglo-Saxon Protestant males, with the exception of Michael Dukakis and three Roman Catholics, two of whom looked like WASPs. Now, however, in its campaign season from hell, the party of sensitivity has found itself in a head-banging brawl between a black man and white woman, each of them visibly loathing the other, in a situation in which anything said in opposing one of the candidates can be defined as hateful, insensitive, hurtful, demeaning, not to say bigoted, and, worst of all, mean. Looking ahead to the general election, Democrats were prepared to describe any critique made of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton as an example of the racism and sexism that they like to believe permeates the Republican universe. But this was before their own race became quite so close, and so spirited. They never seem to have stopped to think what might occur if they turned their sensitivity bludgeons against one another. They are now finding out.

You’ll want to read the whole thing, which you can find here.

UPDATE: And here is precisely what Emery and I predicted, which is that the give and take of politics is dead, because you’re not allowed to attack Obama (just as you weren’t allowed to attack Hillary and make her cry):

The bitter back-and-forth between former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama has led a prominent black lawmaker to tell the former president Monday to “chill a little bit.”

The two Democratic front-runners, Illinois Sen. Obama and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, are locked in a battle for the key South Carolina primary this Saturday.

As their campaign sparring continues, the Illinois senator seems to be spending almost as much time responding to Hillary Clinton’s husband as he does to the candidate herself.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, one of the most powerful African-Americans in Congress, weighed in on the feud Monday, saying it was time for Bill Clinton to watch his words.

Hillary will be a better opponent for the Republican candidate because she is so strident and disliked, it will be okay to attack her in the ordinary rough and tumble of an election. Obama will be a disaster for the Republican candidate, because he’ll be untouchable.

Taking turning the other cheek too far

I won’t go into the genesis of the teddy bear kerfuffle, because I assume you know all about it, including the fact that a Sudanese court imprisoned a British woman for 15 days for naming a teddy bear Muhammad, an insult that apparently has the prophet rolling in his grave.

The teacher claims, with corroboration, that she named the bear after a student of the same name. It’s not surprising that she had a student of the same name, since it is the most popular boys’ name in the Muslim world. It kind of leaves you wondering whether it’s an insult to the Prophet if boys sharing his name go off and do bad things, really bad Muslim things like drinking alcohol.  Should they be killed for demeaning the Prophet’s name? This whole event is a reminder, if any is needed, that Islam is a weak and paranoid religion that cannot sustain itself through the strength of its ideas, but only through fear and intimidation (or, at least, that’s the way it perceives itself as seen through its own doctrine and conduct).

Anyway, all of the above is a digression.  What I really wanted to comment on is what the teacher’s son said in the wake of her 15 day sentence in a Sudanese prison for mis-naming a toy:

Her son, John, from Liverpool, has not yet been allowed to telephone her but was hoping to fly out to Sudan to visit her as soon as a visa could be arranged.

He stress that British people angered by his mother’s jail sentence should not turn against Muslims.

“I don’t not want this to lead to any anti-Muslims feeling in this country.

“Everyone has been very nice, we have had a lot of support from Muslims in Britain, in Sudan and across the world.

My fear, and one of my mother’s fears, is that this will result in resentment towards Muslim people. That is something I really hope does not happen and I am sure my mum feels the same way.” (Emphasis mine.)

Does John really believe that pandering statement or is he just saying it because his mother is being held hostage? I have to believe he means it, because he could just as easily have said nothing at all. Instead, when confronted with a religion that doctrinally requires his mother’s death, either directly or through flogging, he’s decided to say that nobody should think twice about the connection between his mother’s ordeal and Islam.

While I think John is right to point to those Muslims who have been supportive, the highlighted language in his little press statement is an invitation to ignore a serious problem in the world today — namely, that Muslim doctrine and practices are about 1,000 years out of step with the rest of the world. (And if you need any more evidence of that, just check out the obligatory Muslim mob.)

The disconnect between non-Muslims in Britain, as exemplified by John’s fatuous statement, and Muslims in Britain cannot be overemphasized:

Poll shows Muslims in Britain are the most anti-western in Europe

Public opinion in Britain is mostly favourable towards Muslims, but the feeling is not requited by British Muslims, who are among the most embittered in the western world, according to a global poll published yesterday.

The poll, by the Washington-based Pew Global Attitudes Project, asked Muslims and non-Muslims about each other in 13 countries. In most, it found suspicion and contempt to be mostly mutual, but uncovered a significant mismatch in Britain.

The poll found that 63% of all Britons had a favourable opinion of Muslims, down slightly from 67% in 2004, suggesting last year’s London bombings did not trigger a significant rise in prejudice. Attitudes in Britain were more positive than in the US, Germany and Spain (where the popularity of Muslims has plummeted to 29%), and about the same as in France.

Less than a third of British non-Muslims said they viewed Muslims as violent, significantly fewer than non-Muslims in Spain (60%), Germany (52%), the US (45%) and France (41%).

By contrast, the poll found that British Muslims represented a “notable exception” in Europe, with far more negative views of westerners than Islamic minorities elsewhere on the continent. A significant majority viewed western populations as selfish, arrogant, greedy and immoral. Just over half said westerners were violent. While the overwhelming majority of European Muslims said westerners were respectful of women, fewer than half British Muslims agreed. Another startling result found that only 32% of Muslims in Britain had a favourable opinion of Jews, compared with 71% of French Muslims.

Across the board, Muslim attitudes in Britain more resembled public opinion in Islamic countries in the Middle East and Asia than elsewhere in Europe. And on the whole, British Muslims were more pessimistic than those in Germany, France and Spain about the feasibility of living in a modern society while remaining devout.

I understand the above to mean that, while John is joining with your average Briton in saying that Islam had nothing to do with what is happening with his mother, it’s almost certain that your average Muslim in Britain, rather than agreeing with him, would be happy to join the Sudanese mob baying for her blood.

As long as a country seems to be constitutionally incapable of recognizing a problem, it cannot deal with that problem, and it will die.  In other words, denial isn’t just a Muslim controlled river in Egypt.

What I hope is that when Gibbons is safely released, she denounces what happened in the strongest terms.  What I suspect is that, either because she is given over to PC indoctrination or because she is afraid of future assassination, she will say only nice things about a religion that wants only the worst for the West.

Showing you can fight like a normal person

One of the things candidates cannot afford to be seen as is vicious. Nevertheless, especially in unstable, dangerous times, we want our candidates to be strong. Writing at Red State, Erick believes that the Republican candidates would do well to show a little strength in dealing with Chris Matthews, who is currently slated to “host” the upcoming Republican debate. Here’s Erick’s take on the matter:

The Democrats will not participate in a debate with Fox News hosts, lest they be asked difficult questions. Nonetheless, the GOP will have yet another MSNBC debate on Tuesday with Chris Matthews, who offered these choice words last night:

“[The Bush Administration has] finally been caught in their criminality,” Matthews continued, although he did not specify the exact criminal behavior to which he referred. He then drew an obvious Bush-Nixon parallel by saying, “Spiro Agnew was not an American hero.”

Matthews left the throng of Washington A-listers with a parting shot at Cheney: “God help us if we had Cheney during the Cuban missile crisis. We’d all be under a parking lot.”

You know, I will be gravely disappointed if the GOP candidates do not make an issue of this at the debate.

If the GOP candidates are too chicken to take on Chris Matthews before a live television audience on Matthew’s gross bias, they will have disgraced us all.

Read the rest here.

Note that Erick is not suggesting that they stage a walkout, a la the ever so passive aggressive Democrats, who can’t bear to face people who hurt their feelings. Nor is he saying that they should engage in some vicious, squealing, unfair attack against Matthews. Instead, as I read it, he’s simply saying that they should call Matthews to account for his words and his attitude.

I would love to see that. I think I’ve commented before on the fact that candidates are so tightly packaged by their handlers that there’s very little sense of any person at all lurking underneath those wrappings. I’ve come to some rather reluctant admiration for John McCain simply because he actually seems to have an independent mind. (That, and the fact that he’s a true and honorable hawk about the War, of course.) For real human beings, if someone is absolutely awful, you call them on it, although you can and should do it politely and with dignity (assuming that’s possible). And if you’re too scared to call a newscaster on his heinous remarks, how in the Hell are you going to deal with Ahmadinejad or whatever madman of the moment pops up on the horizon?

The thing is, I think average Americans would also like to see their candidates behave like real human beings, with real emotions, and real dignity and normal reactions, rather than these rigid automatons. In that vein, it seems to me that the candidates are playing to the media, which works if you’re a Democrat, but will never work if you’re a Republican. And since you’re never going to please those PC gatekeepers, just storm the gates and talk to the people, not in tones of demagoguery (that’s not what I’m asking for), but in real terms, like a real person.

They should have arrested them

As George Michael knows, it is illegal in England to have sex in public places. So, when four fireman discovered four men have sex in the bushes in a park, they could have caused a citizens arrest (if they do that in England), or called the cops on them. Instead, they just shined a flashlight on the frolicsome foursome (and it’s unclear whether their motive was to ensure that no one was being hurt, to figure out what was going on, or just to watch), and then returned to the fire station. Rather than breathing a sigh of relief that they weren’t carted off to prison, the four law breakers got belligerent — and this is where it gets farcical, in a very pathetic way:

Firemen who shone their torches at four men they found having sex in bushes have been disciplined by their bosses.

The crew spotted the men engaged in illegal ‘dogging’ – outdoor sexual activity with strangers – on parkland known as the Downs in Bristol late one night.

After embarrassing the men by pointing their torches at them, the crew continued on their way to their fire station.

But one of the ‘doggers’ complained to Avon Fire and Rescue, ultimately accusing the four-man crew of being homophobic.

The firemen, who have 26 years of service between them, were then suspended on full pay for three months during an internal investigation.

Yesterday it emerged that two have been fined £1,000 each, another demoted to a rank which will see him forfeit a similar amount of money, while a fourth has received a stern written warning.

It is believed Avon Fire and Rescue plans to give the money raised from the fines to a gay rights charity.

Among those being considered is the Jamaican Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays.

The crew have been transferred to other stations and ordered to attend an equality course.

But no action has been taken against any of the men believed to have been involved in the dogging.

Is it only me or is there something incredibly humorous about the phrase “embarrassing the men by pointing their torches at them….?” It seems to me that four men who elect to have an orgy in a public park are pretty much beyond embarrassment.

Unsurprisingly, the firemen’s colleagues, who haven’t had a gag order placed on them, are unhappy:

But one of their colleagues said yesterday: ‘This is a complete farce. All four officers have been let down by their senior officers when they needed their support the most.

‘They have been treated as the criminals and it has been forgotten that they witnessed criminal activity occurring in a public place.’

Another fireman said: ‘There are a lot of firefighters in Avon who feel the four involved have been treated very unfairly so the service can be seen as being politically correct.’

A society has completely lost its moorings when criminals get to complain that, instead of being arrested, they were stared at while committing their crime.

Just as a thought experiment, I’d like you to imagine that it wasn’t four firefighters in the park, it was a family of four going out for a postprandial stroll, and it was their 11 year old who was first attracted to the shaking shrub. “Hey, Mum, I think there are some dogs in there,” he cries out. The family cautiously moves forward to investigate, only to find a gay orgy taking place. Try a rational explanation of the birds and the bees for your kids after that one.

England has become a very sick, sick society, and I’m not being homophobic here. I’m talking about the complete breakdown of law and order, where the distinction between wrong and right has been turned on its head (and it is wrong, very, very, very wrong, for people of any sexual stripe to be engaging in orgies in public parks).

Hat tip: RD

UPDATEZombie has filed a report from the Folsom Street Fair, which I last observed about 20 years ago.  I went then to see it purely as a curious spectator, and left quickly, disgusted by the casual perversion of it all.  It’s gotten lots, lots, lots, lots worse in 20 years.  Zombie’s report is hedged with warnings, and you really should take them seriously before reading the descriptions and checking the photographs.  That children were there is shocking.   Those kids are going to grow up craving pure celibacy.

In any event, I mention it here, because it ties in perfectly with this story from Britain about the vanishing line between public and private, especially when it comes to sex in public places.

PC abuse

Political correctness is deeply invested in affirming all possible positive stereotypes about whatever group happens to be classified as the victim of straight white male culture (and that would be usually Jewish or Christian straight white male culture). To that end, it shies away from any unpleasant realities that might interfere with these positive stereotypes. This way, its practitioners avoid the risk of victimizing any group that has in same way (or so the PC practitioners think), real or symbolic, now or in the past, suffered because of its victim status.

Sadly, it looks today as if PC sensibilities aimed at protecting British gays left open to injury the most vulnerable members of any population: children. This isn’t my conclusion, incidentally. It’s the conclusion of a formal government report about a child welfare services council in the North of England:

A council’s political correctness allowed a pair of homosexual foster parents to sexually abuse children in their care, a report has concluded.

Managers and social workers were reluctant to investigate Craig Faunch and Ian Wathey for fear of being accused of prejudice.

Instead, they were viewed as “trophy carers” who, by virtue of their sexuality, had a “badge” which made their actions less questionable.

A mother of eight-year-old twins raised concerns about them with social services after finding a photograph of one of the boys using the lavatory.

But the authorities took no action, accepting that the two men had been “naive and silly”.

In reality, they had been using the boys for sexual gratification within months of being approved as carers by the Labour-run Wakefield Metropolitan District Council.

Faunch, 42, and Wathey, 33, were jailed last year for a string of offences against four boys, aged between eight and 14, at their home in Pontefract, West Yorks.

The victims were among 18 children placed with the pair, Yorkshire’s first homosexual foster parents, between August 2003 and January 2005.

An independent inquiry concluded that the children were let down by “failures in performance” of individuals and the systems operated by the council. However, it did not name the staff involved.

The panel, led by Brian Parrott, the former head of Surrey social services, found: “The fear of being discriminatory led them to fail to discriminate between the appropriate and the abusive.

“These anxieties about discrimination have deep roots, we argue – in social work training, professional identity and organisational cultures, and the remedies for these go beyond the remit of any single council or inquiry report.”

(Read the rest of the story here.)

Importantly, the British report is not about whether or not gay care givers are more or less likely to molest children under their care. Instead, it focuses, laser-like, on the fact that a government organization was so frightened of investigating the reality behind a specific PC stereotype that it rendered itself incapable of carrying out its mandate (which, in this case, was to protect children).

Stereotypes can be a useful means of understanding the world around us. Some are flattering (Asians and Jews are studious), some neutral (fair skinned people always sunburn), and some are mean and vicious (you can fill in your own blank here). And without exception, every single stereotype is wrong in some cases; many stereotypes are wrong in most cases; and a few stereotypes are wrong in every case. In other words, any stereotype is functional only when it serves as the beginning of thought, not the end of rational thought. To accept a stereotype without analysis is the equivalent of no thought at all. And when a government agency takes a stereotype and elevates it to the highest principle in its operating arsenal, leaving employees incapable of using observation and analysis, you can only end with disaster.

UPDATEMichelle Malkin has reported this story as well.  Incidentally, she has little to say, believing the story speaks for itself, as it does.  Her readers are more vocal, with 96 comments and counting.

It hurts that she apologized

FIRE has targeted the University of Maryland at College Park as one of the most repressive colleges in America. It’s created an environment governed entirely by giving all self-styled victims the right to take offense, with no vestige of the traditional Western university model of the free exchange of ideas. Given this narrow, emotion-laden, victim-rich atmosphere, it’s scarcely surprising to read about this horrifying interchange at a Co-op operating on school premises:

A recent incident at the Maryland Food Collective, a shop in the College Park student union, is a disturbing case in point. A student seeking to pay for groceries was stopped by the clerk. “Your shirt offends me, I won’t ring you up,” the clerk said of the message stamped on the student’s T-shirt, “I Stand for Israel.” After much hand-wringing and political posturing by co-op and school officials, the student got her food after being checked out by a different clerk. Then she apologized to the offended clerk and offered a chocolate cake as proof of the sincerity of her apology for being “offensive.”

That article describes a series of horrors. A store clerk who refuses service to a customer, with all its nice reminders of the Jim Crow South. The anti-Semitism inherent in the refusal to provide service to someone Jewish or associated with the Jews, with all its reminders of Nazi Germany. And the customer’s ultimate groveling apology, which makes me think of the horrifying end of 1984, when Winston Smith is tortured into a complete abasement that sees him thanking his torturer for having been reeducated. (Heck, who needs fiction. Just think of the Chinese, Cambodian or Vietnamese reeducation camps, or the Gulag in the Soviet Union.)

I’m just sick reading this type of stuff. It’s especially bad to read it while at the same time reading Bruce Bawer’s While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within.

Contrary to what many believe, Bawer’s book is not really an indictment of the Islamists, although he makes clear that he is completely opposed to the Caliphate they wish to create, complete with its indulgence in all the most vile acts and imaginings men can come up with to oppress and destroy those they hate and fear (women, gays, Christians, Jews, etc.). Instead, he reserves his scorn for the Europeans themselves, who have created a poisonous soup of arrogance, condescension and self-loathing, all of which has opened the door for people who have ideologies antithetical to pluralism, free speech, intellectual inquiry and tolerance. The University of Maryland at College Park is truly a European style institution and that, believe me, is no compliment.

Worshipping killers

The Left (both at home and abroad) likes to revile the infamous American President “Chimpy-BusHitler,” but they seem to be taking a pass on some people that even the Left would have to concede have a bit more blood on their hands. Mike Adams and the American Thinker take on the results of that, shall we say, imbalance in beliefs.

Mike Adams’ target is the Che Guevara worship that infects the self-styled “intelligentsia,” who like to swan around in Che shirts, purses and (my personal favorite), darling little clothes for their babies. Che, after all, say the intellectuals, was a “sincere, “Christ-like” “martyr.” Adams’ suggestion is that his University (UNC-Wilmington) acknowledge all this Che worship and build a Che memorial on campus. He further suggests that the University use the Jefferson Memorial as its guide, and that it cover the walls with Che’s own words:

“A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate.” Che Guevara.

“If the nuclear missiles had remained we would have used them against the very heart of America, including New York City.” Che Guevara.

“We will march the path of victory even if it costs millions of atomic victims… We must keep our hatred alive and fan it to paroxysm.” Che Guevara.

“Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any enemy that falls in my hands! My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. With the deaths of my enemies I prepare my being for the sacred fight and join the triumphant proletariat with a bestial bowl.” Che Guevara.

“Don’t shoot! I’m Che, I’m worth more to you alive than dead.” Che Guevara.

“(T)o execute a man we don’t need proof of his guilt. We only need proof that it’s necessary to execute him. It’s that simple.” Che Guevara.

Wasn’t it Jack Nicholson who blasted Tom Cruise with the words “You can’t handle the truth“? I wonder what the Che faithful will do when confronted with their hero’s blood-soaked feet of clay.

In Britain, they’ve done away with that problem altogether, according to a letter republished at the American Thinker, by simply coming up with an alternative history when it comes to teaching about Hitler:

So waiting for the Dolphin swim at Discovery Cove in Orlando, my daughter Nikki and I were seated with a Brit family–mom, daughter and son. After small talk about the great value of the pound vs the dollar etc, I mentioned that Churchill was one of my heroes. The son, no more than 16 countered that he really liked Hitler, and his sister Gandhi. I was stunned and sickened.

According to him, Hitler was a great leader and did great things for the German people. He brought them out of depression. His quest for land was only to provide “living space” for the German people. The reason for the London bombings was because Britain “carpet bombed” German cities. Hitler had to attack France, for they were a treat to his effort to gain land for living space. The atrocities of the Holocaust were attributed to the fact that he was “mad”, so it wasn’t his fault. In general, his intentions were noble.

In speaking privately with his mother after my discussion, she stated that this is the new curriculum in the British schools to combat “prejudice” against Germans. They teach the children not to “judge” Hitler.

Of course, this won’t be a problem much longer in England. The British have decided to do away with Hitler altogether, along with such iconic British figures as Queen Elizabeth I and Winston Churchill. Makes you wonder how much longer America’s Europe loving intellectuals can continue to pretend that Europeans out pace us educationally.