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

The smug racism of the neo-colonialists

Clifford May wrote a very interesting article pointing out that modern liberalism means giving a complete pass to utterly offensive behavior — provided that the behavior is practiced by non-Western people:

What do you think about the niqab — sometimes also called a burqa — the veil that leaves only the eyes of a woman uncovered? Critics, not least Muslim critics such as Fadéla Amara, France’s secretary of state for urban policy, suggest that when a woman is forced to wear one it not only deprives her of individuality but is, effectively, a portable prison. France recently moved to ban the niqab, as have several other European countries.

Nevertheless, a recent New York Times review of a Yemeni restaurant in Brooklyn noted in passing that the diners are apparently segregated by sex and that next door is “Paradise Boutique, where mannequins model chic niqabs…”

This liberal pass isn’t always in the form of fawning admiration for the “other” culture.  It also involves turning a resolutely blind eye to behaviors that cannot possibly be explained away:

Psychologist Phyllis Chesler recently cited a particularly blatant example of this double standard: Fred Gottheil, a professor of economics at the University of Illinois, tracked down 675 academics who had signed a statement-petition calling for a boycott of Israel as an “apartheid regime.” He asked them also to sign a statement-petition opposing the abuse of women in the Middle East, including “honor-killing, wife-beating, female genital mutilation,” as well as the systematic “discrimination against women, gays and lesbians in the Middle East.” The result of this experiment: Ninety-five percent of those who signed the petition censuring Israel “did not sign a statement concerning discrimination against women and gays and lesbians in the Middle East.”

Forced to give a name to this bizarre phenomenon, which sees our self-styled cultural elite ostentatiously fawn before behaviors that they would never personally tolerate, May cites to Fadéla Amara, a French official, who calls it “neo-colonialism.”  I agree with Amara and May, but only up to a  point.  At that point, as I’ll discuss further below, we discover that many of the old colonialists, when compared to their modern day counterparts, actually had more rather than less decency.

It is absolutely true that the old colonialism looked down on the “brown” people in their charge.  A pithy illustration of this point can be found in Ingrid Bergman’s comedic portrayal of a simple Swedish woman in the film Murder on the Orient Express.  You need to watch only the first 40 seconds to get my point:

Bergman’s lines were meant to be a knowing 1970s wink back at a less humane time in Western culture, but they nevertheless perfectly encapsulate a certain type of colonial view:  the people under colonial control were closer to animals than to humans.

The thing about animals is that we expect much less of them than we do of ourselves.  I don’t expect my dog to dine nicely with a knife and fork.  She does perfectly well with a bowl on the floor.  Her elimination needs do not require a closed door and a flush toilet.  The back yard and street, with their singular absence of privacy, are good enough for her.  Nor am I surprised that, despite being 9 years old, she’s neither reading nor writing.  She’s an animal and her limitations are just fine with me (and with her).

Given this condescending viewpoint towards the “brown” people, if one was a bad colonial culture, being bad gave one a moral pass to treat the brown people like animals, whether that meant bringing people to be slaves abroad or, as in the Belgian Congo, turning them into slaves in their own home.  Alternatively, if one was a “good” colonial culture, one approached the “brown” people as children, who could be led to minimal standards of decent human behavior.

Under either of these approaches, though, the colonial ruler did not treat the “others” as fully fledged, responsible, moral adults.  We recognize this treatment for what it is:  classic racism, which dehumanizes people based on their race.

Modern so-called liberals, of course, would never dream of saying that the brown people of the world are less than fully human because of their race.  May’s point, however, is that, when it comes to Muslims, we still manage to treat them that way.  (I’ll add that the same holds true for the low, low standards so-called liberals establish for black people.)

Sure, we in the West treat women well, but we certainly can’t expect that level of sophistication from the brown people.  And sure, we treat gays well, but we have to understand that the brown people haven’t evolved to that point, and we should therefore just ignore their sins.  And sure, we can tolerate free speech (or, at least, if we’re a so-called liberal, we pay lip-service to the notion of free speech), but we’re big enough to recognize that the brown people haven’t matured enough as a race to handle it.

The exceptionally low standards we allow for Muslims and blacks are always phrased in terms of “respect” for the “other” culture.  “Respect,” however, is a misnomer.  True respect is impossible if we consistently assert that the “others” (who invariably have skin darker than ours) cannot hold themselves to the normative behaviors of which we’re most proud.

But I promised to tell you that the old colonialists were actually better than the neo-colonialists who inhabit our media airways and political space today.  Not all of them were, of course.  The ones who treated indigenous people with exceptional cruelty were as bad as could be.

Fortunately, though, there were other colonialists who looked at the less savory practices of the indigenous people under their rule, and said, “I don’t care the color of these people’s skin.  They are better than those grotesque practices, and I will hold them up to my standards, and not allow them to wallow down in theirs.”

The easiest illustration of this true respect for the native people trapped in the colonial web is Lord William Bentinck’s refusal to accept the common practice of suttee in India.  Suttee (or sati), for those of you unfamiliar with the term, is the old Indian practice of requiring a widow to climb onto her husband’s funeral pyre and be burned alive.

In the late 1820s, faced with this barbaric practice, William Bentinck, Governor-General of the East India company, refused to bow to cultural relativism.  Instead, he insisted that, under British rule, suttee end.  The following passage may be written in the ornate, verbose, polysyllabic style of the 19th century, but the meaning is clear — Indians are people too and it is every moral person’s obligation to steer them away from barbarism:

The first and primary object of my heart is the benefit of the Hindus. I know nothing so important to the improvement of their future condition as the establishment of a purer morality, whatever their belief, and a more just conception of the will of God. The first step to this better understanding will be dissociation of religious belief and practice from blood and murder. They will then, when no longer under this brutalizing excitement, view with more calmness acknowledged truths. They will see that there can be no inconsistency in the ways of Providence, that to the command received as divine by all races of` men, “No innocent blood shall be spilt,” there can be no exception; and when they shall have been convinced of the error of this first and most criminal of their customs, may it not be hoped that others, which stand in the way of their improvement, may likewise pass away, and that, thus emancipated from those chains and shackles upon their minds and actions, they may no longer continue, as they have done, the slaves of every foreign conqueror, but that they may assume their first places among the great families of mankind? I disown in these remarks, or in this measure, any view whatever to conversion to our own faith. I write and feel as a legislator for the Hindus, and as I believe many enlightened Hindus think and feel.

Descending from these higher considerations, it cannot be a dishonest ambition that the Government of which I form a part should have the credit of an act which is to wash out a foul stain upon British rule, and to stay the sacrifice of humanity and justice to a doubtful expediency; and finally, as a branch of the general administration of the Empire, I may be permitted to feel deeply anxious that our course shall be in accordance with the noble example set to us by the British Government at home, and that the adaptation, when practicable to the circumstances of this vast Indian population, of the same enlightened principles, may promote here as well as there the general prosperity, and may exalt the character of our nation.

Call it enlightened colonialism, if you want.  In practice, it meant that Bentinck recognized the Indians’ humanity, and demanded the elevation of their conduct.

In this regard, Bentinck was infinitely better than today’s cultural relativists who refuse to speak out for the millions of women around the world brutalized by Islam’s restrictions, whether those restrictions are the forced wearing of imprisoning clothes, the humiliation of polygamy, the limitations on movement, the imprisonment in homes, the denial of education, or the more extreme physical punishments of genital mutilation, beatings, acid burnings, nose and ear removals, stonings, torture, honor killings and hanging — all of which are routine practices against women across the Muslim world, whether meted out by Muslim governments or just by Muslim men.

Nor is Bentinck’s behavior in India the only example of colonialists trying to end barbaric practices amongst indigenous peoples.  For example, one of the things our politically correct schools don’t like to teach children is that many of the indigenous peoples in the Americas were big on human sacrifice.

Take the Aztecs (please).  They had a civilization of extraordinary sophistication, one that, in many ways, far surpassed the Europeans. Their cities were bigger, they had glorious architecture, and, unlike European cities, these metropolises were immaculate and well run. The Aztec nation boasted enormous wealth and the social structure was highly complex.

Why, then, were the Spaniards unimpressed? Two reasons. One was undoubtedly the inherent racism of the time. The other, though, was the large scale human sacrifice and cannibalism the Aztecs practiced. The Spaniards may have been warlike and had their Inquisition, but even the Spanish were disgusted by a religious structure that demanded the sacrifice of up to 80,000 people in connection with a single king’s coronation.  This made it easy for the racists among them to conclude that the Aztecs were inferior, incapable of salvation, and worthy of conquest.

Surrounding Indian tribes, whose citizens, captured in war, made up the bulk of the sacrifices, were also less than thrilled by the visual beauties of the Aztec kingdom. That’s why, contrary to lessons in public school, Cortez didn’t manage to conquer the entire Aztec nation with just his 167 Spaniards and a few horses. Instead, Cortez was swiftly able to gather many allies anxious to hasten the end of a violent, blood-soaked, totalitarian regime. That small pox jumped into the fray was an unexpected benefit from the Spanish point of view, and simply proved who had the “right” god.

While the racists among the conquistadors may have viewed the Aztecs as deserving of slavery, the more enlightened priests in the company saw them, and the other native populations, as humans who could be saved from the scourge of ritual cannibalism.  In this regard, as they pushed for Indian conversion, they acted in precisely the same way as did Bentinck when it came to suttee:  they insisted that a common humanity requires us to expect the most of people, not to use their skin color or present circumstances as an excuse to justify the least.

I don’t see any of our liberals recognizing in Muslims the common humanity that the more enlightened English and Christians saw in the East Indians or Native Americans.  Instead, our cultural relativists glory in their own superiority.  Sure, they’ll bad-mouth their own culture left, right and center, but they know that their respect for women, for gays, and for other people who have traditionally been oppressed, makes them better than other cultures that continue to oppress those same people.  In other words, cultural relativism is a fancy phrase for what is, in practice, smug racism.

Loretta Sanchez launches racist attack against the Vietnamese *UPDATED*

Loretta Sanchez (D – Cal.) was caught bad mouthing both Vietnamese and Republicans:

What’s so funny about the video is the part when Sanchez attacks Van Tran, a Republican, as “anti-immigrant.”  Sanchez was born in California; Tran was born in Vietnam, and immigrated to this country in 1975.  For you young’uns, that was the year when, thanks to Democratic politics, the U.S. turned tail and ran, leaving hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese citizens at the mercy of the Communists.  (And we know how well that turned out in Cambodia.)

This is the worst type of race-baiting and pandering.  It appeals to people’s basest emotions, completing by-passing facts and logic.  I’d say Sanchez ought to be ashamed of herself, but I think she’s incapable of that emotion.

UPDATE:  If you want more in-depth information on this race — plus an example of remarkable prescience — check out Bruce Kesler’s post about this video.

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.)

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.

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.

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?

Liberal hatred against “renegade” blacks

If you have the stomach for it this Easter day, check out Zo’s video, in which he reads from the hate mail he gets from liberals angry at him for being a “race traitor.”  It’s stomach churning stuff.

Zo’s ability to handle with aplomb this vitriol just confirms what I realized the very first time I saw one of his videos (the martial arts/political discussion video) — he’s a strong person whose intellectual and moral beliefs insulate him well against the attacks of those whose hegemony he challenges.

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

About the race questions on that census form

Country of origin strikes me as a reasonable question for a census, although it’s not constitutionally mandated.  (The Constitution just allows for a head count.)  Race questions are obviously simply to satisfy the grievance mongers in America.  So I pass on this advice from The Corner:

Sending a Message with the Census [Mark Krikorian]

John: I haven’t gotten my letter from the Census Bureau yet asking me to make sure I fill out the questionnaire. But when I do fill it out, I’ll use it to send a message.

Fully one-quarter of the space on this year’s form is taken up with questions of race and ethnicity, which are clearly illegitimate and none of the government’s business (despite the New York Times‘ assurances to the contrary on today’s editorial page). So until we succeed in building the needed wall of separation between race and state, I have a proposal. Question 9 on the census form asks “What is Person 1’s race?” (and so on, for other members of the household). My initial impulse was simply to misidentify my race so as to throw a monkey wrench into the statistics; I had fun doing this on the personal-information form my college required every semester, where I was a Puerto Rican Muslim one semester, and a Samoan Buddhist the next. But lying in this constitutionally mandated process is wrong. Really — don’t do it.

Instead, we should answer Question 9 by checking the last option — “Some other race” — and writing in “American.” It’s a truthful answer but at the same time is a way for ordinary citizens to express their rejection of unconstitutional racial classification schemes. In fact, “American” was the plurality ancestry selection for respondents to the 2000 census in four states and several hundred counties.

So remember: Question 9 — “Some other race” — “American”. Pass it on.

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:

Affirmative action and PC ideology smite the military

I remain absolutely convinced that Obama, the boy genius of the left, is a product of affirmative action who is hiding his academic record because it is dismal.  If it weren’t dismal, he’d be showing it off.  Frankly, though, after thirty years of affirmative action, we expected nothing more from our academic institutions.  That’s a shame, too, because it means that, for most Americans, a Harvard degree in the hands of a black or hispanic person is written off as a gift from a beneficent liberal bureaucracy, while a Harvard degree in the hands of a white or asian person means that person is damn smart.   The presumption is that a minority couldn’t have made it on his (or her) own.  Affirmative action, rather than removing hurdles, created an insuperable one, which is the virtually immovable assumption that all minorities are below average, and obtained their degrees with help.

For a long time, it seemed as if the military was the last bastion of quality in America:  a place in which race, color, creed, religion or place of origin were irrelevant.  What mattered in the military, we were told, was ability and commitment.  It was the most successfully integrated institution in America because it was color blind.  Turns out that is a lie.

The whole Hasan debacle revealed the PC horror of the military to a shocked America.  Here was a ticking jihadist time bomb within the heart of our military, and no one did anything for fear of offending PC sensibilities.  Then, in the wake of his massacre, the powers that be in the Obama administration and the military itself rushed out speeches, not to assure Americans that they were keeping us safe from jihadists, but to ensure jihadists that they were going to be kept safe from us.

That is a big, bloody story, but the PC corruption of a formerly egalitarian institution turns out to exist at all levels in the military.  CDR Salamander let the cat out of the bag when he blogged about the way in which the Navy Color Guard put together for the World Series was jiggered and rejiggered so that it would look “good” (read, victim identity appropriate) for television.  I was under the impression that Color Guard status was an assigned position based upon skills.  It turns out, however, that what matters is that the Guard’s appearance appeals to identity politic sensibilities.  I urge you to read Phibian’s original post (linked above), as well as his follow-up to that post.

Academic corruption is bad.  It means that, in the marketplace, I’m going to place substantially less value on a black or hispanic person, than I will on a white person.  If I were lawyer shopping, I’d pick the white Baylor grad over the black Harvard grad.  At least with the former, I actually know what product I’m buying.  With the military, though, because this is all about chain of command without any market freedom, the consequences are much worse than the devaluation of any specific diploma.  Instead, troops in the military stand to die (as they did in Fort Hood), and we Americans stand to lose our freedoms as our military becomes ever less efficient and increasingly in thrall to the destructive forces of Political Correctness.

I’d like to add here that I am not racist, in that I do not believe that any specific race is inherently better or worse than any other race.  Instead, I’m a smart shopper.  If I know that a factory is cheating to turn out a product, I won’t buy from that factor.  And it’s a damn shame that it’s minorities in America who are the ones being cheated.

Poisonous education politics, white shame and President Obama

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

Mark Steyn on the Democrats’ claim that all Obama criticism is racist

After talking about a guest on NPR who explained that “personal responsibility” is racist code for hostility to blacks (because they can’t be responsible?), Mark Steyn states the obvious about the whole “criticizing Obama is racist” theme:

“Code language” is code language for “total bollocks.” “Code word” is a code word for “I’m inventing what you really meant to say because the actual quote doesn’t quite do the job for me.” “Small government”? Racist code words! “Non-confiscatory taxes”? Likewise. “Individual liberty”? Don’t even go there! To an incisive NPR racism analyst, the elderly gentleman telling his congressman “I’m very concerned by what I’ve heard about wait times for MRIs in Canada” is really saying “I’m unable to overcome my deep-seated racial anxieties about the sexual prowess of black males, especially now they’re giving prime-time press conferences every night.” With interpreters like professor Harris-Lacewell on the prowl, I’m confident 95 per cent of Webster’s will eventually be ruled “code language.”

My colleague at America’s National Review, Jonah Goldberg, proposed a simple thought experiment: suppose Hillary Clinton had won the election and proposed the current health care reforms. Does anyone doubt that conservatives would be equally opposed to it? Would that, too, be “racist”? A reader wrote back: no, if they were opposing Hillary’s health plan, they’d be sexist. Er, okay, how about John Edwards? Would opposing his health care reforms be oleaginous trial-lawyer creepy adulterer-phobic?

The racism Rorschach test, or caught between Scylla & Charybdis

Here’s a simple quiz to see whether you’re a racist:

1.  It’s got yellow and black bands, it’s fuzzy, it flies, and it makes honey.  It is a

a.  Turkey vulture

b.  Bee

c.  Woodpecker

d.  Barack Obama

[Yes, the correct answer is b.]

2.  It’s orange, it grows on trees, it’s used to make juice, furniture polish, and termite poison.  It is an

a.  Ostrich

b.  Avocado

c.  Orange

d.  Barack Obama

[Yes, the correct answer is c.]

3.  It’s big, it’s red, and it eats rocks.  It is a

a.  House

b.  Potato

c.  Big red rock eater

d.  Barack Obama

[Yes, the correct answer is c.]

4.  He supports the government takeover of private industry; he supports socialized medicine; he supports disarming Europe even as Russian and Iran become increasingly armed and aggressive; he supports the democratic State of Israel Israel against the terrorist organization, Hamas; he wants to shut down talk radio; he believes that the American economy needs to be dismantled to prevent climate change; he reflexively supports black malfeasors against police, even when some of the police are black; he bows down to Islamist kings; he’s hostile to the needs of the American military; and he lies fairly compulsively.  He is

a.  Your average black citizen

b.  Your average socialist

c.  Barack Obama

d.  All of the above

e. None of the above

[Hah!  This was a trick question.  If you’re a registered Independent or Republican, no matter your answer, YOU ARE A RACIST. Alternatively, if you’re a registered Democrat, Socialist, Communist or Green Party member, regardless of your answer, you’ve shown sensitivity to the plight of the black man in American society.]

Liberals are correct: I have a serious problem with Obama’s color

Whenever I read the news, I’m being told that those who disagree with Obama do so based on his color.  Ordinary Americans simply can’t handle a black man in a power position and reflexively disagree with him and wish him ill.  It’s not even personal, we’re told.  It’s just that we’re bone-deep racists.

When Joe Wilson called Obama a liar for asserting in his big speech that no illegal aliens would be covered under the Democrats’ proposed health care plan, liberals were undeterred by the fact that Obama had just gotten through calling all of his opponents liars; by the fact that Obama was, to put it politely, misstating things when he made his claim about coverage for illegal aliens; and that Democrats had treated Bush just as rudely.  Nope, what mattered to liberals was the (to them) obvious fact that, because he is a Southerner, Joe Wilson’s sole reason for shouting out was Obama’s skin color.  Here’s Maureen Dowd to explain:

Surrounded by middle-aged white guys — a sepia snapshot of the days when such pols ran Washington like their own men’s club — Joe Wilson yelled “You lie!” at a president who didn’t.

But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!

[snip]

The congressman, we learned, belonged to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, led a 2000 campaign to keep the Confederate flag waving above South Carolina’s state Capitol and denounced as a “smear” the true claim of a black woman that she was the daughter of Strom Thurmond, the ’48 segregationist candidate for president. Wilson clearly did not like being lectured and even rebuked by the brainy black president presiding over the majestic chamber.

[snip]

But Wilson’s shocking disrespect for the office of the president — no Democrat ever shouted “liar” at W. when he was hawking a fake case for war in Iraq — convinced me: Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.

Dowd is not the only person accusing Americans of being racists for calling out the president for policy disagreements.  In connection with the Tea Party Tax protests, the always charming Jeanine Garafalo has been open in expressing her concerns about the racism that permeates American society:

You know, there’s nothing more interesting than seeing a bunch of racists become confused and angry at a speech they’re not quite certain what he’s saying. It sounds right and then it doesn’t make sense. Which, let’s be very honest about what this is about. It’s not about bashing Democrats, it’s not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, they don’t know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks.

Not to be left behind, Joan Walsh, writing at Salon, chimed in with a whole column devoted to just how racist ordinary Americans are.

You don’t have to look only to the celebrated liberal doyennes of New York and Hollywood to get the loud-and-clear message that the only reason one could possibly dislike Obama is because of his color.  Nor, as these gals show, do you need any actual, explicit racism to make that inflammatory charge.  An unknown L.A. Weekly blogger was equally strident when he discussed the implications of the now famous “Obama as the Joker” poster:

The poster, which bears a very superficial resemblance to Shepard Fairey’s famous Obama Hope illustration, has been pasted on freeway supports and other public surfaces. It has a bit of everything to appeal to the drunk tank of California conservatism: Obama is in white face, his mouth (like Ledger’s Joker’s) has been grotesquely slit wide open and the word “Socialism” appears below his face. The only thing missing is a noose.

When called on that last sentence, the blogger doubled-down:

The truth, again, is that the fears of the art lovers who champion the Obama Socialism poster are all about race – about losing their skin privileges, about the possible airing of old crimes and grievances committed against blacks. How else can you explain the mad surge to buy guns, to deny Obama’s American birth, the teary prediction that the White House is ordering up concentration camps, and the rock-solid belief that Obama’s lab-coated bureaucrats are coming to kill our grandmas? Who’s the real Joker here? And whose deck is that race card being played from?

The most recent development is that politicians are getting into the act:

“As far as African-Americans are concerned, we think most of it is,” said Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), when asked in an interview in between sessions how much of the more extreme anger at Obama is based upon his race. “And we think it’s very unfortunate. We as African-American people of course are very sensitive to it.”

[snip]

Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, agreed with his colleague that elements of the opposition can’t accept the reality of a black president.

“There’s a very angry, small group of folks that just didn’t like the fact that Barack Obama won the presidency,” Honda said, adding: “With some, I think it is [about race].

Said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) about the race factor: “There are some issues that have been swept under the rug and we’re not witnessing them come out.”

Just today, Howard Kurtz assured his Washington Post audience that conservatives, independents and even some Democrats who keep questioning the unconstitutionality of Obama’s proposed health care plans are just using that ragged old document as code to hide their racism:

I began to suspect that race was a factor for at least some critics when I heard them shouting about “the Constitution” and “taking our country back.” Maybe Obama’s health-care plan is an awful idea and his budget is way too big, but how exactly is any of this unconstitutional? Clearly, for some folks, there’s a deeper rage at the man occupying the White House.

It seems that Kurtz has never heard of the 10th Amendment.  Let me remind him:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

In plain English, the federal government has only enumerated powers.  The power to turn our entire health care system into a government operation is not one of those powers.

Things have gotten so bad when it comes to charges of racism concerning our post-racial president that we’re now told that even our lily-white American babies are racists.

Well, I have a confession to make.  Here it is.   All of the liberal pundits are correct.  I do have a big problem, a really big problem, with Obama’s color. But my problem isn’t the color of Obama’s skin, which is completely irrelevant to me.  Instead, it’s with the color of his politics.  With every passing day, Obama is proving to be an old-fashioned Red – a true, bone-deep socialist.

Obama’s relentless push to place place our economy in the government’s hands, whether directly or indirectly, shows that he is a socialist.  Obama’s political advisors (Valerie Jarrett, Van Jones, etc.), many of whom hew, not just to the Left, but to the far Left, show that he is a socialist.  Obama’s disdain for free speech, demonstrated by his repeated statements that his opponents should shut up, and his support for people who want to destroy talk radio, show that he is a socialist.  Obama’s affinity for and deference to dictators shows that he is a socialist.  Obama’s manifest hostility to our traditional Democratic allies (most notably Israel and England) shows that he is a socialist.  Obama’s non-religious support for totalitarian Islamic governments is a good hint that he is a socialist, since the Left has long been in bed with those entities, since they, like the Left, are hostile to America.  Obama’s manifest disdain for America, bastion of capitalism and freedom, shows that he is a socialist.  And Obama’s life-long mentors (Frank Marshall Davis, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Jeremiah Wright) all of whom are active Communists, socialists or America haters, shows that he is a socialist.

Probably because I’m a word person, I truly am color blind.  When I read a blog report or a newspaper story, I have no physical image in my mind of either reporter or reportee.  The only thing that matters in my completely verbal world is the content of the speaker’s or writer’s character.  That Obama’s skin is darker than mine (and, honestly, everybody’s skin is darker than mine) is irrelevant.

What is relevant is the fact that everything I read about what Obama says, what Obama does, and who Obama chooses for his friends shows me that his real color, the color that transcends his skin and defines who he is, is RED, RED, RED.  And I, as someone with a deep and abiding affection for America’s Constitutional freedoms, and her marketplace economy, cannot think of any worse color for an American President to be.

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 in whiteface; Sarah in blackface

I finally figured out what the “Obama in whiteface is racist” charge made me think of:

The Sarah Silverman Program
Makeup Artist
www.comedycentral.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:118607
Joke of the Day Stand-Up Comedy Free Online Games

Claiming that Sarah Silverman’s ridiculous attempt at blackface was racist is as foolish as complaining that Obama’s remake as the Joker, a character with no racial connotations at all, is racist.

I’ve also thought of a nice new caption for the Joker poster:  “The joke’s on you!”

Some uncomfortable watching

I’ve said before that I am not a racist — I’m a classist or values-ist.  Always have been.  I don’t care about your external color or sexuality or whatever; I do care about the beliefs you bring to the table.

What this means is that I’m pretty hostile to identity politics.  I never felt compelled to like Hillary just because she and I are both female; and I admire Joe Lieberman, although not always his political positions, because he’s a brave man, not because he’s a Jew (although I think it’s nice that he’s a brave Jew).  I definitely associate with my Jewishness when I feel people are under attack merely for being Jewish, which is the Holocaust all over again, but that’s entirely different from giving someone a pass just because he or she is a Jew.

And as I explained to my children, one doesn’t vote for Obama just because he’s black, which is as racist as voting against Obama just because he’s black.

All of this is a lead-in to a very uncomfortable video that’s making the rounds.  I caught it on both American Thinker and Wizbang (which also has a chart showing how many Democrats benefited from Fannie and Freddie).  Here’s the video.  It’s long, fascinating, boring and important:

There are two take away messages.  The first we already know:  Republicans were trying back in 2004 to reform Fannie and Freddie, with some of them accurately predicting precisely what started happening last year, with the subprime meltdown, and this year, with the bank implosions; and Democrats were blocking these efforts.

The second take away is a new message and a very disturbing one.  While it’s true that the video seems cut to highlight the point, it is still plain that black House members rallied around Fannie and Freddie because Franklin Raines is black.  They were protecting one of their own and to Hell with the nation.  That’s a peculiar kind of 21st Century identity politics that I find horrifying and that, for America, proved to be devastating.

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.

Truths too dangerous to tell

In a comment to an earlier post, BrianE linked to a quite interesting article about possible genetic differences between blacks and whites.  The article is about a book the title of which probably tells you all you need to know, “Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We’re Afraid to Talk About It.”  What is striking is the reaction of the critics who are, indeed, “afraid to talk about it.” As one critic (a college professor, of course) put it, “Some information has a more dangerous content than others.” In other words, some truths are too dangerous to tell.  The good professor even opposes efforts to find out the truth:  “Only bad things can come from research into racially based differences in sports performance.”

Personally, I have no idea whether there are significant differences between blacks and whites.  I have no idea about the science and, certainly, a good non-scientific case can be made to the contrary.  I know that there are many white volleyball players who can jump as high as black basketball players do.  I know that whites dominate in swimming just like blacks do in track.  I know there are as many world-class white high-jumpers and pole vaulters as black (though not as many good white long jumpers and triple jumpers).  

However, while there may or may not be real differences between blacks and whites, there are unquestionably real differences between men and women.  Men are bigger stronger and faster.  Women mature faster and live longer.  Oddly, no one suggests that by saying men are bigger, stronger or faster we are implying that men are less intelligent and that this is a terrible truth that should not be told.  If we treated the differences between the genders like we do differences (if any) between the races, there would be no Title IX.  In fact, there would be no girls’ teams at all.  There would be only one team in each sport, likely dominated by men, and we wouldn’t even be allowed to talk about it, just like we aren’t allowed to talk about the predominance of blacks in track, or basketball or football (or the lack of blacks in swimming, hockey or cycling for that matter). 

Does any of this make any difference?  I think it does.  The more we refuse to even consider scientific truth in any area, the less rational and mature we become.  Whether it’s differences between the races, the truth about global warming, the actual threat to America from Islamic extremists, the true state of decline of American capitalism, or whatever the subject, I think we should do all we can to discover the truth and face that truth squarely.  What do you think?  

Are there differences between the races?

It is the height of political incorrectness to even speculate that there could be any differences among the races. And, of course, the variations between individuals within races are far greater than any possible differences between the races on average. But, still, this is dangerous territory. For example, one is not even allowed to suggest that blacks might be, on average, more physically gifted than whites, for fear that could be viewed as a backhanded suggestion that blacks are intellectually inferior to whites. (As an aside, this never made sense to me. Why should there be an inverse relationship between physical and intellectual prowess?)

Anyway, I’ve been watching the Olympic trials this week and the self-selection of the races is striking. All of the top sprinters are black and all of the top swimmers are white. Okay, once you stretch out to 400 meters white faces start to appear and the one black swimmer I saw managed a couple of third places. But, still . . . The obvious question is – why? I suppose there are more swimming pools and swimming teams in white neighborhoods than in black neighborhoods, but to this extent?

Perhaps even a better question is why, the longer the track and field race, the whiter the field. It takes no more or less equipment or opportunity to run the hundred meters than to run the 5,000. And it’s not as if blacks can’t run distance races. A bunch of Kenyans and other African marathoners amply prove that. So why the self-selection? As usual, I have more questions than answers, but the results could hardly happen by chance. Why are most great basketball players black and most great volleyball players white? Height and jumping ability are just as advantageous in volleyball as in basketball. The whole thing is a complete mystery to me, but something is going on here. Anybody have any idea what?