Posts Tagged ‘racism’

I’M FORMING MY OWN COUNTRY

January 6, 2021

Well, it’s come to pass. The day started badly with the Republicans’ apparent extraordinary loss of the Senate with the addition of two far-left entries to the ruling class. Then, to make matters worse, idiotic right-wing rioters (not due to make an appearance for weeks to months by my flawed prediction) gave the Left the ammunition it needed to label all Republicans/Trump supporters/conservatives as alt-right supporters of violence and a threat to democracy. Not that they haven’t been doing it already, just that they now have a real-world event to support their straw man stereotype. And they’re now in power. The last, unstable thread holding the nation together ironically may be Democrat Joe Manchin, who has committed himself to defending the filibuster and preventing court-packing. Otherwise we can expect two new blue states and 15 Supreme Court justices.

I’ve reached the conclusion there’s only one way out of this mess: I’m hereby ratifying the establishment of the United States of Puro. Since it doesn’t make sense to re-invent the wheel, I’m going to adopt the Constitution of the former United States of America, but institute a few changes.

  • In my country, installing anti-white racism as a cure for perceived or real anti-black racism is illegal.
  • Employing citizens in the government or private sector based on skin color, ethnicity, or sexual preference rather than competence is illegal.
  • Using the term equity in place of equality of opportunity or employing policies that promote equity at the expense of equal opportunity is illegal. Furthermore, all equity positions will be investigated to assure that public or private corruption is not at play.
  • Government subsidies are illegal.
  • Government bribery is illegal.
  • Terms of office exceeding three are illegal.
  • Legislation longer than 10 pages and that cannot be understood by someone with a 10th grade education or that contains items unrelated to the bill’s purpose is illegal.
  • Insider trading by public or private officials is illegal.
  • Programs that purport to combat prejudice by providing unearned advantages while implying that the recipients are incapable or inferior are illegal.
  • Laws that abrogate the right to own weapons of self defense are illegal.
  • Suspension of the right of free speech in the public or private domain, regardless of content, is illegal, if no call to violence is expressed.
  • The terms “microaggression” and “hate speech is violence” are illegal.
  • The term “diversity” can only be used in the context of ideas; it is otherwise illegal.

The boundaries of the United States of Puro at present only extend to the borders of my property. In the event of invasion, expect bodily injury. However, competent workers of any color, ethnicity or sexual preference are welcome here. If you wish to apply for citizenship, sorry, but our borders are currently closed. However, if you wish to open a country of your own, I’m open to free trade.

I’m signing off now to compose my national anthem. God bless.

IF YOU CAN’T VOTE TRUMP—LISTEN TO A LIBERAL

July 20, 2020

I had a discussion with a conservative friend recently. Both his daughter and her husband are liberal; I don’t know if they are Leftist or SJWs, but the fact that the son-in-law labeled my friend racist on the basis of his conservative beliefs alone, gives me a clue which way he’s heading. To maintain the peace (and retain the right to visit with his grandchild) his objections to the characterization were restrained.

My friend is only one of several I know that can no longer discuss politics with their offspring. To foster productive debate, the other person has to have a willingness to engage and the time to defend his or her beliefs with facts on issues that are often nuanced. This is becoming less tenable in the current political climate. I fear I’ve lost at least two childhood friends simply by expressing my views, and I’m not alone in this.

Hence, I discuss politics little at this time with my daughters. While they are intelligent, and certainly well-loved, we agree on little politically. Discussions became cantankerous, so we avoid them. I accept part of the responsibility; I’ve a tendency to become irritated (yeah, I’m working on it) which causes me to appear to them as judgmental. Hence, I’m uncertain how far into woke SJW territory they’ve wandered. I know they support the BLM group-sponsored protests and they regard them as generally peaceful with the violence viewed as an aberrancy and distinct from the protests. They have never overtly called me racist, and I doubt they will, as racism is a sin and they are honorable people. But I’m not sure that they don’t think it. And this uncertainty irks me. I fantasize that if they were coming from a position of believing I’m not racist, but a thoughtful, informed individual who started where they were, my current conservative beliefs would spark introspection and exploration of how I’ve come to this place. Instead, I imagine they regard me as consciously or subconsciously racist, a product of an unenlightened generation. If true, I suppose this was inevitable. They were schooled in a system that increasingly defined the country by its flaws rather than its foundational values and its remarkable progress in living up to them. This has been reinforced by the mainstream media and peers. Such indoctrination beginning at a young age would be hard to overcome.

I recently came across this important video. It should have more credibility than I for people on the other side of the aisle, coming from a former SJW, Keri Smith, who professes to still be a liberal. It is well worth the time to watch. She eloquently validates my fears for the country if the current ascendance of Leftist wokeness is allowed to take its course unimpeded.

I understand that many liberals cannot bring themselves to vote for Trump. If I had a reasonable alternative, I wouldn’t either. While I like many of his policy decisions, his tweets have served to accelerate the alarming social rift (the political malpractice I’ve previously discussed). I don’t see the current Democrat Party as an alternative, not just because I oppose its policies, but because it, and its politicians, have allowed themselves to be commandeered by Leftist woke dogma. I know a lot of informed liberals out there are not fans of this. The recent letter defending free speech, signed by J. K. Rowling and many other prominent liberals, is one indication of this. I believe this ideology to be so toxic to the continued success and unity of our country that a Democrat power shift at this time is untenable, and yes, worse than four more years of Trump. While radical change under Democrat rule will inevitably be opposed, it will continue to accelerate the social/cultural destruction we are now witnessing in this climate of strident mob mentality and appeasement born out of a fear of being labeled and ostracized. I would ask that traditional Trump-hating liberals that are uncomfortable with the effects of the woke transition, dig deep, get some more information, hear out Keri Smith, and then, if you become as alarmed as I am, consider the impact of a Leftist-infused government with fewer checks. I believe that wokeness and informed knowledge of the facts cannot comfortably coexist.

TEACH THE CHILDREN, SAVE A NATION

June 25, 2020

If the current sociopolitical divide doesn’t succeed in destroying the nation politically, or changing it into an unrecognizable shadow of itself, without a conscious course correction we can anticipate it happening within a generation.

Probably everyone has heard the saying, “If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.” There’s a kernel of truth to that, especially the first part. Certainly there are young people raised in conservative families that, by upbringing, share those beliefs from the outset. But many of us, myself included, having grown up typically in liberal large cities, have been overwhelmingly indoctrinated in left-of-center ideology. Despite this, back in the day, far Leftism, now termed progressivism or “wokeness” (metastasizing ever more quickly into the moderate liberal ranks) was either a fringe ideology or nonexistent. “Back in the day” we all pledged allegiance to the flag (although, even then, the phrase “under God” had a brief period of controversy, with God winning) and flag-burning went from illegal to legal (don’t like it, but personally view it as free speech, just like hate speech, as long as you own the flag and don’t break any fire laws). It wasn’t that we weren’t taught about our checkered past, including slavery, the white man’s devastation of the indigenous societies (back then “Indians,” now Native Americans), women’s suffrage, and Jim Crow, but we simultaneously ingested (and took for granted) the extraordinary principles upon which the nation was based. We were taught to respect the flag, the Constitution and the nation and regard it as exceptional. Because wiser minds understood the distinction between good principles and bad behavior that didn’t live up to them, we were taught to recognize this distinction even through the era of Jim Crow (although I was still in grade school at the time). What was true then, and remains so now, is that the principles upon which the nation was founded are unique, extraordinary, and moral. What is also true, and being buried under an avalanche of misinformation, is that there has been a progressive, accelerating, and exponential change in our society toward racial (and sexual) equality. Not only do the statistics, cited in prior rants, support this, but I’ve lived long enough to personally witness the more recent expressions of the trend. Young people, by definition, have not, so the mind diet they’re being fed is not only misleading, it’s pernicious. And it’s turning them from the most color-blind generations in our history to the most race-conscious. Nothing good can come from this.

Some of the those on the left engaged in this re-indoctrination campaign come from a good place. Troubled by the egregious sins of the past, however, they are unable to get beyond this to see the progressive (and I use the word ironically) and remarkable redress of these sins and inequities that has occurred. In fact, the faster and closer we have come as a society to approaching the principles upon which the nation was founded, the more they are convinced that nothing has changed. How is it that otherwise rational, intelligent people can be blind to demonstrable reality? I believe it is due to the same indoctrination techniques that have led to the rise of fascistic socialism before. It’s remarkable how powerful these techniques are, blinding so many people to its sinister recurrence despite the numerous past and current examples, the most recent being Venezuela. It’s becoming so extreme and infiltrating the mainstream so quickly, that it’s now difficult to distinguish those that are simply misguided and misinformed from those that are manipulating cynically in the name of power and fundamental socialist change. And the preparation for its resurgence has been careful and well-planned. Leaders of the movement knew that starting with the young and impressionable would have an inevitable cumulative effect, so they co-opted the educational system and the media. From kindergarten through university, the curriculum was slowly inched more and more to the left, emphasizing the sins of Western civilization and minimizing its unique blessings by removing the context of our country’s evolution from history and the rest of the world, past and present. Vigorous efforts were undertaken to define our country as a nation founded on slavery culminating in the presentation by Nikole Hannah-Jones in the New York Times of the 1619 Project, referring to the year the first black slaves arrived on American soil. Despite credible sources criticizing the opinions and questioning the historical facts behind this interpretation, it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize (another indication of the success of the Left’s program) and it is still widely accepted as fact by many on the left. If you ask for proof of the systemically racist state of the country, you will invariably be directed to historical evidence decades or more old (undisputed), or isolated, recurrent events by bad people, amounting to anecdotal evidence, since the data supporting a systemic problem don’t exist. The concept of “white privilege” was invented to further the narrative of a racist nation and to sow the seeds of white guilt. Racism was redefined; now you need only to have been born white, and if you haven’t regarded yourself as or engaged in anything racist, then it’s “subconscious.” Color-blindness and consideration of character, the goal of Martin Luther King, Jr, is now racist; it demonstrates an unwillingness to see the racist nation as it is, and to acknowledge your white privilege. And countering the narrative becomes as difficult as pushing a boulder uphill, with an inarguably long history of slavery and systemic racism and an endless stream of negative white-on-black interactions, often ending in the death of the black party, used to bolster it, frequently without regard to circumstance, context, or countervailing data demonstrating its rarity relative to our nation’s size. Vigorous efforts to demonstrate the manifest hatred of racism by the vast majority of white people are ironically used as further ammunition to demonstrate the systemically racist state of affairs. The more the guilt and anger can be inflamed, the less the facts matter. The success of this approach is evident. One need only watch the videos of the “guilty,” citizens and police alike, kneeling, the renewed interest in reparations (passed in the California State House), the constant emails from every large corporation decrying systemic racism with pleas to look elsewhere for transgressions, and the adoption of the Leftist narrative by professional scientific association associations (in my case, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology). The desperation to bolster this straw-man narrative has gotten so bad, that even fake racial incidents, like the recent, debunked noose incident in NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s garage, are being used to support it, even after the debunking! (And this despite the fact that the other drivers, all white, escorted Wallace’s care to the front position in protest of the soon-to-be discovered faux-racist non-event.) And if you still think this ideology is limited to the fringe, you need only look to sales of Robin Deangelo’s book, White Fragility. The basic premise of the book is that if you are white, you are racist. It’s so extreme, many on the left (likely members of the dwindling group of brave liberals) have even criticized it. Here are some of the contentions expressed in the book: the history of America has not changed; individualism is bad because it causes you to not think of yourself as a member of a race; attributing causes of inequality between whites and people of color to other than racism, is racism; backing meritocracy and objectivity is racism; claiming you are color-blind or having celebrated color takes race off the table and if black and white friends don’t discuss race it indicates a lack of cross-racial trust, but if you ask a black person about racism, then you are tokenizing the black person. Why does this matter? Because sales have driven this to the status of a perpetual best-seller since its publication in 2018. So, clearly and disturbingly, the message of racial disunity is being effectively promulgated, and accepted. Conveniently forgotten in all this are the recent election of a black president who, because of ingrained belief of a systemically racist nation, rather than using his bully pulpit to united the races, chose to further the narrative and the racial divide. One example reported, among others, was Obama’s remark, “African-American parents are right to fear that their children may be killed by police officers whenever they go outside,” after five Dallas police officers were ambushed and murdered in 2016. It is more convenient to blame the current widening racial divide on Trump, ignoring that a better case can be made for his having implemented policies that benefited the black community (such as, pre-COVID, the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years and prison reform). For those who still believe, despite what is unfolding in real time, the current analysis is conspiratorial or delusional, consider this: It is now considered sacrilegious in many quarters to come down against the group Black Lives Matter, and people fear speaking out due to digital tar-and-feathering and even job loss. Some mainstream politicians have publicly minimized the heinousness of rioting and destruction, fearing it would be interpreted as decrying peaceful demonstrators against police brutality. Anarchists have been allowed to occupy a portion of a city, a blind eye is turned to destruction of statues and other public property, and the police writ large have been thrown under the bus by government leaders for the same reason, based on the heinous action of a few rotten apples and fabricated crimes of a few others. But believing that black lives matter and supporting the group that has co-opted the name aren’t remotely related. In fact, there’s proof that the group, using police brutality and the infrequent but real instances of true racism as fuel, are bolstering a Marxist agenda, to complement the indoctrination of the youth and conversion of the rest by means of the white privilege/white guilt meme. One of the founders of BLM, Patrisse Cullors, admitted that the group is ideological and lead by trained Marxists.

Still, there may be hope. In a recent op-ed, speaking about potential Gen Z voters, Madison Moore wrote, I’ve sat in a room of Bernie supporters who listened attentively to my eager, if simplistic, explanation of the tenets and moral defense of capitalism and limited government. They responded in a manner surprisingly engaged and open, despite my many requests that they stop me if they preferred we change the subject. ‘Wow, I never knew that’ was perhaps the most frequent response I received.” This suggests that despite attempts at indoctrination, many young people may still be reachable with facts. Although my own indoctrination when young was less over-the-top than in today’s classrooms, it’s still notable that upon transitioning my worldview and political leanings in my 30s when exposed to facts and opinions I’d not previously heard, this relatively apolitical (at the time) person had a difficult adjustment, revealing the insidious and unconscious nature of the process. So it appears that the road back, while boulder-strewn, may not be entirely obliterated. However, nothing is possible without a concerted effort on the part of conservatives to expose more politically/informationally-isolated citizens of all ages to the truth. And it will take some courage. The longer we wait, the more daunting the task and dangerous to our online and potentially physical health; it already takes courage to even hint of a conservative viewpoint in many quarters. Many out there will not be interested, something to which all of us in the conservative camp who have tried can attest. But those that are still open, and they are identified by being willing to listen and debate rather than withdraw passively or angrily, need to be approached. This should be done respectfully; name-calling does not influence anyone. Along with this, if we do nothing to reverse the insidious trend in our schools and universities, the culture battle cannot be won. I hope it’s not already lost.

THE CURRENT RACIAL NARRATIVE ENSURES ITS SURVIVAL—IN PERPETUITY

June 10, 2020

I thought COVID was scary. But it has a curve. Sure, it may return, but odds are we’ll get a vaccine or treatments, and herd immunity that will at least dramatically lessen the risk with time. Not true for our current state of racial tension. It has one of two dichotomous endings: Total destruction, or a new awakening, or “unawokening.”

The more I considered things, the more I realized that, under the present circumstances, it would be a good thing if we were still, as the wokescolds proclaim, a systemically/institutionally racist nation. Then, we could point to the policies and organizational structures that need change and perhaps quell the anger. But I’m convinced by the data that the current argument is little more than a straw man, a political ploy to fan the flames and us accrue power (the concept of “fundamental change” spouted by the Left), as reams of laws and regulations exist, and have existed for years, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race. Sure, things can be tweaked; some have suggested that abolishing the policy of qualified police immunity that protects rogue law enforcement officers from punishment for bad behavior, and police unions, can further reduce the incidents of sporadic illegal police action and this is being addressed. The problem is that the current protests, besides decrying police brutality (a no-brainer we all agree with), rail about a vague notion of systemic racism and are light on specifics (except for the insane notion by Black Lives Matter of defunding the police). It’s hard to cite specifics when major policy gaps with regard to discrimination no longer exist, only bad people who disregard the law. Still, in the name of this straw man, an attempt can be anticipated to enact further laws and regulations, and while closing small loopholes (such as immunity) is good, the parallels to the gun legislation issue are obvious: Bad people will always ignore the law. Murder, mass or otherwise, and police brutality are already illegal, last I checked. If you impose restrictions so onerous that the police are afraid to act even when it’s appropriate, you will get a paradoxical increase in crime and mayhem, and a drop in the number of people willing to serve and protect.

So the current narrative of institutional racism, as I’ve previously laid out, is based on a tenous scaffold of specific instances where the law has been abrogated, and anecdotal stories. Examples of the latter category abound. Here are just a couple of examples: My friend’s daughter recounted to him a story of her friend who is married to a black doctor reporting being stopped 18 times, placing the wife in a constant state of fear every time her husband goes out. Or the following, posted on Facebook:

Facebook image

In this case, the person who forwarded it informed me that additional research indicated that, in this case, there may have been additional issues contributing to the disparate treatment (and that’s just one of the problems with using anecdotes as soundbites to advance an agenda). It is inarguable, and inexcusable, that there are instances of unfair sentencing corrupted by wealth and power, and that as a consequence minorities may be impacted disproportionally due to disparities of social/economic class. When no action is taken against a rogue judge and there is evidence of the same disparate treatment by socioeconomic class among people of the same race, if widespread, it represents a systemic problem of class, not race (if not widespread, again, it’s hard to make a case for an institutional problem). Yet those with an agenda will always cite race. That being said, to argue that there are no individuals in the judiciary (or in law enforcement) who are racist would be naive. But that is not proof of systemic racism. And, as the old saying goes, if you have a hammer, everything is a nail; when you view everything through a racial lens, you can see it lurking behind every tree. The take-away point is, anecdotal evidence is just that, and it’s pernicious, because it can never go away, making the false narrative self-sustaining. Sadly, there will always be another case of police brutality, some involving mixed race interactions, as there will always be another mass murder, hurricane, earthquake, and tsunami. While we can’t pass laws to prevent acts of God, we have passed scads of them to try to minimize institutional racism. And while they are imperfect, just as the humans who concocted them, we’ve come a very long way since slavery and Jim Crow. I know this because I grew up in the era of Jim Crow, and while it impacted blacks more profoundly in the South, there was a great deal of institutional racism north of the Mason-Dixon line that has been overcome. (It can even be argued that well-intentioned attempts to quash the remaining embers have been clumsy and have done more harm than good, but that’s a rant for another time.) And that’s where the lie lies: As things have improved, the activists have screamed more loudly of injustice. If systemic racism in terms of policy were still a thing, it should be measurable. So let’s look at the statistics:

Washington Post data from 2019 indicate 1004 police shootings, 804 which documented race. The breakdown was 371 white and 236 black, with the vast majority of perpetrators armed and black suspects significantly more likely to be armed, but more white suspects killed. There were 10 cases of unarmed black suspects shot and killed by police, 9 men and 1 woman (although depending on the definition, some estimate the figure is from 9-15). The specifics of the 10 cases are as follows:

1. Channara Pheap attacked policeman Dylan Williams (who was choked and tasered) before being shot, corroborated by witnesses; officer not charged.

2. Marcus McVae, career criminal wanted on drug dealing, fled by car and on foot, fought with a police officer, shot and killed; officer not charged.

3. Murzua Scott assaulted a shop employee, was approached by female police officer, charged at her and knocked her down, and she shot and killed him and was not charged.

4. Ryan Twyman was approached by 2 LA county deputies and he backed into one of them with his car; one deputy was caught in the car door and both opened fire; no deputy charged.

5. Melvin Watkins drove his car toward a deputy at high speed and was shot and killed; no charge filed.

6. Isaiah Lewis was naked; he broke into a house and then attacked a police officer. He was tazed but kept attacking and was shot; no charges filed

7. Atatiana Jefferson was shot by Fort Worth deputy Aaron Dean who was called on a non-emergency number after a neighbor saw Johnson’s door open and thought something was wrong. Body cam video showed Jefferson saw them approaching while she was holding a gun. Officer Dean shot her within seconds and was charged with homicide.

8. Christopher Whitfield, shot in Ethel, LA, grappled with black officer Deputy Glen Sims after robbing a gas station; Sims stated the gun went off accidentally during the scuffle and was not charged.

9. Kevin Mason was shot during a multi-hour standoff and claimed to have a gun and vowed to kill police with it but was found not to have a gun. He had been in a shoot-out with police years before.

10: Gregory Griffin was shot during a car chase. Officer Giovanni Crespo claimed he saw someone pointing a gun at him. Later a gun was found inside the vehicle but Officer Crespo was charged anyway with aggravated manslaughter.

So out of 4 deaths in a pursuit or standoff, 2 officers were criminally charged. On the other hand, 48 police officers were killed in 2019, more than the number of unarmed suspects of all races. To give perspective, in 2018, 7,407 black Americans were murdered in the US, usually by someone they knew. Tucker Carlson reported that statistics show that the number of police killings is dropping and 2019 is the safest year for both black and white suspects. I could not confirm these stats, but a search indicated that the total number of police shootings year-to-year since 2015 has not varied dramatically, probably a modest decline, so it would be a stretch to assume that the number of white on black police shootings has increased by a statistically significant degree since Oback Obama was in office (I looked for figures but was unable to find reliable numbers).

These statistics are not presented to excuse or apologize for police brutality or instances of racism. But they do not support a current milieu of systemic racism, which clearly existed for most of our history, nor do they refute the existence of individual acts of racism. I do, and will continue to oppose any demonstrable racism, as well as the divisive narrative of an America of 2020 as a bad, systemically racist country, a lie that willfully ignores the tremendous strides we’ve made toward equal rights, and threatens a nation built on the strongest system for ensuring liberty for people of all colors and creeds ever devised in human history.

DON’T TAKE THE KNEE—UNLESS YOU’RE A RACIST

June 7, 2020

Some of the most disturbing images to me were of citizens and police taking the knee before black activists. It’s pernicious, racist and destructive.

Fear of being labeled racist is understandable; anyone actively discriminating against or mistreating another based on skin color is committing an abhorrent sin. Using the threat of labeling someone who isn’t racist as such, to serve an agenda, is equally reprehensible, and immoral. But it has now become a standard political ploy. It’s so pervasive that it has cheapened the term and confounds our ability to root it out like the parable of the boy who cried, “Wolf!”. And giving in to this is appeasement.

You’d think historical precedent would have taught us. Pre-WW II, Neville Chamberlain (and he was not alone) became notorious for his feckless attempts at appeasing Hitler. Despite the disastrous results, the tactic of appeasement in the face of authoritarianism continues unabated. While Ronald Reagan remained steadfast against the naysayers in his opposition to communist totalitarianism, abetting the collapse of the Soviet Union, Obama chose an appeasement approach with Iran, providing payments that not only allowed them to continue disbursing funds to terrorist factions but likely staved off a similar economic collapse of the dictatorial, oppressive government. To view taking the knee as other than another example of appeasement of an authoritarian demand, two things have to be true: The first is that we are still the systemically racist nation the activists claim. To date I’ve seen little if any proof to support this assertion, and studies and statistics belie it; always cited as proof is our undeniably problematic past history with respect to our black citizens (a portion of which I’m old enough to have seen), which everyone (except small, evil fringe groups) agrees was unsupportable and immoral. Sporadic events of bad cops harming black individuals (some with a racial motive, but all attributed to racism in the current climate) will continue and should be vigorously prosecuted and the perpetrators punished, as in the current instance. These despicable events, when a racial motive is proved, such as with the sad recent case of Ahmaud Arbery, show that racism is alive and well, but they do not prove the persistence of systemic racism any more than do other pieces of heartstrings-tugging anecdotal “evidence.” It seems like just yesterday the “efficacy” of hydroxychloroquine against COVID was erroneously reported in the same manner. The second necessary component to support taking the knee is that all the people kneeling are knowingly or unknowingly racist and are or have been engaged in an ongoing effort to subjugate black people on the basis of their skin color (the “white privilege” argument). I reject both of these premises. And to assume that not obeying or remaining silent is a show of tacit approval of racism and police brutality, rather than a rejection of the above premises, is also wrong and immoral.

It takes courage to face the wrath of those voices, previously only associated with the far Left, willing to label you as racist for failing to cow-tow to their beliefs. Even many of the large corporations have caved; I just got an email from Walmart lamenting George Floyd’s death. While I share their despair, I object to the vague “push for change” the urge to build “a more inclusive society,” echoing the narrative of institutional racism eating at our core without citing specific policies that support the claim. To me, it rings hollow, like a mea culpa to sic the dogs of the Left on anyone but themselves. While taking the knee may, in the short term, tranquilize the beast, like the high of a short-acting opiate, it never lasts. The race baiters engaging in this despicable power-seeking behavior will be emboldened (as positive reinforcement is wont to do) and the demands will intensify. Unfortunately, not just the words, but the actions, up to and including violence, will also intensify. And my fear is that this will elicit a backlash that can be exploited as proof of further racism, especially if some or all of the violence comes from true, fringe racist/white supremacist groups, further aiding the activists’ push against all who dare defy the narrative. Such a positive feedback loop can rapidly destroy a country. So, if you genuinely believe you are racist and need to atone for your personal transgressions, far be it from me to tell you not to apologize in any way you deem appropriate. Feel free to protest police brutality (I’m with you, it’s bad), murder, or rape, or the many other human depravities we’re prone to, although I don’t know how demonstrating against things we all know are bad without citing specific policies that we need to change does anything other than proclaim our virtue, our membership in the “club,” or serve to support misguided, false, and destructive message.

Otherwise, stay on you feet and fight—for freedom, unity and everyone’s rights, regardless of skin color.

MY PROTEST: THE THINGS I GRIEVE AND APPLAUD

June 4, 2020

Note: No businesses were destroyed or persons maimed or killed in the creation of this protest.

I grieve:

  • George Floyd, 46, Minneapolis, MN, dead from police brutality
  • Shay Mikalonis, 29, police officer, Las Vegas, critically wounded
  • David Dorn 77, retired St. Lous police captain and police chief of Moline Acres, MO killed trying to stop pawn shop looting
  • David McAtee, 53, restaurant owner, Louisville
  • Dave Patrick Underwood, 53, federal law enforcement officer, Oakland, CA
  • Chris Beaty, 38, Indianapolis, IN
  • Italia Kelly, 22, Davenport, IA
  • Calvin L. Horton, Jr., 43, Minneapolis, MN
  • Javar Harrell, 21, shot in car, Detroit, MI
  • How few of us will remember any of the names of the above (ironically, many of them black), except for George Floyd
  • The many unnamed police officers and other innocents injured in multiple locations throughout the US
  • The burned and vandalized workplaces of the hard-working business owners of all colors
  • The unsupported contention of a systemically racist country belied by a people willing to place a black man in the White House and who overwhelmingly condemn the loss of George Floyd to police brutality, and by the vigorous pursuit of justice against the perpetrator and against his passive accomplices
  • The loss of a citizenry united in a belief of the principles that have enabled us to become the greatest country in the history of the world via the dissemination of false narratives that denigrate our achievements, exaggerate our flaws, and threaten our survival as a nation; a nation that has demonstrably overcome, even within my lifetime, most of the institutionalized racism and misogyny of years past
  • Protests triggered by these false narratives that divide us and provide cover for the violence
  • Grandstanding politicians without the guts to stand up to violence

I applaud:

  • The brother of George Floyd for telling the world, this is not the way he would want his death memorialized

BEING LED BY THE NOSE BY A RACIST NARRATIVE

May 31, 2020

We’re in the midst of a deadly pandemic the likes of which hasn’t been seen for more than a century and we’ve chosen to cut off our toes while we’re still crawling. It’s infuriating.

The headline now overtaking COVID is metastasizing destruction of our own making at the hands of rioters. And it’s all so maddeningly unnecessary. As I’ve previously written, only a fringe element of our society would support the actions of the police officer who brutalized George Floyd or the colleagues who stood by and allowed it to happen. Yet multitudes of good people are out there protesting—what, the police?—and unwittingly serving as cover for gangs of criminals to loot and pillage and increase the misery of our already beleaguered brothers and sisters. If you believe the country is the same as it was two or three hundred years ago, or even 50, show me the evidence and I’ll stand by you. I’m already shoulder-to-shoulder with you against any and all episodes of racial injustice perpetrated by sick, immoral individuals. But until I see proof that our law enforcement is systematically targeting minorities as policy, I see the protests as nothing more than fallout from a successful power play, a political ploy to bolster a narrative of extreme, institutional racism akin to past misconduct and fan the flames of anger and promote violent change. And most of the violence is being committed by opportunist criminals who care nothing about moral values.

People need to wake up and not allow themselves to be led down the garden path of this mine-laden narrative that can only divide us and end in destruction. Instead of protesting, get on line and research. Look at the statistics. If, afterward, you’re still convinced that systemic racism is a major threat in our nation, by all means go out and protest. The very people you protest, given enough push-back, will eventually withdraw, and leave you to deal with the looters. If, however, you agree that racism is sporadic and episodic, that we’re all trying out best to stamp it out, including our cops, go home. Don’t continue to support an environment that permits the scum of the earth to destroy and to increase our misery. Don’t be an unwitting accomplice, a “useful idiot.”

THE UNCONSCIOUS RACISM OF THE LEFT

May 30, 2020

Another riot, now in Minneapolis, starkly highlights the racism rearing its ugly head in America. And it’s not coming from where you’ve been told.

For those of you who’ve been hibernating, parts of Minneapolis have been looted and gone up in flames on the heels of an ugly incident where a cop placed a knee on a man’s neck for four minutes despite pleas of being unable to breathe, while his colleagues stood around and did nothing. Tragically, he subsequently died. Likely this would have been given small if any national notice (as the extent of the reportage of the infrequent prior incidents of police brutality proves) except for one thing: the deceased, George Floyd, was black, and the knee on the neck was white. Yes, an ugly picture and even uglier metaphor, considering our past. The reaction of the Minneapolis police was to make excuses and provide cover for one of their own; after all, it was only a black man. Right? No. They fired all the cops involved in the incident and began an investigation, with charges just filed and the primary offender jailed. The country rallied around the beleaguered cops, outraged that they were fired doing their jobs; after all, it was just a black man, right? No, there was universal outrage at the police brutality and general unanimity that the firings were just and the full force of the law should come down on their necks.

The left-wing mainstream media and the Twitterheads, as usual, immediately imputed racial motives to the brutality. The proof? Well, anyone can see that the perpetrator was white and the victim was black. In the aftermath, legitimate protests morphed into an excuse for many individuals to engage in riots, with vandalism and looting of a Target store and the burning of an auto parts store. The apologists and virtue-signalers, as usual, focused on the righteous anger fueling the riots. Ice Cube posted a picture of the knee on the neck side by side with a picture of a man in a red had proclaiming “Make Whites Great Again.” The two men were unrelated. Ice Cube’s message? “The demons are among us.” LeBron James posted a similar picture of the cop and now-deceased victim beside a shot of Colin Kaepernick kneeling with the caption, “This…is why.” The message is clear: The police brutality was a byproduct of racism, cops and all of law enforcement are racist, and it’s a reflection of the general state of the entire country, unchanged from prior decades, and even since the nation’s founding. The only problem with this conclusion is that it is not just wrong, it’s immoral.

There is as of yet no hard data to suggest this policeman’s actions and his colleague’s inaction were racially motivated. While racism has not been excluded in this case, which would make it even more hideous, it is nothing but conjecture at this time. And while individual incidents of racism persist, even among law enforcement, there’s no data to suggest that the police are systematically targeting black people relative to the percentage of crimes perpetrated by black individuals. A study in July 2019 from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science purported to show that white police were not more likely to shoot black perpetrators. Interestingly, and apropos to the subject of this rant, if you attempt to search for the study in Bing (the default search engine for the Windows 10 browser, Edge, the first two listings are articles debunking the conclusion. With Google, the article is listed first, but when accessed, has links to letters and “corrections” at the head of the study. I leave it to you to decide whether this is simply good “journalism” (note: these are platforms, not news sites) or a reflection of political bias and a threatened narrative. Another study by Roland Fryer out of Harvard showing no evidence of racial bias in police shootings was posted appropriately in both search engines, followed by articles also claiming to debunk the conclusion (the Times article seems to imply it proved the opposite). Since all good people, and that’s almost all of us, believe that the current incident of police brutality was unjustified, the death horrific and inexcusable, and the perpetrator deserving of swift and appropriate justice, impugning the opposite is not just wrong—accusing large numbers of innocent people, cops or lay citizens, of the sin of bigotry, is immoral.

So why maintain the fiction? One word—power. If you can convince enough people, especially in the black community, that not only are they being victimized by your opponents, but they’re in grave danger every time they leave their homes, and only you can protect them, you create an invincible voting bloc. And the voting history of the black community shows they’ve been wildly successful: In the 2018 national House vote 90% of blacks went Democrat (a smaller, but still overwhelming majority of Asians and Latinos did the same). Normally, if I were to state that a certain group needs special favors to compete, implying that they are inherently inferior, it would be assumed I’m racist. In the topsy-turvy political world we live in, the people who have for years foisted policies that support this ugly narrative on the very people they are purporting to help, to stay in power, are regarded by these same people as their supporters. Even years of failed progressive policies that blatantly ignore and even exacerbate the actual root problems in the black community (primary among them a preponderance of father absence relative to other groups), has failed to change these beliefs. Now, that’s marketing!

So, in my opinion, the unconscious systemic racism attributed without proof to the Right demonstrably exists on the Left. This position was buttressed by the remark Biden recently made to the effect that a black person isn’t truly black if they don’t vote for him (something he’s tried to walk back). In other words, not only are blacks inferior, they can’t think for themselves.

Who’s the real racist?

Addendum: At the time of publication, the riots are metastasizing. Immorality begets immorality.

RACIAL INSENSITIVITY VERSUS RACIAL HYPERSENSITIVITY

October 9, 2017

A big story making is making the rounds that is telling about the state of our society: Dove’s apology for a “racially insensitive” ad about their product.

For those of you who haven’t seen it (it’s been removed but being shown as the centerpiece of reportage on the debacle), a black woman with a dark brown shirt (with a small bottle of Dove in the lower right corner) is shown morphing, as she removes the shirt, into a white woman with a pale tan shirt, and the effect is repeated with a third woman with dark hair and a medium complexion wearing a mid-range colored shirt. Honestly, after seeing the ad, I had to go back and recheck it online to see what all the hoopla was. So, clearly, I’m racially insensitive.

Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

If I were racially sensitive, I’d have recognized (as I did after doing some Internet research) that there is a history of racist ads in the past with cartoons depicting black people being “washed” white with soap. In that context, I might be inclined to view this modern incarnation as more of the same.

If I were racially sensitive, I’d assume there was a conspiracy among the Dove ad committee that commissioned and approved the piece to run the risk of alienating a large swath of their consumers, both black, white and anything in-between, because of deeply ingrained racism.

When you view the world through racially sensitive lenses, it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, for many, impugning racial insensitivity is tantamount to calling out bigotry. But perhaps “racial insensitivity,” for most people, is a product of the true goal: color-blindness. If you have a non-bigoted, racially insensitive person, and set this as the baseline, might that not redefine the racially sensitive person as “hypersensitive”? And does this hypersensitivity (or lack of insensitivity) unmask covert bigotry in the person crying foul? Something to think about.

Like most of us, I understand the inherent evil of racial prejudice and bigotry, but I think I’ll stick with my “insensitivity.” I understand why the makers of Dove had to go belly-up—it was the right corporate decision. But I’m not selling anything.

And when it comes to the idea that I have to look for hidden racial bias in everything, I’m not buying, either.

THE RIGHT TO BE UNCIVIL

April 8, 2014

A few months ago a dinner discussion with a friend triggered a reference to Barry Goldwater, the late senator and presidential contender who lost to Lyndon Johnson in 1964. I was 12 at the time and apolitical but recall him being portrayed as a racist by the New York media. My friend, who is neither stupid nor racist, shocked me with the comment that he agreed with Goldwater’s vote against the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The fact that Goldwater’s dissent had nothing to do with racism is beside the point. My friend’s argument distilled to the libertarian belief that the government shouldn’t be legislating against people’s prejudices of any kind, no matter how appalling. Coincidentally, this discussion occurred at a time when I’d been thinking quite a bit about the evils of racism. Also coincidentally, I was in the process of reading a book by Lawrence Hill, Someone Knows My Name. This historical novel reconstructed in distressingly graphic detail the slave trade of the late 18th century, chronicling the life of one extraordinary black woman.

At dinner, after vehemently denying the validity of my friend’s argument, I got to thinking why a reasonable, intelligent person would even debate the issue. And I realized it merited some thoughtful analysis.

We discriminate all the time: what clothes we wear, what food we eat, the colors we paint our walls … with whom we chose to eat dinner. People often use the terms discrimination and prejudice interchangeably. Discrimination is nothing more than choosing according to one’s preferences. Prejudice, on the other hand, involves prejudging a person, thing or idea based on criteria that may or may not be valid. Things become more complicated when the actions are applied to race, religion and sexual preference.

In some ways the third category is the thorniest. In September of last year, a photographer lost her court battle after refusing to take a job at a gay wedding. In a separate incident, a baker closed his doors after being targeted legally by a lesbian couple for refusing to sell them a wedding cake. In both cases, the accused cited moral opposition and their right to free expression.

To prevent injustice, our laws have delineated certain protected groups that are excluded from our right to discriminate, regardless of whether this is motivated by prejudice. My friend believes that the marketplace should be allowed to mete out the consequences. For instance, businesses that engage in racial discrimination would have less patronage and might be driven from the marketplace by censure. In a perfect world, this argument might have validity (although I would argue that in a perfect world racial discrimination wouldn’t exist). His argument fails to take into account the concept of tyranny of the majority.

Our Founding Fathers feared this enough (otherwise known as “mob rule”) to make this country a democratic republic, not a democracy. If we were to remove the prohibition on racial discrimination, what protection would a minority have against local majorities recreating the Jim Crow laws of the early part of the twentieth century?

With the deinstitutionalization of racism over the last few decades (which is not equivalent to its absolute abolition) one might argue that there is now a substantial economic cost to racial discrimination and segregation that might validate my friend’s argument. We must not forget, however, that this economic incentive to “do good” was not operative in the relatively recent past, when these detestable practices were not only permitted, but condoned and even encouraged in some parts of the nation. It’s conceivable that pockets of like-minded bigotry could coalesce to create regional monopolies that would, in essence, impede market corrections, forcing the subjugated minorities to flee to locations distant enough to uproot them. The reprehensible nature and the consequences of this behavior, in my opinion, make it a moral imperative to act more quickly than market forces can to correct it; we need laws to preempt it. Freedom to discriminate is, in a sense, like freedom of speech. Yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater is as taboo as the freedom to subjugate.

Libertarianism without limits turns liberty into anarchy.