Archive for ‘Race’

March 3, 2009

The Emmett Till smear

In response to my much-noted American Spectator column of yesterday, some obnoxious troll commenter asserted that I had once wrote a column “praising the lynching of Emmet Till.” For the record, I never wrote any such column.

At the time that this libelous accusation first emerged on the Internet, I was employed as an assistant national editor at The Washington Times. My employers ordered me not to respond to this libel, and I was compelled to remain silent under penalty of being fired if I dared defend my good name. Duty and loyalty required me to obey, but when I resigned from The Washington Times in January 2008, no one even bothered to say “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

C’est la vie! C’est l’amour! C’est la guerre!

Having acquired a bad reputation in such a manner, I am loath to deny anything unnecessarily. Being notorious is not the same as being famous, but it’s better than being anonymous. So if it helps my career to be thought a vile “white supremacist” hatemonger (like the notorious Walter Williams), then I’ll laugh all the way to the bank.

I write for money, and if someone wants to pay me enough to explain how a fundamentally unserious person, a “tedious nothing” like myself, could ever acquire such a monstrous notoriety, please make an offer. Don’t lowball me, because it’s a very long story and the value of the continued mystery is not neglible.

Let the mystified think on this: Saturday evening, I was introduced to the old college boyfriend of a beauty whom I’d introduced to her most recent boyfriend. The college beau’s eyes were burning with rage, his upper lip glistened with perspiration, and when I shook his hand, it was cold, damp and unsteady. With jocular courtesy and good cheer I greeted as an old friend this fellow whom I’d never met before and who, for all I knew, was even then contemplating whether to pull out a .32 semi-auto and blast me into oblivion.

And he never saw me flinch, not once.

February 21, 2009

Perpetual victimhood, permanent grievance

Observing Black History Month with my latest column at Pajamas Media:

With so many problems afflicting America today, especially with the economy in crisis, what purpose was served by [Attorney General Eric] Holder’s remarks? Trillions of dollars in asset value were wiped out by the collapse of the housing “bubble” and the ripple effects of that collapse have shaken financial institutions worldwide to their very foundations. It hardly seems a convenient moment for an angry racial harangue from the nation’s chief law enforcement official.
Particularly odd was that Holder chose to deliver his lecture in the middle of Black History Month, when America’s school children are annually immersed in the subject of race. Originally conceived by pioneering scholar Carter G. Woodson as a means of inspiring black youth by celebrating the accomplishments of overlooked achievers, in recent decades Black History Month has been hijacked by those who view the story of African-Americans not as one of hard-earned progress, but of perpetual victimhood and permanent grievance.
Most Americans over age 30 have little idea how the teaching of history has been perverted by the damaging attitudes Shelby Steele examined in his 2007 bestseller, White Guilt. And because history has been hijacked by grievance mongers and guilt-trippers, most Americans under age 30 have absolutely no idea of what a triumphant tale our nation has to tell . . .

You should read the whole thing. And here’s a half-hour documentary video (a rough-cut of a new production by Nina May scheduled for release next month) that defies Holder’s “nation of cowards” slur:

February 21, 2009

New video: WHO SHOULD PAY?

Based on the documentary Emancipation, Revelation, Revolution, this 30-minute film will be released this spring. (Excuse the formatting issue: The original is in HD letterbox. This is a roughcut edit.)

February 19, 2009

Honkies are too uptight

That seems to be the basic point of a Tufts University research project about how “self-control” — self-censorship might be a better phrase — isn’t the answer to better race relations. (Via Kathy Shaidle who, of course, is completely out of control. And yes, I do mean that as a compliment.)

Personally, I feel that there are inherent limitations to what “experts” can tell us about race, just as there are limits to what “experts” can tell us about sex. Common sense and careful observation will teach you just as much in the long run.
Richard Spencer, who witnessed the lunacy of the Duke lacrosse “rape” fiasco as a Duke student, has some wry observations.
January 6, 2009

Justice by percentage

Ta-Nehisi Coates gets interviewed on NPR and James Poulos reflects:

Ta-Nehisi was challenged to affirm that a Senate which lacked even one black Senator, in this day and age, was by definition an unjust and/or unacceptable Senate. . . . “Okay,” I told the radio evenly, “imagine I grant that a Senate without any black and/or African(-)American Senators is unjust and/or unacceptable. Why doesn’t the minimum threshhold then become two such Senators? Or three? Or…?”

Or how about 12? If 12% of the U.S. population is black, and the Senate is a representative institution, then why aren’t blacks equally represented? And why aren’t there 51 women senators? Why don’t we have a Senate that “looks like America”?

We are once again back to the liberal fetish of equality, rooted in the hidden premise that equality and justice are the same thing, the obverse of which is that wherever one finds inequality, one has also found injustice. And James discovers CNN giving voice to Latinos who assert that they are underrepresented in the Obama Cabinet.

The unexamined “truth” that equality and justice are synonymous is pernicious enough when it involves ethnic mau-mauing over political spoils. Egalitarianism is actually more dangerous when applied to economics, as Ronald Reagan once wryly observed:

We have so many people who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion that the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one.

And it is this same egalitarian fallacy, I have argued, that motivates both feminism and the gay-rights movement. Mere liberty — the freedom to live their lives with a minimum of government interference — will not do. Rather, they demand that the coercive power of government be applied to rearrange society for their benefit.

Believe me, sir, those who attempt to level, never equalize. In all societies, consisting of various descriptions of citizens, some description must be uppermost. The levelers, therefore, only change and pervert the natural order of things; they load the edifice of society by setting up in the air what the solidity of the structure requires to be on the ground.

The egalitarian fallacy rears its ugly head not merely in complaints of underrepresentation, but in overrepresentation, as in the ADL’s fearfulness that some people suspect Jews of controlling Hollywood. Well, they do — so what? And, to bring the subject back around to the Senate, while Jews are less than 2% of the U.S. population, they are 14% of the Senate. My own ethnic group, redneckus Americanus, might be said to be overrepresented among NASCAR drivers and country music stars. Is this evidence of a fiendish hillbilly conspiracy?

When children are thwarted, they are wont to complain, “That’s not fair!” And as my parents inevitably replied, “Whoever told you life was supposede to be fair?” There is something puerile in the complaint that every inequality is unfair. Political maturity — statesmanship — requires a certain indifference to such complaints, and if Obama can resist pressure to apportion his appointments by quota, he will deserve praise for his statesmanship.

August 20, 2008

‘With the best intentions’

“Even within families with the best intentions, race can intrude in ugly ways. We can’t escape … this historical legacy that this country’s created.”
Barack Obama, 1995

There’s probably some kind of profound essay I should write about this, but between the “dog whistle” smears and everything else, I just don’t feel like it right now.

What Obama is dealing with here, in his ultra-sincere bien pensant manner, is the nature of identity in a multiethnic society. At some level, we cannot escape who we are — the subtitle of his book, after all, is “A Story of Race and Inheritance.”

Non-Obamamaniacs, I think, will focus on his contextualization of his own identity within “historical legacy that this country’s created.” What, exactly, does he mean by this? Any conservative, hearing a liberal speak that phrase in such a context — essentially smearing his own grandmother as a bigot — automatically senses a classic anti-American sentiment, the idea that racism is something invented by America, a sin of which America is uniquely guilty.

That Obama seemed so drawn toward his Kenyan father, who had abandoned him, and so indifferent to the American family who raised him, is the kind of puzzle that would tempt an armchair psychologist. But as I said, I’m weary of the whole subject, and merely note a few points on the graph, perhaps for future reference.

Please feel free to comment. By the way, there are two other segments of that 1995 interview online: Part 2 and Part 3.