Off the Cuff: Why We Can’t Have a Serious Conversation About Race

First a quick reminder: Due to a scheduling issue, this week’s Q&A will be moved from Friday (7/3) to either Saturday (7/4) or Sunday (7/5). Thanks for understanding.

For years, people with good intentions have said we need to have a conversation about race. I used to say it myself… but no more.

That’s the topic of my Off the Cuff audio commentary this week. You can listen to it by clicking on the play (arrow) button below.

 

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The Present Moment Has Set Blacks Back a Half-Century

According to the make-believe world of the left, we are experiencing a great moment in American racial history. For the first time, the story goes, more whites than ever are coming to realize how racist America is, how racist cops are and how systemically racist everything in America is. Only now do many Americans understand just how racist Uncle Ben, Aunt Jemima, Ulysses Grant, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, “whitening” agents, meritocracy, Western culture, Christianity, jailing Blacks and the NFL are. The bestselling book in America is about alleged “white fragility” — the term for any rational response to the irrational charge that all whites are racist.

All this is supposed to be good for America’s Blacks.

But none of it is. In fact, it is all destructive.

Take the movement to defund police departments and the incessant charges of “police brutality” and “racist police.” Only those who don’t care about Blacks other than using them to advance their power — Democrats and the rest of the left, both Black and white — argue this war against the police is good for Blacks. Already the increase in the number of Blacks murdered, not to mention injured, is reaching levels unseen in decades. And there is every reason to assume, as police pull back from high-crime areas, it will get worse.

Take the left-wing mantra that all whites are racist. If I wanted to obstruct Black progress, and especially damage Black children, I couldn’t come up with a more effective idea. To believe from early childhood that you walk through life held in contempt by all of your fellow citizens who are white is to walk through life with much more than a chip on your shoulder. It is more like a heavy boulder.

It means that you will walk through life with two paralyzing burdens: anger and victimhood. Either one is enough to ruin your life. Combined they’re devastating. It gives one an idea of how cynical the left is that it would want to cultivate both of these life-ruining emotions in as many Blacks as possible.

Anger and victimhood not only ruin the individual’s life but also destroy one’s relationships with others. Everyone who has an angry individual in their family knows not only how unhappy that person is but also how much havoc they wreak on the rest of the family. The same holds true for the relative who sees him or herself as a perpetual victim. Such people are both miserable and miserable to be around. And since victimhood is a major cause of evil — people who see themselves as victims usually think they are not nearly as bound by moral rules as others are — they are more likely to hurt others.

The “protesters” who destroy and loot think their victim status allows them to destroy and loot. The man identified as the president of the greater New York Black Lives Matter, Hawk Newsome, recently told Fox News: “If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. All right? And I could be speaking … figuratively. I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation.”

In a report yesterday on a police shooting of a robber who resisted arrest and reached for an object in his waistband, the San Diego Union-Tribune quoted a protest organizer: “If this young man was robbing, that means his state and his government failed to provide him with the resources he needs.” When you feel you are a victim, you are allowed to rob.

Take the constant, often absurd, charges of racism at the most benign comments. If you say, for example, that you see nothing wrong with the picture of Uncle Ben on a box of rice, you will be accused of racism. As a result, most whites understand they can no longer speak truthfully or from the heart in the presence of a Black American. It is hard to imagine a worse recipe for genuine relationships between the races. Whereas the great majority of whites, and even most Blacks, thought white-Black relations were good and improving when Barack Obama assumed office, a minority of both groups think so today.

Take the assault on merit-based advancement in the name of racial equality. Will this help or hinder Blacks? It will obviously help some Blacks in the short run. But over the long term, telling any group they needn’t meet a universal standard of excellence can only harm that group — not to mention harm the way their success will be viewed by others. Moreover, it is difficult to imagine a more condescending view of a group than to argue that standards must be lowered for them to succeed.

The damage the left is doing to America may be mortal. When it is widely deemed OK to destroy statues of Abraham Lincoln, society is experiencing a moral earthquake which may eventually destroy it. But the damage the left is doing to so many Blacks — to their moral compass, to their happiness and to their relations with their white fellow citizens — is not in the realm of “may do.” It is done.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” came to theaters fall 2019. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

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Last Updated: Monday, Jun 29, 2020 18:23:12 -0700




Why I Left the Blue Team

First a couple of quick notes:

  1. Due to a scheduling issue, this week’s Q&A will be moved from Friday (7/3) to either Saturday (7/4) or Sunday (7/5). Thanks for understanding.
  2. I’ve been notified that because of some new state laws (which will take effect 7/1), Patreon will be required to apply a “sales tax” on some patrons’ pledges. I DO NOT think this applies to you (my members) because my membership doesn’t sell any tangible products. If any of you, however, do get charged a few extra cents of sales tax in your next invoice, let me know. Thank you.

Now, onto the column:


Even when I agree with Democrats on any particular issue, I don’t want to be on their team anymore.

I came to that conclusion years ago.  Even though I’m the product of a blue collar Democrat family, and was a liberal Democrat myself in my younger days, the further left the party went, the more alienated I became.

And during this presidential campaign, I’m reminded once again of why I no longer wear the blue uniform.

What bothers me most, I guess, is their bleak vision of America, which they see as a deeply flawed, racist country.  No, they don’t say that in a big country like ours there are bound to be some racists.  I would have been on board with that. They say racism is in the country’s DNA.

They talk about “systemic racism” — in police departments, in corporate America, in sports, literally in every single American institution. And we’re all expected to believe that this systemic racism mantra is undeniably true because the progressives say it’s undeniably true.

Bernie Sanders – remember him? — liked to tell voters that, “We have a racist society from top to bottom.”  I don’t recall Joe Biden or any of the other Democrats saying, “Sorry Bernie but I don’t agree with that.”

We can all acknowledge America’s ugly racial history and deplore racism to the extent it still exists in our country. But I’m not asking anybody for forgiveness because I was born white. Nor do I plan to wash the feet of black people as a way of repenting for my supposed white sins – as some progressives are actually doing.

And if you think I’m overstating the lengths to which some on the left will go to atone for their racial sins, consider this from a piece in National Review Online: “A YouTube prankster named ‘Smooth Sanchez’ who walks the streets of New York demanding that white people kneel before him and declare their privilege receives surprising compliance, even as he signals his charlatanry by referring to George Floyd as ‘George Foreman.’”

And then there’s the sanctimony emanating from the progressive left. That’s another reason I left the blue team. I found their self-righteousness suffocating.

They’re the good ones, the ones who care about everybody. Only they know what’s right and what’s wrong. Conservatives, in their cartoonish worldview, hate everybody who isn’t a white male.

I’ve also had enough of those older, well-off, supposedly middle of the road, open-minded liberals who support the progressive mob — a mob that in reality is destroying their so-called liberal values.

If you’re a white male and ever in your whole life wore a Mexican sombrero to a costume party, there’s a good chance you’ll lose your job.

Here’s how Matt Taibbi put it in Rolling Stone, not exactly a right-wing magazine:

“It feels liberating to say after years of tiptoeing around the fact, but the American left has lost its mind. It’s become a cowardly mob of upper-class social media addicts, Twitter Robespierres who move from discipline to discipline torching reputations and jobs with breathtaking casualness.”

Taibbi says the “shaming, threats and intimidation” are “replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony.”

Want proof of how the blue team shames and intimidates?  The editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit, was forced to resign because at a Halloween party 16 years ago he and his wife wore t-shirts and bling that made them look like Puerto Ricans.

If you’re a basketball announcer and you tweet, “All Lives Matter” you will get fired. The one in Sacramento did.

If you’re the opinion page editor of the New York Times you will lose your job for publishing a conservative opinion young progressives at the paper don’t like.

It isn’t conservatives who are putting a torch to the spirit of free speech.  This is the blue team’s dirty work.

And then, of course, there’s the routine bashing of straight white men who voted for Donald Trump.

Michael Moore, a lefty of some cultural prominence, didn’t mince words on the Rolling Stone podcast “Useful Idiot” when said that white men “are not good people” and you should “be afraid” of them.

“Two-thirds of all white guys voted for Trump,” Moore said. “That means anytime you see three white guys walking at you, down the street toward you, two of them voted for Trump. You need to move over to the other sidewalk because these are not good people that are walking toward you. You should be afraid of them.”

As far as the sanctimonious left is concerned if you voted for Donald Trump you’re either an out-and-out racist, or at absolute least, you’re an enabler who supports white supremacy.  One way or another, if you voted for Donald Trump you’re deplorable.

And which party surrendered to the mob in the wake of the horrible murder of George Floyd?  It was Democrats in city after city that let the mob burn and loot while ordering the police to stand by and do nothing.

Republicans and other conservatives aren’t saints; so let’s get that on the record.  But they’re not the ones instituting de facto speech codes.  It’s the progressive left these days that are the intolerant ones, the ones that want you humiliated and fired if you have an unacceptable opinion or tell the wrong kind of joke.

If the editor-in-chief of a hotsy-totsy magazine like Bon Appétit tcan lose his job for wearing an “unacceptable” t-shirt at a Halloween party, no one is safe. No one!

That’s why, even when I agree with Democrats on any particular issue, I don’t want to be on their team anymore.




Bill’s Column on the BLM Organization: ‘It’s News to Us’

Americans are divided, angry, sad, inspired in some cases, and watchful of the Black Lives Matter Movement.  This week one of its leaders proclaimed on national TV that “if this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn the system down.”

Hawk Newsome continued saying he might be talking figuratively … or literally.

Very macho.  Very provocative.  Might be a threat.

Now, you would think the national press would be all over this story, trying to get accurate information about the Black Lives Matter operation to the American people, who the press is supposed to serve.  I mean, this is an important story, is it not?

Mr. Newsome, who heads the New York City chapter of Black Lives Matter, is the new Huey Newton, whom the 1960’s media largely adored.  Mr. Newton cofounded the Black Panther Party.

Do you know who cofounded the current Black Lives Matter organization?  Bet you don’t.  Because the press has totally ignored the real story regarding the BLM movement.

Three women are behind “The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation,” which is the central organization that directs policy. Alicia Garza, 39, is the chief strategic advisor.  Patrisse Cullors, 36, is also a top advisor.

Finally, Opal Tometi, 36, is the third force. She works with the BLM Foundation and is also the Executive Director of the “Black Alliance for Just Immigration.” That group is associated with the “Freedom Road Socialist Organization,” a Marxist-Leninist group that has received funding from the Tides Foundation run by George Soros.

Ah, the plot thickens.

The three women who essentially run the BLM Foundation keep a very low profile.  No cable news interviews for them.

Nope, these ladies are serious.

In an interview with a professor from Morgan State University, Ms. Cullors said: “Myself and Alicia (Garza) in particular are trained organizers.  We are trained Marxists.  We are super-versed on ideological theories.”

So, do you think the protestors chanting “Black Lives Matter” in the streets understand what the “Black Lives Matter Global Network” really is?

And then there’s the “Thousand Currents” operation out of Oakland, California.  Ever heard of it?  I didn’t think so.

Because the Black Lives Matter Foundation does not have tax exempt status, at least not yet, the radical left “Thousand Currents” outfit “fiscally sponsors” BLM.  The means it holds their donations, which now number in the millions.  Because the non-profit “Currents” is overseeing the cash, donors are allowed to write off donations to BLM, according to the IRS.

Karl Marx would love this; a capitalist government allowing tax deductions for money earmarked to destroy it.

And so ignorant celebrities and clueless corporations benefit financially when giving money to the radical left Black Lives Matter Global Organization Foundation.  Right on!

Another question. When BLM receives the donated money where does the cash wind up?  Well, according to FactCheck.org, 71 percent of it goes to salaries, benefits, and “consulting fees.”

Wow!  How great is this?  Your mom could be a “consultant.”

Interesting, right? The Black Lives Matter organization is run by Marxists who have access to lots and lots of money.

Who knew?  Certainly not anyone who follows the national press.  Those “news” organizations couldn’t care less.

As long as they can virtue-signal and damage “Donald Trump’s America,” the press is happy in its laziness and apathy.

Does the truth matter?

Not to the media.

Power to the people!

 

 

 




Bernie’s Q&A: Stewart, Baier, Bolton, Wallace, and more! (6/26) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

Welcome to this week’s Premium Q&A session for Premium Interactive members. I appreciate you all signing up and joining me. Thank you.

Editor’s note: If you enjoy these sessions (along with the weekly columns and audio commentaries), please use the Facebook and Twitter buttons to share this page with your friends and family. Thank you! 

Another note: Due to a scheduling issue, next week’s Q&A will be moved from Friday (7/3) to either Saturday (7/4) or Sunday (7/5). Thank you.

Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):


You and I remember the 60’s. I marched for civil rights and I tried to March with the Anti-war movement but believe the leaders where communists. Not what I wanted. But there is different Air about what’s going on today that I didn’t feel in the 60’s. I don’t believe it’s about change and I believe it has a deeper direction. What’s your gut? — Tim H.

I’m with you, Tim. Today’s revolution is rooted in authoritarianism. Only certain views are acceptable. Only certain opinions will be tolerated. Maybe nostalgia ain’t what it used to be, but the demonstrations of the 60s were marked by idealism. Today’s revolutionaries, I’m sure, also see themselves as noble idealists. But they won’t be happy until you lose your job because of something you said or did … yesterday or 25 years ago. They’re intolerant. As for the deeper direction:  I think the demonstrators of the 60s — except for the left wing radicals — wanted reasonable change. Today’s demonstrators, many of them anyway, want to fundamentally change America. Count me out.

Has there ever been a more idiotic phrase than “white silence is white violence?” Or is it just another cute phrase to batter others into submission and conformity? — Michael F.

Let’s see if I understand this: If you say the wrong thing, you’re one of the bad guys. If you say nothing, you’re also one of the bad guys. Having the wrong opinion is a form of violence to these geniuses. Keeping your mouth shut is also violence. Heads they win, tails we lose.

Mr. G, Are Republicans & Trump now paying the price in being accused of causing mass racial divide because they did not do enough to point out the Obama administration’s failures at healing (and yet some say even stoking) racial division? — ScottyG

I don’t think it would have been smart to talk too much about Obama. He was and remains very popular — much more popular than our current president. I don’t like Donald Trump but I do not think he’s a racist. I think some on the left believe he’s a bigot, but others will call him anything — including a Russian agent — to bring him down.

In a recent interview, Jon Stewart was asked about how he used to have friendly (though somewhat pugilistic) discussions with foils like Bill O’Reilly on his show. Stewart (surprisingly in my view) said it was probably the “worst legacy of The Daily Show.” He said it was hard to resist the urge to eviscerate people like O’Reilly, and called his friendly tone with such individuals “the part of it that I probably most regret.”

As someone with his own history with Stewart, what are your thoughts? Thanks. — Ben G.

So Jon Stewart now believes that being friendly was what he regrets most. What a load of sanctimonious crap. If you have a guest on your show, you have an obligation to be at least civil. Does Stewart think he should have hammered O’Reilly — for his left wing cause? Does he think O’Reilly would have folded? Or was he afraid that O’Reilly might have verbally kicked his rear end if Stewart was unfriendly? Jon Stewart, like so many other lefties, was on a mission … to spread the liberal gospel. He had O’Reilly on for crass business reasons: to hopefully win over some of Bill’s audience. Now he’s regretting it? Screw him!

In regard to the Bubba Wallace story, why didn’t someone step up and say what it was? A garage pulldown, it was obvious, every garage had one. No one on any pit crew knew this? In my opinion, NASCAR decided to just let it play out to show how “woke” it is. They knew pit crews knew what it actually was. Damn, this crap needs to stop! I’m so tired of some people and corporations kissing BLM’s ass. Loved your “Off the Cuff” comments Bernie, in addition to the woman you spoke with, I often wonder how much of a silent majority is out there. Those who would never say out loud, or to a pollster t,hat they’re voting for Trump… but don’t do so in fear of being ostracized. — John M.

You raise an interesting point, John … one (because I’m not a NASCAR fan) I hadn’t thought of: that the pit crew should have known this right from the jump that the “noose” was a garage pulldown. If you’re right, then your supposition is also interesting: that NASCAR let it play out to show how woke they are. I hope you’re wrong … but I fear you may be right.

Regarding this week’s Off the Cuff, you speak of a woman who despises Trump but fears for her country and says that she would consider fleeing the United States and/or possibly voting for Trump if he smashed the rebellion. A couple of things regarding the situation in my opinion:

Don’t you think that perhaps it is best that Trump refrain at this point in time from putting down the anarchists ? In this way, the nation can see how spineless and complicit the Democrats are in allowing their cities to be taken over by thugs and hooligans. Then come election time, Trump can say in all honesty, this is what the Democrats will allow. Biden and the others will allow the rebellious anarchists to destroy our communities and do nothing about it. He can accuse Pelosi and the others of being complicit, and he would be correct. If he sends in the National Guard, that could perhaps cause a bloodbath and you know how the leftists in the mainstream press would spin that. I realize this is a difficult situation, but if the republican states can put down any rebellion in their own areas and only the Democrat states are the ones that are suffering with this nonsense, perhaps that could bring victory to the Republicans. Your thoughts? –“Summer of Love MY REAR END” Regards, From The Empire

But if Donald Trump says “This is what Biden and others will allow” why wouldn’t Democrats fire back:  “This is what YOU did in fact allow!” Wouldn’t that be a problem for the president? That said, it is a tricky situation — because we (I) don’t know how the American people will react to more chaos. Will they blame the Democrats for remaining silent and not forcefully condemning it? Or will they say it happened on Trump’s watch and blame him? If the president sends in the troops and they clear out the anarchists without mass casualties, will he get credit? If there’s a bloodbath, will voters blame him — or the rioters? Saying it’s a “difficult situation” is putting it mildly, Emperor.

After watching the past few weeks of protests and mobs, it seems to me that there are a few forces at work: 1) a sincere desire for better policing, 2) vengeance pure and simple, 3) massive wealth redistribution. It also seems clear that there is extreme hatred for America and American values like free speech and assembly that does not kowtow to the mobs. Appreciate your reaction and also your prediction as to what to expect in NYC and DC on July 4. — Michael

I’m with you, Michael. It’s not simply a desire for better policing. It’s also, as you say, vengeance against a country they just don’t like. Here’s what I don’t know: Whether the American people are as disgusted as we are … or whether we’ve moved so far to the left that they’re on the side of the anarchists. I’m serious about that by the way. I’m sort of hoping the demonstrations move to the neighborhoods where the liberal enablers and sympathizers live. Let’s see how long the enabling continues then. As for July 4 in NY and DC: I expect fireworks. And not only the kind we’re used to on the 4th.

As a resident of a former slave and Confederate state (Texas), I’m in favor of removing local statues and other monuments that honor this cause. The Civil War ended, and we lost (thank goodness). Let’s move on and be modern Texans in a pluralistic, diverse society. I am also very much opposed to mob rule at any time and in any place. As governor, Nikki Haley considered and decided to remove the Confederate flag from the SC state capitol. Here in Dallas, a statue of a Texas Ranger, the subject of which definitely had a less-than-stellar history of protecting minorities, was removed from Love Field by city workers. But these removals were done as a result of dialogue and careful consideration. What right do private citizens have to just topple statues on a whim, committing felonies in the process? And more astoundingly, why do the Democrat politicians allow for this mob rule without prosecution? — Steve R.

First, what right does the mob have to topple statues on a whim? NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER. Second, why do the authorities allow the mob to rule without prosecution? That’s the million dollar question. If you throw a chewing gum wrapper on the street, you’d be in more trouble than these criminals are in. It’s absolutely astounding. And the real danger is … if you can get away with tearing down a statue with no fear of a penalty being imposed, what’s next?

I’m curious if you saw Bret Baier’s interview with John Bolton on Tuesday. I thought Baier was fair (no real objections to his questions), but I was taken back by how hard he came at Bolton (especially in comparison to his interviews with active members of the Trump administration, including Trump himself). It seemed like his goal was to try and discredit (not just challenge) Bolton, though I don’t think it worked. Maybe I’m off base. What do you think? — Jen R.

I came away with the same impression, Jen, but I was not taken back by his style. Baier is an honest journalist, but let’s remember the interview was on the Fox News Channel. The audience doesn’t like Bolton and even Bret Baier is aware of that … and his questions reflected that concern, I believe. Now, Bret might say, the questions were tough but legitimate. Okay. But then, as you point out Jen, why was he tougher on Bolton than on Trump himself? Even the good guys on cable play by cable rules, Jen.

Bernie, what do you think about NASCAR and the “noose” found in Bubba Wallace’s garage at Talladega? A few commentators have said the entire situation shows that there is an unlimited demand for racial tension stories by our media and, thankfully, a very, very limited supply of real stories that fill this demand. I wonder if NASCAR, given the current climate, believed it had to jump to the worst conclusion about the “noose” because if it did not, it would be seen as insensitive. I guess telling people not to jump to conclusions and to wait on the facts is way out of style these days. I guess now it is more hip to let the masses believe that one of your employees (because only employees had access to that garage) would act that way and perform such a heinous act. I guess it is no longer cool to stick up for your brand, or your workers, and tell the Twitter mob to wait for the facts to come out. — Joe M.

There’s a narrative in the liberal media — on all sorts of subjects, including race. And the noose fit the narrative. Just as Jesse Smollett’s BS story fit the narrative. Too many journalists wanted the noose story to be true so they played it up. I’m not suggesting that they should have ignored the story. It was legitimate news. But caution should have prevailed.

Senator Marco Rubio is currently working on legislation to open up the U.S. government’s data records on UFOs. Two questions:

1. Being that our nation is already dealing with a health crisis, an economic crisis, and a race-relations crisis, do you believe it’s a wise move, at this time, for the senator to potentially spur an intergalactic crisis?

2. Do you think this initiative will result in the classified footage of your landmark 1987 interview with space alien, Oderus Urungus (at Area 51), finally seeing the light of day?

Thank you. — John D.

Great questions, John. On the first one, I think it’s just the right time to spur an intergalactic crisis. It would take our minds off the other crises. And, as everyone (apparently except you) knows: We’d kick the alien asses. We’re Americans, John D — you might want to remember that.

As to your second question, about my landmark interview with Mr. Urungus. We made a deal at the time (over a hamburger and fries) that the interview would not be made public until American voters elected a president who campaigned from a basement in Delaware. So the interview may finally be seen soon.

 


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