I’m Okay, You’re Okay — A Practical Guide to Non-Racism for Dummies

The “North County” in which I reside is so resolutely “woke” that an aerial snapshot would likely define the area’s borders by a sort of pointillistic tinting — by dots of canary color, created by an exceptionally dense collection of yellow-and-black yard signs advertising that BLACK LIVES MATTER, as seen from above.

The town offers the requisite marches, speeches, and demonstrations for racial equity, climate justice, grievances against the names of sports mascots, and so on. We established a town committee on racial equity, justice, and inclusion. A popular and competent Town Manager has recently resigned, under pressure and in the midst of generalized accusations of racism.

In response to the forced resignation of this individual, one member of the town’s select board wrote, in part: “I benefit from my whiteness — and I am, by virtue of that whiteness, racist — in ways I will never overcome, no matter how hard I try. And I do try.”

Huh? This select board member is, by all accounts, quite a decent, intelligent, and hardworking person. Nevertheless, that claim is vacuous and sophomoric. In the claim, I hear the influence of Robin DiAngelo (author of “White Fragility”). She’s currently the subject of much swooning on a Facebook page dedicated to town issues, as is Robin’s ideological brother, Ibram X. Kendi. These two brilliant minds assure us that all white people are racist (DiAngelo) and that “no one can claim to ‘not be racist'” (Kendi).

This fashionable poppycock is coming soon to a “diversity, equity, and inclusion” training (indoctrination) session near you – possibly in your public school system… and likely at a nice financial profit for some “diversity trainer.”

The public self-flagellation of our select person is disturbing. Not least, because I am also white, and I am offended by the implicit accusation that, “by virtue of that whiteness,” I (too) am “racist.” As are my (white) children and my (white) nine-month-old grandchildren. By the way, if you are white, you’re a racist, also.

Surely, we as a nation understand that it is a false premise, as well as terribly, terribly corrosive to social unity, to attribute ugly traits to an entire group of humans (any humans), based simply on some immutable characteristic, such as skin color.

To be fair, I wonder if our select board member has thought through the claim. I may be wrong, but I suspect that she does not truly believe, in the secret depths of her heart, that she is racist. Yet, paradoxically, she may strive genuinely and earnestly to believe that she is guilty of that sin, in order to be able to prove by her belief, and by her sincere and faithful attempts to overcome her sin, that she is not racist. Convoluted reasoning, but how else to explain all these good people running around complimenting the Emperor’s beautiful new duds?

Here. Here and now, I will write what is true. Mine is not a fashionable opinion. Nor is my opinion destined to increase my popularity in North County or in today’s American Woke-O-Sphere. So be it. But here it is:

I am white, and I am NOT racist.

I do not close my eyes to the genuine and pernicious existence of racism.

I do fervently support serious efforts to uphold the American promise of equality.

Yet, multiple things can be true at the same time, and I refuse to rend my garments and pretend that my own skin color is an indelible mark of original sin, or to bow my head in shame and pretend that I am somehow “less than” due to my race. I reject the notion that I should be condemned for the rest of my days to (pointless, futile) attempts to (as the quote above notes) “overcome” my bone-deep racism, only to see those well-meaning but pitiful attempts doomed to failure, “no matter how hard I try.”

There. I said it. White, and not doomed to be a racist. “I am white and I’m okay.”

Let me predict with certainty: my words will NOT make it into print on any prominent yard signs in my town.




Off the Cuff: Is Math Racist?

Is mathematics racist? Some educators in Oregon think so.

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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Bernie’s Q&A: Christie, Biden, Rather, Election Conspiracies, and more! (12/18) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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This year controversy stirred at the University of Texas over “The Eyes of Texas,” a song that has been sung for decades at the beginning and end of every UT sporting event. In my lifetime it has always been considered a song of unity. As Texas Monthly wrote, “The Eyes of Texas is not your typical school song. It’s something closer to a prayer.” It is whispered in the ears of babies just a few days old, and dignitaries such as Lady Bird Johnson have had it performed at their memorial services. It recently came to light that the song had its genesis in 1903 when it was used in various minstrel shows with white performers in black face. This news caused a backlash among many black athletes and other social activists, who refused to participate in the song’s performance. While I understand and acknowledge the racist history of my once-segregated home state and state school, this seems to me a giant step backwards. Despite its racist roots, until recently The Eyes of Texas was a song of unity among all Longhorns of various races, incomes and backgrounds. We had moved on and moved the song forward to a more enlightened, inclusive message. To me this is just one example of moving the culture backwards in our inability to detach ourselves from our worst history. What is your opinion of these occasions when art, history and institutions collide? — Steve R.

I’m pretty much with you, Steve. Kate Smith, a woman beloved by much of America, was posthumously cancelled because way back when, she sang songs that rightly would be considered racist today. So no “God Bless America” by Kate Smith at Yankee games (and, I’m sure, other places). Instead of ridding the nation of its vestiges of racism, it creates, I think, more division. “Racist” was once a powerful word. Not anymore. It’s been watered down to include way too much.

A recent headline in the Oregonian screamed: “Black Teen Killed By White Man Over Loud Music In Parking Lot.” I think we all know it would have read differently had the races of the two involved been reversed. Here’s a snippet of the story.

Terrible tragedy, right? I read a similar incident some time ago about an elderly man who shot and killed a younger man in a movie theater. Why? After the previews were over and the movie was starting, the victim was still chatting away with his family at normal volume, and this was disturbing the elderly couple sitting behind them. The older man either asked or told the chatty guy to be quiet since the movie was starting. Rather than quiet down, the victim threw his popcorn at the older man, who immediately left, returned to the theater with a weapon, and fired. Skin color wasn’t mentioned in the story, so I assume that they were both the same. 

Let’s state the obvious: Neither victim deserved to be murdered, and if convicted, the shooters should go to prison. HOWEVER, can we agree that these two people would still be alive if they’d been decent neighbors and good citizens instead of behaving like aggressive inconsiderate jerks? Is this victim blaming? I don’t think so. WHY did the guy in the movie theater feel justified in throwing popcorn instead of quieting down? Why was the 19 year old “black teen” playing loud music at four o’clock in the morning and disturbing hotel guests, and why did he refuse to turn it down when confronted?

What are your thoughts on incidents like these, and was it really necessary to emphasize the skin color since I don’t think that this was necessarily racially motivated?  — “Aggressive Dumb Asses Get Shot By Other Aggressive Dumb Asses” Regards—-From The Emperor

Journalists bring race into the story even when it’s not especially relevant — if the victim is black and the guy with the gun is white. It’s what liberals do to show their racial manners, to show how they’re concerned about victims of racial injustice — as they see it. The incident in question may have involved racism. But it may not have. Do we know if the gunman would have done the same thing if the guy playing the loud music were white? And you’re right: If a black guy shot a white kid playing loud music, most liberal journalists would not have brought race into the story.  For the record, loud music or no loud music — in the middle of the night or at high noon — you don’t get a gun and shoot the guy playing the music. The black guy is dead. The white guy’s life will soon be over — after he’s convicted and spends the rest of his life in prison.

Bernie, call me crazy but I think [the Hunter Biden story] is actually the SECOND major story the media covered up or ignored during the 2020 election in order to help their pal Joe. The other major story was the shockingly quick development of a Covid vaccine. All of the media and its “experts” laughed and mocked President Trump when he said we would have a vaccine by the end of the year, and guess what…the media was wrong again! The reality is none of this is a surprise and the media cannot act like it did not know it was likely to happen since clinical trial progress in the US is made publicly available on clinicaltrials.gov. How much do you want to bet this was another story the media conveniently ignored until after Nov 3? How much do you want to bet if Biden pulled off a similar feat they would start running stories calling for him to be anointed President for Life? — Joe M.

There’s a thread, Joe, running through the mainstream media’s behavior — how it handled the Hunter Biden story and how it’s now handing the story about the success of President Trump’s Warp Speed project. And the thread is simply this: Too many journalists are anti-Trump and pro-Biden … and were willing to throw their integrity over the side to help ensure that Joe Biden would win. I understand that this may sound simplistic and maybe even paranoid.  But it’s neither. It’s the blatant corruption of journalism in America.

Do you have any knowledge as to who writes the scripts the anchors read on any of the cable news shows – CNN, FNC, MSNBC, NewsMax, OAN. Is it the producers? Is it the anchors themselves? Is it a group effort? Are they following orders from above as to language or buzz words? Who decides what guests to have on the shows and what questions to ask them? How much discretion do the anchors have? How much is all this governed by focus groups, opinion polls and viewer feedback? Here, I’m not talking about the overtly opinion shows. Second, do you know who decides what stories to cover, the priority and the frequency of coverage? Yes, I know it may vary among the networks and a network’s policies may change with management. — Bob H.

When O’Reilly was on Fox, he wrote every word in the show, but that’s not how it works 99 percent of the time. There are writers and producers who write scripts and the anchors either tweak, edit or re-write. Best of my knowledge there are no formal orders regarding buzz words, etc … but at CNN, to use one example, everyone knows how the boss, Jeff Zucker, feels about Donald Trump … so no one is going to step out of line. As for what governs their decisions … on cable it’s ratings. They know what their viewers want and that’s exactly what they give them.  Finally, as to who makes editorial decisions on what to cover, there’s usually a group of producers and the anchors who weigh in.

As we move into the Biden era, given what we have seen from the press for the past decade plus, especially the failure to report stories that do not fit in well with their bias, how should we approach news reports going forward? Put another, how do we know we are getting the news, the facts and the truth about a particular subject? What can we do to be aware of what is happening or should we just give up, ie, don’t ask because we won’t tell? — Michael F.

I no longer know what to believe when I watch the news. Once, if I heard a reporter or anchor tell me something I generally knew it was true or if not, it was an honest error. No more. That’s one reason I watch less and less cable TV … though I do watch Special Report on Fox at 6p ET.

I think we’re doomed. After listening to your “Off the Cuff” remarks this morning, I am convinced now more than ever that we are in a serious decline in this country on all fronts – and are heading full-steam into the abyss. Criminals are now victims. Police are the enemy. We are $30 trillion in debt, much of it owned by China, and they want to hurt us. We are electing some of the most ‘bizarro people’ ever to hold government office. We now live in a PC driven fascist state with the activist removal of statues and re-naming of schools and sports teams. We are also in the midst of a race and culture war – fighting each other over every single thing one can imagine. I could go on and on – but you get the idea. Given your understanding of world history, and the demise of past empires like the Ottoman, Roman, Persian, British, and the collapse of Soviet Russia – what are your personal feelings about where we are headed as a nation. Are doomed to a similar fate? Sure looks like it. — Pistol Pete

I’d like to answer your question Pistol Pete but after reading it more than once I have to go JUMP OFF THE ROOF OF THE TALLEST BUILDING IN TOWN.

As to where we’re headed: If this continues we’re headed toward more polarization, more hatred of the other side, more destruction of basic civic values that hold a society together.

I was a big fan Pistol Pete when you played at LSU. Thanks for writing … it must be hard … SINCE YOU DIED IN 1988!

Bernie, Tell me if I’m following this correctly: Trump and many in the GOP and rightwing media have been pushing crazy conspiracy theories about massive election fraud for weeks. When called out for what they’re doing, they explain that most Republicans think the election was rigged, and so they have to fight the good fight for them. But the only reason so many Republican voters  think the election was rigged in the first place is because Trump, the GOP, and the right-wing media keep telling them it was rigged! Do you find this as ridiculous as I do? — Ben G.

Yes!!! And remember, the answer to all questions regarding TV in general and that includes cable TV news is … MONEY. They pander for dollars. That’s yet another reason a lot of sensible people are tuning out cable news.

Someone asked last week I think about your old colleague Dan Rather. I seem to remember you saying a long time ago that Rather never spoke to you again after the Wall Street journal column (or was it after Bias came out?). I’m curious: Now that more years have passed, has he still not spoken to you? Either way, would you think he has ever come to acknowledge how right you were about a bunch of things? Or do you suspect he’s still very much in the bubble of denying liberal bias even exists in the media? Thanks. — Alex D.

After my WSJ op-ed about liberal bias came out in February of 1996 he has not uttered a single syllable to me. It should be noted that I left CBS News in 2000 — so I don’t run into Dan anymore. Do I think he has acknowledge that I was right, you ask. No way. Dan has many good points but one bad one: He either can’t … or won’t … take serious criticism seriously.

It appears that Chris Christie has become a born-again “wear a mask” advocate, after spending over a week in the ICU suffering from the coronavirus. He even recently filmed a “wear a mask” PSA that is starting to air on television stations all over the country. I think this is good but why on earth haven’t we been seeing PSAs like this since WAY back in April when health experts were largely and finally on the same page about masks being very helpful in lessening the spread of the virus? Instead, masks have been politicized, mocked, and treated like some kind of attack on liberty. I can only imagine how many fewer people would have become infected if there had been a broad bipartisan and multi-cultural effort to get people to take mask wearing seriously, for the sake of those around them. — Philip S.

You’d think that SOMEBODY would have thought of such a public service ad campaign. The president could have but he was one who didn’t wear a mask almost all of the time. But I don’t recall Joe Biden putting up campaign money for such a campaign, either. Yours is a good idea, Philip. Too bad no one actually launched such a campaign back in the spring.

Was wondering if you were you ever asked to guest host the O’Reilly Factor on any of Bill’s days off. That used to be a pretty common practice, with other people filling in. — Joseph R.

I made clear I had no interest in doing that. Besides, the show came out of New York and I was living in Miami.

Bernie, I know you don’t exactly celebrate the holiday, but I thank God every day that Bill O’Reilly, President Trump, and Jesse Watters won the War on Christmas. Personally, I was getting sick and tired of not being able to say “Merry Christmas” out loud without being dragged into the street and severely beaten with the trunks of “holiday trees” by latte-drinking liberals. Don’t you agree that as a nation, we owe these three an enormous debt of gratitude for doing what they did (I’m still not clear what that was, exactly) to triumph over retail-store ad-marketers, negotiate their surrender, and restore Christmas spirit across the land? — John D.

You have a point, John D. But if you wear a hat nobody will notice it.

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: The Election, Giuliani, Clyburn, Carson (11/6) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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


My theory is that Democratic Party leaders per-arranged that, if Biden is elected he will early on, maybe within four to six months, step down from office on the grounds he is not able to carry out the duties of his office. This moves Harris into the Oval office as a tough, some would say ruthless, left/liberal and she would have agreed pre-election to accept Bernie Sanders as a very active domestic policy V.P., thereby rocketing the nation in a blink of the eye historical moment onto the path to Socialism. I’ve worked this over in my mind endlessly, picked it apart but it makes more sense every go around and it fits Nancy Pelosi’s near demonic obsession with crushing the Republicans at least for the foreseeable future. So gulp, what do you think? It sure would galvanize the vast resources of the Left here and among the EU nations. — John D. P.

I’m not into conspiracies. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald worked all by himself. And I don’t believe there’s a  pre-arranged plan for Joe to step down within 4 to 6 months.

If Biden wins, will there be a “Resistance,” and what might it look like? — Michael F.

There’ll be resistance on the Fox News Channel between 8 and 11 Eastern time, that’s for sure. There’ll be resistance on talk radio. And there’ll be political resistance too … just as there’s been political resistance from Democrats for the past four years.

Two questions:

  1. What are the chances that progressives will push Jim Clyburn to challenge Pelosi for the party leadership in the house….specifically, the speakership? And remember, a really contested election OUTCOME may well end up in the house and the speaker could even end up as president. It was Clyburn who resurrected Biden’s hopes with black voters in SC.
  2. What are the chances that a progressive (possibly AOC?) will primary Schumer in ’22? He’s certainly vulnerable…..he’s temporized about Israel’s security thus damaging himself within the NYC Jewish community, and he’s got lots of dead bodies that can rise up to haunt him in NY like Carolyn Maloney (he scuppered her chances to move into the Senate (after Hillary) in favor of Gillibrand). It will be fun to see how far left he’ll try to move as time goes on. Will go heavy for ending the filibuster, or court packing, to satisfy his far left zealots? Will he start ‘dropping his ‘g”s for the folksy affect? Wear more kente cloth?

Be well, take care. — Andrew M.

I don’t think progressives would push Clyburn to challenge Pelosi. And if they did, I don’t see Clyburn taking the bait. But a “really contested election” … while it may wind up in the House … the speaker as of now would not become president. If the House votes for president, Donald Trump would win — despite the fact that there are more Democrats than Republicans. The rules are set up so that each state gets one vote — and there are more GOP states than Dem states.

Re AOC and Chuck:  I think there’s a very good chance that she’ll primary him. And I think that’s why he’s saying “nothing is off the table.” He needs to hold his moderate base and fend off progressives at the same time. Whether he’s damaged himself with the Jewish community or not, isn’t a major factor. You think Jewish voters want AOC to take his place? You think they believe she’ll be more hospitable to Israel?

I watched a skit on YouTube this weekend by Johnny Carson, with him playing a Presidential candidate hooked up to a polygraph device answering questions from the press. Shows you that times haven’t changed much, except we are missing ENTERTAINERS like Johnny and before him Samuel Clemons and Will Rogers who would lighten up the mood that emanates from the political and journalistic (?) class in our nations Capital. Now all we have are social warriors impersonating entertainers. If you need a break from the noise, check out Johnny Carson on YouTube, there is a great segment with Bob Hope, Dean Martin and George Gobel. — Douglas C.

I totally agree with you. Carson poked at both sides. The current crop of late night clowns HATE Donald Trump. Most people don’t tune in to comedy shows for still more political talk. I watched Johnny religiously. I don’t watch any of the current crop … at all!

Mr. G, Something tells me this Wednesday morning you regret not accepting my offer to go fishing today LOL. So then, what keys will you be watching for the rest of this week to determine how the media will continue to pursue how this election will be decided? Because that’s what they tried to do (again) and failed miserably based on the close results. I also look forward to John’s “Polls” summary column this week. The WSJ/NBC poll had Biden +10 in their so called final projection just two days ago. Really? — ScottyG

I have a good-natured, well-intentioned suggestion for the pollsters who not only got it wrong, but got it dramatically, breathtakingly wrong: FIND ANOTHER LINE OF WORK!

Note from John: Hi Scotty. I assume your remark to me was in my reference to my defense of the national polls in 2016, where I pointed out that they pretty accurately predicted that year’s popular vote in the presidential election (while noting that problems with a handful of key swing-state polls did not give an accurate forecast of Trump’s electoral college win). This year, the Real Clear Politics average of national polls closed at a 7.2 Biden advantage. As of the time I’m writing this (Thursday night), Biden is winning the popular vote by a little over 2 points. We’ll have to see where it ends up. I think the number will get larger with the final count, but I doubt it will get anywhere close to 7.2 (in which case the national polls would indeed be off quite a bit). As far as state polling, there were clearly some big errors this time around. No doubt about that.

As of Wednesday evening, looks like Biden is in. I suspect the pollsters will might be looking for new careers but what about American Journalists and specifically the print journalists? They’re losing Trump, the best story line in decades. — Tim H.

You might think that “journalists” — who predicted a Biden landslide — might be humble and maybe even apologize to their audience. I know, crazy. They never apologized for almost 4 years “reporting” that Donald Trump was a Russian asset, so why would they apologize for getting the election so wrong — even if Biden wins, it won’t be by the gigantic margin they were predicting. If Trump goes, they’ll lose a big ratings draw, but CNN, MSNBC and Fox aren’t going to close shop.  On Fox, the opinion gang will plummet Joe and on CNN and MSNBC they’ll find ways to continue to bash Trump.  There’s too much money at stake to change their ways.

As of this writing, it looks like Biden will be the next president. If Republicans dominate the Senate and gain extra seats in the House, will the Dems still attempt to pack the Supreme Court and add extra states to give the liberal Democrats advantages? Seeing as the election is so close, I would think that would be political suicide for the Dems since it would appear that Americans don’t want woke leftists running the country. And if Biden wins, should Robert Mueller investigate to see if there was any Russia collusion with the Democrats? — “Election 2020” Regards From The Emperor

There’s no way they can fulfill their left wing wish list if the GOP retains control of the Senate. The House can do whatever it wants, they can propose letting 2 year olds vote, none of it would matter. Any bill to pack the court or any other progressive desire will be DOA when it hits the Senate.

Per my message last week re pollsters: is it time to have their compensation tied to the accuracy of their analysis? Or maybe we just need the gov’t to regulate the pollsters since we all know that more regulations are always the answer. — Michael

Tying their compensation to the accuracy of their analyses is not a bad idea. But many polls are conducted by the media, so they can’t cut their own rates. But I like your idea. As for government regulating the pollsters, I know you’re kidding. Good one, Michael.

Bernie, what has happened to Rudy Giuliani? He was a very highly respected individual at one time (“America’s Mayor” after 9/11). Now he has all kinds of shady foreign associates, he’s spreading zany conspiracy theories left and right (including right now about the election results), he’s unhinged in cable news interviews, and even though I can’t stand Borat, Rudy came across very creepy with the female “interviewer” in that clip. — Ben G.

I’m with you, Ben. I think he’s come under Donald’s spell. And as we know Donald can make more than liberals a little crazy. Rudy seems to be proof of that. But so are Trump’s media toadies. I’m embarrassed for some of them, mainly Rush, who’s a very bright guy.

Is it just me, or is the idea of a Biden presidency and a Republican-majority senate actually kind of appealing? None of Trump’s daily craziness, and no far left legislation making in past McConnell. The tax bill stays in place. Maybe some relief from the trade war. Maybe even some efforts from Republicans to work in good faith with Biden on entitlement reform (I may be dreaming on that last part but it didn’t happen over the past 4 years from Republicans because Trump was dead set against it). — Jen R.

It’s not just you, Jen … if Biden had to win, having a GOP Senate eases the pain considerably. If Biden wins and if he had a Democrat Senate, I’d be depressed. I’m not. So once again, Jen, you make a lot of sense.

Bernie, here are some interesting things I’ve learned about you over the years:

You’re friends with the lead singer of AC/DC, you’re immortalized in N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton” album and also Michael Mann’s “The Insider,” you were buddies with George Carlin, you’re pictured with all kinds of iconic figures (The Pope, Paul McCartney, Mike Tyson, Shaq, etc.), one U.S. president was filmed carrying your book across the White House lawn, another U.S. president asked your advice before he ran for office, you’ve won a kazillion awards, Jon Stewart wrote a song about you, etc.

Has this ever drawn comparisons between you and Forrest Gump, in how you’ve floated in and out of (and perhaps even unknowingly contributed to) significant cultural events in American history? Also, do you ever find yourself sitting on a bench at park bus-stops, with a box of chocolate, engaging in long-winded conversations with the individuals who sit down beside you? — John D.

That’s an awfully long question for a guy with a 6th grade education, John D. But yes, I am wonderful. Shaquille O’Neal actually said to me that what wants most is to be known as “the black Bernie Goldberg.” True story.

And because I want to give you a complete answer, one that you might actually comprehend (that means “understand”) let me say this: “Stupid is as stupid does.” But you, of all people knew that. In fact, I’m told it’s your motto, words you live by.

Did you know I recently invested my money in some fruit company — it’s called Apple.

Get it, John D? I appropriated that line (that means I stole it ) from the Forrest Gump movie.

You did know Forrest Gump is a fictional character in a Hollywood movie, right — and not just your real life role model?

 


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Off the Cuff: Trump’s Forfeited Opportunity

Donald Trump made a mistake by backing out of the second debate.

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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