The Elephant and the Jackass

Some people insist that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans. It is true that in some basic ways, all politicians are alike. After all, they all want to get re-elected, so they have to spend an inordinate amount of time diving into various pockets seeking campaign contributions. They also have to compromise unless they have overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress, as Obama did from 2009-2011, and even he had to finally use bribery and intimidation in order to get ObamaCare, his signature piece of legislation, passed.

It’s among civilians that one sees the greatest differences between conservatives and liberals. Conservatives, as you’d know if you’ve ever attended a Tea Party gathering, tend to be civil, respectful of opposing points of view, religious and in awe of the Founding Fathers. Liberals, on the other hand, enjoy behaving like barbarians, whether it’s at Wisconsin’s state capitol, on Wall Street or in Watts; do everything they can to deprive conservatives of free speech; oppose all religious symbols and ceremonies, while pretending that’s the intention of the 1st Amendment; and regularly demonstrate their contempt of people like Washington, Madison and Jefferson, whom they dismiss as slave-owning white guys.

Russian Pres. Dimitry Medvedev

When white conservative politicians are disgruntled, they express their grievances to the media. When black liberal politicians are disgruntled, they start shouting during a committee hearing or during a House session, as Sheila Jackson Lee and Bobby Rush have done in recent months. Even when the chairman tries to silence their outbursts by pounding his gavel, they take it as nothing more than a musical accompaniment. And because white congressmen are a spineless bunch of toadies, ever fearful they’ll be branded racists, they never even think of disciplining these obnoxious yahoos.

The good news is that Obama, mainly through his hand puppet, Eric Holder, has displayed his own racism so often that I expect he will experience the appropriate blowback in November. I am convinced that a large number of Independents who voted for him last time because they wanted to feel good about voting for the first black president have experienced a depressing change of heart.

Frankly, even though I have never regarded Obama as particularly bright, his tossing in his two cents during the recent Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman contretemps struck me as being particularly idiotic. After all, he had no more facts at hand than the rest of us, but he couldn’t resist pointing out that if he had a son, he’d look like young Martin. Right, and if he donned a hoodie and a pair of sunglasses the way that Rep. Rush did, he, too, would resemble the young ne’er-do-well. So what? The truth is, if Obama’s dad had been Peruvian instead of Kenyan, it’s George Zimmerman he’d look like.

The political fact of life is that Obama doesn’t have to suck up to blacks. After all, they’re obviously every bit as willing to overlook the fact that he’s half white as he is. He received 97% of their votes in 2008, and the only way he could receive a higher percentage is if Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Shelby Steele, Jesse Lee Peterson and Clarence Thomas, all took leave of their senses this November.

All Obama did by jumping into the fray was to remind us that he did the same thing when he condemned the Cambridge Police Department without knowing what had actually transpired between his friend, Prof. Henry Gates, and the cops.

He is clearly the most racist president we’ve had since Woodrow Wilson, but because it’s white folks he dislikes — unless, of course, they’re underlings doing his bidding or millionaires financing his re-election — nobody dares condemn him for it.

Recently, Obama was overheard telling President Medvedev that he would have greater flexibility after his election. Inasmuch as Obama has already denied Poland and the Czech Republic a promised missile defense system and, for good measure, offered to drastically reduce our nuclear capability, while getting absolutely nothing in return from Russia, I assume Medvedev and his puppet master, Putin, took that to mean he’ll somehow bend over even further in the future.

Speaking for conservatives, anxious to see him gone, we hope that greater flexibility means that after next January, Obama will be able to sleep till noon, work on his putting, have lunch regularly with the likes of Bill Ayers, Van Jones and Jeremiah Wright, and still have plenty of time to take the kids to Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write!

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NYT: At It Again

I try not to read the opinion pages of the New York Times because when I do I come away from the experience feeling lousy. I remember when the Times was a great newspaper, when the columnists, whose politics I may not have agreed with, were smart and made me think.

The other day I did what I should not have done and came upon perhaps the shallowest piece I have ever read in the Times.  Given how the paper has been in decline in recent decades, that’s saying a lot.

The op-ed was by the Times’ own Brent Staples, a black man who sees the world through a prism of race.  The headline over the piece read:  “Young, Black Male, And Stalked by Bias.”

Here’s how it began:  “The door to the subway train slides open, revealing three tall, young black men, crowding the entrance, with hooded sweatshirts pulled up over downward-turned faces; boxer shorts billowing out of over-large, low-slung jeans; and sneakers with the laces untied.

“Your response to the look – and to this trio on the subway – depends in part on the context, like the time of day, but especially how you feel young, male blackness.”

Actually, that’s not true.  My response to the look doesn’t depend on how I feel about black teenagers.  It depends on how I feel about anybody who looks like a thug.  Besides, given the epidemic of black-on-black crime, a black kid getting on the train would also be worried if the door slides open and he sees three young black kids in saggy pants and hoodies.  But let’s give Mr. Staples the benefit of the doubt.  Let’s assume white people do have a built in concern when we see black teenagers on the street late at night, or on the subway.  Why don’t we have that same concern – fear is the more precise word – when we see a bunch of young Hassidic Jews hanging around?  Could it be because there aren’t a lot of violent Hassidic Jews out there — and there are a disproportionate number of black kids involved in street crime?

“If it unsettles you – as it does many people – you never get beyond the first impression,” the column goes on.  “But those of us who are not reflexively uncomfortable with blackness can discern the clues and tell who these kids are.  They may be tall, but their hormonally pockmarked faces, narrow hips and the cartoon-patterned underwear show that they are probably 15 years old, at most.  The grimy black book bags, barely visible against the black hoodies, make them students on the way to school.”

Oops, I didn’t notice the “barely visible” book bags.  And, geez, it never occurred to me that since they were probably only 15 years old, they couldn’t possibly be up to no good.  Guess I’m just a white bigot.

That’s not sarcasm.  It’s Staples’ main point –that if black kids make you feel uncomfortable you must be a racist, even if you don’t know it.  Does Staples understand that wearing your pants with your underwear showing is how black kids pay homage to black criminals?  In prison you’re not allowed to wear a belt. That’s why their pants are falling down and their underwear is showing.

“Very few Americans make a conscious decision to subscribe to racist views,” Staples graciously tells us, before getting to the mandatory “but …”  “But the toxic connotations that the culture has associated with blackness have been embedded in thought, language and social convention for hundreds of years.  This makes it easy for people to see the world through a profoundly bigoted lens without being aware that they are doing so.”

For a writer, Staples is profoundly devoid of introspection.  Yes, some people “see the world through a profoundly bigoted lens” and don’t know it – and Brent Staples apparently is one of them.

Imagine if the door to the subway train slides open and we see, not three black teenagers in faux prison garb, but three young nuns, all black.  Or we see three young black men in suits and ties.  Or, somehow, we see Kobe, LaBron and Carmello riding the subway.  No one would feel threatened by their “blackness.”  We feel threatened by the three kids with hoodies and drooping pants not because we’re racists, but because we’re realists: they look like criminals.

Brent Staples fancies himself an expert on race because he’s black.  This is why he feels safe in writing nonsense like this:  “Society’s message to black boys – ‘we fear you and view you as dangerous’ – is constantly reinforced.  Boys who are seduced by this version of themselves end up on a fast track to prison and the graveyard.”

So whitey is not only a bigot, conscious or otherwise, but is also responsible for turning good black kids into gangsters simply because they are “seduced” by the image bigoted white people have of  them. If only we saw them in a different light – a better, less bigoted light – they would have turned out to be productive citizens.  That’s called wishful thinking.

The reason so many people – black and white – “fear you and view you as dangerous” is because a disproportionate number of young black kids either are dangerous or, at absolute least, just like to look that way, to frighten anyone they can.  If the majority of black kids who don’t commit crimes get tainted by the others, is that really the result of racism — or are we just calculating the odds and arriving at not-so-unreasonable conclusions?

But why is Brent Staples devoting a column to this subject at this particular time?  Trayvon Martin, that’s why.  “By the time he went on neighborhood watch patrol with his 9-millimeter piston and spied Trayvon Martin, Mr. Zimmerman saw not a teenager with candy, but a collection of preconceptions:  the black as burglar, the black as drug addict, the black ‘up to no good.’ And he was determined not to let this one get away.”

On this point, Roger Kimball, who writes at PJ Media, takes Staples’ column and runs it through the shredder:

“Question: how does Brent Staples know what George Zimmerman saw or thought? He doesn’t. He is just making it up.  And the more we know about the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the murkier the episode seems. The man whom the Times branded a “white Hispanic” turns out to have been a conscientious good citizen who donated much time to public good works, including tutoring young black kids for free. In his hysterical campaign against the sin of un- or semi-conscious racism, Brent Staples liberally deploys insidious racialism to make a scapegoat of a man he knows nothing about. ‘Young, Black, Male, and Stalked by Bias’ is all of a piece with the Times’s other reporting on race: whites are guilty until proven innocent, at which point they are still guilty of being white, but blacks get every benefit of every doubt, up to and including being employed by the paper’s editorial page not for merit but for skin color. It’s a case of the not-so-soft bigotry of racialist expectations. Brent Staples is indeed ‘stalked by bias,’ but it turns out that it’s his own bias, underwritten partly by reflexive racialism, partly by stupidity.”

What Brent Staples doesn’t seem to understand is that it isn’t white racism that is stalking young black men.  It’s black dysfunction.  It’s 15-year old girls having babies without ever having husbands.  It’s men who are fathers, but only biologically.  In the entire recorded history of our planet, there has never been a greater voluntary abandonment of children than there is now by black men in America. More than 70 percent of black kids grow up without fathers in the house.

It’s a short but all to predicable leap from fatherlessness to hoodies and baggie pants and menacing demeanors and worse.  That’s what Brent Staples ought to be worried about.


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Trayvon Martin – The Cast of Characters

On February 26th, I was no where near the shooting of Trayvon Martin so I have no idea what happened.  I don’t know Trayvon; I don’t know George Zimmerman.  I don’t know if Trayvon did anything to provoke George and I have no idea what went on in George’s head or heart so I have nothing to say about the actual incident because the investigation is still ongoing and we don’t have all the facts.

But that hasn’t stopped a whole lot of other characters from injecting themselves into the national drama.

I’ll leave the media to the experts like Bernie Goldberg whose article Trayvon Martin and Media Hypocrisy tells us all we need to know about the media’s bias and its reporting of the story.

I can’t begin to imagine what Trayvon’s parents are going through, but I also can’t imagine how, amidst all the grieving, his mother had the time, energy and composure to consult an attorney to file trademark applications for “I Am Trayvon” and “Justice for Trayvon.”  Enough said.

President Obama was asked a question during one of his press conferences about the case.  Not having learned his lesson from the Gates situation at Cambridge, he went head first into the quagmire by saying that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon.  With that statement, Mr. Obama did more than just personalize the situation; he put a racial spin on it thereby excluding 86% of Americans.  A person with true leadership skills would’ve had us collectively thinking of Trayvon as one of our own young people rather than reminding us that he was a black young man.  I guess I have to give him some slack because he was speaking off the cuff without his teleprompter.

Enter poverty pimps, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, the race-baiting maggots who are genetically drawn to any opportunity for national attention.  Al Sharpton was calling for the immediate arrest of George before the investigation was completed and only absented himself from the controversy to attend his own mother’s funeral.  Jesse Jackson called Trayvon “murdered and martyred.”  Jackson told the LA Times that “blacks are under attack,” adding that “targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business.”  How irresponsible can two people be?

I’m not off base here particularly when you have the former NAACP leader C.L. Bryant accusing both Sharpton and Jackson of “exploiting” the Trayvon Martin tragedy to “racially divide this country.”

Who can forget those lovable New Black Panthers whose spokesman, Mikhail Muhammad, called for vigilante justice, saying “an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth” and offering a $10,000 reward for George’s “capture.”  Not a word from President Obama or Eric Holder about this type of vigilantism but then again, it was Eric Holder who failed to follow through with the prosecution of the 2008 New Black Panthers’ voter intimidation case.

Then there’s the moron, Spike Lee, who decided to tweet George’s address but got it wrong and tweeted the address of an elderly couple whose lives were disrupted by this idiot’s need for revenge.  Since then, the couple has “settled” with Spike Lee (I hope they got plenty of bucks out of this bozo.)  He’s since tweeted an apology. Maybe someone should tweet his address. He is a perfect example of why I cannot and will not separate the man/woman/actor/actress from their politics.  As long as I know that one dime of my money will end up in his pocket, I will never see a Spike Lee movie.  Period.

Before this is over, we’re going to see a whole new bunch of unsavory characters coming out of the woodwork.  I’m sure there are plenty of publicity whores thinking right now how they can monetize the situation.

If there’s an arrest and George is put on trial, I’m sure Court TV will have a huge daily audience watching and picking apart every shred of evidence.  I will go out on a limb and say that, just like there was no way OJ would ever be convicted, there will be no way that George will not be convicted.

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

Peeling the Onion Known as Trayvon Martin

After you finish this bonus article inspired by recent events, we hope you’ll also enjoy It’s Time to Focus on Current Events.

In the beginning, we were told that Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, was a model student and a credit to his race. We were told that he had been suspended from school for tardiness. And we were constantly shown his photo, in which he looked almost cherub-like.

Then we heard that it wasn’t tardiness, but truancy. Finally, we got the news that his suspension was drug-related. Later, we learned that the photo of the smiling Trayvon was five years old. We then got to see a photo of 17-year-old Trayvon looking like a thug. We also learned that he was 6’3” and that his twitter comments hardly paint a picture of a choir boy. We also learned that he had been found to have stolen jewelry, a screwdriver and graffiti paraphernalia, in his backpack.

None of that is an excuse for being shot down in cold blood. But, then, George Zimmerman was found to have gotten his nose broken and the back of his head bashed and bloodied in the aftermath of his encounter with Martin, so it may not have been cold-blooded, after all.

What we do know is that if George Zimmerman’s father, rather than his mother, had been Hispanic and if his last name had therefore been Gomez, Lopez or Chavez, nobody would have ever heard of the incident. We certainly know that Obama wouldn’t have chimed in, and Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the Black Panthers, would never have rushed down to Sanford, Florida.

Some people have said that Obama had to respond to a reporter’s question, after all, but we all know that nobody gets to ask Obama a question he doesn’t want to answer. And while other people seem to be perfectly satisfied with his response, I’m not. For one thing, when it’s a white victim of black crime, he never says anything. This time, he felt compelled to say, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin.” I wonder how the media would have responded if a white 17-year-old had been shot by a black person, and a white president had said, “If I had a son, he would look like Billy Jones.”

With Obama and his hand puppet, Attorney General Eric Holder, it always comes down to race. That’s bad enough, but the fact that Obama sold himself as the first post-racial president makes his response all the more insufferable.

While Sharpton and all the other usual suspects are screaming for justice, is there anyone who actually believes that if it’s determined in a court of law that George Zimmerman is innocent of any wrongdoing that America won’t experience Rodney King-type riots in the aftermath?

In a related matter, Rep. Laura Richardson, a black congresswoman from California, who is already being investigated by the House Ethics Committee for various violations, has now been accused by a former aide of treating her and other staff members like chattel.

This comes after Sheila Jackson Lee was voted the most obnoxious member of Congress by congressional staffers; Charles Rangel was found guilty of 11 infractions by a House committee; Maxine Waters is under investigation for questionable financial dealings; and Rep. Hank Johnson made America cackle by worrying during a House hearing whether the island might tip over if too many sailors and their families were relocated to Guam.

It’s not white America that has set back race relations; it’s Obama, Holder and the corrupt and ignorant dingbat members of the Black Congressional Caucus. It’s they, along with race baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who consistently ignore black crime and the black illegitimacy rate while berating whites for alleged grievances.

It takes an honest black man such as Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson to say, “It’s hypocritical of so-called black leaders to call for the prosecution of George Zimmerman and accuse the police of racism without knowing the facts. Black-on-black crime takes place every day. And blacks kill whites in far greater numbers than whites kill blacks. Yet, we only see these leaders and their hypnotized black followers worked up when a black is victimized by another race. This is racist and evil.

“Where were the NAACP, Al Sharpton, the Black Caucus and black ministers when black flash mobs were terrorizing the city of Philadelphia and attacking whites and others? It was so bad that Mayor Michael Nutter threatened to jail parents if they were not willing to get their thug children under control. In Kansas City, a 13-year-old white kid was attacked by two black teens who poured gasoline on him and set him on fire, saying, ‘You get what you deserve, white boy.’ If these leaders were sincere, they would condemn crime across the board.

“It’s unfortunate that the parents of Trayvon Martin would associate with the likes of Al Sharpton and allow their loss to be exploited. Just imagine the support they would receive from Americans of all races if they rejected hate and called for calm and due process to allow the truth to come out.”

Instead, Trayvon’s mother has trademarked his name and hoodies just like Trayvon’s, as they’re being marketed, are selling on the Internet for $80.

Is it any wonder that Republicans of all colors can’t wait for regime change to take place on November 6th?

Speaking of the election, I just heard Rick Santorum say that he would be willing to run as Romney’s vice-president.

All I know is that if it comes to pass, President Romney would not only need a chief of staff and a solicitor general, but an official food taster.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write!

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In Cold Blood?

I read an op-ed in the New York Times the other day about the Trayvon Martin shooting.  The writer, an author named Rich Benjamin, was mainly talking about his dislike of gated communities where residents, he says, develop a bunker mentality and see outsiders – “the young, the colored and the presumably poor” – as threats to their safety.  So it “isn’t just racism,” as a sub headline states, it’s also “the bunker” that led to Trayvon Martin’s death.

Benjamin says people who live in gated communities often have an exaggerated fear of crime.  They think it’s a greater threat to them and their families than it really is, based on police statistics. He makes their desire to stay safe inside the confines of their gated community sound like a bad case of paranoia, or some other kind of mental disorder. But that’s not why I’m writing.

In his op-ed he casually states that George Zimmerman shot “the youth in cold blood.”

Could be.  And if that’s what happened, Mr. Zimmerman must be punished. But Rich Benjamin, since he wasn’t there, has absolutely no way of knowing if that is what happened. Besides, “in cold blood” means that the deed was done ruthlessly and without any emotion.  That’s a reckless term to use when you can’t possibly know what you’re talking about. Did Mr. Benjamin learn nothing from the so-called Duke Lacrosse rape case?

A lot of people also knew for sure, without a shred of evidence, that three young white men supposedly from privileged backgrounds raped a not-so-well-off black woman who had to dance at frat parties to make a living.  How could it be otherwise, they figured? The athletes were white, right?  The “victim” was black.  The story fit all their pre-conceived notions about jocks and race and power and powerlessness.

Except, it turned out that the woman was mentally unstable and made the whole thing up.  Oops!

Every decent person wants justice in the Sanford shooting. But by promiscuously stating that a young black man was shot “in cold blood” – and stating it in the New York Times, no less — Mr. Benjamin may have made that goal more difficult.  So has Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who recently said, “Now, I’m not going to be politically correct. I’m going to say it like I see it. Trayvon was hunted down like a rabid dog.”

Given America’s history with race, we can understand why African Americans (both Mr. Benjamin and Congresswoman Wilson are black) might jump to conclusions, absent any hard facts. We can understand that black prople  experienced things that whites haven’t and so assume certain things — about the police, the justice system, and other powerful American insititutions — that whites might not.

But Congresswoman Wilson doesn’t know that “Trayvon was hunted down like a rabid dog” anymore than Mr. Benjamin knows that he was shot “in cold blood.”  You get the impression that while they may see themselves as progressives, they haven’t allowed themselves to progress very far from the bad old days of Jim Crow.

What if it turns out that George Zimmerman, the shooter, committed no crime?  Will the people yelling loudest for justice accept such a finding – or is “guilty” the only permissible verdict for a “cold-blooded” shooting?