Genocide in America — and Other Idiotic Observations

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis a few months ago touched off a cultural revolution in America, one replete with protests in the streets along with more than a little rioting and looting.

The narrow message was that there’s a wave of police brutality washing over the country and it’s got to stop.  The bigger message is that it’s not just bad cops who are the problem, but that America in its entirety is the problem. Not that there are racists in America, but that racism is “systemic,” meaning it permeates every facet of American life.

Naomi Osaka, the tennis superstar took to twitter to tell us that, “Watching the continued genocide of Black people at the hand of the police is honestly making me sick to my stomach.”

Genocide?  Here in the United States?  Really?  Perhaps Ms. Osaka doesn’t know the meaning of the word — that it refers to “the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.”

But let’s not be too harsh on Ms. Osaka. After all she’s only 22 and spent a good deal of her life hitting a ball with a racquet over a net.

But what should we make of the scholars who keep telling us that “systemic racism” in our country is real and that it can’t be tolerated any longer?

There’s Ted Ruger, dean of the University of Pennsylvania law school who says, “We are again reminded that this country’s 400-year history of racism continues to produce clear and present danger to the bodies and lives of Black people in every part of the United States.”

And there’s Amherst College president Carolyn Martin who says that the “virulent anti-black racism in this country has never NOT been obvious, and yet there are those who continue to deny it,” before making a plea “to white people in particular, to acknowledge the reality of anti-black racism, its long history, and its current force; to recognize how embedded it is in our institutional structures, social systems, and cultural norms; and to assume our responsibility for ending it.”

And there’s UCLA chancellor Gene Block who believes that “racism permeates every sector of our society, from education to employment, from housing to health care, from board rooms to court rooms.”

There are many, many more scholars who say things just like that, but you get the idea.  What’s especially noteworthy is that it turns out that liberal elite college campuses are a hotbed of this horrible racism.

Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber, for example, says that, “Racism and the damage it does to people of color persist at Princeton … and racist assumptions . . . remain embedded in structures of the University itself.”

At Middlebury College in Vermont, the school’s president, Laurie Patton, tells us that racism “happens in our residence halls and in our classrooms, at the tables of our dining halls and in our locker rooms, on our sidewalks, within the offices where we work, and in our town.”

But as Heather MacDonald writes in the Manhattan Institute’s magazine, City Journal, “All such institutional self-accusations by college presidents leave out the specifics. Which faculty members do not treat black students fairly? If that unjust treatment is so obvious, why weren’t those professors already removed? What is wrong with an admissions process that lets in thousands of student bigots? In other moments, college presidents brag about the quality of their student body and faculty. Are they lying? Shouldn’t they have disclosed to black applicants that they will face ‘racist acts’ and ‘systems of inequality’ should they attend?”

But, despite the lectures we get from scholars, and despite what we hear from athletes like Naomi Osaka, systemic racism isn’t automatically a fact just because they say it is. “Other credible explanations exist for ongoing racial disparities, including family structure, cultural attitudes, and individual behavior. To declare from the highest reaches of the academy that racism is the defining and all-explaining feature of American society is to adopt a political position, not to state a scientific truth,” as Heather MacDonald nicely sums it up.

There is a reason, of course, that we hear so much about the evils of system racism from so many white liberals.  It’s because there are no limits to white liberal guilt, a condition that is, well, systemic among those on the left.

Many white liberals see racism everywhere – remember, that’s what “systemic racism” means, that it’s everywhere – because they have a desperate need to show off what the black conservative scholar Shelby Steele calls, their “good racial manners,” to show the world that they’re the “good ones.”

But, as Heather MacDonald, asks, “What if the racism explanation for ongoing disparities is wrong, however? What if racial economic and incarceration gaps cannot close without addressing personal responsibility and family culture—without a sea change in the attitudes that many inner-city black children bring with them to school regarding studying, paying attention in class, and respecting teachers, for example?”

Such a discussion is a dangerous one to have in places like liberal American universities or American newsrooms or chic Manhattan dinner parties.  Anyone who dares bring up such inconvenient alternatives to “systemic racism” runs the risk of being called a racist – if he or she is lucky.  If they’re not lucky, they’ll simply be cancelled.

And the very real problems plaguing too much of black America will persist.  But hey, all those white liberals will feel better – about themselves.  And that’s what’s really important.




I Think I’m White … and I Play Centerfield for the New York Yankees

Then and NowWhen in 1637 the French philosopher Rene Descartes said, “I think therefore I am” I’m guessing he didn’t have Rachel Dolezal in mind. But you never know.
In case you’ve been in a coma for the past week, Rachel Dolezal is the white woman who until recently was the head of the Spokane, Washington NAACP. Ms. Dolzesal thinks she’s black. Therefore, in her mind anyway, she is black.

You may not understand Ms. Dolezal’s reasoning but that’s probably because you’re not as smart as Descartes.

Ms. Dolezal has been blasted for her deception, but I kind of like the way she thinks.  It makes it easier for me to think I play centerfield for the New York Yankees. Sometimes I think I’m a horse.

Well, as strange as all this sounds, we’re now learning, thanks to a guest column in the Huffington Post, that Rachel Dolezal isn’t alone when it comes to self loathing for being white.

Ali Michael, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote the column under the headline, “I Sometimes Don’t Want to be White Either.” Guess what it’s about.

Don’t bother. Here’s a portion of her column:

“There was a time in my 20s when everything I learned about the history of racism made me hate myself, my Whiteness, my ancestors … and my descendants. I remember deciding that I couldn’t have biological children because I didn’t want to propagate my privilege biologically.

“If I was going to pass on my privilege, I wanted to pass it on to someone who doesn’t have racial privilege; so I planned to adopt. I disliked my Whiteness, but I disliked the Whiteness of other White people more. I felt like the way to really end racism was to feel guilty for it, and to make other White people feel guilty for it too. And then, like Dolezal, I wanted to take on Africanness. Living in South Africa during my junior year abroad, I lived with a Black family, wore my hair in head wraps, shaved my head. I didn’t want to be White, but if I had to be, I wanted to be White in a way that was different from other White people I knew. I wanted to be a special, different White person. The one and only. How very White of me…”

Professor Michael, who has a Ph.D, says, for her the desire to be black was a phase, a phase she has since moved on from. But she learned from her experience, she tells us. And so, this is how she ends her column:

“Being White — even with the feeling of culturelessness and responsibility for racism — is nothing compared to not being White. But being White — and facing the truth of what that means historically and systemically — can drive you to do the weird and unthinkable that we see in Dolezal today.

“It seems like a good warning. Rachel Dolezal’s actions are a potential pitfall for any White people on the journey towards recognizing the truth of what it means to be White and accepting responsibility for it. But we cannot not be White. And we cannot undo what Whiteness has done. We can only start from where we are and who we are.”

Yes!

And then we can check ourselves into the nearest asylum that specializes in the treatment of white liberal guilt.




White Liberals and the New Racism

White Lib GuiltI attended a forum the other night at a liberal synagogue about “the tragic trend of police shootings of unarmed black men.” Let’s set aside that there is no “trend” and that the “unarmed” black men were also resisting arrest, and in the case of Michael Brown was trying to take the gun away from the police officer who felt he had to shoot him in order to save his own life.

I’m pretty sure at least 99 percent of everyone in the room –- not counting me and the 3 co-conspirators I dragged along – were committed liberals who were convinced that the biggest problem plaguing black America is white cops who hate black people and shoot them if they so much as look at the cop funny.

No, they didn’t say so in just that way, but that was certainly the gist of what was said that night.

During the opening remarks, we heard from the panelists — a black activist who didn’t want anyone to be called a “criminal,” and opposed prisons on principle; a member of the ACLU who thought that America was “further away from equality” today than in 1965 when he marched from Selma to Montgomery; a cop who said he believed Michael Brown was trying to take away Officer Darren Wilson’s gun only to “humiliate him,” presumably with no intention of shooting the cop; and a judge who for the most part simply explained how grand juries operate, though she tiptoed into liberal terrain too.

They talked about how cops had to change their behavior in order to stop the “trend” that was killing off “unarmed” black men. But during their presentations, not one of them uttered even one word about what criminal suspects needed to do to avoid being shot by police.

When the moderator asked for questions I was the first one on my feet. I noted that everything said up to that point was about police behavior, and the obligations of white society, and the supposed failure of America’s educational system. I told the libs I found it troubling that no one was holding criminal suspects responsible for their actions. Then I offered up a list of three things people needed to do to avoid trouble with the police.

  1. Obey the law.
  2. Don’t resist arrest
  3. Never – NEVER! – try to take a cop’s gun away from him

If suspects did those things, I said, the number of unarmed black men would go down to near zero. I noted that I said “near zero” because there are some bad cops out there, and I made clear they should not be allowed to wear a badge or carry a gun.

I sensed more than a whiff of unease in the room. Good.

Inside the bubble they inhabit, nobody talks the way I did, even though I didn’t say anything even vaguely controversial. Inside the bubble, they can go for a day, a week, a month, a year, practically an entire lifetime and not run into somebody with a right-of-center point of view. The comfort of the bubble enables them to glide through life believing that it’s not so much that they’re liberal, but more that they’re … reasonable.

Then I dropped a statistic on them. Black police officers account for a little more than 10 percent of all fatal police shootings (according to the most current government statistics). But of those they kill, 78 percent were black.

That leads us to one of two conclusions I told the lefties: Either black cops are just as racist as they believe white cops are … or … a lot of black criminal suspects do things that bring about their own demise.

Next question, please, said the moderator.

Afterward, in informal gatherings, one of the libs told me that crime stems from poverty. I responded that 72 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock and that often leads to poverty, which too often leads to crime. Cut down on that kind of behavior, I said, and a lot of the crime problem – and confrontation with cops — goes away.

I must have said something about how liberals would never tell 15-year old black girls to stop having babies because one of the libs told me that it’s not up to white people to tell black people how to raise their families.

Oy!  It’s true:  There are no limits to white liberal guilt.

It’s comfortable living in a bubble. You never have to defend your positions. All your friends think the way you do. But it’s not healthy to be so cut off from what really amounts to mainstream American thought. And most of all, living in the white liberal bubble doesn’t do young black men, who this group supposedly cared so much about, one bit of good.

Here’s what I didn’t tell the group, though I was tempted. They are the new face of racism in America. They are the kinder, gentler, liberal kind. They are enablers who make it easy for too many black people to see themselves as victims. They are the ones who would never tell black people that the best way to avoid confrontations with cops – yes, some of whom are racists – is to not get into trouble in the first place.

A few days later, with their liberal rubbish still clogging my thoughts, I remembered that old observation by Winston Churchill. “Show me a young Conservative and I’ll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I’ll show you someone with no brains.”

Bingo!




How Would Liberals Treat a Black Conservative in the White House?

White GuiltI know it’s been several weeks since Oprah Winfrey told a BBC interviewer in London that President Obama has been a victim of racism.  And yes, I know that by now it’s old news.  So in the spirit of the holiday season I’ll not only be brief, but polite, civil and kind too.

Ms Winfrey was asked if President Obama would be treated differently if he were not African American. This is what she said: “There is a level of disrespect for the office that occurs. And that occurs in some cases and maybe even in many cases because he’s African American. There’s no question about that, and it’s the kind of thing that nobody ever says but everybody is thinking it.”

Oprah is right that some of the criticism of President Obama is coming from bigots.  In a nation of more than 300 million people, there will always some stupid people who can’t get beyond skin color.  But it’s a mistake to make generalizations based on a small number of racists.

To bolster her case, Oprah told the BBC interviewer about Joe Wilson, the South Carolina Republican, who yelled “you lie” during a speech that Mr. Obama delivered to a joint session of Congress in 2009.  That kind of disrespect, coming from a white Southerner, in the United States Congress no less, makes African Americans like Oprah Winfrey wonder why the only president in the entire history of this country ever subjected to that kind of nastiness, was a black man.  If you were black you might wonder the same thing.  But I don’t think Joe Wilson yelled “liar” because Mr. Obama is black.  I think he did it because Joe Wilson is a fool.

But let’s move on to the main point Oprah was making: that some or much of what she sees as disrespect – but aside from Wilson’s remark is probably just run-of-the mill political criticism — is the result of racism.  Is she on to something?

To find out, let’s imagine that another young, attractive African American with an Ivy League education is president of the United States.  Let’s call him President Buckley — and let’s note that he’s very conservative.  Let’s say President Buckley used his considerable charisma to rail against the prevalence of food stamps in our culture.  Let’s say he wanted lower taxes on corporations and thought the government was spending too much money on too many programs that didn’t work.  Who would be criticizing this black president?

If Oprah is right, that too many Americans (conservative Americans is what she meant) don’t like a black man in the White House, then it would be people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity who would be yelling the loudest about President Buckley.  But they’d be the ones cheering the loudest.  They wouldn’t care one bit about the color of President Buckley’s skin.  They’d be thrilled that they finally had a conservative in the White House. someone who in the ways that count, resembled Ronald Reagan.

So then, who would be leading the opposition to President Buckley?   Who would be the ones who before he ever got there refused to vote for this kind of black man?  White liberals, that’s who. People like Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow.  People who write editorials at the New York Times.

Are they bigots?  Do they hate black people?  No?  Then why are they heaping so much criticism on the poor guy? Could it be – duh! – that they would oppose President Buckley because of his conservative politics?

This is so simple I’m a little embarrassed devoting a column, even a short one, making these obvious points — except they’re not obvious to a lot of liberals.

Because I opened this piece saying I’d be polite, civil and kind, I won’t say that white liberals just aren’t that smart when it comes to matters involving race.  I won’t say that they’re too busy trying to show off their good racial manners, which is to say trying to convince black people that they, unlike most white people, aren’t bigots.  And I won’t say, either, that black liberals, perhaps because of slavery and segregation, have become paranoid on matters of race, seeing racism even where it doesn’t exist.

I won’t say any of that — even if it’s true.