Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

Looking at the antics of students at the University of Missouri and Yale University one cannot help but think that the inmates are now running the asylum.

How did it come to this?

It seems to have begun in Ferguson, Missouri. Then it moved on to Baltimore, Maryland. Dissent became dissension. Discontent became violence. Blacks had been killing other blacks at an alarming rate. Now we were being told that the fault lay with white people, in particular, with white policemen.

The Obama administration, from the top down, sold the narrative. The police were murdering black people, at random, for no reason. And they were getting away with it. The meaning of American life was what you could get away with.

The Obama administration had to find a narrative to explain its own failures. And to disclaim responsibility. It refused to be held accountable for the condition of black Americans, for the state of America and the world. The buck did not stop in the Obama oval office.

Remember the halcyon days when Barack Obama was first elected president? Remember when everyone was hoping for a bright new future? Remember when everyone bought the illusion that we could solve all of our problems by having a black president, because we would be showing in one grandiose gesture that we had overcome racism?

Where are those hopes now? Dashed, run aground, discarded. Anyone who thought that black Americans would gain self-esteem by feeding off the success of Barack Obama has been disabused of his illusions. Anyone who thought that an Obama presidency, with a Justice Department led by that great justice warrior, Eric Holder would raise the fortunes of America’s minorities by skewing the system in favor of blacks has been smoking funny cigarettes.

Obviously, electing someone who was unqualified and unprepared for the presidency was a bad idea. It had nothing to do with race. It was bad for America, bad for the world and bad for black America. It is even bad when Republicans join the party and support the candidacies of people who are unqualified and unprepared for the presidency.

Recently, basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote this in Time Magazine:

And it would definitely not be good for African Americans to have a president who flounders helplessly in office because it would perpetuate the stereotype that blacks can’t be effective CEOs, quarterbacks and leaders.

Abdul-Jabbar was making the case against a Ben Carson presidency. But, tell me, don’t those words apply perfectly to the presidency of a helpless and hapless flounderer like Barack Obama? And does that not explain why black Americans, having been misled into believing that the Obama presidency would be a magic potion that would lead them to success, have felt betrayed?

And yet, no one of his supporters will say that Obama is responsible for his failed administration. Instead, they have followed Obama’s lead and have blamed the Bush administration, Congressional Republicans, white police officers, white people and Israeli Jews.

Let’s not forget the latter, the Jewish state, scapegoat extraordinaire, the only nation that Barack  Obama and his administration consistently treats with contempt and disrespect. Everyone is aiming at white privilege and white policemen, but never forget that Barack Hussein Obama spent twenty years at the feet of a rabid anti-Semite named Jeremiah Wright. The hidden message in the Obama administration willingness to shift blame is that, for it and its supporters, white people have become the new Jews.

The narrative is about justice, but most especially about guilt. Why burn down your neighborhood and loot all of the local stores? Easy… to make white people feel guilty for having forced you to such an extreme action. What’s the answer? Reparations, says Ta-Nehisi Coates the former Baltimore resident, son of a Black Panther, who has received adulation that has no real relationship with his abilities as a writer or a thinker.

At the same time, the picture of a black president failing, of a black president being humiliated by world leaders, of a black president who has done nothing for minority communities cannot, following Abdul-Jabbar, enhance the self-esteem of blacks. Thanks to Obama American blacks are more demoralized and in greater despair. They had pinned their hopes on a god and the god failed. Time to take to the streets.

Why did Obama fail? Try this: by pursuing the ideal of justice and assuming that it would solve everyone’s problems, it diverted attention and effort from what really mattered: hard work, achievement and earned success.

Let’s imagine that Darrin Wilson had been indicted. What would that have done for the job situation in Ferguson, MO? Did the rioting over Michael Brown help out the local economy? You might want to say that the people were so enraged that they could not control themselves, but isn’t that demeaning and insulting? Doesn’t it absolve them of responsibility for their actions?

You cannot adjudicate success. You cannot legislate achievement. Opportunity means nothing if you not put in the time and the effort to succeed.

Surely, the problems on college campuses have something to do with affirmative action programs. Is it possible or even thinkable that some of those who are protesting the loudest were admitted through these programs? If they were not, if they are as capable as anyone else, they are unfortunately being stigmatized by the assumption that minority group members cannot earn their way without getting special consideration. Isn’t this the meaning and the implication of affirmative action? Didn’t Shelby Steele point this out decades ago? It was true then and it’s true now. Naturally everyone ignores it.

Another theory has it that affirmative action programs produce a mismatch. Students who could have been academic stars at one institution are granted acceptance to another where they cannot compete. The latter institution will find a way to pass them through, but they know that they cannot compete. They might think that they should work harder, but it seems that they prefer to find someone to blame. They target microaggressions; they recall horrors committed against their ancestors eight generations ago; they denounce white privilege. Rather richly since the students who are most successful are non-white Asians.

If they are studying in humanities courses, they will likely be allowed to believe that whatever they do is excellent. Thereby, they are being taught that life is not about what you can earn with hard work but about what you can get away with. 

If they are studying STEM subjects, they will find that the illusion is far more difficult to sustain. Nowadays, in fact, white students are being outcompeted in these courses by Asian students.  One brilliant white student at a major computer science program threw up his hands one day and said that he could not compete with the kids from Singapore. Was it because of Asian privilege? Not at all. It was because the kids from Singapore worked all the time and he did not want to do the same thing.

It was, dare I say, a choice. If you choose more leisure you will probably not do as well.

Besides, many Asian students on American campuses did not grow up with wealthy white parents. But, they did grow up in stable two-parent families where their Tiger Moms placed an inordinate emphasis on schoolwork.

When you make a fetish out of social justice you are saying that it is not worth the trouble to work hard and to stay in the library or the lab. You will believe that the deck is so completely stacked against you that you cannot possibly succeed. Of course, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you work less than others, if you fail to apply yourself to the task at hand, you will achieve less and have less success.

You can remove all the obstacles that are hampering you, but you still need to do the work. 


Ares Olympus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dennis said...

One should first consider who created this problem. Interesting that the problem creators are the ones calling others "snow flakes." Almost fitting that the monsters they created are now attacking them.

Ares Olympus said...
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Anonymous said...

Stop trolling and piggy backing and get your own blog

Ares Olympus said...

First law of friendship and blog commenting: Thou shalt have sympathy for your blogger's resentments.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I said, as you quoted, treated with contempt and disrespect.... I will grant you Qaddhafi, but BHO treats the other countries with some measure of respect. He is not constantly bad mouthing them. Witness Joe Biden shrieking about Israel a couple of days ago.

priss rules said...

Obama was no panacea, but I suspect the problems would have been the same even if Romney had won.

It's black America. Riots under Bush I, dysfunction under Clinton, Katrina fiasco under Bush II, and more riots under Obama.

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart, who can we elect for 2016? Let's be constructive.

I'll go with four, listing them by age, assuming wisdom:
Kasich (b. 1952), Bush (b. 1953), Christie (b. 1962), Rubio (b. 1971)

Did I miss anyone important? At least the four above don't completely scare me.,_2016

Which of these have the temperament to properly praise our allies, curse our enemies, and curse the enemies of our allies?

Sam L. said...

AO, that "don't completely scare me" condition could be taken as a recommendation by others to not vote for any of them.

JP said...

I'm not sure why you are worried about Iran. We still don't know what's going to happen there.

Just because Obama has no idea what he is doing with foreign policy, doesn't mean that he's going to do any long-term damage to U.S. interests in terms of Iran.

There are still too many people alive in Iran who remember Kermit's project and the wonderful SAVAK. Because nothing will get a country to love America more than a CIA-sponsored coup and secret police force that tortures and murders whoever it feels like.

Every year, there are more and more people in Iran who were born after 1979. In order for there to be any changes in Iran, you have to have it run by the generation of people born after the revolution. Because you can't have hatred of the CIA/British be a centerpiece of your worldview and expect to be able to work with them.

The Iranian situation is more akin to the U.S.S.R. than anything else I can think of. Massive revolution against an autocrat with a violent secret police force that enables a revolution that creates a temporary insane state that isn't going to be sticking around much longer than the people who created it in the first place.

The Sunni world is another story. That's where Obama's incompetence can really do some long-term damage.

Anonymous said...

What's going on at Mizzou is a disgrace. Coddled, catered to, and entitled. -$$$

Anonymous said...

Amen. Thank you. -$$$

P.S. Stuart: I have been begging you would do just this. Enough. It's not about dissention, it's about nonsense. Volumes of nonsense, with odd wiki references.

JP said...

"Look at Libya. Russia. Syria. China.

Obama messed up relations with them all."

China wants what China wants because China wants it and China will take what China wants. And China alone will decide what China wants. It's an expanding Great Power who is really only listening to itself.

Specifically, China wants the South China Sea as it's own personal lake. So the U.S.'s choice is to give China the South China Sea or send the U.S. Navy to within 12 miles of it's new fake island military bases.

Obama's certainly not the one driving U.S. policy with respect to China. I really doubt he personally cares whether China has the South China sea or not or has the faintest idea what is going on with China.

It's not like giving China everything China wants will make China happy, since China will then just ask for more.

Whoever is driving U.S. policy with respect to China has some level of actual international political ability and skill. The U.S. is currently playing a Great Power game with China, not a community organizer game like the one being played in the Middle East.

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: Witness Joe Biden shrieking about Israel a couple of days ago.

I wonder what this is about? Maybe this? Its hard to see anything contempteous or disrespectful. Perhaps we need a full transcript? Or perhaps it was a different episode of shrieking? Reform Jews cheer Joe Biden’s criticism of settlements — and his support for Israel
In a keynote address to 5,000 people at the 2015 Biennial of the Union for Reform Judaism on Saturday night, Biden acknowledged disagreements between the Obama administration and Israeli government over settlements and the Iran deal. But, he added, the “core of our alliance is as strong as steel.”In a keynote address to 5,000 people at the 2015 Biennial of the Union for Reform Judaism on Saturday night, Biden acknowledged disagreements between the Obama administration and Israeli government over settlements and the Iran deal. But, he added, the “core of our alliance is as strong as steel.”

Later in the 45-minute speech, the vice president received a standing ovation when he promised that the Obama administration would fight efforts to delegitimize Israel and likened some harsh criticism of the Jewish state to anti-Semitism. He also received a standing ovation when he stressed the need for a two-state solution.

The audience cheered when he declared that “there is no excuse, there should be no tolerance for any member or employee of the Israeli administration referring to the president of the United States in derogatory terms. Period. Period. Period. Period.”

“Not withstanding those terrible comments,” Biden said, “no one, no one, no one can undermine our relationship and the security of the Jewish and democratic State of Israel.”

Baratz has apologized — both for the comments and for not informing Netanyahu about them. For his part, the prime minister has criticized the comments but has not backed off his plans to appoint Baratz.

The vice president thanked the Reform movement for working with him for decades on a host of liberal domestic issues, as well as efforts to bring Soviet Jews and Ethiopian Jews to Israel in the 1980s and to stop genocide in the Balkans in the 1990s. He also praised the Reform movement for quickly backing him in 2012 when he got ahead of the president in voicing support for legalized gay marriage.

Biden attributed the Reform movement’s activism to its immigrant history.

“You don’t forget,” Biden said. “That’s what I love about you. You do not forget.”

Alas, I must also rely on Wikipedia to find out who the Reform Judaism people are. So "liberal" is also a dirty word in Israel too, so "Reform" is like our "Progressive".
Reform Judaism (also known as Liberal or Progressive Judaism) is a major confessional division within Judaism, stressing the evolving nature of the religion, the supremacy of its ethical aspects to the ceremonial ones, and a belief in a progressive revelation not centered around the theophany on Mount Sinai. The origins of Reform Judaism lay in 19th-century Germany, where its early principals were formulated by Rabbi Abraham Geiger and his associates.

"Reform Judaism" as a proper term specifically refers to two denominations, the American Union for Reform Judaism and the British Movement for Reform Judaism. Along with other movements sharing the same basic beliefs, such as Liberal Judaism, they are members of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, founded in 1926; Reconstructionist Judaism, espousing an unrelated doctrine, entered the Union in 1990.

Anonymous said...

Stuart: Witness Ares Olympus shrieking about something multiple times every day on your blog. Enough. -$$$