Monday, August 28, 2017

Bigotry, Inc.

In the midst of the great national debate over Confederate statues, Alabama native Charles Barkley declared that, growing up around such statues, he never noticed them. He advised African-Americans to get to work and stop committing crimes.

Naturally, he was quickly denounced as a white supremacist.

The American left is becoming dumb and dumber. It is running a pogrom to cleanse the culture of everything it finds offensive. We will end up living in a world with only one permitted book: The Little Red Book of the sayings of Chairman Mao.

As for those who want to ask where the pogrom will go next, the answer is simple. After finishing off all the statues and grammatically correct pronouns, pogromistas will go after people. In the sense of: human beings. Twas always thus....

The current obsession with bigotry is really about Barack Obama. We had our first African-American president and the nation’s media—with one conspicuous exception—declared him to have been the Messiah. Thus, everything he did was the best that had ever been done. Obama made no mistakes. He made no errors. He was not just the best and the brightest. He was the greatest. If you don't think so, you are a bigot. No one was allowed to criticize the Messiah, lest they be taxed with racism. Thus, no one spoke ill of Obama.

It was unfair and condescending, but Heaven help you if you disagreed.

Now, to the shock and dismay of the cognoscenti, the American people roundly rejected the Democratic Party at the ballot box. And, as though to stick a finger in the eye of the mainstream media, they elected someone who, by their moral calculus, resembles the Antichrist. Just as Obama could do no wrong, Trump, in the eyes of the media, can do no right.

If journalists want to be respected, they should begin by respecting themselves. That does not just mean reporting fairly about the Trump administration, but also reporting fairly about the Obama administration.

Worse yet, and to the chagrin of Nicholas Kristof, the Trump administration is rolling back the Obama legacy. When Obama transformed the nation via executive order, no one noticed that governing by executive fiat bespoke despotism. And none of those who were cheering from the peanut gallery noticed that these orders could easily be revoked and rendered null, by another executive.

The notion that media idolaters might lose their religion and their god-- seeing that he had feet of clay-- was too much to bear. They launched a cultural revolution, roughly as Chairman Mao did, in order to cover up their leader’s failures, but especially to shift the blame for his failures on everyone else. The fault was not with Obama. If his administration failed, the fault lay with systemic, endemic American racism.

Today, for example, we have been informed that the Democratic mayor of Houston told its residents not to evacuate while the Republican governor of Texas told them to do so. Naturally, supporters of the mayor are now out claiming that he was totally right. We know that he will never admit to error.

I promise you, in time, the media will blame the Houston catastrophe on Donald Trump. They will announce that it is God’s way of showing that Trump has lost the Mandate of Heaven. If you thought that these secularists did not believe in God, you were wrong.

Is that clear now?

Today, Shelby Steele explains the liberal con over racism. While racism still exists, Steele says, it is no longer the systemically enforced policy that it once was. The problems the African-Americans face today are less about racism and more about what Charles Barkley said: work harder, get an education and stop committing crimes. If the African-American community has lost those values, the fault might reside more with their leaders and less with racism.

Besides, did we not read in the New York Times that decades worth of affirmative action programs in American universities have done nothing to solve racial disparities. In fact, minorities are more underrepresented in colleges than they used to be. The fault lies with family structure and community values. Now, as you know, Asian American students are overrepresented—perhaps because they have Tiger Moms. Or perhaps it's because of their white privilege.

Steele opens his column:

It used to be that racism meant the actual enforcement of bigotry—the routine implementation of racial inequality everywhere in public and private life. Racism was a tyranny and an oppression that dehumanized—animalized—the “other.” 

He adds:

Today Americans know that active racism is no longer the greatest barrier to black and minority advancement. Since the 1960s other pathologies, even if originally generated by racism, have supplanted it. White racism did not shoot more than 4,000 people last year in Chicago. To the contrary, America for decades now—with much genuine remorse—has been recoiling from the practice of racism and has gained a firm intolerance for what it once indulged.

In the late 1960s, however, racism became recast as a sin, the worst of all social evils. For the most part people rejected racism. That did not stop the anti-racism warriors. Those who were fighting racism claimed that they possessed the ultimate virtue. Their word could not be questioned or challenged. They were fighting the ultimate evil, so any means were justified.

Steele writes:

What makes racism so sweet? Today it empowers. Racism was once just racism, a terrible bigotry that people nevertheless learned to live with, if not as a necessary evil then as an inevitable one. But the civil-rights movement, along with independence movements around the world, changed that. The ’60s recast racism in the national consciousness as an incontrovertible sin, the very worst of all social evils.

How does one rid one’s nation and one’s psyche of sin? By paying off a debt. Americans are guilty. White Americans are the most guilty. Those who practiced institutional racism they are now obliged to accept their punishment, to flagellate themselves, and to pay reparations to those who suffered:

Thus, redemption—paying off the nation’s sins—became the moral imperative of a new political and cultural liberalism. 

And yet, if you tell a community that everyone owes them a living, what incentive do they have to go out and work?

The war against racism gave liberals a sense of moral superiority. It defined their moral identity, even if their personal behavior left a great deal to be desired:

This liberalism always projects moral idealisms (integration, social justice, diversity, inclusion, etc.) that have the ring of redemption. What is political correctness, if not essentially redemptive speech? Soon liberalism had become a cultural identity that offered Americans a way to think of themselves as decent people. To be liberal was to be good.

Liberals became the high priests of a new religion, a cult where they were empowered to grant absolution from sins:

Here we see redemptive liberalism’s great ingenuity: It seized proprietorship over innocence itself. It took on the power to grant or deny moral legitimacy across society. Liberals were free of the past while conservatives longed to resurrect it, bigotry and all. What else could “Make America Great Again” mean? In this way redemptive liberalism reshaped the moral culture of the entire Western world with sweeping idealisms like “diversity,” which are as common today in Europe as in America.

Racism, Steele continues, empowers liberals. In part, politically, but also culturally:

The liberal identity must have racism, lest it lose innocence and the power it conveys.

Are we getting over this moral tyranny? Steele suggests that we are reaching “race fatigue,” and that it’s time to turn toward policies that might actually achieve what liberals promised:

But today there are signs of what I have called race fatigue. People are becoming openly cynical toward the left’s moral muscling with racism. Add to this liberalism’s monumental failure to come even close to realizing any of its beautiful idealisms, and the makings of a new conservative mandate become clearer. As idealism was the left’s political edge, shouldn’t realism now be the right’s? Reality as the informing vision—and no more wrestling with innocence.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Shelby Steele's column today was indeed excellent, prescient as always.

What all this has shown is the total demise of the fourth estate. Journalism is a rotten corpse. I wondered if the news media took 8 years off because they had someone they agreed with in office, and they would get their cynical chops back when Trump took office. This has not been the case. The Trump coverage shows how deep the rot goes. There is no renaissance in investigative journalism, no profound reportage reflecting hard work and discipline. Today's news is a reflexive, emotional vomitorium. A primal scream.

There's no work being done, they're just... talking to each other, signaling erudition, sophistication and virtue. All the anonymous sources... who's fact-checking those? The media hooked onto this "fake news" Democrat taking point after the election, and ran with it. Then it was turned around on them and Jim Acosta is greatly offended that CNN is called fake news by our president. They spent 8 years of puff pieces so they could have access to Obama Administration officials. Now they don't want access, they just want to attack. It's not journalism. It's ideological activism. It's direct action, Alinsky-style. They can't accept the truth behind the Trump election, so they're going to fight, fight, fight with more, more, more of the same.

As for the statues, with the way this is going, we might as well take them all down, since there is no one amongst us exempt from the human condition. We are all flawed. I can't believe the feminists haven't come out and said all male statues must come down.

What Steele points to is a great group catharsis that began with tolerance, morphed into indifference and now is a justification for unbridled rage and destruction based on a schizo-ideology that is simultaneously collectivist and anarchist. It's collective access to resources, while fiercely individualistic to the point of license. It is not a sustainable philosophical platform. It's designed to convince people they can have what they want with no sacrifices, no standards, and no self-control. Not a winning recipe. It's based on a lie that goes back to the Garden of Eden.

For all the talk about racism, let's examine the racist "good intentions" of the New Deal and Great Society, and how all the government subsidies destroyed the black family. The proportion of black out-of-wedlock births today is 72%, and figures are similar for single parent households in the black community. This is a terrible handicap on social stability and upward mobility. Yet no one MADE blacks have births out-of-wedlock. No one made blacks live in single-parent homes. There were no Jim Crow laws that barred black fathers from interacting with their offspring. These were choices.

When Charles Murray suggests that the social safety net creates perverse incentives that destroy family structure, he is violently attacked on campus (when invited). The "systemic racism" of today's black social/cultural system is a self-imposed burden on black opportunity, yet people who point this out are pilloried.

Tolerance has been replaced with indifference. The entire system is awash in subsidy, and these subsidies fund unhealthy lifestyles and the antisocial consequences that come with them. Yet government programs paid for with our tax dollars are "doing something" about it, in the form of bureaucratic social welfare. And our liberal and Leftist friends say the solution is more of the same. That's the indifference -- people want the government to do everything, yet the government cannot love, which is what human beings most need. The foundation of love comes from a family and community. What if there is no family or community? Oh well, we did our best. We tried. In fact, let's try some more...

This indifference has created rage, and the Leftist rage is directed at white people. Especially by the Leftist white people. Go figure.

Ares Olympus said...

Shelby Steele certainly offered an excellent challenge against the idea that you can follow a righteous path merely by believing right things and opposing people believing wrong things.

The Pharisees tried this, and probably succeeded in their own eyes, while Jesus at least wasn't convinced. Then again, we know what happened to his self-righteous opinions.

As to "American people roundly rejected the Democratic Party at the ballot box" that seems a problematic assertion given Trump got 46.1% (62,984,825) of the vote to Clinton's 48.2% (65,853,516), and the U.S. House Republicans got 49.1% (63,173,815) to the Dem's 48.0% (61,776,554).,_2016,_2016

If we're voting by congressional district raw geographical area, it looks like a landslide, but if we're voting for people, Hillary Clinton has the most votes by far, only behind Obama 2012 (65,915,795), and Obama 2008 (69,498,516).

The real test apparently is still coming in the 2018 midterm and if Americans really like what they're seeing in the White House and Congress today, surely this will be another great landslide for the new permanent majority party in America. And this is not impossible, at least if liberal California can be convinced to secede.

Ares Olympus said...

Sam L: Ares, that's why the Founding Fathers invented the Electoral College to prevent the more populous states from running rough-shod over the less-populated states.

For president, sure, but that's not how the U.S. House of Representatives is supposed to work. The Republican house has 55.4% of the seats while getting 49.1% of the vote.

You can look back to see how long this has happened. The last time the GOP was under represented in congress was 1992 when Ross Perot and third party candidates divided the republicans. And you can clearly see the Republicans success in 2010 enabled a very successful hyperpartisan computer-optimized gerrymandering, raising their disproportionate advantage from an average of 2.8% from 2002-2010, to 6.0% from 2012-2016.

To me it seems Trump's monumental incompetence is going to finally break this spell in 2018 and 2020. But you never know which direction scapegoating is going to be most effective.

Year - GOP-vote GOP-seats
2016 - 49.1% 55.4% (+6.3%)
2014 - 51.2% 56.8% (+5.6%)
2012 - 47.6% 53.8% (+6.2%)
2010 - 51.7% 55.6% (+3.9%)
2008 - 42.6% 40.9% (+1.7%)
2006 - 44.3% 46.4% (+2.1%)
2004 - 49.4% 53.3% (+3.9%)
2002 - 50.0% 52.6% (+2.6%)
2000 - 47.6% 50.8% (+3.2%)
1998 - 48.4% 51.3% (+2.9%)
1996 - 48.2% 52.0% (+3.8%)
1994 - 51.9% 52.9% (+1.0%)
1992 - 45.1% 40.4% (-4.7%)

Sam L. said...

It's why we have a census every ten years, and adjust the numbers of Representatives amongst the states.

Anonymous said...

The census is in the Constsution. So is the Electoral College. Ares Olympus is not.

Uncle Max said...

Ares, you are disingenuous with your memory. The Democrats were in the Majority in the House from pre WWII to 1992! The Senate went from barely GOP to super-majority Democrat and back and forth. The Democrats are the ones that came up with Gerrymandering. The Democrats are the ones that came up with most of all the rules to ensure their seats.

The Democrats only win when they cheat and they always cheat. Funny how well the Democrats started doing after they pushed for 18 yr olds to vote. They knew exactly what they were doing. They are a criminal organization that has played it to the point they don't even know how to run for office without payola and rigged media. They are pathetic harpies and scolds.. and that ain't cutting it anymore. America is finally woke.

Ares Olympus said...

Sam L. said... It's why we have a census every ten years, and adjust the numbers of Representatives amongst the states.

A census is essential, but gerrymandering octopus districts to pack the opposition party to improve your party's control is something else. And with computers now, things can be optimized with much greater precision if that's your goal. So now which ever state party has majority control after the census has undue power. So the jump in percentages of (over representation) clearly show the Republicans gained in 2010, while 2020 will be the next chance for the winning parties by state to use this new power.

Such devious activities can be challenged, and sometimes defeated, although if the U.S. Supreme Court is controlled by the members of the party benefiting by their tricks, perhaps we really are on our path to a single party country. For the moment, partisan interests don't always win.

If we really want ethnic or ideological minorities to have a voice in congress, a better choice is to have multimember districts and proportional representation. A counter-argument is that we shouldn't want "identity politics" to lead most of the time. We want representatives who are interested in representing all the people, not just people from their party.