Sunday, January 27, 2019

The True Face of Resistance

Until now I have sagely chosen not to offer up opinions about the confrontation between the Black Hebrew Israelites, Indian activist Nathan Phillips and a group of boys from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky.

The story, and especially the commentary, is so ugly that one’s first instinct is to turn away from it. Besides, one’s day does not contain an infinite number of hours and one has chosen not to look through the entirety of the video footage of the event.

In effect, ugly is not quite the right word. Andrew Sullivan, not a Trump supporter and not a card-carrying member of the vast right wing conspiracy, was despondent to see elite media intellectuals lose their minds in a paroxysm of rage against a sixteen-year old boy. One recalls that when Fox News host Laura Ingraham uttered a disparaging word about one David Hogg, she was accused of child abuse and promptly lost the better part of her advertisers. Because there is nothing worse than beating up on a child, even if you did not beat up on him.

Strangely, the venom was not limited to the left. Conservative journalists happily jumped all over the sixteen year old, as a living symbol for white supremacy and unforgiveable bigotry. Jay Nordlinger wrote this at National Review:

The images of those red-hat kids surrounding and mocking that old Indian are unbearable. Absolutely unbearable. An American disgrace.

Apparently, the right has caught on. It has discovered that the war on bigotry has come to define the nation and that being on the wrong side will destroy you. Mark Steyn  opined about the double standard:

Democrats never do this; Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam declare that the Jews are pushing defective marijuana on black men in order to turn them gay—which would appear to be a prima facie slur on at least four Democrat constituencies: blacks, gays, Jews and potheads. Yet Clinton, Obama et al speak not a word against Calypso Louie.

We are back with the case of Nicholas Sandmann, because of what it shows about the American left’s descent into madness. They are not just mad; they are so mad that they have dispensed with all constraints and restraints. They let it fly. They do not care about who or what they hit. They are consumed with a will to destroy, and do not care whether their verbal lances and spears land aright. They only care for the thrill they get by pretending to be strong and empowered, thus their ability to destroy other people. If the Brett Kavanaugh hearings made you pessimistic about America’s future, the Nick Sandmann brouhaha will add fuel to that fire.

As it happened, sixteen-year old Nick Sandmann did nothing more than stand up to a bigoted abusive Native American man named Nathan Phillips, the long knives came out… to denounce him, to crucify him, to cast him into the depths of Hell.

When Andrew Sullivan took the time to examine the record of what happened, he was thrown into despair… about the media elite’s willful distortion of the facts, about its unwillingness to question its beliefs, about its lust for any facts that seem to prove the validity of its fanatical beliefs.

What did Sullivan see. For one he saw that the Black Hebrew Israelites instigated it all:

What I saw was extraordinary bigotry, threats of violence, hideous misogyny, disgusting racism, foul homophobia, and anti-Catholicism — not by the demonized schoolboys, but by grown men with a bullhorn, a small group of self-styled Black Hebrew Israelites. They’re a fringe sect — but an extremely aggressive one — known for inflammatory bigotry in public. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated them a hate group: “strongly anti-white and anti-Semitic.” They scream abuse at gays, women, white people, Jews, interracial couples, in the crudest of language. In their public display of bigotry, they’re at the same level as the Westboro Baptist sect: shockingly obscene. They were the instigators of the entire affair.

The Black Hebrew Israelites are an anti-Semitic hate group. But, since our intelligentsia has happy embraced anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party, it had little choice but to distort reality, the better to absolve the Black Hebrew Israelites of all responsibility. And of course anti-Semitism is merely the tip of an anti-Christian bias. We saw it in the attacks on Kavanaugh. Now we see it again in the attacks on Nick Sandmann. In the case of Sandmann no one even pretended to be objective.

Among those who distorted reality to serve their ideology were the nation’s two leading newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Sullivan summarizes:

And yet the elite media seemed eager to downplay their role, referring to them only in passing, noting briefly that they were known to be anti-Semitic and anti-gay. After several days, the New York Times ran a news analysis on the group by John Eligon that reads like a press release from the sect: “They shout, use blunt and sometimes offensive language, and gamely engage in arguments aimed at drawing listeners near.” He notes that “they group people based on what they call nations, believing that there are 12 tribes among God’s chosen people. White people are not among those tribes, they believe, and will therefore be servants when Christ returns to Earth.” Nothing to see here, folks. Just a bunch of people preaching the enslavement of another race in public on speakers in the most inflammatory language imaginable.


The Washington Post ran a Style section headline about “the calculated art of making people uncomfortable.” In a news story entirely about the Black Israelites, the Washington Post did not quote a single thing they had said on the tape, gave a respectful account of their theology, and only mentioned their status as a “hate group” in the 24th paragraph, and put the term in scare quotes. Vox managed to write an explainer that also did not include a single example of any of the actual insults hurled at the Covington kids. Countless near-treatises were written parsing the layers of bigotry inside a silent schoolboy’s smirk.

So, Sullivan continues to explain what he saw:

Here’s what I saw on the full tape: a small group of aggressive, hateful men using a bullhorn to broadcast the crudest of racial slurs, backed up by recitations of Bible verses. I saw a young Native American woman make the mistake of engaging them. When she stood her ground, she was suddenly interrupted: “You’re out of order. Where’s your husband? Where’s your husband? Let me speak to him.” On the tape, you can hear the commentary from another member of the Black Israelites: “You see this? This is the problem, Israel. It’s always our women coming up with their loud mouth, thinking they can run and bogart things, thinking they can come and distract things with their loud-ass mouth, because they’re not used to dealing with real men. You think we’re supposed to bow down to your damn emotions when you come around here and run your mouth and distract what we’re doing instead of coming here with order … She’s coming around here being wicked.”

As it happened, the Black Israelites assaulted the high school students:

Here is how the Black Israelites verbally assaulted the schoolboys: “Bring your cracker ass up here. Dirty ass crackers, your day coming. We can give a hell about your police. No one’s playing with these dusty-ass crackers.” Another: “Don’t get too close or your ass gonna get punished … You crackers are some slithery ass bastards. You better keep your distance.” And this, surveying the scene: “I see you, a bunch of incest babies … Babies made out of incest. If you’re the great damn nation, get rid of the lice on your back. … You’re a bunch of hyenas. You outnumber us but you keep your distance. You couldn’t touch us if you wanted to. You worship blasphemy.”

Once the Israelites figured out the kids were Catholic, they offered this about what appeared to be a picture of the Pope: “This is a faggot child-molester.” And this about Donald Trump: “He’s a product of sodomy and he’s proud. Your president is a homosexual. … It says on the back of the dollar bill that ‘In God We Trust,’ and you give faggots rights.” At that homophobic outburst, the kids from the Catholic school spontaneously booed.

And then, for having endured this assault, the children were attacked for being racist bigots. It shows Sullivan that leftist media elites have descended into the depths of moral depravity:

To put it bluntly: They were 16-year-olds subjected to verbal racist assault by grown men; and then the kids were accused of being bigots. It just beggars belief that the same liberals who fret about “micro-aggressions” for 20-somethings were able to see 16-year-olds absorbing the worst racist garbage from religious bigots … and then express the desire to punch the kids in the face.

Nicely stated. The gang that has declared war on micro-aggressions, that is up in arms over triggering, now acts like the most bigoted of bigots. After all, what is bigotry but an irrational prejudice against a group… regardless of the facts? Since the word prejudice comes to us from the expression—to pre-judge—nothing could better manifest raw bigotry than prejudging what happened in Washington… regardless of the facts.

As it happened, mainstream media figures happily jumped on Sandmann and let fly with their most vitriolic denunciations. They embarrassed themselves. They embarrassed the publications they work for. More importantly, these people are supposed to be thought leaders. They are not supposed to be red-necked bigots:

How did this grotesque inversion of the truth become the central narrative for what seemed to be the entire class of elite journalists on Twitter? That’s the somewhat terrifying question. Ruth Graham on Slate saw a 16-year-old she’d seen on a tape for a couple of minutes and immediately knew that he was indistinguishable from the “white young men crowding around a single black man at a lunch counter sit-in in Virginia in the 1960s” or other white “high school boys flashing Nazi salutes.” Even after the full context was clear, Graham refused to apologize to the kid, or retract her condemnation: The context didn’t “change the larger story” which, she explained, was bigotry toward Native Americans. She cited Trump’s use of the name “Pocahontas” for Elizabeth Warren as evidence. But using a bullhorn to call Native Americans “savages” and “drunkards at the casino” to their faces a few minutes earlier on the same tape was not worth a mention?

And Jessica Valenti attacked the boy for being Catholic, and thus for wanting to oppress women by taking control over their bodies. Since Valenti herself seems to want to take control over women’s bodies, the ironies seem never to be stopping:

Across most of the national media, led by the New York Times and the Washington Post, the narrative had been set. “I’m willing to bet that fifty years from now, a defining image of this political era will be that smug white MAGA teen disrespecting a Native elder and veteran. It just captures so much,” Jessica Valenti tweeted. “And let’s please not forget that this group of teens … were there for the March for Life: There is an inextricable link between control over women’s bodies, white supremacy & young white male entitlement.” This is the orthodoxy of elite media, and it is increasingly the job of journalists to fit the facts to the narrative and to avoid any facts that undermine it.

As for what Sandmann did wrong, he was wearing a MAGA hat. Apparently, wanting to make American great again is equivalent to being a Nazi. Can you fathom the depth of stupidity that allows people to traffic in such nonsense:

“The red MAGA hat is the new white hood,” tweeted Alyssa Milano. In his debut Times column, Jamelle Bouie describes a border wall thus: “You can almost think of the wall as a modern-day Confederate monument, akin to those erected during a similar but far more virulent period of racist aggression in the first decades of the 20th century.” Charles Blow insists that “We have to stop thinking of the symbology of Trump’s presidency — the MAGA hats, the wall, etc — as merely physical objects. They have long since lost their original meaning and purpose. They are now emblems. They are now the new iconography of white supremacy … In much the same way that the confederate flag became a white supremacy signalling device, the MAGA hat now serves the same purpose. It is tangentially connected to Trump, but is transcends him also. It’s a way of cloaking racial hostility in the presentable form of politics.” A campaign slogan for a candidate who won the votes of 46 percent of the country in 2016 is to be seen as indistinguishable from the Confederate flag. This is not the language of politics. It is a language of civil war.

Bouie and Blow write for the New York Times… for a paper that happily hires anti-Semites. And thus, makes their views respectable. But, the Times has also hired tech columnist Kara Swisher, apparently a friend of Sullivan… because he is, I believe, far too quick to brush aside her own madness:

Here is Kara Swisher, a sane and kind person, reacting to the first video: “To all you aggrieved folks who thought this Gillette ad was too much bad-men-shaming, after we just saw it come to life with those awful kids and their fetid smirking harassing that elderly man on the Mall: Go fuck yourselves.” Judging — indeed demonizing — an individual on the basis of the racial or gender group he belongs to is the core element of racism, and yet it is now routine on the left as well as the right. To her great credit, Kara apologized profusely for the outburst. The point here is that tribal hatred can consume even the best of us.

Sane and kind people do not talk like that. They do not talk like in their dreams or even in the shower. Sullivan concludes:

It’s reasonable to note the social context of bigotry and see shades of gray, in which the powerful should indeed be more aware of how their racial or gender prejudice can hurt others, and the powerless given some slack. But if that leads you to ignore or downplay the nastiest adult bigotry imaginable and to focus on a teen boy’s silent face as the real manifestation of evil, you are well on your way to creating a new racism that mirrors aspects of the old.

To those who saw Hitler in the face of Nick Sandmann, one suspects that they felt no shame for their defamatory statements. One suspects that they are already hard at work salvaging what remains of their reputations. True enough, some of them have apologized, but a verbal apology is never sufficient, in and of itself. A sincere apology must be accompanied by withdrawing from public life for a time. How many of these bigoted ranters will do anything of the sort?


trigger warning said...

Like loudmouth, stump-toothed tweakers, media trash are hard to embarrass. Dan Rather is still unrepentant and in business, eh?

For me, the real disappointment was the knee-jerk condemnation by the kids' diocesean Bishop and the Archbishop of Louisville. I guess these hypocrites haven't yet shamed the Roman Catholic Church enough with their spiritually bankrupt sheltering of predatory pedophiles.

Sam L. said...

I used to like and enjoy Jay Nordlinger's columns. I can't now. I see him as now incorporated fully in the National Review Borg. The NR Borg I gave up on in 2016.

"We are back with the case of Nicholas Sandmann, because of what it shows about the American left’s descent into madness. They are not just mad; they are so mad that they have dispensed with all constraints and restraints. They let it fly. They do not care about who or what they hit." Savages, they are, full of blood-lust and terror.

"Among those who distorted reality to serve their ideology were the nation’s two leading newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post." The NYT and the WaPoo have AGAIN given me one more unnecessary reason to detest, despise, and distrust them.

Kara Swisher has apparently swallowed the NYT's mind-poison.

"To those who saw Hitler in the face of Nick Sandmann, one suspects that they felt no shame for their defamatory statements. One suspects that they are already hard at work salvaging what remains of their reputations." You may "suspect" that they felt no shame, but I'm pretty certain that they felt no shame, and that their reputations have been enhanced by what they've said and done. Cynical? Moi??? You BETCHA!!

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Brought to you by Twitter.

I hope by now you all know all you need to know about the merits of Twitter.

The Resistance lives on their Twitter feeds.

And methinks Andrew Sullivan is late to the party.

I am unsurprised by the reaction of writers at National Review, whic his an outlet fir the Resistance.

Where is Hillary talking about a disgusting internet video? I though that brought out the street. Oh, I missed it... we’re talking about Catholics. My error.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

And who cares what the Southern Poverty Law Center says? Thy SPLC is a thug outfit. Not the least bit credible.

Kind of like the New York Times, Washington Post, Saturday Night Live (offering oral sex), and the Archbishop of Louisville.

And Andrew Sullivan, for that matter.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

We ought to find out what David Hogg thinks of all this. He’s been so insightful thus far.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Speaking of the credibility spectrum...

What’s Christine Blasey Ford doing these days?

Now that he’s out on parole, has O.J. had any breakthroughs tracking down Ron and Nicole’s killer?

Any bets on whether Lisa Page, Peter Strozk, James Comey or Andrew McCabe’s homes will be raided by 29 armed FBI agents at 6:00 AM for giveing false statements to the FBI?

Everything is fair game, so long as it doesn’t reflect poorly on Democrats. Or Jeff Bezos.

Walt said...

And others are simply doubling down. Okay, they say, they may have been (somewhat) wrong specifically, but they're right in general about whites, males, Catholics, and especially hat-wearers. (Being in love with yourself is never having to say I'm sorry.)

Anonymous said...

Internet culture gives these fringe lunatics in the media a platform far out of proportion to the importance, legitimacy, and credibility of anything they utter. Although I doubt they have any influence on anyone other than the thoughtless, follower progressives, their high profile confuses outside observers: Do they really represent the rest of us? they wonder. More than a few times, I've had to clear this up for them.

How long can this last? How long did witch hunts, WWII era pogroms, and other mass hysteria last? Progressivism will meet the same fate and looked upon with the same disgust, but it could take a while.

UbuMaccabee said...

The black Hebrew Diabetics are in many US cities; they are gangsters with a crackpot cult to hide behind. They do not have huge numbers, but they are there, in places whites dare not go. I bet there are a lot more of them nationwide than there are Klansmen or Skinheads. Like Jeremiah Wright's Church of Black Racism, they go unreported by the media. Nobody from the NYT is going to do an expose of black racism, period--let alone start calling out all their crazy cults and repeating what they hear in many black churches.

A handful of black lunatics standing around in Washington DC spoke the truth: whites are terrified of them, whites will not do anything about them no matter how ugly the things they say, and whites will avoid confrontation at all costs. They also proved the first thing that everyone who goes to college learns right off: that blacks cannot be racists, they do not have power. University rule #1: Only white people can be racists because they hold institutional power.

They also demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that white people are such pussies that they will blame the blameless before they will blame a violent, racist black man who instigated the whole thing. Kudos to the Black Hebrew Diabetics for providing this key point of clarity.

When you show kindness to the cruel, you will show cruelty to the kind.