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Archive for the ‘Racism’ Category

This week, Chris Matthews attempted to expand a lucrative franchise of fostering division and hatred in a manner befit of a panoply of “leaders” of the “African-American Community” when he assumed the mantle of authority to speak “On behalf of all white people“.

Now I’m not about to follow in his footsteps and make the same mistake. I can only speak for myself, and as a person who happens to be white (think physical characteristic and not identity), I assure you that Chris Matthews does not speak for me. If some of the reactions that I read yesterday are any indication, I’m not the only one who shares this opinion.

I’m not sure if the recent anniversary of the untimely death of Mary Jo Kopechne at the hands of one of his former associates was weighing a little too heavily on his conscience, causing him to have a little something extra before his broadcast, or years of seeing “RACISM!!!!” in everything from blacktop roads to the milk in his morning corn flakes has further strained his already tenuous grasp on reality. I prefer either of those options to rank cynicism and a weariness at seeing grievance hustlers like Al “I-perpetrated-a-fraud-and-got-away-with-it” Sharpton, and Jesse “Hymietown” Jackson make a very good living casting every event imaginable as an expression of racism and discrimination requiring them to “lead their communities”, and often demand apologies when none are owed from people who do not owe them, and deciding to give it a whirl himself.

Regardless, the media, and the usual suspects, which includes politicians, have done a fine job in turning Treyvon Martin’s death into something it never was: the result of racism.

From the Injustice Department, headed by one of the biggest race hypocrites to draw breath in my memory, to the President himself, who again inserted himself into this controversy by pissing gasoline all over a fire stoked by these “leaders” for the last week, the meme is out there that racism is the reason a 17-year-old is dead, along with a law that was never invoked in the criminal case against the hispanic man who shot him. And it is being used to justify demonstrations among the perpetually grieved, and riots and property damage that make most law-abiding Americans less, not more, sympathetic to their cause. “Disgusted” is far too mild a word to describe my feelings about the rhetoric, the lies, the vitriol, and the complete disrespect for the law, and its processes that I have been witness to this last week.

I was born at the beginning of the 1970s. When I was a child, the attitudes of the previous generation were already being swept away, and, at least in my social circles, Dr. King’s dream about judging a man based on character instead of race seemed normal, rather than some sort of manifestation of backwards thinking. At least for a while. As I got older, I started to see racism firsthand. I saw it on my college campus (an inner-city campus), and in the workplace, where it was often implemented by law. And the more I saw, especially in the workplace, the more I came to question its effect on society. Perhaps the most telling moment was in law school. My Constitutional Law professor, who was black (and also preparing an Amicus brief for the Grutter case), and I got into it when we were discussing the infamous Bakke case. I committed the sin of reading the footnotes, and asking uncomfortable questions about the information they contained. The plaintiff, Bakke, had applied to get into Medical School at the University of California. Being a graduate program, the school only admitted a set number of students, most of whom were selected based on grades and test scores. I say “most”, because the school, as part of an affirmative action program, set aside a set number of seats for African-Americans, and lowered the standards for admission for them to qualify, which meant that Bakke, who was otherwise capable, and met the median standards, was eligible for even fewer of the available seats because of this policy. What got me going was in reading the footnotes, members of other minority groups apparently had no problems meeting the same standards applied to other applicants. In fact, Asians had consistently higher scores, according to the footnotes. I raised my hand, and asked why we continually lowered the bar for only one class of people. My professor responded that it was a remedial measure, enacted to make up for inequality that had been practiced before. I asked him if he thought medical school was the right place to perform such remediation. He asked what I meant. I told him “Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want MY doctor to be the guy who wouldn’t have qualified to get in to medical school if the bar hadn’t been deliberately lowered for him and others like him. The class’s reaction indicated that the logic was obvious. The professor’s reaction indicated that I struck a nerve. I was lucky to pass the class.

While this lowering of the bar has morphed into something less objective, and thus more repugnant, there have been some glimmers of hope, most notably, Justice O’Connor’s assertion in the Grutter case, which indicated that government wouldn’t keep the bar artificially low forever, and at some point in the future, it would no longer be necessary to have different standards for different skin colors. As I watched last week, I realized that the time for abandoning such measures has come and gone. Ambition has given way to entitlement, and remediation has given way to a bitter, permanently aggrieved mindset, which can only be cured by government dependency on what it takes from others to redistribute, and of course, the self-style and appointed “Community Leaders” who strike an indignant pose and utter demands and platitudes into every open microphone they see. And thanks to the single most divisive “Uniter” in almost a century, and his merry band of grifters, and thieves, it has gotten worse.

So what’s my point, you ask? It is something that needs saying, and I apologize for failing to say it sooner.

As a man who never owned slaves, and had to work for the things I have (and the things that government takes from me to give to others), I DON’T APOLOGIZE.

As someone who doesn’t take the breathtaking lawlessness currently practiced by the government as occasion to riot, to loot, and to commit mayhem, I DON’T APOLOGIZE.

As someone who has witnessed 30 years of affirmative action/diversity destroy merit in our society, and in our civil service, while continually being lectured by academic pinheads constantly spouting such inanities as “Only white people can be racist”, or waxing poetic about “White Privilege”, like I never had to work for anything in my life, because all it took was knowing the secret handshake, and the password to be taken to the head of any line, I DON’T APOLOGIZE.

As a man who is sick and tired of having to deal with the aforementioned “Community Leaders” and those who feel compelled to feel and express “OUTRAGE!!!111!!!” on behalf of others by finding racism and racial intent in every turn of phrase, in every term, and in every idiom, rather than facing and dealing with the very real problems that face ALL OF US, I DON’T APOLOGIZE.

As someone who never saw any reason to identify and characterize people based on their race, because I believe in and aspire to higher ideals, but who has had to listen to a constant drumbeat about it from people who inject it into everything, in order to bolster their continuous demands that I, and others like me need to do more, and to give more to improve the conditions of “their people”, rather than relying on them to strengthen and improve society by doing it themselves, I DON’T APOLOGIZE.

I apologized earlier in this piece for not saying this sooner. I was somewhat reluctant to commit this to writing, as it would be very easy for the very people I never want to hear from again to characterize me as a racist, or maybe even a “creepy ass cracker”, but in the last few weeks, I’ve come to realize that it does not matter. No matter how deferential I am. No matter how much I go out of my way to not offend for offense’s sake, it will never be enough for the usual suspects, and their subjective damnations or mystic (and faulty) divinations of the content of my soul. I have witnessed a fundamental transformation, and it has made my country an uglier place, not a better one. That’s the only apology I offer. I waited too long to say it, and this country has waited too long to expect the perpetually aggrieved among us to sack up and contribute to society, or go shut the hell up, and go away. I used to think that the “Boy Who Cried Wolf” treatment given racism in the last three decades did much to take the sting out of the allegation. But when it is used to ruin careers, and drive a man acquitted of a crime (and who isn’t even white) into hiding, as the President again lowers himself to racial demagoguery, I start to think something no one should be thinking: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

If you agree with Tingles Matthews, The Wrong Reverend Sharpton, or the Wrong Reverend Jackson, and make racism your answer to everything, and apply it liberally to any person, group, or ideology which disagrees with you, have a care. It wouldn’t necessarily be a racial thing if good people decided they were sick of your shit, and acted accordingly. It’s past time for “communities” to dismiss their “leaders” and their “organizers”, and set to work on mending society, before we revert to a fractured land where unity is a thing of the past.

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What a great week.

We get a Supreme Court ruling on DOMA that WILL be used to attack the exercise of the First Amendment in a “historic” and “unprecedented” way, thanks to a remarkably intemperate ruling written by Justice Kennedy, who decided in his ruling in the DOMA case (United States v. Windsor) that the only purpose in opposing same-sex marriage MUST be malicious, which will be used against churches and religious organizations by a cabal of Christian Derangement Syndrome sufferers and the pink swastika wearing rainbow warriors of “tolerance”. Not content with this decision, the court also issued a ruling on the Prop 8 case (Hollingsworth v. Perry), in which the court came to the rather curious conclusion that you can have standing to be sued, but not have standing to defend against a suit. Such legal alchemy is no longer shocking to me, but the bigger implication of this suit is far more stunning. The net effect of this ruling is that the people of a state can use the initiative process to make laws that their elected officials WON’T, and if their governor and their attorney general refuse to defend against legal challenges, then the proponents of the initiative don’t have standing to defend against those same legal challenges. The silence from the usual defenders of “democracy” is disappointing, but predictable.

After the ruling was released, I was sure I heard the sound of hands rubbing together in Olympia, as the Governor and the Democrats in Olympia are making plans for the next session when the Senate can’t stop them, and they can tax to their grubby little hearts’ content, and then fail to defend a trumped-up lawsuit against an initiative telling them “No.” It will be even less trouble than having the courts do them a solid on overturning our $30.00 license tabs…again, and again, and again.

Then we have the “Tale of Two Apologies”. The first is Paula Deen, a southern cook, with a show on the Food Network and various franchises and a pending cookbook, who admitted in a deposition to having used a racist slur 30 years ago, driving the grievance pimp and race hustling industry into overdrive. Within a week, she lost her show, every business relationship she had, and her publisher dumped her on the cusp of publishing her latest cookbook, despite having given an unnecessary apology for the sin of saying a word frequently used and glorified by members of the supposedly aggrieved class. Incidents like this, and the now infamous Imus incident are proof that Eric Holder was right about us being unable to have an honest conversation about race in this country. When words are only off-limits to one class of persons, and the ones who aren’t restricted are allowed to destroy the careers of those restricted class if they admit to uttering “Voldemort” in the distant past, no honest conversation about race is possible. But at least Jesse Jackson got a few extra moments in the limelight when he offered to help Deen with her “rehabilitation”, so at least his lucrative franchise preserving this perverse status quo will be maintained.

On the other hand, we have Noted Thoughtless Pig, Alec Baldwin, once again launching himself on a gay-slur (I refuse to say “homophobic”, as it would indicate fear, and given what he said, I don’t think he fears gays, I think he holds them in contempt) laden Twitter tirade against a Guardian reporter who made some unflattering allegations about Baldwin’s wife’s behavior at James Gandolfini’s funeral. This isn’t the first time that Baldwin’s Tweeting thumbs have caused him trouble, as he’s tweeted racist slurs before. However, unlike Deen, who said “Voldemort” 30 years ago, when I last checked, Baldwin still had a cushy gig with Capital One, and hasn’t been fired by any of his other employers. While Anderson Cooper and Andrew Sullivan noted the apparent lack of outrage for Baldwin’s rhetorical diarrhea, he seems largely to have gotten a pass, despite the apology which makes claims that are incongruous with his tweets.

I’m not in favor of people having their lives and careers ruined over things they say. That doesn’t mean I’m adverse to speaking out when I think what they say is wrong, dangerous, stupid, etc. I do think that DEMANDING that people being cut off from their means of making a living because they said something that offended someone smacks just a little too much of thought policing for me to be comfortable with. It’s one thing to have no truck with people who offend you (or those who employ them), but it’s quite another to have the expectation that others must share your outrage, and participate in a particularly brutal (and arbitrary) form of collective punishment, which is to be arbitrarily and selectively applied by those who set themselves up as the judge and jury of such socially criminal acts. My contempt is reserved for the deciders who pretend to be guided by such principles as “civility” and a cockeyed notion of “fairness” that only they can mystically discern, according to a subjective standard that we mere mortals are terminally incapable of recognizing, let alone grokking. This contempt is also reserved for the mindless numbers who surrender their own discernment with nary a taxed brain cell to these morally bankrupt clods who have usurped an authority that they prove themselves too hypocritical to objectively wield when they allow such a disparity of outcome in two such similar public faux pas. I could be crass, and suggest that the lesson here is the same one more artfully demonstrated by George Orwell so many years ago in the classic “Animal Farm”, when he observed that “Some animals are more equal than others.”, a concept that seems to have escaped (I hate myself for even using this terminology) “the gay community”, which has struggled so long to enact a dubious and dishonest notion of “equality”, and was given a major victory in this campaign this week by the courts. Instead, I will say that an apology IS owed to someone, and in the great progressive tradition of claiming authority not conferred upon me, I will speak for America when I say:

“I am sorry, Paula Deen. I’m sorry that you believed in the notion of a “post-racial America”, uttered by a President that you voted for, when what he, and many in his party meant was a “Reverse-racial America”, where only white people can be racist, and any excuse to render such a verdict and execute sentence will be pursued by our “betters” in the media, and where your celebrity won’t be enough to protect you, since you failed to write checks to the “right” interest groups. Welcome to Bizzaro World.”

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That’s my question to Representative Marcia Fudge (D), The new Chairperson of the Congressional Black Caucus, who in an expression of her bona fides last week held a press conference to let the world know that the opposition to the appointment of Susan Rice as Obama’s Secretary of State by some Republicans was both racist and sexist, despite having been predicated on incompetence and a marked lack of qualification.

“All of the things that they have disliked about things that have gone on in this administration they have never called a male unqualified, not bright, not trustworthy. I don’t recall it ever happening,” Fudge said.

Really?  I guess Turbo Tax Timmah Geithner doesn’t count, right?

The micro issue of Geithner’s taxes was enough to make him unfit to address the country’s macro economic issues, according to some Republicans and Democrats.

Most of the opposition, however, came from Republicans. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., who said he spent part of the weekend puzzling over his own taxes, said on the Senate floor, “Here we are making an exception to the rule and I, for one, think it’s not the time to make an exception.”

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a middle-of-the-road Republican who often sides with Democrats, opposed him.

In a speech prepared for the Senate floor, Collins said, “Throughout the state of Maine and, indeed, throughout the nation, millions of hard-working Americans pay their taxes on time and in full. Our taxation system is essentially an honor system that depends on self-assessment and honesty. When taxpayers make mistakes, they are expected to correct them promptly and completely. How can we tell the taxpayers that they are expected to comply fully with our tax laws, when these laws have been treated so cavalierly by the person who would lead the Treasury Department and, ultimately, the Internal Revenue Service, when he was applying them to himself?”

Hmmmmm.  I guess memory isn’t what it used to be.

Still, Representative Fudge wasn’t the only one trying on the mantle of victimhood that day.  Representative Gwen Moore also seems to have forgotten that politics is a bare-knuckle sport.

“What unmitigated gall for these men to attack the permanent representative to the United Nations Susan E. Rice,” Moore said.

“We all understand that all of us have been disappointed in one way or another about the results of the election – but to batter this woman because they don’t feel they have had the ability to batter President Obama is something that we, the women, are not going to stand by and watch.”

Yes, of course.  It is “gall” to be angry that she stepped up to the plate and lied to the American people repeatedly about Benghazi.  As a high-ranking State Department official, she certainly didn’t have access to information in the week between the attack and her Sunday morning appearances to at least form a reasonable suspicion that the youtube justification was crap.  And as someone who has been a high-ranking State Department official for years, she certainly shouldn’t have been able to come to the conclusion that the “insulting video” excuse was insulting to the American People.

And to call her “unqualified” after a brief review of some of her actions over the last 10+ years certainly rises to the level of “battery”.   In fact, not only is this OUTRAGE!!!111!!! justified, I wish that the same models of this year’s victimhood could have found the same voice and outrage when Condolezza Rice was under attack.

But then, these defenders of the flower of womanhood embodied by Susan Rice are the same people who hurl venom and vitriol even today at Sarah Palin, and cheered at Sandra Bernhard’s racist rape fantasy for her.

If we keep accepting lies, we will continue to get them. 

As long as that happens, an honest conversation is impossible, and we are all screwed.

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During a late-night, 20-minute phone call, Mr. Obama warned Mr. Morsi that relations would be jeopardized if Egyptian authorities failed to protect American diplomats and stand more firmly against anti-American attacks.</blockquote>

Oh.  A phone call.  I feel sooooooo reassured.

Meanwhile…

Its almost like…they are coordinated or something!

But its about a video that 99.7% of them have never seen. Right. Just like the spokesclown Jay Carney keeps saying that it isn’t about US Policy.

Yeah, that’s why they keep burning all of those US flags…

As long as President Present makes it to his next fundraiser on time.
If he doesn’t get re-elected, then Catholics might not have to be required to pay for Sandi Fluke’s birth control. THE HORROR!

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Admittedly, I didn’t watch the whole thing.

It was my first week back to work after a week’s vacation, and as any lawyer will tell you, the combination of rush projects and other work that piles up in your absence will keep you pretty busy.  Living on the west coast also means that you miss some speakers anyway.  On Day One, I only say a few minutes of Ann Romney’s speech, which I hear was good, but she seemed to be struggling with the part I heard.

I caught the second half of Dr. Rice’s speech. I especially liked the ending, which I took as the refined way of flipping the bird to all the jerks on the left who felt free to insult her in every manner possible over the last decade, including all manner of racist caricatures, centering on the insinuation and overt statement about her being a sell-out to her race.  True to form, noted racist and boy who cried wolf, Chrissy Tingles Matthews completely missed out on that. (More on Tingles later.)

I thought Suzanna Martinez gave a good speech, and despite a few minor policy differences with him, I thought Vice President Ryan hit it out of the park.  I’m quite sure that the rude noise I heard a few moments into the speech was Joe Biden soiling himself at the prospect of having to debate someone who won’t fight fair, because Ryan will use both facts and math.

It goes without saying that I enjoyed Day 3, as well, and I felt that Mitt did a good job telling us who he is, and what his priorities will be.  While it isn’t the speech I wouldn’t have given, and it wasn’t the speech I wanted to hear, the one I would have given wouldn’t have been matching with either his style or his character.

What was more telling was what went on outside and around the convention.  Code Pink represented the Dadaist movement by dressing as giant vaginas because they don’t think women are taken seriously by Republicans or something.  I know nothing makes me take someone seriously until they dress like a sex organ that they don’t want to be defined by, and then march around in public, screaming about a “War on Women”.

And the whole “War on Women” meme?  Yeah.  While the crew at MSNBC ignored any speaker that might have caused their 3 viewers to question any of the narratives they were pushing, the fact is that I saw several female governors, lieutenant governors, governmental officials, including cabinet members, and a mother that has endured poverty and debilitating disease on an American journey to wealth, while raising 5 kids, and all of them happy and proud to speak to America from the podium at the RNC.  They were too many to be ‘tokens”, as our tolerant and respectful friends on the right so graciously referred to them as, and if it was somehow a manifestation of Stockholm Syndrome, then you should probably get in line with Romney anyway, because Obama doesn’t have that kind of mojo.  seriously speaking though, I saw smart, strong, confident women who wouldn’t be defined by their lady bits and don’t want government in them, not even to pay for what goes on in them, which is why they have an appeal someone like Sandra Fluke will never have.  For these women, it is about their accomplishments, and not about government doing it for them. 

And I find nothing more compelling or attractive.

The other development is that someone found the absurd switch at MSNBC, and discovered that it went up past 11.  Chris Matthews’ thin veneer of objectivity was wiped completely away by him humping candidate Barack Obama’s leg in 2008; even its memory became dim in the full-on unrequited love affair he started with President Obama after the 2008 election, but this embarrassing public display of affection has made him so defensive of the object of his desire that he’s now seeing “RACISM!!11!!!” in his corn flakes in the morning.  You know its bad when even Joe Scarbourough and Mika aren’t seeing race cards in their breakfast cereal.  This is why its time to just stop talking to Chris Matthews.  All he’s interested in doing is shouting over people so he can talk about what he “hears” rather than what is said.  If I wanted to get the dispatches from a different dimension, I’d go directly to the DNC to get them, and not bother with the official propaganda arm.  And we’ve now moved so far past the ridiculous allegations of “code words” and “dog whistles” that now Crazy Larry is mystically divining what Republicans are “really” saying from words that have almost nothing in common with his sad and tragic “translations”.  While Newt Gingrich is still willing to shoulder the yeoman’s work of challenging Chris Matthews on his own inherent racism, which is screamingly evident from the conclusions that he draws daily, I don’t think that tough love is going to help.  I’m not sure that an intervention will help.  The best thing that I can say about his continuing presence on MSNBC at the moment is that at least he is helping to identify those who are also caught up in their own racial conclusions, which in his case are rooted in his belief that government HAS to help minorities, because they simply aren’t capable of success on their own.  The thing about dog whistles is that only the dogs hear them.  The fact that he, Special Ed, Crazy Larry, and some of the other on-air “personalities” at MSNBC are the ones baying the loudest should be a sobering wake-up call for them.   And the “code words” claim is silly.  There simply is no reason to “speak in code”.  If Republicans are all a bunch of racists, we wouldn’t have to skulk around about it.  The fact is that it is contrary to the stated priorities of the party.  Achievement by building it ourselves wouldn’t be the goal.  Not when it would be about denying it to others.  And while I’m sure that Tingles and Crazy Larry would say that’s exactly what it’s about, I think its simply about silencing a message that they cannot refute.  Its easier to prevent a debate when everything your opponent says is about “racism” (even when it’s not), than it is to explain to someone that they cannot possibly succeed without government taking from those that did, and then giving it to them.

In the short-term, I sincerely hope Chris Matthews gets help.  His break with reality is leading him to be unnecessarily provocative, and it can’t end well if left unchecked.  I sincerely fear for his well-being when President Obama’s reckoning day comes in November and the American people give him his well-deserved pink slip.  Matthews will either have to be put on a 24 hour suicide watch, or he will turn his bitterness on the electorate, and lecture us endlessly for the rest of his pathetic life about our ignorance and bigotry for daring to recognize the mistake that has been the Obama Presidency.

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…and “leading from behind” (which was called “pushing” in more honest times) like this has permeated society, which is why President Downgrade can always blame EVERYTHING on someone else.

“On Tuesday, a cartoon ran on the Opinion page of The Daily Texan that offended many readers, and we sincerely apologize for our decision to run it.
 
The cartoonist, Stephanie Eisner, no longer works for The Daily Texan.”

What courage.  They make the decision to run it, and when the Inevitable Outrage Machine™ fires up, they sacrifice the person who created the content, rather than defending their decision. 

“Despicable” doesn’t quite describe it.  Nothing is ever anyone’s responsibility anymore, unless they aren’t the ones who made The Decision That Mattered™ or aren’t in a position to defend themselves, then it’s their fault.

And this particular “OUTRAGE!!!11!!!!Eleventy!!!”?  Get back to me when the riots start because the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People refuses to change their name.(Ben Jealous, please pick up the courtesy phone.  Ben Jealous, please pick up the courtesy phone.) 

Yeah, yeah.  I know.  Just like another word we are supposed to fear and loathe, there is nothing wrong when those with “enhanced melanin” say it.

Now Ms. Eisner can make similar drawing with the caption “…and opinions, and anything else that might be controversial or cause pain were outlawed, right before laws were passed relieving anyone of the ability to make a decision without the approval of “experts” and the guarantee of government that they will never have to suffer the negative consequences of those decisions.”

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For a while now, the NAACP has been incrementally moving closer to irrelevance.  For most of my life, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has been seeking advancement through victimhood.  The problem with such a strategy is eventually, as the successes pile up, they become harder to attain, and as a result, the causes to champion increasingly grow absurd.

Whether it is reading a racial slur into the use of the term “Black Hole” in the context of an office in city government where things go in, and never seem to come back out, or getting their undies in a bunch about a talking greeting card that uses the same term, despite their insistence that it actually says something very different, the politics of victimhood has ill-benefitted those it was intended to help, first by selling the beneficiaries into a modern-day dependency by constantly telling them what they cannot do without the “help” of others, and then by making them look ridiculous with the progression of OUTRAGES! over the years.   Lately, this has been accomplished by acting as if being offended makes them victims, as the “black hole” episodes have demonstrated.  This still isn’t enough for them though.  Now they have taken up the habit of ridiculous hyperbole to condemn activities they find offensive.  Case in point?  A recent formal event in South Carolina honoring the Confederacy, where guests celebrated the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.  Protestors could not wait to register their displeasure with the attendees of the Secession Ball:

As blacks and whites gathered in the twilight with electric candles and signs for an NAACP protest, a predominantly white group of men in old-fashioned tuxedos and women in long-flowing dresses and gloves stopped to watch and take pictures before going into the Charleston auditorium where the ball was taking place.

Now I found this turn of phrase interesting.  “Predominantly white men”.  Are they predominantly white because the reporter was too lazy to find out if indeed there were non-white men present?  Are they predominantly white because an honest accounting might reveal enough non-whites in attendance to make the protesters into the ones with the problem?  I guess we’ll never know.

NAACP leaders said it made no sense to hold a gala to honor men who committed treason against their own nation for the sake of a system that kept black men and women in bondage as slaves. They compared Confederate leaders to terrorists and Nazi soldiers.

While it would be foolish to deny that slavery was one of the issue that the Civil War was fought over, it is foolish and disingenuous to pretend that it was the only issue.  And the comparison to terrorists and Nazi soldiers?  I don’t believe that these comparisons in any way seem serious when one looks to Robert E. Lee, J.E.B. Stuart, Jefferson Davis, and other prominent Confederates. Why is it whenever someone on the left doesn’t like someone on the right exercising their freedom of association or their freedom of speech, the disfavored are suddenly equated with Nazis and terrorists?  I can acknowledge that it might have been a shocking charge at one time.  Hell, it might have actually had the desired effect of “SHUT UP!!!” that certainly motivates such comparisons in the past.  However, as more and more people are painted as Hilterian, and it starts to be applied to Uncle Ron, and Great-Grandpa, Fred from down the street, and the Barber, the less it seems like an epithet, and for some people, it becomes an indication that they are pissing all the right people off.

“The Germans had a heritage too. Why does South Carolina and America think this is the right thing to do?” said Lonnie Randolph, president of the South Carolina branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The more appropriate question to ask, Lonnie, is why do you feel it is your place to question their pastimes?  Seriously.  I didn’t read in the story where the period dress included black slaves in chains, and without, waiting on the attendees hand and foot, with the “Yes, massa” and “No, massa” issuing forth from downcast faces.  I’m pretty sure if that had been the case, the event would have received far wider coverage, and in that event, I would have had some outrage of my own to spare.  But between the protest, the hyperbole, and the unflattering and untrue comparisons, it just smacks a little too much of the thought police.  And that is really the point of the politics of OUTRAGE!!!  By claiming offense, and acting as if there is a right to not be offended, the claimant is really saying “Your thinking is wrong, and you must stop before you offend again.”  Before you know it, the enablers in the Press pile on, implying that there not only is a right not to be offended, but that it also trumps other, real rights, and that if you believe otherwise, then you too, my friend, are somehow a Nazi and a terrorist.  Thankfully, it has been carried to such absurd extremes that the tactic is starting to lose its effectiveness:

Burbage said the NAACP doesn’t help its cause with inflammatory rhetoric.

“Any group that wants to call our ancestors terrorists and compare them to Nazi soldiers, we will not negotiate with. We didn’t need to get their permission to put this thing on, or will we ever seek their permission. We do our thing, they’ll do their thing,” Burbage said.

Exactly right.  And as long as these bullies keep trying to police our thoughts and actions, I foresee more pushback.  As it should be.  As long as groups such as the NAACP set themselves up as the thought police, entitled not just to question the thoughts of others, but to sit in judgment of those thoughts, and vested with the authority to prevent others from feeling the shame and anguish of being offended, the more cartoonish they will become.

I hear a timer ringing.  The time for their relevance must be up.

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…just busy.

Lots of stuff, including litigation, and while there is a lot going on politically, I really haven’t been motivated to say much. Just waiting to see how much voter fraud tampers with the righteous curbstomping the Dems are getting come November 2.

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“If we are to open employment opportunities in this country for members of all races and creeds, then the Federal Government must set an example…I am not going to promise a cabinet post or any other post to any race or ethnic group.  That is racism in reverse at its worst.  So I do not promise to consider race or religion in my appointments if successful.  I promise only that I will not consider them.” — John F. Kennedy, speech October 17, 1960.

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never be a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the last word.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’ve certainly experienced racism, but it has not made a great impact on me.  I have always thought, as I got older and older, I was more in charge of who I was.  What someone thought about me or said about me made less of an impression on me at very vulnerable times.” — Robert Guillame

“When I was a kid, we said that we were precluded from going to certain neighborhoods because of the color of our skin…Now the neighborhoods are the neighborhoods of ideas,  you’re not supposed to be there because…of the color of your skin.”– Justice Clarence Thomas

“The really important victory of the civil rights movement was that it made racism unpopular, whereas a generation ago at the turn of the last century, you had to embrace racism to get elected to anything.”–Carol Mosley Braun

Take a few minutes to watch this video.  Take note of the fact that there are black faces and white faces in that crowd.

Those people were there to overcome racism, and see that citizens were not denied their place at the table in society based on the color of their skin.  This is different from being entitled to positions and places because of the color of their skin. 

Unfortunately, this distinction has become muddled.  The right and proper retirement of the notion of “separate but equal” meant that the color of skin was no longer a legitimate basis for the denial the right to participate in society.  Not in education.  Not in accommodation.  Not in opportunities for employment or housing.  Sadly, this concept had to be given life by the force that government would bring to bear in some parts of the country.  Before long, it was not about being able to attend the closest school, as it was in Brown I, but it became about the need to segregate, regardless of proximity.  Before long, we graduated to acceptance of the notion that a certain number of places in graduate level education had to be set aside for people of color, in order to remediate the past unavailability of these positions because of that skin color, and regardless of the fact that it was apparently necessary for only that skin color [The footnotes on the racial makeup of that year's class accepted to the medical school, Bakke v. University of California] when other minorities were apparently able to achieve admittance without set asides, or the lower standards that characterized them.  We received, and still carry the continuation of Affirmative Action in employment, especially government employment, long after the color line had been erased from existence.  Racial quotas in education have given way to a softer, but still distinct system in “a compelling interest in diversity”, which provides justification in admissions policies that consider race based on an unquantifiable “critical mass” calculation that provides no clear guidance, but enshrines entitlement to admissions into a new status quo, which undermines the notion of merit and the pursuit of excellence based on achievement, and all of society now suffers for it.

It isn’t enough for some that our institutions have surrendered to the concept that race has to be a factor; that betrayal of the vision set forth by the two big martyrs of my parents’ generation would be enough to stain us all with a new stain of racism.  Now we have the more subtle, and insulting belief that these entitlements are necessary because of a presumption that members of that race could not achieve without the entitlement, so benevolently granted and ferociously and jealously guarded by members of a certain political persuasion, who remain steadfastly unwilling to even consider winding down the policy of entitlement, and letting these citizens stand or fall of their own accord.  These villans, who have managed to convince their subjects that their ills are the result of those who would push government back, and allow them to define for themselves what success means to them, practice a far crueller racism than any Klan member or white supremacist ever did.  At least with the Klan and the white supremacist, their racism was upfront, and didn’t extract anything but fear from its victims.  With the liberal, the racism is a kinder, gentler bigotry.  It says “Yes, you have been held back.  But you can enjoy freedom, with my help, and all I ask is that you trust me, elect me, empower me, and I, with the force of government, will make sure you get your fair share.”  And those who think of themselves as victims today did so, and still happily do so.

I’m not saying that real, unreasoning hatred based on race no longer exists.  To do so would be no less foolish than the millions of people seduced by the idea of a society where everything is free.  But such a belief is no longer a fixture of American society.  That died with my generation.  That died when children grew up watching Captain Kirk kissing Lieutenant Uhura in reruns on Saturday afternoons.  Yet today, 40 years after that moment was committed to film, those who have found power in asserting victimhood on behalf of others would have you believe now more than ever that any person who happened to believe the words of those two famous martyrs hides a hooded white robe, rope, a cross, and gasoline in a closet, and is bristling for the chance to bust them out and go crazy with them, simply because they disagree.  Simply because they were foolish enough to believe that character and ability should define achievement, and because they dare to question when government does not deliver excellence, and instead delivers a “social justice” agenda that would infantilize not just the victims, but all of us.

Who will tell my children and my grandchildren that their right to make mistakes, that their right to happen on the next big thing when pursuing their own dreams as set forth by two visionaries who inspired two generations because of the purity of their vision, and of the innate rightness of how it would at last fulfill the promise that gave birth to the freest nation the world has ever countenanced were betrayed by those same people?  Who will explain to them that overcoming hatred would succumb to the ease of accepting, and then demanding what others in society have to earn?  Who will explain to them that overcoming the resistance to granting citizens the same right to make their own destinies as all other citizens succumbed to the cynicism of carving out and dispensing entitlements, all the while making sure that the premise that government intervention was necessary was always front and center in their discussions with the recipients, and was enforced by the savaging of any member of that group who achieved great things for themselves without subjecting themselves to the largesse of their betters, or selling the belief that such largesse was necessary.

The result is that the dream of being judged on the content of character is dead.

It was killed by venality.  It was killed by cynicism.   It was killed by the ease of acceptance.  If there is a silver lining, it is that the constant priming of the racial pump has saturated the culture with a constant focus on race, and the consciousness of the fact that it is new bigots, with the soft tyranny of their lowered expectations who are dividing society, both with their expectation of race-based entitlement, and their constant chorus of “Racism!” whenever they are met with honest questions by the same people they vilify.  The question is are the right people taking note of this new racism, and the insulting premises that it rests on?  Some days I’m not so sure, as demonstrated a short time ago by my fellow-blogger, and I would like to think, friend, Rutherford Lawson, in one of his remarks at his own blog:

Let’s start on the NAACP as an anachronism. Frankly, I’d be happier with a non-race affiliated human rights group intervening in cases of injustice and prejudice. I think the NAACP is past its prime … hell it calls its own people an outdated and almost offensive label (“colored”).

There was a time when blacks got the brunt of the abuse in this country and merited an organization devoted to their defense (or “advancement”). Now I think we need to focus on the advancement of all minorities and under-represented people. As I said on my radio show yesterday, dirt poor whites in West Virginia are just as deserving of advocacy as ghetto blacks. To say any differently is to actually insult the black community that they are somehow the most wretched of all minorities.

Needless to say, my co-host Sandi did not agree.

For those who are unaware, Rutherford is black. (He is also liberal, which is one of the reasons he and I do not see eye-to-eye on many things.  However, he has his moments of remarkable clarity, which is why I haven’t given up on him. :-))  His co-host [for his blog radio show] is a lily-white liberal.  I don’t think they could have made my point better had they tried.  [And in the interests of disclosure, I did try to ask Rutherford for his thoughts on this...twice, to no avail.]

If the trend that has occurred continues, succumbing will lead to surrender.  Surrender to entitlement.  Surrender to double standards.  Surrender to any notion of taking hold of the American Dream.  Surrender to an inevitable balkanization.  Surrender to the idea of a government that will decide for everyone what freedom means, and what liberties we each will have, and to what degree.  Surrender to settling rather than living.  Surrender to a collective indentured servitude rather than a life limited only by your own individual ambitions.  In that way lies madness…and ruin…and power and wealth for those who would exploit it.  That is the real teachable moment of this week…when you allow yourself to be manipulated for someone else’s gain, those people can define what you are not paying attention to.

Think about it.

Is that enough conversation for you, Eric, or do you want to impugn my character a bit more?

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A few weeks ago, I posted on a story from the Village of Port Chester, New York, where the Federal government was overseeing a new method of election for village trustees in which each resident was given six votes to cast as they saw fit.

One self-professed “progressive” commentator took me to task for criticizing it at another blog, claiming that the practice was “commonplace” and that I was making much ado out of nothing.

He was half-right.

Cumulative voting is common-place, although not required in the governance of corporations as a measure to provide minority shareholders with the means to elect at least one member of the corporation’s board of directors.  The reason that it seems counter-intuitive to many people with regard to elections for political office likely stems from the decision in Reynolds v. Sims, which ruled that in states with a bicameral legislature, the apportionment plans must allocate seats according to the population as to make the voting power of one citizen as equal as possible to that of any other citizen.  This was reduced to the maxim “One man, one vote.”

However, as it happens, pursuant to the Voting Rights Act, the federal government has been tinkering with this formula for some time now.

From the Justice Department’s Website:

The Voting Rights Act is not limited to discrimination that literally excludes minority voters from the polls. Section 2 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 1973) makes it illegal for any state or local government to use election processes that are not equally open to minority voters, or that give minority voters less opportunity than other voters to participate in the political process and elect representatives of their choice to public office. In particular, Section 2 makes it illegal for state and local governments to “dilute” the votes of racial minority groups, that is, to have an election system that makes minority voters’ votes less effective than those of other voters. One of many forms of minority vote dilution is the drawing of district lines that divide minority communities and keep them from putting enough votes together to elect representatives of their choice to public office. Depending on the circumstances, dilution can also result from at-large voting for governmental bodies. When coupled with a long-standing pattern of racial discrimination in the community, these and other election schemes can deny minority voters a fair chance to elect their preferred candidates.

To show vote dilution in these situations, there must be a geographically concentrated minority population and voting that is polarized by race, that is, a pattern in which minority voters and white voters tend to vote differently as groups. It must also be shown that white voters, by voting as a bloc against minority-choice candidates, usually beat those candidates even if minority voters are unified or cohesive at the polls.

Anyone aggrieved by minority vote dilution can bring a federal lawsuit to stop it. If the court decides that the effect of an election system, in combination with all the local circumstances, is to make minority votes less effective than white votes, it can order a change in the election system. For example, courts have ordered states and localities to adopt districting plans to replace at-large voting, or to redraw their election district lines in a way that gives minority voters the same opportunity as other voters to elect representatives of their choice.

I have to confess, while I have been reading and interpreting statutes for almost 20 years now, I still did not interpret this the way that it has been applied in Port Chester, and I decided to dig a little deeper.  I found the Justice Department’s Complaint, and read it.  It made for some interesting reading, considering some of the allegations it made.  Out of curiosity, I would like to see what proof the government had to back those allegations.  Afterall, the claim that the hispanic voters almost always vote cohesively for the candidate they prefer, but that the white majority usually votes sufficiently as a bloc to defeat the Hispanic preferred candidate is an allegation begging for proof, especially when the citizen voting age population of the village is 21.9 % hispanic and 65.5% non-hispanic white.  With a discrepancy like that, the majority white voters don’t have to “vote against” any candidate, hispanic or otherwise.  (The population demographic that apparently matters to the DOJ is that when you look at the voting age population without that pesky “citizen” designation, the hispanic percentage constitutes 43.3% of the population as opposed to the 46.3% of the white non-hispanic percentage of the village population…21.4% is a lot of people who are not citizens, and yet seem to be due some right to elect a representative of their preference.)

I also read through FairVote’s amicus brief, in which it suggested the cumulative voting resolution, claiming that division into districts was not a practical solution in this case.  I did not find the Village’s answer to the complaint.

However, when I read more about the facts, I became even more troubled.  The AP story on this made some intriguing representations:

Under the outlawed system, two of Port Chester’s six trustee seats were up each election year and the entire village chose from the candidates. Most voters were white, and white candidates always won.

Not really a mystery.  If the number of non-hispanic whites who were of voting age and were citizens was more than double than that of their hispanic counterparts, this should not be shocking.  Nor is it shocking in an at-large voting system where two of the six positions were up for election in any election. 

The Justice Department’s plan would have divided the village into six districts, with each electing one trustee. One district would be drawn to include Hispanic neighborhoods, increasing the chances that a Hispanic-backed candidate would be elected.

Port Chester officials, however, noted that because many Hispanics are not citizens, the special Hispanic district would have fewer eligible voters than other districts. That would violate the one-person, one-vote requirement of the Constitution, village attorneys said.

Think about this for a minute.  The root irritant here is that there is an assumption on the part of the federal government that because nearly half of the village’s residents are hispanic, that they would necessarily prefer being represented by hispanics on the village board of trustees, and that such an assumption is worthy of government interference to achieve.  I know that I find this notion repugnant, as a deliberate preservation of a racist intent by the government that can somehow be justified as a worthy goal because of the minority status of this population.  And a prior AP story noted that the elections in Port Chester were not a new development.

Mayor Gerald Logan blasted the lawsuit, calling it “unfortunate and heavy-handed” and noting that Port Chester has used at-large elections since 1868.

Somehow I doubt that this form of election was adopted in 1868 so that the racist white people could keep the latino hoards in their place.  But that doesn’t matter.  The fact that no latino had ever been elected, despite the apparent fact that no eligible voter had ever been prevented from voting for the candidate of their choice, was enough to make the election system racist and subject to Federal bullying and interference.  Still, I was having trouble accepting this outcome.  Then I got out my trusty Corwin and Peltason (twelfth ed.), and read this happy bit:

The Voting Rights Act, especially as amended in in 1982, goes beyond the Fifteenth Amendment in another very important way.  Electoral arrangements that do not relate directly to voting and are neutral on their face are not violations of the Fifteenth Amendment, even if they dilute the voting power of blacks, unless they are motivated by a discriminatory “purpose”.  What does not violate the Fifteenth Amendment, however, may violate the Voting Rights Act.  A Supreme Court plurality opinion in Mobile v Borden had declared that, to establish a violation of either the Voting Rights Act of the Fourteenth Amendment, minority voters had to prove that a contested electoral mechanism was intentionally adopted or maintained by state officials for a discriminatory purpose.  The 1982 amendments set aside this limitation.

As a result, today most of the litigation involving the Voting Rights Act is not about the right to vote, but about the right not to have the votes of minorities diluted.  What precisely constitutes dilution and how it is to be determined is the subject of much litigation.  Although the 1982 amendments do not guarantee “members of a protected class a right to have members….elected in numbers equal to their proportion in the population,” they do make it illegal for governments to adopt or maintain procedures, regardless of intent, if such procedures result in the dilution of African-American (or Chicano, or Native-American, or Asian-American) voting power.

Without any apparent objective test for dilution or a bright-line rule establishing how much dilution is too much, it would appear to be in the eye of the beholder, much like the determination of obscenity.  The difference here, is that all it takes is an allegation, the fact that minorities are not elected, and the Justice Department can make the city or town subject to an expensive suit to make them change the system so that a minority can be sure to be able to elect a minority, pursuant to the assumption that someone of the same racial or ethnic group will be the preferred candidate.   Who said government sponsored segregation is dead?  And apparently, there is not much concern about the issue of citizenship being tied to representation, either.  I suppose my life would be easier if i would simply accept that citizenship vs. non-citizenship is a distinction without difference, especially when elections or receiving welfare benefits from the state or even habeas corpus for a non-citizen who has never even set foot on U.S. soil is at stake.  If I could just abandon the silly notion that citizenship means something other than I’m one of the suckers who gets to pay the bill for all the free goodies, I’m sure I’d make a jim-dandy Democrat.

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