Wednesday, June 29, 2022

The Seven Pillars of Fascism - III

We covered the first factor on October 14, 2021. If you don't know what I mean, go read the first few paragraphs of that post and come back. Now we are up to the second in line:

The fascist uses force or intimidation to coerce people to accept their political will.

2.     The fascist claim that they are victims and that their opponents are oppressors.

3.     The fascist creates a false scapegoat.

4.     The fascist seeks to divide and often uses race, ethnicity and/or religion to do it.

5.     The fascist gains control of critical social institutions, like the media, the police and the education system.

6.     The fascist is dishonest, and often uses fake crises or exaggerates them in order to more easily take or maintain power.

7.     The fascist takes complete control of the law and all facets of society within his or her reach – not just the reins of government.


You are no doubt familiar with Jews being the traditional fascist scapegoat. They were for the Nazis, of course, the Italian fascists (the namesakes for the rest), the Vichy French, the Soviets, and others. It was fairly traditional in Europe and few countries escaped that trap at one time or another.

Right now, for some, the Jews are, remarkably, one of the scapegoats for the left in our country. I understand that if you are left-leaning or at least sympathetic, you just made a raspberry sound with your tongue, but, it is true. Explain to me how, otherwise, in Sept. 2020, when there was a vote to include anti-Semitism among the impermissible discriminations that a private action could be brought for a certain type of discrimination case – 70% of Democrats, 162 Democrats in all (1 Republican) voted against it. Why not include the Jews? Hmmm. I know the Jewish members in congress voted for it and were shocked – not that they should be. 70 Percent of House Democrats Vote Against Anti-Semitism Measure | CNSNews. Good luck finding a mainstream media site that wrote about it. Explain to me, if the Jews aren’t a scapegoat for Ds, why a Democrat congressman from NY, Ritchie Torres, who overtly supports Israel, announced he would not be joining the “Squad,” precisely because of their Israel positions and wrote:

The moment I sent out a statement denouncing the terrorism of Hamas, I was swiftly demonized by extremists as a white supremacist, as a supporter of apartheid, ethnic cleansing, genocide. Although these comments cause great pain to my loved ones, I remain as determined as ever to speak out. And if I can speak out, then anyone can. And everyone must.”

Rep. Ritchie Torres: Why I support Israel — despite Twitter mob (nypost.com)

Explain to me, if they aren’t a scapegoat for the left, why Jews have actually been rejected by BLM, which they were trying to support (Black Lives Matter's Jewish Problem - In Their Own Words | Joshua Washington | The Blogs (timesofisrael.com); Black Lives Matter’s Jewish Problem Is Also a Black Problem - Tablet Magazine; BLM's aggressive tactics and rhetoric have led to attacks on Jews (nypost.com).

But, all this is available for you to easily research on the web if you disbelieve me. (Yes, after one Democrat, Ilhan Omar made a statement even many Ds saw as anti-Semitic the Ds had a vote to condemn racism – but they were careful not to single her out and thus some Rs rejected it). I understand that those who know it is true will not bother, but neither will those who doubt it, because they do not want to know. The Jews are not the number 1 scapegoat for the left. Neither is the almost legendary “white supremacist,” who, in reality, barely exist. Unless you include those who the left simply term “white supremacists” and then it goes up by millions.

But actually, their biggest scapegoat now, is Donald Trump, and has been since he won the election (actually even before, but few thought he would win). Perhaps no one so epitomizes the Trump scapegoat bandwagon as the increasingly fascist President, who blames everything that is his fault on Trump, including the Afghanistan debacle (created by his own idiocy), rocketing inflation (created partly by his own idiocy, and starting way before the Russian attack on Ukraine) and the border (created by his own idiocy, after Trump fixed it).

But, part of what makes a scapegoat is more than just having political enemies. It is the degree to which we, the hoi polio have accepted it the immediate reaction. And so many have, even some Republicans, who after the NY Times hit piece claiming he abused women, after the Russia hoax, now known to lie at the feet of the Clinton campaign and likely she herself, the Justice Department and FBIs intrigues against him and his underlings, The Steele Dossier, the phony Ukraine impeachment, the phony impeachment of him and trial after he was out of office, the growing mountain of evidence that there was perhaps unprecedented fraud by Democrats during the 2020 election, the fact that Trump authorized 20,000 National Guard troops for 1/6 (not used) and that he told those at his speech to march peacefully, despite the fact that the majority Democrat leader in the House would not let any Republican on the January 6th committee other than outright Trump haters - still believe he fomented an insurrection that never actually happened.

Because when the media and government pound something in enough, they wear people out, the persuade people. I understand that most people do not have time to research issues, that they are fixed or almost fixed in their opinions, that the media lies, lies, lies, lies, every day to them, that government lies, lies, lies, lies, every day to them. I understand that those who support the left have learned to ostracize, feign outrage and be outright violent with those who disagree with them (as they do right now after the abortion case). But, the degree to which it has taken over the mindset of so many people I like or love or respect, whereas they sometimes can’t even answer a question about Trump without literally freaking out, or perhaps making their arguments based upon pure adjectives or sometimes, pure lies they have heard, even if they have been disproven.

The bottom line is that Trump has become what the Jews were to the Nazis. Their scapegoat. And, as with the Nazis, it worked. At least for now.

II

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Nostalgia for bin Laden - those were the days.

Happy Sunday. This is just a rant:

This morning I was listening to a podcast, which is generally about the CIA and spying. The subject matter was Tracy Walders, who was recruited out of college to work at the CIA. From her statements it seems like she had absolutely no special qualities, but obviously they saw something in her. I've seen a picture and she's very pretty (nicknamed at one time at least "Malibu Barbie") but one hopes that's not why they make their decisions - although, we are all used to disappointment from those who we want to think are protecting us. She was still relatively new to the job, and it her first day in what is known as the Vault, doing counter terrorism, when 9/11 happened. She worked on bin Laden et all and the team was often visited by not only Tenet, the CIA head, but by Pres. Bush and VP. Cheney. She was there for Bora Bora, from where bin Laden barely escaped. 

Eventually, she went to work for the FBI in counter-terrorism. Eventually, she had enough and became a school-teacher like she planned before she dropped her resume off with the CIA, who now writes about her life in spying. She said almost everything she did was classified so she can only give very general information about much of it and am given to understand her book is heavily redacted. And she does not really talk about anything special she did except in very veiled terms -  just writes about what was happening then in that world and so much as she can about herself, which is dramatic enough.

But while I was listening to it, I got this great sense of nostalgic unease about how simple things were then - though it did not seem so at the time. We were at least a reasonably united country and we had an enemy - al-Qaeda. We invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and some people were very against, some for. We probably all agree whether it was justified or not, it was a disaster the way they did it.

But we were all one country when we were attackedAnd though we may have been divided politically - it has always been so, and sometimes much, much more so - I really do think at that time we still had more in common than when we had in differences, even if it did not seem so at the time. Not anymore.

And then I just sat there thinking about Victor Davis Hanson's book, The Dying Citizen, which I'm reading, and Woke Racism by John McWhorter, which I recently finished, and all the constant writing I do myself on the left-wing fascist attacks on the country, day after day, and it started to feel overwhelming. My attitude has always been you have to be happy even when everything is wrong. But, don't have to tell anyone reading this, the last 2 years it has been much harder to do that.

Two conversations this past week disturb me a little. One was via email with a friend who's very liberal, about, in his view, pretty much how the evil Republicans are ruining the country (I guess, by saving unborn babies and allowing people to protect themselves in public) and how he predicted it when Trump's judges were confirmed. He's just livid about it and for all I know is no longer talking to me. We'll see. It has happened before. Never with anyone to the right of me, only to the left.

The other conversation was on the phone with my brother, and though it was very pleasant, as it almost always is, he is convinced, as is Steve, that Republicans are evil and they know how to fight so much dirtier than Democrats do. I laugh and say I feel completely the opposite and I can name dozens and dozens of examples. I know they cannot name any except if they make it up or just go with some conspiracy theory like Trump tried to have a coup, but I am sure they would disagree. I asked both if they could answer a question - actually, I said they could not and would ignore it - if a loved one was in peril of death, would you wish you had a gun and would use it or would you be happy you didn't have one and watch your loved one die or be raped and be proud you didn't have a gun. Neither answered (actually each got slightly different versions - but same result).

So, I'm sitting today in the bagel store and a guy, little younger than me, tells me how his wife of seven years who he swears he never had a single argument with, was stabbed to death by her own son, who was a pothead and was furious that she took his pot and phone away.  The guy himself was at work (when I went home I went on the internet and confirmed all of it). He mourned for a while and then he met someone out of the country and moved on. He didn't want to date anyone local who would have a million questions and who would wonder how he was going to move on from such a tragedy. So, he went out of the country and is married to a South American woman who grew up during Pablo years and for whom tragedy was pretty normal. They live in both countries. He's happy, but now worried about both homelands, as Colombia recently elected a socialist leader. I guess the country wants to be like Venezuela.

So, in the few minutes span between the podcast and the murder story, I started remembering how lucky I was that my daughter was so easy to raise and how little trauma I've had in my whole life, how easy our lives are and how great a country we can still be. From the early '80s through about 2008 (hmmm, who was elected then?) it was amazing.

And then there's a friend who let me know a relative who he reached out to a daughter with affection, asking her to keep safe at a pro-choice rally. She reacted with rage, chiding him for being a Republican, essentially mocking him. He reacted with more affection and I'm afraid lied to her about his political beliefs. Didn't go over well. She got more abusive, though I think she believes she is a freedom fighter. He's hurt and angry.

Every day I want to do something to help the world and I know there's very little I can do. Boycotting many woke companies (a few I can't without crippling myself and it galls me) and writing here are pretty much it. And now I'm thinking of the Mel Gibson/Linda Hunt movie, The Year of Living Dangerously, and the idea that you "[d]on't think about the major issues. You do what you can about the misery in front of you. You add your light to the sum of all light." I feel I used to try to do that, but since the troubles, I don't think that I do that very much anymore. More doom and gloom from me and "did you hear about . . .?" 

My blog used to be about history, art and science. Now, it is about modern fascism and . . . more fascism. But what do you do? Bury your head in the sand and think it will pass you by? Almost everyone I know wants to and I don't blame them. They are afraid and have needs - they still want a normal life and think it's a better chance to keep their heads down. But, it will not help them or their kids. When people ask me why I am bothering to boycott I say I am fighting fascism one day at a time. It's just a slogan, but I pretty much mean it. I wish everyone would join me. Boycott and express yourself. 

And, I'll keep writing because I do it to express myself and in the hopes that maybe I can change the mind of a few people. A few is great really, because it is very hard to change even one person's mind. Sometimes it takes years.

No moral here. It's a confusing world. I'll leave off with my favorite line from one of my favorite musicals. I'm sure I've quoted it her before:

God would like us to be joyful
Even though our hearts lie panting on the floor;
How much more can we be joyful,
When there's really something
To be joyful for.

I know, weird choice for an atheist, but it's the thought that counts.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

McWhorter's "Woke Racism"

I try not to do book reports, although David's Blog (I think that is the title - I really should know that) has historically been more about books than anything until the last few years, but I think John McWhorter's Woke Racism deserves something. This actually isn't a book report, so to speak, as I'm quoting directly.

Who is John McWhorter? He teaches at Columbia University, linguistics, music history and American studies and has authored over 20 books (I'm taking this off the book jacket). I came to know him as a linguist, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue being one of my favorite books on the English language. But, I have also read his Losing the Race and now his Woke Racism, two phenomenal books on race issues (I own, but realize I never yet read Losing the Race - you can't read everything). In very short summary, Winning the Race explains unfortunate focus on self-victimization, anti-education and separatism in the black community and now, Woke Racism absolutely excoriates woke racism as a religion that we all must put behind us, not least because of the damage it does to blacks. I consider him the best writer on the issue of race in America, though I doubt anyone who calls himself an anti-racist in the common vernacular would agree (if they've heard of him).

I do not agree with everything he writes, but I do most of it. I often take notes when I read non-fiction, usually copying the words directly on my computer (I did it before there were computers too, but, not surprisingly, little has survived). Unfortunately, that took me 39 pages. Of course, I am not going to subject you to that - I AM SUGGESTING YOU BUY AND READ THIS SHORT, VERY READABLE BOOK! I wish every person, particularly CEO, teachers, school administrators and parents, would do so. I will just select what I thought were the best parts. It's not a long book (about 180 pages) but much more in depth than I can show.

But, I will give you a taste, some quotes, I hope not too many (I could easily have doubled it). I do have to edit, that is, usually by removing material from paragraphs and adding ellipses. Otherwise, you will stop reading. I've done my best, and I think successfully, to do it without changing his meaning. If anyone feels I did not succeed, please give me an actual example - don't just tell me I did. 

            "My main aims will be:

1.                To argue that this new ideology is actually a religion in all but name, and that this why something so destructive and incoherent is so attractive to so many good people.

2.               To explain why so many black people are attracted to a religion that treats us as    

simpletons.

3.               To show that this religion is actively harmful to black people despite being intended as unprecedentedly “anti-racist.”

4.               To show that a pragmatic, effective, liberal, and even Democratic-friendly agenda for rescuing black America need not be found on the tenets of this new religion. 

5.               To suggest ways to lessen the grip of this new religion on our public culture."

"I am not arguing against the left. I'm arguing against a particular strain of the left that has come to exert a grievous amount of influence over American institutions, to the point that we are beginning to accept as normal the kinds of languages, policies, and actions that Orwell wrote of as fiction."

"I write this viscerally driven by the fact that the ideology in question is one under which white people calling themselves our saviors make black people look like the dumbest, weakest, most self-indulgent human beings in the history of our species, and teach black people who revel in that status and cherish it as making us special. I am especially dismayed at the idea of this indoctrination infecting my daughters’ sense of self. I can't always be with them, and this anti-humanist ideology may seep into their school curriculum. I shudder at the thought: teachers with eye shining at the prospect of showing their anti-racism by filling my daughters’ heads with performance art instructing them that they are poster children rather than individuals. Ta-Nehisi Coates, In Between the World and Me, wanted to teach his son that America is set against him; I want to teach my kids the reality of their lives in the twenty-first, rather than the early to mid-twentieth, century. Lord forbid my daughters internalize a pathetic--yes, absolutely pathetic in all of the resonances of that word--sense that what makes them interesting is what other people think of them, or don't."          

"A version of this book written by a white writer would be blithely dismissed as racist. I will be dismissed instead as self-hating by a certain crowd. But frankly, they won't really mean it, and anyone who gets through this book will see that whatever traits I harbor, hating myself or being ashamed of being black is not one of them."

"AS I WRITE THIS in the summer of 2020, Alison Roman, a food writer for The New York Times, is on suspension. . . In an interview, she passingly criticized two people for commercialism . . . Chrissy Teigen and lifestyale coach Marie Kondo. Roman was Twitter-mobbed for having the nerve, as a white woman, to criticize two women of color. 

Teigen is half white and half Thai. Ondo is a Japanese citizen. . . In 2020, the mere fact of a white person criticizing not just one but two (apparently the plurality tipped the scales) non-white persons justified being shamed on social media and disallowed from doing her work. Roman, as a white person, was supposedly punching down—i.e., “down” at two people very wealthy, very successful, and [2] vastly better known than her."

THAT SAME YEAR, Leslie Neal-Boylan lasted only a few months as dean of nursing at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The problem was that in the wake of statements nationwide after the murder by police officers. . . of George Floyd, Dean Neal-Boylan had the audacity to pen this blinkered, bigoted screed to her colleagues and staff:

'EVERYONE’S LIFE MATTER . No one should have to live in fear that they will be targeted for how they look or what they believe.'"

"Third Wave Antiracism, becoming mainstream in the 2010's, teaches that because racism is baked into the structure of society, whites’ “complicity” in living within it constitutes racism itself, while for black people, grappling with the racism surrounding them is the totality of experience and must contingent exquisite sensitivity towards them, including suspension of standards of achievement and conduct.

Under this paradigm, all deemed insufficiently aware of this sense of existing while white As eternal culpability require bitter condemnation and ostracization, to an obsessive, abstract degree that leaves most observers working to make real sense of it, makes people left of center wanted to just when and why they started being classified as backward, and leaves millions of innocent people scared to pieces of winding up in the sights of a zealous brand of inquisition that seems to hover over almost any statement, ambition, or achievement in modern society."

"It is losing innocent people that jobs. It is coloring academic inquiry, devouring it, and sometimes strangling like Kudzu. It forces us to render a great deal of our public discussion [6] of urgent issues in double-talk any 10-year-old can see through. It forces us to start teaching our actual 10-year-olds, in order to hold them off from spoiling the show in that way, to believe in sophistry in the name of enlightenment. On that note, Third Wave Antiracism guru Ibram  X. Kendi has written a book on how to raise anti racist children called Antiracist Baby. . . This and so much else is a sign that third wave antiracism forces us to pretend that performance art is politics. It forces us to spend endless amounts of time listening to nonsense presented as wisdom, and pretend to like it."

"People in positions of influence are regularly being chased away from their posts because of claims and petitions that they're insufficiently anti racist. School boards across the country of washing teachers and administrators to waste time on “antiracist” infusions into their curricula and make no more sense anything proposed on the Chinese cultural revolution. Did you know that objectivity, being on time, and the written word are “white” things? Did you know that if that seems off to you, then you are one with George Wallace, Bull Connor, and David Duke?"

"Third Wave Antiracism also outright harms black people in the name of its guiding impulses. Third Wave Antiracism insists that it is “racist” for black boys to be overrepresented among those suspended or expelled from schools for violence, which, when it's translated into policy, is documented as having led to violence persisting in the school and lowered students’ grades. Third Wave Antiracism insists that it is “racist” that black kids are underrepresented in New York City schools requiring high performance on a standardized test for admittance, and demands that we eliminate the test rather than direct black students to resources (many of them free) for practicing the test and reinstate gifted programs that shunted good numbers of black students into those very schools just a generation [8] ago. That the result will be a lower quality of education in the schools, and black students who are less prepared for exercising the mind muscle required by the test taking they will encounter later, is considered beside the point.

Third Wave Antiracism, in its laser focus on an oversimplified sense of what racism is and what one does about it, is content to harm black people in the name of what we can only term dogma."

"For example, the Third Wave Antiracist is deeply moved by a collection of tents that, stated clearly and placed in simple oppositions, translate into nothing whatsoever:

1.     When black people say you have insulted them, apologize with profound sincerity and guilt

Don’t put black people in a position where you expect them to forgive you. They have dealt with too much to be expected to . . .

2.     Don't assume that all, or even most, black people like hip-hop, or good dancers, and so on. Black people are a conglomeration of disparate individuals. ”Black culture” is code for “pathological, primitive ghetto people.”

Don’t expect black people to assimilate to “white” social norms, because black people have a culture of their own.

3.     Silence about racism is violence.

Elevate the voices of the oppressed over your own.

4.     You must strive eternally to understand the experiences of black people.

You can never understand what it is to be black, and if you think you do you’re a racist.

5.     Show interest in multiculturism.

Do not culturally appropriate. What is not your culture is not for you, and you many not try it or do it.

6.     Support black people in creating their own spaces and stay out of them.

Seek to have black friends. I you don’t have any, you’re a racist. And if you claim any, they’d better be good friends—albeit occupying their private spaces that you aren’t allowed in.

7.     When whites move away from black neighborhoods, it’s white flight.

When whites move into black neighborhoods, it’s gentrification, even when they pay black residents generously for their houses.

8.     If you’re white and date only white people, you’re a racist.

If you’re white and date a black person, you are, if only deep down, exotifying an “other.”

9 .     Black people cannot be held accountable for everything every black person does.

All whites must acknowledge their personal complicitness in the perfidy of “whiteness” throughout history.

1.   Black students must be admitted to schools via adjusted grade and test-score standard to ensure a representative number of them and foster a diversity of views in classrooms.

It is racist to assume a black student was admitted to a school via racial preferences, and racist to expect them to represent the “diverse” view in classroom discussions

There simply is no logical “medium” to be found between these alternates. One could not preform any pair of them simultaneously."

"[T]he problem is that today, this reductive, prosecutorial, and ultimately joyless kind of thinking actually is taking over not just university culture but American culture at large."

"[A]ntiracism is everything--regardless of logic."

"Ironically, the weapon is so lethal because of the genuine and invaluable change that has occurred in our sociopolitical fabric over the past decades. That changes that to the modern American, being called a racist is all pretty equivalent to being called a pedophile. . . A key part of their toolkit is that they call those who disagree with them racist, one more potent term of art of our moment, “white supremacist.” That kind of charge has a way of sticking. To deny it is to confirm it, we are taught; Once the charges hurled, it's like your court in a giant squids tentacles. At least you can wash a cream pie off."

"The question is: will we knuckle under to this and pay-to-play? Or will we assert that these people are gruesomely close to Hitler's racial notions in their conception of an alien, blood- deep malevolent “whiteness,” in their simplistic conception of what it means to be “black,” in their crude us-versus-them conception of how society works, as if we were all still rival bands of australopithecines?"

"Author and essayist Joseph Bottum has found the proper term, and I will adopt it here: We will term these people the Elect. They do think of themselves as bearers of a wisdom, granted them for any number of reasons—empathic meaning, life experience, maybe even intelligence. But they see themselves as having been chosen, as it were, by one or some of these factors, as understanding something most do not. “The Elect” Is also good in implying a certain smugness, which, sadly, is an accurate depiction."

"The problem is the degree to which the more hostile adherents have come to influence, robustly, so very many less argumentative but equally devout others, whose increasing numbers and intimidating buzzwords have the effect of silencing those who see Elect philosophy as flawed but aren't up for being mauled. The Elect are, in all of their diversity, sucking all of the air out of the room. It must stop."

"Do not heed those who say that this religion isn't important. Make no mistake:  These people are coming after your kids." 

 "I do not mean that these people’s ideology is 'like' a religion. . . . I mean that it actually is a religion."

"Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility  seeks to convert whites to a profound reconception of themselves as inherently complicit in a profoundly racist system of operation and thought. Within this system, if whites venture any statement on the topic other than that harbor white privilege, it only proves that they are racists, too “fragile” to admit it. The circularity here—"Your’re a racist, and if you say you aren’t, it just proves that you are”—is the logic of the sandbox."

"At one meeting at Northwestern University’s law school in 2020, professors actually stood up and ritually denounced themselves as not only harboring privilege but as being outright racists. All were required to do this regardless of individual nature or political commitments, leading an observer to say of one professor, 'He is a wonderful man universally loved by students. It makes me sad that he is forced to say otherwise.'”

“'Why don’t they allow people to have different opinions?'

You’re missing he point. The Elect can seem truly baffling—until we see that they are a religion. Specifically, an evangelical one."

"[I]n 1951, Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer noted that movements such as Fascism, Communism, and nineteenth century segregationists have attracted and retained their followers by appealing to an idealized past, a fantastical future, and an indelibly polluted present. Under the Elect, black people’s noble past is Africa; the glorious future is about those terms that we come to; while the present, if the religion is to make any kind of sense, must always be a cesspool."

"The general idea that America is in some kind of denial about race--or racism, which is what people really mean when they say this--is perfectly absurd. America is nothing less than obsessed with discussing and acknowledging racism, and those who insist year that America wants to hear nothing of it or dealing in pure fantasy."

"The Associated Press has decided to capitalize the word Black. Merriam-Webster is revising its definition of racism to include modern definitions focusing on disparities rather than attitudes. The term master bedroom, tech designations like master drive and slave drive, and even golf’s Masters Tournament are being reconsidered. Suddenly the entire nation is aware of, and helping black America to celebrate, the Holiday June-teenth, with many cities giving black people the day off as a paid holiday. In many of the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, so many of the faces are white that you’d think the movement was sponsored by Greenpeace."

"The 1619 Project in The New York Times, despite the conclusive determination that it is founded on a mistaken interpretation of the historical record, has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, out of the tacit Elect assumption that when it comes to race, indignation outranks accuracy. Black Lives Matter protests in solidarity with the ones here are taking place in countries where many of the protesters don’t speak much English and have never known a black American. Congress—the deadlocked travesty that is our Congress in the twenty-first century—has passed a bill encouraging serious police reform. Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, vowed to dismantle its entire police force, while nationwide a debate rages over whether the police should be defunded to a radical degree.

Nationwide, prominent whites are examining, themselves for abusive 'whiteness,' such that Tina Fey has pulled four episodes of her beloved sitcom 30 Rock from streaming because it had quick blackface gags. Comic actress Jenny Slate has withdrawn from providing the voice of a biracial character on the series Big Mouth. Disneyland has retooled its Splash Mountain ride to highlight The Princess and the Frog, with its black princess Tiana, instead of the controversial Song of the South. New York City has painted BLACK LIVES MATTER in big letters right down the street in front of Trump Tower.

White attitudes on race and the prevalence of racism were dramatically different in 2020 than they had been just a few years before. . . .

And yet notice that, to the Elect, none of this has mattered a whit."

"To these people, actual progress on race is not something to celebrate but to talk around. This is because, with progress, the Elect lose their sense of purpose." 

"If by chance the new mood leads to an actual reparations program, a worthy guess is that the new memes will be things like 'Reparations is just a start' and 'They better not think they can treat us like animals for four hundred years and just pay us off.” You don’t have to take my word for it. Coates is useful again, giving it away long ago in his famed article on reparations, where he ventured that 'we may find that the country can never fully repay African Americans.'” 

"The Elect consider it imperative to not only critique those who disagree with their creed, but to seek their punishment and elimination to whatever degree real-life conditions can accommodate. There is an overriding sense that unbelievers must be not just spoken out against, but called out, isolated, and banned."

"The Elect do not ban people our of temper; they do it calmly, between sips of coffee as they surf Twitter, because they consider it a higher wisdom to burn witches."

"As Andrew Sullivan noted about his having to leave his post at New York  magazine in 2020, I had gotten to the point that the Elect staffers found his very presence unbearable:

They seem to believe, and tis is increasingly the orthodoxy in mainstream media, that any writer not actively committed to critical theory in questions of race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity is actively, physically harming co-workers merely by existing in the same virtual space."

"The truth is that this is not real fragility, but a pose. The Elect do not feel frightened, much less physically injured, by columns, tweets, syllabi, symbols, and verbal expressions. They are posing as injured in order to demonstrate the “violence” of the views with which they disagree and thus prove that those views are evil."

"Caricature! Overstatement! Okay, but behold this faculty letter, from a body of PhDs--PhDs—at Princeton, one passage from a suite of demands submitted to the university president (who was in warm agreement with ideas of this kind):

Constitute a committee composed entirely of faculty that would oversee the investigation and discipline of racist behaviors, incidents, research, and publication on the part of faculty, following a protocol for grievance and appeal to be spelled out in Rules and Procedures of the Faculty. Guidelines on what counts as racist behavior, incidents, research, and publication will be authored by a faculty committee for incorporation into the same set of rules and procedures.

 If this isn’t a star chamber, I don’t know what is."

"New York City mayor Bill de Blasio genuflected to the Elect in sanctioning ongoing protest despite the quarantine order. Legions of protesters were taking to the streets for weeks on end . . . De Blasio had broken up a Hasidic wedding . . . but weeks later he was fine with people breaking the same rules in much larger numbers and for much longer when the issue was battling racism. . . .

And de Blasio wasn’t alone. In one of the most medieval moments in modern American history, medical professionals refrained from condemning this behavior, often even openly venturing that battling racism was more important than avoiding the transmission of a grievously destructive virus. Few of these medical professionals were likely Elect themselves, but they were cowered enough under its power to act like they were. . . ."

"A friend wrote on Facebook that they agree with Black Lives Matter, only to be roasted by an anonymous person:

Wait a minute! You 'agree' with them? That implies you get to disagree with them? That’s like saying you 'agree' with the laws of gravity! You as a white person don’t get to 'agree' OR 'disagree' when black people assert something! Saying you “agree” with them is EVERY bit as arrogant as disputing them! This isn’t an intellectual exercise! This is THEIR lives on the line."

"The difference between good old-fashioned left and modern Elect began to emerge when, for example, legal scholar Richard Delgado began teaching non-whites to base their complaints about injustice not on something so 'rigid' as objective truth, but upon the 'broad story of dashed hopes and centuries-long mistreatment that afflicts an entire people and forms the historical and cultural background of your complaint'.”

"Critical race theory tells you that everything is about hierarchy, power, their abuses—and that if you are not Caucasian in America, then you are akin to the captive oarsman slave straining belowdecks in chains."

"We must not be taken in by the fact that this is called “critical,” that it’s about race, and that it’s titled a 'theory.' It is a fragile, performative ideology, one that goes beyond the passages above to explicitly reject linear reasoning, traditional legal theorizing, and even Enlightenment rationalism. We are to favor an idea that an oppressed race’s 'story' constitutes truth, in an overarching sense, apart from mere matters of empirical or individual detail."

"Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility . . . reads in the present tense like a bizarre exercise in mind control created by someone bent on manipulation and getting paid."

 "Amid nationwide anti-cop protests, National Public Radio interviewed the author of In Defense of Looting (no, not an Onion parody!)."

"[T]o forge a society in which whites are un-supreme . . . is it necessary that the president and board chairman of the Poetry Foundation be forced to resign because the group’s statement in allegiance with Black Lives Matter after the Floyd murder was not long enough?

Is it necessary, that when, in 2018, a woman attended a party thrown by a Washington Post employee and wore blackface in ridicule of a recent comment by Megyn Kelly, she was not just called aside but cast into unemployment as a revolting heretic unworthy of civilized engagement? . . . Only in the late 2010s could this clumsy goof-up qualify as grounds for unemployment, with her callers-out claiming that she had made the party’s space “unsafe,” . . . A few people at the party not only hounded her out but dedicated themselves to getting her fired from the newspaper for her transgression of etiquette. They succeeded, after even going as far as strong-arming the host of the party into revealing her name to them so that they could pursue her persecution.

[I]s it necessary that when the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art was criticized for being insufficiently committed to non-white artists, and the museum’s long-serving curator Gary Garrels concurred but added that the museum would not stop collecting white artists entirely, because this would constitute “reverse discrimination,” he was fired? His use of that term was pivotal in his losing his job, for implying that non-whites, as people deprived of power, can be racist."

"Racism, in all of its facets, is real, but since the late 1960s a contingent of black thinkers had tended to insist that things were as bad as they were in 1940, leaving even many black people who actually experienced Jim Crow a tad perplexed and even put off."

"The Pathway is short, then, between critical race theory’s celebration of communal “narrative” over empirical truth and this modern black frame of mind in which exaggeration is allowed to pass as a kind of alternate form of honesty."

"What distinguishes our era is the number of white people who have taken up the politics of black radicalism since about 2013, and especially since 2020. To wit: The essence of the Elect’s new moment is a critical mass of white people coming to think like a charismatic hard-left contingent of black people have been thinking for decades."

"Some black people’s responses will be that America listens to the truth only when white people take it up. But that’s just it: What’s being taken up is not 'truth.' . . . For all of the fascination it exerts, black America’s gains since the 1960s have happened in spite of, not because of, black radicalism."

"[A] Pew Research Center survey identified something readily apparent on the ground: that college often teaches black students a view of whites as oppressors. Nine percent of black high-school students report experiencing racism regularly; the number doubles among black college graduates, to 17.5 percent."

"Even the polling data suggest that the issue is more what one has been taught to say than what one actually feels. Half of black people with college degrees say that racism has made them fear for their safety; just a third of younger black students do."

"While purportedly “dismantling racist structures,” the Elect religion is actually harming the people living in those structures. It is a terrifyingly damaging business. Here is how Elect ideology does not genuinely care about the welfare of black people.

You are to turn a blind eye to black kids getting jumped by other ones in school.

You are to turn a blind eye to black undergraduates cast into schools wereh they are in over their heads, and into law schools incapable of adjusting to their level of preparation in a way that will allow them to pass the bar exam.

You are to turn a blind eye to the willful dimness of condemning dead people for moral lapses normal in their times, as if they were still alive.

You are to turn a blind eye to the folly in the idea of black “identity” as all about what whites think rather than about what black people themselves think.

You are to turn a blind eye to innocent children taught to think in these ways practically before they can hold a pencil."

"Black boys get suspended and expelled from schools more than other kids. According to Elect ideology, this must be because they are discriminated against.

. . . [T]he simple fact is this: Black boys do commit more violent offenses in public schools than other kids. Period. The Elect earnestly decry that most black kids go to school with only other black kids, because it fits into their agenda to point out “segregation.” But that “segregation” also entails that the black boys they should be allowed to beat up other kids in school are handing out the beatings to other black kids. This means if we follow these prophets’ advice and go easier on black boys, we hinder the education of other black students.

For example, The Philadelphia Inquirer fanned out across the city’s public schools in 2012 and found that there had been thirty thousand violent incidents in public schools between 2007 and then, which included robberies, rapes, and a pregnant teacher punched in the stomach. (She was one four thousand teachers assaulted by students between 2005 and 2010.)

[O]ne might imagine that a lot of these assaults may have been committed by white kids. But the numbers don’t square with it: In Philadephia’s public schools, more than two in three students (70%) are black or Latino.

Or one might imagine that, just maybe, those white kids who make up one-third of the students are committing a disproportionate amount of the assaults? But other studies reveal that black boys are responsible for a disproportionate amount of school violence. . . .

A Fordham Institute study showed the same thing in 2019. . . .

In fact, the teachers in this study often reported that in the wake of calls like the ones above to treat disciplining black boys as bigotry, underreporting of serious incidents was “rampant,” and also that higher tolerance for misbehavior was in part responsible for the recent decline in student suspensions.

Reports from a New York City initiative have even more explicitly located and especial problem with school violence among black boys. . . .

The Elect will see only “racism” here, but only because their religious commitment numbs them to the harm their view does to real children living their lives in the real world. Obviously, poverty can make kids more likely to be violent—there is no reason to see these boys as pathological beings. But to insist that bigotry is the only possible reason for suspending more black boys than white boys is to espouse harming black students."

"It’s often thought that affirmative action at universities involves, simply, considering racial diversity only after assembling a pool of students with the same caliber of grades and test scores. The vision is that all candidates have the same scores, and then you fill out a certain pie chart. Few reasonable people would have a problem with that kind of system. . . .

But the question is whether black and Latino students should be admitted with significantly lower grades and test scores than those that would admit a white or Asian student. . . .

Many insist that despite the initial mismatch, the students excel nevertheless and the mismatch has no actual effect. But this would mean that the admissions standards applied to other students are meaningless, and actual studies have shown, not surprisingly, that this is not the case. At Duke University, economist Peter Arcidiacono, with Esteban Aucejo and Joseph Hotz, has shown that the “mismatch” lowers the number of black scientists. . . .

In 2004, UCLA law professor Richard Sander revealed an especially tragic tendency in this vein, showing that “mismatched” law students are much more likely students are much more likely to cluster in the bottom of their classes and, especially, to fail the bar exam. . . .

. . . .

. . . But here’s what happens on the ground. At the University of California, San Diego, the year before racial preferences were banned in the late 1990s, exactly one black student out of 3,268 freshmen made honors. A few years later, after students who once would have been “mismatched” to Berkeley or UCLA were being admitted to schools like UC San Diego, one if five black freshmen at the latter school were making honors, the same proportion as white ones."

"In Between the World and Me, required reading for millions of undergraduates nationwide for years now, Ta-Nehisi Coates states that he had no sympathy for the white cops and firemen who died at the World Trade center on 9/11. They were just “menaces of nature; they were the fire, the comet, the storm, which could—with no justification—shatter my body.”

            . . . It was unexamined and irresponsible for someone billed as a public intellectual.

Yet the white punditocracy at most tsk-tsked him for it. In our society, where a person can be roasted as a moral pervert and fired for wearing blackface makeup as a joke. . . or for criticizing one and half Asian celebrities while white . . . Coates was allowed to say that those white public servants deserved to die but continued to be celebrated as America’s lead prophet on race.

The only reason Coates was given this pass was condescension: brute denigration (word chosen deliberately) of a black human being. To not hold Coates responsible for the horror of a judgment like that . . . and to even assign the book containing it to impressionable young people nationwide is to treat him as someone not responsible for his actions. It is to treat Coates as a child. . . ."

"Black journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones insists that the Revolutionary War was fought to preserve slavery. She got a Pulitzer for it. The 1619 Project included more, indeed, but the claim about the Revolutionary War and the resulting redating of America’s birth to 1619, when slavery can be argued to have begun, was the main thing that attracted so much attention to it. Hannah-Jones would have won no prize for a series without that central claim.   

            . . . On the issue of the Revolutionary War, Hannah-Jones’s claim is quite simply false, but our current cultural etiquette requires pretending that isn’t true—because she is black. Someone has received a Pulitzer Prize for a mistaken interpretation of historical documents about which legions of actual scholars are expert. Meanwhile, the claim is being broadcast, unquestioned, in educational materials being distributed across the nation.

            . . . White people patting her on the head for being “brave” or “getting her views out there,” rather than regretting that she slipped up and wishing her better luck next time, are bigots of a kind. They are condescending to a black woman who deserves better, even if the zeitgeist she has been minted in prevents her from knowing it herself."

"Racist, too, are those who actually hear out black scientists claiming that the reason there are so few black physicists is “racism.” Unless these people point out black scientists doing the same work of the same caliber as their white colleagues and being refused PhDs or postdoctoral fellowships or jobs, they are out of court."

 "And as for the proposal that, say, physics needs to change what is considered real work so that a 'black' perspective is allowed, to even allow this at the table is more condescension. Presumably the 'alternate' perspective would eschew the tough, uncompromising higher mathematics that the serious physicist is supposed to command. Surely the idea isn’t that black physicists will command the math but do it 'blacky' or 'diversely.'"

"If I sound rhetorical, consult an interesting paper by black physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, in which she condemns 'white empiricism' as keeping black women out of physics. You will work to glean what she considers a viable alternative, but it is clear that she thinks reasoning from A to B to C is just one way of being a scientist."

"The KIPP academies, a charter school network devoted to giving poor brown kids a solid education and getting them into college, have decided that they’ve been too hard on the children. Their sin: the slogan 'Work hard. Be nice.'

KIPP has announced that to expose their charges to that mantra “diminishes the significant effort to dismantle systemic racism, places value on being compliant and submissive, supports the illusion of meritocracy, and does not align with our vision of students being free to create the future they want.”

Translation: Schools committed to helping kids make the best of a bad hand now feel uncomfortable teaching their students that following rules and putting forth effort will have beneficial results. Rather, there are apparently other, woker pathways to creating a successful future, as in the 'future they want.' Apparently this is a future you can have without following rules, while distrusting effort as playing the white man’s game.

The KIPP people are suspending common sense as well as true compassion, in a fashion that their teachers would never consider for their own children at home. This is the Elect at work, espousing a charismatic but senseless dogma as a public posture of moral goodness. Their religion supplants earlier ones in which, rather often, “Work hard. Be nice” would have qualified as wisdom. The Elect’s mantra instead is Battle racism, be indignant—even at the expense of the well-being of black American people, including black children."

"Electism calls for everyone who isn't white to found their primary sense of self on not being white and knowing whites don't quite “get” me. Electism forbids us non-whites from being individual selves, out of an idea that white racism is so onerous that ourself definition must before, Despite that this vastly exaggerates the role of racism in most black lives. . . Your Elect friend may claim that I am distorting what they believe. Ask them to specify just how it does so—and the word-salad answer they craft while looking over your shoulder will show you that I am not."

 "Here is where wokeness takes us back to the balkanized and artificial racial categorizations we all thought we wanted to get past. Yet ask why we are no longer supposed to get past them and the Elect—wait for it—suspect you of white supremacy. All of the Enlightenment’s focus on individualism, all of modernism’s permission for people to be themselves rather than live bound to preset classifications, falls to pieces before this idea that to be anything but white requires obsession with the fact that you are not white, and diminished by their possibly not seeing you in your totality."

[T]he Elect analysis must see racism, and thus comes Ibram Kendies 'idea' that our whole metric for evaluating scholarly success must be overturned in favor of pretending that black kids should be measured as smart on the basis of 'desire to know.'”

 "To be Elect is to insist that unequal outcomes mean unequal opportunity, which is false. The misimpression misdirects our efforts at change, but inculcating in us a blindness to how a society actually operates. The insistence on this mantra makes us dumb."

"The Elect think that if a historical figure had slaves (Washington) or was ensconced in the slave trade (John Locke), or even was not hotly interested in dismantling slavery when they could have played a part in it—Alexander Hamilton has come under fire for that—then this must be the main thing we remember them for. They should be recalled only with condemnation. They are useful to us only as object lessons in how not to be. Their achievements otherwise should be treated as footnotes, largely of interest only to the historian. Their backwardness on race must cling to them in our minds the way a gendered definite article must cleave in our minds to a French noun. La plume; George Washington, le slave owner."

"Thus, we are not to celebrate that America got past accepting slavery, but to reach backward in time and slap at the people who had yet to, in order to show how goodly we are now. The Elect require that we pretend that figures of the past are walking around with us, as if time does not pass."

"To be Elect is to insist that figures in the past might well be living now, and that they must merit the judgments we level upon present-day people, who inhabit a context unknown to those who lived before."

"The Elect’s harm to black people is multifarious and rampant that anyone committed to this religion and calling antiracist walks in certain shame."

"On racism, Elect philosophy teaches black people that cries of weakness are a form of strength. It teaches us that in the richness of this thing called life, the most interesting thing about you is that the ruling class doesn’t like you enough. It teaches us that to insist that black people can achieve under less than perfect conditions is ignorant slander. It teaches us that we are the first people in the history of the species for whom it is a form of heroism to embrace the slogan “Yes, we can’t!” Elect philosophy is, in all innocence, a form of racism in itself. Black America has met nothing so disempowering—including the cops—since Jim Crow."

"The Elect, in terms of the combined effects of their warriors and their supporters, are today a mob, pure and simple."

"The Elect must be othered. We must stop treating them as normal. Already, the term “woke” is used in derision, but using that term with a snicker is about as oppositional as many dare to be against this mob. It isn’t enough."

"Anyone with any familiarity with the the Collegetown scene knows that the Elect are by no means only kids. Many of them are nearing retirement age and today enjoying a new sense of dominance. . . This is not about kids."

"Elect ideology is being presented as fundamental to child pedagogy in public and private schools nationwide? New York City’s former schools chancellor Richard Carranza presented his teachers and staff with the idea that the written word, objectivity, being on time, and individuality are 'white things.'"

"All this is being done . . . sincerely under the impression that the national reckoning about race requires enshrining this Orwellian poppycock. . . If the Elect are reaching our children, then this is real."

"Meanwhile, no one can deny that Elect ideology has a stranglehold on institutions that barely knew it just a few years ago. The Elect are changing America or at least what much of America is comfortable presenting itself as when threatened with slander. The Capitol mob are changing nothing."

"But—get ready, this must be said, and, frankly, it’s better said by someone black:

As often as not today, what the person “feels” is based on what they have been taught to 'feel' by a paradigm that teaches them to exaggerate and even fabricate the 'feeling.' In other words, much too often, the person who tells you to accept and go from how they 'feel' has been, coached."

"I make no apologies for not being a character from The Wire. I am committed to greeting getting help to black people who need it, and my positions in this book stand or fall on the basis of their applicability to that mission."

"What we must do about the Elect is stand up to them. They rule by inflicting terror, either through invective or quietly trailing off with the likes of 'Well, I guess if you think racism is okay, then. . .' They think that to require them to engage in actual reason is heretically 'white.' There is nowhere to go with them from there."

"Our response to this cannot be simply fold, because this means giving up the post-Enlightenment society we hold dear. We must stop being afraid of these people, and once we do, there is something we need to steel ourselves against and get used to.

            People often ask, 'How can I talk to people like this without being called a racist?'

            The answer is: You cannot."

"Yes, it will be easier for some to stand up to the Elect than others. Temperamentally, some are more comfortable with conflict than others. Some people’s jobs require them to toe an Elect line more than others. Some people’s incomes allow them to leave positions more easily than others. The decision must be individual."

"If you need perspective, talk to anyone you know from a formerly Communist country. A great many of our immigrants from Russia and China are mystified at how readily so many smart Americans are rolling over the face of the rhetoric these immigrants recognize as what they escaped or what their own parents and relatives had their lives ruined by."    


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I again recommend his book as I obviously had to leave most of it out. It is short, persuasive and easy to read. I do disagree with some of his points - (Trump, Obama, drugs, etc.). But, the important part is to understand what this woke insanity is doing to our country, including blacks and our youth, and to end it.

 





About Me

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I started this blog in September, 2006. Mostly, it is where I can talk about things that interest me, which I otherwise don't get to do all that much, about some remarkable people who should not be forgotten, philosophy and theories (like Don Foster's on who wrote A Visit From St. Nicholas and my own on whether Santa is mostly derived from a Norse god) and analysis of issues that concern me. Often it is about books. I try to quote accurately and to say when I am paraphrasing (more and more). Sometimes I blow the first name of even very famous people, often entertainers. I'm much better at history, but once in a while I see I have written something I later learned was not true. Sometimes I fix them, sometimes not. My worst mistake was writing that Beethoven went blind, when he actually went deaf. Feel free to point out an error. I either leave in the mistake, or, if I clean it up, the comment pointing it out. From time to time I do clean up grammar in old posts as, over time I have become more conventional in my grammar, and I very often write these when I am falling asleep and just make dumb mistakes. It be nice to have an editor, but . . . .