Apparently Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech reflected an “insufficient..half-measure…that in the end operates as a form of racism.”
Digging for golden resonance, and resonant gold
Jul 25 2014
Apparently Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech reflected an “insufficient..half-measure…that in the end operates as a form of racism.”
Jul 14 2012
The previous post in this series is here.
John Terry, a soccer player, has been found “not guilty” of racist speech in a criminal trial in merry old England.
Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle delivered his verdict after a five-day trial at Westminster Magistrates Court in London.
He said the case was not about “whether Mr Terry is a racist in the broadest sense of the word”, telling the court he had heard “a great deal of evidence to show that he is not”.
“It is understandable why Mr Terry wants to make this point – his reputation is at stake,” he said.
He was accused of racially abusing Ferdinand during a match between QPR and Chelsea at Loftus Road in October. He was investigated and charged after a complaint from an off-duty policeman.
Riddle said Terry was a “credible witness” and “nobody has been able to show that he is lying”. He told the court: “There is no doubt that John Terry uttered the words ‘f****** black c***’ at Anton Ferdinand.
So, it seems that losing control a bit and uttering an epithet or two in the heat of battle is a criminal offense in the land that brought us the Magna Carta and the Glorious Revolution, not to mention John Locke and Edmund Burke.
Details are here, but the reason for the not guilty verdict, given that Terry did say the words, is that he claimed to be repeating back an accusation from the “victim,” Anton Ferdinand, and this produced just enough question about Terry’s intent and motivation to create “reasonable doubt.”
I have reasonable doubts that Britain is any longer anything remotely resembling a free nation. And consider: the USA’s founding fathers thought of themselves as fighting to keep “the rights of Englishmen” which they thought they had been denied.
It would seem that Englishmen lost them some time back, too.
In the meantime, consider that this five day trial has to have cost the state considerable money, which might have been better spent other ways, perhaps not withholding necessary treatment to the elderly and infirm.
Just call it an informal death panel.
Aug 14 2011
Two days ago, I posted a piece on the similarity in views and style between Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia and Bill Cosby. Maybe the AP has reporters who read my blog, since they’ve now finally gotten around to reporting that Philly mayor chides black parents over teen mobs
The painful images and graphic stories of repeated violent assaults and vandalism by mobs of black teenagers had gotten to be too much for Mayor Michael Nutter.
As an elected official and a “proud black man” in the nation’s fifth-largest city, Nutter felt he had to go a step beyond ordering a law enforcement crackdown.
So he channeled the spirit of another straight-talking Philadelphian: Bill Cosby. Nutter took to the pulpit at his church last weekend and gave an impassioned, old-fashioned talking-to directed at the swarms of teens who have been using social networks to arrange violent sprees downtown, injuring victims and damaging property. Moreover, he called out parents for not doing a better job raising their children.
Exit question: would a white mayor who said the things reported here and on my blog be called a racist?
Feb 11 2011
The Manhattan Declaration people have just finished a video contest for pro-life videos. Here is the number three finisher.
Jul 23 2010
Who is a racist?
Is it someone who has a low opinion or expectation of members of another race, on average? Is it someone who thinks there are differences of any significance between the races? Is it someone who views others through the lens of their race more than their personal characteristics?
I hate dictionary definitions of socially loaded terms, but here’s one definition:
a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
So, according to definition one, if you think black people are, on average, likely to be better basketball players, boxers, or sprinters than white people, that means you’re a racist.
If you notice that Asians, on average, have higher IQ’s than whites, blacks, or anyone else (except maybe Ashkenazi Jews), and seem to perform in line with that potential when they immigrate to a country where they don’t even speak the language, and in the next generation are doctors and lawyers, that means you’re a racist.
There are many examples of this sort. This part of “definition 1″ is clearly ridiculous. Are you a racist if you make the medical observation that blacks are more prone to sickle-cell anemia, or that Ashkenazi Jews seem to produce an inordinate percentage of very smart people?
What’s especially interesting in this discussion of the relative abilities of the various racial groups is this: those who cling most fiercely to the dogma of exactly the same potential equality of all the races are those who mock Intelligent Design, and insist that Darwinism is the explanation for every characteristic of every life-form. These ideas are mutually contradictory. If there are different races (a matter that some deny), they are biologically distinct. They split long ago (at least 20,000 years back, probably twice that) in the human family tree. How can a biological argument be made that they are now identical in all capabilities? Surely natural selection has done its work, and people descended from different climates and environmental challenges will have arrived at different biological destinations (which means different physical and intellectual capabilities, among other things, especially if you’re a believer in the materialist theory of mind). If you’re a Darwinist, you can’t avoid this conclusion.
But any Darwinist university faculty member who dares make this obvious point is likely to be looking for work very soon, in today’s politically correct environment. Of course, non-Darwinist university faculty are likely to face different, uh, professional challenges, since not being a Darwinist is seen to be equal to belonging to the Flat Earth Society, which puts intelligent faculty who’d like to be intellectually honest in an impossible position. They’re damned if they’re Darwinists, and damned if they aren’t. Like Socrates, telling the truth to the young about this, from either a Darwinist or non-Darwinist perspective, is equivalent to drinking professional hemlock.
I do resonate with one part of “definition 1,” namely that you are a racist, for sure, if you think a particular race has a right to rule another. A reasonable extension of that principle is that if you think a particular race should receive legally granted or publicly funded benefits that are not available to all, just because of their race, you’re probably also a racist, because any benefit you receive in such a structure was extracted from someone of another race, who is made to work for your benefit, probably against their will, by an exercise of state power.
What, you say that sounds like I’m saying that affirmative action, preferences, racial set-asides and the like are racist? Deal with it. That seems to be the clear implication of Definition #2 above, which is all about using state power to discriminate, to pick winners and losers, to force some people to serve others.
Does it make you a racist if you don’t like most people of a particular race? I would say no, unless you think your dislike gives you the right to treat them unfairly or unjustly with the backing of legal authority or state power (not talking “social justice” here, either). You are probably a troubled person, from my perspective, if you see race as more important than individual characteristics… but you’re not a racist if you don’t think you have the right to do anything about it, and so you don’t.
Definition #3, “hatred or intolerance of another race,” really depends on what you think you have the moral right to do about it. If you hate, but take no action to express it or act on it in some unjust way, the hate hurts you more than the object of your hatred. If your intolerance expresses itself in enforced segregation on the object of your hatred, that’s certainly racism. If your intolerance merely expresses itself in your moving to another neighborhood, that is your right, and causes no harm to anyone else.
Are you a racist if you say things about other races that make them uncomfortable? If so, then every diversity-activist is a racist, because many whites are really, really weary of being lectured to about “white privilege,” especially when they feel that they’ve worked very hard for everything they have, and have suffered themselves.
Are you a racist if you harbor negative opinions (not necessarily active dislike or hatred, merely opinions based on observation) about an entire race? If so, then Jeremiah Wright is surely a racist, as are most Black Panthers, not to mention the Nation of Islam, along with the KKK and the White Aryan Brotherhood, and many Asian cultures as well. What if you do your best to make careful observations about average behavior of a particular racial group in a particular society, and then generalize about what you can expect from members of the racial group in question? If that makes you a racist, then most of the NAACP is likely also racist.
Let’s refocus: if you have certain opinions of, say, fat people as a group (even if you admit there are individual differences), does that make you a “fattist”? Only if you think you have the right to do something to or demand something from another person, simply because they’re “fat.”
What about red-haired boys in American culture? It seems to just be “hot” to be a red-haired girl, but the famous taunt, “I’d rather be dead than red on the head,” is something every red-haired boy hears a lot while growing up. (It may be partly a remnant of anti-Irish bigotry of an earlier time in America, with red hair as a relatively common Irish characteristic.) Red haired boys are often targeted for abuse just because of their red hair. Take it from me. There were several leading black male actors in TV and films before there were ANY red haired ones… and there aren’t many now. Red haired boys are often the victim of “hate speech” and even “hate crimes.” Are you a “reddist” if you associate certain personality types with red hair?
You’re a “reddist” only if think that your opinion of red-haired people gives you license to abuse them at your whim. (I knew some people like this, growing up as a red-haired boy. There may be a reason why red-haired boys seem to grow up either timid or aggressive, but rarely in the middle.) I’m sure red-haired Vikings were more socially acceptable in their cultural context… but then they were not a minority.
There are all kinds of personal characteristics that people have little or no control over, from the color of hair to a tendency to fat, from a tendency to smallness to a tendency to bigness (think Samoan!). If you think any of them give you license to do something to or demand something from another person, just because of a characteristic of that nature (including skin color), you are certainly a bigot of some kind.
It is not racist to have a low opinion of a particular racial, ethnic or social group. We are all entitled to our opinions, and we all have various experiences that shape them, as well as the inputs we get from reading, the media, etc. If you let your opinion of a group cause you to miss the (far more important) characteristics of individuals, the loss is yours. None of us “treat everyone the same.” But if your opinion of a group does not cause you to demand something from or do something unjust to members of that group just because they are members of that group, then you are not a racist.
What has happened in modern political correctness is that behavior, perspectives, or speech that would formerly have been called merely racially oriented (or race conscious in some way) are now called racist, if “white” people do them (though not, apparently, if “minorities” do them).
It is a terrible idea to compare politicians you don’t like to Hitler (even if you think they are evil people who want more power than they should have) because it devalues the extraordinary evil that Hitler personified. (Overuse of the word “holocaust” is a similar problem.) Similarly, the meaning of the word “racist” is devalued when you apply it to people just because they have different viewpoints or attitudes than you may wish they had. If a person is assumed to be a racist for holding the opinion that affirmative action, set asides, preferences and quotas are a really bad idea, what word do we have left for people who thought slavery and state enforced segregation was just dandy, or who were untroubled when the laws against murder were not enforced against killers who lynched blacks? What word is left for people who think minorities need not apply, because they should have no chance, and who try to make sure that they don’t have that chance?
You are not a racist just because you believe that the “war on poverty” was a terrible idea, that the welfare culture and easy access to abortion are killing African-Americans disproportionately, that affirmative action and quotas (and the smokescreen for them, “diversity”) do more harm than good, and that multi-generational poverty in the USA is a values problem, not any longer a “discrimination” problem. You are not a racist just because you believe in tax cuts, capitalism, law enforcement and criminal punishment, border enforcement, and the like. You are not a racist because you think the US Constitution is a pretty good document, and should be followed according to the understanding of the people who wrote it and approved it, as amended (as opposed to the understanding of judges who keep finding new meanings in the wording that were never intended by those who wrote it and approved it).
A racist is a person who thinks and behaves as if they have the right to demand something from another person, or do something to another person, just because of that person’s race, often or mostly using state power or sanction (either explicit in law, or implicit in “wink-nudge” refusal to enforce the law to protect all equally).
“Racism” that doesn’t result in racist behavior or explicit endorsement of it isn’t really racism. You may have all kinds of opinions, and you may even express them, but if you do not believe you have the right to take unjust action against people because of their race and do not encourage others to do so, you are not a racist.
Racism is a truly evil thing. We should not minimize it by applying the word to mere matters of opinion, preference, economic perspective or political orientation.
Jul 21 2010
Daniel Foster writes to express his disappointment in some responses to a New York Times editorial about the plight of poor, Christian whites when it comes to current diversity policies at many universities and colleges:
I’m disappointed by both Tim Fernholz‘s and Adam Serwer‘s takes on Ross Douthat’s column yesterday. Responding to empirical evidence that poor, white Christians are among the least well-represented “minority” groups at elite colleges, they both more or less default to saying ‘yeah, well, it sucks to be poor.’
Except Douthat’s point is that, when it comes to elite college admissions, it sucks more to be poor and white than it does to be poor and black, and a fortiori, that poor blacks’ chances improve as they get poorer, while just the opposite is the case for whites. Either Serwer and Fernholz are okay with this or they aren’t. But they won’t say, leaving us to assume that they view it as acceptable collateral damage in the battle for diversity.
They also dismiss as so much whining the feelings of alienation from “elite” culture felt by poor, working class whites — at their peril and ours.
Later, Foster points out how often African and Caribbean elites are admitted under “diversity” policies, as if they are those who were harmed by American racism in the past, and should now be favored under affirmative action quotas by another name (“diversity”).
There is much more at the links above, and the Douthat column is worth reading completely.
His final paragraph:
If universities are trying to create an elite as diverse as the nation it inhabits, they should remember that there’s more to diversity than skin color — and that both their school and their country might be better off if they admitted a few more R.O.T.C. cadets, and a few more aspiring farmers.
Well, yes. But as many have pointed out, and as we’ve linked and written extensively on this blog, “diversity” as a word in the university lexicon has a meaning unrelated to its normal meaning. It is not about seeing that the university represents a microcosm of all the cultural elements of society represented proportionally in the university’s faculty, policies and student body. Rather, it is an unvarnished mouthpiece for the Left, a way to do affirmative action quotas by another name (since the public does not like the idea of quotas), a way to slide most of the Leftist agenda into most aspects of campus life under the guise of being “open” and “accepting” of others….. except, of course, white evangelical Christians, especially poor ones, and conservatives of any stripe.
If “diversity” meant “representation proportional to society,” at least half of university faculty hires would be conservatives. Of course, it does not mean that, not even in Christian universities.
Jul 15 2010
Timothy Dalrymple has the 3rd part of his series on this question posted here.
In the most mealy-mouthed sort of unattributed criticism, the Christian science monitor tells us about the upcoming NAACP resolution on alleged tea party racism
The tea party movement has been criticized before for allegedly harboring racist attitudes toward President Obama. Now the NAACP is set to vote on a resolution condemning supporters of the tea party for displaying “signs and posters intended to degrade people of color generally and President Barack Obama specifically.” It calls “the racist elements” within the movement “a threat to progress.”
This kind of “passive voice” language (“has been criticized”) is really just passive aggressive. Who, exactly, has criticized the tea party movement for “racism”? Well… Democratic activists, radicals and politicians with an axe to grind, from the congressional black caucus. What evidence have they been able to bring to light?
There is no film, no audio, no photography, showing racist commentary or alleged actions like those debunked here.
I have come to the conclusion that when liberals, progressives and/or socialists call conservatives or libertarians racist, merely because they are conservatives or libertarians, it is the moral equivalent of the name callers holding their fingers in their ears and crying, “I’m not gonna listen! I’m not gonna listen!” In other words, it’s childish, intellectually bankrupt, and like some children can be, more than a little vicious.
Calling someone a racist, without evidence, merely because you don’t like their positions on the issues, is the last refuge of rhetorical scoundrels. When you hear the charge leveled, without evidence, you know all you need to know about the name-caller.
The word “racist” should never be used without explicit, specific evidence in hand, publicly available.
May 24 2010
It’s unseasonably cold at my house today, too. It snowed this morning, a little, very unusual for this time of the year.
This is what passes for “leadership” in American Jewry. A kabuki dance is orchestrated by an Obama fan to gather other Obama fans to air the mildest criticism and to avoid challenging the factual representations of an administration that is the most hostile to the Jewish state in history. As one Israeli hand who definitely isn’t going to be invited to any meetings with this president put it: “They may be fine rabbis, but they are out of their league here.” And by not directly and strongly taking on the president, they are, in fact, enabling the president’s anti-Israel stance. It is, come to think of it, more than an embarrassment; it is an egregious misuse of their status and it is every bit as dangerous as the quietude of American Jews in the 1930s.
May 07 2010
Of the more than 16,000 teenagers who die in the United States each year, most are killed in automobile accidents, but murder, suicide, cancer and heart disease also take their toll, a new government report finds.
In fact, among black male teens, homicide is the leading cause of death, said report author Arialdi M. Minino, a statistician at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.
“This is a group of people we don’t pay much attention to when we talk about mortality,” Minino said. Teen deaths account for less than 1 percent of all deaths per year in the United States, he noted.
Still, Minino thinks that more needs to be done to cut the number of teenage deaths.
“These are preventable causes of death,” he said. “So, this is a group where we can extend ourselves so kids won’t die, by extending common sense ideas.”
Each year in the United States, an estimated 16,375 children between the ages of 12 and 19 die. Nearly 50 percent die in accidents, with car crashes accounting for more than one-third of all deaths, Minino found.
But among black male teens, murder is the leading cause of death. Moreover, the highest teen death rate is among black males at 94.1 deaths per 100,000 people. “That’s 50 times more than among white males. That’s a very large disparity,” Minino said.
The leading causes of death among teens stayed the same during the period studied, Minino noted. Accidents accounted for 48 percent of deaths; homicide, 13 percent; suicide, 11 percent; cancer, 6 percent; and heart disease, 3 percent.
In addition, from 1999 to 2006, the annual death rate for teens has remained constant, at about 49.5 deaths per 100,000 population, Minino said.
But the risk of dying is not the same for all teenagers. Boys are more likely to die than girls, and older teens are at higher risk of dying than younger teens.
For example, for 12-year-old boys the death rate is 46 percent higher than for girls. At 19, the death rate is three times higher for boys than girls (135.2 deaths and 46.1 deaths per 100,000, respectively), Minino found.
“I wish people would look at these groups with an eye toward intervention,” Minino said. Teenagers are a “relatively neglected group when it comes to public health.”
Another expert sees the human cost of teen deaths and stressed that even though the number of deaths is low, teenage deaths should not be ignored.
“I hope when people read this report they realize how sobering it is and are not falsely lulled by the fact that these adolescent deaths ‘only’ make up 1 percent of total deaths,” said Dr. Karen Sheehan, medical director of the Injury Prevention and Research Center at Children’s Memorial Hospital and medical director of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids in Chicago.
When thinking about deaths of young people, it is important to consider the years of potential life lost, she said.
“Every one of these 16,000 adolescents who died will never get married . . or contribute positively to society,” Sheehan said. “We should be appalled that this many deaths happen to children this age, and we should be ashamed that these deaths occur disproportionately in certain populations.”
Hmm… this last strikes me as a ridiculous comment. Should we be less ashamed if the murder rate among non-black young males was just as high as that for blacks? It isn’t the disproportionality of which we should be ashamed. It is our failure to deal with the cause of the young black male murder rate that shames us. That cause is well known to everyone, namely the fact that most of those killing and being killed did not have married fathers in the home raising them. THAT is the biggest single factor, not race itself.
The government policies that have encouraged the destruction of the black family are also well known, aren’t they?
So much for “promoting the general welfare.”
Mar 27 2010
I have already expressed my skepticism that “tea partiers,” protesting the government takeover of healthcare, actually used the N-word on African-American congress critters.
And now Andrew Breitbart shows that it looks less and less likely that it really happened, though it seems the Black Caucus members tried mightily to provoke an incident they could cry over.
I wonder what would have happened if the tea-partiers had marched through South LA carrying signs denouncing Obama-care and and video cameras to record their treatment by the community? Because that’s about the level of provocation these congress-critters provided (apparently unsuccessfully) in an attempt to get the tea-partiers to react on film… as if the congress-critters just couldn’t find another way to get where they wanted to go.
“Gosh! Did I just happen to march through the middle of your demonstration? I’m SO sorry. I just didn’t see you until it was too late.”