Quote of the day

“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place.”  – George Orwell, 1984

Whatever you may think about the appropriateness of removing statues of former Confederate figures, one thing is certain: it will not stop there.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are complex characters, not simple cardboard cutout “racists.”  In today’s climate, though, careful consideration of both virtues and vices is frowned upon.  We are pressed to judge historical characters not by the context of their times, but by how they measure up to current political emotionss.  And so we have reached Shakespeare’s observation through Mark Antony in Julius Caesar: 

“The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”

Caesar, rather than the wealthy, aristocratic Roman Senate, had populist support.  (Sound familiar?)  So was it out of patriotism or jealousy that the Senate acted?  It’s a fair question to ask those today who see our current President as Caesar, and dream of removing him, violently if necessary.

Whether Caesar should have been killed by the Roman Senate can be debated, but one thing history makes clear: after that milestone and the civil war that followed, the Republic clearly was dead.

What we are watching today is the disavowal and erasure of the historical foundations of the American republic.  It’s been a long process over the last half century, but those who want to see it done sense victory and are accelerating their efforts.  They may need to be more careful what they wish for.

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WaPo to white middle class: drop dead

The Washington Post’s Johnathan Capehart explores “The Real Reason Working-class Whites Continue to Support Trump.”  To his credit, he manages to find one of the main underlying causes:

Working-class whites feel not only voiceless, but also silenced, especially in matters involving race. “The way they understood racism is different from the way we understand racism,” said Gest. “For them, racism has become an instrument of silence. It is a way of invalidating people. By saying someone is a racist, it means they cease to matter. Don’t listen to them.” ((emphasis added)) Gest spent three months in Youngstown, Ohio, and three months in East London, England, conducting interviews and researching his book. “So, when people said to me, ‘Now, I’m not a racist but …,’ what they were actually saying to me was, ‘Listen to what I’m about to tell you, and don’t dismiss me.’ ”

Indeed, for too long, traditional Americans have been shunted aside politically by the label ‘racist.’  It’s a far easier process than actually having an honest discussion of the issues.  The dangerous thing about this long-standing trend is that many average Americans have reached the point “if you’re going to call me racist no matter what I say or do, then what do I have to lose?”  This is one of several reasons race relations have deteriorated since the Civil Rights Era.

Another is the contempt shown by various colors of our social rainbow to the plight of working-class whites in an era of globalism, open borders, free trade agreements, loss of purchasing power (and jobs to foreigners) and reverse discrimination.  But the Post reports on how to deal with these:

“The only way of addressing their plight is a form of political hospice care,” he said. “These are communities that are on the paths to death. And the question is: How can we make that as comfortable as possible?”

It’s no secret the Left has been giddy about the approaching demographic shift in America to a nation made up of competing minority groups, with no one group making up a majority.  The Huffington Post even looked at “Ten Reasons You’ll Love Living in a Minority-Majority America.”  After discussing such insignificant ‘advantages’ as “culinary diversity,” it goes on to say:

Without a numerically dominant race, people of every group could be more inspired to drop discriminatory biases and challenge the racial injustices that continue to define the American experience for many.

It’s cute that they expect such a utopia, but visible trends today seem to indicate it’s not going to happen.  Our political class has stoked social divisions for so long that a minority-majority nation will end up being even more a collection of squabbling interest groups, determined to ensure their demographic gets a “fair share” (as they define it, of course).  That such an outcome results in more government power as a referee is not coincidental.  At least one public college has attempted a “day of absence” for white teachers and students, and when a white (and by all accounts, liberal) professor protested, the campus erupted.

Since 1965 and its notorious Immigration Act, the percentage of whites in the population has fallen from 85% to just over half.  In those same 52 years, the dwindling white population has been increasingly vilified as personally culpable descendants of previous generations of slaveowners and bigots.  (Hint: this is not a good way to win friends and influence people.)  As the Evergreen State College professor found out, even if you go along with most of The Narrative, any deviation will be dealt with harshly.  Devastated by the loss of good-paying blue-collar jobs, often to immigrants, many whites have fallen into despair and substance abuse.

Is it any wonder this demographic overwhelmingly went for Trump?  His election represents one big raspberry (and a couple extended middle fingers) to the system that has pulled the country out from underneath them.  Many see Trump as the last chance to have a voice in the largely faceless U.S. bureaucracy that for so long has been stacked against them.  So I believe the Instapundit is right when he shows the latest outrage from the Left and asks “do you want more Trump?  Because this is how you get more Trump.”

No matter how “comfortable” the Washington Post may want to make the allegedly dying white community, it’s not likely that community is going to softly and suddenly fade away.  Perhaps the Washington Post should do an article on why middle-class Americans no longer put much stock into anything they (or any other traditional media outlet) have to say.  They might find out that calling certain groups ‘racist’ at the drop of a hat, while musing that such groups need to be put in ‘hospice care’ might not draw many subscriptions.

Selective historical airbrushing

The City of New Orleans is busy purging itself of Confederate statues, since these offend the tender sensibilities of today’s historically illiterate crybullies.  But if they’re determined to remove all vestiges of monuments to people who ever held racist sentiments, there’s work waiting for them in Washington, D.C.:

Lincoln white copy

It’s true Lincoln desired the limitation and eventual extinction of slavery, but it was not for this reason he went to war on his fellow Americans in 1861.  He made this very clear:

My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.   – Letter to Horace Greeley, 1862

Yes, that previously voluntary Union that was becoming compulsory with no escape during Lincoln’s reign.  “Reign” is too exaggerated, you say?  Look closely again at the monument built to his memory.  Look at the front of the armrests.  They very closely resemble this, the Roman fasces — a symbol of authority in ancient Rome later adopted by Benito Mussolini and his flock of blackshirts… known as the fascists.  All they lack is the axe, but that does not diminish in any way the power unleashed by Lincoln in his War Against the States.  (It’s worth noting the Speaker of the House is flanked by the same imagery — with the axes as well.)  Certainly, today’s America more closely resembles the Imperial Rome of Caligula than the Republic that was swallowed up by Julius Caesar.

So if we’re going to demolish any memory of white supremacy or unConstitutional exercises of power, the Lincoln memorial has to go as well.

Of course, I know better than to hold my breath, waiting for consistency from these little minds that have nothing better to do than tilt at Confederate windmills.

Incite-ful versus insightful

A tale of two marches:

Saturday, in Minneapolis, Reuters reported:

Several hundred protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement marched to the Minnesota State Fair on Saturday to bring attention to race issues ranging from policing to underrepresentation of minorities at one of the nation’s biggest state fairs.

The mixed-race crowd, including senior citizens and children, chanted slogans along the 1-1/2 mile route and briefly lay down on a bridge south of the fairgrounds

Minnesota media reported the number of marchers at 325.

A few hundred miles to the south, a throng of 20,000, led by Glenn Beck, marched in Birmingham, Alabama, along the same route marched by Martin Luther King. They were there to declare that “All Lives Matter.”

Guess which march received national media attention and which one didn’t.

The theme of one march was summed up by the quote “love is the answer,” (they’re right) while the other was marred with chants of “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon.”  The true hatefulness of many on the “social justice left” is now routinely on display.  Is it any wonder they find that their message is increasingly repugnant to what’s left of mainstream America?

In a similar vein, Victor Davis Hanson points out the hypocrisy of Latinos decrying racism under the banner of a Federally-funded advocacy group known as “La Raza:”

Sometime in the last five years, the public woke up and grasped that Latino elite activists were not so much interested in illegal immigration per se, but only to the degree that the issue affected other Latinos. Were 3,000 Chinese illegally entering California per day by ship on the Northern California coast, Latino activists and politicians would probably be the first to call for enforcement of federal immigration law.

It is difficult for the National Council of La Raza to attempt to airbrush away vocabulary like “anchor baby” and “illegal immigration,” while insisting that its own nomenclature “La Raza” has nothing to do with race. The public knows that La Raza means “The Race,” and that those who founded that organization chose that racially charged noun for the precise purpose of ethnic triumphalism — in the way that every infamous 20th-century Latinate racist demagogue from Mussolini to Franco found a use for Raza/Razza, a mostly taboo term in Mediterranean Europe today. In an age when the Washington Redskins earn a presidential rebuke, it is inconceivable that the chief illegal-immigration advocate is a federally subsidized group known as the National Council of La Raza. No other organization would dare use such a term. In the public mind illegal immigration has gone from the old narrative that racists were enforcing the law to keep out mostly brown people to a new generation of racists who are trying to subvert the law to bring in mostly brown people.

The real racists today are the ones using the past to silence opponents, demanding that one particular group sit in shame on “stools of everlasting repentance” while they hypocritically carve out categorical privileges and immunities for their favored classes of people.  This is not an honest effort to improve America.  It is demagoguery in its worst form–divisive and violent–and needs to be denounced by every civilized American.

Why lasting racial peace remains elusive

My family roots are from the deep South.  And despite the stereotypes of southerners, I learned early that racism is wrong, *and* that it isn’t the sole province of people like me who lack a heavy dose of melanin.  Two childhood memories:

1) My father correcting his older brother after the latter used the “n-word” in the presence of my sister and me.  He was told in no uncertain terms that word was unacceptable in our house.

2) Watching a 5th grade classmate–a minority girl who’d already been held back a year–physically attack our teacher (a rather small woman) after being corrected on some minor issue.  I heard terms that day I’d never heard before in my life, and it took a bit to realize they were the “n-word” equivalents for my own people group.  You never quite forget seeing the principal and another adult physically restrain a classmate after she’s let into your teacher.

Supposedly we’ve made great strides in race relations since my childhood.  The election of the first (half) African-American president was supposed to signal a major milestone on that road of progress.  But racial healing will never come to this country so long as it continues to self-divide socially and politically into competing camps.  When a presidential candidate apologizes(!!) for saying what should be obvious –“all lives matter”– to a coalition of activists focused solely on the lives of just one ethnic group, you know we still have a long, long, way to go.  But I suppose we should expect the simple truth of “all lives matter” to be lost in a nation where hundreds of thousands of unborn lives are snuffed out each year, and their organs distributed casually like spare partsIt’s worth taking a moment to note the tragic irony that the same liberal groups insisting somehow only “black lives matter” have no problem with abortion, which takes a disproportionate toll on that community… as it was cruelly intended to.

It doesn’t help, either, when the government insists on basing its unconstitutional social engineering projects on racial data, and when so many politicians seek votes based on appealing to real or perceived racial grievances and self-interest.

What concerns me most is that so many of the trends over the last decade have people like me — who harbor no desire to judge anybody solely on their skin color — wondering if we’re now in an era where the shoe will deliberately be put on the other foot.  Many groups are eagerly waiting for the day we no longer have any ethnic majority in this nation… and that day is rapidly approaching.  Instead of a sense that this means we can move forward as a diverse but mutually respectful team, I detect a distinct tone of “payback’s a *****, whitey” coming from this crowd.  To those who think a creaky empire made up of squabbling ethnicities is somehow an ideal utopia of ‘diversity,’ I just have one thing to say: take a look at the late Austro-Hungarian Empire and the history of its successor states.  It’s not pretty.

These leftist coalitions need to rethink how they are defining “progress,” because if their goal is merely to put a different group, whether the NAACP or National Council of La Raza at “the top of the heap,” they will be in for a rude awakening.  I have taught my children to accept people as they are and to recognize that every person bears the Imago Dei — we are all of equal worth in God’s eyes.  But our society increasingly rejects the Christian worldview, which puts that equality at the foot of the cross further out of reach.  So I have also taught my children they have a right to defend themselves.  And I’m sure I’m not the only one…

This-n-that

Various items of interest that have crossed the (now-non-Firefox) browser recently:

* Twenty-four injured in stabbing at high school:  A few thoughts here.  First, I wonder if there will be the same pious calls for banning knives now as there have been after school shootings (not holding my breath).  The reality is this: someone determined to wreak havoc today has any number of options to do so.  The only way to reduce or remove those options is to kill everyone’s freedom… and that shouldn’t be on the table for discussion.  Second, we need to address the mental depravity in this nation that is causing so many violent outbursts.  Banning guns or other implements just deals with symptoms.  The truth is that we have a frighteningly large number of walking time bombs in this nation.   Whether that’s a function of pharmacology, psychology, or the general creeping nihilism that has been on the rise, this is the heart of the issue.  Literally.  Third, we need a general awakening in this country that evil has to be confronted, not cowered to.  If the narrative is accurate, this is what the passengers of Flight 93 realized on 9/11, and in doing so likely saved the lives of people on the ground.  Our people need to realize the means and the will to fight back are the only things that stands between those with evil intent and utter mayhem.

* Time to pay up, Alvin:  Free speech shouldn’t necessarily remain “free” of consequences when you claim to put your money with your unwise (and flat-out racist) words.  Here’s hoping the remarks at least cost him his elected office, which he has demonstrated he’s unfit to hold.

* When gun-control advocates moonlight as arms traffickers

* Nah, U.S. police aren’t becoming militarized.  After all, doesn’t EVERY town of 7,000 people need its very own Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP)?   Besides, you never know when you’ll need armored vehicles to round up cattle

* Americans now spend more on Federal and State taxes than on food, clothing and shelter… combined.  Meanwhile, it seems the agency most known for collecting those pounds of flesh isn’t exactly a hotbed of non-partisan neutrality

* America: no margin for error