Black Lives Matter • Democrats • Elections • Post • The Left

One Cheer for #BlackLivesMatter

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The great reactionary French philosopher Joseph de Maistre once observed, “all greatness, all power, all subordination rests on the executioner; he is both the horror and bond of human association. Remove this incomprehensible agent from the world, and in a moment order gives way to chaos, thrones fall, and society disappears.”

In opposition to this terrifying, but essential figure, Maistre placed the soldier: “As far as soldiers are concerned, there are never enough of them, because they kill without restraint and their victims are always honest men. Of these two professional killers, the soldier and the executioner, one is highly honored and always has been by all the nations who have inhabited up to now this planet to which you have come; but the other has just as generally been regarded as vile. Try to guess on which the obloquy falls.”

After Wednesday night’s second Democratic presidential primary debate, we do not need to ponder Maistre’s hypothetical. We know on whom the obloquy falls, as we have seen it fall in real time, while the horror and bond of California, Kamala Harris, was verbally killed without restraint by the soldier and four-term U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.

There was only one problem: unlike the victims of other soldiers, whom Maistre labeled as honest men, Harris is quite the opposite. Indeed, calling her an “incomprehensible agent” is only accurate insofar as her actions as attorney general of California were incomprehensible in their sheer, sociopathic disgrace.

Like another sociopath exposed to sunlight by an inconvenient truth teller she was never supposed to face, Harris has fallen back on labeling Gabbard an agent of Russia/Syria/everyone polling below her, hoping that one of those epithets sticks enough to make people disregard the four-alarm fire Gabbard raised onstage.

Someone please tell the junior senator from California that slandering and libeling a veteran is bad business. Especially considering that Gabbard, in exposing the malediction of Harris’ record, ironically did the soldier’s duty at its highest: defending the people of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Yet, though I come to bury Harris, I do not come primarily to praise Gabbard—even as she did act in a praiseworthy way. Rather, I come to thank the social movement without which the defenestration of the third-rate Pontius Pilate from the Golden State could not have been nearly so simple.

I refer, of course, to #BlackLivesMatter.

Why do I say this? Because more than any other leftist movement, #BlackLivesMatter has hammered into the heads of the Democratic base the idea that law enforcement—particularly cops and prosecutors—are anything but impartial, “incomprehensible” agents of justice. Rather, they claim, such people are at best unconscious tools of systemic racism, and at worst the willing, sadistic enforcers of such racism.

The Right once rolled its eyes at the calumny directed at the likes of Darren Wilson, Jeronimo Yanez, and Daniel Pantaleo, for what were regrettable but otherwise perfectly justifiable exercises of their duty as police officers. We might even still be inclined to find those men sympathetic, and to doubt the racially revanchist attitude that leads #BlackLivesMatter to condemn them, and all other agents of law enforcement, in the same breath. The cry of “All lives matter” or “Blue lives matter” might still carry music in our ears.

But even if all of this remains true for us on the Right, we cannot deny that the paranoid hypervigilance of BLM (as it’s often shortened) toward law enforcement and its agents has so penetrated the minds of left-wing activists that when a woman who walked, talked, and quacked like a caricature of an unscrupulous prosecutor stood before them, they gave thunderous applause to her accuser.

This didn’t just happen in the debate hall; it also happened on Twitter, where no less an entity than BLM grandee Shaun King affirmed that Harris was guilty of advocating the use of inmates as literal slaves. In that moment, the seemingly bulletproof armor of tokenism around Harris fell in shattered pieces to the ground, and instead of the potential first black female president of the United States (Slay Kweeeeeen!) she was turned into nothing more than—to quote an infinitely amusing new sobriquet for her—“Copmala Harass.”

Naturally, Senator “Harass” has a right to feel wronged by all this. There was a time, sometime around the last Democratic president’s first election, when a “top-tier candidate,” such as Copmala could have shot down the sorts of concerns raised by Gabbard as the desperate flailing of a treasonous left-wing radical, whose hatred of the dedicated public servants of law enforcement was of a piece with her criticism of U.S. foreign policy, and only showed that, darn it, Gabbard was just too soft on crime and too anti-American for even the Democratic Party.

That not one word of such an attack is true would have then been gracefully overlooked by the liberal doyennes of the media, who might cluck-cluck sadly about the necessity of pragmatism in a racist country, but would otherwise never dream of pointing out weakness on the part of such an historic figure.

Gabbard, meanwhile, would be muzzled with the threat of being relegated even further to the back benches, and either would quietly fade away or flame out with much hand wringing from pundits about the sad spectacle of such a promising young politician “losing her way.”

But Toto, I’m afraid it’s not 2008 anymore! And so, the worm of woke hatred for law enforcement has turned. Copmala Harass seems likely to carry on, but the “historic” nature of her candidacy now has a permanent blemish in the eyes of those who otherwise would be most sympathetic to a candidate like her. The irony is that a Democratic government that proposed to put the politics of the woke into practice would need just such a sour, humorless, paranoid Inspector Javert as Senator Harass to lead it, which is perhaps why the woke corporatists of Silicon Valley have been (and remain) so favorable to her candidacy.

Tulsi Gabbard drew blood this round, however. While the junior senator from California hoped to ascend to the presidency by transforming herself into the ghost of Democratic racism past, haunting Joe Biden into repentance and withdrawal from the race, that strategy is no longer possible. Gabbard, speaking with the moral authority of years of BLM activism, showed the world that there was more of gravy than of grave about this particular “ghost,” and it’s now an open question whether she can continue to haunt us.

Gabbard may have fired the shot that ended this particular cop’s malign tour of duty, but the gun was designed, assembled, and manufactured by Black Lives Matter. Thanks to them, the person most eager to claim their mantle has now been hoist on her own petard and summarily impaled. For that service to the nation, we owe BLM a very great debt of gratitude.

Photo Credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

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Black Lives Matter • Democrats • Great America • Identity Politics • Post • The Left

Who’s Using Baltimore?

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The truth behind President Trump’s recent tweets about Baltimore became crystal clear the moment Al Sharpton got involved and the media echoed “racism.” It’s all just another race-hustling con game from the masters of exploiting fake grievances.

When the president riffed on Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and his failure to help his constituents in West Baltimore—home to some of the most blighted ghettos in America—every liberal journalist in the country jumped to see who could be the first among those outraged by Donald Trump’s supposed “racism.”

The winner, undoubtedly, was CNN’s Victor Blackwell—who went full “Oscar clip” and pathetically choked back tears while describing the tweets on national television.

It’s Sharpton’s shameless participation, however, that really pulls the curtain down on the whole farce. As the president aptly pointed out Monday morning, Sharpton basically pioneered this race-hustle game. Reflecting on his 25 years of knowing Sharpton, President Trump warned that “Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score.”

Sharpton has made a career out of promoting hoax hate crimes—most notably the unbelievably harmful lie about New York police officers raping black teenager Tawana Brawley. Sharpton also incited poor black New Yorkers to attack Jews in “Hymietown,” and regularly supports fake accusations of racism  against the heads of companies and politicians until they pay up—the “shakedown,” as they call it in New York.

Nothing has changed. That’s exactly what Sharpton is doing now. The only difference is that, with President Trump in the White House, every liberal journalist wants in on the action.

None of the people slamming the President are actually looking for “justice” or are genuinely concerned about racism. They’re just looking to score political points.

The media didn’t bat an eye when Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) described parts of Baltimore by saying, “You would think that you were in a Third World country.” They didn’t care when Baltimore’s own disgraced Democrat mayor, Catherine Pugh, complained about the same infestation of rats and dead animals that the President mentioned in his tweet.

“Oh, my God, you can smell the dead animals,” Pugh said during an unguarded walk through part of Cummings’s district last year. “What the hell? We should just take all this [expletive] down.”

Nor did they call out President Barack Obama when he, in a much more formal setting than a silly Twitter battle, used the phrase, “crime-infested,” to describe Democrat-controlled cities such as Baltimore. Now that President Trump has used it, however, that phrase has the entire left-wing media up in arms, absurdly accusing the President of equating black people to an “infestation.”

The difference isn’t the language. It’s that, just like Sharpton, the Democrats know their marks for a shakedown—or at least they think they do.

If the people attacking the president were really concerned about the residents of Baltimore’s blighted neighborhoods, they’d be addressing the concerns those residents raised in the very videos Donald Trump tweeted out. They’d be outraged that the Democratic Party has been taking Baltimore’s votes for granted while consistently failing to improve conditions in that city. They’d be looking for solutions to literal rat infestations.

They would not, however, keep using the same tactics that led to Baltimore’s latest, horrific murder wave—a crime spree that started exactly the moment Black Lives Matter used Sharpton’s signature shakedown tactics to accuse the city’s police of racism after a drug dealer died in police custody.

Luckily, President Trump is wise to this game. He was a prominent businessman in New York City throughout Al Sharpton’s heyday. He knows this race-hustling game, and he knows that it never pays to back down to a notorious con man.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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Black Lives Matter • Center for American Greatness • Cultural Marxism • Democrats • Donald Trump • feminists • Identity Politics • Post • Progressivism • The Left

Crack-ups at the Crossroads of Intersectionality

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Progressives do not see the United States as an exceptional uniter of factions and tribes into a cohesive whole—each citizen subordinating his tribal, ethnic, and religious affinities to a shared Americanism, emblemized by our national motto e pluribus unum. Instead, they prefer e uno plures: out of one nation arise many innately different and separate peoples.

Progressivism’s signature brand is now tribalism: all of us in different ways are victims of a white male Christian heterosexual patriarchy—or a current 20 percent hierarchy that past and present has supposedly oppressed anyone not like themselves. In contrast, our differences define who we are, and are not incidental to the content of our characters. The salad bowl, not the melting pot, is the new national creed. America is to be a conglomeration of competing tribal parties in the fashion of the Balkans, Rwanda, or contemporary Iraq.

How does the relative victimhood work politically? Progressive elites (oddly often white, but “woke,” males) serve as umpires who adjudicate familial spats and intersectional fractures. Like good cowboys, they ride herd, directing the squabbling and snorting flock in the right direction without losing too many strays on the way to the election booth.

Is Mayor Pete Buttigieg, recently confronted as an unwoke white guy by Black Lives Matter activists, a white male elite, or an oppressed gay male victim who feels the Christian faithful, like his former working associate Mike Pence, supposedly oppress him to the degree he cannot ever be slurred as an oppressor of others who are nonwhite, not affluent, and non-male? In this world of collective woke stereotypes, are inner-city blacks and Catholic Hispanics victims of white males like Buttigieg, or disproportionately insensitive victimizers of such gays as Buttigieg?

Class is a factor, too. Part of the reason Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) cannot speed through the Democratic intersection is that he talks and dresses like what he has always been—a rich kid of privilege, son of corporate elites, who glided through Stanford, was a Rhodes scholar, and has little idea of the experience of the black underclass that he now champions as an African-American activist. The middle-class Barack Obama faced the same problem but far more successfully camouflaged his prep school elitism by dropping the old preppie persona of Barry Obama, and reemerging as Barack Hussein Obama—authentic child of an African diplomat and well-acquainted with Islam as an expatriate youth in Indonesia. Booker, whose patois and schooling are akin to Obama’s, can hardly in the same fashion reinvent himself linguistically or ancestrally into the multifaceted Other.

Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), an elite offspring of an immigrant Jamaican Stanford academic and a surgeon from Madras, is now running not as a child of privilege, or the former paramour of political fixer and San Francisco pol Willie Brown, or the hard-nosed city prosecutor who hounded parents of truant kids, but as an intersectional child of the Caribbean and the Indian subcontinent. And yet despite the authenticity of Harris, she, like Joe Biden, is reckless: she was a loud megaphone for reparations until her obviously embarrassed father, who is apparently proud of past parental efforts to ensure that Harris successfully assimilated and integrated into the dominant culture, reminded his daughter that their shared ancestry included Jamaican slave-owners: in effect, schooling Kamala that the Harrises would have to seek reparations for the descendent Harrises from the descendants of the Harrises.

Give Jussie Smollet credit, the son of a Polish-Jewish father and African-American mother. He took no chances when he set off intersectional megatonnage to ensure that he was a multifarious victim of white male, right-wing, MAGA-spouting, homophobic racist oppressors—and therefore deserved another season on “Empire”or else! That Smollet is still believed by millions is a testament to the insidious power of intersectionality.

After all, we are asked to believe that the actor at 2 a.m., in subzero temperatures, bumped into the lidless eyes of white Trumpist racist America. Indeed, we learned that he by chance encountered two patrolling MAGA-hatted, white burly males, who were curious watchers and fans of the black cult series, (“Aren’t you that f—-t ‘Empire’ n—-r?”) and on constant vigilance in the wee hours in African-American neighborhoods of progressive Chicago (“This is MAGA country!”), with lynch rope, bleach, and a barrage of obscenities for randomly targeted gay, black, left-wing, and famous victims—coincidentally just like Jussie Smollet.

And Smollet was no slouch. In he-man style, Smollet single-handedly beat back these white Trumpist demons, and he did so in apparent jiu-jitsu style while managing to keep his cell phone and Subway sandwich—and lynch rope around his neck. A sane person may conclude this is low farce—especially after two of his associates confessed that they were paid to play the role of MAGA thugs—but not so the industry of intersectionality. The hip woke magazine GQ immediately after the “assault” weighed in on Smollett’s “attack” in iconic fashion:

America’s choice to embrace the blind rage of late-stage whiteness in decline is an explicit longing for this kind of crime, a version of America in which those who do not assimilate to the satisfaction of their white, straight, and Christian betters are subject to the impunity of law enforcement, the scorn of the media and the fury of racist homophobes stalking the streets of your city, who want you to know that they could lynch you if they really wanted to, and maybe get away with it too.

So do not mock the tortuous labyrinth of mutually exclusive intersectionality. Treat it instead with fear as if one enters the crossroads with Dante’s warning at the gates of hell, Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate (“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”).

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) assumed that a white woman from Oklahoma, with a 1990s interest in house-flipping and voting Republican, does not end up at snooty Harvard Law School. So she successfully reinvented herself as the law school’s first woke Native American professor. While Warren was later goaded by Donald Trump into a disastrous decision to prove her Indian fantasies by taking a self-incriminating DNA test, she otherwise did not have to go to the trouble of Ward Churchill, who wore a get up of beads, buckskin and a headband, or Rachel Dolezal who wore blackface (and now, apparently, bixsexuality) to recalibrate as an edgy social justice warrior.

The self-appointed security hothead George Zimmerman never got the intersectional message. The half-Peruvian Zimmerman became infamous for his lethal encounter in 2012 with Trayvon Martin. In the subsequent lead up to the trial, where he was found not-guilty on grounds of self-defense, Zimmerman’s 911 calls were selectively edited and the police photos of his injuries were photoshopped to downplay their severity. But had the mix-up not been between an armed white man with the scary Germanic name Zimmerman and a victimized black teen, but instead one of an African-American and a Latino Jorge Mesa (Zimmerman ethnicizing his first name and adopting his matronymic), the story might not have been so easily caricatured as a morality tale.

Good-ole gaffe-prone Uncle Joe Biden, 76 and time-tested liberal, can’t make it through the roundabout of intersectionality without a major crack-up. He flipped upside down to assure primary progressive media and primary kingmakers that he was once wrong about cutting off Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings three decades ago, and that he was actually a cutting-edge feminist back when it counted, an abortion advocate, a once deluded but now woke supporter of reduced prison sentencing.

But even so, in our new age when touching the opposite sex is a window into a sick mind, how can Joe, a chronic shoulder squeezer and hair and ear breather of young girls and women, escape #MeToo only on the basis of his progressive fides? True, Joe tried to talk his way out of his prior race, class, and gender incorrectness, but his intersectional wreckage only got worse as he crowed about his prior coziness with segregationist Senators James Eastland and Herman Talmadge.

Did Joe not know that the one red line in Democratic politics is never to remind the nation that Democrats were the party of the Confederacy, Jim Crow, segregation, and opposition to the Civil Rights Act? Joe, in Neanderthal fashion, apparently thought that the fact that two old Southerners of the Senate once called him “son” instead of “boy” proved their mutual workmanlike Democratic admiration—a model for contemporary tolerance.

Others of his political affinities were not amused. As Politico put it, “New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose wife is African American, noted that one of the segregationists Biden invoked, James Eastland of Mississippi, would have outlawed his marriage. Sen. Cory Booker, who is black, took offense that Biden seemed to make light of Eastland calling him ‘son’ but not ‘boy.’”

This was not the first time that Biden had tried to prove his racial sensitivity fides. Do we not remember that he praised his one-time rival Barack Obama as the first “clean” and “bright” and “articulate” black presidential candidate (so much for Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton), and did so with such effect that Obama picked him as his vice president and would occasionally turn him loose on a predominantly black audiences to lecture them that Mitt Romney and his Wall Street white devils would “put you all back in chains.”

How does one adjudicate the legacy of feminist trailblazing athletes and the agenda of men born biologically male who transgender into females with the help of hormonal drug therapy, and thereby find advantage in their innately larger frames and muscularity to erase the landmark records of feminism? After all, day by day, sports records of a prior generation, at the local, state, and national level, are insidiously being erased by trans athletes. When sports icon and lesbian feminist Martina Navratilova objected to the innate advantages of former male, now female, athletes, she was ostracized as some sort of anti-progressive heretic.

Does ideology trump difference? Do white rich whiny pajama boys with impunity condemn black conservatives as traitors to the progressive cause? Did the woke left-wing Garrison Keillor still have to be sacrificed on the altar of alleged #MeTooism? Does race or ethnicity win, English or Spanish, the domestic or the foreign oppressed: do illegal aliens trump the concerns of non-Spanish speaking African-Americans worried over the driving down of wages by imported cheap labor? Is Hillary Clinton a rich, entitled insider who mastered leveraging and monetizing her political clout, or a feminist trailblazer who battled the sexist exploitation of alpha males—like her husband, empathetic, progressive and pro-abortion sexual harasser Bill Clinton?

The French Revolution devolved into an intersectional destruction derby of factions, each claiming the greater leftist frenzied fides. Serbs, Albanians, Montenegrins, Croatians, Slavs, and Macedonians ended up killing each other, in the fashion of Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis, on the premise that each faction had endured more historical grievances than the others and thus had a greater right to use their own tribalism to achieve political power and snuff out the others.

The race to the bottom of victimhood logically ends in Smolletism, an absurd effort to invent as many oppressors as possible, all beaten down by one’s own singular bravery, prowess, and overarching victimhood.

In the end, the only logical survivor of intersectionality is the multifaceted Smollet-like victim, not just black, but black and gay, not just a homosexual African-American, but a hip and left-wing victim, and not just black, hip, gay, and leftwing, but a young woke activist courageously on the barricades, and not just all that but also master of martial arts put only in the service of the oppressed.

The 2020 Democratic primary is a showcase of these intersectional Balkan wars—race, sex, class, and comparative claims on victimhood that cannot be reconciled by comparative set-asides, quotas, and reparations, much less by a self-appointed, supposed all-knowing, all-powerful old white guy like Biden, playing the role of Alexander among the squabbling city-states and Macedonian tribes, or Napoleon both channeling and transcending the bloody factionalism of the French Revolution, or Tito suppressing tribalism by an all-encompassing authoritarian leftist dogma.

Intersectionality ends not by compromise, but by implosion through its own utter nihilism that sees humans as collective cardboard cutouts rather unique individuals who transcend their superficial appearances.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

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America • Black Lives Matter • Democrats • Identity Politics • Post • Progressivism • The Left

Heretics in the Church of Progressive Liberalism

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Religions fear heretics more than non-believing infidels because they are, at least on paper, supposed to be closer to the truth than infidels. That’s why intra-religious disputes are often so bloody: between Catholics and Protestants, between Sunni and Shia, between Anglican and Puritan.

Progressive liberalism has dogma and heresy, too. Certain ideas are indisputable. Those who question them are heretics. Dogma and heresy were on display, yet again, this week during hearings of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties as it (once again) considered the idea of (still more) reparations for slavery.

In this case, the dogma states that all material differences in outcomes among races are, a priori, caused by discrimination alone. This is particularly true when there are differences in outcomes between African Americans and other Americans—especially white Americans. Those differences must be attributed to slavery and Jim Crow alone. Coleman Hughes and before him, John McWhorter, have violated this dogma by questioning both its truthfulness and its effectiveness in improving outcomes for black Americans. Despite being self-professed liberals, despite being African American, despite voting for Democrats, or perhaps because of these facts, they are treated as heretics.

Progressive liberalism is, in truth, a religion since it unmistakably acts like one.

“Black people don’t need another apology,” Hughes said during Wednesday’s hearing. “We need safer neighborhoods and better schools. We need a less punitive criminal justice system. We need affordable health care. And none of these things can be achieved through reparations for slavery.”

Hughes condemned the idea of reparations as an “insult” to “many black Americans by putting a price on the suffering of their ancestors . . . (turning) the relationship between black Americans and white Americans from a coalition into a transaction.” The audience booed him. Subcommittee Chairman Steve Cohen had to bang the gavel, admonishing the crowd to  “Chill, chill, chill, chill!”

Hughes isn’t the first African American heretic from within the Left who has run amok with this particular dogma. Progressives continually revisit slavery and Jim Crow because it is the nexus around which much of their entire political, social, and linguistic universe revolves. Enter John McWhorter, who criticized this unseemly obsession with the past and the poisoned fruits it leads to, like affirmative action. McWhorter’s writing draws from the long history of black success which, rather than being dependent on white guilt and state intervention, is the kind that comes from within and takes root.

McWhorter pointed out that affirmative action is bad both for black and for white kids—causing self-doubt among the former who don’t know if they have actually succeeded on their own merits and resentment among the latter, especially if they are rejected from jobs or colleges while seeing demonstrably less-qualified people being accepted.

For these reasons, among others, McWhorter argues for ending racial preferences. This turned McWhorter into a heretic among progressive liberals. Ismael Reed, a professor at Berkeley, denounced him saying, “You have these academics who are removed from the African American community who use anecdotes and gross generalizations to make a career for themselves . . . He is sort of like a rent-a-black-person.” Reed was responding to McWhorter’s 2001 book, Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America. That ought to show the timelessness of this dogma whose durability will continue as long as the public is eager for the liberal white guilt and liberal black resentment on which this dichotomy feeds.

Slavery and Jim Crow is, to the Left, a sort of supercharged original sin. Except unlike the Christian version of original sin, which was paid off with Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, this racialized version of original sin created a debt that can never be paid. Nothing can pay the debt—not the hundreds of thousands of white men who died ending slavery in the Civil War; not the billions spent by the Union to prosecute it; not the trillions of taxpayer dollars sunk in the decades since Lyndon Johnson launched his war on poverty; and not even affirmative action.

It is a fool’s errand to believe that still more reparations can pay off this debt or ever reduce the culpability and victimhood that progressive liberals wish to foist on those who were not alive either to be culpable for or victims of the crime. It is unthinkable that one could question the efficacy or truth of this dogma. That’s what dogmas are, unquestionable first principles.

The inquisitors of this Trojan horse religion are so nervous about the likes of Hughes and McWhorter because they are close enough to the orthodox “truth” to deceive the faithful. It’s easy enough to dismiss a white Southerner like Mitch McConnell for being opposed to reparations or racial preference programs. He’s a white conservative; they’re supposed to think that way because white conservative equals racist. But people like Hughes and McWhorter threaten to upset that Manichean dichotomy of white oppressors and black victims which is the raison d’être for much of the progressive liberal worldview.

Like Galileo Galilei and the parade of historical heretics who have come before, the progressive liberal religion—like all other religions—expects heretics to remain silent or be punished for deviating from dogma.

Photo Credit: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

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Black Lives Matter • Identity Politics • Post • race • The Left

Why Do Blacks and Leftists Wish the Attack on Smollett Happened?

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The reactions of many on the left to the case of Jussie Smollett prove two important things:

  1. There is little racism in America.
  2. The left—white and black—is morally and psychologically impaired.

There is no doubt that most Americans on the left, including black Americans, are distraught over the fact that Smollet faked the “racist” attack on him. Apparently, leftists, Democratic leaders and, most depressingly, many of his fellow blacks wish Smollett had been attacked by white racist homophobes.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a white leftist, tweeted: “I hope this was not something that Mr. Smollett did to himself, or created . . . .”

Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart told MSNBC there has been “an atmosphere of menace and hate” since Donald Trump was elected president, which made “people want to believe” Smollett’s story. Exactly. Capehart a black leftist, wanted to believe that racists yelling “This is MAGA country” beat up blacks.

Another black leftist who writes hate columns for the Washington Post, Nana Efua Mumford, wrote: “I wanted to believe Smollett. I really did.” Again, exactly. Mumford wanted to believe that racists yelling “This is MAGA country” beat up blacks.

Corey Townsend, the social media editor of The Root, a black-oriented website (founded in 2008 by Harvard black studies scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr.), opened his column on his private doubts that Smollett was attacked as he claimed with the words, “I wanted to be wrong.” Three paragraphs later: “But still, I wanted to be wrong.”

This should tell you a great deal about how morally and psychologically sick the left is. And their reactions prove how little racism there really is in America.

Here’s the proof of both these assertions: When American Jews, even most left-wing Jews, heard of the mass killing of Jews at a Pittsburgh synagogue, how many were hoping the shooter was truly an anti-Semite, and how many were hoping he was a mentally deranged individual who could have just as easily shot up a church? Or, if a well-known Jew had been beaten at 2 a.m. on a Chicago street, how many American Jews would have wanted the attackers to be Jew-haters, and how many would have wished they were just thugs who wanted money?

As a Jew who has been deeply involved in Jewish culture all my life, I am pretty certain the majority of Jews—certainly liberal and conservative Jews, and even most left-wing Jews—would have wished that neither the Pittsburgh synagogue nor the theoretical attack on a Chicago street I conjured up was perpetrated by anti-Semites.

Why is that? Why do almost all Jews wish attackers of Jews not be anti-Semites, but so many blacks and so many white leftists wish Smollett had been attacked by racists?

Because Jews want to believe there is little anti-Semitism in America while most black leftists and most white leftists want to believe there is a lot of racism in America.

And why is that? Because the left and many American blacks are politically and personally dependent on one of the greatest mass libels in history—namely, that America is a racist country. If just one 1 of 5 black Americans woke up tomorrow and announced, “You know, this a great country for anyone, including a black person, to live in, and the truth is the vast majority of white Americans bear no ill will toward blacks (or any other race or ethnicity),” that would end the Democrats’ chances of winning national elections. The Democratic Party is dependent on nearly universal black acceptance of the leftist libel of America. And what about the personal? Why do so many black Americans, living in the freest country for all its citizens—and in the least-racist multiracial, multiethnic country in history—want to believe America is racist? That is one of the most important questions all Americans need address at this time.

And there is another one, which I posed in my column last week: Does the left believe its own lies?

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2016 Election • America • Black Lives Matter • Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Donald Trump • Elections • Identity Politics • Immigration • Post • The Left • the Presidency

Progressive Elitism by the Numbers

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A shrewd observer of American politics, Thomas Edsall sums up the evidence that the Democratic Party has rapidly become a far more left-wing party than it ever has been. In the last 18 years, the percentage of white Democrats identifying themselves as liberal doubled, from 28 to 55 percent, while percentages of moderates and conservatives fell. This dramatic change may explain not just the 2018 elections but the future of American politics: 2018 may be the year Democrats push America over the cliff.

Using recent survey data, Edsall highlights several changes, notably: “Progressive activists are ‘more than twice as likely [than a typical American] to say that they never pray (50 percent to 19 percent), ‘almost three times more likely to be “ashamed to be an American”’ (69-24), eleven percentage points more likely to be white (80-69), and ‘twice as likely to have completed college (59-29).’”

Ashamed to be an American by almost three to one. That just about says it all. The Progressive Democratic Party breaks with its honorable past as the world’s oldest political party and is recently reborn as the radical edge of History, the dictatorship of the enlightened. Within the blinders and prods of elite education, they have become a stampeding herd of independent minds.

These progressives reject the duty and discipline both of religion and patriotism (not to mention nature) and indulge inanities they learned in college. As George Orwell put it, referring to their kindred fascists, “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.”

Accordingly, the Democratic stance on the economy (socialism or “managed capitalism”), foreign policy (more wars and more United Nations), borders (open), and political correctness (autocorrect) follows the intellectual slogans of the day, not common sense. Edsall sees this liberal cohort as more concerned with “social issues involving race, gender and sexual identity than it is on economic matters.” To be practical is to be out of touch—retro. Abstract theorizing frees one to defy experience.

Within the Democratic Party, blacks who want jobs in construction have to compete with open-borders advocates who insist Washington mandate gender-neutral bathrooms in public schools. (Moreover, according to other survey data, 2016 marked the first year “white liberals rated ethnic and racial minorities more positively than they did other whites”—an attitude that extends toward immigrants. Not only (white) women but immigrants crowd out blacks’ interests among Democrats).

This perverse preference for John Lennon’s imaginary world over reality is nowhere more evident than in Edsall’s contrast between the attitudes of white liberals and blacks.

“Among white liberals, according to Pew survey data collected in 2017,” he writes, “79.2 percent agreed that ‘racial discrimination is the main reason why many black people can’t get ahead these days.’ 18.8 percent agreed that ‘blacks who can’t get ahead in this country are mostly responsible for their own condition . . . .’”  But among blacks, 60 percent blamed discrimination, while 32 percent held blacks themselves responsible. The differences are substantial: Blacks are closer to the overall American view on this issue than white liberals. And blacks have not grown notably more liberal (70 percent identify as “moderate” or “conservative”). Is it any wonder that most blacks have nothing to lose by going with Trump?

And all this, with the political opportunities it afforded, was evident to Trump throughout his campaign. In his May 2016 North Dakota energy speech, he told the crowd:

My message today to all the people trapped in poverty is this: politicians like Hillary Clinton have failed you.

They have used you.

You need something new. I am the only who will deliver it.

We are going to put America back to work.

We are going to put people before government.

We are going to rebuild our inner cities.

We are going to make you and your family safe, secure and prosperous.

Trump repeated this message of hope throughout the country. He distilled this point in his inaugural address, and it remains a key principle in his American greatness domestic policy:

At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.

Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves.

These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public.

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

The “carnage” Trump bluntly speaks of is, in part, the rapine and robbery of “our country of so much unrealized potential.” Individual lives go to waste, as the country suffers. Meanwhile, leftist mayors, governors, and members of Congress sing hosannas to healthcare systems in which illness vanishes. Rarely do we see such a divide between visions of society. Trump’s rhetorical difficulty is not too much winning but perhaps too much truth. Progressives cannot handle the truth. But increasing numbers of black Americans can.

This denial of reality is seen in progressives’ stance toward Trump’s great issue of political correctness. While a third of progressive Democrats concede political correctness has gone too far, that is far from the 80 percent of Americans who do. Which explains why Trump, after some prudent Republican evasions (including his own), was politically astute to question the reliability of Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh.

And this brings us to a question Edsall does not raise—the political significance of the brutality of the Kavanaugh hearings.

Here again blacks are getting the short end of the liberal stick—the case since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It’s the women who are “the most active constituency driving Democratic mobilization.” Blacks are more sober minded about false accusations of rape (remember To Kill a Mockingbird or Mike Tyson). Which raises the simple question of justice in the face of a raging mob.

Here is where we see the rise of the contemporary transformation of the Democratic Party and where it takes us: the world’s oldest political party never recovered from its corruption by slavery in the pre-Civil War era. Whatever the cause, however respectable in origin, the party’s remedies produced more injustice. Given more power, it became even more moralistic about its policies.

This inbred pattern of Democrat destructiveness is likely to worsen, not moderate, should they prevail in 2018.

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Black Lives Matter • Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Donald Trump • Identity Politics • Post • Progressivism • race • The Culture • The Left • The Media • the Presidency

The Trump-Kanye Meeting Was Weird—If You’re a Racist

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The Democratic Party is a group of tricksters. Consider this: the party of Jim Crow managed to recast themselves as the paragon of racial equality during the tumultuous 1960s, while still supporting the economic programs that impoverished minorities. They then convinced a majority of African-Americans that Republicans were their true oppressors! It is no wonder, then, that Michael Walsh has determined that Democrats today are aligned with the “Satanic Left.”

Lies, deceit, manipulation, these are the ways of Satan—and the Democratic Party.

Not to worry though, the Republican Party dutifully shut itself off from the African-American community in the face of criticism from the Left. In effect, the GOP’s quisling leadership convinced itself that, on some level, the Left was correct in its claims about the Right’s “inherent racism.” Rather than take to the battlefield of ideas, “conservatives” like these chose instead to cut the party’s losses, and allow its enemies to define it (hey, so long as we get more tax cuts and foreign interventions, who cares, right?).

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump—the man the Left painted as the most despicable person to run for the presidency in generations (not since the racist über alles, Woodrow Wilson perhaps?)—campaigned hard for the black vote. It was the first time in decades that a Republican candidate took seriously the need to compete for a bloc of voters who otherwise vote overwhelmingly in favor of the Democratic Party (and its destructive policies). Trump dared black voters to elect him, asking them, “what the hell do you have to lose?”

It was a flippant comment, yes, and the Left flipped out. And, that was the point.

In fact, that was the entire purpose of Trump’s presidential campaign. When Trump said he wasn’t a “politically correct guy,” what he meant was that he wasn’t going to play by his opponents’ rules. He would challenge the reigning political orthodoxy on everything from immigration to free trade to foreign policy. Trump would force Democrats to meet him on the battlefield—using their tactics against them. When the Left could do nothing but squeal, Trump pressed ahead.

Although blacks still voted overwhelmingly for Clinton, Trump won a larger share of the black vote than previous Republican candidates. What’s more, Trump’s approval rating among African-American voters is higher than it was for previous Republican presidents. Undoubtedly, this stems from Trump’s economic policies which have disproportionately benefited African-Americans.

But it’s also attitudinal. Love him or hate him, Trump keeps it real. This explains why (and how) the notorious rapper, Kanye West (now known as “Ye”), became an unlikely torchbearer for Trump and his “Make America Great Again” movement. Kanye, the son of a member of the Black Panthers; an acquaintance of Hillary Clinton; scion of the pop culture sleaze machine; the man who artlessly proclaimed after Hurricane Katrina, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” is now a MAGA-hat-wearing-Trump-loving celebrity.

What brought Kanye over to the “dark” side? It was, in part, Trump’s campaign query about what the African-American community has to lose by breaking from the Democratic Party. The black vote consistently has gone Democratic since the Great Depression. And for what?

West, who hails from the crime-ridden Democratic Party stronghold of Chicago, understands firsthand that the Democratic policies aren’t working for his community.

Kanye is one of the greatest African-American celebrities of this generation. While his braggadocio might not go over well with some people, he is a skilled artist. What’s more, like Trump, he is a product of our current cultural zeitgeist. By reaching out to the black community and pursuing policies that benefit all Americans, Trump was able to convince one of the country’s greatest hip-hop entertainers to provide necessary cover from the disgraceful partisanship of the “mainstream” media.

Yet again, the party of Jim Crow has sought to stymie the freedom of a black man to express his own political opinion. In this case, Kanye’s declaration of support for Trump has prompted the self-styled “guardians” of race in America (the most vanilla group of people imaginable) to brand Kanye’s actions as those of a mentally unstable person. Interestingly, the Soviets used to claim political dissidents were mentally ill, too.

I didn’t see an insane man meeting with Trump. I saw a man who was tired of decades of neglect and abuse from the Satanic Left crying out for others to see what he sees. I witnessed a man overcome with a sense of relief and hope—real hope—in finally finding someone (who just so happens to be the president of the United States) who saw that suffering as well.

Of course, to the Left, that’s crazy talk. But the reality is, Republicans are finally competing for the hearts-and-minds of black Americans in a meaningful way. Seen that way, the Trump-Kanye meeting is only strange if one is a racist left-winger, who views black Americans as a class to be kept pacified with dreary government handouts in heavily policed inner cities.

The African-American community isn’t any different from other communities in the United States. Kanye knows it. Most African-Americans recognize this (Al Sharpton excepted). Trump is acting on this recognition. Props to him.

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Black Lives Matter • Democrats • Donald Trump • Post • Republicans

George Steinbrenner, Mike Royko, and the Party of Crime

Before there was Donald Trump, there was George Steinbrenner. In the eyes of his fellow New Yorkers and of many others around the country, no public figure more closely resembled the south end of a horse headed north than Steinbrenner did.

Steinbrenner was the principal owner of the New York Yankees for 37 years, from 1973 until his death eight years ago. He purchased the club at a low point in its fortunes, labored to rebuild it, and led it to 11 American League pennants and seven World Series championships. Along the way, his meddlesome and imperious ways with managers and players became notorious, earning him the title “The Most Hated Man in Baseball.” (Steinbrenner’s enforcement of a military grooming code, for example, spilled a lot of tabloid ink, though anyone vaguely annoyed by today’s jarring assortment of players’ hairstyles—from shaved heads to mullets to dreadlocks and from goatees to mutton chops to Duck Dynasty beards—might look back to those days wistfully.)

Far more than Trump ever did, Steinbrenner loved to pronounce the words, “You’re fired!” As his Wikipedia bio puts it, he

quickly became famous for his rapid turnover of management personnel. In his first 23 seasons, he changed managers 20 times; Billy Martin alone was fired and rehired five times. During his first 26 years with the club, he went through 13 publicity directors. “The first time George fires you, it’s very traumatic,” oft-fired Yankees flack Harvey Greene said. “The three or four times after that, it’s like, Great! I’ve got the rest of the day off.”

I was reminded of Steinbrenner after reading a recent commentary from the longtime conservative commentator George F. Will, who two years ago decided there wasn’t room enough in the Republican Party for both Trump and himself, and consequently stalked off to NeverTrumpLand. Will this summer urged the election of Democratic majorities in Congress, and last week he distanced himself even further from his former comrades by coming out against capital punishment.

Even when fighting on the side of the angels, Will always cultivated a pompous, even snobbish, air. What was noticeable back when he was talking sense becomes more grating now, as he talks rot. And sometimes it’s been laughable. Once, during another low point in the Yankees’ fortunes, Will glared balefully at the Ogre of the Bronx, and his words provoked a gale of laughter from Will’s fellow Chicagoan Mike Royko:

Professor George Will, the prissy political commentator and self-styled baseball expert, squeaks that “Steinbrenner is a boor.” Oh, my, a boor. It’s enough to make one faint. Well, maybe he is. But at least he didn’t flunk out of Little League, as did Will, the sissy.

What bothers Will and many others is that the Yankees are now baseball’s wimpiest team. They say the Yankees are something special to America. Part of the national “fabric.” Professor Will talks about that national fabric so much, you’d think he was our national furniture upholsterer.

Will says: “To be blunt, Steinbrenner`s mismanagement of the Yankees matters much more than the mismanagement of the Atlanta Braves. The Yankees . . . are simply irreplaceable as carriers of a tradition that lends derivative glory to teams that compete against them.”

Well, lah-dee-dah, Professor Will . . .

The fun Royko had with Will’s phrase “derivative glory” should be savored in its entirety. As the Instapundit says, Read the Whole Thing.™  Royko, who passed away in 1997, was in his manner the anti-Will, especially when channeling his working-class drinking buddy, Slats Grobnik. Royko had it in for corruption and arrogance in politics, it’s true, but as a matter of style, I imagine he would have enjoyed the spectacle of President Donald Trump’s doings a great deal more than Will does.

One thing Royko would have had absolutely no use for is Will’s newfound opposition to capital punishment. Here Royko is, quoted by the legal writer Stuart Taylor in the National Journal:

Anything less than the death penalty [for murder] is an insult to the victim and society. It says . . . that we don’t value the victim’s life enough to punish the killer fully.

Class, more than anything else, is what separates Royko and Will. Royko hailed from the working class, Will from the professional-academic class. And that class distinction is not only what spares Will the fears and concerns that would have forbidden his apostasy on the death penalty; it’s also what explains the silence of opinion leaders generally, even those on the Right, about the one issue that looms so large among the Slats Grobniks of our country.

For example, here’s Roger Kimball, editor and publisher of The New Criterion and president and publisher of Encounter Books, extolling Trump’s first-term record in an article for American Greatness:

In less than two years, the United States has added some $10 trillion in wealth to its economy. Four million new jobs have been created, and unemployment has plummeted to historic lows. Consumer confidence has soared, while tax reform has put more money in the pockets of average Americans and turbocharged American businesses.

That’s all great, although as suggested by this headline—“Stock Crash Whispers . . . Execs selling shares at record pace . . . global profits peaked . . . Companies trading for more than 10x revenue”—it all could turn to ashes tomorrow. But what’s missing from Kimball’s list of Trump achievements?

Or consider this glass-half-empty perspective. How does his party’s record look to U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)? “Friend,” he wrote in a fundraising email for the House Freedom Fund:

Republicans in Congress make the job too complicated. I tell my colleagues it’s simple: DO WHAT WE SAID!

  •       We said we’d repeal Obamacare
  •       We said we’d secure the border
  •       We said we’d defund Planned Parenthood
  •       We said we’d cut spending
  •       We said we’d reform welfare

Yet none of these things have been accomplished.

We have an obligation to the voters who elected President Trump and the Republican majorities in the House and Senate to DELIVER.

What didn’t Jordan mention? What didn’t Kimball mention? In a word, crime. Or, as an elderly, angry, cranky New Yorker once put it when calling in to a talk radio discussion of the causes of urban decay: “Crime!!!”

Trust Trump to hear what our elites, both Left and Right, can’t hear. At his recent rally in West Virginia, the president—speaking off the cuff, out of the blue, and without explanation—called the Democrats “the party of crime.”

Trump’s bill of particulars, while damning enough, didn’t actually have much to do with the Democrats’ involvement with crime. But “the party of crime” is a catchy phrase, no? It immediately made this tune pop into my head.

Trump could easily mine that “party of crime” vein in a full-length speech. I hope he will. And I’m glad to know that with Trump around, the Republican Party is less likely to head into November playing a Three Wise Monkeys act when it comes to crime. That, let no one forget, is how we booted a national election 10 years ago:

Had the GOP been thinking about crime, then when Obama’s rabid pastor Jeremiah Wright popped up, Republicans would have focused on the parts of the good reverend’s sermons that touched on law enforcement. Wright had bellowed: “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and wants them to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No! No! No! Not God bless America! God damn America!” People were so shocked by the last part of that utterance, they neglected to attend to what led up to it. Had Republicans been thinking about crime, they’d have pressed Obama to explain whether he agrees with Wright’s opposition to bigger prisons and three-strike laws.

Likewise, GOP criticism of Obama’s radical colleague Bill Ayers would have emphasized, not the bombings from long ago, but the more recent—and more destructive—activities that brought these two left-wingers together. The Ayers book Obama praised was a soft-on-crime book; the conference on its themes, in which Ayers and Obama joined, was a soft-on-crime exercise; Obama’s work as an Illinois legislator was aimed at thwarting the tough-on-crime efforts of what he derided as the “industrial prison complex.” In short, Obama and Ayers were running interference for the Great Crime Wave. Obama’s rivals should have made him answer for that.

When Chicago’s surging murder rate made the news last summer, Republicans who were thinking about crime would have pointed out that the state of Illinois has not executed anyone since 1999. They’d have noted that in Texas—notorious as the nation’s execution capital—murder has been cut by almost two-thirds. They’d have asked Obama if he prefers the results of his state’s feckless hesitancy on capital punishment to the Texans’ manifest success with it.

When in June the Supreme Court disallowed the death penalty for child rapists, Obama was savvy enough to join his Republican rival John McCain in criticizing the ruling. One notices, however, that McCain’s model justices Roberts and Alito voted against that decision and Obama’s model justice Ginsburg voted for it. McCain in one speech did point out that little fact. But did he make it a theme of the fall campaign? Not at all.

Even with the election just weeks away, events continued to beg for a renewed focus on crime. In October, a Marine sergeant and his wife were bound, gagged, tortured and shot to death in their California home. Actress Jennifer Hudson’s mother and brother were slain in their home in Obama’s crime-ridden Chicago. A popular TV anchorwoman was beaten to death in her home in Little Rock, Arkansas. From the GOP, not a word.

Republicans, do you want to turn the Democrats’ hoped-for “blue wave” this year into a “red tide” for the GOP? Then make like that elderly New York gentleman. Stick your head out the window, climb up to the rooftop, and shout “Crime!!!” for all to hear.

Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

 

Big Media • Black Lives Matter • Cultural Marxism • First Amendment • Post • The Left

Why Doug Adler’s ESPN Lawsuit Matters

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While the nation has been absorbed by the show trial of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, an actual trial is gearing up to start in Los Angeles that will have major implications for free speech and political correctness.

Doug Adler, longtime tennis commentator, was providing commentary at the Australian Open in January 2017 for ESPN. He was calling Venus Williams’ match at the Open when—in admiration of her method of attacking the net—Adler used the phrase “guerrilla” tactic, meaning ambush. It is a common tennis term and Venus Williams has been one of the most successful in employing the play.

What should have been a completely unremarkable event became a social media firestorm. Many were offended by this seeming, at least to their ignorant ears, obvious and appalling racial slur. How dare this commentator compare Venus Williams to a gorilla? He was most certainly engaged in a racist insult and his scalp was called for in the most vociferous terms. The tennis world was noticeably silent; Venus Williams herself refused comment when asked about Adler’s remark.

As usual, the ignorance of the offended knows no bounds. The term “guerilla” refers to warfare and first appeared during the Napoleonic Wars. When France invaded Spain, Napoleon had overwhelming numbers and the only way the Spanish could continue to fight was to employ tactics that they called guerrilla strategy. The Spanish word “guerrilla” is the diminutive form of “guerra” (“war”)—it literally means “little war.” Maybe they think the word ”gorilla” comes from the Spanish “guerra” or “guerilla”? Perhaps Adler just switched the words, meaning the same thing? Not quite. In fact, not even close. “Guerilla” has nothing to do with simians. The noun “gorilla,” is from Greek gorillai, plural of a name given to wild, hairy beings. It is a Greek translation of Carthaginian navigator Hanno’s account of his voyage along the northwest coast of Africa, in 500 B.C.

The term guerilla tactic is so common in tennis that Nike, the current paragon of social and cultural virtue, used it in a very popular ad campaign during the 1995 U.S. Open tournament. The commercial, starring Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, was called the Guerilla Tennis ad and sold a lot of sneakers. No offense was taken there it seems.

Of course none of this mattered to ESPN. For years ESPN has been bending to the winds of political correctness, firing or censoring commentators who strayed from the party line while allowing other commentators to get away from making outrageous, and actual racial, comments;  Jemele Hill being one of the best examples.

To showcase the grand hypocrisy of ESPN during the 2018 NBA playoffs, Steve Harvey in an ESPN on air interview actually called the Golden State Warriors “gorillas.” As in African apes. And yet, not a word of outcry or protest followed these comments. ESPN stayed silent.

That the once outstanding sports network would fall prey to the Left’s Orwellian speech codes is a great shame. Even worse, the network is now in the business of destroying lives, all to stay pure in the eyes of the Left and their mind-numbed young robots who happen to occupy the demographic ESPN seeks to hold.

So, what happened to Doug Adler? First, his ESPN bosses demanded that he apologize for his remarks. They claimed if he would just apologize, everything would be fine and he would remain in good standing with the network. So threatened, Adler apologized. He stated that he “simply and inadvertently chose the wrong word to describe her play.” He certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone. For whatever reason, ESPN decided that Adler’s scalp was still required to satisfy their hordes, so he was fired anyway. From there, Adler’s life began to unravel.

Being fired and branded a racist shook his life to the core, causing incredible emotional and physical stress. Shortly after his firing,  Adler suffered a heart attack and almost died. His career was over; the public shame of being labeled a racist ruined him.

Adler is no stranger to the impact of racial slurs and discrimination. Being Jewish and growing up in the Griffith Park area of Los Angeles, Adler often encountered anti-Semitic remarks as a child. As he recently stated in an interview, things were said to him that he could not bring himself to mention today. One takeaway from listening to Doug Adler is that he is a thoughtful and sensitive person who was deeply offended and hurt by being labeled a racist.

But Alder is also a fighter and he decided to fight to restore his good name and reputation. He filed a lawsuit against ESPN and the trial is scheduled to begin in Los Angeles on October 15. ESPN has shown itself to be worse than cowards and my guess is they will frantically try and settle to avoid the bad publicity.

But for Doug Adler, the lawsuit isn’t about money; it is about restoring his reputation and good name.

For those of us in the wider culture subject to political correctness and speech codes, the case is about restoring sanity, free speech, and respect for decency. And, as in the case with Judge Brett Kavanaugh, we must hope that this trial can be a turning point in stopping the Left’s politics of personal destruction that is laying waste to the lives of good men and women.

Photo Credit: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for ESPN

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Black Lives Matter • Democrats • Donald Trump • Obama • Post • Progressivism • The Left

Cops Deserve a Fighting Chance

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Seven police officers were shot in Florence, South Carolina last week. One of them, Sgt. Terrence Carraway, was fatally wounded. The suspect, a troubled Vietnam veteran, apparently had set up an ambush when the police arrived to serve a search warrant. He barricaded himself and rained down rifle fire upon the responding officers. A heavily armored MRAP obtained from the Department of Defense was critical in evacuating the wounded from the scene.

The Myth of Militarized Police
The Florence County Sheriff Department obtained its MRAP through the Pentagon’s 1033 Program. The program provides surplus military equipment to domestic law enforcement agencies. This is how the Los Angeles Police Department obtained M-16s after the infamous North Hollywood Shootout, and it’s why Humvees, MRAPs, bullet proof vests, medical supplies, ammunition, batteries, and other surplus material has migrated from military warehouses into the armories of SWAT teams and ordinary patrol officers across the country.

The 1033 Program is an island of fiscal sanity amid an ocean of government waste. MRAPs are not, contrary to media hyperbole, tanks. But they are both bulletproof and intimidating, a testament to their birth on the battlefield. Even so, they are similar in technology and function to the familiar Brinks truck and the armored vans SWAT teams have used for decades.

Both the far Left and the libertarian right have warned about the specter of “militarized police” since the mid-2000s. The Cato Institute’s Radley Balko made this a central focus for many years, culminating in his book, The Warrior Cop. The argument is that police increasingly see themselves as more military than civilian, inflaming tensions and decreasing empathy with the communities that they police. While the focus varies from training and gear to uniforms and department culture, we are told that we are facing an epidemic of police violence against blameless civilians, which is fueled by the police’s increasing militarization.

The militarization critique became particularly pronounced after the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Commentators at the time marveled at the appearance of well-armed riot police and armored vehicles. But the criticism was, frankly, really stupid. It reversed causation, blaming militarized police for the rioting, even though the controversy began with the shooting death of Michael Brown, which came at the hands of an ordinary patrol officer.

More important, the rioting occurred before the riot police showed up. Even if someone is angry at a grand jury decision—or the sight of armored cars on the streets—none of those things naturally cause the burning down of businesses, assaults on whites, and generalized mayhem.

After the events in Ferguson, Obama severely restricted the donation of surplus military vehicles to police, explaining that military equipment can “alienate and intimidate local residents and may send the wrong message.”

Obama has never seen a strawman he’s not willing to dispatch and, in this case, he recycled the old 1960s-era trope about “oppression by the Man” as the chief cause of lawlessness in our cities. This trend was not caused by militarized police; it’s been around at least 40 years. Rather, militarized policing was a response to communities that had de facto already been militarized into a guerrilla warfare atmosphere, where the most dysfunctional members of the community waged war on police and law abiding citizens, and found support among deeply alienated and dysfunctional communities, where snitching is a worse offense than rape and murder.

Before Militarized Police, a Society at War With Itself
America was once very safe, orderly, and had low rates of crime. Police were respected, even in a sense by criminals, and this respect reduced the need for violence to curb crime.

Then, in the 1960s, the lid came off.

Liberal judges imposed rules that resulted in the mass-release of prisoners and made convictions harder to obtain. Mental institutions were depopulated. Families broke apart, and welfare participation increased. Newly integrated schools led to increasingly segregated cities, as whites fled to the suburbs in places like Boston, New York, and Chicago. Drug use and the drug trade exploded. Terrorist organizations, including Obama’s friends in the Weather Underground, deliberately targeted police for political violence, killing a San Francisco officer in one notorious bombing.

The 1960s also gave birth to the civil rights and anti-war movements. The movements’ criticisms of particular injustices expanded into a criticism of all authority, which was seen as tainted by the evils of racism at home and abroad. This remains the foundational view of leftism today.

As Thomas Sowell observed, “Collective guilt is one of the legacies of the 1960s that is still with us. We are still seeing a guilt trip for slavery being laid on people who never owned a slave in their lives, and who would be repelled by the very idea of owning a slave.”

Diversity probably always breeds a certain amount of intrinsic distrust, but such manageable friction is made worse by the broader leftist critique of all authority as tainted. This is, literally speaking, demoralizing. The tail end of the Obama Administration exposed an increasingly divided and low trust society, with brazen assassinations of police carried out in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and Brooklyn.

High trust and low trust societies differ in many ways. High trust societies are safer not primarily because of the actions of police, but because of a web of internal restraints, the fear of shame, the watchful eyes of parents and neighbors, and an intrinsic sense of law-abidingness. As Edmund Burke observed, “Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

Our militarized police, to the extent they exist, are a consequence, not a cause, of increasing distrust and disorder.

Law-and-Order is a Winning Issue
Bush-era conservatism abandoned winning issues, considering them declasse and divisive. Previously, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush won by championing their pro-law-and-order bona fides, in contrast to the “soft on crime” stances of their opponents.

This softness was never more apparent than in the case of President Obama, but neither Mitt Romney nor John McCain had much to say about it, fearing perhaps the inevitable charge that being tough on crime is racist. For these compassionate conservatives, tax cuts, economic growth, spreading democracy, and broadening the Republican coalition were higher priorities than the blood simple issue of fighting crime. They lost.

Here, as on other issues, Trump has his finger on the pulse of the nation. Immigration and the economy no doubt played a big part in Trump’s 2016 victory. But Trump’s law and order stance contrasted sharply with Hillary’s mealy-mouthed uncertainty, particularly amidst the chaotic, racially-charged crime wave of 2016.

After the Dallas massacre, the feeling was one of a nation coming apart. Worse, then President Obama had spread confusion by distorting what should have been a simple message: “don’t riot, don’t kill cops.” Instead, Obama said: “there are still problems and communities of color aren’t just making these problems up . . . there are issues in which the law too often feels as if it is being applied in a discriminatory fashion.”

Well, I guess rioting is everyone’s fault.

Obama made common cause with the agitators, blaming appalling crimes on institutional factors, such as mass incarceration and militarized policing. This view is out of touch with the instincts of the majority of Americans and the overwhelming majority of Republicans.

Their middle-class value system is one of hard work, saving, striving, conforming, and playing by the rules. The elite’s common cause with the criminal underclass strikes those in the middle either as naïve or as an expression of hostility. Unlike the elite, they cannot afford gated communities or expensive bodyguards to protect themselves from disorder. They must live in the midst of it. This is why they want to keep their guns, and this is why they feel sympathy and respect for the difficult job of law enforcement.

Trump has been on the side of the good guys since the Bernie Goetz incident in New York. He saw a beautiful city sink into near-ruin as a consequence of crime and disorder, and he understood that sympathy with criminals was the domain of out-of-touch elites and their self-destructive lower class “pets.” Following through on his campaign promise, Trump quickly reversed President Obama’s executive order restricting the transfer of surplus military equipment to local police agencies.

Police work is fundamentally dangerous, and the police are, in the vast majority of cases, fundamentally the good guys. Sometimes the bad guys want to go to war with them, and, when they do, an officer’s shield can no more deflect bullets than wishful thinking. Police deserve the best equipment.

Six officers were saved this week by a surplus military vehicle that their agency obtained from the Department of Defense. If Obama and the Cato Institute prevailed, those policemen would have been deprived of this tool. And, at least one of the six who made it out would likely also be having a funeral, a martyr to perfectly progressive policing.

Photo Credit: Andrew Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

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America • Black Lives Matter • Cultural Marxism • Defense of the West • feminists • Identity Politics • Post • The Left

Racist, Sexist, Anti-Christian Ideology Threatens Our Democracy

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The ruthless passions of the political Left, which have been on full display in the campaign not just to defeat a Supreme Court justice nomination, but to destroy the nominee and his family, are inspired by an ideology that is racist, sexist, anti-Christian, and fundamentally anti-American.

Just how powerful and entrenched this ideology is can be gauged by a recent headline on the ABC News website: “Us (sic) white male Christians need to step back and give others room to lead.” The ungrammatical headline is explained in the article’s ponderous opening sentence: “In the great span of world history, nearly all change and progress has come from an under-served (sic) and out-of-power group pushing, prodding, and pounding on those who hold power to expand it to include a wider and more diverse population.”

This is pure leftist claptrap. There is not a shred of historical evidence to support it. The greatest progress of the past 250 years, beginning in 1776 and 1789, has been the creation of liberal societies that support the principles of individual liberty, equality, and tolerance. In the case of England and America, the supporters of these principles led the world in ending slavery, which is still practiced in Africa today. This progress was entirely the work of white Christian males, who were under no pressure from diverse, underserved and out of power groups.

But what is truly striking about these false claims and their racist, sexist, and anti-Christian prescription is that they are the words not of some fringe leftist, but of Matthew Dowd, a prominent former Republican, who was the chief strategist for the 2004 Bush-Cheney presidential campaign.

Every American should be concerned that an ideology so antithetical to everything this country is supposed to stand for should now become the conventional wisdom of half the country (including all the persecutors of Judge Kavanaugh). The U.S. Constitution does not contain the words “white,” “black,” “male,” or “female,” precisely because the Founders believed they were creating a society in which true equality would one day prevail. It took nearly two centuries to bring about the social changes that would realize that dream.

For the last 50 years, however, the Left and the Democratic Party have been working hard to turn back the clock and reverse these gains—to introduce racial and gender categories and quotas into virtually every aspect of social life, to portray white Americans as guilty before the fact, and nonwhite Americans as innocent even when the facts show they are not. The progressive goal is totalitarian in nature: to erase individuals, their achievements and failures, and every aspect of the circumstances in which they find themselves, in order to judge them on the basis of their skin color, their sex, and their sexual orientation.

Hatred for whites, males and Christians—falsely portrayed as “privileged” and “oppressors” and thus condemned on the basis of characteristics they were born with—is now the principal curriculum of our schools, starting as early as kindergarten and extending through graduate education. Under the leftist mantra of “social justice,” American society is falsely portrayed as a system of racial, gender, and sexual hierarchies. As in Matthew Dowd’s article, the remedy proposed is to reverse the oppression. In other words, to indict, silence, and repress whites, males, heterosexuals and Christians as part of a scheme to establish the vaguely defined utopia of “social justice.” (Can anyone seriously believe that the mob out to destroy Brett Kavanaugh is capable of even understanding the concept of “justice,” let alone establishing a society committed to it?)

The ideology which now inspires the progressive left, and NeverTrumpers like Matthew Dowd, is called “identity politics”—a name that should be anathema to every American who cherishes our country’s commitment to individual freedom—to judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin or their gender or their sexual orientation.

“Identity politics” is a euphemism for cultural Marxism, which takes Marx’s claim that societies are divided into oppressor and oppressed classes and imposes this dangerous and historically refuted claim onto races, genders, and sexual orientations. Americans need to reject this destructive ideology as completely as they rejected its forerunner in the Communist movements of the past.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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2016 Election • America • Black Lives Matter • Center for American Greatness • Cultural Marxism • Democrats • Donald Trump • feminists • Identity Politics • Immigration • Post • The Culture • The Left

Obama Won

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We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.

Barack Obama, October 30, 2008

By traditional metrics, Barack Obama’s presidency was mostly a failure. The economy, in a new first, never hit annualized growth of 3 percent. His signature domestic policy—Obamacare—caused chaos. Millions lost their coverage and doctors, and paid far more in deductibles and premiums. The stagnant recovery after the 2008 recession was the worst in 50 years.

Myriads of new regulations, higher taxes, and socialist jawboning vegetated the economy. Scandals at the IRS, Department of Veterans Affairs, FBI, CIA, National Security Agency, Justice Department, General Services Administration, and National Security Council abounded. Obama weaponized the federal government by punishing opponents through the IRS, monitoring suspect reporters, scapegoating and jailing a video maker, and using the deep state to exonerate Hillary Clinton from serial wrongdoing and to sabotage the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.

Abroad, a diplomatic “reset” empowered Vladimir Putin’s Russia from the Crimea to the Middle East. The Iran deal legitimized Iran’s ascendant Middle East hegemony. Chinese trade cheating was of no concern. ISIS was but a “JV” terrorist clique. North Korea freely pointed nuclear missiles at the West Coast. Israel and the Gulf monarchies and Egypt were no longer close allies. Outreach and deference instead were shown to Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. “Lead from behind” bombing of Libya led to a disaster. Nonexistent “red lines” in Syria, flexible nonproliferation “deadlines” issued to Iran, and rhetorical “step-over” lines given Vladimir Putin all eroded U.S. credibility. And on and on.

Yet in terms of culture, Obama clearly won.

“White Privilege” Goes Mainstream
He institutionalized radical cultural shifts by creating entirely new rubrics of privileging race and gender. The old idea of due process and the rule of law were subordinated to identity politics, whether in matters of sanctuary cities and non-enforcement of immigration law or campus charges of sexual assault. The larger culture made the necessary adjustments and followed suit.

Before the Obama administration, the sloganeering about “white privilege” was confined mostly to shrill and irrelevant university academic departments. Indeed, race prior to 2009 was becoming less important a half-century after the Civil Rights movement. Americans were increasingly multiracial, and welcomed assimilation, given increasing intermarriage and the frequent inability to calibrate race by superficial appearance.

Inasmuch as there were tens of millions of impoverished whites in rural and rust-belt America, the notion that skin color ipso facto any longer denoted privilege was a hard sell. Many ethnic groups enjoyed higher per capita incomes than did those whites. Certainly, no one thought an out-of-work coal miner in Appalachia had an edge on black NFL players, or that the children of the Rust Belt were given preferences in college admissions.

By the same token, even radical feminism still operated within the realm of Western jurisprudence. Charges of sexual assault, like all other allegations of criminal behavior, were to be adjudicated by evidence, testimony, and cross examination. What outraged the nation about the purported victims of Bill Clinton’s sexual assaults was not that Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Willey were freed from citing evidence in pressing their claims, but rather that the Clintons’ (both Bill and Hillary) power and influence had pruned the likelihood of Bill’s victims ever obtaining a fair hearing.

Yet most everything changed with the Obama election, and we have felt Obama’s legacy on matters of race and gender ever since. From the very beginning of his tenure, Obama sought to fulfill his promise of fundamentally transforming the country. On matters of race, he had easily defended—to media indifference—his racist and Antisemitic personal pastor Jeremiah Wright (“I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother. . . ”).

Obama supporters never objected, even when Obama employed terms like “typical white person” of his own grandmother who had sacrificed to ensure that he could afford attending a tony prep school. In office, Obama quickly injected himself into the Professor Henry Louis Gates psychodrama to brand the police as inherently biased. His commentary on the Trayvon Martin case was reduced to reminding Americans that the president and the late Martin shared an African-American identity. His 2008 “clingers” speech was the model for Hillary Clinton’s later “deplorables” rant; “get in their faces” and “bring a gun to a knife fight” boilerplate were welcomed as progressive challenges to the old order.

Obama invited to the White House rappers whose lyrics were often patently racist and misogynist. His favorite, Kendrick Lamar, had just released an album cover that displayed a dead white judge with his eyes crossed out, as rappers toasted his corpse on the White House lawn. Kendrick’s lyrics often expressed hatred for the police (“And we hate the popo”).

Attorney General Eric Holder referred to African-Americans as “my people” (the sort of a racially chauvinist reference that would have gotten any other Attorney General fired) and intoned: “in things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.” (I supposed Holder was including in his “always been” and “nation of cowards” the 1.5 million who died, were wounded, or were missing in the Civil War, especially the 600,000 Northerners who were casualties of a war to end Confederate slavery.) The racist and Antisemite Al Sharpton was a regular visitor to the White House. And a 2005 photo of Obama posing with the abject racist and Antisemite Louis Farrakhan was suppressed until after the Obama presidency.

“Diversity” and Division
Yet the main racial legacy of the Obama Administration was the institutionalization of a new binary that had transcended past notions of affirmative action aimed at rectifying the historical discrimination of African Americans.

What replaced the construct of affirmative action became known as “diversity.” In reductionist terms, that mean “white” and “non-white,” rather than “white” and “black,” and, more importantly, it made irrelevant all prior notions of class or real historical grievance.

Suddenly, one could cross the border illegally from Oaxaca and instantly become a “minority,” simply by reason of an antithesis to the “white” majority, with all the resulting grievances and reparations that accrued. Immigrants from India, the Arab world, or Latin America, regardless of their wealth, appearance, and status, likewise were lumped together under the doctrine of “diversity.” Immigration itself was weaponized. Notions of legality, meritocracy and diversity in adjudicating immigration gave way to welcoming in as many as possible who might empower the Obama political agenda of ethnic tribalization.

Salad-bowl immigration policies also fueled polarization, as a new bond of being “nonwhite” brought together Asians, Latino, Arabs, blacks, and almost anyone who could claim to be “nonwhite,” again regardless of the circumstances of their birth, their own experiences in America, their actual racial ancestry, or their wealth and class.

Instead, the necessary slogan “white privilege” justified the new divide: a wealthy immigrant from Paraguay “counted” as a minority deserving of special consideration in a way the son of a white Youngstown, Ohio clerk did not. The facts surrounding the individual cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Trayvon Martin in Miami Gardens, or Freddie Gray in Baltimore were irrelevant—given all three deaths were leveraged for wider grievances against the so-called white majority community. (Had the half-Peruvian defendant George Zimmerman just ethnicized his name and adopted his maternal surname, and thus reinvented himself as Jorge Mesa, the case would have incurred little media attention).

Race and, to a lesser extent, gender now replaced class, as the grievance to govern almost everything in America from NFL pregame National Anthems to the speeches at the Emmys and Oscars.

The New Ideal
By 2016 actors, celebrities, and politicians felt no hesitation in using the word “white” in an almost exclusively derogatory fashion, especially given the new recalibration of “demography is destiny” and the increasing alienation, self-destruction, and pathologies of impoverished and lower-middle class whites in the deindustrialized heartland.

Dividing the country by white and nonwhite made sense to the Obama Administration, because the divide promulgated the idea that Obama had been elected by a record non-white bloc voting (in fact, Obama in 2008 would get a higher percentage of the white vote than had John Kerry in 2004). Obama’s model for other Democrats was that, in the future, immigration, tribal voting and demography changes would only accentuate that trend. The Obama paradigm would become the new electoral legacy of the Democratic Party, to be intensified as it was successfully passed down to each new generation of progressives.

Blue-state, and overwhelmingly leftwing, California became the new ideal of what was now possible. California’s non-white population was heralded as the new majority, given both massive illegal and legal immigration, along with the infusion of trillions of dollars of global profits and investment into progressive Silicon Valley, together with punitive taxes on the shrinking and soon departing middle class.

A subtext of the Obama era new dichotomy of white/nonwhite was not necessarily privilege versus lack of privilege, or racists versus victims of racists. Instead the message was of an unspoken and disappearing tribe being replaced by ascending tribes—and therefore everyone for their own careerist advantages should make the necessary adjustments to a society obsessed with identity. And for those without the necessarily correct DNA, racial rebranding could become a construct of self-identification, as in case of Ward Churchill, Elizabeth Warren, or Rachel Dolezal.

Obama’s Only Real Legacy
In matters of sex and gender, the Obama administration also looked to the campus for guidance. The Department of Justice’s new rules on sexual assault, particularly at colleges and universities, seemed to be imported in toto from the Gender Studies department and ignored the Bill of Rights.

New Department of Justice guidelines essentially did away with due process and created a Star Chamber academic court. Here, the accused (if male) was denied the right to face his accuser (if she was female), to producer counter evidence, to exercise the right of cross examination, and to assume the tradition of being presumed innocent until proven guilty. If there had been no Duke lacrosse cases, no Rolling Stone frat boy investigations, and no iconization of “Mattress Girl,” they all would have had to be invented—given the new atmosphere where an accuser, if of the right gender or race, must be believed, and where the accused, if of the wrong gender or race, must be condemned as guilty. The current Kavanaugh confirmation circus is the logical expression of the Obama Administration’s eight-year subversion of due process in matters of accusations of sexual assault.

Finally, another cultural achievement of Obama was to destroy the last vestiges of a Democratic workers’ party of Hubert Humphrey, John F. Kennedy, or even Bill Clinton and to replace it with a pyramidal party of the poor dependent on government entitlements and reparations, and a small, rich, and hip elite at the top.

Obama institutionalized the idea that a Silicon Valley hipster billionaire could and should play act being left-wing, if only he would pledge to use his wealth and power to promote progressive causes, whose consequences he cynically would be able to avoid by virtue of his influence and riches.

Hollywood celebrities, Wall Street schemers, and techie billionaires all entered the public square demonizing “white privilege” that the rich enjoyed by fobbing it off on those poorer who had none of it. The substitution of race and gender for class, then, was Obama’s truly signature achievement.

It was no accident that in the days after he left office, the Obamas cut nearly $60 million in book and film deals, while Obama himself took off to millionaires’ yachts and islands to deplore the Trump Administration, whose policies were beginning to help the unemployed that had been most left behind by his own boutique environmental and regulatory policies so cherished by the affluent.

By 2017, these fundamental transformations were clear. Americans now scrambled to find their proper tribe (and on occasion gender), either for careerist advantage or for perceived protection, from the government. And the very rich had found a way to be the very cool, by virtue signaling their superficial embrace of tribalism, just as in private they continued to live their mostly apartheid existences. Shouting from the rooftops that one “celebrates diversity” meant that behind the enclave wall he didn’t need to.

The agenda of balkanizing America into tribes, and white/nonwhite binaries, and galvanizing the rich and poor against the middle class was Obama’s only real legacy. But it is a legacy that nonetheless fundamentally transformed America.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Eric Thayer/Getty Images

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2016 Election • America • Black Lives Matter • Democrats • Donald Trump • Obama • Post

The Audacity of Obama

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Few things could be more embarrassing than giving Barack Obama a prize for “ethics in government,” as the University of Illinois did on Friday. One is reminded of the Nobel Peace Prize given to Yasser Arafat for graciously accepting a base for his terrorist organization in the middle of Judea and Samaria.

The media has made a great deal of Donald Trump’s personal moral failings and fabrications. The funny thing is, his exaggerations and braggadocio don’t affect our lives. But when Barack Obama told us that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” knowing full well that this was untrue, he defrauded every American. And when he and his staff knowingly misinformed the media about the nature of the Iran Deal, he made every American (and every Middle Easterner) less safe.

Obama told his audience in Champaign-Urbana: “Just a glance at recent headlines should tell you that this moment really is different. The stakes really are higher. The consequences of any of us sitting on the sidelines are more dire.”

Which headlines does he mean? Surely he is not discussing getting North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un to the negotiating table for the first time to discuss denuclearization. Obama could not be referring to the growing demonstrations and efforts to topple the Iranian dictatorship in the wake of President Trump’s withdrawal from the “deal” which propped up that barbaric regime. And one could only hope that he was not discussing Ambassador Nikki Haley taking the chair of the United Nations Security Council, as she confronts and rejects the same U.N. bigotry that the Obama Administration permitted to fester unabated.

No, it is far more probable that he was discussing subjects which he mentioned elsewhere in his address: Trump successes for which he would claim credit, and problems Obama cultivated for which he would blame his successor.

Let us remember that in 2016, when President Trump said he could renegotiate trade deals and bring jobs back to America, Obama ridiculed this as impossible. His precise words were, “what magic wand do you have?”

And now that Donald Trump has waved that wand, sparking the economy, renegotiating trade deals, bring America to the point that—for the first time in history—the Department of Labor reported more jobs available than people looking for work. Obama wants you to believe it was all his doing.

“I’m glad it’s continued, but when you hear about this economic miracle that’s been going on,” he said Friday. “I have to kind of remind them, actually those job numbers are kind of the same as they were in 2015 and 2016.”

No, they weren’t. Unemployment declined from 5 percent to 4.7 percent in 2016, which Obama declared to be about as low as reality would permit. Today it is 3.9 percent, thanks to job creation he dismissed as a pipe dream.

And then, Obama called upon Americans to reject “the powerful and the privileged who want to keep us divided and keep us angry and keep us cynical.” Though it wasn’t what he meant, his words clearly call upon us to reject the legacy of Barack Obama.

As president, Obama needlessly and repeatedly injected racial hostility into race-blind incidents. Even the Washington Post called his remarks on the arrest of Professor Henry Gates “divisive,” and acknowledged that “Obama’s image as a racial healer never recovered.” Despite the fact that Gates refused to provide ID while standing near the damaged front door of his home, Obama declared that police “acted stupidly” and claimed the incident demonstrated that “race remains a factor in this society today.” In reality, the one who made race a factor was Barack Obama.

After Michael Brown robbed a corner store, refused to comply with police orders, and brought about his own death by attacking the responding officer, Obama called it “heartbreaking and tragic,” and lamented that Brown’s family “will never hold Michael in their arms again.” His words appeared to blame police for the death of a brutal assailant. And Obama’s words had violent and ongoing consequences, encouraging mob reaction not only locally in Ferguson, Missouri, but later in Baltimore, Dallas, and elsewhere.

And then there was Obama’s comment, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” If I had a son who resembled the guy who gave an innocent neighborhood watch member a fractured nose, two black eyes and multiple lacerations to the back of the head, I wouldn’t call attention to that fact—much less speculate on the hypothetical similarity of a hypothetical child. Either way, I would not claim to promote racial healing while calling attention to the race of “victims” who in each case had initiated the confrontations in which they were involved.

What was Trump’s “crime?” To call out violence “on many sides,” pointing out that Antifa was no less violent or dangerous than neo-Nazis. While Nazis are reviled, Antifa is celebrated by the Left as it continues to suppress the free speech of all with whom it disagrees (today, they call it “no-platforming”)—with an uncanny resemblance to the behavior of the Nazi brownshirts of the 1930s.

No one elected Trump imagining him to be a paragon of morality. But those who supported the vastly more consequential lies and frank divisiveness of the Obama era are in no position to lecture. To condemn Trump on the one hand, while awarding Obama for his “ethics” on the other, means that someone’s moral compass is in sore need of calibration.

Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

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Black Lives Matter • Cultural Marxism • Donald Trump • History • Identity Politics • Post • race • The Left

Colin Kaepernick, Football’s Richest Martyr

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It started with football players protesting the National Anthem, and ended, as protests often do, with money changing hands: The vile Colin Kaepernick becomes a highly compensated spokesman for Nike, and the NFL tries to pay off activist players with tens of millions of dollars for leftist causes.

In August 2016, Kaepernick, then the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, began sitting or kneeling during the National Anthem as it was played before games. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Other players joined in, the protests reaching a peak at which hundreds of players sat or knelt or raised their fists during the anthem. Most Americans objected. Failing to stand respectfully during a country’s anthem, or while that country’s flag is presented, is not just a form of protest; it is precisely how one might express disrespect for that country and its people.

Following negotiations with the Players Coalition, a group of about 40 players, the NFL announced in November that it would set up a “social justice fund” totaling $89 million over seven years.

Of the $89 million, $73 million would be distributed nationally, and split three ways:

One-quarter to the United Negro College Fund.

One-quarter to Dream Corps, a “social justice accelerator” whose president is Van Jones, a star at CNN. Jones served as “green jobs czar” during the Obama Administration, declaring that “the green economy” would be “the engine for transforming the whole society.” He lost that job when news broke that he had signed a petition suggesting the U.S. government “deliberately allowed” the 9/11 attacks. During CNN’s Election Night coverage in 2016, Jones said that Trump’s victory was the result of “a whitelash against a changing country . . . against a black president in part.” (In fact, Trump’s margin of victory came in 206 counties that voted for him in 2016 after voting for Obama in 2008 and 2012.)

One-half to the Players Coalition, overseen by the Hopewell Fund, in turn managed by Arabella Advisors. Arabella, which shares office space with Hopewell in Washington, D.C., guides spending by left-wing nonprofits. It was founded by Eric Kessler, who served in the Clinton Administration and is a former national field director of the League of Conservation Voters. Kessler serves as chairman of the New Venture Fund, at the same address as Hopewell and Arabella. In turn, New Venture takes money from unions and foundations and sends it to groups favored by rich leftists.

That’s fitting, given that Kaepernick is rich and, above all, a leftist.

In training camp with the 49ers, Kaepernick wore socks depicting cartoon pigs wearing police officers’ hats.

Later, at a press conference, Kaepernick wore a shirt, captioned “Great minds think alike,” that depicted a meeting between Malcolm X of the Nation of Islam and Fidel Castro, the racist dictator of Cuba. (Castro’s many crimes against humanity include running concentration camps for gays and urging the Soviets to nuke the United States.) By the way, that meeting in 1960 was arranged through a pro-Castro group, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Three years later, Lee Harvey Oswald set up FPCC’s New Orleans chapter, then assassinated President Kennedy.

Kaepernick’s foundation donated $25,000 to the group Assata’s Daughters, which honors Assata Shakur (Joanne Chesimard), who murdered a New Jersey state trooper, broke out of prison, and obtained asylum in Cuba. Shakur is on the FBI’s list of most-wanted terrorists. According to the leftist Mother Jones magazine, “Organizers affiliated with Black Lives Matter use [Shakur’s] sayings to open and close protests and meetings.”

For his protests, Amnesty International gave Kaepernick its “Ambassador of Conscience Award,” which once went to the likes of Nelson Mandela and Václav Havel. Sports Illustrated, a corporate sister of CNN, gave him the “Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.” The ACLU gave him the “Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award,” named for an ACLU official who helped end requirements that government employees swear loyalty to the United States. At the ACLU event, Kaepernick was praised—“Colin, you are woke!”—by Jane Fonda, who supported the Soviet Union’s ally North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

Kaepernick was named “Citizen of the Year” by GQ, sister publication of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Recently, at the U.S. Open, he was spotted in a luxury skybox, and the wealthy crowd gave him a standing ovation.

He’s been name-dropped in at least 25 hip-hop songs.

In Nike’s new campaign, celebrating the 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It!” slogan, an ad shows a close-up of Kaepernick’s face with the words, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

For his role in the campaign, Kaepernick will be paid millions of dollars, and will get his own line of shoes and apparel. He will make much more money than he would have made if he had never started the protests. In the years to come, honors and awards will pile up; he will be famous and admired, a person of influence and respect.

All this, for “sacrificing everything.”

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Black Lives Matter • Cultural Marxism • Identity Politics • Post • Progressivism • The Left

Culture War Profiteers

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For shrewd corporations, wars can offer opportunities. Our national “cold Civil War” is no exception. A few years ago, for instance, when Chick-fil-A found itself a prominent target of Progressive pressure, it benefited enormously thereby, as customers rallied in support. Today while cultural hostility sometimes blocks the restaurant’s expansion into new areas, it also adds a bit of spice for the loyal base, who feel a bit of extra satisfaction with each bite of waffle fry.

But Chick-fil-A, while it navigated its crisis wisely and, for the most part, bravely, never actually picked a fight with the Left. Activists who were looking to find the faith-influenced business offensive, unsurprisingly, were able to take offense. Still, the business did nothing to provoke the attacks—it simply weathered them intelligently.

By contrast, the recent trend of big corporations deliberately antagonizing the half of the population that is culturally to the Right, is not a responsive strategy. It’s a unilaterally aggressive, first-strike approach. To many, that seems an odd way to go about doing business.

“Conspicuous activism” by companies like Starbucks, Levi-Strauss, or Nike seems hard to explain in rational terms. Don’t traditional patriotic types, those fond of guns and flags, still buy coffee, blue jeans, and sneakers, as we always have?

Well . . . perhaps not the same coffee, or blue jeans, or sneakers. And not because of boycotts, either.

Some of those iconic-logo, deep-pocketed corporations seem to be marketing as though they assume their market appeal today is exclusively to conspicuous consumers. They presume that the affluent and/or rash are the only ones who’d be motivated to pay for their brand—and perhaps they’re correct. They’ve concluded that the customers they need to reach are those willing to pay too much money for a designer label on a pocket or a rubber shoe or on a disposable cup full of frothy, caffeinated self-righteousness.

If the marketing is clever enough, these companies are no longer merely selling vacuous “status” with their overpriced products, but now also offer cheap self-esteem and in-group affiliation. They’ve infused the old “status symbol” with an equally faux meaning. Thus, a bit of blue dye in the form of leftist political posturing is scientifically added into the marketing mix.

And it’s almost always leftist political posturing, from the big corporations (at least, until Black Rifle Coffee can be counted as a “big corporation” . . .) After all, politically speaking, who are the easily persuadable? What part of the population makes its decisions based on passion, instead of reason; follows its impulses recklessly; craves novelty over practicality; is plagued with insecurities about its identity? That’s right: the 21st-century American Left, an advertiser’s dream target demographic.

As an added bonus, lefties have had a whole lifetime of training in denying any form of economic cause-and-effect. Thus seeing any downside to over spending for the sake of a few warm fuzzies on behalf of “righteousness,” is not just a foreign concept to them. It’s very nearly a thought-crime. “Don’t talk to me about economizing when Social Justice is at stake!”

Naturally, then, marketers pursue them avidly. Some do so in ways which make it clear that they’ve decided families like mine were out of reach in the first place. Levi’s, Nike, and others must have done the math and concluded, “We simply don’t offer the best value for their money, and no emotional pitch of ours will win them over. We need to drop any idea of winning them away from lower-cost alternatives, and concentrate on the suckers.”

Perhaps this makes some mercenary economic sense, in the short term. After all, there’s not much immediate damage since a company can’t actually “lose” customers who were not buying their products in the first place.

Utah-based “Polygamy” beer is one nonpolitical example, of that marketing dynamic. As a beer company, “Polygamy’s” brewers rightly figured that they could write off the teetotaling Latter Day Saints in their home state. Garnering extra attention, then, by poking fun at Mormon history, had a negligible financial downside.

However, politicized attempts to employ the strategy can sometimes backfire. Well-known companies which should have known better, have chosen to antagonize customers whose favor they really had enjoyed. Levi’s and Nike probably should have looked more closely at Marvel Comics and the National Football League.

The NFL’s coddling of unpatriotic displays by spoiled superstars hasn’t done its bottom line any favors, and Marvel Comics conversion to a Control-Left propaganda platform effectively has killed it. The NFL misjudged its audience enough to sacrifice quite a bit, financially; but Marvel Comics seems stubbornly determined to keep “believing in something enough to sacrifice everything”.

Marvel was once a company which both exemplified and expressed American greatness; now, guided by the “America was never great” paradigm, its comics would be likely to make their readers doubt that Marvel ever was a marvel—if anyone bothered to even look at them anymore.

Levi-Strauss’ greatness was associated with that of the American West—like Colt’s, or Winchester’s—but in its repudiation of gun rights, Levis loses any share of Western heritage it retained. As for Nike, if its corporate success were to be determined by ability to inspire derisive memes, then buying Nike shares right now would be a great idea. But it won’t be—so it’s not.

***

If your business is sneakers, make sneakers

For those who stand on their own two feet.

Don’t try to sell them pre-odorized,

With the stench of a bitter athlete.

Yes, you claim to believe in . . . ”something,”

But circumstances will spoil it,    

When “swoosh!” is the sound of your profits

Swirling down, down into the toilet.

So pencil this onto your dollar bills,

Near the space where “In God We Trust” is:

“Get Woke, Go broke!”—for you cannot serve

Both Mammon and “Social Justice.”

 

Photo Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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Americanism • Black Lives Matter • Center for American Greatness • Identity Politics • Post • The Left

Boycott Nike

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In an attempt to pander to “woke” consumers, Nike has made Colin Kaepernick the ugly mug of its “Just Do it” ad campaign. Presumably, Nike is signaling that it’s taking a knee against “racism”—whatever that means now. We’ve already established there is no evidence to support Kaepernick’s narrative. Not only are the claims about police brutality and police shootings false, the fact is that if we consider interracial homicide, whites are on the losing side.

But no matter. Nike is latching on to a false narrative because they have calculated that doing so will enlarge its bottom line because the brand’s consumers, at least according to the head honchos at Nike, are more unpatriotic than not—otherwise, why take the risk?

More important, Nike believes that the vast majority of Americans are too stupid or too lazy to take a stand against them. Let me say that again: This multibillion-dollar, multinational corporation, considered “the world’s most valuable apparel brand,” thinks you are too stupid or too lazy to do anything about it, and its marketing gurus are counting on you to take their insults lying down. In effect, Nike has declared: “You know what, Americans are idiots. We can spit in their faces and they’ll still line up to buy our shoes. Watch us do it.”

I do not want to believe that they are right. I do not want to accept that so many Americans are apathetic, enervated, and utterly without conviction. When the news broke that Nike made Kaepernick their idiot poster boy, I immediately resolved to dumpster my expensive Nike Metcon shoes. Why? Because boycotts are an American tradition. Granted, not all boycotts are worthwhile. The In-N-Out boycott launched by Democrats in California, for example, is a prime example of what not to boycott.

California Democratic Party Chairman Eric C. Bauman last week demanded diners stop eating In-N-Out’s delicious burgers because the chain had the nerve to donate $25,000 to the California GOP. (Never mind that the company also gives money to Democrats.) This is stupid. Even this leftist columnist says so.

That said, historically Americans have deep-sixed boatloads of merchandise when roused by a cause worthy of the fight. But before several tons of Darjeeling tea ended up at the bottom of Boston Harbor, there were indeed boycotts.

When the British Implemented the Townshend Acts in 1767, Americans responded by mobilizing boycott committees against British goods. Newspapers shamed colonists by name for breaking with boycotts to purchase British goods and it very quickly became “uncool” to buy British—I see no reason why we should not do the same with Nike today. After all, American colonists managed to cut purchases from England in half, landing a formidable blow against British merchants.

Nike and retail analysts, however, count on this strain of American spiritedness being dead and buried. Just in case, however, they have prepared a way to discredit boycotters, should they arise.

“The alt-right calls for a Nike boycott will fail just like the boycott of Dick’s Sporting Goods failed [it didn’t really],” said market research analyst Matt Powell. “Old angry white guys are not a core demographic for Nike.”

Read that statement carefully and you will notice two things. First, calls to boycott a fundamentally anti-American campaign are “alt-right,” therefore synonymous with white supremacy, Nazism, and Antisemitism. Second, only white men can be patriotic Americans. The second point is the most important in understanding why Kaepernick landed this spot.

Nike and analysts like Powell have confidently concluded that non-white consumers won’t boycott because they are less patriotic than their white counterparts. Non-whites, Nike believes, are likely to find themselves in agreement with Kaepernick’s position that police officers are slave catchers, and thus ripe for their picking with this marketing campaign.

The question now is whether we will prove Nike and analysts like Powell correct. Are non-white Americans so unpatriotic that they’ll be successfully pandered to? Are Americans in general so slavish and incompetent that they’ll allow yet another corporation to diminish the salience of patriotism for profit? Here’s what we do know. Since Nike announced its decision to make a poor man’s Malcolm X their figurehead, the company has suffered a loss of $3.75 billion in market value. Nike and market analysts are counting on us to forget this spat, they’re counting on non-whites to make up these losses for them.

For my part, I’ve tossed out one pair of shoes and convinced two people never to buy Nike again, and neither they, nor I, are “old angry white guys.”

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: AP/Nike

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Black Lives Matter • Democrats • History • Identity Politics • Political Parties • Post • Progressivism • race • Republicans • The Culture • The Left

LBJ’S Democratic Plantation

Let’s face it. Our ass is in a crack. We’re gonna have to let this nigger bill pass. —Lyndon Johnson to Sen. John Stennis, 1957

The transformation of the Democratic Party from the party of racism and segregation to the party of civil rights is, according to historian Eric Rauchway, the central political arc of the 20th century. Rauchway is a left-wing historian, and what he means is that it is the central theme of progressive history about the twentieth century. Yet progressive history has become conventional wisdom, and it is that conventional wisdom I challenge in this article, excerpted from my new book Death of a Nation.

The progressive narrative begins by crediting President Lyndon Johnson almost single-handedly for passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This focus on LBJ is critical because progressives don’t want to admit that proportionately, more Republicans in Congress voted for those laws than Democrats. The main opposition to the civil rights movement didn’t come from the Republican Party; it came from the Democratic Party. These inconvenient truths are skipped through a singular focus on LBJ.

Progressives know that LBJ, in his early career, was a bigot and a segregationist. He was part of the most racist wing of the Democratic Party. Yet progressives like Rauchway and his sidekick Kevin Kruse have turned LBJ into one of their great icons. In some respects, this is understandable. The Left, in recent decades, has distanced itself from Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson, who respectively were the founder of the Democratic Party and the first progressive Democratic president. The progressives need LBJ, just as they need FDR, if they are to have any heroes at all.

And, boy, has LBJ become a progressive cult hero! Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists wouldn’t dream of yanking down LBJ statues. That’s because the progressive narrative for LBJ is even more positive than it is for FDR, at least as far as race is concerned. LBJ was the “flawed giant,” in the title of a biography by historian Robert Dallek. Marshall Frady in the New York Review of Books affectionately calls him “the big guy” and revels in his “brawling, uncontainable aliveness,” his “galumphing conviviality.”

The story that Rauchway, Kruse, Dallek and other progressives tell about LBJ is a triumphant account of how a redneck white country boy underwent a moral transformation. To paraphrase Obama, the arc of his life bent toward justice. When he got the power, he used it for good.

According to the left-wing journalist Bill Moyers, LBJ once told him that as a consequence of supporting civil rights laws, “we just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come.” This seems so altruistic on the part of a famously cynical man as to almost inspire wonder. And as progressives tell it, the political transformation of the Democratic Party was no less altruistic and wondrous.

That’s because in miniature the progressive narrative about LBJ mirrors the progressive narrative of the Democratic Party. As the narrative goes, civil rights was no less of a political risk for a party previously wedded to white supremacy than it was for LBJ. Yet the Democrats were up to the challenge, and came out better for it. For LBJ as for the Democrats, a faulty start led to a happy ending. The party of bad guys became the party of good guys.

This account of LBJ is unbelievable and fantastic, by which I mean it cannot be believed and is the product of fantasy. Is it really plausible that a man obsessed with politics, whom historian Doris Kearns Goodwin termed “the greatest political bargainer of them all,” a man who once said he thinks about the subject of politics for 18 hours a day, would bargain away his party’s interests without recompense to the other side “for a long time to come”?

If such strange behavior was indeed the result of a wrenching transformation there is no plausible evidence for it, not from Dallek, not from Goodwin, not even from biographer Robert Caro, who seems to have followed LBJ’s life virtually day by day for decades and is working on the fifth massive volume of his LBJ biography. LBJ told no one of his great conversion, he never wrote about it or made a speech about it, so if it happened he kept it entirely to himself.

Here is a man who, according to a memo filed by FBI agent William Branigan, seems to have been in the Ku Klux Klan. This memo was only revealed in recent months, with the release of the JFK Files. Progressive media—even progressive historians—largely have ignored it, trying to pretend it does not exist. Branigan cites a source with direct knowledge, even though he does not name his source. As one blogger notes, no one with even a cursory knowledge of LBJ’s background could regard his involvement with the KKK as a shock or a surprise.

So how does a Klansman change his spots and become a moral idealist without telling anyone? Moreover, it seems difficult to credit moral idealism to a manifestly dishonest man. Here my exhibit is LBJ’s 1965 address at Howard University, which progressives celebrate because in it LBJ makes a bold defense of affirmative action. “You do not take a man who, for years, has been hobbled by chains, liberate him, bring him to the starting line of a race saying ‘You are free to compete with all the others’ and still believe you have been fair . . . We seek not just freedom but opportunity; not just legal equity but human ability; not just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and result.”

Impressive stuff, as far as it goes. But how far does it really go? The merits of LBJ’s argument have been debated ever since by the Left and the Right. But what typically goes unnoticed is that LBJ’s telling silence on why blacks were for so long hobbled by chains and also on who it was that hobbled them. Let’s recall that here we have a longtime Southern segregationist giving an account of the sins of segregation in the third person as if he were a mere observer, not a participant.

Even so, Dallek’s only comment about LBJ’s Howard address is that, in retrospect, it seems “excessively hopeful,” as if LBJ’s only problem is an excess of moral idealism. The progressive historian Ira Katznelson, one of the few to notice LBJ’s complete omission of his own role in the events he is describing, nevertheless downplays its significance by noting of LBJ, “His personal record and sense of pride were at odds with the quality of his history.” In short, he lied.

Katznelson adds that LBJ “missed the chance to come to terms with the most dismal, even exploitative, aspects of the New Deal.” This, he frets, must have been “particularly agonizing” for him. I don’t know whether to regard this as naïve or sneaky on Katznelson’s part. Surely Katznelson is smart enough to know LBJ had not the slightest intention of fessing up that he was a member of the racist group that hobbled blacks. If he had, his audience immediately would have recognized that the very man who poisoned the waters was now hypocritically pretending to show up as the water commissioner.

Third, by every account, LBJ was a nasty, bullying, crude, selfish, mean-spirited, and abusive individual. These are not qualities that we associate with a moral exemplar undergoing a crisis of conscience. There was the time he gave dictation to a female secretary while urinating in a corner washbasin. In the account of a Senate aide, on another occasion, while sitting next to a woman in his car with his wife Lady Bird on the other side, “Johnson made a point of placing one of his hands under the woman’s skirt and was having a big time, right there in front of Lady Bird.”

There is much, much more in this vein in Caro’s biography. I don’t need to go into LBJ’s serial infidelities, even in the Oval Office, his chronic boasting about the women he had conquered, the name that he gave to his penis, his boasting about its size, and so on. Suffice to say that Johnson would not survive five minutes of scrutiny by the #MeToo movement. LBJ, like JFK and Bill Clinton, reflects the priapic aggression of the prototypical plantation boss.

Yet even more than the other two, he liked to lord it over people, not just women but everyone. As Caro shows on page after page, he derived pleasure from degrading and humiliating others. He was known to converse with aides in his office bathroom while emptying his bowels, which Marshall Frady interprets as a sign of his “Rabelasian earthiness” but which less charitably reveals an ugly demonstration of his power over subordinates.

LBJ was a pervert in every sense of the word; if I can pursue the excremental theme, he was into this shit. As LBJ himself put it, he wanted the type of person working for him “who will kiss my ass in the Macy’s window and stand up and say, ‘Boy, wasn’t that sweet!’” Surely many Democratic plantation bosses of the 19th century could have said pretty much the same thing.

A Lifelong Bigot
These traits do not describe the “old” LBJ, prior to some moral transformation. This is who LBJ was the whole time. And the same is true of LBJ’s racism. We can see this in LBJ’s use of the term “nigger” or “uppity nigger.” LBJ didn’t just use these terms in the early days, when under the tutelage of his segregationist mentor Richard Russell he upheld segregation, upheld the poll tax, and fought to undermine anti-lynching laws. No, LBJ showed a special fondness for them when he was Senate leader, vice president and president—in other words, the very time when, supposedly, he was undergoing his moral transformation.

In the mid-1960s, LBJ nominated African-American lawyer Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court. When an aide suggested to LBJ that there were other qualified black jurists he could have chosen, suggesting as an alternative possibility Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, LBJ responded, “The only two people who ever heard of Judge Higginbotham are you and his momma. When I appoint a nigger to the court, I want everyone to know he’s a nigger.”

This was in 1965, one year after LBJ helped secure the passage of the Civil Rights Act. The man he called a “nigger” was the nation’s most prominent African-American attorney who had argued the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case. Yet progressive historian Robert Dallek, who recounts this episode, interprets it in a way to minimize LBJ’s culpability. “Johnson’s pejorative language was partly his way of intimidating a new staff member or of showing how tough and demanding he was.”

Yet for LBJ this kind of talk was a consistent pattern. The same year, LBJ told his aide Joseph Califano that the black riots in the Watts area of Los Angeles showed how blacks could not control their emotions. Pretty soon, Johnson warned, “Negroes will end up pissing in the aisles of the Senate and making fools of themselves, the way . . . they had after the Civil War and during Reconstruction.” The very fact that LBJ continued to embrace this view of Reconstruction—once promoted by the progressive racists of the Dunning School and popularized by Thomas Dixon in The Clansman and Birth of a Nation—suggests that contrary to progressive rumor, LBJ’s racism was never rehabilitated.

Robert Caro describes an incident involving Robert Parker, LBJ’s chauffeur. Parker recalled the occasion when Senator Johnson asked him whether he would prefer to be called “boy,” “nigger” or “chief.” Parker asked to be called by his name. Johnson erupted, “As long as you’re black, and you’re going to be black till the day you die, no one’s gonna call you by your goddamn name. So no matter what you are called, nigger, you just let it roll off your back like water and you’ll make it. Just pretend you’re a goddamn piece of furniture.”

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, in an otherwise positive biography Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, cites LBJ telling Senator Richard Russell during the debate over the Civil Rights Act of 1957, “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”

This admission is telling not merely because of its use of the insulting reference to the “uppityness” of blacks, but also because it shows that LBJ’s support for civil rights legislation wasn’t the result of some moral awakening on his part; rather, it was part of a strategy. This notion is confirmed by what LBJ allegedly told two governors regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964. “I’ll have them niggers voting Democratic for 200 years.”

Some progressives—notably the “fact checking” site Snopes—have questioned this quotation, which appears in Ronald Kessler’s Inside the White House but not in any other source. Kessler attributes it to Air Force One steward Robert MacMillan, who claims to have heard LBJ say this. And as we can see the quotation is consistent with several others whose veracity is undoubted. My conclusion is that LBJ remained the vile bigoted Democrat he always was, and the notion that he underwent some sort of enlightened conversion is pure humbug.

How Declining Racism Became a Problem
It is time to reinterpret LBJ’s “conversion,” and to do this, we must try to imagine the political landscape that LBJ saw before him, a landscape very different from the one that FDR encountered a generation earlier. Two big things were changing and fast. First, white racism was declining precipitously all over the country, but especially in the South. Second, blacks were getting up and moving out of the rural South, and many of them were voting for the first time. Both these things were a big problem for the Democratic Party.

Let’s take them in sequence. As innumerable surveys confirm, white racism—at least white racism of the old sort, which is to say old-fashioned hatred of blacks, holding them to be inferior beings, and sanctioning violence and degrading treatment of them—this type of racism plummeted through the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. So sweeping was the change that many survey questions routinely asked prior to World War II—are blacks entitled to the same legal rights as whites? Would you consider voting for a black candidate for political office?—Are no longer even asked because white support for these things is nearly universal.

Political leaders across the spectrum noticed the change, some earlier than others. Harry Truman saw it even in the late 1940s, and this—not some moral evolution to a higher state of being—is the sea change in American public opinion that pressured him to desegregate the military. LBJ also knew this because he could see it, even in the Texas backcountry.

Now it is tempting to believe that racism declined in America because of the moral suasion of the civil rights movement, but to believe this is to put the cart before the horse, as most progressive accounts predictably do. The reason they do this is so that they can credit LBJ and progressive activism with the civil rights laws, and then credit those laws not only with creating legal equality but also with combating racism. In reality, however, the steep decline in racism preceded the civil rights movement. The civil rights movement didn’t facilitate it; it facilitated the civil rights movement.

Think about why Martin Luther King, Jr., encountered so little intellectual resistance to his challenges to segregation. Fifty years earlier, he would have. This is not to deny that local officials, like Birmingham Sheriff Bull Connor, unleashed dogs and hoses on civil rights protesters. King himself served time as a political prisoner in the Birmingham jail, an experience that strikes a chord with me. But by this time the intellectual fight had been won. The local segregationist establishment, not King, was on the defensive. That’s because popular opinion in America had shifted dramatically between the time FDR died in 1945 and the 1960s.

So what caused the shift? The obvious answer is: Adolf Hitler. In the end, the horrific crimes of Hitler overthrew the doctrine of white supremacy. Once American troops entered the concentration camps, once people saw those ghostly emaciated figures emerge out of the camps, they could not longer subscribe to theories of Nordic superiority they might once have held. Those doctrines were now permanently discredited.

The progressive historian George Fredrickson points out in Racism: A Short History that the very word “racism” came into common use only in the 1930s “when a new word was required to describe the theories on which the Nazis based their persecution of the Jews.” This shows how closely linked racism and Nazism were in the popular mind, and helps confirm that it was the Nazis who, against their intentions of course, finally put white supremacy into the grave.

We can imagine that LBJ watched with horror the decline of racism in America, not simply because he was a nasty bigot himself—and bigotry loves company—but also because white supremacy had been the central political doctrine of the Democratic Party for at least a century. Once the Republicans ended slavery the Democrats turned swiftly to white supremacy which became the glue, both in the North and the South, holding the party together.

With racism dwindling fast, LBJ knew his party would lose voters whose allegiance to the Democrats had been based on the party’s support for racist policies. This was a serious problem. From the Democrats’ point of view, it meant that if racism could not be revived—and there was no way after Nazism to revive it—then the party would need new voters, and lots of them, in order to compensate for the losses in white racist voters who were regrettably losing their prejudices.

Where to look? There was only one place: black voters. And blacks in the 1950s and 1960s were voting in greater numbers than ever before. For the first half of the twentieth century, the Democrats had through racial intimidation and other means largely suppressed the black vote in the South, where the vast majority of blacks lived. But starting around World War I, a great migration occurred in which blacks over the next several decades literally got up and moved.

As Isabel Wilkerson writes in The Warmth of Other Suns, some 6 million blacks—nearly half of the entire black population of the rural South—left the farms, plantations and cotton fields of that region and moved to cities like New York, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia. Some moved to smaller cities like Milwaukee and Oakland. The great migration was, as Wilkerson puts it, “an unrecognized immigration within this country.”

In the cities, blacks could vote and did vote, so for the first time in American politics, the black vote became significant by the late 1940s and 1950s. The black vote was especially important in swing states like Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania. Fully aware of this, Republicans offered the most sweeping and forceful endorsement of civil rights for blacks to appear in any party platform since the nineteenth century. The party of Lincoln was making a bid for these new black voters.

Again, this was as major problem for LBJ and the Democrats. LBJ knew that in order to make up for the racist vote the Democrats must win not just some black votes, not just a majority of black votes, but virtually all the black votes. The Democrats needed blacks to be just as uniformly loyal to the Democratic Party as white racists previously had been. LBJ had to figure a way for blacks to vote for Democratic candidates automatically, habitually, regardless of the qualities or qualifications of the Democrat on the ticket.

Plantation Confessions
But how to achieve this? After all, Democrats had been segregating, degrading and abusing blacks for a long time. LBJ knew this as well as anyone because he had been one of the abusers. How then to convince blacks, who were now voting, to vote en masse for a party that had enslaved them, had formulated a “positive good” doctrine of black enslavement, had invented segregation and Jim Crow, racial terrorism and the Ku Klux Klan, and was still the party of bigotry in the 1960s?

LBJ realized that the Democrats could no longer whip the blacks into submission, as in the past. The Democrats needed a new relationship with blacks and on different terms than before. However reluctant LBJ may have been to admit it—we see that reluctance in his statements to fellow Democratic bigots in the Senate—he was also a realist. If he wanted virtually unanimous black support for the Democrats, he knew he couldn’t just beat it out of them; he would for the first time in the party’s history have to woo them.

But how? This is a difficult topic to talk about, and I am about to go into controversial territory. I have to tread carefully. I don’t know a better way, however, than to illustrate the state of mind of a sizable segment of African Americans in the aftermath of slavery—a state of mind that became critical to LBJ as he attempted to solve his political conundrum.

I turn to Eugene Genovese’s great study of slavery, Roll, Jordan, Roll, widely considered to be the best work on the subject. Genovese relays the testimonies of several slaves who were interviewed after they became free. We might expect them vividly to describe the horrors of enslavement, and they did. But they also confessed to something else. I quote verbatim from these accounts.

Here’s Andrew Goodman, interviewed at the age of 97: “I was born in slavery and I think them days was better for the niggers than the days we see now. One thing was, I never was cold and hungry when my old master lived, and I has been plenty hungry and cold a lot of times since he is gone. But sometimes I think Marse Goodman was the bestest man God made in a long time. The slaves cried when told we were free ‘cause they don’t know where to go, and they’s always ‘pend on old Marse to look after them.”

Here’s Henri Necaise of Mississippi: “To tell de truth, de fact of de business is, my marster took care of me better’n I can take care of myself now. When us was slaves Marster tell us what to do. He say, ‘Henri, do dis, do dat. And us done it. Den us didn’t have to think where de next meal comin’ from, or de next pair of shoes or pants. De grub and clothes give us was better’n I ever gets now.”

Here’s Ezra Adams: “De slaves on our plantation didn’t stop workin’ for old marster even when dey was told dat dey was free. Us didn’t want no more freedom than us was gittin’ on our planation already. Us knowed too well dat us was well took care of, wid plenty of vittles to eat and tight log and board houses to live in. De slaves, where I lived, knowed after de war dat they had abundance of dat something called freedom, what they could not eat, wear and sleep in. Yes, sir, they soon found out dat freedom ain’t nothin’ ‘less you got somethin’ to live on and a place to call home. Dis living’ on liberty is lak young folks livin’ on love after they gits married. It just don’t work.”

As an immigrant who came to America with $500 in my pocket and no family here, no connections, nothing to fall back on, I know at least a little what it’s like to be flung into freedom. I am hardly comparing my experience to that of former slaves but in India I did see the people known as Dalits or “untouchables.” Those people have historically been treated worse than slaves; they are so reviled that traditional Hindus would not allow their shadow to cross over them. The untouchables, too, fell into a kind of collective stupor in which they could hardly imagine a route of escape from their degraded lot.

Based on that experience, I have nothing but sympathy for these poor slaves who had been turned into complete dependents during slavery and were then hurled into freedom in a society where, to put it mildly, they were not welcome. Thus I am not criticizing their longing for the security of the old plantation; I am merely recognizing it as a natural and powerful response to their dire situation.

LBJ would have recognized it just as I do. The difference is that I get it from books, reinforced by my own, admittedly quite different, experience. But LBJ grew up in the Texas Hill Country. He was a redneck from the rural backwoods. He knew people like Andrew Goodman, Henri Necaise, and Ezra Adams. He understood their insecurity; he understood their fear, in part because he was helping to create it. And now, years and even decades later, LBJ saw a way to exploit that insecurity and fear to offer blacks a new arrangement. This deal became the essence of LBJ’s Great Society.

A Corrupt Bargain
Here’s the bargain that LBJ offered African Americans. We Democrats are going to create a new plantation for you, this time in the towns and cities. On these new plantations, unlike on the old ones, you don’t have to work. In fact, we would prefer if you didn’t work. We are going to support you through an array of so-called poverty programs and race-based programs. Essentially we will provide you with lifetime support, just as in the days of slavery. Your job is simply to keep voting us in power so that we can continue to be your caretakers and providers.

Here’s the part LBJ did not say. We are offering you a living, but it’s going to be a pretty meager living. Basically you get public housing, food stamps, retirement checks every month, and medical care for the poor. If you have children we will subsidize them, provided they are illegitimate. More than this we cannot offer you, because we have to make sure that you stay on the plantation. This means that we need you to remain dependent on us so that you keep voting for us. Your dependency is our insurance policy to make sure that this an exchange, not a giveaway.

In sum, LBJ modified the progressive plantation so that blacks, for the first time, would be treated as constituents, much as the Irish were in the Tammany days. No longer would Democrats directly rip off the blacks by stealing their labor. Now blacks would become partners with Democrats in a scheme to steal from other Americans. Through a variety of taxes, regulations and mandates, those would be the guys paying for the Democratic plantation.

What made the scheme beautiful, from the Democrats’ point of view, is that through the state the Democrats could force even Republicans to pay for their new urban plantation. In fact, the very sufferings that Democrats historically had imposed on blacks would now supply the moral capital for demanding that “America” make blacks whole. Future arguments for reparations and affirmative action would emphasize not what the Democrats did but what “America” did. Now the American taxpayer would be on the hook for correcting the wrongs perpetrated by the Democrats.

LBJ knew, of course, that not all blacks live in inner cities. Less than half of African Americans today do, and that was also the case in the mid-’60s. It was never LBJ’s intention for all blacks actually to inhabit the urban plantation. Rather, he wanted about half to live there, dependent on the government, and for the other half to work for the government, serving the urban plantation. These blacks could now be considered overseers of the Democratic plantation.

LBJ knew that if the government were to employ blacks on a large scale it would draw blacks out of fields like teaching, preaching, and small business. Teachers, pastors and entrepreneurs would now become administrators, service providers, and social workers. In sum, they would lose their skills for succeeding in the private sector and learn only how to administer the agencies of government. They too would become captives of a sort, fatally dependent on the Democratic plantation. They too would have no way to leave.

From the perspective of LBJ’s deal, African Americans could now look to the federal government as a new type of Big House. LBJ himself would be Massa, although he could be considered a good master as long as blacks lived up to their end of the deal. And LBJ probably genuinely believed it was a good deal for blacks. After all, who else gets a living from cradle to grave without having to work! Even so, shrewd artificer that he was, LBJ must have known that he was making blacks complicit in their own captivity, a captivity no less real for being voluntary. Few would actually have a chance to escape from the Democrats’ urban plantation. Some might even learn to love the plantation.

Blacks took the deal for the following reasons. First, having come out of the haunting experience of slavery and sharecropping, many of them were terrified of what African-American writer Shelby Steele terms the “shock of freedom.” Much as we would all feel in a similar situation, to them a meager security seemed preferable to the risk of not being able to survive. Second, some blacks had come to believe—as some do now—that because of past oppression, America owes them a living.

Republicans of course know there is some truth to this, which is why during Reconstruction Republicans attempted to give blacks a fair start but were thwarted in these efforts by racist Democrats. Today’s Democrats, however, are all too eager to affirm that blacks require the lifetime support of the U.S. government because this then provides the pathway to political dependency on the Democratic Party.

One consequence of LBJ’s deal is that race, which black leaders from Frederick Douglass to Booker T. Washington to Martin Luther King Jr. had been trying to eradicate from public life now took on a new significance. Now blacks wanted to be known as black, and black even became “beautiful.” No was one surprised when progressive pundit Cornel West published a book called Race Matters. As Shelby Steele wryly noted, race never mattered to such people when there was no profit in it for them.

Also as a consequence of LBJ’s deal, Democrats became the new champions of blacks voting. From LBJ on, Democrats wouldn’t merely advocate that blacks vote; they would in many cases supply the buses to take them to the polls. In her book on the great migration, Isabel Wilkerson writes, without irony, “Suddenly the very party and the very apparatus that was ready to kill them if they tried to vote in the South was searching them out and all but carrying them to the polls.” If LBJ were around to read this, I’m sure he would have found it hilarious.

That’s why LBJ “converted” from a racist Democrat who sought to keep blacks down on the old sharecropping plantation to a racist Democrat who sought to create a new type of plantation where blacks would now willingly vote for their Democratic providers. That’s why LBJ pushed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act and the Great Society. That’s why progressives lionize LBJ even though they know what a vile scumbag he was. He’s their guy; he is the creator of their urban plantation in its most modern and most recognizable form. And that’s why blacks have become, as a group, the lifetime servile dependents of the Democratic Party.

Dinesh D’Souza’s latest book Death of a Nation was published July 31 by St. Martin’s Press. His movie of the same title is in theaters nationwide.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

 

Black Lives Matter • Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Donald Trump • Post • Progressivism

Overthrow the Church of Leftist Guilt

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For the past couple of decades, Leftists have used guilt masterfully to convince Americans to vote against the interests of their country. They set forward some lofty and idealistic vision of what justice in America should be, typically using language generic enough to be palatable to both sides. Then they focus on all of the ways we have fallen short of this goal, ignoring the fact that we have gotten much closer than almost any other country or culture in history. And then they offer an opportunity for penance and salvation—keep voting for them and you will continue to be absolved of your sins.

But Democrats still need the vague feel-good vision of America to appeal to voters’ patriotism—it’s hard to run a country that you hate. And so they use aspirational language effectively to campaign while hiding their overwhelming disgust with the nation. They have never been proud of America. They are only proud of what America could be if everyone capitulated to their demands.

Mainstream liberals do not advertise this fact loudly, but they don’t hide it, either. John Kerry chose the slogan Let America be America Again for his presidential campaign—a phrase from a Langston Hughes poem that describes an idealized America, laments that it’s never fulfilled these lofty goals, and finally admits that “America never was America” to him. Michelle Obama famously remarked, during her husband’s first presidential campaign, that it was the first time that she was proud of her country. And, of course, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo—a possible contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination—said this week, “We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great.”

Exploring the Sacraments
Democrats have surmised correctly that most people in this country are proud to be American and they won’t commit political suicide to challenge that view. But they haven’t yet realized that that we aren’t proud of America purely for the lofty ideals written in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence,and certainly not as those are interpreted by them.

After all, the Soviet Union’s constitution had some beautiful language about freedom of expression and the press, and we all know how that turned out—perhaps excluding Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Freedom is not cheap. But we successfully have secured it for a large majority of our population for a large majority of our history. And while we do not have a perfect track record, it is a hell of a lot better than that of most of the rest of the world. We keep improving. Admitting past failures does not require subjugating yourself to the future whims of whatever group makes you feel the guiltiest.

Yet many metropolitan Americans still join the church of the Left. They go to confession to seek absolution for their privilege. They offer penance in the voting booth. And they decry the heathens in the rest of the country who want America to be strong for the benefits of the people in this country. Having performed the necessary sacraments, their guilt is assuaged and they wash their hands of the negative outcomes of their policies—even when it hurts the very communities and countries they supposedly are trying to help.

Even many neoconservatives join the church—or perhaps have never left it. They believe that it is America’s duty to uphold its lofty ideals across the globe and they are willing to spend our country’s lives and treasure to do it. They argue that creating a new world order with all the right words and institutions will help America in the long run.

But so far, the people who have been most helped by this global effort have been those running large corporations that have access to cheap and unregulated labor. And given the rate of corporate inversions, the prevalence of tax shelters, and the lack of national loyalty at these elite global corporations, most Americans will never benefit from their success.

What Makes “MAGA” Perfect
Anyone looking to make the world a better place need not look past America’s borders. There are plenty of opportunities to lift people out of poverty right in our backyard.

Make America Great Again was the perfect slogan. The use of the word America casually swept aside decades of political correctness. The use of the term Great boldly asserted that greatness is something that we should strive for. And the use of Again forced the Left simultaneously to argue that America was already great and that it had never been great—this last, in particular, is driving them crazy.

Most Americans want America to be great. They want America to be wealthy and free. And while they may want the rest of the world to be great, wealthy, and free, they believe the national government’s priority should be to secure these blessings for American citizens first and foremost. Nothing wrong with that. We expect (or should expect) every individual, community, and country to act in their own interest. We are no exception.

We should not be bullied by the embarrassed and penitent metropolitan congregation that believes that America is inherently flawed and expects the rest of the country to pick up the tab for our sins. We must boldly and unabashedly advocate our interests.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

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America • Americanism • Black Lives Matter • California • civic culture/friendship • Cultural Marxism • Donald Trump • Post • The Left • The Media • The Resistance (Snicker) • Trump White House

Fahrenheit 140°

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Donald Trump’s presidency is done. Over. No, seriously. This time, his obsessives insist like meth-mottled street urchins—gaunt, moon-eyed and festooned with weeping chancres, it really is the last time. They promise.

Yes, those whose admirable consistency lies in being wrong about everything, are certain, kind of, that we are in the end stages of the Trump presidency.

Pawning syrupy sonnets for small change, the Trump-addicted insist what animates them so wildly, is finally coming to its rightful end.

Last week’s New Yorker haughtily decreed the end stage of the Trump presidency after the raid on Michael Cohen’s office. Of course, for those unriddled with Trump Derangement Syndrome, this “news” likely had the same nebulising effect as the last 2, 638 proclamations of the president’s assured demise.

“This is the week we know, with increasing certainty, that we are entering the last phase of the Trump Presidency,” it went. “This doesn’t feel like a prophecy; it feels like a simple statement of the apparent truth,” The New Yorker’s Adam Davidson feathered, in a few thousand micro-doses of literary Oxycontin soothing to those who see reality, before swiping left.

We’ve been here before. Pawing madly through scandal and squalor, the woke amongst us grope for the latest nostrum with which to exorcise their personal demon cackling in the White House.

Access Hollywood; a recount; the popular vote; an Electoral College revolt—Here’s How Bernie Can Still Win. Not MY President! Invoke the 25th! Russia did this. Zuckerberg helped. Save us, Stormy Daniels.

What are they going to try next, cheeseburgers, and a fishing net?

A magazine which so often, and so eloquently, scribes on the state of mental health provision in America, should perhaps check the collective temperature of its writers and readers, before opining so revealingly.

After all, Trump is still president, despite the glass ceiling of political derangement cascading into millions of glistening shards, each week.  The modern Left is unflinching in pursuit of unbendingly bizarre (and frankly hilarious) behaviour in which its impeccable minions retch over the boundaries of normalcy.

That’s what is most puzzling about the state of the modern Left—the demented belief that “normalcy” will assert itself once Trump is finally gone; as in Hollywood, when the good guys decapitate the hydra, and those under its spell are redeemed.

Such is the desperation of those whose malformed education taught them that Karl Marx was a titanic thinker, and not a feckless louse with notable hygiene issues who devised a philosophy responsible for tree bark soup, and the deaths of 100 million.

Not that they’ve read Marx. If they did, they wouldn’t be socialists. They certainly wouldn’t be mega-phoning a Starbucks “wage slave” for the apparent crimes of an ostensibly woke company that pays him $7.25 an hour.

But such is the madness of maddening crowds. The mob cares little for facts, relevance, reason, logic—any of the bricolage of valuable thought. They are hurting. Someone needs to pay.

Isn’t that what this all boils down to?

A well-adjusted person wouldn’t take time out of her day, for example, to celebrate the death of an old lady. A well-adjusted person certainly wouldn’t spend any time on Twitter. Randa Jarrar did both.

The eminently charming professor of creative writing tweeted she was “happy” that Barbara Bush had passed away. When questioned, the “tenured professor at Fresno,” which, I assume garners the same prestige as winning the Zimbabwe National Lottery, doubled-down on her bile.

She may be just one person. But such behaviour is not untypical of the modern Left and the Resistance.  And it will be their unravelling.

Feverish reports insist that the White House is in “chaos,” that Trump is “on the brink,” and that a blue wave is brewing to wash over this year’s midterms and cleanse the nation of the unfashionable president.

Really? The Democrats’ midterms edge has shrunk from 12 points in January, to just four. Trump’s approval rating remains at 50 per cent.

Unemployment is low. Stock markets are lofting, and even wages have started to rise. The end stages of the Trump presidency? To paraphrase Barack Obama: seven more years.

Whilst most Americans may not approve of the president’s theatrics (32 percent approve of the man himself) 46 per cent are happy with his handling of the economy. The prickly paladin of populism wasn’t elected pope. He was sent to move fast and break things.

And he is getting things done, whilst his detractors cling to a narrative torpedoed by the news that the president is not a target in the Michael Cohen investigation. The blue wave could amount to little more than an inkblot.

Of course, even then the jilted will cut reality with the narcotic of their preferred narrative, and insist on one last hit.

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America • Americanism • Black Lives Matter • civic culture/friendship • Conservatives • Identity Politics • Post • race • Republicans

The Whipped-Cream Boys of Affirmative Action

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Wouldn’t it be marvelous if there were some public policy by which the United States could mitigate the shameful legacy of slavery? The descendants of American slaves live shorter lives than other Americans, are less likely to have stable families, are more likely to be victims of violence, have lower incomes, less wealth, and lower levels of educational attainment.

Since Abraham Lincoln, generations of influential Americans—men and women of good will of all races and creeds—have searched out and experimented with policies to address these inequalities. Since the 1960s—after the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, and the civil rights movement and voting rights legislation that sought to enforce those amendments—the right to vote, to bear arms, and the right to be treated as an equal citizen in every interaction with the federal, state, and local government is not just the law, but by and large the reality. Schools and universities are as open to the black child as to the white, and any employer or supervisor who discriminates against blacks will find himself marched to ruin before an agency tribunal or before the court.

But inequalities persist. These inequalities “of result,” as the checklist conservatives like to say, are far too serious and pervasive simply to ignore. The search for remedies continues, and will continue as long as these inequalities are painful and visible. And, notwithstanding the checklist, all Americans of good will know that that search should continue.

No good will should excuse Americans, however, from facing the uncongenial fact that, following the victory of the Civil Rights revolution, no public policy aimed at mitigating those inequalities has had a substantial positive long-run effect on the lives and welfare of the descendants of American slaves.

Welfare further strained the already weakened black family. The Philadelphia Plan that forced unions to open up apprenticeships that had previously excluded blacks helped convince the veteran members that their children had no stake in the union’s future. Affirmative action in higher education has produced diminishing roles for American-slave-descended blacks in the learned professions because of “mismatch”: the black student who could have excelled at the law schools of Pitt or Howard or the University of Alabama is admitted to Yale to sink or swim with students whose grades and preparation are dramatically superior. The black student who would have been admitted to Yale notwithstanding his or her race finds that employers and society will mark down that credential, no matter how unfairly, as cheapened by the existence of racial preferences.


The Real Beneficiaries

Why, then, for two generations have these policies persisted? Not because they work to benefit the descendants of American slaves, but because they do benefit somebody.

First, these policies benefit the army of officials who carry them out. Second, affirmative action may, as Justice Lewis Powell claimed in Bakke, provide “diversity” to benefit the non-black students who are preparing themselves for careers in a diverse and globalizing economy. But mostly, the direct beneficiaries of racial preferences in admissions and hiring are what one could call the whipped-cream boys.

Those who were schoolchildren in the antediluvian age before Mark Twain was banned will recall the whipping boy from The Prince and the Pauper. Young Prince Edward got in as many or more scrapes as any other youth of his age. But he had one extraordinary privilege: as heir apparent, His Royal Person was far too sacred to be corporally chastised. The Royal Household, as Twain depicts, included a “whipping boy,” the courtier’s son who, in the sight of the prince, took the blows that the prince deserved.

Whether Prince Edward’s whipping boy is historical truth or literary invention, affirmative action has led to the creation of whipped-cream boys: those who, though not the descendants of American slaves, benefit from racial preferences created for those descendants’ benefit. Most Black students in the Ivy League are more like Barack Obama than Clarence Thomas, children of recent African or Caribbean immigrants.

Whole categories of racial preferences have been created, for Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, and even Hasidic Jews, none of whom have a moral claim of historical injustice in America that should ground such preferences. There are gender preferences and sexual-orientation preferences, none of which would exist if they could not ride on the coat-tails of the efforts to mitigate the historic crime of American racial slavery. The latest fashion in “sanctuary” states and cities is hiring and admissions preferences for “undocumented immigrants,” who if they deserve any special treatment deserve not to be coddled but to be deported.


Justice Should Be Done

Giving such people a leg up assuages white guilt but, in the best case, it provides no true balm for the real, lasting, and pervasive scars of American slavery. In the worst case, it consumes the resources that could be used to address genuine problems and repair real injustices. The racial categories of the administrative state conceal this reality by putting together as “black” the descendants of American slaves and Nigerian immigrants who have just passed through visa control at JFK. If you can’t help the deserving, too many seem to believe, you can at least help the undeserving and thereby seem to be doing something. And for too many in our politics today, seeming is believing.

It is time and past time to send off the whipped-cream boys, those who get the cream in place of, and to some extent at the expense of, those whose fathers and mothers received the lashes. If more can be done for the descendants of American slaves, more should be done. But the last five decades have shown that, basic civil rights assured, it appears more promising, even by that criterion, to focus on policies that guarantee rights and improve lives for all American citizens.

Photo credit:  “The Freedmen’s Bureau.” A wood engraving from 1868 illustrating the Reconstruction period following the Civil War in the United States.

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