America • Americanism • Black Lives Matter • civic culture/friendship • Donald Trump • Hollywood • Post • Sports • The Culture • the Flag • The Media

Trump, the Classic Movies, and the NFL

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Donald Trump’s mind has been furnished over the years mainly by the media, but perhaps not enough, for two iconic movies could have alerted him to the downside—and the solution—to the problem he triggered over protests in the NFL. If he hadn’t seen the connections earlier, they should have been brought home to him when Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, locked arms with his players before the game.

That this was one of those “happenings” on the way to happen should have been evident much earlier, and it should have recalled a classic scene in Billy Wilder’s movie, Stalag 17.  The story was about Americans huddled together in a German prisoner of war camp in the Second World War. All of the prisoners are brought out into the courtyard, to be lectured by the Commandant, played by the never cuddly Otto Preminger. One American, evidently stressed by his experience in battle, was given to playing an ocarina, with no discernible tune. He played it now, and one of his friends, standing near, had the presence of mind to take it away from him. But as the Commandant bore on, sneering, the soldier took the ocarina and hurled it toward him.

It landed in a puddle and splashed the gleaming boots of the Commandant. He demanded instantly to see the one who was responsible for this outrage. After a brief moment, the soldier who threw the ocarina stepped forward to take the responsibility on himself. But then a friend, standing near, stepped forward. Then another. And yet another, until all of the rows and columns of prisoners stepped forward.

It was a moment of “solidarity,” to pick up the term used in the NFL, though with this difference: The prisoners were quite clear on the innocence of the original act, and the wrongness of the punishment that was coming, and there was no doubt of the point they were making in holding together. In contrast, the management of the Denver Broncos announced this week that “we’re a team and we stand together”—but toward what purpose? Were they insisting on the rightness of refusing to stand for the national anthem and its soaring endorsement of the political regime that it celebrates? The Broncos professed their concern that “inequalities still exist, and we have work to do in ALL forms of social justice. We can all do better. It starts with us.” But if it really starts with them, they can do something practical right now.

The players, along with the upper echelons of their management, have annual salaries that exceed what most of their fans will earn in a lifetime. Has it occurred to them that they might tithe, or perhaps even give 50 percent back to charities such as the Salvation Army, which minister widely to the poor with little overhead. Or what about even returning themselves to the policies of the 1950s when people earning what they do would have been taxed at 90 percent? We needn’t wait, after all, for the team to act:  Each player has it within his own means to do something right now that would diminish some serious disparities in income.

The gambit over the NFL has evidently worked for Mr. Trump, and yet how could it really be good for him and the country if more and more respectable people—including some of his own supporters—are willing to lend themselves to a building pattern of acting out contempt for him?

It is not Mr. Trump’s style to be disarming, but the gesture to dissolve the problem could be found in a classic movie that he surely knows, and knows well. In Casablanca, in a scene not long after the occupation of France, a band of German officers, fed with confidence, are whooping it up in “Rick’s” café. They are singing their favorite, homey tunes, in a café filled with expatriates, who would rather be somewhere else in the world. The sounds of the singing and bravado make their way to the rooms above, where Victor Lazlo, played by Paul Henreid, is trying to cajole Rick (Humphrey Bogart) into yielding up two letters of transit to Lisbon. Enraged by the puffery of the Germans, Paul Henreid walks forcefully downstairs and instructs house musicians to play the Marseillaise. With an approving look from their employer, the trumpets take the lead. Soon, all of the patrons are on their feet, joining him in this rousing anthem.

Well, if some players now will put a knee down at the Star-Spangled Banner, it would be quite easy to have the same singer, after delivering the anthem, follow it instantly with “God Bless America.” That song has been played widely at baseball games in the seventh inning since 911, but if America has a civil religion, “God Bless America” comes closer than any other song in stirring a religious and nearly-religious sentiment, bound up with the love and appreciation of the country. I doubt that any player would wish to look churlish by taking a knee or showing even the slightest tremor of disrespect while the fans in the stadium join in singing those words, far more often than they join in singing the national anthem. And if a protest is signaled in advance of the anthem, it could be easily foiled or preempted by making a quiet shift for the moment and ordering up “God Bless America” instead.

Mr. Trump finds his passion in unsettling things, but the deeper art is to surprise with a disarming move that quickly settles things down, while teaching a better lesson.

 

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America • Big Media • Black Lives Matter • Cultural Marxism • Donald Trump • Identity Politics • Law and Order • Post • Sports

The Tragic Incoherence of the NFL Protests

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It has become a sort of reflex to object to the National Football League’s players’ bended knee/sitting through the National Anthem—while also conceding that their complaints have merit.

But do they?

To answer that question, one would have to know precisely what the protests are about. But so far the various reasons advanced are both confused and without much merit. That is why the players will eventually stand for the anthem before their tragic incoherence loses them both their fans and their jobs with it.

Inordinate Police Brutality Against the African-American Community?
While there certainly have been a large number of well-publicized shootings of African-American suspects, statistics do not bear out, as alleged, a supposed wave of police violence against black unarmed suspects. Is the anger then directed at regrettable though isolated iconic incidents but not at prevailing trends?

White police officers are more than 18 times more likely to be shot by African-Americans than white police officers are to shoot unarmed black suspects. Does anyone care?

In absolute numbers, more white suspects were shot yearly by police than were black suspects. Given respective crime rates and the frequency of relative encounters with police, black suspects were not statistically more likely to be victims of police violence than were whites.

Given the topics of race, crime, and violence, the frequency of black-on-white crime versus white-on-black crime—depending on the particular category—while comparatively rare, is still widely disproportionate, by a factor of 7 to 10.

Roughly 40-50 percent of all reported U.S. arrests for various violent crime involve teen or adult African-American males, who make up about 4-5 percent of the population. Blacks are well over 20 times more likely to be shot and killed by other blacks than by police officers.

The Left often does not pay much attention to such facts—though it grows angry when others do. Or to the extent progressives acknowledge these asymmetries, they contextualize the alarming frequency of inordinate black male crime, and the police response to it, by citing the legacy of slavery and claiming contemporary racism as well as police and judicial bias.

But such rationalization is largely academic.

The general public—and by extension the NFL fan base of all racial backgrounds—feels these imbalances to be true and, in their own lives—fairly or not—make adjustments about where they live, put their children in school, or travel. The antennae of wealthy, virtue-signaling white liberals are the most sensitive to crime disparities; the latter are also the most likely to have the desire and wherewithal to navigate around them. The makeup of elite neighborhoods and prep schools of Washington, D.C., is a testament to that unspoken fact.

It is certainly true that black males, regrettably, may be watched or stopped by police with greater frequency than Latino, Asian, or white males tend to be; but arguably not in a disproportionate fashion when seen in light of the data of those arrested and convicted of crimes.

Such proclivities, while again regrettable, are due less to racism than to statistically based preemptive policing—or statistically-based (and therefore rational) police fears.

Colin Kaepernick’s protests allegedly focusing on inordinate racially biased police brutality had no statistical basis in fact. To the extent his argument was logically presented, the irate NFL fan base rejected it.

Racial Disparity Attributable to Institutionalized Prejudice?
Were the players then frustrated about general racial disparities in landscapes beyond their own privileged positions? That larger question of why African-Americans have not yet statically achieved the same level of education, income, and family stability as the majority is more complex.

The exegeses usually break down politically. The Left feels that inequality of result is almost entirely due to racism and the inability of the government to provide financial reparations for past exploitation and legal protections to address ongoing bias.

The Right believes that what explains greater black disparity, in a variety of areas vis-à-vis the Asian-American, Latino-American, or white communities, are differing cultural attitudes toward family unity, education, and criminal behavior. The government, to the extent it can alter cultural assumptions, has largely acerbated the crisis through entitlements that reward conduct not conducive to achieving parity with other groups.

There are other disparate statistics that suggest race is not necessarily the bellwether criterion for ensuring a long, happy, and productive life. The white suicide rate is about three times higher than the African-American suicide rate, for example.

Asian-Americans on average have a higher income than do whites, despite a history of experiencing racism in the United States, from the Chinese exclusionary immigration laws to the Japanese internment.

The point is not to dismiss the unique historical ordeal of African-Americans, but rather to suggest that a majority of Americans does not any longer believe race is destiny, much less that being “white” governs one’s fate, especially at a time when intermarriage and integration are at an all-time high, and when the white working classes are increasingly disengaged from and at odds with the bicoastal white elite class. In other words, working-class white people often have much more in common with working-class blacks than they do with elite whites.

Furor at President Trump’s Intemperate “SOB” Comment?
Were the players instead reacting to Donald Trump’s outburst?

Certainly, it is understandable to be angry when the president of the United States directed his animus (supercharged with the unnecessarily profane “son of a bitch”) at a particular athlete (singular): “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”

It is true that the refusal to stand for the anthem peaked after the president’s comment. But here again, there are a number of reasons why the protests against an intemperate president still seem incoherent.

Obviously, the president of the United States will support the country’s tradition of respecting the flag. If the commander-in-chief is indifferent to iconic patriotic ceremonies, then who would not be?

Second, Trump’s SOB remark was directed nominally at an individual (“somebody”), and perhaps by inference Colin Kaepernick rather than, as reported, in the plural at a collective. His profanity was also regrettable, but past presidential vulgarity did not spark commensurate NFL protests.

Trump’s expletive perhaps was not as crude as Barack Obama’s writing off the millions of the Tea Party movement as “tea-baggers,” which refers to a graphic homosexual act. (“That helped to create the tea-baggers and empowered that whole wing of the Republican Party to where it now controls the agenda for the Republicans,” he said.)

Obama’s delivery may have often sounded mellifluous, but his message was sometimes crass and cruel and did not earn much rebuke—such as his past joke about the Special Olympics, or his us-versus-them advice to Latinos (“If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends’”), or his racial stereotyping of his own grandmother (“But she is a typical white person . . . ”), or his disdain for entire groups of people (“they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”)

For all his profanity, Trump would be facing impeachment charges had he written off the players, Obama-style, as “typical black people,” “tea-baggers,” or bitter clingers who express their racism to vent their own failures.

“White Privilege”?
Were the multimillionaire players angry about “white privilege”?

The term was not in wide circulation until the Obama era, when it caught fire on campuses and with pundits on left-wing cable news outlets to denote the impossibility of obtaining parity, given the intrinsic “stacked deck” of white America. But the entire white privilege trope has proved incoherent for a variety of obvious reasons.

First, we are a half-century out from the Civil Rights era, and an entire generation of middle-class Americans has grown up in the era of affirmative action, not Jim Crow. Most young people on campuses and applying for state and federal jobs naturally assume it is an advantage to have a minority cachet, and a clear disadvantage to be a white male. If that perception was not true, we would not see those of mixed heritages using accent marks or compound names to accentuate, for example, their Latino ethnicity, in fear that it was not immediately apparent or not sufficiently emphasized to resonate ethnic bona fides (for example, California State Senate leader Kevin de León, born Kevin Alexander Leon), etc.

Second, in a multiracial society in which perhaps a quarter of the population is of mixed ancestry, what exactly is “white”?—half-Egyptian/half-Irish? One-quarter-Japanese/one quarter-German/half-Latino? If we cannot accurately define “white” other than through DNA badges or antebellum Southern racist laws, how then can we define white privilege?

In a complex multiracial America, class increasingly trumps race. Are we to think multimillionaire African-American football players or black CNN anchors have less “privilege” than white unemployed coal miners in West Virginia or tree trimmers in southern Michigan or Tulare County, California?

Privilege always exists, of course, and in many cases, it is “white elite privilege”—which only makes more problematic the sloppy generic notion of “white privilege.” Are we to trust that the Silicon Valley scion who has his dad call up Stanford to ease his admission, and who once on campus rehearses the politically correct mantras of the day, has anything in common with the son of a white baker from Elko, Nevada?

Too often, wealthy white people in the press, politics, and academia mouth their furor over “white privilege” to virtue signal, to seek exemption from their own clear class privilege, and to express a coded disdain for the white working class, which lacks the romanticism of the masses and chic culture of the elite.

Pro-football players cannot define white privilege, and to the extent they can it is because of familiarity with other highly paid elites that self-identify as white, not with the millions of the white working and unemployed classes who ironically enjoy watching the NFL and find its racial make-up incidental to their essential love of the sport and admiration for those who play it.

The First Amendment?
Are the players kneeling to remind us of the sanctity of the First Amendment?

Hardly. The right of unfettered free speech has always been adjudicated in the courts by the allowance of limits on expression in the workplace.

Airline pilots cannot wear “Make America Great Again” hats if the airlines have contractual rules against political expression while at work. Police officers cannot demand to wear t-shirts and jeans in lieu of uniforms. UPS drivers can certainly be forbidden from wearing FedEx wristbands while driving or honking at friends they pass on the road.

The NFL players are free not to stand for the National Anthem, not because such a snub is protected by the First Amendment and they wish to emphasize that fact, but because for political reasons the NFL in fear has decided not to enforce a rule in its game operations manual—on the assumption that it is in the league’s short-term financial interest to ignore its own protocols.

When it becomes clear in the long-term that kneeling during the anthem alienates fans and loses the NFL hundreds of millions of dollars, then the owners mysteriously will make the necessary adjustments.

The league’s likely second-thoughts on standing during the National Anthem will have as little to do with the First Amendment as did its original response to respect the players’ gesture.

The idea of multimillionaire professional athletes—as part of the 0.01 percent of the nation’s income earners, in a meritocratic but quite un-diverse league made up of 75 percent black players—refusing to stand for the National Anthem out of anger at their country, racial unfairness, the president, or history is nonsensical.

Are the players betting that NFL fans do not care about a time-honored national practice or agree that they and their country are racist, or that they now think the NFL should be a showcase for political theater, or that about 200 protesting players are so uniquely talented in a nation of 320 million people that they are indispensable and could not be replaced, or that fans have nothing to do on weekends but to watch a politicized NFL?

For NFL athletes not to stand for the National Anthem is about as logical as it would be for ice hockey players or NASCAR drivers to take a knee in a potpourri protest over their own anger at American shortcomings, or racial disparities in the murdering of police officers, or the methamphetamine epidemic that strikes whites inordinately, or inordinate white suicide rates or disproportionate black-on-white crime rates—and then expect any insulted fan to continue to watch such incoherence.

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America • Americanism • Big Media • Black Lives Matter • Cultural Marxism • Democrats • Donald Trump • Greatness Agenda • Identity Politics • Post • Section 1 • Sports • The Culture • Trump White House

Trump Trumps the Ruling Class Again

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Donald Trump is once again confounding his critics. He is holding fast to a common sense view of politics that puts his opponents on constant defense and busts the monopoly they once had on shaping the American mind.

Trump’s tactics are plain to see for anyone who bothers to look. Over and over, he drives a wedge between the political and cultural elites and Americans who don’t share their views of morality and “patriotism.”

The president’s off-the-cuff comments on Friday at a rally for Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Luther Strange was a textbook example of Trump’s strategy in action. He riffed on an assortment of topics before setting his sights squarely on the National Football League.

Trump brought up NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem:

Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!”

Though it may cause some elite conservatives to cluck their tongues over Trump’s impropriety, this is the colorful language Americans (including even most of these elite conservatives) use all the time in break rooms, auto mechanics’ shops, and especially in the branches of our military.

Trump went on to point out how the NFL and the increasingly Leftist sports media have undermined the virtues that have attracted generations of Americans to the game of football. While Americans understand the safety concerns that come naturally in a sport where players run into each other at full speed, they know that reward comes with risk. Character, a manly self-assertiveness, and a chance to hone one’s natural abilities at the highest level are important elements of being a good citizen and a good human being.

As Trump noted:

The NFL ratings are down massively. Now the No.1 reason happens to be they like watching what’s happening…with yours truly. They like what’s happening. Because you know today if you hit too hard: 15 yards! Throw him out of the game! They’re ruining the game! That’s what they want to do. They want to hit. They want to hit! It is hurting the game.

These thumotic manly virtues—the traits that are typically unique to men—have been ridiculed and despised by the cultural literati. Men today are commonly depicted in the popular culture as buffoons who can’t do the simplest task and whose default mode in raising their children is failure.

But most Americans don’t buy the views set down by our cultural elites. They understand the virtues it takes to raise a family and that basic differences between men and women are grounded in nature. And they are more than comfortable with changing a tire, hanging drywall, or going on a weekend 30-mile backpacking trip.

After the rally, Trump underscored his tactic of using sports to drive a wedge between the elites and the rest of America:

Before Trump rolled up the red carpet, the Golden State Warriors were reportedly deep into thoughtful discussions about whether to attend a ceremony at the White House honoring the team’s 2017 NBA championship. But that was all a sham. They were never going.

As head coach Steve Kerr said in May, Trump is a “blowhard” who is “ill-suited” for the presidency. Stephen Curry, the team’s point guard and outspoken Hillary Clinton supporter, earlier this year quipped that he agreed that Donald Trump is an “asset” to the nation, but only “if you remove the ‘et.’” On Election Night, Curry tweeted his support of Van Jones’ observation that the results were a “whitelash against a changing country.”

Trump simply called their bluff. And in doing so, he again highlighted the differences between the elites and most Americans—whether they are Republican Party lifers, newly-minted Trump Democrats, or Americans who didn’t even vote for Trump but retain a morality antithetical to the ruling class. These Americans have had enough of constantly being lectured and told to repent of their manifest heresies against the orthodoxies of modern liberalism. They are fed up with having their way of life sneered at and disrespected by employees of the transnational corporations that dominate the U.S. sports-industrial complex.

The NFL, NBA, and the NCAA, along with ESPN, are long-time participants in helping the ruling class steamroll the people’s concerns and interests. From condemning North Carolina, where the people’s duly elected representatives passed a bill mandating that individuals use the bathroom that corresponds to their birth sex, to spreading disdain for Arizonans who approved of measures designed to stop the influx of illegal aliens streaming across their borders, these corporations represent the elite consensus that brooks no dissent. You’re either with them or against them. There is no other option.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s statement reacting to Trump’s comments is the height of the deep narcissism and self-loathing concealed beneath the thin veneer of the elite’s pseudo-morality. Goodell said Trump’s “divisive comments” show “an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.” Goodell, who is generally despised by football fans, sportswriters, and players alike, is blind to the divisiveness incited by the very organization he leads. And that he thinks an entity like the NFL is automatically owed any respect at all is revealing. What exactly is it that places the NFL beyond reproach?

Trump wasn’t responsible for botching case after case involving NFL players who committed violence against women. It wasn’t Trump who stood against the attempts of the legislatures of Georgia and Indiana to pass laws strengthening religious liberty protections for those who object to gay marriage. It wasn’t Trump who talked a good game about “player safety” while simultaneously engaging in talks about expanding the NFL schedule to 18 regular season games.

Americans have had enough of constantly being lectured and told to repent of their manifest heresies against the orthodoxies of modern liberalism. They are fed up with having their way of life sneered at and disrespected by employees of the transnational corporations that dominate the U.S. sports-industrial complex.

Rather, Trump is reacting to the deep divisions Goodell and his ruling class cronies have sown through their seething contempt and obvious disrespect for Americans. Trump is not the cause of our current crisis. Trump didn’t politicize everything in American life. He is 63 million Americans’ answer to a politicization that constitutes an attack on everything they hold dear.

This politicization has been precipitated by the very political and cultural elites who are now raising hell against Trump’s move to box them out. They are angry over his attempts to break the chokehold they have been administering to the American body politic for decades. But Trump couldn’t care less about their gnashing of teeth. And neither should anyone else.

Like Lincoln who, before the 1860 election, helped drive a wedge between Senator Stephen Douglas’s Northern Democratic coalition and Deep South Democrats who were fanatically pro-slavery, Trump is attempting the same feat with a different set of coalitions. I’m not arguing that Trump is playing “4D chess,” as many NeverTrumpers flippantly suggest Trump supporters ignorantly believe. I don’t believe that Trump has planned out every single action and word in advance like some mastermind. This is obviously far beyond the capacity of human beings, the forked creatures who are a little lower than the angels.

But perhaps some conservatives have been so accustomed to losing in the political arena that they actually think 4D chess is what’s required to win it. Wrong. This basic political strategy that even people with minimal political skill have used for centuries to conquer and divide their political opponents while enlarging their own base of support. It’s called fighting. They might try it sometime.  

Trump’s strategy of engaging the cultural bullies instead of cowering in their presence, so far, seems to be working to perfection. It also has the added benefit of drawing out the pretenders and posers who may talk a good game but are ultimately useless in combating the ruling class’s hegemony over American public life.

Exhibit A of this group is Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.):

Contra Sasse, Trump offers a view of America based upon a common patriotic love that aims to protect the rights of all citizens. To say he is dividing America—this critique from the same ruling class that divides Americans by race, sex, class, income, level of education, etc., every minute of every day—is a remarkable assertion. It speaks to the depths to which the ruling class mindset has been accepted by our political elites.

Former Democratic Representative Donna Edwards tweeted this gem:

Trump has put his opponents either in the position of showing their ruling class credentials or openly calling for disrespecting the country—moves that can only help his chances at reelection in 2020. Even more importantly, it will help to isolate those whose hostility to bourgeois morality and traditional cultural mores has helped the “pluribus” overwhelm the American “unum.”

May Trump succeed in letting the people reassert their sovereignty over those who would rule us without our consent. Republican government demands no less.

 

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America • Black Lives Matter • Cultural Marxism • First Amendment • Free Speech • Identity Politics • self-government • The Culture • The Left • The Resistance (Snicker)

Liberal Bullies

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Forty-thousand versus 25.

Those were the relative numbers of people that showed up in Boston last month for a free speech rally and its counter-protest. It was an absurd spectacle. CBS Boston has aerial photos showing the two-dozen free-speechers huddled on a bandstand with officers milling around them. A fence encircles the area, and outside it many thousands press in as if they were conducting the last moments of a siege. To call the event a case of “dueling protests,” as the media did, is to deny what was right in front of their faces. For the counter-protesters to believe that they were combating a genuine white supremacist menace was delusional.

This ludicrous magnification and the piling on that follows have become a familiar feature of liberal activism. The left-wing digital mob is ever ready to pounce. Brendan Eich was run out of his post as head of Mozilla by a well-publicized shaming campaign that urged people to boycott the Firefox browser. His crime was to donate $1,000 years earlier to Proposition 8, the anti-same sex marriage initiative in California. There was no evidence that he had ever discriminated against any homosexuals in his personal or professional life.

Recently, Penn law professor Amy Wax co-authored an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer stating that much of the social dysfunction in the United States has been caused by the loss of a bourgeois culture (don’t have children until you get married, avoid coarse language, respect authority . . .). “All cultures are not equal,” she stated. As a result, 33 of her colleagues published an open letter denouncing her and asking students to report to them any biased treatment they suffer at Penn.

The 33-to-1 imbalance was crucial to their case. They explicitly wrote to “condemn” her, but their condemnation wouldn’t count unless they drew in enough signatories (which amounted to nearly half the Penn law school faculty). In cases like this, the more people you can get to sign up to oppose an opinion, the more you make the opinionated look dishonorable and undeserving. You don’t have to debate and persuade. You just line up big numbers on one side and small numbers on the other.

It’s a form of self-justification. All the people who came to Boston Common that day with placards saying “END RACISM” and “HATE HAS NO HOME HERE” felt very good about themselves. Their nobility depended on an authentic and villainous adversary. The anti-hate litany was meaningless without a potent force of hate throughout the land.

But it doesn’t exist. The national white supremacist conference that Richard Spencer hosted last November in D.C. drew only 200 people, though the publicity it received would lead you to think that many thousands attended. The fact that today’s liberalism must turn an utterly minuscule group into its prime opposition demonstrates its own emptiness.

And at some level liberals must realize this. Because the numbers of alt-Right, white nationalists are so small, it becomes necessary to smear those whose crime is to believe that the content of one’s character matters more than the color of their skin. That’s how the 62.9 million Trump voters become members of “the alt-Right,” too. At the same time, the liberal media blesses the alt-Left Antifa bullies, those “liberals in a hurry.” Here’s how one of them explains the resort to violence in a Washington Post puff piece: “People assume that anarchism is so extreme. But I associate it with wanting everyone’s needs to be met.”

Over the last dozen years we’ve become inured to the media’s hatred of Republicans. Now it’s been taken a step further, from expressions of animus to bullying, from Internet lynch mobs to “punch a Nazi” to protesters armed with clubs.

When I was young, only cowards would pile on like this. You’d be ashamed to help a gang crush a lone figure. I read Emerson and thrilled to lines such as “Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.” I admired Thoreau’s retreat to the woods where what he called the “they” wouldn’t hinder his sight of the essential facts of life.

But there is a different spirit abroad in America. Liberalism used to be about the individual standing firm against prejudice and dead tradition and blunt authority. Now it’s the impulse to shame and shun, the act of the many against the few, the joy people take in lining up behind Goliath. Liberalism used to prize community. Today it gets its kicks from bullying.

 

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Black Lives Matter • Cultural Marxism • Identity Politics • race • Sports • The Left • The Media

Pigskin Doggerel

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The (Football) Star-Mangled Banner
(An Anthem With Offensive Lines)

Oh, say, have you seen how your ratings have dropped?
Seems your viewers don’t find grownup tantrums too charming.
(A decline, as you know, never caused by T-Bow,
Whose religious displays you found strange and alarming.)
It’s confusing to you,
But believe me, it’s true,
That contempt for your nation
Can hurt revenue;
And the Star-Spangled Banner, a gap has revealed –
‘Tween the poor, in the stands, and the rich on the field.

You’ve had scandals before, ultimately ignored—
Your game was an escape from societal schism.
Patriots deflated balls? That was nothing at all—
But when overpaid stars deflate patriotism—
The fans no longer care
How much cheerleaders bare;
You can’t scold them for that,
For they’re simply not there.
And the Star-Spangled Banner forlornly rings out
O’er your stadiums as the spoiled athletes pout.

O, thus be it ever, when free men shall stand—
But the self-enslaved kneel, in grievance’s constrainment—
And instead of football, I watch your ratings fall—
Please forgive me, but to me, that’s REAL entertainment.
If at last you despair,
Or are forced off the air,
And the madness has passed,
Football will still be there,
And “The Star-Spangled Banner,” respected by all,
Sound o’er fields where grown men, are still paid…to play ball.
  

 

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America • Black Lives Matter • Cities • Drugs • Government Reform • Identity Politics • race • self-government • The Culture

Crime, Race, and the Thin Blue Line

 

Four decades ago, I worked in oil and gas exploration. I was laying a seismic survey line through a community outside of Dallas when an old man came out of his home to see what I was up to. Before long, he was telling me his problems.

He couldn’t own anything, he said, because boys in the neighborhood helped themselves to everything he had. He caught one in the act once, and the judge made the thief pay $40.

“Forty dollars! And he had stolen $400 of my stuff!” the man complained.

I agreed that the law was crazy, but said maybe it would get right again soon.

“I’ll tell you what they should do,” he said. “They should do like they did in the cowboy days, and that’s look for the nearest tree.”

Let me tell you some more about this man and the community he lived in. It wasn’t a scattering of fine brick houses such as you see today in rural areas all over the Southeastern states. Nor was the community a trailer park, though those are a common sight in the South. And the man wasn’t sitting in a wicker chair on the porch of one of those fine homes, sipping a mint julep, or enjoying his white privilege. Neither was the man some gap-toothed redneck with a KKK robe hanging from the clothesline.

Indeed, a trailer park would have been palatial next to this place. His community was just a collection of shacks and camper trailers separated by varmint-wire fences and dirt streets, tracks as rutted and uneven as you would expect unpaved and unimproved roads to be. And the man who wanted to look for the nearest tree—he was black.

Here was a black man in the South, old enough to have felt the weight of segregation, old enough perhaps even to have seen a Klan terrorist in action—and he wanted to lynch burglars! He wanted to do that because his life was being made miserable by the absence of law and order where he lived.

I have spent the past 40 years hoping for the law to get right again soon—to get right not by lynching burglars, but by hanging murderers. Hanging them with due process, but hanging them inexorably, as certainly as their victims lie cold in the ground, and as swiftly as the wheels of justice will allow.

I turned from surveying to journalism largely with a view toward that end. Writing for newspapers in Texas and Tennessee, I argued the case for law and order, and especially against the idea that there is something contemptible about people who are angry about crime.

Take that guy in the shantytown outside Dallas. Suppose we put on our Social Justice Warrior hats and write him off as a mean old man who cared more for his chickens and tools and transistor radios than he did for the lives of his young neighbors. What, then, can the SJWs say against my friend, Tracy Beard?

Tracy was a co-worker of mine in those days, a fellow surveyor who had been recruited under our company’s affirmative action program. I knew him well enough to know there was nothing mean about him.

On Aug. 18, 1979, The Dallas Morning News carried a front-page story about how a murderer invaded a Houston family’s home, killed four children and set fire to the house. The story was illustrated with a picture of one of the survivors, who watched as emergency workers removed his dead grandchildren from the ruins.

Coincidentally, the grandfather’s family name was also Beard, so I asked Tracy if he had any relatives in Houston. When he said no, I showed him the paper.

Tracy sat for several minutes, reading about the murderer’s evil deeds. Then he looked at me and said, “That guy should be stood against a wall and shot.”

Tracy was not alone in saying such things. When Bill Simpson (a black man who had drawn media attention when he was harassed by white racists in Vidor, Texas) was murdered by black street thugs in nearby Beaumont, the local neighborhood weekly asked people if there was any way to stop gang violence. Five replies appeared in the Sept. 8, 1993, Orange County News.

One respondent, a white man, said, “I wish there were, but I don’t know how.”

A white woman recommended “stronger family values and mandatory parenting classes in our schools.” Another white woman called for “stiffer penalties,” and a black woman requested “more cops.”

Toughest of all was a black man.

“Yes,” he said. “When they commit a serious crime, like the Simpson murder, put them in front of a firing squad and kill them. It works in other countries.”

The reporter was agog at this. Relating the experience to me at the Beaumont newspaper where we both worked, she said she asked the man again if that’s what he meant to say. She was another liberal getting mugged by reality.

So, the three strongest statements against crime I ever heard all came from black people. Where does that leave the progressives’ mantra, “‘Law and Order’ are code words for racism?” That mantra is belied not only by my personal experience but also by recent scholarship:

In his new book, Locking Up Our Own, Yale University Law School Professor James Forman, Jr. points out that in national surveys conducted over the past 40 years, African Americans have consistently described the criminal justice system as too lenient. Even in the 2000s, after a large and sustained drop in the crime rate and hundreds of thousands of African Americans being imprisoned, almost two-thirds of African Americans maintained that courts were “not harsh enough” with criminals.

Where does that leave today’s complaints about “mass incarceration?” Perhaps, like me, the people in those surveys would like to see the prison population reduced, not by setting murderers free to kill again, but by marching murderers to the gallows, whose stark example might restrain everyone’s homicidal impulses and make for less violence both in the communities where murder abounds and in the prisons where murderers are confined.

What of the police shootings that are such a flashpoint of crime today? That at least is a point upon which black people seem to be of two minds about law and order. They may want harsh punishment for gang-banging hoodlums, but they demand it also for trigger-happy cops and vigilantes.

In fact, the absence of capital punishment has aggravated the problem of such shootings. When Michael Brown slugged Officer Darren Wilson; when he tried to grab Wilson’s gun; when, in the face of Wilson’s drawn weapon and peremptory commands, he charged the officer headlong—he didn’t see the gallows looming behind his intended victim. The same goes for Trayvon Martin, pounding neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman’s head against the pavement. Neither one of these young men feared execution as the inevitable consequence of their reckless actions, and we’ve all suffered as a result.

And in cases such as the Philandro Castile shooting, where jumpy officers have pulled the trigger on people who turn out to have posed no threat at all—they all were painfully aware that the gallows aren’t there to back them up. Without its deterrent effect, and lacking a superhero’s skill and discernment in handling the life-and-death situations their job forces on them, the police will make tragic mistakes, rarely but inevitably. How much of the ensuing tumult could have been avoided if the death penalty were not a dead letter?

Proactive policing played a huge role in bringing crime down from the heights of the early 1990s, but it hasn’t solved the crime problem, and today’s anti-cop agitation shows that overreliance on the police to correct it creates its own difficulties. The Thin Blue Line can’t protect people from criminal violence all by itself. It’s high time the courts shouldered their responsibility to ensure that, where the shield of the law has failed to protect, the sword of justice is there to avenge.

 

 

America • Americanism • Black Lives Matter • Identity Politics • Sports • The Culture

Colin Kaepernick and His Own Lady Macbeth

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OK, I confess it. I love football. God help me, I love it so! I played in high school and college and I love the New England Patriots. The sport has long been a sanctuary from partisan politics. If one is a Patriots fan, it doesn’t matter whether other Patriots fans are Democrats or Republicans. Social class and race don’t matter. The main thing that unites us is a burning hatred of the tyrannical Roger Goodell! And as Patriots fans, we have learned some foreign languages. For instance, “Gronkowski” is Polish for “touchdown.”

Unfortunately, politics intrudes more and more these days. ESPN has decided that sports fans care about the political opinions of their idiot talking heads. And we all breathlessly await the next political commentary by a player! Just kidding. To paraphrase Laura Ingraham, “shut up and knock someone on his ass!”

Some time ago, then-San Francisco 49ers’ backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick generated a firestorm of commentary by refusing to stand for the national anthem. “I am not going . . . to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he said.

Kaepernick in March opted out of his contract with the 49ers and became a free agent. No team has picked him up and he languishes in football limbo. Kaepernick’s boosters denounce the NFL owners for shunning him because of the “courage” his stance demonstrates. But such praise is silly. These days there is nothing courageous about a celebrity who mouths trendy liberal pieties regarding race or other hot button social issues. Big deal. What price do they pay?

Bruce Jenner claimed to be a woman and won a “courage” award from ESPN. University of Missouri lineman, Michael Sam declared that he is gay and was given far more chances on the field as a final round NFL draft choice than his meager talents warranted. Kaepernick parroted the fraudulent Black Lives Matter narrative and was praised by no less than President Obama. And Spike Lee is on his side, recently organizing a protest at NFL headquarters to denounce the failure of any team to bring Kaepernick on board.

There are a couple of problems here. First, despite a couple of decent years, Kaepernick has not been picked up because he…well…he stinks! Colin Kaepernick is no Tom Brady. He isn’t even a Jeff Hostetler. What team wants to pick up a mediocre player (at best) who brings with him political baggage sure to offend fans?

Most of the players get it. Running back LeSean McCoy of the Buffalo Bills told reporters that he didn’t think Kaepernick was a “good enough” player to be worth the “chaos” he would bring into the locker room. “I think his situation is not good enough to have him on the team with all the attention that comes along with it,” McCoy said, adding that players interested in making statements could perhaps “choose a better platform to state their beliefs.”

Second, poor Colin seems to be . . . well . . . half of the phrase would be ”whipped.” Since Kaepernick himself is far from oppressed (he is of mixed race, raised by adoptive white parents, given a full scholarship to the University of Nevada, and, with one good year in the NFL under his belt, was paid nearly $20 million annually to ride the 49ers’ bench), whence cometh his courageous social concern for the oppressed of America? Evidently, the source of his “raised consciousness” (as the Marxists would say) is Kaepernick’s girlfriend—his very own Lady Macbeth. Nessa Diab (who simply goes by Nessa) is a Bay Area DJ, MTV host, and BLM activist. Her local radio show predictably focuses on America’s many sins.

It seems Nessa really stepped in it recently. The Baltimore Ravens were reportedly interested in signing Kaepernick. Ray Lewis, the former Ravens linebacker and now NFL Network commentator, argued on Kaepernick’s behalf, advising the quarterback to “get back on the football field and let your play speak for itself.” Lewis added, “I applaud you for the things that you stood up for,” but he said that Kaepernick surround himself with people who would “stop encouraging you to be caught up in some of this nonsense.” Hmm. Whomever could he mean? So the lovely Nessa tweeted a pic of Lewis and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti paired with a still from Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” suggesting that Lewis is Bisciotti’s house slave. You go, girl! Way to help your man out!

Kaepernick and Lady Nessa Macbeth might take a page from a guy who actually did something to improve race relations in this country: the legendary Jim Brown. While he supports Kaepernick’s cause, Brown has criticized his actions. “I’m going to give you the real deal: I’m an American,” the ex-running back said. “I don’t desecrate my flag and my national anthem. I’m not going to do anything against the flag and national anthem. I’m going to work within those situations. But this is my country, and I’ll work out the problems, but I’ll do it in an intelligent manner.”

Brown’s comments puts me in mind of something that the great boxer, Joe Louis once said. During World War II, Louis, who was at the height of his career, volunteered to join the U.S. Army, serving nearly five years and boxing hundreds of exhibitions. He defended his title twice, donating his entire purses to Army and Navy relief funds. However, after the war, he was hounded by the Internal Revenue Service to pay back taxes on the purses he had donated. A reporter asked him how he felt about serving in the U.S. military of a country that still treated him as a second-class citizen. Louis replied, “Lots of things wrong with America, but Hitler ain’t going to fix them.

Oh, and one more thing, Colin: ditch the Angela Davis look.

 

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America • Black Lives Matter • Center for American Greatness • Cultural Marxism • Education • feminists • Free Speech • History • Identity Politics • Immigration • Law and Order • self-government • The Left • The Media • The Resistance (Snicker)

Virtual Virtue

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It is not healthy for a society to live two lives that are antithetical, as America has been doing in recent decades.

Disillusionment with government and popular culture arises at anger over two entirely different realities. One truth is politically correct and voiced on the news and by the government. It is often abstract and theoretical. And the other truth is empirical, hushed and accepted informally by ordinary people from what they see and hear on the ground.

Public orthodoxy signals virtue, private heterodoxy ensures ostracism. So Americans increasingly make the necessary adjustments, modeling their lives in some part as those once did in totalitarian societies of the 20th century. The reality they live is the stuff of the shadows; the falsity they are told and repeat is public and amplified.

Cynicism and eventual anger at the schizophrenia are always the harvests of such bipolarity.

Chasing Symbols, Ignoring Realities
The official Narrative postulates that mute stones of the Confederate dead in public places is proof of continuing racism; their removal then will promote healing and empower the oppressed.

In contrast, the unofficial and popular consensus is that when street thugs deface or destroy public property and panicky mayors issue executive orders to remove them in the dead of night, the issue has little to do with strengthening democracy and even less to do with reconciliation with victimized groups. It has everything to do with redefining democracy as street theater.

The war against mute stones is more a show of the power of activists who hope to bully the country into accepting their various identity politics agendas, even if they have little practical therapeutic effect on the challenges of those they claim to defend.

To create a cultural atmosphere that holds it shameful and a crime against humanity for known gang members to shoot at inner city youths with near assured impunity is apparently impossible; to scream that a long dead Robert E. Lee is a living and hurtful racist is rather easy. Yet the cynical public concludes that such virtue signaling about the dead ignores felonies against the living because, for some reason, those cannot be addressed.

The LGBT community now argues that gender-neutral restrooms are the civil rights issue of our era. Soon, it will be the absolute duty of society to change by fiat public protocols allowing one to “transition” from one gender to another.

Perhaps such special facilities may relieve the anxieties of those troubled about their sexual identities, while not commensurately causing equal or greater anxieties for far more numerous people when those of a biologically different sex share their private spaces. But either way, the chief health threat in 2017 to young non-heterosexuals is a more likely a sudden and potentially deadly epidemic of syphilis, civilization’s bane of the ages, once thought almost eradicated but now reemerging with a terrible vengeance.

The liberal Los Angeles Times notes that the terrifying epidemic is almost entirely expressed among the young, male, and homosexual population. It suggests that the outbreak is a result of a resurgence of promiscuous sex—in part a result of our larger pan-sexual culture of promiscuity; in part an artifact of smartphone apps and instantaneous electronic dating hookups; and in part a false sense of security that successful remedies to HIV have now made frequent and unprotected sex with a multiplicity of partners once again part of the cultural exuberance of the gay community.

But we do not galvanize massive public attention to an epidemic that, if understood, might save lives and alleviate misery because doing so would be seen as offensively judgmental, and so the concern is too often unexpressed as we obsess more about gender neutral restrooms.

The same virtual virtue disconnect involves aspects of 21st-century feminism. According to the previous Obama administration’s directives and the new codes of most universities, there is understood to be an epidemic of rape and violence against women on campus. One of four women allegedly will be sexually assaulted (through the use of force or during incapacitation) during their undergraduate tenure.

If that number were accurate, statistically it would reveal the Stanford dorms to be far more dangerous places than the unlit avenues of nearby violent East Palo Alto (with its annual rape incidence of .67 per 1,000 residents). A stroll in a Yale quad would be far more iffy than taking a bus to and from the inner city of New Haven. Unaccountably, arriving co-eds are not moving to apartments in East Palo Alto to find sanctuary from the predation of elite males at Stanford.

But while reckless and sexually callous student males should be ostracized for insensitive consensual hookups and must be punished severely for proven coerced sex, nonetheless there is no reliable evidence that the nation’s female students are facing an epidemic of lethal dangers at our most exclusive institutions of higher learning. Certainly, women at Harvard or Brown suffer far fewer health issues or violence than similarly aged working class white male youth, who are proportionally underrepresented on university campuses but overrepresented in terms of the suicide and drug addiction rates.

If feminism’s agenda is the plight of the nation’s women, it might be more cost-effective to focus on working class women, who, like their male counterparts, are one paycheck away from financial oblivion and are sorely in need of financial counseling, job training and vocational education, and enforcement of child support statutes.

Such outreach is a necessary, but a complicated, drawn out, and unpublicized task. Where’s the glamour or political resonance in it? It is much preferable to focus on a Mattress girl’s psychodrama, or a concocted Rolling Stone hit piece on rape where one can earn greater coverage on the network news. Class in America has long been forgotten, largely because in comparison to race and gender, it has less political reverberation and fewer easily identifiable victimized constituencies. But it remains that income, education, and culture—not outward appearance—are becoming the real criteria that adjudicate whether life in America is good or nasty, brutish, solitary, and short.

Along these lines, the supposed chief political cause for the Latino community is said to be amnesty for illegal immigrants. Their interest groups advocate for a porous border that privileges immigration from Mexico and Latin America. And the Democratic Party, counting on collective rather than individual identity, is certainly on board with ignoring if not promoting illegal immigration. In this way, they seek to turn the red-states of the American southwest electorally blue through quid-pro-quo bloc voting of recent immigrants and their children.

However, almost half the Hispanic-American public opposes massive, non-diverse, and illegal immigration—whose deleterious effects (sudden infusions of non-English speakers into local schools, overburdening of social service agencies, increased gang activity, and impediments to traditional melting pot assimilation, integration, and intermarriage) fall most severely on the Mexican-American neighborhoods. Certainly, there are far more existential crises in the Latino community than immigration.

Currently, one in three of all those hospitalized in California for any cause is found to suffer from diabetes, a frightening statistic, at least in part fueled by record numbers of those vulnerable within the burgeoning Hispanic resident population—who, for a variety of reasons, are especially susceptible to the disease.

Even more foreboding, studies suggest that nearly half of all California adults suffer from either diabetes or undiagnosed prediabetes, and are in dire need of massive education programs and health awareness concerning a largely preventable illness. To advocate combatting such a potentially lethal epidemic is to address an existential challenge to the entire state of 40 million.

In contrast, to rail against “racist” border enforcement provides proof either of progressive virtue or ethnic fides, and thus is also rather easy, in the fashion Aristotle noted that being virtuous is natural and effortless in your sleep.

Yet ensuring that the most liberal immigration policy in the world is legal and diverse, while investing resources for preventing diabetes in the manner the nation found successful preventive treatments for polio and AIDS, would be the real proof of wishing to help the so-called Other.

These disconnects ensure widespread public cynicism. They suggest that the state and its private ancillaries are not interested so much in positive remedies as in their own political agendas.

The Alleviation of Guilt
There are lots of reasons for the bifurcation of loud public and less well known private realities.

A wealthy and privileged establishment class often finds gratification in blaming problems on distant and unseen illiberal whites’ “privilege,” which the latter do not have. It is as if a Princeton student finds his exemption from campus pressures by abstractly damning “white privilege,” with implicit reference to those in places like rural Pennsylvania who will never even walk on an Ivy League campus.

When a multimillionaire Hillary Clinton blasted the irredeemables and deplorables, those targeted assumed that they had far less privilege than did the Clintons, and were far more likely to put their kids in the public schools and live in integrated neighborhoods as well as intermarry, integrate, and assimilate. The more isolated one is from reality, the more he fabricates reality to square the circle.

Politics
Electoral politics is also the culprit for our two worlds of official and unofficial truths. The age of Obama convinced progressives that identity politics could fuel 51 percent national election victories—but only if voters were convinced that their appearances trumped the content of their characters. Few pushed back at the increasing polarization because they calculated that such turmoil and angst would, as it supposedly had in 2008 and 2012, continue to offer political dividends. Political correctness spread because it seemed to bring electoral dividends and demonstrate that the future “new demographics” were destiny.

Noble Lies
Noble lying helps to explain virtual virtue: repeating something publicly that is not true but is considered something that should be true, is seen as helping to make it eventually true.

If the Bay Area public has witnessed gangs of minority youth terrorizing those on its Bay Area Rapid Transit trains, and if the transit authority in response refuses to release to the public surveillance tapes of such assaults or even to issue specific warnings, then perhaps the problem will disappear. Or at least the attacks can be virtuously contextualized—by supposedly nobly wishing to deny the media sensational reporting or to protect the civil rights of as yet uncharged marauding youths. So the transit authority virtue signals a falsity, and the public lives a reality. The more hushed the crime, the more it becomes a non-crime?

In sum, the more prominent persons voice virtual virtue at no cost, the quieter ones know better and make the necessary adjustments that fit what they see and hear and conclude. The result of our two worlds is that the virtual virtue signalers grow ever louder only to reach deaf ears; while the quieter become even more cynical and detached in having to live what increasingly seems a charade.

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 of our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

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America • American Conservatism • Black Lives Matter • Conservatives • Free Speech • GOPe • Identity Politics • Law and Order • race • The Left • The Media • The Resistance (Snicker)

Republicans Cower in Charlottesville’s Aftermath

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Last month’s events in Charlottesville have given our Republican elected officials an excellent opportunity to educate the public on the violence of the hard Left and sources of their funding. Sadly, most are squandering the opportunity to make use of their bully pulpit and shed light on these disturbing realities.

President Trump was correct that there were two violent sides involved in Charlottesville and “both sides” need to be denounced, and investigated. But you wouldn’t know it from listening to the media, or to most Republican officials for that matter.

It doesn’t take much moral courage to denounce Nazis, the Klan, and racists, yet that is about as far as most Republicans will go. This scum is but the smaller blade of a pair of scissors looking to slice up America.

The larger, and more dangerous scissors blade, which most Republicans are shamefully ignoring, is the violent hard Left. What’s needed is the political courage to call them out. A century ago the Klan was a violent arm of the Democratic Party. Even today many leading Democrats are great admirers of Robert Byrd, once an Exalted Cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan.

These days the Democrats have replaced the Klan with a new army of violent goons, embodied by the Occupy Wall Street movement, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and others.

The violence isn’t only coming from these Soros-funded proxies of the Democratic Party. It comes directly from the Democratic National Committee as well. As the Washington Post reported just before the November presidential election, Scott Foval and Robert Creamer, two “influential Democratic political operatives” had to resign after hidden videos captured their boasting of violence and voter fraud targeting Republicans.

For Democrats, violence and election fraud are institutionalized tactics used to manipulate the public and swindle unearned political power.

Today the Democrats and their accomplices in the media are using the tragedy in Charlottesville as part of an ongoing campaign of political warfare to promote the false narrative that President Trump’s base is racist, and so must be the president. After all, they can’t get their false narrative of Russian collusion to stick, so racism is a handy charge to level in the 2018 midterms in the hope that it drives their dismal fundraising.

But President Trump is merely a recent scapegoat. Years before he entered the scene, Democrats incited political violence, disrespect for law and order, and hatred for the police. They stoked the fires of racism in Ferguson, Baltimore, Oakland, and elsewhere. Black Lives Matter agitated as their communities burned, causing innocent police officers to be gunned down in cities like New York, Baton Rouge, and Dallas. Yet President Obama invited BLM leaders to the White House, the same leaders sued by wounded police for their culpability in homicide.

Where is the outrage from the Republican National Committee or other GOP-affiliated groups? Nowhere. Instead, the RNC issued a one-sided resolution denouncing only—you guessed it—“Nazis, the KKK, [and] white supremacists.”

However reprehensible, the number of actual Nazis and Klansmen in America is relatively small. Compare them to 40,000 hard Left goons and useful idiots who recently showed up in Boston to rally against “hate.” They rioted and assaulted police and innocent bystanders. The event they were protesting wasn’t organized by the Klan, Nazis, or some other hate group. Rather, it was organized by a nonviolent, non-racist, liberty-minded entity called the Boston Free Speech Coalition.

We just witnessed the same unrepentant Antifa violence in Berkeley, California.

Leftists gather outside Emancipation Park (formerly Lee Park) in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12. About 30 minutes after this photo was taken, violence ensued. (Photo by the author.)

There is no ideological distance between the violent hard Left and Democratic Party elites. The organized Left is doing the bidding of elites as they distract from real problems for which Democrats can provide no solutions.

But the Democratic Party doesn’t get tagged with their all too real association with violence because the media are complicit in the coverup and the Republicans, naturally, are too gutless to address it. Someone might suggest they are racists.

A common refrain from the hard Left, unopposed in Charlottesville and elsewhere by the DNC, calls for the violent overthrow of the U.S. government and the forced imposition of Communist rule in America. This is not some once-off steam blowing by a small cadre of fringe actors. This is standard and widespread operating procedure at these protests. Funny how this revolutionary insurgency goes unreported.

Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer knows this and is complicit. He declared Charlottesville the “Capital of the Resistance” to our constitutionally elected president. The mayor, a longtime surrogate of President Obama and Hillary Clinton, falsely asserted there is a “direct line” between Trump’s campaign choices and the violence at the rally in Charlottesville. Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, on the other hand, played an active part in the violence-inciting Black Lives Matter movement.

Yet where are the Republicans defending the president and calling for accountability and an investigation of these Democratic political authorities who made this fiasco possible?

The Virginia State Police gave a detailed intelligence briefing to Signer and Bellamy before the August 12 rally. Federal and state law enforcement officials warned them, as well as Governor Terry McAuliffe, that they could expect violence based upon the groups they knew were coming to Charlottesville.

Yet by all appearances, law enforcement assets were deliberately ordered by these Democratic politicians to take measures that would guarantee opposing mob conflict, not prevent it. Then they blamed Trump for everything.

On August 10, two days before the riots, even the local liberal Charlottesville paper, the Daily Progress, owned by Warren Buffet, laid the blame for the escalating civic unrest squarely at Wes Bellamy’s feet.

The ACLU, not usually a friend of conservative causes, said the police were “waiting for violence to take place, so that they would have grounds to declare an emergency, declare an ‘unlawful assembly’ and clear the area.”

Yet the Democratic and Republican Party establishments see Nazis, KKK, BLM, Antifa, the Workers World Party, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations as being on some moral spectrum, going from evil to good.

They are all evil and the subversive antithesis of everything this country stands for.

Establishment Democrats and Republicans have forfeited their right to lead if they cannot see this.

The violence we have seen for years whenever the hard Left shows up is deliberate, coordinated, well-funded, and part of a larger, strategic agitation and propaganda (agitprop) political warfare campaign that constitutes a domestic threat to the Constitution. And Democrat elite fingerprints are all over it.

Both the Virginia legislature and the U.S. Congress need to investigate this movement as well as the Democrat political authorities who presided over the Charlottesville catastrophe.

Don’t hold your breath though; Democrats have closed their ranks and Virginia Republicans are nowhere to be found.

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America • Americanism • Big Media • Black Lives Matter • Cultural Marxism • Declaration of Independence • Democrats • Donald Trump • Identity Politics • Political Parties • political philosophy • self-government • The Culture • The Resistance (Snicker) • Trump White House

Trump’s Coming Victory Over Identity Politics

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Amid the turbulence of the past few weeks, it has been President Trump who has kept his head while others have lost theirs.

Trump may be the one man in America who can detoxify racial relations—I mean actually do it, not exploit them in the mode of Black Lives Matter or Al Sharpton.

Let us first be clear:  No one on the political Left can possibly succeed in easing racial tensions. Their identity politics approach has played itself out beyond the limits of absurdity. That is what the reassignment of the Asian-American sports announcer, Robert Lee, really demonstrates. This farcical episode, made ESPN a mockery, even to some on the Left.

The battle lines in this ongoing fight for the political soul of America became obvious mid-day on January 20, 2017, when President Trump took his oath of office and Democratic Senate Leader Charles Schumer, poised to introduce Justice Clarence Thomas intoned a Monty Pythonesque litany, “Whatever our race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, whether we are immigrant or native-born, whether we live with disabilities or do not, in wealth or in poverty, we are all exceptional….” Schumer’s emphasizing these distinctions, many of which a civilized society should be seeking to make irrelevant or, at best, secondary, actually produces a more fractured society; one less likely to reconcile differences in order to produce a common good.

Trump’s Inaugural Address, by contrast, sought to unify the nation:

When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice….

It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag.

Trump’s approach to this issue is the only method that can redirect this country to a politics of the common good and thereby help to heal its often exaggerated racial and ethnic divisions. The Left disdains the old patriotic symbols, and too much of the right is cowardly or echoes the left. Some NeverTrumpers even adopted identity politics to oppose Trump, as the absurd candidacy of Evan McMullin exemplified, a nonentity selected for his Mormon faith to create Electoral College mischief.

Charlottesville, however, was the telling moment. With the aid of viciously anti-Trump left-wing media, a tiny cabal of neo-fascists attempted to hijack Trump’s campaign and inaugural message of American unity in the Robert E. Lee statue controversy. The absurdity of this attempt is nonetheless overshadowed by this partial success: A small claque of politically irrelevant losers, professing a foreign ideology at war with American principles, somehow persuaded the media to give it free publicity and prominence. Why might that be?

The leftist media and their imbibers thus grotesquely magnified the torchlit “blood and soil” chants of neo-fascist provocateurs. The media and those too unthinking to question it became useful idiots to these neo-nazis.

Using the slogan “Unite the Right,” the neo-fascists seized, as in a coup, the otherwise honorable cause of the retention of Confederate monuments, one that President Trump and a majority of Americans support.  The media  tried to legitimate this foreign ideology’s coup by accusing Trump of sympathizing with it and thus tainting him and his supporters with opinions that are entirely Un-American. And since the Left and their puppets in the press see all of political life as a competition for dominance between identity groups and they claim to identify with minorities, they cannot understand opposition to themselves as anything other than a manifestation of “white supremacy.”

The contentiousness over the statues became a narrative of a battle between pro-statue neo-fascists and anti-statue anti-racism activists. The leftist media and their imbibers thus grotesquely magnified the torchlit “blood and soil” chants of neo-fascist provocateurs. The media and those too unthinking to question it became useful idiots to these neo-nazis.

Trump was not only accurate but politically astute in denouncing both mobs and wresting away the monuments cause from the media-fueled putsch. His only rhetorical error was in failing to note the similarities between the neo-fascists and Muslim radicals as advocates of a violent, anti-American foreign ideology. Trump’s basis for unity in American patriotism is vindicated in the turns the anti-statue movement has taken as it spirals into increasing absurdity.

But at stake here is more than the appreciation of public art.

In his speeches on race, urban issues, and immigration, both candidate and President Trump have emphasized the need for Americans to subordinate divisive racial issues to their common American identity. Trump’s inaugural urged patriotic Americans to be loyal to each other, for “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice . . . .”

Trump’s understanding here is that of the Gettysburg Address, the most unifying statement—prayer or psalm, really—concerning the meaning of American citizenship. Contemporary multiculturalism, prized by the Schumers and the media and the universities of today, repudiates Lincoln and with him the truest, the most elevating, and the most unifying American teachings.

The Charlottesville aftermath raises the question of how might one convert anyone from one point of view to another, let alone from identity politics fascism—which, Trump was correct, infects both sides. Isn’t mutual trust the beginning? The Left will never gain the trust of the neo-fascists. While they mouth words of love, in fact hatred of the other is the only unifying principle for identity politics, and in this central passion  today’s Left has more in common with the neo-fascists than it does with anything truly American.

He has the trust of many white working-class voters without higher education, not because they are white, but because their uneasiness with race in our fraught and “multicultural” times has caused them so often to be mislabelled as racist, and they rightly resent it. His policies and rhetoric give him the ability to change the Republican Party in ways that welcome blacks—in particular striving, working-class blacks—into a political coalition with a new confidence in an America that seeks liberty and justice for all. 

Shed of the slur of being fascist-friendly, Trump is in a position to unify here because he hearkens back to American ideas rather than to any group identity, including even partisan ones. He has the trust of many white working-class voters without higher education, not because they are white, but because their uneasiness with race in our fraught and “multicultural” times has caused them so often to be mislabelled as racist, and they rightly resent it. His policies and rhetoric give him the ability to change the Republican Party in ways that welcome blacks—in particular striving, working-class blacks—into a political coalition with a new confidence in an America that seeks liberty and justice for all. We see this in obvious ways, such as in Trump’s calling upon allies like Martin Luther King’s niece, Dr. Alveda King, and Dr. Ben Carson to warm up crowds at his recent rallies. Clearly, Trump’s overwhelmingly white audience is not expected to have contempt for these black leaders, but to welcome them as natural allies and fellow Americans who believe in and want the same things.

And in his relationship with Carson, a hero of long standing among many African-Americans for his rise from poverty to prestige, Trump echoes Lincoln:  “Here comes my friend Douglass.”

It may be the case that Trump’s visit to the Carson childhood home in the Detroit slums and a nearby black church, helped to win Michigan for Trump. In this regard, Trump emphasizes the economic appeal of his programs to working class blacks in the same ways that he emphasizes these points to working class whites. Whether it is a restoration of the manufacturing sector of the economy or in his calls for law and order and common sense immigration restrictions, these policies will spur economic improvements for the nation that will be felt very directly in these communities. Complementing these with moral messages on issues such as abortion, drug use, family disintegration, and gangs, Trump clearly wants to make middle America and middle Americans, of every hue, greater than ever before. He wants Americans to believe in themselves and in each other again. 

Republicans in the mainstream generally offer only paler versions of Democratic identity politics, but Trump has the opportunity of clarifying American identity in the nationalism of the American founding and its abiding principles of equality and limited government by consent.

With 13 percent of the votes of black men in 2016, Trump is in an enviable position to increase his vote totals and end the days of the Democratic Party taking the “black vote” for granted. A black male vote total of around 20 percent would mean the disintegration of the Democratic coalition.

But might Trump’s defense of Confederate monuments hurt him with black voters? According to a Marist poll, a plurality of blacks, 44 percent, favor retention, and 40 percent favor removal, with a high 16 percent remaining uncertain.Trump can proceed with confidence because the opportunity to unify both his support and the country is so clearly presented in this issue.

Republicans in the mainstream generally offer only paler versions of Democratic identity politics, but Trump has the opportunity of clarifying American identity in the nationalism of the American founding and its abiding principles of equality and limited government by consent. That is the deepest meaning of the unifying message of making America great again.

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America • Americanism • Black Lives Matter • Cultural Marxism • Donald Trump • Education • History • Identity Politics

The Silliest Generation

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Every generation, in its modesty, used to think the prior one was far better. Tom Brokaw coined “The Greatest Generation” to remind Americans of what our fathers endured during the Depression and World War II—with the implicit message that we might not have been able to do what they did.

For the Roman poet Horace to be a laudator temporis acti (“a praiser of a past age”) was a natural if sometimes tiring inclination. His famous lines at the end of his Ode 3.6 on moral degeneracy run, “Worse than our grandparents’ generation, our parents’ then produced us, even worse, and soon to bear still more sinful children”—and managed in just a few words to fault four generations for continual moral decline.

Yet what is strange about the present age is that our current generation uniquely believes just the opposite. Apparently, we believe that most cadres before us were not up to our standards. Indeed, we are having to clean up their messes of racism, sexism, homophobia, nativism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia, as well as environmental desecration and global warming.

Even their statues must fall as bothersome reminders of their moral depravity. And the way they come down would do either Hitler (who carted off to Germany the French dining car in Compiègne that had been commemorated as the site of the 1918 armistice) or Stalin (who primitively photo-shopped out each year’s new enemies of the people) proud. Usually our generation kills the dead by the mob or a frightened mayor in the dead of night—rarely by a majority vote of elected representatives, referenda, or the recommendations of local, state, and federal commissions and carried out in daytime.

Apparently, proof our generation’s genius is that no one in the past had a clue how to build an iPhone or do a Google search—or even make a good Starbucks Teavana shaken pineapple black tea infusion. Yet given our own present lack of humility and meager accomplishments, we have combined arrogance with ignorance to become the smuggest generation in memory. What good is the high-tech acceleration in delivering information if there is now precious little learning to be accelerated? Google is an impressive pump, but if there is no real water, what is the point of delivering nothing faster?

Ours is an age that passes easy judgment on prior generations by sandblasting away the mention of those deemed unsuitable in the past, often by our present and sometimes laudable standards of morality—but without much concession to the cruel physical landscapes and poverty of the past or our own shortcomings that will be all too clear to subsequent ages. Which prompts more activist outrage by Antifa—a century-old sullen statue of a beaten secessionist Robert E. Lee or the indifference shown to unchecked bloodletting and murder in the streets of Chicago?

When the street protests target Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, or Planned Parenthood, their progressive outrage at the public honoring of yesterday’s racists might gain more credibility. It is an easy moral judgement to condemn unhinged racists in vile Nazi and creepy Confederate garb, but quite another for progressives to demand that America finally stop honoring the now iconic former progressive attorney general of California who sent tens of thousands of Japanese Americans into camps or to march on Princeton to demand an end of deifying a progressive President Wilson whose animated hatred of blacks set back race relations for years.

But then again, we are an opportunistic generation who looks often at the past but rarely as a mirror of ourselves—and if we did, in a variety of areas, we might find ourselves wanting.

Compare how long it took just to rebuild one segment of the San Francisco Bay Bridge, with the work of those 80 years ago who in Depression-era poverty built the entire bridge near simultaneously with its twin, the massive Golden Gate, in far less time (four years compared to seven)?

Despite our much-ballyhooed high-tech achievements, California’s s high-speed rail project will likely take five times as long to build (if it’s ever finished) as did the transcontinental railroad—each foot the work of pickaxes and shovels—across the country a century and a half ago. Driving in California in 1980 was often far safer (and quicker) than in 2017.

How did our generation manage to achieve a near 60 percent remediation rate for incoming students at California’s massive state university system—only then to solve the problem by discarding the word “remediation”? When the silliest generation hits reality it often resorts to the fantasies of wordplay or the tantrums of erasure, as illegal aliens become “migrants” and Al Sharpton’s activism that only acerbates the plight of the inner city is empowered by his  calling for an end to the public Jefferson Memorial.

We are in our 17th year of a stalemated war in Afghanistan, as the tragic flotsam and jetsam of the battlefield has become a courtroom of legalese. Our much poorer fathers and grandfathers with their allies defeated Imperial Japan and the Third Reich in less than four years after entering the war. Are F-16s inferior to Mustangs and Thunderbolts?

But has not the 21st-century made the greatest strides in eliminating racism, sexism, homophobia, and bias in general?

Yes—and no.

When the silliest generation hits reality it often resorts to the fantasies of wordplay or the tantrums of erasure, as illegal aliens become “migrants” and Al Sharpton’s activism that only acerbates the plight of the inner city is empowered by his  calling for an end to the public Jefferson Memorial.

More than a half-century ago Martin Luther King did not dream of present-day college dorms and safe spaces resegregated on the basis of race when he asked of America to look at the content of our characters and not the color of our skins. We laugh at “bowdlerizing” racy sections of 19th-century novels and plays. But are not our trigger warnings and blacklists of politically incorrect books and plays similar Victorian censorship?

Puritan prudes of the 17th century shamed those who engaged in premarital sex with a scarlet letter; we sometimes exceed that ostracism by the denial on campuses of due process to the accused offender, with the progressive assumption that merely charged is synonymous with proven guilty.

Are we a renaissance people who have revolutionized art, music, and culture—in part due to our parting from the constraints of traditional religion, the nuclear family, and silly taboos about free sex, drug use, and obscenity? Yet could our top sculptors rival the work of Praxiteles or Michelangelo centuries earlier? Is the Kennedy Center more pleasing to the eye than the Parthenon? Is “Piss Christ” Rembrandt?

Does the creative writing program at Harvard turn out an Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, or Thomas Wolfe of a supposedly backward America of the 1920s and 1930s? Did a Yale graduate of 1930 write better essays than his average counterpart of 2017?

Does a student who demands pulverizing a Confederate statue know for sure whether a General James Longstreet was an abject racist or whether his brave service for an ignoble cause either nullified his later noble postbellum career—or made him a worse figure than an unrepentant racist Woodrow Wilson, who used the power of the federal government to stymie integration of the civil service and military for decades? Or do individuals from our past now just blur into cardboard cutouts to fit the purposes of present ideological activism? How can our generation so hate the past when it is so often ignorant of it?

I once gave a lecture on a local college campus three weeks after 9/11. Dozens of shouting students, egged on by their professor, screamed that the KKK had toppled the twin towers and demanded that I deny it. I said I would discuss it, if just one of 300 students in the hall either could name the founding racist of the KKK or what the triple-K acronym meant. None could; but all yelled louder.

Two years later I gave a lecture on illegal immigration to congressional staffers on Capitol Hill; an activist who was a liberal California House member’s aide, disrupted it, screaming that because I was a “classicist” I must believe in “classist” privilege and “classist” prejudice—and therefore should not be allowed to continue. Again, arrogance and ignorance are our era’s trademark.

Our universities pride themselves in their loud commitment to diversity. Yet there was more diverse intellectual give-and-take at Berkeley in 1930 than in 2017. What would Sixties-icon Mario Savio think of our trigger warnings—60 years after the establishment of free speech areas?

Who is the moral superior to whom, and how much progress—or retrogression—has our generation achieved?

We rightly deplore the dark days of McCarthyism and loyalty oaths. But would an untenured professor now fare much better than his Communist counterpart 70 years ago if he professed doubts about the origins or the severity of climate change—or the government’s ability to do much about it?

The corporation of the past might have fired an engineer for obscenity. Google just dismissed an engineer for suggesting that bias might not fully explain why women were underrepresented in computer engineering.

Who is the moral superior to whom, and how much progress—or retrogression—has our generation achieved?

Did we not redefine uncool corporate America into a hip, caring culture at the cutting edge of social justice? Superficially yes, fundamentally no. Future historians might compare the outsourcing, offshoring, monopolizing, cash accumulation, tax avoidance, company paranoia, and crassness of a Google or Facebook with the ethos of Standard Oil or U.S. Steel of the 19th century—and find the former far more adroit at amassing fortunes, destroying competition, and evading taxes and regulations.

The point of such comparisons is to not deny our own progress. It is instead to assume a little humility when judging the past according to our modern standards of morality—without much acknowledgement that each succeeding generation should have some advantages of accumulated wisdom, both ethical and scientific.

We arrived at our unprecedented levels of affluence and leisure in part due to heroic sacrifices of prior Americans, who by trial and error, challenge and response, bequeathed us a richer and freer nation, with a vibrant tradition of self-criticism and a zeal to both improve upon but also respect the flawed past.

Before we blast our past irredeemables as environmental desecrators, we should ask ourselves why we still find their Hoover Dam, the California State Water Project, or Fort Bragg useful to our own purposes—and whether we could or would create something comparable to leave to future generations other than new names and pedestals without statues? For now, we can scarcely patch up Oroville Dam that almost collapsed during this year’s rain; in contrast our grandfathers built dozens of such massive dams ex nihilo.

We may be the richest and freest generation in history, but we are increasingly the most neurotic and mercurial as well. We overthink and triple guess things to the point of paralysis—or, in contrast, rush from one moral crusade to the next. Donald Trump ran in 2016 in support of gay marriage; Barack Obama opposed it in 2008. Does that disconnect make Obama then a homophobe and Trump now a liberal? If in 2015 hesitating to tear down a statue of Robert E. Lee in the dead of night was conventional wisdom, would such caution in 2017 be proof of inveterate racism?

Doing a good job becomes impossible because we demand a perfect job. To alleviate guilt about our crass material desires for tasteful homes, status cars, and electronic goodies, we virtue signal by attacking the “privilege” of others, or smear the dead for their illiberality. Tearing down a statue or renaming a street is a lot easier than tutoring kids in the inner city or moving to the barrio and putting your children in schools with the ‘other.’ What if 40,000 people rallied in Chicago to demand an end to epidemic murdering in the streets; would such activism’s theoretical success have more positive influence than assembling to eliminate bothersome mute memorials of a distant age? Or is focusing on the misdemeanor a de facto admission that the felony remains unsolvable?

For the silliest generation, human nature should somehow be seen as perfectible as a smartphone app. So no wonder we allow no glitches in the way people talk or think, if we sense they dare to deviate from our programmed correctness.

This present generation’s impulse to play judge, jury, and executioner of the culpable of the past takes for granted that it does so as the moral superior of our forefathers. But that premise is an unfounded assumption.

Rhetoric trumps muscle. The majority of Americans no longer work with their hands, grow food, make or build things, and they are paid quite handsomely to avoid such drudgery.  But the result on society at large is that abstraction rules over practicality, and nature remains theoretical and deified rather than concrete and thus sometimes feared.

Those who sit at desks all day believe nature is mastered as easily as the temperature control in their offices—without much acknowledgement that different sorts of people are pumping natural gas to heat turbines to make electricity to send it into high-rises—and it isn’t always easy or clean. Techies love four-wheel drive cars, hiking boots, and parkas, as if by being prepared to go anywhere they can feel good about going nowhere.

The more technologically sophisticated we become, the more like a Mycenaean top-heavy palace we grow vulnerable. If the grid goes down, will those in Menlo Park learn that food is not grown at Whole Foods or that there is no such thing as a raisin plant?

The strange thing about the present generation’s silliness is that one can dream of the next theoretical Orwellian target—the Jefferson Memorial or a statue of Abraham Lincoln—only to learn that statue-toppling and name-revising progressives have already beat you to them. This present generation’s impulse to play judge, jury, and executioner of the culpable of our past takes for granted that it does so as the moral superior of our forefathers. But that premise is an unfounded assumption.

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America • Americanism • Black Lives Matter • Cultural Marxism • Declaration of Independence • Defense of the West • Identity Politics • self-government • The Constitution • The Culture • The Left • The Resistance (Snicker)

What Lincoln Might Say About Charlottesville

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Something like hate stirs within me at the sight of the swastika unfurled on American soil: a powerful, visceral reaction against white supremacy as the complete antithesis of both the American Founding, which I love, and the person of Christ, whom I love by an order of magnitude more and strive to live up to. The heart knows: here is an enemy, mortally opposed to the principle that all persons are created equal and ought to be judged not by any accident of birth, but by the content of their character.

An additional reason I hate the Nazi flag and the white supremacist creed is that it has such power to stir blind rage in me. In the abstract, I understand at all times that good and evil run through every human heart. But no other group of people makes me know so readily that I have murder and mayhem in me, too: I feel it the instant I see them marching under that flag or hear their vile chants.

I want to suggest looking at the events in Charlottesville a different way. 

I don’t know about your social media feeds, but mine have absolutely blown up with talk about Charlottesville this week, and to a person all posts have been laden with a level of urgency, passion, revulsion, and alarm. The authors hate racism, they hate white supremacy, they hate the violence that takes innocent life and don’t want to be associated with it. They don’t want it to spread; they want it put down

There have been some disagreements expressed about what precisely happened and what should have been said, but the disagreements have been between people who hate white supremacists and people who hate white supremacists but don’t understand why people won’t condemn the Antifa anarchist violence too; or people who hate white supremacists and resent having their political positions tarred with it in any way. What unites the debaters is resolute rejection of the white supremacist creed. 

If the numbers to be gleaned from the earliest reports are correct (it’s strange that we have no good numbers still), the Nazis in Charlottesville were perhaps no more than 500 bad dudes who deserve to be condemned—and just about everyone has condemned them. The very reason everyone is talking about this with such pain and horror is that the great majority of Americans have that visceral reaction to white supremacy that I feel. They despise racism, deeply regret the history of slavery and its legacy, and long for racial harmony and equality. That is not the mark of a racist people. That’s something to feel good about, even while we are a very divided nation, politically speaking. 

I think it’s important to notice this because the white supremacists and the Antifa  extremists who came armed to oppose them are both s—t-stirrers. They exist for the precise purpose of ginning up hate. They strive to provoke violent confrontation, and their method is to get us all to believe the worst of each other—to think that the Americans who believe in the brotherhood of man are few and the majority are bad people, secretly harboring racist tendencies.

That is not true. There were, again according to initial reports, a few hundred white supremacists.  There were additionally some 1,000 counterdemonstrators, of whom maybe 200 were Antifa. Which means that even in Charlottesville, the peaceful counter-demonstrators appear to have outnumbered the wicked people fighting each other, and the one murderer.

A few hundred wicked people fighting each other must not be allowed to make us all hate and suspect each other—or else they win, and we normal people (with our beautiful and necessary political debates and differences) do not.

The Nazis want us to hate blacks, Jews, Catholics, immigrants, and ultimately everybody. Antifa wants us to soak in the righteous rage the Nazis provoke until we feel ourselves justified in doing anything to discharge that rage.

In 1838, Abraham Lincoln addressed the Young Men’s Lyceum with a sober warning about how vigilante justice threatens our political institutions. If the United States were to die, he warned, it would likely not be at the hand of a foreign enemy, but by suicide.  He hoped he was being over-cautious, but he noted with alarm the rise of vigilantism in his day:

there is, even now, something of ill-omen, amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country; the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions, in lieu of the sober judgment of Courts; and the worse than savage mobs, for the executive ministers of justice. This disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it now exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth, and an insult to our intelligence, to deny. Accounts of outrages committed by mobs form the every-day news of the times.

What Lincoln wrote of some gamblers who were hanged in Vicksburg is about what most of us think of white supremacists:

They constitute a portion of population that is worse than useless in any community. . . . If they were annually swept from the stage of existence by the plague or small pox, honest men would, perhaps, be much profited by the operation.

The problem, Lincoln noted, is that mobs act not on impartial evidence and sober judgment, but by terrifying whim. Unable to make distinctions, they snatch up the innocent with the guilty:

When men take it in their heads today to hang gamblers, or burn murderers, they should recollect, that in the confusion usually attending such transactions, they will be as likely to hang or burn someone who is neither a gambler nor a murderer as one who is; and that, acting upon the example they set, the mob of tomorrow, may, and probably will, hang or burn some of them by the very same mistake. And not only so; the innocent, those who have ever set their faces against violations of law in every shape, alike with the guilty, fall victims to the ravages of mob law; and thus it goes on, step by step, till all the walls erected for the defense of the persons and property of individuals, are trodden down, and disregarded.

In other words, the mob, if tolerated, will eventually come for each of us.  

That’s not the worst of it.  Unchecked, vigilantes grow emboldened and behave worse. Meanwhile, Lincoln notes, peace-loving people who love their country and would die for it, when they find themselves calumniated, their property destroyed and their family members injured, will eventually become disgusted with a government that won’t protect them and turn on it. And once a people has no attachment to its government, anarchy ensues. A constitution without a people loyal to it has no power whatsoever to protect anyone’s rights.

In other words, the mob, if tolerated, will eventually come for each of us.  

This is the consummation both white supremacists and Antifa, a Communist/anarchist group each devoutly wish: the destruction of our mutual commitment to each other and to the constraints on power embodied in the Constitution and necessary for self-government.

They want us to walk around on tenterhooks, suspecting our neighbors, so that we will feel justified in breaking into unruly mobs until the rights to free speech, freedom of assembly, and all the freedoms of a free people are crushed by us ourselves. Their ultimate aim is to destroy the principles of the Declaration and the Constitution of what was conceived to be, and still can be, the freest nation on earth. 

Read the Lyceum speech and see if Lincoln does not have a prescient word for our own times.  Blind passions are the enemy of self-government, Lincoln taught. We require instead cool heads, sound morals, and a reverence for the political institutions that keep us free. Now is not the time to turn on America. It’s the time to be American.

 

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America • Americanism • Black Lives Matter • Donald Trump • Identity Politics • Obama • The Culture • The Left • The Media • The Resistance (Snicker) • Trump White House

Why I Wouldn’t Change a Word of Trump’s Statement

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President Trump on Saturday first addressed the alarming violence that was then unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia, between neo-nazi nationalists and their opponents, the alt-Left “activists” that includes groups such as Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Communists, anarchists, and supporters of Palestinian terror.  

Trump had been scheduled to speak about the Veterans Administration. To the extent his comments addressed Charlottesville, they were hastily constructed, on the basis of incomplete knowledge. Representing Donald Trump, unplugged and unvarnished, they came straight from his heart.

And, to my mind, they were perfect. I wouldn’t change a word.

“Egregious” displays of “hatred, bigotry and violence” have no place in America he told us, with stunning clarity. No exceptions. No qualifications. Whoever you are, whatever you are, whatever your grievance, there shall be one law, one standard.

The first thing to be done was “a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives…[for] no citizen should ever fear for their safety and security in our society.”  Had Trump stopped there, it would have been enough. It would have been more than Barack Obama had said in eight years.

Obama was on the wrong side of violence. He sympathized with the rioters in Ferguson, Missouri, and made excuses for the riots in Baltimore. Worse still, he failed even to mention the need to establish law and order and protect the lives and property of innocent people. And he put lives in danger by blaming the violence on the police.

There was nothing visceral about Obama’s comments. He expressed no sympathy for the people who’d lost everything. Juanita’s Fashion R Boutique was “the largest black-owned boutique in St. Louis” before it was burned to the ground. And Natalie DuBose could only weep as her little cake store was destroyed. Obama didn’t talk about them, their safety or security.

As far as I know, no Nazis participated in the violent riots that occurred during the Obama years.  But many of the people who did participate, according to the Washington Post, were “activists” who’d participated in the Occupy movement. They wore masks and lobbed Molotov cocktails at the police. “They call the gasoline-filled bottles ‘poor man’s bombs,’” the Post reported with seeming approval. These were the same folks who showed up in Charlottesville, and they didn’t need Nazis to provoke them to do what they did.

In opposition to all of the violence, President Trump said, “Above all else, we must remember this truth, no matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are all Americans first. We love our country. We love our God. We love our flag.” Our identity as Americans transcends all of the other identities that divide us on the surface.

“No child should ever be afraid to go outside and play or be with their parents and have a good time,” he said, as he has many times before, while decrying the terrible loss of innocent young lives and the destruction of families in black-on-black violence that occurs regularly in our inner cities. All children deserve to grow up in safety and security.

“We must love each other, respect each other and cherish our history and our future together,” he said. For Americans have a shared history. We are bound up with each other. For better and for worse, our past and our future are intertwined, inextricably. We cannot escape our joint history, for we carry it in our genes.

And that’s why he exhorted us to “cherish our history and our future together.” We cannot expunge parts of our history without destroying ourselves. The Charlottesville tragedy didn’t start with the Nazis or the Alt-Left. It started with the decision to tear down the statue of General Robert E. Lee.

For Americans have a shared history. We are bound up with each other. For better and for worse, our past and our future are intertwined, inextricably. 

America is the golden chalice for which people worldwide reach, often at great peril. But something’s obviously broken, and we need to study the situation and see where we went wrong, Trump told us. That includes all of us as individuals, for a government can do only so much. “My administration is restoring the sacred bonds of loyalty between this nation and its citizens, but our citizens must also restore the bonds of trust and loyalty between one another,” he said.

What President Trump said in his first, very emotional statement about Charlottesville can’t be improved upon. Nevertheless, the screaming media jackals demanded more. So accustomed have they become to the anodyne, formulaic responses of the mass of politicians, that when they’re offered something different and profound, they’re incapable of understanding it.

But ordinary people heard and understood what President Trump said on August 12, when he was speaking to them. When he spoke of Charlottesville again, on August 15, he was speaking to the media. You wanted names, he said, here you are. Now go fuck yourselves.

He could not and did not recant anything, for to go against conscience was neither right nor safe. There he stood, he could do no other. May God bless President Trump.

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Who Was Really at Fault in Charlottesville?

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Almost everything about the Charlottesville riot was disgraceful except the conduct of the president. The move to take down the statue of General Robert E. Lee was nonsense. Lee has few rivals as the greatest general in American history (Grant, Sherman, MacArthur, and Eisenhower perhaps). He opposed the secession of Virginia from the Union but, as was common in the South then (and has not entirely died out in any region of the United States today),believed he owed his first loyalty to his state over the United States. He was less dedicated to the virtues of slavery than was Charlottesville’s most famous son, Thomas Jefferson, founder of the University, neighbor at Monticello, and, of course, author of the self-evident truth “that all men are created equal.”

This terrible incident started as a reasonable civic demonstration by Southern traditionalists who were not hostile to African-Americans but object to the shamed renunciation of a great American heroic and folkloric figure from “Gone With the Wind,” to The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” to “The Dukes of Hazzard.” Robert E. Lee was not a precursor of Bull Connor, Strom Thurmond, James Earl Ray, or the unreformed George C. Wallace.

These original local groups did not wish or seek the attention of the Ku Klux Klan, or the American Nazis or the violent hooligans who appeared in strength flaunting vivid racist symbolism, who were the most remarkable feature in Saturday’s tragic events. As the day approached, it became clear that the other side of the issue, whose core was reasonable townspeople who put the ultimate fact that the Civil War was fought to suppress an insurrection and to promote at least the gradual elimination of slavery above the gallantry of the Confederate Army, was being reinforced by more militant leftist organizations. Antifa, which purports to find fascists at every position of authority in the United States, Black Lives Matter (whose name suggests that any sane person had ever said otherwise), and other far-left groups with a propensity to violence, made no secret that they too would be there.

As the day unfolded, it was clear that orders had been given to the local police to ensure that a serious fracas occurred. The police did nothing to disperse the armed groups on each side, on several occasions herded them toward each other to encourage combat, and then withdrew at times to facilitate the violence. It must be assumed that orders for an insufficient law enforcement and ineffectual rules of engagement emanated ultimately from the governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, the ne plus ultra of Clintonian zeal and cynicism, and former Democratic Party chairman.

The debacle ensued; the peaceful majorities on both sides were shouldered aside by the violent thugs on the extremes, with the Klansmen and neo-nazis being more vocal and recognizable by their signs and costumes. Since one of their number appears to have been responsible for the (mercifully) sole fatality, the white supremacists and neo-nazis seem to have been the more violent group. But the entire incident had almost nothing to do with the issue of what should happen to Charlottesville’s statue of General Lee, (who would have been as disgusted as we are by the extremists of both sides).

President Trump’s comments on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were accurate and appropriate, and as usual the national media either eagerly grasped the flame-thrower handed them by the professed Nazi demonstrators and accused the president of mollycoddling David Duke and the Klan (who were very aggrieved by Trump’s chastisement of them on Saturday), or they were gulled by the anti-Trump spin of the media and Virginia officials into condemning the president for ambivalence between Klansmen and Nazis on one side, and decent advocates of racial equality on the other, as if any such clear confrontation of wrong with right had occurred.

Virginia’s U.S. senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, are as rabidly partisan as McAuliffe, and the Virginia authorities, local, state, and national, have a hand in this outrage. Kaine thinks Jared Kushner might be guilty of treason and Warner thinks Trump really might have organized the golden shower of urinating prostitutes in Moscow.

The facts of Charlottesville should be ascertained by impartial investigation, prosecution, and exposure, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has promised they will be.

This incident is of a piece with the mindless violence at Berkeley and other university campuses. The nihilists and anarchists of both sides want bloody conflict and vandalism, and most of the Democrats and the anti-Trump Republicans and the national media are trying to pin the phenomenon on Trump. This became clear as the weekend unfolded, explaining Trump’s calibrated escalation of anti-racist comments.

We have come full circle. In the absence of any positive argument to vote Democratic last year, the Clinton campaign accused Trump of misogyny and racism. That failed and evaporated and was replaced in post-electoral denial by the Russian collusion nonsense. With the end of visible White House disorganization following staff changes, and after a cameo appearance of Trump the alleged Korea-warmonger last week, we are back to Trump the friend of the Klan, Obama’s infamous campaign charge.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts this week claimed the leadership of the Democrats; they are close to becoming a far-Left party, in likely fulfilment of the Obama plan, which had to be partly concealed to ensure Obama’s reelection. Donald Trump is a policy moderate, but an activist enemy of gridlock.

The campaign of defamation against Trump will fail, and if the Democrats and pseudo-Republicans don’t get to higher ground soon, Trump will pull together the responsible Right and most of the center and wax the Warren Democrats by a margin that will make the Nixon and Reagan reelections look like photo-finishes.

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 of our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

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President Trump Was Right the First Time

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President Trump was roundly criticized over the weekend for failing to call out neo-nazis and the Ku Klux Klan by name in his first statement about Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville. Many members of his own party, including Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Orrin Hatch of Utah, indicated the president should have said more.

Yet the fact that the planned rally turned into a very two-sided violent melee is undeniable.

Let’s look at the statement the president made:

We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America. What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives. No citizen should ever fear for their safety and security in our society.

The triggering phrase in those remarks was “on many sides.” Why, the critics demand, didn’t the president immediately condemn the neo-nazis and the KKK by name?

Just days earlier, a friend and colleague criticized a particular organization as being extremely weak, unable to make a public comment on any issue “except to condemn Hitler.” The problem with condemning Nazis is that it is simply too easy. The only ones who don’t regard Nazis as evil are other Nazis.

The question which we should now be asking is: given that the president did indeed condemn these groups two days later, why has he not condemned Black Lives Matter and Antifa by name? This is a serious question.

Which one of these four groups agitated for violence against police, which manifested itself in shootings of law enforcement officers in Texas and Louisiana? Which one of these groups directly threatens free speech on college campuses, forcibly preventing students from hearing opposing views?

I don’t know about you, but I would consider policies and procedures that facilitate the disproportionate murder of young black men to be racist. And although every police force must police itself and remove racism from within its ranks, BLM agitation against police has not only led directly to murders of police officers, but has also facilitated the murders of thousands of young black men.

In Baltimore, the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015 led to riots and the arrest of six police officers (three of whom were black) for following what was standard procedure at the time. This led to police being afraid to do the aggressive policing necessary to get illegal guns off the street before they are used.

The results can only be described as horrific: 2015 was the most murderous year per-capita in Baltimore’s history, with 2016 coming in second. This year is on track to exceed both. And in all three years, young black men have been hugely overrepresented among the victims. A 10-month-old baby nearly died in her car, which remained locked following the murder of her 26-year-old father in May—until a police officer heard her cry.

The fact that the officer was white shouldn’t even deserve mention. The killing fields of Baltimore are a white supremacist’s dreamland, thanks to BLM.

But we don’t like to talk that way. We like to imagine that BLM is a civil rights organization solving a real problem. And this is hardly the only example of particular causes serving as convenient cover for hate and violence.

If we are going to tear down hateful monuments, we should not start with statues of Robert E. Lee, whom most historians consider to be no more racist than many Northerners of his day. We should start with the Arch of Titus in Rome, celebrating that emperor’s military victories. After all, the arch focuses specifically upon the plunder of Jerusalem, and the desecration of the treasures of its Holy Temple. It is an indisputable celebration of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

But that’s exactly why it should not be removed. We need to remember our history, in order to avoid repeating it.

Which one of the following statements has incited more murders in 2017: “Heil Hitler,” or “Free Palestine”?

Again, the answer is obvious. Everyone knows that Hitler is a Nazi. But all too many people forget that “Palestine” is the name given to the land of Judea by the same hateful invaders who built that arch, in an attempt to sever the connection between the land and those whose home it truly is. Forget that Palestine is a name intimately associated with barbarism and ethnic cleansing; forget that it was nothing more than a distant province to its Arab rulers, none of whom possessed it within the past 500 years (save for a brief period of Egyptian control in the 1830s), and you can make “Palestine liberation” sound like a civil rights movement, too.

Yet there are dozens of unquestioned occupations around the world, in places like Tibet, Chechnya, and even Northern Ireland. But only one call for “justice” is used to justify atrocities against civilians.

There is hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. It is easy to recognize the hate of 50 years ago; it takes discernment to recognize the hate of today. President Trump should have named all of the hate groups involved, or none. He was right the first time.

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Summer Games for the Resistance

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What would the Resistance and the NeverTrumpers do without white supremacists and neo-nazis? Well, a lot, actually: and that’s what they’ve been doing ever since Donald Trump won the election. They even call themselves the Resistance. They are resisting a duly elected president: they write editorials in the nation’s major newspapers and news networks, and they stonewall the president’s actions in Washington. Those activities of the Resistance have real consequences. They affect the political business of the nation. They impede the operation of our democratically elected government.

Line them up against a handful of nasty people promoting white supremacy and neo-nazism and it puts—or to any fair-minded person should put—the president’s statements about the weekend events in Charlottesville, Virginia in perspective.

Which is not to suggest—obviously—that there should be any condoning of the killings or the violence that occurred there. And, of course, there hasn’t been.

But the Resistance was not satisfied with the wording of the president’s statement in response to the weekend events. This was President Trump’s first response: “We condemn in the strong possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”

The anti-Trump complaint is that by saying “many sides” the president failed to limit his condemnation to the white supremacists. And that is true. But why shouldn’t he condemn all violence? Do we believe that attacking white supremacists is okay?

According to the New York Times:

In Charlottesville, established groups like the local chapter of Black Lives Matter, as well as liberal and anarchist groups, started planning their response in June when activists learned that the Ku Klux Klan would be marching in the city … said Nathan Moore …. “It’s been a real summer of hate here.”

In a “real summer of hate” it might seem like a good idea to condemn all violence.

Nathan Moore, you may be interested to know, is (the Times reports) a member of the steering committee of Together Cville, a Resistance group that formed shortly after the presidential election.

Suppose no one had shown up to oppose the crackpot white supremacists and confront them? Put otherwise, if a tree falls in the forest and the New York Times and CNN fail to cover the event, did it really happen? And is there, therefore, any danger to the body politic?

According to the Times, Laura Goldblatt, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia, said that some kind of response in the street was necessary because history has shown that “ignoring white supremacy, in terms of shutting your doors and not coming out to confront them, has been a really dangerous strategy.”

Really? Do sentient people actually think that white supremacists and neo-nazis constitute a serious danger to the United States of America?

President Trump’s second statement was more inclusive in its condemnation: “Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, and other hate groups are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans. Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.”

It is true that President Trump probably should have led with that statement, if only to have made it more difficult for the Left to posture. But Trump is not yet finely attuned to the wicked ways of Washington and the Left-wing Resistance.

Remember that the Left, when the Black Lives Matter movement became popular, was—or pretended to be—offended when others said that all lives matter. Inclusiveness is a one-way street, apparently.

What’s going on here, obviously, is that the Resistance is trying to link the Trump Administration to whatever hate groups are successful in getting national attention. The New York Times even went so far as to opine that Trump has “embraced” the hate groups. And the more attention the media can give to hate groups, the more they can use them to attempt to discredit President Trump.

Nevertheless, it is fair to say the president’s first response could have been stronger.

That being said, when Merck Chief Executive Kenneth Frazier resigned from the president’s American Manufacturing Council, saying he was taking a stand against intolerance and extremism, President Trump tweeted: “Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”

It’s a bit of a stretch to say that the whole Leftist attack on the president over the Charlottesville business was worth the opportunity to get off that tweet. But if the Resistance wonders why Trump remains popular with his people, they should study his reaction to adversity.

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McAuliffe’s Progressive Government Riot

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For over a century, police and military have been used successfully to contain possible violence between demonstrators and their opponents in our communities. Everyone knows how it works. One hardly need reinvent the wheel to support the conduct of decent civil demonstrations.

By simply interposing a police cordon between the opposing factions and some space, in labor marches in the 1930s, civil rights marches in the 1950s and 1960s, and anti-Vietnam war demonstrations, violence is minimized.

But in some cases, by an express act of government, the cordon was removed, and the Ford goons descended upon the UAW demonstrators, racist whites aided by police attacked civil rights marchers, and hard hats fought anti-war protesters. This was carefully masked by a gutless media dutifully spreading the word that the riots in Detroit were caused by “Communist agitators” who also were supposedly behind the “un-American” civil rights movement, and the Vietnam War demonstrators.

Let’s not kid ourselves. These riots were not simply the result of occasional mistakes by government. They were active political efforts having nothing to do with public safety and designed to cast the demonstrators in a villainous role and government as the valiant defender of the best interests of the public.

They were purely political and totally avoidable, deeply cynical, and anti-democratic. Whatever the demonstrators tried to do to comply with parade registration and regulation was cast aside and all government power was thrown against them while their opponents were spared. The clashes were, in other words, politically desirable by the authorities in question.

So there is nothing new about this pattern of behavior, which has waxed and waned over the past century at the election of government: sometimes intervening on one side, other times providing a level playing field.

What is new is the consistent pattern of anti-constitutional behavior by progressive governments during and in the wake of the Trump election. We have seen repeated removal of police protection by governments in progressive strongholds such as Chicago and San Jose for Trump supporters leading to cancellation of rallies and physical attacks on them by their opponents while the police were ordered to stand idly by.

This standing down in the face of potentially violent confrontations between left-wing activists and whomever happens to be the object of their ire is now policy for progressive government. Few things can be more absurd than seeing University of California President Janet Napolitano, once responsible for the protection of the entire United States as secretary of Homeland Security, pleading herself unable to keep order in a mere 17 square miles of the University of California campus, and allowing the ensuing riots.

Now in progressive Charlottesville, Virginia, home of the University of Virginia, a ragtag group of nostalgic sectionalists time has passed by, with a mixture of delusional white power activists under Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler, takes the trouble to comply with all the paperwork and get a proper permit to demonstrate against the removal of memorials to their Confederate heroes, now in the sights of the historical revisionists in power in Charlottesville and Richmond.

Like the Taliban, who destroyed the Buddhist shrines in Afghanistan, or ISIS, which destroyed sites in Baalbek and Nineveh, the only history these fanatics are interested in is the one they are busy reinventing at every level of academia and ramming down the throats of Americans.

So as the ACLU has established, Charlottesville first tried to invalidate the permit for their parade and then withdrew police protection, and then the police directed the disbanding demonstrators directly into a body of counterdemonstrators, more than 10 times their numbers and far more violent.

Up until this conscious choice by Virginia’s state government under progressive Governor Terry McAuliffe and Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer, the original demonstrators had been noisy but peaceful. But the “Antifa faction” was weaponized by the progressive government forces in Charlottesville.

Without the local government’s active steps taken to release it, the Antifa was just a competing faction. And it appears that the police had ordered the original demonstrators to cease their demonstration, but did not extend that order to Antifa counterdemonstrators. The progressives in local government did this despite McAuliffe stating his police told him “80 percent of the people here had semi-automatic weapons.” As he pointed out, not a shot was fired. McAuliffe even regarded the death from the car crashing through the crowd an anomaly. “You can’t stop some crazy guy who came here from Ohio and used his car for a weapon,” McAuliffe said. “He was a terrorist.”

So whatever one might think of the motley cause of “Unite the Right” supposedly gathered to defend Confederate statues and reassert “white power,” the Virginia authorities turning loose a far larger component of violent Antifa and their allies on them was bound to cause a major confrontation.

Remember, Richard Spencer, Jason Kessler, and the other “Unite the Right” groups have been demonstrating peacefully in Charlottesville for weeks, complete with torchlit parades and no violence.

The difference this time was clear and easy to track. It had nothing to do with actions by “white supremacists” and certainly nothing to do with statements by the president. The progressives in government had decided once again to withdraw the police and let the Antifa storm troopers loose. The degraded press refused to report the clear reality and went forward with the progressives cover story blaming the violence on the “white supremacists.”

For all the blather from McAuliffe about the Unite the Right group being guilty of “terrorism,” if anyone should be denounced, it should be progressive local government for their deliberate and destructive actions. This meltdown of law and order was unnecessary as this unfortunate demonstration was ending as peacefully, if also as stupidly, as it began until the direct intervention of local authorities sparked a catastrophe.

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A Tale of Two Cities: Charlottesville v. Seattle

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What happened in Charlottesville? Here is the “drive-by” media narrative: a progressive mayor and his progressive deputy worked to remove a statue of slaveholder and traitor Robert E. Lee from a city park. A vile bunch of neo-nazis and white supremacists came from all over the country to protest and to do violence with peaceful, law-abiding counterdemonstrators. State and local authorities did their best to keep order, and two policeman lost their lives. Despite the best efforts of the police, one white supremacist, with malice aforethought, rammed his car into a harmless, nonviolent group of counterdemonstrators, killing a young woman and injuring others.

This narrative is not completely false: there were neo-nazis and white supremacists involved in the protest in Charlottesville, and many of the protesters came armed. What the mainstream media would prefer to keep off of your radar is that many of the counterdemonstrators came armed, too; that that the armed and violent counterdemonstrators greatly outnumbered the neo-nazis and white supremacists and, it appears, were principally involved in instigating the violence. Many of these armed counterdemonstrators affiliate themselves to the Orwellian-named Antifa—black clad, masked, armed, organized and trained thugs who will go anywhere at anytime to prevent people they don’t like, white supremacists, conservatives, or just plain old Oregon Republicans, from exercising their constitutional rights.

The authorities tried to separate the groups, until they decided that that was too even handed, cleared the park of the protestors, and made them run the gauntlet of the armed counter-protesters. The driver of the car that killed Heather Heyer has no previous criminal record, and some reports claim that he drove into the crowd in a panicked effort to escape counter-protesters who were attacking his car with baseball bats. On that, at least, those who actually want to know what happened will have to wait for the driver’s day in open court.

But if you want to know what really happened in Charlottesville on Saturday, you need to look at what happened in Seattle on Sunday.

In Seattle, a mainstream pro-Trump group called Patriot Prayer held a small rally downtown. Their organizer, Joey Gibson, addressed his crowd in these words, as reported by David Kroman and Lily Fowler:

“We have to find a way to come together, stop the fighting, stop the yelling,” Gibson said, denouncing the violence in Charlottesville. “There’s good and bad people on the right. There’s good and bad people on the left. We need to get the good people together.” Mr. Gibson the offered his mike to whoever wanted to speak: some echoed his message, other opposed it.

In Seattle, as in Charlottesville, the Left was no mood for Sunday school. The counterdemonstrators repeatedly clashed with police, trying to force their way through the police line in order to attack the pro-Trump demonstrators.

But unlike in Charlottesville, Seattle’s police stood their ground, and took their whacks (and silly string) from Antifa. Even though King County Executive, Dow Constantine, felt a shameful and partisan need to slander Patriot Prayer, the police in this instance did their job—recognizing, perhaps, that the group was mounting about as innocuous a political demonstration as it is possible to sponsor these days.  Or, perhaps,  though Seattle is a deep-blue city with a long and rich history of Leftist violence, the city authorities there still actually believe in the Constitution? Or maybe the police just wanted to do their jobs with professionalism? Whatever the explanation may be, we can be thankful that the police department in Seattle seems above the exploitative scoring of political points in which the authorities in Charlottesville and King County’s own Dow Constantine seemed all too ready to engage.

In Charlottesville, the nasty Left and the nasty Right showed up in force, and got what they came for, perhaps because the city and the state of Virginia did less than their best to keep the predictable from turning out as predicted. In Seattle, democracy—and not just violent and unhinged extremists—was in the streets. There just might be hope for America, thanks to Patriot Prayer, the Constitution, and Seattle’s liberal city government, which (praise the Lord) bet big on liberty and won.

 

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How O.J. Simpson’s Murder Trial Cemented Tribal Politics

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O.J. Simpson is slated to be released from a Nevada state prison in October after serving nine years of a 33-year sentence for a sports memorabilia robbery. But nobody who thinks of Simpson thinks of his ill-conceived caper at a Las Vegas hotel a decade ago. They think of his role in the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend Ron Goldman in 1994. Simpson’s responsibility for their deaths is well-established. A vast majority of Americans believe he is guilty, according to a 2015 poll—including 57 percent of blacks, up from the not inconsiderable 25 percent at the time of his criminal trial.

The fact that Simpson was acquitted of the murders in 1995 when he was obviously guilty, yet held liable for the deaths in the civil trial of 1997, plus the fact that few people actually believed the “real killer” would be found—much less sought—especially by Simpson himself, constituted too many loose ends for the episode to be laid to rest. Even as the trial progressed, it was being satirized in comic routines and roundly held up for ridicule. Thus ensued the continuing stream of books and films about the case, some of which may have helped achieve the consensus of today.

Last year alone, for example, two outstanding television series were devoted to the Simpson case and it would be hard to come away from either thinking Simpson innocent. “O.J.: Made in America” is an absorbing seven-hour documentary based on interviews and directed by Ezra Edelman, son of civil rights activist Marian Wright Edelman. It won the Academy Award for best documentary of 2016. The second is the mesmerizing 10-part Emmy and Golden Globe-winning dramatic series, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” based on Jeffrey Toobin’s best-selling and exhaustively factual account of the trial, The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson (1997), and with a powerful performance by Cuba Gooding as the lead.

Although Toobin explicitly and unequivocally argues for Simpson’s guilt, and the writers quite meticulously follow his book, the series’ creators wanted to keep the final question open, making it more about how the whole historical event unfolded along with its colorful cast of characters, than about judgment. Nevertheless, Simpson’s guilt comes through clearly. The drama vividly illustrates how the trial turned into something of a clash of cultures, that of the traditional no-frills belief in facts, logic, evidence, and the jury system on the part of the overconfident prosecutor Marcia Clark (nicely played by Sarah Paulson) versus that of the postmodern disregard for facts and mockery of truth by the thoroughly amoral defense lawyers hired by Simpson, gleefully cooking up fraudulent distractions to divert from the “mountain of evidence” that assuredly pointed to their client’s guilt. The so-called dream team manufactured a tale of a racist Los Angeles Police Department framing O.J. Simpson, a man the police were actually quite friendly toward, and even revered, painting a picture of a police department that was somehow “both totally inept and brilliantly sinister,” as Toobin puts it—deviously planting evidence and incompetently handling it at the same time.

“As it happened,” Toobin writes, “bad as the LAPD was, it did not frame O.J. Simpson; no one planted or fabricated any evidence.” As a matter of fact, he adds, “the defense cleverly obscured the one actual police conspiracy that was revealed in the course of the case—that of the starstruck cops who in 1989 tried to minimize and excuse O.J. Simpson’s history of domestic violence,” for which he pleaded no contest.

In the end, as Toobin writes, and as the series illustrates, the dream team managed to deflect the issue entirely from the brutal taking of innocent life and subjecting survivors to a nightmare of grief, to policeman Mark Fuhrman’s use of the n-word, and by extension the racism of the entire police force, and, by yet another extension, America’s racist past.

Nothing could have been more disrespectful to the jury—nine blacks, two whites, and one Latino, in its final composition—than these tactics, in which the evocation of racism was obviously a cynical ploy. For example, as shown in the series and as recorded in the trial record, when assistant district attorney Chris Darden asked that testimony regarding a witness’s use of the n-word not be allowed in court because of the potential it had to be inflammatory in the ears of the black jurors, defense lawyer Johnny Cochran loudly denounced him for daring to doubt that blacks could remain composed and objective even when hearing racial slurs. But when Darden wanted to enter into evidence the testimony of a witness who heard the voice of a black man near the crime scene at the time of the murders, Cochran histrionically declaimed that the black jurors would be highly insulted at the outrageously offensive idea that a human voice could possibly be identified by race.

Even dream team member Alan Dershowitz did not expect all the defense flimflammery to result in an acquittal, but a hung jury, as he has said in interviews. In fact, had the jury done its job and gone through the evidence—even that for police tampering—they would have seen that Simpson was undeniably guilty as charged. But they’d been given excuses not to look and they took them.

After less than four hours, much of which had to be taken up by simple paperwork, the jury voted to acquit. Evidently, the jury room presented something of a sorry reversal of “12 Angry Men,” that old liberal chestnut of a play, in that the one or maybe two jurors who wanted to look at the evidence were silenced by those who just wanted to acquit and end the nine-month ordeal. One of the jurors leaving the courtroom after the verdict had been announced, a former member of the Black Panthers as it happened, gave Cochran the black power salute. There was high fiving in the parking lot as the jurors were escorted out, according to one of Edelman’s interviews, saying the verdict was payback for the exoneration of the cops who beat motorist Rodney King after he’d led them on a lengthy high-speed chase.

What the Simpson trial showed is how our system can be undermined by men willing to use any means necessary to get their client off. “The lawyers went beyond the bounds of good ethical practice,” a professor of law of my acquaintance remarked. “O.J. shows the adversarial system at its worst.”

And thus the terrible aftermath, in which many blacks across the country loudly and ostentatiously cheered the verdict the minute it was announced. This for a man who, according to one of Edelman’s interviews, had remarked at the crowds around his home as he was driven to the police station, “What are all these n—-s doing in Brentwood?”

Debra Dickerson, author of The End of Blackness (2005), believes that Simpson was guilty, but also that the police tampered with the evidence in order to ensure a conviction. In her lights, therefore, the jury was justified in the acquittal. However, when Dickerson was asked in an interview what she thought of the “African-Americans who jumped up and down for joy when he was acquitted,” she replied, “Blacks jumping for joy at the sight of a black murderer gone free just because he murdered white people, I feel ashamed.” She elaborated:

That’s why I call my book “The End of Blackness.” I’m just so tired of being black in that way, that way which can only understand itself as the people who are oppressed by white people.  The people who condone murder as long as it annoys whites. . . . It’s slaves spitting in the master’s soup; changes nothing and demeans the spitter. . . . It teaches weak minded, immature blacks that we never have to look at ourselves, that anything we do is justified, as long as it displeases whites.  A lot of blacks are still slaves picking cotton on that last plantation, the mind. . . . They can’t accept that two wrongs don’t make a right, that there is no way to undo the past. People like that are obsessed with white people. They are the ultimate white supremacists; they can’t even figure out how to feel about crime without reference to white people.

Dickerson’s analysis went even deeper, to explain what could be behind such attitudes:

Blacks are experiencing a sort of disequilibrium brought about by freedom while so much injustice remains enshrined and circumscribes their options. There is so much bitterness and disappointment that, to us, the racism still seems so obvious yet white people walk around free and unrepentant. Too many of us are caught up in the ‘a ha!” syndrome. We think if we just track down every scowl, every missed promotion, every clutched purse, eventually we’ll have evidence to get whites on the witness stand, forced to admit their racism, and apologize. Because that’s what we really want. Few of us will admit it, but we want atonement. We want whites to feel bad about themselves, for a change. …We’re free but unavenged and some of us are losing our minds at the injustice of it.

Dickerson’s analysis deserves pondering. Some would object that whites have most certainly felt “bad about themselves” with regard to racism. As Shelby Steele has extensively described, “white guilt” has largely driven decades of the country’s efforts to make up for the sins of past generations. Why hasn’t this been enough?

Well, aside from the fact that many of these efforts have been counterproductive to the flourishing of blacks, as the Manhattan Institute’s Jason Riley argues, this kind of guilt is not real guilt—to be guilty for historical sins is not really to be very guilty at all. It doesn’t really cost whites enough and there can be no actual “atonement” for whatever wrongs were done by others in the past. This is why there is such an effort to make present day whites feel guilty through concepts such as “systemic racism” and “microaggression” and “white privilege.” That is, whites should feel guilty simply for being white, members of an irrevocably guilty race.

What would be enough? Would there have to be more evidence of active suffering on the part of individual white people, perhaps even some kind of collective punishment and reduction of their circumstances? Whites would have to be punished, deprived, degraded?

There may well be segments of the white population who feel they have suffered because of resources and policies designed more to benefit blacks, and as many commentators have noted—starting in the early hours of November 9 of last year—the Democratic Party has long forsaken its traditional white working class base in favor of advancing what it took to be minority interests. But this has been insufficient to address the racial indictment.

What would be enough? Would there have to be more evidence of active suffering on the part of individual white people, perhaps even some kind of collective punishment and reduction of their circumstances? Whites would have to be punished, deprived, degraded?

Since such an indictment of racial guilt can’t hold or be effective universally, even if given constant lip service, the only kind of satisfaction blacks who hold such attitudes can get is to discomfort whites on an ad hoc basis. Thus the pumped-up, ecstatic acting-out at Simpson’s acquittal. But this is a dead end. There will never be sufficient suffering or discomfort to assuage the perception of wrong. And when the temporary moment of triumph passes, the truth starkly emerges.

The collective wound caused by the exoneration of Simpson for a brutal double-homicide was partly assuaged by his nine-year stint for robbery. Although the sentence may have seemed harsh, it wasn’t, according to some experts, given his prior conviction for domestic abuse and the civil judgment for wrongful death. In any event, like it or not, it constituted a kind of poetic justice. But the granting of parole has opened the wound of injustice once again, at the prospect of his returning to freedom when he should still be in prison for killing his wife and the poor soul who happened to be with her at the wrong time. A murderer has escaped justice, and that is an affront to humanity and a blot on the universe reminiscent of Greek tragedy. Tribal vengeance is futile and self defeating, and is no justice at all.

 

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America • Big Media • Black Lives Matter • Cultural Marxism • Donald Trump • First Amendment • Free Speech • Identity Politics • Obama • race • The Culture • The Left • The Media

Fake News Sure Didn’t Start With Trump

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Contrary to the narrative of Donald Trump’s friends and foes alike, the phenomenon of “fake news” long precedes the 2016 presidential election, even if the moniker is of a fairly recent vintage.

To deem an item reported by journalists a piece of “fake news” is not necessarily to say that it is patently false. Of course, fake news does not preclude outright lying on the part of “fake journalists”—those who are motivated not by a desire to inform the public as much as they are driven by political, financial, and/or professional considerations.

What makes a fake journalist fake is his desire to advance his own agenda, or the agenda of the corporation or political party that signs his paychecks.

Yet more often than not, fake news contains some truth. It is precisely this kernel of truth that it contains that makes it as effective as it is.

In other words, fake news derives its identity more by what it veils than by what it unveils.

Take, for example, the topic that more than any other revealed fake news for what it is: the question of race.

Fake journalists, all of them to one degree or other agents and enablers of the Racism-Industrial-Complex (RIC), can be counted upon to express fake outrage whenever there is so much as a suspicion that a white person or a police officer (regardless of the latter’s color) may have mistreated a black individual.

When, however, the racial roles of perpetrator and victim are reversed—regardless of the brutality of the attack—these same moral crusaders are suspiciously silent or else they go out of their way to avoid underscoring the interracial character of the incident.

Some examples from recent history make the point.

In 2013, George Zimmerman, a Democrat and Obama supporter whose Peruvian pedigree on his mother’s side made it obvious to any casual observer that he was Hispanic, was transformed by the New York Times—and thus, by the whole Leftist press—into the first “white-Hispanic” in living memory.

Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, a 17 year-old black male, and the fake news media complex, so as to further its narrative of eternal White Oppression and Black Suffering, needed to exploit Zimmerman’s father’s German background and create for itself a white predator.

NBC News infamously edited the call to the police dispatcher that Zimmerman placed moments before he and Martin had their fatal altercation. Zimmerman was questioned by the dispatcher as to the racial identification of the suspect upon whom this neighborhood watchman had his eye.

“He looks black,” Zimmerman replied.

NBC edited the call to make it sound as if Zimmerman contacted police because Martin was black. It wanted to make it sound as if Zimmerman was on the hunt for blacks to slay.

Initially, fake journalists circulated a photograph of a smiley-faced 12 year-old Trayvon and juxtaposed it with a jailhouse mugshot of Zimmerman (who was 28 at the time). It was long after the media’s narrative cemented that the outdated photo of Martin was replaced by a more current picture of the 6-foot-plus, tattooed, gold-toothed, dope-smoking gangster-wannabe that Trayvon had become by the time he confronted Zimmerman.

And, yes, he confronted Zimmerman.

Zimmerman thought Martin was acting suspiciously. He called the police and was told not to engage Martin. Zimmerman listened. But Martin saw Zimmerman watching him and attacked. It was while the former was bashing his head into the cement that, in self-defense, Zimmerman shot his assailant dead.

In its rush to make the circumstances of this case fit its template, fake journalists omitted critical details that made all of the difference between their preferred narrative and reality.

Consequently, they produced fake news.

Yet the fake news media’s treatment of the Trayvon Martin incident is the same treatment to which it subjects every racially oriented situation that may involve a black victim.

Remember “the Gentle Giant” of Ferguson, Mike Brown? Brown, fake journalists told us, was a modest and humble young black man who was preparing to embark upon his college career when a malicious white cop killed him, “execution-style,” when he was trying to surrender. This Gentle Giant, so went the story, was “unarmed” and had his hands up in the air.

The reality, unsurprisingly, was quite different. As it was eventually disclosed, minutes before Brown’s fatal confrontation with Officer Darren Wilson, “Big Mike” had just robbed a neighborhood convenience store of some cigarillos so he and his friend could make “blunts” to smoke marijuana. After “Big Mike,” as he was called, struggled for Wilson’s gun, the officer fired in self-defense. Brown tried to flee, but then turned to confront the officer. When Brown refused to stop, Wilson shot and killed him. Those details are laid out at length in a grand jury report (PDF) and corroborated in a subsequent report by the U.S. Justice Department (PDF).

Yet to this day, millions of Americans believe Brown said “hands up, don’t shoot” before Wilson killed him. From this Big Lie promoted by the fake news arose another and equally Big Lie that today goes by the name of “Black Lives Matter”—as if to deny this group’s claims and demands we’re tantamount to denying the worth of every black life.

Whenever there is a case of a black criminal or criminal suspect dying in a clash with police, regardless of the racial background of the officers, the fake news media uses it to advance the fiction that blacks are endless victims of “white racism” or “white supremacy.”

In none of these high-profile cases from the last so many years—Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, etc.—has any racial animus toward the blacks in question been shown. The point, though, is that even had animus been established, in failing to provide comparable attention to the astronomical rates of black criminality, as well as to the alarming amount of black-on-nonblack animus, the media supplies fake news in giving the impression that anti-black hostility is at once endemic and existing in a vacuum.

See the point?

This year marks the 10th anniversary of what very well could be among the most horrific crime (or set of crimes) in the criminal annals of our nation. That incident involved five black perpetrators and two innocent white victims, 23-year-old Christopher Newsom and his 21 year-old girlfriend, Channon Christian. Those who are aware of it refer to this gruesome episode as “the Knoxville Horror.”

Do you recall ever having heard of it on any of the major news networks, or having read about it in the New York Times, Washington Post, or any other nationally renown news publication?

In December 2000, a comparably horrific crime, unprecedented for its sheer ruthlessness and brutality, occurred in Wichita, Kansas. It involved two black brothers and five white victims, three men and two women. Such is the grisliness of the details that it is now simply referred to by those who have heard of it as “the Wichita Massacre.”

Again, do you remember hearing about this from Big Media?

The answer to this question speaks for itself and underscores my original thesis: fake news has long preceded the presidency of Donald Trump.

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